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Argo Data Quality Control

Delayed-mode quality control of Argo salinity, temperature, and depth data is vital to optimizing scientific use of the data. Scientists working at NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) have led international efforts to develop and implement delayed-mode quality control techniques and procedures. Together, they have developed a system to compare potential temperature-salinity curves from Argo float sensors to maps of historical temperature-salinity curves. This approach has allowed scientists to recommend adjustments to salinity measurements that could be affected by sensors that may no longer be accurately calibrated.  This system and variants of it are now in use internationally. 

PMEL scientists have also worked with WHOI scientists and engineers at Sea-Bird Electronics, Inc., to quantify response errors for the majority of salinity, temperature, and depth sensors used in Argo floats and recommend methods of correction for these errors.  International Argo partners are adopting these sensor response error corrections.  PMEL performs delayed-mode quality control on all the Argo floats that they provide for the array.

NOAA’s National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) mirrors Argo data by downloading the data from the Argo Global Data Assembly Center at Monterey, California, on a daily basis. NODC applies an automated quality-assurance procedure to check the consistency of the data and also reformat them into both ASCII and netCDF, types of data file formats, which allow users to import Argo data into their application programs.