The beauty of rivers and their floodplains

Meandering rivers paint stunning pathways across the landscape. Using lidar (light detection and ranging), we can see the history and beauty of a river’s movements across their floodplain. In Relative Elevation Models (REMs), the elevation is normalized to the surface of the water so that all the features of the floodplain are highlighted. The resulting REM images are stunning works of art!

I created these REM images following this tutorial by Daniel Coe on how to create REM images in QGIS. All lidar data was accessed from OpenTopography.

REM of Taieri River in Otago, New Zealand with hillshade in background.
REM of the White River in Indiana.
REM of the Powder River in Montana.
REM of the Wairau River in Marlborough, New Zealand with hillshade background. (These are a bit difficult to do with braided rivers, so still testing out techniques!)

REM of the Iowa River in Iowa.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s