In this section, let us present a number of “cookbooks” – examples of how to use ASPECT in typical or less typical ways. As discussed in Running ASPECT, ASPECT is driven by run-time parameter files, and so setting up a particular situation primarily comes down to creating a parameter file that has the entries that correctly describe your model. Thus, the subsections below will discuss in detail what parameters to set and to what values. Note that parameter files need not specify all parameters – of which there is a bewildering number – but only those that are relevant to the particular situation we would like to model. All parameters not listed explicitly in the input file are simply left at their default value (the default values are also documented in

Of course, there are situations where what you want to do is not covered by the models already implemented. Specifically, you may want to try a different geometry, a different material or gravity model, or different boundary conditions. In such cases, you will need to implement these extensions in the actual source code. Extending and contributing to ASPECT provides information on how to do that.

The remainder of this section shows a number of applications of ASPECT. They are grouped into three categories: Simple setups of examples that show thermal convection (Simple setups), setups that try to model geophysical situations (Geophysical setups) and setups that are used to benchmark ASPECT to ensure correctness or to test accuracy of our solvers (Benchmarks). Before we get there, however, we will review how one usually approaches setting up computations in How to set up computations.


The input files discussed in the following sections can generally be found in the cookbooks/ directory of your ASPECT installation.