R.sim.terrain 1.0: A landscape evolution model with dynamic hydrology

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While there are numerical landscape evolution models that simulate how steady-state flows of water and sediment reshape topography over long periods of time, r.sim.terrain is the first to simulate short-term topographic change for both steady-state and dynamic flow regimes across a range of spatial scales. This free and open-source Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based topographic evolution model uses empirical models for soil erosion and a physics-based model for shallow overland water flow and soil erosion to compute short-term topographic change. This model uses either a steady-state or unsteady representation of overland flow to simulate how overland sediment mass flows reshape topography for a range of hydrologic soil erosion regimes based on topographic, land cover, soil, and rainfall parameters. As demonstrated by a case study for the Patterson Branch subwatershed on the Fort Bragg military installation in North Carolina, r.sim.terrain simulates the development of fine-scale morphological features including ephemeral gullies, rills, and hillslopes. Applications include land management, erosion control, landscape planning, and landscape restoration.

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Geoscientific Model Development

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