Spatial analysis of stream runoff response in the tropical rivers region


North Australian Remote Sensing and GIS Conference, Darwin
D Moliere, G Boggs & J Lowry
Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist / Charles Darwin University, July 2005


As part of a large-scale project for the integrated data assessment and analysis of Australia's tropical rivers, an attempt has been made to estimate the hydrological characteristics of some of the river catchments throughout the tropical rivers region of the Northern Territory. Stream runoff response, in particular, has important implications for water quality monitoring within a catchment. General diurnal patterns at stations within the Daly and the East and South Alligator river catchments were derived using long-term rainfall and streamflow data collected at each station. The general runoff response of a stream was determined from the diurnal rainfall and runoff patterns. GIS analysis of digital elevation data covering these catchments was used to examine relationships between runoff response and the hydrological and geomorphological characteristics of the catchments. Given the availability of increasingly high resolution digital elevation data across the tropical rivers region, these relationships could be used to predict stream runoff response for ungauged catchment areas and hence would aid in the design of effective monitoring regimes and assist in the impact assessment process.