What is GOTM?

GOTM is the abbreviation for `General Ocean Turbulence Model'. It is a one-dimensional water column model for the most important hydrodynamic and thermodynamic processes related to vertical mixing in natural waters. In addition, it has been designed such that it can easily be coupled to 3-D circulation models, and used as a module for the computation of vertical turbulent mixing. The core of the model computes solutions for the one-dimensional versions of the transport equations of momentum, salt and heat. The key component in solving these equations is the model for the turbulent fluxes of these quantities. The strength of GOTM is the vast number of well-tested turbulence models that have been implemented in the code. These models span the range from simple prescribed expressions for the turbulent diffusivities up to complex Reynolds-stress models with several differential transport equations to solve. Even though, evidently, not all turbulence models published in oceanography could be implemented, at least one member of every relevant model family can be found in GOTM (empirical models, energy models, two-equation models, Algebraic Stress Models, K-profile parameterisations, etc).

Besides the classic combination of the hydrodynamic and turbulent part of the model, GOTM has been growing considerably with the years, and new parts have been developed. Sediment transport and the dynamics of sea grass have been added, state-of-the-art numerical schemes have been implemented, and an environment for the assimilation of data and the computation of atmosphere-ocean interactions exists now. In addition, there is a number of scientific research groups that adopted GOTM for their own projects. Even though the modules developed by these groups (biological and bio-geochemical components, air-sea interaction modules, plotting routines, etc) are not part of the core structure of GOTM, as downloadable from our web-site at www.gotm.net, they are in most cases available directly from these groups. In that sense, GOTM is an integrated, community based software environment for an almost unlimited range of applications in geophysical turbulence modelling.

Karsten Bolding 2012-01-24