The Sediment Transport Instrumentation Group (STG) at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Woods Hole Science Center has a long-standing comitment to providing scientists with high quality oceanographic data. To meet this commitment, STG personnel are vigilant in checking data as well as hardware for signs of instrument malfunction. STG data sets are accompanied by processing histories to detail data processing procedures that may have modified the natural data signal while removing noise from the data.
The history also allows the data to be reprocessed in the ligth of new insight into instrument function and moored conditions. This toolbox was compiled to meet these data quality commitments for data generated by Sontek Hydra systems using both ADV and PCADP probes.
In the mid 1900‘s, the USGS Coastal and Marine Program began frequent deployments of Sontek Hydra systems in support of projects in estuaries, coastal, and continental shelf regions nationwide. Hydra data sets are large and complex in structure, and existing processing and editing tools consisted of fragments of MATLAB code written by USGS scientists to satisfy personal research needs.
This code did not meet STG quality control criteria. This toolbox permits engineers and scientists to monitor data quality by:
1. processing data with interactive critical review;
2. preserving data quality indicators;
3. preserving minimally processed and partially processed versions of data sets.
STG usually deploys ADV and PCADP probes configured as downward looking, mounted on bottom tripods, with the objective of measuring high-resolution near-bed currents. The velocity profiles are recorded with minimal internal data processing. Also recorded are parameters such as temperature, conductivity, optical backscatter, light transmission, and high frequency pressure. Sampling consists of high-frequency bursts(1–10 Hz) bursts of long duration (5–30 minutes) at regular and recurring intervals for a duration of 1 to 6 months. The result is very large data files, often 500 MB per Hydra, per deployment, in Sontek‘s compressed binary format.
This section introduces the Hydratools toolbox and provides information about the history of the system‘s development. The USGS philosophy regarding data quality is discussed to provide an understating of the motivation for creating the system. General information about the following topics will also be discussed: hardware and software required for the system, basic processing steps, limitations of program usage, and features that are unique to the programs.