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The data set comprises a diverse collection of physical, chemical and biological measurements, encompassing over 1000 parameters. There are data from over 1650 conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD)/rosette stations, over 300 core profiles, over 370 sediment trap samples and much, much more. Most of this effort was directed at the region of the east Atlantic margin between La Chapelle Bank and the Goban Spur (between France and Ireland). In addition, there were two secondary areas of interest: the Norwegian Shelf Break just off Tromso and the Iberian Margin, either off Vigo or in the vicinity of the Tagus estuary. Measurements were collected from April 1993 until the end of December 1995 during 55 research cruise legs. Data were collected using a variety of equipment and techniques, including expendable bathythermography (XBTs), CTDs and oceanographic undulators with auxiliary sensors. These hydrographic profiles were accompanied by net hauls, plankton recorder deployments, sediment cores and comprehensive water and air sampling programmes during which a wide variety of chemical and biological parameters were measured. The station data were supplemented by underway measurements of oceanographic and meteorological properties. Results from production and trace metal experiments are also included in the dataset, as are bathymetric data from the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) GEBCO digital Atlas, air-sea flux measurements and data from moored instruments and benthic landers that were deployed for periods from a few weeks to a year. The dataset also includes imagery from satellites, water column and seabed photography, scanning electron micrographs and X-ray photographs. FORTRAN source code for biogeochemical models developed during OMEX I is also included. The aim of the project was to study biogeochemical processes at the shelf break and to quantify the fluxes of material between the shelf and the open ocean. OMEX I involved scientists from 30 institutions in 10 countries. BODC is assembling the data sets collected during OMEX I into its database system and the data are also available on CD-ROM.