Effect of historic land cover change on runoff curve number estimation in Iowa

Journal of Hydrologic Engineering
By:  and 

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Abstract

Within three decades of European-descended settlers arriving in Iowa, much of the land cover across the state was transformed from prairie and forest to farmland, patches of forest, and urbanized areas. Between 1832 and 1859, the General Land Office surveyed the state of Iowa to aid in the disbursement of land. In 1875, an illustrated atlas of the State of Iowa was published. Using these two data resources for classifying land cover, the hydrologic impact of the land cover change resulting from the first three decades of settlement is presented in terms of the effect on the area-weighted average curve number, a term commonly used to predict runoff from rainstorms. In the four watersheds studied, the area-weighted average curve number increased by a mean of 16.4 from 61.4 to 77.8 with the greatest magnitude of change occurring in the two western Iowa watersheds as opposed to the two more heavily forested eastern Iowa watersheds.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Effect of historic land cover change on runoff curve number estimation in Iowa
Series title Journal of Hydrologic Engineering
DOI 10.1061/(ASCE)HE.1943-5584.0000234
Volume 15
Issue 9
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher ASCE
Contributing office(s) North Carolina Water Science Center
Description 4 p.
First page 692
Last page 695
Country United States
State Iowa