Riverscapes Consortium


The RC has been prolific in developing and vetting the science and theoretical underpinnings essential to understanding and explaining how riverscapes work and are organized across a range of nested hierarchical spatial scales. We have also committed to building open-source algorithms tools to make it easier for researchers, professionals, practitioners and students to apply those concepts to their own riverscapes.

All of our tools are based on peer-reviewed ), methods. When we have developed the methods ourselves, we aim to have them vetted, published and disseminate in the peer-reviewed literature. We then also make sure to have a well documented website (typically with a URL that will take the form of sometool.riverscapes.xyz). For most users, the online help documentation and using the tool ‘as is’ is as far as they need to take it. However, for those so inclined, all of the underlying source-code for these tools, models and algorithms is available in its own GitHub repository at github.com/Riverscapes.

In this 20 minute video we introduce how the Riverscape Consortium sets standards for tool development and the idea of tool-grade. This is important to understanding and managing expectatons around what a tool can do, versus what it could be able to do with investment in development and deployment.

Riverscapes Compliant

Tools are designated as “riverscapes-compliant when they meet the following criteria:

Riverscapes Compliant Tools

  Resolution Extent Language Interface Status
Reach Scale Tools          
GCD - Geomorphic Change Detection Cell Reach C# , , Professional-Grade: & ; Production-Grade:
GUT - Geomorphic Unit Toolkit Cell Reach Python , Research-Grade
FHM - Fish Habitat Model Cell Reach C#/C++ Operational-Grade
Network Scale Tools          
RCAT - Riparian Condition Assessment Tool Reach Network Python Research-Grade
GNAT - Geomorphic Network Assessment Tool Reach Network Python Research-Grade
RAVE - Riverscapes Analysis Visualization Explorer Any Any C# Production
Legacy CHaMP Tools          
CHaMP Topo Processing Tools Reach Reach Python Production-Grade
CHaMP Topo Metrics Reach Network Python Production-Grade

Tools Pending Riverscapes Compliance

Tools are designated as “pending riverscapes-compliance when the RS Science Committee has accepted the tool for consideration and they meet the following criteria:

  • Tool Status of Resarch-Grade or higher
  • Developer has indicated intent to modify code to produce riverscapes projects as output of all analyses - Moving up to Operational-Grade
  • Developer has indicated intent to add Project Type registration with program.xml in Program Repo
  Resolution Extent Language Interface Status
Reach Scale Tools          
Fluvial Coridor Toolbox Cell Reach Python , Operational-Grade
MoRPHED - Model of Riverine Physical Habitat & Ecogeomorphic Dynamics Cell Reach C++ Research-Grade
NREI - Net Rate of Energy Intake Cell Reach R Research-Grade
TAT - Topographic Analyis Toolkit Cell Reach Python Operational-Grade
ToPCAT - Topographic Point Cloud Analysis Toolkit Cell Reach C++ Research-Grade
Network Scale Tools          
BRAT - Beaver Restoration Assessment Tool - pyBRAT 3.1.0 Reach Network Python Operational-Grade
CASCADE Toolbox Reach Network Matlab Opperational-Grade
Catchment Tool Reach Network Python Research-Grade
Conductivity Tools Reach Network Python Research-Grade
GNAT - Geomorphic Network Assessment Tool Reach Network Python Research-Grade
Grain Size Tool Reach Network Python Research-Grade
Network Profiler Tool Reach Network Python Research-Grade
Solar Stream Tools Reach Network Python Research-Grade
Tributary Impact Reach Network Python Proof of Concept
WRAT - Wood Restoration Assessment Tool Reach Network Python Proof of Concept
Catchment Scale Tools          
Connectivity Index Cell Catchment Python Research-Grade
SedInConnect Cell Catchment Python Operational-Grade
PointCloud2Raster Point Reach C++ Proof of Concept
PySESA - Spatially Explicit Spectral Analysis Point Reach Python Research-Grade
RasterMan Cell Catchment C++ Research-Grade
Legacy CHaMP Tools          
CTT - CHaMP Transformation Tool Cell Reach C# Operational-Grade
CHaMP Topo Processing Tools Reach Reach Python Operational-Grade
CHaMP Workbench Any Any C# Professional-Grade
CHaMP Hydraylic-Modelling Delft3D Automation cell Reach R/C Research-Grade

Model Discrimination

The following concpets are helpful for discriminating model types.


RC tools are deployed to users thorugh a variety of interfaces:

Most tools have just one deployment interface, some have multiple.

Tool Grade

We classify the grade of our tools according to their growth from innovative research ideas, through to operational tools in development that (with a little love and patience) can be run by someone other than the developer, on through to more broadly deployablle professional tools that are robust and usable by any user in very diffferent settings.

Our RC Techncial Committee ranks a tool’s grade using the following criteria:

Readiness Level
Tool Status Badge Vetted in
Source Code
Open Source User
Easy User
TR1 -TR2 Concept
TR3 Proof of Concept
TR4 Research Grade

TR5-6 Operational Grade
TR7-8 Professional Grade
TR8-9 Production Grade
TR9 Commercial Grade

None or Not Applicable: • Minimal or In Progress: • Functional: • Fully Developed:

NOTE - The RC does not track concepts or proof of concept tools in its listing. Only

Technological Readiness Levels

These ideas are based on the concept of Technological Readiness Level (TRLs), as originally developed by NASA. The TRLs provide a way to discriminate between concepts and products that are in research phases, in development phases, or ready for deployment to broader audiences or makert. TRLs are illustrated below (from twi-global) and formally defined by the European Union:

Why Bother? Why Go Beyond Research-Grade?

If you’ve gotten to the bottom of this page, you presumably scrolled through or read a bunch of detail trying to encourage investment in making tools Riverscapes-Compliant and hopefully profossional, production or commercialized. The reason is simple. If we believe our science is good enough to inform management, inspire the public to conserve and restore riverscapes, then we need to make the tools that represent that science scalable and accessible. If our science is only relevant to other scientists, then we at least should meet a standard of practice of transparency and reproducability.

Put another way, when we invest in scalability, and adhre to a shared set of common goals, bigger things can happen. One such example is, ironically, how Bezos led Amazon to operate. The video below is a recap of a point Philip Bailey made recently: