Tutorial: Burn stream network into DEM

Site: Open Courseware for GIS
Course: QGIS Advanced Tutorials
Book: Tutorial: Burn stream network into DEM
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Monday, 19 April 2021, 1:11 PM

1. Introduction

When we delineate a catchment, we need the stream network to identify the outlet. The automatically delineated channels, however, can deviate a lot from the channels we see on a map or satellite image.

When we have a river GIS layer available we can improve the catchment delineation by burning the stream network into the DEM.

After this tutorial you'll be able to:

  • Download a river from OpenStreetMap using the QuickOSM plugin
  • Preprocess a river vector before burning it into a DEM
  • Burn a river into a DEM
The data for this tutorial is a DEM of the Rur catchment area. It has been derived from the SRTM 1-Arc Second product, which has been mosaicked, reprojected and clipped.

animation burn

2. Download river line vectors from OpenStreetMap

In this section we're going to download all river line vectors in the study area from OpenStreetMap.

1. Start QGIS Desktop with GRASS.

2. Add the provided dem.tif layer to the Layers panel.

3. Style the DEM layer, using a colour ramp and blending with hillshade.