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Energy, Climate change, Environment

Contaminants

The survival of marine ecosystems and human health are threatened by heavy metals, pesticides, hydrocarbons and other pollutants coming from human activities on land and in the sea.

The EMODnet Chemistry portal provides free and open access to highly heterogeneous data on contaminants in seawater, sediment, and biota matrices from all EU marine basins.

Currently, more than 198,000 records and CDI metadata are stored in the data infrastructure. The number of records per group of variables is shown in the table below (updated to 30 June, 2022).

Group of variable No of records
Antifoulants 5413
Hydrocarbons 76019
Heavy metals 56819
Polychlorinated biphenyls 21699
Pesticides and biocides 34941
Radionuclides 3129

The Measurement data, as delivered by the originators, are accessible through the CDI data discovery and access service:

The Service provides relevant metadata, including the identifier, data originator, and data holding centre for all datasets. Depending on the specific sharing policy (public, restricted, or moratorium) applied by the originator, data can be downloaded after user registration and a shopping request.

Data collections of standardised, harmonised, and validated datasets are available for six sea regions, as shown in the figures below.

Contaminants data collections
EMODnet Chemistry - Contaminants data collections in the Arctic
Contaminants data collections in the Arctic - DOI: 10.6092/bz0y-na72
EMODnet Chemistry - Contaminants data collections in the Atlantic
Contaminants data collections in the Atlantic - DOI: 10.6092/byac-h177
EMODnet Chemistry - Contaminants data collections in the Baltic
Contaminants data collections in the Baltic - DOI: 10.6092/28y3-th08
EMODnet Chemistry - Contaminants data collections in the Black Sea
Contaminants data collections in the Black Sea - DOI: 10.6092/jbge-hy83
EMODnet Chemistry - Contaminants data collections in the Mediterranean Sea
Contaminants data collections in the Mediterranean Sea - DOI: 10.6092/vyvd-0g91
EMODnet Chemistry - Contaminants data collections in the North Sea
Contaminants data collections in the North Sea - DOI: 10.6092/42t8-zy38

The data collection of each region is accessible through a digital object identifier. The aggregated data are available in the ODV csv spreadsheet format, which can be easily handled and visualised with the ODV Software. ODV harmonises to preferred units, splits P01 terms in subcomponents (e.g. substance, matrix relationship, biological entity), and transposes the data matrix into an ODV format with multiple rows.

All datasets have been subjected to a stepwise aggregation process. First, they were processed and validated using the ODV tools. Second, a data harmonisation and quality assessment was carried out for each region. The entire process is detailed in the guidelines.

Data collections are used to i) generate contaminant maps, which display the spatial distributions of sampling stations for seawater, sediment, and biota, and ii) perform a quality data evaluation according to the requirements of the MSFD and the EQSD. The maps are available for the following substances: anthracene, benzo[A]pyrene, fluoranthene, hexachlorobenzene, naphthalene, DDT, lead, mercury, cadmium, and tributyltin.

The following information can be visualised:

  • Data below and above the limit of quantification (LOQ) (e.g. cadmium in the figure below);
  • Data with an LOQ above or below 30 percent of the EQSD threshold values;
  • Sampled matrix.

Data products are accessible on the Central Portal through the Map viewer service and the Catalogue service, where users can also retrieve the full set of metadata, originators, and distributors.

For contaminants, eutrophication, and ocean acidification, the webODV Data Explorer and Extractor tool allows users to easily create different types of graphics and products for visualising data distributions along a ship track, on constant depth surfaces, and along the track of drifting profiling floats.

A clear and concise explanation of this ODV online tool is given in a dedicated Video tutorial and the User Manual.

The products can be freely used for non-commercial and educational purposes. However, the data in the maps have been homogenised and filtered to allow comparisons between countries. Therefore, EMODnet Chemistry’s visualisation products may not be comparable to source data accessible through other platforms.

The products can be freely used for non-commercial and educational purposes. However, the data in the maps have been homogenised and filtered to allow comparisons between countries. Therefore, EMODnet Chemistry’s visualisation products may not be comparable to source data accessible through other platforms.