Quantifying the performance of automated GIS-based geomorphological approaches for riparian zone delineation using digital elevation models
Abstract. Riparian zone delineation is a central issue for managing rivers and adjacent areas; however, criteria used to delineate them are still under debate. The area inundated by a 50-yr flood has been indicated as an optimal hydrological descriptor for riparian areas. This detailed hydrological information is usually only available for populated areas at risk of flooding. In this work we created several floodplain surfaces by means of two different GIS-based geomorphological approaches using digital elevation models (DEMs), in an attempt to find hydrologically meaningful potential riparian zones for river networks at the river basin scale. Objective quantification of the performance of the two geomorphologic models is provided by analysing coinciding and exceeding areas with respect to the 50-yr flood surface in different river geomorphological types.