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Geological Research at the IGS

Evaluation of riparian buffer zones using a geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing

Status Start Date End Date Locations
completed Aug 30, 2002 Aug 31, 2004 Johnson
Director: Sally Letsinger
Other Researchers: Greg Olyphant
Funding: Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM)
Issue: The areas next to a river or stream covered with bushes, trees, grasses, and other plants (or "vegetated riparian buffers") can provide protection to water bodies by filtering chemicals or excess sedimentation from surrounding land uses. The Young's Creek Watershed in Johnson County, Indiana, has experienced alteration, degradation, and removal of vegetated buffer zones in much of the watershed.
Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the condition of riparian buffers in the Young's Creek Watershed.
Approach: Field assessments, geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing technology, and numerical flow modeling were used together to develop a method of prioritizing restoration of missing or inadequate riparian buffers.
Products: Various GIS layers and interpreted remotely sensed imagery were produced to develop maps that show prioritized riparian buffer restoration areas.
Benefits: This research will lead to more complete understanding of the Young's Creek Watershed in Johnson County, Indiana, and aid in Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management decisions about which buffer zones to restore. This will help in preventing erosion, chemical pollution of the watershed, siltation of riverbeds, downstream flooding, and damage to fisheries and recreation in the area.
Publications:

Development of a method to assess riparian vegetated buffer zones using GIS and remote sensing in Young’s Creek watershed, Johnson County, Indiana
Letsinger, S.L., and Olyphant, G.A., 2003, Development of a method to assess riparian vegetated buffer zones using GIS and remote sensing in Young’s Creek watershed, Johnson County, Indiana: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 35, no. 6, September 2003, p. 78.

Evaluation of riparian buffer zones using a geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing

GIS-based hydrologic modeling for prioritizing riparian buffer restoration areas, Young’s Creek Watershed, Johnson County, Indiana
Letsinger, S.L., and Olyphant, G.A., 2005, GIS-based hydrologic modeling for prioritizing riparian buffer restoration areas, Young’s Creek Watershed, Johnson County, Indiana: American Water Resources Association Annual Meeting, Seattle, November 7-10 2005.

GIS-based hydrologic modeling for riparian buffer management, Young’s Creek Watershed, Johnson County, Indiana
Letsinger, S.L., and Olyphant, G.A., 2004, GIS-based hydrologic modeling for riparian buffer management, Young’s Creek Watershed, Johnson County, Indiana: American Water Resources Association Summer Specialty Conference Proceedings, Olympic Valley, California, June 28-30, 2004.


 
 
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