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Title: A landscape scale valley confinement algorithm: Delineating unconfined valley bottoms for geomorphic, aquatic, and riparian applications

Author: Nagel, David E.; Buffington, John M.; Parkes, Sharon L.; Wenger, Seth; Goode, Jaime R.;

Date: 2014

Source: Nagel, David E.; Buffington, John M.; Parkes, Sharon L.; Wenger, Seth; Goode, Jaime R. 2014. A landscape scale valley confinement algorithm: Delineating unconfined valley bottoms for geomorphic, aquatic, and riparian applications. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR- 321. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 42 p.

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

Description: Valley confinement is an important landscape characteristic linked to aquatic habitat, riparian diversity, and geomorphic processes. This report describes a GIS program called the Valley Confinement Algorithm (VCA), which identifies unconfined valleys in montane landscapes. The algorithm uses nationally available digital elevation models (DEMs) at 10-30 m resolution to generate results at subbasin scales (8 digit hydrologic unit). User-defined parameters allow results to be tailored to specific applications and landscapes. Field data were sampled to verify geomorphic characteristics of valley types identified by the program, and a detailed accuracy assessment was conducted to quantify the reliability of the algorithm output.

Keywords: valley confinement, valley bottom, stream channel morphology, fish habitat, riparian habitat

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Nagel, David E.; Buffington, John M.; Parkes, Sharon L.; Wenger, Seth; Goode, Jaime R. 2014. A landscape scale valley confinement algorithm: Delineating unconfined valley bottoms for geomorphic, aquatic, and riparian applications. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR- 321. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 42 p.

 


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