Documentation for Fiber-Optic Distributed Temperature Sensing at Windless Bight, Version 1

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Detailed Data Description

Fiber-optic equipped moorings for Raman backscatter Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) were installed at Windless Bight, Antarctica in November 2011, recording continuous-in-space measurements of temperature at every meter along the mooring. The data set is divided into ice shelf temperatures and ocean temperatures from mooring BH2. The data set is generated from one of the four fibers on the mooring, specifically DTS Channel 4. The entire data set includes ~1.5 million temperature measurements.

Windless Bight Map
Figure 1. Windless Bight, Antarctica

Data are provided in MATLAB (.mat) format.

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File and Directory Structure

Data are available on the FTP site in the directory. Within this directory, there are two files: WB_ICE_SHELF.mat and WB_CAVITY.mat. The two files contain temperature observations in the ice shelf and ocean cavity.

See the following tables for temperature variables and performance metrics.

Table 1. Ice Shelf Temperature Variables
Variable Definition
FO_distance Fiber optic distance
Depth Depth below November 2011 ice shelf surface
Temperature Calibrated temperature (corresponds to FO_distance and depth arrays)
Table 2. Ice Shelf Performance Metrics
Metric Value
Temperature Accuracy 0.3° C
Average Temperature Resolution 0.036° C
DTS Spatial sampling resolution 1.01 m
DTS spatial resolution 2.056 ± 0.047 m
Table 3. Ocean Temperature Variables
Variable Definition
FO_distance Fiber optic distance
Depth_SL Depth below November 2011 sea level
Temperature Calibrated temperature (corresponds to FO_distance and depth arrays)
consTemp Conservative temperature (uniform salinity of 34.5 psu and linear interpolation of recorded pressures along the mooring in the pressure array)
Pressure Pressure recorded by two transducers at fiber optic distance of 350 m and 777 m
Table 4. Ocean Performance Metrics
Metric Value
Temperature Accuracy 0.055° C
Average Temperature Resolution 0.022° C between 85-99 m; 0.30° C between 763-777 m
DTS Spatial sampling resolution 1.01 m
DTS spatial resolution 2.056 ± 0.047 m
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File Size

The WB_ICE_SHELF.mat file is 4.1 MB, and the WB_CAVITY.mat file is 13.6 MB.

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The data set is 17.7 MB.

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Spatial Coverage

Windless Bight, Antarctica: -77.76667° S, 167.5333° E

Spatial Resolution

The mooring penetrates ~200 m through the ice shelf, ~600 m into the ocean cavity, and extending to within ~300 m of the ocean bed.

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Temporal Coverage

Data were collected from 26 Novermber 2011 to 15 January 2013.

Temporal Resolution

Instruments recorded between 4 and 8 traces per day.

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Parameter or Variable

Ocean Temperature
Ice Temperature

Parameter Description

The average temperature resolution of the ice shelf data is 0.036° C with an accuracy of 0.3° C. The temperature resolution of the ocean data is 0.022° C between 86 - 101 m and 0.030° C between 770 - 785 m along the mooring with an accuracy of 0.055° C.

Sample Data Record

See Figures 2 and 3 for examples of the data.

Ocean Cavity Data
Figure 2. Ocean Cavity Data

Note: In Matlab, dates are referenced to 01/01/0000 or January 1, 0000 A.D. [a Matlab serial date equal to 1]. These numbers can be converted in Matlab to recognizable strings using the datestr command [i.e. datestr(datetime)].

Ice Shelf Data
Figure 3. Ice Shelf Data
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Software and Tools

The data can be accessed using MATLAB.

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Data Acquisition and Processing

Data Acquisition Methods

Data was collected by Raman backscatter DTS using independent temperature and pressure sensors and two transistor/thermistor sensors.Both transistor/thermistor sensors and four of the independent temperature and pressure sensors were connected to a data logger. Readings were taken every 15 minutes. The remaining temperature and pressure sensors were connected to the DTS and recorded temperature at the time of the DTS traces. Temperatures were collected over ~900 m of fiber optic cable. Eight small data gaps (between 3 and 14 days) and one large data gap (~113 days) occurred over the deployment, believed to be caused by a power interruption to the system. See Tyler et al. (2013) for a complete description of the mooring configuration and sensors.

Figure 4. BH1 and BH2 Moorings Schematic
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Sensor or Instrument Description

See Table 5 for a list of the instruments used for this data set.

Table 5. Data Gathering Instruments
Instrument Instrument Information
DTS sensor Sensornet Oryx. Vertical sampling resolution: 1.01m; calculated vertical spatial resolution: 2.056 ± 0.047 m.
Temperature detectors Six platinum resistance temperature detectors (PT100)
Tranducers Two Level Troll 700. Stated accuracy at full scale 0.0558° C; resolution 0.0038° C
Data logger CR3000 Micrologger
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References and Related Publications

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Dr. Scott Tyler
University of Nevada, Reno
Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering
1664 N. Virginia, MS 172
Reno, Nevada 89557

David M. Holland
Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences
New York University
251 Mercer Street
New York, New York 10012

Victor Zagorodnov
Byrd Polar Research Center
Ohio State University
Scott Hall, Room 108
1090 Carmack Road
Columbus, Ohio 43210


This research was supported by NSF Antarctic Earth Sciences Grants Numbers ANT-10431154, ANT-1043217, and ANT-1043395.

Document Information


25 March 2015