Service activities produced by FixO3 observatories


Ingo Schewe

Alfred Wegener Institute – Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research

One important goal of FixO3 is to provide easy access to fully-processed multidisciplinary data services and products. Within the project this aim is realized by so-called Service Activities (SA) providing scientific knowledge derived from most of the observatories which comprise the FixO3 network. This includes the entire oceanic environment, from seafloor to the air-sea interface (Fig.1). The SAs comprise high quality data products from 12 fixed-point multidisciplinary open ocean observatories included in the FixO3 network. These sustained open ocean observatories cover a broad geographical range from the Polar Regions to the Atlantic and Mediterranean. They demonstrate direct applications, such as maps of ecosystem indicators over European seas, or model validations with respect to in-situ data. In addition, SAs provide highly derived information products such as regional trends in ecosystem function and diversity.


Figure 1: The oceanic environment, from seafloor to the air-sea interface

Some of the delayed mode data and especially the “interventive data” address the temporal variability of ecosystems and their biodiversity. In some cases (e.g. physical datasets) these are uploaded daily for operational users (e.g. through COPERNICUS and the Global Telecommunication System). FixO3 SAs take open ocean data services beyond the current state-of-the-art, offering data products that cover a broad range of science themes with high societal relevance and impact. These include carbon and ocean acidification, climate and ocean physics, biodiversity and ecosystem assessment and geo-hazard monitoring. Many of the products offered by these service activities are also of value for maritime policy. The trans-observatory integrated service builds on the EarthVO data visualisation tool operated by FixO3 partner Blue Lobster IT, which offers various tools to easily display different types of datasets in a standardized format.


The integrated data services offering regional scale visualisation of datasets and products from open ocean observatories have been selected according to their relevance to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS, Fig.2) as well as their compliance with SeaDataNet standards (SeaDataNet is the Pan-European Infrastructure for Ocean & Marine Data Management) and COPERNICUS, the European system for monitoring the Earth. FixO3 SAs build on the current fixed-point open ocean data services and the progress made in previous European projects such as EuroSITES, HYPOX, ESONET and CARBOOCEAN which integrated and enhanced European observatory data streams. As a result of these endeavours, many of the FixO3 observatory sites are utilising standardised data management and quality control procedures and are transmitting data in near real-time. The FixO3 SA web pages give end users the opportunity to directly access data-sets, derived data and data products from a central access point. They can be selected either by selecting the overall scientific themes defined by GEOSS or via choosing one of the particular FixO3 observatories directly.