Also known as
Model type Single
Model part of larger framework
Note on status model
Date note status model
Spatial dimensions 3D
Spatial extent
Model domain Coastal, Marine, Terrestrial
One-line model description basin-scale 3D stratigraphic model
Extended model description SimClast is a basin-scale 3D stratigraphic model, which allows several interacting sedimentary environments. Processes included are; fluvial channel dynamics and overbank deposition, river plume deposition, open marine currents, wave resuspension, nearshore wave induced longshore and crosshore transport. This combined modelling approach allows insight into the processes influencing the flux of energy and clastic material and the effect of external perturbations in all environments. Many governing processes work on relatively small scales, e.g. in fluvial settings an avulsion is a relatively localised phenomenon. Yet, they have a profound effect on fluvial architecture. This means that the model must mimic these processes, but at the same time maintain computational efficiency. Additionally, long-term models use relatively large grid-sizing (km scale), as the area to be modelled is on the scale of continental margins. We solve this problem by implementing the governing processes as sub-grid scale routines into the large-scale basin-filling model. This parameterization greatly refines morphodynamic behaviour and the resulting stratigraphy. This modelling effort recreates realistic geomorphological and stratigraphic delta behaviour in river and wave-dominated settings.

stratigraphic model, river, coast,

Name Rory Dalman
Type of contact Model developer
Institute / Organization Delft university of Technology
Postal address 1 P.O.Box 5048
Postal address 2
Town / City Delft
Postal code 2600GA
Country Netherlands
Email address
Phone +31 (0) 15 27 83677
Fax +31 (0) 15 27 81189

Supported platforms
Other platform
Programming language

Fortran77, Fortran90

Other program language
Code optimized
Multiple processors implemented
Nr of distributed processors
Nr of shared processors
Start year development 1998
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, As teaching tool
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 1Gb
Typical run time 5 minutes up to 24 hours

Describe input parameters Parameters:
  • Sealevel curve
  • subsidence
  • rainfall (variable through time)
  • multiple rivers with variable discharge and sediment load through time
  • initial topography
  • wind velocity and direction/or wave height and propagation direction
  • marine current velocity and location
  • sediment transport parameters
  • number of grainsizes, grainsize dimensions and density
  • fluvial channel dimensions
Input format ASCII
Other input format
Describe output parameters 3D stratigraphy (age, provenance, grainsize, peat fraction)
Morphodynamic maps of grainsize, discharge, sediment erosion and deposition
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 Surfer

Describe processes represented by the model
  • Fluvial/alluvial processes;
    • Aggrading fluvial channels in one gridcell with crevasse. Subgrid sedimentation mimics alluvial ridge aggradation and overbank deposition. Avulsions are modelled one dimensionally by calculating the flow and sediment transport at prospective avulsion nodes. See also Dalman & Weltje (2008).
  • Floodplain processes;
    • Differential compaction, groundwater table, peat growth and overbank deposition
  • Hypopycnal plume and marine currents:
    • Rivers deliver sediment and water to the sea, where the river momentum spreads the suspended sediment in a plume. Multiple plumes and longshore current hydrodynamics are calculated using a potential flow routine. Subsequent sedimentation due to fallout uses the removal rate principle after Syvitski et al (1988).
  • Wave resuspension and crosshore transport;
    • Waves are modelled using linear Airy and Stokes wave theory. Deepwater wave height is derived from a Gaussian distribution to represent natural storm variability The asymmetric waves preferentially transport the sands (bedload fraction) shorewards and the fines (suspended load fraction) offshore. In combination with a littoral drift routine this allows waves to rework and transport sediments.
Describe key physical parameters and equations tba
Describe length scale and resolution constraints SimClast can theoretically be used on a length scale upwards of 20 kms, the upper limit is dependant on memory and processing restrictions. Typical length scales vary from 25 to 500 km. The highest resolution is mainly dependant on the use of intracellular fluvial deposition, as described in Dalman & Weltje (2008) this restricts the minimum cell size to 4 kms. Recent addition of floodplain process reduces this to 500 m.
Describe time scale and resolution constraints Total time scale is merely dependant on computing time, typically on the order of several thousands to 100,000 years. Time steps are restricted to 1 year.
Describe any numerical limitations and issues tba

Describe available calibration data sets tba (see current work in progress)
Upload calibration data sets if available:
Describe available test data sets For now only a basic synthetic surface.
Upload test data sets if available:
Describe ideal data for testing ClastSim is ideally used for field tests, a preferably well-studied area with some knowledge of the sediment budget is preferred. Most continental to shallow marine clastic coastal systems without too much tidal influence can be used.

Do you have current or future plans for collaborating with other researchers? Current work in progress, will be updated when ready; Holocene development of the Rhine-Meuse delta (Utrecht University). Late Quaternary morphology and stratigraphy of the Northern Adriatic Basin. Large-scale stratigraphic patterns on the Vietnam shelf since the LGM (University of Kiel).
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
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m-quotient: 0
Qrcode SimClast.png
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Input Files

Output Files