The CHROME project (Continuous High Resolution Observation of the MEditerranean sea) is financially supported by the A*MIDEX Foundation. Its objective is to study the physicochemical and biogeochemical context of the surface waters, integrating high-resolution space and time scales (mesoscale and weekly).

Observing the marine environment at this scale is important to understand and integrate as well as possible the roles of mesoscale physical structures and single meteorological events (pulse events) while at the same time encompassing conventional seasonal variability. With this in mind, a high-resolution automated measuring system is to be set up using a ship of opportunity equipped with modern and validated technological appliances, i.e. a FerryBox  and a CytoSense flow cytometer. For the first time, a flow cytometer will thus be coupled to environmental hydrological probes in the Mediterranean sea. This ground-breaking approach will give a new impetus to research on the physico-bio-geo-chemical relationships in the Western Mediterranean basin.

CHROME is supported by an international consortium associating MIO, INSTM, LOGSBRLOV, INGV and I2M. Through the instigation of INSTM , a Ferrybox will be installed on the Tunisian ship of opportunity C/F Carthage of the Compagnie Tunisienne de Navigation (CTN). This ship crosses the Mediterranean sea four times a week between Tunis and Marseille and between Tunis and Genoa.

A panel of experts involved in the CHROME project will monitor the installation, the quality control and the coupling of the FerryBox and cytometer for the high-resolution observation of the Mediterranean sea. The data produced will be processed in compliance with international standards and integrated into the Coriolis  database to provide additional information for functional oceanography and oceanographic research.