International Research Group – South

February 2021 – February 2024

South Africa, Mozambique, Colombia, Chili, Côte d’Ivoire, Mexico, Peru, Senegal, Tunisia, Vietnam


The Coastal and Regional Ocean Community (CROCO) model is a modelling platform for the regional and coastal ocean using realistic or idealized multiscale approaches.

It is built around the kernel of ROMS (AGRIF version), with the new addition of a nonhydrostatic solver, and with coupling capabilities for the atmosphere, surface waves, sediment dynamics, ocean biogeochemistry and ecosystems. In France, the CROCO project aimed to remedy the fragmentation of French coastal modelling. There are now more than a thousand registered users of CROCO, including about half in southern countries, and others spread between Europe and the USA.

The user community has consolidated over the years, attracted by the model’s computing performances and numerical accuracy and by easy access to thematic compartments for multidisciplinary applications. Southern partners, through collaborations and various uses of CROCO, are already part of this community.

CROCO has already made major contributions to a better understanding of the physical and biogeochemical functioning of many southern coastal areas, most notably, in Southern Africa, the upwelling systems of South Africa, the Mozambique Channel, the Agulhas Current, the East Madagascar Current and the Seychelles Chagos Thermocline Ridge. CROCO was also instrumental in demonstrating the importance of mesoscale air-sea interactions on ocean dynamics and ecosystems. CROCO also took a big step towards littoral oceanography, thus opening the way to truly coastal applications, where understanding and predictability of sediment and contaminant transports are critical to many coastal populations.



This network will allow to formalize and strengthen the links between the French CROCO community and partners from the Global South by formally integrating the latter in the community and by organizing workshops and training sessions, with an approach for structuring North-South and South-South collaborations. This will increase CROCO’s outreach, addressing issues relevant to sustainable science.

Structuring, training and support to new users, especially from southern countries, has always been an important ambition for ROMS, and now CROCO, but this IRD-supported project will allow to carry this ambition further and fully integrate Southern partners into the CROCO community (from both development and application points of view).


Southern African partners

Scientific coordination: Lionel Renault, Laboratoire d’Etudes en Géophysique et Océanographie Spatiales (LEGOS)



French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD)


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