Land-Use Land-Cover Change Effects on Discharge in the North River Basin

Authors: Kory Pilet*, University of Alabama, Sarah Praskievicz, Department of Geography, Environment, and Sustainability, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Nicholas Magliooca, Department of Geography, University of Alabama
Topics: Land Use and Land Cover Change
Keywords: hydrology, LULC, river, discharge
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Jackson, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Land-use land-cover change is a direct and significant factor in modulating discharge, a significant component in the hydrologic cycle of watersheds. In the case of the North River, an approximately 400 km2 watershed located in Western Alabama, anthropogenic land-cover change has occurred in the last few decades. The focus of this research is to identify trends in land-use and land-cover change and document the effects on discharge of the North River, a primary water source for the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and its suburbs. Preliminary data analysis shows an afforestation trend, and through use of Landsat data from 1984 until present, land-cover classification performed on an annual basis will be used. Afforestation in previous literature can be attributed to increased infiltration and evapotranspiration, thus reducing discharge. Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) will use classified Landsat data to assess river discharge and the hypothesis of declining discharge from the North River. The focus of this research will be to assess what qualities in the North River lead to declining discharge in order to better plan for water security in a drainage basin that feeds a reservoir.

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