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Waituna physiographic mapping

Example of the physiographic mapping undertaken for the Waituna Catchment, Southland.

Waituna Catchment - High Resolution Physiographic Units

Over the past year, we have been collaborating with Living Water (DOC/Fonterra Partnership) and local landowners to undertake high-resolution physiographic mapping of the Waituna Catchment, Southland. The key aim of the project was to support water quality and biodiversity investment decisions for the catchment, and to assist the partnership in achieving their aim of “finding solutions to enable farming, freshwater, and healthy ecosystems to thrive side-by-side”. To achieve this, we created high-resolution physiographic science process-attribute layers for the catchment. The hydrological and redox process-attribute layers were identified to be the key controls over water quality outcomes in the Waituna Catchment. One of the key outputs of the project was the provision of ESRI-supported story maps including a story map on Background and Technical Information and Waituna Catchment Physiographic Units and Inherent Risk to water quality.

Additional information on the application of the physiographic approach to the Waituna Catchment can be found in a recently published paper (Rissmann et al., 2018), which was presented at the Massey University, Fertilizer and Lime Research Centre Workshop.

For more information on this project contact Lisa (


Rissmann, C., Pearson, L., Lindsay, J., Marapara, T., Badenhop, A., Couldrey, M., and Martin, A. (2018). Integrated landscape mapping of water quality controls for farm planning - applying a high resolution physiographic approach to the Waituna Catchment, Southland. In: Farm environmental planning - Science, policy and practice. (Eds. L. D. Currie and C.L. Christensen) Occasional Report No. 31. Fertilizer and Lime Research Centre, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. 19 pages.


Rissmann, C., Pearson, L., Lindsay, J. Marapara, M., and Badenhop, A. (2018). Waituna Catchment: Technical Information and Physiographic Application. Land and Water Science Report 2018/01. Prepared for Living Water, 133p.

Rissmann, C. and Beyer, M. (2018). Waituna Catchment: Temporal Variation. Land and Water Science, Technical Report 2018/09. Prepared for Living Water. 11p.

Pearson, L., Rissmann, C. and Lindsay, J. (2018). Waituna Catchment: Risk Assessment. Land and Water Science, Technical Report 2018/02. Prepared for Living Water. 43p.

Pearson, L. Rissmann, C. and Lindsay, J. (2018). Waituna Catchment: Physiographic Stocktake. Land and Water Science, Technical Report 2018/03. Prepared for Living Water. 90p.

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