Also known as KZP
Model type Tool
Model part of larger framework
Incorporated models or components:
Spatial dimensions 1.5D, 2D
Spatial extent Regional-Scale, Landscape-Scale, Watershed-Scale, Reach-Scale, Patch-Scale
Model domain Terrestrial, Hydrology
One-line model description Matlab-based scripts to extract topometrics for catchments and identify river knickpoints.
Extended model description --- WHEN USING THIS CODE FOR YOUR RESEARCH, PLEASE CITE: ---

Neely, A., Bookhagen B., Burbank, D.W. (2017): An automated knickzone selection algorithm (KZ-Picker) to analyze transient landscapes: Calibration and validation, JGR Earth Surface, doi:10.1002/2017JF004250 available at:

The Matlab-based scripts extract several topometrics at the catchment scale based on log area/log slope and chi plots. Topometrics include: steepness index, theta, steepness index with adjusted theta for each drainage basin, specific stream power, curvature, local relief, and others. Detrended and normalized chi-squared plots are used to identify river knickpoints. Output is written as GeoTIFF files, shapefiles, and CSV files.

Additional information, examples, and tutorials are provided on the github page.


First name Bodo
Last name Bookhagen
Type of contact Model developer
Institute / Organization University of Potsdam
Postal address 1 Institute of Earth and Environmental Science
Postal address 2 Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24-25
Town / City Potsdam-Golm
Postal code 14476
Country Germany
Email address

Supported platforms Unix, Linux, Mac OS, Windows
Other platform
Programming language Matlab
Other program language
Code optimized Multiple Processors
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
When did you indicate the 'code development status'?
Model availability As code
Source code availability
(Or provide future intension)
Through web repository
Source web address
Source csdms web address
Program license type GPL v3
Program license type other
Memory requirements depending on DEM size
Typical run time depending on DEM size

Describe input parameters All input parameters are defined in a well-documented and commented Matlab parameter file.

Only a Digital Elevation Model, preferable in GeoTIFF format is needed.

Input format ASCII, Binary
Other input format GeoTIFF
Describe output parameters Output data are written as GeoTIFF files, shapefiles, CSV files.
Output format ASCII, Binary
Other output format ESRI shapefiles, GeoTIFF
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
Describe key physical parameters and equations
Describe length scale and resolution constraints
Describe time scale and resolution constraints
Describe any numerical limitations and issues

Describe available calibration data sets Example and validation datasets are available on the github page.
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 Well documented Matlab Parameter file, HOWTO file for example catchment and detailed algorithm description with application in:

Neely, A., Bookhagen, B., Burbank, D.W. (in review): Connecting Stream Transience and Hillslope Evolution: Insights from a Knickpoints Selection Algorithm applied to Santa Cruz Island, California, JGR-Earth Surface

This part will be filled out by CSDMS staff

OpenMI compliant Yes
BMI compliant Yes
WMT component No but possible
PyMT component
Can be coupled with:
Model info
Citation indices KnickZone
Nr. of pubs: --
Citations: 0
h-index: --"--" is not a number.
Qrcode KnickZone-Picker.png
Link to this page




Citation indices KnickZone
Nr. of pubs: --
Citations: 0
h-index: --"--" is not a number.

Featured publication(s)YearModel describedType of ReferenceCitations
Neely, A. B.; Bookhagen, B.; Burbank, D. W.; 2017. An automated knickzone selection algorithm (KZ-Picker) to analyze transient landscapes: Calibration and validation: Automated Approach to Mapping Knickzones. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 122, 1236–1261. 10.1002/2017JF004250
(View/edit entry)
Related theory 13
See more publications of KnickZone-Picker



Input Files

Output Files