Mariana Cussioli joins MetOcean Solutions

We are delighted to welcome Dr Mariana Cussioli to MetOcean Solutions. Mariana is an oceanographer, specialising in coastal environments. She will be joining our marine project consultancy team, based in Raglan.

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“Each of our scientists have their own scientific specialty and work interest. We continuously aim to diversify our overall team expertise whilst maintaining a strong coastal and ocean numerical modelling capability,” says MetOcean Solutions’ Marine Project Consultancy Manager Dr Alexis Berthot.

“We are really pleased to welcome Mariana to the team as her experience with a range of wave, current and sediment transport models and her solution-focused attitude will be a great asset for MetOcean.”

Following a MSc in Geological Oceanography at University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Mariana recently completed her PhD in Coastal Oceanography at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. Her research was focused on dredge plume dynamics in ports and harbours to guide improvements in predictive models and the planning of dredging operations.

With expertise on hydrodynamics and sediment transport modelling, Mariana’s research interests concern the ecological effects of turbidity variations, wave modelling in estuarine areas and effects of waves and river discharge on coastal morphodynamics.

Mariana is excited to be joining MetOcean Solutions and to contribute to the marine project consultancy team:

“MetOcean is an amazing group of experts who are passionate about what they do. Through continuous development and collaboration with external partners and within our teams, the company delivers a wide range of solutions and is a reference point in the sector. It’s fantastic to be part of this organisation.”



Meet us at SIOP 2018 in Chile

Next week, Dr Aitana Forcén-Vázquez, MetOcean Solutions’ Technical Support Liaison, will be at the International Seminar of Engineering and Port Operations - SIOP 2018 in Chile.

“We are delighted to come for the second time to the International Seminar of Engineering and Port Operation, in its eighth edition, organised by ‘Empresa Portuaria Talcahuano San Vicente’,” says Aitana. “In this occasion, we will discuss about long waves and how its forecast helps port operations.

“We will discuss the challenges behind an accurate forecast and solutions we have been implementing on this side of the Pacific for the last 10 years.”

 
 

At the conference, Aitana will present ‘Long waves forecast supporting port operations’ in the ‘Natural and anthropic risks in port areas’ session.

Long waves cause problems in harbours and terminals in many ports around the world, including New Zealand and Chile. These waves can't be seen as they are usually masked by the sea and swell waves. Since 2005, MetOcean Solutions has been providing a specialist service to help port operators better manage long wave problems. Having studied long waves at more than 35 locations worldwide, Metocean’s science team has experience with every type of long wave-affected port, and has developed a range of effective forecasting solutions that are ready to deploy.

The SIOP 2018 is being held 7-9 November in Talcahuano, Chile. The conference is build around the theme ‘Ports for the future’, an opportunity to discuss strategies regarding the upcoming challenges in the port industry.

Click here for more information on the seminar.

For more information on long waves forecast, contact us at enquiries@metocean.co.nz.

Oscar Key joins MetOcean Solutions

We are very pleased to welcome Oscar Key to MetOcean Solutions. Oscar is a senior scientific developer and is part of our services and development team in Raglan. In his role, he will work on improving backend Application Programming Interface (API) capabilities at MetOcean Solutions.

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With nearly ten years’ experience in a wide variety of fields, including yacht tracking, medical imaging and analysing financial data, Oscar is an exceptional programmer used to writing code under tight performance constraints.

Following a BSc (Honours I) in Computer Science at Otago University, Oscar has developed machine learning systems for large data search indices, as well as many APIs in C, C++, and Python. Along with the APIs themselves, he’s handled deployment and regression testing with Docker, Vagrant, and similar tools. His experience also involves embedded programming, protocol implementation, high-performance image processing, bytecode disassembly and reverse engineering, as well as GUI development.

“I'm looking forward to joining a great team,” says Oscar. “We'll be working hard together to improve MetOcean's APIs.”

MetOcean at Australian Coastal and Oceans Modelling and Observations Workshop 2018

 Prof Moninya Roughan, Chief Scientist MetOcean Solutions and Dr Alan Finkel, Australia’s Chief Scientist.

Prof Moninya Roughan, Chief Scientist MetOcean Solutions and Dr Alan Finkel, Australia’s Chief Scientist.

Last week the Australian Coastal and Oceans Modelling and Observations Workshop (ACOMO) 2018 was held in Canberra, Australia

MetOcean Solutions’ Chief Scientist Prof Moninya Roughan, part of the organising committee, says ACOMO workshops have been a great success over the years, engaging initiatives to integrate marine observations and to grown national coastal ocean modelling capability.

“This year’s conference saw more involvement and representation from marine industry showing the relevance of ocean modelling and observing to supporting blue economy growth aspirations.

 Prof Moninya Roughan, Chief Scientist MetOcean Solutions and Sally Garrett, Research Lead New Zealand Defence Technology Agency.

Prof Moninya Roughan, Chief Scientist MetOcean Solutions and Sally Garrett, Research Lead New Zealand Defence Technology Agency.

“The Moana Project, a five year project recently awarded through the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Endeavour Fund, was conceived through an industry-community-research partnership initiative, bringing together the seafood sector, Te Ao Māori knowledge and oceanographic research organisations.”

MetOcean was also represented by Research Lead Sally Garrett from New Zealand Defence Technology Agency who gave a presentation on the Southern Ocean wave project. It is a collaborative effort between MetOcean Solutions and the New Zealand Defence Force to deploy the southernmost wave buoy that has ever been moored in the world, located about 11 km south of Campbell Island.

The full abstract of Garrett’s talk is provided below.


New Wave Observations in the Southern Ocean

Tom Durrant*, Peter McComb*, Jorge Perez*, Henrique Rapizo*, Sally Garrett^

The combination of persistent westerly winds, and the largely unbroken expanse of sea in the Southern Ocean, produces potentially enormous fetches, resulting in higher wave heights for longer periods than any other body of water. Due to the harsh ocean environment and remote location, it is also the least observed of any major ocean. While satellite altimeter data can be used to estimate the surface variance, the wave spectral characteristics cannot be measured remotely, and consequently the directional wave spectra in Southern Ocean are poorly sampled and not well understood.

In February 2017, MetOcean deployed a buoy off Campbell Island. At 52.7S, this is the Southernmost moored deployment to be made in the Southern Ocean. In February of this year, a second deployment was made at the site as part of a wider program in collaboration with the New Zealand Defence Force and Spoondrift which includes an additional five drifting buoys. These buoys complement the Australian SOFS mooring at 47S, and are collectively providing the first high quality in-situ wave observations in the Southern Ocean. They are already measuring phenomenal conditions, with the highest recorded wave in the Southern Hemisphere recorded in May of this year at 24.8m. These data are being used to quantitatively assess the performance of recent improvements in global wave models. An analysis of the relative importance of large scale ocean currents will also be presented. This project will inform the design of next generation of NZ Navy vessels supporting patrol responsibilities in the Southern Ocean.

*MetOcean Solutions. ^New Zealand Defence Technology Agency.

Check out the Southern Ocean wave buoy direct data feed.

An operational hydrodynamic forecast model for Tasman and Golden Bay

MetOcean Solutions has recently operationalised a high resolution hydrodynamic model for Tasman and Golden Bay, New Zealand.

The underlying forecast data is produced by a state-of-the-art unstructured hydrodynamic model (SCHISM), with offshore 3D boundary conditions sourced from a 3-km ROMS implementation of the central NZ region.  This new capability was developed as part of the Sustainable Seas Project together with the  Cawthron Institute and NIWA and will provide valuable information necessary to manage contamination risk in the aquaculture industry and beach water quality forecasts relevant to regional councils and recreational beach users.

General Manager MetOcean Solutions Dr Brett Beamsley says MetOcean Solutions’ science team has many years of experience with the SCHISM model (previously SELFE); applied primarily in high value consultancy services or research projects, with the unstructured domain capability key to representing complex nearshore bathymetries in a computationally efficient manner.

“This particular project has leveraged the strong scientific capabilities in all three research partners (NIWA, Cawthron and MetOcean Solutions) and illustrates what can be achieved when working together collaboratively.”

"SCHISM is a valuable addition to our operational hydrodynamic forecast system,” says MetOcean Solutions’ physical oceanographer Phellipe Couto. “It allows our model applications to account for an even better representation of topographic features (e.g. islands, embayments, navigation channels and tidal inlets) and engineering structures (e.g. ports and breakwaters) that pose critical aspects in the modulation of the hydrodynamic regime surrounding nearshore and coastal waters.

“In practical terms, this enable us to resolve multi-scale geophysical processes such as tides, river plume dispersion and storm surge with an extra degree of accuracy and therefore provide better forecast solutions to the end user.

“The impact of storm surges on coastal areas has become highly topical particularly in the last year and the rapid deployment of this type of operational modelling infrastructure has the potential to more accurately predict coastal nearshore water levels.

 SCHISM model grid resolution from approximately 10 m nearshore to 1.5 km offshore.

SCHISM model grid resolution from approximately 10 m nearshore to 1.5 km offshore.

“In this particular project, we developed a model grid with resolution varying from 10 m in the nearshore to approximately 1.5 km offshore, defining estuaries, intertidal areas, channels, streams, major rivers and relevant beaches. The model is a full 3-dimensional implementation with atmospheric and oceanic initial and boundary conditions provided by high resolution in-house models developed for the Central New Zealand oceanic domain encompassing North and South Islands’ coastal areas around the Cook Strait. We also included fluvial discharges from 11 different rivers forecasted by NIWA’s hydrological modelling capability (TOPNET) as an important forcing to our model.”

“SCHISM presents a powerful new capability for Metocean Solutions in high resolution operational coastal hydrodynamics,” says MetOcean Solutions’ Development Manager Dr Tom Durrant. “This is the first of several planned implementations.”

The project ‘Near real-time forecasting using operational oceanographic forecasting of contamination risk to reduce commercial shellfish harvest and beach closures’ is a collaborative effort of experts from the Cawthron Institute, NIWA and MetOcean Solutions. A project to build connected land-river-sea models and provide a timely risk assessment of contamination to beaches and shellfish growing areas. For more information on Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge click here.

The SCHISM model for Tasman and Golden Bay is freely available at MetOceanView.

For more information visit www.metoceanview.com or contact us at enquiries@metocean.co.nz


MetOcean Solutions, BENTOS and OMC International at the AAPA Convention 2018 in Valparaiso, Chile.

At the 107th American Association of Port Authorities Annual Convention next week, MetOcean Solutions together with recognised world-leader in real time under keel clearance management technology, OMC International, and local partner BENTOS will be presenting tailored solutions designed to increase safety and efficiency of marine operations.

“Together we have a skill set that allows us to provide comprehensive services, maximising the benefits to ports and harbours,” says Sébastien Boulay, MetOcean Solutions’ Business Development Scientist.

“The environmental conditions met by the ports along the Chilean coast are very similar to those in New Zealand. Our expertise of the oceanic conditions and their operational impact in the Southern Pacific, brought by decades of studying the New Zealand and Australia wave climates, is now available to the maritime industry in Chile for those willing to improve their operational safety and efficiency.”

The APPA Annual Convention is the largest port event in the Americas and this year is hosted by Port of Valparaíso and American Association of Ports Authorities, an alliance of ports from Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States. After several editions, the event returns to Latin America and for the first time it is held in South America on 7-10 October in Valparaíso, Chile, gathering key worldwide industry leaders to discuss the main port projects.

Click here for more information on the convention.



$11.5 million grant to help safeguard New Zealand’s blue economy

A new research project spearheaded by MetService’s oceanography division, MetOcean Solutions will shed new light on the performance of New Zealand’s oceans to support the seafood sector.

The Moana Project was today awarded $11.5 million over five years from the Government’s Endeavour Fund.

MetService Chief Executive Officer Peter Lennox says the grant is an endorsement of the capability and expertise that exists within MetService, and the contribution the State-owned enterprise is continuing to make in advancing the knowledge of New Zealand industry and communities.

General Manager MetOcean Solutions Dr Brett Beamsley says there is a significant lack of knowledge about our marine environment despite the ocean providing vital social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits for New Zealanders.

“As a marine nation, New Zealand derives wealth and wellbeing from the ocean and yet, our oceans are very poorly understood.

“Our seafood sector alone is worth $4.18b annually to New Zealand’s economy and its resources are directly threatened by rising ocean temperatures and marine heatwaves.

“To safeguard these benefits for future generations we need to understand how our marine environment works so we can better manage our resources in a time of rapid ocean warming.

“This project will combine Māori knowledge, seafood sector data, cutting-edge ocean sensing, and advanced numerical modelling to provide a reliable ocean forecast system to support marine industries.”

The proposal was led by MetOcean Solutions’ Chief Scientist Professor Moninya Roughan who says: “The Tasman Sea is warming at one of the fastest rates on Earth, four times the global average, yet we currently have limited ability to comprehensively measure, monitor and predict the state of New Zealand’s oceans.

“Our marine industries are operating in the dark but through the Moana Project, all that will change.

“This programme will create a new, dynamic and more integrated marine knowledge base - reducing uncertainty, maximising opportunity and preparing for future ocean changes.”

The Moana Project is a cross-institutional programme involving all the oceanographic research organisations in New Zealand, collaborating with international experts and supported by a wide range of end-users in industry and government.

Professor Roughan says: “We are partnering with the seafood sector to develop a low-cost ocean sensor that will revolutionise ocean data collection. The sensors will be deployed throughout New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone with support from the commercial fishing sector.

“Through a research partnership with the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, we expect the project to  facilitate the exchange of oceanographic knowledge between Te Ao Māori and western science, and empower engagement in coastal management and policy fora.”

Research organisations involved include MetOcean Solutions, the Cawthron Institute, NIWA, and Victoria University of Wellington, Auckland, Waikato, and Otago Universities. The team will collaborate with international experts from Australia (the University of New South Wales), and the United States. 

In addition, the Moana Project has support from technology partners (including ZebraTech) and a wide range of ocean-information end-users, including the New Zealand Defence Technology Agency, the NZ Seafood sector (including Seafood NZ, Paua Industry Council, Deepwater Group, NZ Rock Lobster Industry Council, Terra Moana), the Ministry for Primary Industries and Regional Councils.  

MetOcean Solutions was fully acquired by State-owned Enterprise MetService in September 2017.

For more information, contact Deborah Gray, Communications Manager at deborah.gray@metservice.com or by calling +64 027 3700 700.

 

About the Moana Project

The seafood sector brings $4.18B to New Zealand annually. The resources that the sector depends on are threatened by increasing ocean temperatures. Thermal stress is one of the greatest threats to aquaculture and above average ocean temperatures are also impacting deepwater fisheries (e.g. Hoki). New Zealand has recently experienced its worst marine heatwave on record, yet nothing about these events is known.

This project will vastly improve understanding of coastal ocean circulation, connectivity and marine heatwaves to provide information that will support sustainable growth of the seafood industry (Māori, fisheries and aquaculture). Project partners will apply the internet of things concept to develop a low-cost ocean temperature profiler that will be deployed by the fishing communities ‘on all boats, at all times’. New Zealand’s first open-access ocean forecast system will be delivered by developing new ocean circulation models using a combination of advanced numerics, modern genomics and data from our smart ocean sensors.

The project will investigate the drivers and impacts of marine heatwaves so that they can be predicted, and investigate ocean transport pathways and population connectivity of kaimoana species. This project will provide a step-change in the oceanic information available to the seafood sector and the broader community, accessible through the open-access user-friendly datasets and tools developed.

This information will help the New Zealand seafood sector retain its competitive edge in a rapidly changing ocean impacted by marine temperature extremes and shifting currents. Project partners will build bridges to ensure this new knowledge informs regional marine policy and management.

This project is anchored in mātauranga Māori through the partners’ relationship with Whakatōhea, facilitating exchange of oceanographic knowledge between Te Ao Māori and western science and serve as an exemplar for other coastal iwi.

 About MetService

MetService is New Zealand’s National Meteorological Service. MetOcean Solutions was fully acquired by State-owned Enterprise MetService in September 2017.

As a State-Owned Enterprise its core purpose is to protect the safety of life and property in New Zealand while operating as a commercial business. MetService recently emerged as one of the highest rated agencies in Colmar Brunton’s annual survey of reputation in the public sector.  http://www.colmarbrunton.co.nz/opinion-does-our-public-sector-measure-up/



Dr Alexis Berthot as MetOcean Solutions’ Marine Project Consultancy Manager

MetOcean Solutions has appointed Dr Alexis Berthot as its new Marine Project Consultancy Manager. In this role, Alexis will manage high value scientific consultancy services, leading a team of expert scientists with vast oceanography experience.

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“I am really excited about the opportunities that lie ahead,” says Alexis. “Together with the Meteorological Service of New Zealand (MetService) and MetraWeather, MetOcean Solutions has strengthened its collaboration with external partners, building a joint effort to provide integrated  solutions to our clients, I am really looking forward to facilitate this initiative in the marine project consultancy space.”

“MetOcean Solutions is an unique, amazing group of people with not only a vivid passion for science, the ocean and the weather, but also with a strong sense of teamwork, striving for collective achievements. It is a privilege to be part of this team. ”

“Having scientific research, project consulting and operational forecasting teams working closely together is a highly successful structure that promotes the sharing of expertise across the MetOcean group and provides scientifically robust solutions for a whole spectrum of projects.”

Over the last year Alexis has been representing MetOcean Solutions in Australia, looking after the company's Australian clients and providing technical leadership to a wide range of coastal and maritime engineering projects.

Originally from France and passionate about the ocean, Alexis’ academic and professional background is in physical oceanography and coastal science. Following an MSc in Marine Environmental Sciences from the University of Marseille, France, he completed a PhD in Physical Oceanography at the University of Western Australia. He has worked in coastal and ocean research and engineering consultancy for more than 15 years, as a principal numerical modeller, technical lead or project director.

Alexis can be reached at a.berthot@metocean.co.nz. For more information on MetOcean Solutions’ scientific consultancy services, contact us at enquiries@metocean.co.nz.

MetOcean Solutions’ wavespectra library finalist for New Zealand Open Source Awards

MetOcean Solutions has been announced as a finalist in the 2018 New Zealand Open Source Awards. The nomination is for the company’s open source library for processing ocean wave data, released earlier this year (more information here).

"We are very proud to be nominated for this Award," says Dr Brett Beamsley, General Manager MetOcean. “We leverage from open source initiatives in our daily operations. It is great to contribute back to the scientific community, strengthening ocean scientists collaboration.”

“Our Wavespectra library is a powerful collection of tools which was created through the collaborative efforts of our science team, following their years of dealing with ocean wave spectral data.”

 A sea state can be thought of as the combination of many different wave components, each of which with its own frequency and direction. The ocean wave spectrum (bottom panel) describes the relative amount of energy in each of these different wave components. Wavespectra allows easily converting multiple spectra into known statistical wave parameters such as significant wave height (top panel).

A sea state can be thought of as the combination of many different wave components, each of which with its own frequency and direction. The ocean wave spectrum (bottom panel) describes the relative amount of energy in each of these different wave components. Wavespectra allows easily converting multiple spectra into known statistical wave parameters such as significant wave height (top panel).

The Open Source Awards recognises outstanding work done with free and open source software and the artistic, scientific and social outcomes it delivers in New Zealand. The 2018 awards will look at the successes over the last two years.

MetOcean Solutions’ Wavespectra library is one of four finalists in the ‘Open Source use in Science’ category.

Senior Physical Oceanographer Dr Rafael Guedes says Wavespectra is a library for dealing with multi-dimensional ocean wave spectra data with the code focused on speed and efficiency for large spectral datasets, and is of value to scientists, students and consultants.

“It provides several methods for assimilating and processing wave spectra into simplified statistical wave parameters. By making this library freely available, we recognise the value of open sourcing, encouraging researchers to become involved, further develop and improve the code.”

For more information about MetOcean Solutions’ Wavespectra, the documentation is available at wavespectra.readthedocs.io/en/docs/ and the GitHub repository at github.com/metocean/wavespectra.

The winners of the 2018 New Zealand Open Source Awards will be announced on 23rd October 2018.

Read more about the nomination on the New Zealand Open Source Awards website.

MetOcean Solutions is a division of state-owned enterprise, Meteorological Service of New Zealand (MetService). MetService is New Zealand’s national weather authority, providing comprehensive weather information services, to help protect the safety and well-being of New Zealanders and the economy.

Meet us at New Zealand Seafood Industry Conference & Technical Day

This week, Prof Moninya Roughan is presenting the Moana Project at New Zealand Seafood Industry Conference & Technical Day in Wellington.

“NZ has recently experienced the worst marine heatwave on record, yet we know almost nothing about the magnitude and dynamics of the event, let alone the drivers and impacts,” says Prof Roughan. “Ocean circulation drives the transport of larvae, determines population connectivity and impacts fisheries recruitment, all of which are being impacted by ocean warming and changes in circulation patterns.”

“The comprehensive understanding of our marine environment, and the increased capability in ocean hydrodynamic observing and modelling, will help us evaluate threats and better manage fisheries, aquaculture, and the wider marine environment, and improve marine biosecurity, contributing to future-proofing our valuable seafood industries in the face of environmental change.”

The presentation on 'Ocean circulation, marine heatwaves and New Zealand seafood' discusses our understanding of NZ’s ocean circulation, the lack of fundamental knowledge of complex ocean dynamics, and the drivers and impacts of marine heatwaves.

New Zealand Seafood Industry Conference & Technical Day, hosted by Seafood New Zealand, is being held 1-2 August at Te Papa, Wellington. The conference is build around the theme 'Our people, our promise', representing an opportunity to discuss sustainability, innovation and environmentally responsible practices in the seafood industry.

For more information, visit the conference website: www.seafood.co.nz/conference-2018

Vacancy: C | C++ Programmer

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MetOcean Solutions (a team within the New Zealand’s MetService) is seeking a developer to help develop libraries and APIs that work with multidimensional geospatial datasets. This involves reading datasets as fast as possible and then interpolating or extrapolating the data to get the desired outputs. After the initial 6 - 12 month project there is space to move into different directions, AI, GPU programmer, cloud development etc…

The successful candidate will be working with the Marine Services and Delivery Team comprised of three developers and a team leader within a larger team of 21 scientists / developers who also produce code.

As a company we believe in rigorous scientific method and in applying the latest information technology to data services. We encourage our people to bring fresh ideas to the table, rise to any challenge, and remain enthusiastic about our products and the company mission. Our company promotes a positive working environment to achieve our shared goals, supported by flexible hours to ensure a healthy work-life balance.

Required Qualifications: Computer science degree or similar equivalent experience

To apply you must have the following skills and experience:

  • At least 3 years of programming in the C or C++ language.
  • An ability to write performant and well-architected code.
  • Some familiarity with applied mathematics (linear algebra, linear regression…)
  • Able to research and implement algorithms.

The following are desirable but not essential:

  • Python Coding
  • Experience with geophysical datasets.
  • Knowledge of CUDA or GPU computation framework.
  • Container technology like Docker.
  • Knowledge of cloud based services like AWS and Google Cloud.

Our ideal candidate would demonstrate the following characteristics:

  • Ability to understand complex structures and break them down into meaningful parts.
  • Integrity and high standards.
  • Methodical logical approach to problem-solving.
  • A supportive and positive attitude.

Please note before you apply: This role is a permanent full-time position, but hours can be flexible to suit your lifestyle. Pay is based on skills and experience. The job position is in our Raglan office (New Zealand), however remote working will be considered for the right candidate. Applications close on 10 August 2018. Applications close on 10 August 2018.

To apply for this position, please email your cover letter and CV to: careers@metocean.co.nz. Please reference "Application for a C Programmer" in the subject line.

Meet us at the NZ Marine Sciences Society Conference

MetOcean Solutions will be at the New Zealand Marine Sciences Society Annual Conference in Napier this week.

At the conference, MetOcean Solutions Project Manager Dr Brett Beamsley will present 'Near real-time forecasting of contamination risks to shellfish harvests and beaches' in the ‘Innovating through Technology’ session. This talk presents results of a research program involving Cawthron, NIWA and Metocean Solutions that contributes to the National Science Challenges through the Sustainable Seas – Valuable Seas research program. The goal of the project is to develop and supply near real-time forecasts of coastal water quality by combining catchment models with a high-resolution coastal hydrodynamic model to forecast contamination risk. Understanding the risk profile for beaches and aquaculture areas will allow better management of these valuable assets, leading to safer recreational use and increased productivity respectively.

 Example of particle tracking simulation using MetOceanTrack.

Example of particle tracking simulation using MetOceanTrack.

In the ‘Special Session: Marine Biosecurity on the Frontline’, Brett will present 'Understanding the spread of nonindigenous species', showing MetOceanTrack, an interactive application that has been developed with the Ministry for Primary Industry to model the potential spread of an organism or contaminant around the coastline of New Zealand. The application integrates a particle tracking model that simulates an array of biological responses (die off, life stages, etc.) within both 3-dimensional regional and local scale hydrodynamics, represented by a 10-year hindcast.

 Bathymetry of the Waikato Coastal Marine Area (east and west)

Bathymetry of the Waikato Coastal Marine Area (east and west)

In addition, Oceanographer Dr Sarah Gardiner will present ‘Habitat mapping for the Waikato Region Coastal Marine Area: Bathymetry and substrate type’ in the ‘State of the Marine Environment’ session. Effective management of coastal resources relies on an understanding of the state of, and the impact of pressures on, the coastal marine area. This study summarises the state of knowledge of seabed habitats within the Hauraki Gulf and the comparatively sparsely studied Waikato Coastal Marine Area west coast, to provide a single habitat and bathymetry resource for the entire Waikato coast (east and west). The bathymetric and substrate data have been used to identify what type of ecological communities are likely to be present, especially ecologically valuable areas.

The conference, which is being held 3-5 July at the Napier War Memorial Conference Centre, has as its theme ‘Weaving the Strands' - drawing together data, disciplines, and perspectives to tell the New Zealand marine story.

For more information, visit the conference website at www.nzmss2018.co.nz or contact us at enquires@metocean.co.nz

 

João Marcos Souza joins MetOcean Solutions

We are delighted to welcome Dr João Marcos Souza to MetOcean Solutions. João is a physical oceanographer with vast experience in hydrodynamic ocean modelling, and will be leading the ocean modelling component of the Moana Project, based in our Raglan Office.

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“João is a recognised expert in data assimilation modelling, and has strong international connections in the ocean modelling and observing community, an important link for Moana Project,” says Prof Moninya Roughan, MetOcean Solutions' Chief Scientist and Moana Project Director. “He brings a unique capability in ROMS Data Assimilation, and we look forward to advancing New Zealand’s contribution to international efforts in ocean data assimilation.”

With more than 15 years of experience, his expertise is in interdisciplinary ocean processes and data assimilative hydrodynamic simulations. In his most recent research position, João was the principal investigator on several projects, including the development of an ocean reanalysis using the ROMS model with 4-dimensional variational data assimilation to investigate predictability of ocean forecast systems, analysis of deep circulation in the Gulf of Mexico using a combination of observations and model results, and range of nearshore circulation studies coupling hydrodynamic and wave models.

Following his PhD in Ocean Engineering at Rio de Janeiro Federal University, Brazil, in 2008, João completed postdoctoral internships at the French Research Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea - IFREMER in 2011 and the University of Hawaii in 2014. Complementing his science role, he has mentored undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in physical oceanography. His most recent projects include the use of lagrangian analysis methods with biogeochemical and ocean circulation modelling.

“I am very excited to join the team and hope to add value to the fantastic work being done at Metocean Solutions,” says João. “It is clear to me that great science can only be achieved through strong collaboration which is valued so highly by the MetOcean team.”

Senegal-Mauritania wave and hydrodynamic hindcast models now available

MetOcean Solutions recently completed the development of high-resolution wave and hydrodynamic hindcast models offshore Senegal and Mauritania, West Africa.

“Senegal and Mauritania coastal areas are influenced by oceanographic processes, including tides, coastal upwelling/downwelling, eddies, internal waves, and highly-energetic wave conditions,” says Senior Oceanographer Dr Séverin Thiébaut. “Our challenge was to ensure the models would adequately replicate those multi-scale processes and both ambient and extreme metocean conditions.”

The Simulating WAves Nearshore (SWAN) model was used to resolve the wave climate and the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) was applied to simulate the hydrodynamic circulation. The technique implemented is known as ‘dynamical downscaling’, using information from large scale global models to drive regional/nearshore models at much higher resolution. All models were carefully calibrated with measured data from several current meters and wave buoys that were made available.

The SWAN model simulates the growth, refraction and decay of each frequency-direction component of the complete sea state, providing a realistic description of the wave field as it changes in time and space.

“In order to reliably replicate the regional and nearshore wave climate, the SWAN nests were defined with increasing resolutions of 5 km, 1 km and 100 m,” explains Séverin. “This approach allows the model to resolve fine-scale features near the coast while still accounting for remote influences to the area from far-field generated swell.”

Full spectral boundaries were prescribe from the MetOcean Solutions’ global wave model to the 5-km SWAN domain. The latter was used to force the boundaries of the 1-km SWAN domain, which in turn was applied to the boundaries of the high-resolution 100-m SWAN domain (Figure 1). All model nests were simulated in series over 39 years (1979 to 2017).

 Figure 1: Snapshot of modelled significant wave height from the 5-km resolution SWAN parent nest off the Senegal/Mauritania coasts, delimited by the outer rectangle on (a). Extents of the 1-km resolution child nest are represented by the outer and inner rectangles on (a) and (b), respectively. Extents of the 100-m resolution child nest are represented by the inner rectangle on (b).

Figure 1: Snapshot of modelled significant wave height from the 5-km resolution SWAN parent nest off the Senegal/Mauritania coasts, delimited by the outer rectangle on (a). Extents of the 1-km resolution child nest are represented by the outer and inner rectangles on (a) and (b), respectively. Extents of the 100-m resolution child nest are represented by the inner rectangle on (b).

This ROMS model is an open source state of the art ocean model which has been used widely in the scientific community and industry for a range of ocean basin, regional and coastal scales. ROMS has a curvilinear horizontal coordinate system and solves the hydrostatic, primitive equations subject to a free-surface condition. Its terrain-following vertical coordinate system results in accurate modelling of areas of variable bathymetry, allowing the vertical resolution to be inversely proportional to the local depth. Two ROMS nests were defined with horizontal resolutions of approximately 6 km and 2 km for the regional and local model grid domains, respectively, as shown in Figure 2.

 Figure 2: ROMS (a) regional (6 km) and (b) local (2km) computational model grids. The red lines illustrate the transect corresponding to the vertical sigma grid structures provided in the following figure. Note the bathymetry is represented with distinct colorbars in (a) and (b).

Figure 2: ROMS (a) regional (6 km) and (b) local (2km) computational model grids. The red lines illustrate the transect corresponding to the vertical sigma grid structures provided in the following figure. Note the bathymetry is represented with distinct colorbars in (a) and (b).

The terrain-following grid configuration consisted of 30 and 23 vertical levels with increased resolution at surface and near-bottom to better represent the boundary layers (Figure 3). The model was produced over 25 years (1993 to 2017), delivering 3-dimensional current, water temperature and salinity and sea surface elevation data.

 Figure 3: Representation of the 30 vertical sigma levels of the regional grid domain over a cross-shelf transect along the latitude of 16.064०N.

Figure 3: Representation of the 30 vertical sigma levels of the regional grid domain over a cross-shelf transect along the latitude of 16.064०N.

Hindcast datasets offer key baseline information for project scoping, offshore and coastal design, project planning and environmental impact assessments.

For further information about MetOcean Solutions hindcast datasets, please contact hindcast@metocean.co.nz.

A record wave height measured in the Southern Ocean

Last night, the MetOcean Solutions wave buoy moored in the Southern Ocean recorded a massive 23.8 m wave.

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“This is a very exciting event and to our knowledge it is largest wave ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere,” says Senior Oceanographer Dr Tom Durrant. “Our own previous record was one year ago when we measured a 19.4 m wave, and before that in 2012  an Australian buoy recorded a maximum individual wave (Hmax) of 22.03 m. So, this is a very important storm to capture, and it will add greatly to our understanding of the wave physics under extreme conditions in the Southern Ocean.”

“However, it is likely that the peak heights during this storm were actually much higher, with individual waves greater than 25 m being possible as the wave forecast for the storm show larger wave conditions just north of the buoy location. Also, to conserve battery during the one year deployment, the solar-powered buoy samples the waves for just 20 minutes every 3 hours then sends the data via a satellite link. During that 20 minute recording period, the height, period and direction of every wave is measured and statistics are calculated. It's very probable that larger waves occurred while the buoy was not recording.  

“The Southern Ocean is a unique ocean basin and is the least studied despite occupying 22% of the global ocean area. The persistent and energetic wind conditions here create enormous fetch for wave growth, making the Southern Ocean the engine room for generating swell waves that then propagate throughout the planet - indeed surfers in California can expect energy from this storm to arrive at their shores in about a weeks time! Yesterdays storm is the perfect example of waves generated by the easterly passage of a deep low pressure system with associated wind speeds exceeding 65 knots. Such storms are frequent and can occur at any time of the year, which differs from the high latitude northern hemisphere storms that only occur in winter. What is interesting about yesterday's event is the storm speed appears to match the wave speed, allowing wave heights to grow dramatically as the system tracks eastward.”

 Simulation of the storm: wind and mean sea level pressure (left) and significant wave height (right) passing over south New Zealand.

Simulation of the storm: wind and mean sea level pressure (left) and significant wave height (right) passing over south New Zealand.

“This is exactly the sort of data we were hoping to capture at the outset of the program,” says MetOcean Solutions General Manager Dr Peter McComb, who led the deployment of the buoy in March onboard the HMNZS WELLINGTON. “ We know that the speed of these storms plays an important role in the resultant wave climate and that has great relevance under both the existing and climate change scenarios.”

The ‘significant wave height’ is the WMO standard value to characterise a sea state - approximately the average of the highest third of the measured waves. During this storm, the significant wave height reached 14.9 m. This is also a record for the Southern Ocean, but falls short of the 19 m world record buoy measurement that was recorded in the North Atlantic during 2013.

The Campbell Island Wave Rider Buoy was moored on 2 March 2018 at Campbell Island, New Zealand’s southernmost estate and an ideal spot to sample the complex directional wave spectra from the Southern Ocean.

The Southern Ocean wave studies are a collaborative project with New Zealand Defence Force, Defence Technology Agency and  Spoondrift. As part of that program, MetOcean Solutions has deployed seven instruments to collect wave data, using one moored and six drifting buoys. All data are freely available to the scientific community and can be viewed in real time. For further information and data access see www.metocean.co.nz/southern-ocean/ or contact us at enquiries@metocean.co.nz.

MetOcean Solutions is a wholly owned subsidiary of state-owned enterprise, Meteorological Service of New Zealand (MetService). MetService is New Zealand’s national weather authority, providing comprehensive weather information services, to help protect the safety and well-being of New Zealanders and the economy.

Meet us at PIANC World Congress 2018 in Panama

MetOcean Solutions will be at the 34th PIANC World Congress 2018 in Panama next week.

Sébastien Boulay, MetOcean Solutions’ Business Development Scientist will present "A simplified approach to operationalise under-keel clearance (UKC) calculations" together with Brendan Curtis from OMC International.

“With freely available web-deployed UKC calculators and subscription services offering high resolution environmental forecasts for ports around the world, port users can now make much better-informed operational decisions,” says Sébastien. “We are delighted to be at PIANC 2018 presenting our solutions designed to increase safety and efficiency of marine operations.”

The conference, which is held 7-11 May, is hosted by the World Association for Waterborne Transport and Infrastructure and The Panama Canal Authority to discuss latest trends and best practices in the waterborne, transport and infrastructure sector.

For more information, visit the conference website: www.pianc2018.com

New open-source library for processing ocean wave spectra

MetOcean Solutions is pleased to make an open-source release of a new python library for processing ocean wave spectra.

 Example of wave spectra. Time series of significant wave height (top). Directional wave spectrum during peak storm, red circle in the top panel (bottom).

Example of wave spectra. Time series of significant wave height (top). Directional wave spectrum during peak storm, red circle in the top panel (bottom).

“We are very enthusiastic about releasing our Wavespectra source code for processing wave data,” says Physical Oceanographer Dr Rafael Guedes. “The library is the result of a collaborative effort from our science team for dealing with ocean wave spectral data, and it has been extensively used and tested. By making it freely available, we hope to contribute to the scientific community, while at the same time encouraging researchers to become involved and further develop and improve the code.”

“Wavespectra is a powerful collection of tools to ingest, process and write spectra in common formats. It allows robust calculation of common integrated spectral wave parameters such as wave height, period and direction, as well as partitioning the wave spectra using different methods to separate wind sea from swells.”

“The code is focussed on speed and efficiency for large spectral datasets. It leverages existing libraries such as xarray which provides efficient and convenient methods for dealing with multidimensional datasets.  Wavespectra can be used to handle spectral output from wave models such as WAVEWATCH III and SWAN (Simulating WAves Nearshore) and also standard measured spectra files. It will be of use to scientists, students and consultants.”

 The Wavespectra library documentation is available at wavespectra.readthedocs.io/en/docs/ and the GitHub repository at github.com/metocean/wavespectra.

 For further information about Wavespectra library or any contribution, please contact us at enquiries@metocean.co.nz.

Henrique Rapizo joins MetOcean Solutions

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We are delighted to welcome Dr Henrique Rapizo to MetOcean Solutions. Henrique is a physical oceanographer and will be working in our science team in Raglan. As a wave modelling expert, he will be providing support to operational and consultancy projects at MetOcean Solutions.

Following an MSc in Ocean and Coastal Engineering at Rio de Janeiro Federal University, Brazil, Henrique has completed last year his PhD in Maritime Engineering and Physical Oceanography at Swinburne University of Technology,  Australia. His research was focused on interactions between wind-generated ocean waves with currents, including theoretical, observational and numerical approaches.

With a specialisation on wave-current interactions, Henrique`s research interests are also on coastal processes and dynamics, air-sea interactions,  wave-ocean numerical coupling and data analysis.

“MetOcean Solutions is one of the few companies in the world that unifies the fast pace and technical approach of operational procedures with very high scientific level,” says Henrique. “I am really excited to be part of such a qualified team and contribute to the development of the wave-ocean modelling products.”

High resolution tides to support Volvo Ocean Race team

 Visit to Auckland`s Volvo Ocean Race Village. Miles Seddon (MAPFRE`s onshore navigator), Sally Garrett (Defence Technology Agency), David Johnson (MetOcean Solutions), and Sam Vernon (Crown Infrastructure).

Visit to Auckland`s Volvo Ocean Race Village. Miles Seddon (MAPFRE`s onshore navigator), Sally Garrett (Defence Technology Agency), David Johnson (MetOcean Solutions), and Sam Vernon (Crown Infrastructure).

In association with Defence Technology Agency, MetOcean Solutions provided high resolution tidal forecasts in the Hauraki Gulf to MAPFRE during the Auckland Stopover of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race.

“We are delighted that our local knowledge and models could assist the Spanish Volvo boat MAPFRE,” says Dr David Johnson, MetOcean Solutions’ Technical Manager. “Our very high resolution models of coastal currents and waves are perfect for this kind of application. In a highly competitive fleet as in the VOR, every bit of information is important for optimising routing decisions.”

MAPFRE ingested output from the MetOcean Solutions tidal model into their navigation systems providing accurate current predictions for the Hauraki Gulf. MAPFRE made the best start to lead the fleet around a loop of the Waitematā Harbour and out into the Hauraki Gulf (Volvo Ocean Race news). They are heading to Itajai, Brazil at a leading score position with 39 points, followed by Dongfeng Race Team. Follow Volvo Ocean Race live at www.volvooceanrace.com/en/tracker.html

In addition to a tidal prediction model, MetOcean Solutions has also developed a 26-year current hindcast of the Hauraki Gulf, using a 2-dimensional Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) model run at 250m resolution that accurately resolve the tides and water levels inside the Gulf (click here for more information).

For further information about the Hauraki Gulf hindcasts and tidal models, please contact enquiries@metocean.co.nz.

Southern Ocean Wave Buoy – Update

In 2017, MetOcean Solutions partnered with New Zealand Defence Force and Defence Technology Agency to deploy a scientific wave buoy in the Southern Ocean. Moored 11 km south of the remote Campbell Island, the buoy collected 170 days of great data - including the May 2017 storm with a whopping 19.4 m wave! By July however, the perpetually rough seas caused fatigue in the mooring line and the buoy started on a new and rather intrepid journey toward Chile.

 The buoy was launched on 2 March 2018.

The buoy was launched on 2 March 2018.

“It is still sending us valuable data while drifting,” says oceanographer Dr Tom Durrant. “We are now seeing high quality wave measurements coming in from some of the remotest locations on Earth; it is extremely valuable data for our research.”

Meanwhile, the mission to collect wave data for NZ Navy’s SubAntarctic applications continues, and this year’s initiative has seen another wave buoy positioned at Campbell Island. This is New Zealand’s southernmost estate and an ideal spot to sample the complex directional wave spectra from the Southern Ocean. On 2 March 2018, MetOcean Solutions manager and senior oceanographer Dr Peter McComb led the buoy deployment from the Offshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS WELLINGTON, with support from Sally Garrett and William Coldicutt from the Defence Technology Agency.

 Offshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS WELLINGTON.

Offshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS WELLINGTON.

“The crew of HMNZS WELLINGTON undertook the task with utmost professionalism and detailed planning to ensure a safe and successful execution,” says Peter. “In 2.5 m seas and light winds, the new wave buoy and its mooring were carefully placed at the same site as last year.”

This year however, the mooring design has been modified to better suit the harsh conditions and reduce the risk of mooring failure before the servicing mission next summer.

“We have to find the right balance for robustness in the mooring system while maintaining scientific integrity of the data. It is certainly a challenge working in these southern latitudes,” admits Peter. “But every month of data adds significantly to our knowledge of this ocean basin, so it’s a very worthy challenge”.

All data from the wave buoy programme is openly available for research, and interested members of the public can check the Southern Ocean wave conditions in real-time at http://www.metocean.co.nz/southern-ocean.