Ocean acidification harms organisms whose life depends on shells and on coral reefs. The shell-building capacity of this organism declines with decreasing aragonite saturation, which is due to the increase of average pH in the seas. Therefore, it affects important marine ecosystems hosting high biodiversity and food availability[1].

Monitoring and containing ocean acidification helps keep coral reefs and shell-building organisms from dissolving, and thus helps prevent ecological disasters. Unfortunately, environmental observations of parameters like aragonite saturation and pH are usually available as scattered in situ data, published on restricted-access data e-Infrastructures (e.g. the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service). On the other hand, interpolation services exist (e.g. SeaDataNet DIVA service) to estimate global, uniform distributions of environmental parameters from scattered observations. However, these services usually require data to comply with a non-standard format and cannot directly accept in situ data. Furthermore, they do not support facilities neither to communicate their results (geographical data) to other people nor to publish them for the larger public.

The BlueBRIDGE e-Infrastructure is able to create a bridge between several e-Infrastructures to fill the communication gap between them. As for the ocean acidification monitoring case, it can transform a set of Copernicus in situ marine observations of an acidification parameter into one uniform global distribution map, published in a data catalogue under standard geographical representation formats (e.g. Web Map Service, Web Feature Service, Web Coverage Service). The BlueBRIDGE Cloud computing platform, which uses European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) resources, hosts a process that is able to

  • import Copernicus observations,
  • organize them into a suitable format for the SeaDataNet interpolation service,
  • execute the interpolation process and
  • publish or share the output as a gradient map.

This process invokes the interpolation service, using a cloud computing strategy to process both the input and output. Finally, the infrastructure includes a geospatial services network, on which the computing system can store data and publish them as GIS maps. The process is also endowed with a graphical user interface, available through the BlueBRIDGE Web portal. Users can decide the access policy to apply to the data. For example, they can share them either with selected colleagues or with all the participants in the Virtual Research Environments they are involved in.

Thus, this bridge expands the possibilities offered by the e-Infrastructures connected by BlueBRIDGE. In particular, it adds efficient data pre- and post- processing, sharing, and publication facilities. Therefore, it strongly facilitates producing global information about ocean acidification from scattered sea observations, with respect to the original scenario of independent infrastructures. A demonstrative video explains the details of this use case.


[1] Ries, J. B. (2012). A sea butterfly flaps its wings.