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Use of Lidar to Map Stream Morphology and Monitor Changes Due to Urbanization of a Small Suburban Watershed

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Abstract:Urbanization has been associated with changes in stream flow regime, morphology, and water
quality of rural watersheds being developed. Most studies of the effect of urbanization on stream morphology have been done post hoc -after development has occurred -and involve the extrapolation of limited stream transects (across-channel topography measurements) to monitor measure changes in stream morphology .

We are using LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging) imagery to construct a high-resolution, three-dimensional model of the topography of a small suburban watershed north of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. This watershed is in the early stages of urbanization and LIDAR was obtained using a small aircraft to acquire the imagery during early winter (no snow and leaf-off) conditions. This imagery will be used to construct a baseline (pre-development) three-dimensional stream channel model. Subsequent LIDAR overflights will be obtained every three years or as the pace of development requires. These LIDAR acquisitions will allow for future three-dimensional stream channel models to be compared to the baseline model. We hope to spatially relate changes in stream morphology to specific patterns of development, storm sewer networks, and best management practices used while this watershed undergoes development.
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Citation:Jarnagin, S. T., and D. B. Jennings. Use of Lidar to Map Stream Morphology and Monitor Changes Due to Urbanization of a Small Suburban Watershed. Presented at Science Forum 2003, Washington, DC, May 5-7, 2003.
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Contact: Chris Siebert - (702) 798-2234 or siebert.christopher@epa.gov
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Division: Environmental Sciences Division
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Branch: Landscape Ecology Branch
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Product Type: Abstrct/Oral
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Presented: 05/05/2003
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Landscape Indicators of Surface Water Conditions
spacer Relationship Reason:   A Project of the Product
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