Also known as
Model type Tool
Model part of larger framework
Note on status model
Date note status model
Incorporated models or components:
Spatial dimensions 2D
Spatial extent Watershed-Scale
Model domain Hydrology
One-line model description A suite of Digital Elevation Model (DEM) tools for the extraction and analysis of hydrologic information from topography as represented by a DEM.

TauDEM 5 is a new version implemented to take advantage of parallel processing

Extended model description TauDEM provides the following capability:

•Development of hydrologically correct (pit removed) DEMs using the flooding approach

•Calculates flow paths (directions) and slopes

•Calculates contributing area using single and multiple flow direction methods

•Multiple methods for the delineation of stream networks including topographic form-based methods sensitive to spatially variable drainage density

•Objective methods for determination of the channel network delineation threshold based on stream drops

•Delineation of watersheds and subwatersheds draining to each stream segment and association between watershed and segment attributes for setting up hydrologic models

•Specialized functions for terrain analysis

Details of new parallel Version 5.0 of TauDEM

•Restructured into a parallel processing implementation of the TauDEM suite of tools

•Works on Windows PCs, laptops and UNIX clusters

•Multiple processes are not required, the parallel approach can run as multiple processes within a single processor

•Restructured into a set of standalone command line executable programs and an ArcGIS toolbox Graphical User Interface (GUI)

•Command line executables are:

-Written in C++ using Argonne National Laboratory's MPICH2 library to implement message passing between multiple processes

-Based on single set of source code for the command line execuables that is platform independent and can be compiled for both Window's PC's and UNIX clusters


hydrologivally corrected DEM, watershed,

Name David Tarboton
Type of contact Model developer
Institute / Organization Utah State University
Postal address 1 8200 Old Main Hill
Postal address 2
Town / City Logan
Postal code 84322
State Utah
Country United States
Email address
Phone 4357973172

Supported platforms
Unix, Linux, Mac OS, Windows
Other platform
Programming language


Other program language
Code optimized Multiple Processors
Multiple processors implemented
Nr of distributed processors
Nr of shared processors
Start year development 1997
Does model development still take place? Yes
If above answer is no, provide end year model development
Code development status Active
When did you indicate the 'code development status'? 2020
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 v2
Program license type other
Memory requirements Depends on data
Typical run time Depends on data

Describe input parameters Digital elevation model
Input format Binary
Other input format GeoTIFF and Shapefiles
Describe output parameters Hydrologic information derived from DEM
Output format Binary
Other output format GeoTIFF and Shapefiles
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 ESRI
Other visualization software Any software that can visualize GeoTIFF and shapefiles can visualize the output

Describe processes represented by the model Flow processes that are driven by the topographic gradient
Describe key physical parameters and equations Elevation, slope and contributing area related quantities
Describe length scale and resolution constraints Applies to any resolution topographic grid, though is most sensible for grids with resolution from 2 to 50 m.
Describe time scale and resolution constraints This is a static model so there is no time scale or resolution
Describe any numerical limitations and issues Presently limited to grids up to 4GB

Describe available calibration data sets This is not a model with adjustable parameters so calibration is not required. Example datasets are available
Upload calibration data sets if available:
Describe available test data sets The Logan River DEM is a small test dataset useful for learning how to use the software
Upload test data sets if available:
Describe ideal data for testing

Do you have current or future plans for collaborating with other researchers? Yes
Is there a manual available? Yes
Upload manual if available:
Model website if any
Model forum / discussion board

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: 53
Total citations: 2755
h-index: 12
m-quotient: 0.44
Qrcode TauDEM.png
Link to this page




Nr. of publications: 53
Total citations: 2755
h-index: 12
m-quotient: 0.44

Featured publication(s)YearModel describedType of ReferenceCitations
Tarboton, David G.; 1997. A new method for the determination of flow directions and upslope areas in grid digital elevation models. Water Resources Research, 33, 309–319. 10.1029/96WR03137
(View/edit entry)
1997 TauDEM
Model overview 2140
See more publications of TauDEM



Input Files

Output Files