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Human health and safety

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  • This project aims to provide an estimate of the extent to which microplastic concentrations are underestimated with traditional sampling. Sampling events focus on coastal waters, where microplastics are predicted to have the greatest influence on marine life, on both sides of the North Atlantic Ocean. Samples were collected in the Gulf of Maine (USA) in July 2013 and the western English Channel off the coast of Plymouth (UK) between July and September 2015. Microplastic debris was collected via surface trawls using 100, 333 and 500 micrometer nets. Data collection was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC Grant NE/L003988/1 and NE/L007010/1); University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory collaboration fund; in-kind contributions from the ‘Rozalia Project’; March Limited of Bermuda philanthropic support.

  • The data set comprises measurements of contaminant concentrations in the blubber of harbour seals. Samples were collected from five populations around the UK coast: the Wash, southeast England; the Tay estuary, southeast Scotland; the Moray Firth, northeast Scotland; Orkney, north Scotland; and Islay and Jura, southwest Scotland. The data were collected between 24 January and 26 October 2003. Seals were captured on land, hauled out with the use of hand-held hoop nets, or caught at sea in tangle nets deployed from boats. After capture, the seals were weighed and sedated, and classified as adult or subadult on the basis of mass and body length measurements. Animals greater than 110 cm standard body length (nose–tail) were considered to be adult and those between 100 and 110 cm as subadult. Animals less than 100 cm were excluded from the study. One dead seal was also included in the analysis. Blubber biopsy samples were collected and stored at -20 °C, then extracted using the Soxhlet method. Lipid content was determined gravimetrically while Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) was used to determine wet weight concentrations of contaminants per lipid proportion of the sample. The work focused on polybrominated diphenyl ether (PDBE) and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentrations in seal blubber. PBDEs are the main components of brominated flame retardant chemicals, and both these and PCBs are thought to increase seal mortality. The five seal populations were chosen following differential mortality during the 2002 phocine distemper epidemic in order to determine whether contaminant concentrations had influenced mortality rates associated with that disease. The data were collected by researchers from the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) at the University of St Andrews and the University of Lancaster Department of Environmental Science. The data are held at the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC).

  • The data set comprises measurements of contaminant concentrations in the blubber of grey seal pups. Samples were collected on the Isle of May, Firth of Forth, East Scotland between 13 November and 02 December 2002. Sixty suckling pups were selected at random from the island's population, weighed, measured and tagged. Pups were recaptured repeatedly before and after weaning, with weight, length and axillary girth being re-measured each time. These measurements were used to estimate blubber reserves based on mass/length, as detailed in Hall et al. (2009). Linear regression was used to derive estimates of pup mass at weaning. Blubber biopsy samples were collected from 57 of the pups when they were first recaptured after weaning. Samples were stored at -20 °C, then extracted using the Soxhlet method. Lipid content was determined gravimetrically while Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) was used to determine wet weight concentrations of contaminants per lipid proportion of the sample. A linear back calculation based on the known rate of contaminant concentration in blubber post-weaning was used to correct values to the concentration at weaning. The data were collected by researchers from the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) at the University of St Andrews and the University of Lancaster Department of Environmental Science. The data are held at the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC).

  • The Marine Environment Monitoring and Assessment National database (MERMAN) is a national database which holds and provides access to data collected under the Clean Safe Seas Environmental Monitoring Programme (CSEMP) formerly the National Marine Monitoring Programme (NMMP). The data collected are the responsibility of the Competent Monitoring Authorities (CMAs) who collect the samples from stations in UK waters using water sampling techniques, trawls, nets or grabs. The CMAs then send the collected samples to accredited laboratories where they are analysed. A weighting is calculated, based on the quality of the analysis. The weighting score incorporates the laboratory accreditation, reference material, inter-laboratory comparisons, detection limits, uncertainties and standard deviations. Where data do not meet a threshold score they are given a status of ‘FAIL’ and although they are stored they are not made available to external users. The contaminants and biological effects in biota data start in 1987 with greater use of the database occurring from 1997 onwards. Data are submitted by the CMAs annually and an annual submission may include updates to legacy data to provide additional data or improve data/metadata. The data held in MERMAN fulfils the UK's mandatory monitoring requirements under the Oslo and Paris Convention (OSPAR) Joint Assessments and Monitoring Programme (JAMP). These data are used in support of European Commission (EC) directives and national assessments, such as Charting Progress 2 and are also supplied to the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODNET).

  • The Marine Environment Monitoring and Assessment National database (MERMAN) is a national database which holds and provides access to data collected under the Clean Safe Seas Environmental Monitoring Programme (CSEMP) formerly the National Marine Monitoring Programme (NMMP). The data collected are the responsibility of the Competent Monitoring Authorities (CMAs) who collect the samples from stations in UK waters using water sampling techniques, trawls, nets or grabs. The CMAs then send the collected samples to accredited laboratories where they are analysed. A weighting is calculated, based on the quality of the analysis. The weighting score incorporates the laboratory accreditation, reference material, inter-laboratory comparisons, detection limits, uncertainties and standard deviations. Where data do not meet a threshold score they are given a status of ‘FAIL’ and although they are stored they are not made available to external users. The MERMAN contaminants and biological effects in sediment data start in 1987 with greater use of the database occurring from 1997 onwards. Data are submitted by the CMAs annually and an annual submission may include updates to legacy data to provide additional data or improve data/metadata. The data held in MERMAN fulfils the UK's mandatory monitoring requirements under the Oslo and Paris Convention (OSPAR) Joint Assessments and Monitoring Programme (JAMP). These data are used in support of European Commission (EC) directives and national assessments, such as Charting Progress 2 and are also supplied to the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODNET).

  • The dataset contains a diverse range of environmental data ranging from estuary properties including geomorphology, water depth and habitat characterisation to detailed time series of parameters such as salinity and chemical and nutrient concentrations. The data are stored in a database containing a directory of existing data sources for estuaries; data for the broad properties of 79 UK estuaries; and detailed hydrodynamic, bathymetric, and sedimentary information for six estuaries: Blackwater, Humber, Mersey, Ribble, Southampton Water and Tamar. The data range from 1965 to 2002 and include both historic datasets and those collected during a recent effort (1997-2002) to enhance our knowledge of estuaries. Data collection employed a variety of instrumentation and techniques, including water, biota and sediment sample collection and analysis and the deployment of hydrographic instruments such as sea level, temperature, salinity and optical backscatter recorders. The Estuaries Research Programme (ERP) began in 1997 with the EMPHASYS project, which aimed to improve our understanding of processes operating in estuaries and use this knowledge to enhance broad scale modelling techniques that can be applied to estuarine processes. This work was funded by the Environment Agency/Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Flood and Coastal Defence Research and Development Programme. The data are managed by the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) and are available on CD-ROM.

  • This dataset includes physical, biological and biogeochemical measurements of both the water column and seabed sediments. Hydrographic data include temperature, salinity, attenuance, dissolved oxygen, fluorescence, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), sound velocity and current velocities, while biogeochemical analyses of water samples provided measurements of nutrients and biological sampling provided measurements of zooplankton abundance. A large number of benthic parameters were measured, including concentrations of substances such as nutrients, metals and carbon in both sediments and sediment pore waters. Benthic fauna were also studied, while rates of sedimentation flux were quantified. These oceanographic and benthic data were supplemented by satellite ocean colour imagery. The data were collected in the North Atlantic Ocean at the Mouth of Rockall Trough, Hatton-Rockall Basin and the Flank of Feni Drift between August 1997 and June 1999 over four cruises, comprising a preliminary site assessment (CD 107 August, 1997) followed by two process cruises (CD 111, April-May 1998, and CD 113, June-July 1998). A further cruise (CH 143) was part-funded by BENBO to retrieve moorings. The data were collected using a variety of instrumentation, including shipboard deployment of conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) profilers with attached auxiliary sensors, benthic samplers, landers, cameras and incubation chambers, water samplers and continuous underway sensors. These were supplemented by moored sensor and satellite data. The BENBO programme was led by the Scottish Association for Marine Science/Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory involved researchers from Southampton Oceanography Centre, Scottish Universities Research and Reactor Centre, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Lancaster University, Leeds University, Edinburgh University, Cambridge University and the University of Wales, Bangor.

  • The Marine Environment Monitoring and Assessment National database (MERMAN) is a national database which holds and provides access to data collected under the Clean Safe Seas Environmental Monitoring Programme (CSEMP) formerly the National Marine Monitoring Programme (NMMP). The data collected are the responsibility of the Competent Monitoring Authorities (CMAs) who collect the samples from stations in UK waters using water sampling techniques, trawls, nets or grabs. The CMAs then send the collected samples to accredited laboratories where they are analysed. A weighting is calculated, based on the quality of the analysis. The weighting score incorporates the laboratory accreditation, reference material, inter-laboratory comparisons, detection limits, uncertainties and standard deviations. Where data do not meet a threshold score they are given a status of ‘FAIL’ and although they are stored they are not made available to external users. The MERMAN dataset starts in 1987 with greater use of the database occurring from 1997 onwards. Data are submitted by the CMAs annually and an annual submission may include updates to legacy data to provide additional data or improve data/metadata. The data held in MERMAN fulfils the UK's mandatory monitoring requirements under the Oslo and Paris Convention (OSPAR) Joint Assessments and Monitoring Programme (JAMP). These data are used in support of European Commission (EC) directives and national assessments, such as Charting Progress 2 and are also supplied to the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODNET).

  • The dataset contains hydrographic, biogeochemical and biological measurements of ocean and seabed sediment properties. Hydrographic profiles provided measurements of temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and fluorescence to accompany biogeochemical and biological samples, including concentrations of nutrients, particulate organic carbon (POC) and particulate organic nitrogen (PON). Emphasis was placed on the collection of benthic data, with numerous core samples being collected and analysed for pigments, biomarkers, lipids and other organic compounds. Samples were also collected and analysed for Holothurian species, while a large volume in situ filtration system was used to measure biogeochemical variables including POC and PON, and particulate iron. Station data were supplemented by continuous underway measurements of bathymetry, current velocities, sea surface salinity, temperature, fluorescence and beam attenuation across the survey area. These were accompanied by underway measurements of surface meteorological parameters including irradiance, air temperature, humidity, sea level pressure and wind velocities. The data were collected across the Crozet Plateau in the Southern Indian Ocean between 1st December 2005 and 14th January 2006 on RRS Discovery cruise D300. Data collection focused on four sites, with repeated hydrographic profiles, water and sediment samples collected at each location. In total, 89 instrumentation deployments were carried out at the four stations, including a conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) package and a Megacorer (for sediment sampling). The underway system utilised a hull-mounted acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) as well as a thermosalinograph and other standard surface hydrographic and meteorological instruments. Further data were collected using a variety of equipment including an otter trawl (net) and submersible cameras but these data are currently held by the data originators and are undergoing processing so are not included in the parameter and instrument lists above. The principal objective of Benthic CROZEX was to assess the manner in which biogeochemical composition and flux of organic matter to the deep-sea floor drives benthic community structure, dynamics and diversity at sites with contrasting primary production regimes. Investigators from British Antarctic Survey (BAS), Natural History Museum (NHM), National Oceanographic Centre (NOC) and the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) were involved. Data management is being undertaken by the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) but data processing is ongoing and various data are yet to be submitted to BODC.

  • The dataset includes physical and biogeochemical measurements of water properties, meteorological data and biogeochemical measurements of sediment parameters. Temperature, salinity, turbidity, oxygen, nutrients, dissolved organic carbon/total dissolved nitrogen (DOC/TDN), particulate organic carbon/particulate organic nitrogen (POC/PON), contaminants and pH were measured at most of the data collection sites, with additional biogeochemical measurements collected at various locations. Temperature, salinity and nutrients are available for virtually all data collection campaigns. The data were collected in a number of estuaries around the UK between 1993 and 1997. The Humber estuarine data set was collected during a series of 33 campaigns on the EA vessels Sea Vigil and Water Guardian in the Humber, Trent and Ouse systems at approximately monthly intervals between June 1993 and December 1996. The measurements were taken over two or three one-day cruises that covered the estuary from the tidal limits of both Trent and Ouse to Spurn Point. Instrumental and sample data are available from a series of fixed stations that were sampled during every campaign. The Tweed estuarine data set was collected during a series of 13 campaigns using RV Tamaris and a rigid inflatable vessel at approximately monthly intervals between July 1996 and July 1997. Data were collected throughout the tidal reaches of the River Tweed. The dataset forms part of the NERC Land Ocean Interaction Study project. Key investigators for this LOIS sub-project included Plymouth Marine Laboratory. The data are held in the British Oceanographic Data Centre project database.