Maritime Forum

Summary of nineteenth meeting of Marine Observation and Data Expert Group (MODEG)

Event date:
04/07/2013 - 08:30
Table of Contents

     

    David

    Connor

    DG-ENV

    Jean-Marie

    Beckers

    MODEG

    Jean

    Dusart

    DG-JRC

    Sükrü

    Besiktepe

    MODEG

    Natalie

    Hockham

    DG-MARE

    Frédérique

    Blanc

    MODEG

    Iain

    Shepherd

    DG-MARE

    Antonio

    Bode

    MODEG

    Alessandra

    Giorgetti

    EMODnet chemistry

    Jean-François

    Bourillet

    MODEG

    Matteo

    Vinci

    EMODnet chemistry

    Erik

    Buch

    MODEG

    Alan

    Stevenson

    EMODnet geology

    Peter

    Burkill

    MODEG

    Mickaël

    Vasquez 

    EMODnet habitats

    Simon

    Claus

    MODEG

    Wil

    Adnams

    EMODnet human activity

    Franciscus

    Colijn

    MODEG

    Luigi

    Falco

    EMODnet human activity

    Hans

    Dahlin

    MODEG

    Alessandro

    Pititto

    EMODnet human activity

    Juliusz

    Gajewski

    MODEG

    Symon

    Porteous

    EMODnet human activity

    Robert

    Gatliff

    MODEG

    Anca

    Sfetcovici

    EMODnet human activity

    Neil

    Holdsworth

    MODEG

    Patrick

    Norringe

    EMODnet physics

    David

    Mills

    MODEG

    Antonio

    Novellino

    EMODnet physics

    Glenn

    Nolan

    MODEG

    Francisco

    Souza Diaz

    EMODnet portal

    Lesley

    Rickards

    MODEG

    Trine

    Christiansen

    European Environment Agency

    Dick

    Schaap

    MODEG

    Constanca

    Belchior

    European Environment Agency

    Angela

    Schäfer

    MODEG

    Nadia

    Pinardi

    Mediterranean

    Stefania

    Sparnocchia

    MODEG

    Marie

    Pendle

    North Sea

    Terje

    Thorsnes

    MODEG

    Willem

    Stolte

    DELTARES

    Henry

    Vallius

    MODEG

    Serge

    Scory

    DIKE

    Christopher

    Zimmerman

    MODEG

    Data, Information and Knowledge Exchange meeting

    This session was intended to clarify existing working arrangements, and a model for incorporating new ways of working towards 2018 reporting in a more regional setting.  This model places indicators as the key to development of relevant data collection and monitoring programmes and demands a package of information in support of these main descriptors within regional seas. The following 4 presentations centre around; how are things working today, what came out of the 2012 art 19.3 reporting, what can we take from INSPIRE, and a model for organising working arrangements that also allows us to understand the roles of EMODnet and Copernicus

    meeting documents

    EMODnet phase 2

    Lot 1 bathymetry

    The first phase of the EMODnet bathymetry project is almost complete. A digital terrain model at ¼' of longitude and latitude has been available for a major part of the European seas since mid 2011 and regularly maintained. The partnership estimated the percentage of European seas that has been surveyed and the cost of completing the coverage. The half a billion euro estimate does not cover the Baltic, Black Sea and Norwegian Sea which were not included in the specifications for the project.

    The new digital terrain model (DTM) is considerably improved compared to the International Hydrographic Organisation's GEBCO. MODEG pointed out that there seem to be several errors near the Turkish coast, which will be analysed. Gaining access to more survey data from Turkey would be helpful. GEBCO is now officially a partner in the EMODnet Bathymetry project. This will benefit both EMODnet and GEBCO. The EMODnet bathymetry digital terrain model in GEBCO as the European contribution.

    In the coming month, a second phase of the project will start officially. Recently already a kick-off meeting has taken place with an enlarged consortium involving new partners. Many of these are hydrographic offices. This will deliver a digital terrain model of all European seas at a resolution of ⅛' which is about 250 metres. The inclusion of new data from the Portuguese IPMA and EMEPC will have a considerable impact on the Atlantic coverage. Lessons learned in the first phase will feed into the project. For instance more efforts will be made to avoid discontinuities at boundaries between composite DTMs by using a common reference level in the North Sea. Major challenges are the new sea regions, such as the  Baltic and Black Sea. For the Baltic. The partnership aim to engage with on-going initiatives such as the MonaLisa project which is mapping shipping lanes in the Baltic and the Baltic Sea Hydrographic Commission (BSHC) which is also developing a DTM for the Baltic with a gridsize of 500 meters. For the Black Sea limited data sets are available. More hydrographic agencies are involved in the second phase but the Commission feels that  more formal arrangement with the International Hydrographic Organisation could be envisaged.

    presentation

    Lot 2 geology

    The second phase of the geological effort likewise includes an increase in coverage, an increase in resolution – from 1:1 million to 1:250,000 – and an increase in the number of parameters. The 26 partners from 30 different countries will begin work as soon as the bureaucratic formalities have been completed.

    presentation

    Lot 3 physical habitats

    A physical habitat is one that indicates what habitats could be supported based on parameters such as sediment type, light penetration and water depth. It does not take into account the marine life present.  The main strength of this project is the use of a standard classification that can be used in all sea basins. It builds not only on work begun under the first phase of EMODnet covering the Baltic, North Sea, Celtic Seas and Western Mediterranean but also on a project funded under the EU’s regional cooperation programme that developed a map of the eastern Atlantic. This showed that the concept worked. Like the other projects, the second phase will aim to cover all European waters, using higher resolution where the underlying data allows it. The project team also aim to refine the classification and to correlate it with information on the biological communities although they accept that data are only available to do this in a very limited number of sites.

    presentation

    Lot 4 chemistry

    Experience gained in building the first chemistry portal for EMODnet has fed into the second phase. As well as access the raw data, two particular data products will be offered to users to highlight the features of the source data harvested.
    The first kind of data products is represented by contour or gridded map layers using interpolated values between measurements. This will allow statistics to be developed over large stretches of water.  Unfoirtunately only a limited number of parameters are sufficiently uniform in time or space to allow this (eg: fertilisers). For other data such as coastal measurements which are uneven in overage but that are repeated, time series plots will be offered. Both products are handled by the online viewing service developed following OGC standards.

    This thematic assembly group will focus on the compliancy to the INSPIRE directive thanks to the adoption of the infrastructure developed in the framework of the SeaDataNet project and its adaptation to specific project needs.This Lot aims to contribute towards the reporting and the production of indicators for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and indeed a specific work package is dedicated to exploring how this can be done.

    A large proportion of the data offered has been collected by research institutes but during the project, efforts will be made to connect to monitoring programmes run by environmental protection agencies – including making them available in real-time.

    presentation

    Lot 5 biology

    The portal developed in the first phase of EMODnet built connections between existing data centres and incorporated new data, primarily into the EurOBIS database. The team have taken care to assure compatibility with global efforts such as the UNESCO-IOC International Oceanographic Data Exchange. More partners are now involved and the new portal will include new functionalities such as map layers of species distribution.

    MODEG wondered whether invasive species could be highlighted – possibly through links to the Commission’s Joint Research Centre or through the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research. There is also increasing interest in monitoring and mapping those bacteria and viruses that could be a hazard to human or marine life. This might need to wait for the next phase or EMODnet. DG-MARE said that it is an objective to include fisheries data within the EMODnet orbit and studies were underway to see how this could be done.

    presentation

    Lot 6 physics

    The EMODnet Physics portal harvests and harmonises both near real time data from EuroGOOS regional ocean observation systems in cooperation with the Copernicus MyOcean project and long term archives from the SeaDataNet partners. During the first phase of EMODnet, the team developing the physics portal had succeeded in dramatically increasing the number of monitoring stations offering data in near real time. Météo-France and others are already harvesting wave data from EMODnet through machine-machine connections. However, not all fixed stations and ferryboxes are providing near-real time data to EMODnet and their archives are still invisible. There are significant gaps round Malta, Cyprus and parts of Italy  and there may also well be measurements made by research institutes that we are unaware of.

    In the second phase, efforts will be made to fill these temporal and spatial gaps.and fue to bridge the gap between the operational oceanography community who contribute to such initiative as MyOcean, EuroGOOS and JERICO and those focusing on long-term archives through systems such as SeaDataNet, Work will include quality control, standardisation of metadata, unique identifiers for monitoring stations, more efficient data dissemination and the development of data streams from platforms such as Argo floats and autonomous gliders There are still different signing on procedures for near real-time and archived data, but work is also underway for rationalising this.

    presentation

    Lot 7 human activities

    There was no first phase of “human activity”.  The project that will start shortly will be the first one to deal with this issue. The outcome is keenly awaited by those involved in marine spatial planning and the Marine Strategy Framework  Directive. In both cases the whereabouts and intensity of human activity on the sea is needed.   The team outlined their basic approach: making the most from what is already available; seeking as much as possible single sources of data at EU-level that are publicly available and that can guarantee some continuity of supply.

    There was some discussion about whether disclosing the location of pipelines would encourage underwater terrorists. An alternative could be to indicate the presence of pipelines on a grid.

    presentation

    EMODnet entry portal

    All users of EMODnet have asked for a common portal and one is now being constructed. The aim is to provide an entry point delivering access to data, metadata and data products held by EMODnet thematic sites. The website will contain detailed information and links to the different thematic portals and will give an overview of the European Marine Observation and Data Network, and its partner institutes. It will also make use of social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) to announce news and disseminate information. It will embed the Central EMODnet Portal and will be available from http://www.emodnet.eu. All web statistics will be monitored. It should also provide an entry to information on the sea basin checkpoints.

    The coordinators of the thematic projects provided feedback on the draft proposal by VLIZ.

    The Central Portal must allow visitors a good overview of the data products that are produced and maintained by the different thematic lots. The thematic portals have different architectures, depending on the associated communities of data providers in order to provide discipline-specific functionalities. All thematic portals offer data layers through web mapping services (WMS) but intend to maintain their own IT infrastructure.

    It was agreed that the Central Portal should encourage users to go to the thematic portals for specific discipline analyses but also show examples of the opportunities for combining thematic outputs for multidisciplinary analyses. The Portal Steering Committee could identify a number of specific use cases, also together with the new Basin Checkpoints, and analyse and assess the specific IT solutions required per thematic portal to support these integrated use cases. So the Central portal must be equipped with use case examples, but

    The Commission indicated that the precise functioning of the portal will need to be agreed by the partners of the thematic portals, which is arranged by means of a Steering Committee with thematic coordinators as members. A secretariat for EMODnet, based in Ostend, will shortly be announced. A first priority will be to ensure this communication between the developers of the EMODnet portals. They will also define indicators to monitor usage and progress.

    presentation

    EMODnet phase 3

    Now that the second phase of EMODnet is underway, the Commission has begun preparing the third phase. Based on the outcome of the Green Paper public consultation, an impact assessment will assess options for achieving five operational objectives – (1) providing a more effective process for helping Member States fix priorities for surveying, observation and data processing (2)  improving coordination between the different EU instruments concerned with marine knowledge – primarily EMODnet, Copernicus, the Data Collection Framework for fisheries and their supporting IT architecture (3) ensuring better involvement of the private sector.

    presentation

    European Atlas of the Seas

    The European Atlas of the Seas provides information on EU policies towards the sea with on-line map layers generated through an intuitive fast interface. The Atlas can give increased visibility to EMODnet products – particularly towards those users who are not professionally involved in marine data management. It should allow maps of useful parameters to be generated for direct insertion in reports or presentations. The Commission's Joint Research Centre has just taken over the running of the system and will continue to follow EMODnet developments closely.

    presentation

    Sea-basin Checkpoints

    Lot 1 North Sea

    The marine knowledge 2020 Green Paper consultation revealed an overwhelming desire for a process that helps Member States and the EU determine how good the data in a particular sea basin are. How well do the data meet the needs of private companies, public bodies, researchers and civil society? Are there gaps? Are there duplications? Can new instruments do better than those we are using now?

    The consortium in charge of a project to answer these questions in the North Sea will undertake a literature survey, see whether the data are sufficient for meeting seven challenges and present the results to a panel of experts. The portal will be maintained live in order to feedback progress and promote dialogue.

    presentation

    Lot 2 Mediterranean

    The Mediterranean team indicated how they intended to tackle the challenges and indicated the expected data sources. A number of EU research projects had examined some of these issues and maximum use would be made of the insights gained there. The North Sea is almost an EU lake whereas  the Mediterranean is not. Ties are stronger between the team and those holding marine data of the eastern waters than those on the southern shore.

    MODEG thought that the oil-spill challenge could have been tougher. The team are asked to provide information on the likely track of an oil spill within 24 hours whereas coastguards need it within minutes.

    presentation

    Next Meeting

    This will be in the second half of October