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Open-File Report 2014–1258

Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District

Lake Michigan Diversion Accounting Land Cover Change Estimation by Use of the National Land Cover Dataset and Raingage Network Partitioning Analysis

By Jennifer B. Sharpe and David T. Soong

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (2.12 MB)Abstract

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Chicago District, is responsible for monitoring and computation of the quantity of Lake Michigan water diverted by the State of Illinois. As part of this effort, the USACE uses the Hydrological Simulation Program–FORTRAN (HSPF) with measured meteorological data inputs to estimate runoff from the Lake Michigan diversion special contributing areas (SCAs), the North Branch Chicago River above Niles and the Little Calumet River above South Holland gaged basins, and the Lower Des Plaines and the Calumet ungaged that historically drained to Lake Michigan. These simulated runoffs are used for estimating the total runoff component from the diverted Lake Michigan watershed, which is accountable to the total diversion by the State of Illinois. The runoff is simulated from three interpreted land cover types in the HSPF models: impervious, grass, and forest. The three land cover data types currently in use were derived from aerial photographs acquired in the early 1990s.

This study used the National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD) and developed an automated process for determining the area of the three land cover types, thereby allowing faster updating of future models, and for evaluating land cover changes by use of historical NLCD datasets. The study also carried out a raingage partitioning analysis so that the segmentation of land cover and rainfall in each modeled unit is directly applicable to the HSPF modeling. Historical and existing impervious, grass, and forest land acreages partitioned by percentages covered by two sets of raingages for the Lake Michigan diversion SCAs, gaged basins, and ungaged basins are presented.

First posted January 13, 2015

For additional information, contact:
Director, Illinois Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
405 N Goodwin
Urbana, IL 61801

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Suggested citation:

Sharpe, J.B., and Soong, D.T., 2015, Lake Michigan Diversion Accounting land cover change estimation by use of the National Land Cover Dataset and raingage network partitioning analysis: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014–1258, 12 p.,

ISSN 2331-1258 (online)




Definition of Land Cover Types by Use of the National Land Cover Dataset

Raingage Network Partitioning Analysis

Assessment of Land Cover Types in the Drainage Area

Results of Land Cover and Raingage Segmentation


References Cited

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