Stream Power Determination in GIS: An Index to Evaluate the Most ’Sensitive’Points of a River
2.1. Peak Flow Discharge
- Kirpich equation for basins smaller then 10 km2:withTc = run-off time (hours);L = main channel length (km);DH = drop in elevation of the main channel (m).
- Giandotti equation for basins larger than 10 km2:withTc = run-off time (hours);S = basin area (km2);L = main channel length (m);H = mean basin elevation (m a.s.l.).
2.2. Slope Determination
2.3. The Module r.stream.power
- Peak #1 is located 20.8 km downstream with a TSP value of 7250 W/m for an upslope distance of 100 m, 4295 W/m for an upslope distance of 200 m, and 2584 W/m for an upslope distance of 400 m. In this cross-section, the high value of the TSP was due to the local slope (about 1.8%) and discharge.
- Peak #2 is located 26.3 km downstream; the TSP ranged from 2270 W/m (for an upslope distance of 400 m) to 5796 W/m (for an upslope distance of 100 m). Even in this case, the increase in TSP was caused by high values of the discharge (the discharge increased from 25.5 m3/s–28.4 m3/s) and local slope (about 1–2%). In this section, in fact, the Rio Capodacqua, with its 35-km2 watershed, flows into the Topino River.
- Peak #3 is located 28.7 km downstream, with a TSP that ranged from 5286 W/m–9821 W/m. In this cross-section, the increase in the TSP was related to high values of the local slopes (about 3.5%).
- Peak #4 is located 29.3 km downstream with a TSP that ranged from 3429 W/m–10,164 W/m. Even here, the TSP increase was related to high values of the local slopes (about 3.5%).It is interesting to analyze the causes of a local gradient increase highlighted in Figure 10. Generally, high slope values are due to geological structural elements. For Peak # 1, the high value of SP was partially due to an increase in the flow discharge. Nevertheless, geological surveying demonstrated that this value of SP was due to the overall presence of a fault, which was evident by the alignment of the tributaries (on the right and on the left) of the Topino River (see Figure 11). The fault produced a clear increase in the Topino River slope as a consequence of the regressive erosion of the main channel that tried to re-establish its equilibrium profile. Furthermore, Peak # 2 is interesting because it showed the same situation: the increase in the slope was produced by a normal fault that caused a nick-point in the river longitudinal profile. It is likely that the fault activity was fairly recent because the river had not yet regulated the longitudinal profile to an equilibrium condition, resulting in a nick-point that was more evident than that in the previous case. Figure 12b shows the DEM, in which the fault appears clearly and produces an escarpment; this is also confirmed by the Geological Map of Italy (a), which displays a system of three faults in the same area. In order to determine the riverbed conditions in the locations of Peaks #3 and #4, a field survey was carried out. The survey revealed that the riverbed located upstream of these points is characterized by a step-pool morphology  that is related to the bedrock outcropping. Furthermore, in this reach, which is located at the entrance of a wide alluvial plain, the slope of the riverbed is controlled by the bedrock setting.
Conflicts of Interest
|DEM||Digital Elevation Model|
|TSP||Total Stream Power|
|TIN||triangulated irregular network|
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|No Point||Q (m3/s)||No Point||Q (m3/s)||No Point||Q (m3/s)|
|ID||TSP Upslope Dist. 100||TSP Upslope Dist. 200||TSP Upslope Dist. 400||ID||TSP Upslope Dist. 100||TSP Upslope Dist. 200||TSP Upslope Dist. 400|
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De Rosa, P.; Fredduzzi, A.; Cencetti, C. Stream Power Determination in GIS: An Index to Evaluate the Most ’Sensitive’Points of a River. Water 2019, 11, 1145. https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061145
De Rosa P, Fredduzzi A, Cencetti C. Stream Power Determination in GIS: An Index to Evaluate the Most ’Sensitive’Points of a River. Water. 2019; 11(6):1145. https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061145Chicago/Turabian Style
De Rosa, Pierluigi, Andrea Fredduzzi, and Corrado Cencetti. 2019. "Stream Power Determination in GIS: An Index to Evaluate the Most ’Sensitive’Points of a River" Water 11, no. 6: 1145. https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061145