image of study area

This is the area of my research. I have calculated area using area and perimeter using ArcGIS 9.3 for doing morphometric analysis of the area.but I don't know how to calculate the length of the basin that is which start and end point I have to take to calculate using ArcGIS 9.3.

  • There are multiple ways for computing Basin Length, which method were you intending to use? Have a look at this link to Google Books. Which method you intend to use will dictate different approaches.
    – Hornbydd
    Sep 15, 2013 at 16:53

1 Answer 1


Okay I'm going to propose a solution based on the functionality of the open source GIS, Whitebox GAT (http://www.uoguelph.ca/~hydrogeo/Whitebox/) because it's easy to do in this software and it's what I use. I imagine, given the cost of ArcGIS, that there are equivalent methods in Arc however.

I assume based on your image that you have a hydrologically corrected (depressions removed DEM) already. If you do not, then I'd point you to Whitebox's Fill Depressions and Breach Depressions tools.

  1. Import your DEM into Whitebox using the 'Import ArcGIS binary grid (.flt)' tool. This will convert an Arc floating point grid into the native Whitebox file. If you have a raster basin file already, then import this file too. If you only have the basin vector file (as displayed above) then Whitebox's native vector format is a shapefile, so you probably don't need to import it. However, it will need to be converted to a raster of the same dimensions and grid resolution as the DEM so use Vector Polygon to Raster tool, specifying the DEM as the base grid.

  2. Run the 'Downslope Flowpath Length' tool. It'll require a D8 flow pointer grid, which you can easily extract from your DEM (D8 flow pointer tool), as well as your rasterized basin (watershed) raster.

  3. Use the 'Extract Statistics' tool specifying the flowpath length raster as the data raster and the basin file as the feature definition raster. Extract the 'maximum' statistic. This will spit out a text file that will contain the maximum flowpath length in your basin. The nice thing about this approach, is that it'll calculate this for any number of basins simultaneously.

Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.

enter image description here

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