Methods of determining stream setback corridors in urban watersheds from remotely sensed data in the Dallas metropolitan area, Texas.
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Schreiner, Matthew R.
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Bank stability in urbanized streams is worsening in response to increased runoff, causing unprecedented stream erosion. Eroding banks pose a serious threat to existing structures prompting cities to create buffer zone ordinances to prevent the loss of future structures. Unfortunately, most ordinances probably misjudge buffer zone widths due to the lack of sufficient topographic accuracy for their delineation. However, this study utilizes observations based from remotely sensed data, such as Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) with higher accuracy, as well as geological parameters such as channel material. Stream setbacks are easily calculated using computer-aided mapping technology, through the use of remotely sensed data and setbacks can be determined and mapped as corridors with minimal field checking. This study evaluates the overall accuracy of this methodology as compared with values acquired in the field. The results show that the LiDAR data, while being a relatively good fit to the field data, can misrepresent stream setbacks in areas of high relief, most likely due to the smoothing algorithms used in the post-processing of the raw LiDAR data, and field checking is advocated.