Tutorial: Burn Stream Network into DEM

1. Introduction

When we delineate a catchment, we need the stream network to identify the outlet. The automatically delineated channels, however, can deviate a lot from the channels we see on a map or satellite image.

When we have a river GIS layer available we can improve the catchment delineation by burning the stream network into the DEM.

After this tutorial you'll be able to:

  • Download a river from OpenStreetMap using the QuickOSM plugin
  • Preprocess a river vector before burning it into a DEM
  • Burn a river into a DEM
The data for this tutorial is a DEM of the Rur catchment area. It has been derived from the SRTM 1-Arc Second product, which has been mosaicked, reprojected and clipped.

animation burn