Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Characterizing flood impact on Swiss floodplains using interannual time series of satellite imagery


Milani, Gillian; Kneubühler, Mathias; Tonolla, Diego; Doering, Michael; Schaepman, Michael E (2020). Characterizing flood impact on Swiss floodplains using interannual time series of satellite imagery. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 13:1479-1493.

Abstract

Pressure on the biodiversity of ecosystems along many rivers is growing continuously due to the increasing number of hydropower facilities regulating downstream flow and sediment regimes. Despite a thorough understanding of the shortterm processes and interactions at this hydro-biosphere interface, long-term analyses of the impacts on floodplain dynamics are lacking. We used inter-annual Landsat 4, 5, 7 and 8 time series to analyze the effects of hydrological events on floodplain vegetation in four mountainous floodplains in the Swiss Alps. Using a spectral mixture analysis approach, we demonstrate that the floodplain vegetation dynamics of mountainous rivers can be recovered at a spatial resolution of 30 meters. Our results suggest that interactions between floods and floodplain vegetation are complex and not exclusively related to flood magnitude. Of the four reaches analyzed, only data gathered along the submountainous reach with a quasi-natural flow regime show a clear link between remotely sensed vegetation indices and floods. In addition, our 29-year time series shows a continuous upward trend in vegetation indices along the floodplains, strongest in the reaches affected by hydropower facilities. The approach presented in this study can be easily replicated in other mountain ranges by providing available flow data to verify the impact of hydropower on floodplain vegetation dynamics.

Abstract

Pressure on the biodiversity of ecosystems along many rivers is growing continuously due to the increasing number of hydropower facilities regulating downstream flow and sediment regimes. Despite a thorough understanding of the shortterm processes and interactions at this hydro-biosphere interface, long-term analyses of the impacts on floodplain dynamics are lacking. We used inter-annual Landsat 4, 5, 7 and 8 time series to analyze the effects of hydrological events on floodplain vegetation in four mountainous floodplains in the Swiss Alps. Using a spectral mixture analysis approach, we demonstrate that the floodplain vegetation dynamics of mountainous rivers can be recovered at a spatial resolution of 30 meters. Our results suggest that interactions between floods and floodplain vegetation are complex and not exclusively related to flood magnitude. Of the four reaches analyzed, only data gathered along the submountainous reach with a quasi-natural flow regime show a clear link between remotely sensed vegetation indices and floods. In addition, our 29-year time series shows a continuous upward trend in vegetation indices along the floodplains, strongest in the reaches affected by hydropower facilities. The approach presented in this study can be easily replicated in other mountain ranges by providing available flow data to verify the impact of hydropower on floodplain vegetation dynamics.

Statistics

Citations

Altmetrics

Downloads

8 downloads since deposited on 30 Jul 2020
8 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Computers in Earth Sciences
Physical Sciences > Atmospheric Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:Computers in Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science
Language:English
Date:1 January 2020
Deposited On:30 Jul 2020 10:00
Last Modified:31 Jul 2020 04:08
Publisher:Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
ISSN:1939-1404
Additional Information:© 2020 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1109/jstars.2020.2980381

Download

Hybrid Open Access

Download PDF  'Characterizing flood impact on Swiss floodplains using interannual time series of satellite imagery'.
Preview
Content: Published Version
Language: English
Filetype: PDF
Size: 22MB
View at publisher
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)