Ongoing project for RPS 24/7 Response subscribers

Expertise Summary

  • Operational response system
  • Metocean data storage and dissemination
  • Hydrodynamic modelling


RPS has developed the global tidal database using unique RPS hydrodynamic modelling technology to deliver a seamless tidal current forecast system that covers the whole globe. The tidal forecast model provides tidal current forecasts for operational 24/7 response to marine incidents, including oil spills, chemical spills and search and rescue cases. The global domain has been tiled allowing high resolution and overlapping coverage, where consistency of tidal information is retained. The tiles were developed using boundary data from latest TOPEX/Poseidon sea level altimetry, with bathymetry from several different sources including; electronic nautical charts, SRTM15_Plus, ETOPO1, and GEBCO 08. A multi-level gridding approach was implemented, resolving to 1 km globally along coastlines, better resolving the shallower bathymetry, coastline, islands and channels than other global tidal datasets. Validated tiles were aggregated with neighbouring tiles to produce the seamless tidal current solution. Smaller higher resolution tidal domains are also included in areas such as harbours or industrial and shipping zones. The global tidal current forecast is aggregated by the RPS Environmental Data Server (EDS) with other non-tidal currents sources, which then feeds our leading drift and fate forecasting software including OILMAP, CHEMMAP and SARMAP, used for operational 24/7 response to marine incidents.

Technology and Data Management

RPS applied a variety of in-house and third-party data, during this project, including open boundary tidal elevation data, bathymetric data, tidal station surface elevation data for model validation. Some of these are listed below. The data is available to use operationally in a variety of RPS modelling software systems.


Environmental Data Server (EDS)

Data Sources

TOPEX/Poseidon sea level altimetry
Digitised electronic chart bathymetry

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