The EMODNET Med Sea checkpoint is a Mediterranean Sea wide monitoring system assessment activity based upon targeted end-user applications. The innovative outcome of this evaluation will be the depiction of ‘fitness for purpose’ indices capable to show performance and gaps of the present monitoring system. The checkpoint service is aiming to:
- Clarify the observation landscape at the scale of the Mediterranean Sea, highlighting the existing programs, national and international, and their roles and synergies;
- Depict fitness for purpose monitoring indices that will show the performance, accessibility and usability of observational and modeling data sets in the overall Mediterranean Sea basin;
- Prioritize the needs in order to optimize the system (in situ and satellite data collection and assembling, data management and networking, modelling and forecasting, geo-infrastructure) and provide recommendations for evolutions to better meet the application requirements.
Data Sources and Methodology
The project is developing a methodology to set up a regional evaluation mechanism which will analyse how comprehensive and accurate the monitoring and forecasting datasets are at the basin scale. The analysis is run through 7 major marine/maritime applications, called ‘Challenges’ that are:
- Windfarm siting
- Marine protected areas
- Oil platform leak
- Climate and coastal protection
- Fisheries management
- Marine environmental management
- River inputs to the coastal environment
The work will consider a practical assessment and rapid result dissemination, it would provide a basis for rational decision-making, getting the status of the Mediterranean Sea observing and modelling infrastructure, analyzing gaps and identifying priorities to optimize the regional monitoring and sampling strategy.
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Data Products and Services
The evaluation mechanisms relies on the production of checkpoint data (or targeted production from challenges), checkpoint information (e.g. quality metadata, checkpoint indicators) and checkpoint reports to identify gaps and priorities in the observational networks, in situ and satellites, analyses and forecasts and data geo- infrastructures, archival and assembly centers. All project outputs are made available through the Med Sea Checkpoint portal to support the assessment of the information flow and to enhance the design of the European observing infrastructure.
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Checkpoint Assessment technical infrastructure
The Checkpoint technical infrastructure is aimed at offering 3 service types:
- Communication services (Web Portal) to get project information;
- Checkpoint services to get targeted products or to discover upstream data;
- Checkpoint indices/indicators (checkpoint information) for the fitness for purpose assessments
According to a user point of view, functionalities are mainly connected to the provision of checkpoint information with an interactive mapping interface using advanced functionalities, to navigate the information, to show synthetic information (cf. display of statistics, management of overlays) and detailed information (posted in the GIS infrastructure).
Improvement for next phase
The Med Sea Checkpoint will in the future have to consolidate the ‘fitness for purpose principles’ for the monitoring system assessments, include more Challenges, a detailed Stakeholder consultation Plan and be part of the design of the future European Ocean Observing System infrastructure. For the Mediterranean Sea other Challenges could consider for example invasive species, atmospheric climate variability affecting ocean long term variability, more indicators for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).