Compilation of quality controlled nutrient profiles from the Mediterranean Sea

In the last decades, a striking amount of hydrographic data, covering the most part of Mediterranean basin, have been generated by the efforts made to characterize the oceanography and ecology of the basin. On the other side, the improvement in technologies, and the consequent perfecting of sampling and analytical techniques, provided data even more reliable than in the past. Nutrient data enter fully in this context, but suffer of the fact of having been produced by a large number of uncoordinated research programs and of being often deficient in quality control, with data bases lacking of intercalibration. In this study we present a computational procedure based on robust statistical parameters and on the physical dynamic properties of the Mediterranean sea and its morphological characteristics, to partially overcome the above limits in the existing data sets. Through a data pre filtering based on the outlier analysis, and thanks to the subsequent shape analysis, the procedure identifies the inconsistent data and for each basin area identifies a characteristic set of shapes (vertical profiles). Rejecting all the profiles that do not follow any of the spotted shapes, the procedure identifies all the reliable profiles and allows us to obtain a data set that can be considered more internally consistent than the existing ones. This data sets includes data that are already part of other data sets such as, e.g., MEDAR, expanded with data rescued in the framework of SEASAME EU Integrated Project and data made available by some of the partners. All the original nutrients data and, when available temperature and salinity, data are included. The novelty is in the Quality Control procedure by which data have been screened and flagged.

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CC BY 4.0