Eulerian observatories in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. (Credit: L. Coppola et al.)

On 8-9 March 2021, the first (virtual) EuroSea workshop on Eulerian Observatories was jointly organized by the EuroGOOS Fixed Platform Task Team, EMSO ERIC and OceanOps. The event was joined by other infrastructure networks, including OceanSites, Data Buoy Cooperation Panel (DBCP), and Coriolis. Over 30 participants assembled to discuss Best Practices for ocean operations and associated metadata aspects.

The first day focused on assessing the need for and status of Best Practices for ocean operations related to Eulerian observatories coordinated by global and European consortia, and how EuroSea best practices can be transferred to the international Ocean Best Practices System coordinated by IOC-UNESCO. It was concluded that Best Practices would be best organised in groups corresponding to the Essential Ocean Variables. The documentation should encompass all aspects such as sensors, instruments, infrastructure, data flow and data quality control and assurance.

The second day saw discussions on different aspects of the metadata related to Eulerian observatory efforts, such as minimal metadata requirements, vocabularies and uptake. Multiple options for harmonised vocabularies were discussed, that would help ensure efficient structuring and management of the very complex and/or very large datasets that are generated by multidisciplinary observational networks. Potential solutions and ways forward were identified for different datasets and their managing bodies. In many cases, existing metadata structures can be used, and it was acknowledged that observational data and the accompanying metadata don’t necessarily need to be stored in the same place. Attention was also paid to linking different databases within an integrated network, to defining improvements to better serve global assessments, and to how the development of FAIR services would facilitate the data exchange between operational service providers in Europe and traceability of use of such data by new communities.

Further information is available from Laurent Coppola, SU/LOV.