ICON-O (Ocean)

ICON-O is the global ocean model within the Earth system model ICON-ESM. It was developed independently at MPI-M within the ICON modeling project.

ICON-O solves the primitive equations that describe the ocean as an incompressible fluid on a rotating sphere with a free surface and subject to the hydrostatic and Boussinesq approximation. The equations are discretized on the ICON’s icosahedral grid with triangular grid cells and an Arakawa C-type staggering of variables. The design principle of ICON-O is the preservation of discrete variants of continuous conservation laws. The ocean primitive equations are discretized with a structure-preserving discretization that is described in (P. Korn, J. Comp. Phys. 339, 2017). The ICON-O algorithm is capable of running on several vertical coordinate. The oceanic parametrizations for ICON-O a new discretization of the eddy parametrization of Gent—McWilliams (P. Korn, Ocean Modelling 132, 2018). For vertical mixing several options such as KPP or TKE-based mixing schemes are available. For the velocity closure a number of options is available, that comprise harmonic and biharmonic diffusion as well as an adaptive Leith closure.

ICON-O has been tested in stand-alone as well as in coupled mode and on uniform grids as well as on locally refined grids that range from rather coarse resolution of serval hundred kilometers to ultra-high resolutions of several hundert meters.

ICON-O is also able to model tides, and is further developed to represent coastal dynamics. HAMOCC is a sub-model simulates biogeochemical tracers in the oceanic water column and in the sediment. HAMOCC has been transferred to ICON-O and the biogeochemical tracers use the advection and mixing algorithms of ICON-O.


ICON Ocean Model (5 km) Spilhaus projection

"Submesoscale telescope experiment" with ICON-O

Simulation with ICON-O at a global resolution of 5km, depicting 1) a close-up of the circulation in the North-Atlantic and 2) how the hurricanes Matthew and Nicole affect the ocean surface temperature.



Dr Peter Korn
Ocean in the Earth System
Phone: +49 40 41173 470
Email: peter.korn@we dont want spammpimet.mpg.de