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The French Coastal Monitoring Network SOMLIT (Service d’Observation en Milieu Littoral; CNRS/INSU) was created in 1996. It is nowadays a network of 10 marine stations and laboratories that perform long-term (i.e. pluri-decadal) time series of hydrological, biogeochemical and biological parameters in 11 coastal and littoral ecosystems distributed in the English Channel, the Bay of Biscay and the Mediterranean Sea. Historical time series concerns eight ecosystems and are 20-years long.

The SOMLIT is a network of the Littoral and Coastal Research Infrastructure ILICO.


SOMLIT scientific objectives are 1) to characterize pluri-decadal evolution of coastal and littoral ecosystems, and 2) identify climatic and anthropogenic forcings.

Service objectives are 1) data dissemination and 2) to behave as a logistic platform for research projects and other long-term observation thanks to recurrent field sampling.


The common strategy for the 12 ecosystem is: surface water sampling or measurement at high tide for temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, phosphate, dissolved silica, suspended particulate matter, chlorophyll a, particulate organic carbon and nitrogen, stable isotopes of particulate organic carbon and nitrogen, numbering of pico- and nanoplankton; water column profiles of temperature, salinity and fluorescence. The quality assurance system is based on the norm ISO 17025.

Involvement of OASU

The OASU hosts the SOMLIT : it is coordinated by an OASU researcher and the OASU develop and maintain the SOMLIT web site and data base (via the data center CeDONA. In addition, persons of the OASU Research Units and Services Unit carry out, maintain and coordinate SOMLIT activities at the site of the Arcachon Bay and the Gironde Estuary (UMS POREA and UMR EPOC) and the sites of the Charente Sounds (UMR LIENSs).


Locally, the SOMLIT is implemented by collaborators from nearly 20 observatories, research units and marine stations (UMR LOG, Station Marine de Wimereux, UMR BOREA, CREC, CRESCO, Station Biologique de Roscoff, UMR AD2M, IUEM, UMR LEMAR, UMR LIENSs, OASU, UMR EPOC, Station Marine d’Arcachon, Observatoire Océanologique de Banyuls, UMR LOMIC, UMR MIO, Institut Pythéas, UMR LOV, IMEV) of the CNRS, the universities of Lille, Caen Normandie, Sorbonne Université, Brest, La Rochelle, Bordeaux, Aix Marseille and the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle.