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2017 Crustal Deformation Modeling Tutorial and Workshop

Tutorial Information

About 60% of the time will be devoted to tutorial lectures with instructors providing background information and running examples in hands-on demonstrations. The other 40% of the time will be devoted to "tinker time" during which participants can run the examples at their own pace, develop their own simulations, and get help from the instructors.



  • Brad Aagaard (USGS)
  • Charles Williams (GNS Science)
  • Matthew Knepley (Rice University)


  1. Install PyLith, ParaView and CUBIT/Trelis. See Software Requirements below for more information.
  2. Read the software manuals.
  3. View last year's tutorial videos and work through the examples.
  4. Prepare a small 2-D or 3-D model of something you wish to play with during the workshop. This is a great way to get started on your research problem.


All participants should download and install PyLith, CUBIT/Trelis, and ParaView on your computer before the workshop. See workflow diagram for a general description of the typical workflow used in numerical modeling of crustal dynamics

  • PyLith - static, quasi-static, and dynamic crustal deformation

    Binary packages and the PyLith manual are available on the PyLith webpage. The manual has a troubleshooting section, and there are links to the cig-short mailing list where users can get assistance. We will be releasing PyLith v3.0.0 shortly before the workshop. We strongly recommend getting familiar with PyLith v2.2.0.

  • CUBIT/Trelis - finite-element meshing

    csimsoft has created their own version of CUBIT, called Trelis. Sandia National Laboratories continues to provide CUBIT releases to US government agencies.

    Users can download a 30-day free trial version of Trelis from csimsoft. Registering for the free trial version can take several hours to a day before you can download the software. We will be using the CUBIT 15.x and Trelis 16.x for the tutorials.

  • ParaView - visualization

    ParaView is a GUI visualization tool discussed in the PyLith examples. Binaries are available for a wide variety of platforms on the ParaView website. Click on Download. Use version 5.3.0 or 5.4.0.

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