Ocean Modelling, Data Assimilation and Forecasting

Develop operational oceanography aiming at meeting research and societal needs related to monitoring and management of the marine environment, marine resources, marine safety, as well as weather and seasonal climate forecasts.

Description & Objectives

Research Description

The research comprises development and validation of modelling of ocean circulation, sea ice dynamics and the marine ecosystem. Advanced data assimilation methods, based on the Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) and originally introduced at Nansen Center, are applied to realistic forecasts of ocean and sea-ice state variables. The main research activities relates to the development, validation and interpretation of the ToPAZ ocean forecasting system (http://topaz.nersc.no) covering the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans.

The ToPAZ ocean modelling system are transferable to other oceans and has also been implemented for Barents, Norwegian and Greenland Seas, the Indian Ocean, the Agulhas Current and the Southern Ocean, South China Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

The Nansen Center is co-organizing the yearly international EnKF workshop together with Uni Centre for Integrated Petroleum Research (CIPR) and International Research Institute of Stavanger (IRIS).

Specific Research Objectives

  • To advance and validate the TOPAZ data assimilation and marine forecasting system for the North Atlantic, the Nordic Seas and the Arctic Oceans.
  • To study past seasonal to interannual ocean variability by reanalyses of the TOPAZ assimilative system.
  • To diversify the TOPAZ system for studies of coupled ocean, sea-ice and ecosystem processes, with joint assimilation of new types of satellite, ocean acoustics and in situ data.
  • To implement and validate nested versions of the TOPAZ system in various oceans such as the Barents, Norwegian and Greenland Seas, the Indian Ocean, the Agulhas Current and the Southern Ocean, South China Sea and Gulf of Mexico, with special emphasis on meso-scale processes.
  • To develop new data assimilation methods related to the Ensemble Kalman Filter, and apply the methods in new fields of applications.


Navn Area of Expertise
Achref Othmani oceanography
Annette Samuelsen oceanography
Antoine Bernigaud data assimilation
Antonio Bonaduce oceanography
Bjørn Backeberg oceanography
Çağlar Yumruktepe oceanography
François Counillon
data assimilation
sea ice
Geir Evensen
Guillaume Boutin
sea ice
Jiping Xie oceanography
Johnny A. Johannessen
remote sensing
Julien Brajard
computer science
data assimilation
remote sensing
Laurent Bertino
data assimilation
sea ice
Nicholas Williams data assimilation
Sukun Cheng data assimilation
Tsuyoshi Wakamatsu oceanography
Yanchun He oceanography
Yiguo Wang data assimilation