SOMLIT-Antioche time series (French Research Infrastructure ILICO): long-term core parameter monitoring in the Pertuis Charentais area on the French Atlantic coast

The SOMLIT-Antioche observation station, located at 5 nautical miles from Chef de Baie harbor (La Rochelle) is part of the French monitoring network SOMLIT (, accredited by the INSU-CNRS as a national Earth Science Observatory (Service National d’Observation : SNO), which comprises 12 observation stations distributed throughout France in coastal locations. It aims to detect long-term changes  of these ecosystems under both natural and anthropogenic forcings. SOMLIT is part of the national research infrastructure for coastal ocean observation ILICO (

The SOMLIT-Antioche station (46.0842 °N, 1.30833 °W) is located in the north-eastern part of the Bay of Biscay, halfway between the islands of Ré and Oléron, at the centre of what is commonly known as the Pertuis Charentais area, which correspond to a semi-enclosed shallow basin and includes four islands (Ré, Oléron, Aix and Madame) and three Pertuis (i.e., detroit) (Breton, Antioche and Maumusson). This 40m-deep site, with muddy to sandy marine bottoms, is submitted to a macro-tidal regime and is largely open to the prevailing westerly swells. It remains under a dominant oceanic/neritic influence, even though its winter/spring hydrological context is influenced by the diluted plumes of the Charente, Gironde and Loire rivers, but not by those of too small estuaries (Lay, Seudre and Sèvre Niortaise).

SOMLIT-Antioche hydrological monitoring has been carried out by the LIENSs/OASU laboratory on a fortnightly basis since June 2011. Surface water samples are collected  at high-tide during intermediate tides (70 ± 10 in SHOM units) on board the research  vessel ‘L’Estran’ owned by La Rochelle University. Samples are analyzed for more than 16 core parameters: temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH, ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, phosphates, silicates, suspended matter, particulate organic carbone, particulate organic nitrogen, chlorophyll, delta15N, delta13C; pico- and nano- plankton. Measurements are carried out in accordance with the ISO/IEC 17025:2017 standard.

Simultaneous monitoring of the micro-phytoplankton community (since 2013, SNO PHYTOBS: and monitoring of prokaryotic communities (Bacteria and Archaea) are also carried out on a monthly basis. Since 2019, seasonal observations of benthic invertebrate communities (SNO BenthObs : have also been carried out. This monitoring is complementary to that carried out at hydrological stations in the pre-existing REPHY and DCE networks, some of which are located near marine farming areas (oyster and mussel farms).


Cross-discipline, Environment, Fisheries and aquaculture, Human activities, Physical oceanography, Biological oceanography, Chemical oceanography


Environmental time series, Hydrological and biogeochemical data, Coastal system evolution, Climate impact, Coastal ecology, Bay of Biscay, Atlantic sea


46.14087N, 45.526469S, -0.630125E, -1.423695W


A SBE-19Plus-V2 profiler is used for CTDPAR measurements. To guarantee best performances, the sensors return to the constructor every two years for calibration.


Alternative access to data

2 MoCSVQuality controlled data
51 KoCSVQuality controlled data
79 KoCSVQuality controlled data
How to cite
Pineau Philippe, Agogue Hélène, Aubert Fabien, Breret Martine, Brizard Yves, Emery Claire, Guillou Gaël, Lachaussee Nicolas, Lebreton Benoit, Sauriau Pierre-Guy (2011). SOMLIT-Antioche time series (French Research Infrastructure ILICO): long-term core parameter monitoring in the Pertuis Charentais area on the French Atlantic coast. SEANOE.

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