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Publication Date
22 July 2022

Width‐Based Discharge Partitioning in Distributary Networks: How Right We Are



River deltas are home to large populations and can be composed of complex channel networks which convey flows of matter to the shoreline. Knowledge of flow within individual channels is needed to quantify the distribution of discharge across the delta, and thus its sustainability over time. Due to a lack of field measurements at the local channel scale, researchers leverage remote sensing data to estimate the partitioning of flow. We compare data from 15 river deltas to discharge partitioning estimates based on channel network graphs derived from remote sensing imagery. We quantify errors in the common width-based method and test alternative partitioning techniques to find that width-based discharge partitioning is universally applicable, suggesting that absent any site-specific information, discharge partitioning by average channel width is an appropriate approach. We also provide networks, streamflow measurements, and flux partitioning estimates for 28 delta networks as the Discharge In Distributary NeTworks (DIDNT) dataset. 

Hariharan, Jayaram, Anastasia Piliouras, Jon Schwenk, and Paola Passalacqua. 2022. “Width‐Based Discharge Partitioning In Distributary Networks: How Right We Are”. Geophysical Research Letters 49 (14). American Geophysical Union (AGU). doi:10.1029/2022gl097897.
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