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This code has been community reviewed and published in the open access Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS)


Also known as
Model type Single
Model part of larger framework
Note on status model
Date note status model
Incorporated models or components:
Spatial dimensions 2D
Spatial extent Landscape-Scale
Model domain Coastal
One-line model description River delta formation and evolution model with channel dynamics
Extended model description DeltaRCM is a parcel-based cellular flux routing and sediment transport model for the formation of river deltas, which belongs to the broad category of rule-based exploratory models. It has the ability to resolve emergent channel behaviors including channel bifurcation, avulsion and migration. Sediment transport distinguishes two types of sediment: sand and mud, which have different transport and deposition/erosion rules. Stratigraphy is recorded as the sand fraction in layers.

Best usage of DeltaRCM is the investigation of autogenic processes in response to external forcings.


delta evolution, cellula automata, coastal morphdynamics,

Name Man Liang
Type of contact Model developer
Institute / Organization University of Texas at Austin
Postal address 1 Bldg 119, MC R8000, Pickle Research Campus
Postal address 2 Center for Research in Water Resources
Town / City Austin
Postal code 78712
State Texas
Country United States
Email address

Supported platforms
Unix, Linux, Windows, Mac OS
Other platform
Programming language


Other program language
Code optimized Single Processor
Multiple processors implemented
Nr of distributed processors
Nr of shared processors
Start year development 2010
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
Source code availability
(Or provide future intension)
Through CSDMS repository
Source web address
Source csdms web address
Program license type GPL v3
Program license type other
Memory requirements
Typical run time Hours

Describe input parameters Modify parameter values in Matlab code directly:

Water/Sediment discharge; Grid size and grid parameters; Basin geometry; Input sand/mud ratio.

Input format
Other input format
Describe output parameters Matrices of:

Water surface elevation; Water unit discharge and velocity field; Delta surface elevation and bathymetry; Stratigraphy (User can choose which time step to output)

Output format
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
Describe key physical parameters and equations
Describe length scale and resolution constraints
Describe time scale and resolution constraints
Describe any numerical limitations and issues

Describe available calibration data sets
Upload calibration data sets if available:
Describe available test data sets
Upload test data sets if available:
Describe ideal data for testing

Do you have current or future plans for collaborating with other researchers?
Is there a manual available? No
Upload manual if available:
Model website if any
Model forum / discussion board

This part will be filled out by CSDMS staff

OpenMI compliant Yes
BMI compliant Yes
WMT component Yes
PyMT component
Is this a data component
Can be coupled with:
Model info
Nr. of publications: 12
Total citations: 242
h-index: 7
m-quotient: 0.78
Qrcode DeltaRCM.png
Link to this page




Featured publication(s)YearModel describedType of ReferenceCitations
Liang, M.; Geleynse, N.; Edmonds, D. A.; Passalacqua, P.; 2015. A reduced-complexity model for river delta formation – Part 2: Assessment of the flow routing scheme. Earth Surface Dynamics, 3, 87–104. 10.5194/esurf-3-87-2015
(View/edit entry)
2015 Delft3D

Model overview

Liang, M.; Voller, V. R.; Paola, C.; 2015. A reduced-complexity model for river delta formation – Part 1: Modeling deltas with channel dynamics. Earth Surface Dynamics, 3, 67–86. 10.5194/esurf-3-67-2015
(View/edit entry)
2015 DeltaRCM
Model overview 65
Hariharan, Jayaram; Wright, Kyle; Moodie, Andrew; Tull, Nelson; Passalacqua, Paola; 2023. Impacts of human modifications on material transport in deltas. Earth Surface Dynamics, 11, 405–427. 10.5194/esurf-11-405-2023
(View/edit entry)
2023 Anuga

Model application

See more publications of DeltaRCM



Input Files

Output Files