Watershed modeling tools and linkages to the Lake Rim geographic information system (GIS)

Status Start Date End Date Locations
completed Jan 1, 1950 Jul 31, 2009 Lake, LaPorte, Porter
Director: Sally Letsinger
Other Researchers: Greg Olyphant, Alex Zlotin Denver Harper
Funding: Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM)
Issue: The watersheds along the Indiana shore of Lake Michigan have been severely affected by industrial and agricultural activities. These watersheds are experiencing substantial water-quality problems, including fecal coliform bacteria, among others.
Objective: This project focuses on surface-water hydrology of the Trail Creek and Little Calumet Watersheds. We will provide the physical basis for studying surface-water flow and contaminant transport in the pollution of ground and surface waters of the Lake Rim area of northwestern Indiana.
Approach: All existing data on water quality within the watersheds will be incorporated into the Lake Rim GIS. We will then develop a series of hydrologic coverages for the Trail Creek and Little Calumet Watersheds that can be used in conjunction with coverages of soils, geology, land use, and potential contaminant sources. Together, these coverages and their associated data tables will provide the boundary conditions and constraints on a dynamic model for contaminant movement through the targeted watersheds.
Products: A streamflow model for routing flows through branching networks was developed specifically for the two watersheds. Soil and land-use coverages facilitated the calculation of runoff coefficients for each of the watershed subareas. User-friendly linkages were constructed that allow the user to move between the GIS database and the hydrologic analysis tools.
Benefits: Analyses conducted in this manner facilitate the assessment of primary pollution source areas within the watersheds and provide a basis for previewing or simulating the impacts of proposed remediation measures on downstream water quality.

Interfacing watershed modeling tools and a GIS: Example for the Lake-Rim area of northwestern Indiana
Zlotin, A., Olyphant, G.A., and Harper, D., 2000. Interfacing watershed modeling tools and a GIS: Example for the Lake-Rim area of northwestern Indiana. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 32(4): 469.