Chemistry

Data & products on marine water quality

When

The EMODnet Chemistry project and portal development started with a pilot phase from 2009 to 2012 as a "proof of concept" with limited spatial coverage (Black, North and some spots of Mediterranean Sea), parameters related to MSFD descriptors 5, 8 and 9, to prove the feasibility of the proposed challenge.

The second phase of EMODnet Chemistry (2013 to 2016) was aimed at expanding spatial coverage (Black Sea, Baltic Sea, North Sea, Mediterranean Sea Atlantic coast) and range of chemical parameters (with specific focus on MSFD descriptors 5, 8 and 9).

The third phase started in March 2017 and aims at extending and updating the data collections and data products for eutrophication and contaminants, including the Barents Sea, and enlarging the focus to gather and develop data products also for Marine Litter.

Detailed reports of all phases can be found under Reports to EU.

Second Phase overview

EMODnet Chemistry Second Phase adopted SeaDataNet approach.
EMODnet Chemistry used SeaDataNet infrastructure for the technical set-up, adpoting:
  • SeaDataNet Standards for background data and metadata, and for product data and metadata
  • Common Data Index mechanismto access background data with data policy
  • Ocean Data View formatfor background data exchange
  • SeaDataNet Security Servicesfor users registrations, and SDN Delivery Services for background data access and downloading
  • Data-Interpolating Variational Analysis softwaretool to produce gridded data products and error maps products from the background data as NetCDF files
  • SeaDataNet Products catalogue (SEXTANT system) and SDN Products viewing services for free unlimited discovery, access, visualization and downloading of data products

Overall, SeaDataNet is considered as a key element to ensure interoperability and harmonization between the four EMODnet pilots, for data and products compatibility.
This approach and this synergy had mutual benefits for the EMODnet Chemistry and for SeaDataNet:

  • It guarantees an easy expansion of the geographical coverage of the EMODnet chemical data sets to full European coverage for the following reasons: SeaDataNet Data Centres are located and established in all countries riparian to the European seas and the data gathering activities of the project will highlight new possible data providers;
  • It guarantees an easy expansion and merging with other types of marine data sets, because SeaDataNet already handles a large volume of multi-disciplinary data sets and other initiatives are planned, underway and making progress for enlarging the SeaDataNet coverage by connecting to other networks, such as the biological community via EurOBIS and MarBEF and the geological & geophysical community via Geo-Seas; the SeaDataNet infrastructure is also an important backbone for the present EMODnet portals for bathymetry and physics;
  • It contributes to establishing a perspective of a long term sustainability of the infrastructure, both EMODnet and SeaDataNet, because the infrastructure and network are based upon the NODC’s, which are usually part of large marine research institutes and which receive long term funding from their institutes for managing and safeguarding marine data sets. The infrastructure and consortium are not just created for the EMODnet tender and might fall apart, once the EU funding halts. In return, SeaDataNet is in a better position to continue its services, especially when there is a perspective for a wider application of EMODnet services for societal uses;
  • It guarantees that high quality and long expertise with handling marine data will be mobilised for handling and processing the EMODnet chemical data sets;
  • It guarantees INSPIRE compliance of the services; SeaDataNet is an active partner in the INSPIRE process of defining implementation standards for the oceanography domain. This implicates that overall INSPIRE rules and standards are adopted as basis and further worked out and documented for the specific oceanography domain. This is an on-going process and with mutual tuning between INSPIRE and SeaDataNet. The perspective is adoption of the standards for metadata, data, quality flags and vocabularies by a broad basis of major institutes and data centres in Europe giving INSPIRE fulfillment.
  • It makes optimal use of existing infrastructure and ongoing SeaDataNet II developments, - the time lines are in parallel - , which provides excellent opportunities for synergy, whereby the new EMODnet requirements will give an extra input and stimulus to the development of the machine-to-machine services and further integration of data products presentation services with data retrieval and viewing services along cross sections and at selected monitoring sites;
  • It will provide excellent efficiency and cost effectiveness by combining efforts and developments, not only technically, but also organisation-wise. There is no need to create any specific new database for these data, because the SeaDataNet decentralised scheme of databases is in place for managing the chemical data sets, and the discovery and access services are implemented by using the SeaDataNet Common Data Index (CDI) system (based upon ISO 19115). The network of national partners and their national networks will be mobilised to collect, process, manage and give access to the collated data sets and products;
  • The existing SeaDataNet expertise in data processing, statistical analyses and quality control as well as in generating aggregated data products will be used and further developed as part of the EMODnet project;.
  • Other data providers will be more willing to contribute and to continue contributing data sets to the EMODnet Chemistry network, because it is undertaken by familiar data centres with a long term perspective and objectives and not by an occasional ad-hoc consortium. The latter is even more true, because many of the SeaDataNet partners are also the prime data centres for national monitoring data in their countries.
Considering this situation and sensitivities, the following approach was undertaken:
  • Continue with the use of the SeaDataNet infrastructure as the basis for cataloguing via CDI and making data sets available in a regulated and ISO compatible way from many distributed data resources. This covers the metadata description of the data sets and the search and retrieval functionality.
  • Continue with adapting common vocabularies for specific chemical data needs due to the chemical data complexity.
  • Improve and expand the functionality of the EMODnet CDI Data Discovery and Access service for handling large data requests in an efficient way both by human users and in addition also for machine to machine interaction.
  • Continue with the use of the SeaDataNet network of NODC’s to identify, retrieve, and collate the relevant data sets from their own institutes (relevant for many NODC’s ) and from any other institutes in their country (using their national network).
  • Continue with the use of the overall SeaDataNet expertise and special experts for processing and qc of data sets and for generating aggregated data products, together with specific external experts identified and engaged during the previous EMODnet Chemistry pilot project.
  • Continue with the use of dedicated analysis software such as Ocean Data View (ODV) of partner AWI and DIVA statistical processing software (DIVA) of partner ULg for supporting QA/QC and generating dedicated Chemistry data products
  • Develop these software packages further to meet specific needs for products by the new EMODnet Chemistry project
  • Continue with the use of the OceanBrowser data products viewing service and add specific features for querying and displaying data products and further integrating the CDI data access service; extend the visualisation functionality using the special expertise for water quality visualisation from new partner Deltares.
  • Deploy the Sextant data products catalogue service further in functionality and coverage and establish integration with the OceanBrowser viewer.