The GdRI-South CROCO-South, which is part of the IRN project CROCO, organised from October 17 to 28 its first Summer School in Cape Town, South Africa, one of its partner countries. 


The Coastal and Regional Ocean COmmunity (CROCO) model is a modelling platform for the regional and coastal ocean, using realistic or idealized multiscale approaches. To date there are more than a thousand registered users of CROCO, including around 50% coming from countries in the South, and others spread between Europe and the USA.

The GdRI-South "CROCO-Sud", as its name implies, is the part of the IRN project CROCO that focuses on partner countries in the South. In order to strengthen links between the French CROCO partners network and the one in the South, as well as the South-South CROCO partners network, Aworkshops and training session are organised.

For the very first time, this initiative took place in South Africa, as a Summer School in 2 cycles.

© IRD - Lionel Renault

The first week of the CROCO Summer School was devoted to introductory courses, whereas the second week was targeting a more skilled audience.

The Summer School was hosted at the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) in South Africa, which allowed students to access computing resources. All lectures have been streamed live on YouTube, to enable non-selected students to have access to the presentations. All the lectures will also be posted on the official websites of the IRN CROCO project and of the GdRI-South CROCO-Sud.

Participants CROCO Summer School first week

© IRD - Lionel Renault

Regarding the first week, out of a hundred applications received, about twenty students were selected to participate in the Summer School in person and about ten students were selected to attend it virtually.

Lectures and practical works were led byS. Illig (LEGOS), J. Veitch (SAEON), A. Sepulveda (Universidad de Concepcion), G. Morvan (LEGOS), R. Benshila (LEGOS), C. Ethé (LOCEAN), R. Person (LOCEAN), F. Desbiolles (Université de Milan), et L. Renault (LEGOS).

The students were able to develop their own configurations of the CROCO ocean model onto their preferred regions and to test different ways of forcing the model, ranging from climatological to interannual dimensions, as well as taking into account river inputs.

Various tools were also presented such as independent Lagrangian floats and a Linux environment emulator with CROCO and all necessary libraries pre-installed (developed by A. Sepulveda).

Participants CROCO Summer School second week

© IRD - Lionel Renault

During the second week (aimed at a public with more advanced skills in the field), the lectures were divided into a theoretical part, with presentations by the speakers and a practical part, with tutorials. These courses were given:

  • on-site, by: R. Person, C. Ethé, G. Morvan, R. Benshila, F. Desbiolles, L. Renault, J. Veitch
  • virtually, by: A. Aumont, V. Echevin, O. Vergara, G. Cambon, P. Marchesiello, L. Roblou, A. Sepulveda

On the first two days, students coupled the PISCES model to a default configuration (the Benguela), over the region  preferred regions. The rest of the week was spent learning about sediments (with the MUSTANG and USGS models), Ocean-Atmosphere coupling (WRF and Toy-model), and the non-hydrostatic version of CROCO through test cases in CROCO.

© IRD - Lionel Renault

Students are currently being evaluated, after taking a knowledge test about the first week and the second week (when applicable) of the CROCO Summer School.

In order to evaluate this CROCO summer school taking place for the first time in South Africa, students were invited to fill out a questionnaire to give their appreciation of the organizers' teachings.


The next edition of the CROCO school will take place in Chile in January 2023, in a 100% virtual format, then later in the year, again in South Africa.

Need more info? Contact Lionel Renault, French leader on the IRN project CROCO: