Medar Group, presented by Catherine Maillard, project co-ordinator

MEDAR/MEDATLAS follows the EU MAST/MEDATLAS (MAS2-CT93-0074) pilot project that released in 1997 the best presently available data set of temperature and salinity profiles in the Mediterranean and Black Sea. The new project was initiated by a group of 20 participants including national data centres or designated national agencies for international data exchange of 15 Mediterranean and Black Sea bordering countries: Algeria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Spain, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, three modelling centres and two international organisations IOC and ICES. Links and co-operation have been undertaken also with the global GODAR project at WDCA/USA, and with other bordering countries: Croatia, Tunisia, Georgia, Romania.

The project started in December 1998 for a 3 year period, in the frame of a EU concerted action (MAS3-CT98-0174/IC20-CT98-0103) with the objective of preparing an up to date, comprehensive and good quality database of temperature, salinity and bio-chemical profiles, useful for various kinds of users. The current tasks are inventory and rescue of national data sets, reformatting, quality control, integration, gridding, mapping, documentation and editing on Cdrom with appropriate software tools for data selection. Emphasis has been put on developing a common quality control protocol for data management including the MEDATLAS format and QC procedures based on the GTSPP experience and regional expertises. Two training workshops on data quality control have been carried out in Brest and Athens in December 1999. Another is in preparation at the end of the project for in Liege for Objective Analysis and Mapping. Networking and communication have been enhanced between the participants by using all the available internet facilities.

Beyond the expected database, the Project will contribute to improve the overall level of data quality and quantity, to decrease the time lag between data collection and data release, and facilitate the further use of the data among scientific and non scientific communities. It is also intended to develop a distributed data management structure trained in data qualifying, processing, mapping, archiving and communication. The MEDAR Group expects therefore to contribute to the capacity building for real time & delayed mode data management of the scientific and operational programmes carried out in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

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