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Maritime Forum

EMODnet second phase - first year report

The second phase of EMODnet , funded by the Financial regulation for the Integrated Maritime Policy, is approaching the end of the first year. There is now a central portal giving access to data on bathymetry, geology, physics, chemistry, biology...

full report

Specific progress and achievements of the thematic lots

  • EMODnet Bathymetry officially started in July 2013 with 16 partners and 8 subcontractors. Since then, several new data providers have been identified and interested to become subcontractors, especially for the Black Sea region and the Eastern Mediterranean. Almost all data providers made good progress in the first year with preparing and submitting new entries for bathymetric surveys in the Common Data Index (CDI) service and composite Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) in the SEXTANT catalogue service. A first compilation of all new Regional DTMs into the overall EMODnet DTM for all European sea areas was prepared for inspection by partners by the end of August 2014. The overall result is impressive and a major step forward in comparison with the present public EMODnet DTM. The next step will investigate options for upgrading the required software and solving technical anomalies before the new DTM can be publicly released.

  • Of all the thematic lots, EMODnet Geology was the last to officially start (on 15 October 2013) due to administrative complications. Since the start the partners have worked hard to catch up with good results, including the compilation of index maps showing available information and scale of mapping done at national level to date. The partners also were able to complete a number of substrate maps at 1:250,000 scale which were delivered to the seabed habitat mapping lot for further use. Finally, work has been ongoing behind the scenes to further develop the EMODnet Geology portal with the aim to release a completely new portal by the end of September 2014.

  • EMODnet Seabed habitats has created and launched a new website and mapping portal ( with a clear EMODnet branding. This integrates the modelled map produced for Biscay and the Iberian Peninsula by the Interreg MeshAtlantic project with habitat maps from surveys collated by the MeshAtlantic and MESH projects. The group also produced a preliminary modelled map for the Adriatic Sea and for the Canary Islands.

  • The first year of activity in the EMODnet Chemistry portal was dedicated to setting up the workflow, including the development of the conceptual model and all technical elements. Data collection and product generation focused on nutrients (PO4, NOx, NO3, Total Nitrogen, NH4 and SiO4). Data providers made good progress preparing and submitting new data entries for these nutrients in the CDI service. A robot harvester was activated to create a data buffer that allows more flexible operations and data product development. DIVA (Data-Interpolating Variational Analysis) maps were developed and available for nutrients in the five sea regions (Greater North Sea, Baltic Sea, Atlantic Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea) and examples were tested for dynamic visualizations based on the aggregated and validated data buffers.

  • A consortium of 22 partners from across Europe kicked off the EMODnet Biology project on the 11 September 2013. Partners subsequently developed a detailed overview of the data and databases that will be made available through EMODnet Biology in this phase. A total of 702,976 records from 93 marine biological datasets are already available through the EMODnet biology data portal. EMODnet Biology also initiated the creation of the 'World Register of Introduced Marine Species (WRIMS) ( providing a global dataset of all marine, introduced, cryptic and previously considered alien species. To serve the needs of MSFD actors, project partners released a preliminary list of species indicating their potential role and importance for MSFD reporting. After validating the methodology to create the gridded abundance maps using DIVA (Data- Interpolating Variational Analysis), data products were made available for more than 40 species from the North Sea, Baltic Sea and North East Atlantic.

  • The greatest achievement of EMODnet Physics in the first year entails the development and release of its redesigned landing page and data viewer/map (, which is a significant upgrade from the pilot version. As a new feature, monthly-average data products are now available via both the platform-product-page and the interoperability service. At operational level, the coordinator successfully mobilised and consolidated the EuroGOOS Regional Operational Oceanographic Systems (ROOS) as a central component of the system to improve the data flow infrastructure and make more near-real time data available through EMODnet. To strengthen the network of High-Frequency Radar infrastructures in Europe as a valuable source of additional operational oceanographic data, an EMODnet-EuroGOOS High Frequency (HF) Radar coordination Group was established. At the international level, an agreement was reached between EMODnet Physics and the IODE/ODP (International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange / Ocean Data Portal) to enable data provided from EMODnet Physics to the ODP to be made available to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Information System (WIS).The only new thematic lot not included in EMODnet Phase I,

  • EMODnet Human activities, did an excellent job catching up with the other themes. Most of the attention was on jumpstarting the data collection and building the thematic portal to be able to offer data and products as quickly as possible. The contract was signed in September 2013, and less than 9 months later, on 4 April 2014, the EMODnet Human activities thematic portal went live ( By September 2014, 11 data themes were available for download and one more (cultural heritage) is soon to follow. With the implementation of the interactive map and of the data catalogue ("Search data" page), Human activities has become a fully-fledged geoportal.

The EMODnet sea-basin checkpoints

EMODnet Phase II introduced a completely new instrument: the EMODnet sea-basin checkpoints. These checkpoints, which serve to assess the data availability and adequacy from the perspective of pre-defined user-functions or 'challenges' at a regional scale, are launched in two steps: (i) in 2013 two three-year pilot checkpoints have been established (one for the North Sea and one for the Mediterranean); and (ii) in August 2014 a call for tender was released by DG MARE for four additional sea-basin checkpoints covering the Atlantic, the Baltic, the Black Sea and the Arctic - they are expected to start early 2015.

Since their inception, the North Sea and Mediterranean sea-basin checkpoints have actively contributed to the discussions on harmonisation of the EMODnet thematic and regional websites and data portals. Both of the checkpoints have released their first services and deliverables.

  • EMODnet North Sea Checkpoint (NSCP) kicked-off in December 2013 and released its first concrete result by May 2014: the launch of its 'oil platform leak' service which provides 10-day predictions of the fate of an oil spill based on expected conditions. In August 2014, the NSCP released its first Data Adequacy Report with literature survey providing an overview and assessment of the existing information and data resources covering the North Sea.

  • EMODnet Mediterranean Sea Checkpoint also started early December and took off with an intensive programme, launching its website online early ( and making available its 'oil platform leak' Bulletin service before summer 2014.

  • To test the services provided by both checkpoints in response to the 'oil platform leak' challenge, DG MARE and the Secretariat triggered a response by submitting a request for assistance with a fictitious accident during Summer 2014. Because of the vacation period the NSCP response took somewhat longer than expected, but both of the checkpoints provided acceptable simulations for the fate of the oil which are currently being further evaluated.