June 3rd, 2017

Long time ago known as “the Sea”, as well as the “inhospitable Sea”, mainly because of its difficult navigation, the Black Sea is one of a kind - one of the youngest seas on the Earth, one of the largest anoxic water body, draining a third of Europe, a model sea to study alien marine species invasions, heavily eutrophied, very beautiful, full of life.

Its freshwater balance is positive, meaning it receives more fresh water from the rivers and rainfall than it loses from evaporation, but there are several peculiar characteristics that raise environmental challenges. Due to the natural conditions, most of the Black Sea is devoid of oxygen, making it the largest anoxic water basin in the world.
Only its thin surface layer contains oxygen, and it is here where almost all of its marine life dwells. In addition, all below 150-200 m depth represents a zone devoid of life, due to the permanent presence of the hydrogen sulphide and complete absence of oxygen.
These unique hydrological characteristics shape the condition of its biodiversity.

Pollution, loss of biodiversity and coastal degradation have been identified by scientists as the major issues affecting the environmental state of the Black Sea. The eutrophication phenomenon (over-fertilization by nutrients) is a degrading process, due to pollution from agricultural, domestic and industrial sources.

Black Sea environmental problems are closely related to its unique marine characteristics, but today’s science and technology can contribute to a better understanding of these challenges, aiming to protect its ecosystem.

Committed to invest in order to further understand the planet, the European Space Agency has commissioned TERRASIGNA for developing a Black Sea dedicated platform - ESPOSS - Earth Science Data Access and Processing Service for Black Sea.


ESPOSS is a cross-sectional service addressing the environmental Black Sea issues: water pollution, phytoplankton bloom, sediment transport, water balance, ocean surface topography, marine animals’ mortality due to anoxia.
It integrates geospatial data from various sources (satellite images, in-situ data, model outputs), and it works for the scientific community and the decision makers in various socio-economic activities.

Sea surface temperature is an important indicator of the Black Sea condition, given its hydrological characteristics.... Chlorophyll concentration is a measure for the phytoplankton abundance.... Water clarity and turbidity are evaluated with the diffuse attenuation coefficient... Wind speed… Significant wave height forecast…  

Free Access ESPOSS and discover all its benefits. The tutorial will guide you through its easy way of using it.  

ESPOSS is the first operational service of this kind in the Black Sea basin:

  • online open source platform;
  • support for monitoring climate change;
  • contribution to scientific community.

6 neighbouring countries, more than 70 users, one shared interest – helping the Sea to breath by protecting its biodiversity and natural beauty!