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Lowering the barriers to Computational Modeling of the Earth Surface


The ability to test hypotheses about hydrology, geomorphology and atmospheric processes is invaluable to research in the era of big data. Although community resources are available, there remain significant educational, logistical and time investment barriers to their use. Knowledge infrastructure is an emerging intellectual framework to understand how people are creating, sharing and distributing knowledge -- which has been dramatically transformed by Internet technologies. In addition to the technical and social components in a cyberinfrastructure system, knowledge infrastructure considers educational, institutional, and open source governance components required to advance knowledge. We are designing an infrastructure environment that lowers common barriers to reproducing modeling experiments for earth surface investigation. Landlab is an open-source modeling toolkit for building, coupling, and exploring two-dimensional numerical models. HydroShare is an online collaborative environment for sharing hydrologic data and models. CyberGIS-Jupyter is an innovative cyberGIS framework for achieving data-intensive, reproducible, and scalable geospatial analytics using the Jupyter Notebook based on ROGER - the first cyberGIS supercomputer, so that models that can be elastically reproduced through cloud computing approaches. Our team of geomorphologists, hydrologists, and computer geoscientists has created a new infrastructure environment that combines these three pieces of software to enable knowledge discovery. Through this novel integration, any user can interactively execute and explore their shared data and model resources. Landlab on HydroShare with CyberGIS-Jupyter supports the modeling continuum from fully developed modelling applications, prototyping new science tools, hands on research demonstrations for training workshops, and classroom applications. Computational geospatial models based on big data and high performance computing can now be more efficiently developed, improved, scaled, and seamlessly reproduced among multidisciplinary users, thereby expanding the active learning curriculum and research opportunities for students in earth surface modeling and informatics.

When you open this resource with the CUAHSI JupyterHub server (upper right, click on Open With, Select JupyterHub NCSA), you will launch a Welcome Notebook that will connect you to the CyberGIS virtual machine on the ROGER super computer at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne. When you execute (Run Step 1 and Step 2 only) in the Jupyter Notebook cells on the Welcome Notebook, you will download related data and two Notebooks designed to explore hydrologic research problem solving using data and model integration in HydroShare . Skip Step 3 "Welcome" tutorial steps unless you want to explore how to do work and Save back to HydroShare.

Use Case 1:
Click on the hyperlink to ThunderCreek_Observatory_Landslide.ipynb.
Replicate a published Landlab landslide model within a subset area
Save your results on HydroShare for your colleagues
Formally publish your results and obtain a DOI

Use Case 2:
Download water data from CUAHSI HIS
Develop your own utilites (e.g. download hydrometeorology with TreatGeoSelf)
Run a Landlab Ecohydrology Model

Use Case 3:
Have a workshop or classroom access Landlab curriculum
TBD - Nicole?

The problem: Researchers need a modeling workflow that is flexible for developing their own code, with easy access to distributed datasets, shared on a common platform for coupling multiple models, usable by science colleagues, with easy publication of data, code, and scientific studies.

The emerging solution: Collaborate with the CUAHSI HydroShare community to use and contribute to water data software and hardware tools, so that you can focus on your science, be efficient with your time and resources, and build on existing research in multiple domains of water science.

This is a Watershed Dynamics Model developed by the Watershed Dynamics Research Group in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Washington for the Thunder Creek basin in the Skagit Watershed, WA, USA in collaboration with CUAHSI.

The resource was originally derived from a reproducible demonstration of the landslide modeling results from: Strauch, R., Istanbulluoglu, E., Nudurupati, S. S., Bandaragoda, C., Gasparini, N. M., and Tucker, G. E.: A hydro-climatological approach to predicting regional landslide probability using Landlab, Earth Surf. Dynam. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2017-39, in review, 2017.



How to cite

Bandaragoda, C., A. M. Castronova, J. Phuong, E. Istanbulluoglu, S. S. Nudurupati, R. Strauch, N. Gasparini, E. Hutton, G. Tucker, D. Hobley, K. Barnhart, J. Adams, D. Tarboton, S. Wang, D. Yin (2018). Lowering the barriers to Computational Modeling of the Earth Surface, HydroShare, http://www.hydroshare.org/resource/70b977e22af544f8a7e5a803935c329c

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY.


  • Downloads require agreement to resource rights statement

  • Sharing status:

    • Public Resource  Public
    • Sharable Resource  Shareable



     Coordinate System/Geographic Projection:  WGS 84 EPSG:4326
     Coordinate Units:  Decimal degrees
    Place/Area Name: Thunder Creek Watershed

    North Latitude
    East Longitude
    South Latitude
    West Longitude


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    The people or organizations that created the intellectual content of the resource.

    Name Organization Address Phone
    Christina Bandaragoda University of Washington
    Anthony Michael Castronova CUAHSI MA, US 4357970852
    Jimmy Phuong University of Washington Washington, US
    Erkan Istanbulluoglu University of Washington
    Sai Siddhartha Nudurupati University of Washington - Seattle WA, US 4026170098
    Ronda Strauch University of Washington
    Nicole Gasparini Tulane University
    Eric Hutton
    Greg Tucker
    Daniel Hobley
    Katherine Barnhart University of Colorado at Boulder CO, US
    Jordan Adams Tulane University Louisiana, US 6107397582
    David Tarboton Utah State University Utah, US 4357973172
    Shaowen Wang
    Dandong Yin


    People or organizations that contributed technically, materially, financially, or provided general support for the creation of the resource's content but are not considered authors.

    Name Organization Address Phone
    Erkan Istanbulluoglu University of Washington
    David Tarboton Utah State University Utah, US 4357973172
    Dan Ames Brigham Young University
    Zhiyu (Drew) Li Brigham Young University
    Ronda Strauch University of Washington
    Derived From: http://www.hydroshare.org/resource/609b1201e4ac47d89eff56317af07d12
    isPartOf: https://www.hydroshare.org/resource/bb9e1cc9e8b0487b99576938029fccb0/
    This resource belongs to the following collections:
    Title Owners Sharing Status My Permission
    Landlab Tutorials GSA 2017 Nicole Gasparini · Greg Tucker · Erkan Istanbulluoglu · Christina Bandaragoda  Private &  Shareable None
    Landlab Tutorials GSA 2017 Jezra Beaulieu  Private &  Shareable None


    This resource was created using funding from the following sources:
    Agency Name Award Title Award Number
    National Science Foundation


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