Two Alabama Case Studies for Remote Sensing of Water Resources
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
Geology and Geography
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Managing water resources is one of the main challenges for water resource managers. This thesis uses geospatial technologies to assist in monitoring water resources through two case studies that are of concern to both state and national agencies. The first case study attempts to improve the isolated wetland classification by introducing LiDAR data. Jones (2013) applied GeOBIA methods to classify and catalog the isolated wetlands of Northern Alabama using high resolution aerial imagery where errors in rooftops, asphalt and shadows were observed. This research attempted to improve the classification methods for wetlands and tested methods to remove rooftops and asphalt mistakenly classified as wetlands using the LiDAR data and GeOBIA. The accuracy percentage achieved for the isolated wetlands classification was 90.4%, an improvement of 10% from the initial classification analysis where LiDAR data were not used. The second case study focuses on consumption of water by agricultural land and golf courses. Calculating evapotranspiration (ET) with Landsat Thematic Mapper satellite imagery through the use of the Mapping EvapoTranspiration at high Resolution with Internalized Calibration (METRIC) model, it is shown to be an effective tool for estimating water consumption on irrigated lands. The case study developed methods to estimate ET in the irrigated agricultural lands and golf courses in twenty HUC 12 watersheds in the Wiregrass region of Alabama using remote sensing methods and METRIC model. The model was able to estimate seasonal ET for year 2005 and 2010 in the study showing there was an increase in water consumption for both agricultural land and golf courses with the latter being more substantial.