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Note: This document is for an older version of GRASS GIS that will be discontinued soon. You should upgrade, and read the current manual page.


r.massmov - Estimates run-out and deposition of landslide phenomena over a complex topography.


raster, landslide, model, parallel


r.massmov --help
r.massmov [-im] elev=string h_ini=string fluiddist=string rheology=string [rho=float] [ystress=float] [visco=float] [chezy=float] [bfrict=float] ifrict=float fluid=float timesteps=integer [deltatime=integer] [stop_thres=float] [step_thres=integer] [threads=integer] [h=string] [h_max=string] [v=string] [v_max=string] [--overwrite] [--help] [--verbose] [--quiet] [--ui]


Print input data
Print memory usage requirements
Allow output files to overwrite existing files
Print usage summary
Verbose module output
Quiet module output
Force launching GUI dialog


elev=string [required]
Name of elevation raster map
h_ini=string [required]
Name of landslide initial body thickness raster map
fluiddist=string [required]
Name of distance from the landlide toe raster map
rheology=string [required]
Name of rheological law
Options: frictional, Voellmy, viscoplastic
Density of the flow [Kg/m3]. Required only for viscous rheologies.
Apparent yield stress [Pa]. Used only for viscous rheologies (optional).
Dynamic viscosity [Pa*s]. Required only for viscous rheologies
Chezy roughness coefficient [m/s2]. Required only for Voellmy rheology
Angle of basal friction [deg]
ifrict=float [required]
Angle of internal friction [deg]
fluid=float [required]
Upward velocity of transition from solid to fluid of the landsliding mass [m/s]
timesteps=integer [required]
Maximum number of time steps of the simulation [s]
Reporting time frequency [s]
Pearson value threshold for simulation stop [-]
Number of time steps for evaluating stop_thres value [-]
Number of threads for parallel computing
Prefix for flow thickness output raster maps
Prefix for maximum flow thickness output raster maps
Prefix for flow velocity output raster maps
Prefix for maximum flow velocity output raster maps

Table of contents


r.massmov is a numerical model that allows users to simulate the expansion (runout) and deposition of mass movements over a complex topography by approximating the heterogeneous sliding mass to a homogeneous one-phase fluid (following the approach proposed by Savage and Hutter (1989) and Iverson and Denlinger (2001)). The model describes the mass movements as a two-dimensional flux taking advantage of the shallow water equations. This formula is derived from the general Navier-Stokes equations under the hypothesis that the vertical components of velocity and pressure are negligible with respect to the horizontal components, and that the vertical pressure profile can be considered as almost hydrostatic (Kinnmark 1985).

The required inputs can be classified in three categories based on the information type:

The model outputs a series of flux velocity map (v) and deposit depth raster map (h) at different time step according to the set deltatime parameter; additionally the module outputs two raster maps representing the maximum thickness (h_max) and velocity (v_max) registered during the simulation.


The generation of the model input maps, in case the simulation refer to en existing collapse and pre and post event DTM is available, can be performed taking advantage of the GRASS modules; in particular:


The module has been tested in several cases (see references), but up to now most of the simulations was done using a Voellmy rheology thus other rheology laws should be better investigated.


Begueria S, Van Asch T W J, Malet J P and Grondahl S 2009 A GIS based numerical model for simulating the kinematics of mud and debris flows over complex terrain. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci, 9, 1897-1909.

Iverson R M and Denlinger R P 2001 Flow of variably fluidized granular masses across threedimensional terrain: 1, Coulomb mixture theory. Journal of Geophysical Research 106:537-52

Kinnmark I P E 1985 The shallow water equations: Formulation, analysis and application. In Brebia C A and Orszag S A (eds) Lecture Notes in Engineering 15. Berlin, Springer-Verlag:1-187

Molinari M, Cannata M, Begueria S and Ambrosi C 2012 GIS-based Calibration of MassMov2D. Transactions in GIS, 2012, 16(2):215-231

Savage S B and Hutter K 1989 The motion of a finite mass of granular material down a rough incline. Journal of Fluid Mechanics 199:177-215




Original version of program:
Santiago Begueria

The current version of the program (ported to GRASS7.0):
Monia Molinari, Massimiliano Cannata, Santiago Begueria.


Available at: r.massmov source code (history)

Latest change: Monday Jan 30 19:52:26 2023 in commit: cac8d9d848299297977d1315b7e90cc3f7698730

Note: This document is for an older version of GRASS GIS that will be discontinued soon. You should upgrade, and read the current manual page.

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