COCMP Reference Guide

COCMP Reference Guide [PDF] An introduction: how ocean current mapping works and why it is useful...






Commonly Used Terms and Acronyms

  • Definitions
  • Organization Acronyms
  • Technical Acronyms

Coastal Ocean – For the purposes of the IOOS, the coastal ocean encompasses the region from head of tide to the seaward boundary of the EEZ, including the Great Lakes.

Data Providers – Individuals or organizations that monitor the environment and supply the data required by user groups for applied or research purposes. This includes both research and operational communities from academia, private enterprise, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations.

Data Users (User Groups) – Government agencies (local, state and federal), private enterprise, the general public, NGOs, and the science and education communities that use or benefi t from the marine environment and its resources or are responsible for their stewardship. User groups specify requirements for data and data-products and evaluate IOOS performance.

Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) – An area beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea, subject to the legal regime established in Part V of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. This area shall not extend beyond 200 nautical miles from mean low water of the coastline from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured. Within this zone, the coastal State has sovereign rights for the purposes of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing natural resources, and other activities such as the production of energy from water, currents and winds.

Global (Open) Ocean – This region of the oceans is typically defi ned as the marine environment seaward of the shelf break front. It includes the deep basins of the world's oceans where the infl uences of land-based processes are small compared to coastal waters. Boundaries between the open and coastal oceans are not fixed and will vary depending on the phenomena of interest, e.g., surface wave spectra, straddling fish stocks such as salmon and tuna, coastal eutrophication, and levels of enteric bacteria (one size does not fit all).

Integrated System – One that (1) efficiently links environmental measurements, data communications and management, data analysis, and applications (to form an “end-to-end” system); (2) provides rapid access to multidisciplinary data from many sources; (3) provides data and information required to achieve multiple goals that historically have been the domain of separate agencies, offi ces or programs; and (4) involves cross-cutting partnerships among federal and state agencies, the private sector, and academic institutions.

Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS) – An international strategic planning process for the coordinated development of the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), and the Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS). The IGOS is a collaboration involving UN Agencies (UNESCO and its IOC, UNEP, WMO, and FAO), the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), integrated research programs on global change within the World Climate Research Program (WCRP), the International Geosphere- Biosphere Program (IGBP), the International Council for Science (ICSU), and the International Group of Funding Agencies for Global Change Research (IGFA),

Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) – An integrated system of marine monitoring, data communications and management and data analysis designed to provide the data and information required for more rapid detection and timely predictions of changes occurring in the marine environment that impact U.S. social, economic and ecological systems. The IOOS is the U.S. contribution to the GOOS. The integrated system includes research and development projects (research, pilot and pre-operational projects) upon witch the development of the operational elements of the system depends. The IOOS consists of three closely linked components (“a system of systems”), (1) the global ocean component, (2) a national backbone for the nation's EEZ, and (3) regional systems that provide an important link to the users of the IOOS. The national backbone links changes that propagate across global and regional scales, provides observations and analyses required by all or most of the regions, and networks the regions into a national federation. This nested system of observations not only provides economies of scale, it provides the means to detect and predict the effects of basin scale changes in the ocean-atmosphere system on coastal ecosystems, resources and human populations.

IOOS Subsystems – The IOOS efficiently and seamlessly links three subsystems: (1) the observing subsystem (measurement and transmission of data); (2) the communications network and data management subsystem (organizing, cataloging and disseminating data and information); and (3) the data analysis and applications subsystem (translating data into products in response to user needs and requirements).

Lead Agency – Agency responsible for coordinating with participating agencies in the implementation, operation, evaluation, and improvement of designated elements of the IOOS.

National Federation of Regional Associations – A nationally coordinated union of regional partnerships formed to promote and implement regional observing systems in U.S. coastal waters, establish geographic boundaries as needed, promote collaboration among regions (where boundaries overlap, to enable effective transfer of technologies and knowledge) and implement national standards and protocols for measurements and the transmission and management of data. Regional observing systems are designed to contribute to and benefi t from the national backbone by producing and disseminating ocean data and products that benefit the nation and user groups within the respective regions.

National Backbone – See the IOOS above. Operational – An activity in which the provision of data streams and data products are routine, guaranteed, and sustained (in perpetuity) at rates and in forms specified by user groups.

Participating Agency – Contributes to, takes part in, or partners with other agencies and bodies in the implementation, operation and improvement of elements of the IOOS.

Phenomena of Interest – A broad spectrum marine properties and processes that infl uence the earth's climate, the safety and efficiency of marine operations, the impact of natural hazards, national and homeland security, public health risk, the health of marine ecosystems, and the sustainability of living marine resources. These include surface waves and currents, sea level, coastal fl ooding and erosion; presence of human pathogens and chemical contamination; habitat modifi cation and loss of biodiversity; harmful algal blooms and invasions of non-native species; mass mortalities of fish, mammals and birds; declines in marine fisheries; and aquaculture practices. More rapid detection and timely predictions of changes in or the occurrence of these phenomena are required to achieve the seven goals of the IOOS.

Region – Regions may include, but are not limited to, the Great Lakes; the Gulfs of Alaska, Maine, and Mexico; the Southern California, Middle Atlantic, and South Atlantic Bights; the Pacifi c NW; and Hawaii and the Pacific Territories. These correspond to the regions defi ned for the Regional Marine Research Program (NRC, 2000, “Bridging Boundaries Through Regional Marine Research”, National Academy Press) and are provisional. They are given here as a means to indicate the spatial scales that should be considered in the establishment of regional observing systems. Boundaries between regions should not be fi xed in that they are likely to vary depending on the phenomena of interest that are priorities in a particular region.

Regional Association (RA) – A partnership or consortium responsible for the development, operation and improvement of regional observing systems. An RA consists of representatives of user groups that specify data requirements and products and data providers responsible for the design, implementation, operation and improvement of a regional observing system. In many cases, the same groups will act as both data providers and users. See Appendix V for more details.

Regional Observing System – A system that links the needs of users to measurements of the coastal oceans and the Great Lakes on regional or sub-regional scales. Like the global ocean component and the national backbone, regional observing systems consists of the infrastructure and expertise required to effi ciently link the three subsystems. Development, operation, and improvement of the system are conducted under the auspices of a Regional Association. This includes oversight, evaluation, and evolution mechanisms that insure the continued and routine fl ow of data and information, and the evolution of a system that adapts to the needs of the user groups and to the development of new technologies and understanding.

EXCOM   Executive Committee of Ocean.US
FOFC   Federal Oceanographic Facilities Committee
EEZ   Exclusive Economic Zone
GCOS   Global Climate Observing System
GOOS   Global Ocean Observing System
GTOS   Global Terrestrial Observing System
IGOS   Integrated Global Observing Strategy
IOOS   Integrated Ocean Observing System
IWG   Interagency Working Group
NGO   Non-Governmental Organization
NOAA   National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOPP   National Oceanographic Partnership Program
NORLC   National Ocean Research Leadership Council
NRC   National Research Council
ORAP   Ocean Research Advisory Panel
OSTP   Office of Science and Technology Policy
RA   Regional Association
USGSC   United States GOOS Steering Committee
ADCP Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler
ADEOS Advanced Earth Observing Satellite
AOP Apparent Optical Properties
ASAPP Automated Shipboard Aerological Programme Panel
ATSR Along Track Scanning Radiometer
AUV Autonomous Underwater Vehicle
AVHRR Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer
CalCOFI California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigation
CDOM Colloidal Dissolved Organic Matter
C-GOOS Coastal component of GOOS
CLIVAR Climate Variability and Predicability Programme (part of WCRP)
CPR Continuous Plankton Recorder
CTD Conductivity-Temperature-Depth
DAC Data and Communications
DACSC Data and Communications Steering Committee
DBCP Data Buoy Cooperation Panel
DIC Dissolved Inorganic Carbon
DIN Dissolved Inorganic Nitrogen
DM Data Management
DO Dissolved Oxygen
DOC Dissolved Organic Carbon
EEZ Exclusive Economic Zone
EOS Earth Observing System
EXCOM Executive Committee
FGDC Federal Geographic Data Committee
FNMOC Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center
FOFC Federal Oceanographic Facilities Council
FTP File Transfer Protocol
GBIF Global Biodiversity Information Facility
GCOS Global Climate Observing System
GIS Geographic Information System
GLOSS/GE The Group of Experts on the Global Sea-Level Observing System
GMNET Gulf of Mexico Aquatic Monitoring Network
GODAE Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment
GOES Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite
GOOS Global Ocean Observing System
HAB Harmful Algal Bloom
HABSOS Harmful Algal Blooms Observing System
HOTO Health of the Ocean
HSI Hyper Spectral Imagery
HTTP Hypertext Transfer Protocol
IFA Impact-Feasibility Analysis
ICSU International Council of Scientific Unions
IMS International Monitoring System
IOC Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
IODE International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange
IOP Inherent Optical Properties
IOOS Integrated and Sustained Ocean Observing System
IRI International Research Institute for Climate Prediction
IWG Interagency Working Group
JCOMM Joint Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology
LMR-GOOS Living Marine Resources panel within GOOS
MPERSS Marine Pollution Emergency Response Support System
NAO North Atlantic Oscillation
NDBC National Data Buoy Center
NOPP National Oceanographic Partnership Program
NORLC National Ocean Research Leadership Council
NPDO North Pacific Decadal Oscillation
NRC National Research Council
NVODS National Virtual Ocean Data System
NWS National Weather Service
OBIS Ocean Biogeographic Information System
OBS Ocean Bottom Seismographs
OOPC Ocean Observations Panel for Climate
OOSDP Ocean Observing System Development Panel
OPeNDAP Open source Project for a Network Data Access Protocol
ORAP Ocean Research Advisory Panel
PA Program Area
pCO2 Partial Pressure of CO2
PORTS The Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System
QC Quality Control
ROV Remotely Operated Vehicle
RS Remote Sensing
SAR Synthetic Aperture Radar
SC Steering Committee
SMTP Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
SOOP Ship of Opportunity Program
SOOPIP Ship of Opportunity Program Implementation Panel
SOSUS SOund SUrveillance System
SSH Sea Surface Height
SSS Sea Surface Salinity
SST Sea Surface Temperature
TAO Tropical Atmosphere Ocean project
TIC Total Inorganic Carbon
TOC Total Organic Carbon
TOGA Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere
TN Total Nitrogen
TRITON Triangle Trans-Ocean Buoy Network
TRMM Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission
UNCED UN Conference on Environment and Development
UNFCC United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
USGSC U.S. GOOS Steering Committee
UUV Unmanned Underwater Vehicle
VOS Voluntary Observing Ship
WCRP World Climate Research Program
WMO World Meteorological Association
WOCE World Ocean Circulation Experiment
XCTD Expandable Conductivity, Temperature and Depth Profiling System
XSV Expendable Sound Velocimeter