Also known as Lateral vs. Vertical Incison in alluvial channels.
Model type Single
Model part of larger framework
Incorporated models or components:
Spatial dimensions 1.5D
Spatial extent Landscape-Scale, Watershed-Scale, Reach-Scale
Model domain Terrestrial
One-line model description Geometric model to explore autogenic increase of vertical incision rate in entrenching alluvial rivers.
Extended model description A model to explore how increasingly tall valley walls constrain the river lateral erosion and promote vertical incision. Each run is unique as a random walk controls the lateral migration of the channel. To store and compare repeated runs with identical parameters, there is a built in system to save the results of each run.

This model is used to illustrate the wall feedback concept proposed by Malatesta, Prancevic, Avouac; 2017; JGR Eath-Surface; doi:10.1002/2015JF003797


Meander center line, river,

First name Luca
Last name Malatesta
Type of contact Model developer
Institute / Organization UC Santa Cruz
Postal address 1 Earth & Planetary Sciences Department
Postal address 2 1156 High St.
Town / City Santa Cruz
Postal code 95064
State California
Country United States
Email address

Supported platforms Linux, Mac OS, Windows
Other platform
Programming language Matlab
Other program language
Code optimized Single Processor
Multiple processors implemented
Nr of distributed processors
Nr of shared processors
Start year development 2013
Does model development still take place? No
If above answer is no, provide end year model development 2015
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 GPL v2
Program license type other
Memory requirements
Typical run time 5 to 30 mn.

Describe input parameters Geometric parameters of river reach and erosion capacity.
Input format ASCII
Other input format
Describe output parameters Geometry of river entrenchment thought time
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? No
If above answer is yes
Other visualization software

Describe processes represented by the model Incision of a transport-limited river in an alluvial substrate. Initial geometry is that of a steep channel with sediment transport capacity exceeding that of the input flux from upstream.

The river randomly migrates left or right and needs to evacuate sediments mined from its bed and from the valley walls. Product of wall erosion not evacuated by the river are deposited as taluses at the foot of the walls.

Describe key physical parameters and equations The model uses geometric laws that mimic the behaviour of Meyer-Peter Mueller (1948) sediment transport capacity laws as a function of slope and width.
Describe length scale and resolution constraints The model is made of a series (5 to 100) of across-river profiles to model a river reach ca. 5 to 50 km in length and 1 to 20 km in width.
Describe time scale and resolution constraints There is no explicit time, every time step is a bankfull event. With the parameters published here, vertical incision rates correspond to rates on the order of cm/yr.
Describe any numerical limitations and issues The profiles should not be spaced too closely in order to avoid an unstable saw-tooth longitudinal profile of the river.

Describe available calibration data sets n/a
Upload calibration data sets if available:
Describe available test data sets n/a
Upload test data sets if available:
Describe ideal data for testing n/a

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

Malatesta, L. C., J. P. Prancevic, and J.-P. Avouac (2017), Autogenic entrenchment patterns and terraces due to coupling with lateral erosion in incising alluvial channels, J. Geophys. Res. Earth Surf., 122, 335–355, doi:10.1002/2015JF003797.

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 LateralVerticalIncision
Nr. of pubs: 1
Citations: 18
h-index: 1
Qrcode LateralVerticalIncision.png
Link to this page




Citation indices LateralVerticalIncision
Nr. of pubs: 1
Citations: 18
h-index: 1

Featured publication(s)YearModel describedType of ReferenceCitations
Malatesta, Luca C.; Prancevic, Jeffrey P.; Avouac, Jean-Philippe; 2017. Autogenic entrenchment patterns and terraces due to coupling with lateral erosion in incising alluvial channels: AUTOGENIC INCISION BY ALLUVIAL CHANNELS. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 122, 335–355. 10.1002/2015JF003797
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Model overview 18
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Input Files

Output Files