Topography and Channel Morphology

Accurate representation of basin topography and channel bathymetry is often required to characterize the physical structure of river systems and quantify hydraulic and ecological responses to hydrologic alteration. These information may be obtained directly from digital elevation models (DEMs) or inferred from aerial imagery.

3D Elevation Program (3DEP)

3DEP is an ongoing program to collect and host LiDAR data across the United States. Depending on the geographic location, 1 meter-, 3 meter-, and 10 meter-resolution topography data are available.

Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center

EROS is a USGS center that hosts the world’s largest civilian collection of images of the Earth’s surface. Find satellite images and data, aerial photography, elevation and land cover datasets, and digitized maps.

National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP)

NAIP provides aerial imagery collected during the growing season in the continental United States.

USGS field measurements

The discharge, cross-sectional area, and wetted width are recorded for all individual discharge measurements at active USGS gages and are reported on NWIS. Channel cross-section measurements may also be available through State USGS Water Science Centers

The Colorado River running through the Grand Canyon. Photo USGS.
The Colorado River running through the Grand Canyon. Photo USGS.