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Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center

Bathymetric Surveys and Generation of a Geographic Information System Data Set for Selected Pools of the Upper Mississippi River System

Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers

 

Water depth, a function of water surface elevation and bed elevation, is one of the basic physical characteristics that affects all aquatic life. Information–such as habitat abundance, current velocities estimated from models, and changes in bed elevation–can be obtained using bathymetric data.

The Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, through funding from the Long Term Resource Monitoring Program, has generated bathymetric maps for selected pools on the Upper Mississippi River System. Maps are generated by data interpolation between spatially dense data points of water depth. Most data are collected with an automated survey system using a global positioning system and digitized echo soundings.

Boats with special equipment are used to obtain bathymetry data.The data are stored in a geographic information system for efficient data management, analysis, and map generation. Geographic information system programs have been written for extracting water depth data, estimating bathymetry at various discharge conditions, and producing standard hardcopy maps of the data. Resource managers have used the bathymetric data generated by this project to assess a variety of management opportunities.

This project was completed in September 2001.

Principal Investigator: Jim Rogala

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