pyBadlands: A framework to simulate sediment transport, landscape dynamics and basin stratigraphic evolution through space and time

Abstract

Understanding Earth surface responses in terms of sediment dynamics to climatic variability and tectonics forcing is hindered by limited ability of current models to simulate long-term evolution of sediment transfer and associated morphological changes. This paper presents pyBadlands, an open-source python-based framework which computes over geological time (1) sediment transport from landmasses to coasts, (2) reworking of marine sediments by longshore currents and (3) development of coral reef systems. pyBadlands is cross-platform, distributed under the GPLv3 license and available on GitHub (http://github.com/badlands-model). Here, we describe the underlying physical assumptions behind the simulated processes and the main options already available in the numerical framework. Along with the source code, a list of hands-on examples is provided that illustrates the model capabilities. In addition, pre and post-processing classes have been built and are accessible as a companion toolbox which comprises a series of workflows to efficiently build, quantify and explore simulation input and output files. While the framework has been primarily designed for research, its simplicity of use and portability makes it a great tool for teaching purposes.

Citation: Salles T, Ding X, Brocard G (2018) pyBadlands: A framework to simulate sediment transport, landscape dynamics and basin stratigraphic evolution through space and time. PLoS ONE 13(4): e0195557. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0195557

Fig 1. A schematic of our model illustrating the main variables and forcing conditions.
w represents the wave boundary conditions, ld the longshore drift, sl the sea-level, u the tectonic, f the flexural isostasy and r the rainfall patterns. The stratigraphic evolution and morphology are computed through time.

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