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Title: Spatial prediction of river channel topography by Kriging
Authors: Legleiter, Carl J.
Kyriakidis, Phaedon
Keywords: Channel morphology;Terrain model;Geostatistics;Variogram;Interpolation
Category: Environmental Engineering
Field: Engineering and Technology
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Source: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 2008, Volume 33, Issue 6, pages 841–867
Abstract: Topographic information is fundamental to geomorphic inquiry, and spatial prediction of bed elevation from irregular survey data is an important component of many reach-scale studies. Kriging is a geostatistical technique for obtaining these predictions along with measures of their reliability, and this paper outlines a specialized framework intended for application to river channels. Our modular approach includes an algorithm for transforming the coordinates of data and prediction locations to a channel-centered coordinate system, several different methods of representing the trend component of topographic variation and search strategies that incorporate geomorphic information to determine which survey data are used to make a prediction at a specific location. For example, a relationship between curvature and the lateral position of maximum depth can be used to include cross-sectional asymmetry in a two-dimensional trend surface model, and topographic breaklines can be used to restrict which data are retained in a local neighborhood around each prediction location. Using survey data from a restored gravel-bed river, we demonstrate how transformation to the channel-centered coordinate system facilitates interpretation of the variogram, a statistical model of reach-scale spatial structure used in kriging, and how the choice of a trend model affects the variogram of the residuals from that trend. Similarly, we show how decomposing kriging predictions into their trend and residual components can yield useful information on channel morphology. Cross-validation analyses involving different data configurations and kriging variants indicate that kriging is quite robust and that survey density is the primary control on the accuracy of bed elevation predictions. The root mean-square error of these predictions is directly proportional to the spacing between surveyed cross-sections, even in a reconfigured channel with a relatively simple morphology; sophisticated methods of spatial prediction are no substitute for field data.
ISSN: 0197-9337
1096-9837 (Online)
DOI: 10.1002/esp.1579
Rights: Copyright © John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Type: Article
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