This week, the Nation’s ocean observing community received a manual on recommended quality assurance and standards for real-time quality control of ocean optics observations. This manual provides guidance to the U.S. IOOS Regional Associations and the water-quality community at large for the real-time quality control of ocean optics measurements using an agreed-upon, documented, and implemented standard process. It is part of a series of similar quality control manuals, each focused on different oceanographic variables. Each manual is developed in close collaboration with ocean-observing community experts and provides valuable guidance for the processing and distribution of high-quality ocean observations.
NOAA’s U.S. IOOS office led the effort, which reflects best practices contributed by observing system operators in industry, academia, and other federal agencies. Each manual provides a checklist that U.S. IOOS Regional Associations and others can use to implement quality control procedures, factoring in their specific, regionally unique needs and thresholds. Improving ocean data quality control will improve the accuracy of tools, models, and forecasts that inform decisions impacting our nation’s safety, economy, and environment.
An eighth manual on dissolved nutrients is in the pipeline, scheduled for release in the fall of 2015. An updated waves manual will be issued in the summer of 2015, and an updated currents manual is planned for release in the fall of 2015.