Skip to content


TOSCA - Towards Operational Size-class Assimilation

North West European Shelf

Completed project

Project start: March 2016  |  Project end: February 2018
Funder: EC
Principal Investigator: Dr Stefano Ciavatta
Other participants from PML: Benjamin Taylor, Dr Jozef Skakala, Dr Robert Brewin, Dr Stefano Ciavatta

This project will evolve the capability of CMEMS to monitor and simulate biogeochemical indicators of the health of European shelf-seas, by developing the first system assimilating ocean colour data of size-class chlorophyll (SCC) into pre-operational ecosystem models. This project goes beyond state-of-the-art operational models, which assimilate ocean colour data of total chlorophyll, and which are currently challenged by simulating reliably the phytoplankton groups and their biogeochemical and ecological feedbacks.

The new assimilation system will be an upgrade to the operational model in use at the CMEMS North West Shelf (NWS) Monitoring and Forecasting Centre (MFC). Firstly, a new algorithm will produce time series of SCC in the NWS; secondly, an operational assimilation system will be upgraded to assimilate SCC; thirdly, the new system will be applied to produce a quality- assessed pre-operational reanalysis of biogeochemical indicators in the NWS. We expect the approach to be exportable to other CMEMS MFCs and to support CMEMS in assessing the state of the ocean. Ultimately, by enhancing CMEMS capability to monitor and simulate biogeochemical indicators, this project will evolve both the ability of end-users to achieve their requirements and marine policy to safeguard marine ecosystems through cutting-edge CMEMS products.