< Marine Matters Edition 15 out now
01.10.2013 03:03 Age: 4 yrs
Category: WA-IMOS, ANFOG

WAIMOS Small Group Data Mining Workshop Series ‐ GLIDERS

The Australian National Facility for Ocean Gliders (ANFOG) based at UWA operates and maintains a fleet of ocean gliders as part of the IMOS research infrastructure.

Navigated by waypoints along the IMOS repeat transects, these remotely controlled, fully submersible vehicles are propelled through the water column by alternate changes in buoyancy.

Equipped with a variety of sensors, gliders relay their position and the data collected at each surfacing, via satellite. Core data parameters collected include temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll and turbidity which are then stored with appropriate QC flags in NetCDF format, in accordance with the IMOS data file conventions.

Designed for continuous sampling around the clock and in all weather conditions gliders recently divulged the changing properties of the ocean during Tropical Cyclone Rusty as it crossed the Pilbara Coast in NW WA.

In October, WAIMOS initiated the first in a proposed series of small group, data-mining workshops: Exploring glider data and introduction to Gliderscope. The strong interest (local and interstate) resulted in repeat workshops delivered to over 50 individuals across a broad range of sectors, organisations and disciplines.

These interactive workshops helped participants to locate data from glider deployments, or missions, around the WA coast, access and learn to handle NetCDF files of glider data with confidence and visualise parameters in the water column with a user-friendly user interface.

The workshop involved practical examples in several areas:


  • Introduction to ocean glider instrumentation, sensors, data parameters and deployments around the WA coastline
  • Data: Access to NetCDF files and data manipulation; summarising data; visual analysis of physical and biochemical parameters.
  • Graphics and output: Basic plotting; customising plots; 3D plots of water properties; vertical profiles; extracting segments of data to visualise and compare; and exporting plotsUsing the ANFOG custom designed Gliderscope v4.0 software for quick and easy visualisation of oceanographic data and mining and discovery of IMOS ocean glider mission data


The Gliderscope installation packages, user's manuals and tutorial files are available for download.

Tours of the glider facility were a highlight for many participants who asked many detailed and enthusiastic questions on glider operations and data QC. Participants planned to use their new found skills for a range of multidisciplinary investigations such as:

verification of remotely sensed data; in metocean modelling; complement marine ecological studies; supplement environmental management and impact assessments; physical parameters as background for genetic studies; teaching; baseline monitoring; dredge monitoring; complement in situ field data; mapping the depth of surface currents and eddies; and more.

Further WAIMOS small group data-mining workshops are planned for 2014.