Developments in terrain-following ocean models: Intercomparisons of numerical aspects

Tal Ezer, Hernan Arango, Alexander F. Shchepetkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


During the course of developing new numerical algorithms for a terrain-following ocean modeling system (TOMS), different numerical aspects have been evaluated through a comparison between two widely used community ocean models, the Princeton ocean model (POM) and the regional ocean modeling system (ROMS). While both models aim at modeling coastal to basin-scale problems using similar grids, their numerical algorithms, code structure, and parameterization options are very different. Sensitivity studies with an idealized channel flow and a steep seamount configuration demonstrate how different algorithms in the two models may affect numerical errors, the stability of the code and the computational efficiency. For example, new pressure gradient schemes, using polynomial fits and new time stepping algorithms may reduce numerical errors and allow using longer time steps than standard schemes do. However, the new schemes may require more careful choices of time steps and the use of higher order advection schemes to maintain numerical stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-267
Number of pages19
JournalOcean Modelling
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Oceanography
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Atmospheric Science


  • Numerical methods
  • Ocean modeling
  • Sigma coordinates


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