Maritime forum

Fifth ur-EMODnet progress meeting- summary

Event date:
07/02/2012 - 16:00

Presentations and agenda

next day's MODEG meeting

participants

Jean-Marie

Beckers

MODEG

Sukru

Besiktepe

MODEG

Antonio

Bode

MODEG

Peter

Burkill

MODEG

Simon

Claus

MODEG

Hans

Dahlin

MODEG

Raf

Deroo

European Commission

Helen

Ellwood

Joint Nature Conservation Committee UK

Alan

Evans

National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK

Thomas

Furey

Marine Institute, Ireland

Juliusz

Gajewski

MODEG

Robert

Gatliff

MODEG

Alessandra

Giorgetti

OGS – Instituto Nationale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica

Helen

Glaves

British Geological Survey

Patrick

Gorringe

Eurogoos

Lars

Hansen

MODEG

Neil

Holdsworth

MODEG

Bourillet

Jean-François

MODEG

Gareth

Johnson

JoinT nature Conservation Committee

Joni

Kaitaranta

HELCOM

Dulce

Mata Chacón

Instituto Español de Oceanografía

Cherith

Moses

MODEG

Volodymr

Myroshnychenko

Permanet Secretariat of the Black Sea Commission

Antonio

Novellino

ETT

Jacques

Populus

Ifremer

Lesley

Rickards

MODEG

Angela

Schäfer

MODEG

Thierry

Schmidt

SHOM - Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine

Iain

Shepherd

European Commission

Alan

Stevenson

British Geological Survey

Henry

Vallius

MODEG

Leen

Vandepitte

Flemish Marine Institute, VLIZ

Matteo

Vinci

OGS – Instituto Nationale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica

Christopher

Zimmerman

MODEG

background

The Commission opened the meeting by summarising the current status of the European Marine Observation and Data Network. Five portals are operational. The sixth, for physical parameters, started later than the others but is progressing well. Calls for tender are being prepared for the next phase which will aim to cover all European waters. A seventh portal, for human activity, will be included alongside the others.

The Regulation for a Financial Instrument to support maritime policy stipulates that the work programme needs to be approved by a Committee of representatives from Member States. Marine knowledge takes up about half the total maritime policy budget and some of the Member State representatives had asked for more details of our planning. In a minority of cases they had also contacted a number of MODEG representatives. The Commission undertook to send a list of the Member States representatives to MODEG.

Hydrography

The hydrography portal had been revamped in June 2011 in response to comments. More data around the UK had become available and an increasing number of users are downloading digital terrain model tiles. The data is “largely” INSPIRE compliant. In the future delivery to the international hydrography organisation’s S102 standard could be an option.

Good progress has been made in identifying how much of each country’s waters remain to be mapped with multibeam surveys. Initial estimates are that 82% of Norway’s, 75% of UK’s and 18% of Ireland. It was pointed out that the Irish strategy of mapping the deep waters first had been a good strategic decision. Mapping coastal waters will take much longer.  It would be useful to know how much of the survey data was from public bodies and how much from private companies.

It was suggested that the next phase could deliver a digital terrain model of higher resolution although there were no conclusions as to whether one eighth of a minute of longitude and latitude or 250 metres would be more useful.

Another inconclusive discussion was whether to aim for uniform resolution everywhere or to deliver higher resolution digital terrain models where possible. There is a particular need to provide higher resolution near the coast.

Geology

The geology portal is totally compatible with INSPIRE. It is feasible for the next phase to be delivered at 1:250,000 resolution. It would also be possible to allow the user to choose different classification schemes for sediments rather than only the Folk one.

Again there was some discussion of the special needs in coastal areas, the need to incorporate morphological descriptions and time-dependent data. Geological parameters do not only change on geological timescales. The EU MICORE project might be source of information about the data needs for coastal protection.

Physics

The thematic assembly group for physics have been basing their effort on work done in MyOcean for near-real-time and SeaDataNet for archived data. Regional Ocean Observing systems are collaborating. The need to ensure interoperability between EMODnet, SeaDataNet and GMES had benefitted all initiatives by identifying issues of standardisation and signing in. Solutions have been developed through workshops in Tallin, Rome and Istanbul. MODEG remarked that data from the two streams should be indistinguishable and that registration formalities should be reduced. Data from Argo floats are not included but should be next time.

The Commission had asked whether it would be possible to estimate sea-level rise trends using the data. Not at this stage was the reply. This will require careful calibration between tide gauges and satellite measurements. The urgency in setting up a proper system for archiving data was emphasised. Historical records of sea level in the Netherlands have been lost.

Chemistry

The next meeting of MODEG is planned for 19-20 June 2012. The final stages of the chemistry project have focused on finalizing the product generation and validation. To manage the complexity and heterogeneity of the source data the activity was focused on the splitting of data in homogeneous subsets to generate then suitable products: Diva interpolated maps and Time series plots. Due to the complexity and sensibility of data managed, the group decided to avoid an "on the fly" generation of products from raw data. So products are pre-prepared and then validated. Other activities were related to the upgrade of the web core services suggested by MODEG advisory group as the Ocean Browser viewing service and Sextant products metadata catalogue. The statistics presented at the last progress meeting were quantitative and not qualitative, so were unable to identify the different classes of users but highlighted only the usage of the infrastructure.

The Chemistry group received comments about the scarcity of heavy metals data in sediments in the North Sea area. Other heavy metals data on sediment matrix may be found deepening the liaison with the geology group on this issue.

Users are interested in primary production but this is not a direct measurement. Radioactive carbon (C14) can be used as a proxy to be considered for the next phase.

Biology

More effort is going into quality control and converting heterogeneous samples to probability of occurrence. There is also some emphasis on linking with other ongoing activities. As well as the EurOBIS database, the biology group are developing an interface to the European Seabirds at Sea database. Links with HELCOM's information system are being explored.

Habitats

The habitats map, EUSeamap, is one of the most spectacular EMOdnet products. It is already being used for the initial assessment of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.  We are moving towards  a multi-resolution system The mapping needs to be aligned with UKSeamap and ongoing French efforts with a 100 metre resolution. It is useful for researchers to be able to see the original data on which the classification had been made.  The group said that they need to obtain better information on oxygen level and ice cover.

Those present at the meeting had plenty of ideas for future development; easy to suggest – harder to implement. These included extension to the Canaries and the Black Sea, identification of geomorphological features such as shelf breaks, addition of a higher "level 5" including biological types and variation of habitats overtime.

Proposal for EMODnet portal

The Flemish government has sent a proposal to the Commissioner for Maritime Affairs, develop a portal giving access to all the thematic portals. The Commission is considering it.