Data & products on marine water quality


The overall objective of EMODnet Chemistry is to provide access to marine chemistry data sets and derived data products concerning eutrophication, contaminants and marine litter for the European sea regions as defined by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). The data products are specifically relevant for MSFD Descriptors 5 (eutrophication), 8 (chemical pollution), 9 (contaminants in seafood), and 10 (marine litter) considering the MSFD Common Implementation Strategy.

Gathering of marine chemistry data sets as acquired by marine environmental monitoring and scientific research is a major project activity. For efficiency reasons EMODnet Chemistry has adopted and adapted SeaDataNet standards and services. SeaDataNet is a leading infrastructure in Europe for marine & ocean data management, initiated and managed by the National Oceanographic Data Centres (NODC's). It is actively operating and further developing a pan-European infrastructure for managing, indexing and providing access to ocean and marine data sets and data products, for a wide range of marine disciplines, acquired via research cruises and other in-situ observational activities.

The data gathering in EMODnet Chemistry is done in direct communication with data originators to ensure the best sets of measured data and related metadata, and to prevent duplicates. The data sets for eutrophication and contaminants are described with metadata and made available in standard formats by means of the SeaDataNet CDI service. This facilitates users to discover and request access to the data sets in a harmonized way and using dedicated versions of the CDI User Interface, which focus on chemistry and the MSFD regions.

The gathered data are aggregated and validated by MSFD region. Thereby a major challenge is to manage the heterogeneity, complexity, quality and large volume of the gathered datasets and to process these into harmonized data collections. This is solved by using consolidated SeaDataNet standards for vocabularies, QA-QC, and software tools. This activity results in harmonized validated data collections for each MSFD region, concerning eutrophication and contaminants.

These data collections are input for generating further data products, consisting of a series of spatially interpolated maps of eutrophication parameters in time and depth per sea region, and station time series of contaminants parameters. The resulting products are published for users for browsing, interacting and visualizing by means of dedicated viewing services, while metadata of the data products can be retrieved from a products catalogue service.

This approach for eutrophication and contaminants has proven successful in earlier phases of EMODnet Chemistry and the current results are published at this portal. The approach is continued in the ongoing project phase and will result in updated products overtime. Moreover this approach and the formulation of data products is regularly tuned with experts of MSFD stakeholders such as the Regional Sea Conventions (RSC’s), EEA and EU DG Environment.

Marine Litter is a new topic for EMODnet Chemistry and has a focus on beach litter, seafloor litter and micro plastics. Data for beach litter and sea floor litter will be gathered, managed and published by means of two central databases, which are developed and populated by EMODnet Chemistry in cooperation with the MSFD Technical Group on Marine Litter (TG-ML), EU JRC, RSC’s, ICES, and several relevant EU projects, regional and local initiatives. For micro plastics it has been decided to adapt the SeaDataNet CDI service approach and dedicated guidelines are formulated in concertation with the TG-ML.