Date of Award

6-2011

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Geography

First Advisor

Dr. Chansheng He

Second Advisor

Dr. David Lemberg

Third Advisor

Dr. Charles Emerson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

The Ocklawaha River Watershed covers 2,780 square with headwaters in Lake County, Florida running North until reaching its terminus with the St. Johns River. The watershed contains numerous natural springs, vast tracts of natural forest and a relative sparse population. However, with the Gainesville, Ocala and Orlando metropolitan areas growing at an ever increasing rate, the watershed is becoming stressed in new ways including the failed "Cross Florida Barge Canal." The National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) and the National Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) Hydric Soils datasets are used to evaluate the location and acres of wetlands lost since "Pre-Settlement" times (pre-1800) in order to quantify human impact on the watershed. The water quality impact of depleted wetlands calculated between the NWI and NRCS data is simulated using SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool), a hydrologic simulation model, using multiple datasets including the proposed route of the "Cross Florida Barge Canal." The expected simulation result will quantify the impacts of wetland loss from human activities and proposed engineering projects and subsequently supply valuable information for watershed management.

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