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Vol. 46, n.4, December 2005
pp. 329 - 344

A Mediterranean and Black Sea oceanographic database and network

The MEDAR Group C. Maillard, M. Fichaut, G. Maudire, C. Coatanoan, Ifremer, Centre de Brest, France. E. Balopoulos, A. Iona, A. Lykiardopoulos, P. Karagevrekis, Hnodc, Anavyssos, Greece. J.-M. Beckers, M. Rixen, Gher, Univ. de Liege, BE4000, Liege, Belgium. M.-J. Garcia, Ieo, Madrid, Spain. B.B. Manca, A. Giorgetti, A. Mosetti, OGS, Trieste, Italy. N. Mikhailov, E. Vyazilov, A. Kuznetsov, N. Puzova, Rihmi-wdc, Obninsk, Russia. R. Boukortt, B. Boudjellal, N. Eddalia, Ismal, Alger, Algeria. H. Dooley, Ices, Copenhague, K, Denmark. A. Drago, Pou/Um, Msida, Malta. S. El-agami, Enodc/Niof, Alexandria, Egypt. G. Kortchev, Inst. Meteo. Hydrology, Sofia, Bulgaria. I. Gertman, Y. Tsehtik, Iolr., Haifa, Israel. S. Lakkis, Ncmr, Batroun, Lebanon. G. Manzella, Enea-cram, La Spezia, Italy. I. Oliounine, Unesco/Coi/Ioc, Paris, France. A. Orbi, J. Larissi, S. Zizah, Inrh, Casablanca, Morocco. M. Ozyalvac, F. Berkay, Hs/Tn, Istanbul, Turkey. N. Pinardi, M. Zavatarelli, Laboratorio Sincem, University of Bologna, Italy. A. Suvorov, A. Khaliulin, Mhi, Sevastopol, Ukraine. G. Zodiatis, Cynodc/Dfmr, Nicosia, Cyprus. K. Bilashvili, Z. Savaneli, Nocg/Ug, Tbilisi, Georgia. V. Dadic, Iof, Split, Croatia. V. Diaconu, Ircm, Constanta, Romania. R. Gelfeld, Wdca, Noaa, Silver Spring, Usa. C. Sammari, Instm, Salammbo, Tunisia.

Received April 8, 2003; accepted October 29, 2004

Abstract

The basic characteristics of a large multi-parameter ocean database for the Mediterranean and the Black Sea are described. The database has been developed through close cooperation between National Oceanographic Data Centres (NODCs) of IOC/UNESCO and specialized marine research institutes, within the framework of the MEDAR/MEDATLAS Concerted Action, supported by the European Union (EU). The data used in developing the database have been collected by about 150 scientific laboratories from 33 countries and consist of vertical profiles of in-situ temperature, salinity and bio-chemical parameters. In all, the database includes 285 879 qualified hydrographic stations of mechanical bathythermographs (MBT), expendable bathythermographs (XBT), CTDs and bottle casts. As regards the studied regions, these data increase (almost double) the volume of the ocean data made available to the user community greatly, when compared to earlier initiatives. They are published on a set of four Cd-roms, which include other products such as a Cruise Inventory, a Climatological Atlas of gridded numerical fields with vertical sections, maps (static and animated to illustrate the annual cycle), as well as, a selection and visualisation software. Although there are still some gaps before a complete data service can be provided, this important concerted action has contributed in developing data management standards and methods, in drawing attention to the necessity of acquiring professional data archiving systems and, finally, in increasing data and information circulation on the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

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