Predicted channel types - Potential for Habitat Improvement in the Columbia River Basin

Metadata Updated: February 8, 2018

Basin-wide analysis of potential to improve tributary habitats in the Columbia River basin through restoration of habitat-forming processes.

Identification of geomorphological target conditions for river restoration is typically based on locally measured reference conditions, yet few reference sites remain in much of the 630,000 km2 Columbia River Basin, USA. Therefore, we predict reference conditions throughout the basin based on key reach-scale variables, which we empirically derived from a limited number of reference sites. Our typology predicts channel type based primarily on channel slope in confined reaches (floodplain width less than 4 times the bankful channel width) and on slope, drainage area, precipitation, and relative transport capacity in unconfined reaches (floodplain width greater than 4 times channel width). Channel types are cascade, step-pool, plane-bed, and pool-riffle in confined reaches, and braided, island-braided, meandering, and straight in unconfined reaches. Accuracy of channel type prediction in confined reaches is generally high compared to prediction accuracy in unconfined reaches. Lower accuracy in the unconfined reaches is largely due to vertical accuracy of the 10- m digital elevation model (DEM), which is insufficient to accurately estimate channel slope in low relief areas. However, lack of sediment supply information also limits our ability to predict floodplain channel type accurately. Therefore, we evaluate the effect of incorporating an estimate of relative transport capacity to help separate single thread channels (straight and meandering) from multi-thread channels (braided and island-braided) and increase prediction accuracy. Finally, we use existing ecoregion maps to show how channel type distributions vary among geologic regions, and suggest analysis options for mapping reference condition across large river basins.

We also attempted to develop a GIS data set that depicts pre-settlement riparian vegetation in the Columbia River Basin to guide stream restoration for endangered salmon. To do this, we first created a data layer of historic riparian vegetation information from survey notes that were taken mid 19th to early 20th century during the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) conducted by General Land Office (GLO). Our reconstructed riparian vegetation data included randomly sampled basin-wide data (drainage area 200,000 km2), as well as intensively reconstructed watershed-level data (3,000 km2). Our modeled output was too inaccurate to be useful. GIS hydrography layer with multiple stream attributes.

Access & Use Information

Downloads & Resources


Metadata Date April 5, 2017
Metadata Created Date September 26, 2015
Metadata Updated Date February 8, 2018
Reference Date(s) (publication)
Frequency Of Update

Metadata Source

Harvested from NOAA CSW Harvest Source

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Date April 5, 2017
Metadata Created Date September 26, 2015
Metadata Updated Date February 8, 2018
Reference Date(s) (publication)
Responsible Party (); Northwest Fisheries Science Center (Point of Contact, Custodian)
Contact Email
Access Constraints Access Constraints: NA | Use Constraints: Disclaimer - While every effort has been made to ensure that these data are accurate and reliable within the limits of the current state of the art, NOAA cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in the data, nor as a result of the failure of the data to function on a particular system. NOAA makes no warranty, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty.
Bbox East Long -122.2962
Bbox North Lat 47.6549
Bbox South Lat 47.6449
Bbox West Long -122.3062
Coupled Resource
Frequency Of Update
Guid gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:20560
Harvest Object Id 00b4ff04-86c1-4a56-9191-037665d32428
Harvest Source Id 2aed8e29-fc5b-4cde-aa66-fb1118fd705e
Harvest Source Title NOAA CSW Harvest Source
Metadata Language eng
Metadata Type geospatial
Progress completed
Spatial Data Service Type
Spatial Reference System
Spatial Harvester True
Temporal Extent Begin 2010-01-01
Temporal Extent End 2014-01-07

Didn't find what you're looking for? Suggest a dataset here.