Dr Christopher Balfour

Group: 
Ocean Technology and Engineering
Email: 
cabal@noc.ac.uk
Location: 
Liverpool
Telephone: 
+44 (0)151 795 4826

I am employed as an electronics engineer with the primary responsibility to provide support for the scientific work that is undertaken by the Coastal and Shelf Seas Group at the National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool (NOCL). This work includes marine instrument development, deployment, recovery, remote monitoring and measurement data quality management.

Current and Previous Projects

Electric Gliders are small energy efficient battery powered autonomous underwater vehicles that are being used to provide measurements for extended scientific studies. Gliders are capable of undertaking underwater surveys in adverse weather typically have an endurance of between 2 weeks and 3 months depending on the type of batteries used, the type of sensors and how often information from the sensors is recorded. I am the NOCL engineer responsible for the provision of technical support and development work to allow the required operation of these vehicles and the integration of new sensors.

The NOC Liverpool FerryBox was an instrumented Irish Sea passenger and cargo ferry that provided cost effective quality controlled long term data and near real time oceanographic measurements. The ferry regularly sailed between Birkenhead (close to Liverpool, UK) and Dublin, Ireland. The FerryBox provided water quality measurements of near surface seawater along full transects across the Irish Sea from 2003 until the ferry route closure in 2011.

The Coastal Observatory operated from 2002 to 2012 and was aimed at long term physical oceanographic studies of shelf seas. A suite of oceanographic instrumentation including FerryBoxes, gliders, moorings and buoys were used by the observatory. The primary area of study was the Liverpool Bay and eastern Irish Sea.

Research Interests

Development of robust marine instrumentation systems along with the associated organisation, recording and quality control of the data these systems generate.

Design and implementation of engineering systems to exploit techniques that allow real time data transfer from remotely deployed marine instruments.

Publications

Monograph

Balfour, C.; Hopkins, J.; Kenny, J.; Jones, D.S.; Jones, E.. 2016 NOC Liverpool report for the Wirewalker underwater profiler deployment for the RidgeMix research programme. Southampton, National Oceanography Centre, 36pp. (National Oceanography Centre Research and Consultancy Report, 57)
Balfour, C.; Williams, M.; Cooke, R.; Amoudry, L.; Souza, A.. 2015 NOC Liverpool report for the miniSTABLE benthic lander deployments as part of the UK-SSB research programme. Southampton, National Oceanography Centre, 71pp. (National Oceanography Centre Research and Consultancy Report, 53)
Palmer, Matthew; Balfour, Christopher; Gowen, Richard. 2013 UK-IMON Milestone report 3c; Final report on Glider implementation study. DEFRA (CEFAS) report ME5309 (C5801). Liverpool, National Oceanography Centre. (UNSPECIFIED) (Unpublished)
Balfour, C.; Palmer, M.. 2013 NOC Liverpool report for the UK-IMON Project. April-June 2013 Unit 194 Glider deployment. Southampton, National Oceanography Centre, 41pp. (National Oceanography Centre Research and Consultancy Report, 39)
Balfour, C.. 2012 RRS Discovery Cruise D381B OSMOSIS Project: Turbulence glider operations report – September 2012. Southampton, National Oceanography Centre, 32pp. (National Oceanography Centre Research and Consultancy Report, 24)
Balfour, C.. 2012 NOC RRS Discovery Cruise D376. Glider operations report, June - July 2012. Southampton, National Oceanography Centre, 22pp. (National Oceanography Centre Research and Consultancy Report, 17)
Balfour, C.; Knight, P.. 2012 NOC Liverpool Unit 117 Glider deployment report for the DEFRA MAREMAP Project, April - May 2012 deployment. Southampton, National Oceanography Centre, 22pp. (National Oceanography Centre Research and Consultancy Report, 18)
Balfour, C.; Knight, P.; McLaughlin, D.. 2011 NOC turbulence glider deployment report for the OSMOSIS Project. Southampton, National Oceanography Centre, 25pp. (National Oceanography Centre Research and Consultancy Report, 06)
Balfour, C.; Knight, P.; McLaughlin, D.. 2011 NOC turbulence glider deployment report for the Liverpool Bay Coastal Observatory, June 2011 deployment. Southampton, National Oceanography Centre, 23pp. (National Oceanography Centre Research and Consultancy Report, 11)
Knight, Phil; Balfour, Chris; Kenny, John; McLaughlin, Danny. 2010 POL glider second sea trial: January 2010. Liverpool, Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, 22pp. (POL Internal Document No. 198) (Unpublished)
Knight, Phil; Balfour, Chris; Kenny, John; McLaughlin, Danny. 2009 POL glider facility: (July 2009). Liverpool, Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, 10pp. (POL Internal Document No. 192) (Unpublished)
Knight, Phil; Balfour, Chris; Kenny, John; McLaughlin, Danny. 2009 POL glider first sea trial: (November 2009). Liverpool, Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, 17pp. (POL Internal Document No. 197) (Unpublished)

Article

Palmer, M.R.; Stephenson, G.R.; Inall, M.E.; Balfour, C.; Dusterhus, A.; Green, J.A.M.. 2015 Turbulence and mixing by internal waves in the Celtic Sea determined from ocean glider microstructure measurements. Journal of Marine Systems, 144. 57-69.10.1016/j.jmarsys.2014.11.005
Howarth, M.J.; Balfour, C.A.; Player, R.J.J.; Polton, J.A.. 2014 Assessment of coastal density gradients near a macro-tidal estuary: Application to the Mersey and Liverpool Bay. Continental Shelf Research, 87. 73-83.10.1016/j.csr.2013.11.016
Balfour, C.A.; Howarth, M.J.; Jones, D.S.; Doyle, T.. 2013 The Design and Development of an Irish Sea Passenger-Ferry-Based Oceanographic Measurement System. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 30 (6). 1226-1239.10.1175/JTECH-D-12-00223.1

Book section

Howarth, M.J.; Proctor, R.; Balfour, C.; Greenwood, N.; Knight, P.; Palmer, M.; Player, R.. 2010 The Liverpool Bay Coastal Observatory. In: Dahlin, H.; et al, ., (eds.)Coastal to Global Operational Oceanography: Achievements and Challenges. Procs Fifth International Conference on EuroGOOS, Exeter, 20-22 May 2008. Norrkoping, Sweden, EuroGOOS Office, 507-512. (EuroGOOS Publication, 28).

Conference item

Howarth, M. John; Proctor, Roger; Balfour, Chris; Knight, Philip J.; Palmer, Matthew; Player, Rose J.. 2008 The Liverpool Bay Coastal Observatory. In: PECS 2008: Physics of Estuaries and Coastal Seas, Liverpool, UK, 25th - 29th August 2008. Liverpool, 411-414.
Balfour, C. A.; Howarth, M. J.; Smithson, M. J.; Jones, D. S.; Pugh, J.. 2007 The use of ships of opportunity for Irish Sea based oceanographic measurements. [Other] In: Oceans '07 IEEE Aberdeen, conference proceedings. Marine challenges: coastline to deep sea, Aberdeen, Scotland, 18-21 June 2007. IEEE.