Data & products on marine water quality


View and download the new data collections
19 May 2021

The new regional data collections for eutrophication and contaminants, and the global ones for beach litter have just been published.
Concerning the regionally aggregated datasets, each collection covers one of the following sea regions: Arctic Ocean, Baltic Sea, Greater North Sea, North East Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Black Sea.

The types of data available are:

  • vertical profiles for data that have been collected roughly at the same time and location for several consecutive vertical depths
  • time series for data collected at the same location and depth but repeated in time.

For eutrophication the time series are from the water column, whilst for contaminants they come from three different matrices: water, sediment and biota.

Two data harvests were run in February and November 2020 to collect the data from many different EMODnet partners and originators as detailed in the table below.

The data collections for eutrophication provide information on nutrients, chlorophyll and oxygen; whilst the collections for contaminants concern the following group of variables: antifoulants, hydrocarbons, heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls, pesticides and biocides, radionuclides.

Data were aggregated, harmonised and validated as synthetically described hereafter:

  • EMODnet Chemistry brings together and harmonises a large amount of in-situ observations, both from monitoring agencies and scientific institutes, that is, the Originators.
  • Data entering EMODnet Chemistry are managed by a network of 65 data centers (scientific institutes & data management experts) from 32 countries, following the same standard protocols developed in the framework of the European SeaDataNet infrastructure and undergo a validation process.
  • An automatic Robot Harvester is adopted to retrieve specific datasets from the distributed network of data centers (DCs) to obtain data collections per sea region. DCs manage the data gathering from the multiple organizations that originate datasets.
  • Data aggregation, harmonization and validation are led by regional experts, following methodology agreed with the wider international community.

All details are reported in the documents:

Concerning the global beach litter data collections, they are loaded in a central database after a semi-automated validation phase. Once loaded, a data assessment is performed in order to check data consistency and potential errors are corrected thanks to a feedback loop with data originators.

The harmonized datasets include 12390 CDI records, in which 11152 refer to monitoring data, 1208 to data from cleaning surveys and 29 to data from research. A relevant part of the monitoring data has been considered for assessment purposes by the European institutions and therefore is tagged as MSFD_monitoring.

Data are formatted following Guidelines and forms for gathering marine litter data, which can be found in the Guidelines section of the Portal

More details on beach litter collections are available here

View and download the new data collections here!