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Oceanographic baseline monitoring: collection and provision of hydrographic data from the North Atlantic


 (c) Thünen-Institut/Boris Cisewski

The hydrographic conditions in the oceans, which signifcantly influence different fish habitats, vary over wide ranges of spatial and temporal scales based on a number of different physical processes. The Thünen Institute for Sea Fisheries conducts long-term observation programmes to regularly record and monitor the hydrographic parameters and make them available for further analyses.

Background and Objective

This project aims to collect physical parameters such as temperature, salinity and density, in different areas of the North Atlantic in order to monitor the hydrography and to provide data for further investigations after their processing, calibration and quality control inspections. While we use these data for our own research studies, one of the main goals is to provide national and international databases with them, where they serve as the basis for various climate studies and for validation of different (predictive) models. In addition, the derived data sets will be prepared for the Thünen geodata infrastructure to ensure an effective and sustainable data management.

Target Group

Stakeholders, Scientific community


Profiling probes i.e. so-called CTD sensors (for conductivity, temperature, depth) are regularly in use on board all three sea-going research vessels of the Thünen Institute, to monitor various parameters. To guarantee the high quality of the measurements and the data output, the sensors are regularly serviced. After each survey, back in the laboratories, the raw data collected at sea are first checked for consistency, and then processed and calibrated according to international standards. The final are then made available for further analyses via national and international databases. If the spatial and/or temporal data coverage is insufficient for certain sea areas, large-scale satellite images are used that depict the surface temperature or other parameters. The satellite data are provided by external service providers such as the Marine Copernicus Service.

Our Research Questions

How has the hydrography of the North Atlantic - especially in the North Sea and off Greenland - changed in recent decades?

How can our existing hydrographic data set be usefully supplemented with further data from other sources (e.g., remote sensing, underway measurements)?

How can we improve the oceanographic measurement methods and the quality of the derived data?

Preliminary Results

  • Monitoring of the hydrography in the North Sea and in other areas of the North Atlantic
  • Provision of physical and oceanographic data for further analysis and validation of model results
  • Publication of peer-reviewed articles, annual reports and working group documents for ICES and NAFO

Links and Downloads


Involved Thünen-Partners


1.2001 - 12.2027

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: ongoing



Results 1 - 10 of 18

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  1. Cisewski B (2021) Scientific Council Meeting - June 2021 : Hydrographic conditions off West Greenland in 2020. Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, 11 p, NAFO Sci Council Res Doc 21/006
  2. Fratantoni P, González-Pola C, Aierbe Sarasola E, Albretsen J, Alenius P, Berx B, Beszczynska-Möller A, Chafik L, Christensen A, Cisewski B, Cunningham S, Cusack C, Cyr F, Danielsen M, de Jong F, Desbruyeres D, Dye SR, Fernandez Grana R, Fontana A, Galbraith P, et al (2021) Working Group on Oceanic Hydrography (WGOH; outputs from 2020 meeting). Copenhagen: ICES, 12 p, ICES Sci Rep 3(91), DOI:10.17895/
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 492 kb
  3. Cisewski B (2020) Hydrographic conditions off West Greenland in 2019. Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, 14 p, NAFO Sci Council Res Doc 20/018
  4. González-Pola C, Larsen KMH, Fratantoni P, Beszczynska-Möller A, Albretsen J, von Appen W-J, Berx B, Chafik L, Cisewski B, Cusack C, Cyr F, Danielsen M, Desbruyères D, Dye SR, Fontán A, Galbraith P, Hatun H, Hebert D, Hindson J, Holliday NP, et al (2020) ICES Report on Ocean Climate 2019. Copenhagen: ICES, 136 p, ICES Coop Res Rep 350, DOI:10.17895/
  5. González-Pola C, Fratantoni P, Larsen KMH, Holliday NP, Dye SR, Mork KA, Beszczynska-Möller A, Valdimarsson H, Trofimov A, Parner H, Klein H, Cisewski B, Fontán A, Lyons K, Kolodziejczyk N, Grana R, Linders J, Wodzinowski T, Goszczko I, Cusack C (2019) The ICES Working Group on Oceanic Hydrography: A bridge from in-situ sampling to the remote autonomous observation era. Front Mar Sci 6:103, DOI:10.3389/fmars.2019.00103
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 843 kb
  6. Cisewski B (2018) Atmospheric conditions over West Greenland in 2017. Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, 11 p, NAFO Sci Council Res Doc 18/006
  7. Cisewski B (2018) Regional report on West Greenland 2017. ICES WGOH Rep 2018:19-31
  8. Driemel A, Fahrbach E, Rohardt G, Beszczynska-Möller A, Boetius A, Budéus G, Cisewski B, Engbrodt R, Gauger S, Geibert W, Stein M, et al (2017) From pole to pole: 33 years of physical oceanography onboard R/V Polarstern. Earth Syst Sci Data 9:211-220, DOI:10.5194/essd-9-211-2017
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 4182 kb
  9. Cisewski B (2017) Hydrographic conditions off West Greenland in 2016. Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, 19 p
  10. Cisewski B (2017) Regional report on West Greenland 2016 (Area 1). ICES WGOH Rep 2027:1-18

Results 1 - 10 of 18

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