Engineering Answers to Groundwater Impact Questions Using a Geographic Information System (GIS)

by Paul E. Albertson, USAE Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, United States,
Albert N. Williamson, USAE Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Irrigation and Drainage: Saving a Threatened Resource—In Search of Solutions

Abstract: Environmental concerns have raised complex questions about the impacts of increased groundwater levels adjacent to navigational pools along the Red River, Louisiana. Previous studies had produced predictions of water level and environmental impact maps that could be used to address the problem. However, comparison of information contained on these maps proved to be time consuming due to scale differences among the maps involved. An efficient alternative was needed. The Intergraph Modular GIS Environment (MGE) software was selected as an effective engineering tool for solving this problem. This GIS Environment (MGE) software was selected as an effective engineering tool for solving this problem. This GIS application demonstrates how this technology can be used to efficiently encode, store, retrieve, analyze and output the vast amount of data that was assembled to describe pre- and post-project conditions. The data included were land surface elevations, pre-and post-project groundwater elevations, and land use. Data were input to the GIS from maps of various scales; water level information in tabular form; and LANDSAT digital data. The encoded data were then geo-referenced and interpolated so that Boolean relationship logic could be applied for analyses. Results for the area near Alexandria, Louisiana, show in graphic form, the land areas with groundwater change. Land use categories are being compared with the water level information to determine the impact once groundwater/reservoir equilibrium is reached following impoundment of the navigational pool.

Subject Headings: Geographic information systems | Information systems | Groundwater | Mapping | Water level | Computer software | Navigation (waterway) | Environmental issues | North America | Louisiana | United States

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