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Water temperature and salinity measurements on board the lightship West-Hinder [1904-1979]

Since 1864 Belgium has established lightships along the Belgian coast. The lightship Westhinder, stationed near the Westhinder sandbank (51° 27' 54.9" N, 2° 30' 5.2" E), was initially used a sort of 'lighthouse' signaling light for a safe coastal shipping. In the beginning of the 20th century Belgian zoologist Gustave Gilson started using the ship as a platform for daily meteorological observations in the North Sea. After World War I and during Gilson's career as head of the Zeewetenschappelijk Instituut (ZWI) weekly samples were taken analyzing salinity and temperature of the seawater. These data were actively transferred to the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). After World War II, with biologist Eugène Leloup as the new director of the ZWI between 1947 and 1967, marine research activities on board continued. Several other institutes such as the Koninklijk Meteorologisch Instituut (KMI) and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) used the West-Hinder to study temperature, salinity, alkalinity, oxygen and nitrogen content of the seawater. After a period of time the Rijksstation voor Zeevisserij (RVZ), which was established in 1962, took over the ZWI tasks performing weekly salinity and daily measurements of soil-, surface- and water temperature, windspeed and direction.

Gilson G.; Leloup E.; Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (IRScNB/KBIN); Zeewetenschappelijk Instituut (ZWI), Belgium; (2015): Water temperature and salinity at the West-Hinder from 1904-1979.

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IZWO archive: original sheets 1950-1965 daily observations
ICES Dataset on Ocean Hydrography. The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, Copenhagen. 2014
Van Meel, L (1975)

Gustave Gilson
Eugène Leloup
Lightship West-Hinder

This dataset is part of the historic monitoring campaign on board of the light ship West-Hinder. The different sources were integrated in one time-series for daily measurements (12411 records of which 121 sampled with packet boats Rubis/Saphir/Topase at the B9 West-Hinder station on the Ostend-Tilbury line). Monthly measurements (322 records) and daily nutrients (259 records) were stored in a separate datasheet.