We designed and implemented a modular software framework for the offline simulation of steady cycles of 3-D marine ecosystem models based on the transport matrix approach. It is intended for parameter optimization and model assessment experiments. We defined a software interface for the coupling of a general class of water column-based biogeochemical models, with six models being part of the package. The framework offers both spin-up/fixed-point iteration and a Jacobian-free Newton method for the computation of steady states.
The simulation package has been tested with all six models. The Newton method converged for four models when using standard settings, and for two more complex models after alteration of a solver parameter or the initial guess. Both methods delivered the same steady states (within a reasonable precision) on convergence for all models employed, with the Newton iteration generally operating 6 times faster. The effects on performance of both the biogeochemical and the Newton solver parameters were investigated for one model. A profiling analysis was performed for all models used in this work, demonstrating that the number of tracers had a dominant impact on overall performance. We also implemented a geometry-adapted load balancing procedure which showed close to optimal scalability up to a high number of parallel processors.