by Allan Roberts
Not only are British Columbia’s lighthouses picturesque, and important for navigational purposes, but they also collect oceanographic data! You can access sea surface temperature (SST) and surface salinity data at the following website:
This website also has photographs of the lighthouses. (See below.)
I’ve compiled and plotted some of the data from the Race Rocks and Amphitrite Point lighthouses. Race Rocks (Figure 1) is near Victoria, while Amphitrite Point (Figure 2), on the west coast of Vancouver Island, is closer to Bamfield. The data plotted in Figure 3 are monthly averages for October, covering the years 1936 to 2011. The plot shows an evident contrast in SST and surface salinity between the two sites.
A peculiarity of the lighthouse data is that they are not collected at the same time every day, as explained on the lighthouse data website: “Sampling occurs at or near the daytime high tide” (Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 2012).
If you want data for ocean bottom temperature and salinity (as opposed to surface temperature and salinity), such data are available through NEPTUNE Canada, and through the VENUS network (NEPTUNE Canada, 2012; VENUS, 2012).
Fisheries and Oceans Canada. 2012. Website. Accessed Oct., 9, 2012: http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/science/oceans/data-donnees/lighthouses-phares/index-eng.htm
NEPTUNE Canada, 2012. Website: www.neptunecanada.com
R Core Team, 2012. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria.
VENUS network, 2012. Website: www.venus.uvic.ca