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Modelling river channel topography using GIS

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The modelling of environmental processes based on catchment elevation surfaces is well-established, but the use of TIN and grid surface models as three-dimensional representations of river channel topography at the reach scale is much less common. In this paper, surface modelling facilities in ARC/INFO GIS have been used to model the geometry of seven short sections of gravel-bed river channels in upland Britain from field surveys taken in 1976 and 1994. The methods used in converting field survey data and implementing bed-topography models as TIN and grid data structures are described. The use of derived surface models to define pool-riffle bedforms, estimate sediment budgets and assess channel change between surfaces of different dates are discussed and evaluated.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 1997

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