Date of Award

6-2015

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Geography

First Advisor

Dr. Chansheng He

Second Advisor

Dr. Kathleen Baker

Third Advisor

Dr. Lei Meng

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is a physically model to estimate impact of land cover on water, sediment, and agricultural chemical yields in large, complex yields in large, complex watersheds with fluctuating soils, land use, and management conditions for long periods of time. ln order to simulate the movement of sediment and nutrients, the Davis Creek Watershed is subdivided into 31 homogeneous sub basins, having unique soil and land use properties. The data for each subbasin is grouped into categories of land cover, soil, management within sub basin, draining the sub basin.

The objectives of this study are to classify the most polluted subbasins in the watershed with the aim of determining the most appropriate land uses (e.g., agriculture, industrial, commercial, residential) in this surrounding areas through a 14 years period (1999-2013), examining impact of land use change on runoff sediment load and nutrient yield for 2001 and 2011 and providing recommendations on the best management practices for controlling and reducing source pollution. Through examination of the simulated results, most pollutant subbasins are identified, land cover impacts are examined. This information, while valuable and useful, needs to be further verified in the field for supporting water quality decision making in the Davis Creek Watershed.

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