Vector-Based Drainage Network Analysis Based on Fine-Resolution Digital Elevation Models

Authors: Fangzheng Lu*, University Of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Shaowen Wang, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Vector-Based, Drainage System, DEM
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: 8228, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


With the constant growth of computing power and the remote sensing techniques, higher-resolution digital elevation model (DEM) datasets are becoming increasingly available. Leveraging those high-resolution datasets, drainage direction analysis, a fundamental hydrological analysis based on DEMs, could be further improved on its accuracy. However, the raster-based data structure of DEMs puts a limit on the accuracy of drainage direction analysis: instead of allowing water flow to any direction, the state-of-art methods like D8 and D infinity constraint water only to flow from one grid to one or more adjacent grids, which leads to reduced accuracy of the drainage direction analysis. Especially for high-resolution DEM datasets, the inaccuracy of these methods might accumulate as the spatial domain scales up. In this paper, a vector-based framework is proposed to analyze the drainage direction based on DEMs. Using the vector-based paradigm, the proposed approach improves the accuracy of the drainage system; and the new drainage system created is no longer constrained by the intrinsic structure of the traditional DEM dataset. The proposed approach does require intensive computing power, for which the parallel computing techniques combined with resources from the CyberGIS center are leveraged. Additionally, the final output of the proposed approach is in the form of vector fields, which provides a better basis for visualizing the whole drainage system.

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