Sediment Supply to the Global Ocean

2.0 hrs
Run online using:
  1. Jupyter
  2. Lab
     Jupyter logo.png

    Irina Overeem at INSTAAR - University of Colorado Boulder.

In this lab, we use the HydroTrend model to investigate river sediment supply to the ocean by exploring the effects of climate change on river fluxes. We also look at the effect of humans on rivers: the building of a reservoir.

Classroom organization
In this lab, we are using a theoretical river basin of ~1990 km2, with 1200m of relief and a river length of ~100 km. All parameters that are shown by default once the HydroTrend model is loaded are based on a present-day, temperate climate.

Whereas these runs are not meant to be specific, we are using parameters that are realistic for the Waiapaoa River in New Zealand. The Waiapaoa River, located on North Island, receives high rain and has erodible soils, so the river sediment loads are exceptionally high. It has been called the 'dirtiest small river in the world'. A more detailed description of applying HydroTrend to the Waipaoa basin has been published in Water Resources Research: To learn more about HydroTrend and its approach to sediment supply modeling, download the presentation listed below.

This lab can be run on either the lab (for educators) or jupyter (for general use) instance of the OpenEarthscape JupyterHub: just click one of the links under the Run online using heading at the top of this page, then run the notebook in the "CSDMS" kernel.

If you don't already have a JupyterHub account, follow the instructions to sign up at If you're an educator, you can get JupyterHub accounts for students--please contact us through the CSDMS Help Desk:

Download associated file: SedimentSupplyModeling02_2013.ppt
Learn more about HydroTrend and its approach to sediment supply modeling from this presentation.

Learning objectives
  • Use pymt to run the HydroTrend model
  • Become familiar with a basic configuration of the HydroTrend model
  • Make small changes to key input parameters in HydroTrend
  • Gain hands-on experience with visualizing output in Python
Key concepts
  • Explore the HydroTrend base-case river simulation
  • Explore how a river system responds to climate change
  • Learn how humans can affect river sediment loads

Lab notes
Launch binder hydrotrend2.png
Launch binder
Instead of downloading the lab Notebook and running it locally, or running it through the CSDMS JupyterHub, you can also run it on Binder. Follow these steps:

>> Open a new browser window and go to:

>> You will see that there are several example models. In this lab we will select the HydroTrend model.

>> Click on the "Launch Binder" button to run this lab.

Note that Binder is a free and popular service for running Jupyter Notebooks, so it can be slow to load at times.

The HydroTrend model is run with the Python Modeling Tool, pymt. Learn more about pymt at:

For a similar lab done with a spreadsheet, download and try:

If run locally, this lab requires the installtion of pymt; see for instructions. This lab runs on Linux and macOS.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1831623, Community Facility Support: The Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS).

  • Kettner, A.J., and Syvitski, J.P.M., 2008. HydroTrend version 3.0: a Climate-Driven Hydrological Transport Model that Simulates Discharge and Sediment Load leaving a River System. Computers & Geosciences, 34(10), 1170-1183. doi: 10.1016/j.cageo.2008.02.008