Jon Schwenk

and 5 more

The tandem rise in satellite-based observations and computing power has changed the way we (can) see rivers across the Earth’s surface. Global datasets of river and river network characteristics at unprecedented resolutions are becoming common enough that the sheer amount of available information presents problems itself. Fully exploiting this new knowledge requires linking these geospatial datasets to each other within the context of a river network. In order to cope with this wealth of information, we are developing Veins of the Earth (VotE), a flexible system designed to synthesize knowledge about rivers and their networks into an adaptable and readily-usable form. VotE is not itself a dataset, but rather a database of relationships linking existing datasets that allows for rapid comparison and exports of river networks at arbitrary resolutions. VotE’s underlying river network (and drainage basins) is extracted from MERIT-Hydro. We link within VotE a newly-compiled dam dataset, streamflow gages from the GRDC, and published global river network datasets characterizing river widths, slopes, and intermittency. We highlight VotE’s utility with a demonstration of how vector-based river networks can be exported at any requested resolution, a global comparison of river widths from three independent datasets, and an example of computing watershed characteristics by coupling VotE to Google Earth Engine. Future efforts will focus on including real-time datasets such as SWOT river discharges and ReaLSAT reservoir areas.

Jemma Stachelek

and 2 more