Publication Detail

An unstructured-grid, finite-volume community ocean model FVCOM user manual (3rd edition)

Changsheng Chen, Robert C Beardsley, Geoffrey Cowles, Jianhua Qi, Zhiqang Lai, Guoping Gao, David Stuebe, Qichun Xu, Pengfei Xue, Jianzhong Ge, Rubao Ji, Song Hu, Rucheng Tian, Haosheng Huang, Lunyu Wu, Huichan Lin
408 pp.
MITSG 12-25

FVCOM is a prognostic, unstructured-grid, Finite-Volume, free-surface, three-dimensional (3-D) primitive equations Community Ocean Model developed originally by Chen et al. (2003a). The current version of FVCOM is fully coupled ice-ocean-wave-sediment-ecosystem model system with options of various turbulence mixing parameterization, generalized terrain-following coordinates, data assimilation schemes, and wet/dry treatments with inclusion of dike and groyne structures under hydrostatic or non-hydrostatic approximation. FVCOM solves the governing equations on Cartesian or spherical coordinates in integral form by computing fluxes between non-overlapping horizontal triangular control volumes. Either mode-split or semi-implicit schemes can be selected. This finite-volume approach combines the best of finite-element methods (FEM) for geometric flexibility and finite-difference methods (FDM) for simple discrete structures and computational efficiency. This numerical approach also provides a much better representation of mass, momentum, salt, and heat conservation in coastal and estuarine regions with complex geometry. The conservative nature of FVCOM in addition to its flexible grid topology and code simplicity make FVCOM ideally suited for interdisciplinary application in the coastal ocean.

The initial development of FVCOM was started by a team effort led by C. Chen in 1999 at the University of Georgia (UGA) with support from the Georgia Sea Grant College Program. C. Chen, H. Liu, and R. C. Beardsley developed the first version of FVCOM at designing to simulate the 3-D currents and transport within an estuary/tidal creek/inter-tidal salt marsh complex. The first manuscript about this new model was submitted to Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology in 2000 and published in 2003. That was the first paper of FVCOM. In 2001, C. Chen moved to the School of Marine Science and Technology at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth (SMAST/UMASS-D) and established the Marine Ecosystem Dynamics Modeling (MEDM) Laboratory where work on FVCOM has continued with funding from several sources including the NASA and NOAA-funded SMAST fishery program led by Brian Rothschild, the NSF/NOAA US GLOBEC/Georges Bank Program. Led by C. Chen and R. C. Beardsley (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution-WHOI), the model development team with members of H. Liu, T. Wang completed the original structure of FVCOM and conducted a series of model validation experiments. G. Cowles joined the MEDM group as postdoctoral researcher in 2003 and lead the conversion of FVCOM to Fortran 90/95, modularized the coding structure, and added the capability for parallel computation. The first FVCOM User Manual was published in 2004 together with a release of FVCOM v2.4. Since then, many new modules were developed by the FVCOM team members including J. Qi, H. Huang, Q. Xu, Z. Lai, P. Xue, D. Stuebe and R. Tian. The second FVCOM User Manual came out in 2006 with a release of FVCOM v2.6. D. Stuebe implemented a new code structure to improve the efficiency of inter-node data exchange and model input and output writing under parallel computational environments, and J. Qi continued to complete his work after he left. D. Stuebe also implemented the visualization software “ViSiT” into FVCOM, which can monitor the model performance during the model run. This new code structure was the origin of FVCOM v3.0.

FVCOM was developed and upgraded by a team effort with numerous contributions from scientists and graduate students at MEDM/SMAST/UMASSD. FVCOM v3.1.6 includes many new modules some of which are listed below.

UG-CICE: An unstructured grid sea ice model converted from the structured grid CICE.

FVCOM-NH: A non-hydrostatic version of FVCOM developed as one component of Z. Lai’s Ph.D. thesis research (Lai, 2009) under supervision of C. Chen, G. Cowles and R. C. Beardsley.

FVCOM-SWAVE: An unstructured grid version of surface wave model-SWAN developed by J. Qi, C. Chen and R. C. Beardsley (Qi et al., 2008). J. Qi wrote the code with supports from C. Chen in discrete algorithms and Z. Lai and G. Cowles in matrix solvers. J. Qi, C. Chen and R. C. Beardsley did the validation experiments and also applied this model to the Gulf of Maine region. A fully current-wave-sediment module in FVCOM was also initialized by A. Wu and J. Ge (a visiting student from East China Normal University). J. Qi and Q. Xu re-organized the code and updated to FVCOM v3.1.6 or up.

FVCOM-GEM: A generalized biological module coupled with FVCOM, which allow users to select either a pre-built biological model (such as a NPZ, NPZD, NPZDB, etc) or construct their own biological model using the pre-refined pool of biological variables and parameterization functions.

FVCOM-SED: An unstructured-grid version of the USGS structured-grid community sediment model developed by G. Cowles. With Warner’s support, G. Cowles converted and updated the USGS code to the unstructured grid version under the FVCOM framework.

FVCOM-WQM: A water quality model based on the EPA Water quality Analysis Simulation Program (WASP) implemented into FVCOM by J. Qi and C. Chen.

UG-CE-QUAL-ICM: An unstructured-grid finite-volume version of the Army Corp of Engineers water quality model CE-QUAL-ICM. This code was originally developed by J. Qi and C. Chen and modified and validated by scientists at DOE-Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

UG-RCA: An unstructured grid version of the water quality model (RCA) developed by J. Qi, C. Chen, and R. Tian.

Dike-Groyne Module: A module to treat vertical straight walls above and below the sea levels.

FVCOM-DYE: A module used to trace the dye online.

Semi-implicit Solver: A semi-implicit solver was implemented into FVCOM as an option for time integration by Z. Lai and C. Chen.

Multi-domain Nesting Module: An input- and output-module designed for multi-domain nesting. A one-way nesting module was originally written by P. Xue when he and Chen applied FVCOM Kalman Filter to conduct The Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs) in Nantucket Sound.

type: Technical reports

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Parent Project

Project No.: 2010-R/RC-116
Title: Development and Validation of the Water Quality Model System for Massachusetts Coastal Waters

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