River reconstruction using a conformal mapping method

J. E. Hilton, S. Grimaldi, R. C.Z. Cohen, N. Garg, Y. Li, S. Marvanek, V. R.N. Pauwels, J. P. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Accurate river bathymetry is required for applications including hydrodynamic flow modelling and understanding morphological processes. Bathymetric measurements are typically a set of depths at discrete points that must be reconstructed into a continuous surface. A number of algorithms exist for this reconstruction, including spline-based techniques and kriging methods. A novel and efficient method is introduced to produce a co-ordinate system fitted to the river path suitable for bathymetric reconstructions. The method is based on numerical conformal mapping and can handle topological features such as islands and branches in the river. Bathymetric surfaces generated using interpolation over a conformal map are compared to spline-based and kriging methods on a section of the Balonne River, Australia. The results show that the conformal mapping algorithm produces reconstructions comparable in quality to existing methods, preserves flow-wise features and is relatively insensitive to the number of sample points, enabling faster data collection in the field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-213
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironmental Modelling and Software
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019


  • Conformal mapping
  • Depth reconstruction
  • River bathymetry
  • Spatial interpolation

Cite this