University of Oulu

Abolfazl Jalali Shahrood, Meseret Walle Menberu, Hamid Darabi, Omid Rahmati, Pekka M. Rossi, Bjørn Kløve, Ali Torabi Haghighi, RiMARS: An automated river morphodynamics analysis method based on remote sensing multispectral datasets, Science of The Total Environment, Volume 719, 2020, 137336, ISSN 0048-9697,

RiMARS : an automated river morphodynamics analysis method based on remote sensing multispectral datasets

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Author: Shahrood, Abolfazl Jalali1; Menberu, Meseret Walle1; Darabi, Hamid1;
Organizations: 1Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Soil Conservation and Watershed Management Research Department, Kurdistan Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Education Center, AREEO, Sanandaj, Iran
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: embargoed
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2020
Publish Date: 2022-02-15


Assessment and monitoring of river morphology own an important role in river engineering; since, changes in river morphology including erosion and sedimentation affect river cross-sections and flow processes. An approach for River Morphodynamics Analysis based on Remote Sensing (RiMARS) was developed and tested on the case of Mollasadra dam construction on the Kor River, Iran. Landsat multispectral images obtained from the open USGS dataset are used to extract river morphology dynamics by the Modified Normalized Difference Water Index (MNDWI). RiMARS comes with a river extraction module which is independent of threshold segmentation methods to produce binary-level images. In addition, RiMARS is equipped with developed indices for assessing the morphological alterations. Five characteristics of river morphology (spatiotemporal Sinuosity Index (SI), Absolute Centerline Migration (ACM), Rate of Centerline Migration (RCM), River Linear Pattern (RLP), and Meander Migration Index (MMI)), are applied to quantify river morphology changes. The results indicated that the Kor River centerline underwent average annual migration of 40 cm to the southwest during 1993–2003 (pre-construction impact), 20 cm to the northeast during 2003–2011, and 40 cm to the south-west during 2011–2017 (post-construction impact). Spatially, as the Kor River runs towards the Doroudzan dam, changes in river morphology have increased from upstream to downstream; particularly evident where the river flows in a plain instead of the valley. Based on SI values, there was a 5% change in the straight sinuosity class in the pre-construction period, but an 18% decrease in the straight class during the post-construction period. Here we demonstrate the application of RiMARS in assessing the impact of dam construction on morphometric processes in Kor River, but it can be used to assess other riverine changes, including tracking the unauthorized water consumption using diverted canals. RiMARS can be applied on multispectral images.

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Series: Science of the total environment
ISSN: 0048-9697
ISSN-E: 1879-1026
ISSN-L: 0048-9697
Volume: 719
Article number: 137336
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137336
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1171 Geosciences
218 Environmental engineering
Funding: The authors wish to express their sincere gratitude to MAA-Ja Vesitekniikan Tuki R.Y. (MVTT Grant no. 38616) for providing financial support to Abolfazl Jalali Shahrood to carry-out this research as part of his master's thesis at the University of Oulu in 2018.
Copyright information: © 2020 Elsevier B.V. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license