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Information System for Marine Aquatic Resource Quality


The i-MARQ project was conceived and implemented in response to the urgent need for improved environmental management of coastal waters. This need has been widely recognised at both national and European levels.

Considerable effort is devoted throughout Europe towards monitoring environmental quality of coastal waters, and a range of Directives imposes statutory quality levels. However, there remains a lack of tools that can assist operational decision making in pursuit of improved water quality and cost-effective risk management to benefit the users of coastal waters (including the public).

i-MARQ aimed to address this gap in capability, by pioneering an Environmental Decision Support System (EDSS) targeting coastal waters. The available data resource is fragmented and sparse, so a critical requirement was to fuse diverse data streams and models to create robust information needed for decision support.

IT Innovation was responsible for the implementation and optimisation of the FME (Fusion and Modelling Engine), and contributed to the design and integration of the overall system. The FME uses a novel meshless data fusion algorithm to combine highly diverse data resources within a Lagrangian frame, representing a significant advance in the state-of-the-art.

Our achievements in i-MARQ underpin our work in the current SANY project.

Overall, the project achieved significant success, both in terms of technical advances and in terms of mapping the next generation of application-led EDSS. Working closely with a wide range of user communities in order to define a specification for the system which fulfils decision support needs, we developed a system which has the necessary data fusion capability, through which it can generate now-casts and forecasts of key water quality parameters, and piloted the system in three coastal locations (two on the French Riviera and one on the South coast of UK). Users within the coastal tourism and statutory water quality regulation sectors were found to be particularly interested in i-MARQ results.

See the i-MARQ project Web site for more details.


i-MARQ received research funding from the EC’s IST Programme.