Catchment characterisation

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Catchment characterisation


Characterisation of the size, morphology, geological/soil and land cover controls on water (including groundwater) and sediment delivery to the drainage network.

Data layers and hydromorphologically relevant parameters

Essential GIS layers: DEM, geology (solid), land cover

Optional GIS layers: soil permeability; geology (superficial).

From these derive the catchment area, relief, extent of broad land cover types and extent of broad rock types. The latter can be subdivided according to their water holding properties (aquifers, aquicludes, aquifuges) and susceptibility to weathering / erosion.

Potential data sources


Size, morphology and hydrological balance

  • Catchment area
  • WFD size category
  • Maximum, average and minimum elevation
  • Relative relief
  • WFD elevation zones
  • Average rainfall and runoff

Geology and soils

Proportion of catchment with:

  • Exposed aquifers
  • Rock type classes
  • Soil permeability classes

Land cover

Proportion of catchment with:

  • Land cover classes (Corine – Level 1)

More details on the characterisation of catchments can be found in chapter 5 of Deliverable 2.1.