National-scale geodatabase of catchment characteristics in the Philippines for river management applications

Boothroyd, R. J. et al. (2023) National-scale geodatabase of catchment characteristics in the Philippines for river management applications. PLoS ONE, 18(3), e0281933. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0281933) (PMID:36888610) (PMCID:PMC9994713)

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Quantitative descriptions of stream network and river catchment characteristics provide valuable context for enabling geomorphologically-informed sustainable river management. For countries where high-quality topographic data are available, there are opportunities to enable open access availability of baseline products from systematic assessment of morphometric and topographic characteristics. In this study, we present a national-scale assessment of fundamental topographic characteristics of Philippine river systems. We applied a consistent workflow using TopoToolbox V2 to delineate stream networks and river catchments using a nationwide digital elevation model (DEM) acquired in 2013 and generated through airborne Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IfSAR). We assessed morphometric and topographic characteristics for 128 medium- to large-sized catchments (catchment area > 250 km2) and organised the results in a national-scale geodatabase. The dataset realises the potential of topographic data as part of river management applications, by enabling variations in hydromorphology to be characterised and contextualised. The dataset is used to reveal the diversity of stream networks and river catchments in the Philippines. Catchments have a continuum of shapes (Gravelius compactness coefficient ranges from 1.05 to 3.29) with drainage densities that range from 0.65 to 1.23 km/km2. Average catchment slope ranges from 3.1 to 28.1° and average stream slope varies by more than an order of magnitude from 0.004 to 0.107 m/m. Inter-catchment analyses show the distinctive topographic signatures of adjacent river catchments; examples from NW Luzon highlight topographic similarity between catchments whereas examples from Panay Island shown marked topographic differences. These contrasts underline the importance of using place-based analyses for sustainable river management applications. By designing an interactive ArcGIS web-application to display the national-scale geodatabase, we improve data accessibility and enable users to freely access, explore and download the data ( The national-scale geodatabase provides a baseline understanding of fundamental topographic characteristics in support of varied geomorphological, hydrological and geohazard susceptibility applications.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Quick, Ms Laura and MacDonell, Mr Craig and Williams, Professor Richard and Boothroyd, Dr Richard and Tolentino, Miss Pamela Louise and Hoey, Professor Trevor
Creator Roles:
Boothroyd, R. J.Conceptualization, Investigation, Methodology, Visualization, Writing – original draft, Writing – review and editing
Williams, R. D.Conceptualization, Funding acquisition, Project administration, Writing – review and editing
Hoey, T. B.Conceptualization, Funding acquisition
MacDonell, C.Methodology, Writing – review and editing
Tolentino, P. L.M.Project administration, Resources, Writing – review and editing
Quick, L.Resources
Authors: Boothroyd, R. J., Williams, R. D., Hoey, T. B., MacDonell, C., Tolentino, P. L.M., Quick, L., Guardian, E. L., Reyes, J. C.M.O., Sabillo, C. J., Perez, J. E.G., and David, C. P.C.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:PLoS ONE
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1932-6203
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 Boothroyd et al.
First Published:First published in PLoS ONE 18(3): e0281933
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
Data DOI:10.5525/gla.researchdata.1396

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
303063Catchment susceptibility to hydrometeorological events: sediment flux and geomorphic change as drivers of flood risk in the PhilippinesRichard WilliamsNatural Environment Research Council (NERC)NE/S003312/1GES - Geography