Assessing the Historical Impacts of Landscape Transformation on Water Fluxes for Environmental Monitoring and Assessment.

EPA Grant Number: F6C20803
Title: Assessing the Historical Impacts of Landscape Transformation on Water Fluxes for Environmental Monitoring and Assessment.
Investigators: Goss, Alison Meredith
Institution: Purdue University
EPA Project Officer: Michaud, Jayne
Project Period: September 1, 2006 through September 1, 2008
Project Amount: $74,172
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2006) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Fellowship - Geography


The purpose of this research is to evaluate the historical impact of land use change on water fluxes in Muskegon River Watershed, Michigan. This work represents a case study that will be scalable and transferable to any area where data are available, and will support decision making related to land use change and hydrology.


I will address this issue through generating historical land cover maps for a time period before reliable remotely sensed images existed and then linking these “backcasts” to a hydrologic model called Variable Infiltration Capacity or VIC. Through reconstructing the time history of water and energy balances over the basin and using several climate scenarios, future water cycle variations in response to climate change will be predicted. The proposed work includes the creation of land use backcasts, currently a limited endeavor.The creation of this type of method will enhance understanding of the historical trends in land use change. Linking this information to a hydrology model will enhance understanding historical trends in hydrology that may be related to land use and consequently enable researchers to begin separating hydrologic changes due to land use from changes due to climate.

Expected Results:

Through integrating models that address land use change, hydrology fluctuations, as well as climate change scenarios, future consequences of land use change and climate scenarios on water resources, and policy questions related to the sustainability of current resources can be addressed. This research represents a new way to integrate land use change research and hydrological modeling and will enhance understanding of the linkages between human-induced landscape transformation and water cycle dynamics as well as the implications of such connections for the future.

Supplemental Keywords:

Water resources, Land use change, Sustainability, GIS, Hydrologic modeling,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Hydrology, climate change, Air Pollution Effects, Monitoring/Modeling, Environmental Monitoring, Atmosphere, watershed, decision support, water supply, environmental impact, land use, land management, environmental history

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2007
  • Final