Coupling land use and groundwater models to map land use legacies: Assessment of model uncertainties relevant to land use planning

Deepak K. Ray, Bryan C. Pijanowski, Anthony D. Kendall, David W. Hyndman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Groundwater models coupled with GIS analyses can be used to estimate the time for groundwater and solutes to be transported from each location across a watershed to surface water bodies. Coupled to backcast land use models, these estimates can be used to create land use “legacy” maps that quantify the contribution of historic land uses to the groundwater signal arriving at streams. However, groundwater models and backcast land use models contain uncertainties inherent to each model. These uncertainties may affect the outcome of the coupled model and hence their reliability to natural resource and land use planning. In this paper we demonstrate how a simple spatially explicit, multi-uncertainty metric can be used to assess uncertainties from our backcast land use change and groundwater travel time model. We couple five variants of groundwater travel time (GWTT) simulations with 12 variants of historic land uses, and analyze the resulting 60 realizations of land use legacy maps using a spatially explicit, multi-metric uncertainty score. We apply this approach to the Muskegon River Watershed in Michigan, where groundwater flow provides the vast majority of streamflow. Our results indicate that despite uncertainties inherent in both models, townships located in the north-central portion of the study watershed can benefit from using legacy maps as planning tools despite a wide range of evaluated uncertainties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-370
Number of pages15
JournalApplied Geography
Volume34
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to acknowledge funding from the NSF Water Cycle Program (Grant #WCR 0233648), the NASA Land Cover/Use Change and Hydrology Program, the NSF III-XT Program (Grant #IIS 0705836), the Great Lakes Fishery Trust, and the Wege Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of these funders. We also thank Brian Napoletano, Andriy Zhalnin, Camille Washington-Ottombre, Kimberly Robinson, Sarah Dumyahn, and Farrukh Aslan for comments on an earlier draft of this paper. The paper has also benefitted from lively discussions with Mike Wiley, Catherine Riseng, R. Jan Stevenson, John Koches, and Gary Nobles. DKR was at Purdue University when the work was conducted.

Funding Information:
We would like to acknowledge funding from the NSF Water Cycle Program (Grant # WCR 0233648 ), the NASA Land Cover/Use Change and Hydrology Program, the NSF III-XT Program (Grant # IIS 0705836 ), the Great Lakes Fishery Trust , and the Wege Foundation . Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of these funders. We also thank Brian Napoletano, Andriy Zhalnin, Camille Washington-Ottombre, Kimberly Robinson, Sarah Dumyahn, and Farrukh Aslan for comments on an earlier draft of this paper. The paper has also benefitted from lively discussions with Mike Wiley, Catherine Riseng, R. Jan Stevenson, John Koches, and Gary Nobles. DKR was at Purdue University when the work was conducted.

Keywords

  • Backcast land use model
  • Groundwater travel time model
  • Land use legacy
  • Model uncertainties

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