National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2007

Sensor corrections for Sea-Bird SBE-41CP and SBE-41 CTDs

Johnson, G.C., J.M. Toole, and N.G. Larson

J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol., 24(6), 1117–1130, doi: 10.1175/JTECH2016.1 (2007)

Sensor response corrections for two models of Sea-Bird Electronics, Inc., conductivity–temperature– depth (CTD) instruments (the SBE-41CP and SBE-41) designed for low-energy profiling applications were estimated and applied to oceanographic data. Three SBE-41CP CTDs mounted on prototype ice-tethered profilers deployed in the Arctic Ocean sampled diffusive thermohaline staircases and telemetered data to shore at their full 1-Hz resolution. Estimations of and corrections for finite thermistor time response, time shifts between when a parcel of water was sampled by the thermistor and when it was sampled by the conductivity cell, and the errors in salinity induced by the thermal inertia of the conductivity cell are developed with these data. In addition, thousands of profiles from Argo profiling floats equipped with SBE-41 CTDs were screened to select examples where thermally well-mixed surface layers overlaid strong thermoclines for which standard processing often yields spuriously fresh salinity estimates. Hundreds of profiles so identified are used to estimate and correct for the conductivity cell thermal mass error in SBE-41 CTDs.

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