PyLith version:2.2.1 date:: 2017-09-06


pylith-2.2.1.tgz [2017-09-06]

Primary Developers

Brad Aagaard
United States Geological Survey
Matt Knepley
Rice University
Charles A. Williams
GNS Science


PyLith is a finite-element code for dynamic and quasistatic simulations of crustal deformation, primarily earthquakes and volcanoes.

PyLith v2.2.1 provides a few new minor features and bugfixes.

Binaries are available from the links below. Detailed installation instructions for the binary packages are in the User Manual. Use the PyLith Installer to install from source with detailed building instructions for a few platforms in the INSTALL file bundled with the PyLith Installer utility. We also offer a Docker image (see the PyLith User Manual for instructions) for running PyLith within a portable, virtual Linux environment. Windows 10 users should install the Windows Subsystem for Linux and use the Linux x86_64 binary; users with earlier versions of Windows should install Docker and use the Docker image.

Release Notes

Version 2.2.1 DOI
  • Added new examples.
    • examples/3d/subduction: New suite of examples for a 3-D subduction zone. This intermediate level suite of examples illustrates a wide range of PyLith features for quasi-static simulations.
    • examples/2d/subduction: Added quasi-static spontaneous rupture earthquake cycle examples (Steps 5 and 6) for slip-weakening and rate- and state-friction.
    • These new examples make use of ParaView Python scripts to facilitate using ParaView with PyLith.
  • Improved the PyLith manual
    • Added diagram to guide users on which installation method best meets their needs.
    • Added instructions for how to use the Windows Subsystem for Linux to install the PyLith Linux binary on systems running Windows 10.
  • Fixed bug in generating Xdmf files for 2-D vector output. Converted Xdmf generator from C++ to Python for more robust generation of Xdmf files from Python scripts.
  • Updated spatialdata to v1.9.10. Improved error messages when reading SimpleDB and SimpleGridDB files.
  • Updated PyLith parameter viewer to v1.1.0. Application and documentation are now available on line at Small fix to insure hierarchy path listed matches the one for PyLith.
  • Updated PETSc to v3.7.6. See the PETSc documentation for a summary of all of the changes.
  • Switched to using CentOS 6.9 for Linux binary builds to insure compatibility with glibc 2.12 and later.

Cite as

Aagaard, B., M. Knepley, C. Williams (2017), PyLith v2.2.1, Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics, Available from:, doi: 10.5281/zenodo.886600, url:

Primary References

Aagaard, B.T.; Knepley, M.G.; Williams, C.A. (2013), A domain decomposition approach to implementing fault slip in finite-element models of quasi-static and dynamic crustal deformation, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 118 (6) , 3059-3079, doi: 10.1002/jgrb.50217, url:

Aagaard, B., M. Knepley, C. Williams (2017), PyLith User Manual, Version 2.2.0, Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics, Davis, CA, url:

Secondary References

The preferred way to generate the list of publications (in BibTEX format) to cite is to run your simulations with the --include-citations command line argument, or equivalently, the --petsc.citations command line argument. The --help-citations command line argument will generate the BibTEX entries for the references mentioned.


    Primary Developer
    Brad Aagaard
    Primary Developer
    Matt Knepley
    Primary Developer
    Charles A. Williams
    Primary Manual
    Brad Aagaard
    Primary Manual
    Charles A. Williams
    Contributor Manual
    Matt Knepley
    National Science Foundation EAR-0949446
    National Science Foundation 0313238
    National Science Foundation 0745391
    National Science Foundation 1550901
    Other Acknowledgement
    Current PyLith development is supported by the CIG, and internal GNS Science and U.S. Geological Survey funding. Pyre development was funded by the Department of Energy’s www.doe. gov/engine/ Advanced Simulation and Computing program and the National Science Foundation’s Information Technology Research (ITR) program

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