The registration to this course is now open. Please, bring your own laptop. All the PATC courses at BSC are free of charge.

Course convener: Arnau Folch

Course lecturers: 

José Manuel González Vida (Malaga University), Matteo Cerminara (INGV Pias), Leonardo Mingari (CASE Department, BSC)

Objectives: This course focuses on modelling two of the highest impact natural hazards, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. The objective is to give a succinct theoretical overview and then introduce students on the use of different HPC flagship codes included in the Center of Excellence for Exascale in Solid Earth (ChEESE). ASHEE is a volcanic plume and PDC simulator based on a multiphase fluid dynamic model conceived for compressible mixtures composed of gaseous components and solid particle phases. FALL3D is a Eulerian model for the atmospheric transport and ground deposition of volcanic tephra (ash) used in operational volcanic ash dispersal forecasts routinely used to prevent aircraft encounters with volcanic ash clouds and to perform re-routings avoiding contaminated airspace areas. T-HySEA solves the 2D shallow water equations on hydrostatic and dispersive versions. Based on a high-order Finite Volume (FV) discretisation (hydrostatic) with Finite Differences (FD) for the dispersive version on two-way structured nested meshes in spherical coordinates. Together with hands-on sessions, the course will also tackle post-process strategies based on python. In recent years, the Python programming language has become one of the most popular choice for geoscientists. Python is a modern, interpreted, object-oriented, open-source language easy to learn, easy to read, and fast to write. The proliferation of multiple open-source projects with libraries available every day, have facilitated a rapid scientific development in the geoscience community. In addition, the modern data structures and object-oriented nature of the language along with an elegant syntax, enable Earth scientists to write more robust and less buggy code.

Learning outcomes: Participants will learn and gain experience in installing SE codes and related utilities and libraries, running numerical simulations, monitoring the execution of supercomputing jobs, analyzing and visualizing model results.

Level: (All courses are designed for specialists with at least 1st cycle degree or similar background experience)
INTERMEDIATE: for trainees with some theoretical and practical knowledge; those who finished the beginners course


At least University degree in progress on Earth Sciences, Computer Sciences or related area.

  • Basic knowledge of LINUX

  • Knowledge of C, FORTRAN, MPI or openMP is recommended

  • Knowledge of Earth Sciences data formats is recommended (grib, netcdf, hdf,…)

  • Basic knowledge of python


Day 1

Session 1 / 10:00am – 1:30pm (3 h lectures)

10:00-11:30 Volcanic clouds and plumes: Introduction to the physical problem

11:30-11:50 Coffee break

11:50-13:30 Introduction FALL3D

13:30-14:30 Lunch break


Session 2 / 2:30pm – 6:00 pm (1:30 h lectures, 2 h practical)

14:30-16:00 Introduction to ASHEE

16:00-16:20 Coffee break

16:20-18:00 Installation and compilation of FALL3D and ASHEE


Day 2

Session 1 / 10:00am – 1:30pm (3 h hands-on)

10:00-11:30 FALL3D hands on I

11:30-11:50 Coffee break

11:50-13:30 FALL3D hands on II

13:30-14:30 Lunch break


Session 2 / 2:30pm – 6:00 pm (1:30 h lectures, 2 h practical)

14:30-16:00 ASHEE hands on I

16:00-16:20 Coffee break

16:20-18:00 ASHEE hands on II


Day 3

Session 1 / 10:00am – 1:30pm (1:30 h lectures, 1:40 h practical)

10:00-11:30 Introduction to tsunami modeling and the Tsunami-HySEA code

11:30-11:50 Coffee break

11:50-13:30 Tsunami-HySEA: from simple to complex simulations

13:30-14:30 Lunch break


Session 2 / 2:30pm – 6:00 pm (3 h hands-on)

14:30-16:00 Tsunami-HySEA hands on I

16:00-16:20 Coffee break

16:20-18:00 Tsunami-HySEA hands on II


Day 4

Session 1 / 10:00am – 1:30pm (3 h lectures)

10:00-11:30 A brief introduction to the Python language and object oriented programming

11:30-11:50 Coffee break

11:50-13:30 Scientific computing tools and reading files and accessing remote data

13:30-14:30 Lunch break


A brief introduction to the Python language

-Installing packages

Object oriented programming

-Examples on classes and motivation

-How to make a class

-Method Objects

-Example: manipulating dates and times

Scientific computing tools

-Vectors and arrays: basic operations and manipulations

-References and copies of arrays


-Statistics tools

-Data Analysis with Pandas

Reading files and accessing remote data

-Read and write multi-column data files

-File formats used in geosciences netCDF, HDF5, HDF-EOS 2, and GRIB 1 and 2

-Data Access Services: OPeNDAP, NetCDF Subset Service, etc...

-Example: Reading data from OpenDAP


Session 2 / 2:30pm – 6:00 pm (3h hands-on)

14:30-16:00 Visualization

16:00-16:20 Coffee break

16:20-18:00 Examples and exercises


-Simple line plots

-Adjusting the plot

-Visualization of geographic data

-3D Scientific data visualization


Examples and exercises

-FALL3D pre and post-processing tools

End of Course

Barcelona BSC Campus Nord
Vèrtex Building Room VS219

For further details and practical info such as local transport and venue please visit the local course pages for PATC@BSC: