Artificial Neural Networks for the Prediction of Channel Geomorphic Condition and Stream Sensitivity
World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2007, , , 2007
Abstract: Stream channel and watershed management requires an interdisciplinary approach by multiple stakeholders with often disparate goals and objectives. Even single management goals (e.g. mitigation of property loss due to stream bank erosion and flooding, restoring stream channels and aquatic species habitat) require solutions that span multiple spatial and temporal scales. To deal with the complexity associated with goals such as reducing fluvial erosion hazards, sediment and nutrient loading and threats to aquatic habitat associated with geomorphic instability, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources' River Management Program has been developing and testing 1) protocols for conducting field-based and remote sensing data and 2) a geographical information system (GIS)-based tool since 1999. These protocols and tools facilitate an understanding of channel instability and assist in developing strategies at appropriate scales to restore channel equilibrium. A hierarchical system of data-driven artificial neural networks (ANNs) has been developed to enhance these existing GIS-based watershed management tools for predicting channel geomorphic condition and inherent sensitivity at the reach scale. We research and develop these ANNs as an alternative model that can incorporate large amounts of data for use in the operational management of watersheds. The ANNs have been trained and tested on remotely sensed and in-field data along with corresponding expert opinions of geomorphic condition and sensitivity. The focus is performing sensitivity analyses and addressing inadequacies associated with assimilation activities that are closely tied to large amounts of hydrological-relevant remote sensing and field data.
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