Supported by

Uniwersytet Wrocławski

Prognocean & Prognocean Plus

The Prognocean Plus (known also as Prognocean+) system is the extension of its predecessor, Prognocean, which has been designed and implemented at the Department of Geoinformatics and Cartography of the University of Wrocław, Poland. The Prognocean solution is a main result of the research project “Development of new geoinformation methods for modelling and prediction of sea level change over different timescales” carried out through the Homing Plus grant of the Foundation for Polish Science, contract no. Homing Plus_2011-3/8 under leadership of Prof. Tomasz Niedzielski, founded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Innovative Economy Programme. The Prognocean+ system has been developed at Wrocław Centre for Networking and Supercomputing of Wrocław University of Technology, in frame of the subsequent project “New generation domain-specific services in the PL-Grid Infrastructure for Polish Science”, contract no. POIG.02.03.00-12-138/13, also founded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the Innovative Economy Programme.

    The Prognocean system downloads Sea Level Anomaly (SLA) gridded maps from AVISO (currently AVISO+) in real time every day. The 1° × 1° SLA data are attached to a long time series of maps representing already observed ocean topography. The extended data then modelled using a few independent data-based models to compute predictions of SLA maps in real time, with lead times ranging from 1 to 14 days. Along with the calculation of predictions, Prognocean produces the real-time statistics that allows the user to evaluate the up-to-date accuracy of a given model. The predictions are published in real time as graphical files. The fundamentals of the Prognocean system are described in the paper by Niedzielski and Miziński (2013), and science results based on the solution are published in a several articles, for instance by Świerczyńska et al. (2014) as well as by Kosek et al. (2015).

    The Prognocean+ system is based on the concepts of Prognocean, however they are technologically unlike each other. While Prognocean works on files stored on a hard drive, the Prognocean+ solution uses Rasdaman (a raster data manager) to handle big spatial data, which in its case have spatial resolution of 0.25° × 0.25° and are provided courtesy of AVISO+. Although both systems are implemented in R (a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics), Prognocean uses multicore computations on a single computational server while Prognocean+ utilizes OpenMPI distributed computations, leading to higher speed of calculations and their scalability and portability. Yet another novel feature of Prognocean+ is its data access platform. Indeed, the predictions and their errors can be downloaded as raw data stored in the Web Coverage Service (WCS), and publication of these data via web browser is supported by Petascope. Concurrently, the forecasts and their statistics can be interactively viewed by the user through the dedicated Web Map Service (WMS), based on Geoserver. The user can not only view the predicted SLA maps and the corresponding error maps but is provided by a set of tools to improve the process of understanding the products and their inaccuracies.


Niedzielski T., Miziński B., 2013. Automated system for near-real time modelling and prediction of altimeter-derived sea level anomalies. Computers & Geosciences 58, 29–39.

Świerczyńska M., Niedzielski T., Kosek W., 2014. Semiannual and annual oscillations of sea level and their impact on asymmetry between El Niño and La Niña episodes. Studia Geophysica et Geodaetica 58, 302-325.

Kosek W., Niedzielski T., Popiński W., Zbylut M., Wnęk A., 2015. Variable seasonal and subseasonal oscillations in sea level anomaly data and their impact on sea level prediction accuracy. International Association of Geodesy Symposia, DOI 10.1007/1345_2015_74.

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