Vol. 45, No. 2, Fall/Winter 2007- "The Pennsylvania Geographer"


DEVELOPMENT OF THE WATERSHED EVALUATION TOOL

USING REMOTELY SENSED DATA


Amy T. Haase and Cynthia N. Cudaback

Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

North Carolina State University

Toby N. Carlson

Department of Meteorology

Pennsylvania State University



Abstract


When analyzing the effects that proposed land development might have on water quality, managers and other decision makers can now use satellite data to capture high level metrics like the ratio between vegetation and impervious surface area (ISA) to predict water quality. This paper addresses scientific issues in predicting water quality and demonstrates the capabilities of the final model dressed up in an interactive website (www.sharp.psu.edu). To create and precisely tune the model, statistical regression equation relating woodland and impervious surface area to nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) and sediment yields in 42 Pennsylvania watersheds were developed to predict nutrient and sediment loading in Pennsylvania and Chesapeake Bay watersheds. This topic is of interest to watershed managers, conservation groups, urban and regional planners and developers as well as educators and physical geographers.


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