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Chris Zemp 2/21/14 EcoGeo Consulting

Cedar River Headwaters

A GIS Analysis

Objective(s) Aggregate Streams of the Cedar River Watershed (The Headwaters) based on readily available raster data from USGS Satellite Raster(s) and watershed Data from WA State. Use GIS Analysis Tools on the above mentioned data to delineate sub watersheds and catchments. Produce nine maps outlining the Analysis.


Data Preparation The data needed to be clipped to the particular area of interest (Cedar River Watershed) and then re-projected into a modern day coordinate system to ensure accuracy in the analytical process.

Above: The overview of the data preparation model used in ArcMap.

The data preparation started with a Washington Watershed Unit polygon, containing multiple units. The objectives center on the Cedar River Headwaters, therefore that particular watershed unit was selected. This selection was then defined as the area of interest (AOI). Note: The area of interest was then projected into the NAD 1927 coordinate system to align with the next piece of input data in the model, the USGS 10 M Raster. This was done to save

processing time, as the raster file is large, thus clipping the raster was deemed a priority. The coordinate systems were then changed to a more accurate modern system later on. The USGS Satellite Raster image was then brought into the model. It was clipped to the area of interest (Cedar River Headwaters). The raster data was now cut to the defined area of interest and almost ready for processing. The final steps involved re-projecting the AOI into a more accurate, modern coordinate system, NAD 83 and producing a hillshade (useful for map display). As noted by the model, the process deviated into two paths, one detailing the AOI, and one clipped to a custom extent (defined by the analyst) to be used for map background visualization purposes.


Nine maps were produced, each map detailing a process (tool) in the model. The picture below details the model in full.

Map 1: The purpose of map one was to determine directional flow values for each cell within the raster. The Fill Sinks tool was used to eliminate any low points in cell values (where water ma accumulate). This was done so each cell could be assigned a value for flow direction in the next step. The Flow tool was used next to determine flow direction for each raster cell. This assigned each cell a number that corresponded to a cardinal direction.

The model for map one is as follows:

Map 2 The purpose of Map Two was to assign raster cells accumulation values. The model for Map Two is detailed below:

The previous outputted raster was used with the accumulation tool to assign each cell an accumulation value. It was found that the cells with the most accumulation were located in valleys and river beds.

Map 3 The purpose of Map 3 was to create a stream network raster. The model is detailed below:

Using an iterative method, a threshold was determined for the accumulation raster. This threshold was 370. After the threshold was inputted, the accumulation raster was double checked with flow-line data o ensure accuracy. This step is exemplified below:

Next, the Raster Calculator tool was used. The tool was used to display all cells with a value greater than 370. This ensured that the stream network would be shown as accurately as visual analysis allowed. The equation for the raster calculator was as follows: SetNull("%HCR_acc%" < 370,1)

Map 4 The purpose of map four was to break up the streams into segments. This was useful for the next step, as each segment was assigned a unique value. The model and map are detailed below:

Map 5 The purpose of Map Five was to assign each stream an order using the Stream Order tool and the Strahler method. This method numbers each stream in a descending nature, starting with the integer one. As you move 'down' the path of the stream, the next segment it connects with is thereby numbered with the next integer, in this case two. The pattern continues down the flow of the stream, and each segment is thereby numbered in this order. The model and map are detailed below:

Map 6 The purpose of Map Six was to assign each raster cell a value based on proximity to the main outlet points of the AOI. The main outlet was found to in the NW region of the AOI, with a secondary in the NE. The Flow Length tool was used. The model and map are detailed below:

Map 7 The purpose of Map Seven was to determine basins within the Cedar River AOI. The basin tool was used for this step, using the Stream network raster as the input for stream raster and the flow direction raster for direction raster input. The simplify polylines tool box was checked to ensure smoothness in the output polygon. This process is detailed below:

It was determined that two main basins existed, and they are numbered in the map with each area given in ha (see next page). Useful for map display and further analysis, the stream network raster was converted to a vector file using the raster to polygon tool. This is detailed below:

Map 8 The purpose of Map Eight was to aggregate individual watersheds within the AOI. To o this, the analyst created a new feature class and at confluence of streams greater than order 3, placed a drainage point. This feature class was then used in congruence with the Snap Pour Point tool to produce a raster that could be used to verify the accuracy of the points, and in turn feed into the next analysis tool. The next tool in the analysis was the watershed tool. The input was the outlet raster that was created above. This produced polygons for 13 unique watersheds within the AOI. The model and map are detailed below:

Map 9 The purpose of Map Nine was to identify catchments within the AOI. For this, the Watershed tool was used (again), but the input was the stream segment raster produced for Map Four. For each segment, a catchment was created, thus 841 catchments were found to exist. The model and map are detailed below:

Map 9

Conclusions Overall, the Cedar River Headwaters analysis was deemed successful. Basins, watersheds, catchments, stream segments, stream order and a stream network were produced.

Key Findings: Two main basins exist. o Basin One has an area of 37.93 ha o Basin Two has an area of 6,516.92 ha There are 841 Stream Segments and 841 Catchments. There are 17 confluence points of streams orders 3+. There are 13 unique watersheds within the AOI.