Water Stewardship Information Sources

Citation Cheong, AL. 1998. Quantifying basin comparisons in the Queen Charlotte Islands. In: Hogan, D.L., P.J. Tschaplinski, and S. Chatwin (Editors). B.C. Min. For., Res. Br., Victoria, B.C. Land Manage. Handb. No. 41.
Organization FLNRO
URL https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfd/pubs/docs/Lmh/Lmh41.htm
Abstract/Description or Keywords Because of the subjectivity in previous methods of
comparing drainage basins, there is a need to quantify
such procedures. This study (Cheong 1992)
attempted to formalize the analysis of similarity in
an objective manner within the framework of a
knowledge-based system. The 31 basin characteristics
that were assessed can be categorized into four
groups: landscape (e.g., geology); geometry
(e.g., relief); topology (e.g., order); and history (e.g.,
mass wasting).
A comprehensive similarity comparison
procedure was developed to incorporate different
levels of information (ordinal, interval and ratio)
and standardization of mensuration. The three
stages of the procedure are:
1. for ordinal information – binary test
2. for interval information – dijk =
3. for ratio information – dijk =
where dijk is the dissimilarity of variable i between
basins j and k, wi is the weighting, x is the
characteristics, and R and s are the range and the
standard deviation of i, respectively. These
similarity testing procedures were combined and
developed into a knowledge-based system
(Cheong 1992).
The analysis was performed on 28 characteristics
of 65 drainage basins from Rennell Sound and
South Moresby Island. If only geometric and topologic
parameters are used (interval and ratio data),
basin similarity is not limited by proximity, and the
most similar basin to a watershed in Rennell Sound
may be on South Moresby. However, if certain
landscape parameters are included in the analysis
(such as geology or vegetation), this typically limits
the scope of the analysis to a region in close
proximity to the basin in question. The weighting of
parameters in the analysis also affects the cluster
structure and grouping of similar watersheds.
The common assumption that the most similar
basins are the ones in closest proximity is not always
correct. Further work is required in determining the
level of similarity needed to obtain two characteristically
similar basins. While current research in
common basin morphometric groupings in British
Columbia suggests that the similarity test can be
limited to approximately six characteristics, research
on determining relevant characteristics at a smaller
scale for the Queen Charlotte Islands needs to be
Information Type abstract
Regional Watershed Coast Region
Sub-watershed if known
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Project status complete
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