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I want to generate a canal going from point A to B with a given slope.

The canal should be on the underlying DEM.

Is there any way to do this with the tools in ArcGIS 10 or do I have to do it manually?

I also have Qgis, Globalmapper and BricsCAD (with GeoTools) available if that helps in any way.


It's about an irrigation canal. We start at a dam with a given elevation. Now we go along the hill with a constant slope of let's say 0.1% downhill up to my endpoint (or end area). So eventually the endpoint is defined by the slope too. However I could figure out where the end point is and just linearly interpolate in between the two points then. The canal should be on the surface of the DEM.

We're talking about a canal on a hillside / in a valley so there is plenty of natural slope. The canal goes along the hillside from the start to the end of the valley. Basically following the contour lines but slightly sloping downwards in order to have some flow.

closed as unclear what you're asking by PolyGeo Aug 27 '16 at 2:00

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  • I can think of a possibility using Spatial Analyst tools. Do you have SA? Also, is the canal a constant slope along the length? – phloem Oct 21 '14 at 21:02
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    For example, between point A and B, you want to add a canal of depth X? Wouldn't the canal be subject to the slope of the surrounding landscape, or how do you want to address that? – Aaron Oct 21 '14 at 21:05
  • Is the slope determined by the elevation difference between the two points (i.e. one is uphill and the other down), and the starting and ending elevations are tied to the ground surface at the points less some canal depth? If this is the case, is your canal possibly above ground level in places to maintain the slope? I wish I had a few more votes left today to upvote this question ;) – WhiteboxDev Oct 21 '14 at 21:07
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    @st3435 So is it that there is a constant slope or a minimum slope? As Aaron points out, most irrigation canals would have slopes that are constrained by the overlying landscape. – WhiteboxDev Oct 21 '14 at 21:24
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    I am still a bit confused. Are you looking to "burn" a canal of a certain depth into a DEM based on a polygon? – Aaron Oct 21 '14 at 23:11