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 Regional-Scale
Model domain Terrestrial, Coastal
One-line model description Fluvial-dominated delta sedimentation model
Extended model description AquaTellUs models fluvial-dominated delta sedimentation. AquaTellUS uses a nested model approach; a 2D longitudinal profiles, embedded as a dynamical flowpath in a 3D grid-based space. A main channel belt is modeled as a 2D longitudinal profile that responds dynamically to changes in discharge, sediment load and sea level. Sediment flux is described by separate erosion and sedimentation components. Multiple grain-size classes are independently tracked. Erosion flux depends on discharge and slope, similar to process descriptions used in hill-slope models and is independent of grain-size. Offshore, where we assume unconfined flow, the erosion capacity decreases with increasing water depth. The erosion flux is a proxy for gravity flows in submarine channels close to the coast and for down-slope diffusion over the entire slope due to waves, tides and creep. Erosion is restricted to the main flowpath. This appears to be valid for the river-channel belt, but underestimates the spatial extent and variability of marine erosion processes.

Deposition flux depends on the stream velocity and on a travel-distance factor, which depends on grain size (i.e. settling velocity). The travel-distance factor is different in the fluvial and marine domains, which results in a sharp increase of the settling rate at the river mouth, mimicking bedload dumping.

Dynamic boundary conditions such as climatic changes over time are incorporated by increasing or decreasing discharge and sediment load for each time step.


coastal evolution,

Name Irina Overeem
Type of contact Model developer
Institute / Organization CSDMS, INSTAAR, University of Colorado
Postal address 1 1560 30th street
Postal address 2
Town / City Boulder
Postal code 80305
State Colorado
Country United States
Email address
Phone 303-492-6631

Supported platforms
Unix, 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 1997
Does model development still take place? Yes
If above answer is no, provide end year model development
Code development status As is, no updates are provided
When did you indicate the 'code development status'? 2020
Model availability As code
Source code availability
(Or provide future intension)
Through CSDMS repository
Source web address
Source csdms web address
Program license type Other
Program license type other --
Memory requirements High
Typical run time hours

Describe input parameters Simulation time (t) and time step (dt), Initial grid size and slope, Incoming discharge and sediment load (t), Sea level (t), no of grain size classes, grain size distribution, grain size.

Sediment transport coeficients

Input format ASCII
Other input format
Describe output parameters Grid of deposition of different grains over time.

The model generates postscript files of stratigraphic sections.

Output format ASCII
Other output format
Pre-processing software needed? No
Describe pre-processing software
Post-processing software needed? Yes
Describe post-processing software Grid plotting software, Postscript plotting software
Visualization software needed? Yes
If above answer is yes Matlab
Other visualization software SURFER/GRAPHER

Describe processes represented by the model Fluvial erosion and depositions, lateral deposition across the floodplain, plume deposition in marine domain.
Describe key physical parameters and equations See references.
Describe length scale and resolution constraints The model domain starts in the fluvial floodplain, the main river channel is considered an incoming boundary condition.

Gridcells are typically averaged over 100's meters to 1000's of meters. Tests ran with grids of 150 by 150 km.

Describe time scale and resolution constraints Developed as a stratigraphic model, approach is event-based. Intended time scale ranges from several decades to Holocene (10-10.000yrs).
Describe any numerical limitations and issues Code is research grade

Describe available calibration data sets Not readily available; theoretical experiments are available as examples.
Upload calibration data sets if available:
Describe available test data sets AquaTellUs was originally developed for simulation of the fluvial-dominated Volga delta. The 2D experiments are still available and can be used as a test data set.
Upload test data sets if available:
Describe ideal data for testing Boundary conditions like river discharge and sediment loads, input grainsize data, sea level history.

Floodplain and deltaic sedimentation rates and grainsize data.

Do you have current or future plans for collaborating with other researchers? Intent to use for braided Arctic fan deltas.

CSDMS group is currently working on floodplain processes and bedload distribution patterns based on RS data.

Is there a manual available? No
Upload manual if available:
Model website if any
Model forum / discussion board
Comments Code is research grade.

This part will be filled out by CSDMS staff

OpenMI compliant No but possible
BMI compliant No but possible
WMT component In progress
PyMT component
Is this a data component
DOI model 10.1594/IEDA/100089
For model version 1.0
Year version submitted 2011
Link to file
Can be coupled with:
Model info

Nr. of publications: 5
Total citations: 118
h-index: 4
m-quotient: 0.18

Link to this page




Nr. of publications: 5
Total citations: 118
h-index: 4
m-quotient: 0.18

Featured publication(s)YearModel describedType of ReferenceCitations
Overeem, I.; Veldkamp, A.; Tebbens, L.; Kroonenberg, S.B.; 2003. Modelling Holocene stratigraphy and depocentre migration of the Volga delta due to Caspian Sea-level change. Sedimentary Geology, 159, 159–175. 10.1016/S0037-0738(02)00257-9
(View/edit entry)
2003 AquaTellUs
Model overview 25
Overeem, I.; Syvitski, J.P.M.; Hutton, E.W.H.; 2005. Three-dimensional numerical modeling of deltas.. River Deltas: concepts, models and examples. Volume 83.
(View/edit entry)
2005 AquaTellUs

Model overview

Overeem, I.; 2011. AquaTellUs, version 1.0.. , , 10.1594/IEDA/100089
(View/edit entry)
2011 AquaTellUs
Source code ref. 0
See more publications of AquaTellUs




Input Files

Output Files