Landscape evolution models (LEMs) simulate the geomorphic development of river basins over long time periods and large space scales (100s-1000s of years, 100s of km2). Due to these scales they have been developed with simple steady flow models that enable long time steps (e.g. years) to be modelled, but not shorter term hydrodynamic effects (e.g. the passage of a flood wave). Nonsteady flow models that incorporate these hydrodynamic effects typically require far shorter time steps (seconds or less) and use more expensive numerical solutions hindering their inclusion in LEMs. The recently developed LISFLOOD-FP simplified 2D flow model addresses this issue by solving a reduced form of the shallow water equations using a very simple numerical scheme, thus generating a significant increase in computational efficiency over previous hydrodynamic methods. This leads to potential convergence of computational cost between LEMs and hydrodynamic models, and presents an opportunity to combine such schemes. This paper outlines how two such models (the LEM CAESAR and the hydrodynamic model LISFLOOD-FP) were merged to create the new CAESAR-Lisflood model, and through a series of preliminary tests shows that using a hydrodynamic model to route flow in an LEM affords many advantages. The new model is fast, computationally efficient and has a stronger physical basis than a previous version of the CAESAR model. For the first time it allows hydrodynamic effects (tidal flows, lake filling, alluvial fans blocking valley floor) to be represented in an LEM, as well as producing noticeably different results to steady flow models. This suggests that the simplification of using steady flow in existing LEMs may bias their findings significantly. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.