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Water 2018, 10(4), 464; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10040464

Identifying Feasible Locations for Wetland Creation or Restoration in Catchments by Suitability Modelling Using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) Digital Elevation Model (DEM)

1
Department of Geography, University of Tartu, Tartu 51003, Estonia
2
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Limited, P.O. Box 11 115, Hamilton 3216, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 26 March 2018 / Accepted: 9 April 2018 / Published: 11 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimizing Land Use Patterns in a Context of Watershed Management)
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Abstract

Wetlands play a key role in controlling flooding and non-point-source (diffuse) pollution. They are therefore an important tool for mitigating diffuse water pollution from farms. However, to use this tool, it is necessary to obtain detailed assessments and identification of potential wetland restoration or creation sites. This is complicated by the diversity of landscapes, environmental conditions, and land ownership. Site suitability for wetland restoration or creation depends on many factors: the underlying geology, soils, topography, hydrology, drainage, and land ownership. Local hydrology and soils are among the most important factors. However, the inventory and characterization of a site’s soils and hydrology often requires extensive, expensive, and time-consuming ground surveys, and it is therefore limited to small areas. Another possibility would be to consider topography, which strongly determines water movement patterns. Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data provides detailed topographic information and can be acquired by remote sensing. Our study showed that terrain analysis using high-resolution topographical data can produce suitability maps for wetlands that can be easily used by decision makers and planners in watershed management. The rapid methodology reveals potential wetland creation or restoration sites at a reasonable cost; with the resulting spatially explicit suitability map, managers can plan for wetland creation or restoration without having to wait for field-data collection. View Full-Text
Keywords: spatial analysis; suitability analysis; spatial planning; watershed management; GIS; landscape planning spatial analysis; suitability analysis; spatial planning; watershed management; GIS; landscape planning
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Uuemaa, E.; Hughes, A.O.; Tanner, C.C. Identifying Feasible Locations for Wetland Creation or Restoration in Catchments by Suitability Modelling Using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) Digital Elevation Model (DEM). Water 2018, 10, 464.

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