Ocean Wise News

OceanWise UK lead to latest European Bathymetry Digital Terrain Model

It’s a real privilege to be involved in the EMODnet project, which in turn is partnered with GEBCO/the Nippon Foundation and the Seabed 2030 project, aiming to map 100% of our oceans by 2030. It’s wonderful to know that our contributions to EMODnet are also being used in a much larger context, with the GEBCO ‘Seabed 2030’ project.” Amy Thompson, Data Engineer, OceanWise

The European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) High Resolution Seabed Mapping Project, which has been running since 2009, has just been updated. This highly popular Digital Terrain Model (DTM) provides users greater resolution and coverage across European seas and beyond.


Image above: Image courtesy of EMODnet at www.emodnet.eu

The EMODnet Bathymetry portal aims to provide a single access point to marine data including bathymetric products, Digital Terrain Models (DTM) and data (survey data sets and composite DTM). This upgraded version of the EMODnet Bathymetry DTM allows users to have an easy and free access to high quality bathymetric data.

OceanWise are a full partner and provide all UK inputs. In the below interview we talk to Amy Thompson, OceanWise’s Oceanographic data engineer, who gives us some insight into her involvement in the project and the important processes that Oceanwise undertakes to deliver high quality data to this project:

An Interview with Amy Thompson

Q: Why have you enjoyed being part of this latest phase of the EMODnet project at OceanWise?

A: “I think ultimately, understanding the bathymetry of our oceans is imperative in improving a vast number of industries and existing practices including tidal predictions, improved model estimates for ocean currents or sediment transport and marine engineering. It is a real privilege to be involved in the EMODnet project, which is turn partnered with GEBCO/the Nippon Foundation and the Seabed 2030 project, aiming to map 100% of our oceans by 2030. It’s wonderful to know that our contributions to EMODnet are also being used in a much larger context, with the GEBCO project.”

Q: How has OceanWise been involved?

A: “OceanWise have been contributing to the EMODnet project for many years across the three major delivery / development phases. OceanWise are the UK lead – the only contributor from the UK. Our geographical area is the North East Atlantic, particularly covering UK waters (English Channel, North Sea, Irish Sea etc). We receive data from the UKHO which we then process and adapt and supply on to the project in the form of a lower resolution version of our own DTM, and CDI metadata records, which are stored within EMODnet’s online data portal”.

Q: How have you been involved?

A: “On a personal level, I have been lucky enough to be involved with virtually every step of the process. At OceanWise we undertake a variety of in-depth, detailed processes before we deliver data to EMODnet including:

Assessing surveys for data quality or for replicate data; ensuring we have the best quality and most up-to-date record for any given area; grouping and tidying the surveys; triangulating survey data and exporting metadata records.

When the data has been processed, we then produce the model to the specification set out by EMODnet, and distribute the model ‘tiles’ (uniform geographical areas of the model) to regional coordinators (across the UK, France, Germany). The regional coordinators then assess the data further and stitch together each of the participating countries’ contributions to the model. As with all our own data products, after we have submitted our DTM, we stay on hand to assist with any technical or data-related issues that the coordinators may face”.

Q: What are the specific benefits of the OceanWise input?

A: “The process that we follow to produce the EMODnet layer is exactly the same as the process we use to create our own high-resolution DTM. We can therefore ensure that the data that we are outputting to EMODnet has been through the same quality control processes as for our own product. Ultimately, practices and systems can always be improved, so having the EMODnet project running alongside our own DTM production gives us double the chances to highlight issues or make improvements, so the methodology is always improving!”

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