FESOM (Finite-Element/volumE Sea ice-Ocean Model) is a multi-resolution sea ice-ocean model that solves the equations of motion on unstructured meshes. The model is developed and supported by researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), in Bremerhaven, Germany.


FESOM implements the idea of using unstructured meshes with variable resolution. This mesh flexibility allows to increase resolution in dynamically active regions, while keep a relatively coarse-resolution setup elsewhere. FESOM allows global multi-resolution simulations without traditional nesting.

The dynamical core of the original version of FESOM employs the finite element method; its successor, FESOM2, uses the finite volume method, which increases the computational efficiency by a factor of 3-5. Both versions include the Finite-Element Sea Ice Model (FESIM).

Excellent scalability characteristics allow to make effective use of massively parallel supercomputers. 

FESOM is also used as the sea ice-ocean component of the AWI Climate Model (AWI-CM), which will contribute to CMIP6.