Hierarchical anomalies in drainage network: a case study from Western Ghats, South India

  • A. U. AnishEmail author
  • K. R. Baiju
  • Sreenath Sekhar


The Chalakudy river, a seventh order tropical drainage system emerging from the Western Ghats is flowing through the Southern Granulite Terrain of Peninsular India. Anomalies in the hierarchical organization of drainage networks reflect the effects of anthropogenic interferences and structural controls in the development of a drainage basin. The anomalies in the drainage composition are determined from bifurcation index, hierarchical parameters and stream gradient index. Computation of drainage indices is carried out with the aid of vectorized data derived from Survey of India (SOI) open series topo maps and Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission (SRTM) data (3Arc resolution) using ArcGIS 10.4 software. Here we discuss the quantitative methodology to determine the hierarchical anomaly index, hierarchical anomaly density and hierarchical anomaly number of drainage basin from geospatial data with an attempt to infer the degree of geomorphic evolution of the sub-basins from the analysis. The sub-basins are in their mature to the late mature stages of geomorphic evolution. It is observed that the tectonically induced diffusive process and anthropogenic interferences in the drainage basin altered the hierarchical organization of drainage network of Chalakudy river basin.


Hierarchical anomaly Stream gradient index Bifurcation index Geomorphic evolution 



The first author acknowledges sanctions from the University Grants Commission (UGC) NewDelhi for conducting this research under Faculty Development Programme (XII plan). The author also expresses deep gratitude to the Principal, Government College Kottayam for providing necessary facilities for doing this research. The authors are grateful to anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions for improving the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

41324_2018_232_MOESM1_ESM.tif (22.3 mb)
Supplementary Figure 1 a–h Field photographs showing a general view of the study area at Athirapilly waterfalls (sub-basin 4) b stream bed of the Karapara river (sub-basin 3) c straight stream channel of Kannankuzhy river (sub-basin 5) d stream channel of Anakayam Ar (sub-basin 6) e rock exposure of quartzo-feldspathic biotite gneiss at Parambikolam reserve forest (sub-basin 2) f outcrop of charnockite (major rock type of SGT) near Parambikolam dam (sub-basin 2) g view of Parambikolam reservoir (sub-basin 2) h slope failure/diffusive process along joint plane (sub-basin 1) (TIFF 22815 kb)
41324_2018_232_MOESM2_ESM.tif (78.2 mb)
Supplementary Figure 1 a–g Depiction of drainage network and stream orders of sub-basins of CRB - a sub-basin 1, b sub-basin 2, c sub-basin 3, d sub-basin 4 e sub-basin 5, f sub-basin 6, and g sub-basin 7 (TIFF 80105 kb)


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Copyright information

© Korean Spatial Information Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Marine Geology and GeophysicsCochin University of Science and TechnologyKochiIndia
  2. 2.Department of GeologyGovernment College KottayamKottayamIndia
  3. 3.School of Environmental SciencesMahatma Gandhi UniversityKottayamIndia

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