I read that canyons are the result of long-time erosion from a plateau but is there any simulation I could play with to understand the phenomenon better?
I guess you are talking about subaerial (as opposed to submarine) canyons, and are mostly thinking of numerical (as opposed to physical) models.
I expect there are numerical models suitable for submarine application, but I haven't looked for them. There are physical models of rivers too, but I think they are better suited to modeling 'soft' sedimentary systems like deltas, floodplains, etc.
Here are some examples of numerical models in Python, starting with the research-grade ones (but if it was me I'd probably start with the ones I've thrown at the end):
an open-source python-based framework that allows for evaluation of sediment transport, landscape dynamics and sedimentary basins evolution under the influence of climate, sea waves and tectonics
This is a high-level toolkit for building models, but their docs point to all sorts of examples, several of which have to do with landscape evolution. For example, see Terrainbento and SPACE, below.
This package builds on Landlab (above) to compare a large number of different Earth surface modelling strategies.
Another package that builds on Landlab, this time to study the simultaneous modeling of alluvial and bedrock erosion and transport.
Some others I've come across:
- An interactive model: https://github.com/fastscape-lem/ipyfastscape
- A simple model: https://github.com/johnjarmitage/flem
- A simple model, from scratch: https://github.com/mtb-za/landscape_evolution_short_course/blob/master/notebooks/FastScape.ipynb
- A global model (!): https://github.com/Geodels/gospl
Not sure about a model you can play with, but there are some very interesting videos of models here: