Bluelink Project

(in collaboration with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO))

Product description

Bluelink is an Australian partnership between CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology and the Royal Australian Navy. The global ocean model that Bluelink is based on is the Ocean Forecasting Australia Model (OFAM) which is based on MOM. Observations are assimilated using the Bluelink Ocean Data Assimilation System (BODAS), an ensemble Optimal Interpolation (EnOI; Oke et al. 2002; 2006) system that has been developed under Bluelink. The Bluelink global ocean model and data assimilation system have been implemented operationally at the Bureau of Meteorology where it is called OceanMAPS. OceanMAPS produces a seven-day forecast of ocean conditions daily and assimilates the following observations from various sources including Argo and SOOP-XBT:

  • sea-level anomaly (SLA)
  • sea-surface temperature (SST)
  • in situ temperature (T)
  • in situ salinity (S)
Bluelink also performs ocean reanalyses known as Bluelink ReANalyses (BRAN). BRAN3.5 is a 20-year reanalysis that assimilates satellite altimetry, satellite sea-surface temperature and in situ temperature and salinity from Argo floats and moorings. The most recent BRAN (BRAN3.5) spans 1/1992 to 7/2012.

Ocean parameters

The following parameters are outputs of the Bluelink OceanMAPS model and maps can be found and downloaded here:

  • Sea Surface Temperature (SST)
  • Sea Surface Salinity (SSS)
  • Sea level anomaly (SLA)
  • Surface currents
The following parameters are outputs of the Bluelink BRAN reanalysis:
  • Sea Surface Temperature (SST) daily, weekly and monthly
  • Subsurface Ocean Temperature at 150m, 400m and depth of 20°C isotherm
The BRAN data in NetCDF format for 1993 to 2012 can be downloaded from an openDAP server.


The Bluelink products are used for defense, the public good, shipping, oil and gas planning, search and rescue, and fisheries management. Bluelink data helped support the search for the missing Malaysian Airplane (MH370).


The model has a global configuration with 1/10° resolution around Australia. Several boxes exist around Australia's coastline as seen below.

Sea Surface Temperature & currents (25-Apr-2014) from OceanMAPS
    Color bar: 18(°C) to 28(°C)
Sea Level anomaly (01-May-2014) from OceanMAPS
    Color bar: -0.3(m) to 0.3(m)