Incorporating landscape features to obtain an object-oriented landscape drainage network representing the connectivity of surface flow pathways over rural catchments

Abstract : A topological representation of a rural catchment is proposed here in addition to the generally used topographic drainage network. This is an object-oriented representation based on the identification of the inlets and outlets for surface water flow on each farmer's field (or plot) and their respective contributing areas and relationships. It represents the catchment as a set of independent plot outlet trees reaching the stream, while a given plot outlet tree represents the pattern of surface flow relationships between individual plots. In the present study, we propose to implement functions related to linear and surface elements of the landscape, such as hedges or road networks, or land use, to obtain what we call a landscape drainage network which delineates the effective contributing area to the stream, thus characterizing its topological structure. Landscape elements modify flow pathways and/or favour water infiltration, thus reducing the area contributing to the surface yield and modifying the structure of the plot outlet trees. This method is applied to a 4*4-km2 catchment area comprising 43 955 pixels and 312 plots. While the full set of 164 plot outlet trees, with an average of 7 plots per tree, covers 100% of the total surface area of the catchment, the landscape drainage network comprises no more than 37 plot outlet trees with an average of 2 plots per tree, accounting for 52 and 7% of the catchment surface area, when taking account of linear elements and land use, respectively. This topological representation can be easily adapted to changes in land use and land infrastructure, and provides a simple and functional display for intercomparison of catchments and decision support regarding landscape and water management
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Submitted on : Friday, September 7, 2012 - 3:31:10 PM
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C. Gascuel-Odoux, Pierre Aurousseau, T. Doray, Hervé Squividant, F. Macary, et al.. Incorporating landscape features to obtain an object-oriented landscape drainage network representing the connectivity of surface flow pathways over rural catchments. Hydrological Processes, Wiley, 2011, 25 (23), pp.3625-3636. ⟨10.1002/hyp.8089⟩. ⟨hal-00729279⟩

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