Note: This is documentation for version 5.0 of Source. For a different version of Source go to the Space Directory.
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Plugin was written by Andrew Freebairn, it is based on Scott Wilkinson's et al paper "Development of a time-stepping sediment budget model for assessing land use impacts in large river basins".  It also borrows from the Dynamic SedNet plugin developed at DERM by Robin Ellis and Ross Searle (now at CSIRO).

General Info

LicenseAs-is, use at your own risk
Current version1.0
Latest code


S.N. Wilkinson, C. Dougall, A.E. Kinsey-Henderson, R. Searle, R. Ellis, R. Bartley
Development of a time-stepping sediment budget model for assessing land use impacts in large river basins
Sci Total Environ, 468–469 (2014), pp. 1210–1224:

LT Cetin, A Freebairn, S Easton, M Sands, P Pedruco
Application of daily SedNet for modelling catchment-scale sediment generation and transport: New Zealand case study
37th Hydrology & Water Resources Symposium 2016:  Water, Infrastructure and the Environment;dn=683996186142861;res=IELENG

A Freebairn, N Fleming, L van der Linden, Y He, SM Cuddy, J Cox, R Bridgart
Extending the water quality modelling capability within eWater Source–developing the dSedNET plugin
Goyder Institute for Water Research Technical Report Series

Plugin Description

The plugin is a collection of sediment and nutrient models and their associated management tools (e.g. parameterisers).




Data pre-processingDerivations from DEMTIME spatial analysis model (outputs for parameterisation)*



Hill-slope(fine sediment)


Gully(fine sediment)

Bank* (fine sediment)

Nutrient (Dissolved, Particulate)


In-stream processing

Sediment (flood plain deposition)*

Sediment (deposition)(simple mass transformation factor)

Sediment (in-stream fine deposition)

Sediment  (in-stream coarse deposition)


Nutrient (deposition, decay)


Storage processing

Sediment (deposition)


Nutrient (deposition, decay)


Spatial parameterisation

Generation models


Temporal parameterisation

Generation models*



Land-use area definition*

Plug-in Management

UI configuration

Main UI additions*


Access to plug-in functions*



Mapping data into a database or saving to a file*

Result visualisation




Spatial contributions of sediment

Quality management

Quality control

Unit testing of each component*


Regression testing of components and the system*

 * Work completed and\or released 

Using the plugin

Load using the Plugin manager.  Constituent generation models will appear in the Constituent Model Configuration control, Edit–>Constituent Models... Temporal parameterisation is found under the "Tools" menu, "dSedNet Gully Model Parameteriser" and "dSedNet Hillslope Model Parameteriser".  The "Spatial Parameteriser" is part of the Plugin it can be found in the "Edit" menu, Edit–>Spatial Parameteriser...

The following is a list of steps to set up a Source scenario to use dSedNet models.

  1. Load the “dSedNet” plug-in using the 'Plugin Manager'
  2. Use the dSednetDerivedLayers to derive useful data.  This tool removes the need to have a DEM saved within the project file.  It also generates many of the spatial parameter layers used to parameterise the dSednet models and to construct the base scenario.  Inputs required are, a hydrologically sound DEM, stream threshold (50km^2 is default), the easting and northing of the outlet cell (if one is not given all outlets will be produced at the edge of the data provided) and the file path to save results.
  3. Define a Source Catchments scenario using the “Geographic Wizard”.  When defining the 'Network' use the option to 'Draw Network' and use the layers generated from the above process. 
  4. Define FU areas with the use of a land-use map (raster) which covers 100% of the catchment (This is a prerequisite for using the Spatial Parameteriser)
  5. Select a rainfall runoff model and assign parameters/calibrate it
  6. Define constituents (e.g. “Fine” and “Coarse”).
    1. You may need to define multiple sources of constituents for a given functional unit (e.g. Hill slope and Gully)
  7. Assign models for constituent generation -  (“Hillslope Model – dSedNet” and “Gully Model - dSedNet”) and enter static model parameters
  8. Assign spatial parameters to selected constituent generation models using the Spatial Parameterisation tool.
  9. Execute the temporal parameterisers for associated constituent generation models

Defining FU areas

Fu areas need to be define with a spatial layer (land use) Edit → Functional Units → Assign Area Via Raster...

  • The land use layer has the same number of land use codes and they are all mapped to a corresponding FU in the scenario, ie there is a corresponding values for each catchment cell

  • If the land use layer changes the scenario will be made redundant.       (Tip - copy the scenario once you initial define it )

  • Select the check box to 'Save spatial FU data'

Hill slope erosion component model

“The fine sediment supplied from hillslopes in each FU to the stream network is the product of gross erosion rate, FU area and a hillslope sediment delivery ratio HSDR. Hillslope supply from each subcatchment is then the sum of the contributions from all FUs in the sub‐ catchment” (Wilkinson et al. 2014). Gross daily hillslope erosion in each FU is estimated using the Modified Universal Soil Loss Equation (MUSLE) (parameters R*K*L*S*C*P), FU area is provided by Source, and HSDR is a ratio [0…1] set by the expert user. 

USLE HSDR - FineHill sediment delivery ratioDefault 0.1 (Prosser et al, 2001)
Rrainfall erosivity factorInternally calculated based on rainfall for the given timestep and uses Yang and Yu (1987) method
KLSCSoil erodibility factor, slope length, steepness factor and cover factor (static)

K - Soil erodability (Wischmeier and Smith (1978))

L - Slope length (default, 1)

S - Steepness raster generated by dSednetDerivedLayers for steepness factor

C - Cover factor (Rosewell, 1993)

KLSCdynamicSoil erodibility factor, slope length, steepness factor and cover factor Where C is played as a time series to capture the temporal variance of vegetation cover. Perform raster operations, where static KLS are multiplied together to for a single KLS raster. Then for each daily C layer multiple with the KLS raster to produce a daily layers for KLSC. Use the spatial parameteriser the model, using t
Smean summer rainfallInternally calculated by the temporal parameterisation
Pmean annual rainfallInternally calculated by the temporal parameterisation
R Factor Rainfall ThresholdR rainfall threshold12.7 mm (If daily rainfall is less than this threshold then the R value is set to 0)
AlphaRainfall erosivity factor used to calculate RCalculated at runtime based upon S and P
BetaRainfall erosivity factor used to calculate R Default values are set - 1.49, or use the Beta raster generated by dSednetDerivedLayers which uses Yang and Yu (1987) method
Etarainfall erosivity factor used to calculate R Default, 0.389 (Yang and Yu, 1987) method
DWCDry Weather Concentration User defined from literature
Off set from day of yearNumber of days that are subtracted from the current day of yearDefault, 15
Daily RainRainfall that fell on a single 24hrs measured in mmThis will be assigned at runtime by the system.  It is obtained from the rainfall runoff model for the associated FU

R is based on Yang et al (2015) - Yang Xihua, Yu Bofu (2015) Modelling and mapping rainfall erosivity in New South Wales, Australia. Soil Research 53, 178-189.

Beta base on on Yang et al (2015) - Yang Xihua, Yu Bofu (2015) Modelling and mapping rainfall erosivity in New South Wales, Australia. Soil Research 53, 178-189.

The parameter KLSC (static) (or KLSCdynamic, dynamic) can be provided to the model in a number of different ways.

  1. As a played timeseries (KLSCdynamic), generated by the spatial parameteriser from a series of spatial layers
  2. As a constant in full (KLSC)
  3. In parts where KLSC is static and C is dynamic (KLS static and C played as a input).  Note here KLSC is only made up of that components K, L and S, the C component is the variable 

If you have previously applied a value to KLSC (or C) as a constant and are changing to use play a timeseries to KLSCdynamic (option 1 above) you will need to set the static value back to 0 (zero)

Gully erosion component model

“Gully erosion represents ongoing incision and enlargement of hillslope drainage lines and streams which have smaller contributing areas than the upstream extent of the model stream network. It also represents erosion of ‘badland’ areas of deep soil or alluvium (e.g. Brooks et al. 2009). Such erosion processes are usually caused by land use intensification” (Wilkinson et al. 2014). An input map of the current areal density of gullies, their age and cross‐section, together with relevant soil properties are used to calculate volume.

Gully SDR - FineSediment delivery rationDefault to 0.3
Gully SDR - CoarseSediment delivery rationDefault to 0.7
Gully Densitykm/km2 within function unitSpatial analysis of project catchment, mapping gullies against most recent aerial imagery layers
Year of DisturbanceYear as integerCatchment local knowledge
Year of Gully DensityYear as integerCatchment local knowledge
End Year of GullyYear as integerCatchment local knowledge
Total Gully Volumem3Internally calculated by the temporal parameterisation
Gully Soil Bulk DensityAverage bulk density of gully material (grams per cubic centimetre)Input layer - spatial parameterisation
Gully Clay + Silt Percentage%Input layer - spatial parameterisation
Gully Cross Section Aream2Default - 10 m2
Average Gully Activity FactorManagement factor (1 - 3). Used to override sediment supply from the long term rate to account for changes in erosion ratesCatchment local knowledge
Gully Annual Average Sediment SupplyInternally calculated Internally calculated by the temporal parameterisation
Gully Daily Runoff Power FactorDefault to 1.4User defined from literature
Gully Long Term Runoff FactorInternally calculatedInternally calculated by the temporal parameterisation
Gully Management Practice Factor(0 - 2), Describing the proportional change in sediment yield from historical rates (usually reduction) associated with better management practiceCatchment local knowledge

Streambank sediment supply component model

Streambank erosion is modelled along the model stream network, while channel erosion upstream of the network is represented by gully erosion. Thus, the threshold catchment area used to define the upper limit of the stream network should include all streams having significant streambank erosion that are not represented in the gully density grid. The suspended sediment supply from streambank erosion along a link (t/day) is derived by multiplying the mean-annual SedNet function of stream power and bank erodibility (Wilkinson et al.,2009).

Link SlopeAverage channel slope (m/m)use the Reach slope raster generated by dSednetDerivedLayers)
Link LengthLength of main channel (m)use the Reach length raster generated by dSednetDerivedLayers)
Link WidthWidth of main channel (m)yCurrently not used
Link DepthChannel DepthCurrently not used
Bank HeightBank HeightObservations
Channel RoughnessChannel roughnessMannings N value
Riparian Vegetation PercentageRiparian Vegetation PercentageObservations
Bank Full FlowThe flow when the stream is full to the top of the bank Internally calculated by the temporal parameterisation
Bank Full Flow Annual Recurrence IntervalAnnual Recurrence Interval of the flow when the stream is full to the top of the bankUser defined from literature
Max Riparian Vegetation EffectivenessRiparian Vegetation Percentage - EffectivenessUser defined from literature
Soil ErodibilitySoil Erodibility %Input layer - spatial parameterisation
Erosion Coefficient Adjusted for long-term rates of bank retreat as observed (0.00001)Observations
Soil Percent Fine ParticlesSoil Percent Fine Particles %Input layer - spatial parameterisation
Sediment Bulk DensityThe weight (tonnes) of 1m3 of sedimentInput layer - spatial parameterisation
Long Term Average Daily FlowLong Term Average Daily Flow raised to the Daily Flow Power FactorInternally calculated by the temporal parameterisation
Daily Flow Power FactorUsed to manually fit data of bank erosion ratesDefault to 1.4

Floodplain deposition component model

The mass of fine sediment deposited on floodplains adjacent to a link is estimated as a proportion of the incoming load, based on the proportion of discharge flooding overbank and the likelihood of settling on the floodplain considering particle size and floodplain residence time (Prosser et al., 2001b)

Bank Full FlowThe flow when the stream is full to the top of the bank (m3/s)Part of parameterisation
Sediment Settling VelocitySediment Settling Velocity m/s (floodplain)User defined - Default 0.0007 (min - 0.0001, max - 0.5)
Flood Plain Aream2Spatial data

Reach component model

This component is a combination of the streambank component and the floodplain component as there can only be on constituent generation model assigned to a link.

Mass Transformation model

The mass transformation model is a simple scalar model that multiplies the total daily constituent mass of a link by a factor.

TotalDailyConstsituentMass = InitialStoredMass + UpstreamFlowMass + CatchmentInflowMass + AdditionalInflowMass;
ProcessedLoad = TotalDailyConstsituentMass* Factor;

FactorMultiplier that will be applied to the link massUser defined - Default 1.0


Gully erosion model parameters that require a value before executing the temporal parameteriser

Component module



Gully density


Gully cross-sectional area


Gully year of disturbance


Gully year density raster


Gully soil bulk density

Hillslope and gully erosion model parameters that are assigned by the temporal parameteriser

Component module



Mean summer rainfall


Mean annual rainfall


Total gully volume


Gully annual average sediment supply


Gully long-term runoff factor

Temporal parameterisation

Temporal parameterisation has been developed within the dSedNet plug-in. Its function is to parameterise model parameters with values obtained via analysis of a model’s output time-series.  For example the long term annual average of runoff from a FU can be used as a parameter value for a model allocated to that particular FU.

The temporal parameterisation for particular models in the dSedNet plug-in has been implemented as a black box. The user only needs to set initial model parameter values and then run the parameteriser. The tool has been configured to record the required time-series while the model executes one full run (Note that changing the time period of the model run will produce different values. This may be a problem if the model is later executed over a different time period, e.g Drought vs Normal season). Finally the desired statistic is calculated and the result applied to the correct model parameter for each FU with that model.

Precondition requirements

  • Temporal parameterisation is the last step of parameterisation
  • Make sure the simulation period is define.  Altering the period will produce differing results
  • The hydrological model has be calibrated

Spatial parameterisation 

Can be used to parameterise FU, Catchment and Link models, either single parameters or played time series (similar to the climate input tool)

Precondition requirements

  • FU areas must be defined with a raster and the raster values must have the same number of categories as there are FUs
  • If using the spatial parameteriser the layers used must be comparable with the landuse layer used to define the FU areas. Same geometry (cell sizes, number of rows and columns, lower left corner coordinates)
  • If FU areas change the any previous parameteriation of models will be deemed incorrect and will need to be defined again
  • There is at least one layer to process for spatially assigning inputs

    • Layers are labeled ddMMyyyy

    • Each layers represent continuous days (no gaps)

Source Code

Source code available


UI elements

Main Menu elements

Temporal Parameterisers

Temporal Parameterisers

Plugin Models

Plugin Models

Spatial Parameteriser

Spatial Parameteriser

Spatial Parameteriser

FU Model Parameterised static parameter (Hillslope Model - Parameter KLSC)

FU Model Parameterised static parameter (Hillslope Model - Parameter KLSC)

FU Model Parameterise temporal inputs (Hillslope Model - Parameter C)

On completion the time series data will be found in "Data Sources" under the subheading of "Spatial Data to TS Import"

Link Model Parameterise static parameter (Reach Model - Parameter Link Slope)

Link Model Parameterise static parameter (Reach Model - Parameter Link Slope)

Data pre-processing (TIME spatial analysis - dSednetDerivedLayers model)

Which can be found in Tools-->Plugins→SourcePlugin.CSIRO.dSedNet→dSednetDerivedLayers

Data is dragged and dropped onto the spatial component of the widget.

Note: The Beta factor is calculated from latitude, ensure that your DEM projection is 'MGA'


  • DEM raster (The geometry of this raster should be replicated for all others used, e.g. Landuse raster)
  • Stream threshold (Contributing area above a stream cell)
  • Easting and Northing of outlet and 
  • Directory path to save outputs


  • Stream raster
  • Reach slope raster (used to parameterise Gully or Reach model), at the subcatchment scale
  • Reach length raster (used to parameterise Gully or Reach model), at the subcatchment scale
  • Sub catchment raster (used to define the scenario)
  • Network shape file (used to define the scenario)
  • Slope raster
  • Steepness factor raster (used to parameterise Hill slope model)
  • Beta factor raster (used to parameterise Hill slope model)