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Operations such as seismic surveys require good knowledge of local currents, especially off the Northern coast of Brazil, where the North Brazil current system wreaks havoc. In this case study, an ocean general circulation model.




             Figure 1: North Brazil Current System


Marine operations such as drilling or seismic surveying require a good knowledge of local currents, especially for planning deep-water interventions or flute deployment.

A 2D/3D vision is necessary when a synoptic understanding of the dynamics is required. This can only be provided by models. However, the quality of models needs to be controlled by EO data.


EO ocean color data is to a certain extent a passive tracer. The qualitative information contained in the data allows CLS to trace the principle dynamic features in some region of the world where the open ocean productivity is low. This is the case in the North Brazil current system, where primary productivity is predominantly coastal.

CLS superimposes EO data with model streamlines to see if the large scale circulation within the model is in keeping with the dynamic observed.


       Figure 2: Ocean model current streamlines  overaid on EO ocean colour data



CLS produces maps on a daily basis allowing operation manager to quickly gauge the quality of the model currents.

These show whether or not the export of coastally produced Chlorophyll  match the flow fields calculated from model data.

With at least a year worth of data, operations managers have an indication of the seasonal variability in the model quality.

CLS has over 25 years of experience in delivering data and services to customers all over the world. With a staff of 470, in France and abroad, CLS offers services in environmental monitoring, maritime security, and management of marine resources to a broad range of professionals including government, industry and the scientific community, and maintains an operational center with expert support 24/7. Since 2001, CLS has developed services for the oil & gas industry based on its built-in expertise on data collection, radar imagery or numerical modelling. For the EO4OG Project, CLS leads a consortium composed of METEO GROUP and NERSC. Tullow Oil kindly supports the team as a consultant.


Dr. Marc Lucas,


 PDF version available here.

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