Enhancements to TauDEM to support Rapid Watershed Delineation Services

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San Francisco, CA

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Watersheds are widely recognized as the basic functional unit for water resources management studies and are important for a variety of problems in hydrology, ecology, and geomorphology. Nevertheless, delineating a watershed spread across a large region is still cumbersome due to the processing burden of working with large Digital Elevation Model. Terrain Analysis Using Digital Elevation Models (TauDEM) software supports the delineation of watersheds and stream networks from within desktop Geographic Information Systems. A rich set of watershed and stream network attributes are computed. However limitations of the TauDEM desktop tools are (1) it supports only one type of raster (tiff format) data (2) requires installation of software for parallel processing, and (3) data have to be in projected coordinate system. This paper presents enhancements to TauDEM that have been developed to extend its generality and support web based watershed delineation services. The enhancements of TauDEM include (1) reading and writing raster data with the open-source geospatial data abstraction library (GDAL) not limited to the tiff data format and (2) support for both geographic and projected coordinates. To support web services for rapid watershed delineation a procedure has been developed for sub setting the domain based on sub-catchments, with preprocessed data prepared for each catchment stored. This allows the watershed delineation to function locally, while extending to the full extent of watersheds using preprocessed information. Additional capabilities of this program includes computation of average watershed properties and geomorphic and channel network variables such as drainage density, shape factor, relief ratio and stream ordering. The updated version of TauDEM increases the practical applicability of it in terms of raster data type, size and coordinate system. The watershed delineation web service functionality is useful for web based software as service deployments that alleviate the need for users to install and work with desktop GIS software.


Abstract H54A-08 presented at 2015 Fall Meeting, AGU

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