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Identifying and Mitigating Impacts from Expanding Urbanization to Duluth-Area Streams

Urbanization has steadily replaced native vegetation with impervious surfaces, affecting watershed‐scale hydrology. Karen Gran (Department of Geological Sciences, UMD) will develop a model relating urbanization to hydrograph behavior for basins within Duluth, in coordination with the City of Duluth. Her research team will hydrologically condition LiDAR topographic data and generate up‐to‐date land cover data in Duluth. These data will be used to generate synthetic hydrographs that combine topographic and land cover effects on runoff. Stream gaging on sub‐basins with different land use assemblages will help calibrate the model. Study basins will be chosen in consultation with the City of Duluth to include areas where urban expansion is likely, so future scenarios may be run to test the effect such growth may have on peak flows. As city managers rebuild from the June 2012 flood and plan for future growth, these data will help them proactively manage growth in local watersheds.

Project Award Date: 
2013-03-28
Community organization or agency: 
City of Duluth
Sponsoring CURA Program: 
CURA Contact: 
Edward Goetz Director, CURA (612) 624-8737