2019-2020 / OCEA0035-1

Data acquisition and analysis, complements


15h Th, 10h Pr

Number of credits

 Master in oceanography (120 ECTS)3 crédits 


Aida Alvera Azcarate

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Oceanographic data, in-situ or satellite based, cover a wide time-space spectrum of processes, contain errors specific to each measurement system and require specific data analysis methods in function of the use one wants to make of them.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

The lecture aims at describing the different measurement techniques used in hte marine environment and to introduce the different type of data analysis tools adapted to each type of data.

1. Data aquisition : - sampling rules, concept of continous data, discrete data and independant data - temperature, salinity, pressure, depth, sea surface height, swell, topographics mesurement. - eulerian and lagrangian mesurements of currents - winds, precipitations - tracers, nutriments, visibility - satellite mesures: 2. Data presentation: - profiles, horizontal maps, vertical sections, projections, histograms, animations 3 Statistical methods and error estimates : - probability, distributions, confidence intervals, regressions (linear, multivariate, correlation) - degrees of freedom, hypothesis testing - Obvious errors, roundings - interpolation - covariance 4. Spatial analysis - Objective analysis - Principal component analysis - Inverse methods 5. Temporal analysis - correlation function - Harmonic analysis - spectral analysis (FFT) - Wavelets - digital filters

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

solid mathematical background and basic knoweledge in ocean sciences

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Exercises will use real data sets from a CD-ROM. Matlab will be used for most exercise.

Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning)

Lectures will be given once per week, with sessions of 3-4 hours

Recommended or required readings

The main reference is

"Data analysis methods in physical oceanography", William J. Emery and Richard E. Thomson.

Assessment methods and criteria

Skills will be assessed during exercise sessions using real inter-disciplinary data sets, taking into account the complexity and quality of methodology, processing, presentation, interpretation and synthesis.

Work placement(s)

Organizational remarks

Interested students should contact me to establish the timetable of this lecture.


Aida Alvera Azcárate
Université de Liège
Allée du 6 Août, 17, Bât. B5
4000 Liège, Belgium


Tel.: +32 (0)4 366 3664
Fax.: +32 (0)4 366 9729

Items online

Lecture materials
Lecture notes and other materials can be seen here: