Analyzing the Effect of Urbanization vs Water Quality in Upper Silver Creek Using GIS Techniques

Authors: Logan Pelo*, Southern Illinois University -Edwardsville, Adriana Martinez, Project Advisor, Professor, Shunfu Hu, Advising Professor
Topics: Water Resources and Hydrology, Development, Land Use
Keywords: water, water quality, GIS, urbanization, stream, runoff, urban, analysis
Session Type: Virtual Guided Poster
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Virtual 54
Presentation File: Download



Particularly in the Midwest, understanding how urbanization affects land quality is important because runoff from urban infrastructure can impact water quality in natural stream environments. For example, the presence of urban pollutants can influence water from natural sources like Silver Creek near Troy, Illinois. Silver Creek is an important waterway because it serves as an irrigation source for the area and has previously been reported to have water quality issues due to stream bank erosion. In this project, I aim to classify the factor of urban development for multiple catchment areas along Upper Silver Creek and correlate that classification to five key water quality characteristics: total dissolved solids, electroconductive materials, pH, dissolved oxygen, and water temperature. I selected six sites along the main channel based on their accessibility by roadway overpass and their proximity to major tributaries. Water samples were taken using a drop-in sample bottle, and water quality characteristics were measured on-site using calibrated handheld instruments. I carried out classification of urban development factor by combining hydrologic and raster land-use analysis in ArcGIS Pro. Determining any correlation between urbanization and these water quality characteristics can lead to further research on the effect of urbanization on riparian zones, agricultural health, or other important ecological studies. Measuring correlation from site to site could lead to a targeted approach on mitigating damage caused by runoff. There have been many studies into Silver Creek’s geomorphology, but the creek’s importance to surrounding ecological and agriculture demands more inquiry into what lies within the water

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