Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Multidisciplinary Studies - Individualized Option, M.S.


Geography and Planning Department


Dr. Kimberley Irvine, Professor of Geography and Planning

Department Home page

First Reader

Dr. Kimberley Irvine, Professor of Geography and Planning

Second Reader

Dr. Kelly Frothingham, Chair and Associate Professor, Geography and Planning

Third Reader

Dr. Stephen Vermette, Professor, Geography and Planning


This research aims to assess the water quality and the land use change impacts on sediment concentration and flow regime in Cayuga Creek, Niagara County, NY for two land use periods, 1970’s and 2005. The 1970’s land use, classified by the USGS, had a significant error. Therefore, the scenario of sediment yield and discharge level to land use change is more of a “what if” since the 1970’s land use was classified incorrectly. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT)was used to simulate flows and sediment concentrations for the two land use scenarios using the same rainfall data at the upstream and downstream sites. The modeling results indicated that the discharges at the downstream site were higher than those at the upstream site for both 1970’s and 2005 land uses. The sediment concentration was higher at the downstream site than the upstream site for 1970’s land use and the result was in an opposite direction for 2005 land use. Hydrolab Datasonde 4a’s were installed at an upstream and downstream site for a ten week period in order to assess water quality. The parameters monitored were: dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, turbidity, and temperature. Grab samples were taken in order to examine total suspended solids levels and establish a relationship with turbidity.