The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLII-4/W16
01 Oct 2019
 | 01 Oct 2019


Z. X. Dai, C. M. Li, P. D. Wu, and Y. Yin

Keywords: Dendritic River System, Stream Ordering, Stroke Connections, Tracing from Estuary, Automated, Hydrologic Coding

Abstract. The hydrologic coding of a dendritic river system can be used to indicate the stream order and spatial-structure features of a river system. However, most conventional hydrologic coding systems use a top down (i.e., from the source to the estuary) approach, which does not accurately reflect the hierarchies of a dendritic river system. Based on Gravelius’ definition of stream order, we have proposed an automated bottom up (i.e., traced from the estuary to the source) coding system for dendritic river systems. Firstly, directed topology trees are constructed to organize the data of a river network, followed by the calculation of stroke connections to construct river entities and identify the main stem. Secondly, the river system is then progressively coded from the estuary up to the source according to the definition of stream order in our system. Finally, actual topographic map data of a river system in some regions of Hubei Province are used to comparatively validate our hydrologic coding system against Horton’s coding system. The experimental results demonstrate that our coding system is very effective in highlighting hierarchies formed by catchment relationships. Our method is also found to be suitable for the selection of streams in topologically shallow dendritic river systems with uniformly distributed tributaries.