Submitted as: model description paper 13 Jul 2021

Submitted as: model description paper | 13 Jul 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

CSDMS: A community platform for numerical modeling of Earth-surface processes

Gregory E. Tucker1,2, Eric W. H. Hutton3, Mark D. Piper3, Benjamin Campforts3, Tian Gan3, Katherine R. Barnhart1,2,a, Albert Kettner3, Irina Overeem2,3, Scott D. Peckham3, Lynn McCready3, and Jaia Syvitski3 Gregory E. Tucker et al.
  • 1Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado Boulder, USA
  • 2Department of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, USA
  • 3Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), University of Colorado Boulder, USA
  • aCurrent address: Landslide Hazards Group, US Geological Survey, Golden, Colorado, USA

Abstract. Computational modelling occupies a unique niche in Earth and environmental sciences. Models serve not just as scientific technology and infrastructure, but also as digital containers of the scientific community's understanding of the natural world. As this understanding improves, so too must the associated software. This dual nature–models as both infrastructure and hypotheses–means that modelling software must be designed to evolve continually as geoscientific knowledge itself evolves. Here we describe design principles, protocols, and tools developed by the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS) to promote a flexible, interoperable, and ever-improving research software ecosystem. These include a community repository for model sharing and metadata, interface and ontology standards for model interoperability, language bridging tools, a modular programming library for model construction, modular software components for data access, and a Python-based execution and model-coupling framework. Methods of community support and engagement that help create a community-centered software ecosystem are also discussed.

Gregory E. Tucker et al.

Status: open (extended)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on gmd-2021-223', Anonymous Referee #1, 16 Aug 2021 reply

Gregory E. Tucker et al.

Gregory E. Tucker et al.


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Short summary
Scientists use computer simulation models to understand how Earth-surface processes work: processes such as floods, landslides, soil erosion, river channel migration, ocean sedimentation, and coastal change. Research benefits when the software for simulation modeling is open, shared, and coordinated. The Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS) is a US-based facility that supports research by providing community support, computing tools and guidelines, and educational resources.