Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The objective of this study was to spatially analyze the attributes of three subwatersheds, Hydrological Unit Code 12 (HUC 12), of the Middle Smoky Hill River Watershed in west-central Kansas and relate the variances of the attributes to the concentrations of total suspended solids (TSS) entering the Smoky Hill River during storm events. This was accomplished by comparing land cover, including cropland, grassland, and urban factors; agricultural practices, such as tillage methods, condition of terraces, and the presence of grass waterways; geomorphology, including soil types, topography, and visible erosion; and lastly, precipitation variance. The three HUC 12s that were studied were Buffalo Creek, Landon Creek, and Oak Creek. Cumulative results found that when statistically ranking characteristics of the HUCs from most to least desired, the mean rank of Buffalo Creek was 1.6, which was statistically lower (t = -2.51) than Oak Creek with a mean rank of 2.2, which was statistically equal (t = -0.11) to Landon Creek with a mean rank of 2.2. Therefore, out of the three watersheds, Buffalo Creek contained the most desired attributes that minimized erosion. According to the statistics in this study, the primary determining factors as to the increased TSS concentrations for Landon and Oak Creek are an increase in the number of fields with visible erosion, increase in population density, increased amount of impervious surface, and a greater proportional area of highly erodible soils.


Dr. Tom Schafer

Date of Award

Fall 2010

Document Type



© 2010 Dustin Fross


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