Skip to main content

Coastal Ocean and Shelf Seas (COSS-TT)


Starting in the mid-2000s, GODAE (Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment) fully embraced the importance of coastal ocean “intermediate users” of ocean forecasting products for coastal applications.  To address this need, the Coastal and Shelf Seas Working Group (CSSWG, 2006-2008) was established with the mission to bridge global and coastal prediction strategies by quantifying elements that demonstrate the value of GODAE results for regional, coastal and shelf seas models, and forecasting systems.  With the evolution of the initial GODAE phase to GODAE OceanView (GOV) in 2008, the CSSWG evolved into the Coastal Ocean and Shelf Seas Task Team.  The COSS-TT is now one of the OceanPredict Task Teams.

Terms of Reference:

“The main goal and central mission of the COSS-TT is to work within OceanPredict towards the provision of a sound scientific and expert basis for sustainable multidisciplinary downscaling and forecasting activities in the world’s regional and coastal oceans.  The strategic goal of the COSS-TT is to help achieve a truly seamless framework from the global to the coastal/littoral scale.  A major contribution is to address the particular challenges on monitoring and forecasting in coastal areas and regional seas, where the majority of human marine activities take place. As these are also the areas of enhanced exploitation of marine resources, the COSS-TT has a mission well aligned with society’s needs and benefits.”

The main disciplines considered within the TT are coastal ocean physics and interactions between physical and biogeochemical processes, but the TT has close ties with other OceanPredict Task Teams, and holds some of its meetings together with them.

The COSS-TT is an international team, with members from every continent.   It has through the years consolidated a broader coastal scientific community involved in developing and advancing methodologies supporting Coastal Ocean Forecasting Systems (COFS). The COSS-TT and its community meet approximately every 18 months. Meetings aim to bridge several communities and subcultures by addressing their specific questions together, as reflected by the target attendees

  • Global/regional ocean forecasters, in particular those already present in OceanPredict (e.g. on large-scale model assessment and improvement in coastal regions)
  • Coastal modellers, experts and scientists (our “core” community)
  • Experts in international ocean observing programs with a coastal component (e.g. on synergistic studies with coastal modellers and added value).



The COSS-TT is led by the co-chairs:


The COSS-TT aims to advance science and expertise in coastal regions in support of two categories of ocean forecasting systems.  First of all, obviously and centrally, the TT address Regional/Coastal Ocean Forecasting Systems (R/COFS), at several stages of development (scientific concept, pre-operational, operational).  However the TT also addresses the scientific and expert needs of Large-scale Ocean Forecasting Systems (LOFS), as long as they have stakes in coastal regions and shelf seas and/or as they aim to provide initial/boundary conditions for coastal models as part of downscaling or upscaling services.

Six international coordination meetings (2012-2018) have helped define broad priority topics where science and expertise are needed for those systems:

  • Monitoring of physical and biogeochemical parameters in coastal regions (in particular permanent/long-term), including linking with the active regional/coastal altimetry community and discussing how altimetry can improve the forecast quality and enable new applications in the regional/coastal oceans
  • Development of fine-scale coastal ocean models
  • Model-observations synergy in the coastal ocean:
    • Using observations to guide coastal model development and assessment
    • Using models to connect and interpret sparse coastal observations
    • Using coastal models to synthesize observations (data assimilation, machine learning)
    • Using models to design and optimize coastal observing systems (OSE, OSSE, array design)
  • Downscaling the ocean estimation problem from large-scale to coastal-scale models, data and forcings,
  • Coastal-scale atmosphere-waves-ocean couplings
  • Ecosystem response to the physical drivers
  • Risk assessment in the coastal ocean, including probabilistic and AI approaches, e.g. regarding extreme events.

The Task Team will continue to address these topics at future meetings, through special Activities, and in collaboration with other Task Teams.



Some COSS-TT activities are listed below:

  • Six task team meetings have been organized between 2012-2018 to share science and good practices, promote international networking and advance strategic planning.
  • A Coastal System Information Table has been compiled.
  • Six special sessions have been sponsored by the Task Team at AGU/Ocean Sciences Meetings (2008-2018); these have consolidated the outcomes of the TT workshops and allowed outreach to the broader scientific community. Most recent session: AGU-OSM / Portland, OR, USA / Feb 2018.
  • Two synthetic COSS Community papers from the 2013 Symposium have been published in Journal of Operational Oceanography.
  • We initiated the ARCOM initiative (Altimetry for Regional and Coastal Models) as a common activity between the TT and the CAW (Coastal Altimetry Workshop, , P. Cipollini). ARCOM co-chairs: C. Dufau (CLS) and J. Wilkin (Rutgers U.).
  • COSS-TT members contributed to the 25th Altimetry workshop in Azores (Oct. 2018):
  • COSS-TT co-chairs first-authored or co-authored several OceanObs (Honolulu, Sept. 2019) papers (De Mey-Frémaux et al., 2019; Davidson et al., 2019; Ponte et al., 2019)
  • We initiated an activity with the IV-TT: Class 4-based intercomparison of LOFS and R/COFS.
  • COSS-TT co-chairs are also members of the DA-TT and OSEval-TT.
  • The first COSS Topical Collection of 15 papers has been published in Ocean Dynamics, with presentations from TT meetings. The second COSS Topical Collection is in progress.
  • Co-chair V. Kourafalou is a Member of  JCOMM’s Inter-programme Expert Team on “Integrated Marine Meteorological and Oceanographic Services within WMO and IOC Information Systems” (IPET-MOIS); co-chaired by Eugene Burger (NOAA, USA) and Youlong Liu (NMDIS, China).
  • Both COSS-TT co-chairs are members of the org Steering Committee (an initiative proposed within the framework of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science).


Last updated – 10 October 2020










The COSS-TT co-chairs are strongly involved in CoastPredict, a UN Decade programme proposed by the international coastal community as a contribution to ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’.



Last updated – 10 October 2020


Latest update: 1 August 2023

No First name Last name Affiliation Country Status Substitute
1 Lucy Bricheno National Oceanographic Centre UK Member
2 Guillaume Charria Ifremer/ LOPS France Member
3 Byoung-Ju Choi Chonnam National University Korea Member
4 Mauro Cirano REMO, Rio de Janeiro Brazil Member
5 Pierre De Mey-Frémaux CNRS / LEGOS France Co-chair
6 Chris Edwards UC Santa Cruz USA Member
7 Ivan Federico CMCC Italy Member
8 Marcos Garcia Sotillo Puertos del Estado Spain Member
9 Michael Dunphy DFO Canada New member
10 Mike Herzfeld CSIRO, Hobart Australia Member
11 Naoki Hirose Kyushu University, Fukuoka Japan Member
12 Lars Hole Norway Member
13 Gan Jianping Hong Kong University of S&T China Member
14 Rob King Met Office UK Member
15 Villy Kourafalou University of Miami USA Co-chair
16 Alexander Kurapov NOAA USA Co-chair
17 Bruno Levier Mercator Ocean France Member
18 Paolo Oddo University of Bologna Italy Member
19 Nadia Pinardi University of Bologna Italy Member
21 Marie-Isabelle Pujol CLS France New member
21 Yeqiang Shu South China Institute of  Oceanography China Member
22 Emil Stanev HZG Germany Member
23 Joanna Staneva HZG Germany Member
24 Jennifer Veitch SAEON South Africa Member
25 Luyun Wu NMEFC China New member
26 Peter Zavialov P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology Russia New member

Patron champions:

Pierre-Yves Le Traon, Ifremer/Mercator Ocean, France



One major aspect of the COSS-TT is the provision of a communication and collaboration space for the COSS community in the form of meetings. This has been proven to be very successful and has seen a consistent increase in participation.

During the Covid pandemic all meetings are held online as virtual events.

COSS-TT meetings Date Location
COSS-TT meeting (International Coordination Meeting 9) 2-4 May 2023 Montréal, Canada (in-person meeting )
COSS-TT Members’ meeting 13 April 2022 Virtual meeting, MS Teams (by invitation)
COSS-TT meeting (now online) 12 & 13  April 2022 Virtual meeting, MS Teams (by invitation)
1st COSS-TT online meeting 9-11 June 2021 Virtual meeting, MS Teams


Since 2012, the COSS-TT held six F2F meetings

Meeting history (under GODAE OceanView)

→ Meeting 2018 (Madrid)

→ Meeting 2017 (Cape Town)

→ Meeting 2015 (Lisbon)

→ Meeting 2014 (Puerto Rico)

→ Meeting 2013 (Lecce, Italy)

→ Meeting 2012 (Miami, USA)


Meeting reports:


Last updated – 10 October 2020

COSS-TT System Information Table (SIT)

The latest update (xlsx-file) of the COSS-TT system information table or SIT is the collection of the coastal forecasting and analysis systems represented in the Coastal & Shelf Seas Task Team.

The current systems represented on the SIT are:

System Institute/ Country
NYHOPS: New York Harbor Observation and Prediction System Jupiter Intelligence, USA
PCOMS: Portuguese Coastal Operational Modelling System MARETEC, Portugal
TagusMouth (operational model) MARETEC, Portugal
MARC (Modelling and Analyses for Coastal Research) / ILICO (Coastal Ocean and Nearshore Observation Research Infrastructure) Ifremer, France
CMEMS Med-MFC: Mediterranean Forecasting Systems CMCC OGS HCMR, Italy-Greece
OceanSar CMCC, Italy
Adriatic-SHYFEM/WW3 CMCC, Italy
SWITCH – Georgia Coasts (US) CMCC/GeorgiaTech, Italy/USA
CNAPS North Carolina State University, USA
DREAMS: Data assimilation Research of the East Asian Marine System RIAM, Kyushu University, Japan
IBI Regional Ocean forecast for North Atlantic (Ireland, Biscay, Iberia) Mercator Ocean International, NoLogin, France/Spain
BSH Operational Model System Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH), Germany
Medslik-II CMCC, Italy
InfoWas: Ensemble data assimilation research in a physical-biogeochemical coupled model system for the North and Baltic Sea AWI & BSH, Germany
CMEMS BS-MFC: Black Sea Monitoring and Forecasting Center CMCC, ULIEGE, HZG, NIHWM, USOF, IO-BAS, Bulgaria, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Romania
SAMOA Puertos del Estado, Spain
FORCOAST Black Sea Coastal System HEREON Institute for Coastal Systems, Germany
COSYNA (Coastal Observation System for Northern and Arctic Seas), 3 nested models,
* North Sea Baltic Sea model (5 km)
* German Bight model (1 km , varying unstructured-grid)
* Estuarine model ( varying unstructured-grid)
HEREON Institute for Coastal Systems, Germany
NEMO-FOAM Met Office, UK
High Resolution Data Assimilative Model for Coastal and Shelf Sea around China Institute of Atmospheric Physics/Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

The table provides a good overview of the activities and operational efforts that are going on in the COSS community system, by specifying the following categories:

System /project System name/ contact name
Affiliated organisation
Detailed description
Domain / geographical area
Objectives Reason for setting up system
System/ project status
Products / output
Assessment strategies Quality checks
Data used
Use of large-scale  products Used large-scale products
Downscaling approaches
Applications Application examples
PICO Phenomena of interest (POI)



The regional and coastal ocean, as a complex interface area where land, hydrology, atmosphere, and ocean interact, concentrates a wide range of actors dealing with increasing socioeconomic and environmental issues. Forecasting the coastal ocean remains a key challenge, also in view of climate change impacts.

A list of all OceanPredict related publications can be found here (to search for the papers below enter “Topical collection”)


COSS-TT Topical Collection – part II
(published May 2021)

The International Coastal Ocean and Shelf Seas Task Team (COSS-TT) community within the OceanPredict program ( former GODAE OceanView) fosters multidisciplinary research efforts dedicated to the coastal ocean from the land/ocean interface to the shelf/open ocean exchange regions, in support of regional and coastal ocean forecasting. Following the first topical collection (De Mey et al. 2017), this second one offers research conducted within the COSS-TT themes.

The 2nd COSS-TT Topical Collection has been published in Ocean Dynamics

The papers published in the 2nd COSS-TT Topical Collection are listed below:

  • Coastal Ocean Forecasting Science supported by GODAE OceanView Coastal Oceans and Shelf Seas Task Team (COSS-TT)—Part II, Mauro Cirano, Guillaume Charria, Pierre De Mey-Frémaux
  • Multi-platform model assessment in the Western Mediterranean Sea: impact of downscaling on the surface circulation and mesoscale activity, Eva Aguiar, Baptiste Mourre, Mélanie Juza, Emma Reyes
  • High-resolution modelling of a coastal harbour in the presence of strong tides and significant river runoff, Jean-Philippe Paquin, Youyu Lu, Stephanne Taylor, Hauke Blanken
  • Structure and dynamics of undercurrents in the western boundary current of the Bay of Bengal, Pavanathara Augustine Francis, Abraham Kaduvathazham Jithin
  • Interactions between barotropic tides and mesoscale processes in deep ocean and shelf regions, Emil Vassilev Stanev, Marcel Ricker
  • Development of a 2-km resolution ocean model covering the coastal seas around Japan for operational application, Kei Sakamoto, Hiroyuki Tsujino, Hideyuki Nakano, Shogo Urakawa
  • Observations of near-inertial oscillations along the Brazilian continental shelf break, Pedro Paulo de Freitas, Felipe de Luca Lopes Amorim…
  • Temperature assimilation into a coastal ocean-biogeochemical model: assessment of weakly and strongly coupled data assimilation, Michael Goodliff, Thorger Bruening, Fabian Schwichtenberg, Xin Li
  • Realistic modelling of shelf-estuary regions, Martinho Marta-Almeida, Guilherme C. Lessa, Alessandro L. Aguiar
  • Development of a new operational system for monitoring and forecasting coastal and open-ocean states around Japan, Nariaki Hirose, Norihisa Usui, Kei Sakamoto, Hiroyuki Tsujino

TT quad-charts

The task team quad-chart provides a quick glance at the TT’s activities, achievements and future plans.


Coastal- and Shelf Seas Task Team (COSS-TT) – May 2021
Short description and objectives of the activities started or planned for this year:
Accomplishments of the TT this year:
Main activities:

Long-term objectives (reviewed at meetings):

  • FA1: Continue general TT work on targeted science to enable/support the development of COFS and applications and meet priority challenges
  • FA2: Work towards better integration between COFS and LOFS via downscaling, illustrate added value via consistent metrics
  • FA3: Link with the active regional/coastal altimetry community and accompany the jumps in resolution and in “information forcing” towards extending prediction capabilities of COFS

The objectives of the TT will be revised in 2021-2022, starting with the June 2021 COSS-TT strategy meeting (see below) and OPST meeting.

Main achievements:

  • Because of the Covid-19 crisis, ICM-7 could not be held in April, 2020 in Montréal, Canada as expected. It is planned in face-to-face format in the Spring of 2022.
  • In 2021, one (or possibly two) online COSS-TT meeting(s) is/are planned (see bottom left).
  • In 2019-2020, the TT wrote a peer-reviewed OceanPredict’19 review article in Front. Mar. Sci. and co-authored 2 others.
  • A second COSS Topical Collection in Ocean Dynamics strong of 10 articles (including an Editorial) has been completed in 2021.
  • The TT co-chairs contributed significantly to the writing of two programme proposals in response to the UN Decade of Ocean Science: CoastPredict (co-chair: V.Kourafalou) and ForeSea.
Future plans to continue/ improve current activities:
Issues/ problems:
Main future plans:

  • A COSS-TT strategy meeting themed upon “The COSS-TT in the UN Ocean Decade” is scheduled online on 9-11 June 2021.
  • ICM-7 is scheduled for the Spring of 2022, in Montréal (Canada). Local host is ECCC on behalf of CONCEPTS.
Main issues:

  • The Covid-19 crisis led to postpone ICM-7 in face-to-face format by two years.