Watercourse, Wetland & Flood Mapping

Riparian Engineering has developed a watercourse, and flood risk modelling tool that can be used to map the location and area  of a watercourse and flood prone area to +/- 5m accuracy.    The model is distinct from other flood modelling tools in that its is based on the interpretation of floodplain morphology rather than a specified statistical rainfall  and flow regime. The tool can also be used to identify  fluvial geomorphic units  on the floodplain including; multiple channels, anabranches, oxbows, intertidal areas, floodplain wetlands, chute channels, etc

The watercourse modelling  tool was used to model the location of watercourses and other fluvial geomorphic units, estuary channels, wetlands, and intertidal areas for the City of Gold Coast, covering an area of approximately 1200 km2.  The watercourse modelling tool can also be used to determine flood prone areas, and high velocity areas. We are currently developing applications for the data with Council, including using it to determine minimum setbacks for development, identifying potential flood prone and high velocity areas, areas of geomorphic instability, and riparian landscape conservation and management.

Watercourse, Wetland & Flood Mapping Services:

  • Map the psychical / geomorphic boundaries of watercourses, wetlands, and floodplains
  • Map top of bank
  • Artificial modifications of watercourse and  floodplains
  • Map flood prone areas
  • Map the Fluvial and coastal  geomorphic units anabranches, oxbows, multiple channels, braided channels, chute channels, intertidal wetlands, beaches,  etc.
  • Overland flood flow paths
  • Artificial modifications of watercourse and  floodplains
  • Determine historical channel changes
  • Floodplain sediment transport
  • Determine riparian buffer widths for biodiversity
  • Determine minimum setbacks for development from watercourse and floodzones


Modelled watercourses and floodplains in the Upper Tallebudgera Creek Catchment. The gray image shows the topographic relief (hillshade) of the Catchment. The blue areas show the extent of the watercourse,  the light blue areas show the flood prone area and extent of the floodplain.


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Modelled watercourses showing the extent of the watercourse, floodplain and floodprone areas at approximately 1:5000 scale.  The yellow areas show the colluvium areas of the valley floor. The purple areas show the extent of the floodplain and flood prone areas, The dark blue areas show the location of the watercourse and anabranches, the light blue areas show  flood chutes and riverine wetland depressions.


Model output showing the extent of the watercourse  with the corresponding  definitions of a watercourse at approximately 1:1000 scale. This level of modelling was completed across 1200 km2 and had a spatial accuracy of +/- 5m.



An aerial 3D enhanced image of the upper  Tallebudgera Creek Catchment. The watercourse modelling model was used to map the location and extent of creeks in the Tallebudgera Creek Catchment. Traditional aerial photo interoperation