How to increase array size on-the-fly in Fortran?

My program is running though 3D array, labelling 'clusters' that it finds and then doing some checks to see if any neighbouring clusters have a label higher than the current cluster. There's a second array that holds the 'proper' cluster label. If it finds that the nth adjoining cluster is labelled correctly, that element is assigned to 0, otherwise is assigns it to the correct label (for instance if the nth site has label 2, and a neighbour is labeled 3, the 3rd element of the labelArray is set to 2). I've got a good reason to do this, honest!

All I want is to be able to assign the nth element of the labelArray on the fly. I've looked at allocatable arrays and declaring things as labelArray(*) but I don't really understand these, despite searching the web, and StackOverflow.

So any help on doing this would be awesome.


  • Here is a Stack Overflow question with some code examples showing several ways of using Fortran allocatable arrays: How to get priorly-unkown array as the output of a function in Fortran: declaring, allocating, testing for being already being allocated, using the new move_alloc and allocation on assignment. Not shown there is explicit deallocation, since the examples are using move_alloc and automatic deallocation on exit of a procedure.

    P.S. If you want to repeatedly add one element you should think about your data structure approach. Adding one element at a time by growing an array is not an efficient approach. To grow an array from N elements to N+1 in Fortran will likely mean creating a new array and copying all of the existing elements. A more appropriate data structure might be a linked list. You can create a linked list in Fortran by creating a user-defined type and using pointers. You chain the members together, pointing from one to the next. The overhead to adding another member is minor. The drawback is that it is easiest to access the members of the list in order. You don't have the easy ability of an array, using indices, to access the members in any order.

    Info about linked lists in Fortran that I found on the web: and