Please note: You are viewing the unstyled version of this website. Either your browser does not support CSS (cascading style sheets) or it has been disabled. Skip navigation.

Model Descriptions

  Email    Print  PDF  Change text to small (default) Change text to medium Change text to large

Historical Development

Over the past decades a variety of ocean general circulation models have been developed, distinguishing themselves principally in their choice of discretization for the vertical dimension. The first type of ocean model to be developed was the z-level model (Bryan, 1969) in which the vertical is discretized based on constant geopotential surfaces. Next an isopycnic-coordinate model was presented (Bleck and Boudra, 1981) in which the vertical is divided into layers of constant density. The motivation for this layered approach is the belief that, below the surface mixed layer, the flow in the ocean occurs primarily along constant density surfaces and not along constant geopotentials. Subsequently, sigma-coordinate models (Blumberg and Mellor, 1987) were developed in which the vertical coordinate is bathymetry-following. The motivation being the desire not to lose vertical resolution over shallow, continental shelf regions as may occur with z-level or isopycnic-coordinate models.

Each approach to vertical discretization has strengths and weaknesses, and the Arctic with its broad continental shelves, steep bathymetry, strong pycnocline, and deep basins, provides an ideal test-bed for intercomparing the performance of all these model classes. 

Participating Models

Below we present all models that have been participated in AOMIP studies since 2001. In AOMIP, z-coordinate models dominate (see table below). Practically, all of these models are based on the same original code (Bryan, 1969) but are, nonetheless, sufficiently distinct in their detailed treatment of physical processes as to warrant intercomparison. As an example, the Institute of Ocean Sciences model replaces the traditional Newtonian formulation of viscous damping with an eddy-topography rectification, a parameterization known as the Neptune effect. A variant of the most-widely used isopycnic model (Bleck and Boudra, 1981) is represented in our study by the New York University (NYU, USA) model. We also employ two versions of a sigma-coordinate model (Blumberg and Mellor, 1987) represented by the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC, USA) and International Arctic Research Center (IARC, USA) models.

The basic configuration for all participating models is to have their ocean model coupled to a sea-ice model and to be driven by specified atmospheric forcing fields.

AOMIP models

Institute

Principal

Investigator

Model name

Model type (vertical coordinate)

Alfred Wegener Institute, AWI

M. Karcher

AWI

z

Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)

S. Hakkinen

GSFC

sigma

Laboratoire de Physique des Océans

C. Lique

ORCA025/

DRAKKAR

Los Alamos National Laboratory

E. Hunke

LANL

z

Laval University

 

LU

z

Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, NERSC

H. Drange

NERSC

z

Naval Postgraduate School, NPS

W. Maslowski

NPS

layer

New York University, NYU

D. Holland

NYU

z

Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory

 

POL

layer

Russian Academy of Science, Novosibirsk,

E. Golubeva

RASN

z

Russian Academy of Science, Moscow

N. Yakovlev

FEMAO1

z

Russian Academy of Science, Moscow

N. Yakovlev

FEMAO2

z

Institute of Numerical Mathematics, INM RAS

N. Diansky

INMOM

sigma

Universite Catholique de Louvain, UCL

 H. Goose

UCL

z

University of Washington

J. Zhang

UW

z

Dalhousie University, DAL 

F. Dupont   

DAL

z

Florida State University

D. Dukhovskoy

FSU

 

Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, GFDL

Winton/Martin

GFDL

 

International Arctic Research Center, IARC

E. Watanabe

IARC-1/COCO

 

International Arctic Research Center, IARC

E. Watanabe

IARC-2/COCO

z-sigma

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, JPL

An T. Nguyen

ECCO2

z-sigma

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT

C. Hill

ECCO2

z

National Center for Atmospheric Research, NCAR

M. Holland

NCAR

 

Norwegian Polar Institute, NPI

Ole A. Nøst

NPI

 

Rossby Center, Swedish Meteorol. & Hydrol. Institute,RCO

M. Meier

RCO

z

University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, UMASDD

C. Chen

FVCOM

sigma

National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS/ORCA25)

Y. Aksenov, B. de Cuevas

ORCA25

z

McGill University, MCGU

B. Tremblay, A. Jahn

 

 

Laboratoire d'Océanographie:et du Climat: Expérimentations et Approches Numériques LOCEAN

Houssais/Herbaut

ORCA05

Z (shaved cells)

Institute of Ocean Sciences, Canada, IOS

G. Holloway

IOS

z

 



Last updated: March 5, 2010
 


whoi logo

Copyright ©2007 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, All Rights Reserved, Privacy Policy.
Problems or questions about the site, please contact webdev@whoi.edu