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Surface Current Data System (SCUDS)

This format is used for over 4 million surface current observations obtained by the ship drift method. Date, data source, position, (not latitude-longitude, but geographic grid numbers to six-minute by six-minute squares), and current direction and speed are recorded for each observation. With the exception of about 5,100 observations taken using the Geomagnetic Electrokinetograph (GEK), these are not instrument-measured current data. Rather, they are indirect determinations of ocean surface currents based on the ship drift method. In this method, the difference between a ship's dead- reckoned position (determined from its previous position, speed, and heading) and actual position determined from a navigational fix is ascribed solely to the effect of surface currents.

File Structure:

One 40-character record

File Format:

Surface Current Data System (SCUDS)
PARAMETER DESCRIPTION STARTING COLUMN FIELD LENGTH
FILE NUMBER ALWAYS '7' 1 1
DATA SOURCE TWO-DIGIT CODE - (0=U.S., 1=NETHERLANDS, 2=JAPAN 3=U.S. SUBMARINE LOGS, 4=BRITAIN, 5=FRANCE, 6= JAPANESE GEOMAGNETIC ELECTROKINETOGRAPH (GEK), 15=NETHERLANDS AND LESS THAN 1% JAPAN, WITH YEAR, DAY, AND 6-MINUTE POSITION NOT RECORDED) 2 2
DATE(GMT) YYYMMDD - YEAR, MONTH, DAY (YEAR<100 = 19TH CENTURY; YEAR>or=100 = 20TH CENTURY; 255 = NOT RECORDED - E.G. YEAR 1925 CODED AS '125' AND YEAR 1887 CODED AS '87') 4 7
AREA ONE-DIGIT CODE (1=NORTH ATLANTIC, 2=OTHER OCEAN AREA) 11 1
TEN-DEGREE SQUARE MODIFIED CANADIAN TEN-DEGREE SQUARE NUMBER 12 4
FIVE-DEGREE SQUARE MODIFIED CANADIAN FIVE-DEGREE SQUARE NUMBER 16 1
TWO-DEGREE SQUARE MODIFIED CANADIAN TWO-DEGREE SQUARE NUMBER 17 2
ONE-DEGREE SQUARE MODIFIED CANADIAN ONE-DEGREE SQUARE NUMBER 19 2
QUARTER OF ONE- DEGREE SQUARE MODIFIED CANADIAN 'QUARTER DEGREE' SQUARE NUMBER (= 1,2,3, OR 4; 9=NOT RECORDED) 21 1
SIX-MINUTE SQUARE MODIFIED CANADIAN 'ONE-TENTH DEGREE SQUARE' NUMBER (=00 THROUGH 99; 100=NOT RECORDED) 22 3
CURRENT DIRECTION XXXXXXXX (TENS OF DEGREES; 36 COMPASS POINTS) 25 8
CURRENT SPEED XXXXXXXX (KNOTS TO TENTHS) 33 8
  Last modified:    Wed, 10-Oct-2007 20:03 UTC NCEI.info@noaa.gov
 
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