Also known as Hamburg Shelf Ocean Model
Model type Single
Model part of larger framework
Incorporated models or components:
Spatial dimensions 3D
Spatial extent Continental, Regional-Scale
Model domain Coastal, Marine
One-line model description 3D free surface and baroclinic hydrodynamic model
Extended model description The development of the HAMSOM coding goes back to the mid eighties where it emerged from a fruitful co-operation between Backhaus and Maier-Reimer who later called his model 'HOPE'. From the very beginning HAMSOM was designed with the intention to allow simulations of both oceanic and coastal and shelf sea dynamics.

The primitive equation model with a free surface utilises two time-levels, and is defined in Z co-ordinates on the Arakawa C-grid. Stability constraints for surface gravity waves and the heat conduction equation are avoided by the implementation of implicit schemes. With a user defined weighting between future and presence time levels a hierarchy of implicit schemes is provided to solve for the free surface problem, and for the vertical transfer of momentum and water mass properties. In the time domain a scheme for the Coriolis rotation is incorporated which has second order accuracy. Time- and space-dependent vertical exchange and diffusivity coefficients are determined from a simple zero-order turbulence closure scheme which has also been replaced by a higher order closure scheme (GOTM). The resolution of a water column may degenerate to just one grid cell. At the seabed a non-linear (implicit) friction law as well as the full kinematic boundary condition is applied. Seabed cells may deviate from an undisturbed cell height to allow for a better resolution of the topography. The HAMSOM coding excludes any time-splitting, i.e. free surface and internal baroclinic modes are always directly coupled. Simple upstream and more sophisticated advection schemes for both momentum and matter may be run according to directives from the user.

Successful couplings with eco-system models (ECOHAM, ERSEM), an atmospheric model (REMO), and both Lagrangian and Eulerian models for sediment transport are reported in the literature. For polar applications HAMSOM was coupled with a viscous-plastic thermo-hydrodynamic ice model of Hibler type. Since about 15 years in Hamburg, and overseas in more than 30 laboratories, HAMSOM is already being in use as a community model.


First name Dr. Bernhard
Last name Mayer
Type of contact Model developer
Institute / Organization Center for Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. Institute of Oceanography
Postal address 1 Bundesstr. 53. D-20146 Hamburg
Postal address 2
Town / City Hamburg
Postal code D-20146
Country Germany
Email address

Supported platforms Linux, Windows
Other platform
Programming language Fortran90
Other program language
Code optimized Multiple Processors
Multiple processors implemented Distributed memory
Nr of distributed processors
Nr of shared processors
Start year development 1985
Does model development still take place? Yes
If above answer is no, provide end year model development
Code development status
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Model availability As code
Source code availability
(Or provide future intension)
Source web address
Source csdms web address
Program license type GPL v3
Program license type other
Memory requirements
Typical run time

Describe input parameters Topography

3D temperature and salinity field 2D sea surface height Tidal components River discharge 2D Meteo forcing

Input format ASCII, Binary
Other input format
Describe output parameters Default:

3D Temperature and salinity field 3D Velocities 2D Sea Surface Height

Output format Binary
Other output format
Pre-processing software needed? Yes
Describe pre-processing software
Post-processing software needed? Yes
Describe post-processing software
Visualization software needed? Yes
If above answer is yes
Other visualization software

Describe processes represented by the model
Describe key physical parameters and equations
Describe length scale and resolution constraints
Describe time scale and resolution constraints
Describe any numerical limitations and issues

Describe available calibration data sets
Upload calibration data sets if available:
Describe available test data sets
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Describe ideal data for testing

Do you have current or future plans for collaborating with other researchers?
Is there a manual available? No
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Model website if any
Model forum / discussion board

This part will be filled out by CSDMS staff

OpenMI compliant No but possible
BMI compliant No but possible
WMT component No but possible
PyMT component
Is this a data component
Can be coupled with:
Model info
Dr. Bernhard Mayer
Nr. of publications: 52
Total citations: 1328
h-index: 24
Qrcode HAMSOM.png
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Nr. of publications: 52
Total citations: 1328
h-index: 24

See more publications of HAMSOM



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Output Files