Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Engineering Science


Geology and Geological Engineering

First Advisor

Louis G. Zachos

Second Advisor

Cristiane Q. Surbeck

Third Advisor

Robert M. Holt

Relational Format



Assessment of land use changes on hydrological processes is essential for the planning and development of sustainable land management practices and water resources. Understanding how land management practices influence hydrological components is essential for the prediction of hydrological consequences of changes in land use. Given the plethora of hydrological models, digital data sources, and the limited availability of observed data, it is difficult to quantify the impacts of land use changes on hydrology. In this study, a Watershed Impact Management (WIM) model framework was conceptualized. A case study of the Yocona River basin, Mississippi, was implemented with the soil and water assessment tool (swat) using the arcgis extension and interface. The objective of this study was to quantify the impacts of three different land use change scenarios. These scenarios were developed based on projected future land use planning for the city of Oxford and Lafayette County. Expanded urbanization in scenario was the strongest contributor to increased runoff and water yield. Incorporation of best management practices (BMPS) in scenario b resulted in a significant reduction of sediment yield and nutrient load. However, no changes were evident in groundwater nitrate loading despite the addition of BMPS. The replacement of all non-urban areas with forest trees in the Yocona river basin, (scenario c) resulted in decreased runoff and sediment yield. The WIM modeling approach in the quantification and assessment of impacts of land use change can be applied to all watersheds, even those with limited data availability and will provide quantitative information in planning and decision-making for land and water resource management.


Emphasis: Geology



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