Since 1997, Norway has used the terms “reference stations” and “regional stations” in connection with monitoring of the seabed on the Norwegian continental shelf. Both types of stations normally cover the background level of selected components in the area, and the reference stations can, in given instances, function as regional stations and vice versa. Reference stations and regional stations in one and the same region are used to estimate background levels in the regions.
The term reference stations is now discontinued, and all non-field-specific stations are called regional stations in the new Guidelines for environmental monitoring of the petroleum activities on the Norwegian continental shelf (in Norwegian only).
Source: Guidelines Regarding the Activities Regulations, Norway, updated December 2012. Regulatory Guidance