Task 4.3

Task 4.1: Coordination and dissemination of Pilot Supersite implementation
Task 4.2: Innovative monitoring and science strategy for Pilot Supersite implementation
Task 4.3: Implementation of JERICO Pilot Supersites

Implementation of JERICO Pilot Supersites 

M7-M38 (Lead: SYKE, HCMR)

A Supersite consists of a regional, spatially dense network of observing platforms that is jointly steered to perform multidisciplinary studies at the various required scales, as defined in Task 4.2. The implementation of several PSSs will provide first-hand experience on the organisational (trans-institutional, transnational, etc.), data flow, and research challenges of Supersites. To support integration process (WP9), PSSs will explore:

  1. How to transnationally share and manage platforms and equipment, and plan joint missions,
  2. How to jointly manage the whole data lifecycle, following the FAIR principles (jointly with WP6),
  3. How to increase the societal and scientific value of observations through data fusion and integration, 
  4. How to transfer knowledge within the region, between regions, and between RIs.

The overall aim of PSSs is to improve the cost-efficiency, innovative use, and scientific and societal impact of multiple coastal observations. The key feature for PSSs is shared, synoptic, interoperable, and openly available biological, biogeochemical, and physical data (hereinafter referred as Regional Data). PSSs will supply consistent Regional Data (especially EOVs and EBVs) to European databases (WP6) and provide merged access to derived new products with support from WP6 and VA (WP11). PSS observations will be jointly steered and augmented as required to meet the PSS objectives. Predefined innovative scientific and societal objectives are used to demonstrate the added value of regional integration and Regional Data. PSSs share the objectives focusing on coastal biology (e.g., carbon budget refinement and phytoplankton dynamics in relation to extreme events), and validating model results and ocean colour data (WP2). PSSs interact with other environmental RIs (T2.2), especially during joint studies with AQUACOSM-plus and DANUBIUS-PP. Experiences on between-PSS and between-RI actions will be transferred to WP2 and WP9. In addition, PSSs will contribute to pilot Data-to-Products Thematic Services (Task7.4) and testing new sensor packages (Task7.5) (WP7).

PSS observations will be conducted during M7-M31, data handling will span until M34, while reporting lasts until M38, and dissemination of results continue until the end of the project (M48).

Subtask 4.3.1. Pilot Supersite at Gulf of Finland, Baltic Sea; GoF-PSS (SYKE, FMI, IOW, TALTECH)

Core infrastructure: FerryBox: Silja Serenade and Finnmaid (SYKE, FMI, IOW), Silja Europa (TALTECH), Utö Observatory (FMI, SYKE), Keri Observatory (TALTECH); Additional infrastructure: Gliders (FMI, TALTECH), profiling buoys (FMI, SYKE, TALTECH), Argo floats (FMI), Wave riders (TALTECH, FMI), monitoring by R/V (All).

Main connections: National RI: FINMARI (SYKE, FMI), Estonian Environmental Observatory (TALTECH); European RI:ACTRIS PPP, AQUACOSM-plus, EMBRC-ERIC, Euro-Argo ERIC, EUROFLEETS+, ICOS ERIC; Regional initiatives: BOOS, HELCOM, EUSBSR

Key challenges: Besides multiple anthropogenic pressures, climate change will affect the Baltic Sea ecosystem through various pathways. The effects on temperature regime, sea-ice extent, stratification, mixing, salinity, acidification, and brownification are expected, but the estimates have high uncertainties and the effects on marine life are still largely unknown. Concurrently, there is an urgent need for cost-efficient ways to follow how anthropogenic pressures affect the marine ecosystem, and whether ongoing countermeasures and active management plans to reduce eutrophication and pollution are likely to meet their targets.

PSS scientific objectives:

  1. To resolve how the state of the Gulf of Finland is affected by regional climate change and other human pressures.
  2. To clarify the interplay of biological (algae blooms), biogeochemical (carbon fluxes, oxygen depletion), and physical (currents, mixing, weather forcing) processes in the region.

Workplan including outcomes and their most immediate links to other WPs and tasks: 

  1. Harmonise, adjust, and expand observations to collect coherent Regional Data for the Gulf of Finland, especially on phytoplankton communities, HABs, oxygen and carbonate system dynamics. This results in new transnational practices for sharing sensor calibration, data validation, and platform maintenance actions. Joint QC/QA practices for key variables will allow unified data flows and products, which will also facilitate their discovery, access, and use. (All; link WP1, WP3, WP7, feed to Best Practices in WP5 and WP6). 
  2. Analyse and disseminate discrepancies in hydrodynamics and biogeochemistry between Regional Data and models (ERGOM–NEMO–LIM3 combination run at CMEMS) (All; feed to T2.4).
  3. Provide evidence how using Regional Data and shared QC of optical measurements (chl-a, phycocyanin, cDOM) decreases uncertainties in their use in EO product validation (SYKE, TALTECH; feed to T2.3).
  4. Jointly analysing Regional Data for HAB detection and reviews (SYKE, TALTECH; link WP6, WP7 (T7.3)),
  5. Jointly analysing Regional Data for developing model–based predictions for deep water oxygen conditions (All; link T2.4),
  6. Jointly analysing Regional Data for providing insights on biological interplay with the carbonate system (All),
  7. Jointly analysing Regional Data for advancing forecast models for cyanobacterial blooms (FMI, SYKE; link T2.4), and
  8. Jointly analysing Regional Data for analysing how phytoplankton communities are affected by extreme climatic forcing, in collaboration with experimental work of AQUACOSM-plus and supported by long-term observational data (SYKE, FMI; link T2.2, T4.3.2, T4.3.4).
  9. Promote the use of integrated coastal observations in regional and EU-wide assessments by providing demonstration of PSS activities to HELCOM, EUBSR, and BOOS (TALTECH, IOW, SYKE; link T2.5).
  10. Establish connections to other RIs by contributing to carbonate system measurement guidelines for coastal seas (ICOS ERIC), sharing data (AQUACOSM-plus, Euro-Argo ERIC, ICOS ERIC), and seeking possibilities for future joint activities (ACTRIS PPP, EMBRC-ERIC, EUROFLEETS+) (All, link T2.2).

Subtask 4.3.2. Pilot Supersite at North-West Mediterranean; NW-MED-PSS (CNRS, CNR, PdE, SOCIB, UPC)

Core infrastructure: ILICO gliders, coastal buoy (CNRS), HF radar network (CNR), Corsica Channel mooring with imaging (CNR), Coastal Ocean Observing, Forecasting and Monitoring System (SOCIB), OBSEA Expandable Seafloor Observatory (UPC), PORTUS observing and forecasting system (PdE);

Additional infrastructure: Gliders (SOCIB), HF radars (CNRS, PdE), buoys (CNRS, PdE), tide gauges (PdE), coastal moorings, river stations (CNRS), monitoring by R/V (SOCIB, CNRS).
Main connections: National RI: ILICO (CNRS), SAMOA (PdE); European RI: AQUACOSM-plus, EMSO-ERIC, Euro-Argo ERIC, ICOS ERIC: Regional initiatives: MONGOOS, UNEP-MAP.

Key challenges: The Mediterranean Sea is a climatic hotspot with occurrence of extreme events, and severe societal impacts are expected to occur along with climate change. The affected coastal processes include boundary currents and sub-mesoscale instabilities, regional bio-dynamics, biogeochemical cycling, shelf water cascading, sediment transport, sea level/waves trends and extremes, temperature/salinity anomalies, and impacts of river plumes on marine ecosystems. The impacts of physical events on marine life have been so far understudied due to observational limitations, and a PSS approach will significantly address this.   

PSS scientific objectives:

  1. To resolve the effects of the dynamic North Current circulation patterns on biogeochemistry and biology.
  2. To assess riverine freshwater discharge and particle loads and their areal distribution especially during flood events, followed by evaluation of their impact on ecosystems.

Workplan including outcomes and their most immediate links to other WPs and tasks:

  1. Using Regional Data in the North Current region, reconstruct the 3-D coastal dynamics and in combination with modelling, analyse dispersion of marine life (larvae, jellyfish, phyto- and zooplankton) in different current scenarios (All, link T2.3), and
  2. Using Regional Data in the North Current region, advance new societal applications like distribution of pollutants, jellyfish, alien species and support fisheries and regional management (All, link T2.5, WP7).
  3. Augment Regional Data by joint observations of riverine particle load and their coastal impacts, and develop scenarios how riverine inputs and flooding may affect coastal ecosystems and how it should be observed (CNRS, CNR, link T2.2, WP1, WP3, WP7).
  4. Analyse jointly with AQUACOSM-plus how phytoplankton communities are influenced by extreme coastal events by combining experiments and Regional Data (CNRS, CNR, link T2.2, T4.3.1, T4.3.4).
  5. Evaluate regional biogeochemical model results (CMEMS IBI & MED MFC’s regional systems) against Regional Data of EOVs, and disseminate the discrepancies to modelling community (All, link T2.4).
  6. Harmonise and implement joint QC/QA for Regional Data (biogeochemical and optical measurements) to improve regional cal/val activities for ocean colour products (CNRS, SOCIB, link T2.3, WP5, WP6).
  7. Establish strong links with existing open ocean and land-coastal RIs EMSO-ERIC, Euro-Argo ERIC, and ICOS ERIC, to secure littoral-coast-open sea continuum in observations and modelling. The open sea observatories, especially EMSO-ERIC, will provide open access data for NW-MED-PSS needs and the expertise on biogeochemical sensors and QC procedures will be shared (CNRS, CNR, SOCIB, link T2.2).
  8. Transnational integration of observations is disseminated to regional initiatives like MONGOOS and UNEP-MAP, specifying opportunities and challenges and needs for further support actions (All, link T2.5).

Subtask 4.3.3. Pilot Supersite at North Sea and English Channel; NSea-PSS and Channel-PSS (Hereon, IFREMER, AWI, CEFAS, CNRS, DELTARES, IMR, NIVA, RBINS, RWS, VLIZ)

Core infrastructure:  FerryBox: Lysbris (Hereon), Magnolia Seaways (Hereon), FunnyGirl (Hereon), Thalassa (IFREMER), Norrona (NIVA), Connector (NIVA/RWS/DELTARES/CEFAS), Simon Stevin (VLIZ); Buoys: ASTAN (CNRS), SMILE (IFREMER, CNRS), SCENE (IFREMER), WARP TH1 (CEFAS), Thornton (VLIZ); Benthic lander MOW1 (RBINS); Cabled observatory COSYNA Helgoland (AWI, Hereon); Fixed Station MAREL-Carnot (IFREMER); Additional infrastructure: monitoring by R/V

Main connections: National RI: COSYNA (AWI, Hereon), ILICO (CNRS; IFREMER), NorSOOP (NIVA, IMR); European RI: DANUBIUS-PP, EMBRC-ERIC, ICOS ERIC, LifeWatch-ERIC; Regional initiatives: OSPAR, NOOS; Associated partner: BSH

Key challenges: The North Sea and the English Channel are seriously impacted by various human activities like eutrophication, chemical pollution, fisheries, habitat loss, and multi-use of marine space. Both areas have high productivity and recurring phytoplankton blooms. Both areas are characterised by diverse ecosystems, strong physical influence on biogeochemical processes, high riverine inputs, and significant connectivity to adjacent sea areas. Despite the presence of observational platforms in both regions, observational infrastructures are operated by regional and national entities and have thus far only been connected through relatively loose cooperation on specific topics.

PSS scientific objectives:

  1. NSea-PSS: To refine the regional carbon budget including terrestrial inputs, coastal carbon cycling, and biological carbon fluxes.
  2. Channel-PSS: To assess regional eutrophication status, phytoplankton biodiversity and productivity, and their modulations.
  3. Jointly, to identify gaps in observations and interactions that hamper regional studies of carbon cycle and eutrophication. 

Workplan including outcomes and their most immediate links to other WPs and tasks: 

At NSea-PSS, Regional Data is augmented with data related to carbon cycling which will advance: i) the regional carbon budget by improving coherent observations of regional C fluxes (air-sea, land-sea, pelagic-benthic, and microbial processes) combined with models and earth observations, (Hereon, NIVA, AWI, IMR, DELTARES, link T2.3, T2.4, T7.3) and ii) the interaction with DANUBIUS-PP in resolving land-sea carbon fluxes and to facilitate forthcoming collaborations (Hereon, AWI, DELTARES, NIVA, BSH, link T2.2).

iii-iv) Regional Data from the Channel-PSS combines different types of biological observations across the region and will be used for: iii) analysing phytoplankton dynamics and underlying physical forcing, showing the added value of data fusion (IFREMER, CNRS, CEFAS, DELTARES, RWS, VLIZ, RBINS, link WP6, WP7), and iv) demonstrating new shared products on impacts of eutrophication that will contribute to regional ecosystem assessments and reporting (IFREMER, DELTARES, CEFAS, VLIZ, link T2.5, WP3).

v) In both areas, intercomparison of phytoplankton distribution is carried out using modelling (DFLOW-FM, ECOMARS-3D), satellite data and observations from in–situ monitoring programs, and Regional Data to illustrate the importance of consistent and harmonised data (DELTARES,  IFREMER, link T2.3, T2.4).

vi) Observational gaps will be analysed in both regions, especially related to biological and biogeochemical variables, and analysing needs for institutional interactions aiming to improve regional integration of observations in forthcoming Supersites (All, link T2.5, WP3, feed WP1, WP9).

vii) Concepts for cross-regional communication between PSSs will be created, followed by analyses of the regional scales of the coastal Supersites in relation to underlying scientific and societal questions (IFREMER, Hereon, Deltares, RWS, NIVA, CEFAS, VLIZ, feed WP1, WP3, WP9). 

viii) New products will be drafted to address WFD/MSFD descriptors and improve coastal ecosystem management, and disseminated to OSPAR and NOOS (IFREMER, Hereon, Deltares, RWS, link T2.5).

x) PSSs will interface with other RIs (DANUBIUS-PP, EMBRC-ERIC, ICOS-ERIC, LifeWatch-ERIC) by cooperating on key competences of PSSs and RIs on coastal ecosystem studies (Hereon, VLIZ, link T2.2).

Subtask 4.3.4. Pilot Supersite at Cretan Sea; Cretan-PSS (HCMR, CNRS, NIVA, SYKE)

Core infrastructure (All HCMR): POSEIDON FerryBox, fixed platforms (HCB, SB, E1-M3A), glider (PG); Additional infrastructure (All HCMR): Argo-Floats, Calibration Lab, monitoring by R/V

Main connections: National RI: ΗΙΜΙΟFoTS (HCMR); European RI: AQUACOSM-plus, EMBRC-ERIC, EMSO-ERIC, Euro-Argo ERIC, EUROFLEETS+, ICOS ERIC; Regional initiatives: MONGOOS, UNEP-MAP

Key challenges: In the oligotrophic eastern Mediterranean, some major research questions still remain unanswered. Specifically, there is a sparseness of carbonate system data, the pH trends are unknown, and the existing AT-S relationships are inadequate. In addition, the region has significant atmospheric inputs of dissolved inorganic nutrients, originating from both Saharan dust and anthropogenic emissions, and their effects on net primary productivity and phytoplankton community dynamics are largely unknown.

PSS scientific objectives: (i) To understand the role of the system as source or sink of CO2, and links between carbon and nutrient cycles in ultra-oligotrophic conditions, and ii) to get insight on how extreme atmospheric events affect phytoplankton productivity.

Workplan including outcomes and their most immediate links to other WPs and tasks:

i-iii) Use Regional Data, supported by partners from other PSSs (CNRS-MIO: phytoplankton, NIVA: carbonate chemistry, SYKE: optics) for: i) estimating the significance of solubility and biological pumps in air-sea carbon fluxes (HCMR, NIVA), ii) approximating primary productivity at deep layers and subsequent fates of carbon (All), and iii) analysing how extreme atmospheric events affect phytoplankton communities, in combination with AQUACOSM-plus experiments (All, link T2.2, T4.3.1, T4.3.2, T7.3).

iv) Upscale the Regional Data from Cretan-PSS to a wider area, especially simulating air-sea C-fluxes using satellite data and regional ecosystem model LTL, based on ERSEM (HCMR, NIVA, link T2.3, T 2.4)

v) Design new sampling strategies, evaluate novel technologies, and revisit best practices to promote the biological measurements in low-biomass areas where most state-of-the-art technologies fail (All, link WP7, feed to WP1, WP3, WP5, WP9).

vi) Create collaboration schemes between PSSs to transfer knowledge, supply supporting hardware and human resources, in order to tackle regional and common research questions (All, feed to WP1, WP3, WP9).

vii) Alliance with other environmental RIs to get access to supporting data (ICOS-ERIC), access to new technologies (EMBRC-ERIC), allow coordination of missions (Euro-Argo ERIC), and enable joint studies (AQUACOSM-plus) as relevant for regional objectives. Analyse the overlapping and hierarchically supporting structures of environmental RIs in the region to improve the regional observation capacity and to create a framework to be applied in the other regions (HCMR, SYKE, link T2.2, WP1, WP3, WP9).

viii) Promote the added value of integrated coastal observations to regional initiatives like MONGOOS and UNEP-MAP by providing demonstration of PSS activities (All, link T2.5).