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Fourth ur-EMODnet progress meeting

Event date:
07/06/2011 - 09:00 to 18:00
Table of Contents

    This was the fourth meeting that gathered the thematic assembly groups working on portals for ur-EMODNET. Those present were Hermanni  Backer MODEG, Vittorio Barale DG-JRC, Jean-Marie  Beckers MODEG, Sükrü Besiktepe MODEG, Frédérique  Blanc MODEG, Antonio Bode MODEG, Jean-François Bourillet MODEG, Andy Cameron JNCC, Simon Claus MODEG, Franciscus Colijn MODEG, David Connor DG-ENV, Hans Dahlin MODEG, Gerben  de Boer MODEG, Raf Deroo DG-MARE, Jean-Noël Druon DG-JRC, Robert  Gatliff MODEG, Neil Holdsworth MODEG, Peter Hunter NOC, Joni Kaitaranta HELCOM, Benoit Loubrifus Ifremer, Giuseppe Manzella ENEA, Gaël Morven SHOM, Cherith  Moses MODEG, Volodymyr Myroshychenko Black Sea Commission, Glenn Nolan MODEG, Antonio Novellino ETT, Elena Partescano OGS, Jacques Populus Ifremer, Lesley Rickards MODEG, Agnès Robin DG-RTD, Dick Schaap MODEG, Angela  Schäfer MODEG, Thierry Schmitt SHOM, Iain Shepherd DG-MARE, Stefania Sparnocchia MODEG, Alan Stevenson BGS, Terje Thorsnes MODEG, Vasilis Valavanis MODEG, Henry  Vallius MODEG, Leen Vandepitte VLIZ, Matteo Vinci OGS, Christopher Zimmerman MODEG (use Google to find the meaning of acronyms).

    In nearly all cases a portal was up and running although the Commission's cybersecurity protection meant that demonstrations did not always go as planned. Most presenters relied on showing screenshots in powerpoint presentations.



    A 450 metre gridded digital terrain model is being produced for the Greater North Sea, the English Channel, the Iberian Coast and Bay of Biscay , the Celtic Seas and all of the Mediterranean, This is approximately twice as fine a resolution as GEBCO which is currently the best public domain product available..

    In response to feedback, the new portal allows easier downloading of data from whole sea-basins and better visualization if data quality and ownership. Descriptions of the main survey used in each grid cell are also available. Visits to the portal are increasing in frequency.

    However UK waters are still problematic. The owners of the data are not releasing surveys or gridded data so the low-resolution GEBCO data is used for this area. MODEG reported that within the UK, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is considering developing its own digital terrain model because the SeaZone product is too expensive for use.

    The European Marine Observation and Data Network digital terrain model is free of usage restrictions and, of course, available to GEBCO. A dialogue is needed to identify how to implement the handover. It was suggested that this could be done in the next MODEG meeting or in the framework of the new agreement between the European Commission and the International Hydrographic Organisation.

    There is a working group preparing specifications for digital terrain models as part of the INSPIRE process. The leader of the working group had been invited to the MODEG meeting but had not replied to the invitation. We may need to react quickly to any draft specifications in order to make sure that they are compatible with EMODnet.

    It was suggested that the EMODnet digital terrain model be called EMODgrid450 or EMG450.

    ((comment after meeting) Giving a name to the grid is a good idea. But I suggest :

    • to use  "bathy", "bath" or "z" rather "grid" because you can put what you want on a grid (numerical value, habitat class, biological abundance,...).    The Emodnet-hydro product is obviously a bathymetric grid.
    • to replace 450 (for 450 m) by 15 because i) the size of the cell is not 450 m but 15 seconds (a quarter of minute)  in Lat or in Lon, ii) the size of     cells in X direction varies from 350 m @ 40°N to 231 m @60°N. So, the grid is obsviously not a grid with fixed cell size.

    Thus, the product's name could be something like EB15" (for EMODNet Bathymetry @ 15") or EZ15" (for EMODNet Z @ 15")




    The work is being done by 14 national geological surveys. Although the group had been admirably quick in producing the first sediment maps, there had been some criticism from reviewers on the slowness with which other parameters were being delivered. The contractors were a little hurt that reviewers considered their portal the worst of the present five portals. They will try to retain the links with OneGeology Europe but deliver a separate entry point for marine users.

    Coastal behaviour is difficult to represent on a one to one million scale so the contractors will provide high resolution samples to show what can be done in the future.

    Minerals data is difficult to assemble because it is not, in general, held by geological surveys.

    It is believed that the standards of EMODnet -geology and OneGeology Europe are compliant with INSPIRE.

    The consortium said they would provide a layer on the source of data



    The contract for EMODnet physics is only six months old but already it is clear that the decision to remain compatible with MyOCean, EuroGOOS and SeaDataNet was wise. Unlike the other portals, EMODnet-physics incorporates near real-time data and covers all European seas.

    The physical parameters may be piped to models so it will be necessary to consider machine to machine interfaces. It is not enough to allow users to click on a map



    The thematic assembly group for chemistry is the largest one in terms of numbers of partners and they have been rather successful in collecting data and metadata. The greatest challenge up to now has been the heterogeneity of the data. The distribution maps are prepared beforehand – not assembled on the fly. The consortium are considering representing exotic parameters with a range and a spike.



    The thematic assembly group for biology has delivered its final report. 20 feedback forms have been received in addition to numerous comments from MODEG. There have been 150 downloads of data.

    In particular the users want to make it easier to find particular groups of species – families, endangered species, alien species etc. Considerable effort has gone into quality control – checking taxonomic names and whether longitude and latitude are reasonable.



    The physical habitats map for the Baltic, North Sea, Celtic Seas and Western Mediterranean is now on-line. A sister project, MESH Atlantic, covering the Bay of Biscay and Iberian Atlantic coast, is being prepared through an INTERREG regional cooperation project

    Further upgrading will be carried out during the maintenance phase including the development of a metadata catalogue using CAMIOON.

    As in all the thematic assembly groups, users wanted higher resolution. Some information had been lost in preparing layers that were appropriate for all European basins.


    HELCOM for the Baltic and the Black Sea Convention secretariats were present at the meeting. It was explained that the lack of coverage of some areas up to now was due to the limited budget. The aim has been to cover all sea-basins with at least one parameter Only physical and chemical parameters are covered in the Black Sea. In the next phase of the project, coverage will be extended to all European waters for most parameters.

    The Conventions felt that they would be more involved. The Commission explained that in the next phase of the projects, sea-basin check points will be set up to assess how good the coverage is. The regional sea conventions will be represented in these.


    see summary of next day's meeting


    Presenters should show:

    1. improvements in portal since last meeting
    2. what feedback they have received
    3. any comments on draft evaluation report from MRAG
    4. timing of deliverables

    5. compliance with INSPIRE


    Welcome and Introduction


    Hydrography 1 and 2

    second interim report



    second interim report







    second interim report





    final report


    Physical Habitats

    final report




    Reaction from Marine Conventions


    Other Reactions