Is there any extension to get all upstream sections of a polyline shapefile which represent an hydrographic network in QGIS?

It could work like this:

  • you choose a specific branch and a direction
  • then the algorithm will select all the sections recursively until you have all the branches.

2 Answers 2


You can use "Flow trace" plugin in QGIS. Take any river network, select a segment of river and press flow trace icon to get all upstream rivers selected.


I did this in QGiS using the GRASS tools.

  1. It is merely convert line to point > upstream area (r.water.outlet) - > Convert to Polygon > Selection.
  2. Use the netowrk vector tools to get upstream lines. The Grass implementation is (https://grasswiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Vector_extract_upstream_network)
  3. USe the Stream Reach tool in QGIS.

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