LIVVkit: An Extensible, Python-Based, Land Ice Verification and Validation Toolkit for Ice Sheet Models

Land Ice validation and verification toolkit (LIVVkit): verification.

The Science

This publication outlines a new community tool to perform robust verification and validation of ice sheet models, both for stand-alone models and models coupled to an Earth system model.

The Impact

LIVVkit is the first verification and validation testing suite developed for ice sheet models that covers all four aspects of V&V–numerical verification, software verification, performance validation, and physical validation–and has a design focused on both building confidence in and enhancing the credibility of ice sheet models.


Robust verification and validation is critically important for Earth science models, especially ice sheet models, because they are being heavily developed as standalone models and are being coupled to Earth system models. LIVVkit has been designed to provide a framework to test and evaluate them on many platforms; from laptops to HPCs, and is intended to help developers build confidence in their models and enhance the credibility of ice sheet models overall. It is shown in this publication that it is easily extensible by developers to new methods of analysis, models, and observations. LIVVkit 2.0.0 as presented was released Aug. 2016 under an open source license at: https://github.com/LIVVkit/LIVVkit.

Principal Investigator(s)

Katherine Evans
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Related Links


The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research supported this research as part of the Predicting Ice Sheet and Climate Evolution at Extreme Scales (PISCEES) project of the Earth System Modeling (ESM) program.


Kennedy, J.H., A.R. Bennett, K.J. Evans, S. Price, M. Hoffman, W.H. Lipscomb, J. Fyke, L. Vargo, A. Boghozian, M. Norman, and P.H. Worley. “LIVVkit: An extensible, python-based, land ice verification and validation toolkit for ice sheet models.” J.Adv. Model. Earth Syst. 9(2),854-869 (2017). [DOI:10.1002/2017MS000916]