CHESS Lagrangian modelling course

When: 7-10 June 2022 (new dates)
Where: Bergen, Norway
Credit: 1 ECTS
Lecturers: Prof. Harald Sodemann (University of Bergen), Dr. Sabine Eckhardt (NILU), Dr. Hanin Binder (ETH Zürich), Prof. Joseph LaCasce (University of Oslo), Prof. Øyvind Breivik (University of Bergen/, Dr. Knut-Frode Dagestad (, Prof. Pål Erik Isachsen (University of Oslo), Dr. Iris Thurnherr, PhD Cand. Aina Johannesen, Dr. Alena Dekhtyareva, (University of Bergen)
Target Group: PhD students with background in environmental studies (meteorology, oceanography, biogeochemistry or similar) and interest in Lagrangian methods in Earth system sciences applied to study fluid trajectory information for parcels in the oceans and the atmosphere.
Course responsible: Dr. Alena Dekhtyareva (University of Bergen)


(new registration deadline: 29 May)

Course description


Lagrangian methods in Earth system sciences provide fluid trajectory information for parcels in the oceans and the atmosphere. This allows to study small- to large- scale processes and to track air and water mass transport and transformations on various time scales. Understanding of these processes is essential to improve forecast capabilities, to analyse feedback mechanisms important for climate change and to study transport, dispersion and deposition of atmospheric compounds and water pollutants for long-term environmental impact assessment. In this CHESS course, students will obtain interdisciplinary knowledge on Lagrangian methods in natural sciences and practical skills in the application of Lagrangian atmospheric and oceanic models.


The course provides students with theoretical knowledge and practical skills in Lagrangian analyses applied in natural sciences.

Learning outcomes

Students should be able to:
• identify the main principles and major limitations of the Lagrangian approach.
• set up an atmospheric and oceanic Lagrangian model run for a specific case study, post-process and interpret the obtained trajectories and discuss their application to study environmental processes.
• critically evaluate Lagrangian modelling methods and design a modelling experiment suitable for comparison with observational data, demonstrate interdisciplinary connections between different research areas of the coupled Earth System and present results from a case study.

Learning modules

Each module includes lectures (morning session) and practical exercises (afternoon session) where students will apply the introduced Lagrangian models to specific case studies.

Tentative schedule

07.06.2022 Introduction to Lagrangian methods

Morning Introduction to Lagrangian statistics including hands-on analysis activities (Prof. J. LaCasce)
Afternoon The HYSPLIT atmospheric trajectory model exercises (Dr. A. Dekhtyareva)
Evening Icebreaker

08.06.2022 Lagrangian ocean modelling

Morning Introduction to the Lagrangian ocean modelling (Prof. Øyvind Breivik, Dr. Knut-Frode Dagestad, Dr. Johannes Röhrs)
Afternoon Modelling exercises with OpenDrift (Dr. Knut-Frode Dagestad)

09.06.2022 Atmospheric modelling with FLEXPART

Morning Introduction to FLEXPART (Prof. Harald Sodemann)
Afternoon Modelling exercises with FLEXPART (PhD Cand. Aina Johannessen, Dr. Sabine Eckhardt (NILU))

10.06.2022 Application of Lagrangian tools in various research fields

Morning Application of Lagrangian tools in various research fields (Dr. Hanin Binder, Prof. Pål Erik Isachsen, Dr. Sabine Eckhardt)
Afternoon Student presentations, wrap-up and course evaluation (Dr. Alena Dekhtyareva, Dr. Iris Thurnherr)


Accommodation, meals, and participation fee

There is no participation fee for the course. Travel and accommodation costs for members of the Norwegian Research School CHESS from other cities than Bergen will be reimbursed by CHESS. All meals during the course activities, including lunch, and icebreaker as well as coffee breaks are free of charge. See registration for further details.