Model:Kirwan marsh model


Kirwan marsh model


Also known as
Model type Single
Model part of larger framework
Note on status model
Date note status model
Spatial dimensions
Spatial extent
Model domain Coastal
One-line model description Ecomorphoydamic model of marsh elevation and channel evolution
Extended model description Spatially explicit model of the development and evolution of salt marshes, including vegetation influenced accretion and hydrodynamic determined channel erosion.

coastal morphdynamics, salt Marsh - tidal Flat evolution,

Name Matthew Kirwan
Type of contact Model developer
Institute / Organization University of Virginia
Postal address 1 PO Box 400123
Postal address 2
Town / City Charlottesville
Postal code 22904
State Virginia
Country United States
Email address

Supported platforms
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 2003
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
Source code availability
(Or provide future intension)
Source web address
Source csdms web address
Program license type GPL v2
Program license type other
Memory requirements --
Typical run time hour to days

Describe input parameters Does not require any input data, but if desired, model can run from files describing sea level and/or the elevations of an existing marsh.
Input format ASCII
Other input format
Describe output parameters Elevation, Biomass, Accretion Rate, Erosion Rate, and other characteristics of every cell in domain. Also outputs spatially averaged statistics.
Output format ASCII
Other output format
Pre-processing software needed? No
Describe pre-processing software
Post-processing software needed? No
Describe post-processing software
Visualization software needed? Yes
If above answer is yes Matlab
Other visualization software

Describe processes represented by the model The model calculates changes in elevation and vegetation growth for a hypothetical salt marsh. In each cell, elevation change is calculated as the difference between accretion and erosion. Accretion rates are a function of inundation depth, vegetation growth, and suspended sediment concentration. Water routed according to Rinaldo et al. (1999) scheme. Erosion rates calculated according to excess sheer stress. Channels widen according to a diffusion-like routine where downslope transport is inversely proportional to vegetation. Vegetation grows according to Morris et al. (2002) where biomass is proportional to inundation depth up until an optimum depth. Episodic vegetation disturbance is simulated by removing vegetation from randomly selected cells (Kirwan et al., 2008). Another version of the model treats wave erosion in a simplistic manner (Kirwan and Murray, 2008).
Describe key physical parameters and equations Key parameters include the rate of sea level rise, suspended sediment concentration, tidal range (which controls vegetation distribution), critical shear stress for sediment erosion, and the period of time that erosion takes place during each tidal cycle. Parameters controlling the growth pattern of vegetation can easily be modified.
Describe length scale and resolution constraints Domain size is 3 km by 3 km, grid cell is 5 m by 5m.
Describe time scale and resolution constraints The model explicitly runs on an individual tidal cycle time step, which we scale up to 2 months. But, results most meaningful at timescales greater than a couple years.
Describe any numerical limitations and issues --

Describe available calibration data sets Biomass productivity and marsh accretion rates from 1984-present, described in Morris et al. (2002).
Upload calibration data sets if available:
Describe available test data sets A couple high resolution Pb210 curves that span ~100 years are currently being constructed and used to test model.
Upload test data sets if available:
Describe ideal data for testing Long term, high resolution (annual to couple years) datasets of marsh accretion. Similar time series of channel characteristics would be useful.

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

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
Can be coupled with:
Model info
Nr. of publications: --
Total citations: 0
h-index: --"--" is not a number.
m-quotient: 0
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Input Files

Output Files