REFMAR's objectives and motivation

SHOM is the national reference for the "sea level" in all zones under French jurisdiction. As such, it fulfils, through REFMAR, various coordination functions concerning the collection and issuing of public data relating to sea level observation, so as to promote their use in a wide range of applications.

Reseaux de reference des observations marégraphiques


Key missions

REFMAR meets the objectives assigned to SHOM as set forth in the instruction of the Prime Minister on sea level observations and the management and dissemination of the resulting data, namely:

  • coordinate the collection of sea level observations conducted by public establishments and services;
  • manage and archive the observations collected as time-delayed data;
  • define the networks and minimum specifications for observing the sea level;
  • define and promote appropriate means of operational transmission;
  • coordinate the real-time and time-delayed distribution of the observations;
  • check the conformity of the observations received;
  • define, distribute, promote and monitor national and international standards (GLOSS);
  • contribute to representing France in the international and European observation organizations.


Competence in France and in French Overseas Territories

The role of coordination extends to all areas under national jurisdiction, that is to say, in France and in French Overseas Departments and Territories.

Zones de compétence de la coordination (Crédits SHOM _ GEBCO, 2011)


Access to water level data

This website provides the coordination services, namely

  • free access to sea level data and products (observation, prediction, storm surge) slightly time-delayed (updated every hour);
  • information on tide observations;
  • recommendations for the acquisition, qualification and transmission of data;
  • promotion of non-digitised analogue sea level observations like tide curves and paper records;
  • news on tide gauging;
  • applications of water level measurements.

Beneficiaries of the REFMAR portal

The beneficiaries of the portal are numerous. Amongst others, they include:

  • public establishments and services that produce sea level observations;
  • Scientific research organizations such as the CETMEF, the LEGOS, academic research organizations, the CEA, Ifremer, Météo France, the BRGM, SHOM etc.;
  • National and European projects and programmes such as SONEL;
  • the private sector (design offices);
  • the general public;
  • international organizations (IOC, ESEAS etc.).

Tide gauge observations are available on the REFMAR website.  Water level measurements are available after the user agrees to the conditions of access to tide gauge data, and receives a user name and password. 


To find out more:





Last updated: 12/12/2012