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Delineating the Erosion-Potential of Agricultural Lands Within the Le Sueur Watershed Using Remotely Sensed Data and GIS
American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2008 (2008)
  • Patrick Belmont, Utah State University
  • F K Maalim
  • A M Melesse
  • A R Thomas
  • L Azmera
  • C E Jennings
The Le Sueur River, southern Minnesota, is the largest contributor of sediment to the Minnesota River, which is impaired for turbidity under Section 303d of the Clean Water Act. The agricultural fields within the Le Sueur River watershed were studied to assess their erosion potential and hence their contribution to the sediment loading problem in the study area. Soil type, slope, land cover and on-field land management practices were used to classify agricultural lands to determine their susceptibility to erosion. Field studies were conducted to determine the prevalent conditions that would be considered when analyzing the protection against erosion. Land cover types were identified and their geographic locations were noted for detection on sequential satellite images and mapping purposes. Land management practices were also identified in the field and their locations geo-registered. The slope profile of the Le Sueur watershed was derived from a Digital Elevation Model, while the seasonal land-cover was extrapolated from the land-cover ground-referencing exercise using satellite imagery. Soil maps of the different counties that constitute the Le Sueur watershed were also acquired and the spatial data was then integrated in a GIS to generate the erosion potential map. Plant physiology and morphology are important when developing a criterion for classifying land-cover types depending on the protection they confer against erosion. Land management practices influence the susceptibility of agricultural fields to erosion and these together with soil type and slope are useful erosion related properties on which to base the classification of the agricultural fields. Erosion potential is a dynamic aspect of agricultural lands and is a function of the combined prevalent factors. The set of factors used to study this aspect of agricultural lands were all very important but are by no means the only factors that should be considered when conducting such a study. The results lend credence to the classification criteria used and indicate the usefulness of remote sensing as well as GIS as tools in the extrapolation, integration and interpretation of the data collected. Key words: Le Sueur River, erosion, agriculture, remote sensing, GIS, Minnesota
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Citation Information
Patrick Belmont, F K Maalim, A M Melesse, A R Thomas, et al.. "Delineating the Erosion-Potential of Agricultural Lands Within the Le Sueur Watershed Using Remotely Sensed Data and GIS" American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2008 (2008)
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