CSDMS 2019 Webinars

The GeoClaw software and tsunami modeling

Registration link:

Randy LeVeque

University of Washington, United States

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 problems and other overland floods.

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 DEMs and other datasets,
  • Setting run-time parameters, including specifying adaptive refinement regions,
  • The VisClaw plotting software to visualize results using Python tools or display on Google Earth.

GeoClaw is distributed as part of Clawpack ( Those who wish to install the software in advance on laptops, please see

Tutorials can be found here:

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:
  • Terrestrial Working Group
  • Coastal Working Group
  • Cyberinformatics and Numerics Working Group
  • Hydrology Focus Research Group