Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

Environmental Health Sciences

First Advisor

Dwayne Porter

Abstract

Increasing urbanization of southeastern coastal areas has led to enhanced concern of the impacts of development on receiving waters. The increased use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at the county level has led to greater availability of land use data at larger scales. This newly, widely available large-scale data may prove to be useful in the study of the impacts of development on receiving waters. This research seeks to examine the relationship between urban development information, available at the parcel level within a coastal watershed, and fecal coliform bacteria levels in the adjoining receiving waters. Regression modeling was used to determine a simple model to represent the relationship between fecal coliform and urban land use metrics. Sources used included a parcel level dataset for a Beaufort, SC watershed and fecal coliform data collected by the state of South Carolina's Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) within the watershed under study. Model results indicated R-Squared values up to 0.39 were obtained with simple regression models incorporating only the number of parcels developed and precipitation data in annual and seasonal models. These simple models represent a large percent of the variability inherent in fecal coliform data considering they include so few terms. This may be indicative of the statistical power of the data at such a large spatial scale for the analysis of fecal coliform bacteria sources.

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