Author

Megan Ross

Date of Award

5-30-2014

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

M.S.

Keywords

Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project, Alaska Energy Authority, hydropower dam, GIS

Department

Geography

Abstract

In 2014, the Alaska Energy Authority is preparing to construct a hydropower dam on Alaska's Susitna River, known as the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project. Changes to water levels, sediment content, and flow rates are likely to affect the river itself and the salmon that are sustained by the Susitna ecosystem. The potential geomorphological and biological impacts of the dam as they could affect activity in the local communities are studied using currently available data. GIS tools are applied to identify areas of reservoir fill, risk of erosion, and endangerment of salmon habitat; then compare these impact areas to areas used by residents. The study intends to provide a local context whereby Alaskans can understand impacts surrounding the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project.

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