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Understanding the behavioural characteristics of braided river channels using graph theory
My research falls under the Earth Surface Science Research Theme and I am working within the Centre for the Aquatic and Terrestrial Environment.
Braided rivers are highly complex, multi-thread morpho-dynamic river networks. Traditional planform-based, reach scale approaches to the study of braided rivers have struggled to both classify and explain morphological responses to changes in forcing variables. Fluvial systems have long been acknowledged as complex networks, however the reductionist trend in geomorphic research has largely neglected network dynamics in the study of geomorphic systems. This is in part due to a lack of tools suitable for systems study at the network scale. My research is seeking to combine laboratory-based physical modelling, multi-temporal satellite imagery, novel approaches to image classification and graph theory-based network analysis to understand how braided river networks evolve through time and space. This approach is intending to bridge the gap between the current engineering-based paradigm of fluvial geomorphology and rational analysis of network properties.
- Identify morphologically-relevant, graph theory-based parameters.
- Adapt cutting-edge image processing techniques for extraction of river networks.
- Explore the influence of physical controls on braided river network behaviour using graph theory.
- River Science Studentship, School of Geography, QMUL