A lot of activities occur on the ocean’s surface: some can be seen from the shore, others can be remotely monitored but many things happen in areas outside our intervention range. At-sea accidents require timely response capabilities. Therefore, it is essential to properly understand and forecast how objects drift and how spills are dispersed into the ocean.

A team of scientists from the Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski(ISMER),  de l’McGill University and the Maurice Lamontagne Institute(MLI),  supported financially by MEOPAR,  has started developing and improving ocean surface current forecasting tools.

A partnership with SLGO will allow the development of a new Web interface in order to access high frequency (HF) radar real-time surface current data collected along the coast of the St. Lawrence Estuary.

More information about this project is available at:

Follow us : Dany Dumont | MEOPAR

Objectives / Milestones

The objective of this project, in partnership with SLGO, is to make surface current observations accessible to the public. For the first time in Canada, data collected in the St. Lawrence Estuary (see map) using four high frequency radars (13 MHz and 16 MHz) will be readily available.

Furthermore, it is our intent to engage in constructive discussions with stakeholders and data users in order to improve this product and ensure that our research results are properly used and interpreted.

Project Milestones

  • Publish real-time surface current observations collected using a high frequency radar network (May 2015).
  • Promote the product, collect user feedback (2015-2016).
  • Integrate user comments and implement improvements to the interface, initiate standardization (2016-2017).


WERA Radars located in Pointe-à-Boisvert (North Shore)



CODAR Radars located in Sainte-Flavie (Bas-Saint-Laurent)




Dany Dumont, Professor/Researcher, physical oceanography

Although the era of great polar expeditions is over, there is still a lot to be learned about polar and sub-polar environments and the role they play with respect to the climate system. An integrated approach based upon the collection of new data and numerical modelling is adopted in order to understand their complex processes and interactions.

My interests focus mostly on wave-ice field interactions within the ice margin, ice field dynamics, ice-covered coastal zone oceanography and the marine ecosystem response to water column physical processes, all of which I study through numerical modelling. I am therefore asking what and how to model in order to better understand nature, its functions and its representations.


Cédric Chavanne, Professor, physical oceanography

The ocean is a turbulent fluid moving through various spatial and temporal scales, ranging from oceanic basin circulation to small vortices only a centimeter wide. Due to non-linear equations driving ocean movements, all scales interact with each other. However, global ocean circulation numerical models used to predict climate changes cannot solve horizontal scales inferior to a few kilometers.


Marion Bandet, Research Assistant

James Caveen, Computer Analyst