Dataset Open Access

Global River Obstruction Database v1.1

Yang, Xiao; Pavelsky, Tamlin M.; Ross, Matthew R. V.; Januchowski-Hartley, Stephanie R.; Dolan, Wayana; Altenau, Elizabeth H.; Belanger, Michael; Byron, Danesha; Durand, Michael; Van Dusen, Ian; Galit, Hailey; Jorissen, Michiel; Langhorst, Theodore; Lawton, Eric; Lynch, Riley; Mcquillan, Katie Ann; Pawar, Sayali; Whittemore, Aaron

GROD v1.1 (filename: GROD_v1.1.csv), or Global River Obstruction Database version 1.1, contains 30549 manually identified human-made structures that obstructing river longitudinal flow. Obstructions have been identified on Google Earth Engine satellite map for all rivers mapped in the Global River Widths from Landsat (GRWL) database. Each obstruction has assigned one of the six types—Dam, Lock, Low head dam, Channel dam, Partial dam 1, Partial dam 2. Details of the mapping process and data quality can be found in the following publication:

Yang, X., Pavelsky, T.M., Ross, M.R.V., Januchowski-Hartley, S.R., Dolan,W., Altenau, E.H., Belanger, M., Byron, D.K., Durand, M.T., Dusen, I.V., Galit, H., Jorissen, M., Langhorst, T., Lawton, E., Lynch, R., Mcquillan, K.A., Pawar, S., Whittemore, A., in revision. Mapping ow-obstructing structures on global rivers. Water Resources Research.

The single csv file contain the version 1 of GROD that accompanying the above-mentioned publication. It contains 7 columns:

grod_id: unique identifier (character)

type: obstruction type (character)

lon: longitude in decimal degrees (float)

lat: latitude in decimal degrees (float)

sword_reach_id1: nearest sword reach id (character)

distance_to_sword: distance to the nearest sword reach (float)



1. sword, or SWOT River Database (, is an improved version of GRWL with better topology. Majority of the GROD obstructions (N=30502) has been matched with the closest SWORD reach. The remaining 16 obstructions were further than 10km away from any SWORD reach and were not matched to SWORD. 

2. GROD, along with many other large scale river obstructions databases, will be hosted on Global Dam Watch website (

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