Field mapping and digital elevation modelling of submerged and unsubmerged hydraulic jump regions in a bedrock step-pool channel

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Abstract

High-resolution tacheometric field surveying was integrated with computer-assisted drafting to visualize and contrast three-dimensional bed and water surface digital elevation models (DEMs) for submerged and unsubmerged hydraulic jump regions in a bedrock step-pool channel. Measurements were conducted for two discharge conditions. Since previous applications of three-dimensional field mapping and digital elevation modelling of stream channels have been limited to smoothly contiguous gravel-bedded systems, surveying was optimized by topographic setting and scaled to localized bed and water surface discontinuities. Traces and visualizations of the jump regions indicated that dichotomous decimetre shifts in water surface topography occurred for both jump regions from lower to higher discharges. Systematic removal of the survey points and DEM differencing indicated that point densities of ten points per square metre, in conjunction with a survey structure targeting grade breaks of 0·3-0·5 m, were required to capture decimetre form variations of the natural jump regions. The DEMs highlight the importance of recognizing the relationship between transcritical flow structures and localized topographic heterogeneities in bedrock channels.

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