Repeated hydrographic transects - GO-SHIP

Brief history:

Global hydrographic surveys have been carried out approximately every decade since the 1960s through research programs. In 2009 the Global Ocean Ship-Based Hydrographic Investigations Program (GO-SHIP) was established as part of GOOS to provide international coordination and scientific oversight of the decadal global ocean surveys on a continuing basis.



GO-SHIP provides observations on distributions and changes in inventories of heat, freshwater, carbon, oxygen, nutrients and transient tracers at decadal resolution. The current 62 hydrographic reference sections cover all major ocean basins from coast to coast (or coast to ice) and full depth.

Main data collected using a CTD:
  • Dissolved inorganic carbon
  • Total Alkalinity
  • pH
  • Oxygen
  • Ocean pressure, temperature, salinity

Level 1 data: highest priority and should be collected at least once per decade

Level 2 data: highly desirable data and should be collected when possible

Level 3 data: ancillary measurements and collected according to opportunity and space available.

Societal applications:

GO-SHIP data are used for climate studies and ocean and ecosystems health monitoring. For example, to understand and document large-scale ocean water property distributions, their changes, and the drivers of these changes.


If you want to learn more about this program, visit the website: