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The use of high resolution digital terrain models to represent wash-off in natural and man influenced environments

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Paul Quinn


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Modelling the wash-off of diffuse surface pollutant sources and sediment requires an accurate representation of flow pathways. The main problem of flow representation within models is one of scale. In reality processes that mobilize and transport pollution are highly localized and controlled by small-scale natural and manmade features. These features are essentially hydraulic structures that control the volume, direction and energy regime of the flow. However, at the larger scale, 'hydrological' phenomena are used to represent the general flow accumulation of flow and pollutants. Recently, digital terrain maps (DTMs) have been used to depict flow paths, gradients and erosion indices (using a grid resolution of 50-300 m in some examples). There needs to be therefore, some form of simplification and some generalization of our flow assumptions. This paper seeks to investigate the scale problem by creating high resolution DTMs. In essence we are trying to create DTMs that are at a scale approaching 'reality'. This paper shows the importance of local topographic form on flow, the importance of manmade features controlling flow and the implication of grid resolution choice when modelling flow, erosion and sedimentation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Quinn PF, Anthony S

Editor(s): Heathwaite, L

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Impact of Land-use Change on Nutrient Loads from Diffuse Sources

Year of Conference: 1999

Pages: 255-263

ISSN: 0144-7815

Publisher: Wallingford: IAHS Press

Notes: Proceedings of an international symposium held during IUGG 99, the XXII General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics.

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

Series Title: IAHS Proceedings & Reports

ISBN: 9781901502954