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Awesome Open Source

ASPECT - Advanced Solver for Problems in Earth's ConvecTion

License GPL2: DOI pdf manual


ASPECT is a code to simulate convection in Earth's mantle and elsewhere. It has grown from a pure mantle-convection code into a tool for many geodynamic applications including applications for inner core convection, lithospheric scale deformation, two-phase flow, and numerical methods development. The project is supported by CIG (

Installation instructions

The steps to install the necessary dependencies and ASPECT itself are described in the Installation instructions section of the ASPECT manual. If you encounter problems during the installation, please consult our wiki for typical installation problems or specific instructions for MacOS users, before asking your question on the mailing list.

In short, ASPECT is configured using CMake and has the following requirements:

  • CMake 2.8.12
  • GCC, Clang, or Intel compiler with C++11 support
  • deal.II 9.2 or newer configured with:
    • MPI, Trilinos, p4est (required)
    • BLAS/LAPACK, zlib (strongly recommended)
    • HDF5 (optional)
  • optional: PerpleX, LIBDAP, NETCDF

Running and extending ASPECT

Instructions on how to run and extend, as well as on how to interpret the output of ASPECT can also be found in the ASPECT manual. This manual also discusses the structure of the source code.

For getting started, you can also watch our online tutorial.

Contributing to ASPECT

ASPECT is a community project that lives by the participation of its members — i.e., including you! It is our goal to build an inclusive and participatory community so we are happy that you are interested in participating! We have collected a set of guidelines and advice on how to get involved in the community and keep them in the file in ASPECT's repository.

More information

For more information see:

  • The official website at

  • The current manual

  • How to cite ASPECT

  • For questions on the source code of ASPECT, portability, installation, new or existing features, etc., use the ASPECT forum. This forum is where the ASPECT users and developers all hang out. Archived discussions from the inactive aspect-devel mailing list can be downloaded at aspect-devel archives.

  • See the Future Plan Board for a high level overview of items in development.

  • ASPECT is primarily based on the deal.II library. If you have particular questions about deal.II, contact the deal.II discussion groups.

  • In case of more general questions about mantle convection, you can contact the CIG mantle convection mailing lists.

  • ASPECT is being developed by a large, collaborative, and inclusive community. It is currently maintained by the following people:

  • The following people have significantly contributed and furthered ASPECT's goals and are therefore Principal Developers:

    • Jacky Austermann
    • Wolfgang Bangerth
    • Juliane Dannberg
    • Menno Fraters
    • Rene Gassmoeller
    • Anne Glerum
    • Timo Heister
    • Bob Myhill
    • John Naliboff
  • A complete and growing list of the many authors that have contributed over the years can be found at GitHub contributors.

  • If you have specific questions about ASPECT that are not suitable for public and archived mailing lists, feel free to contact the maintainers or principal developers.


ASPECT is published under GPL v2 or newer.

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