Spatial analysis of land use change in a flood-prone watershed: S. Ore Creek, MI, USA




Wetlands, Flooding, Land use, ArcGIS, Watershed


The S. Ore Creek watershed in Hamburg, Michigan is a 93.2 km2 watershed that flows into Ore Lake, whose community is vulnerable to increasing flooding. There have been no studies investigating the influences of upstream inputs on flooding in this watershed, such as urban development and vegetation changes within wetlands. The current study uses the Online ArcGIS software to examine shifts in wetlands and urban development from 2000 to 2019 in the S. Ore Creek watershed. We divided the watershed into four sections from north to south, and identified regions of land use changes within and surrounding wetlands in each section. Using the National Land Cover Database, we identified the area of urban and wetland land use change. We found that there were changes within wetlands (e.g., herbaceous to woody wetlands) in 745,200 m2, increases in intensity of urban development surrounding wetlands in 150,300 m2, and urban development encroaching into wetlands in 62,100 m2. Urban development encroaching into wetlands (and some waterways) occurred in the southern half of the watershed (31,500 m2) with some encroachment in the northernmost section of the watershed (30,600 m2). Relatedly, regions where herbaceous and woody wetlands disappeared occurred in 50,400 m2. Studies have found that increases in urban development and shifts in vegetation within wetlands have been found to increase the potential of flooding. The current study has potential implications for the recent increases in downstream regional flooding.


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How to Cite

Zielkowski, L., Bismack, A., McDowell, J., & Robertson, W. (2023). Spatial analysis of land use change in a flood-prone watershed: S. Ore Creek, MI, USA. Journal of Student Research, 12(3).



Research Articles