Evaluation of Bank Erosion Inputs to the Blue Earth River with Airborne Laser Scanner

Project Staff: 

Principal Investigators: Satish Gupta, Professor, Department of Soil, Water, and Climate; Marvin Bauer, Professor, Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota

Additional Staff: David Thoma, Ph.D. student, Water Resources Science Program, University of Minnesota

Funding: 

USGS-WRRI 104B/ CAIWQ Competitive Grants Program

Project Duration: 

March 2000 - February 2001

Summary: 

Final Report

Development of effective pollution management practices requires knowing what pollution sources are the largest contributors. Sediment and nutrient pollution in the Minnesota River result from a variety of sources, including upland erosion from agricultural areas and stream bank collapse. The relative contributions from these sources, however, are not well understood. Satish Gupta, Marvin Bauer, and David Thoma were been awarded a grant to determine how accurately airborne scanning laser altimetry can measure stream bank mass failure rates and phosphorus inputs on the Blue Earth River, a tributary to the Minnesota River. If results are favorable, this technology will be an important tool for resource managers to determine which projects have the greatest potential for pollution abatement and to assess the effectiveness of current control efforts.