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Maritime Forum

EMODnet sea-bed mapping (hydrography 2) second interim report (after 18 months)

18 month report

EMODnet (European Marine Observation and Data Network) is a contribution to the EU Integrated Maritime Policy. The European Commission, represented by the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE), has concluded several service contracts for creating pilot components of the EMODnet. The overall objective is to create pilots to migrate fragmented and inaccessible marine data into interoperable, continuous and publicly available data streams for complete maritime basins.

The results will help to define processes, best technology and approximate costs of a final operational European Marine Observation and Data Network. It will also provide the first components for a final system which will in themselves be useful to the marine science community.

This Second Interim Report describes the activities undertaken and progress made for the Seabed Mapping Lot during month 13 to month 18.

The overall objectives of the Seabed Mapping Lot are to fill gaps in the EU’s low-resolution bathymetry map and to assemble a complete inventory of high resolution seabed mapping data held by public and private bodies.

In a previous call in June 2008 already a first batch of preparatory actions were issued, including the Hydrography Lot. The implementation of the Hydrography action has started in May 2009 and as part of this action a portal has been set up and is being further developed and maintained to grant access to low-resolution bathymetric maps and other hydrographic data products for the following maritime basins:

the Greater North Sea, including the Kattegat and stretches of water such as Fair Isle, Cromarty, Forth, Forties,Dover, Wight, and Portland.

the English Channel and Celtic Seas

Western Mediterranean, the Ionian Sea and the Central Mediterranean Sea.

Task 1 of the Seabed Mapping Lot is to build upon the on-going Hydrography Lot and to extend the coverage of low-resolution bathymetry data with bathymetric data products for the following maritime basins:

the Iberian coast and the Bay of Biscay

the Adriatic Sea

the Aegean-Levantine Sea

Task 2 of the Seabed Mapping Lot is to lay the foundations for a future higher resolution mapping of seabeds in the maritime basins of Europe.

Task 3 of the Seabed Mapping Lot is to maintain and keep operational the multibeam portal from M24 to M36.

The Seabed Mapping Lot is undertaken by a consortium of 10 partners consisting of:

Mariene Informatie Service ‘MARIS’ BV (MARIS) – The Netherlands (coordinator)

Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER) – France

ATLIS – The Netherlands

NERC - National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NERC-NOCS) – United Kingdom

Institute of Oceanography (IEO) – Spain

Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) – Ireland

Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine (SHOM) – France


Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS) - Italy

Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) - Greece

UNEP/GRID-Arendal - Norway

The partners combine expertises and experiences of collecting, processing, and managing of bathymetric data together with expertises in distributed data infrastructure development and operation and providing OGC services for viewing and distribution.

The first 7 partners are also together undertaking the Hydrography Lot. This has as added-value that the task 1 of the Seabed Mapping Lot is performed with a methodology which is overall consistent with the methodology as applied for the Hydrography Lot. The bathymetric data products for the new maritime basins are generated following a coherent QA/QC and production process. And these data products can be integrated seamlessly in the Hydrography portal.

The Hydrography portal is operational at and has been developed by adopting SeaDataNet standards and services. SeaDataNet ( is the leading infrastructure in Europe for marine & ocean data management. It operaties and further develops a Pan-European infrastructure for managing, indexing and providing access to ocean and marine data sets and data products, acquired via research cruises and other observational activities, in situ and remote sensing. It is also developing and governing common standards for metadata and data formats, common vocabularies and quality flags as well as standard software tools.

For the Hydrographic portal the following approach has been applied:

Involve research institutes, monitoring authorities, and HO’s, in providing hydrographic data sets from which Digital Terrain Models (DTM) are produced with resolution of 0,25 * 0,25 minutes for each geographical region and that are loaded and integrated afterwards into a spatial database at the Portal

Outfit the spatial database as a powerful and a high-end Hydrographic data products viewing and downloading service that is complemented with WMS services (OGC) to serve users and to provide map layers for e.g. the other EMODnet portals, the prototype European Atlas of the Seas, and the broad-scale European Marine Habitats map;

Include in the portal a metadata discovery and access service by adopting the SeaDataNet Common Data Index (CDI) data discovery and access service that gives clear information about the hydrographic survey data used for the DTM, their access restrictions and distributors; this also ensures the connection of the Hydrographic portal with the SeaDataNet portal, which includes a shopping mechanism for requesting access to basic measurements data.

This 2nd Interim Report gives an overview of the activities undertaken for the Seabed Mapping Lot from June 2011 till December. In the 1st year already very good progress has been made with Task 1 activities, while preparatory activities have been undertaken for Task 2 . This report describes the progress made with each of the Work Packages for Task 1 and Task 2 in the next period from Month 13 to Month 18. It also gives an outlook on the activities for the next 6 months of development (M19-M24).