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

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Basnayake, Vindhya ORCID: 0000-0001-9310-6741, Samarasinghe, Jayanga T ORCID: 0000-0001-8491-0092, Gunathilake, Miyuru B ORCID: 0000-0001-7052-1942, Muttil, Nitin ORCID: 0000-0001-7758-8365, Hettiarachchi, Dileepa C, Abeynayaka, Amila ORCID: 0000-0003-3998-2251 and Rathnayake, Upaka ORCID: 0000-0002-7341-9078 (2022) Analysis of meandering river morphodynamics using satellite remote sensing data—an application in the lower Deduru Oya (River), Sri Lanka. Land, 11 (7). ISSN 2073-445X


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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Item type Article
DOI 10.3390/land11071091
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4005 Civil engineering
Current > Division/Research > College of Science and Engineering
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Keywords river meandering, anabranching, Sri Lanka, rivers, morphology, river system changes
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