Natural Environment Research Council Designated Data Centres

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  • The project aim was to develop process-based computer simulations of the dispersal of Homo erectus out of Africa. This involved developing realistic constraints on the patterns of vegetation and the effects of changes in global sea level. It was assumed that this migration out of Africa could be investigated through the paradigm of a single migration event, starting around 2 millions of years ago and arriving in Dmanisi around 1.8 millions of years ago. The data archived here consists of the vegetation patterns used in constructing the simulations and the patterns of climate variability used to constrain the variations in sea level and vegetation change. From these data it is possible to reproduce the simulation results. Simulation results are available from J.K. Hughes, A. Haywood, S.J. Mithen, B.W. Sellwood, P.J. Valdes (In Press) Investigating Early Hominin Dispersal Patterns : developing a framework for climate data integration. Journal Of Human Evolution.

  • To reconstruct the maternal demographic history of the populations of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelagos using genetic profiles obtained from colonial era skeletal material and hair collections. The project had two main technical arms: to obtain authentic DNA data from well-handled museum collections of human material, which were a priori presumed to be heavily contaminated; to use the data to fill in lacuna in the genetic landscape left by large-scale demographic decline caused by disease and social disruption associated with the modern era. The major aim of the interpretative phase of the project was to obtain realistic estimates for the date of settlement of these island groups based on genetics because of the absence of reliable archaeological evidence. The main aim of this research was to determine whether the Andaman islanders were part of a very early radiation from Africa or arrived to their archipelago much later. The Nicobars were included in the research to have a comparative data set from the same region from people with a different phenotype. The data set is comprised of mitochondrial DNA control region sequences and coding region Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms.

  • The spectacular botanical preservation and long occupation of Qasr Ibrim, Egypt make this site archaeobotanically matchless. 600 samples have been collected over 20 years covering a timespan of c. 1000 BC - AD 1800. The project has particularly focussed on the period AD 100-400 during which several new summer crops including sorghum, cotton, lablab and sesame first appear. These new crops are thought to be associated with the introduction of new irrigation technology, specifically a device known as the saqia, an ox-driven water wheel from which descends a conveyor belt to which pots are attached. It has never before been possible to examine this crucial change archaeologically and this project has allowed the investigation of when and how this great change happened. This has major implications for the history of agriculture in Africa and the Indian Ocean.

  • This research sought to explore the pattern of population movement (direction, rate, permanency) along a hypothesised route from Africa to Australasia during Oxygen Isotope Stage 4. Using GIS-based analyses and hypothetical models of population movement, potential routes out of East Africa were generated and examined. The goal of these analyses was to assess the viability of particular routes, and consider them in terms of ecological and geographical constraints. As a result, several routes through Africa, Arabia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Australasia were proposed and evaluated. These routes have been further examined with regards to archaeological site location, the timing of human presence in South Asia, and biological indicators of human diversity.

  • This dataset contains high and low water values manually digitised from historic hand-written tabulated ledgers, from the Port of London Authority (PLA). The dataset contains 463 years of data, from across 15 tide gauge sites along the Thames Estuary (bounding box = -0.3159W, 51.3914N, 1.3797E, 51.8428N), for the period 1911 to 1995. When these historic records are combined with digital records available from the PLA since 1995, the new sea level time-series spans the 109-year period from 1911 to 2019. London is one of the world’s most important coastal cities and is located around the Thames Estuary. Quantifying changes in sea levels in the Thames Estuary over the 20th century and early part of the 21st century is vital to inform future management of flood risk in London. This dataset is of importance for ongoing monitoring of mean sea-level rise, and changes in tidal range and extreme sea levels in the Thames Estuary. The project was led by the Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton and the Environment Agency, with contributions from the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemunde and the National Oceanography Centre. The study contributes to the objectives of UK National Environment Research Council (NERC) project E-Rise: Earliest detection of sea-level rise accelerations to inform lead time to upgrade/replace coastal flood defence infrastructure (NE/P009069/1; I.D.H.).

  • The WireWall project developed a prototype wave overtopping field measurement system. The system was designed and trailed at Crosby Beach, Hall Road carpark, north of Liverpool during winter 2018/2019. The data collected include both wave-by-wave overtopping volumes and horizontal velocities. At the time of the project the coastal structure at this site comprised a stepped revetment and vertical sea wall with a recurve. The system was designed at the National Oceanography Centre, validated in HR Wallingford’s flume facility and deployed with Sefton Council. Five datasets are available from the project. These contain processed data from: 1) The numerical wave overtopping estimates for past events used to design the system and plan deployments; 2) The numerical wave overtopping estimates for the joint wave and water level conditions with a 1 in 1 year return period probability to a 1 in 200 year return period probability in Liverpool Bay; 3) The dock side tests; 4) The physical laboratory experiments; and, 5) The field trials during windy spring tides. For Crosby these data can be used to validate/calibrate numerical tools used for coastal scheme design and flood hazard forecasting. Beach profile data collected alongside the overtopping measurements have been archived with the Northwest Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme, This project was delivered by the National Oceanography Centre in collaboration with HR Wallingford. Our project partners were Sefton Council, Balfour Beatty, Environment Agency, Channel Coastal Observatory and Marlan Maritime Technologies.

  • A set of historical tide gauge sea level records from Santander (Northern Spain) have been recovered from logbooks stored at the Spanish National Geographical Institute (IGN). Sea level measurements have been digitised, quality-controlled and merged into a consistent sea level time series. Vertical references among instruments benchmarks have been derived from high precision vertical levelling surveys. The observations were recorded as daily averages and are from three different instruments in two locations in Santander (Spain). The historical sea level record in Santander consists of a daily time series spanning the period 1876-1924 and it is further connected to the modern tide gauge station nearby, ensuring datum continuity up to the present. The data from Santander comes from a floating gauge and then syphon gauges. This scarcity of long-term sea-level observations, as well as their uneven geographical distribution is a major challenge for climate studies that address, for example, the quantification of mean sea-level rise at centennial time scales, the accurate assessment of sea-level acceleration or the long-term changes in sea-level extremes that are vital for coastal risk assessments. This dataset represents an additional effort of sea-level data archaeology and aims at preserving the historical scientific heritage that has been up to now stored in old archives in non-electronic format. The research was partially funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities. A further two series were rescued from Alicante under the same initiative.

  • The data set comprises time series of non-directional surface wave spectra from moored buoys and shipborne wave recorders at fixed locations. Individual spectra comprise some 60 or so estimates of wave energy at a range of spectral frequencies, computed from 20 to 30 minute recordings of the sea surface displacement/heave. The spectra are computed at intervals ranging from 1 to 3 hours. Data holdings comprise 500 recording months of data from some 14 sites across the continental shelf areas around the British Isles and the NE Atlantic between 1976 and 1995. Observation periods at specific sites vary from 4 months to 6 years. Data from the following sites are included in the data set: Holderness offshore (53 55.9N, 000 01.4E 01; Mar 1986 - 31 Mar 1987); Holderness nearshore (53 55.7N, 000 03.5W; 01 Mar 1986 - 30 Jun 1986); West Bexington (50 38.1N, 002 42.5W; 01 Nov 1983 - 31 Mar 1985; 01 May 1985 - 26 Feb 1986; 01 May 1986 - 30 Apr 1987); West Bexington (50 36.0N, 002 39.6W; 01 Sep 1987 - 01 Apr 1988); Eddystone (50 10.0N, 004 15.0W; 01 Jan 1976 - 31 Dec 1981); Kinnairds Head (57 55.8N, 001 54.1W; 01 Feb 1980 - 30 Dec 1981); Scilly Isles (49 51.8N, 006 41.0W; 01 Apr 1979 - 31 Jul 1979; 01 Feb 1980 - 31 Dec 1982; 01 Apr 1983 - 31 Dec 1983); South Uist deep water (57 17.8N, 007 53.6W; 01 Aug 1980 - 31 Dec 1982); South Uist offshore (57 18.2N, 007 38.3W; 28 Feb 1976 - 30 Nov 1982); South Uist inshore (57 19.8N, 007 27.2W; 01 Apr 1978 - 31 Jul 1982); Channel Lightvessel( 49 54.4N, 002 53.7W; 01 Mar 1986 - 30 Jun 1987; 01 Apr 1988 - 30 Nov 1988); Dowsing Lightvessel (53 34.0N, 000 50.2E; 01 Jul 1985 - 31 Dec 1985; 01 Feb 1986 - 30 Jun 1986; 01 Sep 1986 - 30 Apr 1987; 01 Jul 1987 - 31 Dec 1987); Ocean Weather Ship Lima (57 00.0N, 020 00.0W; 01 Jan 1984 - 30 Jun 1988; 01 Aug 1988 - 31 Dec 1988); Seven Stones Lightvessel (50 03.8N, 006 04.4W; 01 Jan 1985 - 28 Feb 1986; 01 May 1986 - 31 Mar 1987; 01 May 1987 - 31 May 1987; 01 Oct 1987 - 31 Oct 1987; 01 Dec 1987 - 31 Dec 1987). The data originate almost exclusively from UK laboratories and are managed by the British Oceanographic Data Centre. Data collection is ongoing at some sites (for example, Seven Stones Lighvessel) but these data are not managed by BODC. They are part of the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) wavenet network.

  • The International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO) Version 4.0 is a gridded continuous terrain model covering ocean and land of the Arctic region. The grid has been compiled from data covering approximately 14.2 percent of the Arctic seafloor with multibeam bathymetry and about 5.5 percent with other sources, excluding digitized depth contours. The grid-cell size (resolution) is 200x200 m on a Polar Stereographic projection, with the true scale set at a latitude of 75 deg N and a central meridian of 0 deg. The horizontal datum is WGS 84 and the vertical datum is assumed Mean Sea Level. IBCAO Version 4.0 has been compiled with support from the Nippon Foundation-GEBCO-Seabed 2030 Project, an international effort whose goal it is to see the entire world ocean mapped by 2030. A geographic version of the Polar Stereographic grid serves as input to the General Bathymetric Chart of Oceans (GEBCO) global gridded terrain model.

  • This dataset consists of eastward and northward current components at 32 depth levels. The dataset is a gridded dataset, with grid resolution of 1.85 km. It covers the entire Irish Sea area, with a precise range from -2.7 degrees longitude to -7 degrees longitude and from 51 degrees latitude to 56 degrees latitude. The data are daily averages and cover the period from 01 January 1996 to 01 January 2007. The dataset was generated by the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory Coastal Ocean Modelling System coupled with the Wave Modelling model (POLCOMS-WAM) as part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) CoFEE project which ran from April 2007 to September 2010. The eastward and northward current components were used as input conditions into a coastal processes and sediment transport model which looked at the response of the north Liverpool coastline to extreme flooding events. The dataset was generated by the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory (since April 2010, part of the UK National Oceanography Centre). The dataset consists of 132 data files in Climate and Forecast (CF) compliant NetCDF format.