The Scottish Shelf Waters Reanalysis Service

A 27-year physical reanalysis for the North West European Shelf

This service is generated using E.U. Copernicus Marine Service Information

Northwest Atlantic

European Sea

Marine Food

Natural Resources


Description of the service

The Scottish Shelf Waters Reanalysis Service (SSW-RS) provides a 27-year physical reanalysis of the Scottish Shelf Model. This is a downstream service of the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service, also called the Copernicus Marine Service. The Scottish Shelf Waters Reanalysis Service provides hindcast model runs from 1993 to 2019 including hourly horizontal currents and water elevation fields and daily mean fields of three-dimensional currents, temperature and salinity on the unstructured model mesh. Current users of the service include Scottish public bodies responsible for marine environmental regulation, industry and academia.

The Scottish Shelf Model

The Scottish Shelf Model is a hydrodynamic model covering the Scottish continental shelf waters. The Scottish Shelf Model implements the Finite Volume Community Ocean Model which utilises an unstructured computational grid enabling the model to resolve many small scale coastal features. The horizontal resolution ranges from 1 km at the coast to 20 km at the outer boundary. To find out more about the Scottish Shelf Model please visit the Scottish Shelf Model website.

Version 3.02 release notes

  • New hybrid sigma layer scheme (uniform terrain following was previously used). The vertical water column is resolved using 20 standard terrain following sigma layers (each representing 5% of the water column) in areas shallower than the 120 m isobath. In areas deeper than the 120 m isobath, the water column is resolved with 5 fixed layers at the surface and 2 fixed layers at the bottom. The surface layers are 3, 6, 7, 7 and 7 m thick and reside at 1.5, 6, 12.5, 19.5, 26.5 m depth. The bottom layers are both 6 m thick and reside 3 and 9 m above the bottom. The remaining 13 sigma layers are of equal spacing for the mid depths.

  • An updated version of the Atlantic Margin Model 7 km (AMM7) for non-tidal lateral boundary forcing is used. The new AMM7 uses ECMWF ERA5 atmospheric forcing which is consistent with the SSW-RS atmospheric forcing.

  • The reanalysis has been extended to 27 years, 1993 to 2019.

  • A small change was made to the SST assimilation. Data is now assimilated with a lower limit of 100 m and the pycnocline is resolved in 1 m bins. For 2019, version 5 of ODYSSEA SST is used while version 4 is kept for the rest of the dataset.

  • This version should be cited as:

Barton, B., De Dominicis, M., O'Hara Murray, R., Campbell, L. 2022. Scottish Shelf Model 3.02 - 27 Year Reanalysis. doi:

Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service Products

The Scottish Shelf Waters Reanalysis Service is forced, at the open boundary, with products from the Copernicus Marine Service:

The service uses data assimilation also provided by the Copernicus Marine Service products:

Copernicus Marine Service data are used in addition to open boundary forcing and sea surface temperature data assimilation, for calibration and validation of this service:

Conditions of use and accessibility

The Scottish Shelf Waters Reanalysis Service data is available under the Open Government Licence for public sector information. The Open Government is a copyright licence for Crown Copyright works published by the UK government. It is compatible with the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence. The users will be free to:

  • copy, publish, distribute and transmit the Information;

  • adapt the Information;

  • exploit the information commercially and non-commercially for example, by combining it with other Information, or by including it in your own product or application.

The user must acknowledge the source of the Information in their product or application by including or linking to any attribution statement specified by the Information Provider(s) and, where possible, provide a link to this licence.

The SSW-RS should be cited as:

Barton, B., De Dominicis, M., O'Hara Murray, R., Campbell, L. 2022. Scottish Shelf Model 3.02 - 27 Year Reanalysis. doi:

To access the data, follow the link below which will take you to a licence agreement. After submitting the form you will be contacted via email about how to access the data. We aim to respond within 7 working days.