Articles | Volume 12, issue 1
Research article
09 Feb 2024
Research article |  | 09 Feb 2024

Path length and sediment transport estimation from DEMs of difference: a signal processing approach

Lindsay Marie Capito, Enrico Pandrin, Walter Bertoldi, Nicola Surian, and Simone Bizzi

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Cited articles

Antoniazza, G., Bakker, M., and Lane, S. N.: Revisiting the morphological method in two-dimensions to quantify bed-material transport in braided rivers, Earth Surf. Proc. Land., 44, 2251–2267,, 2019. 
Ashmore, P. E. and Church, M.: Sediment transport and river morphology: a paradigm for study, Gravel-Bed Rivers Environ., 345, 115–139, 1998. 
Bakker, M., Antoniazza, G., Odermatt, E., and Lane, S. N.: Morphological Response of an Alpine Braided Reach to Sediment-Laden Flow Events, J. Geophys. Res.-Earth, 124, 1310–1328,, 2019. 
Barnhart, B. L. and Eichinger, W. E.: Empirical Mode Decomposition applied to solar irradiance, global temperature, sunspot number, and CO2 concentration data, J. Atmos. Sol.-Terr. Phy., 73, 1771–1779,, 2011. 
Beechie, T. J.: Empirical predictors of annual bed load travel distance, and implications for salmonid habitat restoration and protection, Earth Surf. Proc. Land., 26, 1025–1034,, 2001. 
Short summary
We propose that the pattern of erosion and deposition from repeat topographic surveys can be a proxy for path length in gravel-bed rivers. With laboratory and field data, we applied tools from signal processing to quantify this periodicity and used these path length estimates to calculate sediment transport using the morphological method. Our results highlight the potential to expand the use of the morphological method using only remotely sensed data as well as its limitations.