High-performance Earth system modeling with NASA/GSFC's Land Information System

Christa D. Peters-Lidard, P. R. Houser, Y. Tian, S. V. Kumar, J. Geiger, S. Olden, L. Lighty, B. Doty, P. Dirmeyer, J. Adams, K. Mitchell, Eric F. Wood, J. Sheffield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

181 Scopus citations


The Land Information System software (LIS; http://lis.gsfc.nasa.gov/, 2006) has been developed to support high-performance land surface modeling and data assimilation. LIS integrates parallel and distributed computing technologies with modern land surface modeling capabilities, and establishes a framework for easy interchange of subcomponents, such as land surface physics, input/output conventions, and data assimilation routines. The software includes multiple land surface models that can be run as a multi-model ensemble on global or regional domains with horizontal resolutions ranging from 2.5° to 1 km. The software may execute serially or in parallel on various high-performance computing platforms. In addition, the software has well-defined, standard-conforming interfaces and data structures to interface and interoperate with other Earth system models. Developed with the support of an Earth science technology office (ESTO) computational technologies project round 3 cooperative agreement, LIS has helped advance NASA's Earth-Sun division's software engineering principles and practices, while promoting portability, interoperability, and scalability for Earth system modeling. LIS was selected as a co-winner of NASA's 2005 software of the year award.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-165
Number of pages9
JournalInnovations in Systems and Software Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software


  • Climate
  • Earth system modeling
  • Ensemble
  • High-performance computing
  • Information systems
  • Interoperability
  • Land surface modeling
  • Object-oriented frameworks
  • Weather


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