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The integration of GIS and watershed erosion models to support the assessment of surface coal mine reclamation




Huang, X. Shawn, author
Alvarado, Anthony B., author
Zevenbergen, Lyle W., author
Cochran, John N., author
Colorado State University, publisher

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The technology of Geographic Information System (GIS) has been extensively applied in numerous fields, such as watershed hydrologic/hydraulic modeling and urban stormwater modeling, during the last two decades. However, the integration of GIS and watershed erosion models receives little attention primarily because of the complexity of sediment routing. As surface coal mining disturbs topsoil/vegetation and destroys drainage networks, surface coal mine operators are required by law to reclaim disturbed mining areas in order to minimize the impacts on the prevailing hydrologic balance and to limit the contribution of additional sediment to receiving streams. To assess the success of surface coal mine reclamation, watershed erosion models such as EASI (Erosion And Sedimentation Impact) are used to predict runoff and sediment yield from the reclaimed area for both pre-mining and post-mining conditions. It is of great value to integrate GIS with watershed erosion models, because almost all data can be organized in the geodatabase and GIS can be used to calculate model-input parameters from stored geometries. To automate the complex workflow of watershed erosion modeling through EASI, an ArcGIS-based interface of easiTool was developed. It is shown that easiTool greatly increases the efficiency of watershed erosion modeling and facilitates the assessment of surface coal mine reclamation.


2011 annual AGU hydrology days was held at Colorado State University on March 21 - March 23, 2011.
Includes bibliographical references.

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