About the project

Project start: February 2022
Project end: February 2024
Funder: The European Space Agency (ESA)
Project coordinator: Dr Victor Martinez-Vicente
Project structure: View the work packages

Biodiversity in the Open Ocean: Mapping, Monitoring and Modelling (BOOMS) aims to provide the best possible characterisation of oceanic seascapes and its relationship to Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs, Pereira et al, 2013) globally. The project will produce a >10-year time series of seascapes based on 4-km resolution remote sensing data over the global ocean, combining independent datasets from advanced algorithms of ocean colour and sea surface temperature. 

A novel research plan will be designed and implemented that aims to describe plans to consolidate and advance the current understanding of open ocean EBV, specifically targeting species of three different trophic levels, their relation to spatio-temporal variations of seascapes, their impact on Earth system processes, and effects on socio-economically important and marine policy activities. This plan will include a wide-ranging consultation with relevant stakeholders and early-adopters.

The project will create or add to databases of relevant Earth Observation and in situ data, notably as input for the computation of ecoregions. BOOMS will use the 4-km version of the long-term climate-quality ESA Ocean Colour CCI dataset in combination with frontal structures derived from ESA Sea Surface Temperature CCI, and in specific areas use the new 1-km product from Ocean Colour-CCI. In-situ data will be mined from the scientific literature, existing databases, and be provided by our collaborators, notably in the North Atlantic Ocean, Tropical, South Atlantic and Southern Ocean.

BOOMS will investigate prototype products and perform a thorough validation of the products by comparison with state-of-the-art dynamic ecoregions products and in situ observations.

Illustration showing satellite data and krill, phytoplankton and fish

Image: the project will make use of Sentinel 3 data through the CCI+ programme and focus on three groups of species: phytoplankton, zooplankton and fish.

The project will generate and validate a “4D Biodiversity Experimental Dataset” of EO-based data products. BOOMS will use these data to advance Earth System science analyses covering North Atlantic, Tropical, South Atlantic and the Southern Ocean, for three groups of species: phytoplankton, zooplankton and fish.

BOOMS will focus on several Ocean Health Science Case Studies, for different trophic levels: phyoplankton, zooplankton and fish. They will apply data and products developed from earlier work packages to address key science questions relating to open ocean biodiversity.

In order to demonstrate wider socio-economic relevance and impact, BOOMS will conduct demonstrations that transfer science into solutions for society (see the Impact case studies), focussed around the science cases, and extending into wider impacts and modelling of large predators.

Based on the project results and wider consultations, BOOMS will develop a scientific roadmap in the form of a peer-reviewed paper, posing scientific challenges and observations gaps that need to be addressed in the future.

The project will coordinate and promote international collaboration and communicate results to scientists and citizens to maximise impact of the project through cross-cutting promotion, communication, and education activities, and through peer-reviewed publications.  

BOOMS aims to make a major contribution to Open Ocean Biodiversity, focussing on sea-scapes, and the major role to be played by the new generation of EO sensors and products.

View the project objectives >
View the project work package structure >
Read more about the science case studies >
Read more about the impact case studies >


Related links

Pereira, H. M., Ferrier, S., Walters, M., Geller, G. N., Jongman, R. H. G., Scholes, R. J., Bruford, M. W., Brummitt, N., Butchart, S. H. M., Cardoso, A. C., Coops, N. C., Dulloo, E., Faith, D. P., Freyhof, J., Gregory, R. D., Heip, C., Hoft, R., Hurtt, G., Jetz, W., … Wegmann, M. (2013). Essential Biodiversity Variables. Science, 339(6117), 277–278. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1229931

ESA Ocean Colour CCI Dataset

ESA Sea Surface Temperature CCI

The BOOMS project is funded by the European Space Agency (ESA)
European Space Agency Logo

Project partners

Plymouth Marine Laboratory logo
Plymouth Marine Laboratory (lead)

AZTI logo
AZTI tecnalia 

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens logo
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens 

Related projects

BOOMS is one of several projects funded as part of the EC-ESA Flagship Action on Ocean Health.

Sister projects to BOOMS include:
deteCtion and threAts of maRinE Heat waves (CAREHeat)

BiCOME - Biodiversity of the Coastal Ocean: Monitoring with Earth Observation (BiCOME).

BOOMS will interface with other ESA-funded projects including:

BICEP - Biological Pump and Carbon Exchange Processes (BICEP).

PRIMary-productivity in Upwelling Systems (PRIMUS)

The ESA Ocean Science Cluster
This network of ESA funded projects aims to promote networking, collaborative research, and fostering collaboration.