Joint CSDMS-SEN annual meeting 2016: Capturing Climate Change

GeoClaw Software for Depth Average Flow

Randy LeVeque

University of Washington, Seattle, United States

[[CSDMS meeting abstract presentation::GeoClaw ( is an open-source software package for solving two-dimensional depth-averaged equations over general topography using high-resolution finite volume methods and adaptive mesh refinement. Wetting-and-drying algorithms allow modeling inundation or overland flows. The primary applications where GeoClaw has been used are tsunami modeling and storm surge, although it has also been applied to dam break floods and it forms the basis for the debris flow and landslide code D-Claw under development at the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory.

This tutorial will give an introduction to setting up a tsunami modeling problem in GeoClaw including:
⤅ Overview of capabilities,
⤅ Installing the software,
⤅ Using Python tools provided in GeoClaw to acquire and work with topography datasets and earthquake source models,
⤅ Setting run-time parameters, including specifying adaptive refinement regions,
⤅ Options to output snapshots of the solution or maximum flow depths, arrival times, etc.
⤅ The VisClaw plotting software to visualize results using Python tools or display on Google Earth.

GeoClaw is distributed as part of Clawpack (, and available via the CSDMS model repository. Those who wish to install the software in advance on laptops, please see

Link to the GeoClaw Tutorial that was followed during this clinic. ]]

Please acknowledge the original contributors when you are using this material. If there are any copyright issues, please let us know ( and we will respond as soon as possible.

Of interest for:
  • Coastal Working Group