Assessment of channel shifting of Karnali Megafan in Nepal using remote sensing and GIS

Biplob Rakhal, Tirtha Raj Adhikari, Sanjib Sharma, Ganesh R. Ghimire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


River flow exhibits morphological changes over time. The shifting of river channels is a common natural phenomenon which often poses risk to life and property. Channel shifting is mostly associated with weak geology, extreme floods, and land cover alterations. Here we assess the changing morphology of the largest depositional landform in Nepal, called the Karnali Megafan, over the period of 1977–2013. We applied geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing techniques to analyse the spatiotemporal changes in the Karnali Megafan. We obtained historical channel information from Landsat Operational Land Imager (OLI) and the Thermal InfraRed Sensor (TRIS) satellite image, Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+), Thematic Mapper (TM) and Multispectral Scanner (MSS) for years 1977, 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2013. The channel shifting depicts a generally increasing trend in the right branch while the trend is less prominent in the left branch. We find that the extreme rainfall and flooding contribute to channel shifting in the Karnali Megafan. This study identifies the channel shifting spatiotemporal trends along the Karnali Megafan and are of practical use in developing and implementing appropriate river management strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-188
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of GIS
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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