Once data have been acquired and processed, CDIP makes them
available to users in a variety of forms. In addition
to CDIP's standard data files, the web site offers a wide range
of tools and services that provide graphical, tabular, and
text analyses of both realtime and historic data. In this
way all users - from researchers looking for the most detailed,
extensive data set possible, to surfers just checking the
waves - can find the information that they need.
File and data formats
When browsing CDIP data, there a couple of points to keep
in mind. First, the times given on files and data values
are start times, from the very beginning of the sample
period. Second, summary values - wave height,
average period, sea surface temperature, etc. - are
computed for sampling periods that are generally near
30 minutes or one hour in duration.
Click on any of the file/data types below for a detailed
description of its format.
Parameter data: pm files
Parameter summary values, including wave, wind, temperature, and
Spectral data: sp files
Full spectral wave data in 64 or 128 bands.
9-band energy data: de files
Wave energy data, with the energy spectrum divided into nine
9-band direction data: dd files
Wave direction data, with the direction spectrum divided into
nine period bands.
Wind data: dw files
Wind data, both summary speed values and values by directional
Temperature data: da and dt files
Temperature values for air temperature (da) and sea
temperature, given in both degrees Celsius and Farenheit.
Air Pressure data: db files
Air pressure values, corrected for sea-level.
Time series data: df files
Continuous time series data, generally sampled at 1 Hz.
Datawell time series data: xy files
Continuous displacement values for Datawell directional buoys,
including north/south, east/west, and vertical displacements.
Full Datawell data: Datawell df files
Continuous data from Datawell directional buoys, which includes
displacement, spectral, and system information.
Some of the pages on this website provide access to a number
of specialized products. To view the descriptions of these
products, select the appropriate page from the list below.
Recent observed page: Summary tables, summary maps
for all stations
Recent-observed station pages: Latest plots and tables
for a single station
Recent nowcast page: The California swell models
Recent forecast page: Three and five day forecast products
Historic-data station pages: Access to all data/plot products
NDBC XML/NWS Format
CDIP sends the NDBC a full spectral file in XML format. This facilitates integration with GTS/AWIPS and allows dissemination to NWS offices.
View Sample Wave XML File
View Sample Wind XML File
Coastal Ocean Observing Systems and CDIP
CDIP deploys and maintains instrumentation in several of the
Integrated Ocean Observing System regions. By collaborating with
the various regions, we hope to enhance coastal observations.
Huntington Beach Experiment 2006
CDIP has a highly-developed data collection, processing, and
analysis infrastructure which facilitates the integration of
its ocean measurements into
Since its inception in 1976, CDIP's goals have reflected many of
the same emphases as recent ocean observing initiatives, namely:
To allow the direct presentation of CDIP data on the SCCOOS website, CDIP
has developed a special data access script. This script provides the
latest ocean measurements in an easily parsed, asterisk-delimited
format that includes the stations' current locations and water depths.
- To generate accurate and high-quality scientific data;
- To process and distribute data to users in near real-time; and
- To be responsive to the changing demands and needs of its users.
For details of the formatting, try the help option:
CDIP's website is also equipped to present a range of text and graphic
products based on spectral data submitted by cooperating agencies. For
details on this process, please contact us and refer to our
CDIP is an active member of the QARTOD (Quality Assurance of Real-Time
Ocean Data) effort. This is an IOOS community effort to standardize
quality assurance and quality control parameters among data providers.
Thus far, waves, in-situ currents, remote currents and CTD have been
addressed. Summary tables of quality control measures have been
developed for both waves and in-situ currents; refer to the links
Wave Eval Tool
To assist with the wave measurement community's comparison and
validation of various wave sensors, CDIP has developed a
a special tool for analyzing spectral wave data. Details from co-location
experiments and the tool itself can be
accessed online. In partnership with
the Joint Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM)
, wave sensor intercomparison test results may also be found on
JCOMM's Wave mensurement Evaluation and Test page
All of CDIP's data sets are described by detailed metadata, which is
continuously updated and available online in a number of formats.
FGDC-compliant metadata are included, in both HTML and XML formats.
The metadata for any specific data set are accessible from the
station pages in the historic section of the website.
In addition to the standard, on-the-fly web pages, static XML
metadata files are available for download or harvesting from a
Data coverage statistics for CDIP's Datawell buoys can be found on our
spectral data coverage page
Outreach: Custom Products and Display Pages
To aid both research and education efforts, CDIP produces a number of
customized products for different institutions. Some of these products
are specialized plots and data files, geared towards a specific
investigation; others are general display pages, intended to educate the
public and promote awareness about the numerous oceanographic
resources available on the web today. Listed below are examples of
the various types of custom products that have been generated.
Products that are automatically tranferred to associated agencies
in near real-time
Products that are prepared for associated agencies and
available via the web
- Los Angeles County coastal wave heights generated from buoy
readings and CDIP's swell models are transferred every hour
to the Coastal Monitoring Network, whose
Watch the Water website
provides real-time beach information for all of LA County.
- Every thirty minutes the latest measurements
from CDIP's buoys are transmitted to the
NDBC and the NWS. Please see the next section of the documentation,
for more details on these collaborations.
Products and web pages that are customized for specific venues
- Diablo Canyon wave height and period forecasts are updated
hourly for use by managers at Pacific Gas and Electric's
Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. (
- Detailed wave modeling is performed in the San Pedro Channel/Long
Beach Harbor vicinity to faciltate the operation of the numerous
shipping operations in the area. (
| Click any thumbnail to view.
Aquarium pages above, Channel Islands page at right.
Products that are created in response to specific events
- When Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crashed off of Pt. Mugu on
January 31, 2000, CDIP immediately started creating wave and wind
forecasts for the recovery area that were available over the web.
In the early days, the most efficient and cost-effective way for
CDIP to disseminate its data was via monthly and yearly reports,
printed and distributed to interested agencies and researchers.
But by the mid-1990s, however, things had changed dramatically,
and the program began to focus its efforts on distributing data
via the internet. Today, all of CDIP's data are available on the
web, on a highly-trafficked site -
that is continually updated with the very latest data.
Automated access to data on the CDIP site can be easily arranged
through the use of our cgi scripts. For more details, please
refer to the
Data Access FAQ.
The latest data from CDIP stations are also available through
National Data Buoy Center's web page and
service. Every thirty minutes the latest measurements
from CDIP's buoys are transmitted to the NDBC in FM-13 format.
The NDBC then distributes these data through through their
Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS).
In the list at left are Station IDs for all buoys currently
accessible through the NDBC.
Data is transmitted every thirty minutes to the
National Weather Service. The
NWS incorporates these data into their weather reports, marine
forecasts, and weather radio broadcasts.
NDBC and NWS integration
Data Use and Acknowledgements
CDIP data and products are freely available for public use, provided that
they are not altered in any way. When
used for web displays and online resources, please provide a link
to the CDIP homepage. For instance, in standard html:
Data courtesy of <a href=http://cdip.ucsd.edu/>CDIP</a>
For offline references, please choose the appropriate form from
the recommended acknowledgements below.
- Short form (figure captions, etc.)
"... data from CDIP, Scripps Institution of Oceanography"
- Longer form (in text)
"...data were furnished by the Coastal Data Information Program,
Integrative Oceanography Division, operated by the Scripps
Institution of Oceanography."
- Full form (acknowledgements at conclusion of
"...data were furnished by the Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP),
Integrative Oceanography Division, operated by the Scripps Institution
of Oceanography, under the sponsorship of the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers and the California Department of Boating and Waterways."
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