Title

Hydrological Dynamics of Temporary Wetlands in the Southern Great Plains as a Function of Surrounding Land Use

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-7-2014

Keywords

crop types, hydroperiod, playa, remote sensing

Abstract

We used remote sensing imagery to characterize the hydrological dynamics of 8404 temporary freshwater wetlands (playas) in Texas (Landsat 5 TM WRS-2 P30/R36) from 2008 to 2011, comparing known wet and dry periods, and related these to land use within 100 m. Hydroperiods were highly variable, and peak water availability occurred in different seasons in different years, varying by as much as two orders of magnitude with date. Land use affected the likelihood and duration of inundation, with playas in urban settings being modified in such a way as to extend hydroperiod, and playas surrounded by cropland experiencing shorter hydroperiods: 3726 playa basins never contained standing water during the four-year period, and many of these were surrounded by cotton, corn, wheat, or sorghum. In contrast, 25 playas never dried, and most of these were surrounded by urban development. Median hydroperiod was 17e109 days, being longer during the relatively wet year of 2010 compared to exceptional drought in 2011. Remote sensing was useful in monitoring playa surface water fluctuations as a function of land use, providing an alternative source of data in the absence of ground-based hydrological records, and granting a temporal perspective that may otherwise not exist for seasonal or ephemeral wetlands.

Publication Title

Journal of Arid Environments

Volume

109

First Page

6

Last Page

14

Language

en

DOI of Published Version

10.1016/j.jaridenv.2014.05.006

Publisher

Elsevier

Rights

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.