The EMODnet Chemistry portal is operated and further developed by a European partnership. This comprises members of the SeaDataNet consortium together with organisations from marine science, environmental monitoring agencies, regional sea conventions, ICES, EEA, chemical experts, and others. The partners combine expertises and experiences of collecting, processing, and managing of chemistry data together with expertises in distributed data infrastructure development and operation and providing OGC services (WMS, WFS, and WCS) for viewing and distribution.

EMODnet Chemistry is also a thematic EMODnet portal. For more background on EMODnet, see EMODnet Bathymetry.

The main aims of EMODnet Chemistry are:

  • To bring together available chemistry observation data for eutrophication, contaminants and marine litter
  • To produce and maintain validated aggregated and harmonised data collections and interpolated map products for eutrophication, contaminants and marine litter, fit for purpose for support of implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD)
  • To publish and disseminate the EMODnet Chemistry data products widely with metadata, acknowledging used data and their data providers, OGC viewing services, and download services.

Data gathering in EMODnet Chemistry is done in direct communication with data originators to ensure the best sets of measured data and related metadata, and to prevent duplicates. The gathered data are aggregated and validated by MSFD region. Thereby a major challenge is to manage the heterogeneity, complexity, quality and large volume of the gathered datasets and to process these into harmonized data collections. This is solved by using consolidated SeaDataNet standards for vocabularies, QA-QC, and software tools. This activity results in harmonized validated data collections for each MSFD region, concerning eutrophication (MSFD indicator 5) and contaminants(MSFD indicators 8 and 9). These data collections are input for generating further data products, consisting of a series of spatially interpolated maps of eutrophication parameters in time and depth per sea region, and station time series of contaminants parameters. The resulting products are published for users for browsing, interacting and visualizing by means of dedicated viewing services, while metadata of the data products can be retrieved from a products catalogue service. For marine litter (MSFD indicator 10), the focus is on beach litter, seafloor litter and micro plastics. Data for beach litter and sea floor litter are gathered, managed and published by means of two central databases, which are developed and populated by EMODnet Chemistry in cooperation with the MSFD Technical Group on Marine Litter (TG-ML), EU JRC, RSC’s, ICES, and several relevant EU projects, regional and local initiatives. For micro plastics the SeaDataNet CDI service approach has been adapted and dedicated guidelines have been formulated and published in concertation with the TG-ML.

The products are described with metadata in the Chemistry products catalogue, have DOIs and landing pages for citation, and can be viewed in the OceanBrowser service, while there are also web services for sharing with other portals. These GIS layers in the Chemistry Viewing service can be shared as OGC WMS service with other EMODnet portals and beyond. Also, WMS layers from other EMODnet portals and external services can be added to the Chemistry Viewer service. The URLs for the OGC services can be found at the portal. EMODnet Chemistry undertakes close cooperation and tuning with the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the 4 Regional Sea Conventions (OSPAR, HELCOM, Bucharest Convention, and Barcelona Convention), JRC and ICES for making the data products fit for use in the MSFD process, while recently a MoU has been established with Copernicus Marine Environmental Monitoring Service (CMEMS) for exchanging validated data products for eutrophication to CMEMS for further developing their ecosystem modelling and products. The current EMODnet Chemistry phase runs till spring 2021 with option for a seamless 2 years continuation and it is undertaken by a consortium of 48 partners, led by OGS (coordinator) and MARIS (technical coordinator). Its major aim is to refine the EMODnet Chemistry products further with additional high-quality data sets and improved methodologies.

Fig.1 European beach litter map of mean number of plastic bags related items per 100 m

Type & number of data sets

The EMODnet Chemistry subset of the CDI service provides online unified discovery and access to chemistry data sets for eutrophications (nutrients, oxygen, chlorophyll), contaminants, marine litter (beach, seafloor and micro litter). Currently it comprises circa 1 million entries, brought together by 65 data centres from 419 originators.

See EMODnet Chemistry Tutorial below.

Core services 

EMODnet Chemistry makes use of the SeaDataNet CDI data discovery and access service. Therefore, no separate solutions need to be developed for Blue-Cloud. The aggregated, harmonized and validated data collections for eutrophication, contamination, acidification and marine litter, as regularly produced by EMODnet Chemistry, are also relevant for Blue-Cloud purposes. Developments are underway for establishing an API and GUI for facilitating sub-setting and retrieval of these data collections. Once operational, this service will provide an additional channel to be added to the Blue-Cloud data discovery and access service.


Chemistry Common Data Index (CDI) data discovery and access service

Blue-Cloud partners involved