Longitudinal distributions of river flood power: The combined automated flood, elevation and stream power (CAFES) methodology

Douglas M. Barker, Damian M. Lawler, Donald W. Knight, David G. Morris, Helen N. Davies, Elizabeth J. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Stream power can be an extremely useful index of fluvial sediment transport, channel pattern, river channel erosion and riparian habitat development. However, most previous studies of downstream changes in stream power have relied on field measurements at selected cross-sections, which are time consuming, and typically based on limited data, which cannot fully represent important spatial variations in stream power. We present here, therefore, a novel methodology we call CAFES (combined automated flood, elevation and stream power), to quantify downstream change in river flood power, based on integrating in a GIS framework Flood Estimation Handbook systems with the 5 m grid NEXTMap Britain digital elevation model derived from IFSAR (interferometric synthetic aperture radar). This provides a useful modelling platform to quantify at unprecedented resolution longitudinal distributions of flood discharge, elevation, floodplain slope and flood power at reach and basin scales. Values can be resolved to a 50 m grid. CAFES approaches have distinct advantages over current methodologies for reach- and basin-scale stream power assessments and therefore for the interpretation and prediction of fluvial processes. The methodology has significant international applicability for understanding basin-scale hydraulics, sediment transport, erosion and sedimentation processes and river basin management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-290
Number of pages11
JournalEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • DEM
  • Digital elevation model
  • Downstream change
  • Fluvial processes
  • Rivers
  • Sediment transport
  • Stream power

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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