Data from BC Lighthouses

Photo: Peter ChandlerDaily sea surface temperature and salinity observations have been carried out at several locations on the coast of British Columbia since the early part of the 20th century. Observations started at the Pacific Biological Station (Departure Bay) in 1914, 11 stations were added in the mid-1930s and several more in the 1960s. The number of stations reporting at any given time has varied as sampling has been discontinued at some stations, and started or resumed at others.

MapPresently termed the British Columbia Shore Station Oceanographic Program (BCSOP), there are 13 participating stations. Most of the stations are at lighthouses staffed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, but three (Race Rocks, Amphitrite Point, and Active Pass) are sampled by contracted observers

The following lines give access to data from the Lighthouse sampling stations that are presently active or were sampled quite recently. The icons give access to: A photo of the site, a large file with the daily observations, monthly temperature, monthly salinity, and averaged conditions.

Photo: Peter Chandler, DFO Oceanographer and Project Manager

Select lighthouse:

Select data:

The following gives access to daily observations for a few random sites for which the time-series length is very short. None of these sites are presently being monitored, they are included here just because they may someday be of use to someone, somewhere.

The daily sampling strategy at the BC Lighthouse Stations was designed long ago by Dr. John P. Tully. We have chosen not to change the strategy in the interests of a homogeneous data set. Sampling occurs at or near the daytime high tide. This means, for example, that if an observer starts sampling one day at 6 a.m., and continues to sample at the daytime hightide, as instructed, then on the 2nd day he/she will take samples at about 06:50 the next day, 07:40 the day after etc. When the daytime high tide gets close to 6 p.m. then it snaps back to 6 a.m. and the cycle starts again. Since there is a diurnal signal in sea-surface temperature the sampling creates a 14-day signal as an artifact.