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Upper Mississippi River system weighted wind fetch analysis (1989, 2000, 2010/2011)

October 31, 2020

Wind fetch is defined as the unobstructed distance that wind can travel over water in a constant direction. Fetches are limited by landforms surrounding the body of water. Fetch is an important characteristic of open water because longer fetches can result in larger wind-generated waves. The larger waves, in turn, can increase shoreline erosion and sediment resuspension (Rohweder and others 2012). Increases in sediment resuspension lead to increases in water turbidity, which in turn decreases light penetration and, therefore, create conditions less conducive to aquatic plant growth (Giblin and others 2010).

A wind fetch model was developed by David Finlayson, U. S. Geological Survey, Pacific Science Center, while he was a Ph.D. student at the University of Washington (Finlayson 2005). This method calculates effective fetch using the recommended procedure of the Shore Protection Manual (USACE 1984). Scientists at the United States Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center (UMESC) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) further refined this model (Rohweder and others 2012) and structured it to operate using the most recent version of the ArcMap Geographic Information System platform (Esri, 2019). At the time the analysis was performed, the version of ArcMap used was 10.7.1. The model refined in 2012 was used for the analyses described in this report.

Using this model, UMESC performed an analysis to model weighted wind fetch for the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS) corresponding to three separate time periods of land cover spatial data acquisition (1989, 2000, and 2010/2011). The purpose of the analysis was to examine how fetch varies over time and space within the UMRS for potential management applications. For more detailed information on the wind fetch model, examine the USGS Open-File Report by Rohweder and others (2012).

Citation Information

Publication Year 2020
Title Upper Mississippi River system weighted wind fetch analysis (1989, 2000, 2010/2011)
Authors Jason J. Rohweder, James T. Rogala
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype Other Government Series
Series Title Contract Report
Index ID 70215395
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center