Articles | Volume 8, issue 4
Research article
31 Aug 2012
Research article |  | 31 Aug 2012

An operational model for the West Iberian coast: products and services

M. Mateus, G. Riflet, P. Chambel, L. Fernandes, R. Fernandes, M. Juliano, F. Campuzano, H. de Pablo, and R. Neves

Abstract. This paper presents the structure and application of a regional scale operational modelling tool for the West Iberian coast, and discusses its potential for products and services for both scientific and coastal management activities. The forecasting suite includes nested hydrodynamic models forced with up-to-date meteorological forecast data and large-scale model results. The present status of the system and its recent upgrades are reviewed, offering a general description of the main components of the system: the forcing data, the circulation model, the model outputs and the validation methodology of model results. Seasonal differences in temperature, salinity and current velocity fields are illustrated and show satisfactory reproduction of the top and deep layer thermodynamics. The system provides boundary forcing for a number of local-scale model applications via downscaling of the solution and enables potential products and services from which civil society will benefit.