The rating curve enables the translation of water depth into stream discharge through a reference cross-section. This study investigates coupling national scale airborne laser scanning (ALS) and acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) bathymetric survey data for generating stream rating curves. A digital terrain model was defined from these data and applied in a physically based 1-D hydraulic model to generate rating curves for a regularly monitored location in northern Sweden. Analysis of the ALS data showed that overestimation of the streambank elevation could be adjusted with a root mean square error (RMSE) block adjustment using a higher accuracy manual topographic survey. The results of our study demonstrate that the rating curve generated from the vertically corrected ALS data combined with ADCP data had lower errors (RMSE = 0.79 m3/s) than the empirical rating curve (RMSE = 1.13 m3/s) when compared to streamflow measurements. We consider these findings encouraging as hydrometric agencies can potentially leverage national-scale ALS and ADCP instrumentation to reduce the cost and effort required for maintaining and establishing rating curves at gauging station sites similar to the Röån River.
- acoustic Doppler current profiler
- airborne laser scanning
- rating curve
- First received 9 December 2015.
- Accepted in revised form 20 June 2016.
- © IWA Publishing 2016