The overarching goal of the project Modular System for Shelves and Coasts (MOSSCO, www.mossco.de) was to bring together the distributed capacities in coastal ocean modelling in Germany and to build a common infrastructure for the national and international coastal research community.
MOSSCO built a framework for a modular data and model system, an infrastructure, which has been identified as research demand by the Forschungsagenda Nord- und Ostsee within the framework of the Research Agenda for Sustainable Development (FONA, www.fona.de). MOSSCO integrates physical, biological, chemical and geological modules in an exchangeable way. This modular infrastructure supports synoptic studies of coastal and shelf seas including their interfaces to adjacent Earth-system components, such as sediment, atmosphere, rivers and the open ocean. Benefits of this approach are most apparent for the description of cohesive sediments where strong interactions between the benthic and pelagic compartment and between hydrodynamic, biogeochemical (BGC), ecological and sedimentary processes are largely unresolved within state-of-the-art models.