Analysis of land use/land cover and the frequency of bankfull flow in selected salmon habitat recovery streams in the Pacific Northwest using GIS Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/q524jq92n

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  • Bankfull discharge is an important indicator of streamfiow and affects physical instream habitat. Geographic Information Systems (G IS), hydrologic modeling, and statistical analysis were utilized to assess the relationship of bankfull discharge recurrence intervals and land use / land cover watershed wide and for stream adjacent buffers and bands of varying widths. Land use I land cover was determined for watersheds and stream adjacent zones along salmon habitat recovery streams in 71 large Pacific Northwest watersheds. Watersheds were defined using an integrated methodology for watershed delineation relying on the ArcView Spatial Analyst Hydrologic Modeling extension. Databases include field collected data, gaging station data, USGS land use / land cover data, USGS digital elevation models, a stream network coverage, and supplemental data. Data were analyzed using ArcView, ArcView Spatial Analyst with the Hydrologic Modeling extension, Arclnfo, and S-PLUS. Land use alterations at the watershed scale were found to affect the frequency of critical streamfiow events. Bankfull flow occurs more frequently in watersheds with high percentages of agricultural or urban land use. This study recommends land use / land cover assessment at the watershed scale to be an important consideration in river restoration and other stream management efforts. Stream adjacent land use / land cover is significantly correlated to bankfull discharge recurrence interval and corresponding flood risk. This dissertation, therefore, proposes two new analytical techniques that evaluate spatial patterns of land use / land cover and their influences on flood risk for large watersheds. The Critical Zone Management Model presented in this study is designed to aid land managers in the assessment of flood risk for large watersheds. A Land Use Runoff index (LUR-index) suggests stream corridor sensitive zones should be larger than presently delineated in land and watershed planning. Land use I land cover within this sensitive zone is strongly correlated to streamfiow. This research may further be used for future watershed management considerations, and flood risk prediction studies
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