CODE (Cartesian coordinates Ocean model with three-Dimensional adaptive mesh refinement and primitiv Equations) is a numerical hydrodynamic ice/ocean model that has been under development since August 2006 at the University of Iceland. The current model version uses a horizontal resolution between 128 km and 1 km (highest along the Icelandic coast line) and between 2.5 m and 160 meters vertically (highest resolution close to the surface).


  CODE model domain and horizontal grid structure. Left: The entire model domain containing the North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean resolved by a variable grid spacing between 128 km and 1 km. Right: The high resolution grid around Iceland at 1 km.



The main features of the model include:

Since May 2013, CODE has been used to create ocean forecasts for the Icelandic area. In October 2013 a surface wave model was added. Since summer 2015 the ecosystem model ECOSMO-II, coupled with a basic individual-based fish model, was implemented into the CODE system. The daily updated forecasts are displayed graphically here.

CODE was developed by Dr. Kai Logemann at  MARICE (Marine Academic Research of Iceland)  at University of Iceland,   in the group of Prof.Dr. Gudrun Marteinsdottir,  to establish a model tool that can be used to fill gaps  in our knowledge on the role of physical processes in forming the basis and  determining the variability of the Icelandic marine ecosystem.



The construction of CODE has been made possible through funding from many sources, including: The University of Iceland Research Fund, Icelandic Research Fund, the Icelandic Technology Developmental Fund, The Ministry of Fisheries Special Project Fund, The Rektor of University of Iceland, Landsvirkjun and funds from the Nordic Ministry Råd.

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The construction of CODE has been performed in collaboration with the Icelandic Met Office and  the Marine Research Institute

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Publications and Technical Reports:


Gislason, A., K. Logemann, and G. Marteinsdottir (2016): The cross-shore distribution of plankton and particles southwest of Iceland observed with a Video Plankton Recorder. Cont. Shelf Res., 123, pp. 50–60.

Logemann, K., J. Olafsson, A. Snorrason, H. Valdimarsson, and G. Marteinsdottir (2013): The circulation of Icelandic waters - a modelling study, Ocean Sci., 9, 931-955, doi:10.5194/os-9-931-2013, 2013.

Logemann, K., J. Olafsson J., A. Snorrason, and G. Marteinsdóttir (2013): The South Icelandic Current. ICES CM 2013/L:01 Theme Session L contributions.

Logemann, K., Olafsson, J. & Marteinsdóttir, G. 2012. Modelling the hydrography of Icelandic waters from 1992 to 2006. MARICE-E-report MER-13-2012. pdf

Logemann, K., Ólafsson, J. & Marteinsdóttir, G. 2010. The ocean model CODE and its application to Icelandic waters. MARICE E-report MER-10-2010. pdf


LANDSVIRKJUN: Consulting projects

COSEMA (COnsequences of SEvere radioactive releases to Nordic MArine environment):

Consulting for Geislavarnir Ríkisins and participation in a Nordic project exploring the consequences of

hypothetical severe nuclear accidents releases to the Nordic marine environment.

See here  an example of a particle tracking exercise showing the dispersal of radioactive particles in the Icelandic region


Figure: Definition of compartmental boxes for COSEMA modelling and flow rates between boxes in Sverdrup (1 Sv = 10^6 m^3/s)



HISA: Hydrodynamic Information System for the north Atlantic:

This projects has been funded by the Icelandic Technology Developmental Fund since 2010. The current funding ended in 2014. It is coordinated by Prof. Gudrun Marteinsdottir and based on the ocean model CODE designed by Dr. Kai Logemann.




Development of the Hydrodynamic Information System of the North Atlantic


The main objective is to develop a Hydrodynamic Information System for the North Atlantic that will provide short-term forecasts on surface and below-surface ocean conditions (wave height and length, temperature, salinity, strength and direction of currents at all depths). The system will provide accurate and up-to-date information made possible through an interactive system of data exchange between users and the model mainframe. The first product is now available and presented here.

The HISA will also include “Fish Finder Tools”. Currently the PhD student Jed Macdonald   is mapping and creating probability equations for the distribution of herring in relation to environmental conditions derived from our model data. With further funding, other species such as cod and capelin will also be included.

SEAMAN  (Spatially resolved Ecosystem models and their Application to Marine MANagement)

SEAMAN is an international project funded by Seas-Era (through RANNÍS) and coordinated by Prof. Dr. Corinna Schrum ( University of Bergen).

The main aim of our participation is to develop several of the components needed for the fish finder tool in  HISA (described above). Through this fund we hope to be able to model and hindcast primary production and distribution and behviour including migration of herring, mackerel and capelin. Hindcast of these species together with information on three dimensional environment will help us to understand how these species responded to variation in climate and ocean conditions.

NorMer (Nordic Centre for Research on Marine Ecosystems and Resources under Climate Change)

NorMer is a one of the top ten center of excellence funded by the Nordic Ministry Fund. The center is coordinated by Prof. Niels Stenseth. Our participation includes  two projects; a Post Doctoral by Dr. Pamela Woods on „Bottom-up controls in fisheries management and their utility for adaptation to climate“ ;  a PhD project by Will Butler on effects of freshwater-induced stratification on plankton and cod recruitment and a PhD project by Hlynur Barðarsson on „developing morphological and life history markers of sub-stock structure in Iceland cod“

The role of freshwater runoff in terms of cod spawning and larval survival 

This project is funded by Landsvirkjun,  coordinated by Prof.Dr. Gudrun Marteinsdottir together with Dr. Kai Logemann and Will Butler in collaboration with scientists at the Met Office and Earth Sciences at University of Iceland.  The main objective is to model the freshwater runoff and its impact on the near-shore flow field. These information are used to explore the variation in stratification, gadoid egg vertical distribution and to model the drift and survival of eggs and larvae from the spawning sites on Selvogsbanki.



Satellite image from October 2002 showing the coastal current carrying sediments and algae along the South coast of Iceland




Changes in the thickness of the freshwater layer in June in three selected coastal areas.





About Us


Todays fishing industry is more than ever dependent on information about the ocean-atmosphere system. Whereby, the access and interpretation of atmospheric (e.g. wind speed and direction, visibility, sea level pressure or air temperature) and oceanic (e.g. wave heights, sea level height, currents, temperature, salinity, nutrient concentration or plankton densities) data forms the base of successful strategies implemented while fishing and sailing across the Atlantic. Marsýn ehf proposes to meet this demand for accurate and up-to-date information on ocean condition. Based on extensive research we have constructed a marine information system for the mid north Atlantic waters which provides forecasts on ocean conditions in high resolution. Future versions will use an even higher spatial resolution and include information about target fish aggregations.



June 2016

EFMARE (NKS-B project) meeting in Copenhagen. Simulations of the seasonal effects on bioaccumulation of radionuclides are planned.

May 2016

The multi-decadal (1948-2012) ecosystem simulation (ECOSMO-II-C) simulation was finished. First results (primary production) can be seen here.

April 2016

New CODE version 9.235 released with an improved TS assimilation scheme (Cressman/optimal interpolation) and more spatious observation catchment area. Multi-decadal test run started.

January 2016

The ecosystem model implementation was improved. A multi-decadal (1948-2012) simulation was started.

June 2015

The ecosystem model ECOSMO-II, coupled with a basic individual-based fish model, was implemented into the CODE system. The daily updated forecasts are displayed graphically here.

November 2014

MARSYN wins the first prize at the University of Iceland Innovation Competition 2014.

November 2014

A multi-decadal (1948-2012) hydrodynamic simulation of Icelandic waters was completed.

October 2014

A surface wave model was implemented into the model system. For the first time in the history of Icelandic hydrography, high-resolution (1 km) wave foreasts of Icelandic coastal areas are performed and released to the public.

November 2013

Marsýn ehf is selected as one of 3 SME’s for best idea at the  Marine Conference Innovation Competition

Marsýn ehf receives Innovation awards from Islandsbanki for modeling wave heights around Iceland

October 2013

Jed Macdonald, PhD student, receives a grant from the Herring Research Fund for a project that has the main objective to forecast the distribution of herring based on ocean conditions obtained from CODE. This project is a part of the development of the HISA information system and the Fish Finder Tool

An article on the circulation of Icelandic waters (a modelling study) by Logemann et al. published in Ocean Science. pdf

May 2013

Marsýn ehf publishes the first ocean forecasts based on CODE in high resolution for the ocean region around Iceland

May 2012

Marsýn ehf receive a grant from Technology Developmental Fund of Iceland

May 2012

Marsýn ehf registered



Marsýn ehf., University of Iceland
Askja-Room 159, Sturlugata 7
101 Reykjavik

Prof.Dr. Guðrún Marteinsdóttir, Biologist, CEO; runam(AT)
Dr.rer.nat. Kai Logemann, Physical Oceanographer; kai(AT)
Mr. Sigurður Guðumundsson, Univ. Iceland Research Service; sigurgud(AT)