MED 2018

11—12 December 2018 | ESA-ESRIN | Frascati (Rome), Italy

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Day 1 - 11/12/2018

Opening Session

Chairs: Arino, Olivier (ESA- ESRIN), El Hadani, Driss (Royal Center for Remote Sensing (CRTS))

09:00 - 10:00

  • 09:00 - Welcome, Agenda, Copernicus, DIAS and TEPs
    Desnos, Yves-Louis - ESA

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  • 09:20 - Priority Environmental Issues in the Mediterranean
    Silvestri, Cecilia - Isprambiente, Italy

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  • 09:40 - GEO-CRADLE Initiative: Coordination and Integration of EO Activities Accelerating the Development of Links with Copernicus & GEO/GEOSS
    Tsouni, Alexia
    Kontoes, Haris; Tsouni, Alexia - National Observatory of Athens, Greece

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    GEO-CRADLE coordinates and integrates state-of-the-art Earth Observation (EO) activities in the regions of North Africa, Middle East, and Balkans (NAMEBA) and develops links with GEO related initiatives towards GEOSS. It was launched in 2016 as an EU H2020 Project with 25 partners from the 3 continents around the Mediterranean Sea, it was then upgraded to a GEO Community Activity, and it has recently been further upgraded to a GEO Initiative. It brings together key players representing the entire EO value chain and promotes the uptake and exploitation of EO activities in NAMEBA. It enhances the current knowledge of existing EO capacities in the region (through an ongoing Survey), it facilitates the cooperation between EO stakeholders (through a Networking Platform and several Events), it identifies the gaps and the maturity level (through analysis) and boosts the Maturity of the different countries in the region, it enables the exchange of EO data (through a Regional Data Hub), it showcases concrete ways of tackling regional challenges related to adaptation of climate change, improved food security & water extremes management, better access to raw materials and energy (through Feasibility Studies), and finally it proposes a Roadmap for the implementation of GEO, GEOSS and Copernicus in NAMEBA. The GEO-CRADLE Initiative will be a continuation and extension of the work of the GEO-CRADLE which will capitalise, sustain and scale-up its results, as well as key outcomes of other relevant EU flagship projects and initiatives (e.g. GEOGLAM, NextGEOSS, ERAPLANET, EuroGEOSS, AfriGEOSS, GEO-VENER, EO4SDG), in support of the 3 GEOSS priorities, namely Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction and UN Strategic Development Goals. The GEO-CRADLE Initiative will include a geographic expansion to the Black Sea, a thematic expansion to the Disasters Management & Water Resources Management, and an advanced Operational Maturity for the operationalisation of services to the engaged users. It is worth noting that several of the feasibility studies have been considered among others in the development of the EuroGeoss initiative.

Coffee break & TEPs demo

10:00 - 10:30

Land 1

Chairs: Aureli, Alice (UNESCO), Brocca, Luca (National Research Council of Italy), San-Miguel-Ayanz, Jesus (JRC)

10:30 - 12:30

  • 10:30 - Developing an Earth Observation Component for the Mediterranean Water Knowledge Platform
    Mino, Eric - SEMIDE, France

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    The Mediterranean Water Knowledge Platform (MWKP) is a strategic project labialised by the 41 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM). It is responding to a need expressed by water ministers requiring support for integrated data management systems and decision support tools on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). The overall objective is to improve IWRM thanks to data driven planning while facilitating international reporting on water issues (e.g. SDG 6). It has 2 components, one focusing on the provision of common basis for the development of National Water Information Systems (NWIS) and the other one on assessing water resources management and their uses. At the Mediterranean level, the MWKP aims to support the development and monitoring of four key priorities defined by the UfM Ministers (Malta, May 2017): 1. Water, energy, food, ecosystems nexus; 2. Water supply and sanitation; 3. Climate change adaptation and water; 4. Water employment and migration.

    The role of Earth Observation for IWRM in the Mediterranean has been explored several times during workshops organised by ESA and SEMIDE in 2010 and 2012 when priority application domains have been identified, as well as in the framework of World Bank CAPWATER project with NASA 2013-2015. But Earth Observation science is still not integrated in routine job by water authorities, while at the same time South and Eastern Mediterranean countries are facing an important gap of in-situ water monitoring data.

    More recently with the availability of open access EO data from Sentinel Satellites has initiated the development and demonstrations of services across EU (e.g. EU Drought observatory) and more globally in particular in the framework of the Copernicus land programme. Thus, during the SWOS (Satellite Wetlands Observation Service) project, EO applications for the wetlands components of IWRM planning and monitoring has been tested with some Mediterranean river basin authorities.

    The key messages of this paper are that:

    • Mediterranean water resources are in danger the due to over exploitation and pollution.
    • IWRM evidence based planning (including for climate change adaptation) and monitoring is requiring data to characterise the water resources, the pressures on these resources and future trends.
    • EO can supply valuable products for planners and decision makers at river basin or local levels
    • EO products and services need to be co-developed with water authorities from South and North Mediterranean countries to consider both satisfaction of water demand and sustainability of water resources
    • Routine exploitation of EO products and services must be integrated since the beginning of the projects (awareness, demonstrations, training of key players, economic analysis).

  • 10:50 - Enhance Water Security And Resilience To Climatic Change In Coastal Zones Through Sustainable Coastal Aquifers Management
    Aureli, Alice - UNESCO, France

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    Sustainable coastal aquifer management can contribute to enhancing water security, resilience to climatic change and marine ecosystems protection in coastal zones. However, scientific knowledge and public awareness of coastal aquifers is scant or non-existent in most countries. Monitoring is occasional at best, and lacks modern technologies and strategic, multi-purpose design.  No specific laws or policies exist in most of the countries protecting and regulating the use of coastal groundwater, despite its strategic value. The same is true for the institutional settings. Therefore, management frameworks for coastal groundwater resources are absent, and these resources are not formally recognized as critical for the sustainability of coastal developments. Within the framework of the MEDPROGRAMME financed by the Global Environment facility (GEF), UNESCO is leading a project aiming to coordinate with nine Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina) for the improved assessment, management and governance of coastal groundwater resources. The project will also consider the aquifers connection to coastal marine ecosystems through submarine groundwater discharges (SGD). UNESCO will then conduct an assessment on SGD and marine-freshwater interactions for each of the countries participating in the project. Research will be conducted using existing methods and to evaluate possible innovative methods for SGD detection and quantification at both punctual and large scale.  An SGD international expert advisory group focused on the Mediterranean will be established for the duration of the project

  • 11:10 - Land surface Interactions with the Atmosphere over the Iberian Semi-arid Environment (LIAISE) Project
    Polcher, Jan
    Boone, Aaron Anthony (1); Best, Martin (2); Cuxart, Joan (3); Polcher, Jan (4); Quintana-Segui, Pere (5); Garrigues, Sebastien (6); Tramblay, Yves (7); Zrib, Mehrez (8); Albergel, Clement (1); Bastin, Sophie (4); Bourdon, Aurelien (1); Brooke, Jenifer (2); Canut-Rocafort, Guylaine (1); Calvet, Jean-Christophe (1); Donier, Sylvie (1); Haeffelin, Martial (4); Jarlan, Lionel (8); Le Moigne, Patrick (1); Le Page, Michel (8); Lohou, Fabienne (9); Lothon, Marie (9) - 1: CNRM-Meteo-France/CNRS, France; 2: UKMO, Exeter, UK; 3: Universitat de les Illes Balears, Spain; 4: IPSL/CNRS, France; 5: Observatori de l'Ebre, Spain; 6: INRA/EMMAH, France; 7: IRD Hydrosciences, France; 8: CESBIO, France; 9: Laboratoire d'Aerologie, France

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    One of the biggest challenges facing environmental science is to be able to understand future changes in the terrestrial water cycle and the subsequent impact of water resources. Climate projections predict that the Mediterranean region will be a so-called climate change “hot-spot” during the twenty-first century. However, it is known that semi-arid regions show biases in model variables such as land surface temperature and components of the surface energy balance. In addition, anthropogenic processes have transformed the landscape in European bread-basket regions, and the representation and understanding of such processes is currently at a nascent stage in earth system models.

    In order to address these issues, we have initiated the international initiative called LIAISE. The overarching objective of LIAISE is to better understand and model both the natural and the human imprint on the semi-arid energy and water cycles over a region which has significant anthropization. Process understanding and model progress have been inhibited due to a lack of consistent and extensive observations. Here we present the plans for an observational campaign as part of the HYdrological cycles in the Mediterranean Experiment (HyMeX) which will bring together ground-based and airborne measurements with modeling studies including data assimilation of remotely sensed data leading to an improved understanding of processes such as soil water transfer,

    evapotranspiration, precipitation through atmospheric coupling and the subsequent feed-backs to the Mediterranean boundary layer and basin hydrology, including aspects such as stream flow, irrigation and ground water extraction methods. The project will have an intensive observation period (IOP: approximately 12 months) field campaign, with a focus on surface flux, and soil temperature and moisture measurements. The Special Observing Period (SOP) will take place during a 15-day period in summer 2020 over the Ebro basin in northeastern Spain when land surface heterogeneities are at their maximum, and will include measurements from a captive balloon, a lidar, frequent radio-sounding releases and aircraft. The field campaign will focus on studying surface and PBL contrasts between irrigated and non-irrigated natural regions, and quantifying the evaporative demand on the water resources. The long term result is an improvement of the representation of anthropogenic effects and semi-arid processes in models which will form the foundation for improving the understanding and prediction of water resource impact studies for both the present and under future climate change.


  • 11:30 - Role of Satellite Soil Moisture and Precipitation for Hydrometeorological Hazard Prediction in the Mediterranean Region
    Brocca, Luca - National Research Council of Italy, Italy

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    The Mediterranean region has been identified as one of the main climate change hotspots: its sensitivity to global change is high and its evolution remains uncertain. The region experiences many interactions and feedbacks at the oceanic, atmospheric, and hydrological levels, while facing high anthropogenic activities. Analysing the water cycle over the Mediterranean region is of major importance to environmental and socio-economic aspects. The satellite monitoring of the Mediterranean water cycle represents one of the key challenges for the hydrological community.

    The presentation will show recent results on using satellite soil moisture and precipitation products for hydrometeorological prediction in the Mediterranean region, and particularly for the prediction of floods and landslides.

  • 11:50 - Using Remote Sensing Data and Land-Surface Models to Understand and Monitor Drought in Iberia within the HUMID Project.
    Quintana Seguí, Pere (1); Escorihuela, María José (2); Barella Ortiz, Anaïs (1); Gao, Qi (2); Polcher, Jan (3); Boone, Aaron (4) - 1: Fundació Observatori de l'Ebre, Spain; 2: isardSAT, Barcelona; 3: Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, France; 4: CNRM-GAME (Météo-France CNRS), France

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    Drought is a major climatic risk resulting from complex interactions between the atmosphere, the continental surface and water resource management. Droughts have large socioeconomic impacts in Spain due to the scarcity and the high level of use of water resources. Recent studies show that drought is increasing in frequency and is more severe. Future climate scenarios show that drought will likely continue to increase in intensity, severity and duration, causing more competition for water resources.

    In this context, it is essential to have the best possible tools to understand drought processes and to have a better capacity for diagnosis, monitoring and planning. These tools must be capable of faithfully reproducing the state of the system and its evolution, in all its complexity, including the processes of meteorological, hydrological and agronomic drought, their propagation, their feedbacks and the direct influence of human society through, mainly, reservoirs and irrigation.

    Currently, in Spain, drought is being monitored using indices calculated from observed variables, such as reservoir or piezometric levels. These empirical indices can be supplemented with model and satellite data, which can give us a global overview of the state of the system, accessing variables that are not usually observed in situ, such as soil moisture.

    In recent years, there have been significant advances in the simulation of continental surface processes using LSMs (land-surface models) and, also, in Earth observation, which should be integrated into the tools available for decision-making.

    HUMID will use state-of-the-art remote sensing products, mainly soil moisture, to assess the usefulness of this information for drought monitoring. It will be studied how existing satellite based products reproduce surface and root zone soil moisture at different spatial scales.

    HUMID, in collaboration with stakeholders, will develop useful drought indices for managers, based on the observed data already in use, in combination with modelling and remote sensing data, ensuring that the results of the project will have a real impact on society.

    The HUMID project has received a grant from the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities. This project is a contribution to the future HyMeX-LIAISE campaign.

  • 12:10 - Wildfire Monitoring in the Mediterranean through the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS)
    San-Miguel-Ayanz, Jesus - JRC, Italy

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Lunch Break

12:30 - 13:30

Land 2

Chairs: Bruzzone, Lorenzo (Universitá di Trento), Milcinski, Grega (Sinergise)

13:30 - 15:50

  • 13:30 - Regional and National Scale Surface Deformation Analysis through Advanced Space-borne Radar Interferometry Techniques
    Manunta, Michele - CNR-IREA, Italy

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  • 13:50 - High Resolution Landcover of Italy
    Bruzzone, Lorenzo - Universitá di Trento, Italy

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  • 14:10 - Mediterranean Wetlands Monitoring Using Spatial Indicators Derived From EO Data
    Guelmami, Anis - Tour du Valat, France

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    Despite decades of conservation actions, wetlands have continued to disappear at global scale more rapidly than other ecosystems. The Mediterranean region is no exception.

    The Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory (MWO) was created in 2008 within the framework of the MedWet initiative to monitor and evaluate the status and trends of Mediterranean wetlands, and to increase the knowledge of their multiple benefits. Its ultimate goal is to improve wetland conservation and management by disseminating information and indicators broadly, in particular to political decision-makers, stakeholders and the general public. The MWO operates thanks to a group of partners who are committed to this vision such as: the Plan Bleu, EKBY, WWF, UNEP-WCMC, Wetlands International, the European Space Agency (ESA) and many others.

    Among all selected indicators by the MWO for the monitoring of Mediterranean wetland status and trends, some of those related to geo-referenced data could be derived from EO tools. In this frame, the MWO, in partnership with other organizations, has developed and tested several approaches to assess some key parameters for wetlands monitoring (e.g. wetlands extent, water surface dynamics, LULC/habitat dynamics…).

    A good example of this EO-based tools development could be the experience that the MWO had with the ESA DUE project GlobWetland-II (GW-II, 2010-2014). After extending the analysis to the Northern shore of the Mediterranean Basin (only 10 countries from the Southern shore initially concerned), the MWO produced the first precise and quantitative report on the Land Use/Land Cover dynamics between 1975 and 2005 in 305 Mediterranean coastal wetlands. The results of this research, based on indicators derived from Landsat images (MSS, TM and ETM), confirmed the importance of land use change, mainly through urban expansion, agricultural practices and wetlands artificialization (wetland habitats change from natural to artificial), as an impacting driver on the studied sites by the loss of 10% of their natural wetland habitats in 30 years (1975-2005). Additionnaly, the MWO is working on the improvment of this dataset by including results derived from new satellite images (e.g. Sentinel-2).

    Since this fruitful experience and in line with its general objectives and goals, the MWO is keeping on working with EO data for wetlands monitoring and assessment. One good exemple of this strong involvment is its current participation in the implementation of the Horizon-2020 project (Satellite-based Wetland Observation Service or SWOS, 2015-2018) which has the ambition to develop a global EO-based monitoring and information service for wetland ecosystems (demonstrated in more than 50 test sites in Europ, Africa and the Middle-East). This should, among other objectives, complement the MAES (Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystem Services) Working Group under the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 process and support the consideration of wetlands in the implementation of key policy areas.

  • 14:30 - The MedCLIVAR Network and the Need for a Sustained Satellite Observation Programme
    Lionello, Piero; Steering Group, The MedCLIVAR - University of Salento, Italy

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    The MedCLIVAR network ( is active in the scientific scene with focus on the extended Mediterranean area since 2003. The network has been endorsed by the international CLIVAR office and was approved by the European Science Foundation from 2006 to 2011 under the support of funding agencies in 12 countries. On this basis, MedCLIVAR held workshops, schools, an extended and highly successful exchange programme for young and senior scientists, sponsored or co-sponsored scientific workshops, published two books, and until present organizes uninterruptedly sessions of the European Geosciences Union General Assembly. Over these years, MedCLIVAR has become an independent platform for scientific discussion, exchange of information and coordination of activities across scientific groups around the Mediterranean. International conferences have been held in Lecce (2011), Madrid (2012), Ankara (2014), Athens (2016) and Belgrade (2018).


    A strength of the MedCLIVAR network is the development of a multidisciplinary view of the Mediterranean climate, which includes atmospheric, marine and terrestrial components at multiple time scales, covering the range from paleo-reconstructions to future climate scenarios. The scientific objects of the network include past climate variability, links between the Mediterranean and global climate, the Mediterranean Sea circulation and sea level, feedbacks on the global climate system, and the regional responses to greenhouse gas, air pollution, and aerosol forcings. A large effort has been devoted to characterize past and present extreme events (e.g. droughts, heatwaves and storms) and their associated impacts. The main results of the MedCLIVAR network have been published in two books edited by Elsevier (2006, 2012) as well as in several special numbers on scientific journals.


    Satellite imagery is an increasingly useful tool to monitor and analyze climate, climate change impacts and variables such as temperature, soil moisture, vegetation dynamics, ocean salinity, sea surface temperature, sea level, distribution of aerosols and dusts, among others. Within the Mediterranean context, there is evidence of the role of satellite remote sensing in drought monitoring and early warning, indicative of a longer list of environmental and climate-driven impacts. This contribution will provide views and needs of the MedCLIVAR community for innovative satellite products and their use in the activities of the network.

  • 14:50 - On-going Monitoring of Surface Water
    Milcinski, Grega - Sinergise, Slovenia

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    Water lies at the heart of economic and social development. As it is becoming scarce, stakeholders will need innovative ways to better understand water conditions, predict risks, and tackle problems. Cost-effective, yet reliable solutions for monitoring water resources are needed, as ground-based monitoring networks are often too costly. We will present a service based on EO data that will provide reliable and timely information about surface water levels across the globe. The key benefit of the service will be the accumulation of current and historic data in one place, presented in a clear and interactive way, free of charge. With this service, we also wish to demonstrate how global EO monitoring can be done efficiently and orders of magnitude cheaper than before, if done in an intelligent way.  All the code will be shared as an open-source, by which we hope to inspire others to build on top of it and develop similar services.

  • 15:10 - Sentinel-1 Soil Moisture Product At 1 km Resolution Over The Mediterranean Basin
    Balenzano, Anna (1); Satalino, Giuseppe (1); Lovergine, Francesco (1); D'Addabbo, Annarita (1); Mattia, Francesco (1); Palmisano, Davide (1); Refice, Alberto (1); Iacobellis, Vito (2); Manfreda, Salvatore (3); Brocca, Luca (4); Rinaldi, Michele (5); Pierdicca, Nazzareno (6); Pulvirenti, Luca (7); Davidson, Malcolm (8); Cosh, Michael (9) - 1: Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) - Istituto per il Rilevamento Elettromagnetico dell'Ambiente (IREA); 2: Politecnico di Bari (PoliBa)- Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Ambientale, del Territorio, Edile e di Chimica (DICATECh); 3: Univerisità degli Studi della Basilicata (Unibas) -Dipartimento delle Culture Europee e del Mediterraneo (DICEM); 4: Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) - Istituto di Ricerca per la Protezione Idrogeologica (IRPI); 5: (2) Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l'Analisi dell'Economia Agraria (CREA); 6: Sapienza Università di Roma - Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell'Informazione, Elettronica e Telecomunicazioni; 7: CIMA Research Foundation; 8: European Space Agency (ESA) - ESTEC; 9: USDA - Agricultural Research Service (ARS) - Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

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    The Mediterranean basin is a fragile “eco-region”, prone to North-South economic and social tensions, to an increasing anthropogenic pressure, to a highly variability of the hydrologic cycle and to a strong climate change threat due to the projected increase of the evaporative demand (IPCC, 2014). Semi-arid areas of the Mediterranean basin face particularly important challenges in terms of water scarcity and hydro-meteorological extremes, e.g., floods and droughts. The forecast and management of such devastating phenomena is highly hampered by the poor characterization of the underlying physical processes taking place at fine to large spatial scales (e.g., Drobinski et al., BAMS, 2014). Progress in their understanding is subject to the collection of consistent time series of the primary hydrologic variables that may drive the development and validation of multi-scale models. Earth Observation can contribute to provide sustained observations of a number of hydro-climatic variables at various scales and resolutions (e.g. Su et al., Int J Appl Earth Obs Geoinf., 2014).

    The objective of this study is to illustrate a pre-operational near surface soil moisture (SSM) product derived, at 1 km resolution, from Sentinel-1 (S-1) data over the Mediterranean basin. The high resolution is crucial in this area characterized by small to medium size watersheds (e.g. from 500 km2 to 5000 km2). Indeed, it may allow to resolve SSM patterns related to the landscape characteristics of the watersheds and link them to their hydrologic response.

    The S-1 SSM product has been developed in the context of an ESA SEOM LAND study ( and it is based on a Short Term Change Detection (STCD) retrieval approach that is implemented in the SMOSAR code (Balenzano et al., EuJRS, 2013). STCD applies over short vegetated areas dominated by soil attenuated scattering and profits from the frequent S-1 revisit by adopting a time series approach. The underlying approximation is that between two subsequent S-1 acquisitions only soil moisture content may significantly change, while all the other relevant surface parameters (e.g. soil roughness, vegetation biomass etc.) remain constant (Balenzano et al., IEEE JSTARS, 2011).

    The paper examines the information content of the S-1 SSM product at Mediterranean scale and of its spatial and temporal variability (i.e. standard deviation). Moreover, a quantitative comparison with operational SSM products such as SMAP, SMOS and ASCAT derived at lower resolution (e.g., 625 km2) is provided.

    Finally, the paper discusses and shows examples of three possible applications. The first one concerns the possibility of relating the derived S-1 SSM product to the root zone soil moisture through the approach developed by Manfreda et al. (HESS, 2014). The second one transforms near surface soil moisture values into satellite-based rainfall (SBR) products (Brocca et al., JGR, 2014). The third application is currently investigated in the framework of the ESA STEAM project. It is the ingestion of S-1 derived SSM data (possibly combined with other Sentinel-derived products) in a high-resolution Numerical Weather Prediction model.

  • 15:30 - Round Table Land
    Chairs, Land - .

Coffee break & TEPs demo

15:50 - 16:20

Sea 1

Chairs: Santoleri, Rosalia (CNR-ISAC), Cau, Dario (MIT), Sylos Labini, Giovanni (Planetek Italia Srl)

16:20 - 18:00

  • 16:20 - Geo-analytics for the Mediterranean wealth
    Sylos Labini, Giovanni - Planetek Italia Srl, Italy

  • 16:40 - Regional Algorithms For The Observation Of Phytoplankton Functional Types And Size Classes From Space In The Mediterranean Sea
    Di Cicco, Annalisa (1); Sammartino, Michela (1); Marullo, Salvatore (2); Colella, Simone (1); Santoleri, Rosalia (1) - 1: CNR (National Research Council), Rome - Italy; 2: ENEA (Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development), Frascati - Italy

    In order to improve the knowledge about the ecological systems and monitoring the ecological status of marine environment, one of the main target is to identify the structures and processes that can explain ecosystem dynamics. The comprehension of the structure and functioning of the community plays a key role in this context. Functional traits and body size are two of the most relevant species-independent descriptors of the community. In the recent years, several models have been proposed to estimate Phytoplankton Functional Types (PFTs) and Size Classes (PSCs) from satellite data, but the main approaches are designed for global applications, generally not able to reflect the unique bio-optical properties of the Mediterranean Sea. In this work, we present new regional algorithms, specialized for the Mediterranean Sea, to estimate the contribution of the main PFTs and PSCs to Total Chlorophyll a (TChla) from satellite data. We also show the analysis of climatological maps relative to the patterns of phytoplankton assemblage distribution. These results are obtained applying the regional equations to a Mediterranean TChla satellite time series from 1998 to 2015 (TChla Mediterranean reprocessed product, available from Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service and produced by the CMEMS OCTAC (Ocean Color Thematic Assembling Centre) using the ESA OC-CCI (European Space Agency—Ocean Color Climate Change Initiative) processor and the CNR Mediterranean processing chain). The Mediterranean PFT/PSC algorithms will transferred into the CMEMS OCTAC processor and the Mediterranean PFT and PSC products will be available in the CMEMS catalogue at the beginning of next year. These abundance models could be also applied to high spatial resolution data from Sentinel satellites, representing an opportunity to improve the marine ecosystem observation from space.

  • 17:00 - The Mediterranean multi-sensor satellite Observing System for the Copernicus Marine Service: present state and future perspectives
    Santoleri, Rosalia (1); Buongiorno Nardelli, B. (1); Brando, V. (1); Colella, S. (2); Marullo, S. (2); Pisano, A. (1); Volpe, G. (1); Bellacicco, M. (2); Bracaglia, M. (1); Sanmartino, M. (1); Falcini, F. (1); Tronconi, C. (1) - 1: CNR-ISAC, Italy; 2: ENEA

  • 17:20 - Italian Coast Guard Current and Future use of Copernicus Services
    Cau, Dario - MIT, Italy

  • 17:40 - Remote Sensing SSS in the Mediterranean: Prospects and Applications
    Turiel, Antonio (1,2); Olmedo, Estrella (1,2); Martínez, Justino (1,2); Gonzalez-Gambau, Veronica (1,2); Gabarro, Carolina (1,2); Isern-Fontanet, Jordi (1,2); Portabella, Marcos (1,2) - 1: Barcelona Expert Center, Spain; 2: Institute of Marine Sciences

    SSS is crucial to understand freshwater fluxes, to improve the parametrizations of ocean numerical models, to analyze ocean-atmosphere fluxes and to describe some process key in the climate of the Mediterranean. However, obtaining maps of Sea Surface Salinity with reasonable time-space resolution and accuracy in the Mediterranean has been challenging for very long
    In situ data can be objectively analysed to produce synoptic maps with reasonable accuracy, but with  limited resolution: the only regularly mapping devices are the Argo floats, which are presently around 300 to cover a total area of about 2,5 milions of square kilometers, that is, there is on average only one float for every 8,300 square kilometers or about 1,5 floats per square degree. Besides, given the sampling frequency of the profilers, the time resolution for Argo-derived maps cannot be better than 10 days. Additionally, there is a serious issue with the representativity of the data acquired by Argo profilers, because the data used always correspond to a certain depth with respect to the surface (and can be affected by phenomena increasing the stratification of the water column) and to a very limited area around the float (and thus has a limited representativity of the larger area implied by the spatial sampling frequency).
    Recent L-band satellite missions (SMOS, Aquarius and SMAP) have been used to retrieve SSS from space, ensuring reasonable synopticty and repeatedness of the data, with an intermediate resolution and moderate precision. However, due to the characteristics of the Mediterranean basin (a semi-enclosed sea with complicated coastline and strong sources of Radio Frequency Interferences - RFI -  in L-band) the quality of the remote sensing datasets of SSS is very limited by the effect of land-sea contamination, side-lobes by RFIs and so on.
    Only very recently, a new retrieval scheme for SMOS SSS has been devised, the so-called debiased non-Bayesian (dnB) approach. By the use of dnB, we have been able to remove the vast majority of errors and biases in SMOS data and now, it is possible to retrieve SSS in the Mediterranean Sea with a spatial resolution of 1/4 of degree and a time resolution of 9-days, with a precision of 0.3 psu and relatively small biases. The use of multifractal techniques allow to improve further both the spatial and the time resolutions, getting very close to what is required by operational users. In addition, the use of a very low-level correction technique (nodal sampling) we can now retrieve SSS values in areas heavily affected by the presence of RFIs (as the Eastern Mediterranean) while diminishing the overall error.
    Such high-quality SSS data can be directly applied in numerical calculations requiring of high-quality data. We show some examples of application for the calculation of density-driven currents, the on-set of deep convection in the Western Mediterranean and for the evaluation of freshwater fluxes in general.

Poster Session and Welcome Cocktail

18:00 - 19:30

  • Remote Sensing for the Study of Water Resources in the Mediterranean Landscapes. Case of the Tensift Watershed (Marrakech, Morocco)
    Simonneaux, Vincent (1); Er-Raki, Salah (2); Alaouri, Meriem (3); Benkaddour, Abdelfattah (2); Berjami, Brahim (4); Boudhar, Abdelghani (5); Chakir, Adnane (1); Chehbouni, Abdelghani (1); Dezetter, Alain (6); Ezzahar, Jamal (7); Fakir, Younes (8); Fanise, Pascal (2); Gascoin, Simon (1); Hanich, Lahoucine (2); Jarlan, Lionel (1); Kasbani, Mohamed (1); Khabba, Said (2); Kharrou, Hakim (9); le Page, Michel (1); Merlin, Olivier (1); Raibi, Fatima (10); Saidi, Mohamed El Mehdi (2); Tramblay, Yves (6); Ait Hssaine, Bouchra (8); Amazirh, Abdelhakim (8); Aouade, Ghizlane (8); Bennani, Oumaima (2); Bouras, Elhoussaine (2); Diarra, Alhousseine (8); El Farkh, Jamal (8); Hajhouji, Youssef (8); El Khalki, El Mehdi (2); Kherrou, Sofiane (2); Nassah, Houda (8); Ouaadi, Nadia (8); Rafi, Zoubair (8); Sefiani, Salma (8); Toumi, Jihad (8); Zkhiri, Wiam (2) - 1: Centre d'Etudes Spatiales de la Biosphère, Toulouse, France; 2: Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université Cadi Ayyad, Marrakech, Maroc; 3: Direction de la Météorologie Nationale, Casablanca, Maroc; 4: Agence de Bassin Hydraulique du Tensift, Marrakech, Maroc; 5: Université Sultan Moulay Slimane, Beni-Mellal, Maroc; 6: Hydrosciences Montpellier, France; 7: Ecole Nationale des Sciences Appliquées de Safi, Université Cadi Ayyad (UCAM), Maroc; 8: Faculté des Sciences Semlalia, Université Cadi Ayyad (UCAM), Marrakech, Maroc; 9: Office Régional de Mise en Valeur Agricole du Haouz, Marrakech, Maroc; 10: Centre National de l'Energie des Sciences et des Techniques Nucléaires, Kenitra, Maroc

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    Important changes are expected in a near future regarding water resources and agriculture in the Mediterranean. In order to understand and anticipate these changes, it is necessary to study the underlying eco-hydrological processes involved. For this purpose, a research project carried out within the frame of French-Moroccan cooperation (The Joint International Laboratory, LMI TREMA) works since 2002 on the monitoring and modelling of water resources in semi-arid Mediterranean regions, striving to valorise remote sensing data. The main study site is the Tensift watershed located around Marrakech (Morocco), a typical Southern Mediterranean catchment with water production in the upstream mountainous part of the catchment and downstream consumption due to agriculture and irrigation. Our scientific approaches rely on the complementarity between in situ observations, satellite data and modelling tools to understand and model the hydrological functioning of the watershed. These activities are supported by an in-situ observatory, including a network of about ten meteorological stations ranging from 450 to 3200 m.a.s.l., but also intensive water and energy flux measurement campaign conducted at seasonal scale for the main crops encountered in the area (olive, citrus, wheat...). Additional data is provided by the LMI partners who are also managers, namely the office in charge of irrigation providing irrigation volumes and the watershed agency providing with runoff measurements at the outlet of the main rivers of the area and piezometric data in the plain. The heart of our activities is the remote sensing characterisation of continental surfaces, including land cover, vegetation cover (LAI, biomass), soil moisture, evapotranspiration, but also snow cover and snow water equivalent in the upper areas. These researches make the best use of remote sensing data, striving to valorise the complementarities between visible-near infrared (i.e. Sentinel-2), thermal (i.e. Landsat, MODIS) and microwave (i.e. Sentinel-1, SMOS) domains. Although the COPERNICUS program has considerably enhanced the availability of remote sensing data, it is still necessary to combine various spatial resolutions, developing disaggregation algorithms. The bio-physical products obtained from satellite data are used in a variety of hydrological models, ranging from fully physical to more conceptual ones. Some models are related to water resource characterisation in the mountain areas, including remote sensing of the snow contribution, and are aimed at estimating both surface runoff and deep infiltrations towards the downstream aquifers. Other models are dedicated to the crop water budget monitoring in the plain, especially for irrigated crops, in order to help water management of to quantify the fluxes between irrigated areas and the underlying aquifers. All these models are typically used for current water management but they may also be used to simulate the impact of global changes. In line with these societal objectives, we developed pre-operational tools useful for water managers, like SAT-IRR (“Satellite for Irrigation advisory”) at plot scale, or SAMIR (“Satellite Monitoring of Irrigation”) for water fluxes monitoring at the scale of irrigated perimeter. We also build tools for integrated water management at watershed scale coupling for example SAMIR-WEAP-MODFLOW or SIM (Safran-Isba-Modcou).

  • Cross-Scale Evaluation Of Satellite Precipitation Products Over Land
    Markonis, Yannis (1); Strnad, Filip (1); Nikolopoulos, Efthymios (2); Hanel, Martin (1) - 1: Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Czech Republic; 2: University of Connecticut, USA

    During the last decade substantial improvements have been accomplished in many remote sensingsystems. However, the uncertainty in precipitation estimation still persists, since it manifests (a) as measurement error, (b) in the space/time interpolation of a naturally discontinuous and erratic fieldand (c) in the assumptions made to transform the satellite measurements into a precipitation amounts. While several methodologies havebeen developed for data comparison and validation, all these efforts, to date, focus mainly on individual variables and spatiotemporal scales. The challengeis thus how to achieve a better coupling between station-derived datasets and remote sensing records, in order to scrutinize observational limitations and/or deficiencies across different spatiotemporal scales. Further extending our previous research, here, we propose a framework for  observational data comparison in Earth system sciences that confronts observed patterns across a continuum of scales, rather than focusing on univariate goodness- of-fit criteria or individual spatiotemporal scales.  This includes the combination of both site-specific, i.e. station, and gridded datasets at various scales, and the investigation of their scaling behaviour during the aggregation process. The proposed cross-scale data comparison framework is expected to result to pinpoint specific scales across the spatiotemporal continuum that observed patterns match or diverge.

  • The RUS service : Fostering Sentinel data for R&D over the Mediterranean basin
    Bonneval, Beatrice (1); Palazzo, Francesco (1); Remondiere, Sylvie (1); Smejkalova, Tereza (1); Castro-Gomez, Miguel (1); Gilles, Chloe (1); Guzzonato, Eric (2); Mora, Brice (2) - 1: Serco Italy SpA, Italy; 2: CS-SI France

    The RUS Service aims to promote the uptake of Sentinel data and supports the scaling up of R&D activities with data coming from the Copernicus programme of European satellites.

    RUS Service is configured in a scalable cloud environment that offers the possibility to remotely store and process EO data. The RUS Service is providing support from a helpdesk and a team of EO and IT experts, who can address any request coming from beginners or skilled practitioners. Cloud ICT resources are procured with Free and Open-Source Software and are tailored to meet the user’s needs.

    The RUS service also proposes on-site training sessions, like webinars and online materials. The RUS Service is offered at no cost and is available for a large community of users and various types of institutions.
    The objective of this poster is to present and introduce different examples of the exploitation of the RUS Virtual Machines with Sentinel datasets related to R&D over the Mediterranean basin

    The RUS Service is funded by the EC, managed by ESA, and operated by a consortium of European companies led by Communications & Systèmes – Systèmes d’Informations (CS-SI France) and its partners.

  • ACCWA: An Innovative Set of Remote Sensing Based Monitoring Tools for Agriculture and Water Management in the Mediterranean Region; the Ebre Basin Case Study.
    Escorihuela, Maria Jose (1); Quintana-Seguí, Pere (2); Stefan, Vivien (1); Indrio, Gianfranco (1); Merlin, Olivier (3) - 1: isardSAT, Barcelona; 2: Observatori de l'Ebre, Roquetes; 3: CESBIO, Toulouse

    The Mediterranean is among the most sensitive areas to climate change as demonstrated in many studies. The models issued by IPCC cast different scenarios for the Mediterranean Region, but all of them agree on a clear increasing trend of temperatures. Precipitation projections are uncertain due to high inter-annual variation, but inter-annual and spatial variability are expected to increase. It is expected the duration of the rainy season be shorter and summer dry spells be longer, increasing agriculture land deterioration and desertification.

    Increased rainfall variability and ET rates will compromise irrigation potential and expansion plans and increase competition and conflict over limited water resources. There are significant knowledge gaps and uncertainties about how much water will be available for a complete growing season, how much should be used for scheduling irrigation efficiently and extracted from these regions. More information regarding water use is necessary to improve agricultural planning and to manage water more efficiently at different scales: farm and catchment/irrigation district level.

    The expected impact in rainfed agriculture is a decrease in yield due to heat and water stress and an increase in the likelihood of crop failure in rainfed crops for maize, millet and sorghum. Ongoing changes in the socio-economic and environmental background of rainfed farmers combined with the expected population growth make timely and reliable information on rainfed crop yield and its spatial variability essential in decision-support for improving food security and livelihoods.

    At the same time, temperature and precipitation changing patterns will increase hazards linked to environmental conditions such as droughts, floods or crop pests like. In order to reduce the impact of these hazards a critical component is a comprehensive hazards monitoring system that can provide early warning and deliver that information to users in a timely manner.

    In this climate change context, ACCWA aims to develop the remote sensing based monitoring tools for agriculture and water management that help risk guidance.

    ACCWA aims to develop the remote sensing based management and monitoring tools for food security and water & agricultural risk management that allow improving the reliability of decision making regarding water use, yield and hazards in agriculture. The water and agriculture management system is being defined in accordance with user needs and requirements.

    In this presentation we will show the development of a soil moisture anomaly product and drought index derived from high-spatial remote sensing soil moisture over the entire Ebre Basin.

    Additionally, ACCWA aims to build a network for inter-sectorial knowledge sharing and long-term collaboration in the field of remote sensing applications for water resources and agriculture management. ACCWA builds on existing or completed European R&D projects aiming at optimizing irrigation, yield and hazards management.

    The ACCWA project has been awarded a H2020-MSCA-RISE-2018 grant (grant agreement No 823965)


  • Has The Fresh Water Flux From The Continents To The Mediterranean Sea Been Underestimated?
    Wang, Fuxing; Polcher, Jan - LMD-IPSL/CNRS, France

    Quantifying the water cycle of the earth system at regional or global scale is a major challenge where progress is urgently needed in order to monitor climate change and the impact of human water regulation. One point which is arguably the most accessible if the flow from the continents to the oceans as it is dominated by river discharge which is relatively well observed. Using a novel data assimilation methodology which fusions observed river discharge in a land surface model, a new estimates for this flux to the Mediterranean sea for the period 1980-2013 is proposed.

    We find that more fresh water flows into the sea as previously estimated. We demonstrate that our methodology, which essentially corrects the atmospheric moisture convergence over the catchments, provides more reliable estimates over unmonitored coastal basins and implicitly represents submarine ground water flows. The high number of coastal mountain ranges and karst system in the Mediterranean explains that previous studies have underestimated the fresh water flux to the ocean by 40 to 60%. The 34 years of reconstructed discharge from the continents have been examined for trends. No climate driven trends could be identified, but on the other hand decreases of the fresh water flow in some oceanic sub-basins could be attributed to water and land use modifications in their continental drainage basin which has resulted in an increased evaporation.

    The proposed error bars provided with the estimate indicate that the degrading river gauging station network limits our ability to monitor reliably this branch of the water cycle. This raises the question as to which space born observations could be brought in to compensate for the declining gauging station network.

  • Extraction Of Smos Soil Moisture And Ocean Salinity Main Features Across The Mediterranean Region Over The Last Decade
    Bueso Acevedo, Diego (1); Piles Guillem, Maria (2); Ballabrera-Poy, Joaquim (3); Camps-Valls, Gustau (4) - 1: Universitat de València, Spain; 2: Universitat de València, Spain; 3: CSIC, Spain; 4: Universitat de València, Spain

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    Dimensional reduction methods are key to Earth system sciences, since they allow dealing with extensive spatio-temporal climatic data sets in terms of individual variables as time series and spatial distributions. Principal Component Analysis (PCA), also called Empirical Orthogonal Functions (EOF) in geophysics, is a simple yet very powerful method to uncover the main geographical patterns at distinct temporal scales present in the data. A variety of PCA extensions have been proposed to deal with specific aspects of the input data, as the complex PCA (CEOF), the rotated PCA (REOF) or the nonlinear or Kernel PCA. The rotated complex kernel PCA (ROCK PCA) was recently proposed to combine these three methods and allow making a physically interpretable spatio-temporal decomposition of extensive climatic variables. In this work, we apply the ROCK-PCA method to the 8 years of ESA's SMOS Soil Moisture (SM) and Ocean Salinity (OS) data available over the Mediterranean region. Results show the distribution of the total SM and OS variance among its different components, and indicate the dominant modes of temporal variability of these two variables. The connection of these modes to human-induced changes or natural fluctuations (e.g. El Niño Southern Oscillation) have been explored and will be shown at the workshop.

  • Mapping The Dynamics Of Water Bodies In NW Bulgaria By Nonlinear Methods
    Nikolov, Hristo (1); Atanasova, Mila (2) - 1: Space research and technology institute; 2: National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and Geography, Bulgaria

    Availability of reliable information on the size of the areas occupied by water bodies, especially those located close to villages located in plains, is crucial in avoiding possible disasters. It can also be used by the competent authorities to assess the extent of flash floods zones triggered by a short, heavy rain in order to mitigate the damages caused to the villages, infrastructure and agricultural land. On the other hand the access to water resources is of extreme importance for agricultural activities and for this reason it is essential to have correct information on the size of the natural and artificial water reservoirs.

    One possible source of the said information is the repository of SAR data obtained by the Sentinel-1 constellation distributed by ESA at no cost for all data users. The advantages of using it are – the guaranteed repeatability at every six days, the possibility to monitor large territories at once and the independence of the weather conditions. The latter is of extreme importance for rapid mapping of the regions affected by floods and in such cases might be the only way to map them since due to the clouds present in such scenario the optical imagery is of limited usage.

    In this paper we present a method for regular production of maps for the areas occupied by water based on processing the backscattering coefficients from SAR data. Those maps are generated by implementing nonlinear methods, such as artificial neural networks (ANNs) and support vector machines (SVMs), for processed SAR data segmentation and classification. For purposes of this research it was set as requirement to both approaches used to consider sixteen classes not only to discriminate between water areas and the rest types of land cover, which allowed distinguishing wetlands and level of soil moisture as well. The results obtained after processing data from three consecutive years clearly confirm the advantage of the proposed methods compared to other frequently used approaches for solving this problem such as k-means or ISODATA.

    As test site for this research the Northwest part of Bulgaria was selected because of two reasons. First it is highly susceptible to floodings from Danube River spilling which occurs frequently due to low river banks causing devastating damages which to be overcome require as detailed maps as possible. The next one is that the region is predominantly occupied by agricultural land, which is one of the main drivers of economic activities in it and for this reason it is of high importance information of water volumes and soil moisture to be easily accessible. 

  • The Future of the Past: Study and Enhancement of Ancient Doclea (Montenegro)
    Cozzolino, Marilena (1); Gentile, Vincenzo (2); Merola, Pasquale (1); Koprivica, Tatjana (3); Alberti, Lucia (1); Colosi, Francesca (1); D'Eredità, Antonio (1); Moscati, Paola (1); Sfameni, Carla (1); Burzanović, Slavko (3); Pelcer-Vujačić, Olga (3); Laković, Ivan (3) - 1: CNR, ISMA-ITABC Rome, Italy; 2: Independent Researcher; 3: University of Montenegro, Historical Institute, Podgorica, Montenegro

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  • New ICT Compressive Sensing based Trends applied to: Multimedia, Biomedicine and Communications
    Draganic, Andjela - University of Montenegro, Montenegro

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  • Cloud Computing Implementation of a Neural Classifier for Remotely Sensed Hyperspectral Images
    Paoletti, Mercedes Eugenia; Haut, Juan Mario; Plaza, Javier; Plaza, Antonio - University of Extremadura, Spain

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    New hyperspectral missions have been already planned by national agencies that might be very interesting for regional applications, for example in the field of agriculture. Current spectrometers are now able to capture hundreds of hyperspectral images (HSI) at different wavelengths for the same area on the surface of the Earth. This HSI data is characterized by its high volume and dimensionality, which greatly complicates its storage and processing. In addition, most of processing algorithms for HSI data exhibit high computational complexity. As a result, there is a need to develop implementations of such algorithms on high performance computing architectures. In particular, cloud computing technologies are able to provide both distributed storage and processing of large HSI repositories which are tipically located in different datacenters. In this paper we present a new cloud computing implementation (developed using Apache Spark) of a neural network classifier for remotely sensed HSI data. Our experimental results suggest that, due to its distributed nature, cloud computing offers a highly efficient methodology for distributed processing of large HSI datasets

  • Urban Areas Change Detection Based on Multitemporal Sentinel Data and Fully Automatic Neural Networks Algorithms
    Del Frate, Fabio (1); Benedetti, Alessia (1); Picchiani, Matteo (2); Schiavon, Giovanni (2) - 1: University of Rome "Tor Vergata", Italy; 2: GEO-K SRL, Italy

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    Satellite remote sensing can be used to provide an objective and consistent view of urban areas. In particular the launch of Copernicus Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 missions is allowing the final users to exploit a big amount of data with an unprecedented temporal resolution. Moreover Sentinel products are made available systematically and free of charge and their operations will last at least for next twenty years in order to encourage service providers to develop new and reliable services. In this context the possibility of effectively use either the multi-temporal character of the data or the concurrency of the optical and SAR images may be crucial in order to fully exploit all the information available. Moreover, it is important to develop
    and set up processing chains with a high level of automatism to keep the pace of the data continuously provided to the ground-segment. In fact, while the topic of change detection has been often addressed in remote sensing, these joint aspects have scarcely considered so far. In this paper we developed a multitemporal and multiband approach based on an algorithm consisting in three steps: the first and the second ones are based on an unsupervised neural-network approach, in particular on a PCNN (Pulse Coupled Neural Network) applied to SAR and optical data, respectively, and the last phase is an optical multiband filter. In the third step a multispectral difference logic is applied to Sentinel-2, finally in the last step the fusion of the obtained results is considered.

  • Monitoring The Earth's Crust Deformations In Provadia Area
    Atanasova, Mila (1); Nikolov, Hristo (2) - 1: National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and Geography, Bulgaria; 2: Space research and technology institute

    The differential radar interferometry (DInSAR) technique provides fast and accurate means for detecting even small displacements of the Earth’s crust having a magnitude of centimeters. This method is particularly suitable in monitoring horizontal or vertical movements of natural or anthropogenic origin. The information concerning the displacements is based only on interferograms resulting from processing phase data contained in two SAR images from different dates over the same region. Compared to geodetic measurements the DInSAR interferograms obtained from satellite-based instruments cover larger areas thus offering cost effective manner for monitoring the processes mentioned.
    The motivation behind this research was to study the crustal deformations in the area Mirovo salt deposit near the town Provadia, NE Bulgaria which has been extensively explored by other in-situ methods. In this research the authors obtained results by processing freely accessible SAR data from ESAs’ Sentinel-1 mission for the said region following the DInSAR method and draw conclusions on the deformations detected based only on these results. The specific goal to be achieved was to assess of the extent of anthropogenic impact in the area of the deposit.
    The Mirovo salt deposit was selected since it is a unique natural phenomenon for Bulgaria taking into account its origin, shape, composition and location. From geological and geophysical point of view the region is characterized by several faults with different spatial orientation forming a complex tectonic unit and block fragments. This area has been investigated for seismicity in several studies too. The mentioned peculiarities justify the necessity of regular monitoring of the geodynamic situation and surface subsidence in it. This is the reason why periodic geodetic in-situ measurements are made there in order to obtain reliable information on horizontal and vertical movements, and deformation processes.
    In this article presented are results obtained after processing several SAR images targeted at detecting deformations of the Earth's crust. The problem we solved is to elaborate accurate, verified and reliable method for registration of vertical and horizontal movements of the Earth's surface by means of regular monitoring at short intervals (about every 4-8 months) using satellite and complementary data acquired from geodetic surveying. The DInSAR method applied fulfilled the requirements which are confirmed by the results from three sets of SAR data collected in the last three years. Additional motivation for carrying out this study was the fact that in the area investigated the deformation processes are subject of research for more than 30 years which makes possible to achieve proper comparison based on results from geodetic data. Based on these results one can make reliable forecast about the further progress of those movements since several areas having different type of movement have been identified.
    The results also have been compared the trends of land displacements based on repeated multi-year results from geodetic measurements of the Mirovo geodynamic network. The results of this study showed activity of the Earth's crust in the area and confirmed again that the methods used are appropriate for determining movements being of technogenic origin.

  • GIMS: an innovative low-cost System to Monitor Ground Deformations Based on EGNSS, Sentinel InSAR and Inertial Measurement Units.
    Realini, Eugenio; Sampietro, Daniele - Geomatics Research & Development s.r.l., Italy

    The Mediterranean region is characterized by the presence of several geological phenomena such as subsidence, landslides, sinking due both to anthropic or natural causes. Just think for instance to the possible subsidence in the Adriatic Sea due to hydrocarbon extraction, or to subsidence in the Nile Delta, or again to the complex system of uplift/subsidence and sinkholes in the Karst Plateau between Italy and Slovenia.

    These phenomena have negative and sometimes destructive impacts on land, economy, structures (bridges, buildings), infrastructures (roads, railways, channels, pipelines, energy infrastructures, etc.), and ancient structures of artistic and cultural value (churches, ruins, archaeological sites, etc.).

    Within this framework, a continuous and accurate monitoring of the deformations occurring on the Earth surface, and its interaction with structures, can have a fundamental role to mitigate casualties and injuries to the population, to avoid economic loss, and to better plan maintenance interventions.

    The GIMS (Geodetic Integrated Monitoring System) project aims at developing, demonstrating and commercializing a new advanced low-cost system based on EGNSS, Sentinel 1A/B SAR interferometry and other in-situ sensors, like inertial measurement units, to monitor ground deformations. The project will focus on monitoring landslides, subsidence and other environmental hazards that can only be identified by millimetric precision survey techniques.

    In the current contribute the project itself, together with some preliminary results are presented.

  • East Mediterranean Sea crustal structure from GOCE-based global gravity data
    Sampietro, Daniele (1); Capponi, Martina (2) - 1: Geomatics Research & Development s.r.l., Italy; 2: Politecnico di Milano, Italy

    The Levant crustal structure is being investigated starting from the inversion of gravity disturbances coming from a GOCE-based global geopotential field model integrated with seismic derived information. In the considered area, which is of particular interest because of its richness from the resources point of view, the deep crustal structure is still a matter of study due to the presence of a thick sequence of sedimentary layers, deposited within geological eras by the Nile river.

    In particular in the current work the nature of the Levantine Basin as the Moho depth and the crustal density distribution are investigated.

    Results are correlated by a proper description of the corresponding accuracies.

  • A New Tool for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in the United Kingdom
    Kantamaneni, Komali (1); Sur, Koyel (2,3); Allali, Belqais (4); Dos Santos, Elisa Volker (5); Srivastava, Sanjay (2,6) - 1: Southampton Solent University, United Kingdom; 2: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) India; 3: Anand Agriculture University (ICAR), India; 4: Salford University, United Kingdom; 5: Technologist at the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications, Brazil; 6: Lightning Safety Council of India

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    Predicted future climate change, sea level rise and increasing storm intensities will result in increasing physical, environmental and socioeconomic pressures, particularly for communities living in low lying coastal areas around the world. Extreme natural disasters such as high-intensity floods and storms are becoming increasingly recurrent in recent decades. For the period 1995-2015, more than 2.5 billion people have been affected by these weather-related disasters across the globe; impacting ecosystems, livelihoods and fiscal security.  In the UK, flood incidents causes £1.3 billion value of destruction per year and more than six million properties are at risk to various natural hazards. The efficacy of disaster risk reduction policies and procedures is therefore of paramount importance in reducing risk. Currently, the UK does not have a sufficiently rigorous framework for pre-and post-disaster management challenges associated with natural hazards; a scenario that is keenly felt in high risk coastal areas such as Barton on Sea, Milford-on-Sea, Happisburgh and, Llanelli. In order to enhance and build capacity both in preparedness and response, the current study proposes a new strategy (Disaster Risk Assessment Tool) for effective management of natural disaster events. The proposed tool will reduce the pre-and post-disaster management costs and maximise the infrastructure value in disaster prone areas across the country. The study will also help the decision and policy makers to design the policies for better management of pre-and post-disaster activates in disaster risk areas.


    Keywords: Natural Disasters; Disaster Management: New Tool; United Kingdom 

  • Use of Satellite Data for the Validation of a High-Resolution Model of the Mediterranean Sea-Black Sea System
    Iacono, Roberto; Bargagli, Andrea; Carillo, Adriana; Lombardi, Emanuele; Napolitano, Ernesto; Palma, Massimiliano; Pisacane, Giovanna; Sannino, Gianmaria; Struglia, Maria Vittoria - ENEA, Italy

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    A new three-dimensional, primitive equation model of the circulation of the Mediterranean Sea-Black Sea system has been developed, which includes the effects of the main astronomical tides. The model is based on the MITgcm (Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model), in its hydrostatic version. The model domain is discretized using 100 vertical z-levels, and a horizontal computational grid of 2500 x 750 points, with a uniform resolution of 1/48° (about 2 km) over most of the domain, except in the regions of the Straits of Gibraltar, Dardanelles and Bosphorus, where higher resolutions (down to a few hundred meters) are needed to correctly resolve the dynamics. The model has a single open boundary, to the west of the Gibraltar Strait, where boundary conditions are taken from the NEMO operational model. Surface forcing (hourly wind stress, heat and fresh water fluxes) is derived from the regional atmospheric high-resolution (5 km) SKIRON model. In this first configuration, climatological discharges for 27 main rivers are included, derived via the Water Balance Model (WBM; 0.1°x0.1° resolution), driven by WFDEI data. 

    A first physical validation has been performed, comparing the results of a 40 days run (19 March-30 April 2018) with satellite observations of sea height, sea surface temperature, and turbidity. After one month of simulation, during which no assimilation or relaxation was performed, the model circulation and the sea surface temperature distribution were still found to be in good agreement with the satellite observations, showing the capability of the model to follow the evolution of the system in a period (beginning of spring) that is characterized by complex dynamics and significant changes in the surface heat fluxes. 

    During this analysis, some limitations of the available remote sensed data have emerged, such as the lack of absolute dynamic topography (ADT) maps for the Black Sea, and the relatively high errors in the ADT reconstruction in dynamically important regions, e.g., the African coastal area, which hosts the Algerian current.  More generally, some concerns may be raised about the impact of the mean dynamic topography in the reconstruction of the geostrophic surface circulation in a region characterized by strong seasonality. Finally, some indications are given about observational needs for a more consistent validation of the high-resolution ocean models that are being developed.

  • The Mediterranean Ocean Colour Level 3 Operational Multi-Sensor Processing
    Volpe, Gianluca (1); Colella, Simone (1); Brando, Vittorio (1); Forneris, Vega (1); La Padula, Flavio (1); Di Cicco, Annalisa (1); Sammartino, Michela (1); Bracaglia, Marco (1,2); Artuso, Florinda (3); Santoleri, Rosalia (1) - 1: ISAC-CNR, Italy; 2: Università degli Studi di Napoli Parthenope, Italy; 3: Ente per le Nuove tecnologie l'Energia e l'Ambiente, Italy

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    This work describes the main processing steps operationally performed to enable single ocean colour sensors to enter the multi-sensor chain for the Mediterranean Sea of Ocean Colour Thematic Assembling Centre. Here, the multi-sensor chain takes care of reducing the inter-sensor bias before data from different sensors are merged together. The basin-scale in situ bio-optical dataset is used both to fine-tuning the algorithms for the retrieval of phytoplankton chlorophyll and attenuation coefficient of light, Kd, and to assess the uncertainty associated with them. The satellite multi-sensor remote sensing Reflectance spectra better agree with the in situ observations than that of the single sensors, and are comparable with the ESA-OC-CCI multi-sensor product, highlighting the importance of reducing the inter-sensor bias. The Mediterranean near-real-time multi-sensor processing chain has been set up and is operational in the framework of the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service.

  • Modeled Biogeochemical Response of the Mediterranean to the Transient SRES A2 Climate Change Scenario.
    Richon, Camille (1); Dutay, Jean-Claude (1); Bopp, Laurent (2); Le-vu, Briac (1); Orr, James (1); Somot, Samuel (3); Dulac, Francois (1) - 1: LSCE, France; 2: ENS, Paris; 3: meteo france

    The Mediterranean region is a climate change hot-spot. Increasing greenhouse gas emissions are projected to lead to a significant warming of Mediterranean Sea waters, as well as major changes in its circulation, but the subsequent effects of such changes on marine biogeochemistry are still poorly understood. This study investigates the changes in nutrient concentrations and biological productivity in response to climate change in the Mediterranean region. For the first time, transient simulations with the coupled high resolution model NEMOMED8/PISCES using the pessimistic IPCC SRES-A2 socio-economic scenario and corresponding Atlantic, Black Sea, and coastal nutrient inputs were performed. The results indicate that nitrate is accumulating in the Mediterranean Sea over the 21st century, whereas no tendency is found for phosphorus. These contrasted variations result from an unbalanced nitrogen–to–phosphorus input from external sources and lead an expansion of phosphorus–limited regions across the Mediterranean. In addition, phytoplankton net primary productivity is reduced by 10 % in the 2090s in comparison to the present state, with reductions of up to 50 % in some regions such as the Aegean Sea as a result of nutrient limitation and vertical stratification. Results show that the Mediterranean is highly sensitive to changes in both climate and biogeochemical inputs. This article is a first step in the study of transient climate change effects on the Mediterranean biogeochemistry, but calls for coordinated multi-model efforts to explore the various uncertainty sources of such a future projection.

  • Characterization Of Ocean Submesoscale Turbulence Regimes From Satellite Observations of Sea Surface Temperatures In The Ionian Sea
    Isern-Fontanet, Jordi (1,2); Turiel, Antonio (1,2); Olmedo, Estrella (1,2); Masdeu, Marta (1,2) - 1: Institut de Ciencies del Mar (CSIC), Spain; 2: Barcelona Expert Centre in Remote Sensing

    Satellite infrared radiometers have unveiled the existence of distinct turbulence regimes in the upper ocean. These regimes have different contributions on the vertical transport of nutrients, heat, and climatically important gases between the oceanic upper layers and the ocean interior; and contain information about the dynamics in the mixed layer. The main difficulty is to define descriptors able to univocally identify such turbulence regimes and quantify the dynamical characteristics of the upper ocean. In this study, we have investigated the capability of different descriptors to characterize turbulence regimes from the observations of infrared Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) provided by the AATSR sensor (Envisat). First, data have been divided into granules adapted to the observed cloud coverage, whcih have been classified into two groups: one characterized by the presence of submesoscale instabilities (∼ 5-10 km) and one characterized by the presence of vortices and filaments. Then, for all the gran- ules of each group we have explored the statistical and geometrical properties of SST using spectral analysis and the curvature of SST fronts completed with the analysis of the multifractal properties of SST images obtained from singularity analysis. Results have shown that the both groups of images were characterized by similar spectral slopes. On the contrary, the characteristics of the singularity spectra of both groups were different indicating different inttermitencies and allowing to identify the distinct dynamical regimes.

  • Orbital EOS: towards a Multimission Marine Pollution Monitoring Service
    Peña, Juan - Orbital EOS, Spain

    Oil spill pollution poses a major threat to marine ecosystems, coastal natural resources and tourism. Accidental oil spill disasters and oil spill pollution due to ship intentional discharges are a crucial issue with environmental, socioeconomic and legal implications. Although many efforts have been made to effectively detect, assess, and monitor oil spills at sea using satellite and aerial surveillance, current operational services lack sufficient reliability, spatial coverage and temporal resolution to fully address this issue. 

    Orbital Earth Observation Solutions is a business idea with the purpose of improving the state of the art in marine pollution surveillance, developing the most comprehensive, agile and reliable service to date. Our goal is to develop a NRT Multimission Satellite Surveillance Service using SAR, Multispectral and Hyperspectral sensors as complimentary tools to improve not only the detection but also the classification of oil spill events, allowing the discrimination among legal/illegal activities, monitoring the drift of oil spills for emergency responders and gathering information for the prosecution of polluters. 

    Our proposed service addresses data retrieval and interpretation with unprecedented efficiency. Collecting, processing and providing frequent and accurate information for decision makers is one of the key challenges in marine pollution emergencies. We firmly believe that frequent/multisource satellite data and high quality analysis are the answer to this issue. Our strategy relies on the sinergy of expert analysis, automation and user-friendly & intuitive visualization. The final product is timely and accurate information for better decision making. 

  • Towards Plastic Litter Detection from Space: a Proposal for Calibration and Validation Infrastructure
    Topouzelis, Konstantinos; Papakonstantinou, Apostolos - University of the Aegean, Greece

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    Marine litter is a global problem affecting all the oceans of the world. Millions of plastics end up in the seas affecting the marine ecosystem. Several initiatives have been planned from global players towards detection, monitoring and cleaning. State of the art techniques is needed for the detection and quantification of the marine plastics in the sea water. Satellite images and Unmanned Aerial Systems (drones) can be used in this direction.

    Although the scientific community is working towards the specifications of sensors detecting and quantifying marine litter, no reliable validation/calibration data can be found in a given space/time. Therefore, it is essential to work towards the calibration of detection algorithms and to check the reliability of the known models. It this direction we present a concept for a constant infrastructure on calibration and validation of the plastics in the marine environment from space. The infrastructure should have the ability to test the variability of plastic types, sizes, plastic concentration (surface), plastic volume (sea column) and plastic movement. Artificial targets should be built to satisfy the needs of the aerial/space sensors. For example, permanently anchored surface targets with different type of plastics, aquaculture cages with several plastic volumes and smaller plastic targets for free drifting.

    For such infrastructure previous experience from the Plastic Litter Project 2018 (PLP2018) will be gained. PLP2018 was a test project on detecting artificial plastic targets on the sea surface, using satellite images and Unmanned Arial Systems (drones). The project designed to examine the ability of marine litter detection from the European satellites Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-1. Drones used to detect and quantify the volume of the litter on the sea surface with dedicated cameras. Three artificial plastic “targets” created, 10 x 10 m wide, containing: a) 3700 plastic bottles, b) 138 plastic bags and c) 200 sqm fishing net from the Marine Remote Sensing Group (, Department of Marine Studies, University of the Aegean. The experiment was devoted to the Word Environment Day, 5th June. The experiment proved the usefulness of satellite technology in fighting marine litter and delivered the need for more extensive experiments on the cumulative sea areas. 

  • Multi-Temporal Analysis Of Particulate And Dissolved Matter In The North Adriatic Sea
    Bracaglia, Marco (1,2); Brando, Vittorio Ernesto (1); Volpe, Gianluca (1); Colella, Simone (1); Dionisi, Davide (1); Falcini, Federico (1); Braga, Federica (3); Riminucci, Francesco (4); Ravaioli, Mariangela (4); Böhm, Emanuele (1); Santoleri, Rosalia (1) - 1: Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche -Via del Fosso del Cavaliere, 100 - 00133 Rome, Italy; 2: Università degli Studi di Napoli Parthenope, Via Amm. F. Acton 38, 80133, Naples, Italy; 3: Istituto di Scienze Marine (CNR-ISMAR), Arsenale-Tesa 104, Castello 2737/F, 30122 Venice, Italy; 4: Istituto di Scienze Marine (CNR-ISMAR), Via Piero Gobetti, 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy

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    The North Adriatic Sea (NAS) is a shallow and semi-enclosed regional sea in the Mediterranean Sea. Bio-optical properties of this optically complex basin are strongly influenced by river inputs and by meteo-marine conditions. In this work we study the dynamic of the particulate and the dissolved matter in the NAS, analysing two parameters retrieved from satellite data: the particulate backscattering coefficient (bbp) and the dissolved and particulate absorption (adg). We perform this analysis at different temporal scales, exploiting the different temporal resolution and spatial coverage of different satellite sensors.

    The CMEMS (Copernicus Marine Environment Marine Service) MULTI operational product, being retrieved from the merging of all available Ocean Color data streams, provides daily spatial coverage of the basin since 1997. We exploited the spatial coverage and the long time series of this product to analyse the properties of the entire basin, on a daily basis, during autumn/winter, in response to major floods and resuspension events.

    Due to its large swath, VIIRS SUOMI NPP orbits can overlap during the same day within 1 hour and 40 minutes. As recently suggested by Arnone et al. (2017), we then analysed the available overlapping orbits to describe short time scales variations in optical properties of the NAS related to sub-mesoscale processes of plume spreading within the basin.

  • Particulate Optical Properties In The Mediterranean And Black Seas Through CALIPSO Spaceborne Lidar Measurements
    Dionisi, Davide (1); Brando, Vittorio (1); Bracaglia, Marco (1,2); Volpe, Gianluca (1); Colella, Simone (1); Santoleri, Rosalia (1) - 1: Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - Piazzale Aldo Moro, 7 - 00185 Rome, Italy; 2: Università degli Studi di Napoli Parthenope, Via Amm. F. Acton 38, 80133, Naples, Italy

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    Recently, new applications on global-scale plankton retrievals using the CALIOP (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with orthogonal Polarization) lidar measurements on the CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations) satellite suggested that space-based lidars could provide information about the depth distribution of optical scattering. Assessing the oceanic surface layer's optical properties through CALIOP is one of the reasons of the extension of the CALIOP mission for another 3 years (2018-2020). Despite these results, this new application for ocean retrievals has limitations and uncertainties that need to be further assessed and estimated. The objective of this work is the evaluation of the potential CALIOP ocean products in the Mediterranean and Black seas. Within this frame, the ocean column-integrated depolarization ratio measurements at 532 nm were firstly derived through CALIOP measurements. This parameter allowed deriving the surface hemispheric backscattering coefficients (bbp) using different algorithm schemes that have been compared to the bbp at 443 nm derived by the multi-sensor L3 product (MODIS-AQUA and NPP-VIIRS data) in the Mediterranean and Black seas provided by the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Systems (CMEMS).  Analyses of annual and seasonal distributions of CALIOP and CMEMS bbp will be presented for both basins.

  • Thematic Exploitation Platforms: Web and Cloud Technologies in Support of Coastal Environment
    Drimaco, Daniela (1); Ceriola, G. (1); Clerk, S. (2); Palandri, M. (3); Amodio, A. (1) - 1: Planetek Italia s.r.l., Italy; 2: ACRI-ST, France; 3: eGEOS, Italy

    The Coastal Thematic Exploitation Platform provides a virtual platform for users interested in deriving information from EO data for a wide range of coastal related fields of study. It relies on a cloud-based workspace which allows on-line processing using pre-installed or user-provided software and datasets based on Earth Observation (EO) data (Sentinel-2 imagery on coastal areas, GlobColour ocean color products, etc.) as well as in-situ data.

    The platform started a pre-operation phase in mid 2017 and some pilot applications have been demonstrated. Two core pilot applications developed during the pre-operation phase concern:

    • water quality maps & statistics for environmental marine reporting
    • change detection service to monitor protected coastal areas

    The former opens access to long time series of GlobColour data for providing measures and indexes to support reporting for international directives (e.g. the European Marine Strategy Directive), as well as regional (e.g. the Barcelona convention) and national regulations.

    The latter exploits time series of Sentinel-2 images to monitor protected land in coastal areas (e.g. cultural heritage areas) in order to timely detect  illegal construction work and report it to the relevant authorities.

    Differently from the European mark of the C –TEP, the Italian Space Agency has been working to implement a national virtual laboratory, costeLAB, which intends to provide to the scientific community studying the coastal zone a framework where to analyze, develop and test EO data, applications and products for the monitoring and the management of coastal risks on both land and sea sides. The platform also acts as a hub for consolidated services in a pre-operational environment for providing EO based products on the coastal area in the field of coastal degradation, costal erosion and shorelines monitoring.

    This paper describes how the main innovative solutions developed in the Coastal Thematic Exploitation Platform and in costeLAB, by leveraging on big EO data, allow the implementation of many and different functionalities and applications able to best respond to specific geographical issues and user requirements

  • Innovatvie Coastal Eutrophication Index Estimation of the Sustainable Development Goal 14 Exploiting DIAS Platform, CMEMS Products and Geo-analytics Approach
    Drimaco, Daniela (1); Ceriola, Giulio (1); Sarelli, Anastasia (2) - 1: Planetek Italia s.r.l., Italy; 2: Planetek Hellas, Greece

    The aim of the SDGs leans on the sustainability of human activities and the environment. The SDG 14 “Oceans” targets at the stability and sustainability of marine ecosystems and their resources. To quantify its first target, which refers to the prevention and the significant reduction of marine pollution of all kinds, 14.1.1 “Index of Coastal Eutrophication (ICEP) and Floating Plastic Debris Density” is introduced by UNEP. Currently, it is classified in Tier III, which means that the type of information needed is already defined, whereas the methodology and data sources for its estimation are not. It is composed of two sub-indicators: a. coastal eutrophication, and b. concentration of floating plastic.
    According to the Oslo-Paris Convention, “eutrophication means the enrichment of water by nutrients causing an accelerated growth of algae and higher forms of plant life…”. The importance of this sub-indicator can be tracked as social, e.g. water areas dangerous for health and economic, e.g. fish/mussels die resulting to production losses, while it has also legislative support (Marine Strategy Framework Directive).
    Currently, an indirect method is proposed with the use of EO techniques, which is widely used for the estimation of eutrophication: the calculation of chlorophyll-a concentration. In this paper, an integration of several eutrophication indicators is proposed. Moreover, eutrophic areas are usually detected in coastal waters due to nutrient inputs from anthropogenic coastal and land activities. CMEMS uses EO data and in-situ measurements to model these types of information.
    In this paper we present a novel automatic methodology for the Index of Coastal Eutrophication estimation in the regions of Iberia-Biscay-Ireland Seas based on Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) products. The methodology exploits CREODIAS functionalities to access long time series of CMEMS data, to run an algorithm for the calculation of the Index and to host a smart application to provide relevant geo-analytics.
    The algorithm exploits CMEMS models of Phosphate-Nitrates-Silica nutrients, Chlorophyll-a and Water Transparency and computes a weighted indicator that segments waterbodies into four categories: non-problematic areas, tendency for eutrophication events, possibility of eutrophication events and problematic areas. The indicator is calculated with respect to the Contiguous Zones (24nm from the coast), as determined by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and the bathymetry of the countries that are included in the region of interest. The temporal suggested provision is weekly and monthly, aggregated from daily CMEMS products. The information generated are integrated in a smart web application to display geo-analytics and provide relevant insight on the eutrophic characterization of each Contiguous Zones and at the same time the percentile distribution (%) of eutrophication events for each Country. A first analysis shows how these events occur most often near high population density areas and river estuaries, and in shallow coastal waters during warm periods.

  • Mediterranean-wide seagrass mapping using Sentinel-2 on Google Earth Engine
    Traganos, Dimosthenis (1); Poursanidis, Dimitris (2); Aggarwal, Bharat (3); Chrysoulakis, Nektarios (2); Reinartz, Peter (1) - 1: DLR - German Aerospace Centre, Germany; 2: Foundation for Research and Technology—Hellas (FORTH), Institute of Applied and Computational Mathematics; 3: Chair of Space Technology, Technische Universität Berlin

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    Mediterranean seagrasses, especially the dominant, endemic and long living Posidonia oceanica species, are overlooked natural solutions for the mitigation of the climate change impacts by absorbing the atmospheric carbon dioxide for millennia. Lying from the coastal zone up to 40 meters deep, seagrass meadows support a wide range of biodiversity (including endemic and endangered species), stabilize sediment, filter water, provide coastal protection, produce more oxygen than rainforests, and form the basis of the world’s primary fishing grounds. Seagrass beds supply 50% of the world’s fisheries, an essential income, and nutrition source for millions of people around the world. Despite the national and international legislation as regards to its protection and the Paris  Agreement of 2015, which emphasizes the critical importance of conserving seagrasses and other blue carbon ecosystems, due to its slow growth and numerous anthropogenic pressures on its habitats, P. oceanica seagrass has lost approximately 35% of its total extent during the last 50 years. The current work presents a complete methodological workflow for large-scale, high spatio-temporal baseline mapping and monitoring of seagrasses coupling the cloud environment of Google Earth Engine, machine learning algorithms, image composition, and the free and open multispectral satellite image archive of Copernicus Sentinel-2A/B. We have demonstrated its cost- and time-efficiency as well as high accuracy through the 10-m mapping of 2,510.1 km2 of P. oceanica seagrass in 40,951 km2 of Greek territorial waters up to 40-m depth. Based on the adaptability of the cloud-based workflow in both space and time, we envisage that given high-quality cal/val data suitable for Earth Observation data analysis, we will soon be able to scale up to map the whole extent of seagrasses in the Mediterranean. This will galvanize the embodiment of Mediterranean seagrasses to the new age of remote sensing where every physical change will be indexed, and relevant biophysical parameters and ecosystem services will be quantified in near real-time; these advances will provide, in turn, crucial seasonal to inter-annual scientific information to conservation managers and other stakeholders for the timely implementation of solutions and strategies including climate mitigation.

  • Remote Sensing analysis of Riverine Sediment Plumes: from Spectral Signature to Coastal Morphodynamic diagnosis
    Falcini, Federico (1); Pitarch, Jaime (2); Benincasa, Mario (1); Brando, Vittorio (1); Nardin, William (3); Di Cicco, Annalisa (1); Vona, Iacopo (1); Marullo, Salvatore (4); Santoleri, Rosalia (1) - 1: CNR, Italy; 2: NIOZ, Netherlands; 3: University of Maryland, USA; 4: ENEA, Italy

    Coastal regions are complex environments where geological, biological, and physical processes interact each other. More than 50% of Mediterranean citizens live within 50 km of the coast and 3.5 million inhabitants are directly employed in maritime activities. Despite of their importance, several coastal areas have been facing the persistent loss of land due to human interventions and/or natural causes. Long-term sustainability of coastal regions depends on the maintenance of the fragile balance between sedimentation supply from rivers and sediment erosion/deposition from marine processes. Sediment-laden coastal plumes are therefore a precious and limited resource. Inferring sediment availability, its characteristics, and its dynamics along shorelines constitutes a primary need. Here we outline novel research that seeks to characterize and quantify natural and human-made effects on coastal changes by means of innovative methodologies that integrate remote sensing, in-situ observations, and numerical modelling. This includes estimation of suspended sediment concentration and characteristics from novel, multispectral satellite approaches, as well as the use of coastal currents, paired with suspended sediment concentration, in order to define alongshore sediment fluxes.

    In particular, we infer particle-size distribution (PSD) of the suspended sediment, as retrieved from satellite. Recent research has indeed provided evidence of a link between the spectral particle backscattering coefficient (bbp) and the PSD through particle backscattering spectral slope. By adapting such a technique to coastal geomorphology applications, also considering hydrologic data for flow discharge at river moth, our analysis reveals that, for particular rivers (e.g., Tiber River in the Mediterranean Sea), erratic floods are prone to deliver coarser sediment with respect to the persistent flow stages.

    Regarding sediment mass balance conservation, we investigate the use of remotely sensed data, coupled with numerical outputs of ocean circulation models, for diagnosing shoreline morphodynamics. The Exner equation describes the conservation of mass that relates shoreline changes to the divergence of sediment flux, which can be expressed in terms of the sediment concentration and the water velocity. The coupling between remotely sensed suspended sediment concentration and coastal currents shows patterns of divergence of sediment flux that agree with the general knowledge we have in terms of coastal erosion along the west Adriatic coast (Mediterranean Sea). Our methodology clearly shows the potential of such a synergic approach in diagnosing the mid and long term coastal morphodynamics, investigating the actual causes that lies behind coastal erosion. Finally, we provide some insights about the sediment and nutrient inputs tradeoffs in restoring coastal areas, i.e., restoration vs eutrophication.

    In general, our studies allows us to recognize the effective role of sediment plumes and to diagnose sediment mass balance along shorelines. The proposed research will help to minimize uncertainty of coastal region managements, also providing a better understanding of the coastal factors that affect trapping and dispersal of sediment.

  • New insights on Ecosystemic Connectivity from a Synergic Lagrangian and Remote Sensing analysis for a Sustainable Management of Fisheries
    Falcini, Federico (1); Corrado, Raffaele (1); Torri, Marco (2); Lacorata, Guglielmo (1); Palatella, Luigi (1); Cuttitta, Angela (2); Patti, Bernardo (2); Santoleri, Rosalia (1) - 1: CNR-ISAC, Italy; 2: CNR-IAMC, Italy

    Linkage networks and connectivity are broadly recognized to be important in ecology and management of biological resources. Knowledge of coastal transport processes is therefore fundamental for the sustainable management of all those biological and physical resources that are strictly related to environmental and economic pressures on our marine and coastal areas in the Mediterranean Sea. For instance, both commercial and scientific communities seek to provide services that could “connect the dots” between ocean currents and fisheries.

    In the Sicily Channel (Mediterranean Sea), ichtyoplancktonic data showed dispersal of some of the most economically important species (i.e., European anchovy and Sardinella Aurita). Reconstructing spawning areas of small pelagic species is, therefore, a fundamental tool for understanding ecosystems continuity and variability. Here we couple remote sensing analysis and Lagrangian trajectories to statistically identify connectivity between spawning and recruiting areas.

    We show a general approach to describe and assess anchovy larvae distribution by pairing ichthyoplankton observations to remote sensing data and to Lagrangian simulations for larval transport. We find that upwelling-induced coastal current may have consequences for anchovy larvae distribution: significant cross-shore transport events due to wind- and topographic-induced activity.

    Moreover, ages of larvae give reliable ending conditions for Lagrangian back-trajectories while environmental parameters (i.e., sea surface temperature and chlorophyll-a), retrieved from remote sensing, constrain the success of each trajectory. Through this approach, we also obtain a direct assessment of previously hypothesized spawning areas and we find new evidence of ecosystem connectivity between North Africa and recruitment regions off the southern Sicilian coasts. Our work gives support to a better definition of process-based Geographical Subareas (GSA), currently identified by the General Fisheries Council for the Mediterranean as “rigid” limits, and shed some lights on the impact of climate and environmental variability on Common Fishery Policies.

  • EO MAMMALS - a Tool towards the Sustainability of the Whale-watching Activity
    Neves, Silvana (1); Atencia, Amaya (2); Scott-Hayward, Lindesay (3) - 1: Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands – PLOCAN, Canary Islands, Spain; 2: GMV, Innovation Solutions, Spain; 3: CREEM, University of Saint Andrews, Scotland, U.K.

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    The Canary Islands, Spain are considered one of the best hotspots in the world to see wild marine mammals. Of the approximately 90 species in the world, 31 can be found in the Archipelago. EO data has been extensively used over the years for assisting in the management of marine mammal populations either by establishing protected areas where stakeholders’ activity will be reduced, or by minimizing the impact of anthropogenic threats. It is considered a basic and essential tool for the conservation of the species both by researchers and the government. Satellite measurements of ocean colour are the principal remote-sensing tool for measuring ocean productivity and its response to climate change/variability. Consequently, sea surface chlorophyll-a concentrations (measured as ocean colour) are often used as proxy for primary productivity. Remotely sensed environmental parameters have the potential to identify biological hotspots for cetaceans and to therefore establish or better manage areas of marine conservation priority. The ESA project, “EO_MAMMALS”, led by PLOCAN and with the collaboration of GMV and Univ. St. Andrews, will use the Sentinel S3A and S3B data to model cetacean presence. The region of interest is an area heavily targeted by the whale watching industry and centered around a zone of special conservation. The results of analysis will be incorporated in a governmental application used by different types of stakeholders such a general public, research, industry and government, as a tool for the management of marine protected areas. Finally, for future applications, this study could be extrapolated to other Macaronesian areas as well as worldwide. 

  • Application Of An Artificial Neural Network To Infer The 3D Chlorophyll-a Field From Satellite Data
    Sammartino, Michela (1,2); Marullo, Salvatore (1,3); Santoleri, Rosalia (1); Scardi, Michele (2) - 1: CNR, National Research Council, Rome, Italy; 2: Department of Biology, University of Rome -Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; 3: ENEA, Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, Frascati, Italy

    Several marine environment applications, including estimate of primary production or biological modelling, require knowledge of the vertical bio-chemical properties of the water column. Nevertheless, the vertical structure of the chlorophyll-a (Chla) is usually measured by ships or autonomous floats, which provide in situ measurements that are rare and not uniformly distributed. On the contrary, at surface, satellite observations provide Chla estimates at high spatial and temporal resolution. In this context, a big challenge is represented by the reconstruction of the vertical profile of Chla field from satellite data. In this study, we employed an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) to infer the 3D Chla field, in the Mediterranean Sea, from surface data only.

    A large in situ dataset of Chla and temperature profiles, collected in the Mediterranean Sea from 1998 to 2015, was used for the training and test of the network. In order to discriminate the errors due to satellite estimates from the errors coming from the ANN itself, the model was validated against both in situ and satellite data.

    The validation shows results that were comparable to the training, highlighting the potentiality of this technique to reconstruct the vertical Chla profile from both surface in situ and satellite measures. Our results demonstrates that this method represents a first attempt at creating a working and valid alternative to the classical bio-chemical models, able to overcome the discontinuous nature of in situ sampling.

    We also analyzed the efficiency of our approach to resolve the Chla prediction at small scales (e.g. day) respect to the use of a reference Mediterranean climatology.

    The results of this analysis show that, in general, this technique is able to reconstruct the most reliable profile of Chla from satellite data at a finer spatio-temporal scales respect to the climatology, improving its employment in ocean modelling applications in synergy with the use of new generation space-borne sensors.

  • Merging Field and High-Resolution Satellite Chlorophyll Data in Mediterranean Coastal Waters: Setbacks and Benefits
    Isern-Fontanet, Jordi
    Flo, Eva (1); Soto, Sara (1); Torpy, Liam (2); González-Gambau, Verónica (1); Martínez, Justino (1); Gabarró, Carolina (1); Pérez, Fernando (1); Masdeu, Marta (1); González, Óscar (1); Chic, Óscar (1); Isern-Fontanet, Jordi (1) - 1: Marine Science Institute (ICM_CSIC), Spain; 2: University of Chicago, USA

    In addition to their ecological and environmental value, coastal areas are of major economic and social importance. Therefore, they are one of the marine environments most affected by anthropogenic pressures, in the form of high population densities and intense human activities. Anthropogenic pressures produce an excess of nutrients which are delivered to coastal waters, triggering phytoplanktonic growth and the eutrophication process, thus decreasing water quality. Several policies have been enacted in Europe with the aim of restoring and protecting waters, such as the Water Framework Directive (WFD; 2000/60/EC) and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD; 2000/60/EC). This aim involves combatting the negative effects of eutrophication, which necessitates the assessment of its impact through chlorophyll-concentration. Until now, these assessments have been based mainly on field data. However, satellite data of the new generation high-resolution missions are now readily available, such as that of Sentinel-2 (10-60m) of the European Space Agency. Therefore, an opportunity is given to assimilate field and satellite data to model the structure and functioning of coastal waters.

    Our aim is to set up an operational system for monitoring the quality of coastal waters based on the synergy between satellite observations and in situ data. As a first step to achieve it, we present here a case study from the Catalan coast, which is representative of the NW Mediterranean coast. In this area, under the National Catalan Coastal Water Monitoring Program, chlorophyll-concentration is sampled monthly or quarterly at 268 stations, located along 400km of coastline and at three distances from the shore (0, 1000 and 5000m). The objective of this study is to merge this field data with the same kind of data provided by Sentinel-2. Specifically, we are interested to check whether the data from these two sources 1) agree between them from 2015 to 2018, and 2) can be assimilated into a regional model. 

    The main setbacks to be solved in this case study are related to the higher spatial variability of Mediterranean coastal waters compared with other coastal areas due to their specific characteristics. This variability is intensified near the coastline (<500m from the shore), where the chlorophyll algorithm should be adjusted for turbid and clear neighbouring areas and corrected for sea bottom interferences, especially sea grasses and macro algae.

    Results will allow us to 1) improve the scientific knowledge regarding the structure and functioning of the Catalan coastal zone, 2) provide an improved assessment of eutrophication for this area, and 3) suggest recommendations related to the zone’s management. At the same time, the findings will be useful for fulfilling the requirements of the WFD, in relation with the Biological Quality Element Phytoplankton, and of the MSFD, in relation with the Descriptor 5 - Eutrophication. Therefore, these results will be very valuable for the involved administrations: the Catalan Water Agency, the Spanish Environmental Ministry and the European Commission.

    Future work will provide chlorophyll maps of the Catalan coast in an operational way and extend the procedure to provide full coverage of Mediterranean coastal waters.

  • Continuous monitoring of coastal waters with Rheticus® Marine for the Blue Economy
    Iasillo, D.; Zotti, M.; Aiello, A.; Ceriola, G. - Planetek Italia s.r.l., Italy

    One of the market addressed by Planetek is the Blue Growth for what concerns products and solutions by Earth Observation data. To support its operations in the Blue Growth market, Planetek Italia has implemented a series of monitoring services based on Earth Observation data in Rheticus®, its cloud-based geoinformation service platform for land, water and infrastructure monitoring. Rheticus® works as a big hub that automatically processes satellite imagery continuously collected by both commercial and open space missions. This cloud platform delivers to final users ready-to-use geo-information services and vertical applications for different markets.

    Planetek has a great experience in providing solutions for the sea water quality parameters and coastal zone monitoring. These services are operative and accessible in the Rheticus® Platform trough the Rheticus®  Marine service family. By integrating contents generated by Rheticus® Platform, Planetek Italia succeeded in creating vertical applications that provide timely solutions to address users’ needs in various industries and vertical markets.

    Rheticus® Marine services support national and regional authorities in fulfilling environmental reporting obligations (e.g. Water Framework Directive, Marine Strategy Framework Directive), and private actors involved in marine resource exploitation activities such as desalination, fisheries, aquaculture and offshore drilling. Rheticus® Marine is fueled by streams of information from the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) integrated with other data. The most recent services, started in 2018, are Rheticus® Aquaculture, which provides farmers with daily information designed for the optimal management of finfish and shellfish farming activities in marine coastal waters; and Rheticus® HAB, a service for the harmful algal bloom monitoring implemented with the support of the Entrusted Entity ‘Mercator’, responsible for the delivery of the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service.

  • The BIOPTIMOD Project: Integration Of Novel Satellite And In Situ Optical Observations In CMEMS Biogeochemical Models
    Lazzari, Paolo (1); Cossarini, Gianpiero (1); Salon, Stefano (1); Solidoro, Cosimo (1); D'Ortenzio, Fabrizio (2); Vellucci, Vincenzo (2); Organelli, Emanuele (2) - 1: Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica sperimentale - OGS, Italy; 2: Laboratoire d'Océanographie de Villefranche (LOV), France

    We present the development of a multi-spectral bio-optical model for the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring System (CMEMS) Mediterranean biogeochemical model system to be integrated with optical data provided by novel observations platforms such as the BioGeoChemical Argo floats and the multi-spectral new satellite sensors. The aim is to improve the quality and reduce the uncertainty of paramount CMEMS biogeochemical products such as phytoplankton biomass and primary production. Moreover, the new bio-optical model will allow the multi-platform data assimilation of radiometric optical measurements from satellite and BGC-Argo floats. This represents an important technical evolution that the next generation of biogeochemical models needs to accomplish. The project will focus on 1) optical data gathering from satellite sensors and in situ instruments and quality check, with analysis of algorithms quantifying downward irradiance, 2) multi-spectral upgrade of the present bio-optical model, also considering the role of CDOM, and 3) the assessment of the new bio-optical model within CMEMS quality framework. Major foreseen impacts of the project are the improvement of CMEMS biogeochemical products, the development of new optics-related biogeochemical products for CMEMS, the improvement of the multi-data assimilative scheme of optical measurements, and the strengthening of the scientific and technological links with new generation satellite products.

  • Impact of the Use of OC Products on the Quality of the CMEMS Biogeochemical Forecast Mediterranean System
    Cossarini, Gianpiero
    Teruzzi, Anna; Cossarini, Gianpiero; Salon, Stefano - Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale, Italy

    The biogeochemical Mediterranean model system (MedBFM), as part of the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Services (CMEMS), provides daily forecasts and decadal reanalysis of the marine status (i.e., nutrients, oxygen, phytoplankton biomass, primary production and carbon cycle variables). MedBFM features (1) the OGSTM-BFM biogeochemical model, specifically calibrated to solve the 3-D description of temporal evolution of the low trophic web in the Mediterranean Sea (Cossarini et al., 2015; Lazzari et al., 2016, 2012); (2) a variational data assimilation scheme (Teruzzi et al., 2018), that integrates multi-sensor satellite surface chlorophyll concentration released at daily frequency (CMEMS OC product).

    In this study, we show the impact of the assimilation of satellite chlorophyll concentration on the MedBFM forecast and analysis . It is shown that the assimilation of class I and II ocean color data improves the model capability to reproduce timing and spatial pattern of winter-early spring surface bloom in western basin, summer mesoscale spatial dynamics and the coastal-open sea gradients throughout the Mediterranean Sea. Skill performances of the forecast product are evaluated by comparing the forecast spatial pattern with satellite observations before assimilation through relative operational characteristics metrics. The skill performance analysis is integrated with available in situ data (e.g., biogeochemical-Argo float). In particular, skill metrics are evaluated at the 1st, 2nd and 3rd day of forecast, showing that the performance of the model does not degrade. Moreover, we evaluate the effect of the assimilation on the biogeochemical vertical features, such as the depth of the deep chlorophyll maximum in summer and of the mixed layer bloom in winter. Quality of non-assimilated variables (nitrate and oxygen) is also assessed, showing that the assimilation does not have negative impacts on the description of biogeochemical processes. Results of the analyzed variables show that the assimilation of satellite multisensor OC data improves the performance of the MedBFM by nearly 10% with respect to a system without assimilation.


    Cossarini, G., Lazzari, P., Solidoro, C., 2015. Spatiotemporal variability of alkalinity in the Mediterranean Sea. Biogeosciences 12, 1647–1658.

    Lazzari, P., Solidoro, C., Ibello, V., Salon, S., Teruzzi, A., Béranger, K., Colella, S., Crise, A., 2012. Seasonal and inter-annual variability of plankton chlorophyll and primary production in the Mediterranean Sea: a modelling approach. Biogeosciences 9, 217–233.

    Lazzari, P., Solidoro, C., Salon, S., Bolzon, G., 2016. Spatial variability of phosphate and nitrate in the Mediterranean Sea: A modeling approach. Deep Sea Res. Part Oceanogr. Res. Pap. 108, 39–52.

    Teruzzi, A., Bolzon, G., Salon, S., Lazzari, P., Solidoro, C., Cossarini, G., 2018. Assimilation of coastal and open sea biogeochemical data to improve phytoplankton simulation in the Mediterranean Sea. Ocean Modelling (submitted)

  • Interannual To Multi-Decadal Variability In The Mediterranean Sea During The Satellite Era
    Artale, Vincenzo (1); Bellacicco, Marco (2); Buongiorno Nardelli, Bruno (3,5); Di Sarra, Alcide (4); Marullo, Salvatore (1); Pisano, Andrea (3); Santoleri, Rosalia (3) - 1: Agenzia Nazionale per le Nuove Tecnologie, l’Energia e lo Sviluppo Economico Sostenibile, Italy; 2: Sorbonne Université, CNRS, Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche, LOV, F-06230 Villefranche-sur Mer, France; 3: Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (ISAC) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), Roma, Italy; 4: Agenzia Nazionale per le Nuove Tecnologie, l’Energia e lo Sviluppo Economico Sostenibile, ENEA, Centro Casaccia, Roma, Italy; 5: Institute for the Coastal Marine Environement (IAMC) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), Napoli, Italy,

    The long-term Sea Surface Temperature (SST) observations are crucial to evaluate the global warming impacts both on the global and regional scales.

    In this study, we analyze the mode of SST variability using both satellite and in situ data in the Mediterranean Sea (MED) and the Northeastern Atlantic Ocean box (NEA)

    In details, the satellite SST time-series of the last 36 years (1982 - 2017) was used to analyze in deep the oscillations and trends of the MED in the last decades. The time-series derives from the combined reprocessing of Pathfinder V5.2 (PFV52) AVHRR data over period from November 1981 to December 2017 coupled with the new multi-sensor acquisitions for the more recent years.

    Regarding the overall climatic behavior of the MED basin, the NEA and the MED have similar trends until the end of the second millennium. Afterwards, the MED SST continued to increase, while on reverse the NEA SST continued in a warming pause.

    The Singular Spectral Analysis (SSA) shows that the indexes NAO, AMO and QBO drive the ocean basin variability from the interannual to multi-decadal variability in the MED, highlighting the role of physical mechanisms and feedbacks at global scale that are behind to this observed warming trend viewed especially in the East Mediterranean Sea.

    Finally, this study confirms the evidence that the MED is one of the most relevant climate hot spot of the Northern Hemisphere.

  • The Mediterranean Analysis And Forecasting Physical System For The Copernicus Marine Service: Description And Skill Assessment
    Clementi, Emanuela (1); Pistoia, Jenny (1); Drudi, Massimiliano (1); Grandi, Alessandro (1); Masina, Simona (1); Ciliberti, Stefania (1); Coppini, Giovanni (1); Delrosso, Damiano (2,3); Mattia, Gelsomina (3); Fratianni, Claudia (3); Pinardi, Nadia (1,2) - 1: CMCC: Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici, Italy; 2: Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Bologna, Italy; 3: INGV: Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Bologna, Italy

    The Mediterranean Analysis and Forecasting System is a numerical ocean prediction system that operationally produces analyses and 10 days forecasts of the main physical parameters for the entire Mediterranean Sea and its Atlantic Ocean adjacent areas.

    The system is composed by the hydrodynamic model NEMO (Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean) 2-way coupled with the third-generation wave model WW3 (WaveWatchIII) and forced by ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts) atmospheric fields. The forecast initial conditions are produced by a 3D variational data assimilation system which considers a daily assimilation cycle of Sea Level Anomaly, vertical profiles of Temperature and Salinity from ARGO and ship CTDs and heat flux corrections with satellite SST.

    The system has been recently upgraded in the framework of the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) by increasing the grid resolution from 1/16 to 1/24 degree in the horizontal, thus becoming fully mesoscale resolving and from 72 to 141 vertical levels, by increasing the number of fresh water river inputs and by updating the data assimilation scheme. The model has a non-linear explicit free surface and the forecast is forced by surface pressure, interactive heat, momentum and water fluxes at the air-sea interface.

    The focus of this work is to present the latest modeling system upgrades and the related improvements achieved by showing the model skill assessment including comparison with independent (insitu coastal moorings) and quasi-independent (insitu vertical profiles and satellite) datasets.

  • The Lampedusa Site, A Cal/Val Opportunity For The Next Generation Of Satellite Products: Assessing Heat Fluxes And High Frequency Satellite SST Estimates In The Mediterranean Region
    Marullo, Salvatore (1,2); Di Sarra, Alcide Giorgio (1); Santoleri, Rosalia (2); Ciani, Daniele (2); Artale, Vincenzo (1,2); Bommarito, Carlo (1); Sferlazzo, Damiano (1); Monteleone, Francesco (1); Meloni, Daniela (1); Bergamasco, Alesando (3); Anello, Fabrizio (4); Pace, Giandomenico (2); Piacentino, Salvatore (2) - 1: Agenzia Nazionale per le Nuove Tecnologie, l’Energia e lo Sviluppo Economico Sostenibile, Italy; 2: CNR — Istituto di Scienze del’Atmosfera e del Clima, Rome, Italy; 3: CNR - Istituto per l’ambiente marino costiero, Messina, Italy; 4: ENEA – Centro Ricerche Palermo,Italy,

    Estimates of air-sea radiative fluxes derived either from satellites or applying bulk formulae to meteorological parameters have been compared with direct measurements made at the ENEA Station for Climate Observations on the island of Lampedusa, in the central Mediterranean Sea. Lampedusa is an integrated atmospheric/oceanic observatory composed by two sections: a ground-based laboratory operating since 1997, dedicated to the investigation of changes in atmospheric composition and structure and their effects on the surface radiation, and an oceanic buoy operating since 2015, dedicated to the investigation of air-sea interactions and to ground-truth of satellite observations. The instruments installed on the buoy also include a Vaisala MAWS401 meteorological station, Kipp and Zonen CMP21 and CGR4 radiometers for shortwave and longwave irradiances. Water temperature is measured at 1 and 2 meters depth using two SBE 39 sensors operating at a frequency of 1 minute and at 18 m depth using a SBE 37 temperature and salinity sensor (foundation temperature). The data collected at Lampedusa gave us the chance to evaluate various bulk formulae for estimating turbulent and radiative heat fluxes as well as several satellite products. The measurements of the downwelling radiation components show an overestimation of the surface solar irradiance from satellite and by bulk formulae currently used in Mediterranean GCM.

    The shortwave incoming radiation computed as in Reed (1977; calculated using ECMWF Total Cloud Cover) exceeds the direct measurements by 9 W/m2, with a standard deviation of 91 W/m2. Similarly, the SEVIRI MSG3 (Meteosat Third Generation) observations overestimate the measurements by 6W/m2 with a standard deviation of 68 W/m2.

    Downward atmospheric longwave irradiance (LWR) was also estimated using the Bignami formulation (Bignami et al., 1995) with parameters provided either by ECMWF Interim or directly measured at the buoy; mainly air temperature, water vapor pressure and total cloud cover.

    Bias and RMS between Satellite estimates and buoy LWR measurements are 11 and 20 W/m2 respectively. Bias and RMS between Bignami estimates (using buoy measured meteorological parameters) and buoy LWR measurements are -6 and 22 W/m2 respectively. Bias and RMS between Bignami (using ECMWF meteorological parameters) estimates and buoy LWR measurements are -9 and 23 W/m2, respectively.

    The impact of these determinations was also investigated in the framework of a 1D numerical model for the evolution of the upper ocean vertical temperature. (General Ocean Turbulence Model - GOTM).

    The model simulations have been compared with water temperatures recorded at 1 and 2 meters depth.  The mean bias is 0.02 °C and  -0.01 °C respectively, and the RMSE is 0.5 °C for case 1. In Case 2 the bias increased to 1.5 °C with a RMSE of about 1°C.

    These results confirm the importance of reducing uncertainties in satellite estimates of radiative fluxes including effects of atmospheric aerosols. Reduced uncertainties and increased space and time resolutions, thanks to a multi-satellite approach, will contribute to resolve the closure problem of the Mediterranean heat budget and fully evaluate the contribution of the SST diurnal cycle.

  • Assessment of SLSTR-3A L2P SST Data As Input to The CMEMS Mediterranean L3S/L4 Multi-Sensor Operational System
    Pisano, Andrea; Santoleri, Rosalia; Buongiorno Nardelli, Bruno - CNR (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche), Italy

    To meet the needs of many operational and research applications, as e.g. the meteorological and ocean forecast systems and the global climate monitoring, accurate and near-real-time global and/or regional estimates of SSTs are required.
    In the framework of the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS), the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - Gruppo di Oceanografia da Satellite (CNR-GOS) operationally produces and distributes in near real-time daily (nighttime) satellite merged multi-sensor (L3S) and gap-free (L4) SST maps at high (0.0625°) and ultra-high (0.01°) spatial resolution over the Mediterranean Sea. These SST products are based on the nighttime images collected by a variety of infrared sensors onboard different satellite platforms. The CNR-GOS processing chain includes several modules, from data extraction, preliminary quality control and cloudy pixel removal up to satellite images merging and final optimally interpolated L4 product.
    The CNR-ISAC-GOS SST processing chain is under continuous development/evolution in order to improve the quality and accuracy of the Mediterranean (MED) SST products, such as the integration of new available satellite sensors. In this context, the new L2P SST product from the Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR) onboard Sentinel-3A has been first assessed and then integrated in the MED processing chain. The assessment followed these steps: Sentinel-3A SLSTR L2P SST data (v.2.18, available since the 5th of July 2017) have been used to build daily (nighttime) L3S and L4 SST maps for the Mediterranean Sea using the CMEMS CNR-GOS MED SST operational system and the results validated by using drifter observations.
    A first analysis, performed on SLSTR L2P product alone, evidenced a noticeable and persistent bias at the edges of the oblique-view, thus requiring to split the SLSTR dual and nadir view SST estimates. In addition, since the SST variable is representative of the skin temperature, SLSTR L2P SST data were corrected to the foundation temperature by adding 0.2 °C. Then, a careful assessment through inter-comparison exercises with different dual- and nadir-view configurations in the operational chain has been carried out. The validation covers 9 months, from July 2017, beginning of SLSTR L2P data availability, to March 2018. Results showed that the best accuracy (bias and root-mean-square error) of the output L3S/L4 SST products is achieved by using the dual-view as reference and the nadir-view as last (in the sensor hierarchy). In conclusion, SLSTR-3A has been integrated as reference sensor in the MED processing chain. A similar assessment will be carried as soon as the twin SLSTR-3B sensor data will be available.

  • Closing the Sea Level budget in the Mediterranean Sea from space
    Fenoglio, Luciana (1); Sannino, Gian Maria (2); Bonaduce, Antonio (3); Storto, Andrea (4); Staneva, Joanna (3); Zerbini, Susanna (5); Uebbing, Bernd (1); Rietbroek, Roelof (1); Kusche, Jürgen (1) - 1: University of Bonn, Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation, Bonn, Germany; 2: Italian National Agency for New Technologies (ENEA), Rome, Italy; 3: Institute of Coastal Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Germany; 4: Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change, Bologna, Italy; 5: University of Bologna, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Bologna, Italy

    Satellite altimetry and satellite gravimetry are important components of the ocean observing system and provide global data sets to study sea level change. We consider them together with in-situ observables and regional ocean and vertical land motion models.

    This study addresses the sea level budget in the Mediterranean Sea basin and the relative sea level change at the coast derived from the various data and models at different space and temporal scales. For each component of the sea level budget we discuss associated errors and trend estimates over 1993-2018 and 2002-2018. 

    Total sea level change is measured since 1993 from satellite altimetry and pointwise from tide gauge records corrected for the vertical motion of the Earth crust, while regional ocean models provide sea level at high spatial and temporal resolution. Since 2002, satellite gravity measurements from the GRACE mission allow to investigate mass component of the sea level budget directly. In addition, measurements from Argo floats provide knowledge on the steric sea level change. 

    Crucial challenges for the ocean models are the unrealistic boundary conditions at the straits (Gibraltar, Dardanelli and Bosphorus) and the uncertainties in the air-sea freshwater fluxes and river-runoff.  Furthermore, in the coastal zone the ocean model resolution is generally coarse. Although satellite gravimetry data provide valuable constraints on mass driven sea surface height changes, these data are rarely assimilated in ocean simulations and reanalysis runs. Similarly, altimetric sea level anomalies are rarely assimilated in regional ocean models and mainly as gridded values.

    Observing the mass component from GRACE is still challenging due to the contamination by land effects from strong hydrological signals close to the coast. At the same time, recent available Delay Doppler altimetry enables sea level measurements at 3-4km from the coast.

    For the Mediterranean Sea, we find a total sea level change with trend of 2.2 +/- 0.5 mm/yr in the interval 1993-2016, which compares well with the trend of the sum of elevation and thermo-steric sea level extracted from three ocean simulations and reanalysis. However, accounting for the modeled halosteric contribution introduces large trend differences. The Mediterranean Sea ocean models differ mostly in annual amplitude and in the halosteric trend. 

    The analysis in coastal zone shows good agreement between the sea level trend estimated from altimetry and tide gauges corrected for vertical motion, with RMS differences of a few centimeters. Unfortunately tide gauge stations with GPS are scarse in the Mediterranean Sea and tide gauge data are even scarser along the African coast.

  • Spatial, Temporal and Seasonal Variability in Optical Properties in the Northern Adriatic Sea
    Brando, Vittorio (1); Braga, Federica (1); Bresciani, Mariano (1); Bracaglia, Marco (1); Colella, Simone (1); Di Cicco, Anna Lisa (1); Giardino, Claudia (1); Artuso, Florinda (2); Lai, Antonia (2); Pitarch, Jaime (3); Volpe, Gianluca (1); Zaggia, Luca (1) - 1: CNR, Italy; 2: ENEA, Italy; 3: NIOZ, The Netherlands

    The Northern Adriatic Sea is presently the area, within the Med Sea, where river plumes show the most significant influence as several rivers discharge high amount of freshwater in this semi-enclosed regional sea. These freshwater discharges and associated particulate and dissolved matter inputs have a significant effect, both on the physical and biogeochemical properties of the whole basin.

    We present a characterization of the spatial, temporal and seasonal variability in optical properties and composition of particulate and dissolved matter in the Northern Adriatic Sea based on several research voyages (May 2012, February 2014, November 2014, March 2015). We measured bulk and apportioned inherent optical properties (IOPs) as well as apparent optical properties (AOPs), biogeochemical properties and particle size distribution, in different riverine discharge conditions as well as during the tidal cycle. We observed a significant variability in the shape and amplitude factors controlling the IOPs and the concentration- specifics IOPs (SIOPs) across several optical water types.

    The variability of the IOPs and SIOPs parameters was analysed in view of parameterising retrieval algorithms for the adaptive inversion approach (Brando et al., 2012) and the optical water type approaches (e.g. Melin et al., 2011; Moore et al 2014; Vantrepotte et al., 2012) to accurately retrieve chlorophyll and suspended matter concentrations in these complex coastal waters. 

  • Observing Sea Level Rise in Venice: the Combined Perspective of Satellite Altimetry and In Situ Observations in the ESA CCI project
    Vignudelli, Stefano (1); De Biasio, Francesco (2); Scozzari, Andrea (3); Papa, Alvise (4); Zecchetto, Stefano (2) - 1: Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR-IBF), Pisa, Italy; 2: Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR-ISAC), Padova, Italy; 3: Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR-ISTI), Pisa, Italy; 4: Centro Previsioni e Segnalazioni Maree - CPSM, Venezia, Italy

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    Sea level rise is one of the major threat to Venice and tracking its variability is crucial to safeguard the city in the future. Even if the MOSE barrier was designed to defend effectively against storm surges, the long term implications of gradually rising sea levels has not been sufficiently investigated, nor the contributions from the various mechanisms responsible of the relative sea level rise have been clearly quantified yet. The European Space Agency (ESA) Climate Change Initiative  (CCI)  project  on  “Sea  Level”  has  produced  an  improved  set of satellite-based sea level  products (e.g., monthly mean sea levels and trends) by reprocessing altimeter data over 1993-2015. In this poster, we assess the quality of the current Sea Level  CCI products  in  the  Adriatic Sea, and in particular around the city of Venice. We aim at determining how close to the coast the actual Sea Level CCI products can be considered reliable. We try also to investigate the role of the varying surface pressure in the relative sea level rise budget.

    Sea level measurements from tide gauges are used as references at the coast: a relative sea level rise trend of about +6.3 mm/yr has been determined from these data. For a better understanding of the role played by subsidence in the local impact of sea level rise, tide gauge data are compared with the latest gridded products, at the nearest suitable measurement points. A smaller trend has been found from altimetry (4.25 mm/yr). During the CCI+ phase (2018-2019) particular efforts will be dedicated to the retrieval of sea level from altimeters in the coastal zone. This work will contribute to identify problems and challenges to extend the sea level climate record to the coastal zone with quality comparable to the open ocean.

  • Barcelona Expert Center: SMOS SSS products and beyond
    Olmedo, Estrella (1,2); Martinez, Justino (1,2); Gonzalez-Gambau, Veronica (1,2); Gabarro, Carolina (1,2); Turiel, Antonio (1,2); Portabella, Marcos (1,2); Isern-Fontanet, Jordi (1,2) - 1: Barcelona Expert Center, Spain; 2: Institute of Marine Sciences

    Since its creation in 2007, the Barcelona Expert Center (BEC) has been devoted to the development of new algorithms for the high-level processing of SMOS data. The objective was, now and then, to approach SMOS products to the user community. To reach that goal, since 2013 BEC hosts its own production center and distribution webserver.
    The catalogue of SMOS products offered in the webserver so far includes a long series of advanced Sea Surface Salinity products (produced with the debiased non-Bayesian retrieval, which corrects many known errors in SMOS), high-resolution Soil Moisture products and, since very recently, Sea Ice Coverage maps. BEC products are among the best SMOS products in the world; BEC was the first center to produce Mediterranean and Arctic SSS, with a quality which is still not overcome.
    In addition to the catalogue of SMOS products, high-quality, high-resolution daily maps of Singularity Exponents derived from OSTIA Sea Surface Temperature are also offered. Besides, there is a web-based singularity analysis service that allows the users to compute the singularity exponents associated to any variable in a given file, once it is uploaded in the system.
    Apart from the product catalogue, BEC maintains an intense research activity in the field of remote sensing, with a main focus in further improvements of the processing of SMOS data and their geophysical exploitation, but what also includes new missions and sensors, as for instance SMAP, MERIS, MODIS, Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3. The goal is to diversify the production and distribution of added-value products, especially in the oceanographic context.

  • Satellite Estimates of Alkalinity in the Mediterranean Basin
    Sabia, Roberto (1); Olmedo, Estrella (2); Cossarini, Giampiero (3); Turiel, Antonio (2); Alvera-Azcárate, Aida (4); Martinez, Justino (2); Fernández-Prieto, Diego (5) - 1: Telespazio-Vega UK for ESA, Italy; 2: BEC & Institute of Marine Sciences, CSIC, Barcelona, Spain; 3: OGS - Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale, Trieste, Italy; 4: AGO-GHER, Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium; 5: European Space Agency, Frascati, Italy

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    Novel ESA SMOS satellite [1] estimates of Sea Surface Salinity (SSS) in the Mediterranean Sea [2,3] have recently been used to infer the spatial and temporal distribution of Alkalinity (a key parameter of the marine carbonate system) in this basin, exploiting the direct relationship existing between salinity and Alkalinity.

    Preliminary results [4] focused on the differences existing in several parameterizations [e.g, 5] relating these two variables, and how they vary over different timescales. Currently, to verify the consistency and accuracy of the derived products, these data are being properly validated against an ensemble of in-situ, climatology and model outputs within the Mediterranean basin. An error propagation exercise is also being planned to assess how uncertainties in the satellite data would translate into the final products performance.

    The resulting preliminary estimates of Alkalinity in the Mediterranean Sea will be linked to the overall carbonate system in the broader context of Ocean Acidification assessment and marine Carbon Cycle.


    [1] J. Font et al., "SMOS: The Challenging Sea Surface Salinity Measurement From Space," in Proceedings of the IEEE, vol. 98, no. 5, pp. 649-665, May 2010. doi: 10.1109/JPROC.2009.2033096

    [2] Olmedo, E., J. Martinez, A. Turiel, J. Ballabrera-Poy, and M. Portabella,  “Debiased non-Bayesian retrieval: A novel approach to SMOS Sea Surface Salinity”. Remote Sensing of Environment 193, 103-126 (2017).

    [3] Alvera-Azcárate, A., A. Barth, G. Parard, J.-M. Beckers, Analysis of SMOS sea surface salinity data using DINEOF, In Remote Sensing of Environment, Volume 180, 2016, Pages 137-145, ISSN 0034-4257,

    [4] Sabia, R., E. Olmedo, A. Turiel, J. Martinez, A. Alvera-Azcarate, G. Cossarini, SMOS Satellite Inference of Alkalinity over Mediterranean Basin, IGARSS ‘18 (International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium), Valencia, Spain, July 23 –27, 2018.

    [5] Cossarini, G., Lazzari, P., and Solidoro, C.: Spatiotemporal variability of alkalinity in the Mediterranean Sea, Biogeosciences, 12, 1647-1658,, 2015.

  • Wind Fields from SAR in Coastal Areas of the Mediterranean Sea
    Zecchetto, Stefano - National Research Council of Italy, Istituto Scienze Atmosfera e Clima, Italy

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    In coastal areas, are  partially covered at present by satellite  wind data,  the wind fields are often not well reproduced by both global and regional atmospheric models, possibly due to the interaction between the wind flow and the orography and the limited knowledge of the sub-scale atmospheric phenomena. The possibility to retrieve high spatial resolution wind fields from the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images is essential to cover the lack of wind data, in particular in the Mediterranean Sea, a semi-enclosed basin with 50% of the its surface at less than 50 km from coastline. The knowledge of the high resolution  wind structure of extremely important in these areas because  the short-term predictions of the main hydrodynamics parameters, such as the sea temperature and salinity, water currents, and wind wave height by means of numerical modeling techniques, is strongly sensitive to the spatial and temporal variabilities of the wind.

    To retrieve the wind field from SAR two things are mandatory: a reliable radar-backscatter versus wind speed algorithm and a suitable estimate of the wind direction. Focusing on the wind direction determination, a method based on the Two-Dimensional Continuous Wavelet Transform (2D-CWT), has been developed to extract the wind directions. The method has been applied to SAR images from different satellites (Envisat, COSMO-SkyMed, Radarsat-2 and Sentinel-1A,B), and the results compared with the analysis wind fields from the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) model, with in situ reports and with scatterometer data when available. The 2D-CWT method provides satisfactory results, both in areas a few kilometres from the coast and offshore. It is reliable as it produces good direction estimates, no matter what the characteristics of the SAR are. Statistics reports a success in the SAR wind direction estimates in 95% of cases (in 83% of cases the SAR-ECMWF wind direction difference is < 20º , in 92% < 30º ) with a mean directional bias < 7º . Once reliable directions are estimated from SAR without external information, the wind speed may be computed through the existing models converting the radar backscatter to wind speed. Comparisons of the SAR derived wind speed and directions with in-situ, scatterometer and model data are provided.

  • Synoptic classification in 21st Century CMIP5 predictions over the Eastern Mediterranean with focus on cyclones
    Hochman, Assaf; Harpaz, Tzvi; Saaroni, Hadas; Alpert, Pinhas - Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Israel

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    The Mediterranean has been recognized as a ‘hot spot’, currently influenced by climate change, and predicted to be strongly affected in the future by significant warming and drying. This trend is expected to be expressed in changes in the occurrence and intensity of Mediterranean cyclones, in general, and of East Mediterranean (EM), i.e., Cyprus Lows (CL), in particular, as well as in the occurrence of all other synoptic systems dominating the region.

    Here, we have modified the semi-objective synoptic classification (Alpert et al., 2004) to investigate future changes in the occurrence of EM synoptic types, with an emphasis on CLs. The modified classification was applied to eight CMIP5 models for the present (1986-2005), mid-21st century (2046-2065) and end of the century (2081-2100) periods, for both RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios.

    The modified classification captured the synoptic type frequencies for the present period well, and particularly excelled in capturing that of the CLs. For the future period, a ~35% reduction in CL occurrence is found towards the end of the 21st century (RCP8.5). The reductions in the frequencies of CLs are accompanied by an increase in the frequencies of Red Sea Troughs in winter. The predicted changes in the occurrence of  various synoptic types in general and of CLs, in particular, will lead to a more accurate forecast of local potential climatic hazards.

  • Study Of The Tornadic Event In The Plain Of Caserta (Campania Region, Italy) On March 12, 2018: Radar-Observations And Numerical Simulations
    Capozzi, Vincenzo (1,2); Mazzarella, Vincenzo (2); Maiello, Ida (2); Cotroneo, Yuri (1); Miglietta, Marcello (4); Ferretti, Rossella (2,3); Budillon, Giorgio (1) - 1: Department of Science and Technology, University of Naples “Parthenope”, Centro Direzionale di Napoli – Isola C4; 2: Center of Excellence Telesensing of Environment and Model Prediction of Severe events (CETEMPS), University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila; 3: Department of Physics and Chemistry, University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila; 4: Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, National Research Council, Lecce

    On 12 March 2018, an EF2 tornado occurred in the southern urban area of Caserta city, causing eight injuries and relevant damages on buildings, cars and road infrastructure, amounting to several millions of euros.

    This study is focused on the description of the evolution of the tornadic supercell through X-band single-polarization reflectivity measurements, provided by the WR-10X weather radar operating Naples urban area. Moreover, this work investigates the synoptic and mesoscale processes that triggered the supercell, using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model.

    In WR-10X reflectivity volumes, the convective cell responsible for the tornadic event showed its first signature at 16:30 UTC, 65 km northwest of Caserta, near the Ausoni-Aurunci Mountains (Gulf of Gaeta). After that, the cell moved southeasterly with an estimated average translation velocity of 13 m/s. From 17:40 UTC, according to the reflectivity data measured at lower antenna elevations, a gradual transition of thunderstorm structure into a supercell has been observed. At 17:50 UTC, the reflectivity echo along the leading edge of the thunderstorm shows a clear Forward Flank Notch (FFN) signature, associated to a vigorous updraft, which caused a deflection of upper level winds around the core of the storm. The supercell crossed the neighborhood of Caserta at 18:00 UTC, showing a classic "hook-echo" signature in the region of cyclonic rotation (which supports the tornado formation). The Range Height Indicator (RHI) scan reveals that the supercell had two distinct downdrafts, the Forward-Flank Downdraft (FFD), which is located in the leading part of the supercell, and the Rear-Flank Downdraft (RFD). The presence of the mesocyclone was also associated with a bounded weak echo region (BWER), a vertical channel of weak radar echo, related to a very strong updraft.

    A dedicated WRF simulation at very high resolution (1 km) over the Campania Region has been performed, using the WRF version 4.0 and a two-way nesting configuration among three domains. Preliminary results figure out a significant vertical wind shear and a high amount of water vapor at lower levels in the neighborhood of Caserta. These factors, together with a positive Potential Vorticity anomaly in the upper troposphere, may have supported the formation of the observed supercell.

    Merging data from X-band radar observations and WRF simulations proved to effeciently describe the fine structure associated to the anomalous tornadic event.

  • Validation of ECMWF Winds in the Mediterranean Basin with ASCAT 12.5 km Winds
    Zecchetto, Stefano (1); De Biasio, Francesco (1); Accadia, Christophe (2) - 1: National Research Council of Italy, Istituto Scienze Atmosfera e Clima, Italy; 2: EUMETSAT, Germany

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    The wind fields from scatterometer and numerical weather prediction models are complementary tools for understanding the weather dynamics and evolution. The issue is to understand to what extent they describe the same features of the wind spatial and temporal variability, and if and how their performances depend on geophysical conditions and/or wind characteristics. This has been done in the Mediterranean Sea, where the complexity of the coastal orography and the presence of mountainous islands deeply influence the synoptic-scale atmospheric circulation in the Ekman layer, producing effects at spatial scales from regional (≈150 km) to a few kilometres.

    The ASCAT–ECMWF normalized mean relative bias Bn and centred root mean square deviation of wind speed cRMSD have been found to be 7% and 23%, indicating the coastal areas as the main source of discrepancy between the two datasets. From 50 to 200 km away from coast, cRMSD decreases from 40 to 25% and Bn from 8 to 4%. It has been hypothesized that local coastal circulations like land/sea breezes could explain the big deal of this mismatch. However it cannot be attributed only to the well-known difficulty of the models to reproduce phenomena at scales shorter than a few times their grid length, but also to the quality of the scatterometer data along coast, found seriously contaminated by the presence of ships. Therefore the scatterometer winds, already validated by the delivering Agencies, should undergo to further internally validation before their use as forcing in the oceanographic models and for atmospheric models validation.

    This contribution is devoted to illustrate these two issues through the analysis of two year of data.

  • Earth Observation in Storm Surge Forecasting: the Lesson learnt from the eSurge-Venice Project, and the Transition to Operational Forecasting in Venice (Adriatic Sea)
    De Biasio, Francesco (1); Zecchetto, Stefano (1); Papa, Alvise (2) - 1: National Research Council, Italy; 2: Venice Municipality, Italy

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    Hindcast experiments of selected storm surge events in the Gulf of Venice (northern Adriatic Sea) conducted during the ESA-funded eSurge-Venice project, have demonstrated that scatterometer data can be used to limit the bias between the model forecast and the observed wind fields at the sea surface, thus reducing the uncertainties on the model wind used as forcing to a storm surge model. Moreover, altimeter measurements of sea level height have been assimilated into the storm surge model with a dual 4d-VAR assimilation technique, to bring a significant improvement of the description of the initial sea level state field across the basin.

    The use of the scatterometer observations to nudge the model wind forcing was responsible, alone, of a reduction of the mean difference between modelled and observed maximum surge peaks from -15.1 to -8.2 cm. The strategy designed to exploit the potential of scatterometer data, indicated as "wind bias mitigation", has three steps:

    1. the scatterometer-model wind bias is evaluated on a statistical sample collected during three days of collocated scatterometer and model analysis winds;
    2. a (local) multiplicative factor Δws, to be applied to model winds, is derived, in order to reduce the local bias between observations and analyses;
    3. the Δws factor is then applied to the model forecasts the day after the three days of the statistical sample, to improve the representation of the model wind

    The wind bias mitigation technique proved to be reliable and easy to set up in the operational context, even if some further study had to be devoted to determine the best mathematical formulation of the Δws multiplicative factor.
    With this objective in mind, this contribution reports the comparison of four mathematical approaches to the wind bias mitigation, in order to find the most efficient and reliable one out of a set of eight different formulations of the multiplicative factor Δws which compensates the model wind underestimation.
    Four datasets are used for the assessment of the eight different bias mitigation methods:

    1. a collection of 29 storm surge events (SEVs) cases in the years 2004-2014;
    2. a collection of 48 SEVs in the years 2013-2016;
    3. a collection of 364 cases of random sea level conditions in the same period;
    4. a collection of the seven SEVs in 2012-2016 that were worst predicted by the Tide Forecasting and Early Warning Centre (CPSMCentro Previsioni e Segnalazioni Maree) of the Venice Municipality.

    The statistical analysis shows that the bias mitigation procedures supplies a mean wind speed more accurate than the standard forecast, when compared with scatterometer observations, in more than 70% of the analyzed cases.

  • Wind Observations for high-resolution Atmospheric Modeling
    Obermann-Hellhund, Anika; Ahrens, Bodo - Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany

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    In the densely populated Mediterranean Region, many wind systems on all spatial scales occur. They are caused by pressure gradients in combination with the complex orography of the area. The winds reach from large-scale flows, over channeling (in valleys, straits, and mountain gaps) to land-sea wind systems.
    Global circulation models are not sufficient to simulate all important aspects of the wind field because of their small-scale structures. Therefore, high-resolution Regional Climate Models (RCMs) are necessary and widely used in the Mediterranean Region, e.g., within the framework of Med-CORDEX and HyMeX. Satellite observations are a valuable tool to evaluate the simulations. Among other data, they provide surface wind fields above the sea surface twice a day.
    We present how we use satellite observations to evaluate RCM simulations of winds in the Mediterranean Region. Furthermore, we show which additional information would be useful for the wind evaluation of future coupled RCM simulations which cover both the atmosphere and the ocean. This includes both future missions and reprocessing existing data, e.g., on higher resolution or with reduced perturbations due to ships.

  • Earth Observation at the IGEO (CSIC-UCM) Geosciences Institute
    Garcia Herrera, Ricardo Francisco (1,2); Fernandez Torres, Jose (1,2); Osete, Maria Luisa (1,2); Garcia Baonza, Valentin (1,2) - 1: Geosciences Institute (IGEO), Spain; 2: University Complutense, Spain

    The Geosciences Institute (IGEO: is a joint center of the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) -the largest public institution dedicated to research in Spain- and the Complutense University (UCM) –the largest university in Spain- carrying out cutting-edge research related to Geology, Geodesy and Geophysics using a multidisciplinary approach.

    The aim of this poster is to show the main research lines and needs of the IGEO  directly linked to the priorities addressed in the MED 2018 consultation meeting. We shall present those of our current activities which are more suited to contribute to the Atmospheric science and applications theme -particularly in the coupled feedback atmosphere/ocean/continental surfaces section- but also have strong impact in both Ocean Science and Land Science (e.g. geoinformation systems, Climate impacts on land environment,…) themes.

    Some examples of IGEO’s capabilities include satellite observation (e.g., InSAR, optical, gravity and magnetic), combined with in situ data, land instability and deformation as well as structures and infrastructures instability, associated to geological and antropogenic hazards. We have also developed and implemented techniques for interpretation and modeling and the different level observation and results can be implemented and distributed using the European Plate Observing System (EPOS) ESFRI infrastructure. From the climate view point, additional our main priorities should be focused on: 1) Detection of weather regimes and synoptic systems with automatic methods to better understand the atmospheric circulation variability and change, 2) Weather and climate extreme events from different perspectives, including climate change attribution to human activities, and 3) Effect of weather regimes on air pollutants such as ozone and particulate matter to establish links between atmospheric composition and circulation.

    IGEO is included into CSIC's Natural Resources Research Area, which gathers nearly 20 research institutes, including various singular facilities (e.g. Doñana Biological Station (EBD: or  Mediterranean Institute of Advanced Research (IMEDEA:, and specialized centers (e.g. Ebro Observatory (OE: We shall also provide a brief overview of the activities, projects and initiatives carried out at CSIC where ESA's EO may definitively contribute. 

  • Research Activities and Operational Applications of Lightning Detection over the Mediterranean Sea: a First Step Toward the use of Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) Lightning Imager (LI) Observations
    Defer, Eric (1); Bech, Joan (2); Caumont, Olivier (3); Enno, Sven-Erik (4); Farges, Thomas (5); Federico, Stefano (6); Kotroni, Vassiliki (7); Lagouvardos, Kostas (7); Lambert, Dominique (1); Pedeboy, Stéphane (8) - 1: Laboratoire d'Aérologie, France; 2: University of Barcelona, Spain; 3: CNRM, France; 4: Met Office, United Kingdom; 5: CEA, France; 6: ISAC, Italy; 7: NOA, Greece; 8: Météorage, France

    Lightning-based research and operational activities are currently being conducted over the Mediterranean basin by several European teams in the framework of several national and European programs. Those activities are exploiting state-of-the-art instrumentation and models for a better understanding, monitoring and forecasting of the thunderstorms, which pose a particularly high threat to human activities in the Mediterranean regions.

    First we will give an overview of the information that lightning detection provides on the (spatial, temporal, dynamical, severity) monitoring of thunderstorms. We will then introduce some European research projects, European instruments and models, as well as available operational European lightning-based products. We will then discuss on the expected benefits of the up-coming space-based observations of Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) Lightning Imager (LI) in synergy or not with concurrent ground-based lightning observations and/or usual meteorological (radar, satellite) observations for an optimized exploitation for applications and information services in meteorology and atmospheric chemistry

  • The Lampedusa Atmospheric Observatory for climate studies in the Mediterranean
    di Sarra, Alcide Giorgio; Anello, Fabrizio; Bommarito, Carlo; Di Iorio, Tatiana; Meloni, Daniela; Monteleone, Francesco; Pace, Giandomenico; Piacentino, Salvatore; Sferlazzo, Damiano - ENEA, Laboratory for Observations and Analyses of Earth and Climate, Italy

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    The Station for Climate Observations on the island of Lampedusa (35.52°N, 12.63°E; has been operational since 1997 in the central Mediterranean Sea and is dedicated to long-term measurements of atmospheric parameters related to climate. Measurements, also made in collaboration with different international Institutes, contribute to several global networks (GAW/WMO; NOAA Cooperative air sampling network; AERONET; ICOS, etc.).  As an integration of the Atmospheric Observatory, an oceanographic buoy was deployed in August 2015 3.3 miles South West of the island of Lampedusa, at 35.49°N, 12.47°E.  Lampedusa is in a crucial location for the validation of satellite observations and for studies on the regional climate.

    Routine observations at the site include:  meteorological parameters; greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O, SF6, CFCs, HFCs, HCFCs); aerosol optical properties (optical depth at several wavelengths and derived quantities; PM10 concentration and chemical composition); aerosol vertical distribution; temperature and humidity vertical profiles; cloud cover and optical properties; column water vapour and liquid water path; spectral surface irradiances from the UV to the near IR; broadband IR irradiances; direct and diffuse radiation components in different bands; surface ozone; total column ozone; black carbon; atmospheric aerosol deposition, etc.

    The Observatory is participating in validation projects for Sentinel 5P and EarthCare.  Data from Lampedusa have been used in various studies which involve combined use of space-borne, air-borne, and ground-based measurements, and in satellite validations, mainly dedicated to atmospheric composition and radiation. 

  • PCOA: Platform CORSiCA for Observation of the Atmosphere
    Defer, Eric
    Lambert, Dominique; Defer, Eric; Coquillat, Sylvain; De Guibert, Pierre; Pinty, Jean-Pierre; Pont, Véronique; Prieur, Serge; Richard, Evelyne - Laboratoire d'Aérologie, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, UPS, France

    PCOA (Platform CORSiCA for Observation of the Atmosphere, is a scientific platform dedicated to the observation of the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere. It is located in the western Mediterranean basin, on the island of Corsica. This location allows the site being exposed to air mass of various origins. It can also act as a sentinel for continental France and for Italy or, at a larger scale, for countries further east by measuring weather phenomena or air quality. Corsica is prone to convective heavy precipitation often associated to electrical activity.

    The platform has been in operation since 2007. It combines several measuring sites on Corsica for atmospheric chemistry (gases and aerosols), dynamics, microphysics, and atmospheric electrical activity.

    The observatory has a twofold mission: firstly, to serve as a permanent structure for observing the atmosphere particularly suited to the climate change studies, and secondly, to provide a platform for measurement campaigns.

    From 2012 to 2014, Corsica has hosted more than one hundred researchers involved in measurement campaigns, mainly HyMeX (Hydrological Mediterranean Experiment; and ChArMEx (the Chemistry-Aerososl MEditerranean Experiment; Special Observation Periods.

    CORSiCA has funded a dozen advanced instruments installed on multiple sites in Corsica, their operation and maintenance, and a technical local in the Cap Corse.

    The present communication will describe PCOA and a special focus will be given to the activities for the campaign of the ANR project EXAEDRE (

    Acknowledgements are addressed to CORSiCA main sponsors (Collectivité de Corse, HyMeX/MISTRALS, Laboratoire d’Aérologie), Qualitair Corse, INRA San Giuliano and many individuals and regional institutions in Corsica. This project is also supported by grants ANR-16-CE04-0005-01 EXAEDRE

  • The potential of an Atmospheric Remote Sensing Supersite in the EMMENA region: An opportunity through the ERATOSTHENES CoE
    Themistocleous, Kyriacos
    Hadjimitsis, Diofantos (1); Ansmann, Albert (2); Kontoes, Haris (3); Schreier, Gunter (4); Komodromos, George (5); Bühl, Johannes (2); Mamouri, Rodanthi-Elisavet (1); Michaelides, Silas (1); Nisantzi, Argyro (1); Seifert, Patric (2); Themistocleous, Kyriacos (1); Wandinger, Ulla (2) - 1: Cyprus University of Technology, ERATOSTHENES Research Centre, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Cyprus; 2: Leibniz Institut für Troposphärenforschung (TROPOS), Leipzig,Germany; 3: National Observatory of Athens (NOA), Greece; 4: Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR), Berlin, Germany; 5: Department of Electronic Communications of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, Nicosia Cyprus

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    Cyprus is strategically located in the region of the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa (EMMENA). As a crossroad between Europe, Asia and Africa, it is representative of meteorological conditions and coastal areas in the EMMENA region. Therefore, Cyprus, and especially Limassol as a coastal city, can be considered an ideal natural laboratory for advanced and comprehensive field studies on climate change, aerosol-cloud-dynamics-precipitation interaction, and the weather-precipitation-dryness complex.

    Incomplete coverage with ground monitoring stations is the main limitation to make fast and significant progress in understanding the complex climate-relevant atmospheric processes around the globe and thus to improve atmospheric models used for climate change projections. Although satellites can continuously monitor the atmosphere on a regional to global scale, they must be ground-calibrated in order to incorporate satellite data into atmospheric models that are necessary for validation purposes.

    The increased urbanization, high pollution, dust storms and decreasing precipitation in the region dramatically affect climate change. Current prediction models for weather, climate, and environment are based on sophisticated modeling in close connection with state-of-the-art observations. A modern observational super-site in Cyprus is of fundamental importance to understanding the atmospheric system in the EMMENA region. The presence of such a super site will be able to effectively monitor atmospheric conditions and provide relevant data for atmospheric prediction modeling.

    This contribution reports on the recent progress regarding the buildup of a permanent, state-of-the-art atmospheric remote sensing station in Limassol, Cyprus. As a demonstration initiative, an 18-month field campaign (Cy-CARE (Cyprus Cloud Aerosol and pRecipitation Experiment)) was designed by the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) and implemented by the ERATOSTHENES Research Centre (ERC) at the Cyprus University of Technology between October 2016 and March 2018, with the main focus on lidar/radar-based studies of aerosol-cloud-precipitation relationships. Through the EU H2020 Teaming project EXCELSIOR, the ERC in Cyprus seeks to upgrade to the ERATOSTHENES Centre of Excellence (ECoE). The ECoE will be a Centre of Excellence for Earth Surveillance and Space-Based Monitoring of the Environment. The ECoE aims to conduct innovative research and services through the integrated use of remote sensing and space-based techniques for enhanced monitoring of the environment related to land, water and air.

    Through the ECoE, a modern in-situ observational super site will be established in Cyprus for long-term profiling of the atmosphere, including wind, humidity, aerosol and cloud properties and precipitation fields. The ECoE will be fully in line with ESFRI networks, such as ACTRIS, as it will utilize state-of-the-art infrastructure and techniques to provide cutting-edge data regarding atmospheric processes.


    The authors acknowledge the EXCELSIOR H2020-WIDESPREAD-04-2017: Teaming Phase1 project under grant agreement No 763643, ( The CUT team acknowledges ACTRIS-2 project that received funding from the European Union (H2020-INFRAIA-2014-2015) under grant agreement no. 654109.

  • Time Evolution of Particulate Matter, Heatmaps and Windroses during the Kinetta Fire Event on July 23th 2018.
    Geronikolou, Styliani (1); De Lastic, Hector-Xavier (2); Papayannis, Alex (2); Georgakilas, Alex (2) - 1: BRFAA, Greece; 2: NTUA, Greece

    This presentation presents for the first time the suspended particulates (PMs) measured over an Athenian suburban area before, during and after the recent fires in Attica region- Greece: the period presented, herein, extends from the 15th of July 2018 until 25th of July 2018. The data concern only the Kinetta (West Attica region) fire because of the prevailing winds in our experimental site. The processed data are presented in terms of: heatmaps, windroses and PMs number concentrations, with 10 minutes time resolution. The PM and heatmap correlation heatmaps show an abrupt increase of PMs concentrations during and after the fire event. The ultrafine particles concentrations showed a more than 3-fold increase during the fire events compared to the ones measured during the pre-fire days. The windroses also showed a good correlation with the PMs originated from the fire event areas. 

    Time evolution of particulate matters heatmaps and windroses during the Kinetta fire event on July 23th 2018

  • Desert Dust Observations: EO Needs For Assimilation/Validation Purposes Within a High-Resolution Dust Regional Reanalysis
    Mona, Lucia (1); Di Tomaso, Enza (2); Formenti, Paola (3); Terridellas, Enric (4); Votsis, Athanasios (5); Basart, Sara (2) - 1: CNR, Italy; 2: BSC, Spain; 3: CNRS, France; 4: AEMET, Spain; 5: FMI, Finland

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    Desert dust particles transported from the Northern part of Africa is one of the major natural component of the total aerosol load into the Mediterranean Basin. It has been recently highly recognized that desert dust has an impact on climate, weather and environmental conditions, and that it can be highly risky close to the source regions, but still have a relevant effect in a region like the Mediterranean. Some specific societal impacts, which directly affect end users, are also identified, in several sectors, with health, air quality, solar energy and aviation being the most relevant ones. The ERA4CS DustClim (DUST storms assessment for the development of user-oriented CLIMate services in Northern Africa, Middle East and Europe) project aims to make a significant step towards the understanding, managing and mitigating the Sand and Dust Storms (SDS) risks by producing an advanced and thoroughly evaluated decadal high-resolution dust reanalysis for the Northern Africa,, the Middle East and Europe using the state-of-art multiscale online atmospheric model (i.e. the NMMB-MONARCH model) as well as developing user-driven services for key sectors.

    For the success of the reanalysis itself and then for its evaluation, the selection of Earth Observations (EO) datasets for the assimilation into the reanalysis and its evaluation following the specific requirements is essential. A review of the existing datasets has been carried out in the framework of DustClim showing the main gaps into the desert dust EO. One of the main limitation in setting up the reanalysis is the limited number of dust specialized observations useable for the assimilation: long term and well assessed aerosol optical depth are available for space-borne sensors, but only few have in the operational mode a product specific for dust particles. It is possible to obtain dust optical depth through research mode algorithm in some cases (as for IASI or CALIOP) or estimated under some assumptions for other cases (as for MODIS coarse fraction or MISR aspherical particle component). 

    On the other hands, EO are also key players for the reanalysis evaluation. The review of the existing ground based observations underlines the needs for long term coordinated observations under international initiative like European Research Infrastructures and collocated in situ and profiling measurements. However, satellite borne EOs are a key player also for the model evaluation because of their spatial and temporal coverage. Even on this aspect the aerosol speciation is essential: many new products give the possibility of investigating the presence of desert dust but there is currently the need of harmonizing the aerosol classification or whenever this is not possible to identifying translating rules among the wide range of existing classifications.



    Project DustClim is part of ERA4CS, an ERA-NET initiated by JPI Climate, and funded by FORMAS (SE), DLR (DE), BMWFW (AT), IFD (DK), MINECO (ES), ANR (FR) with co-funding by the European Union (Grant 690462).

  • Towards high resolution monitoring of atmospheric pollutants: Implications for the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East (EMME)
    Kushta, Jonilda; Lelieveld, Jos - The Cyprus Institute, Greece

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    EMME is a region of particular interest since it is a well-known air pollution crossroad with colocation of natural and anthropogenic sources. It is often referred to as a major receptor of gaseous and aerosol pollutants of different source and physicochemical characteristics (age, composition, optical properties). High regional background levels add to the mid- and long- range transported pollution making the area a global hot spot. The coexistence of this heavy load of pollutants with active meteorological systems, makes the region a –scientifically and societally- intriguing area of study. 

    This area is also a region troubled by crises, notably after 2010, accompanied by mass displacements of people in many regions of armed conflict such as Syria and Iraq, and economic recession in Greece, Egypt and other countries. Satellite information has confirmed that these societal, financial and military factors are accompanied by unanticipated changes in emissions of several pollutants (NO, NO2, CO, SO2) due to changes in economic development, energy use, environmental controls and migration, changes that differ greatly from current formal emission scenarios of Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs).

    Fast-changing geopolitical factors cannot be foreseen and they bring emission inventories to differ significantly from the reality when used in atmospheric pollution studies or air quality forecasting systems. Satellites can provide up-to-date information on inter- and intra- annual changes, seasonality and week cycles, that can be directly exploited in air pollution studies. Satellite data might, not only provide useful information on changes in emission levels, but also detect unaccounted-for or new sources.

    NO2 is considered to be one of the main indices of air pollution and is regulated by environmental policy. Within the EMME natural NO2 sources are negligible and the NO2 column abundance is directly related to fossil fuel energy production, industry and traffic. The quantification of NO2 levels is a significant step for understanding tropospheric pollution which in turn, is essential for atmospheric monitoring, modelling and environmental management strategies. NO2 has been monitored by satellite since 1995 with GOME, since 2002 with SCIAMACHY, and since 2004 with the OMI instrument. 

    Recently Sentinel 5 Precursor, the first of the atmospheric composition Sentinels, has monitored atmospheric pollutants at a higher resolution and better accuracy than former missions with the use of the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI). We will show how data acquired from the S5P mission offer a more detailed landscape of anthropogenic sources of pollutants in the EMME region, and elaborate on the importance of such information, and further better resolution, on the assessment of air pollution in the region and over European Member countries that have reporting and regulating obligations, to help reduce exposure to pollution and impact on human health and ecosystems. 

Day 2 - 12/12/2018

Sea 2

Chairs: Mangin, Antoine (ACRI), Zecchetto, Stefano (National Research Council of Italy)

09:00 - 11:00

  • 09:00 - Modelling the Storm Surge in the Adriatic Sea Using Satellite Data
    Zecchetto, Stefano - National Research Council of Italy, Istituto Scienze Atmosfera e Clima, Italy

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    The accuracy of numerical storm surge model simulations depends critically on the quality of the wind forcing and on the initial sea level conditions. The operational storm surge models use the forecast fields produced by ECMWF atmospheric model as meteorological forcing. Recent works showed that in small basins surrounded by steep orography the ECMWF model underestimates the wind. This may introduce inaccuracies in forecasting the water level. Another source of potential errors is the inaccurate  sea level initial state.

    This contribution summarises the results of the eSurge-Venice  project funded by the European Space Agency (ESA), which proved the possibilities to improve the storm surge estimates through the improvement of the wind forcing and of the initial sea state conditions using scatterometer winds and altimeter Total Water Level Envelope (TWLE) data respectively. Satellite scatterometer data were used to mitigate the bias between  model forecasts and satellite observations, while the initial states of the surge level have been improved assimilating TWLE measurements of satellite altimeters into the storm surge model. Hindcast experiments on selected storm surge events in the last decades years were conducted in several configurations of wind forcing and surge level initial conditions. The results indicate a reduction of the skew relative error on the estimation of the maximum surge peak (observed – model) from about 15% to 6%. Examples will be shown and commented and the open issues discussed. A scientific roadmap as a follow-up of the results achieved and focused on the use of the proposed techniques for storm surge forecast will be outlined.

  • 09:20 - The Deployment of a Multi-source Observing System for Marine Litters at the Mediterranean Basin Scale
    Mangin, Antoine; Martin-Lauzer, F.R.; Galland, F.; Taji, A.; Fanton d’Andon, O. - ACRI, France

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  • 09:40 - A New Synergetic Approach for the Determination of the Sea-Surface Currents in the Mediterranean Sea
    Ciani, Daniele (1); Rio, Marie-Hélène (2); Santoleri, Rosalia (1); Marullo, Salvatore (3) - 1: Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR-ISAC), Rome, Italy; 2: European Space Agency, ESA-ESRIN, Frascati, Italy; 3: Agenzia Nazionale per le nuove tecnologie, l'energia e lo sviluppo economico sostenibile (ENEA), Frascati, Italy

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    The  basin scale and synoptic monitoring of the marine currents in the Mediterranean Sea has geophysical, commercial and environmental purposes. At present, this monitoring is achievable via satellite altimetry, allowing to retrieve the large scale ( >= 100 km ) geostrophic component of the surface currents. Nevertheless, the Mediterranean is characterized by Rossby deformation radii around 10-20 km, hence, its typical mesoscale features (O(10-100 km)) are only partially captured by classical satellite altimetry. Moreover, this region (and in particular the Sicily Channel) represents the main ship route between the Indian Ocean and the main harbours of the European Union, hosting 25% of the world oil trade, with a consequent presence of illegal oil spills of the order of 600 Kt per year. This makes high-resolution surface currents a necessary tool for monitoring the Mediterranean Sea and improving the knowledge of its surface dynamics. To this scope, we present a method for the remote retrieval of the sea-surface currents based on the synergy of sea-surface height (SSH) and high-resolution sea-surface temperature (SST) data. During the period 2012-2016, we created daily gap-free high-resolution maps of surface currents at the basin scale. The quality of the new multi-sensor currents has been assessed through comparisons to other surface-currents estimates, as the ones obtained from drifting buoys (at the basin scale), HF-Radar platforms and ocean numerical model outputs in the Malta-Sicily Channel. The study evidenced that our synergetic approach can improve the present-day derivation of the surface currents in the Mediterranean basin, showing satisfying performances even in the reconstruction of the ageostrophic circulation. In the Malta-Sicily Channel, assuming the HF-Radar estimations as a reference, the merged SSH/SST currents exhibit a smaller root mean square error and bias than the altimeter-derived ones, mainly due to their enhanced spatial and temporal resolution. The improvements are also found with respect to the model-derived currents. As a main perspective of this work, we propose to use our reconstruction method using hourly SST data from geostationary satellites. This will bring the remote, basin-scale surface currents retrieval to sub-daily temporal resolutions.



  • 10:00 - High-Resolution Surface Currents From Satellite Observations in the North-Western Mediterranean Sea: Eddies Along The Iberian Coast
    Isern-Fontanet, Jordi (1,2); Ballabrera, Joaquim (1); Garcia-Ladona, Emilio (1); Olmedo, Estrella (1,2); Turiel, Antonio (1,2) - 1: Institut de Ciencies del Mar (CSIC), Spain; 2: Barcelona Expert Centre in Remote Sensing

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    The Catalan Coast in the NW Mediterranean Sea has been used as a test area for a remotely-sensed moni-toring system of surface currents. This area is characterized by small Rossby radius (~15 km), weak tidal currents and occasional strong winds making easier to separate the different contributions to the velocity field and to obtain independent estimates of it . The area in front of the Ebro Delta is covered by a HF radar. In addition, the abundant availability of cloud-free images allows testing indirect approaches to derive sur-face currents based on infrared measurements of Sea Surface Temperature (SST). Furthermore, the Casa-blanca oil platform, which has been previously used to test new remote sensing concepts, will be equipped with an ADCP for the direct measurement of ocean currents.

    Within this area, we are currently testing a pre-operational system for monitoring high-resolution surface currents in collaboration with the Spanish Search and Rescue Service (SASEMAR). This system is based on the derivation of surface currents applying the Surface Quasi-Geostrophic (SQG) approximation to SST from AVHRR measurements . The system will soon incorporate additional SST data from Sentinel-3 meas-urements and merge them with Sea Surface Height (SSH) observations from the same platform. This ob-servational system is complemented by the release of drifting buoys by SASEMAR and oceanographic cruises.

    The results show that our pre-operational system is able to reconstruct the velocity field associated to coastal eddies with diameters of ~10 km, but also unveil the different limitations of our approach. One of such limitations is the lack of Sea Surface Salinity (SSS) measurements. Indeed, in spite that SST and SSS gradients tend to be aligned, their sign may be inhomogeneous. To overcome this limitation we plan to exploit the synergy between SST, SSH and the new generation of SMOS-derived SSS maps in the Medi-terranean Sea, provided by the Barcelona Expert Centre in Remote Sensing (

  • 10:20 - The Hydrological Cycle in the Mediterranean Experiment (HyMeX): Where do We Stand? Where do We Go?
    Drobinski, Philippe (1); Ducrocq, Veronique (2) - 1: Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, France; 2: Meteo France

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    The HyMeX program is a 10-year program which strives to improve our understanding of the Mediterranean water cycle, its variability from the weather-scale events to the seasonal and interannual scales, and its characteristics over one decade (2010–20), with a special focus on hydrometeorological extremes and the associated social and economic vulnerability of the Mediterranean territories. The talk will give an overview of the main results for the first 8 years of the program and will give some perspectives for the next coming years.

  • 10:40 - Round Table Sea
    Chairs, Sea - .

Coffee break & TEPs demo

11:00 - 11:30

Atmosphere 1

Chairs: Zerefos, Christos (Academy of Athens), Mona, Lucia (CNR), Panegrossi, Giulia (Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (ISAC))

11:30 - 12:50

  • 11:30 - The Mediterranean as a Hotspot for Manmade Significant Interventions to the Environment
    Zerefos, Christos - Academy of Athens, Greece

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    The Mediterranean will be studied as to the past and future frequency of extreme events including heatwaves, droughts and floods as well as other dangers related to the variability of the ozone layer. A broad spectrum of model results and indices shall be presented both individually as well as in synergy between different events. Catastrophes from synergy are magnified with significant loss of humans, the ecosystems and property. More detailed examples will be given focused on the eastern Mediterranean which includes Greece, Egypt, Turkey and Cyprus. The difficulties to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement in view of the observed acceleration of extreme events and their synergies with a broad spectrum geophysical phenomena will be presented.

  • 11:50 - EO for the Mediterranean Sensitive Region: ACTRIS Lessons Learnt
    Mona, Lucia (1); Benedetti, Angela (2); Bukowiecki, Nicolas (3); Goloub, Philippe (4); Jaarvi, Leena (5); Mihalopoulos, Nikos (6); Lund Myrhe, Cathrine (7); Nicolae, Doina (8); o’Connor, Ewan (9); Phillipin, Sabine (10); Wandinger, Ulla (11); Wiedensohler, Alfred (11); Laj, Paolo (12); Pappalardo, Gelsomina (1); Sorvari, Sanna (9) - 1: CNR, Italy; 2: ECMWF, United Kingdom; 3: PSI, Switzerland; 4: University of Lille, France; 5: University of Helsinki, Finland; 6: University of Crete, Greece; 7: NILU, Norway; 8: INOE, Romania; 9: FMI, Finland; 10: Université Clermont Auvergne, France; 11: TROPOS, Germany; 12: Université Grenoble Alpes, France

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    ACTRIS (Aerosol Cloud and Trace Gases Research Infrastructure) is the European Research Infrastructure for the observation of Aerosol, Clouds, and Trace gases. ACTRIS serves a vast community of users working on atmospheric research, climate and Earth system and air quality models, satellite retrievals, weather analysis and forecast systems by offering high quality data and research infrastructure services for atmospheric aerosols, clouds, and trace gases.

    ACTRIS was included in the ESFRI roadmap in 2016 and it is currently in its Preparatory Phase. Although the ACTRIS operational phase is planned by 2025, ACTRIS as a whole is providing a better and better insight of the European aerosol, clouds and trace gases status over the continent since 2000, under separated networks that than integrated in ACTRIS unique body in 2011. 

    Among ACTRIS sites, about 45 are located in the Mediterranean Basin (specifically below the 45° N): 17 sites are equipped with ACTRIS instruments for in situ measurements, there are 15 aerosol lidar stations for aerosol vertical profiling and 1 site for cloud vertical profiling. The long term observations performed by the ACTRIS stations allowed the investigation of the atmosphere over the Mediterranean basin as a natural laboratory where different sources coexist: urban and industrial areas in continental and eastern (developing countries) Europe; forest fires that often occur during summer; maritime environment and influence by the big pollution in continent. The ACTRIS communities worked on characterization and investigation of each one of these specific sources taking the advantage of ACTRIS long-term and distributed observations (see the complete list of publication available at ). The main findings of interest for the Mediterranean basin is that in terms of atmospheric status the region is very complex and peculiar, so that: mixture is the typical condition over Mediterranean (e.g. Amiridis et al., ACP, 2015), specific aerosol models could be required (e.g. assumptions for satellite borne lidar measurements, Papagiannopoulus et al., ACP, 2016), vertical profile is essential for such environment; even mountain sites are affected by long distance sources (e.g. Pandolfi et al., ACP, 2014). It has become also clear in the last years that the synergistic use of the different ACTRIS observational components is important in general, but really crucial for the Mediterranean Basin, in order to have a reliable description of the atmospheric situation. In this context measurement campaigns like Cindi II, CyCare, Pre-tect, Slope II have been carried on for exploiting the synergy of sensors. On the other hand, collocation and integration of in situ measurements and vertical profiling has been recommended by the ICAP (International Cooperative for Aerosol Prediction) community for the evaluation of aerosol model in a such complex scenario like the Mediterranean is.

    All these findings and recommendations collected within ACTRIS activities applied to all EO and therefore to satellite-borne ones, for which is additionally crucial the use of fiducial reference ground based stations with a sufficient geographical density over the Mediterranean Basin.

  • 12:10 - Ingestion Of Sentinel Derived Remote Sensing Products In Numericalweather Prediction Model: Results Of The Esa Steam Project
    Lagasio, Martina (1); Parodi, Antonio (1); Pulvirenti, Luca (1); Pierdicca, Nazzareno (2); Marzano, Frank S. (2); Riva, Carlo (3); Luini, Lorenzo (3); Venuti, Giovanna (4); Pilosu, Luca (5); Realini, Eugenio (6); Passera, Emanuele (7) - 1: CIMA Research Foundation, Savona, Italy; 2: Department of Information Engineering, Electronics, and Telecommunications, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy; 3: Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy; 4: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy; 5: Istituto Superiore Mario Boella, Turin, Italy; 6: Geomatics Research & Development srl , Lomazzo, Italy; 7: TRE ALTAMIRA, Milan, Italy

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    The European Space Agency (ESA) STEAM (SaTellite Earth observation for Atmospheric Modelling) project aims at investigating new areas of synergy between high resolution numerical atmosphere models and data from spaceborne remote sensing sensors, with focus on Copernicus Sentinels 1, 2 and 3 satellites. An example of synergy is the ingestion of surface information derived from Sentinel data in numerical weather prediction models. The rationale is that Sentinels 1, 2 and 3 are able to provide high spatial resolution information on the surface boundary (as well as the atmosphere column) and that an inaccurate representation of the boundary conditions represents a major source of uncertainty for weather forecasts.

    For a profitable ingestion of EO data in numerical weather prediction models, a critical aspect is the choice of a suitable model. Once the numerical model is chosen, the problem of the selection of the Sentinel derived surface variables that have to be ingested in the model has to be tackled. While some data, such as sea and land surface temperature, are directly available, other surface data, such as soil moisture, have to be retrieved.
    This paper gives a general overview of the project and focuses on themactivities performed in its framework. In particular, it describes the rationale behind the choice of the Numerical Weather Prediction Model and the multi-temporal approach designed to retrieve soil moisture from Sentinel-1 data.
    Moreover, the results of the ingestion of Sentinel derived soil moisture, land surface temperature,sea surface temperature, wind over the ocean, INSAR and GNSS data into the selected model are shown. These results concern two Mediterranean extreme weather events that occurred in Tuscany (central Italy) in September 2017 and Abruzzo (central Italy) in November 2017. According to the Molini et al. (2009) classification, the first event belongs to the Type II events –brief and localized, having a shorter duration (d < 12 hours) and a spatial extent smaller than 50x50 km^2: it corresponds to non-equilibrium regime, less predictable, where a large amount of CAPE is available, as a result of building up from large-scale processes over long time-scales, but the extent to which it produces convection and precipitation is restricted by the need for a trigger sufficient to overcome the convective inhibition energy (CIN).
    The second event instead belongs to Type I –long-lived (duration d ≥  12 hours) and spatially distributed (more than 50×50 km^2): it corresponds to equilibrium convection, where it is assumed that production of CAPE by large-scale processes is nearly balanced by its consumption by convective phenomena, and thus CAPE values stay small, making the overall event more predictable.
    The project findings are supportive of an increased forecast skill, potentially of great interest for civil protection related applications.

  • 12:30 - MEDiterranean Services Chain based On climate PrEdictions (MEDSCOPE)
    Gualdi, Silvio (1); Caron, Louis-Philippe (2); Batté, Lauriane (3); Bertuzzi, Patrick (4); Corti, Susanna (5); Lafitte, Antoine (6); Rodriguez-Camino, Ernesto (7); Vannitsem, Stephan (8) - 1: Fondazione Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici, Italy; 2: Barcelona Supercomputing Centre, Spain; 3: Meteo France, France; 4: Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France; 5: Istituo di Scienze dell'Atmosfera e del Clima - CNR, Italy; 6: PLan Bleu, France; 7: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología - AEMET, Spain; 8: Royal Meteorological Institute - RMI, Belgium

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    The World Climate Research Programme coordinates international research efforts devoted to improving forecast capabilities at seasonal to decadal timescales. In the Mediterranean region, several initiatives (e.g. CLIMRUN, EUPORIAS) have developed methods and tools for creating prototypes of climate services addressing users’ needs in specific sectors, whereas the purpose of the Mediterranean Climate Outlook Forum is to satisfy the high demand for user-oriented operational climate information.

    In this poster, we illustrate the main feature and some preliminary results of an international project (MEDSCOPE), funded in the framework of the ERA–NET Consortium “European Research Area for Climate Services” (ERA4CS).

    MEDSCOPE aims at improving climate forecast capabilities and related services on seasonal-to-decadal timescales. The strategy is based on exploiting the range of existing datasets of climate observations and forecasts to improve our understanding of sources and mechanisms of predictability. This is complemented by targeted sensitivity experiments, focusing on key drivers of Mediterranean climate variability. Improved process understanding serves also as a basis to develop innovative empirical forecasting systems as well as novel process-based methods for bias correction, downscaling and optimal combination of sources of information, all of which will be publicly released via a toolbox.

    Extracting and tailoring the best information to produce climate services will fill the existing gaps between climate model output and applicable services. Special effort is devoted to sensitivity of climate predictions to models’ climate drift, to spatial shifts of variability patterns and to the selection of sub-ensembles representative of the needs of specific applications.

    The added value provided by MEDSCOPE to climate services will be assessed for various sectors with high societal impact, e.g. renewable energy, hydrology and agriculture and forestry. MEDSCOPE will deliver top-quality climate information, supported by cutting-edge research, tailored for climate services in the Mediterranean and will empower their use by the Mediterranean user community.

Lunch Break

12:50 - 13:50

Atmosphere 2

Chairs: Zerefos, Christos (Academy of Athens), Mona, Lucia (CNR), Panegrossi, Giulia (Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (ISAC))

13:50 - 14:50

  • 13:50 - Satellite Microwave Observations of Heavy Precipitation Systems in the Mediterranean: lessons from GPM and future perspectives
    Panegrossi, Giulia (1); Marra, Anna Cinzia (1); Sanò, Paolo (1); D'Adderio, Leo Pio (1); Dietrich, Stefano (1); Baldini, Luca (1); Casella, Daniele (2) - 1: Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (ISAC), National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Rome, Italy; 2: SERCO S.p.A., Frascati, Italy

    Heavy precipitation systems typical of the Mediterranean area that often devastate the coastal regions, are described and analyzed here by exploiting active and passive microwave measurements and state of the art precipitation products available in the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission era. With its Core Observatory and the constellation of LEO satellites the GPM is boosting its key role in integrating the established observational ground-based and satellite-borne tools not only for precipitation monitoring, but also for understanding and characterizing severe weather in the Mediterranean. We present three events that have recently challenged observational and forecasting capabilities, and caused damages at the ground. Making use of ground based and satellite-borne instruments, we address the problem of estimating precipitation of a small-scale and short-living intense thunderstorm, the capability to render the 3D structure of a mesoscale organized convective system, and the key role of satellite view in the classification and monitoring of a tropical-like cyclonic system. To this end, we exploited satellite measurements probably beyond the role they have been designed for, showing few strategies to blend satellite data and products with conventional meteorological data. The goal is to increase the knowledge of severe systems in the Mediterranean area and to support operational forecasting activities in a climate change perspective. The lessons learned on the combined use of passive and active microwave satelite measurements available in GPM era contribute to define a roadmap for a Mediterranean initiative within ESA's EO Science dedicated to precipitation.

  • 14:10 - Urban Expansion & Air-pollution from Space with Focus over the MED
    Alpert, Pinhas - Tel Aviv University

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    The NASA Global Modeling and Assimilation Office used the GEOS-5 model to extend the MERRA reanalysis with five atmospheric aerosol species (sulfates, organic carbon, black carbon, mineral dust and sea salt).  GEOS-5 also included assimilation of aerosol optical depth (AOD) observations from the MODIS sensors on both Terra and Aqua satellites.  This study analyses a ten-year period (July 2002 – June 2012) MERRAero aerosol reanalysis applied to the study of aerosol optical depth (AOD) and its trends for the aforementioned aerosol species over the world’s major cities (with a population of over 2 million inhabitants). 

    We found, that a proportion of various aerosol species in total AOD exhibited a strong geographical dependence.  Cities in industrialized regions (North America, Europe, central and eastern Asia) are characterized by a strong proportion of sulfate aerosols.  Organic carbon aerosols are dominant over cities which are located in regions where biomass burning frequently occurs (South America and southern Africa).  Mineral dust dominates other aerosol species in cities located in proximity to the major deserts (Mediterranean, northern Africa and western Asia).  Sea salt aerosols are prominent in coastal cities but are dominant aerosol species in very few of them. AOD trends are declining over cities in North America and Europe, as a result of effective air quality regulation.  By contrast, the economic boom in China and India has led to increasing AOD trends over most cities in these two highly-populated countries.  Increasing AOD trends over cities in the Middle East are caused by increasing desert dust. Focus will be given on the Mediterranean area.

    Relevant References:

    ·         P. Alpert, P. Kishcha, Y.J. Kaufman, and R. Schwarzbard, "Global dimming or local    dimming?: Effect of urbanization  on sunlight availability", Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L17802, doi:10.1029/2005GL023320, 2005.

    ·         P. Alpert and P. Kishcha, "Quantification of the effect of urbanization on solar dimming", Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L08801, doi:10.1029/2007GL033012, 2008.

    ·         H. Itzhak-Ben-Shalom, R. Samuels, O. Potchter and P. Alpert, "Recent trends and future predictions until 2060 of urban warming in four Israeli cities employing the REGCM climate model", American Journal of Climate Change, 5, 464-484, 2016.

    ·         S. Provençal, P. Kishcha, A. da Silva, E. Elhacham and P. Alpert. "AOD distributions and trends of  major aerosol species over a selection of the world's most populated cities based on the 1st version of NASA's MERRA Aerosol Reanalysis" Urban Climate,, 2017.

    ·         P. Alpert, O. Shvainshtein, and P. Kishcha, "AOD trends over megacities based on space monitoring using MODIS and MISR", American Journal of Climate Change, 1, 117-131, doi:10.4236/ajcc.2012.13010  Published Online September 2012 (, 2012. (Also highlighted by the Editor in the Journal News, 2013,2, entitled: "Journal News: Pinhas Alpert et al.' Research, has been reported widely by the Media")

  • 14:30 - Round Table Atmosphere
    Chairs, Atmos - .

Coffee break & TEPs demo

14:50 - 15:00

Requirements and Activities in Cyprus, Montenegro and Morocco

15:00 - 16:00

  • 15:00 - Social, Environmental and Cultural Challenges in Montenegro
    Petrusic, Darko - Ministry of Science, Montenegro

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  • 15:20 - Remote Sensing Information Systems in Support of Resources and environmental Mangement in Morocco
    El Hadani, Driss - Royal Center for Remote Sensing (CRTS), Morocco

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  • 15:40 - Cyprus as a Regional Hub in the Field of Earth Observation
    Themistocleous, Kyriacos - Cyprus University of Technology, ERATOSTHENES Research Centre, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Cyprus

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    Cyprus is positioned geographically at a strategic location in the Eastern Mediterranean at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa. Our vision is that Cyprus to become a Society of Information based on modern technologies, skills, and infrastructure, in the context of the national objective to be established as a regional hub in the area of Easter Mediterranean in the field of Earth Observation.