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Scientific Data




277 (8 pg.)


SeaFlow is an underway flow cytometer that provides continuous shipboard observations of the abundance and optical properties of small phytoplankton (μm in equivalent spherical diameter, ESD). Here we present data sets consisting of SeaFlow-based cell abundance, forward light scatter, and pigment fluorescence of individual cells, as well as derived estimates of ESD and cellular carbon content of picophytoplankton, which includes the cyanobacteria Prochlorococcus, Synechococcus and small-sized Crocosphaera (μm ESD), and picophytoplankton and nanophytoplankton (2–5 μm ESD). Data were collected in surface waters (≈5 m depth) from 27 oceanographic cruises carried out in the Northeast Pacific Ocean between 2010 and 2018. Thirteen cruises provide high spatial resolution (≈1 km) measurements across 32,500 km of the Northeast Pacific Ocean and 14 near-monthly cruises beginning in 2015 provide seasonal distributions at the long-term sampling site (Station ALOHA) of the Hawaii Ocean Time-Series. These data sets expand our knowledge of the current spatial and temporal distributions of picophytoplankton in the surface ocean.


© The Author(s) 2019

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Data Availability

Article states:

"Data Records

The dataset is a compilation of data assembled from different research cruises conducted since 2010. Each data record represents the cell abundance, median, 25% and 75% percentile of optical properties (chlorophyll and phycoerythrin fuorescence, forward scatter), ESD and carbon quotas for each population estimated at a certain point in space and time. Each data record belongs to a cruise, with cruise identifcation retrieved from the Rolling Deck to Repository, and is linked to its associated metadata such as time, location, depth, sea surface temperature and salinity, and PAR. Online-only Table 1 lists the variables, their definition and units. The dataset is accessible as a.csv fle through Zenodo open access research data repository13."

Code Availability

"Raw SeaFlow data are analyzed using our custom R package available on Github at The repository also includes a tutorial on the use of the sofware. Additional Github repositories are available for the virtual-core calibration, conversion of light scattering to cell size and conversion of light scattering to carbon quotas."

The link to the archived data as cited in reference 13 is

The online-only table is available at:

Original Publication Citation

Ribalet, F., Berthiaume, C., Hynes, A., Swalwell, J., Carlson, M., Clayton, S., . . . Armbrust, E. V. (2019). SeaFlow data v1, high-resolution abundance, size and biomass of small phytoplankton in the North Pacific. Scientific Data, 6, 277. doi:10.1038/s41597-019-0292-2


0000-0001-7473-4873 (Clayton)


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