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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT OF LAND AND WATER RESOURCES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY IN THE NORTHEAST U.S. Title: Application of LIDAR to Improve Implementation of the Phosphorus Index in Flat and Steeply Sloping Terrain

item Buda, Anthony
item Kleinman, Peter
item Sripada, Ravi - CANAAN VALLEY INST
item Schmidt, John
item Veith, Tameria

Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 10, 2008
Publication Date: July 26, 2008
Citation: Buda, A., Kleinman, P.J., Sripada, R.P., Schmidt, J.P., Veith, T.L. 2008. Application of LIDAR to Improve Implementation of the Phosphorus Index in Flat and Steeply Sloping Terrain [abstract]. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation Society. p. 1.

Interpretive Summary: An interpretive summary is not required.

Technical Abstract: The Phosphorus Index is a central component of modern nutrient management planning that targets nutrient reduction measures to critical source areas in the landscape. While the Phosphorus Index has widely been adopted throughout the U.S., the technique can be costly to implement and is prone to human error. We sought to determine whether implementation of the Phosphorus Index could be improved using LIDAR technology on steeply-sloped and flat terrain. Two watersheds were selected for comparison: (1) a steeply-sloped watershed located within the Ridge and Valley Physiographic Province of central PA, and (2) a relatively flat watershed situated within the Coastal Plain Physiographic Province on the Eastern Shore of MD. We anticipate that LIDAR-generated terrain maps will improve the ease of application of the Phosphorus Index by minimizing field work and permitting better identification of channelized flow in the landscape (e.g. ditches, gullies, etc.). In steeply-sloped terrain, we expect LIDAR imagery to enhance estimates of soil erosion. Ultimately, the incorporation of LIDAR technology into the Phosphorus Index may enable greater precision in the delineation of critical source areas and therefore help to improve nutrient conservation goals.

Last Modified: 10/6/2015
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