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The Belmont Hydrology and Fine Sediment Lab: Resources

Department of Watershed Sciences

Our lab has developed several tools for automated mapping of floodplain and terrace features:

TerEx Tool:

TerEx Screen Shot

TerEx Tool: for automated mapping of terrace and floodplain surfaces from lidar using local relief and a few other user-specified criteria. This tool can be run as an ArcGIS plugin or in a Python environment. For more information, see:

Stout, J. and Belmont. P. (2014) TerEx Toolbox for semi-automated selection of terrace and floodplain features from lidar. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 39(5), 569-580.
A huge thank you to Michael A. Rahnis (Franklin and Marshall College), who cleaned up the code and made TerEx compatible with ArcGIS 10.6!

Download TerEx Tool that is compatible with ArcGIS 10.6.
Or here for TerEx that is compatible with ArcGIS 10.4.
Or here for TerEx that is compatible with older versions of ArcGIS.

Barr-NCED Floodplain Mapper:

Flood Plains

Barr-NCED Floodplain Mapper: for automated mapping of floodplain inundation on lidar from user inputs of water surface elevation at multiple cross sections. This tool is a plugin for ArcGIS. For more information, see:

Belmont, P. (2011) Floodplain width adjustments in response to rapid base level fall and knickpoint migration. Geomorphology. 128 (1-2): 92-102.

Download Floodplain Mapper.

Our lab developed the HydroME toolbox, which contains several tools useful for calibrating watershed hydrologic models:

HydroME Toolbox:

TerEx Screen Shot

The HydroME Toolbox contains several tools to aid with the calibration of a hydrologic model in the time and frequency domains. HydroME generates box plots to illustrate the full distribution of common model performance metrics, such as NSE or R2, Euclidian distance and empirical Quantile-Quantile (Q-Q) plots, and flow duration curves, as well as magnitude squared Fourier coherence and wavelet coherence plots to localize frequency mismatches in time. The accompanying MS Excel files contain example data in the format needed for the toolbox to generate the plots. Update with your data to generate the plots.

Download HydroME Toolbox.

FDC Toolbox :

Flood Plains

The FDC toolbox is a subset of the HydroME Toolbox for generating Flow Duration Curve plots that can be used to compare measured and simulated flows. Use the accompanying MS Excel file as example data.

Download FDC Toolbox.

We have developed a Sediment Rating Curve analysis toolbox:

Sediment rating curve plots generated by our scripts.

Sediment rating curves (SRCs) quantify the empirical relationship between flow and suspended sediment concentration in a river. Our SRC toolbox takes flow and suspended sediment data as inputs and generate plots similar to those shown to the left. The scripts log transform the suspended sediment data, parse the dataset into rising versus falling limb, and normalize the sample flow values by the geometric mean of flows. The last step allows you to compare SRCs for rivers of different size and also eliminates the autocorrelation between the rating parameters (the coefficient and exponent of the power law relation). The scripts run regression analysis on the rising limb and falling limb samples independently, as well as all data combined. Vaughan et al., 2107 used these scripts to identify 3 distinct relationships between flow and suspended sediment (plots a-c) in rivers all throughout Minnesota and used statistical modeling to determine which factors controlled the shape, steepness and vertical offset of the SRCs. Lastly, the scripts quantify aggregate hysteresis as the integral of the area between the rising and falling limb regressions divided by the range of discharge over which the regressions are conducted (plot d).

Vaughan, A. A., Belmont, P., Hawkins, C. P., & Wilcock, P. (2017). Near‐Channel Versus Watershed Controls on Sediment Rating Curves. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 122(10), 1901-1923.

Download SRC analysis toolbox.

My lab is located in the Biology-Natural Resources building and is equipped to do the following:

The photo below shows our meeting and computing lab, adjacent to our wet lab.

two people sitting at desk looking at computer

The photo below shows our Acoustic Dopplar Current Profiler (ADCP) rigged to the front of a cataraft in the Yampa River. Attached to the ADCP is a Leica rtkGPS. With these two devices we can measure river discharge, the velocity profile with depth in a river, and map the bathymetry of a lake or river. Recently, we have mapped over 150 km of the mainstem Minnesota River.

two people in pontoon boat

Bathymetric maps developed in 2015 for select reaches of the Minnesota River:
bathymetry near Mankato MN              bathymetry near St. Peter MN         bathymetry near Skakopee MN    


Figures below show grain size distributions for three samples, the first collected from a floodplain, the second collected as suspended sediment in a river, and the third sample was sieved for very fine sand.

sediment volume concentration histogram sediment volume concentration histogram sediment volume concentration histogram