Earth Sciences

A new study of river channel belts has resulted in a useful online map.

The world’s first comprehensive classification of river channel belts at a 30-meter resolution is provided by a new study by Björn Nyberg and colleagues.

The movement of a river creates wide corridors known as river channel belts. The intuitive guide created by Nyberg and associates shows the worldwide conveyance of waterway channel belt degrees. In addition to the active river channels, the overbank deposits left behind by rivers’ gradual movement over time are also included in the channel belt extents.

According to Björn Nyberg, “The new global map developed in this study offers an unprecedented level of detail that can greatly enhance our understanding of the river channel belt and its ecological significance.”

“The new global map created for this study provides an unprecedented degree of detail that can significantly increase our comprehension of the river channel belt and its ecological relevance.”

A new study authored by Björn Nyberg

Nature Communications is where the study appears.

A map that is both interactive and extremely detailed.

According to Nyberg, the map “can help us understand river channel belts better, predict how they will change, and enable us to assess the potential impact of flooding in the future.” He asserts that the map could also be a very useful tool for attempting to predict climate change. Waterway channel belts are exceptional and indispensable biological systems. They store and deliver carbon. We can make more accurate climate change predictions if we have a better understanding of these ecosystems.”

This video developed by Nyberg and colleagues allows viewers to explore the intricacies of the global channel belt.
Credit: Björn Nyberg et al

The map was created using novel techniques by Nyberg and the other members of the research team.

“To identify the intricate patterns of river systems, we utilized a cutting-edge machine learning algorithm. It would have been difficult to make a point-by-point map like this utilizing customary remote detection strategies.”

A useful tool, according to Nyberg, the study may have broad implications.

“This research’s comprehensive classification of river channel belts can be a useful tool for sustainable river system development and management.”

He anticipates that the methods developed in the study will serve as a model for the creation of additional high-resolution global landform maps and that the maps and datasets produced in the study will serve as inspiration for additional research aimed at improving flood risk management, ecosystem conservation, and water resource management.

“More high-resolution landform maps could open up new opportunities for numerous academic, government, business, and nonprofit sectors.”

According to Nyberg, “The study is the result of a collaborative effort that consists of Prof. Rob Gawthorpe at the University of Bergen, along with Gijs Henstra, Rodmar Ravns, and Juha Ahokas from AkerBP ASA, who brought extensive expertise in sedimentology and geomorphology.”

“Their skill was fundamental to the improvement of an AI calculation fit for portraying every one of the components that characterize stream frameworks.”

He trusts their review will reach specialists from various disciplines.

“Given the wide range of implications of the study, this journal is an ideal place to publish due to the audience of Nature Communications, which includes hydrologists, biologists, geologists, ecologists, and computer scientists.”

More information: Björn Nyberg et al, Global scale analysis on the extent of river channel belts, Nature Communications (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-37852-8

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