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Data on temperature, salinity and currents in the water column, sea level trends, wave height and period, wind speed and direction, water turbidity (light attenuation), underwater noise, river flow, and sea-ice coverage.

EMODnet-Physics provides a single point of access to in situ ocean physics data, data products and metadata built with common standards, free of charge and no restrictions.
The available parameters cover temperature, salinity and currents profiles, sea level trends, wave height and period, wind speed and direction, water turbidity (light attenuation), underwater noise, river flow, and sea-ice coverage.


EMODnet Physics has successfully designed, organised and is running operational services providing ocean physics data and data products built with common standards, free of charge and of restrictions.

Available parameters cover temperature, salinity and currents profiles, sea level trends, wave height and period, wind speed and direction, water turbidity (light attenuation), underwater noise, river flow, and sea-ice coverage.

In situ data recorded by fixed platforms (moorings, tide gauges, HF radars, etc.), moving platforms (ARGO, Lagrangian buoys, ferryboxes, etc.) and repeated observations (CTDs, etc.) are available. Data products are collections of in-situ data, reanalysis and trends of parameters, space and time aggregated in situ data and model outputs.


EMODnet Physics originates from the advances made by the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) community - and in particular the European component (EuroGOOS) - in the development of physical operational oceanography capabilities. The consortium represents a strong cooperation between Copernicus Marine Service (CMS) In Situ Thematic Assembly Centre (INS TAC), SeaDataNet network of National Oceanographic Data Centers (NODCs), International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), and Joint Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology in situ Observations Programme Support centre (OceanOPS).


Data from key European oceanographic repositories and marine infrastructures (EuroGOOS, CMC INSTAC, SeaDataNet NODCs) are integrated with other available data sources such as the ICES database, PANGAEA repository, the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level, the SONEL - GNSS data assembly centre for the Global Sea Level, the Global Sea Level Observing Service, European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water column Observatory (EMSO), etc. to provide the most comprehensive ocean physics catalogue.

Datasets are provided with metadata and are downloadable in multiple data formats (netcdf, csv, txt, etc.).

On top of this federated data management system, EMODnet Physics develops aggregated data products and interoperability services to facilitate machine-to-machine interaction.

Thanks to international collaborative relationships on data harmonization and data sharing EMODnet Physics catalogues are going beyond European borders to offer an exhaustive entry point to global-ocean physical observations covering from Arctic Ocean (International Arctic Buoy Programme - IABP) to South Ocean Observing System (SOOS), to Deep Ocean Observing System (DOOS), to Global Oceans (ARGO, GO-SHIP, etc).

The EMODnet Physics mapviewer lets the user discover and access data per theme, platform, recording age, depth, provider and area. For each dataset/platform, a dedicated platform page is available. These pages provide the user with metadata, plots, download features, platform products – e.g. monthly averages, transects etc. – together with additional information and links, as well as statistics on the use of the data from that particular platform. Data quality information is available in connection with datasets, as well as the possibility to explore available machine-to-machine services.


Temperature and Salinity in the water column

Temperature, in the water column, is a vital component of the climate system and its variability. Salinity observations contribute to monitoring the global water cycle, ocean density and mass, etc. These in situ data provide important input to many ocean models, to validate and calibrate remote sensing observations and to understand the ocean’s role in the global climate system.

In situ observation available in EMODnet Physics are taken from a variety of catalogues both European (SeaDataNet, CMS, ICES DB, etc.) and International (MEOP, SOOS, DOOS, IOOS etc.) linking platforms with a large range of spatial and temporal scales.

EMODnet Physics data collection includes: moorings offering very high temporal resolution at specific locations, but with spatial resolution limited by density of the array; gliders and tagged animals that achieve much higher spatial resolution depending on endurance and other instrument characteristics; profiling floats (ARGO) delivering temperature profiles (normally 0-2.000 m); casts along the tracks of research voyages of ship-based Conductivity-Temperature-Depth (CTD) observations providing full depth temperature observations; surface loads and ferrybox repeated transects providing high-resolution sea surface temperature datasets.

EMODnet Physics is also integrating partners’ gridded products such as the CORA (Coriolis Ocean Dataset for Reanalysis) – developed by IFREMER for the Copernicus Marine Service, SeaDataNet DIVA based regional climatology products - developed by SeaDataNet partners, and High resolution sub-regional DIVA based climatology products (e.g. North Adriatic – developed by INGV).

EMODnet Physics is also offering a SMOS Sea Surface Salinity product developed by the Barcelona Expert Center – CISC for EMODnet.

Sea Surface Currents

Ocean surface general circulation is responsible for significant surface transport of heat, salt, passive tracers and ocean pollutants. The existing surface current observing systems (moorings, Lagrangian drifters) capture much of this range.

EMODnet Physics is combining these observations together with land-based High frequency (HF) radar observations that offer a high-resolution tool (with limited spatial coverage) for improved understanding of surface currents, eddies and air-sea fluxes, and exchange between coastal waters and the open ocean. The EMODnet Physics HFR catalogue (about 150 antennas) groups the European HFR node observation capacity (EuroGOOS - HFR task team ) with global sources to provide the user with one of the most exhaustive sources of HF Radar observations in the world.

Based on this catalogue, EMODnet Physics is delivering an operational product of surface currents direction and intensity.

Sea Level

Sea level or “sea surface height” is considered an Essential Ocean Variable by the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). Sea level measurements along coasts have been made since the XIX century by means of tide gauges. Today, tide gauges are still a key method to observe trends in mean sea level, assess extreme events, make tidal predictions and geodetic applications, support harbour operations and navigation. Tide gauge measurements play an increasingly important role in new warning systems for tsunamis and storm surges. Coastal inundation and storm surges can cause significant flood events and consequent destruction of property and infrastructure at the coast. Sea level is probably the single most important Essential Climate Variable (ECV), considering that its evolution over the next few decades is predicted to cause trouble to millions of people, especially in vulnerable areas.

EMODnet Physics Sea Level provision includes more than 400 European tide gauge stations (EuroGOOS - Tide Gauge task team ), around 290 stations in the Global Sea Level Observing Systems (GLOSS) core network, more than 1,300 stations of the Permanent Services for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) and about 90 stations of the JRC-TAD tsunami array devices. Based on the PSMSL collection, EMODnet Physics makes available relative sea level trend product and a sea level anomalies product. In the PSMSL product, the mean sea level (MSL) trends measured by tide gauges are local relative MSL trends as opposed to the global sea level trend. These trends are not corrected for land movement. Tide gauge stations measure local sea level, which refers to the height of the water as measured along the coast relative to a specific point on land. The absolute seal level is processed by using the geodetic data from the GNSS stations (SONEL). SONEL serves as the GNSS data assembly centre for the Global Sea Level Observing System (GLOSS), which is developed under the auspices of the IOC/UNESCO. It works closely with the PSMSL and the University of Hawaii Sea Level Centre (UHSLC) by developing an integrated global observing system, linking both the tide gauge and the GNSS databases for a comprehensive service to the scientific community. Based on the SONEL product, EMODnet Physics offers absolute sea level trend product available.

EMODnet Physics also includes gridded and reanalysis products developed by CMCC for EMODnet Physics.

Wave (height and period) - Sea State and Wind (speed and direction)

Sea State is the characterisation of wave and swell, typically in terms of height, wavelength, period, and directional wave energy flux. Although it is well known that sea state strongly impacts on marine safety, marine transport and damage to structures, the availability of in situ wave and wind observations is still very limited.

These data are accessible in EMODnet Physics, integrating several data sources (Data Buoy Cooperation Panel, OceanSITES, EuroGOOS regional observations in Europe, etc.) into one single catalogue. Operational data are aggregated into a synoptic dynamic view.

River Runoff Data

River runoffs exert a strong influence in their neighboring coastal area in several ways, modifying water stratification, introducing significant fluctuations in circulation patterns and modulating the impact of upwelling events. In the current context of a global decline of hydrometric networks, uncertainties include the river runoff reaching the coast and most of the water properties as temperature, salinity, etc. For this reason, river climatologies are generally imposed in the land boundaries of coastal or regional ocean models, ignoring river variability in flow and other associated properties. The main weakness of river climatologies is their incapacity to include the inter-annual variability, compared to watershed model applications that agree with the main river flow trends. On the other hand, watershed models tend to overestimate river flows, especially during dry seasons.

EMODnet Physics developed and provides access to hundreds of European operational in situ river runoff data: River runoff product . This EMODnet Physics River runoff operational node is maintained by CoLabAtlantic+

Water Clarity (Light Attenuation)

Light attenuation is an important parameter for determining the photic zone, which is the zone with sufficient light for photosynthesis and thus relevant for total primary production as well as the distribution between pelagic and benthic primary production. Besides working on the in-situ data collection of water clarity data (making available a DB of parameters such as turbidity), EMODnet Physics offers a Total Suspended Matter (TSM) product.

The TSM (unit: % of suspended particles, not dissolved) is a gridded product based on the CoastColour L2W Concentrations Data, obtained from the OC4 algorithm for clear and moderate turbid waters, and from the CoastColour v1 neural network. The L2W product is then remapped on a regular grid, maintaining 300m full resolution, in order to obtain products over the European sea basins and monthly averaged.

The product, developed by CNR – ISMAR for EMODnet Physics, covers the period 2003 – 2012. Go to the “Total Suspended Matter” product .

Impulsive Noise Events Registry

A regional impulsive noise registry gives support to the Regional Sea Conventions in providing information that will feed regional assessments, and to the reporting by its contracting parties to MSFD descriptor 11.1.1 (Low and mid-frequency impulsive noise).

The data are collated nationally from registers of licensed events such as pile driving, controlled explosions from naval operations and other activities that release energy.

EMODnet Physics integrates and harmonizes the regional registries (HELCOM, OSPAR and Mediterranean – Barcelona Convention) into one single discoverable interface. Each grid block (10’ lat*20’ long) provides the user with information on impulsive events days. HELCOM and OSPAR registries are hosted by ICES and the Mediterranean – Barcelona Convention is hosted by Centro Tecnologico Naval (CTN).

Ice Extent and Ice-type

EMODnet Physics offers datasets on ice extent and ice-type for both the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans. The product is combining the SEAICE_GLO_SEAICE_L4_NRT_OBSERVATIONS_011_001 (developed by SIW-METNO-OSLO-NO for Copernicus Marine Service) together with in situ observations and, only for the Arctic, the Seasonal Ice Extent (million square kms) as computed by the Arctic Regional Ocean Observing System.

The product provides, in operational mode: sea ice concentration, sea ice edge, sea ice type (OSI-401 OSI-402 and OSI-403). These products have daily data starting from 2005 at 10km resolution.