This page summarizes the Point Sal related modeling activities related to the the Innershelf DRI using the ROMS/COAWST modeling system. This effort is a joint collaboration between Georgia Tech, Scripps, and UCSC.  There is an additional modeling effort by UCLA/UCSB.

The ROMS/COAWST modeling is comprised of 3 efforts

For any clarification on the content of this webpage please contact E. Di Lorenzo ( or Kevin Haas (

OVERVIEW of MODEL GRIDS for  Year 2000, 2009, and 2015 efforts


Figure 1. Bathymetric contours of the nested four grids with nominal grid spacing. The L5 grid is currently being expanded to accommodate the full span of the DRI field experiment.

Default configuration:

  • ROMS & SWAN module of COAWST model system
  • COAMPS atmospheric forcings
  • Tidal forcing from ADCIRC tidal model
  • Wave forcing from NOAA

Grid resolutions:

  • L0 (3 km resolution)
  • L1 (1 km resolution)
  • L2 (600 m resolution)
  • L3 (200 m resolution)
  • L4 x 2 (66 m resolution)
  • L5 x 2 (22 m resolution)

List of experiments and data access, [ link to OpenDAP Server ]

Below is a list of grids and experiment that are either completed or being completed. Please see below further descriptions for each experiment. The term “Coupling” in the label indicates that the simulations include waves using SWAN module.


1. Pilot simulation – Year 2000 Summer Period

The output from this simulation has been used to conduct a study on wind relaxation and a coastal buoyant plume north of Pt. Conception,  Suanda et al., 2016 —read summary with figures

In planning the PSIEX pilot field program, many animations were created from these model results. These were the basis of many discussions between modeling and observational groups to identify interesting regions, flow features, and sampling strategies. The animations can be viewed at our Youtube Pt. Sal playlist. 

Suanda, S.H., Kumar, N., Miller, A.J., Di Lorenzo, E., Haas, K., Cai, D., Edwards, C.A., Washburn, L., Fewings, M.R., Torres, R., Feddersen, F., 2016. Wind relaxation and a coastal buoyant plume north of Pt. Conception, CA: Observations, simulations, and scalings. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans 121, 7455–7475. doi:10.1002/2016JC011919 – [ online article ]

Data is currently being uploaded to data server


2. Production simulation – Year 2009 Fall Period

The Fall period has been chosen for the observational campaign. Here we provide a set of Fall simulations for the year 2009 to identify the character of variability to be expected. The table below summarizes the outputs that are currently posted on the OpenDAP server. We are in the process of posting all the available outputs.

600m_fall_2009 – [ OpenDAP server ] Aug 15 – Nov 15, 2009
200m_fall_2009 – [ OpenDAP server ] Aug 15 – Nov 15, 2009
66m_LgNorth_no_wave_fall_2009 – [ OpenDAP server ] Aug 15 – Nov 15, 2009
66m_South_no_wave_fall_2009 – [ OpenDAP server ] Aug 15 – Nov 15, 2009
66m_South_fall_2009 – [ OpenDAP server ] Aug 15 – Nov 15, 2009
66m_Old_with_wave_fall_2009 Aug 15 – Nov 15, 2009


A comprehensive set of videos from this simulation are available on the YouTube Playlist, below are a few examples


3. Year 2015 Summer Modeling of the Pilot Experiment

The Pt. Sal Inner Shelf Experiment (PSIEX) was a 43-day pilot field experiment aimed at measuring the temporal and spatial variability near the Pt. Sal headland on the central California coast during the summer of 2015. By combining the observation with the DRI modeling framework, we diagnose the dynamics of coastal upwelling around a small-scale coastline Freismuth, Cai et al., 2016 — read summary with figures

Freismuth, T.M., D. Cai, J.H. MacMahan, K.A. Haas, S. Suanda, J.A. Colosi, N. Kumar, E. Di Lorenzo, A. Miller, and C. Edwards. (2017) Upwelling response to subtidal, alongshore inner shelf flow around a small-scale coastline promontory on the central California coast. To be submitted to JGR – [ see AGU poster ]

In collaboration with Dr. John Colosi, the modeling group is preparing an analysis of regional semidiurnal internal tidal energetics from the 2015 experiment.

N. Kumar, S. Suanda, J.A. Colosi, D. Cai, K.A. Haas, E. Di Lorenzo, A. Miller, C. Edwards, and F. Feddersen (2017) Semidiurnal internal tide generation, propagation, and transformation near Pt. Conception, CA: Observations and model simulations. To be submitted to JPO -[ see AGU poster ]

Data is currently being uploaded to data server


4. Additional Model Data from UCLA/UCSB

In addition to the output of the GT/SIO/UCSC model, there is and ongoing modeling effort by the UCLA/UCSB Group. This model output includes a wide range of regional solutions with resolutions dx = 1000, 300, and 100 m with full surface wave coupling (non-assimilated). This is also work in progress and finer nest solutions are planned.

MATLAB Tutorial to access OpenDAP

Download the following MATLAB toolbox dri_opendap-1.0

Follow the main script called example_OpenDAP.m. This script will allow you to load the grid system of a particular output, extract vertical profiles and horizontal fields. Below is a short video introducing the example.


Custom data and visualizations requests

If the data served through the OpenDAP interface is not sufficient for your need, you can submit a custom data request through the Google Sheet (link). Below is a list of custom data set that have been generated to date.