Date of Award

Spring 2003

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Melching, Charles S.

Second Advisor

Zitomer, Daniel H.

Third Advisor

Crandall, Clifford J.


A fundamental part of watershed planning consists of identifying areas having high nonpoint source pollutant load. One way to achieve this goal is to apply models like CREAMS, ANSWERS or AGNPS in order to determine the amount of sediment and pollutants delivered to the water body. The problem in using these models is the great amount of data required to run and calibrate them, data that are not always available. A simple sediment model based on the Universal Soil Loss Equation and the Event Mean Concentration concept was applied to the Root River watershed in southeastern Wisconsin using Geographical Information Systems (GIS). GIS have been used more and more extensively to model natural processes, social and economic trends, transportation networks, and anything dependent, at least in part, on geography. The original model developed by the Marquette University (MU) Institute of Urban Environmental Risk Management for the Oak Creek and the Menomonee River watersheds is revised, modified, and discussed in this report. A spatially distributed Delivery Ratio has been estimated to use in conjunction with the soil erosion model, and all calculations have been implemented in Arc View GIS in a raster environment. This model can help to identify hot spots of pollution and concentrate BMPs in these areas, improving downstream water quality with limited funding. It can also be applied considering future land uses, thus, analyzing the effect of rapid urbanization in the watershed. Finally, erosion values were compared to the soil loss tolerance and crucial sediment generating areas were identified based on the final erosion maps.



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