A comparison of Tuttle Creek Reservoir and Milford Lake


Brandon Milner

This webpage project was created for an Advanced Image Processing course in the 2009 fall semester at Emporia State University.

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Tuttle Creek Reservoir and Milford Lake are two man-made water bodies found in north central Kansas. Both of these lakes were made for flood control and recreation. Tuttle Creek has a larger impact on flood control as seen in the flood of 1993. Variations of sedimentation distinguish the two lakes as seen over time. Sedimentation will need to be monitored over time. The main types of land use in this area are agricultural use and natural vegetation use. The lakes have flucuated in size from between 1989 and 2009 based on climate conditions.

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I will be comparing Tuttle Creek Reservoir and Milford Lake in Northeast Kansas. I will be comparing three main things with the lake. The first thing that will be compared is sediment effect on the lakes. The second thing to be compared is the vegetation types around each lake. The last thing to be compared is the comparision of total area for each lake from 1989 and comparing that with data from 2009. I will be comparing the lakes by images made using the Idrisi GIS program.

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The area being studied is located in Northeastern Kansas with Tuttle Creek Reservoir being northeast of Manhattan and Milford Lake being west of Manhattan. (Image is from World's Site Atlas, 2008)

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Natural Composites

These two images are natural color composites made by putting together bands 1, 2 and 3 from Landsat images. I made the composites by using the COMPOSITE function and selecting band 1 for the blue band, band 2 for the green band and band 3 for the red band. Notice the color of the water on the lakes in both images. The image on the left is from 1989, while the image on the right is from 2009. Notice the delta being formed where Fancy Creek enters Tuttle Creek Reservoir from 1989 to 2009.

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False Color Composites

These two images were made using the bands 2, 3 and 4. These are called false-color composites. They were made using the composite icon and putting band 2 as the blue band, band 3 for the green band, and band 4 for the red band. The water color is different for both lakes between the two images as the images on the right has a lighter color than the one on the left. This is because fine sediment located just a few centimenters below water level reflects light. Sedimentation progresses in Milford lake and Tuttle Creek Reservoir. Tuttle Creek Reservoir has developed a minor delta over the years. The red color indicates the location of vegetation on the images. Bright red indicates dense natural vegetation while a duller red indicates agricultural use of the land. The image on the left is from 1989 while the image on the right is from 2009.

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Vegetation Imaging

These two images are the beginning stages of trying to cluster vegetation types. The image on the left was made using the VEGINDEX function that will classify the area into vegetation types. I used bands 3 and 4 for this image. I then used multiple mathematical functions on the image on the right. I used the SCALAR function to first add 1 to the scale on the right to give the values a positive number. I then used the SCALAR function to multiply the scale by 125 to give the scale values from 0 to 245. The image on the left is from 1989 and the image on the right is from 2009.

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Landcover Types

Types of Land Cover

Cluster 1=Unknown

Cluster 2 =Natural Vegetation

Cluster 3=Forest Area

Cluster 4=Agricultural Area

Cluster 5=Farrow Fields

Cluster 6=Urban Areas

This image was made by using the CLUSTER function that separated the different types of land cover based on reflective surfaces. There is much more agricultural activity to the west of Milford Lake, and north and west of Tuttle Creek Reservoir. The image on the left is from 1989 while the image on the right is from 2009. Clusters 7 and 8 represent water bodies between these two images.

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Area Images

Tuttle Creek Reservoir

1989=49 square kilometers 2009=55 square kilometers

Milford Lake

1989=55 square kilometers 2009=63 square kilometers

These images are from 1989 and 2009. The images show the difference in area between both years. After the cluster image, I used the ASSIGN function to assign a value of 1 for cluster 8 and a value of 0 for every other cluster. I was able to isolate the individual lakes by using the WINDOW function. This will allow someone to focus on an individual part of an image. I next used the AREA function to find the area of the red areas which are the water areas. I found that the lakes were quite different in size from 1989 to 2009. There was a drought period in 1989 which may have lowered water levels. In contrast, 2009 was a wet season which may explain why the lakes were larger in area.

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There are some conclusions that can be made from the data created. The effects of sediment can be seen on the natural color and false color composite images. Tuttle Creek Reservoir has had more sedimentation occur over the 20 years as seen by the color of the lakes in the false color composites. A minor delta has formed to the north of Tuttle Creek Reservoir. Fancy Creek flows into Tuttle Creek Reservoir bringing sediment to the lake. Milford Lake is a darker blue color in 1989 because less sediment is suspended in the water, and is lighter in 2009 as more sediment is supended in the water. Likewise, the Republican River flows into Milford Lake. There is a difference in vegetation around the two lakes. There is more agricultural use of the land to the west and north of Tuttle Creek Reservoir and west of the Milford Lake area. This is a dividing line between agrilculture use and national vegetation areas. In terms of overall size, Milford Lake was larger in 2009 than 1989 because of a drought period in 1989. The same is true for Tuttle Creek Reservoir as Tuttle Creek was larger in 2009 than in 1989 because of the drought.

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Eros, 2009. Earthexplorer. Site visited on December 6th, 2009 at http://eros.usgs.gov/

Kansas Water Office, 2008. Milford Lake Reservoir Fact Sheet. Site visited on December 6, 2009 at http://www.kwo.org/ReservoirInformation/ReservoirFactSheets/Milford_Lake.pdf

Lawrence Journal World News,2001. Engineers say Tuttle Creek Reservoir will become Giant Mud Flat by 2076. Site visited on December 6, 2009 at http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2001/may/22/engineers_say_tuttle/

U.S. Army Corp Of Engineers, 2004. Tuttle Creek Dam Safety Assurance Program. Site visited on December 6, 2009 at http://www.nwk.usace.army.mil/projects/tcdam/fact-sheets.htm

World’s Site Atlas, 2008. Kansas Highway and Road Map. Site visited on December 6, 2009 at http://www.sitesatlas.com/Flash/USCan/static/KSFH.htm

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For more information email milner_brandon@emporia.edu.

This webpage was created on December 9th, 2009.

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