The effect of the resolution of topography description on 2-D modelling of river habitat

Kamps, Michael Christiaan
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The main objective of this report is to assess the effect of different topographic (elevation) data sources on river habitat modelling in low flow conditions. In the study, digital terrain models which consists of various datasets were assessed using 2-D hydraulic software models. The representation of the terrain was sourced from the following: airborne laser scanning, total station survey, a smartphone device and a handheld GPS device. From the results, which consisted of 4 simulations (discharges of 1.5 m3/s, 1 m3/s, 0.5 m3/s, and a field measurement of 0.3 m3/s) for each topographic dataset, the water level and velocity were derived and a comparison was made against the most accurate data set (total station survey). The comparisons included how each model was able to describe a habitat in terms of defined biotopes. This research proves that a total station survey is still the most accurate, however with the advancement in GPS technology a handheld GPS device has proven to be adequate for a desktop or intermediate study. In addition, a smartphone’s GPS tends to be more adequate for large surveys and inefficient for habitat modelling.
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Engineering Johannesburg, 2018
Kamps, Michael Christiaan (2018) The effect of the resolution of topography description on 2-D modelling of river habitat, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg,