Coastal circulation on-demand forecast


The OPENCoastS service assembles on-demand circulation forecast systems for selected coastal areas and keeps them running operationally for a period defined by the user. This service generates daily forecasts of water levels and vertically averaged velocities over the region of interest for 48 hours, based on numerical simulations of the relevant physical processes.

More Information



The OPENCoastS service is available in:

The users manual is available here.

The use of the service is freely available, but a registration is needed at this site.


- a hands-on demo on the OPENCoastS platform.

- a presentation on the platform.

A hands-on course was given at the IMUM 2018 workshop. Materials from the course are provided in the Dissemination section.

An e-tutorial on OPENCoastS was given in the 13rd of december onsite, by videoconferencing and by webstreaming. See the Dissemination section for the recorded classes.

For more information, please contact Anabela Oliveira (


A. Azevedo, A.B. Fortunato, J. Teixeira, J. Rogeiro, A. Oliveira, M. Rodrigues, J. Gomes, M. David e J. Pina (2018). – Serviço de previsão em tempo real a pedido para a circulação na ZEE portuguesa, Atas das 5as Jornadas de Engenharia Hidrográfica, I.H. (eds), 105-108.

A.B. Fortunato, A. Oliveira, J. Rogeiro, J. Teixeira, A. Azevedo, J. Gomes, M. David, J. Pina, 2018. Generation of operational forecasts on demand: the OPENCoastS platform, 17thIMUM Book of Abstracts,

João Rico, José Barateiro, António Silva, João Rogeiro, Alberto Azevedo, Anabela Oliveira - "Digital preservation challenges and methodology using Cloud resources - the OPENCoastS case study", EUDAT Conference - Putting the EOSC vision into practice, 1 pp,

Teixeira, J., Fortunato, A. B., Rogeiro, J., Azevedo, A., Rodrigues, M., Oliveira, A. (2018). Previsão em tempo real a pedido na costa portuguesa - O serviço e sua demonstração na circulação da Ria Formosa. Atas do 14º Congresso da água -Gestão dos Recursos Hidricos:Novos Desafios, 16 pp.

Teixeira, J.; Rogeiro, J.; Oliveira, A.; Fortunato, A. B.; Azevedo, A.; Rodrigues, M.; Gomes, J.; David, M. (2017). – serviço de previsão em tempo real a pedido para a circulação e agitação maritima na costa portuguesa, Atas das 9ªs Jornadas Portuguesas de Engenharia Costeira e Portuária, 19 pp.



OPENcoastS e-Tutorial: from processes knowledge to on-demand circulation forecasts - 13th of December

LNEC and its EOSC-Hub partners organized a detailed course on OPENCOastS on the 13th of December. This course covered all the relevant topics to help everyone using the service.

The course was conducted on site in Portugal at LNEC's room 2 of the Conference Center, in Spain at University of Cantabria (Civil Engineering School, classroom 25) and in France at the University of La Rochelle. It was also available through weconferencing (colibri) and webstreaming

Program (all hours are CET, minus one hour for PT):

9:45-10:00 Welcome and reception of onsite and videoconference participants

Morning: 10:00-13:30

Welcome and quick explanation on the course (LNEC)
T1 - Coastal processes (UC) (part1, part2 and part3)
10 min break
T2 - Understanding and using Model SCHISM (CNRS/UR) (part1, part2 and part3)
T3 - Generation of triangular finite element grids for coastal models (LNEC) (part1 and part2)
Online quiz: T1-T3 (Link)

Lunch break 13:30-15:00

Afternoon: 15:00-17:25

T4 - Forecast systems: an overview (LNEC) (Link)
T5 - The OPENCoastS service (LNEC) (part1, part2, part3, part4, part5 and part6)
10 min break
T6 - E-infrastructures and how can we use them (LIP) (Link)
Online quiz: T4-T6 (Link)
Final round of questions
Evaluation request (Link) and closure (LNEC)

The flyer of the course is available here

During the IMUM 2018 workshop, a hands-on tutorial on OPENCoastS was given. Tutorial, Hands-on.

Public presentations (slides in the links):

Presentation at the 9th PIANC Workshop

Presentation at the 14th National Water Congress

Presentation at the 3rd AIR Centre High Level Industry-Science-Government Dialogue




Anabela Oliveira, João Rogeiro, Joana Teixeira, André Fortunato, Alberto Azevedo, Marta Rodrigues, Pedro Lopes

Jorge Gomes, Mário David, João Pina, Luís Alves

Xavier Bertin, Laura Lavaud

Sonia Castanedo, Fernando Mendez, Ana Rueda, Alba Ricondo


Provided by

Provide by

Supported by

Supported by

Funded by

Funded by



- NOAA - for providing GFS atmospheric forecasts
- FES2014 developers - for providing FES2014 results
- EMODnet Physics - for providing elevation stations data


Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil
Av. do Brasil, 101
1700-066 LISBOA

Anabela Oliveira

218 443 631


Forecast systems are fundamental components of emergency response and routine management of coastal regions. They provide coastal managers and all entities that have responsibilities on the coast with accurate and timely predictions on water conditions (e.g., water levels and velocities, wave characteristics), supporting multiple uses such as navigation, water monitoring, port operations, dredging works and construction activities on the coast. Simultaneously, they are an indispensable tool for emergency agents and civil protection authorities by anticipating natural disasters (e.g., floods, storm surges and algae blooms), predicting the impacts of anthropogenic accidents in the coast (e.g. oil and chemical spills) and helping in search and rescue operations. For over 10 years LNEC has been developing and deploying a forecast framework, denoted WIFF – Water Information Forecast Framework, applicable from the ocean to the hydrographic basin, including the urban interface.

However, the development of forecast systems requires not only a strong knowledge of coastal processes but also of information technology, along with access to significant computational and storage resources. The setup and maintenance of these systems constitutes therefore a major difficulty for many coastal research groups. Before the EOSC-Hub H2020 project, services for generic deployment of forecast frameworks at user-specified locations were not yet available.

To overcome this limitation, LNEC, LIP, CNRS/LR and UC have developed the OPENCoastS service which builds on-demand circulation forecast systems for user-selected sections of the coast and maintain them running operationally for the timeframe defined by the user. This daily service generates forecasts of water levels and 2D velocities (and wave parameters in the near future) over the spatial region of interest for periods of 48 hours, based on numerical simulations of all relevant physical processes. Presently, all forecasts are made with the model SCHISM (

Goals and requirements for the forecast on-demand service include:

- it should be accessible through a simple Web interface with both users manual and a hands-on demo available;

- it should be flexible, in the choice of the model, forcings and domain of application;

- it should be modular and allow fast updates on models, integration of new forcings. It should also allow fast replication of a on-going deployment to new parametrizations or new choices of forcings, without building form scratch;

- it should provide authomatic comparison with available on-line data on the domain of choice, to provide quality control and user trust on the simulations

- it should provide the possibility to share deployment results in an open way or to a restricted group of users to promote open data and joint research by several groups, and joint decision making by management authorities

The Architectureof the service, including both frontend and backend is shown here:

Fig 1. Architecture of OPENCoastS service


Fig 2. OPENCoastS workflow

Presently, all forecasts in OPENCoastS are made with the model SCHISM ( SCHISM is an open-source community-supported
modelling system based on unstructured grids, designed for the seamless simulation of 3D baroclinic circulation across lake/river/estuary/shelf/ocean scales (Zhang et al., 2016).

OPENCoastS allows for a suite of forcing options and provides access to the forecast results through a simple viewer that comprises maps of forecasted variables and charts of model data comparison at monitoring stations as well as time series of model results at virtual sensors (e.g. locations selected by the user):

Fig 3. OPENCoastS platform: architecture and interfaces

OPENCoastS is supported by LNEC's real time forecast framework WIFF - Water Information Forecast Framework ( WIFF started to be developed at LNEC in 2007 for the 2D circulation at the Aveiro lagoon  (Oliveira et al., 2010). It was expanded to short wave propagation in the North Atlantic and Portuguese coasts in 2010  (Ribeiro et al., 2010) and to coupled wave-current circulation in 2016  (Fortunato et al., 2017) as well as 3D baroclinic predictions (Rodrigues et al., 2016). It also includes the circulation and water quality due to urban discharges (David et al. 2015).

OPENCoastS is supported by the EGI computational resources, through project H2020 EOSC-Hub, being available as one of its thematic services (