Welcome to documentation for the Community Firn Model!

This documentation is still a work in progress. Please inform me if you find glaring omissions!

The Community Firn Model (CFM) is an open-source, modular firn-evolution model framework. Its most basic function is to predict the depth/density and depth/age profiles of firn (i.e. functioning as a firn-densification model), but it also includes modules to simulate heat transfer, meltwater percolation and refreezing, water isotope diffusion, firn-air diffusion and advection, and grain growth.

The modular nature of the CFM means that the user can easily choose to run the model using a firn-densification equation from any of a suite of published firn-densification equations. The user can also choose which of the optional physics modules (e.g. grain growth) to include with the model run. The model is designed so that different firn-densification equations or modules simulating different physics can be easily integrated into the model.

The CFM is one dimensional and uses a Lagrangian (material-following) grid. The evolution of the density is calculated explicitly (e.g. \(\rho_{new}=\rho_{old}+d\rho/dt*dt)\). Heat and other (e.g. water isotope, firn air, enthalpy) diffusion is solved using a fully-implicit finite-volume method (Patankar, 1980).


Python 3.6+, numpy, scipy, h5py, pandas

The CFM should run on Windows, Linux, and OSX platforms. Additionally, plotting CFM results using Python requires the matplotlib package. Installing Python 3 and the necessary packages is most easily done using a packaged Python distribution such as Anaconda. Explicit instructions on a scientific Python installation are beyond the scope of this document, but tutorials can be readily found online.



Indices and tables