New developments on the New Zealand Ocean Operational Forecast System presented at FOO19

Last week, MetOcean’s Research and Development Science Team Leader, Dr João Marcos Souza, presented the latest developments on MetOcean’s operational forecast system and on Moana Project at The Australian Forum for Operational Oceanography 2019 (FOO 2019).

The operational forecast system is constituted by a mix of Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) and Semi-implicit Cross-scale Hydroscience Integrated System Model (SCHISM) domains to evaluate and predict ocean circulation and properties, and also WaveWatch III (WW3) and Simulating Waves Nearshore (SWAN) which are used for simulating surface gravity waves. An architecture based on docker images and controlled by an “in house” built python based scheduler ensures a stable and robust system.

operational forecast system - General ARCHITECTURE concept

operational forecast system - General ARCHITECTURE concept

current operational forecast models

current operational forecast models

Towards an Integrated Ocean Observing System for new zealand. From  O’Callaghan  et al.  (2019)

Towards an Integrated Ocean Observing System for new zealand. From O’Callaghan et al. (2019)

To improve our current capability, the Moana Project team is working towards developing a reliable ocean estate estimate using state-of-the-art observations assimilation for the oceans around New Zealand. The efforts aim to model and forecast several ocean processes at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. This work will play an important role on the New Zealand Integrated Ocean Observing System (O’Callaghan et al., 2019).

“Having a reliable forecast system of the ocean estate is strategic for the country’s economy, community and environmental safety and resilience, says Dr João Marcos.

New developments underway include the use of non-structured model grids, 4DVar data assimilation of global and local observations in a national scale, wave-circulation coupling, and the use of cloud based computational resources. 

At FOO 2019, Metocean Solutions team was also represented by The Moana Project’s programme director and MetService’s Head of Research Partnerships, Professor Moninya Roughan.

The third FOO was held on the 15-16 October 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. It is a forum for discussions relating to all matters of operational oceanography,  including requirements of stakeholders, industry and interested parties, and also for scientific and technical discussions. Visit https://www.foo.org.au/ to learn more.

The full abstract can be found here. For more information about the Moana Project and the New Zealand Ocean Operational Forecast System, contact us at enquires@metocean.co.nz


Julie Jakoboski joins Moana Project team at MetOcean Solutions

We are delighted to welcome Dr Julie Jakoboski to MetOcean Solutions. Julie is a physical oceanographer and will be working with the Moana Project team as a data scientist, based in our Raglan Office.

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"We are excited for Julie’s arrival as she will be helping us to expand our observational archive, playing a key role in the data assimilation capability development and the Moana Project,” says Dr João Marcos, MetOcean’s Research and Development Science Team Leader.

Her focus is on obtaining ocean observations for the New Zealand region for public use and assimilation into ocean models, both regional and global. She is eager to join the Moana Project and MetOcean teams and apply her experience with observational oceanography data and ocean models to a new region of the world. 

“I’m looking forward to working with, and learning from, the wide range of organisations that are connected to and observe the ocean around New Zealand,'' says Julie.

Prior to joining MetOcean, Julie was a doctoral student in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography in Woods Hole, MA, USA where she studied the circulation of the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean using autonomous underwater Spray gliders, under advisers Dr Breck Owens, Dr Robert Todd, and Dr Kristopher Karnauskas and as a visiting graduate student with Dr Daniel Rudnick at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Julie joined the Joint Program after working for several years at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on a variety of instruments, ranging from projects that measured winds over the ocean to the composition of the atmosphere of Jupiter.  Previously, she earned bachelor’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering and in Physics at Bucknell University in the United States.

Julie’s passions include doing ocean science, being outside as much as possible, and travelling with her family.  She loves to trail run, surf, swim in the sea, play flute in local music groups and can’t wait to explore New Zealand.

Tiro Moana Sensor presented at OceanObs’19 conference in Hawaii

Last week, MetService & MetOcean Solutions’ Head of Research Partnerships, Prof. Moninya Roughan, presented the Tiro Moana Sensor, a low-cost smart ocean sensor being developed under the Moana Project, at the OceanObs’19 conference in Hawaii.

Prof. Roughan says the conference sets guides for the next decade of innovation in ocean observation, with this edition focused on improving response to scientific and societal needs of a fit-for-purpose integrated ocean observing system.

“We are delighted to be part of the international programme committee, organising in particular the Innovation session of the OceanObs’19 conference. We are bringing fresh perspectives on the fundamental and imperative changes coming in the next decade of ocean observing”

The Moana Project, embracing ‘the Internet of Things’ concept, is developing the Tiro Moana Sensor in partnership with Zebra-Tech. It is a plug and play auto offload profiling temperature sensor that transmits data in near real time upon surfacing. The sensor will be deployed throughout NZ’s Exclusive Economic Zone by the seafood sector, i.e. growing the number of open observations through crowd sourced data collection.

Tiro Moana Sensor developed by Zebra-Tech.

Tiro Moana Sensor developed by Zebra-Tech.

Zebra-Tech’s Managing Director John Radford says Zebra-Tech is very excited to be involved with the Moana Project.

“We have designed and engineered the Tiro Moana sensor to reliably operate in the harsh conditions associated with commercial fishing vessels. Being fully automatic, it will not interfere with the fishing operation, while it produces accurate and vital data for the fishing sector and New Zealand as a whole.”

The temperature profile data will be returned in near real time via the cell phone network or satellite, ingested into data assimilating ocean prediction models, and returned to end users through an open-access nationwide Ocean Analysis and Prediction System, delivered by the New Zealand Meteorological Service.

“By instrumenting seafood sector vessels we will greatly increase the number of sub surface temperature observations available for data assimilation, thereby increasing model accuracy and predictability,” says Prof. Roughan. “Our disruptive technology approach highlights the benefit of partnering with end users to collect and return research quality datasets that are relevant for industry needs.”

The Tiro Moana Sensor is part of the Moana Project, a cross-institutional programme funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Endeavour Fund. The sensor will provide a more complete picture of ocean temperatures, circulation and dynamics, and the relationships with fishery recruitment variability, aiding prediction. It will underpin operational efficiencies, biosecurity protection, risk mitigation and economic growth for NZ’s seafood sector ensuring long-term sustainability.

Running from 16 to 20 September, the OceanObs’19 conference was held in Honolulu, Hawaii, to determine how we meet future user needs, improve the delivery of products across the globe, advance technology and services, and balance needs, capabilities, and knowledge worldwide. This edition theme was ‘An ocean of opportunity’, aiming to define outcomes that will result in a fit-for-purpose Global Ocean Observing System over the next decade. Find out more at www.oceanobs19.net

For more information about Tiro Moana Sensor, contact us at info@moanaproject.org or visit www.moanaproject.org

Moana Project releases the Moana Backbone Model: A 25-year hydrodynamic hindcast model of New Zealand waters

The Moana team is pleased to announce the Moana Backbone Model: A 25-year hydrodynamic hindcast model of New Zealand coastal and shelf region is available to the public.

The Backbone is an improvement on MetOcean Solutions’ free-running Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) simulation for New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone. The model has high spatial resolution with horizontal resolution of approximately 5 km and 40 vertical layers, providing better representation of regional and coastal ocean processes.

MetOcean Solutions’ physical oceanographer leading the Moana Project modelling team, Dr João Marcos Souza, says advances were made in several fronts: updating the model physics; reviewing the parameterisations; improving the resolution; using a state-of-the-art vertical scheme; and upgrading the global model boundary forcing amongst others.

“In addition, with the support of project partner NIWA we were able to include climatological river fluxes and the inverse barometer effect.

“This configuration is now running to provide forecasts in Beta mode.”

Dr Ata Suanda, lecturer at the University of Otago, who has been working closely with MetOcean modelling team to validate the Moana Backbone output, says: “At the University of Otago, students and community partners are interested in understanding the coastal ocean (the region within ~10 km of the shoreline). This is the region where most of the public engages with the ocean, and it therefore holds high societal, economic and environmental value. 

“Our goal is to simulate coastal ocean processes at high spatial resolution. However, much of our understanding of coastal circulation and water quality depends on oceanic processes that occur at larger spatial scales. Without a high-fidelity nation-wide model, we will not be able to accurately simulate coastal areas. The Moana Backbone is a critical and exciting first step towards creating freely-accessible and reliable ocean forecasts for individual regions and individual communities around New Zealand.”

Daily-averaged sea surface temperature (SST) from Moana Backbone model. Black line denotes 250 m water depth. (Credit: Dr Ata Suanda, University of Otago).

Daily-averaged sea-surface current speed from Moana Backbone model. White line denotes 250 m water depth. (Credit: Dr Ata Suanda, University of Otago).

The next step for the Moana Modelling team is to include the assimilation of observations into the model to provide the best possible estimate of the ocean state - the Moana Forecast and Moana Reanalysis: A nation-wide open access coastal ocean data assimilation (25+ year hindcast) and forecast model to be released in 2020.

The reanalysis will be a vast improvement on the Moana Backbone by assimilating all available ocean observations with 4-dimensional variational data assimilation scheme. In its initial configuration, it will include the assimilation of all observations available in near-real-time. These include satellite derived sea surface temperature and sea level anomaly, and temperature and salinity profiles provided by the autonomous Argo floats. This will become a prototype for the Moana forecast system.

The Moana Backbone is part of the Ngā Ripo o te Moana research aim of the broader Moana Project. This workstream is developing advanced numerics to deliver NZ’s first nationwide, open-access, ocean modelling system. The improved model will support the understanding of ocean circulation and dynamics around New Zealand, including marine heatwaves.

The 25-year Moana Backbone model output is freely available. Please access www.moanaproject.org/data for more information.

Hydrodynamic modelling in a micro-tidal salt wedge estuary: the Derwent River Estuary

Last week, MetOcean Solutions’ Senior Physical Oceanographer Remy Zyngfogel, presented his findings on hydrodynamic modelling in a micro-tidal salt wedge estuary at the Australasian Coasts & Ports 2019 conference in Hobart.

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The research is a case study of the Derwent River Estuary, applying the Semi-implicit cross-scale Hydroscience Integrated System Model (SCHISM) to resolve the complex local-scale baroclinic hydrodynamics correctly. This modelling study enables a deeper understanding and description of the velocity structure within the Derwent estuary and will enable more current predictions to support vessel navigation within the estuary.

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“The SCHISM model is an ideal tool for this type of cross-scale study,” says Remy. “The unstructured grids allow us to optimise model resolution to replicate salient hydrodynamic processes with approximately 300m resolution offshore, reduced to 20m in the nearshore and down to 2m under the Tasman Bridge.

Triangular elements of the model domain meshes.

Triangular elements of the model domain meshes.

“This approach allowed us to resolve key bathymetric features, including the individual bridge piles, which influence the hyper-local scale hydrodynamics, and provided greater resolution along the navigation channel.”

A nested modelling approach was applied, in which a high resolution SCHISM model domain was used to examine in detail the 3-dimensional velocities and water level elevations of the upper Derwent Estuary, with particular focus on the Tasman Bridge region. The model robustly reproduced tidal dynamics in the area, identifying water column stratification and the two-layered circulation near the Tasman Bridge, the southerly-directed surface fresh water and the northerly-directed near-bottom flow.

At the Australasian Coasts and Ports 2019, MetOcean Solutions’ consultancy team was also represented by Marine Project Consultancy Manager Dr Alexis Berthot and Senior Physical Oceanographers Simon Weppe and Dr Séverin Thiébaut. Find more about the studies presented at www.metocean.co.nz/news

The conference brings together engineers, planners, scientists and researchers to discuss multi-disciplinary issues related to coasts and ports. The 2019 Conference theme “Future directions from 40°S and beyond” reflects the increasing awareness about the need to find suitable means for adapting to change in the “right” direction. Visit coastsandports2019.com.au

The full abstract can be found here. For more information, contact us at enquires@metocean.co.nz

 
Surface current and surface salinity near Tasman Bridge. River flow from North to South.

Surface current and surface salinity near Tasman Bridge. River flow from North to South.

 

Reliable technique to estimate near-bed kinematics for optimal design of coastal and shallow water structures

A paper detailing a new method developed by MetOcean Solutions’ Senior Physical Oceanographer, Dr Séverin Thiébaut, is being presented at the Australasian Coasts & Ports 2019 Conference, held this week in Hobart, Australia.

The research provides a reliable technique to derive near-bottom wave kinematics from surface wave spectra using non-linear theory.

“Wave-induced currents decrease from the surface to the bottom of the ocean. However they can be strong under storm conditions in shallow waters and are commonly taken into account for structure design and sediment transport assessments,” says Dr Thiébaut. 

This work contributes to improving the methodologies applied in the design of nearbed structures in coastal or shallow water environments.

“The linear approach, traditionally applied, is appropriate to calculate extreme loading conditions in deep water, however, it over simplifies the calculation in shallow waters. We apply a method that estimates extreme loading conditions from surface wave spectra as a function of water depth, wavelength, and partial significant wave height.”

Contour plots showing the relative increase when using the non-linear method ( Peak wave period   Tp  and  significant wave height   Hs ). Increasing wave heights enhance the percentage of increase when using the non-linear method.

Contour plots showing the relative increase when using the non-linear method (Peak wave period Tp and significant wave height Hs). Increasing wave heights enhance the percentage of increase when using the non-linear method.

At the conference, MetOcean Solutions’ consultancy team was also represented by Marine Project Consultancy Manager Dr Alexis Berthot and Senior Physical Oceanographers Simon Weppe and Remy Zyngfogel.

Simon presented his research on the application of SWASH (Simulation WAves till SHore) model to characterise surf break wave mechanics. Read more about his study here. Remy discussed hydrodynamic modelling in a micro-tidal salt wedge estuary - a case study of the Derwent River Estuary. Next week, further details about Remy’s research will be published at www.metocean.co.nz/news.

The Australasian Coasts and Ports 2019 brings together engineers, planners, scientists and researchers to discuss multi-disciplinary issues related to coasts and ports. The 2019 Conference theme “Future directions from 40°S and beyond” reflects the increasing awareness about the need to find suitable means for adapting to change in the “right” direction. For more information, visit https://coastsandports2019.com.au/

The full abstract can be found here. For more information, contact us at enquires@metocean.co.nz

Wave modelling framework to characterise surf break will be presented at Australasian Coasts & Ports 2019

Next week, MetOcean Solutions’ Senior Physical Oceanographer Simon Weppe will be presenting the numerical wave modelling methodology used to characterise surf break wave mechanics at Mangamaunu, a point break in Kaikōura, New Zealand at the Australasian Coasts & Ports 2019 conference in Hobart.

The investigation used the numerical model SWASH (Simulation WAves till SHore), a non-hydrostatic wave-flow model, to provide detailed characterisation of the existing surf break wave mechanics. The methodology was developed such that it can be applied for baseline characterisation of other surf breaks, as well as impact assessment for proposed coastal engineering projects.

Breaking waves (top) and full sea surface elevation field (bottom) predicted by SWASH, overlaid on a georeferenced image.

Breaking waves (top) and full sea surface elevation field (bottom) predicted by SWASH, overlaid on a georeferenced image.

“The SWASH wave model proved to be a useful tool to understand key features of the nearshore wave propagation, wave breaking and circulation in a surf break assessment context,” says Simon.

“High-quality surf breaks are rare assets with high amenity value for the community, and a prerequisite for ensuring appropriate protection is a robust understanding of the surf break wave mechanics.”

The Mangamaunu Point Break is a high-quality surf break that was recognised as one of the 17 “nationally-significant” surf breaks under New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement. However, the November 2016 earthquake (7.8 Mw) resulted in a dramatic uplift along the Kaikōura coastline and dynamics of the pre-quake, existing (i.e. post-quake) and post proposed development configurations were modelled to evaluate potential impacts on surf quality.

“The surf quality was assessed by examining changes in breaker position and the incident and reflected wave energy gradients,” explains Simon. “A robust understanding of the surf break wave mechanics provides the baseline to assess potential effects arising from future coastal modifications or environmental changes.”

Together with Simon, MetOcean Solutions’ consultancy team will also be represented at the conference by Dr Alexis Berthot, Dr Séverin Thiébaut and Remy Zyngfogel. Their work on statistical analysis of near-bed kinematics and hydrodynamic modelling in a micro-tidal salt wedge estuary will be published in the following weeks at www.metocean.co.nz/news.

The Australasian Coasts and Ports 2019 brings together engineers, planners, scientists and researchers to discuss multi-disciplinary issues related to coasts and ports. The 2019 Conference theme “Future directions from 40°S and beyond” reflects the increasing awareness about the need to find suitable means for adapting to change in the “right” direction. Visit coastsandports2019.com.au

Access full abstract here. For more information, contact us at enquires@metocean.co.nz

Moana Project at Open Oceans Aquaculture Symposium 2019

This week the Open Oceans Aquaculture Symposium 2019, organised by Cawthron Institute, is being held in Nelson, New Zealand.

MetService & MetOcean Solutions’ Head of Research Partnerships Prof Moninya Roughan presented the Moana Project, a national ocean modelling system that is being developed over the next five years.

The Moana Project will greatly advance understanding of marine heatwaves, ocean circulation, and connectivity enabling better protection and management of  the marine environment and its resources.

Prof. Roughan says 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 and aquaculture, including offshore marine farming in challenging and exposed waters.

“This information is vital, as raising sea temperatures are directly threatening our kiamoana. We’ll shed new light on how to safeguard the sustainability of our blue economy and enable informed evidence-based decision making across a whole range of economic, environmental and social applications,” says Prof. Roughan.

The Moana Project, led by Prof. Roughan, is a cross-institutional programme conceived through an industry-community-research partnership initiative, bringing together seafood sector data, Te Ao Māori knowledge, cutting-edge ocean sensing, and advanced numerical modelling to provide a reliable ocean forecast system to support marine industries.

The project, launched last week (click here for more information), will revolutionise ocean data collection with low-cost smart ocean sensors to be deployed throughout NZ’s Exclusive Economic Zone supported by the seafood sector. The data will be ingested into data assimilating ocean prediction models, leading to an open-access nationwide Ocean Analysis and Prediction System, powered by MetOcean Solutions. Real-time observations and high-resolution operational forecasts will be available to end-users via smart tools, such as MetOceanView, an online platform to access ocean weather information for a range of marine operators all over the world.

MetOceanView, an online platform for end-users to access ocean weather information. (Image from  metoceanview.com )

MetOceanView, an online platform for end-users to access ocean weather information. (Image from metoceanview.com)

“This disruptive technology approach is an exemplar of the benefits of partnering with end users to collect and return research quality datasets that are relevant for industry needs,” highlights Prof. Roughan. “By providing a more complete picture of ocean temperatures, circulation and dynamics, and the relationships with fishery recruitment variability, we will underpin operational efficiencies, risk mitigation and economic growth for NZ’s seafood sector ensuring long-term sustainability.”

The Symposium, which is being held on 5-7th August, has as its theme ‘Unlocking the potential of our oceans’, discussing open ocean aquaculture as New Zealand’s newest and most challenging frontier. The event gathers specialists and industry leaders to lift the lid on how to meet this challenge through state-of-the-art environmentally sustainable technologies and world class science. Find out more at www.openoceans.nz

For more information about the Moana Project, visit the website: www.moanaproject.org.


$11.5 million project to revolutionise ocean forecasting launches

A bold new project that will revolutionise New Zealand’s ability to comprehensively measure, monitor and predict the state of our oceans, was launched on Tuesday [30 July].

Pōhiri to launch the Moana Project - Omarumutu Marae, Ōpōtiki - 30 July. Photo by Simone Magner.

Pōhiri to launch the Moana Project - Omarumutu Marae, Ōpōtiki - 30 July. Photo by Simone Magner.

New Zealand’s leading experts in oceanography joined MetService and eastern Bay of Plenty iwi Whakatōhea for the launch of the Moana Project at Omarumutu Marae in Ōpōtiki.

MetService’s Chief Executive Peter Lennox says the launch marks the initiation of the $11.5 million, five-year research project, which is funded through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Endeavour Fund.

Moana Project partners – MetService’s oceanographic division MetOcean Solutions with 14 partner organisations: including Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, all of NZ’s Oceanographic institutions, with technology partner Zebra-Tech and funders Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Photo by Simone Magner.

Moana Project partners – MetService’s oceanographic division MetOcean Solutions with 14 partner organisations: including Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, all of NZ’s Oceanographic institutions, with technology partner Zebra-Tech and funders Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Photo by Simone Magner.

The project, which was spearhead by MetService’s oceanography division MetOcean Solutions, will greatly enhance New Zealand’s understanding of our changing oceans. 

“We’ll be creating a number of tools that will make New Zealand a world leader in ocean forecasting.  To make this happen, we’ve brought together all of New Zealand’s oceanographic research institutions and will be combining their expertise and research with indigenous knowledge.”

General Manager MetOcean Solutions Dr Brett Beamsley says, New Zealand’s oceans are very poorly understood, and with rising ocean temperatures this is compounded.

“As an island nation New Zealander’s derive wellbeing and wealth from the oceans that surround us.  To protect these benefits for future generations, we need to better understand our marine environment.”

“The Moana Project will greatly advance understanding of marine heatwaves, ocean circulation, and connectivity, enabling us to better protect and manage the marine environment and its resource,” says Dr Beamsley.

The Moana Project’s programme director and MetService’s Head of Research Partnerships Professor Moninya Roughan says New Zealand sits in a hotspot of ocean warming. 

“The Tasman Sea is warming at one of the fastest rates on Earth, up to three times the global average.  The research from the Moana Project will help understand the impact this has on our kaimoana (seafood) and in terms of species movement and abundance.“

This project combines mātauranga Māori with science.  Iwi partners Whakatōhea will bring their traditional and contemporary oceanographic knowledge and aquaculture experience to the project.

Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, Chair Robert Edwards says the Whakatōhea iwi has been living in the Ōpotiki area for approximately 900 years and has built its indigenous knowledge systems around the land and sea over generations.

“With the development of our off-shore mussel farm in Whakatōhea rohe moana, we take responsibility for ensuring we know as much as we can regarding future issues that could impact the water space and to enable our role as kaitiaki.

“The sea temperatures are rising, and this project will help all, Māori and non-Māori, understand the impact it will have on our kaimoana now and into the future,” says Robert Edwards.

MBIE Manager Contestable Investments, Dr Max Kennedy says this impressive project combines cutting-edge science and innovation, with Mātauranga Māori that will be applied to provide tools that protect the wellbeing of New Zealanders.

“Our seafood sector alone is worth more than $4 billion annually to New Zealand’s economy and its resources are directly threatened by rising ocean temperatures and marine heatwaves.

“The project will shed new light on how to safeguard the sustainability of our blue economy. In doing so it will allow for informed evidence-based decision making to be made across a whole range of economic, environmental and social applications,” says Dr Kennedy.

The project will partner with the seafood sector to develop low-cost ocean sensors that will revolutionise ocean data collection.

The sensors created by Nelson company Zebra-Tech will be deployed throughout New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone with support from the commercial fishing sector’s fleet.

“This has never been done before. It’s like crowdsourcing but to get a huge amount of ocean temperature data,” says Professor Roughan.

The ocean forecasting model developed through the Moana Project will bring in historical and new data focused on New Zealand waters.

“To date ocean forecasters and industries have had to rely on models and satellites operated by other countries. We’ve been missing fine-scale resolution, and these models haven’t been attuned to New Zealand coastal ocean characteristics,” says Professor Roughan.

“Through the Moana Project we will fill that huge gap and make the results accessible to everyone – through an open access tool.”

Moana Project partners

The Moana Project was spearheaded by MetService’s oceanographic division MetOcean Solutions and involves all New Zealand’s oceanography research institutes, including the Cawthron Institute, NIWA, Victoria University of Wellington, and Auckland, Waikato, and Otago Universities. A partnership with Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board will bring indigenous ocean knowledge to the project. Technology partner Zebra-Tech are creating ocean sensors.

This stellar New Zealand team is collaborating with international experts from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and the University of Hawaii, US; the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the University of New South Wales, Australia.

The project also has support from a wide range of ocean-information end-users, including the New Zealand Defence Technology Agency, the seafood sector including Seafood NZ, Paua Industry Council, Rocklobster Industry Council, Deepwater Group, the Ministry for Primary Industries and district and regional councils.

MetOcean Solutions joins CSIRO for Port Phillip Bay Coastal Hazard Assessment

MetOcean Solutions is partnering with CSIRO to undertake a coastal hazard assessment for Port Phillip Bay, performing data analysis and numerical modelling of climate change scenarios to understand the potential coastal hazards impact on the area.

This project is funded by the Victorian Government and aims at assessing the environmental effects of climate change along the Port Phillip Bay coastline, to help land managers understand the hazards they may face in the future (click here for more information).

“MetOcean Solutions has a strong focus in providing the latest developments in oceanography to real applications and therefore collaboration with government research and university research groups are fundamental for us,” says Dr Alexis Berthot, MetOcean Solutions’ Marine Project Consultancy Manager.

MetOcean has developed a coupled hydrodynamic and wave model for the region using the Semi-implicit cross-scale hydroscience integrated system model (SCHISM). SCHISM is a powerful capability for MetOcean Solutions in high resolution coastal hydrodynamics. The model will be used to perform multi-year simulations under various sea level rise scenarios and historical and future climate conditions.

 
SCHISM model mesh for Port Phillip Bay.

SCHISM model mesh for Port Phillip Bay.

 

“This state-of-the-art unstructured mesh model is key to providing a detailed representation of complex nearshore bathymetric features and engineering structures, such as breakwaters and ports, that enable us to better understand the hydrodynamic regime at nearshore and coastal waters,” says MetOcean Solutions’ physical oceanographer Phellipe Couto. “This achievement is critical to support planning around potential coastal hazards in the currently changing climate scenario.” 

The Coastal Hazard Assessment, led by CSIRO with support of MetOcean Solutions, Federation University and others, investigates the extension of inundation, groundwater change, and erosion. The outcome will assist the community in future planning considering climate change scenarios.

 
Photo: State Government of Victoria, available  here .

Photo: State Government of Victoria, available here.

 

Learn more about Port Phillip Bay Coastal Hazard Assessment at the Coastal Programs website of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victoria (Australia).

For more information about Operational SCHISM, contact us at enquiries@metocean.co.nz

Māori as oceanographers - Funding secured for cross-cultural ocean knowledge network

The Mātangaireira Waka Trust, has secured $100,000 to strengthen capacity amongst Māori to help improve ocean health through the sharing of cross-cultural ocean knowledge. The Trust was one of 31 successful applications to the Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund, administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. 

“We are delighted to support the Māori Marine Science network, and thrilled that it has evolved from the Moana Project He Papa Moana Team,” says MetService & MetOcean’s Head of Research Partnerships Prof. Moninya Roughan. 

The funding will be used to bring together experts across the fields of climate change, marine science, ocean health, and mātauranga waka to establish capacity building programmes and the Te Ahu o Rehua Network for Cross-Cultural Ocean Knowledge. Haki Tuaupiki of Mātangaireira Waka Trust says; 

 “The health of the ocean is critical to the future of us all and our knowledge of the ocean is integral to how we act and look after it. The ocean connects us to our ancestors providing a pathway across the Pacific. Our interactions with Tangaroa emphasise both our mahinga kai relationships and kaitiaki responsibilities. Improving ocean health requires transformative change across various knowledge systems in Aotearoa.” 

The aims of the programme are supported with co-funding from leading research and scientific organisations, University of Waikato, MetService/MetOcean, and NIWA. The project steering group also includes input from Victoria University of Wellington, Manaaki Te Awanui, Terra Moana Ltd, and the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board.

Te Ahu o Rehua Network will build capacity amongst Māori community members, practitioners and marine undergraduate and postgraduate students.  Workshops will be held in the North and South Islands providing participants with an intensive mix of theoretical and practical experiences, set within the contexts of science, Māori science, and mātauranga Māori, to build their capacity and understanding of cross-cultural ocean knowledge. 

The result will be a strong network of Māori marine science and mātauranga practitioners with robust marine science and climate change communities. “The benefits to whānau, hapū and Iwi will be resultant initiatives protecting and enhancing their rohe moana. While regional government will benefit through participatory projects that support kaitiakitanga o te moana”, says Mātangaireira Waka Trust. 

The Mātangaireira Waka Trust’s mission is to learn, preserve, and redistribute the practice, customs and traditions of waka, te reo Māori and Māori arts

For more information please contact us at info@moanaproject.org


MetOcean Solutions launches Spanish website

MetOcean Solutions has launched a Spanish version of the company website to provide it’s Spanish speaking partners quick and convenient access through www.metocean.cl

Over the last few years, MetOcean Solutions has grown its partnerships in Chile, exchanging technical expertise with colleagues from the University of Valparaiso and the Chilean Navy.

“Being neighbours in the Pacific Ocean both countries experience the same issues related to Southern Ocean swells and marine weather conditions that affect the safety of our ports,” says MetOcean’s Business Development Manager South America & Iberian Peninsula Dr Aitana Forcén-Vázquez. “We have a number of Spanish speaking scientists happy to provide technical support and discuss common issues with the Spanish speaking community in the journey towards the ports of the future, which will translate into safer and more efficient ports.

“Launching our website in Spanish allows us to support our Spanish-speaking partners even further and strengthen our collaboration.”

For more information about MetOcean Solutions, please visit www.metocean.co.nz or www.metocean.cl


MetOcean Solutions lanza su página en español

MetOcean Solutions acaba  de lanzar la versión en español de su página web para brindar a nuestros colegas de habla hispana un acceso rápido y conveniente a través de www.metocean.cl

En los últimos años, MetOcean Solutions ha aumentado sus colaboraciones en Chile, intercambiando experiencia técnica con colegas de la Universidad de Valparaíso y la Armada de Chile.

"Al ser vecinos del Océano Pacífico, ambos países experimentan los mismos problemas relacionados con el oleaje que se origina en el Océano Sur y las condiciones climáticas marinas que afectan la seguridad de nuestros puertos", dice la Gerente de Desarrollo de Negocios de MetOcean para Sudamérica y la Península Ibérica, Dra. Aitana Forcén-Vázquez. Tenemos a varios científicos de habla hispana entusiasmados con la idea de brindar apoyo técnico y discutir problemas comunes con la comunidad de habla española en el camino hacia los puertos del futuro, lo que se traducirá en puertos más seguros y eficientes.

“El lanzamiento de nuestra página web en español nos permite apoyar aún más a nuestros colegas que hablan español y fortalecer nuestra colaboración."

Para más detalles, visite www.metocean.cl o www.metocean.co.nz


Southern Ocean Wave Atlas presentation at NZ Antarctic Science Conference

MetOcean Solutions, commissioned by the New Zealand Defence Force, produced a state of the art wave atlas of the Southern Ocean (SO). Next week our key findings will be presented at New Zealand Antarctic Science Conference in Christchurch.

The Southern Ocean Wave Atlas includes a collaborative measurement campaign between MetOcean Solutions and Defence Technology Agency (DTA), and a large modelling effort. A critical analysis of wave model performance against these and other available observations was conducted, as well as the production of a long term hindcast in the SO.

The detailed understanding of the characteristics of wave climate is required to test and inform future designs of vessels that will be tasked with operating in the highly energetic SO. The gathered data help reduce known deficiencies in the model physics for this region and improve model guidance, which are used ultimately to make informed operational decisions.

 
Mean Significant wave height for 1993-2017 presented as layers in files suitable for viewing in Google Earth (www.google.com/earth/)

Mean Significant wave height for 1993-2017 presented as layers in files suitable for viewing in Google Earth (www.google.com/earth/)

 

As part of the measurement campaign, MetOcean Solutions has deployed instruments to collect wave data using moored and drifting buoys. All data is 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/.

Running from 17 to 19 June, the NZ Antarctic Science Conference is hosted by Antarctica New Zealand, the government agency charged with carrying out New Zealand's activities in Antarctica, supporting world leading science and environmental protection. This year the conference theme is ‘Our Future in Focus’, showcasing the latest findings from NZ’s Antarctic research programme, discussing research and policy imperatives, and providing an opportunity for researchers, iwi, policy-makers and educators to foster collaborations that will collectively influence our future.

MetOcean Solutions is a division of New Zealand’s National Meteorological Service.

The full abstract is provided below.


Southern Ocean Wave Atlas

Tom Durrant1, Jorge Perez2, Henrique Rapizo2, Rafael Guedes1, Sally Garrett3, Peter McComb1

While the Southern Ocean is the least observed or understood of any major ocean, the combination of persistent westerly winds and the large expanse of sea produces higher wave heights for longer periods than any other body of water. The New Zealand Navy has patrol and search and rescue responsibilities over large areas of this ocean, and are planning the next generation of vessels to safely operate in these waters. However, the spectral wave characteristics have not been adequately characterised for the Southern Ocean, meaning the critical design factors were unavailable.

To meet those needs, a campaign of measurement and modelling was undertaken. Observations included buoy deployments at 52.7S, the southernmost directional wave mooring to date, where phenomenal conditions were observed including the highest measured wave in the Southern Hemisphere (24.8 m). Additionally, five drifting buoys were deployed in a trial of a new technology in energetic open ocean states.

The wave modelling, conducted with WAVEWATCH III, included a comprehensive analysis of available forcings including wind and ice from the CFSR and ERA5 reanalyses. The relative importance of large scale ocean currents was also examined, with currents from CFSR, HYCOM and Glorys considered. ERA5 winds were found to be superior to CFSR, and Glorys provided the best results for currents, significantly reducing the positive wave height bias in the Southern Ocean. This configuration was used to produce a 25 year hindcast, from which an atlas of the relevant physical surface ocean variables was been produced.

The atlas is a freely available gridded dataset of derived statistics that includes monthly and annual directional values for the surface current speed, wavelength, wave period, significant wave height, return period significant wave height, Douglas sea states, and dangerous seas indices.

____________________

  1. Oceanum Ltd, New Plymouth, New Zealand
  2. Meteorological Service New Zealand, Raglan, 3225, New Zealand
  3. New Zealand Defence Force, Devonport, New Zealand

Advances in global wave modelling

At MetOcean Solutions, we continuously improve our models to ensure the highest possible performance.

Our science team has recently made great improvements in global wave hindcasting thanks to using more accurate historical winds and studying the effect of icebergs and ocean currents in ocean waves.

MetOcean’s Southern Ocean Programme in partnership with Defence Technology Agency has been collecting wave data in the Southern Ocean over the last 2 years (find out more at www.metocean.co.nz/southern-ocean). The area presents the highest modelling errors, and the data gathered is helping to reduce that. This is a crucial achievement due to the energetic swells constantly generated in this part of the ocean that have far reaching effects. Consequently, it will result in better wave prediction over coastal areas.

MetOcean Solutions’ physical oceanographer Dr Jorge Perez, responsible for improving wave hindcasting and forecasting capabilities, says the analysis undertaken and the historical reconstruction has made it possible to minimize errors in wave data from deep waters, allowing better boundary conditions for high-resolution grids in coastal regions.

“Lessons learned such as the importance of currents and icebergs will result in advancements to our wave forecasting operational systems and therefore, historical data and wave predictions of the highest quality to end users.”

Clear gains are apparent, with an approximate 30% improvement in model skill demonstrated overall. The resulting improvements for the year of 2015 are shown as an example in the figure below.

 
fig 1-top.png
 
 
Example of bias comparison with model improvements (top) and reference simulation (bottom) for the year 2015.

Example of bias comparison with model improvements (top) and reference simulation (bottom) for the year 2015.

 

MetOcean’s advancements in global wave modelling were presented by Dr Perez at Spanish Conference on Coastal and Port Engineering, XV Jornadas Españolas de Ingeniería de Costas y Puertos, held last week in Málaga, Spain.

The conference is a biennial scientific-technical event, gathering experts and decision makers to facilitate knowledge exchange between all sectors engaged in coastal and port activities. For more information, visit www.costasypuertos2019.com

MetOcean Solutions is a division of New Zealand’s National Meteorological Service.

The full abstract is provided below.


Avances en modelado de oleaje global

Pérez, Jorge* Rapizo, Henrique* Guedes, Rafael* y Durrant, Tom*

*Metocean Solutions, New Zealand Meteorological Service.

1.       Introducción

El modelado de oleaje a escala global ha experimentado un rápido desarrollo en los últimos años dando lugar a reconstrucciones históricas cada vez más precisas (e.g., Durrant et al., 2014; Pérez et al., 2017). No obstante, incluso las bases de datos más recientes presentan errores significativos en ciertas regiones. Esto plantea una doble problemática. Por un lado, la creciente internacionalización de los intereses de empresas e instituciones hace evidente la necesidad de contar con datos de calidad en todo el mundo. Por otro lado, los errores en una ubicación específica a menudo son consecuencia de errores a miles de kilómetros de distancia, en la zona de generación o propagación. Por ejemplo, el Océano Antártico es la región que actualmente presenta mayores errores; en parte porque es un área muy compleja desde el punto de vista del modelado y en parte por la tradicional escasez de medidas instrumentales en el hemisferio sur. No obstante, es crucial reducir dichos errores, ya que constituye la zona de generación de swells muy energéticos que alcanzan las costas de regiones mucho más pobladas.

La forma de más obvia de reducir errores es utilizar forzamientos (i.e., viento, hielo y corrientes) de mayor calidad. En este análisis se han utilizado y comparado las bases de datos más recientes para obtener la combinación de forzamientos que resulta en menores errores en el modelado de oleaje a escala global. Como es habitual en han analizado vientos y cobertura de hielo, en este caso del reanálisis CFSR generado por NCEP-NCAR y del reanálisis ERA5 generado recientemente por el centro europeo para predicciones de medio plazo (ECMWF). Adicionalmente, se han analizado el efecto de la probabilidad de icebergs derivada de imágenes de satélite y de las corrientes oceánicas de tres bases de datos: CFSR, HYCOM y GLORYS. La evaluación de los resultados se ha basado principalmente en mediciones de satélite, pero se ha complementado con boyas y drifters recientemente desplegados en Australia y Nueva Zelanda.

2.       Resultados y conclusiones

La comparación entre experimentos con distintos forzamientos se ha basado en el modelo numérico WaveWatch III en su versión 5.16 utilizando los términos fuente ST4. La configuración de referencia es una malla global de 0.5 grados por 0.5 grados, forzada con vientos y cobertura de hielo de CFSR, sin icebergs ni corrientes. La mejora de mayor magnitud respecto a esta configuración se obtiene al sustituir CFSR por ERA5, lo que reduce notablemente el sesgo y el error cuadrático en la mayor parte del mundo. Estos resultados indican que las mejoras en resolución, asimilación de datos, o modelado de ciclones tropicales respecto al anterior reanálisis del ECMWF han conseguido que actualmente ERA5 sea la opción más adecuada para forzar modelos globales de oleaje. La inclusión de corrientes también produce mejoras a nivel global pero de una magnitud menor. En concreto las tres bases de datos de corrientes ayudan a reducir los sesgos, siendo GLORYS la que produce mejores resultados a pesar de tener menor resolución espacial que HYCOM y menor resolución temporal que CFSR. Es especialmente notable la reducción del sesgo positivo en el Océano Antártico, principalmente por el efecto de la corriente circumpolar antártica, que reduce la transferencia de energía del viento al oleaje. No obstante, incluso con la introducción de corrientes sigue existiendo un sesgo positivo. Este sesgo se reduce aún más con la inclusión de icebergs, que aumentan el bloqueo de energía, pero no llega a desaparecer por completo. La comparación entre el sesgo de la configuración de referencia y el de la configuración óptima para el año 2015 se muestra en la figura 1. La comparación de errores cuadráticos (no mostrado) indica mejoras globales en torno al 30%.

fig 1-top.png
Fig. 1. Sesgo respecto a datos de satélite de la simulación global forzada con vientos de ERA5, icebergs, y corrientes GLORYS (panel superior) y la simulación de referencia, forzada con vientos de CFSR y sin icebergs ni corrientes (panel inferior) para el año 2015.

Fig. 1. Sesgo respecto a datos de satélite de la simulación global forzada con vientos de ERA5, icebergs, y corrientes GLORYS (panel superior) y la simulación de referencia, forzada con vientos de CFSR y sin icebergs ni corrientes (panel inferior) para el año 2015.

Este análisis a escala global y la reconstrucción histórica resultante ha permitido minimizar los errores en los datos de oleaje en aguas profundas y disponer de mejores condiciones de contorno para las mallas de detalle en zonas costeras. Adicionalmente, lecciones aprendidas de este análisis, como la importancia de corrientes y icebergs, van a resultar en mejoras en los sistemas operacionales de predicción de oleaje de Metservice. Esto permite proporcionar a los usuarios datos históricos y predicciones de oleaje de la mayor calidad posible.

Agradecimientos

Se agradece el apoyo a este estudio tanto de la armada de Nueva Zelanda (NZ Navy) como de la oficina de investigación naval (Office of Naval Research, ONR) por medio de la subvención NOOO14-17-S-B001.

Referencias

DURRANT, T., GREENSLADE, D., HEMER, M. y TRENHAM, C. (2014). “A Global Hindcast focussed on the Central and South Pacific”. CAWCR Technical Report , 46.

PEREZ, J., MENENDEZ, M. y LOSADA, I. J. (2017). “GOW2: A global wave hindcast for coastal applications”. Coastal Engineering, 124 , 1-11.

MetOcean Solutions’ ocean forecasting system presentation at OceanPredict’19 Symposium in Canada

Next week, Dr João Marcos Souza and Prof Moninya Roughan will be at OceanPredict ’19 Symposium in Halifax, Canada.

Metocean Solutions’ physical oceanographer Dr João Marcos Souza will present “New Zealand’s national ocean forecast system - present and future”, showcasing MetOcean’s sophisticated operational ocean forecasting capability. Based on international best practices with the current state-of-the-art science, the system combines a number of different ocean models and data dissemination platforms. It is designed for rapid deployment of high-resolution model domains and portability between different platforms.

 
General architecture concept of MetOcean’s operational system.

General architecture concept of MetOcean’s operational system.

 

“We will present some of the advances we are making in ocean circulation modelling, an overview of MetOcean’s operational system and capabilities, together with our ongoing developments and future plans,” says João. “It is a great opportunity to present the latest advances in New Zealand’s operational oceanography and engage with best practices implemented around the world.”

At the conference, Metocean Solutions’ Head of Research Partnerships Prof Moninya Roughan will be presenting the Moana Project. The Moana Project, led by Prof. Roughan, is a cross-institutional programme involving all the oceanographic research organisations in New Zealand, in collaboration with international experts from Australia and the United States. The project will shed new light on the performance of New Zealand’s oceans to support the seafood sector.

The OceanPredict ’19 Symposium, hosted by GODAE OceanView, is being held 6-10 May at Halifax Convention Centre, Canada. The event brings together oceanographic science, research and end-user communities to increase awareness of current ocean modelling capabilities, and to explore and define the direction of future operational ocean forecasting.

MetOcean Solutions is a division of New Zealand’s National Meteorological Service.

For more information, visit the conference website: oceanpredict19.org

The full abstracts are provided below.


New Zealand ocean forecast system - present and future

Azevedo Correia de Souza, Joao*, Soutelino, Rafael*, Durrant, Tom*, Couto, Phellipe*

New Zealand’s maritime domain is one of the largest on the planet, with an exclusive economic zone of approximately 4,300,000 km2 – about 15 times its land area. The seafood sector alone brings $4.18B to NZ annually. Offshore oil and gas exploration provides about 30% of the country’s consumption, from 21 petroleum licenses in the Taranaki basin. Moreover, tourism is a growing industry accounting for about 5.9% of the GDP and often related to the country’s coastal landscapes. Therefore, having a reliable ocean forecast system is of critical importance to the country’s economy and to the safety and resilience of the community and environment. This includes the capability to model and forecast ocean processes at a range of spatial and temporal scales. To accomplish this, a sophisticated system including different ocean models and data dissemination platforms has been developed. The system is designed for rapid deployment of high-resolution model domains, kept up to date with state-of-the-art techniques, and portability between different platforms. At the present, this system is mainly based on downscaling of global models (except for ocean waves) and a series of local nested model grids. A mix of “Regional Ocean Modeling System” (ROMS) and “Semi-implicit Cross-scale Hydroscience Integrated System Model” (SCHISM) domains are used to evaluate and predict ocean circulation and state properties, while “WAVEWATCH III” (WW3) and “Simulating Waves Nearshore” (SWAN) are used for simulating surface gravity waves down to harbour scales. A micro-service architecture based on docker and controlled by a built-for-purpose distributed workflow scheduler ensures a stable, highly-available system. New developments underway include the use of un-structured model grids, 4DVar data assimilation of global and local observations on a national scale, waves-circulation coupling, and the use of cloud-based computational resources. Focusing mainly on the ocean circulation modelling, a general description of the system and capabilities at Metocean are presented together with ongoing developments and future plans.

*MetOcean Solutions, division of Meteorological Service of New Zealand


The Moana Project: Seafood sector support for ocean data collection to improve ocean prediction in New Zealand

Roughan, Moninya*

New Zealand derives wealth and wellbeing from the ocean, including a seafood sector worth $4.18B annually, and yet, their oceans are very poorly understood. NZ lags other developed nations that have integrated ocean observing and modelling programmes, and cannot comprehensively measure, observe or predict the state of their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).  Ocean circulation drives the transport of larvae, determines population connectivity and impacts fisheries recruitment and abundance, all of which are being impacted by ocean warming and changes in circulation patterns.

Embracing ‘the Internet of Things’ concepts, we are developing a low-cost smart ocean sensor to be deployed throughout NZ’s EEZ by the seafood sector. With our industry partners; Seafood NZ, Deepwater Group, Paua (Abalone) and Rock Lobster Industry Councils, iwi (indigenous) and recreational fishing communities, we will revolutionise ocean data collection. The temperature profile data will be returned in near real time via the cell phone network (or satellite) and ingested into data assimilating ocean prediction models, leading to an open-access nationwide Ocean Analysis and Prediction System, delivered by the Meteorological Service. This disruptive technology approach is an exemplar for other marine nations with strong seafood sectors and under investment in the marine observing and modelling space. We show the benefit of partnering with end users to collect and return research quality datasets that are relevant for industry needs.

This project will provide a more complete picture of ocean temperatures, circulation and dynamics, and the relationships with fishery recruitment variability, aiding prediction. This project will underpin operational efficiencies, biosecurity protection, risk mitigation and economic growth for NZ’s seafood sector ensuring long-term sustainability.

*MetOcean Solutions, division of Meteorological Service of New Zealand



MetOcean Solutions at SCHISM workshop in Sacramento

Last week, Phellipe Couto attended the Special SCHISM training workshop held at the California Department of Water Resources, Sacramento 15-18 April 2019.

Phellipe is MetOcean Solutions’ physical oceanographer responsible for operationalising the SCHISM model (Semi-implicit Cross-scale Hydroscience Integrated System Model)  for Tasman and Golden Bay, New Zealand and Port Phillip Bay, southeastern Australia.

The Special SCHISM training workshop was designed for developers and advanced users, and approached the latest developments in SCHISM model.

Operational SCHISM is MetOcean Solutions’ powerful new capability in high resolution coastal hydrodynamics, improving forecast by well representing complex nearshore bathymetries.

 
Special SCHISM training workshop. Photo:   schism.wiki

Special SCHISM training workshop. Photo: schism.wiki

 

For more information about SCHISM model, visit schism.wiki.

Wave forecast model upgrades

MetOcean Solutions has released an upgrade in all regional and local scale operational wave models. This upgrade brings improvements to model skill throughout the forecast horizon.

Wave models are used to simulate the physical processes occurring in wave growth, wave breaking and wave propagation. The processes involved in describing the input from the wind and the dissipation from wave breaking are collectively referred to as the model source terms.

“New source terms (called ST6) have recently been implemented in the official release of the Simulating WAves Nearshore (SWAN) spectral wave model,” says MetOcean Solutions’ Senior Physical Oceanographer Dr Rafael Guedes. “These terms are based on field observations and incorporate some important new physical features, including airflow separation under strong wind forcing, swell dissipation and a better description of breaking dissipation.

“Our operational services rely extensively on SWAN. The new source terms represent a great improvement in the physical representation of wave generation and dissipation within our regional and local scale wave models.

“We have carefully calibrated and validated all our regional operational domains with the new physics,” continues Rafael. “Comparison against satellite altimeters and in-situ wave observations showed consistent improvements in our models across all major areas.”

Figure 1 and Figure 2 below show percentage changes in Root-Mean-Square-Deviation (RMSD) and scatter index (SI), two commonly-used measurements of wave model skills. Overall improvements are apparent as highlighted by the blue colours, with up to 30% decrease in RMSD and 11% decrease in SI with ST6 in some of these areas. The improvements are shown in more detail for MetOcean’s 5-km SWAN grid in Australia Northwest Shelf in Figures 3 and 4.

 
Figure 1. Percentage changes in Root-Mean-Square-Deviation (RMSD) between operational SWAN domains run with old and new SWAN physics. Blue and red indicate reduction and increase in RMSD respectively.

Figure 1. Percentage changes in Root-Mean-Square-Deviation (RMSD) between operational SWAN domains run with old and new SWAN physics. Blue and red indicate reduction and increase in RMSD respectively.

 
 
Figure 2. Percentage changes in Scatter Index (SI) between operational SWAN domains run with old and new SWAN physics. Blue and red indicate reduction and increase in SI respectively.

Figure 2. Percentage changes in Scatter Index (SI) between operational SWAN domains run with old and new SWAN physics. Blue and red indicate reduction and increase in SI respectively.

 
 
Figure 3. Validation against satellite altimeters of MetOcean Solutions’ 5km Australia Northwest Shelf SWAN domain using the old physics source terms. Overall scatter diagram and scatter density are shown at the top. Model bias and RMSD are presented at the bottom.

Figure 3. Validation against satellite altimeters of MetOcean Solutions’ 5km Australia Northwest Shelf SWAN domain using the old physics source terms. Overall scatter diagram and scatter density are shown at the top. Model bias and RMSD are presented at the bottom.

 
 
Figure 4. Validation against satellite altimeters of MetOcean Solutions’ 5km Australia Northwest Shelf SWAN domain using the new ST6 physics source terms. Overall scatter diagram and scatter density are shown at the top. Model bias and RMSD are presented at the bottom.

Figure 4. Validation against satellite altimeters of MetOcean Solutions’ 5km Australia Northwest Shelf SWAN domain using the new ST6 physics source terms. Overall scatter diagram and scatter density are shown at the top. Model bias and RMSD are presented at the bottom.

 

At MetOcean Solutions, a division of MetService, we continuously improve our models with the current state-of-the-art science to ensure the highest possible performance.



Moana Project opens 9 fully funded Ocean Sciences PhD positions in New Zealand

The Moana Project is a large cross-institutional team of researchers and PhD students who are exploring ocean dynamics and connectivity, including marine heat waves. New sensors for measuring will help us better understand and manage ocean warming impacts on our seafood industry. We will also explore how mātauranga Māori connects and inter-relates with this physical data.

As part of the Moana Project 9 fully funded PhD positions are available with the following project topics:

  1. Informing Iwi Interests: An effective cross-cultural ocean knowledge-exchange platform

  2. Māori as Oceanographers

  3. Marine heat waves around New Zealand: Identification and Causes

  4. High resolution regional modelling and connectivity around Kaikoura, NZ

  5. Nested Regional Modelling of Bay of Plenty - Diagnosing dynamics and circulation to understand Greenshell mussels connectivity

  6. Connectivity of 3 Kaimoana species at the national scale

  7. Kaikoura region abalone (paua) population genetics based on GBS-derived SNPs

  8. Connectivity of Greenshell mussels from national to regional scales - Population Genetics

  9. Connectivity of Greenshell mussels from national to regional scales - Microchemistry

The PhD students will contribute to New Zealand capacity-building in marine science and environmental resources management. The positions include full university fees plus a tax free stipend for 3 years of approximately $27,000 NZ, and some research expenses. Project topics, university and supervisor information are outlined in the link below. Candidates should be willing to start by July 2019.

The Moana Project, led by MetOcean Solutions, a division of Meteorological Service of New Zealand (MetService), was awarded $11.5 million over five years from the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Endeavour Fund and will shed new light on the performance of New Zealand’s oceans for an enduring seafood sector. The project was conceived through an industry-community-research partnership initiative, bringing together seafood sector data, Te Ao Māori knowledge, cutting-edge ocean sensing, and advanced numerical modelling to provide a reliable ocean forecast system to support marine industries.

For more information, visit www.moanaproject.org

Drifting wave buoys pass the Drake Passage

In February 2018, MetOcean Solutions deployed five solar powered wave buoys (Spotters) in the Southern Ocean in partnership with Spoondrift and the Defence Technology Agency. Now, one year later, these buoys have travelled more than 6500 km and are currently crossing the stormy waters of the Drake Passage, the body of water between South America’s Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands.

 
DRIFT TRACK AND SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHTS MEASURED OVER THE LAST year.

DRIFT TRACK AND SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHTS MEASURED OVER THE LAST year.

 

The Southern Ocean programme is helping understand waves in the region and their impact on the climate system. The operation was led by MetOcean Solutions’ Technical Support Liaison Dr Aitana Forcén-Vázquez, Principal Investigator for Physical Oceanography aboard the Research Vessel Tangaroa on the science voyage to Antarctica with NIWA and the University of Auckland.

“The buoys were deployed in the Southern Ocean, home to the strongest current on Earth; the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. The Southern Ocean is the circular ocean that flows uninterrupted around Antarctica and occupies almost one quarter of all the world’s oceans. It plays an important role in the climate system, cycling heat, carbon and nutrients. Persistent storms and the lack of landmass in the Southern Ocean result in large fetches and strong winds - ideal conditions for generating large waves,” states Forcén-Vázquez.

MetOcean Solutions’ Science Development Manager Dr Tom Durrant says, “The waves generated in this region have far reaching effects, contributing significantly to the wave climate in all the major ocean basins. The New Zealand West Coast, for example, is periodically battered by large swell systems generated in Southern Ocean storms.”

This is the first time that this kind of wave buoy has been deployed in the Southern Ocean. It is the perfect scenario to test the response of this new technology in an energetic open ocean. If effective however, they could revolutionise the way we monitor remote ocean basins through a constellation of drifting buoys.

 
The wave buoys (Spotters) deployment. Photo: Aitana Forcén-Vázquez.

The wave buoys (Spotters) deployment. Photo: Aitana Forcén-Vázquez.

 

“These buoys (Spotters) are surprisingly easy to deploy, very light and easy to handle, and can be lowered in the water by hand using a line. As a result, you can deploy them in almost any kind of conditions, which greatly facilitates Southern Ocean operations,” complements Forcén-Vázquez.

Spoondrift developed the Spotter buoy as a citizen sensor to drive distributed ocean sensing and democratized data access. Tim Janssen, CEO of Spoondrift, explains “The Spotter buoy is designed to be easy to use, low-cost and solar-powered. From the Spotter Dashboard the user can access data and change settings on the device. The current generation Spotters have a battery protection feature that triggers a hibernation mode during extreme temperatures and extended periods of darkness in the Southern Ocean winter. Spoondrift continuously innovates its technology to simplify deployments and provide high-latitude options to ensure continuous data acquisition in extreme conditions”.

In addition to the five drifting buoys, MetOcean has the world’s southernmost open ocean moored buoy which last year recorded the highest wave in the Southern Hemisphere.

In recognition of the importance of this programme of work, this data is freely available to the scientific community.

MetOcean Solutions is a science-based consultancy wholly owned by MetService. MetOcean specialise in providing numerical modelling and analytical services in meteorology and oceanography.

Scotia Boelee joins Moana Project team

We are delighted to welcome Scotia Boelee as Programme Manager for the Moana Project. With a science background and vast experience in commercial negotiations and project management at an executive level, Scotia will assist Prof. Moninya Roughan in establishing the Moana Project’s framework and structure to ensure the success of the project.

 
Scotia-metocean-solutions.jpg
 

The Moana Project, led by MetOcean Solutions, was awarded $11.5 million over five years from the Government’s Endeavour Fund and will shed new light on the performance of New Zealand’s oceans to support an enduring seafood sector (find more information here).

New Zealand is currently experiencing a marine heatwave with potential to affect the distribution and abundance of marine life (see more at Stuff’s news). The Moana Project will greatly advance our understanding of ocean circulation, marine population connectivity of kaimoana species and marine heatwaves, investigating the drivers and impacts of marine heatwaves to improve prediction.

General Manager of MetOcean Solutions Dr Brett Beamsley says the Moana Project, led by Prof. Moninya Roughan, is a cross-institutional programme involving all the oceanographic research organisations in New Zealand, in collaboration with international experts from Australia and the United States.

“One of our priorities at this stage is to ensure the project is well structured at the outset in order to maximise the potential for success of the project, both for MetOcean and MetService, and also for each of the project partners. Scotia’s knowledge and experience will assist us to continue delivering cutting-edge science to help underpin New Zealand’s blue economy. We are pleased to welcome her to the team.”

Scotia is an executive-level programme management and business case specialist with 26 years’ global experience. She has successfully influenced world-scale ventures and government organisations to think strategically and maximise both their commercial and research and development opportunities, whilst effectively mitigating and managing their HSSEQ and enterprise risk.

Following her MSc in Chemistry at University of Canterbury, Scotia completed an MSc in Gender at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2003.

“I am excited to be involved in a project as worthwhile as Moana,” she says.

Scotia is based in our New Plymouth office.