FOAM User Resources

NOTE:  FOAM has not been publicly released.  This page is for FOAM's small user/development group.

Various resources for users

FOAM wiki      

Users Guide for FOAM      

Description of FOAM components.  Every user should start here.

Slarti: the FOAM terrain editor.

Instructions on adding eddy fluxes to FOAM for versions prior to 1.5.30 (from Mike Notaro at UW-Madison) .pdf

Original Source Documentation:

Several documents which describe the original "standalone" version of models that are
part of the FOAM system have been collected below.    They contain references to even more information.
Links and a reading guide:

CCM2 Description -- Atmosphere model dynamics (pgs 7-44).
FOAM land model (pgs 61-70).  NOTE:  FOAM doesn't use the prescribed snow cover/soil moisture.
Also contains a description of Atmosphere initial/boundary data (pgs 95-96).

CCM3 Description -- Atmosphere model dynamics (pgs 7-46); nearly identical to CCM2 description.
Atmosphere model physics (pgs 47-115).  Ignore LSM, slab ocean and sea ice parts.

CSM Sea Ice Descripton --  FOAM's Sea Ice thermodynamics (pgs 4-12)

FOAM's atmosphere, PCCM3, has the CCM3 physics but the structure of the code is still mostly CCM2/PCCM2. The user guides below have some out-of-date instructions covering things like running on the Cray, but there is still some useful information.
CCM2 Users Guide
Atmosphere model namelist params (pgs 13-20).
Description of Initial/Boundary files (pgs 32-37).
Description of CCM history file format (pgs 38-49).
Table of CCM history file variables (pgs 50-52).
What's in pccm.out and list of error messages (pgs 57-71).

PCCM2 Description and Users Guide - How Atm. numerics were modified for 2D parallelism (pgs 4-9)
Modifications to Atm. history file output (pgs 20-21)
Modifications to Atm. restart file output (pgs 21-23)
Atmosphere model source code description/conventions (pgs 24-28)

Obtaining FOAM input data sets:

All initial and boundary data files needed to run FOAM, are available at the FOAM anonymous ftp site:
(See the README file there for more info.)

Processing FOAM output:

FOAM outputs data in several custom binary formats.
However, there are tools available to convert FOAM data to NetCDF format.  You will need to compile these yourself or ask
your system administrator to install them.   They require  a C compiler and the NetCDF library.
ccm2nc  --  To convert FOAM atmosphere model history files to NetCDF.  Provided by NCAR.
Om32nc.tar --  To convert FOAM ocean model history files to NetCDF.
Coup2nc.tar --  To convert FOAM coupler (and land, sea-ice and river) history files to NetCDF.
scripts.tar --  Python scripts to both convert and group files into sets.
Once the data is in NetCDF format, you can use these tools to further process and analyze the data:
NCO utilities -- For command-line averaging, concatenating, etc. of NetCDF files.  Highly recommended.
ncview -- For quick viewing/animation of NetCDF files.  Highly recommended.
NCL, Ferret, GraDS  --  Geophysicaly oriented NetCDF plotting/viewing programs.

Instructions for using the FOAM version of the AMWG diagnostics package.


Mailing List:

There is a mailing list for FOAM:
  • foam-ann is a low-traffic, one way list to convey brief announcements concerning FOAM and its component models. If you have any interest in FOAM, please subscribe to this list.
To subscribe, send an email to with the following in the body of the message:
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