A Vector-Based Method for Drainage Network Analysis Based on LiDAR Data

  • Fangzheng Lyu (Creator)
  • Zewei Xu (Creator)
  • Xinlin Ma (Creator)
  • Shaohua Wang (Creator)
  • Zhiyu Li (Creator)
  • Shaowen Wang (Creator)



Drainage network analysis is fundamental to understanding the characteristics of surface hydrology. Based on elevation data, drainage network analysis is often used to extract key hydrological features like drainage networks and streamlines. Limited by raster-based data models, conventional drainage network algorithms typically allow water to flow in 4 or 8 directions (surrounding grids) from a raster grid. To resolve this limitation, this paper describes a new vector-based method for drainage network analysis that allows water to flow in any direction around each location. The method is enabled by rapid advances in Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) remote sensing and high-performance computing. The drainage network analysis is conducted using a high-density point cloud instead of Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) at coarse resolutions. Our computational experiments show that the vector-based method can better capture water flows without limiting the number of directions due to imprecise DEMs. Our case study applies the method to Rowan County watershed, North Carolina in the US. After comparing the drainage networks and streamlines detected with corresponding reference data from US Geological Survey generated from the Geonet software, we find that the new method performs well in capturing the characteristics of water flows on landscape surfaces in order to form an accurate drainage network.

This dataset contains all the code, notebooks, datasets used in the study conducted for the research publication titled " A Vector-Based Method for Drainage Network Analysis Based on LiDAR Data ".

## What's Inside

A quick explanation of the components

* `A Vector Approach to Drainage Network Analysis Based on LiDAR Data.ipynb` is a notebook for finding the drainage network based on LiDAR data
*`Picture1.png` is a picture representing the pseudocode of our new algorithm
* HPC` folder contains codes for running the algorithm with sbatch in HPC
** `execute.sh` is a bash script file that use sbatch to conduct large scale analysis for the algorithm
** `run.sh` is a bash script file that calls the script file `execute.sh` for large scale calculation for the algorithm
** `run.py` includes the codes implemented for the algorithm
* `Rowan Creek Data` includes data that are used in the study
** `3_1.las` and `3_2.las ` are the LiDAR data files that is used in our analysis presented in the paper. Users may use this data file to reproduce our results and may replace it with their own LiDAR file to run this method over different areas
** `reference` folder includes reference data from USGS
*** `reference_3_1.tif` and `reference_3_2.tif` are reference data for the drainage system analysis retrieved from USGS.
Date made availableOct 13 2021
PublisherUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


  • Drainage System Analysis
  • CyberGIS
  • LiDAR

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