Coastal Model Applications and Field Measurements- Ocean Model Contributions

Science Center Objects

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) led a project funded by the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP) with support from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), to develop a community sediment-transport modeling system (CSTMS).

CSTMS was implemented in the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) ( and released as open-source code in 2007, as described by Warner et al., 2008. Since then, the USGS has made continuous contributions to ROMS as part of several USGS projects ( and to CSTMS under this project. A fully coupled ocean – atmosphere – waves – sediment-transport model (COAWST) derived from ROMS, SWAN, WRF, and CSTMS has been developed by John Warner. CSTMS algorithms have since been incorporated in other open-source models, including FVCOM ( and POLCOMS (

Recent additions to the model handle fine and cohesive sediment beds and floc dynamics (aggregation and disaggregation of particles) in the water column. A new model for spectral light attenuation and seagrass ecology has also been added. Future additions are likely to include effects of seagrass on shallow flows and mechanics of erosion of marsh edges.


Model results from steady, uniform flow with floc dynamics.

Model results from steady, uniform flow with floc dynamics. Left panels: time series of vertical profiles of (a) total suspended-sediment mass concentration, (b) mass-concentration-weighted average particle diameter, and (c) mass-concentration-weighted average settling velocity. Middle panels: Final profiles of (d) total concentration, (e) average diameter, and (f) average settling velocity. Right panel: (g) final vertical concentration profiles of each floc class (colors) and total concentration (black). Concentrations for the 20- and 27-µm diameter classes less than 10-6 and do not appear on the plot.