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    Author(s): Avay Risal; Prem B. Parajuli; Padmanava Dash; Ying Ouyang; Anna Linhoss
    Date: 2020
    Source: Agricultural Water Management
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (4.0 MB)


    Land use and land cover (LULC) change is critical to hydrologic study as it affects surface runoff, sediment yield,
    and nutrient load from watersheds. Change in LULC is a continuous process in agricultural watersheds as per the
    growing and harvesting seasons. In this study, monthly LULC data layers were generated for the Big Sunflower
    River Watershed (BSRW), Mississippi by classifying cloud free Landsat images from 2014 to 2018 and combining
    them according to the season in order to obtain dominant LULC data layers for spring, summer, and fall. About
    60 % of the total land area in summer was cultivated land, whereas only 20 and 5 % of the total land area were
    cultivated land during fall and spring, respectively. The rest of the total land area was constantly covered with
    urban, forest, and water for the three seasons. The overall accuracy and kappa coefficient ranging from of 87 %
    to 92 % and 0.8 to 0.90 was obtained during accuracy assessment of the seasonal LULC data layers. This suggested
    that the seasonal data layers can reasonably be used in the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to
    analyze the effects of LULC data variation on hydrology and water quality of BSRW. SWAT was calibrated and
    validated for streamflow, sediment yield, and nutrient concentration using the summer LULC data layer and
    those parameters were applied to the models using the spring and fall LULC data layers. SWAT output for runoff,
    sediment yield, and nutrient load was found to be very sensitive to the change in LULC data layers. The average
    amount of runoff and sediment yield was higher during the summer while total nitrogen and total phosphorous
    yields were higher during the fall and spring, respectively. Agricultural operations are usually conducted during
    the summer and fields are mostly barren during the spring and fall. The use of seasonal LULC data layers is very
    beneficial to the scientific community as they can better explain the seasonal variation in hydrology and water
    quality as compared to the annual cropland data layer that is available for a single season of a year.

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    Risal, Avay; Parajuli, Prem B.; Dash, Padmanava; Ouyang, Ying; Linhoss, Anna. 2020. Sensitivity of hydrology and water quality to variation in land use and land cover data. Agricultural Water Management. 241: 106366-.


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    LULC, Seasonal variation, Hydrology, Water quality, SWAT

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