TauDEM (Terrain Analysis Using Digital Elevation Models) is a suite of Digital Elevation Model (DEM) tools for the extraction and analysis of hydrologic information from topography as represented by a DEM. TauDEM provides the following capability:

  • Development of hydrologically conditioned (pit removed) DEMs using the flooding approach
  • Calculates flow paths (directions) and slopes
  • Calculates contributing area using single and multiple flow direction methods
  • Multiple methods for the delineation of stream networks including topographic form-based methods sensitive to spatially variable drainage density
  • Objective methods for determination of the channel network delineation threshold based on stream drops
  • Delineation of watersheds and subwatersheds draining to each stream segment and association between watershed and segment attributes for setting up hydrologic models
  • Specialized functions for terrain analysis, including:
    • Calculates the slope/area ratio that is the basis for the topographic wetness index
    • Calculates both the distance up to ridges and down to streams in horizontal, vertical, along slope and direct variants
    • Maps locations upslope where activities have an effect on a downslope location
    • Evaluates upslope contribution subject to decay or attenuation
    • Calculates accumulation where the uptake is subject to concentration limitations
    • Calculates accumulation where the uptake is subject to transport limitations
    • Evaluates reverse accumulation
    • Evaluates potential avalanche runout areas

For more info see:

Most of the TauDEM functions make good use of several CPUs.


Version on CSC's Servers

Taito: 5.3.8


First load Taudem as part of geo-env module (includes other software as well)

module load geo-env


Taudem command-line tools

Taudem includes several commandline tools, which are described in detail on Taudem's documentation. (Please note that all names of tools are in lower case in Taito, in documentation there is a mix of lower and upper case.)

Example of running a Taudem command:

dinfflowdir -fel L4213_no_pit.tif -slp L4213_slp.tif -ang L4213_ang.tif

For parallel execution add srun command and define the number of processes to use with -n parameter. For example to create flow direction and slope using dinf algorithm in 4 parallel processes:

srun -n 4 dinfflowdir -fel L4213_no_pit.tif -slp L4213_slp.tif -ang L4213_ang.tif