Modeling Trail Degradation Using Field and GIS Methodologies: A Comparative Study.

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dc.contributor.advisor Yu-Fai Leung, Committee Co-Chair en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Roger Moore, Committee Member en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Shishir Raval, Committee Member en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Hugh Devine, Committee Co-Chair en_US Cakir, Janet Ferguson en_US 2010-04-02T18:26:11Z 2010-04-02T18:26:11Z 2005-08-01 en_US
dc.identifier.other etd-07152005-143654 en_US
dc.description.abstract Trail degradation is a problem that park managers continually battle. A relatively recent US General Accounting Office report states a 4 billion dollar maintenance backlog has developed in the National Park System. Given the heavy use of trails, it is likely that a substantive part of this backlog is related to trail degradation. The ability to quickly and accurately predict trail problem locations would greatly enhance the efficiency of both preventing and mitigating these problems. To date, some studies have modeled trail degradation, but these methods rely almost entirely on field-collected data, which is expensive and time consuming to obtain. This study explores the potential of GIS to efficiently populate degradation models of incision and width with landform variables. Issues related to GIS data resolution for use in these models are examined through a stepwise regression procedure. Results suggest that models based on GIS-derived data perform as well or better than models based on field-measured data. These results also suggest that there may be a relationship between trail degradation and landform characteristics such as slope, trail grade, trail alignment angle and landform curvature. Specific degradation problems are further examined using spatial and nonspatial clustering techniques and the results suggest that degradation problems are spatially clustered. Visual examination indicates that certain landform characteristics are coincident with statistically significant clusters of both high and low values of trail degradation. This work bolsters the argument for the use of GIS derived data in trail degradation models. With these procedures designers and managers can quickly and efficiently use the models to quantify the degradation sensitivity of existing trail sections and alternative new trail designs. In addition, based on the findings in this study, researchers may begin to measure some landform attributes with GIS to reduce the costs of field work. Research implications also suggest new areas of model development related to the spatial scale of factors that appear to influence trail degradation. en_US
dc.rights I hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dissertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to NC State University or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report. en_US
dc.subject spatial scale en_US
dc.subject GIS en_US
dc.subject Geographic Information Systems en_US
dc.subject Trail degradation en_US
dc.title Modeling Trail Degradation Using Field and GIS Methodologies: A Comparative Study. en_US PhD en_US dissertation en_US Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management en_US

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