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Reach Surveys and GIS Analysis of Stream Habitat in the Lower Platte River Basin, Nebraska

By Ronald B. Zelt
ABSTRACT: The lower Platte River drains a 78,000 km2 basin below the confluence of the North and South Platte Rivers downstream to its mouth. Habitat features were surveyed at seven selected stream reaches in the basin in October 1993 and July and October 1994. Specific sets of collected measurements included channel cross-section profiles, longitudinal water- surface profiles, planimetry of targeted in-stream habitat features, and topography of selected floodplain and terrace features. Surveyed angles and distances were converted to geospatial data sets using geographic information system (GIS) algorithms. Spatial analyses were performed to derive parameters such as channel width, bank angle, stream-centerline stationing, and total shoreline length. Stream slope was estimated using linear regression. Results include detailed maps of reach planimetry and channel cross-sectional graphs showing interannual variability in habitat conditions from 1993 to 1994. The data also serve as baseline information for assessing interdecadal variability, a planned component of the Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment Program for which the surveys were conducted.

Zelt, R.B., 1995, Reach Surveys and GIS analysis of stream habitat in the lower Platte River Basin, Nebraska [abs.]: Platte River Basin Ecosystem Symposium, Kearney, Nebr., 1995, Program and Abstracts p. 12.

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