Modeling the effects of past and future land use change in the Satilla River watershed
Elkins, Duncan C
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Population growth and demographic trends are driving changes in land use in the Coastal Plain of Georgia, USA. I calibrated a watershed model of the Satilla River watershed using the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and land cover data for 1974, 198, and 1998 developed by the Georgia Land Use Trends project (GLUT). I then used this model to assess the effects of observed land use change in the period between 1974 and 1998 and constructed land use scenarios to investigate the possible effects of several past and future land use scenarios. Simulation results indicate that current surface water yields may be 25% more than would be present under a pre-development land cover and that foreseeable development may further alter the balance surface to groundwater flows for this watershed.