Hybrid kriging methods for interpolating sparse river bathymetry point data

Métodos híbridos de krigagem para interpolação de levantamentos batimétricos fluviais

Pedro Velloso Gomes Batista Marx Leandro Naves Silva Fabio Arnaldo Pomar Avalos Marcelo Silva de Oliveira Michele Duarte de Menezes Nilton Curi About the authors


Terrain models that represent riverbed topography are used for analyzing geomorphologic changes, calculating water storage capacity, and making hydrologic simulations. These models are generated by interpolating bathymetry points. River bathymetry is usually surveyed through cross-sections, which may lead to a sparse sampling pattern. Hybrid kriging methods, such as regression kriging (RK) and co-kriging (CK) employ the correlation with auxiliary predictors, as well as inter-variable correlation, to improve the predictions of the target variable. In this study, we use the orthogonal distance of a (x, y) point to the river centerline as a covariate for RK and CK. Given that riverbed elevation variability is abrupt transversely to the flow direction, it is expected that the greater the Euclidean distance of a point to the thalweg, the greater the bed elevation will be. The aim of this study was to evaluate if the use of the proposed covariate improves the spatial prediction of riverbed topography. In order to asses such premise, we perform an external validation. Transversal cross-sections are used to make the spatial predictions, and the point data surveyed between sections are used for testing. We compare the results from CK and RK to the ones obtained from ordinary kriging (OK). The validation indicates that RK yields the lowest RMSE among the interpolators. RK predictions represent the thalweg between cross-sections, whereas the other methods under-predict the river thalweg depth. Therefore, we conclude that RK provides a simple approach for enhancing the quality of the spatial prediction from sparse bathymetry data.

Index terms:
Geostatistics; spatial prediction; regression kriging; riverbed morphology

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