An Investigation of the Complex Interrelated Issues Associated with Generating Automotive Fuels From Lignocellulosic Biomass


Sustainable Futures Institute
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, Michigan 49931

Phone: 906.487.3612
Fax: 906.487.2943
e-mail: sfi@mtu.edu

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The Riparian Model :
Biomass Inventory and Analysis System (BIAS)
Ann Maclean , PhD;
Professor, Geographic Information Systems/Remote Sensing;
School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Grad Students:

Sinan Abood
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Anthony Landon
School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

Riparian ecotones are unique, diverse networks of vegetation and soils in close proximity to freshwater streams, rivers and lakes. These ecotones are linked to the watercourse network via flooding and intercepting upland runoff.

Vegetation communities along stream banks often delineate riparian boundaries. However, geology, soil chemistry, and hydrologic changes need to be considered as well. Previous approaches to riparian boundary delineation have utilized fixed width buffers, but this methodology has proven to be inadequate as there are two factors that all riparian ecotones are dependent upon: the watercourse and its associated floodplain. Using a fixed width riparian buffer only takes the watercourse into consideration. The objectives of the study are:

  • Build a second generation GIS-based model that delineates a variable-width riparian boundary utilizing 10m and 30m digital elevation model (DEMs) and the 50 years flood height data that is more robust and automated than the original model and compare the variable-width delineated ecotone to the fixed-width buffers recommended in BMPs (Best Management Practices) for mapping accuracy.
  • Evaluate the outcome of incorporating digital soils data and/or NWI data into the model for improved riparian zone delineation when compared to only utilizing digital elevation data.
  • Determine the impact of varying the spatial resolution of the DEM on the delineation of riparian ecotoned. This will be accomplished by utilizing 1 meter DEMs derived from LIDAR data.


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