Abstract

Temporal streams are vitally important for hydrology and riverine ecosystems. The identification of wet channel networks and spatial and temporal dynamics is essential for effective management, conservation, and restoration of water resources. This study investigated the temporal dynamics of stream networks in five watersheds under different climate conditions and levels of human interferences, using a systematic method recently developed for extracting wet channel networks based on light detection and ranging elevation and intensity data. In this paper, thresholds of canopy height for masking densely vegetated areas and the ‘time of forward diffusion’ parameter for filtering digital elevation model are found to be greatly influential and differing among sites. The inflection point of the exceedance probability distribution of elevation differences in each watershed is suggested to be used as the canopy height threshold. A lower value for the ‘time of forward diffusion’ is suggested for watersheds with artificial channels. The properties of decomposed and composite probability distribution functions of intensity and the extracted intensity thresholds are found to vary significantly among regions. Finally, the wet channel density and its variation with climate for five watersheds are found to be reasonable and reliable according to results reported previously in other regions.

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