The idea behind GOTM

Computer codes similar to pieces of GOTM can be found at many scientific institutions. However, different researchers have different goals. Some are interested in the development of turbulence models, others in oceanic applications of these models, and yet others want to compare the effects of different turbulence models on different processes in the ocean or in lakes. The attempt to use one of their specialised programs for one's own project resulted in many cases in spending weeks of work for deciphering non-documented FORTRAN lines, scattered with pre-historic fragments of code from more or, in some cases, less talented programmers. Additional time had to be spend for providing components for atmospheric forcing, etc, before the own research project could finally be attacked.

To overcome these problems, the GOTM project was intiated, its purpose being twofold. First, GOTM should provide an integrative environment for all researchers interested in the application of a turbulence model in studies of oceanic processes. Such a software should contain a core part for solving transport equations of mean and turbulent quantities, but equally well routines to compute the atmosphere-ocean fluxes from meteorological or measured data, including routines to interpolate and manipulate them. Second, however, GOTM should also be a research tool for those interested in the development of turbulence models and numerical algorithms. This implies that GOTM should always contain the state-of-the-art models and algorithms in these disciplines. The current version of GOTM was developed under these premises.

In both cases, a detailed and comprehensible documentation is crucial, and we spent a lot of effort to come close to this goal. All methods and models embedded in GOTM can be traced back to scientific publications, a key requirement for the scientific use of a program. Also, we took great care to make the FORTRAN95 code as safe, easily understandable, and extensible, as possible.

Karsten Bolding 2012-01-24