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Software Open Access

ASPECT v2.4.0

Wolfgang Bangerth; Juliane Dannberg; Menno Fraters; Rene Gassmoeller; Anne Glerum; Timo Heister; Robert Myhill; John Naliboff

We are pleased to announce the release of ASPECT 2.4.0. ASPECT is the Advanced
Solver for Problems in Earth's ConvecTion. It uses modern numerical methods such
as adaptive mesh refinement, multigrid solvers, and a modular software design to
provide a fast, flexible, and extensible mantle convection solver. ASPECT is
available from


and the release is available from


Among others this release includes the following significant changes:

  • New: ASPECT now requires deal.II 9.3.0 or newer, and cmake 3.1.0 or newer.
    (Timo Heister)

  • New: The matrix-free GMG Stokes solver now works for problems with
    free-surface boundaries and elasticity.
    (Jiaqi Zhang, Anne Glerum, Timo Heister, John Naliboff)

  • New: The matrix-free GMG Stokes preconditioner is now implemented for the
    Newton solver.
    (Timo Heister, Menno Fraters, Jiaqi Zhang)

  • New: Visualization postprocessors now record the physical units of the
    quantity they compute, and this information is also output into visualization
    files with a sufficiently new version of deal.II.
    (Wolfgang Bangerth)

  • New: Where possible, when using large data tables as input (e.g., for initial
    conditions specified as tables), these data are now stored only once on each
    node in memory areas that is accessible by all MPI processes on that node.
    (Wolfgang Bangerth)

  • New: There is now a new material model for melting in the lowermost mantle.
    It can be used to reproduce the results of Dannberg et al. (2021).
    (Juliane Dannberg)

  • New: The geoid postprocessor can now handle a deforming mesh, in addition to the
    already existing option from the dynamic topography postprocessor output.
    (Maaike Weerdesteijn, Rene Gassmoeller, Jacky Austermann)

  • New: There is now a 'static' option for the temperature field that is set-up
    similarly to the 'static' option for compositional fields. This allows the
    temperature field to be constant over time so you can still advect and build
    up elastic stresses.
    (Rebecca Fildes, Magali Billen)

  • Changed: The least squares particle interpolation plugins now provide a bound
    preserving slope limiter that respects local bounds on each cell.
    (Mack Gregory, Gerry Puckett, Rene Gassmoeller)

  • New: Add an advection field method that advects a compositional field
    according to Darcy's Law.
    (Daniel Douglas)

  • New: The material model 'dynamic_friction' has been integrated into a new
    rheology model friction_models that can be used together with the
    visco_plastic material model.
    (Esther Heckenbach)

  • New: ASPECT now has a ThermodynamicTableLookup equation of state plugin,
    which allows material models to read in one or more Perple_X or HeFESTo table
    (Bob Myhill)

  • Changed: The initial composition model called 'ascii data' can now read in 3d
    ascii datasets into a 2d model and slice the dataset in a user controlled
    plane. This allows it to make high-resolution 2d models of problems that use
    observational data (such as seismic tomography models).
    (Juliane Dannberg, Rene Gassmoeller)

  • New: Added a new postprocessor which computes the parameter "Mobility"
    following Lourenco et al., 2020.
    (Elodie Kendall, Rene Gassmoeller, Anne Glerum and Bob Myhill)

  • Improved: Particle operations have been significantly accelerated, in
    particular in combination with a recent deal.II version (9.4.0 or newer).
    (Rene Gassmoeller)

  • New: Add a benchmark for load induced flexure with options for specifying
    sediment and rock material infilling the flexural moat.
    (Daniel Douglas)

  • New: ASPECT now has a cookbook that uses the gravity postprocessor to
    compute gravity generated by S40RTS-based mantle density variations.
    (Cedric Thieulot)

  • New: ASPECT now has a cookbook that shows how velocities can be prescribed
    at positions specified by an ASCII input file.
    (Bob Myhill)

  • New: There is now a cookbook of kinematically driven oceanic subduction in 2D
    with isoviscous materials and without temperature effects. The cookbook model
    setup is based on Quinquis (2014).
    (Anne Glerum)

  • New: There is now a cookbook that visualizes the phase diagram from results
    of a model run. This includes examples from the Visco-Plastic and Steinberger
    material model.
    (Haoyuan Li and Magali Billen)

  • New: There is now a cookbook that reproduces convection models with a phase
    function from Christensen and Yuen, 1985.
    (Juliane Dannberg)

  • Fixed: Many bugs, see link below for a complete list.
    (Many authors. Thank you!).

A complete list of all changes and their authors can be found at

Wolfgang Bangerth, Juliane Dannberg, Menno Fraters, Rene Gassmoeller,
Anne Glerum, Timo Heister, Bob Myhill, John Naliboff,
and many other contributors.

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