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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

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Soil Science Research Unit


The STREAM software

« Sealing and Transfer by Runoff and  Erosion in  relation with Agricultural Management »

bandeau_stream © INRA

STREAM is a piece of software simulating overland flow and erosion for agricultural lands. It is used by 70 organizations (French and foreign research laboratories, water agencies and farmers’ associations, engineering consulting firms) for:

  • suggesting alternative managements and spatial organizations within the watersheds,
  • conducting scientific research.

STREAM was designed to have few input parameters and parameters easy to quantify. This does not prevent it to perform as well as more complex software [Nearing et al., 2005]. It is innovative in its capability to simulate a flow network that accounts for tillage directions (and not only the DEM), improving the quality of the simulations [Couturier et al., 2013].

BVerode © INRA


Result of a simulation of an erosive rainfall event with STREAM (Author: V. Souchère)


Spatially distributed, STREAM computes the fluxes for each cell within the watershed for a full rain event. It works under the SIG ArcView 9.x.

Distribution : Free, executable available in French.


Contact :Alain Couturier


Bibliography :


Couturier, A.; Daroussin, J.; Darboux, F.; Souchère, V.; Bissonnais, Y. L.; Cerdan, O. & King, D. (2013) Improvement of surface flow network prediction for the modeling of erosion processes in agricultural landscapes. Geomorphology, 183, 120-129


Nearing, M. A.; Jetten, V.; Baffaut, C.; Cerdan, O.; Couturier, A.; Hernandez, M.; Bissonnais, Y. L.; Nichols, M. H.; Nunes, J. P.; Renschler, C. S.; Souchère, V. & van Oost , K. (2005). Modeling response of soil erosion and runoff to changes in precipitation and cover. Catena, 61, 131-154


Cerdan, O.; Le Bissonnais, Y.; Couturier, A. & Saby, N. (2002). Modelling interrill erosion in small cultivated catchments. Hydrological Processes, 16: 3215-3226

Cerdan, O.; Souchère, V.; Lecomte, V.; Couturier, A. & Le Bissonnais, Y. (2002). Incorporating soil surface crusting processes in an expert-based runoff model: Sealing and Transfer by Runoff and Erosion related to Agricultural Management. Catena, 46: 189-


Souchère, V.; King, D.; Daroussin, J.; Papy, F. & Capillon, A. (1998). Effects of tillage on runoff directions: consequences on runoff contributing areas within agricultural catchments. Journal of Hydrology, 206: 256-267