Abstract We use the two-dimensional (2D) electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) method to detect the contact between sediment and bedrock in a modern fluvial system. We performed eight 2D electrical resistivity surveys along the Peikang River in Kuohsing area, central Taiwan, with a pole–pole array of 1-m electrode spacing to produce a spatial resolution of about 1 m. The resistivity data were inverted into subsurface electrical structures using the least-squares inversion techniques. Then, the contact between the bedrock and sediment was found by using an image processing technique called Laplacian edge detection (LED), which represents an objective approach in interpreting various geophysical images. Numerical modeling demonstrates that isoresistivity lines are not in good agreement with the hypothetical interfaces between the bedrock and sediment, but the zero-lines of the Laplacian operation are strikingly accurate. Our results indicate a well-defined boundary in the resistivity structure that can be used to estimate the quantity of sediments covering bedrock, thus highlighting the utility of this technique in studies of landscape evolution, sediment transport, and sediment budgets.