[CF-metadata] Need for standard name "ocean_pressure"?

Philip Bentley philip.bentley at metoffice.gov.uk
Tue Feb 26 03:28:36 MST 2008

Hi Rich,

>From my days in the oil exploration industry I seem to recall that the
term "hydrostatic pressure" was used to describe pressure in a water
column. Which might suggest the standard name "hydrostatic_pressure".

A quick look at the definition of hydrostatic pressure on wikipedia
indicates that this quantity includes the atmospheric pressure component
too. So, while it may not be exactly what you're after, perhaps it's a
term that might usefully be added to the standard name list?


On Sun, 2008-02-24 at 17:15 -0500, Rich Signell wrote:

> CF folks,
> Don Murrya & I ran into a problem using the Integrated Data Viewer
> (IDV) last week that suggested the need for a standard way to
> determine whether a pressure variable is in water or the atmosphere.
> We currently have a "air_pressure" standard_name, but no
> "ocean_pressure".
> The IDV utilizes CF conventions, and when it sees pressure as a
> vertical coordinate, it uses a standard atmosphere to convert to
> height in meters for the purpose of visualization.   This works fine
> for atmospheric pressure, but when I tried to view my oceanographic
> salinity and temperature profiles (which also have a vertical
> coordinate of pressure), of course it failed to plot them below the
> sea surface.
> I suggested to Don that the perhaps IDV could use the units of
> pressure to determine atmosphere or ocean, since oceanographers nearly
> always use decibars  (one decibar being nearly equal to 1 meter of
> water).
> But a much better way would be to have a standard name that indicates
> that we are measuring pressure below the sea surface.  (0 pressure = 0
> meters depth).
> Could just adding "ocean_pressure" as a standard name suffice?
> Thanks,
> Rich
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