The changing face of floodplains in the Mississippi River Basin detected by a 60-year land use change dataset
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Floodplains provide essential ecosystem functions, yet >80% of European and North American floodplains are substantially modified. Despite floodplain changes over the past century, comprehensive, long-term land use change data within large river basin floodplains are limited. Long-term land use data can be used to quantify floodplain functions and provide spatially explicit information for management, restoration, and flood-risk mitigation. We present a comprehensive dataset quantifying floodplain land use change along the 3.3 million km2 Mississippi River Basin (MRB) covering 60 years (1941–2000) at 250-m resolution. We developed four unique products as part of this work, a(n): (i) Google Earth Engine interactive map visualization interface, (ii) Python code that runs in any internet browser, (iii) online tutorial with visualizations facilitating classroom code application, and (iv) instructional video demonstrating code application and database reproduction. Our data show that MRB’s natural floodplain ecosystems have been substantially altered to agricultural and developed land uses. These products will support MRB resilience and sustainability goals by advancing data-driven decision making on floodplain restoration, buyout, and conservation scenarios.
Rajib, Adnan; Zheng, Qianjin; Golden, Heather E.; Wu, Qiusheng; Lane, Charles R.; Christensen, Jay R.; Morrison, Ryan R.; Annis, Antonio; and Nardi, Fernando, "The changing face of floodplains in the Mississippi River Basin detected by a 60-year land use change dataset" (2021). All Faculty. 255.