Helmuth Lab

Web Application for intertidal logger data

This is an interactive database for intertidal loggers deployed by the Helmuth lab at Northeastern University and their collaborators. This database contains data from unmodified and modified (biomimetic) loggers (“Robomussels”). Unmodified loggers are ibuttons (Maxim Integrated) and TidBits (Onset). While these instruments provide accurate information on water temperature during high tide, the temperature that they record during aerial temperature at low tide can be quite different from the body temperature of nearby animals. Biomimetic loggers are deployed to measure the body temperatures of intertidal bivalves during both high tide as well as aerial exposure at low tide. Modified loggers in this database include 8cm epoxy robomussels, 8cm shell robomussels and 4cm shell robomussels.

Please be aware that the margin of error for mussel body temperature for each type of biomimetic logger is different. Two sizes of loggers are used, 8cm and 4cm. Problems may occur when output comparisons are made across loggers of different sizes, since size can affect the temperature.


There are four different categories of outputs available in this interactive database: Raw temperature files, average temperatures, maxima temperature and minima temperature. Because multiple data loggers are deployed at the same tidal elevation at some sites, raw temperature data can include several concatenated data streams which will need to parsed to avoid multiple data points for each time stamp. When summary statistics (average, maximum, minimum) are selected for output, the web tool will calculate the average for each time point from the maximum number of loggers of the same type available at that particular microsite.

For further information see:

Gilman, S., C.D.G. Harley, D. Strickland*, O. Vanderstraeten, M. O’Donnell, and B. Helmuth. 2006. Evaluation of “Effective Shore Level” as a method of characterizing intertidal wave exposure regimes. Limnology and Oceanography Methods 4:448-457.

Fitzhenry, T., P.M. Halpin and B. Helmuth. 2004. Testing the effects of wave exposure, site, and behavior on intertidal mussel body temperatures: Applications and limits of temperature logger design. Marine Biology 145(2):339-349.

Helmuth, B., C.D.G. Harley, P. Halpin, M. O’Donnell, G.E. Hofmann and C. Blanchette. 2002. Climate change and latitudinal patterns of intertidal thermal stress. Science 298:1015-1017.

Helmuth B. 2002. How do we measure the environment? Linking intertidal thermal physiology and ecology through biophysics. Integrative and Comparative Biology 42(4): 837-845.

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  3. Maintained by Francis Choi