Global Temperature-Salinity Profile Project (GTSPP)

The Global Temperature and Salinity Profile Programme (GTSPP) is a joint Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO) programme to develop and maintain a global ocean Temperature-Salinity resource with data that are both up-to-date and of the highest quality. The four primary objectives of GTSPP are:

  • Provide a timely and complete data and information base of ocean temperature and salinity profile data,
  • Implement data flow monitoring system for improving the capture and timeliness of real-time and delayed-mode data,
  • Improve and implement agreed and uniform quality control and duplicates management systems, and
  • Facilitate the development and provision of a wide variety of useful data analyses, data and information products, and data sets.

The international oceanographic community's interest in creating a timely global ocean temperature and salinity dataset of known quality in support of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) dates back to the 1981 International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) meeting in Hamburg, Federal Republic of Germany. The community's interest led to preliminary discussions by the Australian Oceanographic Data Center (AODC), the Marine Environmental Data Service (MEDS), now the Oceanography and Scientific Data (OSD), of Canada and the U.S. National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) during the second Joint IOCWMO Meeting of Experts on IGOSS-IODE Data Flow in Ottawa, Canada in January 1988.

OSD plays a central role in the real time and near real-time data acquisition within GTSPP. This acquisition depends on the Global Telecommunications System (GTS) of the World Weather Watch of WMO and the telecommunications arrangements for BATHY and TESAC data established by IGOSS (now JCOMM). Copies of other real time or operational time frame data sets are acquired from any other available sources via the Internet of other computer networks. The goal is to ensure that the most complete operational time frame data set is captured. JCOMMdefines real-time to be any data exchanged within 30 days of collection.

OSD compiles the global data set from the various sources, applies the documented GTSPP QC and duplicates removal procedures, and forwards the data to the US NODC three times per week. At NODC the data are added to the GTSPP continuously managed database (CMD) on the same schedule. There are also several clients that receive copies of the data sent from OSD three times per week. These are clients who do not need the data within hours but rather within a few days. By getting the data from the GTSPP Centre in OSD they save having to operate computer systems to do quality control and duplicate removal.

As the national oceanographic data centre for Canada within IODE, OSD submits Canadian delayed mode data (from DFO and universities) to US NODC for inclusion in the continuously GTSPP Continuously Managed Database.

For more information on GTSPP and in particular the quality control procedures, please visit the official GTSPP website, hosted by the US NODC of NOAA and consult the links below.

Data and Products


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