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Chemistry text

Many chemical substances in the marine environment are invisible to the naked eye and can only be detected and tracked using specialised sensors or by analysis in a laboratory. A good understanding of seawater chemistry and its natural variability, in a given region, is fundamental for detecting short, medium and long-term changes in the marine environment and in assessing whether those changes pose a risk and require mediation.

Objectives of EMODnet Chemistry

The overall objective of EMODnet Chemistry is to provide an overview and access to marine chemistry data sets and data products related to eutrophication and contaminants, based upon inputs gathered and collated from national monitoring efforts and activities from research institutes in all European coastal states. In the current EMODnet development Phase III information on marine litter will also be made available.

Key services provided by EMODnet Chemistry

The EMODnet Chemistry portal is built on a network of 45 marine research and monitoring institutes and oceanographic data management experts from 27 countries. Many of these National Oceanographic Data Centres (NODC) are actively involved in managing, indexing and providing access to ocean and marine data sets, acquired from research cruises and monitoring activities in European marine waters and global oceans. As a result EMODnet Chemistry can provide users with the following key services:

  1. Data Access Service: provides functionality to search for and obtain data sets;
  2. Products Discovery Service: provides functionality to search for and obtain data products;
  3. Products Viewing and Downloading Service: provides functionality to search for and download data products such as maps and plots.


Data quality is a key issue when merging heterogeneous data from different sources. A data validation loop was defined and implemented to EMODnet Chemistry data and data products.

Data Sources

The partners of EMODnet Chemistry combine extensive experience in collecting, processing, and managing chemistry data; together with expertise in distributed data infrastructure development and operation and in the provision of discovery, access and viewing services following INSPIRE implementation rules and international standards (ISO, OGC).

EMODnet Chemistry data product development

EMODnet Chemistry spatial data products are obtained with the DIVA software tool (Data-Interpolating Variational Analysis). The products are stored as NetCDF CF files and made available as WMS layers for easy browsing and adding. The EMODnet Chemistry portal core services give access to the integrated maps of selected parameters. A WMS Registry listing all WMS services (NetCDF CF files available as WMS layers, CDI service available as WMS layers providing location of specific observation) guarantees full integration between EMODnet Chemical components (CDI service, products catalogue Sextant and viewing service Ocean Browser), but also between the EMODnet portals.


Time series data are visualized as Dynamic plots which can be customized in order to display vertical profiles of chemical properties in time- or depth-ranges selected by the user. All metadata on all used observations are linked to the plot.

Improvements in the current development Phase III (2017-2020)

  • Provision of data layers to support main actors involved in Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) reporting activities including Member States, EEA and Regional Sea Conventions.
  • Provision of information on nutrient loads (nitrogen & phosphorous) to regional seas from major rivers.
  • Gathering data, and generating and publishing data products on a European scale on: beach litter (nets, bottles etc.); seafloor litter (i.e. litter collected by fish trawl surveys) and micro litter.

Chemistry panelpic

Chemistry DataBox

Leading Partner

Total number of partners


Data available

Pesticides & Biocides







- Oxytetracycline

Heavy Metals

- Mercury

- Cadium

- Lead


- Anthracene

- Fluoroanthene


- Cs137



- Nitrogen (Din, TN)

- Phosphorus (DIP, TP)


- pH

- pCO2

- alkalinity

Dissolved Gasses






Marine Litter

- Beach litter (nets, bottles etc.)

- Seafloor litter (i.e. litter collected by fish trawl surveys)

- Micro litter (microplastics)

Organic Matter

Data Products


Dynamic Plots