Data from BC lightstations
DFO Oceanographer and Project Manager
Daily 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.
Presently termed the British Columbia Shore Station Oceanographic Program (BCSOP), there are 12 participating stations; most of these are staffed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, but two (Race Rocks and Amphitrite Point) are sampled by contracted observers.
Observations are made daily using seawater collected in a bucket lowered into the surface water at or near the daytime high tide. This sampling method was designed long ago by Dr. John P. Tully and has not been changed in the interests of a homogeneous data set. This means, for example, that if an observer starts sampling one day at 6 a.m., and continues to sample at the daytime high tide on the second day the sample will be taken at about 06:50 the next day, 07:40 the day after etc. When the daytime high-tide gets close to 6 p.m. the observer will then begin again to sample early in the morning, and the cycle continues. Since there is a day/night variation in the sea surface temperatures the daily time series will show a signal that varies with the14-day tidal cycle. This artifact does not affect the monthly sea surface temperature 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.
- Bamfield Marine Station, 1969 to 1980 inc.
- Beaver Point, 48° 46'N 123° 22'W, 1954 to 1956 inc.
- East Point, 48° 47'N 123° 03'W, 1967 to 1968 (very spotty)
- Green Island, 54° 34'N 130° 42'W, Feb 1935 to Aug 1936
- Ivory Island, 52° 16'N 128° 24'W, August 1937 to Dec 1955
- Ladysmith Harbour, 49° 00'N 123° 49'W, 1938 to 1942 and 1949 to 1957 (monthly means only)
- Masset, Haida Gwaii, 54° 01'N 132° 09'W, 1940 to 1942
- New Westminster, 49° 12'N 122° 56'W, 1927 to 1969 (monthly means only)
- Port Clements, 53° 41'N 132 11'W, 1941 to 1942
- Porlier Pass (at high tide), 49° 01'N 123° 35'W, 1967 to 1972
- Porlier Pass (at low tide), 49° 01'N 123° 35'W, 1967 to 1971
- Pulteney Point 50° 38'N 127° 09'W, 1954 to 1957
- Sandspit, 53° 15'N 131° 49'W, 1953 to 1956
- Shannon Bay, 53° 39'N 132° 30'W, 1940 to 1941
- Stuart Island, 50° 24'N 125° 08'W, 1950 to 1951 (monthly means only)
- Texada Island, 49° 42'N 124° 33'W, 1953 to 1956 (monthly means only)
- Triple Island, 54° 18'N 130° 53'W, 1939 to 1970
- Whiterock, 49° 01'N 122° 48'W, June 1954 to June 1956 (monthly means only)
- Yuculta Landing (Stuart Island), Oct 1950 to Sept 1951
- Date modified: