Reach Surveys and GIS Analysis of Stream Habitat in the Lower Platte River
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.