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1.1 Introduction

MITgcm has a number of novel aspects:

  • it can be used to study both atmospheric and oceanic phenomena; one hydrodynamical kernel is used to drive forward both atmospheric and oceanic models - see fig 1.1

    Figure 1.1: MITgcm has a single dynamical kernel that can drive forward either oceanic or atmospheric simulations.
    \includegraphics[width=.9\textwidth, clip]{part1/onemodel.eps}

  • it has a non-hydrostatic capability and so can be used to study both small-scale and large scale processes - see fig 1.2

    Figure 1.2: MITgcm has non-hydrostatic capabilities, allowing the model to address a wide range of phenomenon - from convection on the left, all the way through to global circulation patterns on the right.
    \includegraphics[width=.9\textwidth, clip]{part1/scales.eps}

  • finite volume techniques are employed yielding an intuitive discretization and support for the treatment of irregular geometries using orthogonal curvilinear grids and shaved cells - see fig 1.3

    Figure 1.3: Finite volume techniques (bottom panel) are user, permitting a treatment of topography that rivals $ \sigma $ (terrain following) coordinates.

  • tangent linear and adjoint counterparts are automatically maintained along with the forward model, permitting sensitivity and optimization studies.

  • the model is developed to perform efficiently on a wide variety of computational platforms.

Key publications reporting on and charting the development of the model are [30,39,38,5,40,6,9,37]:

Hill, C. and J. Marshall, (1995)
Application of a Parallel Navier-Stokes Model to Ocean Circulation in 
Parallel Computational Fluid Dynamics
In Proceedings of Parallel Computational Fluid Dynamics: Implementations 
and Results Using Parallel Computers, 545-552.
Elsevier Science B.V.: New York

Marshall, J., C. Hill, L. Perelman, and A. Adcroft, (1997)
Hydrostatic, quasi-hydrostatic, and nonhydrostatic ocean modeling
J. Geophysical Res., 102(C3), 5733-5752.

Marshall, J., A. Adcroft, C. Hill, L. Perelman, and C. Heisey, (1997)
A finite-volume, incompressible Navier Stokes model for studies of the ocean
on parallel computers,
J. Geophysical Res., 102(C3), 5753-5766.

Adcroft, A.J., Hill, C.N. and J. Marshall, (1997)
Representation of topography by shaved cells in a height coordinate ocean
Mon Wea Rev, vol 125, 2293-2315

Marshall, J., Jones, H. and C. Hill, (1998)
Efficient ocean modeling using non-hydrostatic algorithms
Journal of Marine Systems, 18, 115-134

Adcroft, A., Hill C. and J. Marshall: (1999)
A new treatment of the Coriolis terms in C-grid models at both high and low
Mon. Wea. Rev. Vol 127, pages 1928-1936

Hill, C, Adcroft,A., Jamous,D., and J. Marshall, (1999)
A Strategy for Terascale Climate Modeling.
In Proceedings of the Eighth ECMWF Workshop on the Use of Parallel Processors
in Meteorology, pages 406-425
World Scientific Publishing Co: UK

Marotzke, J, Giering,R., Zhang, K.Q., Stammer,D., Hill,C., and T.Lee, (1999)
Construction of the adjoint MIT ocean general circulation model and 
application to Atlantic heat transport variability
J. Geophysical Res., 104(C12), 29,529-29,547.

We begin by briefly showing some of the results of the model in action to give a feel for the wide range of problems that can be addressed using it.

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