Both DieCAST and CANDIE are similar to the GFDL model, most notably in the use of Cartesian coordinates and the rigid lid approximation. However, unlike the GFDL model (referred to the tradition version of the Modular Ocean Model) uses a volume transport streamfunction, both DieCAST and CANDIE are formulated in terms of the surface pressure. The main advantages of using a pressure formulation are the increased ease with which islands are handled, and the reduced numerical sensitivity to depth variations. The latter attribute is due to the appearance of (rather than as in the stream function formulation) in the differential equation determining the surface pressure, and reduces the need to smooth the model bottom topography to maintain numerical stability [e.g. Dukowicz et al., 1993]. Again, we emphasize that in all references to the GFDL model, we are referring to the particular version used in the test cases presented by HB, which uses the streamfunction formulation. Madala and Piacsek , Killworth et al. , Dukowicz et al. , Dukowicz and Smith and Pacanowski  have each reformulated the GFDL model using different pressure formulations and it would be of interest to explore how these models perform on Haidvogel and Beckmann's test cases. However, our interest here is in the approach used by Dietrich which is distinct from each of those mentioned above. This approach is presented below.
Using forward time stepping for horizontal diffusion terms, centered time stepping for advection and pressure variations, backward (or fully implicit) time stepping for vertical diffusion, and either centered or backward time stepping for the Coriolis term, the time discretization of (1), (2), (6) and (7) can be written as
where is the time step and superscripts n-1, n and n+1 represent the values of quantities at the corresponding time steps. The quantity is a measure of implicitness for the Coriolis term: = 0 gives centered (leap-frog) time differencing and = 1 gives backward (fully implicit) treatment of the Coriolis term. Dietrich et al.  noted that, when the Ekman layer is resolved, an extremely short time step would be required if an explicit scheme were used for the vertical diffusion terms. To avoid this undesirable restriction, while maintaining an accurate representation of the Ekman layer dynamics, Dietrich et al.  suggested that both the Coriolis and the vertical diffusion terms should be treated implicitly. The equations derived below allow for either implicit or explicit treatment of the Coriolis terms, but treat the vertical mixing in both the momentum and tracer equations implicitly.
Clearly, since the Coriolis term may include a fully implicit contribution and the vertical diffusion is always treated implicitly, the state variables cannot be updated in the straightforward manner implied by the above equations. In practice, the updating is done through a sequence of steps equivalent to solving the above equations in combination with the continuity and hydrostatic equations at appropriate time levels.
Let us rewrite un+1, vn+1, Tn+1 and Sn+1 in terms of a set of trial variables:
where the initial trial fields and are updated to include the effects of horizontal diffusion (forward), nonlinearity (centered), the pressure gradient force (centered baroclinic and forward surface contributions), and the contribution to the Coriolis force based on centered differencing. and include the additional effects of vertical diffusion (backward) and the contribution to the Coriolis force based on backward differencing. Finally, and represent the corrections to the velocity components required to allow for a time-centered surface pressure.
The initial trial fields and are given by
Each of the terms on the right sides of (23)-(26) are expressed in terms of previously determined state variables and hence are trivially calculated. Note the appearance of rather than on the right hand sides of (23) and (24). The quantity is not yet known, but it will be determined and properly accounted for in the final step of the solution procedure.
The advanced trial fields and are then determined by updating and to give the best current estimates of the effects of vertical diffusion and Coriolis:
where . Note that we have used and in the vertical diffusion terms on the right sides of (27) and (28), since the pressure correction terms, and , are depth-independent (see (33) and (34)). Also note that and (see (21) and (22)) have been used in the vertical diffusion terms on the right hand sides of (29) and (30).
At this point, and are completely updated, but and are based on the use of rather than on the right sides of (23) and (24), and the effect spills over into (27) and (28) through the use of on the right sides of these equations. It remains to adjust the pressure terms to the time level n and update the velocities appropriately in order to achieve a fully time centered pressure formulation.
Subtracting (27) from (15), then using (23) to eliminate , and performing the corresponding operations on (16),(24) and (28) gives
in which and . It follows that
Note that and are all independent of z. Hence they make no contribution to the vertical diffusion terms which are thus fully accounted by (27) and (28).
Substitution of (19) and (20) into (14) and then using (33) and (34) gives
where the final equality is a convenient shorthand notation: the penultimate form is used in all numerical calculations. Note that does not in general satisfy the depth-integrated continuity equation. Therefore is not always zero, which leads non-zero corrections and .
Equation (35) is the general equation determining the surface pressure correction . For the special case (centered Coriolis), this equation simplifies to
Equations (35) and (36) are forced 2D elliptic equations for the surface pressure correction , with the forcing determined by the net divergence (or convergence) implied by the advanced trial horizontal velocity field over each vertical water column. Equation (35) or (36) determines the change in the surface pressure required to adjust the vertical velocity at the bottom to zero, as required by the step-like bottom topography, and is solved subject to the normal gradient of pressure being zero on the boundaries (corresponding, from (31) and (32), to having no normal velocity through the boundaries of the model domain). has been determined from (35) or (36), the barotropic horizontal velocity corrections and are determined by (33) and (34). Note that while the pressure is fully updated only to the time level n, the velocity, temperature and salinity are each fully updated to the time level n+1, as required by the above scheme.
It is of significance that the above equation for the surface pressure is linear. All nonlinear effects are included through the forcing term which is fully determined at the central time level n so that no iterations are required. As a consequence, the surface pressure can be determined very efficiently using standard routines for elliptic equations. Also note that the block implicit relaxation (BIR) technique is used in both DieCAST and CANDIE to determine the surface pressure correction . The BIR technique was originally developed by Dietrich et al.  and later modified by Madala . Roache  discusses this computationally efficient and numerically stable elliptic marching method in sum detail.
In summary, each time step proceeds as follows. We first determine the baroclinic contribution pb to the pressure field at time level n and add it to the surface pressure from time level n-1 to give an initial estimate of the pressure field at time level n. The initial trial fields , and are determined to allow for the pressure gradient, diffusive horizontal fluxes, advection and an estimate of the Coriolis force based on the state variables at the previous two time steps. We then calculate the advanced trial fields and to include vertical diffusion and any implicit contribution to the Coriolis terms. The surface pressure correction is then determined to eliminate the depth integrated horizontal divergence of over each water column. After numerically solving the governing 2D elliptic equation for , the barotropic velocity corrections are readily calculated through (33) and (34). Adding these velocity corrections to yields the total horizontal velocity components at the end of the time step. The vertical velocity component is then determined at each Z-level by the horizontal divergence of through the continuity equation (4).