Also known as Blocky River and Knickpoint Evolution Model
Model type Single
Model part of larger framework
Incorporated models or components:
Spatial dimensions 1D
Spatial extent Reach-Scale, Watershed-Scale
Model domain Terrestrial
One-line model description Computes evolution of a bedrock river longitudinal profile in the presence of large, hillslope-derived blocks.
Extended model description BRaKE is a 1-D bedrock channel profile evolution model. It calculates bedrock erosion in addition to treating the delivery, transport, degradation, and erosion-inhibiting effects of large, hillslope-derived blocks of rock. It uses a shear-stress bedrock erosion formulation with additional complexity related to flow resistance, block transport and erosion, and delivery of blocks from the hillslopes.

bedrock channel erosion, bedrock incision, River profile, Channel-hillslope coupling,

First name Charles
Last name Shobe
Type of contact Model developer
Institute / Organization Department of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado
Postal address 1 UCB 399
Postal address 2
Town / City Boulder
Postal code 80309-0399
State Colorado
Country United States
Email address
Phone 8048404514

Supported platforms Unix, Linux, Mac OS, Windows
Other platform
Programming language Python
Other program language
Code optimized Single Processor
Multiple processors implemented
Nr of distributed processors
Nr of shared processors
Start year development 2015
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 web repository, Through CSDMS repository
Source web address
Source csdms web address
Program license type LGPL
Program license type other
Memory requirements
Typical run time minutes to hours

Describe input parameters Domain size/length/spacing, time to run, timestep, hillslope response timescale, baselevel lowering rate, bed erodibility, block erodibility, bed critical shear stress, block critical shear stress, block delivery coefficient, initial block size, roughness length scale, channel width, mean discharge, discharge variability, and data recording time interval.
Input format
Other input format
Describe output parameters Elevation and slope arrays as well as optional information about bed cover and shear stress distributions, as well as block size distributions and incision rate records.
Output format
Other output format .npy array data structures
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 Fluvial bedrock erosion; hillslope block delivery; block transport and degradation
Describe key physical parameters and equations Shear stress-driven fluvial erosion, primarily modulated by bed erodibility, critical bed shear stress, block delivery, and block size.
Describe length scale and resolution constraints This model is intended for a CHANNEL REACH of CONSTANT DRAINAGE AREA.
Describe time scale and resolution constraints There is no conservation of mass on adjacent hillslopes, which presents a natural time limitation of ~10^6 years.
Describe any numerical limitations and issues Model is solved implicitly, but can become inaccurate at very large (~1000 year) timesteps. When baselevel forcing is mild and block effects are significant, slope-inversion instabilities can develop. The model catches these and will not continue running.

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
Comments This model was initially published as Shobe et al in Geophysical Research Letters, May 2016:

Other publications are in preparation.

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
Can be coupled with:
Model info
Citation indices BRaKE
Nr. of pubs: 1
Citations: 27
h-index: 1
Qrcode BRaKE.png
Link to this page


BRaKE is the "Blocky River and Knickpoint Evolution" model developed by Charles Shobe in collaboration with Greg Tucker and Bob Anderson at the University of Colorado, Boulder.


  • Summer 2015: Development started
  • May 2016: Descriptive paper published
  • May 2017: Submitted to CSDMS model repository
  • Ongoing: BMI wrapping


Featured publication(s)YearModel describedType of ReferenceCitations
Shobe, Charles M.; Tucker, Gregory E.; Anderson, Robert S.; 2016. Hillslope‐derived blocks retard river incision. Geophysical Research Letters, 43, 5070–5078. 10.1002/2016GL069262
(View/edit entry)
Model overview 27
See more publications of BRaKE



Input Files

Output Files