Nelson Violante-Carvalho

Physical Oceanographer


Nelson Violante-Carvalho, Ph.D.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Dual Nationality passport: Brazilian and Portuguese

Present Address:

Associate Professor
Rio de Janeiro Federal University
Ocean Engineering Program - PEnO COPPE UFRJ
Av. Horácio Macedo 2030, Cidade Universitária - Ilha do Fundão
Centro de Tecnologia, Bloco C, sala 203
Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
postal code: 21941-914

phone: + 55 21 3938-8813 (lab) / 3938-8750 (office)
Skype name: n_violante

change AT to @ for a human email

Research Interests
  • Wind Waves - Experimental, Theoretical and Numerical Approaches
  • The 2D Wave Spectrum Extracted from Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Images 
  • Coastal Processes and Surf Zone Hydrodynamics
  • Satellite Oceanography
  • Air-sea interactions
  • Climate and Climate Change

Professional Activities

Since Jul 11
Tenured Lecturer at the Ocean Engineering Program
Rio de Janeiro Federal University (PENO COPPE UFRJ), Brazil.

Sep 09 - Jun 11

Tenured Lecturer at the Faculty of Oceanography
Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ
), Brazil.

Dec 08 - Aug 09
Visiting Researcher at the Ocean Observing and Climate Research Group
National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS), University of Southampton (UK).

Sep 04 - Nov 08
Visiting Researcher at the Faculty of Oceanography
Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ)
, Brazil.

Jun 03 - Aug 04
Visiting Researcher at the Marine Geology Lab (LAGEMAR)
Fluminense Federal University (UFF) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Oct 98 - Dec 02
PhD Student working at the
Southampton Oceanography Centre (SOC), University of Southampton (UK), with Professor Dr Ian Robinson.

1995 - 1998
Master's Thesis in Ocean Engineering working with Dr C.E. Parente at the
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (COPPE/UFRJ), Brazil.

1993 - 1997
Working as Physical Oceanographer at the Research Center of the Brazilian Oil Company (CENPES/PETROBRAS).

1989 - 1992
Degree in Oceanography at the Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ), Brazil.

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Lecturing and Supervision

Lecturer in the following postgraduate courses at the Rio de Janeiro Federal University (Ocean Engineering Program, PENO COPPE UFRJ) since 2011:

  • Water Wave Mechanics 1 (Linear Theory)
  • Water Wave Mechanics 2 (Stokes, KdV, Boussinesq, Mild Slope Equation)
  • Satellite Oceanography
  • Data Analysis in Physical Oceanography (as a guest lecturer at the Post Graduation Program in Physical Oceanography at UERJ)

Lecturer in the following undergraduate courses at the Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ, Faculty of Oceanography) from 2004 to 2011:

  • Waves
  • Coastal Processes
  • Tides
  • Dynamical Oceanography

I have supervised two post docs (2 completed), seven PhD students (3 completed; 4 continuing), 13 Master students (7 completed; 6 continuing) and 30+ undergraduate students.

Recent Collaborations

A Babanin (UoM, Australia), I Robinson and C Gommenginger (NOCS, UK), L M Carvalho (UERJ, Brazil), F Ocampo-Torres (CICESE, Mexico), J Schulz-Stellenfleth (DLR, Germany), L Farina (UFRGS, Brazil), C E Parente (UFRJ, Brazil), C G Soares (IST, Portugal).

check out a more complete version of my publications in Lattes CV (in portuguese).

Peer Reviewed Publications in indexed Journals

  • H. P. P. Pereira, N. Violante-Carvalho, I. C. M. Nogueira, A. Babanin, Q. Liu, U. F. Pinho, F. Nascimento, C. E. Parente (2017),Wave observations from an array of directional buoys over the southern Brazilian coast, Ocean Dynamics, 67 (12), 1577–1591, doi: 10.1007/s10236-017-1113-9.
  • H. Rapizo, V. d'Avila, N. Violante-Carvalho, U. Pinho, C. E. Parente and F. Nascimento (2016), Simple Techniques for Retrieval of Wind Wave Periods and Directions from Optical Images Sequences in Wave Tanks, Journal of Coastal Research, 32 (5), 1227 – 1234, doi: 10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-15-00072.1.
  • G. C. M Passos, N. Violante-Carvalho, U. F. Pinho, A. P. Cabral and F. F. Ostritz (2013), Validation of Jason-2 and Envisat Wind Speed and Significant Wave Height in the Intertropical Zone, Brazilian Journal of Geophysics,  31(3): 483-493.
  • N. Violante-Carvalho, I. Robinson, C. Gommenginger, L. M. Carvalho and F. J. Ocampo-Torres (2012), The effect of the spatially inhomogeneous wind field on the wave spectra employing an ERS-2 SAR PRI image, Continental Shelf Research (CSR), 36: 1-7, doi:10.1016/j.csr.2011.12.006.
  • N. Violante-Carvalho, R. B. Paes-Leme, D. A. Accetta and F. Ostritz (2009), Diffraction and reflection of irregular waves in a harbour employing a spectral model, Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (AABC), 81(4): 837-848.
  •  J. V. Guerra, M. M. Azevedo, L. S. Esteves, S. B. Vinzon, N. Violante-Carvalho, C. Schettini, R. F. Oliveira, R. Zaleski (2009), Spatial and temporal variability of seawater properties, current velocity and SPM concentration off Cassino Beach-Rio Grande-Southern Brazil, Continental Shelf Research (CSR), doi:10.1016/j.csr.2008.09.010.
  • N. Violante-Carvalho, I. S. Robinson and J. Schulz-Stellenfleth (2005), Assessment of ERS Synthetic Aperture Radar Wave Spectra Retrieved from the MPI Scheme through Intercomparisons of 1 Year of Directional Buoy Measurements, Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans (JGR),110, C07019, doi:10.1029/2004JC002382.
  • N. Violante-Carvalho (2005), On the Retrieval of Significant Wave Heights from Spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (ERS-SAR) using the Max-Planck Institut (MPI) Algorithm. Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (AABC), 77(4): 745-755.
  • N. Violante-Carvalho, F. J. Ocampo-Torres and I. S. Robinson (2004), Buoy Observations of the Influence of Swell on Wind Waves in the Open Ocean. Applied Ocean Research (AOR), 26(1-2): 49-60.
  • N. Violante-Carvalho and I. Robinson (2004), Comparison of the two-dimensional directional wave spectra retrieved from spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar images using the MPI scheme against directional buoy measurements. Scientia Marina (SciMar), 68(3): 317-330.
  • N. Violante-Carvalho, C.E. Parente, I. Robinson and L.M.P. Nunes (2002), On the Growth of Wind Generated Waves in a Swell Dominated Region in the South Atlantic. Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering (JOMAE), 124, 14-21.


The Use of ERS SAR for Measurement of the Directional Wave Spectrum. LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, 2010, 144 pages.

Chapter in Books

N. Violante-Carvalho and Adriane V. C. Ramos
Chapter 5: "Medições do Espectro Direcional de Ondas Geradas pelo Vento por meio de Imagens do Radar de Abertura Sintética ERS-1 SAR", Oceanografia por Satélites, ed. Oficina de Textos, 77-89, 2005.

  • PhD Thesis.
Title of Thesis: The Use of ERS-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar for Measurement and Modelling of the Directional Wave Spectrum (abstract).
Southampton Oceanography Centre (SOC), University of Southampton (UK).
  • MSc Thesis.
Title of Thesis: Investigation of the Wave Climate in Campos Basin, Rio de Janeiro - Brazil and its Correlation with the Meteorological Situations (abstract).
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (COPPE/UFRJ).

Scientific Reports (in Portuguese)

N. Violante-Carvalho, L.M.P. Nunes and W. Tavares Jr.
Wind Driven Currents - Evidence of the development of the Ekman Spiral in Campos Basin, Scientific Report 011/97, Brazilian Oil Company PETROBRAS, March 1997.

N. Violante-Carvalho, L.M.P. Nunes and W. Tavares Jr.
Typical Conditions and Extreme Values of Wind Speed in Campos Basin, Scientific Report 005/97, Brazilian Oil Company PETROBRAS, January 1997.

N. Violante-Carvalho, L.M.P. Nunes and W. Tavares Jr.
Extreme Values of Significant Wave Height in Campos Basin, Scientific Report 033/96, Brazilian Oil Company PETROBRAS, December 1996.

N. Violante-Carvalho, L.M.P. Nunes and W. Tavares Jr.
Investigation of Deep Currents in Campos Basin, Scientific Report 014/96, Brazilian Oil Company PETROBRAS, June 1996.

L.M.P. Nunes, N. Violante-Carvalho and W. Tavares Jr.
Oceanographic Data Acquisition in the South Atlantic Deep Water Program (PROCAP), Scientific Report 013/96, Brazilian Oil Company PETROBRAS, May 1996.

L.M.P. Nunes, N. Violante-Carvalho and W. Tavares Jr.
Joint Analysis of wind, waves and currents, Scientific Report 011/95, Brazilian Oil Company PETROBRAS, August 1995.


Referee for Journal of Geophysical Research
Referee for Ocean Engineering
Referee for Continental Shelf Research
Referee for the Brazilian Journal of Oceanography.
Referee for Revista Brasileira de Geofísica

Referee for Revista Brasileira de Meteorologia

Meetings, Workshops and Talks

On the swell rate of lateral diffraction. At the Third Latin American Symposium on Water Waves (LatWaves), 21-23 November 2018, Medellin, Colombia.

25th Waves In the Shallow water Environment (WISE) Meeting, held at the Tel Aviv University, Israel, 22-26 April, 2018

Short scientific visit to the University of Melbourne (UoM, Australia), hosted by Dr A Babanin, 2017.

Satellite observations of swell diffraction around oceanic islands. At the 2nd Brazilian Symposium on Water Waves, 13-15 March 2017, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

A hybrid physical-statistical algorithm for SAR wave spectra quality improvement, oral presentation at the 24th Waves In the Shallow water Environment (WISE) Meeting, held at the University of Victoria, BC Canada, 14-18 May 2017

Short scientific visit to the University of Melbourne (UoM, Australia), hosted by Dr A Babanin, 2016.

Satellite observations of swell attenuation around oceanic islands, at the Ocean Waves and Wave-Coupled Processes, 07-09 December 2016, Melbourne, Australia.

The importance of the Stokes Drift in coastal regions and the use of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) onboard satellites for its estimation, at the 13th Pan Ocean Remote Sensing Conference, 03-07 November 2016, Fortaleza, Brazil.

23rd WISE Meeting, held at the Institute of Marine Sciences of the Italian National Research Council, 22-26 May 2016, Venice Italy.

Wave Diffraction around Islands from ERS-2 SAR Images. At the Brazilian Symposium on Water Waves, 14-16 March 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Physical Oceanography in Rio de Janeiro, what's going on in the tropics? At the Physical Oceanography and Climate Seminars, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS), UK, 30 October 2012.

Wind Wave Spectra Retrievals in Coastal Areas from ERS-2 Synthetic Aperture Radar Precision Images. At The 17th Waves In Shallow water Environment (WISE) meeting. IFREMER, Brest, France, 25-29 April, 2010.

On the spatial homogeneity of the wave spectra in deep water employing ERS-1/2 and ENVISAT SAR PRI products. Oral presentation at SEA SAR 2010 workshop. ESA-ESRIN, Frascati, Italy, 25-29 January, 2010.

Intercomparison of Wave Spectra Extracted from ERS-1 SAR Against Directional Buoy Data. Oral presentation at the 21st International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering (OMAE'02). Oslo, Norway, 23-28 June, 2002.

Teacher Assistant at the OXFORD / RAL Spring School in Quantitative Earth Observation (focus on Data Assimilation) held at the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics of the University of Oxford, 12-23 March 2001.

Satellite Oceanography 2000. Course in Satellite Oceanography held at the Department of Physical Oceanography, CICESE, 21 Aug - 9 Sep 2000, Ensenada, Mexico.

Visiting Researcher working with Dr Susanne Lehner at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany during the period from 28 May to 18 June, 2000. The short term mission had the objective to solve several technical problems involved in the assimilation of wave data computed with the retrieval scheme of the Max Planck Institute (MPI). This work was supported by the European COST714 Action.

Member of the Working Group 'Ocean Waves in Coastal Regions; Coastal Ecosystem Comparisons from a Physical Point of View', meeting held at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, 28-31 March 1999.

Course in Finite Elements Method and Computational Implementation held at the National Laboratory of Scientific Computation (LNCC), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Feb/Mar 1997.

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Candidate with the highest score in the selection process for lecturer at the Rio de Janeiro Federal University, Program of Coastal and Oceanographic Engineering, PENO-COPPE-UFRJ (2011).

Post-Doctoral Scholarship, National Council for Research (CNPq), Brazil, Dec 2008 - Sep 2009. At the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, England, UK.

Candidate with the highest score in the selection process for lecturer at Rio de Janeiro State University UERJ, Faculty of Oceanography (2008).

OMAE CONFERENCE BEST PAPER AWARD (2001) - Awarded as the best technical paper and invited to be published as an extended version in the Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering.  The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME International)

Doctoral Scholarship, National Council for Research (CNPq), Brazil. During 1998-2002, at the Southampton Oceanography Centre, England, UK.

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Since Sep 2010
Hydrodynamic and morphodynamic research on sand beaches.
Team: Principal Investigator (PI): N Violante; CO-PIs: V. D'Avila (
UERJ FAOC), M. Sperle (UERJ FAOC), S. Pereira (UERJ FAOC), H. Villena (UERJ FAOC).
Project: Faperj (Rio de Janeiro research support foundation).

Since Jun 2009
Title: Extraction of coastal wave spectra from
SAR images.
Team: Principal Investigator (PI): N Violante; CO-PIs: Ian Robinson (NOCS UK), Christine Gommenginger (NOCS UK), Luiz Mariano Carvalho (UERJ Brazil), Leandro Farina (UFRGS Brazil), Francisco J Ocampo-Torres (CICESE Mexico).

Project: European Space Agency (ESA) ID C1P.6401.

Sep 2008 - Sep 2011
Title: Extraction of directional wave spectra employing Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) onboard satellites
Team: N Violante (Principal Investigator), Luiz Mariano de Carvalho (UERJ IME), Frederico Ostritz (UERJ FAOC), Brunno Goldstein (UERJ IME).
Project: PETROBRAS (Brazilian Oil Company) ID 0050.0043413.08.02.

Several coastal surveys measuring beach profiles and wave transformations around the surf zone, mainly on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, from 2005 on.

The Royal Research Ship Discovery cruise 242 (the Atlantic - Norwegian Exchanges) from Scotland to Iceland, 7 Sep - 6 Oct 1999. Responsible during my shift for the deployment, setting and analysis of the LADCP (Lowered Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler).

Oil Platform PCH1 (Cherne 1) in Campos Basin, Brazil. Installation of the current meter (with a pressure sensor) CONSUB COR 200 and the anemometer YOUNG Wind Monitor model 05103. The meteo-oceanographic monitoring system was responsible for the acquisition of directional waves, wind speed and direction, sea surface temperature and surface currents. In the first fortnight of January 1996.

Oil Platform PCH1 (Cherne 1) in Campos Basin, Brazil. Installation of the current meter COR 200 for acquisition of directional wave data and surface currents. In the first fortnight of December 1993.

N. Oc. Astro Garoupa. Oceanographic surveys in the region off Macaé, RJ. Total of 100 hours of work at sea in June of 1992.

N. Oc. Almirante Saldanha. Leg Monitor VI(E), 26 Jun - 4 Aug 1989. Total of 36 oceanographic stations and 1116 miles.

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  • Secondary Technical School in Electronics (CEFET/RJ). Working as a Technician at the Brazilian Telecommunications Company EMBRATEL from 1986 to 1988.
  • Reasonable knowledge of Mechanics, I kept my old Yamaha DT180 tuned up for over 7 years.
  • Qualified Scuba Diver.
  • Skipper qualified to sail on sheltered and coastal waters (Brazilian qualification 'Mestre Amador').
  • Personal Survival Techniques at Sea, course at the Warsash Maritime Centre (UK).
  • First Language Portuguese, Second Language English. Reasonable knowledge of Spanish and French.
  • I have run 30+ half marathons.
  • I have run 5 marathons, the coolest one in 2017 from Marathon to Athens. The last one in 2018, in Punta del Este.
  • I am not an excellent swimmer, but I do enjoy taking part of open water half marathons (5K).
  • Trips that I love to talk about:
    1. Five weeks trekking in Northern India (2001)
    2. Twelve thousand kilometres on my motorbike from Rio to the Atacama Desert in Chile, passing by the Uyuni Salt Flat in Bolivia (2004)
    3. Crossing Transpantaneira (a dirt road over the Brazilian wetlands Pantanal) on my motorbike (2005)
    4. Crossing Transamazônica (a dirt road over the southern part of the Brazilian Amazon Forest) on my motorbike (2007)
    5. Three weeks in Morocco getting along with the locals (2009)
    6. Two weeks in Northern Mozambique getting along with the locals (2011)
    7. From Rio to Porto Velho, Rondonia (North-western state in Brazil) on my motorbike and then sailing nine days downstream the Madeira and Amazonas Rivers till Belem, Para (North-eastern state in Brazil). On the way back to Rio, two days riding the Jalapao Desert in Tocantins (2017)
    8. One week bodysurfing offshore of Quebrada de Piedra (El Toro, Sandbar, Leftovers), Chiriquí, Pacific Coast of Panama (2017)
    9. Ten days trekking in Mount Roraima, along the triple border between Brazil, Venezuela and Guyana (2018)

  • I have been to 36 countries 
  • South America
  1. Brazil (I've been to all 26 states plus the Federal District, on my motorbike)
  2. Argentina
  3. Chile
  4. Bolivia
  5. Paraguay
  6. Venezuela
  7. Guyana
  8. Uruguay
  9. Colombia
  • Central America and the Caribbean
    1. Panama
  • North America
  1. Mexico
  2. USA
  3. Canada
  • Africa
  1. Morocco
  2. Mozambique
  3. South Africa
  • Europe
  1. Portugal
  2. Spain
  3. France
  4. Ireland
  5. Scotland
  6. England
  7. Norway
  8. Netherlands
  9. Belgium
  10. Germany
  11. Italy
  12. Austria
  13. Czech Republic
  14. Greece
  15. Switzerland 
  • Oceania
    1. Australia
  • Asia
    1. India
  • Middle East
  1. United Arab Emirates
  2. Israel
  3. Palestine


Waves and Related Areas

BADC ECMWF Re-Analysis Page
Brazilian Center for Weather Forecasting & Climate Studies (CPTEC)
Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE)
European Space Agency (ESA)
German Climate Research Centre (DKRZ)
Deutschen Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt - German Aerospace Center
ECMWF Home Page
The Met.Office Home Page
The Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP)
Waves and Weather Information
JPL physical oceanography archive
Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center
Three Day Animated Weather Chart over the North Atlantic and Europe
Five Day Forecast of Wave Height and Mean Wave Direction over the North Atlantic
EasyTide, Tide Prediction for various places around the world
Web of Science


      The best football team in Brazil (some Brazilians may not agree) A força jovem canta, galera se levanta......iii só dá Vasco
      The most beautiful town in Brazil (most Brazilians will agree) Cidade Maravilhosa