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Monday, November 6 • 4:15pm - 6:15pm
Poster Session. Mapping the Sediment Regime of the Connecticut River Watershed for Environmental Conservation

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AUTHORS. Bogumila Backiel, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Christian Marks, The Nature Conservancy; Keith Nislow, USDA-Forest Service.

ABSTRACT. Sediment in riverine systems has been decreasing in alarming rates worldwide. Wetlands, floodplains and geomorphic features, including sandbars, are created by sediment accumulation. Sandbars are early successional habitats that support vital habitat for endangered plants and animal species. However, human development has altered flows regimes and reduced riverine sediment dynamics. In this study, sandbars and islands were used as a metric for the sediment regime of the Connecticut River watershed in New England. One meter aerial images from United States Department of Agriculture (USGS), National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP), were used to create an automated object based segmentation model in ArcGIS, to map sandbars. This model was successfully applied to the Connecticut River mainstem and nine major tributaries including the Ammonoosuc, Ashuelot, Black, Deerfield, Farmington, Sugar, Westfield, White and Upper Ammonoosuc rivers. A total of 1,887 sandbars (300 square meters and greater) were mapped in the watershed, with 538 in the mainstem and 1,349 in the nine tributaries. The White River in Vermont had the greatest mean count of sandbars compared to all rivers. A variety of fluvial geomorphic and anthropogenic variables are shown to have significant relationships with sediment regime of the Connecticut River watershed. The locations of sandbars can be used by ecologists for habitat conservation while the model provides researchers with a methodology for geomorphological mapping that can be applied in other large river ecosystems across the region.

Monday November 6, 2017 4:15pm - 6:15pm
Ballroom Salon IV (3rd Level)

Attendees (3)