Marine Data Exchange expands by 20%, further supporting research and development

Over 500 new surveys have been added to The Crown Estate's Marine Data Exchange since 2015, delivering a 22% increase in total available data. 


19 December 2016

The additions mean that 60% of all survey work completed by The Crown Estate's offshore renewable energy customers, is now freely accessible via the platform.

The MDE’s over 100 terabytes of data have also now moved into the Cloud, making access to information, including big files, quicker and easier. Searching for and downloading data has been simplified, and a saved searches facility is available, meaning that users can opt to receive alerts when new information is uploaded.

The platform, now one of the biggest sources of marine data in the world, includes a host of new wind, wave and tidal data, as well as landscape assessments, bird and mammal population studies, habitat characterisations and archaeological studies.

Over 7700 data sets were downloaded from the MDE last year by a growing audience of consultants, developers and academics, as well as visitors from NGOs and government. The platform is also attracting interest across the world, with users logging in from the US, Russia, Spain and the Netherlands.

Huub den Rooijen, Director of Energy Minerals and Infrastructure at The Crown Estate, said: “We’re delighted to be sharing more marine data than ever, via a newly improved platform, enabling all those with an interest in the offshore environment to benefit from existing studies and ultimately helping to unlock further research and investment offshore”.

So far, data from the MDE has been used in projects including:

  • Weather modelling to forecast offshore weather conditions.
  • An Offshore Turbulence Intensity study, looking into the use of LiDAR technology offshore. 
  • Raising awareness of offshore wrecks for the WWII centenary. 
  • Development of regional sea bed monitoring plans for the marine aggregates industry.


The MDE was developed in 2012 by The Crown Estate, as part of its active management of the UK seabed, where we lease sites for renewable energy, cables and pipelines and marine aggregates.

It provides a platform to store, manage and share the data collected during the planning, building and operation of offshore renewable energy projects, offering anyone with an interest in the marine environment free access to information, helping to de-risk further investment offshore and open up value.