Application of LiDAR-derived topography and floodplain mapping data in screening potential oxbow lake restoration sites.

Nathan Young, Keith Schilling, Harvest Schroeder

Friday 3 july 2015

12:51 - 12:54h at Europe 1 (level 0)

Themes: (T) Hydro-environment, (ST) Rehabilitation of water systems, Poster pitches

Parallel session: Poster pitches: 15G. Environment - Renewable & Wetland

The state of Iowa, USA, is one of the most heavily altered landscapes in North America. Over the last century, the vast majority of Iowa’s prairie, woodland, and wetland areas have been converted for row crop agriculture. Changes in land use have resulted in significant terrestrial and riparian habitat loss, and have created conservation concerns for several affected species. The Topeka Shiner (Notropis topeka), is a small federally endangered fish species dependent upon shallow oxbow lake habitat in Iowa and other Midwestern US states. Streams in Iowa’s Boone River Watershed have been identified as critical Topeka Shiner habitat and are the focus of ongoing restoration efforts. To date, aerial photography has been the primary source of information used in restoration planning. Recently, high-resolution, LiDAR-derived topographic data have become available and have been used to develop a detailed statewide floodplain mapping dataset. While these unique data are primarily intended to guide floodplain development and regulation, their application in wildlife and habitat management is currently being realized. The present research seeks to apply detailed topographic and flood inundation data in screening potential oxbow lake restoration sites. GIS-based tools are being used to characterize metrics important to Topeka Shiner habitat that are not reflected in aerial photography, including oxbow depth, age, flood frequency, and stream connectivity.