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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

2008 Annual Report

1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Develop and validate methods to identify critical source areas of soil and nutrient loss in agricultural catchments of the Chesapeake Bay drainage basin using remote sensing techniques, particularly LiDAR-developed topographic maps. A. Develop technology for detection of runoff and erosion prone critical source areas in steeply sloped landscapes of the Chesapeake Bay drainage area. B. Develop technology for detection of runoff and nutrient loss critical source areas in nearly-level landscapes of the Chesapeake Bay drainage area.

1b.Approach (from AD-416)
In order to link the edge-of-field effects of agricultural management practices to down stream impacts on water quality and fish habitat, LiDAR-developed topographic maps and other remotely sensed data will be used to detect runoff and erosion prone areas in steeply sloped landscapes, target site-specific ditch and field management practices in nearly-level landscapes, and characterize stream channel processes. Research will be conducted at sites representative of landscapes and agricultural practices within the Potomac and the watersheds, estuaries and marine ecosystems of the Chesapeake Bay drainage basin, including the Mid-Atlantic Highlands of Appalachia, Allegheny Plateau, Valley and Ridge, and Atlantic Coastal Plain.

3.Progress Report
Data collected in 2007 for the Mahantango watershed located in east-central Pennsylvania and the Choptank river watershed, which feeds directly into the main stem of the Chesapeake Bay, were processed by CVI employees and delivered to the principle ARS collaborators. LiDAR data clearly show areas of inundated wetlands under tree canopies and could possibly be used to map and monitor these areas on the Eastern Shore.

CVI organized and hosted a well-attended stream restoration conference featuring Andrew Simon, ARS scientist from the National Sedimentation Laboratory in Oxford, MS.

LiDAR and color-infrared imagery data were collected for the Penn State University Agricultural Experiment Station at Rock Springs, PA and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore campus and experimental farm using an aircraft-mounted Optech ALTM 3100 sensor, which can fire up to 100,000 laser pulses per second. The ALTM 3100 system records four hits from each of the laser pulses, meaning that elevation information will be gathered not only for the ground but for surface features as well.

Multi-spectral imagery data were also collected for the Penn State University Agricultural Experiment Station at Rock Springs, PA using equipment on loan from a CVI business associate.

Data collection plans were revised to include a second data collection effort for the Choptank watershed in the spring of 2009.

A Postdoctoral Research Associate managed and co-ordinated project related research activities. Project related activities and procedures were discussed, finalized and implemented using conference calls, one-to-one meetings, and group meetings among collaborators. In addition there were several trips made to the different research sites in Pennsylvania and Maryland. National Program 106, Component 8, Sustainability and Environmental Compatibility of Aquaculture.

6.Technology Transfer


Last Modified: 8/27/2015
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