New Publication: A new versatile marine ecosystem modelling tool


INTAROS is proud to have contributed to a brand new, user-friendly, modelling tool for understanding complex relationships in complex ecosystems. The tool is described in a recent publication in PLOS ONE, A versatile marine modelling tool applied to arctic, temperate and tropical waters, Larsen et al., published April 10th, 2020.


INTAROS contributed through workpackage 6 Applications of iAOS towards stakeholders. This workpackage supports advancing the economic role of the Arctic by providing better documented processes and tools for better-informed decisions within key sectors such as shipping, petroleum, fishing, and tourism. Further, WP6 aims to demonstrate how the integrated Arctic Observing System may be applied to further develop the accuracy of climate models, improve the understanding of biogeochemical cycles and ecosystem functioning, enhance fisheries and environmental management, increase the level of preparedness towards natural hazards, and develop better management and decision making concepts for selected local communities. Through WP6 INTAROS will demonstrate enhanced data search and retrieval, assimilation into models, validation of estimated and projected climate parameters, scientific analysis, decision-support and policy-making on local, regional and pan-Arctic scale.


The article was also selected by the PLOS ONE editors, to be featured on the PLOS ONE Homepage.




The improved understanding of complex interactions of marine ecosystem components makes the use of fully coupled hydrodynamic, biogeochemical and individual based models more and more relevant. At the same time, the increasing complexity of the models and diverse user backgrounds calls for improved user friendliness and flexibility of the model systems. We present FlexSem, a versatile and user-friendly framework for 3D hydrodynamic, biogeochemical, individual based and sediment transport modelling. The purpose of the framework is to enable natural scientists to conduct advanced 3D simulations in the marine environment, including any relevant processes. This is made possible by providing a precompiled portable framework, which still enables the user to pick any combination of models and provide user defined equation systems to be solved during the simulation. We here present the ideas behind the framework design, the implementation and documentation of the numerical solution to the Navier-Stokes equations in the hydrodynamic module, the surface heat budget model, the pelagic and benthic equation solvers and the Lagrangian movement of the agents in the agent based model. Five examples of different applications of the system are shown: 1) Hydrodynamics in the Disko Bay in west Greenland, 2) A biogeochemical pelagic and benthic model in the inner Danish waters, 3) A generic mussel farm model featuring offline physics, food levels and mussel eco-physiology, 4) Sediment transport in Clarion-Clipperton zone at the bottom of the Pacific and 5) Hydrodynamics coupled with an agent based model around Zanzibar in Tanzania. Hence we demonstrate that the model can be set up for any area with enough forcing data and used to solve a wide range of applications.


20 April 2020