The Impact of Land Use/Land Cover Change on Flooding in the Lower Russian River Watershed: 1992 - 2017
Changes in land use and land cover are inevitable results of societal development, and they have various impacts on the local environment. This study focuses specifically on the impacts of land use and land cover change in the Lower Russian River watershed (Sonoma County, CA) on the severity of flooding on the Russian River between 1992 and 2017. The change in land cover was found to be statistically significant (p < 0.1) for the change in both natural and human-impacted land cover, as well as for three of the five specific land cover classes. It was found that in this case, an increase in cultivated land, forested land, and the broader category of human-impacted land cover (including developed and cultivated land) all result in an increase in flood severity, while an increase in shrubland and the broader category of natural land cover both result in a decrease in flood severity. Increases in herbaceous land were found to decrease flood severity, while increases in developed land were found to increase flood severity, but with a lower statistical significance.
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