Also known as
Model type Single
Model part of larger framework
Incorporated models or components:
Spatial dimensions 3D
Spatial extent Regional-Scale
Model domain Terrestrial, Cryosphere
One-line model description Parallel Ice Sheet Model, PISM
Extended model description PISM is a hybrid shallow ice, shallow shelf model. PISM is designed to scale with increasing problem size

by harnessing the computational power of supercomputing systems and by leveraging the scalable software libraries that have been developed by the high-performance computing research community. The model combines two shallow (small depth-to-width ratio) stress balances, namely the shallow-ice approximation (SIA) and the shallow-shelf approximation (SSA), which are computationally efficient schemes to simulate ice flow by internal deformation and ice-stream flow, respectively. In PISM, deformational velocities from the SIA and sliding velocities from the SSA are weighted and averaged to achieve a smooth transition from shearing flow to sliding flow.


Ice flow, Ice sheet, Ice sheet model,

First name Glacier
Last name Group
Type of contact Model developer
Institute / Organization University of Alaska Fairbanks
Postal address 1
Postal address 2
Town / City Fairbanks
Postal code 99775
State Alaska
Country United States
Email address

Supported platforms Unix, Linux, Mac OS
Other platform
Programming language C++
Other program language
Code optimized Multiple Processors
Multiple processors implemented
Nr of distributed processors
Nr of shared processors
Start year development 2002
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 GPL v3
Program license type other
Memory requirements --
Typical run time --

Describe input parameters initial bedrock and glacier topographies, geothermal heat flux, and climate forcing
Input format ASCII
Other input format
Describe output parameters the evolution of ice extent and thickness over time, the thermal and dynamic states of the ice sheet, and the associated lithospheric response
Output format ASCII
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 --
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
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 No but possible
PyMT component No but possible
Is this a data component
Can be coupled with:
Model info
Glacier Group
Citation indices PISM
Nr. of pubs: 44
Citations: 1072
h-index: 16
Qrcode PISM.png
Link to this page




Citation indices PISM
Nr. of pubs: 44
Citations: 1072
h-index: 16

Featured publication(s)YearModel describedType of ReferenceCitations
Winkelmann, R.; Martin, M. A.; Haseloff, M.; Albrecht, T.; Bueler, E.; Khroulev, C.; Levermann, A.; 2011. The Potsdam Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM-PIK) – Part 1: Model description. The Cryosphere, 5, 715–726. 10.5194/tc-5-715-2011
(View/edit entry)
Model overview 141
See more publications of PISM



Input Files

Output Files