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Park, E. (2020). Characterizing channel-floodplain connectivity using satellite altimetry: Mechanism, hydrogeomorphic control, and sediment budget. Remote Sensing of Environment, 243, Article 111783. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2020.111783
In this study, a mechanism of channel-floodplain seasonal connectivity over a full hydrological year is assessed mainly utilizing satellite radar altimetry data (Jason-2) in a floodplain along the Amazon River. The proposed observation-based approach employs the concurrent measurement of water levels (WLs) over river and floodplain, analyzing seasonal changes in water surface height differences between the two water bodies. Hydrological connectivity thresholds at different stages during the rising phase were identified, and then validated using field data and remote sensing-driven surface suspended sediment maps. Successful decoupling of the two indiscrete flooding processes during the rising phase: channelized and overbank dispersion processes, is one of the major outcomes of this study. Different roles of the connectivity processes on floodplain hydrogeomorphology are highlighted that channelized flows determine inundation frequency, residence time and development of positive topographic features in the floodplain; while overbank flows contribute good part of the seasonal water storage and sediment budget in the floodplain, and tends to smooth positive topography built by channelized flows. The zones of overbank flooding, however, are rather localized due to the well-developed natural levee complex and stable channel-dominated floodplain along the river bank. Lastly, the presented approach is straightforward based on the publicly available operational dataset and therefore it may be readily adapted by non-remote sensing experts. Thus, along with the emergence of new radar altimetry platforms, such as ICESat-2 or Jason-3 that could measure WL of smaller lakes, the proposed approach offers the potential to contribute to research on channel-floodplain systems in other rivers at a global scale.
This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Remote Sensing of Environment. The published version is available online at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2020.111783
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