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Using Backcast Land-Use Change and Groundwater Travel-Time Models to Generate Land-Use Legacy Maps for Watershed Management

Bryan Pijanowski, Purdue University
Deepak K Ray, Purdue University
Anthony D Kendall, Michigan State University
Jonah M Duckles, Purdue University
David W Hyndman, Michigan State University


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We couple two spatial-temporal models, a backcast land-use change model and a groundwater flow model, to develop what we call “land-use legacy maps.” We quantify how a land-use legacy map, created from maps of past land use and groundwater travel times, differs from a current land-use map. We show how these map differences can affect land-use planning and watershed management decisions at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. Our approach demonstrates that land-use legacy maps provide a more accurate representation of the linkage between land use/cover and current water quality compared to the current land-use map. We believe that the historical signatures of land-use impacts on current water quality should be considered in land-use planning and watershed management.

Key words

land use; legacy maps; groundwater travel times; backcast land change model

Copyright © 2007 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087