Also known as Control Volume Permafrost Model
Model type Modular
Model part of larger framework
Note on status model
Date note status model
Incorporated models or components:
Spatial dimensions 1D, 2D, 3D
Spatial extent Landscape-Scale, Patch-Scale, Reach-Scale, Regional-Scale, Watershed-Scale
Model domain Terrestrial, Cryosphere
One-line model description Multidimensional heat-transfer modeling system for permafrost with advanced unfrozen water physics
Extended model description The Control Volume Permafrost Model (CVPM) is a modular heat-transfer modeling system designed for scientific and engineering studies in permafrost terrain, and as an educational tool. CVPM implements the nonlinear heat-transfer equations in 1-D, 2-D, and 3-D cartesian coordinates, as well as in 1-D radial and 2-D cylindrical coordinates. To accommodate a diversity of geologic settings, a variety of materials can be specified within the model domain, including: organic-rich materials, sedimentary rocks and soils, igneous and metamorphic rocks, ice bodies, borehole fluids, and other engineering materials. Porous materials are treated as a matrix of mineral and organic particles with pore spaces filled with liquid water, ice, and air. Liquid water concentrations at temperatures below 0°C due to interfacial, grain-boundary, and curvature effects are found using relationships from condensed matter physics; pressure and pore-water solute effects are included. A radiogenic heat-production term allows simulations to extend into deep permafrost and underlying bedrock. CVPM can be used over a broad range of depth, temperature, porosity, water saturation, and solute conditions on either the Earth or Mars. The model is suitable for applications at spatial scales ranging from centimeters to hundreds of kilometers and at timescales ranging from seconds to thousands of years. CVPM can act as a stand-alone model, the physics package of a geophysical inverse scheme, or serve as a component within a larger earth modeling system that may include vegetation, surface water, snowpack, atmospheric or other modules of varying complexity.

permafrost, heat-transfer, multidimensional, Earth, Mars,

Name Gary Clow
Type of contact Model developer
Institute / Organization Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research
Postal address 1 University of Colorado
Postal address 2 Campus Box 450
Town / City Boulder
Postal code 80309-0450
State Colorado
Country United States
Email address
Phone 1-303-735-7806

Supported platforms
Unix, Linux, Mac OS, Windows
Other platform
Programming language


Other program language
Code optimized Single Processor
Multiple processors implemented
Nr of distributed processors
Nr of shared processors
Start year development 2018
Does model development still take place? Yes
If above answer is no, provide end year model development
Code development status Active
When did you indicate the 'code development status'? 2020
Model availability As code
Source code availability
(Or provide future intension)
Through CSDMS repository
Source web address
Source csdms web address
Program license type GPL v3
Program license type other
Memory requirements variable
Typical run time variable

Describe input parameters Input parameters are provided through several user-supplied files (see the CVPM modeling system user's guide).
Input format ASCII, Binary
Other input format
Describe output parameters The state of the system is periodically output to a binary file that can be read by the post-processing and visualization routines (see the CVPM modeling system user's guide).
Output format Binary
Other output format
Pre-processing software needed? No
Describe pre-processing software
Post-processing software needed? No
Describe post-processing software
Visualization software needed? No
If above answer is yes
Other visualization software

Describe processes represented by the model The primary processes are heat diffusion and phase change.
Describe key physical parameters and equations The key parameters are temperature; density; heat capacity; thermal conductivity; porosity; volume fractions of ice, unfrozen water, and air; degree of water saturation; pore-water solute type and concentration; particle radii.
Describe length scale and resolution constraints no known constraints
Describe time scale and resolution constraints no known constraints
Describe any numerical limitations and issues A documented numerical stability criterium must be adhered to for the solution to remain stable.

Describe available calibration data sets
Upload calibration data sets if available:
Describe available test data sets
Upload test data sets if available:
Describe ideal data for testing

Do you have current or future plans for collaborating with other researchers?
Is there a manual available? Yes
Upload manual if available: Media:CVPM usersguide.pdf
Model website if any
Model forum / discussion board

This part will be filled out by CSDMS staff

OpenMI compliant
BMI compliant
WMT component
PyMT component
Is this a data component
DOI model 10.5281/zenodo.1237889
For model version 1.1
Year version submitted 2018
Link to file
Can be coupled with:
Model info

Nr. of publications: 3
Total citations: 18
h-index: 3
m-quotient: 0.5
Qrcode CVPM.png
Link to this page




Nr. of publications: 3
Total citations: 18
h-index: 3
m-quotient: 0.5

Featured publication(s)YearModel describedType of ReferenceCitations
Clow, Gary; 2018. CVPM 1.1: a flexible heat-transfer modeling system for permafrost. Geoscientific Model Development, 11, 4889-4908. 10.5194/gmd-11-4889-2018
(View/edit entry)
2018 CVPM

Source code ref.

Zheng, Lei; Overeem, Irina; Wang, Kang; Clow, Gary D.; 2019. Changing Arctic River Dynamics Cause Localized Permafrost Thaw. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 124, 2324–2344. 10.1029/2019JF005060
(View/edit entry)
2019 CVPM
River Temperature Model
Related theory 17
See more publications of CVPM



Input Files

Output Files