Hydromorphological attributes for all Australian river reaches derived from Landsat dynamic inundation remote sensing
Hydromorphological attributes such as flow width, water extent, and gradient play an important role in river hydrological, biogeochemical, and ecological processes and can help to predict river conveyance capacity, discharge, and flow routing. While there are some river width datasets at global or regional scales, they do not consider temporal variation in river width and do not cover all Australian rivers. We combined detailed mapping of 1.4 million river reaches across the Australian continent with inundation frequency mapping from 27 years of Landsat observations. From these, the average flow width at different recurrence frequencies was calculated for all reaches, having a combined length of 3.3 million km. A parameter γ was proposed to describe the shape of the frequency–width relationship and can be used to classify reaches by the degree to which flow regime tends towards permanent, frequent, intermittent, or ephemeral. Conventional scaling rules relating river width to gradient and contributing catchment area and discharge were investigated, demonstrating that such rules capture relatively little of the real-world variability. Uncertainties mainly occur in multi-channel reaches and reaches with unconnected water bodies. The calculated reach attributes are easily combined with the river vector data in a GIS, which should be useful for research and practical applications such as water resource management, aquatic habitat enhancement, and river engineering and management. The dataset is available at https://doi.org/10.25914/5c637a7449353 (Hou et al., 2019).