EU Horizon 2020 project

A large scale EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation project contributing to the Trans-Atlantic Research Alliance and GEO.

62 Partners, 18 Countries

International integration of Atlantic ocean observing activities – further supporters / members are welcome.


  Work package leader: IMR  Work package co-leader: Ifremer
Contact:   Ken Drinkwater  Pascale Lherminier
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Enhancement of ship-based observing networks

Short description:

This work package is led by: Ken Drinkwater, IMR (lead) and Pascale Lherminier, Ifremer (co-lead). This work package focuses on improvement, expansion, integration and innovation of ship-based observations undertaken by existing observing networks. Ship-based hydrography still remains the only method for obtaining high-quality, high spatial and vertical resolution measurements of a suite of physical, chemical, and biological parameters over the full water column on an ocean basin scale. The GO-SHIP network [Task 2.1] and the Carbon-VOS, SOOP, and FerryBox networks [Task 2.2], using voluntary observing ships and oceanographic research vessels, will provide EOV data including temperature, salinity, currents, transient tracers and carbon parameters (pH, TA, pCO2 and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC)). The WP aims for better integration of the high spatiotemporal resolution in the upper ocean, especially from the three observational networks in Task 2.2. In addition, the SAHFOS will obtain plankton abundance and biomass data using the continuous plankton recorder [CPR; Task 2.3] on ships of opportunity. Fish biomass, distribution and community structure will be investigated from national surveys coordinated by ICES [Task 2.4] and sea floor mapping will be undertaken as a measure of habitat potential for biological organisms in conjunction with biologists [Task 2.5].


  • To improve and provide consistent standards for the measurement of EOVs through establishing and maintaining high-standard protocols for sampling and processing the data
  • To provide best practice and know-how on sampling techniques for less experienced operators and groups
  • To increase the cost effectiveness of the ship-based observing networks by coordinating their monitoring programmes to eliminate possible duplication of effort (to be done in conjunction with autonomous observing networks)
  • To provide increased spatial-temporal coverage capabilities of the EOVs, especially in the South Atlantic, which will be undertaken in cooperation with Latin American, African and other countries
  • To establish best practices in order to provide consistency in the handling of the data processing
  • To provide support in order to ensure speedy data delivery to the users, including the possibility of establishing a data processing service in the case of ADCP measurements
  • To undertake innovative measures by testing new techniques and instruments such as an underway system for measuring total alkalinity (TA)
  • To better integrate ship-based observations including physical, chemical and biological measurements to provide a wider and more complete view of the state of the ocean than presently is available