University of Oulu

Basnayaka V, Samarasinghe JT, Gunathilake MB, Muttil N, Hettiarachchi DC, Abeynayaka A, Rathnayake U. Analysis of Meandering River Morphodynamics Using Satellite Remote Sensing Data—An Application in the Lower Deduru Oya (River), Sri Lanka. Land. 2022; 11(7):1091.

Analysis of meandering river morphodynamics using satellite remote sensing data : an application in the lower Deduru Oya (river), Sri Lanka

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Author: Basnayaka, Vindhya1; Samarasinghe, Jayanga T.2; Gunathilake, Miyuru B.3,4;
Organizations: 1Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology, Malabe 10115, Sri Lanka
2Department of Earth Environmental and Resource Sciences, University of Texas, El Paso, TX 79968, USA
3Environment and Natural Resources, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy and Research, 1433 Ås, Norway
4Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, 8000 Oulu, Finland
5Institute for Sustainable Industries & Liveable Cities, Victoria University, P.O. Box 14428, Melbourne, VIC 8001, Australia
6College of Engineering and Science, Victoria University, Melbourne, VIC 8001, Australia
7Department of Irrigation, Office of Director of Irrigation, Airport Road, Anuradhapura 50000, Sri Lanka
8Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), 2108-11 Kamiyamaguchi, Hayama 240-0115, Japan
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 6.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-06-27


River meandering and anabranching have become major problems in many large rivers that carry significant amounts of sediment worldwide. The morphodynamics of these rivers are complex due to the temporal variation of flows. However, the availability of remote sensing data and geographic information systems (GISs) provides the opportunity to analyze the morphological changes in river systems both quantitatively and qualitatively. The present study investigated the temporal changes in the river morphology of the Deduru Oya (river) in Sri Lanka, which is a meandering river. The study covered a period of 32 years (1989 to 2021), using Landsat satellite data and the QGIS platform. Cloud-free Landsat 5 and Landsat 8 satellite images were extracted and processed to extract the river mask. The centerline of the river was generated using the extracted river mask, with the support of semi-automated digitizing software (WebPlotDigitizer). Freely available QGIS was used to investigate the temporal variation of river migration. The results of the study demonstrated that, over the past three decades, both the bend curvatures and the river migration rates of the meandering bends have generally increased with time. In addition, it was found that a higher number of meandering bends could be observed in the lower (most downstream) and the middle parts of the selected river segment. The current analysis indicates that the Deduru Oya has undergone considerable changes in its curvature and migration rates.

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Series: Land
ISSN: 2073-445X
ISSN-E: 2073-445X
ISSN-L: 2073-445X
Volume: 11
Issue: 7
Article number: 1091
DOI: 10.3390/land11071091
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1172 Environmental sciences
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Copyright information: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (