Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
LAND USE CHANGES WITHIN THE OHIO RIVER WATERSHED
Changes in land use of the Mid-Ohio River Basin were observed and correlated to surface water quality data obtained from the EPA's STORET database. Images acquired from Earthsat for NASA were used to perform change detections on urban, agricultural, and forested areas from 1988 to 1999. The Mid-Ohio River Basin is a sub watershed of the Ohio River Basin, and it is very large and so encompasses portions of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. Due to the extent of the watershed the main focus of the research is currently on Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio. ArcGIS was used to create a GIS database of the study area consisting of watershed basins, streams, counties, cities, states, and water quality station layers. ERDAS Imagine software was used to perform unsupervised and supervised classification of 1988 and 1999 Landsat Thematic Mapper Imagery of the study site. Classification methods, based on a slightly modified Anderson's Level 1 Scheme, were developed under the guidance of scientists at Lockheed Martin Space operations at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. Change detections were performed on the supervised images showing an overall increase in the urban and agriculture classes and an overall decrease in the forest class. Agriculture increased by 85,700 acres, forest decreased by approximately 87,000 acres, and urban areas increased by about 10,000 acres within the Cincinnati region. Results show a probable increase in agriculture due to the conversion of forest to agriculture, while also showing a probable increase of urban areas due to increased residential communities and industrial production. Results also display a decrease in forest due to the growth of human activities. Current ongoing research includes further change detections for more areas within the watershed and correlation of land use changes to stream water quality.