Workshop AGU 2017

The OLAM-SOIL project

Linking OLAM (Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Model) with an Advanced Soil Modeling Platform (ASMP) for soil-centered representation of large-scale land-atmosphere interactions


Motivation and objectives

  1. OLAM is a state-of-the-art global model that features local mesh refinement and a full set of physical processes (e.g., dynamics, radiative transfer and precipitation) designed for global, mesoscale, and microscale land and atmosphere simulations
  2. OLAM was originally based on RAMS but employs more advanced numerical algorithms and sophisticated grid representations.
  3. Soil and groundwater capabilities of OLAM are being revised in a project called: OLAM-SOIL
  4. The goals are to improve land-atmosphere interactions in OLAM-SOIL by incorporating advanced representation of soil processes, towards a new global Advanced Soil Modeling Platform (ASMP)
  5. Zooming capabilities and handling of soil and subsurface processes makes OLAM-SOIL an ideal tool for regional studies centering on soil processes (e.g., irrigation water management, future crops, etc.)
  6. The OLAM-SOIL project was conceived in collaboration with GEWEX-SOILWAT initiative and the International Soil Modeling Consortium (ISMC)
  7. OLAM-SOIL development is a collaboration between University of Miami, Forschungszentrum Juelich GmbH); International Soil Reference and Information Centre and ETH Zurich.
  8. In the near future, additions will include plant functional types, detailed groundwater modeling, and biogeochemical soil processes. At the small scale, we plan to reconcile infiltration capacity and evaporation resistances at the subgrid scale as effective parameters for OLAM-SOIL scale



  • Introduction to the OLAM-SOIL workshop – Prof. Dani Or (link)
  • Introduction to OLAM-SOIL Model – Dr. Bob Walko (link)
  • Vegetation and Soil Biogeochemical Processes – Dr. Simone Fatichi (link 1 and link 2 )



Dani Or, Robert Walko, Simone Fatichi, Harry Vereecken, Stefan Kollet, Roni Avissar, Tom Hengl, Teamrat Ghezzehei, Michael Young and Kris van Looy (ISMC)

Location and schedule

OLAM-SOIL training workshop: introduction and hands-on experiences using a state-of- the art global model with focus on soil and subsurface processes (an AGU fall meeting ancillary activity sponsored by ISMC and GEWEX SOILWAT)


Location and time

Hilton New Orleans Riverside
(Newberry/Ascot 3rd floor)

Saturday December 9 from 9:00-17:00


9:00 – 10:00 OLAM presentation
10:00 – 11:00 Key databases and formats
11:00 – 12:00 OLAM-SOIL expansion and future

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch break (catered in the room)

13:00 – 14-30 Generic OLAM-SOIL model run
15:00 – 16:30 OLAM-Soil – the role of soil structure case study
16:30 – 17:00 Summary and follow up

Model installation and requirements

In the next few days we will post the latest version of the model code (please install on your laptops) – the main requirements to run the model are:

  • Linux (or equivalent) operating system
  • Fortran compiler (Intel Fortran is strongly recommended as others will likely have issues)
  • HDF5 library –
  • C compiler (gcc is fine – )
  • Optional: NCAR Graphics (aka NCL – ) This graphics package is not required to run the model, but is convenient to produce visual output (MATLAB could also produce plots of OLAM output)
  • We will post and distribute model pre-uploading instructions for all participants

Instructors and format

Drs. Robert Walko and Simone Fatichi – will conduct the demonstrations and hands-on examples (model pre-uploading will be provided to the registered participants)


Please confirm your participation to help with logistics (simply send a message to before December 1st, 2017)

Matrials and links




Instructions for installing, compiling, and running OLAM-SOIL


ISMC website