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
Incorporated models or components:
Spatial dimensions 3D
Spatial extent Continental
Model domain Geodynamic
One-line model description Underworld2 is an open-source, particle-in-cell finite element code tuned for large-scale geodynamics simulations.
Extended model description Underworld2 is an open-source, particle-in-cell finite element code tuned for large-scale geodynamics simulations. The numerical algorithms allow the tracking of history information through the high-strain deformation associated with fluid flow (for example, transport of the stress tensor in a viscoelastic, convecting medium, or the advection of fine-scale damage parameters by the large-scale flow). The finite element mesh can be static or dynamic, but it is not contrained to move in lock-step with the evolving geometry of the fluid. This hybrid approach is very well suited to complex fluids which is how the solid Earth behaves on a geological timescale.

Plate tectonics, lithospheric flexure,

First name Louis
Last name Moresi
Type of contact Model developer
Institute / Organization University of Melbourne
Postal address 1
Postal address 2
Town / City Victoria
Postal code 3010
Country Australia
Email address

Supported platforms Unix, Linux, Mac OS, Windows
Other platform
Programming language Python
Other program language
Code optimized Multiple Processors
Multiple processors implemented
Nr of distributed processors
Nr of shared processors
Start year development 2003
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 LGPL3
Memory requirements --
Typical run time --

Describe input parameters --
Input format ASCII, Binary
Other input format
Describe output parameters --
Output format 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 --
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? 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
Is this a data component
Can be coupled with:
Model info
Nr. of publications: 14
Total citations: 933
h-index: 9
Qrcode Underworld2.png
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Nr. of publications: 14
Total citations: 933
h-index: 9

Featured publication(s)YearModel describedType of ReferenceCitations
Moresi, L.; Dufour, F.; Mühlhaus, H.-B.; 2003-01-01. A Lagrangian integration point finite element method for large deformation modeling of viscoelastic geomaterials. Journal of Computational Physics, 184, 476–497. 10.1016/S0021-9991(02)00031-1
(View/edit entry)
Model overview 310
Moresi, L.; Betts, P. G.; Miller, M. S.; Cayley, R. A.; 2014-04-01. Dynamics of continental accretion. Nature, 508, 245–248. 10.1038/nature13033
(View/edit entry)
Model application 153
See more publications of Underworld2



Input Files

Output Files