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Environmental Science

The European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and Water-Column Observatory to explore the Ocean

The European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water-column Observatory (EMSO) is a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) that includes open-ocean, seafloor observatories down to 4.850 metres depth, and shallow-water test sites from the Northeast Atlantic, across the Mediterranean to the Black Sea.


The challenge

EMSO ERIC consists of a system of regional facilities placed at key sites around Europe, from North East to the Atlantic, through the Mediterranean, to the Black Sea. Observatories are platforms equipped with multiple sensors, placed along the water column and on the seafloor. They constantly measure different biogeochemical and physical parameters that address natural hazards, climate change and marine ecosystems. 

In a nutshell, the challenge EMSO ERIC is trying to solve is to provide access to curated data and offer high-quality services to a large and diverse group of users, from scientists and industries to institutions and policymakers, for defining environmental policies based on scientific data. A fundamental technical component of the EMSO ERIC cyber-infrastructure, that allows the integration of data from EMSO regional facilities where the observatories are deployed, is the EMSO ERIC Data Platform. This Data Platform has been designed to be scalable, flexible and able to provide high-quality data products for a growing set of stakeholders in a wide range of disciplines. From the technical perspective, the platform ingests, consolidates, processes and archives data, integrates the data management architectures of the regionally distributed EMSO nodes and makes data available to the community. 

To support this challenge, EGI contributed to operating different EMSO ERIC services including the data portal which received thousands of visits from different countries.


The solution

Through the Competence Centre established in EOSC-hub, EGI delivered expertise and support on a variety of technical areas including platform development, data migration, and training on the EGI advanced services.

The EOSC-hub project has been instrumental for having continuity to this effort and to transition the Data Management Platform to pre-production. The cloud-based resources provided from two geo-distributed datacenters in Italy (INFN-CLOUD-BARI) and Spain (CESGA) belonging to the EGI Federation, have been used to support three environments. The support continues with EGI-ACE.

Development/test site

It provides an environment for software evolution and testing, including configuration management, continuous integration and functional testing.

Core site

It supports the EMSO ERIC Data Portal software stack, including back-end processes and data services exposed to users.

Backup core site

It represents a mirror of the core site for system resiliency and business continuity, including data and services mirroring and fail-over capabilities.

Services from EGI

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Dedicated computing and storage for training and education and consultancy activities


>1000 users

from 85countries

3 M (Cloud) CPU hours

over the last 2 years

946 VMs

instantiated in the EGI Federated Cloud infrastructure

Participating Partners

Supporting projects


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