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iTOUGH2 Inverse Modeling Training Course for Scientists and Engineers

A two-day iTOUGH2 inverse modeling training course will be held at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, September 15-16, 2011. The cost is $1000 for non-students and $500 for students. Note that space is limited and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Course Description

The training course provides the participants with the theoretical background and practical knowledge needed to solve inverse problems in geosciences and engineering. The lectures cover all aspects related to automatic model calibration using nonlinear parameter estimation methods, including error and uncertainty analysis. The lectures are complemented with computer exercises using the iTOUGH2 simulation-optimization code. The examples include, but are not limited to, inverse problems that are related to geological carbon sequestration. In addition, participants are encouraged to formulate and solve their own parameter estimation or other optimization problems, either using TOUGH2 or their own simulation software.

Material to be Distributed during the Course

Course attendees will be provided with lecture notes, handouts of presentations, and iTOUGH2 user manuals, and will be given access to computers on which the iTOUGH2 code is pre-installed for the computer exercises. Note that a separate iTOUGH2 software licenses is required if iTOUGH2 will be used after the training course at the participants' home institutes. Such licenses can be obtained at Participants are encouraged to bring their own simulation software (as a PC executable) and related data files to the training course, as iTOUGH2 is capable of solving inverse problems for any stand-alone code that uses ASCII-based input and output files.

Course Requirements

Understanding and experience in numerical simulation and modeling. Good knowledge of the TOUGH2 nonisothermal multiphase flow simulator.

The introductory lectures will discuss the process of parameter estimation by automatic calibration of numerical models used in the Earth sciences and engineering. Parameterization of the forward model, selection of calibration data and their incorporation into an objective function are essential issues, as they determine whether a well-posed inverse problem can be formulated. Multiple optimization algorithms suitable to minimize the objective function will be presented. The need and usefulness of performing formal sensitivity, residual, error, and uncertainty analyses will be emphasized.

In addition to the lectures, which provide the theoretical background, computer exercises using the iTOUGH2 simulation-optimization code will provide hands-on experience in solving practical inverse problems. The attendees are encouraged to bring their own simulation programs to the course; these programs can be accessed by iTOUGH2 through the PEST protocol. These simulators need to receive their input through ASCII files (or the keyboard) and write their output to ASCII files (or the screen); moreover, they should be able to solve the forward problem in less than one minute of CPU time. 

The combination of lectures, computer exercises, and project work will provide the attendees with solid knowledge in inverse modeling and initial experience in the use of iTOUGH2 for solving a variety of parameter estimation and optimization problems.

Click here for a detailed agenda.

Registration fee

Regular:  $1000
Student:  $500

|| Go HERE to register on line. ||

The course is limited to 20 participants.  Participation will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Participants are required to bring their own laptops.  (Please contact if you have any questions.)

Refreshments and lunch will be provided.  There will also be a dinner for all participants on Thursday, September 15.

Travel & Accommodations

Visitor Information


No visit to the Bay Area is complete without sampling its wide range of fine foods. LBNL's restaurant web site provides an extensive list of places in Berkeley and North Oakland.  Many local restaurants are listed at the SFGate East Bay Neighborhood site.

Getting to the Training Facility

Additional transportation information will be sent to you upon registration.

Security and Bus Passes

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has heightened its security procedures.  It is now mandatory for any visitor entering Berkeley Lab to show a photo ID and declare their citizenship.

For the TOUGH2 and iTOUGH2 Training Course attendees, please e-mail Carol Valladao at with your name and citizenship so a gate pass can be processed to enter LBNL.

Travel and Visa Information

You are responsible for obtaining a valid visa. We advise anyone who may need a visa to attend this Training Course to apply early.   If you need a letter of invitation, e-mail to make your request.

Bay Area and Northern California Sights

Recreation and sightseeing possibilities in the greater San Francisco Bay Area are endless!

Nearby Destinations

Berkeley, home of the University of California at Berkeley, the Lawrence Hall of Science and LBNL, is known for its cultural diversity, art, beautiful parks, innovative businesses, and friendliness amongst neighbors.  The Gourmet Ghetto, on Shattuck Avenue between Virginia and Rose, and the new 4th Street shopping/dining area on 4th and Hearst are well worth a visit.  San Francisco is only 25 minutes away by BART from the conference site.  The cable car terminal, Union Square, Geary Street theaters, SF Museum of Modern Art, and the Metreon entertainment and dining complex are a short walk from the Powell Street BART station.  The City is also accessible by ferry from Jack London Square.

Parks, including Marin Headlands, Point Reyes National Seashore, Muir Woods National Monument, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and the East Bay Regional Parks, offer scenic hiking and biking trails.

Further Away

Napa and Sonoma are world-class wine regions about an hour’s drive north of Berkeley.

Monterey, with its world-famous aquarium, and Carmel are less than 3 hours drive southwest of Berkeley.  Sierra Nevada Ski Resorts and Recreation Area are 3 hours drive east of Berkeley on I-80 (north Lake Tahoe) or US-50 (south Lake Tahoe).

Yosemite National Park is only about a four-hour drive away.

For more information, please contact Carol Valladao at (510) 486-5781 or via email at


Stefan Finsterle
Mail Stop 90R1116
Earth Sciences Division
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
1 Cyclotron Road
Berkeley, California  94720

Tel: +1-510-486-5205
Fax: +1-510-486-5686


Carol Valladao
Mail Stop 90R1116
Earth Sciences Division
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
1 Cyclotron Road
Berkeley, California  94720

Tel: +1-510-486-5781
Fax: +1-510-486-5686


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