Abstract

The August 2008 avulsion of the Kosi River, northern India, resulted in a maximum eastward shift of >100 km and created an avulsion belt of 2722 km2. Based on A.D. 2000 Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data and on 2005 Landsat Thematic Mapper satellite image–derived channel network (pre-avulsion), we use a topography-driven connectivity model to simulate the avulsion pathway, which corresponds, to a large extent, to that observed in the post-avulsion period. We then use this model to postulate the avulsive course of the river from another upstream point based on avulsion threshold analysis. Our results demonstrate that this model has the potential for postulating the path of an avulsive channel, and can provide a priori information on the areas likely to be flooded following an embankment breach.

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