EPA Science Inventory

USEPA EPIC IMPERVIOUS SURFACE RESEARCH IN THE MID-ATLANTIC

Citation:

JARNAGIN, S. USEPA EPIC IMPERVIOUS SURFACE RESEARCH IN THE MID-ATLANTIC. Presented at USGS Eastern Geographic Science Center Seminar with USGS and EPA ORD NERL Landscape Researchers, Reston, VA, May 10, 2006.

Description:

Anthropogenic impervious surfaces have an important relationship with non-point source pollution (NPS) in urban watersheds. These human-created surfaces include such features as roads, parking lots, rooftops, sidewalks, and driveways. The amount of impervious surface area in a watershed is a key indicator of landscape change. As a single variable, it serves to integrate a number of concurrent interactions that directly influence a watershed¿s hydrology, stream chemical quality and thus the in-stream habitat. We have been studying impervious surfaces in several different ways in an attempt to estimate both their extent and predicted impact in watersheds. This research involves two primary components: (1) high-resolution watershed mapping of impervious surfaces over time, and (2) coordinated monitoring of physical and biological parameters of streams coupled with impervious surfaces mapping as watersheds are developed.

Purpose/Objective:

The primary objectives of this research are to:

Develop methodologies so that landscape indicator values generated from different sensors on different dates (but in the same areas) are comparable; differences in metric values result from landscape changes and not differences in the sensors;

Quantify relationships between landscape metrics generated from wall-to-wall spatial data and (1) specific parameters related to water resource conditions in different environmental settings across the US, including but not limited to nutrients, sediment, and benthic communities, and (2) multi-species habitat suitability;

Develop and validate multivariate models based on quantification studies;

Develop GIS/model assessment protocols and tools to characterize risk of nutrient and sediment TMDL exceedence;

Complete an initial draft (potentially web based) of a national landscape condition assessment.

This research directly supports long-term goals established in ORDs multiyear plans related to GPRA Goal 2 (Water) and GPRA Goal 4 (Healthy Communities and Ecosystems), although funding for this task comes from Goal 4. Relative to the GRPA Goal 2 multiyear plan, this research is intended to "provide tools to assess and diagnose impairment in aquatic systems and the sources of associated stressors." Relative to the Goal 4 Multiyear Plan this research is intended to (1) provide states and tribes with an ability to assess the condition of waterbodies in a scientifically defensible and representative way, while allowing for aggregation and assessment of trends at multiple scales, (2) assist Federal, State and Local managers in diagnosing the probable cause and forecasting future conditions in a scientifically defensible manner to protect and restore ecosystems, and (3) provide Federal, State and Local managers with a scientifically defensible way to assess current and future ecological conditions, and probable causes of impairments, and a way to evaluate alternative future management scenarios.

URLs/Downloads:

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Start Date: 05/10/2006
Completion Date: 05/10/2006
Record Last Revised: 06/21/2006
Record Created: 05/08/2006
Record Released: 05/08/2006
Record ID: 153907

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LAB

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES DIVISION

LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY BRANCH