Also known as
Model type Single
Model part of larger framework
Note on status model
Date note status model
Incorporated models or components:
Spatial dimensions 1D
Spatial extent Continental, Global, Landscape-Scale, Regional-Scale
Model domain Terrestrial, Cryosphere
One-line model description GIPL(Geophysical Institute Permafrost Laboratory) is an implicit finite difference one-dimensional heat flow numerical model.
Extended model description GIPL(Geophysical Institute Permafrost Laboratory) is an implicit finite difference one-dimensional heat flow numerical model. The GIPL model uses the effect of snow layer and subsurface soil thermal properties to simulate ground temperatures and active layer thickness (ALT) by solving the 1D heat diffusion equation with phase change. The phase change associated with freezing and thawing process occurs within a range of temperatures below 0 degree centigrade, and is represented by the unfrozen water curve (Romanovsky and Osterkamp 2000). The model employs finite difference numerical scheme over a specified domain. The soil column is divided into several layers, each with distinct thermo-physical properties. The GIPL model has been successfully used to map permafrost dynamics in Alaska and validated using ground temperature measurements in shallow boreholes across Alaska (Nicolsky et al. 2009, Jafarov et al. 2012, Jafarov et al. 2013, Jafarov et al. 2014).

heat flow, permafrost,

Name Elchin Jafarov
Type of contact Model developer
Institute / Organization University of Colorado
Postal address 1
Postal address 2
Town / City Boulder
Postal code 80309
State Colorado
Country United States
Email address

Supported platforms
Unix, Linux, Windows
Other platform
Programming language

Fortran90, Matlab

Other program language
Code optimized Single Processor, Multiple Processors
Multiple processors implemented
Nr of distributed processors
Nr of shared processors
Start year development 2000
Does model development still take place? Yes
If above answer is no, provide end year model development
Code development status As is, no updates are provided
When did you indicate the 'code development status'? 2020
Model availability As code
Source code availability
(Or provide future intension)
Through web repository
Source web address
Source csdms web address
Program license type Other
Program license type other
Memory requirements
Typical run time it takes less than a minite to run the serial model for one with daily time interval

Describe input parameters Upper Boundary (Air temperature)

Lower Boundary (Temperature gradient) Initial conditions (Temperature distribution at initial time) Thermo-physical properties

Input format ASCII
Other input format
Describe output parameters Temperature distribution with depth

Active Layer Depth Freezing/Thawing day

Output format ASCII
Other output format netcdf, GIS
Pre-processing software needed? Yes
Describe pre-processing software For spatial case one can developed its own pre-processing in order to put the input dataset in the format readable for GIPL.
Post-processing software needed? Yes
Describe post-processing software To generate netcdf or GIS outputs one can write its own converter for that.
Visualization software needed? Yes
If above answer is yes ESRI, Matlab
Other visualization software Matlab, Microsoft Excel (for serial); Matlab, ARCGIS, ncview (for spatial model)

Describe processes represented by the model Main purpose of the model is to calculate subsurface temperature profile, active layer depth and freeze-up day.
Describe key physical parameters and equations Thermal capacities and conductivities prescribed for each subsurface layer, volumetric water content and unfrozen water coefficients.
Describe length scale and resolution constraints
Describe time scale and resolution constraints
Describe any numerical limitations and issues

Describe available calibration data sets We have tested the model for different permafrost observation sites for Alaska(USA) and Siberia(Russia). Typically, the model results show good correlation with measured data (if observations are accurate).
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? No
Upload manual if available:
Model website if any
Model forum / discussion board

This part will be filled out by CSDMS staff

OpenMI compliant No but possible
BMI compliant No but possible
WMT component In progress
PyMT component Yes
Is this a data component
DOI model 10.1594/IEDA/100131
For model version 0.1
Year version submitted 2011
Link to file
Can be coupled with:
Model info

Nr. of publications: 28
Total citations: 1146
h-index: 16
m-quotient: 0.8
Qrcode GIPL.png
Link to this page


GIPL(Geophysical Institute Permafrost Laboratory) is an implicit finite difference one-dimensional heat flow numerical model.The model uses fine vertical resolution grid which preserves the latent-heat effects in the phase transition zone, even under conditions of rapid or abrupt changes in the temperature fields. It includes upper boundary condition (usually air temperature), constant geothermal heat flux at the lower boundary (typically from 500 to 1000 m) and initial temperature distribution with depth. The other inputs are precipitation, prescribed water content and thermal properties of the multilayered soil column. As an output the model produces temperature distributions at different depths, active layer thickness and calculates time of freeze up. The results include temperatures at different depths and active layer thickness, freeze-up days.



Does not include convective heat transfer.




Nr. of publications: 28
Total citations: 1146
h-index: 16
m-quotient: 0.8

Featured publication(s)YearModel describedType of ReferenceCitations
Jafarov, E E; Romanovsky, V E; Genet, H; McGuire, A D; Marchenko, S S; 2013. The effects of fire on the thermal stability of permafrost in lowland and upland black spruce forests of interior Alaska in a changing climate. Environmental Research Letters, 8, 035030. 10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/035030
(View/edit entry)
2013 GIPL
Model application 103
Sazonova, T. S.; Romanovsky, V. E.; 2003. A model for regional-scale estimation of temporal and spatial variability of active layer thickness and mean annual ground temperatures. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes, 14, 125–139. 10.1002/ppp.449
(View/edit entry)
2003 GIPL
Kudryavtsev Model

Related theory

See more publications of GIPL