Stream Order (Strahler) and Flow Direction

Discussion created by Playa on Jan 6, 2011
Latest reply on Nov 2, 2016 by PonderosaAdvisors
I have generated a terrain dataset for South Africa from 20m contours and SPOT shots. In order to eliminate errors in the terrain where there isn't enough data especially low lying areas. I would like to make use of river centerlines to enforce the drainage within the terrain dataset. My proposed methodology is to intersect the river centerlines with the contours and extract the Z values of the contours into the river centerlines. I would then use the polyline Z river centerlines as hard break lines within the terrain dataset.

The problem that I have is that I need to ensure that the flow direction of the existing river centerlines that I wish to use is correct and secondly need to assign a stream order (Strahler) to the river centerline segments.

I've attached a screen shot of the river centerlines to help explain the problem that I have with the currently available river centerline dataset. There are numerous segments that should be tributaries but do not extended enough to link up with the main river. I'm looking for advice in how I can make use of the available river centerlines to embed into my terrain. Do I eliminate the segments that are not connected to the main river centerlines.

What is the most efficient methodology to rectify the river centerlines to a point that they won't add additional error to my terrain dataset, which I then would like to use to generate a river centerline network to build up an hydro data model. Any assistance will be appreciated.