Also known as
Model type Modular
Model part of larger framework
Spatial dimensions 3D
Spatial extent Global
Model domain Climate
One-line model description The MITgcm (MIT General Circulation Model) is a numerical model designed for study of the atmosphere, ocean, and climate.
Extended model description The MITgcm (MIT General Circulation Model) is a numerical model designed for study of the atmosphere, ocean, and climate. Its non-hydrostatic formulation enables it to simulate fluid phenomena over a wide range of scales; its adjoint capability enables it to be applied to parameter and state estimation problems. By employing fluid isomorphisms, one hydrodynamical kernel can be used to simulate flow in both the atmosphere and ocean.

First name Nicole
Last name Lovenduski
Type of contact Project manager
Institute / Organization University of Colorado at Boulder
Postal address 1 Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research
Postal address 2 Campus Box 450
Town / City Boulder
Postal code 80309
State Colorado
Country United States
Email address

Supported platforms Unix, Linux, Mac OS
Other platform
Programming language Fortran90
Other program language
Code optimized Multiple Processors
Multiple processors implemented
Nr of distributed processors
Nr of shared processors
Start year development 1997
Does model development still take place? Yes
If above answer is no, provide end year model development
Code development status
When did you indicate the 'code development status'?
Model availability
Source code availability
(Or provide future intension)
Through web repository
Source web address
Source csdms web address
Program license type Other
Program license type other --
Memory requirements Memory requirements range from around 10^7 bytes (≈ 10 megabytes) to 10^11 bytes (≈ 100 gigabytes).
Typical run time Run time can range from minutes to weeks, depending on length of simulation and size/resolution of domain.

Describe input parameters
Input format Binary
Other input format
Describe output parameters
Output format Binary
Other output format NetCDF
Pre-processing software needed? No
Describe pre-processing software
Post-processing software needed? No
Describe post-processing software
Visualization software needed? No
If above answer is yes
Other visualization software

Describe processes represented by the model too many to describe
Describe key physical parameters and equations too many to describe
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
Upload test data sets if available:
Describe ideal data for testing

Do you have current or future plans for collaborating with other researchers?
Is there a manual available? No
Upload manual if available:
Model website if any
Model forum / discussion board
Comments Notice: Code is freely available through the following site: No need to register

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
Nicole Lovenduski
Nr. of publications: 93
Total citations: 5400
h-index: 28
Qrcode MITgcm.png
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Nr. of publications: 93
Total citations: 5400
h-index: 28

Featured publication(s)YearModel describedType of ReferenceCitations
Marshall, John; Hill, Chris; Perelman, Lev; Adcroft, Alistair; 1997-03-15. Hydrostatic, quasi-hydrostatic, and nonhydrostatic ocean modeling. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 102, 5733–5752. 10.1029/96JC02776
(View/edit entry)
Model overview 993
Marshall, J.; Adcroft, A.; Hill, C.; Perelman, L.; Heisey, C. 1997-01-01. A finite-volume, incompressible Navier Stokes model for studies of the ocean on parallel computers. Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, 102, 5753–5766. 10.1029/96JC02775
(View/edit entry)
Model overview 1643
See more publications of MITgcm



Input Files

Output Files