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 2D
Spatial extent
Model domain Terrestrial, Cryosphere
One-line model description Glacier / ice sheet evolution model
Extended model description Models the growth and evolution of valley glaciers and ice sheets


Name Mark Kessler
Type of contact Model developer
Institute / Organization University of Colorado
Postal address 1 1560 30th street
Postal address 2
Town / City Boulder
Postal code 80305
State Colorado
Country United States
Email address

Name Eric Hutton
Type of contact Technical contact
Institute / Organization CSDMS, INSTAAR, University of Colorado
Postal address 1 1560 30th street
Postal address 2
Town / City Boulder
Postal code 80305
State Colorado
Country United States
Email address

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

Python, Matlab

Other program language
Code optimized Single Processor
Multiple processors implemented
Nr of distributed processors
Nr of shared processors
Start year development 2005
Does model development still take place? Yes
If above answer is no, provide end year model development
Code development status
When did you indicate the 'code development status'?
Model availability As code
Source code availability
(Or provide future intension)
Through CSDMS repository
Source web address
Source csdms web address
Program license type Apache public license
Program license type other
Memory requirements Minimal
Typical run time hours

Describe input parameters Landscape elevation, ELA with time
Input format
Other input format Matlab .mat files
Describe output parameters Glacier thickness and elevation
Output format
Other output format Matlab .mat files
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 Glacier growth and evolution
Describe key physical parameters and equations
Describe length scale and resolution constraints kilometers
Describe time scale and resolution constraints Tens to hundreds of years
Describe any numerical limitations and issues

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? None
Is there a manual available? No
Upload manual if available:
Model website if any [[Model website::[1]]]
Model forum / discussion board

This part will be filled out by CSDMS staff

OpenMI compliant No but possible
BMI compliant Yes
WMT component No but possible
PyMT component
Is this a data component
Can be coupled with:

TopoFlow, TopoFlow-Snowmelt-Degree-Day, TopoFlow-Snowmelt-Energy_Balance, TopoFlow-Meteorology,

Model info
Mark Kessler
Nr. of publications: 4
Total citations: 455
h-index: 4
m-quotient: 0.17
Qrcode Gc2d.png
Link to this page



gc2d a two-dimensional finite difference numerical model that simulates the formation and evolution of temperate valley glaciers on a two-dimensional topographic surface with a specified meteorological setting. Driven by a time series of mass balance (snow precipitation - melt rate), the model calculates ice surface elevations above a two-dimensional terrain by solving equations for ice flux and mass conservation using explicit methods. A number of other authors have employed one- and two-dimensional models based on similar sets of equations. However, gc2d integrates glacier and climate simulation components explicitly, and thus has the unique ability to simulate feedbacks between the changing ice surface and the climate forcing. In addition, the framework of this model permits the inclusion of discrete processes that modify the ice distribution, such as avalanching on steep terrain. The efficiency of this model allows simulation of glacial evolution over millennial timescales at spatial scales that resolve valley glaciers. Finally, from a computational standpoint, the simplicity of this model permits the investigation of significant regions of parameter space, allowing us to determine the effect of new processes or altered algorithms for them.

The above description is taken almost verbatim from Kessler et al. (2006).


Nr. of publications: 4
Total citations: 455
h-index: 4
m-quotient: 0.17

Featured publication(s)YearModel describedType of ReferenceCitations
MacGregor, K.R.; Anderson, R.S.; Anderson, S.P.; Waddington, E.D.; 2000. Numerical Simulations of Glacial-Valley Longitudinal Profile Evolution.. Geology, 28, 1031-1034. <1031:NSOGLP>2.0.CO;2 10.1130/0091-7613(2000)28<1031:NSOGLP>2.0.CO;2
(View/edit entry)
2000 Gc2d

Model overview

See more publications of Gc2d





Input Files

Output Files