Assemble data into a ctd object.

  temperature = NULL,
  pressure = NULL,
  conductivity = NULL,
  scan = NULL,
  time = NULL,
  other = NULL,
  units = NULL,
  flags = NULL,
  missingValue = NULL,
  type = "",
  serialNumber = "",
  ship = NULL,
  cruise = NULL,
  station = NULL,
  startTime = NULL,
  longitude = NULL,
  latitude = NULL,
  deploymentType = "unknown",
  pressureAtmospheric = 0,
  sampleInterval = NA,
  profile = NULL,
  debug = getOption("oceDebug")



There are several distinct choices for salinity.

  • It can be a vector indicating the practical salinity through the water column. In that case, as.ctd employs the other arguments listed below.

  • It can be an rsk object (see “Converting rsk objects” for details).

  • It can be something (a data frame, a list or an oce object) from which practical salinity, temperature, pressure, and conductivity can be inferred. In this case, the relevant information is extracted and the other arguments to as.ctd are ignored, except for pressureAtmospheric. If the first argument has salinity, etc., in matrix form (as can happen with some objects of argo), then only the first column is used, and a warning to that effect is given, unless the profile argument is specified and then that specific profile is extracted.

  • It can be unspecified, in which case conductivity becomes a mandatory argument, because it will be needed for computing actual salinity, using swSCTp().


in-situ temperature in \(^\circ\)C on the ITS-90 scale; see “Temperature units” in the documentation for swRho().


Vector of pressure values, one for each salinity and temperature pair, or just a single pressure, which is repeated to match the length of salinity.


electrical conductivity ratio through the water column (optional). To convert from raw conductivity in milliSeimens per centimeter divide by 42.914 to get conductivity ratio (see Culkin and Smith, 1980).


optional scan number. If not provided, this will be set to seq_along(salinity).


optional vector of times of observation


optional list of other data columns that are not in the standard list. Note that this argument is deprecated, meaning that it will be removed soon. Please use as.ctd() to construct a ctd object, and then use oceSetData() later, to add other data, as needed.


an optional list containing units. If not supplied, defaults are set for pressure, temperature, salinity, and conductivity. Since these are simply guesses, users are advised strongly to supply units. See “Examples”.


if supplied, this is a list containing data-quality flags. The elements of this list must have names that match the data provided to the object.


optional missing value, indicating data that should be taken as NA. Set to NULL to turn off this feature.


optional type of CTD, e.g. "SBE"


optional serial number of instrument


optional string containing the ship from which the observations were made.


optional string containing a cruise identifier.


optional string containing a station identifier.


optional indication of the start time for the profile, which is used in some several plotting functions. This is best given as a POSIXt time, but it may also be a character string that can be converted to a time with as.POSIXct(), using UTC as the timezone.


optional numerical value containing longitude in decimal degrees, positive in the eastern hemisphere. If this is a single number, then it is stored in the metadata slot of the returned value; if it is a vector of numbers, then they are stored in the data slot.


optional numerical value containing the latitude in decimal degrees, positive in the northern hemisphere. See the note on length, for the longitude argument.


character string indicating the type of deployment. Use "unknown" if this is not known, "profile" for a profile (in which the data were acquired during a downcast, while the device was lowered into the water column, perhaps also including an upcast; "moored" if the device is installed on a fixed mooring, "thermosalinograph" (or "tsg") if the device is mounted on a moving vessel, to record near-surface properties, or "towyo" if the device is repeatedly lowered and raised.


A numerical value (a constant or a vector), that is subtracted from pressure before storing it in the return value. (This altered pressure is also used in calculating salinity, if that is to be computed from conductivity, etc., using swSCTp(); see salinity above.)


optional numerical value indicating the time between samples in the profile.


optional positive integer specifying the number of the profile to extract from an object that has data in matrices, such as for some argo objects. Currently the profile argument is only utilized for argo objects.


an integer specifying whether debugging information is to be printed during the processing. This is a general parameter that is used by many oce functions. Generally, setting debug=0 turns off the printing, while higher values suggest that more information be printed. If one function calls another, it usually reduces the value of debug first, so that a user can often obtain deeper debugging by specifying higher debug values.


A ctd object.

Converting rsk objects

If the salinity argument is an object of rsk, then as.ctd passes it, pressureAtmospheric, longitude, latitude ship, cruise, station and deploymentType to rsk2ctd(), which builds the ctd object that is returned by as.ctd. The other arguments to as.ctd are ignored in this instance, because rsk objects already contain their information. If required, any data or metadata element can be added to the value returned by as.ctd using oceSetData() or oceSetMetadata(), respectively.

The returned rsk object contains pressure in a form that may need to be adjusted, because rsk objects may contain either absolute pressure or sea pressure. This adjustment is handled automatically by as.ctd, by examination of the metadata item named pressureType (described in the documentation for read.rsk()). Once the sea pressure is determined, adjustments may be made with the pressureAtmospheric argument, although in that case it is better considered a pressure adjustment than the atmospheric pressure.

rsk objects may store sea pressure or absolute pressure (the sum of sea pressure and atmospheric pressure), depending on how the object was created with as.rsk() or read.rsk(). However, ctd objects store sea pressure, which is needed for plotting, calculating density, etc. This poses no difficulties, however, because as.ctd automatically converts absolute pressure to sea pressure, if the metadata in the rsk object indicates that this is appropriate. Further alteration of the pressure can be accomplished with the pressureAtmospheric argument, as noted above.


Culkin, F., and Norman D. Smith, 1980. Determination of the concentration of potassium chloride solution having the same electrical conductivity, at 15 C and infinite frequency, as standard seawater of salinity 35.0000 ppt (Chlorinity 19.37394 ppt). IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, volume 5, pages 22-23.

See also


Dan Kelley


library(oce) ## 1. fake data, with default units pressure <- 1:50 temperature <- 10 - tanh((pressure - 20) / 5) + 0.02*rnorm(50) salinity <- 34 + 0.5*tanh((pressure - 20) / 5) + 0.01*rnorm(50) ctd <- as.ctd(salinity, temperature, pressure) # Add a new column fluo <- 5 * exp(-pressure / 20) ctd <- oceSetData(ctd, name="fluorescence", value=fluo, unit=list(unit=expression(mg/m^3), scale="")) summary(ctd)
#> CTD Summary #> ----------- #> #> * Data Overview #> #> Min. Mean Max. Dim. NAs OriginalName #> scan 1 25.5 50 50 0 - #> salinity [PSS-78] 33.49 34.108 34.519 50 0 - #> temperature [°C, ITS-90] 8.962 9.7833 11.033 50 0 - #> pressure [dbar] 1 25.5 50 50 0 - #> fluorescence [mg/m³] 0.41042 1.7903 4.7561 50 0 - #> #> * Processing Log #> #> - 2021-03-27 21:48:02 UTC: `create 'ctd' object` #> - 2021-03-27 21:48:02 UTC: `as.ctd(salinity = salinity, temperature = temperature, pressure = pressure)` #> - 2021-03-27 21:48:02 UTC: `oceSetData(object = ctd, name = "fluorescence", value = fluo, unit = list(unit = expression(mg/m^3), scale = ""))`
## 2. fake data, with supplied units (which are the defaults, actually) ctd <- as.ctd(salinity, temperature, pressure, units=list(salinity=list(unit=expression(), scale="PSS-78"), temperature=list(unit=expression(degree*C), scale="ITS-90"), pressure=list(unit=expression(dbar), scale="")))