Published in the International Journal of GIS v. 10, no. 5, p.629-641 (1996)}

Modeling topographic potential for erosion and deposition using GIS

HELENA MITASOVA, U.S.Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories, P.O.Box 9005, Champaign, Illinois 61826-9005, U.S.A. Department of Geography, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, U.S.A.

JAROSLAV HOFIERKA, MAROS ZLOCHA Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University, Mlynska dolina, 84215 Bratislava, Slovakia.

LOUIS R. IVERSON Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, Illinois 61820, U.S.A. present address : U.S. Forest Service, 359 Main Rd., Delaware, Ohio 43015, U.S.A.

Keywords: curvatures, flow lines, upslope area, unit stream power

Abstract. Modeling of erosion and deposition in complex terrain within a geographic information system (GIS) requires a high resolution digital elevation model (DEM), reliable estimation of topographic parameters, and formulation of erosion models adequate for digital representation of spatially distributed parameters. Regularized spline with tension was integrated within a GIS for computation of DEMs and topographic parameters from digitized contours or other point elevation data. For construction of flow lines and computation of upslope contributing areas an algorithm based on vector-grid approach was developed. The spatial distribution of areas with topographic potential for erosion or deposition was then modeled using the approach based on the unit stream power and directional derivatives of surface representing the sediment transport capacity. Presented methods are illustrated on study areas in central Illinois and the Yakima Ridge, Washington.

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