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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2019-26
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2019-26
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 20 Feb 2019

Research article | 20 Feb 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Science Data (ESSD).

Hydromorphological attributes for all Australian river reaches derived from Landsat dynamic inundation remote sensing

Jiawei Hou1, Albert I. J. M. Van Dijk1, Luigi J. Renzullo1, Robert A. Vertessy1,2, and Norman Mueller3 Jiawei Hou et al.
  • 1Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
  • 2School of Engineering, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 3Geoscience Australia, GPO Box 378, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Abstract. Hydromorphological attributes such as flow width, water extent and gradient play an important role in river hydrological, biogeochemical and ecological processes; helping to predict river conveyance capacity, discharge and flow routing. While there are some river width datasets at global or regional scales, they do not consider temporal variation in river width and do not cover all Australian rivers. We combined detailed mapping of 1.4 million river reaches across the Australian continent with inundation frequency mapping from 27-years of Landsat observations. From these, the average flow width at different recurrence frequencies was calculated for all reaches, having a combined length of 3.3 million km. A parameter γ was proposed to describe the shape of the frequency-width relationship and can be used to classify reaches by the degree to which flow regime tends towards permanent, frequent, intermittent or ephemeral. Proposed scaling rules relating river width to gradient and contributing catchment area and discharge were investigated, demonstrating that such rules capture relatively little of real-world variability. Uncertainties mainly occur in multi-channel reaches and reaches with unconnected water bodies. The calculated reach attributes are easily combined with the river vector data in GIS, which should be useful for research and practical applications such as water resource management, aquatic habitat enhancement, and river engineering and management. The dataset is available at https://doi.org/10.25914/5c637a7449353 (Hou et al. 2019).

Jiawei Hou et al.
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Hydromorphological attributes for all Australian river reaches J. Hou, A. I. J. M. van Dijk, L. J. Renzullo, R. A. Vertessy, and N. Mueller https://doi.org/10.25914/5c637a7449353

Jiawei Hou et al.
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Short summary
Hydromorphological data including temporal and spatial river width dynamics, flow regime and river gradient for 1.4 million Australian river reaches are presented. We propose a parameter γ which can be used to classify reaches by the degree to which flow regime tends towards permanent, frequent, intermittent or ephemeral. This dataset provides fundamental information for understanding hydrological, biogeochemical and ecological processes in floodplain-river systems.
Hydromorphological data including temporal and spatial river width dynamics, flow regime and...
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