LEGOS (Laboratoire d’Études en Géophysique et Océanographie spatiales)

Logo du Laboratoire d’Etudes en Géophysique et Océanographie Spatiales

LEGOS - UMR 5566 | CNES - CNRS - IRD - UPS Toulouse III

14, avenue Edouard Belin - 31400 Toulouse
 Tél. : 33 (0) 561 332 929 - Fax : 33 (0) 561 xxx xxx

Director : Yves Morel

This interdisciplinary research unit studies our environment through focusing on deep-sea and coastal ocean physics, marine geochemistry and biogeochemistry, space hydrology and the dynamics of polar caps. Observation mainly uses space-based remote sensing and five observation services or networks. LEGOS is involved in a number of satellite missions (mostly altimetric), from the beginning (concept, algorithms) to the end-result stage (calibration, validation, data enhancement).

The staff comprises 40 researchers, 20 ITA (Engineers/Technicians/Administrative staff), 30 PhD students and postdoctoral fellows, as well as interns and contract employees.

Thematic research

satellite hydrologie spatiale

Geophysics, Oceanography and Space Hydrology

Using multi-sensor space-based observation to study the Earth system, with a focus on the emergence of space hydrology and applications to continental areas.

Physical Dynamics/Marine Biogeochemistry

Regional dynamics of sea plankton in response to climate change from season- to decade- timescale (modelling, satellite and in-situ observation analysis, sensor development for the biogeochemical monitoring of oceans).

Marine Geochemistry

Quantifying the processes governing matter transfer in oceans (role of continental margins, biogenic flows and ocean transportation).

Satellite Observation of the Cryosphere

Using multi-sensor satellite observation to study the dynamics of continental ice sheets and their interaction with the atmosphere and oceans.

Analyse de la cryosphère

SHOM/CMO Toulouse

Numerical modelling of deep-sea and coastal oceans (analysis, prevision, asssimilation of satellite-based and in-situ data). In the field of research and development, CMO takes part in the study of ocean circulation led by LEGOS.

Coast/open-ocean exchanges

Dynamics of regional ocean circulation, upwelling system, low-/high-frequency coupling, ocean/atmosphere exchanges, and coast/open-ocean coupling.

Open ocean and climate variability

Low-frequency ocean variability, dynamics of mode waters, dynamics of ENSO, dynamics of intertropical and extratropical exchanges.

Observation Services

Satellite d'observation

CTOH (Centre de Topographie des Océans et de l’Hydrosphère)

Satellite-borne altimetry of both oceans and continents, with an increasing focus on coastal areas, continental hydrology and the cryosphere.

DORIS data processing centre

A collaboration with IERS (International Earth Reference System) for top-precision positioning in orbitography.

instruments LEGOS


A network for the observation of sea-level in the Antarctic and Subantarctic regions, with the support of IPEV (Institut polaire français – Paul-Émile-Victor).


An endeavor to monitor sea-surface salinity using merchant ships, comprising 5 observation networks across the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Southern oceans.


A network of moored buoys across the Equatorial Atlantic for the monitoring of meteorological and oceanographic variables between the surface and 500m-deep sea-bottom.

Instrument development

Anais (Autonomous Nutrient Analyser In Situ)

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