HEI Awarded Blue Earth County DEM Conditioning and Terrain Analysis Project



Where: Blue Earth County, MN

When: April 1, 2014


Project Background:

Numerous watercourses and water bodies within Blue Earth County are currently listed on the MPCA's 303(d) list as being impaired for turbidity and fecal coliform. This project aims at developing BMP Targeting datasets to assist in strategically determining locations for Better Management Practices (BMP) implementation. BMP Targeting datasets will be developed using advanced GIS techniques using LiDAR, soils, and landcover data. The BMP Targeting datasets rank flowpaths and overland catchments by analyzing and scoring the results of the Stream Power Index (SPI) and a spatial application of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE).

Development of these datasets are funded through the Accelerated Implementation portion of the Board of Soil and Water Resources (BSWR) Clean Water Fund (FY2014). Funding for this phase of the project includes completing the GIS analysis to develop the BMP Targeting Datasets and Tools.

This project will utilize the LiDAR data collected during 2010 as part of the Minnesota Elevation Mapping Project and made available through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. This LiDAR acquisition project collected data across approximately 17,260 square miles covering 25 counties in southern Minnesota. The bare earth LiDAR points were generalized into a digital elevation model (DEM) at 3 meter by 3 meter resolution. This 3 meter by 3 meter “bare earth” DEM will serve as the base of all terrain analysis related to the project.

Project Tasks Assigned to Houston:

1) Develop hydrologic conditioned digital elevation model (DEM)

2) Develop Water Quality GIS Datasets