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Characterization of River Networks : A GIS Approach and Its Applications

Thoms, Martin; Scown, Murray LU and Flotemersch, Joseph (2018) In Journal of the American Water Resources Association 54(4). p.899-913
Abstract

Fluvial geomorphology provides the basis for characterizing complex river networks and evaluating biophysical processes within watersheds. Understanding the spatial organization of morphological features, their influencing processes, and resultant geomorphic diversity in stream networks are important for efficient restoration, river health assessment, and improving our knowledge of the resilience of riverine landscapes. River characterization is a means to determine the biophysical character of river networks but many methods are fraught with pitfalls, such as the use of incorrect variables and limited acknowledgment of the hierarchical organization of rivers. In this paper, a top-down geographic information system-based approach for... (More)

Fluvial geomorphology provides the basis for characterizing complex river networks and evaluating biophysical processes within watersheds. Understanding the spatial organization of morphological features, their influencing processes, and resultant geomorphic diversity in stream networks are important for efficient restoration, river health assessment, and improving our knowledge of the resilience of riverine landscapes. River characterization is a means to determine the biophysical character of river networks but many methods are fraught with pitfalls, such as the use of incorrect variables and limited acknowledgment of the hierarchical organization of rivers. In this paper, a top-down geographic information system-based approach for determining the physical typology of river networks is outlined. A suite of multivariate analyses are used to develop a nomenclature for functional process zones (FPZs) - large tracts of the river network with similar hydro-geomorphological character. Applied to the Little Miami River, Ohio, six distinct FPZs emerged, which had a nonuniform distribution along the river network. Some FPZs repeated downstream; others were rare in terms of total length and number of FPZ segments. The physical structure of the Little Miami River network was analyzed using a series of community metrics. Application of this approach for river monitoring, establishing reference conditions, as well as management of threatened and endangered species and asset trading is highlighted.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Functional process zones, Hierarchy, Hydrogeomorphic diversity, Multivariate analyses
in
Journal of the American Water Resources Association
volume
54
issue
4
pages
899 - 913
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:85045829673
ISSN
1093-474X
DOI
10.1111/1752-1688.12649
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
27881086-352d-4f8c-b9d1-6aa8db699a98
date added to LUP
2018-05-04 12:53:52
date last changed
2019-04-23 04:32:34
@article{27881086-352d-4f8c-b9d1-6aa8db699a98,
  abstract     = {<p>Fluvial geomorphology provides the basis for characterizing complex river networks and evaluating biophysical processes within watersheds. Understanding the spatial organization of morphological features, their influencing processes, and resultant geomorphic diversity in stream networks are important for efficient restoration, river health assessment, and improving our knowledge of the resilience of riverine landscapes. River characterization is a means to determine the biophysical character of river networks but many methods are fraught with pitfalls, such as the use of incorrect variables and limited acknowledgment of the hierarchical organization of rivers. In this paper, a top-down geographic information system-based approach for determining the physical typology of river networks is outlined. A suite of multivariate analyses are used to develop a nomenclature for functional process zones (FPZs) - large tracts of the river network with similar hydro-geomorphological character. Applied to the Little Miami River, Ohio, six distinct FPZs emerged, which had a nonuniform distribution along the river network. Some FPZs repeated downstream; others were rare in terms of total length and number of FPZ segments. The physical structure of the Little Miami River network was analyzed using a series of community metrics. Application of this approach for river monitoring, establishing reference conditions, as well as management of threatened and endangered species and asset trading is highlighted.</p>},
  author       = {Thoms, Martin and Scown, Murray and Flotemersch, Joseph},
  issn         = {1093-474X},
  keyword      = {Functional process zones,Hierarchy,Hydrogeomorphic diversity,Multivariate analyses},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {04},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {899--913},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Journal of the American Water Resources Association},
  title        = {Characterization of River Networks : A GIS Approach and Its Applications},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1752-1688.12649},
  volume       = {54},
  year         = {2018},
}