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Also known as
Model type Modular
Model part of larger framework
Note on status model
Date note status model
Spatial dimensions
Spatial extent
Model domain Terrestrial
One-line model description Cellular landscape evolution model
Extended model description CAESAR is a cellular landscape evolution model, with an emphasis on fluvial processes, including flow routing, multi grainsize sediment transport. It models morphological change in river catchments.

landscape evolution,

Name Tom Coulthard
Type of contact Model developer
Institute / Organization University of Hull
Postal address 1 Cottingham Road
Postal address 2
Town / City Hull
Postal code HU6 7RX
Country United Kingdom
Email address

Supported platforms
Linux, Windows
Other platform
Programming language


Other program language C#
Code optimized
Multiple processors implemented
Nr of distributed processors
Nr of shared processors
Start year development 1996
Does model development still take place? Yes
If above answer is no, provide end year model development
Code development status
When did you indicate the 'code development status'?
Model availability As code, As teaching tool
Source code availability
(Or provide future intension)
Through web repository
Source web address
Source csdms web address
Program license type Other
Program license type other GNU
Memory requirements >512MB
Typical run time 5 min to 50 days

Describe input parameters DEM as ascii grid (output from arcGIS),

Rainfall data as a space separated ascii file (straightforward list), Inputs of water/sediment in an ascii file. Other single value parameter inputs for grainsize, flow parameters, slope processes etc..

Input format ASCII
Other input format
Describe output parameters ascii grids (readable into arcGIS) and google earth images of: DEM, flow depth, surface grainsize, shear stress, vegetation cover, velocity.

Also time series of water discharge and sediment discharge (across 9 grainsizes) at user chosen interval. Also visual output to AVI file.

Output format ASCII
Other output format
Pre-processing software needed? No
Describe pre-processing software
Post-processing software needed? No
Describe post-processing software
Visualization software needed? No
If above answer is yes
Other visualization software

Describe processes represented by the model 2d multiple flow direction steady state flow model

Erosion and deposition over 9 separate grainsizes Bedload and suspended load sediment transport Slope processes (creep, enhanced creep and mass movement) Vegetation growth Aeolian transport (under development - slab dune model)

Describe key physical parameters and equations Flow depths calculated using version of mannings implemented across a cellular grid using a scanning algorithm.

Sediment tranport using either Einstein or Wilcock and Crowe functions Slope model using simple slab failure and psuedo USLE implementation Dune model adaption of DECAL and Werner slab model

Describe length scale and resolution constraints Has been applied to catchments ranging from 1km^2 to 500km^2, at grid resolutions ranging from 1m to 50m.
Describe time scale and resolution constraints The model has simulated periods from 1 day to 9000 years.

The length of run is largely contingent on the number of grid cells, thus a balance between resoltion and area of study. A small catchment with a coarse resolution will run very fast. Increase the area or make grid cells smaller and run times will increase.

Describe any numerical limitations and issues Run times can be long (60 +days for large areas over many 100's of years).

Flow model is steady state

Describe available calibration data sets Tested on several catchments in UK over long and short time scales.
Upload calibration data sets if available:
Describe available test data sets none yet; in development
Upload test data sets if available:
Describe ideal data for testing Flow and sediment discharge data, images of topographic change

Do you have current or future plans for collaborating with other researchers? Yes, I am happy to collaborate with any potential users. There is a long history of CAESAR being take up by others including researchers in Italy, France, Spain, NZ, Australia, USA.
Is there a manual available? Yes
Upload manual if available:
Model website if any
Model forum / discussion board

This part will be filled out by CSDMS staff

OpenMI compliant No but possible
BMI compliant No but possible
WMT component No but possible
PyMT component
Is this a data component
Can be coupled with:
Model info
Nr. of publications: 60
Total citations: 2405
h-index: 26
m-quotient: 1.13

Link to this page




Nr. of publications: 60
Total citations: 2405
h-index: 26
m-quotient: 1.13

Featured publication(s)YearModel describedType of ReferenceCitations
Van De Wiel, Marco J.; Coulthard, Tom J.; Macklin, Mark G.; Lewin, John; 2007. Embedding reach-scale fluvial dynamics within the CAESAR cellular automaton landscape evolution model. Geomorphology, 90, 283–301. 10.1016/j.geomorph.2006.10.024
(View/edit entry)
2007 Caesar
Model overview 153
Coulthard, Tom J.; Neal, Jeff C.; Bates, Paul D.; Ramirez, Jorge; de Almeida, Gustavo A. M.; Hancock, Greg R.; 2013. Integrating the LISFLOOD-FP 2D hydrodynamic model with the CAESAR model: implications for modelling landscape evolution. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 38, 1897–1906. 10.1002/esp.3478
(View/edit entry)
2013 CAESAR Lisflood

Model overview

See more publications of Caesar



Input Files

Output Files