Is it possible to define different process domains in stream systems based on remote data? : Comparing surficial geology, geomorphological characteristics in the landscape and channel slope between lakes, rapids and slow-flowing reaches.

University essay from Umeå universitet/Institutionen för ekologi, miljö och geovetenskap

Abstract: Restoration of stream channels have become a common way of trying to restore both the channels and the ecosystems that earlier have been channelized mainly to facilitate the movement of timber. According to previous studies a lot of the restoration has been performed without a sufficiently detailed plan and with too little focus on how the landscape interplay with the restoration, which makes the potential to learn from possible mistakes minimal. In this study, a hydrological analysis of Hjuken river was done to examine if remote data through an analysis using GIS could be used for identifying three different process domains (lake, slow-flowing reaches and rapids), and if it is possible to determine which process domain it is by examining three different variables: channel slope, surficial geology and the geomorphologic characteristics in the landscape. Based on the statistical treatment and the analysis of the data, the result shows a significant difference between every process domain and variable except for the channel slope when it comes to slow-flowing reaches and rapids. This tells us that all the variables that has been analysed could be a crucial factor in most of the cases. However, the result does not seem reliable compared to previous studies. The conclusion of the study is that the error from the identification of the process domains is from the orthophotos. Remote data is too weak to use as the only source for this kind of analysis. However, the definition of process domains is probably more diffuse than today’s description. There needs to be more studies on each process domain, it is probably not enough with three different types, either there should be subclasses for each process domain or even more process domains.

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