The Eutrophication Challenge aims to:

  • To produce an overview of datasets on eutrophication in the entire Black Sea including remotely sensed surface chlorophyll, locally monitored nutrients, oxygen, ecosystem characteristics and chlorophyll profile concentrations.
  • To assess the extent and intensity of the eutrophication phenomenon in all areas known to be significantly affected by river and other discharges.
  • To evaluate the time evolution of eutrophication in the entire Black Sea.
  • To assess the performance of indicators such as the TRIX or EEA’s CSI023.



The workflow is made of three major activities:

Activity 1: to search for upstream data to meet challenge requirements

  • Nutrient (inorganic and organic) discharges from rivers and other land-based sources.
  • Satellite surface observations (Chlorophyll a concentrations, transparency, temperature, salinity)
  • In situ observations (nutrients, dissolved oxygen and chlorophyll concentrations in the water column).
  • Ecosystem characteristics (phytoplankton floristic composition, seaweeds and seagrass, zooplankton including jellyfish and other gelatinous species).
  • Appearance of mucilaginous materials, marine snow and other phenomena affecting the oxygen balance.

Activity 2: to build and analyze data base, produce challenge outputs for GIS use

Activity 3: to deliver checkpoint information, and report assessment in results in the Literature Survey and Data Adequacy Reports.



Team involved: 


Data processing

  • Which input information is looked for, discoverable 

The Challenge will collate data regarding Black Sea’s waters from available data bases. The target parameters and biological information are:

  • nutrients concentrations (mainly P and N) and ratio
  • chlorophyll concentrations
  • dissolved oxygen concentrations (mainly bottom)
  • phytoplankton abundance and biomass

Several datasets are available for the Black Sea. Synthetically they are :

  1. Black Sea Ecosystem Processes And Forecasting / Operational Database Management System Project acronym ODBMS Black Sea
  2. PERSEUS Oceanographic Mediterranean and Black Sea Data Management
  3. EMODnet Chemistry
  4. NASA Ocean Biogeochemical Model
  5. The Water Information System for Europe (WISE) database
  6. MyOcean ocean colour Thematic Assembly Center;
  7. Black Sea Informational system (BSIS).

Browse Data Source

  • Are data sets accessible ?

The Challenge will provide information on the data availability in a standardized way plus terms of access and use.

Data sets are available from different sources :

  • Information retrieved upon specific request to the data source;
  • Use of open search engines, searching by name either the data provider or the characteristics;
  • Search via reference catalogue (e.g. MyOcean, Emodnet, Giovanni NASA, JRC etc.)
  • We do not know the level of access of BSIS (Black Sea Informational System) data regarding the monitoring data from Black Sea’s riparian countries. On the BSC website they are not available.
  • How appropriate for use are the data ?

The Challenge will provide information on the data appropriateness in standardized way plus descriptive text of strengths and weakness regarding the appropriateness of upstream data used. It will include a rationale for non selection of unused input data.


Targeted products

The Eutrophication challenge aims to produce seasonal averages and changes of eutrophication in the basin:

  • Seasonal averages of eutrophication for past ten years
  • Change in eutrophication over past ten years (i.e. where eutrophication has reduced and where it has increased)