Remote Sensing Techniques for the Valley Creek Watershed’s Headwaters

Presentation: PowerPoint 

Author(s): William Akin

Abstract: Headwater streams constitute approximately 75 percent of the total stream and river length in the United States and supply 70 percent of the overall water volume to a watershed. With this in mind, these small streams can be used as strong indicators of the water quality and biodiversity within a watershed. Due to the fact that headwaters are on a smaller scale in size, they are highly influenced by increased urbanization compared to higher order streams. With the advancement of today’s online data resources, remote sensing techniques can be directly applied to watershed management and planning for these smaller catchments. This case study will examine the Valley Creek Watershed’s headwaters by utilizing data sets, such as LiDAR and GIS shapefiles, to take inventories of characteristics such as impervious cover and forested buffers that help and hurt first and second order streams. The results will correlate relationships that support the existing theory of the impairment of freshwater streams that can be used for future watershed planning.