Delineation of tile-drain networks using thermal and multispectral imagery—Implications for water quantity and quality differences from paired edge-of-field sites

Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
By: , and 

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Abstract

As part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, paired edge-of-field sites were established in high priority subwatersheds to assess the effectiveness of agricultural management practices. One pairing was in Black Creek, a tributary to the Maumee River and Lake Erie. These fields were paired because of similarity in soils, topography, and agricultural management. Following two years of baseline data collection from these fields, consistent differences in water quantity and quality were observed for tile networks draining the fields, despite these fields being adjacent and managed together. Consequently, it was hypothesized that differences in subsurface water movement, specifically tile-drain density and connectivity, were the source of the observed differences. Our objective was to map the tile-drain network using remote sensing methodology in order to improve the understanding of nutrient and water transport as well as management on these fields. A combination of multispectral and thermal imagery, collected in spring of 2017, was incorporated to delineate the tile-drain network within each field. This imagery led to locating a cracked tile, which provided a direct path for overland flow to enter the tile-drain system and suggested that a tile-drain segment under the road connected the two fields. A ground-penetrating radar survey verified multiple tile locations, including the tile segment under the road. The distribution of these tiles helps explain the difference in water quantity and quality in the two fields.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Delineation of tile-drain networks using thermal and multispectral imagery—Implications for water quantity and quality differences from paired edge-of-field sites
Series title Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
DOI 10.2489/jswc.74.1.1
Volume 74
Issue 1
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Soil and Water Conservation Society
Contributing office(s) Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Water Science Center
Description 11 p.
First page 1
Last page 11