Oceanographic modelling in Chile

The main goal with this project is to study water contact and dispersion of particles in Health Management Areas (HMA) numbers 9 and 10, using a high-resolution ocean model.

SINMOD is a 3D coupled model system that has been developed and used at SINTEF since 1987. The main modules in SINMOD are a 3D hydrodynamic model and an ecosystem model for the lower trophical levels in the marine ecosystem. The model has been applied for many studies in the Nordic and Arctic Seas. This work also involves downscaling the SINMOD and establishing high resolution models for fjords and coastal areas. These downscaled models have improved the knowledge of general features of the near shore currents for local industry and government.

In the same project a particle module in SINMOD has been used as a basis for Langrangian models for sealice and the dispersion of virus. The hydrodynamic module of SINMOD does not, in itself, need any specific adaption to be used for the coast of Chile. The main work in establishing the hydrodynamic model is to collect data on bathymetry, river runoff and atmospheric data that are needed to run the model. Once established, the model must be evaluated by comparing results from the model with available data on temperature, salinity and currents.


The Consortium:
Antarfood S.A.
AquaChile S.A.
Holding and Trading S.A.
Marine Harvest Chile S.A.
Mainstream Chile S.A.
Productos del Mar Ventisqueros S.A.
Salmones Antartica S.A.
Salmones Camanchaca S.A.
Salmones Multiexport S.A.

This project is funded by the consortium and SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture

Project management is by AVS Chile, by fisheries engineer Javier Unibazo


General Objective

To develop a high resolution oceanographic model focusing on dispersion of sea lice and viruses.

Specific Objectives:

1) To develop 3D current simulation model for the Health Management Areas (HMA) numbers 9 and 10, with 160 meters horizontal resolution.
2) To simulate the dispersion of sea lice and viruses with the model.
3) To describe the rate of contact between salmon farming sites for both sea lice and viruses.
4) To develop a web based interface with the presentation of the resulting data from the model.


The oceanographic model will be initialized with input data of temperature and salinity and then forced with wind and other atmospheric data such as air temperature and radiation as well as fresh water supply. With this input, an 800 meters resolution model will be run in order to produce the boundary conditions for a 160 meters resolution model. The 160 meters resolution model will be run for a chosen period covering one year. Data will be collected from companies participating in The Consortium and other available data from relevant sources. Particles will be released to simulate sea lice and viruses and the movement will be tracked around the 160 meter model to produce an influence matrix that states the rate of water contact between all registered sites in the area.


A memo on the progress of the project so far was sent out in January 2013. Log in to download.


Bottom depth [m] for the model with 800 m resolution. This model is coupled to the 160 m model for the Chilean Inland Sea approximately between 42 and 43 degrees south.

Bottom depth [m] for the model with 160 m resolution. Numbers on the axis are grid points in the model.

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