What is ENKI?

ENKI is an open-source, collaborative model-configuration and testing portal that provides tools in computational thermodynamics and fluid dynamics. This NSF project, the brainchild of Mark S. Ghiorso, began development in fall 2016 and was publicly released in 2020. It is used by researchers and teachers alike.

Before ENKI, the available models were not interoperable. They were difficult to use, required a specialist to maintain, and were not generally available on all computing platforms. A significant advance is that ENKI has transformed the focus in using these models from running an app with a single purpose to calling appropriate software resources from a framework. This enhances flexibility of use and liberates users from tailoring their research objectives to the output of a particular model, effectively allowing researchers to "model at the speed of thought."

In June 2021, the first research project based on ENKI was released and published. VESIcal, created by Kayla Iacovino and Penny Wieser, is a generalized Python library for making calculations and plots related to mixed volatile (H2O-CO2) solubility in silicate melts. You can view demonstrations on the VESIcal YouTube channel.

A cluster-based tool, ENKI can be accessed from any web browser on any hardware platform. A user simply needs a GitLab account, some knowledge of Python, and an understanding of how to use or formulate a thermodynamic model.

Technical details

ENKI supports development and access to thermochemical models of Earth materials within a containerized Jupyter server platform via Python-based APIs and establishes a standard infrastructure of software libraries that permit these models to be integrated into fluid dynamical transport codes. The ENKI framework defines a common API for thermodynamic model usage and standard protocols for model interoperability.

Current projects

EarthChem-ENKI Interoperability

In 2020, the ENKI project teamed up with EarthChem to develop software that bridges the existing resources of each platform in order to allow closer integration of observational data with modeling infrastructure in volcanology, geochemistry, and petrology (VGP).

The goal is to build a software ecosystem that supports bilateral integration of data resources maintained at EarthChem with thermodynamic and geodynamic software tools provided by the ENKI platform in order to better support model-driven research in VGP.

As with the original ENKI project, this work extensively involves students and early career geoscientists and hopes to significantly enhance the infrastructure for research and education.


Mark Ghiorso and Aaron Wolf are working on a number of science application projects that are built on the ENKI software ecosystem. As they mature into public tools, more details will be available and announcements made.