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Prioritizing Riparian Cooridors for Water Quality Protection in Urbanizing Watersheds

Description: This article describes the design of a GIS and remote sensing based analysis tool called the Water Quality Corridor Management model to identify and prioritize highly functioning riparian ecosystems for the preservation of steam corridor conditions.
Date: May 21, 2010
Creator: Atkinson, Samuel F.; Hunter, Bruce & English, April
Partner: UNT College of Arts and Sciences

A Characterization Of Jackson Blue Spring, Jackson County, Florida

Description: Jackson Blue is a first magnitude spring in the karst terrane of northeast Florida. Previous studies have identified inorganic fertilizer as the source of high nitrate levels in the spring. Agricultural land use and karst vulnerability make Jackson Blue a good model for conservation concerns. This work offers an aggregation of studies relating to the springshed, providing a valuable tool for planning and conservation efforts in the region. An analysis of nitrate levels and other water quality parameters within the springshed did not reveal significantly different values between agricultural and forested land use areas. Confounding factors include: high transmissivity in the aquifer, interspersed land use parcels, and fertilizer application in forested areas due to commercial pine stand activity.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Reiser, Cora
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Role of Knowledge and Attitude in Residential Irrigation Efficiency

Description: Residential irrigation efficiency is a long-term concern for any community that faces water supply stress. When ability to raise water prices is constrained, public education and conservation programs can produce reduced water usage. Understanding the factors behind residential irrigation efficiency allows the design of more effective conservation campaigns. Combining site-specific water budgets with usage data for four hundred homes in North Texas enables quantifying efficient irrigation behavior. A survey of homeowners tests for the presence of conservation-positive attitudes and the knowledge required to implement those attitudes. The influence of neighbors’ watering habits is investigated using spatial clustering tools. Findings are analyzed in the context of an attitude, knowledge, and habit model of conservation behavior. The presence of automatic irrigation systems, small irrigated areas, and having knowledge of the amount that one waters one’s lawn are found to contribute to more intensive irrigation. Mixed evidence for small-scale clustering in irrigation intensity is presented.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Nickerson, Joel
Partner: UNT Libraries

SFE Fractionation and RP-HPLC Characterization of Aquatic Fulvic Acid

Description: The Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE) technique was used to fractionate Suwannee River reference fulvic acid (FA). The fractions were characterized by gas chromatography (GC) and reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC). A SFE fractionation method was developed using stepwise gradient of supercritical CO₂ and methanol. Three FA fractions were separated. The average mass recovery was 102% with the coefficient of variation of 2.8%. The fractionation dynamics and the difference in the ratios of UV absorption to fluorescence emission indicate the real fractionation of the FA. The HPLC chromatographic peak patterns and the spectra of the corresponding peaks were almost indistinguishable. The overall results of this research support the argument that FA exhibits polymer-like molecular structure.
Date: May 1994
Creator: Shao, Peimin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparison of GPS Point Selection Methods for GIS Area Measurement of Small Jurisdictional Wetlands

Description: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) regulates fill of jurisdictional waters of the United States including wetlands. Recent USACE regulations set a threshold of impacts to wetlands at one-half acre. Impact area can be determined by Global Positioning System (GPS) measurement of wetland boundary and Geographic Information System (GIS) calculation of impact area. GPS point selection methods include (1) equal time interval, (2) transect and (3) intuition. Four two-acre shapes were measured with each GPS method and brought into GIS for area calculation. Analysis of variance and Root Mean Square Error analyses determine that the transect method is an inferior point selection method in terms of accuracy and efficiency.
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Date: August 2001
Creator: Shelton, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Spatially Explicit Environmental Health Surveillance Framework for Tick-Borne Diseases

Description: In this paper, I will show how applying a spatially explicit context to an existing environmental health surveillance framework is vital for more complete surveillance of disease, and for disease prevention and intervention strategies. As a case study to test the viability of a spatial approach to this existing framework, the risk of human exposure to Lyme disease will be estimated. This spatially explicit framework divides the surveillance process into three components: hazard surveillance, exposure surveillance, and outcome surveillance. The components will be used both collectively and individually, to assess exposure risk to infected ticks. By utilizing all surveillance components, I will identify different areas of risk which would not have been identified otherwise. Hazard surveillance uses maximum entropy modeling and geographically weighted regression analysis to create spatial models that predict the geographic distribution of ticks in Texas. Exposure surveillance uses GIS methods to estimate the risk of human exposures to infected ticks, resulting in a map that predicts the likelihood of human-tick interactions across Texas, using LandScan 2008TM population data. Lastly, outcome surveillance uses kernel density estimation-based methods to describe and analyze the spatial patterns of tick-borne diseases, which results in a continuous map that reflects disease rates based on population location. Data for this study was obtained from the Texas Department of Health Services and the University of North Texas Health Science Center. The data includes disease data on Lyme disease from 2004-2008, and the tick distribution estimates are based on field collections across Texas from 2004-2008.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Aviña, Aldo
Partner: UNT Libraries

Determining the Suitability of Functional Landscapes and Wildlife Corridors Utilizing Conservation GIS Methods in Denton County, Texas.

Description: Denton County's unique cultural and natural landscape has undergone dramatic transformations during the past two centuries due to agricultural, urban and suburban processes which accelerated the loss and removal of native habitat and wildlife. This research sought out to identify the remaining natural areas which retain their natural features and support wildlife. Research methodology included fundamental principles of Conservation Planning, Geographical Information Systems, and Habitat Evaluation Procedures for identifying remnant functional landscapes and wildlife corridors. The final results suggest that Denton County's rural landscape retains the functional properties and elements suitable for habitat conservation and wildlife corridors, while also pointing to the fundamental obstacles to conservation posed by continued growth and private landownership.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Sales, Joshua
Partner: UNT Libraries

Hyperspectral and Multispectral Image Analysis for Vegetation Study in the Greenbelt Corridor near Denton, Texas

Description: In this research, hyperspectral and multispectral images were utilized for vegetation studies in the greenbelt corridor near Denton. EO-1 Hyperion was the hyperspectral image and Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) was the multispectral image used for this research. In the first part of the research, both the images were classified for land cover mapping (after necessary atmospheric correction and geometric registration) using supervised classification method with maximum likelihood algorithm and accuracy of the classification was also assessed for comparison. Hyperspectral image was preprocessed for classification through principal component analysis (PCA), segmented principal component analysis and minimum noise fraction (MNF) transform. Three different images were achieved after these pre-processing of the hyperspectral image. Therefore, a total of four images were classified and assessed the accuracy. In the second part, a more precise and improved land cover study was done on hyperspectral image using linear spectral unmixing method. Finally, several vegetation constituents like chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, caroteoids were distinguished from the hyperspectral image using feature-oriented principal component analysis (FOPCA) method and which component dominates which type of land cover particularly vegetation were correlated.
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Date: August 2006
Creator: Bhattacharjee, Nilanjana
Partner: UNT Libraries

Modelling spatial concordance between Rocky Mountain spotted fever disease incidence and habitat probability of its vector Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick)

Description: This article reports on the development and comparison of two maps of Texas related to Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Date: November 1, 2012
Creator: Atkinson, Samuel F.; Sarkar, Sahotra; Avina, Aldo; Schuermann, Jim A. & Williamson, Phillip C.
Partner: UNT College of Arts and Sciences

A determination of the spatial concordance between Lyme disease incidence and habitat probability of its primary vector Ixodes scapularis (black-legged tick)

Description: This article involves mapping the probability of occurrence that the disease vector exists in the environment, mapping the incidence of Lyme disease in the human population and examining the spatial concordance between the probability map and incidence map.
Date: November 1, 2014
Creator: Atkinson, Samuel F.; Sarkar, Sahotra; Avina, Aldo; Schuermann, Jim A. & Williamson, Phillip C.
Partner: UNT College of Arts and Sciences

Spatially Explicit Modeling of West Nile Virus Risk Using Environmental Data

Description: West Nile virus (WNV) is an emerging infectious disease that has widespread implications for public health practitioners across the world. Within a few years of its arrival in the United States the virus had spread across the North American continent. This research focuses on the development of a spatially explicit GIS-based predictive epidemiological model based on suitable environmental factors. We examined eleven commonly mapped environmental factors using both ordinary least squares regression (OLS) and geographically weighted regression (GWR). The GWR model was utilized to ascertain the impact of environmental factors on WNV risk patterns without the confounding effects of spatial non-stationarity that exist between place and health. It identifies the important underlying environmental factors related to suitable mosquito habitat conditions to make meaningful and spatially explicit predictions. Our model represents a multi-criteria decision analysis approach to create disease risk maps under data sparse situations. The best fitting model with an adjusted R2 of 0.71 revealed a strong association between WNV infection risk and a subset of environmental risk factors including road density, stream density, and land surface temperature. This research also postulates that understanding the underlying place characteristics and population composition for the occurrence of WNV infection is important for mitigating future outbreaks. While many spatial and aspatial models have attempted to predict the risk of WNV transmission, efforts to link these factors within a GIS framework are limited. One of the major challenges for such integration is the high dimensionality and large volumes typically associated with such models and data. This research uses a spatially explicit, multivariate geovisualization framework to integrate an environmental model of mosquito habitat with human risk factors derived from socio-economic and demographic variables. Our results show that such an integrated approach facilitates the exploratory analysis of complex data and supports reasoning about the underlying spatial ...
Date: December 2015
Creator: Kala, Abhishek K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Photo-induced Toxicity of Deepwater Horizon Spill Oil to Four Native Gulf of Mexico Species

Description: The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill resulted in the accidental release of millions of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Photo-induced toxicity following co-exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is one mechanism by which polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from oil spills may exert toxicity. Blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) are an important commercial and ecological resource in the Gulf of Mexico and their largely transparent larvae may make them sensitive to PAH photo-induced toxicity. Mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus), an important fishery resource, have positively buoyant, transparent eggs. These characteristics may result in mahi-mahi embryos being at particular risk from photo-induced toxicity. Red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) and speckled seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus) are both important fishery resources in the GoM. They spawn near-shore and produce positively buoyant embryos that hatch into larvae in about 24 h. The goal of this body of work was to determine whether exposure to UV as natural sunlight enhances the toxicity of crude oil to early lifestage GoM species. Larval and embryonic organisms were exposed to several dilutions of water accommodated fractions (WAF) from several different oils collected in the field under chain of custody during the 2010 spill and two to three gradations of natural sunlight in a factorial design. Here, we report that co-exposure to natural sunlight and oil significantly reduced larval survival and embryo hatch compared to exposure to oil alone.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Alloy, Matthew Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

A comparison of least squares regression and geographically weighted regression modeling of West Nile virus risk based on environmental parameters

Description: This article discusses the effectiveness of utilizing local spatial variations in environmental data to uncover the statistical relationships between West Nile Virus (WNV) risk and environmental factors.
Date: March 28, 2017
Creator: Kala, Abhishek K.; Tiwari, Chetan; Mikler, Armin R. & Atkinson, Samuel F.
Partner: UNT College of Arts and Sciences

Use of Automated Sampler to Characterize Urban Stormwater Runoff in Pecan Creek

Description: The purpose of this study was to use the Global Water Stormwater Sampler SS201 to characterize the urban runoff in Pecan Creek. Location of the samplers was influenced by land use and ease of installation. Determination of the constituents for analysis was modeled after those used in the NPDES permit for seven cities within the Dallas/Ft.Worth metroplex. Some metals, notably cadmium and arsenic, exceeded the U.S. EPA's MCL's. Statistical analysis revealed first flush samples to be significantly more concentrated than composite samples. Minimum discharge loadings were found to be significantly lower than maximum discharge loadings. Additionally there were significant differences of specific constituents between station locations and storm events.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Appel, Patrick L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Integration of field-based analysis of plant community dynamics with quantitative analysis of landscape change in the Ray Roberts Lake area, 1987—1997

Description: This study focused on the effectiveness of integrating traditional plant community analyses with landscape ecological analyses based on remotely sensed data. A temporal analysis of plant community diversity was conducted for major plant communities of the Ray Roberts Lake area using transect monitoring data collected between 1987 and 1997. Landscape analyses were performed with FRAGSTATS*ARC using classified SPOT satellite imagery for 1987 and 1997. Although the methodology developed in this work was exploratory, it was found that characterizing the dynamics of major plant communities in the study area produced a more effective and insightful analysis of Ray Roberts Lake area landscape dynamics.
Date: May 2000
Creator: McDonough, Theresa J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Data Fusion Framework for Floodplain Analysis using GIS and Remotely Sensed Data

Description: Throughout history floods have been part of the human experience. They are recurring phenomena that form a necessary and enduring feature of all river basin and lowland coastal systems. In an average year, they benefit millions of people who depend on them. In the more developed countries, major floods can be the largest cause of economic losses from natural disasters, and are also a major cause of disaster-related deaths in the less developed countries. Flood disaster mitigation research was conducted to determine how remotely sensed data can effectively be used to produce accurate flood plain maps (FPMs), and to identify/quantify the sources of error associated with such data. Differences were analyzed between flood maps produced by an automated remote sensing analysis tailored to the available satellite remote sensing datasets (rFPM), the 100-year flooded areas "predicted" by the Flood Insurance Rate Maps, and FPMs based on DEM and hydrological data (aFPM). Landuse/landcover was also examined to determine its influence on rFPM errors. These errors were identified and the results were integrated in a GIS to minimize landuse / landcover effects. Two substantial flood events were analyzed. These events were selected because of their similar characteristics (i.e., the existence of FIRM or Q3 data; flood data which included flood peaks, rating curves, and flood profiles; and DEM and remote sensing imagery.) Automatic feature extraction was determined to be an important component for successful flood analysis. A process network, in conjunction with domain specific information, was used to map raw remotely sensed data onto a representation that is more compatible with a GIS data model. From a practical point of view, rFPM provides a way to automatically match existing data models to the type of remote sensing data available for each event under investigation. Overall, results showed how remote sensing could contribute to ...
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Date: August 2000
Creator: Necsoiu, Dorel Marius
Partner: UNT Libraries

Spatial Analysis of Atrazine in the Elm Fork Watershed

Description: This study assessed the water quality of the Elm Fork Watershed with regards to the herbicide Atrazine. Atrazine is a potential environmental endocrine disruptor and carcinogen. Overall, concentrations were lower than the four-quarter drinking water average of 3 µg/Lthe Maximum Contaminant Level set by the USEPA. However, three creek stations had four-quarter average concentrations greater than 3 µg/L, and virtually all samples exceeded the 0.1 µg/L standard set in Europe [1,2]. Statistically significant differences in concentrations were detected between the 27 sampling stations and areas of high concentrations were identified. However correlations between Atrazine concentrations and land-use and precipitation were not statistically significant. Further analysis with more detailed data should be conducted before any relationships are discarded.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Ochandio, Mario Roberto
Partner: UNT Libraries

Measuring Atmospheric Ozone and Nitrogen Dioxide Concentration by Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy

Description: The main objective was to develop a procedure based on differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS) to measure atmospheric total column of ozone, using the automated instrument developed at the University of North Texas (UNT) by Nebgen in 2006. This project also explored the ability of this instrument to provide measurements of atmospheric total column nitrogen dioxide. The instrument is located on top of UNT’s Environmental Education, Science and Technology Building. It employs a low cost spectrometer coupled with fiber optics, which are aimed at the sun to collect solar radiation. Measurements taken throughout the day with this instrument exhibited a large variability. The DOAS procedure derives total column ozone from the analysis of daily DOAS Langley plots. This plot relates the measured differential column to the airmass factor. The use of such plots is conditioned by the time the concentration of ozone remains constant. Observations of ozone are typically conducted throughout the day. Observations of total column ozone were conducted for 5 months. Values were derived from both DOAS and Nebgen’s procedure and compared to satellite data. Although differences observed from both procedures to satellite data were similar, the variability found in measurements was reduced from 70 Dobson units, with Nebgen’s procedure, to 4 Dobson units, with the DOAS procedure.A methodology to measure atmospheric nitrogen dioxide using DOAS was also investigated. Although a similar approach to ozone measurements could be applied, it was found that such measurements were limited by the amount of solar radiation collected by the instrument. Observations of nitrogen dioxide are typically conducted near sunrise or sunset, when solar radiation experiences most of the atmospheric absorption.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Jerez, Carlos J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The proposed Fastrill Reservoir in east Texas: A study using geographic information systems.

Description: Geographic information systems and remote sensing software were used to analyze data to determine the area and volume of the proposed Fastrill Reservoir, and to examine seven alternatives. The controversial reservoir site is in the same location as a nascent wildlife refuge. Six general land cover types impacted by the reservoir were also quantified using Landsat imagery. The study found that water consumption in Dallas is high, but if consumption rates are reduced to that of similar Texas cities, the reservoir is likely unnecessary. The reservoir and its alternatives were modeled in a GIS by selecting sites and intersecting horizontal water surfaces with terrain data to create a series of reservoir footprints and volumetric measurements. These were then compared with a classified satellite imagery to quantify land cover types. The reservoir impacted the most ecologically sensitive land cover type the most. Only one alternative site appeared slightly less environmentally damaging.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Wilson, Michael Ray
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Storm Water Runoff Investigation Using Gis and Remote Sensing

Description: Environmental controls are becoming more and more expensive to implement, so environmental management is becoming more technologically advanced and efficient through the adoption of new techniques and models. This paper reviews the potential for storm water runoff for the city of Denton, Texas and with the main objective to perform storm water runoff analyses for three different land use datasets; each landuse dataset created with a different methodology. Also analyzed was the difference between two North Central Texas Council of Governments land use datasets and my own land use dataset as a part of evaluating new and emerging remote sensing techniques. The results showed that new remote sensing techniques can help to continually monitor changes within watersheds by providing more accurate data.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Jennings, Laura
Partner: UNT Libraries

Modeling the Relationship Between Golden Algae Blooms in Lake Texoma, Usa, Versus Nearby Land Use and Other Physical Variables

Description: Pyrmnesium parvum, commonly known as golden algae, is an algal species that under certain circumstances releases toxins which can lead to fish kills and the death of other economically and ecologically important organisms. One of the major objectives of the study was to investigate whether a relationship exists between land use and Prymnesium parvum abundance in littoral sites of Lake Texoma, USA. Another objective was to investigate whether a relationship exists between other physical variables and counts of P. parvum. Lastly, developing a valid model that predicts P. parvum abundance was an objective of the study. Through stepwise regression, a small but highly significant amount of the variation in P. parvum counts was found to be explained by wetlands, soil erodibility and lake elevation. The developed model provides insight for potential golden algae management plans, such as maintaining wetlands and teaching land owners the relationship between soil erosivity and golden algae blooms.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Ware, Trudy M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Detecting the Presence of Disease by Unifying Two Methods of Remote Sensing.

Description: There is currently no effective tool available to quickly and economically measure a change in landmass in the setting of biomedical professionals and environmental specialists. The purpose of this study is to structure and demonstrate a statistical change-detection method using remotely sensed data that can detect the presence of an infectious land borne disease. Data sources included the Texas Department of Health database, which provided the types of infectious land borne diseases and indicated the geographical area to study. Methods of data collection included the gathering of images produced by digital orthophoto quadrangle and aerial videography and Landsat. Also, a method was developed to identify statistically the severity of changes of the landmass over a three-year period. Data analysis included using a unique statistical detection procedure to measure the severity of change in landmass when a disease was not present and when the disease was present. The statistical detection method was applied to two different remotely sensed platform types and again to two like remotely sensed platform types. The results indicated that when the statistical change detection method was used for two different types of remote sensing mediums (i.e.-digital orthophoto quadrangle and aerial videography), the results were negative due to skewed and unreliable data. However, when two like remote sensing mediums were used (i.e.- videography to videography and Landsat to Landsat) the results were positive and the data were reliable.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Reames, Steve
Partner: UNT Libraries

Use of Satellite Imagery and GIS to Model Brood-Rearing Habitat for Rio Grande Wild Turkey Populations Occurring in the Western Cross Timbers Region of Texas

Description: Remote sensing and GIS have become standard tools for evaluating spatial components of wildlife habitats. These techniques were implemented to evaluate Rio Grande wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) poult-rearing habitat in the Western Cross Timbers region of Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD) random roving turkey counts for 1987-1989 and 1998-2000 were selected, indicating locations where hens with poults were observed. Satellite imagery from 1988 and 1999 was classified and then processed with Patch Analyst. To add robustness, stream, road and census population densities were also evaluated for each turkey location. Analysis of the 1988 canopy cover image, comparing observed locations with randomly-selected habitat cells (N = 20) indicated significant differences (p <.05) for patch edge variables. Mean patch edge was significantly greater for habitat locations where hens with poults were observed than for those selected at random. Spatial data for 1999 did not indicate a significant difference (p < .05) between sampling groups (observed vs. random, N = 30). Significant differences (p <.05) did occur for turkey locations observed in both 1988 and 1999 (N = 7). This demonstrates the adaptability of wild turkey hens, as habitats change over time, hens continued to visit the same locations even though the habitat had significantly changed for select spatial variables.
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Date: August 2002
Creator: Miller, Christopher J.
Partner: UNT Libraries