MEERM Thesis Qualifying / Comprehensive Exam - Logan RessWednesday, July 12, 2017 - 9:30am
Urbanization and land-use changes have many different impacts on the hydrology of a watershed. Most modern urban hydrologic studies recognize the effects of increased impervious surfaces that reduce infiltration, increases runoff, and causes major damage to both the built and natural environment. One of the traditional ways to reduce flood risks locally is by implementing storm sewer (SS) systems; i.e. artificial networks used to transport runoff away from highly urbanized areas. However, SS systems also have an effect on the flood hydrology downstream by increasing the drainage density. Adding artificial channels, pipes, and culverts to the natural channels increases the drainage network efficiency at transporting water, decreases lag time, and increases flood peaks, resulting in serious implications for water resource management and urban planning. The proposed research will focus on the combined effects of impervious surfaces and SS drainage systems within the Rocky Branch Watershed (RBW) in Columbia, SC. Expanding the geospatial analysis of total impervious surfaces (TIA) and SS density will be combined with hydrologic analysis to examine the interrelationship between factors such as slope, zoning, TIA, and SS densities in RBW, and the relationship between TIA, SS densities, and storm hydrology responses. Investigating the compounding effects of impervious surfaces and SS systems gives a more complete understanding of how urbanization transforms the hydrologic response of a watershed to rain events.