Model Validation for Suitability Analysis in Ohio's Grand River Valley wine region

Authors: Mark Guizlo*, Lakeland Community College
Topics: Wine, Beer, and Spirits, Agricultural Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: land suitability, viticulture, wine geography, modeling, Ohio
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 32
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Ohio's Grand River Valley wine region features a fragmented and highly concentrated pattern of production in small plots on gently sloping moraine formations in the Grand River Valley in northeast Ohio. The study area is situated approximately 12 kilometers inland and 120 meters elevation above the Lake Erie shoreline approximately 40 miles east of Cleveland. This cool climate wine region is vulnerable to extreme weather events, late and early frosts, and crop diseases. Grape growers have sought to avoid these hazards in locating plots for grape production. Given the limitations and challenges of this growing area, this research evaluates land suitability modeling to select potential sites for expansion of grape production.

The case study uses a weighted index model of wine grape production that integrates eight terrain, landscape, and soil variables in order to score potential land at a field plot scale (resolution = 10m) for its suitability for wine grape farming. Model validation is a significant challenge in land suitability analysis, and I compare validation based on sensitivity analysis, expert evaluation, and ground truthing.

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