Topographic Geospatial Assessment of Subsurface Drainage Tile Locations

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2017-04-11
Authors
Ortiz, David
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Altmetrics
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Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology
Abstract

The U.S. Corn Belt is underlain by extensive drainage tile lines to support agricultural production, which significantly altered regional hydrology and nutrient transport processes. In, many cases, records of the precise location of main drainage tile lines are unavailable and can only be approximated using geospatial analyses. Using high-resolution topographic data, we estimated locations of drainage tile systems and compared the estimates to locations based on digitized tile maps for a set of drainage districts in Boone County, Iowa. We estimated spatial correspondence by percent error between generated drainage tile lines and actual locations of drainage lines. Our analysis suggest that the estimated drainage tile systems are reasonable representations of recorded main drainage lines for the set of drainage districts. This method of approximating drainage tile line locations can assist in estimating drainage tile line systems that do not belong to drainage districts and contain no records.

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