Haidvogel, D. B., H. Arango, W. P. Budgell, B. D. Cornuelle, E. Curchitser, E. Di Lorenzo, K. Fennel, W. R. Geyer, A. J. Hermann, L. Lanerolle, J. Levin, J. C. McWilliams, A. J. Miller, A. M. Moore, T. M. Powell, A. F. Shchepetkin, C. R. Sherwood, R. P. Signell, J. C. Warner, and J. Wilkin, 2008:

Ocean forecasting in terrain-following coordinates: Formulation and skill assessment of the Regional Ocean Modeling System.

Journal of Computational Physics,227, 3595-3624.

Abstract. Systematic improvements in algorithmic design of regional ocean circulation models have led to significant enhancement in simulation ability across a wide range of space/time scales and marine system types. As an example, we briefly review the Regional Ocean Modeling System, a member of a general class of three-dimensional, free-surface, terrain-following numerical models. Noteworthy characteristics of the ROMS computational kernel include: consistent temporal averaging of the barotropic mode to guarantee both exact conservation and constancy preservation properties for tracers; redefined barotropic pressure-gradient terms to account for local variations in the density field; vertical interpolation performed using conservative parabolic splines; and higher-order, quasi-monotone advection algorithms. Examples of quantitative skill assessment are shown for a tidally driven estuary, an ice-covered high-latitude sea, a wind- and buoyancy-forced continental shelf, and a mid-latitude ocean basin. The combination of moderate-order spatial approximations, enhanced conservation properties, and quasi-monotone advection produces both more robust and accurate, and less diffusive, solutions than those produced in earlier terrain-following ocean models. Together with advanced methods of data assimilation and novel observing system technologies, these capabilities constitute the necessary ingredients for multi-purpose regional ocean prediction systems.

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