From satellite remote sensing
Quantity Description (monthly means) Units

  sst Sea surface temperature (from satellite) °C

  bathymetry Depth of sea bed m

Sea surface temperature
The Sea surface temperature (SST in degree-C) is the temperature of the water close to the sea surface. SST is a standard product from satellite-based thermal infra-red sensors, and optical sensors complemented with infrared bands. EMIS provides two independent datasets:

Pathfinder dataset
The data in this dataset is a re-analysis of the NOAA/NASA Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data stream conducted by the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) and the NOAA National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC). It consists of 4km monthly SST (in °C) extracted from version 5.2 of the AVHRR Pathfinder project

MODIS-Terra dataset
This dataset consists of 4km/2km monthly standard Non-Linear SST (NLSST; in °C) algorithms developed by the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS). This data is equivalent to the standard NASA products available from


From numerical modelling
From the model, monthly averages since 1998 and climatology data on the following variables are available to users:

Quantity Description (monthly means) Units
 sst Sea surface temperature (from satellite) °C

 bathymetry Depth of sea bed m

 tmx Mean temperature of the mixed layer °C

 tbot Mean temperature of the bottom layer °C

 sbot Mean salinity of the bottom layer psu

 sigm Maximum of the density gradient kg.m-4

 depmx Depth of the mixed layer, identified by an 0.1 kg.m-3 increase in potential density m

Most of the physical variables are generated by one hydrodynamic model that is applied to all European seas. The idea is to generate a unique and consistent dataset for all European regional seas.

The 3D hydrodynamic model currently used at the JRC/IES is the public domain GETM model (General Estuarine Transport Model -, which has its roots within developments at the JRC/IES (Burchard and Bolding, 2002).

GETM simulates the most important hydrodynamic and thermodynamic processes in coastal and marine waters and includes flexible vertical and horizontal coordinate systems. Different turbulence schemes are incorporated from the General Ocean Turbulence Model (

Comparison and validation studies have been conducted in different regions:

• North Sea (Stips et al., 2004)
• Baltic Sea (Stips et al., 2005)
• Black Sea (Peneva and Stips, 2005)
• Mediterranean Sea (Garcia-Gorriz and Stips, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2013)