Tag Archives: Cross sectional area

Dissertation Available: Three Useful Studies on Recreation Ecology and Visitor Use

Download it here: Logan Park’s Doctoral Dissertation


The issues and concerns facing recreation managers, academicians, and other practitioners are now often complex and important enough that solving them requires more than the sum of parts from social and physical disciplines. To that end, this dissertation document identifies and addresses three research projects that in varying proportions draw from the social and ecological aspects of recreation management. The first of three articles in this dissertation examined approximation of cross sectional soil profiles on foot trails. Monitoring this ecological indicator with current field techniques can be expensive and time-consuming for managers.

Therefore, this article described a modified procedure for assessing trail soil loss and discusses several potentially useful geometric curves for approximating the cross-section of a trail at a given sampling point and in aggregate across a trail network. Differences in profiles for each study area and implications for inventorying and monitoring were discussed.

The second article examined integration of soundscape and hiker spatial modeling. GPS data were used to generate a spatial model of hiker travel, soundscape modeling software calibrated with field data was used to generate a spatial model of sound, and the models were integrated in a geographic information system to provide insights for baseline and an alternative management option scenario. The findings suggested that small changes in soundscape, based on altered management practices, can have large effects on visitors’ hiking experiences in terms of soundscape.

The third article discussed an observational study examining several integrative and additive, information/education and site management approaches to preventing natural resource damage along backcountry trails. Video surveillance equipment unobtrusively captured hiker behaviors within the study area for each treatment. The findings suggested that direct, obtrusive measures (e.g., low symbolic rope fencing) in some cases can outperform multiple concurrent measures that are less direct and/or obtrusive. Implications on aesthetics, experiences, and management decision-making were discussed.

Download it here: Logan Park’s Doctoral Dissertation

Measuring Soil Loss/Erosion on Trails

Erosion at Haleakala National ParkSoil erosion is a major concern in parks, wilderness areas, forests and other protected areas devoted to recreation. As a primary effect of over-intensive recreation and historic land use, erosion is a perennial target for management efforts.

Measuring soil erosion along a trail is a fairly straightforward process, but requires careful bookkeeping– the field staff generate tons of data. To get an idea of the process, take a look at a tool I’ve developed to aid in cross sectional area (CSA) soil loss measurement.

Like any tool, it can be misused without proper instruction. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Disclaimer aside, enjoy–

CSA Calculator Power Tool

If you like it, I’d really appreciate a link to this post on your website. Suggestions for powertool improvement are always welcome.