Current WRP Projects: Project 41

Mapping Annual Surface Area Changes Since 1984 of Lakes and Reservoirs in Wyoming that are not Gauged Using Multi-Temporal Landsat

  • Project Number:  42
  • PI: Ramesh Sivanpillai, Senior Research Scientist – Extended Term, Dept. of Botany & Wyoming Geographic Info Science Center (WyGISC), University of Wyoming
  • Period: 03/01/2013 – 02/28/2014



Information on water stored in lakes and reservoirs are essential for their prudent management. However if these water bodies are not gauged, information about the amount of water entering and leaving the reservoir is unknown. Without this information it is difficult for planners and policy makers to devise appropriate management plans. In the absence of inflow/outflow data, remotely sensed data collected from satellites can be used for mapping how the surface area of these lakes have responded to seasonal, annual and long-term changes in precipitation and weather conditions. This research project aims to test the utility of Landsat data (collected and distributed at no-cost by USGS) to map surface area changes in selected Wyoming lakes and reservoirs that are not gauged. This research will test various image enhancements techniques and digitally classification algorithms for generating 30-year trend in surface area changes for each water body. Methods developed through this proposal will help us to map more water bodies in Wyoming using next generation of Landsat data (Landsat 8) which is scheduled for launch in Feb 2013. This proposal will also focus on undergraduate education and research through internship opportunities. Students will be required to present their research findings in local (Laramie, WY) and regional (Denver, CO) conferences.

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