This code has been community reviewed and published in the open access Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS)


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, 3D
Spatial extent Grain-Scale, Patch-Scale
Model domain Terrestrial, Hydrology, Cryosphere
One-line model description A model of dunes and snow-waves
Extended model description When wind blows over snow, it self-organizes. This forms surface features, such as ripples and dunes, that alter the reflectivity and thermal conductivity of the snow.

Studying these features in the field is cold and challenging (we've tried), so we created rescal-snow to enable snow scientists to study snow features in controlled numerical experiments. We hope that this model will be useful to researchers in snow science, geomorphology, and polar climate.

Rescal-snow is able to simulate: - Snow/sand grain erosion and deposition by wind - Snowfall - Time-dependent cohesion (snow sintering) - Avalanches of loose grains

Rescal-snow is also designed for robust, reproducible science, and contains tools for high-performance computing, data management, and data analysis, including: - Workflow tools for generating and running many simulations in parallel - A python-based workflow that manages data and analysis at runtime

These processes, along with model input, output, performance and constraints, are discussed in detail in the project docs and readme.


snow dynamics, sand, aeolian sediment transport, dune, Aeolian dune,

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

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

C, Python

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 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 See 'rescal_snow_inputs' in docs
Input format ASCII
Other input format
Describe output parameters Evolving 3D cellspace and 2D elevation map
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 Aeolian sediment transport (snow or sand grains), granular motion, avalanches, snowfall, time-dependent cohesion
Describe key physical parameters and equations See 'rescal_snow_input' in docs.
Describe length scale and resolution constraints
Describe time scale and resolution constraints
Describe any numerical limitations and issues

Describe available calibration data sets See 'test' folder
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:
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
DOI model 10.5281/zenodo.3517217
For model version v1.1.1
Year version submitted 2019
Link to file
Can be coupled with:
Model info
Kelly Kochanski

Nr. of publications: 1
Total citations: 3
h-index: 1
m-quotient: 0.2
Qrcode Rescal-snow.png
Link to this page




Nr. of publications: 1
Total citations: 3
h-index: 1
m-quotient: 0.2

Featured publication(s)YearModel describedType of ReferenceCitations
Kochanski, Kelly; Defazio, Gian-Carlo; Green, Eric; Barnes, Richard; Downie, Carlos; Rubin, Adam; Rountree, Barry; 2019. Rescal-snow: Simulating snow dunes with cellular automata. Journal of Open Source Software, 4, 1699. 10.21105/joss.01699
(View/edit entry)
2019 Rescal-snow
Model overview 3
See more publications of Rescal-snow



Input Files

Output Files