Marine Observation and Prediction Laboratory

The Marine Observation and Prediction Laboratory is addressing the many challenges facing estuarine and coastal communities – including natural and man-made hazards by improving our ability to detect, understand, predict, and respond to changes to the marine environment.

A knowledge of the existing conditions within New York Harbor and the coastal waters of New York and New Jersey are obtained via a network of real-time harbor sensors. This system, designed and operated by CMS researchers, is part of the national Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) and provides continuous observations regarding present ocean and weather conditions throughout the region. The network provides a test-bed for emerging ocean observation platforms, including CTD, water level, and atmospheric sensors, wave gauges, CODAR surface radar, and model driven UUV sensors.

Robust dynamic data sampling techniques such as autonomous model controlled event detection and power/data transfer optimization schemes are continuously pursued. Modeling systems for estuarine and coastal ocean nowcasts and forecasts are being constantly refined to provide the most  accurate realizations possible of the marine environment. The enhancement of model accuracy is being addressed through the assimilation of observations provided in real time to the hydrodynamic model. A Newtonian relaxation scheme (nudging), incorporating spatially variable correlation scales, is being tested for tidal and estuarine settings and considers water level, salinity and temperature observations as well as CODAR based surface currents. The utility of Local Ensemble Transform Kalman Filtering (LETKF) is also being assessed.

The basis of the modeling systems is the Princeton Ocean Model (POM) and its shallow water derivative model, ECOMSED (Estuarine and Coastal Ocean Model with Sediment Transport). It is the modeling engine for the Laboratory’s New York Harbor Observing and Prediction System and the NJ Coastal Observation and Prediction System (NYHOPS+NJCOPS). The system  is a real-time observation and forecasting system that provides continuous information regarding both present and 48 hour forecasted ocean and weather conditions. The data and model forecasts are disseminated to the public at Stevens Institute of Technology Dive Safety Manual.

Point of Contact: Dr. Thomas O. Herrington (