AquaINFRA News

AquaINFRA Showcased at IMDIS 2024: Improving Access to Marine and Freshwater Data

June 12th, 2024
AquaINFRA Showcased at IMDIS 2024: Improving Access to Marine and Freshwater Data

The AquaINFRA project, an EU-funded initiative aimed at restoring healthy inland waters, coasts, seas, and oceans, was presented by project coordinator Henning Sten Hansen from Aalborg University at the recent IMDIS 2024 conference in Bergen, Noway.

The paper, entitled "The AquaINFRA Interaction Platform: A New Era for Aquatic Research" by Henning Sten Hansen, Simon Keeble, Kathryn Keeble, Juha Oksanen, Merret Buurman, Arne J. Berre, Sami Domisch, Carsten Keßler, Lise Schrøder, and Solvita Strāķe is available in the conference proceedings (Page 277).

About AquaINFRA

The AquaINFRA project aims to create a virtual environment that provides freshwater and marine scientists with FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) data services. This initiative fosters collaboration across research infrastructures and disciplines, leveraging the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and other operational data spaces. By merging freshwater and marine research communities, AquaINFRA aspires to transcend national borders and facilitate joint efforts in aquatic research.

Key Features and Objectives

  1. EOSC-Compliant Research Infrastructure: AquaINFRA will offer a research infrastructure that complies with EOSC standards, enhancing cross-domain search and discovery mechanisms and providing tools for spatio-temporal analysis and modelling within a Virtual Research Environment (VRE).

  2. Strategic Use Cases: With strategic use cases across various European waters, AquaINFRA is set to co-design and test its services, contributing to the EU’s mission of restoring marine and freshwater ecosystems by reducing human pressure on these environments.

  3. Intelligent Data Services: The project will deliver an array of resources, including the intelligent Data Discovery and Access Service (DDAS), which uses hydrological connectivity as its search engine backbone. Other services include harmonisation and processing services, and a robust interactive platform consistent with the EOSC interoperability framework.

Technical Methodology

  • Data Harmonisation and Integration: AquaINFRA emphasises data harmonisation, standardising data formats, metadata, and vocabularies to align with FAIR principles. This harmonised data will be integrated into a high-resolution pan-European hydrography database, ensuring high-quality, spatial-temporal datasets.

  • Virtual Research Environment (VRE): The VRE will provide computational tools and services necessary for sophisticated data analysis and modelling, supporting languages such as R and Python. Customisable workflows will facilitate the analysis of both raw and harmonised data, enhancing transparency and understanding of data analysis pathways. Merret Buurman (IGB) presented the AquaINFRA Virtual Research Environment (VRE) during the IMDIS 2024 poster session.

  • Interoperable Architecture and Standards: Adhering to international standards (ISO TC211, OGC, EU INSPIRE Directive), AquaINFRA ensures broad usability and integration into global systems. The project will also contribute to developing emerging standards like Environmental Data Retrieval API and Cloud-Native Geospatial.

  • High-Performance Computing Integration: Leveraging the AAU High-Performance Computing Centre (CLAAUDIA), AquaINFRA will efficiently process complex models and large datasets, enabling real-time data analysis and handling large-scale hydrological models.

  • Interdisciplinary Cross-Domain Discovery Services: The project's technical framework enhances cross-domain research, enabling seamless discovery and access to marine and freshwater data via interdisciplinary discovery services such as EUDAT B2FIND and OpenAIRE EXPLORE.

Training and Capacity Building

AquaINFRA will provide educational materials and resources through its training platform, ensuring users possess the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively utilise the data and tools available. This promotes a sustainable culture of open science within the marine and freshwater research communities.