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: NERC  Work package co-leader: Ifremer
Contact:  Kevin Horsburgh Patrick Farcy
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Interfaces with coastal ocean observing systems

Short description:

This work package is led by: Kevin Horsburgh, NERC (lead) and Patrick Farcy, Ifremer (co-lead). Coastal seas occupy about 7% of the area of the world’s oceans but their economic importance is significantly greater. Many of the marine hazards (e.g. sea level rise, storm surges, harmful algal blooms) have their greatest impact in coastal areas and it is important to make effective links between coastal and open ocean observing systems in order to mitigate against these. WP4 will link the ocean observing activities in AtlantOS to initiatives in coastal ocean observing both in Europe and across the wider Atlantic, in order to improve methodologies and best practice in sustained observing of the coastal ocean. We will identify observational gaps and improve the coordination of coastal observational networks in the key areas of sea level monitoring and multi-variable monitoring from autonomous vehicles (gliders), coastal profilers and Ferry boxes. This will lead to reduced observational costs and improved biological measurements (specifically considering ecological variables and also marine noise). We will thus significantly improve our understanding of both natural and anthropogenic variability in biological, chemical and physical properties. Such data are needed to better inform policy as well as science.


  • To conduct a detailed gap analysis for (a) the connection between continental shelf observing and deep ocean networks, and (b) sensors and technology required to more effectively monitor shelf seas (e.g. marine mammals, low oxygen zones)
  • To explore the feasibility of integrating existing coastal observing systems and introducing coastal profilers to partially fill the gaps
  • To explore the feasibility of optimising shelf sampling: (a) with ocean gliders to a scale where there is overlap with current shelf edge activity; (b) with FerryBox in one line implemented in WP2 to validate the physical and biogeochemical continuity between coastal and open seas; (c) with profilers using Argo floats for the open seas and ARVOR-CM for the coastal sea
  • To strengthen access to sea level data networks for the Atlantic region and produce a comprehensive sea level observing site catalogue to document and benchmark information
  • To increase the number of coastal systems and observations contributing to EMODnet and the Copernicus Marine Service
  • To build long-term linkages between AtlantOS and transatlantic partnerships in order to transfer knowledge and optimize the coastal observing system in the Atlantic