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Data from oceanography measurements and models.

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UK Open Government Licence (OGL)

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Wider Loch Linnhe System Climatology 1.02

The Wider Loch Linnhe System (WLLS) model is an implementation of the Finite Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM) and has a domain covering many of Inner Hebrides from the southern tip of the Mull of Kintyre to the Isle of Skye in the north. The western boundary extends to approximately 7.5° W from Northern Ireland to the southern Outer Hebrides. The model grid is unstructured with the highest horizontal resolution in Loch Linnhe, Loch Leven and Loch Sunart, where the node spacing goes down to 15 m. The typical node spacing of these sea lochs is around 50 – 100 m, with Lower Loch Linnhe having a typical node spacing of 100 – 150 m. Beyond Loch Linnhe, its side lochs, and Loch Sunart, the unstructured grid resolution reduces further, with the node spacing at the western boundary being around 5 km. The water column is resolved using a hybrid sigma layer scheme with 10 standard terrain following sigma layers, each representing 10% of the water column, in water depths shallower than 13 m. In areas deeper than 13 m, the water column is resolved with 2 fixed layers at the surface, each 1 m thick, 2 fixed layers at the bottom, each 2.5 m thick, and 6 sigma layers of equal spacing for the mid depths. This enables the freshwater output from Upper Loch Linnhe to be well resolved.

Variables include current velocities, water elevations, temperature and salinity, bed stress magnitude and various turbulence parameters (stored in netCDF format).

The data are from a single climatological year representing an average of the years 1990-2014.

O'Hara Murray, R., Campbell, L. 2021. Wider Loch Linnhe System Climatology 1.02. doi: 10.7489/12043-1

Data and Resources

Release Date
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Area
POLYGON ((-7.6904296875 56.037527418514, -7.6904296875 57.811846088254, -5.185546875 57.811846088254, -5.185546875 56.037527418514))
Temporal Coverage
2017-06-06 to 2018-02-23
English (United Kingdom)
UK Open Government Licence (OGL)
Data Dictionary

The SSM is an implementation of the Finite Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM). FVCOM was developed by the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, USA, by Chen et al. (2003) and is still actively being developed.

The WLLS 1.02 is a full year climatological run, which represents average conditions with a 1993 tidal component. The model is nested within the wider SSM and forced by the wider SSM.

The model forcing is made up of the following:

Boundary conditions: Wider SSM climatology version 2.01 (De Dominicis et al. 2017, De Dominicis et al. 2018)
Atmospheric: ERA-interim (1990-2014) (Dee et al. 2011)
Freshwater input: Grid 2 Grid (1962-2011) climatology obtained from the Centre of Ecology (CEH) (Bell et al. 2007, Cole and Moore 2009)

For a full description of the original development of the WLLS model see Price et al (2016). Although note that the model climatological model forcing is as described above.


Bell, V. A., Kay, A. L., Jones, R. G., & Moore, R. J. (2007). Development of a high resolution grid-based river flow model for use with regional climate model output. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 11(1), 532–549.

Cole, S. J., & Moore, R. J. (2009). Distributed hydrological modelling using weather radar in gauged and ungauged basins. Advances in Water Resources, 32(7), 1107–1120.

De Dominicis, M., O’Hara Murray, R., & Wolf, J. (2017). Multi-scale ocean response to a large tidal stream turbine. Renewable Energy, 114, 1160–1179.

De Dominicis, M., O’Hara Murray, R., Wolf, J., & Gallego, A. (2018). The Scottish Shelf Model 1990 – 2014 climatology version 2.01.

Dee, D. P., Uppala, S. M., Simmons, A. J., Berrisford, P., Poli, P., Kobayashi, S., Andrae, U., Balmaseda, M. A., Balsamo, G., Bauer, P., Bechtold, P., Beljaars, A. C. M., van de Berg, L., Bidlot, J., Bormann, N., Delsol, C., Dragani, R., Fuentes, M., Geer, A. J., … Vitart, F. (2011). The ERA-Interim reanalysis: configuration and performance of the data assimilation system. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 137(656), 553–597.

Price, D., Stuiver, C., Johnson, H., Gallego, A., & Murray, R. O. H. (2016). The Scottish Shelf Model. Part 5 : Wider Loch Linnhe System Sub-Domain. Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science, 7(7).

Contact Name
Marine Scotland Science Oceanography
Contact Email
Public Access Level