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Also known as Grain Hill
Model type Single
Model part of larger framework LandLab
Note on status model
Date note status model
Incorporated models or components:
Spatial dimensions 2D
Spatial extent Reach-Scale
Model domain Terrestrial
One-line model description Cellular automaton model of hillslope evolution
Extended model description The Grain Hill model provides a computational framework with which to study slope forms that arise from stochastic disturbance and rock weathering events. The model operates on a hexagonal lattice, with cell states representing fluid, rock, and grain aggregates that are either stationary or in a state of motion in one of the six cardinal lattice directions. Cells representing near-surface soil material undergo stochastic disturbance events, in which initially stationary material is put into motion. Net downslope transport emerges from the greater likelihood for disturbed material to move downhill than to move uphill. Cells representing rock undergo stochastic weathering events in which the rock is converted into regolith. The model can reproduce a range of common slope forms, from fully soil mantled to rocky or partially mantled, and from convex-upward to planar shapes. An optional additional state represents large blocks that cannot be displaced upward by disturbance events. With the addition of this state, the model captures the morphology of hogbacks, scarps, and similar features. In its simplest form, the model has only three process parameters, which represent disturbance frequency, characteristic disturbance depth, and baselevel lowering rate, respectively. Incorporating physical weathering of rock adds one additional parameter, representing the characteristic rock weathering rate. These parameters are not arbitrary but rather have a direct link with corresponding parameters in continuum theory. The GrainHill model includes the GrainFacetSimulator, which represents an evolving normal-fault facet with a 60-degree-dipping fault.
Name Gregory Tucker
Type of contact Model developer
Institute / Organization University of Colorado
Postal address 1
Postal address 2
Town / City Boulder
Postal code 80309
State Colorado
Country United States
Email address

Supported platforms
Unix, Linux, Mac OS, Windows
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 2014
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 web repository, Through CSDMS repository
Source web address
Source csdms web address
Program license type BSD or MIT X11
Program license type other
Memory requirements varies with grid size
Typical run time varies with grid size

Describe input parameters model_type: 'grainhill', 'block', or 'facet' (default 'grainhill')

number_of_node_rows: # rows number_of_node_columns: # columns cell_width: width of grid cells, m grav_accel: gravitational acceleration, m/s2 friction_coef: dimensionless friction factor, 0 to 1 run_duration: duration of run, years uplift_interval: time interval between uplift events, years dissolution_rate: (facet only) rate coefficient for dissolution, 1/years disturbance_rate: frequency parameter for soil disturbance, 1/years weathering_rate: frequency parameter for rock weathering, 1/years rock_state_for_uplift: type of material added at base during uplift (7=soil, 8=rock) block_layer_dip_angle: ('block' only) dip angle for layer made of blocks block_layer_thickness: ('block' only) thickness, in cells, of layer layer_left_x: ('block' only) x coordinate of left edge of layer y0_top: ('block' only) if block option selected, y coordinate of top of layer at x=0 fault_x: ('facet' only) x location of fault trace at y=0, m baselevel_rise_interval: ('facet' only) rate of left-side baselevel rise, m/yr opt_rock_collapse: option to have rock cells collapse when undermined save_plots: whether to save any plots to file (True or False) plot_filename: base name for plot files, if used plot_filetype: filename extension for plots (default '.png') plot_interval: interval between plots, years output_interval: interval between file output, years report_interval: real-time interval for reporting on screen, seconds

Input format ASCII
Other input format
Describe output parameters node state grid written to netCDF file (each node gets a code from 0 to 8; see papers)
Output format
Other output format netCDF
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 Regolith disturbance; rock weathering; rock dissolution; baselevel lowering; fault slip
Describe key physical parameters and equations (see papers)
Describe length scale and resolution constraints (see papers)
Describe time scale and resolution constraints (see papers)
Describe any numerical limitations and issues (see papers)

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 No but possible
BMI compliant No but possible
WMT component No but possible
PyMT component
Is this a data component
DOI model 10.5281/zenodo.1306961
For model version 1.0
Year version submitted 2018
Link to file
Can be coupled with:
Model info
Gregory Tucker

Nr. of publications: 1
Total citations: 7
h-index: 1
m-quotient: 0.17
Qrcode GrainHill.png
Link to this page




Nr. of publications: 1
Total citations: 7
h-index: 1
m-quotient: 0.17

Featured publication(s)YearModel describedType of ReferenceCitations
Tucker, Gregory E.; McCoy, Scott W.; Hobley, Daniel E. J.; 2018. A lattice grain model of hillslope evolution. Earth Surface Dynamics, 6, 563–582. 10.5194/esurf-6-563-2018
(View/edit entry)
2018 GrainHill

Model overview

See more publications of GrainHill



Input Files

Output Files