Also known as Landlab Stream Power with Alluvium Conservation and Entrainment component
Model type Single
Model part of larger framework LandLab
Note on status model
Date note status model
Incorporated models or components:
Spatial dimensions 2D
Spatial extent Continental, Landscape-Scale, Reach-Scale, Regional-Scale, Watershed-Scale
Model domain Terrestrial
One-line model description Landlab component for 2-D calculation of fluvial sediment transport and bedrock erosion
Extended model description The Landlab SPACE (Stream Power with Alluvium Conservation and Entrainment) enables modeling of bedrock, alluviated, and bedrock-alluvial rivers by simultaneously conserving mass in three reservoirs: the water column, the alluvial bed, and the underlying bedrock. SPACE allows dynamic transitions between detachment-limited, transport-limited, and intermediate states. SPACE calculates sediment fluxes, alluvial layer thickness, and bedrock erosion at all nodes within the model domain. An extended description of the model may be found in Shobe et al (2017, Geoscientific Model Development).

River Erosion, Sediment Transport, Bedrock Erosion, Landscape Evolution,

Name Charles Shobe
Type of contact Model developer
Institute / Organization CIRES and 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

Supported platforms
Unix, Linux, 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 2016
Does model development still take place? Yes
If above answer is no, provide end year model development
Code development status Only maintenance
When did you indicate the 'code development status'? 2020
Model availability
Source code availability
(Or provide future intension)
Through web repository
Source web address
Source csdms web address
Program license type BSD or MIT X11
Program license type other
Memory requirements variable
Typical run time variable

Describe input parameters [[Describe input parameters model::This component operates on a Landlab RasterModelGrid instance, and requires that the user has downloaded and installed Landlab.
   grid : ModelGrid
       Landlab ModelGrid object
   K_sed : float
       Erodibility constant for sediment (units vary).
   K_br : float
       Erodibility constant for bedrock (units vary).
   F_f : float
       Fraction of permanently suspendable fines in bedrock [-].
   phi : float
       Sediment porosity [-].
   H_star : float
       Sediment thickness required for full entrainment [L].
   v_s : float
       Effective settling velocity for chosen grain size metric [L/T].
   m_sp : float
       Drainage area exponent (units vary)
   n_sp : float
       Slope exponent (units vary)
   sp_crit_sed : float
       Critical stream power to erode sediment [E/(TL^2)]
   sp_crit_br : float
       Critical stream power to erode rock [E/(TL^2)]
   method : string
       Either "simple_stream_power", "threshold_stream_power", or
       "stochastic_hydrology". Method for calculating sediment
       and bedrock entrainment/erosion.         
   discharge_method : string
       Either "area_field" or "discharge_field". If using stochastic
       hydrology, determines whether component is supplied with
       drainage area or discharge.
   area_field : string or array
       Used if discharge_method = 'area_field'. Either field name or
       array of length(number_of_nodes) containing drainage areas [L^2].
   discharge_field : string or array
       Used if discharge_method = 'discharge_field'.Either field name or
       array of length(number_of_nodes) containing drainage areas [L^2/T].
   solver : string
       Solver to use. Options at present include:
           (1) 'basic' (default): explicit forward-time extrapolation.
               Simple but will become unstable if time step is too large.
           (2) 'adaptive': subdivides global time step as needed to
               prevent slopes from reversing and alluvium from going
Input format
Other input format Passed in as arguments in Landlab component call
Describe output parameters Returns/updates Landlab grid fields:

'topographic__elevation' : Topographic surface elevation 'bedrock__elevation' : Bedrock surface elevation 'soil__depth' : Depth of alluvial layer on river bed 'sediment__flux' : Sediment flux out of each grid node

Output format
Other output format Landlab grid field
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 sediment erosion and deposition, fluvial bedrock erosion, the bedrock cover effect.
Describe key physical parameters and equations The key equations and parameters are described in Shobe et al (2017, Geoscientific Model Development).
Describe length scale and resolution constraints Length scale should be reach or larger (~100m and up). Run time depends on grid size and resolution.
Describe time scale and resolution constraints Time scale will be set by discharge calculation method. The model is in general intended for annual to geological time scales, but shorter time scales may be used if Landlab dynamic flow routing components are employed.
Describe any numerical limitations and issues Becomes very slow if run on domains with pits. Options include filling pits before running the model, or using the Landlab DepressionFinderAndRouter.

Describe available calibration data sets The model is tested against three known analytical solutions (see Shobe et al., 2017 for details).
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? Yes
Upload manual if available: Media:SPACE manual and
Model website if any
Model forum / discussion board

This part will be filled out by CSDMS staff

OpenMI compliant Yes
BMI compliant Yes
WMT component No but possible
PyMT component Yes
Is this a data component
Can be coupled with:
Model info
Nr. of publications: 1
Total citations: 46
h-index: 1
m-quotient: 0.14
Qrcode SPACE.png
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SPACE is the Stream Power with Alluvium Conservation and Entrainment model, a Landlab component for 2-D calculation of fluvial sediment transport and bedrock erosion. SPACE was developed by Charles Shobe, Gregory Tucker, and Katherine Barnhart at the University of Colorado. It is not a stand-alone model, but is a component of the Landlab modeling toolkit.



Nr. of publications: 1
Total citations: 46
h-index: 1
m-quotient: 0.14

Featured publication(s)YearModel describedType of ReferenceCitations
Shobe, Charles M.; Tucker, Gregory E.; Barnhart, Katherine R.; 2017. The SPACE 1.0 model: a Landlab component for 2-D calculation of sediment transport, bedrock erosion, and landscape evolution. Geoscientific Model Development, 10, 4577–4604. 10.5194/gmd-10-4577-2017
(View/edit entry)
2017 Landlab

Model overview

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Input Files

Output Files