Southeastern Section - 62nd Annual Meeting (20-21 March 2013)

Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-5:30 PM


CAMPBELL, Stephen, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Furman University, 3300 Poinsett Hwy, Greenville, SC 29613 and MUTHUKRISHNAN, Suresh, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Furman University, 3300 Poinsett Highway, Greenville, SC 29613,

Rivers and streams play a significant role in shaping Earth’s landforms. River patterns and the arrangement of channels in the landscape are determined by slope, lithology, and structural lineaments. Lineaments are often surface expressions of faults, joints, fractures, and lithological contacts that are characterized by the presence of drainage systems, changes in topography, or differences in vegetation. Remotely sensed and GIS based data provide useful and efficient methods for mapping and analyzing lineaments, which help us further understand the geologic history and landscape evolution of an area. The main purpose of this study is to automatically delineate lineaments from digital elevation data and relate those lineaments to the patterns of drainage systems. Our study area for this purpose is the Cleveland Quadrangle, located in northern Greenville County, SC. Our hypothesis is that insipient channel development and drainage pattern evolution should be closely controlled by the presence of lineaments. Lineaments within the Cleveland Quadrangle area were extracted from DEM derived shaded relief images with a canny edge detection algorithm, which recognizes features characterized by stark differences in elevation, and were then compared to existing fault maps to ensure accuracy of the extracted lineaments. The lineaments were then overlain on a map of the drainage system to see how well the two spatially co-relate. An analysis of the orientation of the lineaments, both digitally extracted and field mapped, and the drainage system using rose diagrams show that the automatically extracted lineaments generally agree with the orientation of lineaments observed in the field, and that the higher order streams more closely follow the lineament trend than lower order streams. These results do confirm our hypothesis that drainage patterns are, in fact, controlled by the presence of lineaments. Further field verification is needed to identify and distinguish the nature of automatically extracted lineaments to understand if they are lithological or structural in origin.