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Land Capability Potential Index (LCPI) for the Lower Missouri River Valley

December 7, 2007

The Land Capability Potential Index (LCPI) was developed to serve as a relatively coarse-scale index to delineate broad land capability classes in the valley of the Lower Missouri River. The index integrates fundamental factors that determine suitability of land for various uses, and may provide a useful mechanism to guide land-management decisions. The LCPI was constructed from integration of hydrology, hydraulics, land-surface elevations, and soil permeability (or saturated hydraulic conductivity) datasets for an area of the Lower Missouri River, river miles 423–670. The LCPI estimates relative wetness based on intersecting water-surface elevations, interpolated from measurements or calculated from hydraulic models, with a high-resolution land-surface elevation dataset. The potential for wet areas to retain or drain water is assessed using soil-drainage classes that are estimated from saturated hydraulic conductivity of surface soils. Terrain mapping that delineates areas with convex, concave, and flat parts of the landscape provides another means to assess tendency of landscape patches to retain surface water.

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