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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: APPLICATION OF REMOTE SENSING TECHNIQUES TO ADDRESS IMPACTS OF AGRICULTURE ON WATER QUALITY&FISH HABITAT WITHIN THE CHESAPEAKE BAY WATERSHED

Location: Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture Research

2009 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
This report serves to document research conducted under an Assistance Type Cooperative Agreement between Canaan Valley Institute (CVI) and ARS. Additional details of research can be found in the report for the University Park, PA associated project CRIS 1902-13000-011-00D, "Integrated Management of Land and Water Resources for Environmental and economic Sustainability in the Northeast U.S."

LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data collected in 2009 for the Choptank river watershed, which feeds directly into the main stem of the Chesapeake Bay, were processed by CVI employees and delivered to the principal ARS collaborators in Beltsville, MD. LiDAR data clearly show areas of inundated wetlands under tree canopies, and comparisons between data collected during wet conditions and data collected during dry conditions approximate the maximum and minimum boundaries of these inundated areas on the Eastern Shore. Connections between wetlands areas are also discernable.

LiDAR and color-infrared imagery data that were collected for the Penn State University Agricultural Experiment Station at Rock Springs, PA and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) campus and experimental farm were processed and delivered for use by ARS scientists and UMES faculty.

The ADODR conducted 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, Maryland and New York.


Last Modified: 8/31/2014
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