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Determination of the drainage structure of a watershed using a digital elevation model and a digital river and lake network.

Turcotte, Richard; Fortin, Jean-Pierre; Rousseau, Alain N.; Massicotte, Serge; Villeneuve, Jean-Pierre (2001). Determination of the drainage structure of a watershed using a digital elevation model and a digital river and lake network. Journal of Hydrology , vol. 240 , nº 3-4. p. 225-242. DOI: 10.1016/S0022-1694(00)00342-5.

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Résumé

Distributed hydrological models require a detailed definition of a watershed's internal drainage structure. The conventional approach to obtain this drainage structure is to use an eight flow direction matrix (D8) which is derived from a raster digital elevation model (DEM). However, this approach leads to a rather coarse drainage structure when monitoring or gauging stations need to be accurately located within a watershed. This is largely due to limitations of the D8 approach and the lack of information over flat areas and pits. The D8 approach alone is also unable to differentiate lakes from plain areas.

To avoid these problems a new approach, using a digital river and lake network (DRLN) as input in addition to the DEM, has been developed. This new approach allows for an accurate fit between the DRLN and the modelled drainage structure, which is represented by a flow direction matrix and a modelled watercourse network. More importantly, the identification of lakes within the modelled network is now possible. The proposed approach, which is largely rooted in the D8 approach, uses the DRLN to correct modelled flow directions and network calculations. For DEM cells overlapped by the DRLN, flow directions are determined using DRLN connections only. The flow directions of the other DEM cells are evaluated with the D8 approach which uses a DEM that has been modified as a function of distance to the DRLN.

The proposed approach has been tested on the Chaudière River watershed in southern Québec, Canada. The modelled watershed drainage structure showed a high level of coherence with the DRLN. A comparison between the results obtained with the D8 approach and those obtained by the proposed approach clearly demonstrated an improvement over the conventionally modelled drainage structure. The proposed approach will benefit hydrological models which require data such as a flow direction matrix, a river and lake network and sub-watersheds for drainage structure information.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: digital elevation model; digital river and lake network; hydrological modelling; watershed delineation
Centre: Centre Eau Terre Environnement
Date de dépôt: 11 janv. 2021 15:10
Dernière modification: 11 janv. 2021 15:10
URI: http://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/11106

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