Assessing the Impact of ~65 years of Land Use and Land Cover Change on the Utah Lake Watershed with Remote Sensing and Spatial Modeling

Authors: Derek McGovern*, Utah Valley University, Erin Call, Utah Valley University, Weihong Wang, Utah Valley University, Justin White, Utah Valley University
Topics: Land Use and Land Cover Change, Water Resources and Hydrology, Urban Geography
Keywords: Utah Lake, Water Shed, GIS, Remote Sensing, Land Use Land Cover Change, LULCC
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download



Utah Lake is one of the largest natural freshwater lakes in the western United States. Its watershed drains an area of over 9,800 km2. Since Pioneer settlement in 1847, anthropogenic activities have altered the landscape. Utah has been one of the fastest growing states since 2010 and is projected to continue through 2060. Utah County, where Utah Lake is located, is expected to have the highest population growth in the state during this period. This watershed has and will face degradation due to land use and land cover changes (LULCC). To better understand how anthropogenic activities have affected this watershed, it is crucial to examine the long-term spatiotemporal LULCC. We used GIS and remote sensing techniques to document a ~65-year history of LULCC (quantifying agriculture, urban, and barren land classifications) utilizing imagery from Utah Geological Survey (UGS) and Landsat. The shoreline, lake volume, and LULCCs were modeled from 1953 to 2018. This information could be used by the legislature to implement meaningful watershed planning and management, especially in light of the state considering House Bill 272; which claims to pave the way for a “comprehensive restoration of Utah Lake (build an island on Utah Lake).”

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