The Marine Virtual Laboratory (MARVL)

The Marine Virtual Laboratory (MARVL), a component of the Nectar-funded Virtual Laboratory program, is a research tool intended to significantly reduce the time required to gather the necessary initial conditions and forcing fields for an oceanographic model study. MARVL, accessed through a web-based portal (WebMARVL), allows a user to quickly and easily configure an ocean general circulation or wave model through a simple interface, reducing the time to configure a regional model to a few minutes. Through WebMARVL, a user is prompted to define the basic options needed for a model configuration, including the: model, run duration, spatial extent, and input data. Once all aspects of the configuration are selected, a series of data extraction, reprocessing, and repackaging services are run, and a “take-away bundle” is prepared for download. Building on the information infrastructure of IMOS, WebMARVL also extracts all of the available observations for the chosen time-space domain. The user is able to download the take-away bundle, and use it to run the model of their choice.


Models supported by WebMARVL include three community ocean general circulation models

  • Mom4
  • ROMS
  • SHOC

and two community wave models

  • SWAN
  • WW3.


The model configuration from the take-away bundle is intended to be a starting point for scientific research. A schematic describing MARVL can be found here.