The particle tracking and analysis toolbox (PaTATO) for Matlab

Erick Fredj*, Daniel F. Carlson, Yael Amitai, Avi Gozolchiani, Hezi Gildor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Lagrangian particle tracking and Lagrangian coherent structures (LCS) analysis tools aid in the studies of fluid flow and are especially helpful in understanding the role of transport in marine ecosystems. However, most existing particle tracking and analysis tools operate in conjunction with a specific model and/or require execution in multiple programming languages. The Particle Tracking and Analysis TOolbox (PaTATO) for Matlab aims to increase the availability of particle tracking and analysis techniques to a wider audience. PaTATO is compatible with many different types of velocity data and can compute forward and backward trajectories in two and/or three dimensions. PaTATO can compute standard LCS metrics, like Lyapunov exponents and relative dispersion, as well as the maximal extent of a trajectory (MET), a relatively new metric. Most importantly, PaTATO is computationally efficient and easy-to-use. We describe PaTATO, and present examples using the time-periodic double gyre, high frequency radar surface current observations, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model (MITgcm), altimeter-derived geostrophic velocities (AVISO), and Nucleous for European Modelling of the Ocean (NEMO).

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)586-599
Number of pages14
JournalLimnology and Oceanography: Methods
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography.


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