ContentThe station header includes in the first lines mandatory information like the station identifier, date, time, location, list of observed parameters and units. The environmental information on the observations archived either behind " *DC= " (for Data collection), other relevant information behind "*DM=" (for Data Management) or "COMMENT" is optional.
DescriptionBP =Beginning Position; SL = string length
NP = number of observed parameters incl. the reference (pressure);
NCO = number of comment lines in the header
All the lines begin with the character " * ".
In order to avoid ambiguity, N/S and E/W are specified for latitude and longitude instead of signs.
Missing time should be assigned to '9999' and "TIME IS UNKNOWN" added in comment line.
Other missing information (when optional) in character strings: 'X' as many times as the missing string length or 'UNKNOWN' or 9 for numerical values (like bottom depth).
The first observed parameter is the reference, which for vertical profiles must be the pressure in decibar.
The list of each observed parameter (pressure,temperature, salinity, nutrients) include the parameter (extended) GF3 code, name, unit (International System) and default value. A different unit corresponds to a different parameter code.
In order to maintain some flexibility with the format and not to loose existing complementary information on the data processing, meteorological observations etc. not taken into account in the format, three specific fields terminate each header profile:
*DC HISTORY for the information linked to the data collection at sea (like instrument, calibration)
*DM HISTORY for the information linked to the data management and archiving (like the source latitude if the sign or the value has been changed)
*COMMENT for all optional data and meta data like time and location at the end of the profile, meteorological observations.
Do not repeat keywords (ex use EDATE=, ETIME= ELAT=, ELON=, EDEPTH and not DATE, TIME, LAT, LON, DEPTH) to specify the end date, time, latitude, longitude and bottom depth of a station. The number of *COMMENT lines is not limited. All the meteorological information and the information behind the comment lines (end of the station, secchi disk, meteorological observations) is optional, but to access them easely, it is better to use GF3 codes as keywords (3.6)
The last line begins with the character " * " and the parameter GF3 codes as titles of the columns of observations. They should be the same as the list.