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Modeling rating curves from close-range remote sensing data: Application of laser and acoustic ranging instruments for capturing stream channel topography
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6161-8336
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A rating curve provides a functional relationship between water height (i.e. stage) and discharge at a specified cross-section in a river. Used in combination with a time series of stage, rating curves become one of the central components for generating continuous records of streamflow. Since developing and maintaining rating curves can be time consuming, hydraulic models have shown potential to reduce the effort required for developing rating curves. A central challenge with modeling procedures, however, is the acquisition of accurate stream channel and floodplain topography. From this perspective, this thesis focuses on the real-world application of close-range remote sensing techniques such as laser-based ranging technologies (i.e. Light detection and ranging or LiDAR) or acoustic based ranging technologies (i.e. acoustic Doppler current profiler or ADCP) to capture topographic information for hydraulic modeling applications across various spatial scales. First, a review of the current LiDAR literature was carried out to identify potential ways to take full advantage of these novel data and technologies in the future. This was followed by four interconnected studies whereby: (i) a low-cost custom laser scanning system was designed to capture grain size distributions for a small stream; (ii) synthetically thinned airborne laser scanning (ALS) data was applied in a physically-based hydraulic modelling framework to develop rating curves; (iii) low-resolution national-scale ALS was coupled with ADCP bathymetry to be used in conjunction with a hydraulic model to develop rating curves; and (iv) the impact of measurement uncertainties on generating rating curves with a hydraulic model were investigated. This thesis highlights the potential of close-range remote sensing techniques for capturing accurate stream channel topography and derive from these data, the necessary parameters required for hydraulic modeling applications.

Abstract [sv]

En avbördningskurva tillhandahåller ett funktionellt förhållande mellan vattendjup (dvs. vattenstånd) och flöde vid ett specifikt tvärsnitt i ett vattendrag. Avbördningskurvan blir en central komponent för generering av kontinuerliga tidsserier av vattenföring från tidsserier av vattenstånd. Eftersom det är tidskrävande att utveckla och underhålla avbördningskurvor erbjuder hydrauliska modeller attraktiva möjligheter att minska den insats som krävs för att utveckla avbördningskurvorna. En central utmaning för sådana modelleringsförfaranden är emellertid tillgången till noggrann topografidata av strömfåran och de omgivande stränderna. Den här avhandlingen fokuserar på tillämpningen av fjärranalystekniker för avståndsmätning på nära håll, såsom laserbaserade teknik (dvs. Light detection and ranging eller LiDAR) och akustisk baserat teknik (dvs. acoustic Doppler current profiler eller ADCP), för att fånga topografisk information för hydraulisk modellering av vattendrag i olika rumsliga skalor. Först presenteras en litteraturstudie av den nuvarande LiDAR-litteratur för att identifiera potentiella sätt att dra full nytta av dessa nya data och tekniker i framtiden. Detta följs av fyra sammanlänkade studier: (i) tillämpning av ett lågkostnads-laseravsökningssystem för att fånga kornstorleksfördelningar i ett litet vattendrag, (ii) syntetiskt förtunnad flygburen laserskanningsdata (ALS) applicerad i en fysiskt baserad hydraulisk modell för att utveckla avbördningskurvor, (iii) lågupplösta ALS från Svensk nationell höjdmodell kopplade med ADCP-batymetri för att ta fram en avbördningskurva med en hydraulisk modell, och (iv) undersökning av effekterna av osäkerheter på mätdata för att generera avbördningskurvor med en hydraulisk modell. Denna avhandling belyser potentialen för fjärranalystekniker för avståndsmätning på nära håll, för att fånga strömfårans exakta topografi och ifrån dessa data härleda de parametrar som krävs för hydrauliska modelleringstillämpningar.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
US-AB , 2017. , 42 p.
Series
Dissertations from the Department of Physical Geography, ISSN 1653-7211
Keyword [en]
laser scanning, acoustic Doppler current profiler, hydraulic modeling, rating curves, Sweden
National Category
Physical Geography
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-142135ISBN: 978-91-7649-719-7 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7649-720-3 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-142135DiVA: diva2:1091324
Public defence
2017-06-15, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2011-4390Swedish Research Council Formas, 942-2015-321
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 5: Manuscript.

Available from: 2017-05-22 Created: 2017-04-26 Last updated: 2017-05-22Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Laser vision: lidar as a transformative tool to advance critical zone science
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Laser vision: lidar as a transformative tool to advance critical zone science
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2015 (English)In: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, ISSN 1027-5606, E-ISSN 1607-7938, Vol. 19, no 6, 2881-2897 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Observation and quantification of the Earth's surface is undergoing a revolutionary change due to the increased spatial resolution and extent afforded by light detection and ranging (lidar) technology. As a consequence, lidar-derived information has led to fundamental discoveries within the individual disciplines of geomorphology, hydrology, and ecology. These disciplines form the cornerstones of critical zone (CZ) science, where researchers study how interactions among the geosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere shape and maintain the 'zone of life', which extends from the top of unweathered bedrock to the top of the vegetation canopy. Fundamental to CZ science is the development of transdisciplinary theories and tools that transcend disciplines and inform other's work, capture new levels of complexity, and create new intellectual outcomes and spaces. Researchers are just beginning to use lidar data sets to answer synergistic, transdisciplinary questions in CZ science, such as how CZ processes co-evolve over long timescales and interact over shorter timescales to create thresholds, shifts in states and fluxes of water, energy, and carbon. The objective of this review is to elucidate the transformative potential of lidar for CZ science to simultaneously allow for quantification of topographic, vegetative, and hydrological processes. A review of 147 peer-reviewed lidar studies highlights a lack of lidar applications for CZ studies as 38 % of the studies were focused in geomorphology, 18 % in hydrology, 32 % in ecology, and the remaining 12 % had an interdisciplinary focus. A handful of exemplar transdisciplinary studies demonstrate lidar data sets that are well-integrated with other observations can lead to fundamental advances in CZ science, such as identification of feedbacks between hydrological and ecological processes over hillslope scales and the synergistic co-evolution of landscape-scale CZ structure due to interactions amongst carbon, energy, and water cycles. We propose that using lidar to its full potential will require numerous advances, including new and more powerful open-source processing tools, exploiting new lidar acquisition technologies, and improved integration with physically based models and complementary in situ and remote-sensing observations. We provide a 5-year vision that advocates for the expanded use of lidar data sets and highlights subsequent potential to advance the state of CZ science.

National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-119269 (URN)10.5194/hess-19-2881-2015 (DOI)000357125300024 ()
Available from: 2015-08-10 Created: 2015-08-03 Last updated: 2017-05-16Bibliographically approved
2. A Cost-Effective Laser Scanning Method for Mapping Stream Channel Geometry and Roughness
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Cost-Effective Laser Scanning Method for Mapping Stream Channel Geometry and Roughness
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2015 (English)In: Journal of the American Water Resources Association, ISSN 1093-474X, E-ISSN 1752-1688, Vol. 51, no 5, 1211-1220 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This brief pilot study implements a camera-based laser scanning system that potentially offers a viable, cost-effective alternative to traditional terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) and LiDAR equipment. We adapted a low-cost laser ranging system (SICK LSM111) to acquire area scans of the channel and bed for a temporarily diverted stream. The 5mx2m study area was scanned at a 4mm point spacing which resulted in a point cloud density of 5,600 points/m(2). A local maxima search algorithm was applied to the point cloud and a grain size distribution of the stream bed was extracted. The 84th and 90th percentiles of this distribution, which are commonly used to characterize channel roughness, were 90mm and 109mm, respectively. Our example shows the system can resolve both large-scale geometry (e.g., bed slope and channel width) and small-scale roughness elements (e.g., grain sizes between about 30 and 255mm) in an exposed stream channel thereby providing a resolution adequate for the estimation of ecohydraulic roughness parameters such as Manning's n. While more work is necessary to refine our specific field-deployable system's design, these initial results are promising in particular for those working on a limited or fixed budget. This opens up a realm of laser scanning applications and monitoring strategies for water resources that may not have been possible previously due to cost limitations associated with traditional TLS systems.

Keyword
laser scanning, stream channels, river bed roughness, ecohydraulics, Manning's n
National Category
Environmental Engineering Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-122756 (URN)10.1111/1752-1688.12299 (DOI)000362369900005 ()
Available from: 2015-11-16 Created: 2015-11-10 Last updated: 2017-05-16Bibliographically approved
3. Can Low-Resolution Airborne Laser Scanning Data Be Used to Model Stream Rating Curves?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Can Low-Resolution Airborne Laser Scanning Data Be Used to Model Stream Rating Curves?
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2015 (English)In: Water, ISSN 2073-4441, E-ISSN 2073-4441, Vol. 7, no 4, 1324-1339 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This pilot study explores the potential of using low-resolution (0.2 points/m(2)) airborne laser scanning (ALS)-derived elevation data to model stream rating curves. Rating curves, which allow the functional translation of stream water depth into discharge, making them integral to water resource monitoring efforts, were modeled using a physics-based approach that captures basic geometric measurements to establish flow resistance due to implicit channel roughness. We tested synthetically thinned high-resolution (more than 2 points/m(2)) ALS data as a proxy for low-resolution data at a point density equivalent to that obtained within most national-scale ALS strategies. Our results show that the errors incurred due to the effect of low-resolution versus high-resolution ALS data were less than those due to flow measurement and empirical rating curve fitting uncertainties. As such, although there likely are scale and technical limitations to consider, it is theoretically possible to generate rating curves in a river network from ALS data of the resolution anticipated within national-scale ALS schemes (at least for rivers with relatively simple geometries). This is promising, since generating rating curves from ALS scans would greatly enhance our ability to monitor streamflow by simplifying the overall effort required.

National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-117737 (URN)10.3390/w7041324 (DOI)000353715100001 ()
Available from: 2015-06-09 Created: 2015-06-01 Last updated: 2017-05-16Bibliographically approved
4. Modeling streamflow from coupled airborne laser scanning and acoustic Doppler current profiler data
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modeling streamflow from coupled airborne laser scanning and acoustic Doppler current profiler data
2017 (English)In: Hydrology Research, ISSN 1998-9563, E-ISSN 2224-7955Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The rating curve enables the translation of water depth into stream discharge through a reference cross-section. This study investigates coupling national scale airborne laser scanning (ALS) and acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) bathymetric survey data for generating stream rating curves. A digital terrain model was defined from these data and applied in a physically based 1-D hydraulic model to generate rating curves for a regularly monitored location in northern Sweden. Analysis of the ALS data showed that overestimation of the streambank elevation could be adjusted with a root mean square error (RMSE) block adjustment using a higher accuracy manual topographic survey. The results of our study demonstrate that the rating curve generated from the vertically corrected ALS data combined with ADCP data had lower errors (RMSE = 0.79 m3/s) than the empirical rating curve (RMSE = 1.13 m3/s) when compared to streamflow measurements. We consider these findings encouraging as hydrometric agencies can potentially leverage national-scale ALS and ADCP instrumentation to reduce the cost and effort required for maintaining and establishing rating curves at gauging station sites similar to the Röån River.

Keyword
acoustic Doppler current profiler, airborne laser scanning, rating curve, Sweden
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-135572 (URN)10.2166/nh.2016.257 (DOI)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 942-2015-321Swedish Research Council, 2011-4390
Available from: 2016-11-14 Created: 2016-11-14 Last updated: 2017-06-16
5. Implications of field measurement uncertainties on modeled rating curves
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Implications of field measurement uncertainties on modeled rating curves
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Hydraulic models can be useful tools for developing reliable rating curves, however, uncertainties in the input measurements can have implications for the model results. In this study, we investigate the impact of uncertain input field measurements (i.e. stream channel topography, water surface slope, vegetation density, stage, and discharge) on rating curves generated with a physically-based hydraulic model. This is the first-time measurement uncertainties have been assessed with the hydraulic model and we demonstrate the method at a regularly monitored catchment in central Sweden. The results show that the modeling approach, calibrated with three gauging measurements, acquired at low to median flows, was able to generate rating curves with relatively constrained uncertainty for the highest observed stage (i.e. -12% and +46%) when all uncertainty sources were accounted for. These results suggest that this modeling approach could be applied to quickly develop reliable rating curves and simultaneously estimate the uncertainty in the rating curves. 

Keyword
acoustic Doppler current profiler, rating curve, uncertainty, Sweden, hydraulic modeling
National Category
Physical Geography
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-142136 (URN)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2011-4390Swedish Research Council Formas, 942-2015-321
Available from: 2017-04-26 Created: 2017-04-26 Last updated: 2017-05-16Bibliographically approved

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