Newsletter #3 - February 26th 2009

OpenMI Association Newsletter #3 - February 26th 2009

Having trouble viewing this email? View the hosted version

The OpenMI Association Newsletter

The OpenMI Association is the organisation responsible for the development, maintenance, and promotion of the Open Modelling Interface (OpenMI). OpenMI is a standard, which facilitates the linking of simulation models and model components of environmental and socio-economic processes. It thus enables managers to more fully understand and predict the likely impacts of their policies and programmes.

Visit the OpenMI Association web site at to learn which models are already OpenMI compliant, get help on OpenMI model migration, request new features, exchange opinions and provide feedback related to OpenMI implementations.


A short history of ZOOMQ3D as an OpenMI compliant model


(a message from Andrew Hughes, Groundwater Modelling Team Leader, British Geological Survey)

I was very happy, and not a little relieved when the groundwater flow model ZOOMQ3D was officially recognised by the OpenMI organisation as being OpenMI compliant. ZOOMQ3D is one of the ZOOM family of object-oriented (OO) groundwater models. The ZOOM family includes a groundwater flow model, ZOOMQ3D (e.g. Jackson et al. 2005), an advective particle tracking model, ZOOPT (e.g. Stuart et al. 2006) and a distributed recharge model, ZOODRM (e.g. Hughes et al. 2008). We also have developed an OO radial flow model that simulates flow to wells in r-theta-z co-ordinates (Mansour et al. 2006). I first encountered OpenMI when I went to a seminar held at DHI in September 2004. I left very impressed with the system, which seemed an appropriate way of solving integrated modelling problems. As a result of this seminar, BGS made the decision to develop, test and apply an OpenMI version of ZOOMQ3D. We have achieved this aim and presented an example as a poster at ModelCARE 2007 (Cheetham et al., 2007). We are now working with HR Wallingford to further test the OpenMI compliant version of ZOOM and are considering making other OO models in the ZOOM family compliant.

Further contacts:

BGS website

ZOOM website

CSDMS to use OpenMI to build a surface dynamics community

The Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS) has chosen the OpenMI interface as a central element in the framework being built. The OpenMI standard will be combined with the Common Component Architecture (CCA) to provide a platform that runs on a single PC as well as on supercomputer infrastructure. It is an exciting new step in the development of the OpenMI standard to investigate together how well its concepts can be used to harness the computational power of the largest computers around. While raising very interesting technical issues, this choice for OpenMI underpins once more the international recognition for the standard and significantly broadens the range of models that can be coupled using the OpenMI interface.

Read full story

US EPA and integrated modelling

From the 10th - 12th of December 2008, the Council for Environmental Regulatory Modelling convened a workshop for EPA staff and the agencies and industries with whom they work with. Its purpose was to establish support for integrated modeling and build a community of practice. An additional EPA objective was to establish a collaboration with the OpenMI Association. EPA will prototype a new design for FRAMES 3, where file transfer is replaced or supplemented by the OpenMI allowing data exchange on a time step by time step basis.

28-29 January 2009, Wallingford, UK.

The OpenMI Association's chairman, Roger Moore has been invited to speak at the PEER (Partnership for European Environmental Research) shared environmental information workshop "Towards Shared Environmental Information in Europe: Opportunities and Challenges for Integrated Research" being held at CEH, Wallingford, UK.

Read full story

Source: US EPA

OpenMI for climate modelling

In a novel approach to represent the coupling between the land surface and atmosphere, DHI and DMI (Danish Meteorological Institute) are exploiting OpenMI technology to link hydrological and climate models. Modelling the effects of climate change on the hydrological cycle requires a proper understanding of the water and energy exchange between the atmosphere and the land surface.

Birds, bogs and bugs: OpenMI and ecosystem services

10th-12th March 2009, Egmond aan Zee, The Netherlands

The OpenMI Association's chairman, Roger Moore will be giving a keynote address at the Integrated Assessment of Agriculture and Sustainable Development (AgSAP) conference at Hotel Zuiderduin, Egmond aan Zee, The Netherlands.

Future Events

Source: WADES

The UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology recently funded a major initiative to assess how OpenMI can help answer pressing environmental questions by linking science and scientists from different domains. The WADES project (Wider Assessment of Drought effects on Ecosystem Services) will link models of soil hydrology, soil chemistry, vegetation succession, and biodiversity change, allowing the integrated assessment of multiple effects. A dynamic niche occupancy approach will be used to determine changes in the suitability of a habitat for particular bird and plant species. The project will also develop links to statistical software, to assess the accuracy and parsimony of different model combinations. WADES will run from 2009 - 2012, and involves scientists from CEH, RSPB, Alterra and Bangor University. A PhD studentship is available. More information can be obtained from the WADES website.

OpenMI Dissemination Committee Meeting, Deltares

4th March, 2009

Delft, the Netherlands

This exchange is a process that can have a significant impact on the hydrological cycle under a changing climate. OpenMI provides a practical way of linking the achievements of the meteorological and hydrological modelling community.

10th OpenMI Executive Committee meeting and AnnualΒ OpenMI Association General Meeting, Deltares

5th March, 2009

Delft, the Netherlands

Please check the OpenMI Association website for further information

Making OpenMI spatially aware

Hydrological and geomorphological modeling is best made inside the coherency of a spatially enabled framework. This is the idea that drove the C.U.D.A.M.1 of the University of Trento and HydroloGIS2 in the development of the GIS (Geographic Information System) JGrass3 and its toolkits.

OpenMI Association Technical Committee Meeting, Wallingford Software

10-12 March, 2009

Wallingford, UK

OpenMI Association Technical Committee Meeting, DHI

21-23 April 2009

Copenhagen, Denmark

Did you know that...

Since 2007 JGrass implements in all its models and tools the OpenMI interfaces. A Console Engine (The JGrass Console4) has been developed to link together models the OpenMI way through a scripting language (Groovy or Beanshell, at the moment) that is then translated into OpenMI's linkable language for execution. This is a powerful tool that can be used by the scientific community to quickly create complex applications. Apart from the Horton Machine toolkit that contains more than 40 geomorphological and hydrological modules, users can find in JGrass a semi-distributed hydrological model for peak-flow analysis and the Shalstab hillslope stability model. Besides, a full hydrological model is being implemented for the management of water resources, and river basins.

OpenMI is not a Framework... but can be applied to link frameworks

Read full story

Operational integrated modelling has arrived

OpenMI attracts attention at 4th iEMSs Conference

From July 7th to 10th 2008, the 4th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software took place in Barcelona, Spain (

OpenMI can be used when iterations, time and spatial aggregation, and extrapolations are required

there are How-to pages on the OpenMI-wiki under the Getting Started tab

The 1st OpenMI LIFE Scheldt workshop was successfully held in Antwerp on the 25th of November 2008. The LIFE project aims to demonstrate the applicability of the OpenMI through use on a number of real-world examples in the Scheldt (BE) and Pinios (GR) river basins. The event was expertly chaired by Professor Willy Bauwens of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel who introduced a number of presentations from the Scheldt basin participants. Over 60 participants from a wide range of organisations and industries attended the workshop, including representatives of the project partners and members of the OpenMI Association and its committees. The day following the workshop, a training session for the OpenMI end users was held at Aquafin, Aartselaar (BE). The 1st OpenMI LIFE Scheldt workshop marked the end of the testing phases of the project, prior to moving on to the operational phase.

it takes very little to migrate from OpenMI 1.x to 1.4

Stef Hummel (Deltares) has been appointed OpenMI Compliancy Officer!

Amidst the wide variety of topics, the OpenMI Association (OA) convened a paper session on current practical OpenMI applications and a workshop on the strategy and future of the OpenMI. Although scheduled at the never enviable last morning of the conference, both the paper session and the workshop attracted a good audience, including people from all around the world (America, Europe, Australia).

Read full story

Read full story

OpenMI Association prizes for Innovation, Application, and Publication

In 2008, one OpenMI prize has been awarded to Peter Schade from the Bundesanstalt fuer Wasserbau, Germany, for his work presentation on "OpenMI Compliant Import of Initial and Boundary Data into a Numerical 3D Model". The great appreciation of the prize within the OpenMI community has led to the Executive Committee's decision to increase the number of prizes for major contributions to the OpenMI community.

Annually, three prizes are now available:

1. The most innovative contribution to the development of the OpenMI standard or SDK

2. The most important application

3. The best publication based on an OpenMI application

To be able to select the best contributions, it is important to inform the Association of your accomplishments. Please submit your accomplishments to the OpenMI Association Dissemination Committee at

The OpenMI Association Newsletter is supported by the European Commission under the LIFE Programme and contributing to the implementation of the thematic component LIFE-Environment under the policy area "Sustainable management of ground water and surface water management". Contract no: LIFE06 ENV/UK/000409.

To avoid our emails being seen as junk or spam, please add our "From" address to your Address Book.

© 2009 OpenMI Association