Modelling in Coastal and Shelf Seas | European Marine Board

Modelling in Coastal and Shelf Seas

The diversity in nature, usage and hence challenges in European coasts requires fostering of localized scientific expertise with access to s-o-a facilities to maintain excellence, and effectiveness. The Working Group on Innovative Modelling aimed to identify initiatives to maintain leadership in European Science supporting innovative modelling of Coastal and Shelf Seas.


Position Paper 7, Modelling in Coastal and Shelf Seas - A European Challenge (June 2005)




You can see our more recent activities on Marine Ecosystem Modelling here.


Models synthesize theory into algorithms and use observations to set-up, initialize, force, assimilate and evaluate. The use of models ranges from: gaining insight and ‘feel’, hypotheses testing, quantifying the stage of scientific development, forecasting (flood warning to scenario testing) to sensitivity testing of dependence on algorithms, computational resolution, accuracy and extent of observational data. The scope of the models involves linkages across ocean-atmosphere-seas-coasts and between physics-chemistry-biology-geology-hydrology.

Whilst many of these activities can best be done remotely in small innovative groups, international collaboration is essential for the necessary fine coastal resolution for coupled dynamics-ecology simulations. Europe leads in supporting a number of areas of ‘community code’ e.g. modules for wave, turbulence and ecology. Moreover, associated coastal engineering agencies support some of the most widely used ‘modelling packages’. However, the ever-increasing complexity of model codes (typically involving a million hours of software development), the need for multiple simulations to accommodate assimilation techniques, the extent, speed and sophistication of inputting and outputting data all require major infrastructure investment and access to the largest available computers


The objective of this foresight activity was to identify initiatives to maintain leadership in European Science supporting innovative modelling of Coastal and Shelf Seas.

Related activities

  • Workshop in Brest, France



  • 10 May 2004 Galway, Ireland
  • 24 October 2003, London, UK
  • 9 April 2003, Nice, France



  • Wolfgang Fennel, Institut fuer Ostseeforschung Warnemuende (IOW), , Germany
  • João Gomes Ferreira, IMAR - Centre for Ecological Modelling Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
  • Michael Hartnett, Marine Modelling Centre Dept. of Civil Engineering Martin Ryan Institute & National University of Ireland, Ireland
  • Peter Herman, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), The Netherlands
  • Michiel Knaapen, Univesity of Twente, The Netherlands
  • Hans Los, Delft Hydraulics, The Netherlands
  • Morten Pejrup, Institute of Geography University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Thomas Pohlmann, Institut für Meereskunde, Germnay
  • David Prandle, Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, UK
  • Roger Proctor, Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, UK
  • Yann-Hervé de Roeck, Ifremer, France
  • Karline Soetaert, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), The Netherlands
  • Takvor Soukissian, National Centre for Marine Research Institute of Oceanography, Greece
  • Tapani Stipa, Finnish Institute of Marine Research, Finland
  • Georg Umgiesser, OSMAR – CNR, Italy
  • Waldemar Walczowski, Institute of Oceanography, Poland


Contact at European Marine Board Secretariat: Email