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Water 2017, 9(1), 19; doi:10.3390/w9010019

Use of Bathymetric and LiDAR Data in Generating Digital Elevation Model over the Lower Athabasca River Watershed in Alberta, Canada

1
Department of Geomatics Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
2
Department of Civil Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
3
Alberta Environment and Parks, 2938 11 Street NE, Calgary, AB T2E 7L7, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 November 2016 / Revised: 9 December 2016 / Accepted: 24 December 2016 / Published: 2 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geospatial Modeling of River Systems)
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Abstract

The lower Athabasca River watershed is one of the most important regions for Alberta and elsewhere due to fact that it counts for the third largest oil reserve in the world. In order to support the oil and gas extraction, Athabasca River provides most of the required water supply. Thus, it is critical to understand the characteristics of the river and its watershed in order to develop sustainable water management strategies. Here, our main objective was to develop a digital elevation model (DEM) over the lower Athabasca River watershed including the main river channel of Athabasca River (i.e., approximately 128 km from Fort McMurray to Firebag River confluence). In this study, the primary data were obtained from the Alberta Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Agency. Those were: (i) Geoswath bathymetry at 5–10 m spatial resolution; (ii) point cloud LiDAR data; and (iii) river cross-section survey data. Here, we applied spatial interpolation methods like inverse distance weighting (IDW) and ordinary kriging (OK) to generate the bathymetric surface at 5 m × 5 m spatial resolution using the Geoswath bathymetry data points. We artificially created data gaps in 24 sections each in the range of 100 to 400 m along the river and further investigated the performance of the methods based on statistical analysis. We observed that the DEM generated using the both IDW and OK methods were quite similar, i.e., r2, relative error, and root mean square error were approximately 0.99, 0.002, and 0.104 m, respectively. We also evaluated the performance of both methods over individual sections of interest; and overall deviation was found to be within ±2.0 m while approximately 96.5% of the data fell within ±0.25 m. Finally, we combined the Geoswath-derived DEM and LiDAR-derived DEM in generating the final DEM over the lower Athabasca River watershed at 5 m × 5 m resolution. View Full-Text
Keywords: cross section; geoswath; inverse distance weighting; kriging; predicted surface cross section; geoswath; inverse distance weighting; kriging; predicted surface
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chowdhury, E.H.; Hassan, Q.K.; Achari, G.; Gupta, A. Use of Bathymetric and LiDAR Data in Generating Digital Elevation Model over the Lower Athabasca River Watershed in Alberta, Canada. Water 2017, 9, 19.

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