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Earth Surface Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2020-60
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2020-60
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  10 Aug 2020

10 Aug 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESurf.

Coupling threshold theory and satellite image derived channel width to estimate the formative discharge of Himalayan Foreland rivers

Kumar Gaurav1, François Métivier2, AV Sreejith3, Rajiv Sinha4, Amit Kumar1, and Sampat Kumar Tandon1 Kumar Gaurav et al.
  • 1Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhopal, 462066, M.P, India
  • 2Institute de Physique du Globe de Paris, 1 Rue Jussieu, 75005 Paris cedex 05, France
  • 3School of Mathematics and Computer Science, Indian Institute of Technology, Goa, 403401, Goa, India
  • 4Department of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, 208016 UP, India

Abstract. We propose an innovative methodology to estimate the formative discharge of alluvial rivers from remote sensing images. This procedure involves automatic extraction of the width of a channel from Landsat Thematic Mapper, Landsat 8, and Sentinel-1 satellite images. We translate the channel width extracted from satellite images to discharge by using a widthdischarge regime curve established previously by us for the Himalayan Rivers. This regime curve is based on the threshold theory, a simple physical force balance that explains the first-order geometry of alluvial channels. Using this procedure, we estimate the discharge of six major rivers of the Himalayan Foreland: the Brahmaputra, Chenab, Ganga, Indus, Kosi, and Teesta rivers. Except highly regulated rivers (Indus and Chenab), our estimates of the discharge from satellite images can be compared with the mean annual discharge obtained from historical records of gauging stations. We have shown that this procedure applies both to braided and single-thread rivers over a large territory. Further our methodology to estimate discharge from remote sensing images does not rely on continuous ground calibration.

Kumar Gaurav et al.

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Kumar Gaurav et al.

Kumar Gaurav et al.

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Short summary
This study demonstrates an innovative methodology to estimate the formative discharge of alluvial rivers from remote sensing images. We have developed an automated algorithm in python-3 to extract the width of a river channel from satellite images. Finally, this channel width is translated into to discharge by using a semi-empirical regime equation developed from field measurements and threshold channel theory, that explains the first-order geometry of alluvial channels.
This study demonstrates an innovative methodology to estimate the formative discharge of...
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