The CSDMS Workbench

The CSDMS Workbench is the integrated system of software tools, technologies, and standards developed by CSDMS for building, interfacing, coupling, and running models. Each element of the CSDMS Workbench is developed as open source software and released to the community under the MIT License. The CSDMS Workbench consists of the core elements listed below.

Basic Model Interface

The Basic Model Interface (BMI) is a set of functions that standardizes how numerical models can be queried, modified, and run. A model with a BMI exposes the same set of functions, no matter which language the model is written in. While a BMI can be specified for any language, CSDMS currently supports C, C++, Fortran, Java, and Python. [documentation, source repository]

Standard Names

CSDMS Standard Names (CSN) provide a comprehensive set of naming rules and patterns that are not specific to any particular modeling domain. CSN were designed with features such as parsability and natural alphabetical grouping. CSN consist of an object part and a quantity/attribute part; the quantity part may also have an operation prefix with multiple operations. [documentation, source repository]


The Babelizer is a utility for wrapping models that expose a BMI so they can be imported as Python packages. Within Python, these models, regardless of their core language, appear as classes. Users are then able to run models interactively through the Python command line or Jupyter Notebook, and programmatically through Python. [documentation, source repository]

Python Modeling Toolkit

The Python Modeling Toolkit (PyMT) provides the tools needed for coupling models that expose a BMI. PyMT provides utilities for coupling models of disparate time and space scales, a grid interpolator, unit conversions, a sample collection of earth surface processes models, and an extensible plug-in framework for adding new models. [documentation, source repository]


Landlab is a Python library that allows users to easily build unique earth surface processes models to address specific hypotheses. The Landlab library contains gridding engines for building regular and irregular grids, process components that act on grid variables, tools for storing and sharing data among the grid and components, and plotting and analysis tools. [documentation, source repository]

Data Components

Data components are datasets or data formats that are wrapped with the BMI so they can be imported as Python packages. As such these data components can be called in for example the PyMT, and coupled to models. Read all about them in a paper by Tian Gan and friends. [ source repository ]

To learn more about the CSDMS Workbench, visit the individual product pages linked above, or reach out to us through the CSDMS Help Desk, or email us at