CSDMS 2021: Changing Landscapes and Seascapes: Modeling for Discovery, Decision Making, and Communication

Exploring river and delta channel networks with RivGraph

Jon Schwenk

Los Alamos National Laboratory, United States
Jayaram Hariharan University of Texas at Austin United States

In this clinic, we will explore RivGraph, a Python package for extracting and analyzing fluvial channel networks from binary masks. We will first look at some background and motivation for RivGraph's development, including some examples demonstrating how RivGraph provides the required information for building models, developing new metrics, analyzing model outputs, and testing hypotheses about river network structure. We will then cover--at a high level--some of the logic behind RivGraph's functions. The final portion of this clinic will be spent working through examples showing how to process a delta and a braided river with RivGraph and visualizing results.

Please note: This clinic is designed to be accessible to novice Python users, but those with no Python experience may also find value. If you'd like to work through the examples during the workshop, please install RivGraph beforehand, preferably to a fresh Anaconda environment. Instructions can be found here: It is also recommended that you have a GIS (e.g. QGIS) available for use for easy display/interrogation of results.

Please acknowledge the original contributors when you are using this material. If there are any copyright issues, please let us know ( and we will respond as soon as possible.

Of interest for:
  • Terrestrial Working Group
  • Coastal Working Group
  • Hydrology Focus Research Group
  • Coastal Vulnerability Initiative
  • River Network Modeling Initiative