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EMODnet Chemistry Datasets provide high quality harmonised and integrated data to the Copernicus Marine Service Thematic Assembly Centre products

16 Jun 2022

User organisation

Copernicus Marine Service delivers and operates a rigorous, robust and sustainable Ocean Monitoring and Forecasting system to users for all marine applications: maritime safety, marine resources, marine and coastal environment and climate, seasonal and weather forecasting. Within Copernicus Marine Service, the In Situ Thematic Assembly Centre (INSTAC) ensures a steady supply of in situ ocean measurements to other service components and to external users. It is a distributed centre made up of 6 regional centres that work closely with a Global centre in collaboration with the Joint Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology, the SeaDataNet infrastructure and the EMODnet thematic lots.

Challenges faced by the user

INSTAC provides integrated products for a core set of parameters: Temperature, Salinity, Current, Sea Level, Waves, Chlorophyll, Oxygen and Nutrients. These are highly needed to forecast, analyse and re-analyse ocean physical and biogeochemical conditions. Additionally, these parameters are used for satellite validation, research and downstream applications requiring Near Real Time (NRT) data. INSTAC prepares two types of products:

  1. The NRT products are data automatically quality controlled within 24 hours from acquisition; they underpin the activities of Copernicus Monitoring and Forecasting Centers (MFC).
  2. The REProcessed products are integrated data over the past 25 to 50 years built on re-analysed datasets. They are assessed by scientific teams and all suspicious measurements are checked to discriminate sensor anomalies from real ocean signals.

In particular, the in situ BioGeoChemical (BGC) REProcessed product integrates updated quality flags from NRT product after use of updated real-time and delayed mode quality assessment procedures for the most common biogeochemical parameters. This product is designed to be assimilated into or for validation purposes of operational models for ocean forecasting centres or the research community. These users need data aggregated and quality controlled in a reliable and documented manner.

EMODnet services used

In the framework of the MoU signed between EMODnet Chemistry and the INSTAC of Copernicus Marine Service, the version 2018 of the six EMODnet regional quality controlled and aggregated datasets for eutrophication and acidification were integrated in the INSTAC BGC products.

The first step in ensuring optimal use of EMODnet Chemistry products and maintaining maximum information from the data was to understand the data format and the vocabularies connected by both systems. Useful information for data distribution through INSTAC is the platform name and the instrument type whereas EMODnet Chemistry sorts data by cruise name. Thus, several mappings were necessary to relate EMODnet and INSTAC conventions.

Furthermore, INSTAC assembles data from various sources. This meant that duplicate detection was a significant part of the work. As a result, around 379.000 vertical profiles from EMODnet Chemistry are available in the in situ BioGeoChemical NRT and REProcessed products.

Impact of EMODnet

As a first step, only vertical profiles from version 2018 of EMODnet Chemistry datasets were integrated. The next step is to process the version 2021 of the EMODnet Chemistry time series files for inclusion in INSTAC products as well. At the same time the vertical profiles will be updated including the latest data sets. Moreover, the EMODnet Chemistry aggregated and validated data sets for ocean acidification will be used to complement the CMEMS-INSTAC Carbon product. Finally, as the ingestion of EMODnet data has increased coastal data, INSTAC intends to refine its control soon.


EMODnet Chemistry vertical profiles (version 2018) ingested in the In Situ TAC product of the Copernicus Marine Service.
EMODnet Chemistry vertical profiles (version 2018) ingested in the In Situ TAC product of the Copernicus Marine Service.

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