Deriving principal channel metrics from bank and long-profile geometry with the R package cmgo
- German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
Abstract. Landscape patterns result from landscape forming processes. This link can be exploited in geomorphological research by reversely analyzing the geometrical content of landscapes to develop or confirm theories of the underlying processes. Since rivers represent a dominant control on landscape formation, there is a particular interest in examining channel metrics in a quantitative and objective manner. For example, river cross-section geometry is required to model local flow hydraulics, which in turn determine erosion and thus channel dynamics. Similarly, channel geometry is crucial for engineering purposes, water resource management, and ecological restoration efforts. These applications require a framework to capture and derive the data. In this paper we present an open-source software tool that performs the calculation of several channel metrics (length, slope, width, bank retreat, knickpoints, etc.) in an objective and reproducible way based on principal bank geometry that can be measured in the field or in a GIS. Furthermore, the software provides a framework to integrate spatial features, for example the abundance of species or the occurrence of knickpoints. The program is available at https://github.com/AntoniusGolly/cmgo and is free to use, modify, and redistribute under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 3 as published by the Free Software Foundation.