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Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center > Coastal Model Applications and Field Measurements > Research Activities > IOOS

Coastal Model Applications and Field Measurements

Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) data infrastructure development

The IOOS is a national ocean sensing and modeling collaboration between 11 regional associations and 17 federal agencies.  The data search, access and use requirements of this community make it an ideal microcosm for understanding and addressing the data issues faced by USGS and collaborators as well as the larger international geoscience community.  We have been working closely with the IOOS system architect at NOAA to help develop and build the system.  In 2014 the first community standard for unstructured (e.g. triangular) grid model results was developed (, which should allow unstructured grid model data to rise to the same level of interoperability as structured grid model data. Advances were made on toolboxes that take advantage of these standards for both Matlab ( and Python ( Also in 2014 IOOS launched a system-wide project that seeks to demonstrate and test the existing data infrastructure using a use case approach (   The USGS has been closely involved, helping federal and regional partners deliver standardized web services that support these tests and developing reproducible science notebooks that demonstrate interoperable search, access and use (  Dr. Rich Signell is also the primary interface between the IOOS Modeling Testbed and the Cyberinfrastructure Group.  (

Colored maps of water levels

Maps of simulated water levels from three different models (ADCIRC, SELFE and FVCOM) with unstructured grids displayed by the NCTOOLBOX script demos/contrib/test_ugrid3.m. The script takes advantage of the UGRID conventions to access and display data from different unstructured grid models without any model-specific code. Any UGRID-compliant model could be displayed.

Colored line graph of water levels

Screen shot of output from a reproducible Ipython Notebook comparing observed and forecast water levels. This IOOS system test demonstration searches for data using a standardized catalog search function, which returns ISO metadata records which contain standardized web data service links. Data is then extracted using the service links, interpolated onto the same time base, where model skill-assessment can be quantitatively determined.

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