Landlab: a modeling platform that promotes the building of FAIR research software Journal Article uri icon



  • Landlab is an open-source Python package designed to facilitate creating, combining, and reusing 2D numerical models. As a core component of the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS) Workbench, Landlab can be used to build and couple models from a wide range of domains. We present how Landlab provides a platform that fosters a community of model developers and aids them in creating sustainable and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) research software.Landlab’s core functionality can be split into two main categories: infrastructural tools and community-contributed components. Infrastructural tools address the common needs of building new models (e.g. a gridding engine, and numerical utilities for common tasks). Landlab’s library of community-contributed components consists of several dozen components that each model a separate physical process (e.g. routing of shallow water flow across a landscape, calculating groundwater flow, or biologic evolution over a landscape). As these user-contributed components are incorporated into Landlab, they are able to attach to the Landlab infrastructure so that they also become both findable and accessible (through, for example, standardized metadata and versioning) and are maintained by the core Landlab developers.One key aspect of Landlab’s design is its use of a standard programming interface for all components. This ensures that all Landlab components are interoperable with one another and with other software tools, allowing researchers to incorporate Landlab's components into their own workflows and analyses. By separating processes into individual components, they become reusable and allow researchers to combine components in new ways without having to write new components from scratch.Overall, Landlab's design and development practices support the principles of FAIR research software, promoting the ability for scientific research to be easily shared and built upon. This design also provides a platform onto which model developers are able to attach their model components and take advantage of Landlab’s development practices and infrastructure and ensure their components also follow FAIR principles.

publication date

  • May 15, 2023

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • February 28, 2023 10:51 AM

Full Author List

  • Hutton E; Tucker G

author count

  • 2

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