[CF-metadata] sea water speed and direction?

Lowry, Roy K. rkl at bodc.ac.uk
Fri Jun 2 03:20:26 MDT 2017

Dear John,

That's a good point about the ambiguity of 'direction_of_sea_water_velocity'. As an observational oceanographer its built into my core program that 'direction' means 'direction_to' for currents. I'm not alone here, which is probably how the ambiguity got overlooked when the Standard Name was set up. My suggestion for corrective action would be to alias 'direction_of_sea_water_velocity' to 'sea_water_to_direction' whilst adding a new Standard Name 'sea_water_from_direction'. I prefer your suggestions here to the more verbose alternatives such as 'to_direction_of_sea_water_velocity'.

You could then use 'sea_water_speed' and 'sea_water_to_direction' for your data as polar co-ordinates. You could also consider transforming to cartesian co-ordinates and using 'eastward_sea_water_velocity' and 'northward_sea_water_velocity' for the Standard Names.

I am opposed to the creation of separate 'surface' Standard Names unless there is a case that the measured phenomenon is different. If you read the definition of 'surface_eastward_sea_water_velocity' you will see that it represents a different phenomenon to 'eastward_sea_water_velocity' because it allows for the boundary between water body and atmosphere being either water or ice. Consequently, unless there was a specific need to specify a water-or-ice surface motion in terms of polar co-ordinates I would recommen against adding the new 'surface' names that you suggest.

Cheers, Roy.

Please note that I partially retired on 01/11/2015. I am now only working 7.5 hours a week and can only guarantee e-mail response on Wednesdays, my day in the office. All vocabulary queries should be sent to enquiries at bodc.ac.uk. Please also use this e-mail if your requirement is urgent.

From: CF-metadata <cf-metadata-bounces at cgd.ucar.edu> on behalf of John Maurer <jmaurer at hawaii.edu>
Sent: 01 June 2017 20:37
To: cf-metadata at cgd.ucar.edu
Subject: [CF-metadata] sea water speed and direction?

Please provide guidance on which CF Standard Names to use for sea water surface velocity. We will soon have a new buoy with an acoustic current meter (ACM) that records speed (m/s) and direction (degrees) of the surface currents. Are these the recommended CF Standard Names to attribute for these measurement parameters?:

  *   sea_water_speed
  *   direction_of_sea_water_velocity

The latter does not indicate the "from" or "to" direction of the variable, which concerns me. I am used to applying "wind_from_direction" or "wind_to_direction" for wind measurements to solve this ambiguity. Thoughts on replacing this with "sea_water_from_direction" and "sea_water_to_direction"?

Also, I note there are CF Standard Names that exist for "surface_eastward_sea_water_velocity" and "surface_northward_sea_water_velocity". I would expect and recommend the addition of the following surface names:

  *   surface_sea_water_speed
  *   surface_sea_water_from_direction
  *   surface_sea_water_to_direction

Please advise.
John Maurer
Data System Engineer
Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS)
University of Hawaii at Manoa
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