Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: river valley bottom; GIS; cost distance accumulation; groundwater dependent ecosystems
Online: 1 March 2021 (13:50:04 CET)
River valley bottoms have hydrological, geomorphological, and ecological importance and are buffers for protecting the river from upland nutrient loading coming from agriculture and other sources. They are relatively flat, low-lying areas of the terrain that are adjacent to the river and bound by increasing slopes at the transition to the uplands. These areas have under natural conditions, a groundwater table close to the soil surface. The objective of this paper is to present a stepwise GIS approach for the delineation of river valley bottom within drainage basins and use it to perform a national delineation. We developed a tool that applies a concept called cost distance accumulation with spatial data inputs consisting a river network and slope derived from a digital elevation model. We then used wetlands adjacent to rivers as a guide finding the river valley bottom boundary from the cost distance accumulation. We present results from our tool for the whole country of Denmark carrying out a validation within three selected areas. The results reveal that the tool visually performs well and delineates both confined and unconfined river valleys within the same drainage basin. We use the most common forms of wetlands (meadow and marsh) in Denmark's river valleys known as Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems (GDE) to validate our river valley bottom delineated areas. Our delineation picks about half to two-thirds of these GDE. However, we expected this since farmers have reclaimed Denmark's low-lying areas during the last 200 years before the first map of GDE was created. Our tool can be used as a management tool, since it can delineate an area that has been the focus of management actions to protect waterways from upland nutrient pollution.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0127.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Geophysics And Geology Keywords: frequency-domain; ground penetrating radar; electromagnetic induction; penetration depth; inversion; non-destructive techniques; agricultural drainage systems
Online: 10 June 2020 (05:39:04 CEST)
Subsurface drainage systems remove excess water from the soil profile thereby improving crop yields in poorly drained farmland. Knowledge of the position of the buried drain lines is important: 1) to improve understanding of leaching and offsite release of nutrients and pesticides, and 2) for the installation of a new set of drain lines between the old ones for enhanced soil water removal efficiency. Traditional methods of drainage mapping involve the use of tile probes and trenching equipment. While these can be effective, they are also time-consuming, labor-intensive, and invasive, thereby entailing an inherent risk of damaging the drainpipes. Non-invasive geophysical soil sensors provide a potential alternative solution. Previous research has focused on the use of time-domain ground penetrating radar (GPR), with variable success depending on local soil and hydrological conditions and the central frequency of the specific equipment employed. The objectives of this study were 1) to test the use of a stepped-frequency continuous wave (SFCW) 3D-GPR (GeoScope Mk IV 3D-Radar with DXG1820 antenna array) for subsurface drainage mapping, and 2) to evaluate the performance of a 3D-GPR with the use of a single-frequency multi-receiver electromagnetic induction (EMI) sensor (DUALEM) in-combination. The 3D-GPR system offers more flexibility for application to different (sub)surface conditions due to the coverage of wide frequency bandwidth. The EMI sensor simultaneously provides information about the apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) for different soil volumes, corresponding to different depths. This sensor combination was evaluated on twelve different study sites with various soil types with textures ranging from sand to clay till. While the 3-D GPR showed a high success rate in finding the drainpipes at five sites (sandy, sandy loam, loamy sand, and organic topsoils), the results at the other seven sites were less successful due to limited penetration depth (PD) of the 3D-GPR signal. The results suggest that the electrical conductivity estimates produced by the inversion of ECa data measured by the DUALEM sensor could be a useful proxy to explain the success achieved by the 3D-GPR in finding the drain lines. The high attenuation of electromagnetic waves in highly conductive media limiting the PD of the 3D-GPR can explain the findings obtained in this research.