Exploring delta morphodynamics using the CSDMS BMI to couple fluvial and coastal processes
Using the CSDMS tools and resources, we have developed a new model coupling river, floodplain, and coastal processes to explore how interactions between upstream and downstream controls in a fluvio-deltaic system affect river channel processes and large-scale delta morphology. The River Avulsion and Floodplain Evolution Model (RAFEM, written in Python) and Coastline Evolution Model (CEM, written in C) are coupled using the CSDMS Basic Model Interface (BMI) and are available as part of the CSDMS software stack. Using the CSDMS High Performance Computing Cluster and the Dakota toolkit, we have explored how the wave climate (wave heights and offshore approach angles), sea-level rise rate, and the amount of in-channel aggradation required to trigger an avulsion (superelevation) influence avulsion frequency and location, impacting both delta morphology and the resulting stratigraphy. The model is structured modularly to invite further couplings with additional model components in the future.