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Comparative analysis of Beaver Run Watershed Pre and Post Damming using DEM’s (Digital Elevation Models).

Authors: Cecil Cooper*, Indiana University Of Pennsylvania
Topics: Water Resources and Hydrology, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: Hydrology, GIS, DEM, Watershed.
Session Type: Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Damming of rivers and streams to create reservoirs is a common practice, the development of area to suit the needs of a community is a long process. The understanding of the long-term effects of these constructed products is crucial for current and future projects. The dredging of nearby streams and the dredging of the reservoir area can dramatically affect local sub-watersheds and ecosystems. By using Digital Elevation Models (DEM’s) and hydrologic assessment software the projected changes can be evaluated and understood.
The study area of this research is the Beaver Run Reservoir, located in Westmoreland county Pennsylvania. The Beaver Run Reservoir was constructed in 1952, and in 1962 was expanded. The reservoir currently has a 43 square mile drainage area and provides drinking water for 150,000 residents. Using USGS topographical maps circa 1905 and 1907, a point cloud was derived from these elevation contours, and developed into a DEM. This pre-damming DEM was processed through ESRI Arc Hydro and was compared to the current DEM of Beaver Run Reservoir. Physiographic and hydrological attributes (hillshade, flow accumulation, flow direction, and stream segmentation) were compared to better understand the long-term changes associated within Beaver Run Reservoir. Notable differences between the pre/post damming were stream segmentation and changes in flow accumulation and direction respectively.

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