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.
Modeling streamflow from coupled airborne laser scanning and acoustic Doppler current profiler data
Norris Lam, Jason W. Kean, Steve W. Lyon; Modeling streamflow from coupled airborne laser scanning and acoustic Doppler current profiler data. Hydrology Research 1 August 2017; 48 (4): 981–996. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/nh.2016.257
Download citation file: