The World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) was a part of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). Nearly 30 countries contributed resources to make unprecedented in-situ and satellite observations of the global ocean between 1990 and 1998. The WOCE Hydrographic Program (WHP) encompassed a range of physical and chemical measurements collected from research vessels mainly by means of Conductivity/Temperature/Depth (CTD) profilers and rosette water samplers. The WHP One-Time Survey provided high-quality global coverage of basin-crossing ocean sections, along which temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, CO2 parameters, CFCs and other parameters were measured.
The WOCE Global Hydrographic Climatology (Gouretski and Koltermann, 2004) provides the basis for all maps of the WOCE Atlantic Atlas. This climatology consists of optimally analyzed gridded fields of temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and nutrients with 0.5-degree spatial resolution. The original quality controlled set of vertical property profiles includes both the WOCE hydrographic data and selected historical data after 1970, in order to fill areas between the WOCE sections. In a deviation to the NODC global climatologies (Levitus et al., 2009), optimal interpolation was performed on density surfaces. This allows to avoid production of artificial water masses in the gridded data and results in sharper horizontal gradients. Another important feature of the WGHC is the hydrostatic stability of the climatoligic density profiles.
The WGHC ocean climatology was used as the data basis for the calculation of the new international thermodynamical Equation of sea water (IOC, SCOR and IAPSO, 2010). All atlas maps (Postscript-files) have been produced by Viktor Gouretski. The Adobe-Illustrator files have been manually edited by Jacqueline Sommerfeld from Alfred Wegener Institute.