Submitted as: development and technical paper 20 Dec 2021

Submitted as: development and technical paper | 20 Dec 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

ROMSPath v1.0: Offline Particle Tracking for the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS)

Elias J. Hunter1, Heidi L. Fuchs1, John L. Wilkin1, Gregory P. Gerbi2, Robert J. Chant1, and Jessica C. Garwood1 Elias J. Hunter et al.
  • 1Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey
  • 2School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine, Orono, Maine

Abstract. Offline particle tracking (OPT) is a widely used tool for the analysis of data in oceanographic research. Given the output of a hydrodynamic model, OPT can provide answers to a wide variety of research questions involving fluid kinematics, zooplankton transport, the dispersion of pollutants, and the fate of chemical tracers, among others. In this paper, we introduce ROMSPath, an OPT model designed to complement the Regional Ocean Modelling System (ROMS). Based on the Lagrangian TRANSport (LTRANS) model (North et al., 2008), ROMSPath is written in Fortran 90 and provides advancements in functionality and efficiency compared to LTRANS. First, ROMSPath now calculates particle trajectories using the ROMS native grid, which provides advantages in interpolation, masking, and boundary interaction, while improving accuracy. Second, ROMSPath enables simulated particles to pass between nested ROMS grids, which are an increasingly popular tool to simulate the ocean over multiple scales. Third, the ROMSPath vertical turbulence module enables the turbulent (diffusion) time step and advection time step to be specified separately, adding flexibility and improving computational efficiency. Lastly, ROMSPath includes new infrastructure enabling input of auxiliary parameters for added functionality. In particular, Stokes drift can be input and added to particle advection. Here we describe the details of these updates and improvements.

Elias J. Hunter et al.

Status: open (until 14 Feb 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on gmd-2021-400', Morane Clavel-Henry, 06 Jan 2022 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on gmd-2021-400', Anonymous Referee #2, 26 Jan 2022 reply

Elias J. Hunter et al.

Elias J. Hunter et al.


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Short summary
ROMSPath is an offline particle tracking model tailored for use with output from Regional Ocean Modelling Systems simulations. It is an update to an established system, the Lagrangian TRANSport model, including a number of improvements. These include a modification of the model coordinate system which improved accuracy and numerical efficiency, and added functionality for nested grids and Stokes drift.