Use the link below to send us enter record:
Tips on recording your data
The Secchi disk data sheets ask you to record observations. These variables can explain unusual reading and can provide more information on why a low Secchi depth is observed.
Site code: You will be given a unique site code to help us distinguish between any other groups sampling nearby.
Observer: Different people have slightly different eyesight’s. Recording the observer’s name will allow us to accommodate for any small changes due to different people measuring the depths.
Nearest town: Readings will be taken from the same point each time, but the location should still be recorded.
Date/ Time: Ideally, readings should be taken between 10am and 3pm.
GPS reading: If taking your reading from a boat, a GPS reading will be valuable to make sure you are sampling in roughly the same spot. This data isn’t needed when taking readings from a fixed location such as a jetty. We will collect this data the first time you sample.
Wind direction: Wind direction is the direction the wind is coming from. The direction of the
wind may tell you where the pollution and sediment are coming from.
Wind strength: Use the Beaufort Scale on the back of the laminated sheet as a guide. Try to monitor when the water is relatively calm and less than Fresh Winds on the Beaufort Scale. This is for your own safety and to give a more reliable reading. Strong winds can cause stronger waves and churn up more sediment and increasing natural turbidity.
Sea condition: e.g. calm, small waves, large waves, choppy. Volunteers should not be taking readings if conditions are stormy – it will normally take a couple of days for sediments to settle, so it is preferable to wait until the sea becomes calmer.
Tide: Take note if the tide is incoming, outgoing, high or low. This will let us analyse any variations due to tide washing sediment in or out of your sampling site.
Shade: Whether the sampling site is in shade or sun can affect the reading so it is useful to record this information.
Cloud cover: Cloud cover will affect the ability of sunlight to penetrate water and hence may affect observed Secchi depth.
Water colour: It can be useful to record an approximate colour to help understand the reason for a shallow secchi depth. This can give us an indication if it is phytoplankton (often causing a green colour) or sediment causing the turbidity (often brown or tea coloured water).
Visible on sea floor?: At some shallow sites with relatively clear water, the secchi disk will still be visible on the ocean floor. Even though your disk doesn’t disappear, it is still useful information to record.
Comments: Record any other information that may be useful, such as activity in the area that may be affecting water clarity (e.g. dredging), visible algal blooms, floating seaweed, slicks, foam or scum.