Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Chansheng He

Second Advisor

Dr. Charles Emerson

Third Advisor

Dr. Gregory Veeck

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study uses Arc View Nonpoint Source Modeling (A VNPSM), an interface between Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution Model and ArcView GIS to assess the impact of land use/land cover change between 1978 and 1996 on water quality in the Davis Creek watershed, southwestern Michigan. The distribution of land use/land cover changes is identified by geographic analysis. Compared to 1978, agricultural land decreased by more than 60 percent while residential land increased by over 170 percent in the watershed in 1996. The hydrologic impact of the urbanization is evaluated by the AGNPS model. AVNPSM is used to derive required input parameters to the AGNPS model. Runoff, soil erosion, sedimentation, and nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) loading were simulated by AGNPS in the entire watershed. The results indicate that urbanization of the watershed significantly increased the peak flow rate, making the watershed more vulnerable to flooding. Through examination of the simulated results, erosion prone areas are identified. This information enables planners and/or decision makers to target the problem areas for best management practice.

Included in

Geography Commons