Submitted as: methods for assessment of models
12 Dec 2022
Submitted as: methods for assessment of models | 12 Dec 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

A Standardised Validation Framework for Ocean Physics Models: Application to the Northwest European Shelf

David Byrne1, Jeff Polton1, Enda O'Dea2, and Joanne Williams1 David Byrne et al.
  • 1National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool, UK
  • 2Met Office, Exeter, UK

Abstract. Validation is one of the most important stages of a model's development. By comparing outputs to observations, we can estimate how well the model is able to simulate reality, which is the ultimate aim of many models. During development, validation may be iterated upon to improve the model simulation and compare to similar existing models or perhaps previous versions of the same configuration. As models become more complex, data storage requirements increase and analyses improve, scientific communities must be able to develop standardised validation workflows for efficient and accurate analyses with an ultimate goal of a complete, automated validation.

We set out our process and principles used to construct a standardised and partially automated validation system. This is discussed alongside five principles which are fundamental for our system: system scaleability, independence from data source, reproducible workflows, expandable code base and objective scoring. We also describe the current version of our own validation workflow and discuss how it adheres to the above principles. We use the COAsT Python package as a framework within which to build our analyses. COAsT provides a set of standardised oceanographic data objects ideal for representing both modelled and observed data. We use the package to compare two model configurations of the Northwest European Shelf to observations from tide gauge and profiles.

David Byrne et al.

Status: open (until 12 Feb 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on gmd-2022-218', Anonymous Referee #1, 26 Jan 2023 reply

David Byrne et al.

David Byrne et al.


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Short summary
When models designed to simulate the ocean are developed, the validation step is one of the most important parts of the process. The purpose of validation is to assess how accurate a model is. This is most commonly done by comparing output from a model observations. In this paper we introduce and demonstrate the use of the COAsT Python package to standardise the validation process for physical ocean models alongside a set of five fundamental principles for standardised validation.