Bjørn Backeberg

Job Position: 
Adjunct Position

Research interests

For my PhD dissertation I implemented the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) in the greater Agulhas Current system. The main objective of this work was to develop HYCOM for mesoscale modelling of the region. This included performing hindcast simulation experiments and validating the model fields against satellite remote sensing and in-situ data, and implementing and testing new model developments. The major findings are both methodological and oceanographic in nature. We were able to show that implementing an advanced numerical scheme for momentum advection (4th order quadratic upstream interpolation) significantly improved the dynamics of the model simulation. Studying the output from this model simulation we showed that eddy formation in the Mozambique Channel is related to the South Equatorial Current north of Madagascar, that these form 5-6 times per year, and frequently interact with the Agulhas Current further south, causing strong poleward volume fluxes that then influence the flux of warm, salty water into the South Atlantic Ocean, which is thought to play a critical role in maintaining the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation.


Presently, I am involved in further developing HYCOM for mesoscale modelling of the Agulhas Current, which is work being done in collaboration with the Mohn-Sverdrup Centre for Global Ocean Studies and Operational Oceanography at the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre in Bergen, Norway.

Since its inception in July 2009, I have been strongly involved in developing a strategy for the establishment of an ocean modelling working group for southern Africa (SimOcean). Its main focus revolving around implementing an ocean modelling platform for southern Africa, which supports both research and operational activities.

Peer Review Publications and Books

31 total publications.

Other Publications