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Instructions for use of the DART data access pages

NDBC maintains an archive of DART data going back to January 1, 2003. This archive is available via the NDBC web site (http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/). This document describes the use of two dynamic web pages that have been created to make these data more easily accessible to the (Short-term Inundation Forecasting for Tsunamis) SIFT program (or any program).

DART Station List

The DART Station List returns a plain text listing of DART stations on the NDBC web site. The page can be found at http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/dart_stations.php. There are no arguments required for this URL. The output includes the station ID, location, latitude, longitude, water depth, deployment start date/time and threshold of all DART stations on the NDBC web site. Here is a sample format:

DART Station Listing - 08/05/2011 1421 UTC
Station ID   Name                                                Latitude   Longitude   Water Depth   Deployment Start        Threshold   Owner
21401        250NM SE of Iturup Island                           42.61666   152.58333   9999          2010-11-08 08:28:00.0   99          INTERNATIONAL
21413        690 NM SE of Tokyo, Japan                           30.52778   152.12277   5822          2010-06-15 07:51:16.0   30          NDBC
21414        184 NM SW of Adak, AK                               48.94722   178.26584   5375          2011-07-05 08:33:59.0   30          NDBC
21415        175 NM S of Attu, Alaska                            50.18028   171.84583   4745          2011-07-07 00:15:05.0   30          NDBC
21416        240 NM SE of Kamchatka Peninsula                    48.05833   163.51527   5744          2011-07-09 08:23:58.0   30          NDBC
21418        450 NM NE of Tokyo, Japan                           38.69333   148.66499   5662          2011-07-13 13:15:19.0   30          NDBC
.
.
.

Negative latitudes represent the southern hemisphere. Negative longitudes represent the western hemisphere.

DART Data

You can retrieve and display a plain text listing of NDBC's historical DART data that matches the station ID, starting date, and ending date that you specify. Specify these by modifying the arguments in this URL - http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/dart_data.php?station=46401&startmonth=&startday=&startyear=&endmonth=&endday=&endyear=. The arguments for the station ID and starting and ending dates are specified as follows:

  • station= station ID;
  • startmonth = starting month (numeric, 1-12);
  • startday = starting day (numeric, 1-31);
  • startyear = starting year (numeric);
  • endmonth = ending month (numeric, 1-12);
  • endday = ending day (numeric, 1-31); and
  • endyear = ending year (numeric).

These arguments may be entered in any order, but all must be given valid values.

For example; to retrieve data from station 46401 for January 4, 2004 through January 10, 2004; use the following URL:

http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/dart_data.php?station=46401&startmonth=1&startday=4&startyear=2004
&endmonth=1&endday=10&endyear=2004

This will return all water column heights on the NDBC web site for station 46401 from 00:00:00 UTC on January 4, 2004 through 23:59:59 UTC on January 10, 2004, inclusive. The output will display the parameters followed by the data. The data includes:

  • date/time of the observation - formatted as "YYYY MM DD hh mm ss" or "2004 01 04 01 30 00" for 01:30:00 UTC on January 4, 2004.
  • measurement Type - 1 = 15 minute measurement; 2 = 1 minute measurement; 3 = 15 second measurement.
  • water column HEIGHT - The data are recorded in pounds per square inch absolute (PSIA), but are displayed in meters of water after applying a constant 670.0 mm of water/PSIA conversion factor.

A sample format follows:

station 46401
startyear 2004
startmonth 01
startday 18
endyear 2004
endmonth 01
endday 22

YYYY MM DD hh mm ss T   HEIGHT (meters)
2004 01 22 15 00 00 1 5526.870
2004 01 22 14 45 00 1 5526.883
2004 01 22 14 30 00 1 5526.896
2004 01 22 14 15 00 1 5526.907
2004 01 22 14 00 00 1 5526.915
2004 01 22 13 45 00 1 5526.917
2004 01 22 13 30 00 1 5526.914
.
.
.

Note: The data are sorted in descending order by date/time.

How does the DART Data page handle exceptions?

There are a number of exceptions that may occur when processing the arguments provided. Each one is identified below with an explanation of how the page responds:

  • The station argument is omitted. - The page displays "No station ID specified."
  • An invalid station is provided. - The page displays "Station xxxxx not found."; where xxxxx represents the provided station ID.
  • The station specified is not a DART station. - The page displays "Station xxxxx is not a DART station"; where xxxxx represents the provided station ID.
  • No dates are specified. - The page displays data for a five day period ending at the end of the current date.
  • An invalid start date is supplied. - The page displays data for a five day period ending at the end of the provided end date.
  • An invalid start date is supplied. - The page displays data for a five day period beginning at the start of the start date.
  • The start date is greater than the stop date. - The page displays "No data available for the requested time frame."
  • No data are available for the specified date range and station. - The page displays "No data available for the requested time frame."
  • Too much data is requested. The page displays something similar to "Fatal Error. Allowed memory size exhausted..."

Under unusual circumstances, there could be other run time errors:

  • ERROR: Unable to open station table. - The page was unable to access the station table to verify the station argument. Notify NDBC.
  • Any other run time errors - Notify NDBC.