02 Jan 2023
 | 02 Jan 2023

CHONK 1.0: landscape evolution framework: cellular automata meets graph theory

Boris Gailleton, Luca Malatesta, Guillaume Cordonnier, and Jean Braun

Abstract. Landscape Evolution Models (LEMs) are prime tools to simulate the evolution of source-to-sink systems through ranges of spatial and temporal scales. Plethora of different empirical laws have been successfully applied to describe the different parts of these systems: fluvial erosion, sediment transport and deposition, hillslope diffusion, or hydrology. Numerical frameworks exist to facilitate the combination of different subsets of laws, mostly by superposing grids of fluxes calculated independently. However the exercise becomes increasingly challenging when the different laws are inter-connected: for example when a lake breaks the upstream-downstream continuum of the amount of sediment and water it receives and transmits; or when erosional efficiency depends of the composition of a sediment flux affected by multiple processes. In this contribution, we present a method mixing the advantages of cellular-automata and graph theory to address such cases. We demonstrate how the former guarantees finite knowledge of all fluxes independently from the process-law implemented in the model while the latter offer a wide range of tools to process numerical landscapes, including landscapes with closed basins. We provide three scenario largely benefiting from our method: i) one where lake systems are primary controls on Landscape evolution, ii) one where sediment provenance is closely monitored through the stratigraphy and iii) one where heterogeneous provenance influences fluvial incision dynamically. We finally outline the way forward to make this method more generic and flexible.

Boris Gailleton et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1394', Kerry Callaghan, 01 Feb 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1394', Sebastien Carretier, 03 Feb 2023
  • EC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1394', Andrew Wickert, 08 Feb 2023

Boris Gailleton et al.

Model code and software

CHONK 1.0: prototype Boris Gailleton

Boris Gailleton et al.


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Short summary
This contribution presents a new method to numerically explore the evolution of mountain ranges and surroundings area. The methods helps monitoring with details the timing and travel path of material eroded from the mountain ranges. It suits particularly well studies juxtaposing different domains – lakes or multiple rock types for example – and allow the combination of different process together.