The Scottish Shelf Model

The Scottish Shelf Model

Project Dates: 
January, 2016 to March, 2020
Project Summary: 

Marine Scotland has led the development of a Finite Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM) of Scottish continental shelf waters, the Scottish Shelf Model (SSM). The initial model development was contracted out by the Scottish Government to CH2M Hill who worked on the project in conjunction with the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), Liverpool. The project was completed at the start of 2016. Marine Scotland Science (MSS) is now the custodian of the SSM and is continuing to develop it and integrate it with their existing FVCOM models. The vision is for the model, and the model outputs, to be available to the wider marine science community.

The model domain covers the Scottish continental shelf at relatively high resolution (up to 1 km node spacing at the coastline) but also covers most of UK waters, the North Sea and the English Channel. The domain extends in latitude from approximately 13° W to 13° E, including the Baltic Sea. In addition to this large domain Scottish Shelf Model, a number of smaller domain case studies have been developed, covering areas of interest to specific socio-economic sectors such as aquaculture and marine renewable energy. These sub-models have a higher spatial resolution, which is necessary to adequately understand the complex physical processes within these areas. To date the case studies that have been fully integrated into the SSM are

  1. Wider Loch Linnhe System (WLLS)
  2. East Coast of Lewis and Harris (ECLH)
  3. Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters (PFOW)
  4. St. Magnus Bay, Shetland (SMB)

MSS are currently working on integrating a number of other case studies including

  1. The Firth of Forth and Tay region (FFT) developed by MSS
  2. The Moray Firth developed by MSS
  3. The Clyde and North Channel developed by Strathclyde University

The image across shows the domain of the SSM and case studies I – IV, which are fully integrated. A number of short duration model runs, for specific time periods, have been conducted with the SSM and the case studies in order to validate each model against measurements. In addition to these short model runs the SSM has been run for one year using climatological forcing (a thirty year average) which represents an ‘average’  year. Climatological runs of the case studies have also been performed, for either 6 months or 1 year durations.

This page is part of: 
SSM and case study domains