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European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet)

EMODnet Chemistry 2022 highlights expanded quantity and quality of marine data: a great value for marine strategies and more

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1. Centralisation

2022 was the main centralisation year, carried out in synergy by the seven EMODnet themes: Bathymetry, Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Human Activities, Physics and Seafloor Habitats. The migration of the thematic portals to the single EMODnet portal under the European Commission domain makes EMODnet more coherent, effective, efficient, integrated and fit for purpose and promotes its use by industry, policy makers and scientific data users. The new EMODnet Central Portal was launched in January 2023 and provides continuous, open and free access to our data and information services with unique new features. By providing a Centralised EMODnet service, we aim to help you optimise your research and work. You can see our new unified content, document search facilities and services, such as the map viewer and products catalogue, via the new section dedicated to EMODnet Chemistry at

2. Expanded quantity, quality and user-friendliness of data and products 

  • The number of datasets in the EMODnet Chemistry CDI Data Discovery and Access Service, which allows users to search, select and download datasets on a wide range of water quality variables, has steadily increased.  The entries have grown from about 1,109,000 to about 1,190,000; of these, about 1,000,000 are for European seas. These data sets have been brought together from 66 data providers from 32 countries, while 36 data providers have contributed to the latest yearly increase. For example, floating micro-litter surveys have increased from 357 to 1,620 and almost doubled the number of surveys for micro-litter in sediment.
  • Extensive review and enrichment of metadata and data quality were undertaken to strengthen interoperability with the European Environment Agency (EEA), Copernicus Marine Service (CMEMS), and the EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) Technical Groups on Contaminants and Marine Litter. For example, the CDI service was expanded to include a search function for the SeaDataNet metadata catalogues European Directory of Marine Environmental Research Projects  and European Directory of Marine Environmental Data Sets 
  • An in-depth analysis of the data validation has been carried out to highlight the errors made by data providers when making data available and to address them in a timely manner. EMODnet Chemistry also took action to revise and enrich information on sampling, data analysis methods and validation procedures for contaminants in seawater, sediment and biota. To this end, a new questionnaire was sent to the network of laboratories that provide data to EMODnet Chemistry in order to improve and update the available information.
  • EMODnet Chemistry produced harmonised, standardised and validated data collections for eutrophication (nutrients, chlorophyll and oxygen), ocean acidification (alkalinity and pH) and contaminants (Heavy metals, Hydrocarbons, Antifoulants, Polychlorinated biphenyls, Pesticides & biocides, and Radionuclides) based on measurements collected by the CDI Service in early July 2022.
  • These data collections also form the basis for creating interpolated maps of the distribution of selected eutrophication parameters on a regular grid with different temporal and spatial resolution. Following requests from several technical working groups (e.g. CMEMS, EEA, and MSFD) for more data on river inflow, EMODnet Physics and EMODnet Chemistry have been working together to release a set of more comprehensive proxy river discharge products that progressively include freshwater runoff, total suspended solids runoff and chemical (nitrogen and phosphorus) runoff. In 2022, the ‘ List of major rivers with identified data sources  ’ presented a selection of the most important rivers together with a detailed inventory of existing geoportals, databases, projects and publications on freshwater and riverine inputs to the sea.
  • As for user-friendliness, the Python data formatting tool Marine Litter Manager has been released to help users submit litter data from beaches and seabeds. Find more information on EMODnet Chemistry tools here. Moreover, the webODV Data Explorer and Extractor - webODV's online service that provides easy options to browse, subset, export and analyse datasets from the EMODnet Chemistry data collections - has been further improved. For example, the functions GetCapabilities and GetMap functionalities have been implemented to provide maps created in webODV using the OGC WMS - WFS service protocol. 

3. Increased use of EMODnet Chemistry data, products and services

  • Most EMODnet Chemistry data products are published on the UN Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML) digital platform, which integrates and makes accessible  up-to-date and validated data and information to support efforts to implement the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Established in 2020, the GPML is a multi-stakeholder coalition of global actors playing a key role in tackling marine litter pollution, mainly plastics. Read the use case.
  • Under the Memorandum of Understanding signed between EMODnet Chemistry and the Copernicus Marine Service's In Situ Thematic Assembly Centre (INSTAC), the 2018 version of the EMODnet Chemistry data collections for eutrophication and ocean acidification has been integrated in the INSTAC's biogeochemical product service. INSTAC ensures a continuous supply of in situ ocean measurements to other service components and external users. Read the use case.
  • EMODnet Chemistry has ingested, harmonised and validated marine litter data collected by all signatories to the Helsinki Convention. The data range from 2016 to 2021 and come from 141 beaches in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Russia. This follows the agreement between the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area (HELCOM) and EMODnet Chemistry, which stipulated that EMODnet Chemistry is the web-based platform for managing Baltic Sea data on beach litter for the third holistic assessment report 'State of the Baltic Sea'. In this way, EMODnet Chemistry has helped to transform inhomogeneous datasets from different sources into an open, high-quality source of information.  Read the use case.

4. Strengthened cooperation at European and global level

  • The EC Joint Research Centre and the MSFD expert groups on contaminants and marine litter have confirmed EMODnet Chemistry as the manager of data from the MSFD monitoring programme for this pollution source.
  • EURO-ARGO ERIC  and EMODnet Chemistry have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The EMODnet Chemistry Consortium has agreed to share and coordinate activities to maximise and facilitate the use and exchange of existing and new types of Argo data with corresponding metadata through EMODnet. This collaboration will enhance EMODnet Chemistry's biogeochemical products and support for the MSFD and carbon monitoring. Regarding the Regional Sea Conventions, EMODnet Chemistry has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UNEP to facilitate cooperation between the parties. In order to provide an additional data source for the Quality Status Report 2023, EMODnet Chemistry has also participated in the meetings of the Ecosystem Approach Correspondence Group on Monitoring (CORMON) on Pollution, Marine Litter and on Coast and Hydrography. Close cooperation was maintained with OSPAR on the collection, harmonisation and validation of beach litter datasets. Finally, the Consortium received an invitation to speak at the OSPAR intersessional Correspondence Group on Eutrophication, which will take place from 30 January to 1 February 2023. The fruitful cooperation with HELCOM has already been described above.
  • ICES Working Groups on Marine Litter have confirmed the importance of EMODnet Chemistry's expertise in the field of seafloor marine litter and microplastic data assessment and quality assurance.
  • EMODnet Chemistry’s involvement in Horizon Europe (HE) projects related to the Blue-Cloud Data Discovery and Access Service - the European thematic marine platform of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) - was significantly increased. In 2022, two other projects of HE, namely iMagine  and FAIR-EASE  also required EMODnet Chemistry expertise. 
  • EMODnet Chemistry participated in the activities and regular meetings of expert groups working on the implementation of global data platforms in support of the ocean-related goals of the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In particular, interactions continued with the GPML Platform and with the Data Harmonization Community of Practice. EMODnet Chemistry actively participates in the federated system addressing the Sustainable Development Goal focused on ocean acidification (SDG 14.1) and in the specific working groups on metadata and vocabularies. Data sharing was discussed in the Ocean Decade Action 'SciNMeet - The Mediterranean Sea We Need for the Future We Want - Regional Programme'. 

5. Published 5 scientific papers and 4 guidelines 

  1. Journal of Environmental Protection and Ecology:Numerical modelling of marine litter distribution in georgian coastal waters of the Black Sea 
  2. Frontiers in Marine Science:Spatiotemporal Variability of Microplastics in the Eastern Baltic Sea 
  3. Biogeosciences Discussions (EGU):Subsurface oxygen maximum in oligotrophic marine ecosystems: mapping the interaction between physical and biogeochemical processes 
  4. Marine Pollution Bulletin:Trace metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean sediments: concentration ranges as a tool for quality control of large data collections 
  5. ELSEVIER book Oceanography of the Mediterranean Sea : chapter 10  “Mediterranean observing and forecasting systems”, paragraphs on EMODNET portals.

    1.Guidelines and forms for gathering marine litter data: beach and seafloor trawlings, V7. 
    2. List of major rivers with identified data source, V2.  3. Updated guidelines for SeaDataNet ODV production. Eutrophication & Contaminants, V 10/01/2022.  4.Marine Litter Manager manual  


Are you ready for a challenging new year? We are.

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