The effects of digital elevation model resolution on the calculation and predictions of topographic wetness indices.

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One of the largest exports in the Southeast U.S. is forest products. Interest in biofuels using forest biomass has increased recently, leading to more research into better forest management BMPs. The USDA Forest Service, along with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, University of Georgia and Oregon State University are researching the impacts of intensive forest management for biofuels on water quality and quantity at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. Surface runoff of saturated areas, transporting excess nutrients and contaminants, is a potential water quality issue under investigation. Detailed maps of variable source areas and soil characteristics would therefore ... continued below

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145 pp.

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Drover, Damion, Ryan December 1, 2011.

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This text is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 36 times . More information about this text can be viewed below.

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  • Savannah River Forest Station
    Publisher Info: USDA Forest Service, Savannah River, New Ellenton, SC
    Place of Publication: New Ellenton, South Carolina

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One of the largest exports in the Southeast U.S. is forest products. Interest in biofuels using forest biomass has increased recently, leading to more research into better forest management BMPs. The USDA Forest Service, along with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, University of Georgia and Oregon State University are researching the impacts of intensive forest management for biofuels on water quality and quantity at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. Surface runoff of saturated areas, transporting excess nutrients and contaminants, is a potential water quality issue under investigation. Detailed maps of variable source areas and soil characteristics would therefore be helpful prior to treatment. The availability of remotely sensed and computed digital elevation models (DEMs) and spatial analysis tools make it easy to calculate terrain attributes. These terrain attributes can be used in models to predict saturated areas or other attributes in the landscape. With laser altimetry, an area can be flown to produce very high resolution data, and the resulting data can be resampled into any resolution of DEM desired. Additionally, there exist many maps that are in various resolutions of DEM, such as those acquired from the U.S. Geological Survey. Problems arise when using maps derived from different resolution DEMs. For example, saturated areas can be under or overestimated depending on the resolution used. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of DEM resolution on the calculation of topographic wetness indices used to predict variable source areas of saturation, and to find the best resolutions to produce prediction maps of soil attributes like nitrogen, carbon, bulk density and soil texture for low-relief, humid-temperate forested hillslopes. Topographic wetness indices were calculated based on the derived terrain attributes, slope and specific catchment area, from five different DEM resolutions. The DEMs were resampled from LiDAR, which is a laser altimetry remote sensing method, obtained from the USDA Forest Service at Savannah River Site. The specific DEM resolutions were chosen because they are common grid cell sizes (10m, 30m, and 50m) used in mapping for management applications and in research. The finer resolutions (2m and 5m) were chosen for the purpose of determining how finer resolutions performed compared with coarser resolutions at predicting wetness and related soil attributes. The wetness indices were compared across DEMs and with each other in terms of quantile and distribution differences, then in terms of how well they each correlated with measured soil attributes. Spatial and non-spatial analyses were performed, and predictions using regression and geostatistics were examined for efficacy relative to each DEM resolution. Trends in the raw data and analysis results were also revealed.

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145 pp.

Notes

MS Thesis. University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. 2011 145 pp.

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  • Report No.: 11-12-T
  • Grant Number: AI09-00SR22188
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1030960
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc840012

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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Creation Date

  • December 1, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Dec. 9, 2016, 9:19 p.m.

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Drover, Damion, Ryan. The effects of digital elevation model resolution on the calculation and predictions of topographic wetness indices., text, December 1, 2011; New Ellenton, South Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc840012/: accessed July 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.