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EUNIS Combined Map: full-coverage EUNIS level 3 layer integrating maps from surveys and broad-scale models (Open Data) 2019


In some cases, a full-coverage map displaying the best available data everywhere at the expense of consistency is required. The production of such a product showing EUNIS level 3 habitats requires integrating EUNIS level 3 seabed habitat data from fine and broad-scale habitat maps. The product aims to create a complete map that presents the best available information on the distribution of EUNIS level 3 habitats at any locations in UK waters. This data product is required for, among other things, assessments of progress towards networks of marine protected areas (MPAs) and marine spatial planning in the UK.

The aim was to produce a single map layer displaying the best quality EUNIS level 3 data for any given location. Furthermore, the process for producing the layer needed to be:

• Repeatable; • Transparent; • Easy to explain and understand; • Objective; • Fully documented; • Appropriate for EUNIS level 3 habitats; and, • Appropriate for the UK intertidal and subtidal areas

Any location would show only a single value describing the habitat at EUNIS level 3, i.e. no overlapping polygons leading to multiple possible values at a location. The data at any location should be the best available to describe the EUNIS level 3 habitat type (i.e. the most likely to be correct). EUNIS level 3 habitats (Appendix 1) describe physical habitats classified using biologically meaningful parameters – substrate type, and additionally for rock: energy and biological zone. Therefore, a method was created to choose data based on their ability to describe these physical variables.

Resource type Dataset

Topic category Environment

Reference date 2019·09·23

The data used to create the final product can be categorised into: 1. Habitat maps created from field survey data – through JNCC’s obligations to assess and report on seabed habitats at a UK scale, it retains a catalogue of the seabed habitat maps that exist for the UK. Data from these surveys were collected across a range of spatial, temporal and thematic scales, using a variety of survey techniques. 2. UKSeaMap – this is a broad-scale predictive habitat map created by overlaying classified oceanographic models with a broad-scale substrate map (Manca, 2019). In this product, consistency and full-coverage are the priorities. 3. Specific CNCB datasets - Natural Resource Wales and Natural England maintain their own national seabed habitat datasets; the HABMAP dataset for the former, and Evidence Base for the latter. Additional non-EUNIS datasets were also included following translation to the EUNIS classification, for example Natural Resource Wales include definite Annex I reef data from their Article 17 reef dataset.

Responsible organisation
Digital and Data Solutions, JNCC resourceProvider

Limitations on public access No limitations

Use constraints Available under the Open Government Licence v3. Attribution statement "Contains JNCC data © copyright and database right 2019"

Metadata date 2021·05·24

Metadata point of contact
Digital and Data Solutions, JNCC

Temporal extent 2005·05·19 2019·12·31

Spatial extent
North 63.88707
South 47.43541
East 3.39855
West -25.13538
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