Marine Dynamics

Developing, implementing and validating hydrodynamic models for short-term forecasting of the ocean state.

At the heart of the Met Office's Ocean Forecasting systems are hydrodynamic models that represent the evolution of the 3-dimensional physical parameters of the ocean such as temperature, salinity, currents and sea-ice. The Marine Dynamics group is responsible for the maintenance, development and validation of these models on space scales ranging from global and basin-scale to high-resolution coastal applications and forecast timescales of up to a week ahead. This includes:

  • Modelling of ocean dynamics for tidal and non-tidal configurations. 
  • Modelling of sea-ice.
  • Setting up and testing of bathymetries for new configurations.
  • Formulation of the surface fluxes of momentum, heat and fresh water. 
  • Lateral input of fresh water from rivers. 
  • Lateral nesting of hydrodynamic parameters for regional models.

The group is responsible for maintaining a relocatable modelling capability to be able to set up forecast models in areas of interest at short notice.

The group uses the NEMO model for deep ocean (non-tidal) forecasting and the POLCOMS for shelf seas forecasting. The shelf seas forecasting system will be transitioned to use the NEMO model in the near future.

The ocean models maintained by the group form the basis of Met Office products delivered for the European Marine Core Service, and we lead the delivery of free, public-good Marine Core Services for the north-west European Shelf. The group is involved in projects with other groups in the Met Office to develop coupled atmosphere-ocean systems for short-term forecasting.

Key aims

  • To undertake research into ocean dynamical modelling with the aim of improving ocean forecast skill. 
  • To implement and maintain state of the art ocean models to form the basis of the Met Office ocean forecasting systems. 
  • To diagnose model biases and seek ways of reducing them. 

Current projects

  • Transition of shelf seas forecasting to NEMO: This project involves building and validating shelf seas models based on the NEMO code. 
  • Development of deep ocean forecasting system: The operational deep ocean forecasting system has been using the NEMO code since January 2009. This project involves the ongoing validation and development cycle of the system. 
  • 5-15 day coupled ocean-atmosphere-seaice working group: This is a joint project with NWP to assess the impact of coupling between atmosphere, ocean and sea-ice models on global-scale, medium-range weather forecasts. 
  • Wave-atmosphere-ocean working group. This is a joint project with the Joint Research Centres to look at the impact of coupling between ocean, atmosphere and wave models on short-term, high-resolution weather forecasts.

Last updated: 1 November 2011