Author(s): Shao Y, Lunetta RS, Macpherson AJ, Luo J, Chen G
Abstract Share this page
Abstract In the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin (GLB), corn acreage has been expanding since 2005 in response to high demand for corn as an ethanol feedstock. This study integrated remote sensing-derived products and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) within a geographic information system (GIS) modeling environment to assess the impacts of cropland change on sediment yield within four selected watersheds in the GLB. The SWAT models were calibrated during a 6 year period (2000-2005), and predicted stream flows were validated. The R(2) values were 0.76, 0.80, 0.72, and 0.81 for the St. Joseph River, the St. Mary River, the Peshtigo River, and the Cattaraugus Creek watersheds, respectively. The corresponding E (Nash and Sutcliffe model efficiency coefficient) values ranged from 0.24 to 0.79. The average annual sediment yields (tons/ha/year) ranged from 0.12 to 4.44 for the baseline (2000 to 2008) condition. Sediment yields were predicted to increase for possible future cropland change scenarios. The first scenario was to convert all "other" agricultural row crop types (i.e., sorghum) to corn fields and switch the current/baseline crop rotation into continuous corn. The average annual sediment yields increased 7-42 \% for different watersheds. The second scenario was to further expand the corn planting to hay/pasture fields. The average annual sediment yields increased 33-127 \% compared with baseline conditions.
This article was published in Environ Manage
and referenced in Hydrology: Current Research