Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 142, Issue 1–3, pp 171–184 | Cite as

Regional-scale models for relating land cover to basin surface-water quality using remotely sensed data in a GIS

  • V. L. VersaceEmail author
  • D. Ierodiaconou
  • F. Stagnitti
  • A. J. Hamilton
  • M. T. Walter
  • B. Mitchell
  • A.-M. Boland


Plant-based management systems implementing deep-rooted, perennial vegetation have been identified as important in mitigating the spread of secondary dryland salinity due to its capacity to influence water table depth. The Glenelg Hopkins catchment is a highly modified watershed in the southwest region of Victoria, where dryland salinity management has been identified as a priority. Empirical relationships between the proportion of native vegetation and in-stream salinity were examined in the Glenelg Hopkins catchment using a linear regression approach. Whilst investigations of these relationships are not unique, this is the first comprehensive attempt to establish a link between land use and in-stream salinity in the study area. The results indicate that higher percentage land cover with native vegetation was negatively correlated with elevated in-stream salinity. This inverse correlation was consistent across the 3 years examined (1980, 1995, and 2002). Recognising the potential for erroneously inferring causal relationships, the methodology outlined here was both a time and cost-effective tool to inform management strategies at a regional scale, particularly in areas where processes may be operating at scales not easily addressed with on-site studies.


Dryland salinity Land use Native vegetation Regional analysis Southwest Victoria Australia 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. L. Versace
    • 1
    Email author
  • D. Ierodiaconou
    • 1
  • F. Stagnitti
    • 1
  • A. J. Hamilton
    • 2
  • M. T. Walter
    • 3
  • B. Mitchell
    • 1
  • A.-M. Boland
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Life and Environmental SciencesDeakin UniversityWarrnamboolAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty of Land and Food ResourcesThe University of MelbourneRichmondAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Biological and Environmental EngineeringCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Primary IndustriesPrimary Industries Research VictoriaFerntree Gully DCAustralia

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