International Research Group-South (GDRI-Sud)

2021 – 2024

South Africa, Mozambique, Colombia, Chile, Ivory Coast, 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 around 50% coming from 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. Through collaborations and various uses of CROCO, many countries of the Global South 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 the global south, has always been an important ambition for ROMS, as it is for CROCO. This IRD-supported project will carry this ambition further and fully integrate partners for the global south into the CROCO community (from both development and application poin of views).



South Africa
In Africa
In Latin America
In Asia

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

Southern Africa scientific representative : Jennifer Veitch, South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON).



French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD)


Additional funding

The project CROCO has been granted additional funding by the National Research Foundation (NRF) for 2022-2024, covering South Africa specifically, and by extension Southern Africa.