Oceanic Drift Models


Oceanic Drift Models

Most of the marine economy sector relies on human activities taking place at the ocean surface:  maritime transport, fisheries, oil & gas exploitation, maritime tourism. For protecting marine and coastal environments, while ensuring safe activities at the ocean surface, drift modelling estimation constitutes an efficient decision tool.

Since 2009, CLS (Collecte Localisation Satellites) has developed and maintains a suite of drift models named MOBIDRIFT, allowing the simulation of object drift at sea. It addresses several types of applications thanks to four specific modules: icebergs, particles (oil spill, algae, litter), search & rescue and containers. This drift model suite is forced by environmental data to calculate the impact on the modelled object.


The objective of the Oceanic Drift Models pilot is to take advantage of the NextGEOSS platform to enhance the actual service by:


  1. Using the NextGEOSS data hub to access the environmental products of the Copernicus marine core service and the CLS Datastore for preparing the environmental forcing fields
  2. Taking advantage of the NextGEOSS cloud infrastructure to improve the performance of the drift model and allow ensemble model simulation
  3. Allow access to the end-user to a scalable service of object drift at sea through a simple web-based application

The online-drift service can be applied to the case of sargassum algae in the French Caribbean, the plastic in the Mediterranean Sea, or the icebergs in the Antarctic Ocean.


Comming soon!


The drift model is not bound to a specific geography. Drift simulations can be requested on the global ocean.

Global Ocean Physics Analysis and Forecast from CMEMS data provider: surface and in-depth current, surface temperature, under CLS/CNES Fes2014 tidal current and NCEP – NOAA wind forecasts accessible from CLS data provider.

Local and regional communities, maritime transport, sea users, among others.

The Oceanic Drift Models pilot enabled:

  • A web-based service on CLS community portal providing access to a powerful drift modelling tool through a SOAP protocol. This drift model as a service shall enable users to simulate applications such as drifting of icebergs, particles (oil spill, algae, litter) and containers. The web interface allows the user to select its object type, set the environmental conditions and request for an online drift simulation in real-time. The system is scalable to allow several users to send their request simultaneously
  • One year of environmental data is available for the user to request for object drift simulations.
    One month simulation of an Iceberg in the Antarctic Ocean
  • Results of a 5-day simulation of sargassum mats in the Caribbean Sea

Learn more about the pilot results at NextGEOSS Catalogue/Thematic Areas/Marine.