A methodology to uncertainty quantification of essential ocean variables


The goal of this study is to provide a universally applicable procedure for a systematic evaluation of in situ measured data from single sensors regarding quantifying the uncertainty of the measurement results. As determining uncertainty for an environmental parameter also depends on the parameter itself, the focus here will be set on the variable water temperature in the first place. A separate analysis for salinity and other data will follow in later publications. With this first of a series of planned manuscripts on different parameters, we aim at providing a common understanding of how measurement uncertainty on single sensor measurements can be derived. Using an experimental in situ set-up with 6 different standard CTD sensors of two different brands, we created a four month-long, high-quality data set to be used to develop a reliable method for quantifying measurement uncertainties. Although the CTDs were deployed in a mooring in a coastal environment the described method can be extended to other deployment configurations as well. The described procedures have evolved as a stepwise process that takes the different perspectives of the involved authors into account, as well as the special conditions for environmental measurements, which are collected while the observed volume/area is undergoing a constant change. By sharing the ideas with other stakeholders, the basic concept can be extended to other observing programs and to other essential ocean variables.
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