Indian Forum for Water Adroit

Effect of DEM source on equivalent Horton–Strahler ratio based GIUH

chavansr

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Work carried out by Mr. Chavan S R, along with Prof. V. V. Srinivas has been published in Journal of hydrology (JH).

Title:
Effect of DEM source on equivalent Horton–Strahler ratio based GIUH for catchments in two Indian river basins

Description:
Horton–Strahler (H–S) concept has been extensively used for quantification of characteristics of a stream network since several decades. The quantified values are often sensitive to threshold area specified for initiation of streams to demarcate the network, and to the position of outlet of a catchment. This implies that inferences drawn based on derived characteristics for a stream network are likely to be inconsistent, which is undesirable. To address this, a strategy based on self-similarity properties of channel network was proposed recently by Moussa (2009), which involves estimation of equivalent H–S ratios using catchment shape descriptors that are independent of threshold area. This study investigates effectiveness of the strategy on 42 catchments of various sizes in two Indian river basins (Cauvery and Mahanadi). Effect of digital elevation model (DEM) source on estimates of equivalent H–S ratios and characteristics of Geomorphologic Instantaneous Unit Hydrograph (GIUH) derived based on the same are examined by considering SRTM and ASTER DEMs. Results indicate that self-similarity assumptions are valid for the Indian catchments. Comparison of equivalent GIUH derived for each of the catchments based on real channel network with that derived using different DEM sources indicated differences that could be attributed to DEM-based uncertainty associated with estimates of: (i) equivalent H–S ratios that are functions of the self-similarity properties of channel network, and (ii) equivalent length of highest order stream that depends on self-similarity properties and configuration/characteristics of stream network. This uncertainty cannot be ignored in hydrological studies.

Article Citation:
Chavan, S.R. and Srinivas, V.V., 2015. Effect of DEM source on equivalent Horton–Strahler ratio based GIUH for catchments in two Indian river basins. Journal of Hydrology, 528, pp.463-489.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002216941500462X

Mr. Chavan S R can be reached at chavansr@civil.iisc.ernet.in or chavansagar1988@gmail.com