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GIS, watershed modeling, streambank erosion, sediment transport


A GIS-based technique was developed for estimating streambank erosion rates for more accurately predicting total sediment loads at the watershed scale without the use of detailed field data. This technique relies on the use of data sets that are easily obtained and expressed as GIS data layers. The basis of this technique are statistical relationships between “lateral erosion rates” and watershed characteristics such as curve number, grazing animal density, topographic slope, soil erodibility, and degree of urban development. An algorithm for estimating streambank erosion was incorporated into a GIS-based watershed model. Simulated and observed sediment loads were compared for twenty-eight watersheds in Pennsylvania, and a relatively good model fit was obtained based on a number of statistical measures.