Also known as
Model type Tool
Model part of larger framework
Note on status model
Date note status model
Incorporated models or components:
Spatial dimensions 1D, 2D, 3D
Spatial extent Continental, Global, Regional-Scale
Model domain Terrestrial, Hydrology, Marine, Climate, Ecosystems, Cryosphere
One-line model description The International Land Model Benchmarking (ILAMB) toolkit
Extended model description The International Land Model Benchmarking (ILAMB) project is a model-data intercomparison and integration project designed to improve the performance of land models and, in parallel, improve the design of new measurement campaigns to reduce uncertainties associated with key land surface processes. Building upon past model evaluation studies, the goals of ILAMB are to:
  • develop internationally accepted benchmarks for land model performance, promote the use of these benchmarks by the international community for model intercomparison,
  • strengthen linkages between experimental, remote sensing, and climate modeling communities in the design of new model tests and new measurement programs, and
  • support the design and development of a new, open source, benchmarking software system for use by the international community.

benchmark, uncertainty, land surface processes, land model, CMIP5, CMIP6,

Name Nathan Collier
Type of contact Model developer
Institute / Organization Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Postal address 1 P.O. Box 2008
Postal address 2 1 Bethel Valley
Town / City Road Oak Ridge
Postal code 37831
State Tennessee
Country United States
Email address

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


Other program language
Code optimized Multiple Processors
Multiple processors implemented Distributed memory
Nr of distributed processors
Nr of shared processors
Start year development 2015
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 web repository
Source web address
Source csdms web address
Program license type Other
Program license type other UT Battelle Open Source Software License
Memory requirements
Typical run time Minutes to several hours

Describe input parameters A configuration file specifying models and variables to confront against benchmark data sets.
Input format ASCII
Other input format
Describe output parameters A web page displaying skill scores for the models and plots (PNG) of the spatial distribution of model outputs versus benchmark data.
Output format ASCII, 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 ILAMB takes a set of observational data encoded as CF-compliant netCDF files, extracts commensurate quantities from historical model results (ideally compliant with CMOR), and then subjects them to a gauntlet of statistical measures examining aspects of performance such as bias, RMSE, phase, interannual variability, and spatial distribution. This results in a hierarchical set of webpages which display and controls the flow of information.
Describe key physical parameters and equations
Describe length scale and resolution constraints
Describe time scale and resolution constraints
Describe any numerical limitations and issues

Describe available calibration data sets ILAMB has integrated testing of overall scores on a coarsened subset of observational data which runs via Azure pipelines.
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? ILAMB is under continuous development with collaboration from researchers worldwide.
Is there a manual available? No
Upload manual if available:
Model website if any
Model forum / discussion board
Comments For details on the methodology and underlying benchmarking philosophy, see the following paper:

Nathan Collier, Forrest M. Hoffman, David M. Lawrence, Gretchen Keppel‐Aleks, Charles D. Koven, William J. Riley, Mingquan Mu, and James T. Randerson, "The International Land Model Benchmarking (ILAMB) System: Design, Theory, and Implementation", JAMES, 10 (11), 2018,

This part will be filled out by CSDMS staff

OpenMI compliant No but possible
BMI compliant Yes
WMT component Yes
PyMT component
Is this a data component
DOI model International land Model Benchmarking (ILAMB) Package
For model version 2.0
Year version submitted 2016
Link to file DOI:10.18139/ILAMB.v002.00/1251621
Can be coupled with:
Model info
Nathan Collier

  • Download ILAMB [DOI:10.18139/ILAMB.v002.00/1251621 version: 2.0]
    Doi: International land Model Benchmarking (ILAMB) Package
Nr. of publications: 9
Total citations: 431
h-index: 6
m-quotient: 0.75
Qrcode ILAMB.png
Link to this page




Nr. of publications: 9
Total citations: 431
h-index: 6
m-quotient: 0.75

Featured publication(s)YearModel describedType of ReferenceCitations
Collier, Nathan; Hoffman, Forrest M.; Lawrence, David M.; Keppel‐Aleks, Gretchen; Koven, Charles D.; Riley, William J.; Mu, Mingquan; Randerson, James T.; 2018. The International Land Model Benchmarking (ILAMB) System: Design, Theory, and Implementation. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 10, 2731–2754. 10.1029/2018MS001354
(View/edit entry)
2018 ILAMB
Model overview 135
See more publications of ILAMB



Input Files

Output Files