### 3.3.1 Vertical Coordinate

The vertical coordinate is a hybrid sigma-pressure system. In this system, the upper regions of the atmosphere are discretized by pressure only. Lower vertical levels use the sigma (i.e. p/psvertical coordinate smoothly merged in, with the lowest levels being pure sigma. A schematic representation of the hybrid vertical coordinate and vertical indexing is presented below.

Figure 3.1 Hybrid Vertical Coordinate.

Pressure is defined as:

p(i,j,k) = AkP0 + BkPs(i,j)

where p is the pressure at a given level and latitude, longitude grid point.  The coefficients A, B and P0 are constants.  Ps is the model's current surface pressure.  P0 is set in the model code.  The input model initial conditions dataset sets A and B through the variables hyam, hyai, hybm, and hybi.  The subscript "i" refers to interface levels, and "m" refers to the mid-point levels.  "hyam" then refers to Hybrid level "A" coefficient on the interfaces. The above formula is also reported on the initial conditions file.

More details on the theoretical nature of the vertical coordinate system can be found in Hack et al. (1993).

Questions on these pages can be sent to... erik@ucar.edu .

\$Name: ccm3_6_6_latest2 \$ \$Revision: 1.38.2.1 \$ \$Date: 1999/03/25 21:38:22 \$ \$Author: erik \$