Objective 1: To determine relevant characteristics of each sub-catchment from literature.
When determining the most suitable sub-catchment for reclamation, the variables found to be most important were streams (measured by stream power), slope, NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index), and catchment wetness index.
Streams are located within each sub-catchment and pollutants from the forested land to the lake are carried by these streams (Gunn et al, 2016). Stream power determines the pace at which these pollutants are carried into the lake, and is related to slope (Gunn et al, 2016).
Slope is an important component of this project because it determines the rate at which streams flow into the lakes, linked to stream power. High slope areas enable streams to flow at a faster rate than low slope areas (Emilson et al, 2016). Faster flow rates allow for more sediments being deposited in the lake (Emilson et al, 2016).
NDVI and Catchment Wetness Index
The NDVI and catchment wetness index of each sub-catchment should be considered because aquatic biological, chemical, and physical processes depend on organic matter derived from terrestrial vegetation and soils (Tanentzap et al., 2014). NDVI is an indicator of the amount of vegetation that exists within an area; greater forest cover increases terrestrial primary production and thus organic matter export, which supports fish biomass (Tanentzap et al., 2014). The catchment wetness index is an indicator of how much hydrological processes contribute to biological processes (e.g. vegetation patterns, forest cover). The NDVI and catchment wetness index are determined separately, but are closely related to each other in terms of how they affect the surrounding ecosystems.