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ROMS: Bering Sea domain

This repository holds the source code used for the Bering Sea Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) domain, including biological code for the BESTNPZ (lower trophic level) and FEAST (fisheries food web) models.

This repository is maintained by researchers at the University of Washington, Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean & Ecosystem Studies (formerly the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean), the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, and the NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center.

This particular version of the ROMS source code is not necessarily domain-specific (input forcing files, including the Bering Sea grid file, are not included here). However, the biological code is tailored to the Bering Sea ecosystem, and all application data (Apps/ folder) reflect the model's use with the Bering 10K grid. Compilation may be possible for other ROMS grids, but the portability has not been tested.

This Bering Sea ROMS code originated in 2009 as a clone of the sea-ice variant of the ROMS code base (a branch managed by and acquired from Kate Hedstrom). This roms-bering-sea git repository was initiated on 08/17/15 in an attempt to bring several slightly different versions of the subsequently-extended code together into one cohesive set. It remains under active development, particularly with respect to the biological models. It is not in sync with more recent versions of ROMS (, though we have attempted to incorporate some key bug fixes from that version when applicable.

For a detailed description of the Bering Sea ROMS model, please see the following publications; all use the coupled Bering10K-BESTNPZ model:

  • Kearney K, Hermann A, Cheng W, Ortiz I, Aydin K (2020) A coupled pelagic-benthic-sympagic biogeochemical model for the Bering Sea: documentation and validation of the BESTNPZ model (v2019.08.23) within a high-resolution regional ocean model. Geosci Model Dev 13:597--650
  • Hermann AJ, Curchitser EN, Hedstrom K, Cheng W, Bond NA, Wang M, Aydin K, Stabeno PJ, Cokelet ED, Gibson GA (2016) Projected future biophysical states of the Bering Sea. Deep Sea Res Part II Top Stud Oceanogr 134:30–47
  • Hermann AJ, Gibson GA, Bond NA, Curchitser EN, Hedstrom K, Cheng W, Wang M, Stabeno PJ, Eisner L, Cieciel KD (2013) A multivariate analysis of observed and modeled biophysical variability on the Bering Sea shelf: Multidecadal hindcasts (1970-2009) and forecasts (2010-2040). Deep Res Part II Top Stud Oceanogr 94:121–139

Each of these 3 paper use a slightly different version of the model; the Kearney et al., 2020 paper includes a brief history of the changes that have been implemented between each publication.

The Bering Sea ROMS model was derived from the larger Northeast Pacific (NEP5) ROMS model. Much of the preliminary validation of that model, including sea ice and tidal dynamics, are equally applicable to the Bering Sea sub-domain, and are documented in:

  • Danielson S, Curchitser E, Hedstrom K, Weingartner T, Stabeno P (2011) On ocean and sea ice modes of variability in the Bering Sea. J Geophys Res Ocean 116:1–24

The original paper describing an earlier version of the lower trophic level BESTNPZ model is described here, alongside a sensitivity analysis of the model when coupled to an idealized one-dimensional water column model:

  • Gibson GA, Spitz YH (2011) Impacts of biological parameterization, initial conditions, and environmental forcing on parameter sensitivity and uncertainty in a marine ecosystem model for the Bering Sea. J Mar Syst 88:214–231

The fine print

This repository is a scientific product and is not official communication of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or the United States Department of Commerce. All NOAA GitHub project code is provided on an ‘as is’ basis and the user assumes responsibility for its use. Any claims against the Department of Commerce or Department of Commerce bureaus stemming from the use of this GitHub project will be governed by all applicable Federal law. Any reference to specific commercial products, processes, or services by service mark, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply their endorsement, recommendation or favoring by the Department of Commerce. The Department of Commerce seal and logo, or the seal and logo of a DOC bureau, shall not be used in any manner to imply endorsement of any commercial product or activity by DOC or the United States Government.


ROMS source code for the Bering Sea domain, including BESTNPZ and FEAST biological modules







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