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Sample records for arid alluvial basins

  1. Spatio-temporal recharge patterns in a semi-arid alluvial basin with irrigated crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruud, N. C.; Harter, T.; Naugle, A. W.

    2001-12-01

    Recharge in semi-arid regions with irrigated crops is predominantly driven by irrigation technology and cropping patterns, but also by the seasonal distribution of rainfall and the availability of irrigation water. A significant amount of basin recharge occurs from ephemeral streams and unlined irrigation canals. A spatially distributed, GIS-based hydrologic model of water application and water use at the land-atmosphere interface was developed to estimate transient recharge to the deep vadose zone and into the unconfined alluvial aquifer. The spatial basis for the hydrologic model are individual landuse units (diffuse recharge) and a network of streams and canals with water seepage (lineal recharge). The land-atmosphere interface and unsaturated zone model component (LAIUZ) is coupled to a surface water supply model component (SWSM) that provides surface water deliveries by district or sub-district, depending on available information. Using LAIUZ and SWSM, we investigate the regional behavior and spatio-temporal variability of deep vadose zone recharge in the 3,800 square kilometer Tule groundwater basin of the San Joaquin Valley, California. Surface water management in the topographically flat basin is divided between two dozen irrigation and water districts. All surface water is imported or is natural discharge into the basin. Groundwater extractions are managed by landowners on a field-by-field basis. Monthly varying recharge and groundwater pumping rates are computed for the hydrologic years 1970 through 2000. The average size of the GIS landuse units is 0.4 sq. kilometers. The GIS coverage distinguishes over 60 landuse types. Applied and consumptive water use are computed based on actual evapotranspiration and known irrigation or water use efficiencies for each landuse unit. Seepage from streams is computed by mass balance. The resulting model estimates of groundwater recharge and pumping are in good agreement with measured groundwater level changes for the thirty-year period (model validation). Throughout the region, the deep vadose zone (up to 30 m deep) is found to account for a significant amount of intermediate-term basin storage, particularly during wet year cycles. The hydrologic model demonstrates that practically all of the annual precipitation (230 mm) is available for intermediate storage in the root zone, crop water uptake, or deep percolation. No direct losses to evaporation occur, presumably because most precipitation occurs during the winter months. Diffuse recharge is 110 mm/year (range: 38 - 200 mm/year). Lineal recharge accounts for one-third of the total recharge (170 mm/year) in the basin. In wet years, lineal recharge along streams and in intentional recharge basins may account for over 50% of the total recharge, whereas in dry years it may be as little as 8%.

  2. Impacts of Urbanization on Groundwater Quality and Recharge in a Semi-arid Alluvial Basin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The management of groundwater resources is paramount in semi-arid regions experiencing urban development. In the southwestern United States, enhancing recharge of urban storm runoff has been identified as a strategy for augmenting groundwater resources. An understanding of how urbanization may impac...

  3. Sedimentology and paleoecology of an Eocene Oligocene alluvial lacustrine arid system, Southern Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beraldi-Campesi, Hugo; Cevallos-Ferriz, Sergio R. S.; Centeno-García, Elena; Arenas-Abad, Concepción; Fernández, Luis Pedro

    2006-10-01

    A depositional model of the Eocene-Oligocene Coatzingo Formation in Tepexi de Rodríguez (Puebla, Mexico) is proposed, based on facies analysis of one of the best-preserved sections, the Axamilpa Section. The sedimentary evolution is interpreted as the retrogradation of an alluvial system, followed by the progressive expansion of an alkaline lake system, with deltaic, palustrine, and evaporitic environments. The analysis suggests a change towards more arid conditions with time. Fossils from this region, such as fossil tracks of artiodactyls, aquatic birds and cat-like mammals, suggest that these animals traversed the area, ostracods populated the lake waters, and plants grew on incipient soils and riparian environments many times throughout the history of the basin. The inferred habitat for some fossil plants coincides with the sedimentological interpretation of an arid to semiarid climate for that epoch. This combined sedimentological-paleontological study of the Axamilpa Section provides an environmental context in which fossils can be placed and brings into attention important biotic episodes, like bird and camelid migrations or the origin of endemic but extinct plants in this area.

  4. Estimating the surface age of arid-zone alluvial fans using spaceborne radar data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hetz, Guy; Mushkin, Amit; Blumberg, Dan G.; Baer, Gidi

    2013-10-01

    Alluvial fans constitute important recorders of tectonic and climatic signals. Thus, determining the age of alluvial deposits is a common and pivotal component in many quantitative studies of recent tectonic activity, past climatic variations and landscape evolution processes. In this study we build on the established relation between surface age and surface roughness and examine the use of radar backscatter data as a calibrated proxy for constraining the age of alluvial surfaces in such environments. This study was conducted in the hyper-arid environment of the southern Arava rift valley north of the Gulf of Aqaba. ALOS-PALSAR L-Band dual-polarized (i.e., HH, HV) data with different incidence angles (24, 38) and resolutions (6.25m, 12.5m) were examined for 11 alluvial surfaces, for which surface ages ranging from 5-160 ka were previously determined. As expected, radar backscatter in such low-relief hyper-arid desert environments responded primarily to SR at pixel-scales and below. Nonetheless, measured backscatter values for single pixels were found to be unsuitable proxies for surface age because of the natural variability in SR across alluvial units of a given age. Instead, we found the statistical properties of radar pixel populations within a given unit to be the most effective proxies for surface age. Our results show that the mean backscatter value within representativeROI's (region of interest) provided the best predictor for surface age: Lower mean backscatter values correlated well with older and smoother alluvial surfaces. The HHpolarized image with ~38 incidence angle and 6.25 m/pixel resolution allowed the best separation of surface ages. This radar-based approach allows us to quantitatively constrain the age of alluvial surfaces in the studied region at comparable uncertainty to that of "conventional" surface dating techniques commonly used.

  5. Unraveling fan-climate relationships: Milankovitch cyclicity in a Miocene alluvial fan (Teruel Basin, Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ventra, D.; Abels, H. A.; Hilgen, F. J.; de Boer, P. L.

    2009-04-01

    The role of climate change in alluvial fan sedimentation is often evident in geomorphological studies dealing with Quaternary successions, but remains hard to assess in the pre-Quaternary stratigraphic record, for which an additional obstacle is represented by detailed chronologies difficult to established within coarse clastic systems. The Teruel Basin (eastern Spain) is an extensional trough whose main tectonic activity spanned from late Oligocene to Pliocene times. Permanent internal drainage and a Mediterranean semi-arid climate made the basin and its sedimentary signatures highly sensitive to climate fluctuations, especially in terms of hydrological balance. Recent studies have proved orbital control on the development of facies sequences from low-energy, basinal settings in Teruel. In particular, high-resolution chronological and paleoclimatic information has been derived by orbital tuning of mudflat to ephemeral lake deposits in the Prado area (Villastar), linking basic facies rhythms to alternating, relatively humid/arid phases paced mainly by climatic precession. Clastic lobes from a coeval alluvial fan distally interfinger with this reference section. Stratigraphic relationships show how fan sedimentation patterns were also influenced by climate cyclicity. Highest volumes of debris transfer towards the distal mudflat repeatedly coincide with relatively humid periods. Furthermore, distal to medial fan outcrops feature prominent rhythms of distinct, alternating coarse and fine clastic packages. Such a highly organized architecture, unusual in alluvial fan successions, points to the influence of a rhythmic forcing mechanism which might have been climate variability, as evidenced by the adjacent reference section. Rather than on processes of sediment transport basinwards, climate change would have acted on sediment production and availability at the source, within the fan catchment.

  6. Chemical and Physical Weathering in a Hot-arid, Tectonically Active Alluvial System (Anza-Borrego Desert, CA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joo, Y. J.; Elwood Madden, M.; Soreghan, G. S.

    2014-12-01

    Climate and tectonics are primary controls on bedrock erosion, and sediment production, transport, and deposition. Additionally, silicate weathering in tectonically active regions is known to play a significant role in global climate owing to the high rates of physical erosion and exposure of unweathered bedrock to chemical weathering, which removes CO2 from the atmosphere. Therefore, the feedback between weathering and climate is key to understanding climate change through Earth history. This study investigates chemical and physical weathering of alluvial sediments in the Anza-Borrego Desert, California, located in the southern part of the San Andreas Fault System. This setting provides an ideal opportunity to study weathering in a hot and arid climate with mean annual temperatures of ~23 °C and mean annual precipitation of ~160 mm in the basin. Samples were collected along a proximal-to-distal transect of an alluvial-fan system sourced exclusively from Cretaceous tonalite of the Peninsular Range. The single bedrock lithology enables exploration of the effects of other variables — climate, transport distance, drainage area, and tectonics— on the physical and chemical properties of the sediments. Although minimal overall (CIA = 56-61), the degree of chemical weathering increases down transect, dominated by plagioclase dissolution. BET surface area of the mud (<63µm) fraction decreases distally, which is consistent with coarsening grain-size. Chemical alteration and BET surface area both increase in a distal region, within the active Elsinore Fault zone. Extensive fracturing here, together with a more-humid Pleistocene climate likely facilitated in-situ bedrock weathering; specifically, dissolution of primary minerals (e.g. plagioclase), preceding the arid alluvial erosion, transport, and deposition in the Holocene. This study further seeks to disentangle the complex record of the climate and tectonic signals imprinted in these sediments.

  7. Infiltration on alluvial fans in arid environments: Influence of fan morphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blainey, Joan B.; Pelletier, Jon D.

    2008-09-01

    Mountain-front recharge through highly permeable alluvial fans can be an important source of groundwater recharge in arid climates. To better understand the geomorphic factors (e.g., fan slope, fan area, active channel proportion of fan area, sediment permeability, and entrenchment of the active channel) that control flow and infiltration on alluvial fans, we developed a coupled numerical model of steady surface water flow and Green-Ampt-type infiltration. The model was applied to synthetic alluvial fans using random walkers to create connected distributary networks. The purpose of this approach is to predict where and how recharge occurs on fans as a function of fan morphology. Using the numerical model, we examined how the fan shape and the sequence of fan surfaces influenced where infiltration occurred on the fan. We also investigated how fan morphology influenced the partitioning of infiltration between the fan and the valley floor. Finally, we examined how infiltration influenced the spatial distribution of flooding. The greatest amount of infiltration occurred on low gradient fans where water spread laterally with shallower ponded water depths, although the large inundation area often included less permeable sediments outside of the active channel. The ratio of the incision depth to the input flow depth was an important predictor of the amount of infiltration. The greatest amount of infiltration occurred on fans with incision depths slightly smaller than the input flow depth. These results have implications for groundwater resource assessment and for development of monitoring networks on fans in arid environments.

  8. Alluvial plain dynamics in the southern Amazonian foreland basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lombardo, Umberto

    2016-05-01

    Alluvial plains are formed with sediments that rivers deposit on the adjacent flood-basin, mainly through crevasse splays and avulsions. These result from a combination of processes, some of which push the river towards the crevasse threshold, while others act as triggers. Based on the floodplain sedimentation patterns of large rivers in the southern Amazonian foreland basin, it has been suggested that alluvial plain sediment accumulation is primarily the result of river crevasse splays and sheet sands triggered by above-normal precipitation events due to La Niña. However, more than 90 % of the Amazonian river network is made of small rivers and it is unknown whether small river floodplain sedimentation is influenced by the ENSO cycle as well. Using Landsat images from 1984 to 2014, here I analyse the behaviour of all 12 tributaries of the Río Mamoré with a catchment in the Andes. I show that these are very active rivers and that the frequency of crevasses is not linked to ENSO activity. The data suggest that most of the sediments eroded from the Andes by the tributaries of the Mamoré are deposited in the alluvial plains, before reaching the parent river. The mid-to-late Holocene paleo-channels of these rivers are located tens of kilometres further away from the Andes than the modern crevasses. I conclude that the frequency of crevasses is controlled by intrabasinal processes that act on a yearly to decadal timescale, while the average location of the crevasses is controlled by climatic or neo-tectonic events that act on a millennial scale. Finally, I discuss the implications of river dynamics on rural livelihoods and biodiversity in the Llanos de Moxos, a seasonally flooded savannah covering most of the southern Amazonian foreland basin and the world's largest RAMSAR site.

  9. Alluvial plain dynamics in the southern Amazonian foreland basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lombardo, U.

    2015-10-01

    Alluvial plains are formed with sediments that rivers deposit on the adjacent flood-basin, mainly through crevasse splays and avulsions. These result from a combination of processes, some of which push the river towards the crevasse threshold, while others act as triggers. Based on the floodplain sedimentation patterns of large rivers in the southern Amazonian foreland basin, it has been suggested that alluvial plain sediment accumulation is primarily the result of river crevasse splays triggered by above normal precipitation events due to La Niña. However, more than 90 % of the Amazonian river network is made of small rivers and it is unknown whether small river floodplain sedimentation is influenced by the ENSO cycle as well. Using Landsat images from 1984 to 2014, here I analyse the behaviour of all the twelve tributaries of the Río Mamoré with a catchment in the Andes. I show that these are very active rivers and that the frequency of crevasses is not linked to ENSO activity. I found that most of the sediments eroded from the Andes by the tributaries of the Mamoré are deposited in the alluvial plains, before reaching the parent river. The mid- to late Holocene paleo-channels of these rivers are located tens of kilometres further away from the Andes than the modern crevasses. I conclude that the frequency of crevasses is controlled by intrabasinal processes that act on a year to decade time scale, while the average location of the crevasses is controlled by climatic or neo-tectonic events that act on a millennial scale. Finally, I discuss the implications of river dynamics on rural livelihoods and biodiversity in the Llanos de Moxos, a seasonally flooded savannah covering most of the southern Amazonian foreland basin and the world's largest RAMSAR site.

  10. Water availability and use pilot; methods development for a regional assessment of groundwater availability, southwest alluvial basins, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tillman, Fred D; Cordova, Jeffrey T.; Leake, Stanley A.; Thomas, Blakemore E.; Callegary, James B.

    2011-01-01

    Executive Summary: Arizona is located in an arid to semiarid region in the southwestern United States and is one of the fastest growing States in the country. Population in Arizona surpassed 6.5 million people in 2008, an increase of 140 percent since 1980, when the last regional U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) groundwater study was done as part of the Regional Aquifer System Analysis (RASA) program. The alluvial basins of Arizona are part of the Basin and Range Physiographic Province and cover more than 73,000 mi2, 65 percent of the State's total land area. More than 85 percent of the State's population resides within this area, accounting for more than 95 percent of the State's groundwater use. Groundwater supplies in the area are expected to undergo further stress as an increasing population vies with the State's important agricultural sector for access to these limited resources. To provide updated information to stakeholders addressing issues surrounding limited groundwater supplies and projected increases in groundwater use, the USGS Groundwater Resources Program instituted the Southwest Alluvial Basins Groundwater Availability and Use Pilot Program to evaluate the availability of groundwater resources in the alluvial basins of Arizona. The principal products of this evaluation of groundwater resources are updated groundwater budget information for the study area and a proof-of-concept groundwater-flow model incorporating several interconnected groundwater basins. This effort builds on previous research on the assessment and mapping of groundwater conditions in the alluvial basins of Arizona, also supported by the USGS Groundwater Resources Program. Regional Groundwater Budget: The Southwest Alluvial Basins-Regional Aquifer System Analysis (SWAB-RASA) study produced semiquantitative groundwater budgets for each of the alluvial basins in the SWAB-RASA study area. The pilot program documented in this report developed new quantitative estimates of groundwater budget components using recent (2000-2007) data and methods of data analysis. Estimates of inflow components, including mountain-front recharge, incidental recharge from irrigation of agriculture, managed recharge from recharge facilities, interbasin underflow from upgradient basins, and streamflow losses, are quantified for recent time periods. Mountain-front recharge is the greatest inflow component to the groundwater system and was estimated using two methods: a basin characteristic model and new precipitation information used in a previously developed regression equation. Annual mountain-front recharge for the study area for 1940-2007 estimated by the two methods is 730,000 acre-ft for the basin characteristic model and 643,000 acre-ft for the regression equation, representing 1.5 percent and 1.3 percent of precipitation, respectively. Outflow components, including groundwater withdrawals, evapotranspiration, and interbasin flow to downgradient basins, are also presented for recent time periods. Groundwater withdrawals accounted for the largest share of the water budget, with nearly 2.4 million acre-ft per year withdrawn from the study area in recent years. Evapotranspiration from groundwater was estimated at nearly 1.3 million acre-ft per year for the study area using a newly developed method incorporating vegetation indices from satellite images and land cover information. For water-budget components with temporal variation that could be assessed from available data, estimates for intervening time periods since before development were also developed. An estimate of aquifer storage change, representing both gains to and losses from the groundwater system since before development, was derived for the most developed basins in the study area using available estimates of groundwater-level changes and storage coefficients. An overall storage loss of 74.5 million acre-ft was estimated for these basins within the study area. Demonstration

  11. 10Be in Quartz Gravel from the Gobi Desert and Evolutionary History of Alluvial Sedimentation in the Ejina Basin, Inner Mongolia, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyu, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Reconstructing the evolutionary history of the Gobi deserts developed from alluvial sediments in arid regions has great significance in unraveling changes in both tectonic activity and climate. However, such work is limited by a lack of suitable dating material preserved in the Gobi Desert, but cosmogenic 10Be has great potential to date the Gobi deserts. In the present study, 10Be in quartz gravel from the Gobi deserts of the Ejina Basin in Inner Mongolia of China has been measured to assess exposure ages. Results show that the Gobi Desert in the northern margin of the basin developed 420 ka ago, whereas the Gobi Desert that developed from alluvial plains in the Heihe River drainage basin came about during the last 190 ka. The latter developed gradually northward and eastward to modern terminal lakes of the river. These temporal and spatial variations in the Gobi deserts are a consequence of alluvial processes influenced by Tibetan Plateau uplift and tectonic activities within the Ejina Basin. Possible episodes of Gobi Desert development within the last 420 ka indicate that the advance/retreat of alpine glaciers during glacial/interglacial cycles might have been the dominant factor to influencing the alluvial intensity and water volume in the basin. Intense floods and large water volumes would mainly occur during the short deglacial periods.

  12. IBIEM modelling of the amplification of seismic waves by a three-dimensional layered alluvial basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Zhongxian; Liang, Jianwen; Huang, Yihe; Liu, Lei

    2016-02-01

    We develop an indirect boundary integral equation method (IBIEM) to solve the scattering of seismic waves by a 3-D layered alluvial basin. We adopt the dynamic Green's functions for concentrated loads for a layered half-space derived from the modified stiffness method. This new algorithm of Green's function can solve the near-source response efficiently and accurately, and also facilitates the meshless implementation of the IBIEM. The numerical accuracy and stability of the IBIEM are tested for a homogeneous, hemispherical alluvial basin, and a two-layered model. Based on the IBIEM, the effects of several important parameters, such as the incident frequency, the angle of incidence and the properties of the alluvial layers are investigated for incident plane P and SV waves, respectively. The results show that the local amplification effects of a 3-D layered alluvial basin on the ground motion are strikingly significant, and that the spatial variation of the displacement response is drastic. We also find that the thickness of the near-surface low-velocity alluvial layer has a pronounced influence on the frequency spectrum of ground motion within the basin. As for the thick low-velocity layer, the amplification effect on the displacement amplitude spectrum appears in a wide range of frequencies, with more resonant models in the same frequency range. As for the thin low-velocity layer, in contrast, the amplification effect is close to the homogeneous case but becomes more significant for high-frequency waves. The displacement amplification for a basin with a soft intermediate layer is larger than that of the homogeneous basin for the lower frequencies, but seems to be weakened for high-frequency waves. Additionally, the damping ratio of the alluvial layer can substantially reduce the displacement amplitude in the basin, especially in the range of resonant frequencies. Our results provide a better understanding of the 3-D wave focusing and basin-edge effect within 3-D layered alluvial basins.

  13. Late Quaternary landscape evolution in the Kunlun Mountains and Qaidam Basin, Northern Tibet: A framework for examining the links between glaciation, lake level changes and alluvial fan formation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Owen, L.A.; Finkel, R.C.; Haizhou, M.; Barnard, P.L.

    2006-01-01

    The Qaidam Basin in Northern Tibet is one of the largest hyper-arid intermontane basins on Earth. Alluvial fans, pediment surfaces, shorelines and a thick succession of sediments within the basin, coupled with moraines and associated landforms in the adjacent high mountain catchments of the Kunlun Mountains, record a complex history of Late Quaternary paleoenvironmental change and landscape evolution. The region provides an ideal natural laboratory to examine the interaction between tectonics and climate within a continent-continent collision zone, and to quantify rates of landscape evolution as controlled by climate and the associated glacial and hydrological changes in hyper-arid and adjacent high-altitude environments. Geomorphic mapping, analysis of landforms and sediments, and terrestrial cosmogenic radionuclide surface exposure and optically stimulated luminescence dating serve to define the timing of formation of Late Quaternary landforms along the southern and northwestern margins of the Qaidam Basin, and in the Burhan Budai Shan of the Kunlun Mountains adjacent to the basin on the south. These dates provide a framework that suggests links between climatic amelioration, deglaciation, lake desiccation and alluvial fan evolution. At least three glacial advances are defined in the Burham Budai Shan of the Kunlun Mountains. On the northern side of this range these occurred in the penultimate glacial cycle or early in the last glacial cycle, during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM)/Lateglacial and during the Holocene. On the south side of the range, advances occurred during the penultimate glacial cycle, MIS-3, and possibly the LGM, Lateglacial or Holocene. Several distinct phases of alluvial fan sedimentation are likewise defined. Alluvial fans formed on the southern side of the Kunlun Mountains prior to 200 ka. Ice-contact alluvial fans formed during the penultimate glacial and during MIS-3. Extensive incised alluvial fans that form the main valley fills north of the Burham Budai and extend into the Qaidam Basin are dated to ???30 ka. These ages suggest that there was a period of alluvial fan aggradation and valley filling that persisted until desiccation of the large lakes in the Qaidam Basin post ???30 ka led to base level lowering and active incision of streams into the valley fills. The continued Lateglacial and Holocene desiccation likely led to further degradation of the valley fills. Ice wedge casts in the Qaidam Basin date to ???15 ka, indicating significant Lateglacial climatic amelioration, while Holocene loess deposits north of the Burham Bdudai suggest that aridity has increased in the region since the early Holocene. From these observations, we infer that the major landscape changes within high glaciated mountains and their adjacent hyper-arid intermontane basins, such as the Kunlun Mountains and Qaidam Basin, occur rapidly over millennial timescales during periods of climatic instability. ?? 2006 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

  14. Variation in sedimentology and architecture of Eocene alluvial strata, Wind River and Washakie basins, Wyoming

    SciTech Connect

    Patterson, P.E.; Larson, E.E. )

    1991-03-01

    Eocene continental, alluvial strata of the Wind River Formation (Wind River Basin) and the Cathedral Bluffs Member of the Wasatch Formation (Washakie basin) provide two examples of Laramide intermontane basin aggradation. These alluvial sediments primarily represent overbank flood deposits marginal to channel complexes. Their sedimentology and architecture, although grossly similar, appear to vary somewhat with proximity to Laramide uplifts. In both cases, repetitive sedimentation on the floodplain produced a succession of depositional couplets, each composed of a light-gray sand overlain by a red clay-rich silt or sand. The lower sands are tabular bodies that, near their distal margins, taper discernibly. They commonly display planar and ripple-drift laminations. Upper clay-rich layers, which are laminated, are also generally tabular. Those floodplain strata depositional proximal to Laramide uplifts show little evidence of scouring prior to deposition of the next, overlying couplet. Most of these sedimentary layers, therefore, are laterally continuous (up to 2 km). This alluvial architecture results in relatively uniform porosity laterally within depositional units but variable porosity stratigraphically through the sequence. In contrast, alluvial sediments deposited farther from the Laramide uplifts have undergone sporadic incision (either during rising flood stage or subsequently) followed by aggradation. As a result, many of these floodplain couplets are discontinuous laterally and, hence, exhibit large-scale lateral variability in porosity. Both alluvial sequences have undergone similar types and extents of burial diagenesis.

  15. Orbital forcing in the early Miocene alluvial sediments of the western Ebro Basin, Northeast Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garces, M.; Larrasoaña, J. C.; Muñoz, A.; Margalef, O.; Murelaga, X.

    2009-04-01

    Paleoclimatic reconstructions from terrestrial records are crucial to assess the regional variability of past climates. Despite the apparent direct connection between continental sedimentary environments and climate, interpreting the climatic signature in ancient non-marine sedimentary sequences is often overprinted by source-area related signals. In this regard, foreland basins appear as non-ideal targets as tectonically-driven subsidence and uplift play a major control on the distribution and evolution of sedimentary environments and facies. Foreland basins, however, often yield among the thickest and most continuous stratigraphic records available on continents. The Ebro Basin (north-eastern Spain) is of particular interest among the circum-mediterranean alpine foreland basins because it evolved into a land-locked closed basin since the late Eocene, leading to the accumulation of an exceptionally thick (>5500 m) and continuous sequence of alluvial-lacustrine sediments over a period of about 25 Myr. In this paper we present a detailed cyclostratigraphic study of a 115 m thick section in the Bardenas Reales de Navarra region (western Ebro Basin) in order to test orbital forcing in the Milankovitch frequency band. The study section corresponds to the distal alluvial-playa mud flats which developed in the central sector of the western Ebro Basin, with sediments sourced from both the Pyrenean and Iberian Ranges. Sediments consist of brown-red alluvial clay packages containing minor fine-grained laminated sandstones sheet-beds and channels, grey marls and thin bedded lacustrine limestones arranged in 10 to 20 m thick fining-upwards sequences. Red clayed intervals contain abundant nodular gypsum interpreted as representing a phase of arid and low lake level conditions, while grey marls and limestones indicate wetter intervals recording the expansion of the inner shallow lakes. A magnetostratigraphy-based chronology indicates that the Peñarroya section represents a time interval of about 500 kyr centered around chron C6r, although inferred absolute ages diverge depending on the assumed calibration of geomagnetic reversals with the astronomical time scale (Billups et al., 2004, Lourens et al., 2004). The section was sampled with a portable drill at regular intervals of about 30 cms, representing a time resolution of near 1 kyr. Spectral analysis of different measured parameters (lithology code, color, magnetic susceptibility and other rock magnetic parameters) revealed significant power at 20.4 m, 9.6 m and 4.2 m, which correspond to a ratio of 1:2.1:4.9 similar to that given by the Milankovitch cycles of eccentricity, obliquity and precession. Maximum power in the spetrum is focused in the eccentricity and obliquity bands while signal corresponding to precession is weakly expressed. The existing uncertainties in the astronomical tuning of the Early Miocene geomagnetic polarity time scale prevents us from using magnetostratigraphy to anchor the Peñarroya record with the astronomical solutions (Laskar et al., 2004). Instead, we have tried the expression of the eccentricity cycle to tune the Peñarroya section. We correlated the thick red clayed (dry phase) intervals with eccentricity minima, a phase relationship which is in agreement with that derived from earlier studies in marine and continental records from the Miocene of the Iberian plate (Abels et al., 2008, Sierro et al., 2000). The resulting tuning of the Peñarroya section yields an age for the base of geomagnetic chron C6r which fits with earlier work of Billups et al., (2004), while the top of C6r gives a significantly younger age. References Abels, H., Abdul Aziz, A., Calvo, J.P. and Tuenter, E., 2008. Shallow lacustrine carbonate microfacies document orbitally paced lake-level history in the Miocene Teruel Basin (North-East Spain), Sedimentology doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3091.2008.00976.x. Billups, K., Pälike, H., Channell, J.E.T., Zachos, J. and Shackleton, N.J., 2004. Astronomic calibration of the late Oligocene through early Miocene geomagnetic polarity time scale, Earth and Planetary Letters 224, 33-44. Laskar, J., Robutel, P., Joutel, F., Gastineau, M., Correia, A.C.M. and Levrard, B., 2004. A long-term numerical solution for the insolation quantities of the Earth, Astron. Astrophys. 428, 261-285. Lourens, L.J., Hilgen, F.J., Shackleton, N.J., Laskar, J. and Wilson, D.S., The Neogene Period, in: A Geologic Time Scale, F.M. Gradstein, J.G. Ogg and A. Smith, eds., pp. 409-440, Cambridge University Press, 2004. Sierro, F.J., Ledesma, S., Flores, J.A., Torrescusa, S. and Martinez Del Olmo, W., 2000. Sonic and gamma-ray astrochronology: cycle to cycle calibration of Atlantic climatic records to Mediterranean sapropels and astronomical oscillations, Geology 28, 695-698.

  16. Occurrence of saltwater in the alluvial aquifer in the Boeuf-Tensas Basin, Arkansas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fitzpatrick, D.J.

    1985-01-01

    The occurrence of saline water in the alluvial aquifer in the Boeuf-Tensas basin in southeastern Arkansas has been of increasing concern. A band of saline water containing chloride concentrations of greater than 50 milligrams per liter extends through the entire length of the basin. The most severely affected area is located in the southern part of the basin where chloride concentrations are as high as 1,360 milligrams per liter. The origin of the saline water in the alluvial aquifer is not definitely known, but can probably be attributed at least in part, to both upward movement from the Arkansas River. Upward instrusion of saline ground water has probably occurred through one or more of the following: 1) leakage where the Jackson confining unit is thinned or absent, 2) leakage along a fault, and 3) movement through abandoned oil and gas test holes. (USGS)

  17. Alluvial fan deposition along a rift depocentre border from the Neuquén Basin, Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muravchik, Martin; Bilmes, Andrés; D'Elia, Leandro; Franzese, Juan R.

    2014-03-01

    The interaction between hangingwall block rotation and alluvial deposition is examined from Late Triassic-Early Jurassic successions exposed along the Catán Lil half-graben border fault system in the Neuquén Basin, Argentina. Analysis of transport and depositional processes, clast composition and rock body geometry allowed the identification of three distinctive fan-shaped alluvial units. The contrasting lithologic nature of the basement (igneous-metamorphic) and syn-rift fill (volcanic and volcanic-derived) permits detailed studies of clast provenance. The origin of each alluvial system (footwall- vs. hangingwall-derived) can thus be verified. A simple method was implemented to establish the geometry of each alluvial unit by comparing the stereographic projection of its bedding to that of an idealised fan shaped body. Results show that the three alluvial systems occupied the same relative location in the rift depocentre. Unit 1 is interpreted as an alluvial fan orientated transverse to the depocentre border fault system and fed from the footwall. Non-cohesive debris flow deposition was the dominant process in this environment. Unit 2 is interpreted as a mainly hangingwall-fed alluvial fan, parallel to the depocentre border fault system and shows an upward decrease in footwall-derived clasts. Hyperconcentrated flow was the principal transport process. Unit 3 represents a fan delta, parallel to the depocentre border fault system. Its components are completely hangingwall-derived and hyperconcentrated flow deposition was the dominant process. Differences in grain-size, composition, transport directions and fan body geometry are proved to be directly linked to variations in ground tilting induced by the direction of hangingwall block rotation in an endorheic rift depocentre.

  18. Depositional facies and Hohokam settlement patterns of Holocene alluvial fans, N. Tucson Basin, Arizona

    SciTech Connect

    Field, J.J.

    1985-01-01

    The distribution of depositional facies on eight Holocene alluvial fans of varying dimensions is used to evaluate prehistoric Hohokam agricultural settlement patterns. Two facies are recognized: channel gravelly sand facies and overbank silty sand facies. No debris flow deposits occur. The channel facies is characterized by relatively well sorted stratified sands and gravels with common heavy mineral laminations. Overbank facies deposits are massive and very poorly sorted due to heavy bioturbation. Lithostratigraphic profiles from backhoe trenches and sediment size analysis document headward migration of depositional facies which results in fining upward sequences. Each sequence is a channel fan lobe with an underlying coarse grained channel sand which fines to overbank silty sands. Lateral and vertical variations in facies distributions show that depositional processes are affected by drainage basin area (fan size) and distance from fan head. Gravelly channel sands dominate at the headward portions of the fan and are more pervasive on large fans; overbank silty sands are ubiquitous at fan toes and approach closer to the fan head of smaller alluvial fans. When depositional facies are considered as records of water flow over an alluvial surface, the farming potential of each fan can be analyzed. Depositional models of alluvial fan sedimentation provide the basis for understanding Hohokam settlement patterns on active alluvial surfaces.

  19. Late Quaternary Alluvial Fans and Beach Ridge Systems in Jakes Valley, Central Great Basin, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia, A. F.; Stokes, M.; Benitez, L.

    2002-12-01

    Alluvial fan and lake beach ridge landforms provide archives of the geomorphic response to Late Quaternary climate change within the Great Basin region. This study presents the first detailed results of landform mapping and soil characterization from Jakes Valley, a high altitude (1920m) and internally drained basin, located within a previously unstudied part of White Pine County, East-Central Nevada. Mountain front alluvial fans sourced from the White Pine and Egan Ranges (west-east basin margins) are characterized by four morphostratigraphic units: Qf0 (oldest) through to Qf3 (youngest). Analysis of the soil properties of these stratigraphic units reveals two landform-soil assemblages: 1) Qf0-1, characterized by well-developed calcic soils (stages III+ to IV) and 2) Qf2-3, characterized by less well-developed calcic soils (stages I to II). Beach ridge systems formed during pluvial lake highstands are extensively developed into the mid and distal parts of alluvial fans. Integrated field and aerial photograph mapping has revealed a sequence of between 4-6 ridges with linear and / or highly curved / arcuate morphologies. Beach ridge soil properties are characterized by less well-developed calcic soils (stages I+ to II) that are similar to soils formed in Qf2 alluvial fan units. The interaction between the alluvial fan and beach ridge landforms can be utilized to explore the geomorphic response in relation to climatic amelioration during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Of particular interest is the common occurrence of the curved / arcuate beach ridges which may correspond to a period of fan progradation coincident with base-level lowering.

  20. Estimating recharge distribution by incorporating runoff from mountainous areas in an alluvial basin in the Great Basin region of the southwestern United States.

    PubMed

    Stone, D B; Moomaw, C L; Davis, A

    2001-01-01

    A method is described to estimate the distribution of ground water recharge within hydrographic basins in the Great Basin region of the southwestern United States on the basis of estimated runoff from high mountainous areas and subsequent infiltration in alluvial fans surrounding the intermontane basins. The procedure involves a combination of Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis, empirical surface-runoff modeling, and water-balance calculations. The method addresses the need to develop and incorporate constraints on the distribution of recharge in regional-scale ground water flow modeling of arid and semiarid environments. The conceptual approach and methodology were developed for Crescent Valley, Nevada. However, the concept and method are generally applicable to any region where excess precipitation in upland areas is conveyed to lower elevations before it infiltrates to recharge the ground water system. Application of the procedure to a ground water flow model of Crescent Valley appears both qualitatively and quantitatively to result in a more accurate representation of actual recharge conditions than might otherwise have been prescribed. PMID:11708447

  1. Hydrogeochemical indicators of groundwater flow systems in the Yangwu River alluvial fan, Xinzhou Basin, Shanxi, China.

    PubMed

    Han, Dongmei; Liang, Xing; Jin, Menggui; Currell, Matthew J; Han, Ying; Song, Xianfang

    2009-08-01

    Based on analysis of groundwater hydrochemical and isotopic indicators, this article aims to identify the groundwater flow systems in the Yangwu River alluvial fan, in the Xinzhou Basin, China. Groundwater delta(2)H and delta(18)O values indicate that the origin of groundwater is mainly from precipitation, with local evaporative influence. d-excess values lower than 10% in most groundwaters suggest a cold climate during recharge in the area. Major ion chemistry, including rCa/rMg and rNa/rCl ratios, show that groundwater salinization is probably dominated by water-rock interaction (e.g., silicate mineral weathering, dissolution of calcite and dolomite and cation exchange) in the Yangwu River alluvial fan, and locally by intensive evapotranspiration in the Hutuo River valley. Cl and Sr concentrations follow an increasing trend in shallow groundwater affected by evaporation, and a decreasing trend in deep groundwater. (87)Sr/(86)Sr ratios reflect the variety of lithologies encountered during throughflow. The groundwater flow systems (GFS) of the Yangwu River alluvial fan include local and intermediate flow systems. Hydrogeochemical modeling results, simulated using PHREEQC, reveal water-rock interaction processes along different flow paths. This modeling method is more effective for characterizing flow paths in the intermediate system than in the local system. Artificial exploitation on groundwater in the alluvial fan enhances mixing between different groundwater flow systems. PMID:19548025

  2. Hydrogeochemical Indicators of Groundwater Flow Systems in the Yangwu River Alluvial Fan, Xinzhou Basin, Shanxi, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Dongmei; Liang, Xing; Jin, Menggui; Currell, Matthew J.; Han, Ying; Song, Xianfang

    2009-08-01

    Based on analysis of groundwater hydrochemical and isotopic indicators, this article aims to identify the groundwater flow systems in the Yangwu River alluvial fan, in the Xinzhou Basin, China. Groundwater δ2H and δ18O values indicate that the origin of groundwater is mainly from precipitation, with local evaporative influence. d-excess values lower than 10% in most groundwaters suggest a cold climate during recharge in the area. Major ion chemistry, including rCa/rMg and rNa/rCl ratios, show that groundwater salinization is probably dominated by water-rock interaction (e.g., silicate mineral weathering, dissolution of calcite and dolomite and cation exchange) in the Yangwu River alluvial fan, and locally by intensive evapotranspiration in the Hutuo River valley. Cl and Sr concentrations follow an increasing trend in shallow groundwater affected by evaporation, and a decreasing trend in deep groundwater. 87Sr/86Sr ratios reflect the variety of lithologies encountered during throughflow. The groundwater flow systems (GFS) of the Yangwu River alluvial fan include local and intermediate flow systems. Hydrogeochemical modeling results, simulated using PHREEQC, reveal water-rock interaction processes along different flow paths. This modeling method is more effective for characterizing flow paths in the intermediate system than in the local system. Artificial exploitation on groundwater in the alluvial fan enhances mixing between different groundwater flow systems.

  3. Geologic Characterization of Young Alluvial Basin-Fill Deposits from Drill Hole Data in Yucca Flat, Nye County, Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sweetkind, Donald S.; Drake II, Ronald M.

    2007-01-01

    Yucca Flat is a topographic and structural basin in the northeastern part of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) in Nye County, Nevada, that has been the site of numerous underground nuclear tests; many of these tests occurred within the young alluvial basin-fill deposits. The migration of radionuclides to the Paleozoic carbonate aquifer involves passage through this thick, heterogeneous section of Tertiary and Quaternary rock. An understanding of the lateral and vertical changes in the material properties of young alluvial basin-fill deposits will aid in the further development of the hydrogeologic framework and the delineation of hydrostratigraphic units and hydraulic properties required for simulating ground-water flow in the Yucca Flat area. This report by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, presents data and interpretation regarding the three-dimensional variability of the shallow alluvial aquifers in areas of testing at Yucca Flat, data that are potentially useful in the understanding of the subsurface flow system. This report includes a summary and interpretation of alluvial basin-fill stratigraphy in the Yucca Flat area based on drill hole data from 285 selected drill holes. Spatial variations in lithology and grain size of the Neogene basin-fill sediments can be established when data from numerous drill holes are considered together. Lithologic variations are related to different depositional environments within the basin including alluvial fan, channel, basin axis, and playa deposits.

  4. Geologic Characterization of Young Alluvial Basin-Fill Deposits from Drill-Hole Data in Yucca Flat, Nye County, Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sweetkind, Donald S.; Drake II, Ronald M.

    2007-01-01

    Yucca Flat is a topographic and structural basin in the northeastern part of the Nevada Test Site in Nye County, Nevada, that has been the site of numerous underground nuclear tests; many of these tests occurred within the young alluvial basin-fill deposits. The migration of radionuclides to the Paleozoic carbonate aquifer involves passage through this thick, heterogeneous section of Tertiary and Quaternary rock. An understanding of the lateral and vertical changes in the material properties of young alluvial basin-fill deposits will aid in the further development of the hydrogeologic framework and the delineation of hydrostratigraphic units and hydraulic properties required for simulating ground-water flow in the Yucca Flat area. This report by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, presents data and interpretation regarding the three-dimensional variability of the shallow alluvial aquifers in areas of testing at Yucca Flat, data that are potentially useful in the understanding of the subsurface flow system. This report includes a summary and interpretation of alluvial basin-fill stratigraphy in the Yucca Flat area based on drill-hole data from 285 selected drill holes. Spatial variations in lithology and grain size of the Neogene basin-fill sediments can be established when data from numerous drill holes are considered together. Lithologic variations are related to different depositional environments within the basin such as alluvial fan, channel, basin axis, and playa deposits.

  5. Geologic Characterization of Young Alluvial Basin-Fill Deposits from Drill Hole Data in Yucca Flat, Nye County, Nevada.

    SciTech Connect

    Donald S. Sweetkind; Ronald M. Drake II

    2007-01-22

    Yucca Flat is a topographic and structural basin in the northeastern part of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) in Nye County, Nevada, that has been the site of numerous underground nuclear tests; many of these tests occurred within the young alluvial basin-fill deposits. The migration of radionuclides to the Paleozoic carbonate aquifer involves passage through this thick, heterogeneous section of Tertiary and Quaternary rock. An understanding of the lateral and vertical changes in the material properties of young alluvial basin-fill deposits will aid in the further development of the hydrogeologic framework and the delineation of hydrostratigraphic units and hydraulic properties required for simulating ground-water flow in the Yucca Flat area. This report by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, presents data and interpretation regarding the three-dimensional variability of the shallow alluvial aquifers in areas of testing at Yucca Flat, data that are potentially useful in the understanding of the subsurface flow system. This report includes a summary and interpretation of alluvial basin-fill stratigraphy in the Yucca Flat area based on drill hole data from 285 selected drill holes. Spatial variations in lithology and grain size of the Neogene basin-fill sediments can be established when data from numerous drill holes are considered together. Lithologic variations are related to different depositional environments within the basin including alluvial fan, channel, basin axis, and playa deposits.

  6. Identification of a late Quaternary alluvial-aeolian sedimentary sequence in the Sichuan Basin, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Jin-Liang; Ju, Jian-Ting; Chen, Feng; Hu, Zhao-Guo; Zhao, Xiang; Gao, Shao-Peng

    2016-03-01

    The late Quaternary sedimentary sequence in the northwestern part of the Sichuan Basin consists of five lithological units and with increasing depth include the: Chengdu Clay; Brown Clay; Red Clay; Sandy Silt; and basal Muddy Gravel. The genesis, provenance and age of the sediments, as well as the possible presence of hiatuses within this sequence are debated. Measurements of grain-size, magnetic susceptibility, quartz content, quartz δ18O values, element composition, and Sr-Nd isotopic concentrations of samples from a typical sedimentary sequence in the area provides new insights into the genesis and history of the sequence. The new data confirm that the sediments in study site are alluvial-aeolian in origin, with basal alluvial deposits overlain by aeolian deposits. Like the uppermost Chengdu Clay, the underlying Brown Clay and Red Clay are aeolian in origin. In contrast, the Silty Sand, like the basal Muddy Gravel, is an alluvial deposit and not an aeolian deposit as previously thought. Moreover, the succession of the aeolian deposits very likely contains two significant sedimentary hiatuses. Sedimentological analysis demonstrates that the source materials for the aeolian deposits in the northwestern part of the Sichuan Basin and those on the eastern Tibetan Plateau are different. Furthermore, the loess deposits on the eastern Tibetan Plateau are derived from heterogeneous local sources.

  7. Abo Formation alluvial facies and Associated Basin Fill, Sacramento Mountains, New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Speer, S.W.

    1986-03-01

    Outcrops of the Abo Formation (Wolfcampian to early Leonardian age) in the Sacramento Mountains of south-central New Mexico record the evolution of a dry alluvial fan system as it was deposited off the pedernal uplift into the Orogrande basin. The location and orientation of present-day outcrops allow us to observe an inferred east-to-west transverse facies tract consisting of: (1) proximal alluvial fans (lower Abo), which are contiguous in places with underlying Laborcita Formation fan-deltaic sediments; (2) medial anastomosed streams (middle Abo); and (3) distal low-gradient mud-dominated flood basins characterized by either distributary streams (upper Abo) or clastic tidal flats (Lee Ranch Tongue of the Abo) with associated marine carbonates (Pendejo Tongue of the Hueco Formation). Tectonism in the Pedernal highlands, which climaxed during the Late Pennsylvanian, apparently continued well into the Wolfcampian in this region, as evidenced by a major basal Abo unconformity and distinct stacked megasequences of lower Abo alluvial fan lithofacies. However, by the middle Abo, tectonic activity had quiesced and the uplift began eroding and retreating to the north and east. By the late Abo, a pediment surface had formed that was subsequently onlapped by upper Abo and eventually Yeso Formation sediments.

  8. Alluvial and bedrock aquifers of the Denver Basin; eastern Colorado's dual ground-water resource

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robson, Stanley G.

    1989-01-01

    Large volumes of ground water are contained in alluvial and bedrock aquifers in the semiarid Denver basin of eastern Colorado. The bedrock aquifer, for example, contains 1.2 times as much water as Lake Erie of the Great Lakes, yet it supplies only about 9 percent of the ground water used in the basin. Although this seems to indicate underutilization of this valuable water supply, this is not necessarily the case, for many factors other than the volume of water in the aquifer affect the use of the aquifer. Such factors as climatic conditions, precipitation runoff, geology and water-yielding character of the aquifers, water-level conditions, volume of recharge and discharge, legal and economic constraints, and water-quality conditions can ultimately affect the decision to use ground water. Knowledge of the function and interaction of the various parts of this hydrologic system is important to the proper management and use of the ground-water resources of the region. The semiarid climatic conditions on the Colorado plains produce flash floods of short duration and large peak-flow rates. However, snowmelt runoff from the Rocky Mountains produces the largest volumes of water and is typically of longer duration with smaller peak-flow rates. The alluvial aquifer is recharged easily from both types of runoff and readily stores and transmits the water because it consists of relatively thin deposits of gravel, sand, and clay located in the valleys of principal streams. The bedrock aquifer is recharged less easily because of its greater thickness (as much as 3,000 feet) and prevalent layers of shale which retard the downward movement of water in the formations. Although the bedrock aquifer contains more than 50 times as much water in storage as the alluvial aquifer, it does not store and transmit water as readily as the alluvial aquifer. For example, about 91 percent of the water pumped from wells is obtained from the alluvial aquifer, yet water-level declines generally have not exceeded 40 feet. By contrast, only 9 percent of the water pumped from wells is obtained from the bedrock aquifer, yet water-level declines in this aquifer have exceeded 500 feet in some areas. Depth to water in the alluvial aquifer generally is less than 40 feet, while depth to water in the bedrock aquifer may exceed 1,000 feet in some areas. Cost of pumping water to the surface and cost of maintaining existing supplies in areas of rapidly declining water levels in the bedrock aquifer affect water use. Water use is also affected by the generally poorer quality water found in the alluvial aquifer and, to a lesser extent, by the greater susceptibility of the alluvial aquifer to pollution from surface sources. Because of these factors, the alluvial aquifer is used primarily as a source of irrigation supply, which is the largest water use in the area. The bedrock aquifer is used primarily as a source of domestic or municipal supply, which is the smaller of the two principal uses, even though the bedrock aquifer contains 50 times more stored ground water than the alluvial aquifer.

  9. Estimating the age of arid-zone alluvial fan surfaces using roughness measurements from spaceborne radar backscatter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hetz, G.; Mushkin, A.; Blumberg, D. G.; Baer, G.; Trabelsky, E.

    2012-12-01

    Alluvial fan surfaces respond to geologic and climate changes as they record the deposition and erosion processes that govern their evolution, which amongst others is manifested in the micro and meso scale topography of the surface. Remote sensing provides a regional view that is very useful for mapping. Some previous publications have demonstrated that relative dating can also be achieved by remote sensing using techniques common in planetary geology such as overlap relationships. This work focuses on the use of radar backscatter as suggested originally by Evans et al., (1992) to map ages but here we will try to provide an absolute geologic age. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate the use of radar backscatter to constrain surface roughness as a calibrated proxy for estimating age of alluvial surfaces. With the unique regional spatial perspective provided by spaceborne imaging, we aim at providing a new and complementary regional perspective for studying neotectonic and recent landscape evolution processes as well as paleoclimate. Moreover, the method (by radar backscattering measure) can be applied to the geomorphology of other planets. The current study is located in the southeastern part of the Negev desert, Israel on the late Pleistocene - Holocene Shehoret alluvial fan sequence. High resolution (0.5 cm) 3D roughness measurements were collected using a ground-based LIDAR (Leica HDS 3000) and these show a robust relationship between independently obtained OSL surface age and surface roughness; the fan surfaces become smoother with time over 103-105 yr timescales. Spaceborne backscatter radar data respond primarily to surface slope, roughness at a scale comparable to the radar wavelength, and other parameters such as dielectric properties of the surface. Therefore, radar can provide a good quantitative indication of surface roughness in arid zones, where vegetation cover is low. Preliminary results show a relationship between surface age and roughness and the radar cross section extracted from polarimetric spaceborne data. The best result is found in cross polarization (HV), L-band measured at an incidence angle of 38°.

  10. Distinguishing early groundwater alteration effects from pedogenesis in ancient alluvial basins: examples from the Palaeogene of southern Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pimentel, N. L.; Wright, V. P.; Azevedo, T. M.

    1996-08-01

    Colour mottling and horizons of secondary carbonates are common in ancient alluvial sequences and are normally interpreted as pedogenic features. They have been used to assess palaeoclimates, soil drainage conditions and deposition rates. Palaeogene alluvial deposits in the Sado and Lisbon basins of Portugal exhibit prominent colour variations and mottle patterns, as well as carbonate accumulations both at the bases of fining-upwards cyclothems and as thick units (up to 20 m) capping alluvial megasequences. However, these colour and carbonate features are interpreted as the products of shallow, saline, reducing groundwaters, unrelated to pedogenesis. Such non-pedogenic products are easily mistaken for soil-formed ones and criteria for differentiating the two are reviewed to assist interpretations in other alluvial deposits. Key criteria are thickness, gradational tops and bases, absence of soil horizon features, occurrence in coarser alluvium and prevalence of hydromorphic colour and mottling patterns.

  11. Flood routing and alluvial aquifer recharge along the ephemeral arid Kuiseb River, Namibia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morin, Efrat; Grodek, Tamir; Dahan, Ofer; Benito, Gerardo; Kulls, Christoph; Jacoby, Yael; Van Langenhove, Guido; Seely, Mary; Enzel, Yehouda

    2009-04-01

    SummaryFlood water infiltrates ephemeral channels, recharging local and regional aquifers, and it is the main water source in hyperarid regions. Quantitative estimations of these resources are limited by the scarcity of data from such regions. The floods of the Kuiseb River in the Namib Desert have been monitored for 46 years, providing a unique data set of flow hydrographs from one of the world's hyperarid regions. The study objectives were to: (1) subject the records to quality control; (2) model flood routing and transmission losses; and (3) study the relationships between flood characteristics, river characteristics and recharge into the aquifers. After rigorous quality-testing of the original gauge-station data, a flood-routing model based on kinematic flow with components accounting for channel-bed infiltration was constructed and applied to the data. A simplified module added to this routing model estimates aquifer recharge from the infiltrating flood water. Most of the model parameters were obtained from field surveys and GIS analyses. Two of the model parameters—Manning's roughness coefficient and the constant infiltration rate—were calibrated based on the high-quality measured flow data set, providing values of 0.025 and 8.5 mm/h, respectively. This infiltration rate is in agreement with that estimated from extensive direct TDR-based moisture measurements in the vadose zone under the Kuiseb River channel, and is low relative to those reported for other sites. The model was later verified with additional flood data and observed groundwater levels in boreholes. Sensitivity analysis showed the important role of large and medium floods in aquifer recharge. To generalize from the studied river to other streams with diverse conditions, we demonstrate that with increasing in infiltration rate, channel length or active channel width, the relative contribution of high-magnitude floods to recharge also increases, whereas medium and small floods contribute less, often not reaching the downstream parts of the arid ephemeral river at all. For example, more than three-quarters of the floods reaching the downstream Kuiseb River (with an infiltration rate of 8.5 mm/h) would not have reached similar distances in rivers with all other properties similar but with infiltration rates of 50 mm/h. The recharge volume in the downstream segment in the case of higher infiltration is mainly contributed by floods with magnitude ⩾93rd percentile, compared to floods in the 63rd percentile at an infiltration rate of 8.5 mm/h.

  12. Architecture and development of the alluvial sediments of the Upper Jurassic Tordillo Formation in the Cañada Ancha Valley, northern Neuquén Basin, Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-Gómez, José; Martín-Chivelet, Javier; Palma, Ricardo M.

    2009-07-01

    The Upper Jurassic Tordillo Formation at Cañada Ancha area, northern Neuquén Basin, Argentina, comprises a multi-stage suit of predominantly alluvial sediments that is heterolithic in nature. In that suit, several lithofacies, architectural elements, and bounding surfaces of different order have been identified and their lateral and vertical distribution characterized. This analysis allowed the differentiation of 3 main units (lower, middle and upper), 20 subunits (C-1 to C-20), and the characterization of their alluvial styles. The lower unit (which comprises subunits C-1 to C-4) is mainly formed by fine- to medium-grained sandstones, which become medium- to coarse-grained towards the top. These sandstones characterize settings ranging from floodplains with isolated, unconfined flows, to more complex, vertically stacked, multi-storey sheet sandstones of braided fluvial systems. The middle unit (C-5 to C-10) is dominated by pale brown-grey fine-to coarse-grained sands and medium size subangular to angular conglomerates, which reflect amalgamated complexes of sandstone sheets and downstream accretion macroforms. Remarkably, this alluvial sedimentation was episodically punctuated by volcaniclastic flows. The upper unit (C-11 to C-20) consists of finer sediments, mainly pink to white fine-to medium grained sandstones and red to green siltstones. Towards the top, bioturbation becomes important, and also the presence of volcanosedimentary flows is noticeable. Fluvial settings include braided sheet sandstones with waning flood deposits evolving to isolated high-sinuosity fluvial systems, with flash flood deposits. At the top of this unit, facies may suggest marine influence. Vertical changes in the fluvial style result from both climatic and tectonic controls. A semiarid to arid climate and the active tectonism linked to the eastward migration of the Andean volcanic arc determined major bounding surfaces, fluvial style evolution and the presence of the volcano-sedimentary deposits. Different stages of high and low subsidence rates has been deduced from the vertical stacking of sediments.

  13. Paleoecological inferences of recent alluvial damming of a lake basin due to retrogressive permafrost thaw slumping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinlan, R.; Delaney, S.; Lamoureux, S. F.; Kokelj, S. V.; Pisaric, M. F.

    2014-12-01

    Expected climate impacts of future warming in the Arctic include thawing of permafrost landscapes in northern latitudes. Thawing permafrost is expected to have major consequences on hydrological dynamics, which will affect the limnological conditions of Arctic lakes and ponds. In this study we obtained a sediment core from a small lake (informally named "FM1") near Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories, Canada, with a large retrogressive thaw slump (nearly 1 kilometre in diameter) within its catchment. A radiocarbon date from the base of the FM1 sediment core suggests the lake formed between 990-1160 Cal AD. The analysis of aerial photographs indicate the thaw slump initiated between 1970-1990, and sediment geochemistry analysis indicated major changes in sediment content at 54-cm sediment core depth. Analyses of subfossil midge (Chironomidae) fossils inferred that, pre-slump, lake FM1 was shallow with a large bog or wetland environment, with midge assemblages dominated by taxa such as Limnophyes and Parametriocnemus. Post-thaw midge assemblages were dominated by subfamily Chironominae (Tribe Tanytarsini and Tribe Chironomini) taxa, and the appearance of deepwater-associated taxa such as Sergentia suggests that lake FM1 deepened, possibly as a result of alluvial damming from slump materials washing into the lake near its outlet. Most recent stratigraphic intervals infer a reversion back to shallower conditions, with a slight recovery of bog or wetland-associated midge taxa, possibly due to rapid basin infilling from increased deposition rates of catchment-derived materials. Results emphasize that there may be a variety of different outcomes to Arctic lake and pond ecosystems as a result of permafrost thawing, contingent on system-specific characteristics such as slump location relative to the lake basin, and relative inflow and outflow locations within the lake basin.

  14. Analysis of the Carmel Valley alluvial ground-water basin, Monterey County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kapple, Glenn W.; Mitten, Hugh T.; Durbin, Timothy J.; Johnson, Michael J.

    1984-01-01

    A two-dimensional, finite-element, digital model was developed for the Carmel Valley alluvial ground-water basin using measured, computed, and estimated discharge and recharge data for the basin. Discharge data included evapotranspiration by phreatophytes and agricultural, municipal, and domestic pumpage. Recharge data included river leakage, tributary runoff, and pumping return flow. Recharge from subsurface boundary flow and rainfall infiltration was assumed to be insignificant. From 1974 through 1978, the annual pumping rate ranged from 5,900 to 9,100 acre-feet per year with 55 percent allotted to municipal use principally exported out of the valley, 44 percent to agricultural use, and 1 percent to domestic use. The pumpage return flow within the valley ranged from 900 to 1,500 acre-feet per year. The aquifer properties of transmissivity (about 5,900 feet squared per day) and of the storage coefficient (0.19) were estimated from an average alluvial thickness of 75 feet and from less well-defined data on specific capacity and grain-size distribution. During calibration the values estimated for hydraulic conductivity and storage coefficient for the lower valley were reduced because of the smaller grain size there. The river characteristics were based on field and laboratory analyses of hydraulic conductivity and on altitude survey data. The model is intended principally for simulation of flow conditions using monthly time steps. Time variations in transmissivity and short-term, highrecharge potential are included in the model. The years 1974 through 1978 (including "pre-" and "post-" drought) were selected because of the extreme fluctuation in water levels between the low levels measured during dry years and the above-normal water levels measured during the preceding and following wet years. Also, during this time more hydrologic information was available. Significantly, computed water levels were generally within a few feet of the measured levels, and computed flows were close to gaged riverflows for this simulation. However, the nonuniqueness of solutions with respect to different sets of data indicates the model does not necessarily validate the correctness of the individual variables. The model might be improved with additional knowledge of the distribution of confining sediments in the lower end of the valley and the aquifer properties above and below them. The solution algorithm could account for confinement or partial confinement in the lower end of the valley plus contributions from the Tularcitos aquifer.

  15. Groundwater recharge and agricultural contamination in alluvial fan of Eastern Kofu basin, JAPAN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, T.

    2009-12-01

    Agriculture has significant effects on the rate and composition of groundwater recharge. The chemical loading into groundwater have been dominated by the constituents derived directly or indirectly from agricultural practices and additives. The contamination of groundwater with nitrate is a major public health and environmental concern around the world. The inorganic constituents like, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, SO42-, Cl- and variety of other minor elements of groundwater are often used as agricultural additives; and the natural occurrence of these elements are dominated by the agricultural sources. A recent study has reported that Kofu basin groundwater aquifer is contaminated by nitrate from agricultural areas because of the fertilizer application for the orchard (Kazama and Yoneyama, 2002; Sakamoto et al., 1997, Nakamura et al., 2007). The water-oxygen and hydrogen stable isotope (δ18O and δD) and nitrate-nitrogen stable isotope (δ15N) of groundwater, river water and precipitation samples were investigated to identify the source of groundwater and nitrate nitrogen contamination in groundwater in the Fuefukigawa and Hikawa_Kanegawa alluvial fans in Kofu basin. The plot of δD versus δ18O values of groundwater, river water and precipitation samples suggest that the groundwater is a mixture of precipitation and river water. And nitrate-nitrogen isotope values have suggested the nitrate contamination of groundwater is from agricultural area. The study revealed positive correlation between groundwater δ18O values and NO3-, Cl-, SO42-, Ca2+, Mg2+ concentration, which shows the agricultural contamination is carried by the recharge of groundwater from precipitation in alluvial fan. Whereas, NO3-, Cl-, SO42-, Ca2+, Mg2+ are diluted by the river water recharges. This study showed the quality of groundwater is resulted from the mixing of water from the different source during the groundwater recharge in the study area. References Kazama F, Yoneyama M (2002) Nitrogen generation in the Yamanashi prefecture and its effects on the groundwater pollution. Int. Envir. Science Vol. 15:293-298. (in Japanese) Sakamoto Y, Nakamura F, Kazama F (1990) Spatial Distribution of Nitrate Concentration in Groundwater-Derived Potable. Reports of the Faculty of Engineering Yamanashi University Vol.41:139-144. (in Japanese) Nakamura T, Satake H, Kazama F (2007) Effects of groundwater recharge on nitrate-nitrogen loadings. Journal of Water and Environment Technology Vol.5:87-93.

  16. Modern sediment yield compared to geologic rates of sediment production in a semi-arid basin, New Mexico: Assessing the human impact

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gellis, A.C.; Pavich, M.J.; Bierman, P.R.; Clapp, E.M.; Ellevein, A.; Aby, S.

    2004-01-01

    In the semi-arid Arroyo Chavez basin of New Mexico, a 2.28 km2 sub-basin of the Rio Puerco, we contrasted short-term rates (3 years) of sediment yield measured with sediment traps and dams with long-term, geologic rates (???10 000 years) of sediment production measured using 10Be. Examination of erosion rates at different time-scales provides the opportunity to contrast the human impact on erosion with background or geologic rates of sediment production. Arroyo Chavez is grazed and we were interested in whether differences in erosion rates observed at the two time-scales are due to grazing. The geologic rate of sediment production, 0-27 kg m-2 a -1 is similar to the modern sediment yields measured for geomorphic surfaces including colluvial slopes, gently sloping hillslopes, and the mesa top which ranged from 0.12 to 1.03 kg m -2 a-1. The differences between modern sediment yield and geologic rates of sediment production were most noticeable for the alluvial valley floor, which had modern sediment yields as high as 3.35 kg m-2 a-1. The hydraulic state of the arroyo determines whether the alluvial valley floor is aggrading or degrading. Arroyo Chavez is incised and the alluvial valley floor is gullied and piped and is a source of sediment. The alluvial valley floor is also the portion of the basin most modified by human disturbance including grazing and gas pipeline activity, both of which serve to increase erosion rates. ?? 2004 John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.

  17. Estimates of net infiltration in arid basins and potential impacts on recharge and solute flux due to land use and vegetation change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, Wendy Marie; Sharp, John M.

    2015-03-01

    Human impacts on land use and vegetation in arid basins have, in some regions, altered infiltration, recharge, and groundwater chemistry. However, some modeling approaches currently used do not account for these effects. In the Trans-Pecos region of Texas the presence of modern water, increasing groundwater NO3- concentrations, and vadose zone cores flushed of naturally accumulated solutes belie the notion that basin groundwater is unaffected by overlying land use and vegetation change. Recharge to the Trans-Pecos basins is spatially and temporally variable, and due to human impacts it has likely changed since pre-western settlement time (circa 1850s). By using the INFIL 3.0.1 model, a spatially distributed model of net infiltration, the volume and spatial distribution of net infiltration was examined for two basins, Wild Horse/Michigan Flats and Lobo/Ryan Flats, with model simulations designed to examine the effects of irrigated agriculture and human impacts on vegetation. Model results indicate that recharge to the basins is not limited to mountain-front zones and discrete features (i.e., alluvial channels), rather, irrigation return flow contributes an estimated 6.3 × 107 m3 (408 mm) of net infiltration over 40 yrs and net infiltration on the basin floors could contribute between 7% and 11.5% of annual basin recharge. Model results also indicate that net infiltration may be higher under current vegetation regimes than in pre-western settlement conditions; the removal of thick dense grasslands in INFIL model simulations enhanced net infiltration by 48% or more. Results from distributed models (like INFIL) improve upon scientific understanding of the links between vegetation regime and hydrological processes; this is important for the sustainable management of arid basin aquifers in Texas and elsewhere.

  18. Great Basin semi-arid woodland dynamics during the late quaternary

    SciTech Connect

    Wigand, P.E.; Hemphill, M.L.; Sharpe, S.E.

    1995-09-01

    Semi-arid woodlands have dominated the middle elevations of Great Basin mountain ranges during the Holocene where subalpine woodlands prevailed during the Pleistocene. Ancient woodrat middens, and in a few cases pollen records indicate in the late Pleistocene and early Holocene woodland history lowered elevation of subalpine woodland species. After a middle Holocene retrenchment at elevations in excess of 500 meters above today, Juniper-dominated semi-arid woodland reached its late Holocene maximum areal extent during the Neoglacial (2 to 4 ka). These records, along with others indicate contracting semi-arid woodland after the Neoglacial about 1.9 ka. Desert shrub community expansion coupled with increased precariousness of wetland areas in the southern Great Basin between 1.9 and 1.5 ka coincide with shrinking wet-lands in the west-central and northern Great Basin. Coincident greater grass abundance in northern Great Basin sagebrush steppe, reaching its maximum between 1.5 and 1.2 ka, corresponds to dramatic increases in bison remains in the archaeological sites of the northern Intermontane West. Pollen and woodrat midden records indicate that this drought ended about 1.5 ka. Succeeding ameliorating conditions resulted in the sudden northward and downward expansion of pinon into areas that had been dominated by juniper during the Neoglacial. Maximum areal extent of pinon dominated semi-arid woodland in west-central Nevada was centered at 1.2 ka. This followed by 100 years the shift in dominance from juniper to pinon in southern Nevada semi-arid woodlands. Great Basin woodlands suffered from renewed severe droughts between .5 to .6 ka. Effectively wetter conditions during the {open_quotes}Little Ice Age{close_quotes} resulted in re-expansion of semi-arid woodland. Activities related to European settlement in the Great Basin have modified prehistoric factors or imposed new ones that are affecting woodland response to climate.

  19. Late Quaternary alluvial fan response to climatic and tectonic base-level changes: Jakes Valley, Central Great Basin, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stokes, M.; Garcia, A. F.

    2003-12-01

    Late Quaternary alluvial fans within the Jakes Valley region (White Pine County, Central Great Basin) are typically composed of up to 4 inset morphostratigraphic units. These units, Qf0 (oldest) through to Qf3 (youngest), are based upon field relationships (mapping & fan topographic profiles) and soil properties. Distal fan areas contain pluvial lake shoreline features (erosional benches and beach ridges) that record lake-level lowering since the last glacial maximum. Integration of the fan morphostratigraphy and pluvial lake shoreline features allows for the alluvial fan response to climate induced base-level lowering to be investigated. Geochronology is established by AMS C14 dating of gastropod shells sampled from a range of highstand (dates pending) through to lowstand (12,080 +/- 50 rcybp) beach ridges. Detailed analysis of two alluvial fans from the western (Cottonwood Fan) and eastern (Yamaha Fan) basin margins reveals some interesting differences in fan morphostratigraphy. The Cottonwood fan is characterised by a complete suite of morphostratigraphic units (Qf0-Qf3), whilst the Yamaha fan comprises only Qf0 and Qf3. The presence of a pronounced 17 m high scarp feature, some several hundreds of metres in length, within close proximity to the mountain front on the Cottonwood fan, suggests the occurrence of neotectonic activity. This extensional (?) faulting appears to be post QF0 and may have been responsible for influencing the observed stratigraphic differences between the Cottonwood and Yamaha fans via a tectonic lowering of base-level. Within this poster we explore the relative roles of climate and tectonic base-level lowering for alluvial fan development.

  20. Integrated surface water-groundwater modeling for interpreting ecohydrological processes in large arid and semi-arid river basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Yong; Zheng, Yi; Zheng, Chunmiao; Wu, Bin; Wu, Xin

    2015-04-01

    Ecohydrological processes in arid and semi-arid environments are sensitive to both climate conditions and human activities, but the response mechanisms have been rarely explored for large river basins via an integrated modeling approach. In this study, GSFLOW, a USGS model coupling PRMS and MODFLOW, was improved to explicitly simulate flow diversion, groundwater pumping and agricultural irrigation. The improved GSFLOW was then applied in the Heihe River Basin (HRB), the second largest inland river basin in China, to characterize ecohydrological processes at different spatial and temporal scales. The integrated model is grid-based for both its surface and subsurface domains. It assimilated multiple types of data including classic hydrological observations and remote sensing-based evapotranspiration (ET) and leaf area index (LAI) products, and eventually produced a coherent understanding on the regional water cycle at different spatial and temporal scales. Complicated multi-scale features of both ET and vegetation growth processes in the study area were unraveled, and insights on tackling the existing water conflicts were achieved.

  1. Tectonic controls of the North Anatolian Fault System (NAFS) on the geomorphic evolution of the alluvial fans and fan catchments in Erzincan pull-apart basin; Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarp, Gulcan

    2015-02-01

    The Erzincan pull-apart basin is located in the eastern section of the North Anatolian Fault System (NAFS). The tectonic evolution of this basin is mostly controlled by strike slip master faults of the NAFS. This study examines the topography-structure relationships in an effort to evaluate the tectonic signatures in the landscape, paying special attention to recent tectonic activity. In the study, the main focus is on the tectonic controls of the NAFS on the geomorphic evolution of alluvial fans and fan catchments in the Erzincan pull-apart basin. The observations of the amount of tilting of the alluvial fans (β) and its relation with morphometric (Asymmetry Factor (AF), Hypsometric Integral (HI), Fractal analysis of drainage networks (D)) properties of the fan catchments provide valuable information about the tectonic evolution of the basin area. The results of the analyses showed that the alluvial fan and fan catchment morphology in the pull-apart basin are mainly controlled by the ongoing tectonic activity of the NAFS. The fault system in the basin has controlled the accommodation space by causing differential subsidence of the basin, and aggradation processes by causing channel migration, channel incision and tilting the alluvial fans.

  2. Hydrogeologic features of the alluvial deposits in the Nowood River drainage area, Bighorn Basin, Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cooley, M.E.; Head, William J.

    1979-01-01

    In the Nowood River drainage area, Wyoming, the principal deposits comprising the alluvial aquifer include the flood-plain and younger (generally undissected) alluvial-fan deposits and a unique boulder-fan gravel. Other deposits mapped, but virtually nonwater yielding, are the older (dissected) alluvial-fan, pediment, and terrace deposits. Terraces are capped by gravel and form levels at 30-40, 45-100, 120-150, 200-260, and 280-330 feet above the Nowood River. The thickness of the alluvial aquifer indicated from the sparse well-log data and 42 surface resistivity measurements is between 25 and 50 feet along the Nowood River and more than 60 feet along Tensleep and Paint Rock Creeks. The resistivity measurements indicate a buried bedrock ridge below the boulder-fan gravel between Paint Rock and Medicine Lodge Creeks and a buried channel filled by alluvium along Tensleep Creek. Well yields from the alluvial aquifer are estimated to be low. The most favorable areas for ground-water development are from the flood-plain alluvium along Tensleep Creek and from the boulder-fan gravel and adjoining flood-plain alluvium along Paint Rock and Medicine Creeks. Along the Nowood River the flood-plain alluvium, although its yields are small, has the best potential for ground-water development. (Kosco-USGS)

  3. Silcrete and alunite genesis in alluvial palaeosols (late Cretaceous to early Palaeocene, Duero basin, Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanco, J. A.; Armenteros, I.; Huerta, P.

    2008-11-01

    An extensive formation of silcretes occurs in the upper half of a late Cretaceous-to-Palaeocene Siderolithic Unit consisting of conglomerates, sandstones and sandy mudstones along the western margin of the Tertiary Duero basin (Spain). The unit is arranged in fining-upward sequences that were deposited in a fluvial braided system with floodplains subject to periodic events of exposure and drying out. The original mineralogy of the Siderolithic Unit is seen in the less altered levels, where it consists of quartz, illite-white mica, kaolinite and, at the top of the unit, K-feldspar, all coming from the palaeoalteration mantles developed on the metasediments of the Variscan Basement. The unit is characterized by a marked development of alluvial palaeosols at the uppermost part of each sequence. At field scale, the pedogenic structures and features are evident from the mottled pattern, burrowing, cracking planes and root traces; at micromorphological scale, an intense development of birefringent fabrics is seen in clays. Micas and feldspars show evidence of alteration due to hydrolysis, while the more resistant quartz grains show common corrosion gulfs and have become the only surviving elements in the most silicified beds. The neoformed minerals are related to the pedodiagenetic processes developed on the floodplains. The main neoformed phase is opal (probably amorphous silica in origin that aged to opal-CT), which ranges from local cementations in pores to an almost complete replacement of the rock, specially the finest components (matrix). Kaolinite is the most abundant neoformed clay. Locally, veinlets of alunite accompany the opalized levels. All the processes described occurred in a seasonal tropical climate. During dry episodes, strong evaporation resulted in an increase in pH, favouring the hydrolysis of the original silicates. The paucity of Mg 2+ and Ca 2+ in the groundwater would have favoured the increase in pH. In ensuing wetter periods, pHs fell rapidly, resulting in the precipitation of kaolinite and also favouring the precipitation of opal and alunite. The alunite could have formed either by oxidation of the iron sulphides developed in reducing areas of the flood plains or by evaporitic concentration of sulphate in Ca 2+- and Mg 2+-free groundwaters.

  4. Hydrogeologic features of the alluvial deposits in the Owl Creek Valley, Bighorn Basin, Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cooley, M.E.; Head, W.J.

    1982-01-01

    The alluvial acquifer principally of the flood-plain alluvium and part of the Arapahoe Ranch terrace deposits and consists subordinately of alluvial-fan deposits. Thickness of the alluvial aquifer is generally 20 to 40 feet. Dissolved-solids concentration of water in the alluvial aquifer ranges from about 500 to more than 3,000 milligrams per liter. The most favorable areas for groundwater development are the flood-plain alluvium and part of the Arapahoe Ranch terrace deposits; however, in much of these units, the water contains more than 2,000 milligrams per liter of dissolved solids. Measurements of specific conductance of the flow of Owl Creek indicate a progressive increase in the down stream direction and range between 15 and 355 micromhos per centimeter at 25C per mile. The increases are due to return flow of irrigation water, inflow from tributaries, and inflow from groundwater. Conspicuous terraces in Owl Creek Valley included an unnamed terrace at 500 feet above Owl Creek, the Embar Ranch terrace 160 to 120 feet above the creek, and the Arapahoe Ranch terrace 50 to 20 feet above the creek. (USGS)

  5. S2-Project: Near-fault earthquake ground motion simulation in the Sulmona alluvial basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faccioli, E.; Stupazzini, M.; Galadini, F.; Gori, S.

    2008-12-01

    Recently the Italian Department of Civil Protection (DPC), in cooperation with Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) has promoted the 'S2' research project (http://nuovoprogettoesse2.stru.polimi.it/) aimed at the design, testing and application of an open-source code for seismic hazard assessment (SHA). The tool envisaged will likely differ in several important respects from an existing international initiative (Open SHA, Field et al., 2003). In particular, while "the OpenSHA collaboration model envisions scientists developing their own attenuation relationships and earthquake rupture forecasts, which they will deploy and maintain in their own systems" , the main purpose of S2 project is to provide a flexible computational tool for SHA, primarily suited for the needs of DPC, which not necessarily are scientific needs. Within S2, a crucial issue is to make alternative approaches available to quantify the ground motion, with emphasis on the near field region. The SHA architecture envisaged will allow for the use of ground motion descriptions other than those yielded by empirical attenuation equations, for instance user generated motions provided by deterministic source and wave propagation simulations. In this contribution, after a brief presentation of Project S2, we intend to illustrate some preliminary 3D scenario simulations performed in the alluvial basin of Sulmona (Central Italy), as an example of the type of descriptions that can be handled in the future SHA architecture. In detail, we selected some seismogenic sources (from the DISS database), believed to be responsible for a number of destructive historical earthquakes, and derive from them a family of simplified geometrical and mechanical source models spanning across a reasonable range of parameters, so that the extent of the main uncertainties can be covered. Then, purely deterministic (for frequencies < 2Hz) and hybrid deterministic- stochastic source and propagation simulations are carried out for different fault rupture scenarios (but including important features such as the dominant near-surface geology), and the results in terms of representative ground motion parameters appropriately enveloped. The fully 3D problem is solved using the Spectral Element (SE) method, extensively published by Faccioli and his co-workers, and Quarteroni and co- workers, starting from 1996, and the computational code GeoELSE (http://GeoELSE.stru.polimi.it/). Finally, numerical results are compared with available data and attenuation relationships of peak values of ground motion in the near-fault regions elsewhere. Based on the results of this work, the unfavorable interaction between fault rupture, radiation mechanism and complex geological conditions may give rise to large values of peak ground velocity (exceeding 1 m/s) even in low-to-moderate seismicity areas, and therefore increase considerably the level of seismic risk, especially in highly populated and industrially active regions, such as the Central Italy.

  6. Discriminating sediment archives and sedimentary processes in the arid endorheic Ejina Basin, NW China using a robust geochemical approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Kaifeng; Hartmann, Kai; Nottebaum, Veit; Stauch, Georg; Lu, Huayu; Zeeden, Christian; Yi, Shuangwen; Wünnemann, Bernd; Lehmkuhl, Frank

    2016-04-01

    Geochemical characteristics have been intensively used to assign sediment properties to paleoclimate and provenance. Nonetheless, in particular concerning the arid context, bulk geochemistry of different sediment archives and corresponding process interpretations are hitherto elusive. The Ejina Basin, with its suite of different sediment archives, is known as one of the main sources for the loess accumulation on the Chinese Loess Plateau. In order to understand mechanisms along this supra-regional sediment cascade, it is crucial to decipher the archive characteristics and formation processes. To address these issues, five profiles in different geomorphological contexts were selected. Analyses of X-ray fluorescence and diffraction, grain size, optically stimulated luminescence and radiocarbon dating were performed. Robust factor analysis was applied to reduce the attribute space to the process space of sedimentation history. Five sediment archives from three lithologic units exhibit geochemical characteristics as follows: (i) aeolian sands have high contents of Zr and Hf, whereas only Hf can be regarded as a valuable indicator to discriminate the coarse sand proportion; (ii) sandy loess has high Ca and Sr contents which both exhibit broad correlations with the medium to coarse silt proportions; (iii) lacustrine clays have high contents of felsic, ferromagnesian and mica source elements e.g., K, Fe, Ti, V, and Ni; (iv) fluvial sands have high contents of Mg, Cl and Na which may be enriched in evaporite minerals; (v) alluvial gravels have high contents of Cr which may originate from nearby Cr-rich bedrock. Temporal variations can be illustrated by four robust factors: weathering intensity, silicate-bearing mineral abundance, saline/alkaline magnitude and quasi-constant aeolian input. In summary, the bulk-composition of the late Quaternary sediments in this arid context is governed by the nature of the source terrain, weak chemical weathering, authigenic minerals, aeolian sand input, whereas pedogenesis and diagenesis exert only limited influences. Hence, this study demonstrates a practical geochemical strategy supplemented by grain size and mineralogical data, to discriminate sediment archives and thereafter enhance our ability to offer more intriguing information about the sedimentary processes in the arid central Asia.

  7. Magnetostratigraphy of The Astronomically-forced Alluvial Fan To Lacustrine Sequences of The Teruel Basin (late Miocene, Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Dam, J.; Aziz, H. Abdul; Hilgen, F. J.; Krijgsman, W.

    During the last years, more and more examples of allocyclic, astronomical forced variations in the continental record have been documented. Sedimentary hiatuses, tra- ditionally regarded as the primary reason for the absence of clear patterns of orbital signature in the terrestrial domain, may be absent or short, given the appropriate set- ting. Spanish endoreic basins, for instance, form a ideal setting for the registration of orbital-forced climate change, as has been demonstrated for the Middle Miocene distal-alluvial fan-floodplain to lacustrine deposits of the Calatayud Basin. Astronom- ical forcing of sedimentary cycles has also been demonstrated in the Late Miocene distal alluvial fan to lacustrine sequences of the Teruel Basin. The early Late Miocene Cascante and Cañizar sections South of the town of Teruel show distinct cyclic bed- ding of red and/or green mottled mudstones alternating with white carbonate beds, whereby the alternation is mainly controlled by precession and eccentricity. The car- bonate beds are interpreted as (shallow) lake highstands, which occur in response to submergence of the alluvial fan distal plain. Small mammal teeth have been recov- ered from organic-richer layers at the base of the carbonate cycles in the Cascante and Cañizar sections. The recovery of mammal remains in terrestrial Milankovitch forced settings is crucial for several reasons: 1) it provides a first approximate age estimation for the sequence, thereby constraining other sources of temporal information such as magnetostratigraphy; 2) it infers very accurate ages of the mammal localities after as- tronomical tuning of the cyclic patterns; 3) it formulates hypotheses on the climatic regime and its variability using precise correlations to the insolation curve and in- terpretation of phase relations; and 4) it confronts the astronomically-based climatic reconstruction with the paleoecological reconstructions and faunal changes observed in the mammals themselves. This will lead to a better understanding of the nature of the response terrestrial organisms exhibit to climatic change. Based on the cyclo- and magnetostratigraphy, two age models for the sections (10.1-9.4 Ma; 10.3-9.6 Ma) are possible. However, spectral analysis results and estimated duration of subchrons indicate a preference for the younger age model. Additional sampling for mammals and paleomagnetism is needed to solve the problem of the age models, to date more 1 precisely mammal subzones J1, 2 and 3, and to establish the exact relations between changes in the mammal communities and short- and long-term astronomical cycles. 2

  8. GIS Analysis of Size Relationships between Drainage Basins and Alluvial Fans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, S. N.; Scuderi, L. A.; Weissmann, G. S.; Hartley, A. J.

    2014-12-01

    Imagery from the global database of modern sedimentary basins compiled by Weissman et al. (2010) allows us to test whether a size relationship between drainage basin area and distributive fluvial system (DFS) area exists. We are testing this hypothesis using a combination of SRTM-based digital elevation models and Landsat satellite imagery in ArcGIS. Sedimentary basins are delineated by preforming a Gaussian smoothing on the DEM, followed by optimal edge detection through application of a modified Canny edge detector. The pour points defining the link between contributing hydrologic basins and these sedimentary basins are then located by generating a stream network in ArcGIS and intersecting the stream network arcs with the sedimentary basin polygons. From these pour points we delineate the adjacent contributing drainage basin using the watershed tool in ArcGIS. We manually digitize the boundary and geometry of the DFS identified for each drainage basin, using the higher resolution imagery found on Google Earth for visual confirmation if the scale or resolution of the Landsat imagery requires it. We then extract drainage basins and DFS polygon parameters and calculate areal extents in order to evaluate whether such a size relationship exists within basins, regionally across several basins, or across different basin types (e.g., endorheic vs exhoreic). A limitation of this approach is that we cannot evaluate sediment volumes, only aerial coverage. Results from this study may provide a better understanding of extrabasinal processes that control DFS shape and size.

  9. Pedogenic and early diagenetic processes in Palaeogene alluvial fan and lacustrine deposits from the Sado Basin (S Portugal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pimentel, N. L. V.

    2002-04-01

    The Palaeogene deposits of the Sado Basin were deposited in a continental basin that shows a typical pattern with alluvial fans system in the margins of the basin, passing towards distal areas of mudflat facies where, in some areas, the installation of shallow water bodies favoured the development of palustrine conditions. The deposits of this basin vary form coarse conglomerates and sandstones to palustrine carbonates. These sediments were affected by pedogenesis and early diagenetic processes that promoted important modifications on their primary features. These modifications have been studied by the analyses of four profiles, developed on proximal, middle and distal fan deposits and the fourth one on lacustrine deposits. The overall analyses of the sedimentological, pedogenic, diagenetic features and their relationships indicate that three main processes took place throughout the basin: soil formation, palygorskite neoformation and dolomitization. Soil formation processes led to illuviation of clays and carbonate precipitation mostly around roots. Pedogenic carbonates increase towards distal areas, whereas hydromorphic features are present throughout the basin. Palygorskite neoformation was partially diagenetic, being maximum in proximal areas and palustrine deposits. This neoformation is attributed to the percolation of alkaline Mg-rich soil and groundwaters through smectitic-rich sediments, promoting important clay transformation. Dolomitization was an early diagenetic process that occurred mainly in carbonate-rich deposits of distal and lacustrine environments, as a result of the increasing Mg/Ca ratio of the percolating groundwaters. In all these processes there has been a close spatial and temporal interplay between pedogenesis and diagenesis, driven by the chemistry of soil particles and groundwaters.

  10. Integrative geomorphological mapping approach for reconstructing meso-scale alluvial fan palaeoenvironments at Alborz southern foothill, Damghan basin, Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Büdel, Christian; Majid Padashi, Seyed; Baumhauer, Roland

    2013-04-01

    Alluvial fans and aprons are common depositional features in general Iranian geomorphology. The countries major cities as well as settlements and surrounding area have often been developed and been built up on this Quaternary sediment covers. Hence they periodically face the effects of varying fluvial and slope-fluvial activity occurring as part of this geosystem. The Geological Survey of Iran therefore supports considerable efforts in Quaternary studies yielding to a selection of detailed mapped Quaternary landscapes. The studied geomorphologic structures which are settled up around an endorheic basin in Semnan Province represent a typical type of landform configuration in the area. A 12-km-transect was laid across this basin and range formation. It is oriented in north-south direction from the southern saltpan, called "Kavir-e-Haj Aligholi"/"Chah-e-Jam" ("Damghan Kavir"), across a vast sandy braided river plain, which is entering from the north east direction of the city of Shahroud. At its northern rim it covers alluvial sediment bodies, which are mainly constituted by broad alluvial aprons, fed by watersheds in Alborz Mountains and having their genetic origins in Mio-/Pliocene times. During this study a fully analytical mapping system was used for developing a geodatabase capable of integrating geomorphological analyses. Therefore the system must provide proper differentiation of form, material and process elements as well as geometric separation. Hence the German GMK25 system was set up and slightly modified to fit to the specific project demands. Due to its structure it offers most sophisticated standards and scale independent hierarchies, which fit very well to the software-determinated possibilities of advanced geodatabase applications. One of the main aspects of mapping Quaternary sediments and structures is to acquire a proper description and systematic correlation and categorization of the belonging mapping-objects. Therefore the team from GSI and University of Würzburg performs additional geochronologic and stratigraphic studies of different alluvial surfaces in the investigation area. Relative and absolute dating methods are applied, as well as non-invasive and invasive methods for studying subsurface sedimentation and layering. The ongoing mapping work has revealed a progradational sequence of at least five more or less dissected surfaces of alluvial deposits. These can be distinguished by optically taken morphometric and spectrometric parameters and material reflectance using remote sensing imagery data. An important role for geomorphometric measurements and landform identification was occupied by DEM data. In the field these parameters could be correlated with differently developed covers of desert pavement, and changes in curvature, roughness and levels of sediment surfaces. The studied alluvium has been formed by several phases of debris flow activity and braided river dynamics over a distance of more than 3.5 km and is reworked recently. Gradual differences in structure and form may be linked to changes in depositional process and quaternary environmental development as well as neotectonic activity. Future correlation between alluvium and sediment cores from the playa is targeting on better understanding of depositional milieus during activity phases.

  11. Palaeohydrological and palaeoecological studies on South Cameroonian alluvial sedimentary basins - New evidence on the palaeoenvironmental evolution of western Central Africa since the Late Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sangen, M.

    2009-04-01

    A new valuable and innovative contribution will be presented to ascertain the timing and extension of climatic and ecological changes in western equatorial Africa. Main focus is laid on the dynamics of climate, fluvial systems and the high sensitive tropical ecosystems (dense evergreen and semi-deciduous rain forest and savanna-rain forest margin) since the Late Pleistocene (~50 kyrs. BP). For this purpose extended fieldworks were carried out in South Cameroon (2004-2008) by the ReSaKo-Project (sub-project of DFG-Project 510) with abundant investigations on alluvial sedimentary basins of equatorial tropical fluvial systems. Suitable alluvial sediment-archives for palaeoenvironmental research were uncovered along selected braiding, meandering and anabranching/anastomosing reaches of major southwestern, into the Gulf of Guinea (Ntem, Nyong and Sanaga) and southeastern, into the Congo basin (Boumba, Dja and Ngoko) draining rivers (RUNGE et al. 2006, SANGEN 2008). Among geomorphological investigations and cross section discussions, 150 corings (Edelman, 20 cm layers) reaching maximum depths of 550 cm were carried out on river benches, levees, cut-off and periodical branches, islands and terraces as well as in seasonal inundated floodplains and backswamps. Corresponding sedimentary profiles and catenae recovered multilayered, sandy to clayey alluvia containing sedimentary form-units and palaeosurfaces which contribute to the reconstruction of palaeoenvironmental conditions in western equatorial Africa. Several (59) radiocarbon (AMS) dated samples (Erlangen and Lecce) from fossil organic layers and macro-rests embedded in these units yielded Late Pleistocene to recent ages (14C-ages around 48 to 0.2 kyrs. BP), spanning also the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and Holocene record. Abrupt grain-size modifications and alternating form-units (sandy and clayey layers, palaeosurfaces) in the stratigraphic records display fluctuations in the fluvial-morphological response of the fluvial systems to climatic variability and other extrinsic and intrinsic impacts. Although the sedimentary record varies among the studied river reaches, fossil organic sediment layers (palaeosurfaces) containing valuable proxy data were found in almost all alluvia basins of examined southern Cameroonian rivers. Around 56 ^13C-values corresponding to the dated samples (-31.4 to -18.0 ) evidence that despite major disturbances of the African rain forest over geological times (MALEY 2001) mainly rain forest ecosystems have prevailed during the corresponding time periods, presumably as gallery forests, which were able to persist in this fluvial habitat ("fluvial refuge"), even during arid periods (e.g. LGM). The results are consistent with earlier findings from lacustrine (SERVANT & SERVANT-VILDARY 2000), marine (WELDEAB et al. 2007) and additional sediment archives (GASSE et al. 2008) and will add additional insights and information to the unravelling of the complex respond of the African monsoon, the Central African ecosystems and fluvial systems to Late Quaternary climatic and environmental fluctuations within a globally teleconnected system. References: GASSE, F., CHALIé, F., VINCENS, A., WILLIAMS, M.A.J. & WILLIAMSON, D. (2008): Climatic patterns in equatorial and southern Africa from 30,000 to 10,000 years ago reconstructed from terrestrial and near-shore proxy data. Quaternary Science Reviews, 27 (25-26), 2316-2340. MALEY, J. (2001): The impact of arid phases on the African rain forest through geological history. In: WEBER, W., WHITE, L., VEDDER, A., NAUGHTON-TREVES, L. (Eds.): African rain forest ecology and conservation - An interdisciplinary perspective. Yale University Press, New Haven, 68-87. RUNGE, J., EISENBERG, J., SANGEN, M. (2006): Geomorphic evolution of the Ntem alluvial basin and physiogeographic evidence for Holocene environmental changes in the rain forest of SW Cameroon (Central Africa) - preliminary results. Z. Geomorph. N.F., Suppl. Bd. 145, 63-79. SERVANT, M. & SERVANT-VILDARY, S. (2000): Dynamique à long terme des écosystèmes forestiers intertropicaux. Publications issues du Symposium international « Dynamique à long terme des écosystèmes forestiers intertropicaux », Paris, 20-22 mars 1996. Paris, UNESCO, 1-434. WELDEAB, S., LEA, D.W., SCHNEIDER, R.R. & ANDERSEN, N. (2007): 155,000 years of West African monsoon ocean thermal evolution. Science, 316, 1303-1307.

  12. Revisiting a classification scheme for U.S.-Mexico alluvial basin-fill aquifers.

    PubMed

    Hibbs, Barry J; Darling, Bruce K

    2005-01-01

    Intermontane basins in the Trans-Pecos region of westernmost Texas and northern Chihuahua, Mexico, are target areas for disposal of interstate municipal sludge and have been identified as possible disposal sites for low-level radioactive waste. Understanding ground water movement within and between these basins is needed to assess potential contaminant fate and movement. Four associated basin aquifers are evaluated and classified; the Red Light Draw Aquifer, the Northwest Eagle Flat Aquifer, the Southeast Eagle Flat Aquifer, and the El Cuervo Aquifer. Encompassed on all but one side by mountains and local divides, the Red Light Draw Aquifer has the Rio Grande as an outlet for both surface drainage and ground water discharge. The river juxtaposed against its southern edge, the basin is classified as a topographically open, through-flowing basin. The Northwest Eagle Flat Aquifer is classified as a topographically closed and drained basin because surface drainage is to the interior of the basin and ground water discharge occurs by interbasin ground water flow. Mountains and ground water divides encompass this basin aquifer on all sides; yet, depth to ground water in the interior of the basin is commonly >500 feet. Negligible ground water discharge within the basin indicates that ground water discharges from the basin by vertical flow and underflow to a surrounding basin or basins. The most likely mode of discharge is by vertical, cross-formational flow to underlying Permian rocks that are more porous and permeable and subsequent flow along regional flowpaths beneath local ground water divides. The Southeast Eagle Flat Aquifer is classified as a topographically open and drained basin because surface drainage and ground water discharge are to the adjacent Wildhorse Flat area. Opposite the Eagle Flat and Red Light Draw aquifers is the El Cuervo Aquifer of northern Chihuahua, Mexico. The El Cuervo Aquifer has interior drainage to Laguna El Cuervo, which is a phreatic playa that also serves as a focal point of ground water discharge. Our evidence suggests that El Cuervo Aquifer may lose a smaller portion of its discharge by interbasin ground water flow to Indian Hot Springs, near the Rio Grande. Thus, El Cuervo Aquifer is a topographically closed basin that is either partially drained if a component of its ground water discharge reaches Indian Hot Springs or undrained if all its natural ground water discharge is to Laguna El Cuervo. PMID:16149972

  13. Predicting the Affects of Climate Change on Evapotranspiration and Agricultural Productivity of Semi-arid Basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peri, L.; Tyler, S. W.; Zheng, C.; Pohll, G. M.; Yao, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Many arid and semi-arid regions around the world are experiencing water shortages that have become increasingly problematic. Since the late 1800s, upstream diversions in Nevada's Walker River have delivered irrigation supply to the surrounding agricultural fields resulting in a dramatic water level decline of the terminal Walker Lake. Salinity has also increased because the only outflow from the lake is evaporation from the lake surface. The Heihe River basin of northwestern China, a similar semi-arid catchment, is also facing losses from evaporation of terminal locations, agricultural diversions and evapotranspiration (ET) of crops. Irrigated agriculture is now experiencing increased competition for use of diminishing water resources while a demand for ecological conservation continues to grow. It is important to understand how the existing agriculture in these regions will respond as climate changes. Predicting the affects of climate change on groundwater flow, surface water flow, ET and agricultural productivity of the Walker and Heihe River basins is essential for future conservation of water resources. ET estimates from remote sensing techniques can provide estimates of crop water consumption. By determining similarities of both hydrologic cycles, critical components missing in both systems can be determined and predictions of impacts of climate change and human management strategies can be assessed.

  14. Fault-sourced alluvial fans and their interaction with axial fluvial drainage: An example from the Plio-Pleistocene Upper Valdarno Basin (Tuscany, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fidolini, Francesco; Ghinassi, Massimiliano; Aldinucci, Mauro; Billi, Paolo; Boaga, Jacopo; Deiana, Rita; Brivio, Lara

    2013-05-01

    The present study deals with the fault-sourced, alluvial-fan deposits of the Plio-Pleistocene Upper Valdarno Basin (Northern Apennines, Italy). Different phases of alluvial fan aggradation, progradation and backstep are discussed as possible effects of the interaction among fault-generated accommodation space, sediment supply and discharge variations affecting the axial fluvial drainage. The Upper Valdarno Basin, located about 35 km SE of Florence, is filled with 550 m palustrine, lacustrine and alluvial deposits forming four main unconformity-bounded units (i.e. synthems). The study alluvial-fan deposits belong to the two uppermost synthems (Montevarchi and Torrente Ciuffenna synthems) and are Early to Middle Pleistocene in age. These deposits are sourced from the fault-bounded, NE margin of the basin and interfinger with axial fluvial deposits. Alluvial fan deposits of the Montevarchi Synthem consist of three main intervals: i) a lower interval, which lacks any evidence of a depositional trend and testify balance between the subsidence rate (i.e. fault activity) and the amount of sediment provided from the margin; ii) a coarsening-upward middle interval, pointing to a decrease in subsidence rate associated with an augment in sediment supply; iii) a fining-upward, upper interval (locally preserved), documenting a phase of tectonic quiescence associated with a progressive re-equilibration of the tectonically-induced morphological profile. The basin-scale unconformity, which separates the Montevarchi and Torrente Ciuffenna synthems was due to the entrance of the Arno River into the basin as consequence of a piracy. This event caused a dramatic increase in water discharge of the axial fluvial system, and its consequent embanking. Such an erosional surface started to develop in the axial areas, and propagated along the main tributaries, triggering erosion of the alluvial fan deposits. Alluvial-fan deposits of the Torrente Ciuffenna Synthem accumulated above the unconformity during a phase of tectonic quiescence, and show a fining-upward depositional trend. This trend was generated by a progressive decrease in sediment supply stemming out from upstream migration of the knickpoints developed during the embanking of the axial system.

  15. Alluvial fan susceptibility to thermoerosion in a small arctic basin,Pangnirtung, NU

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gosselin, P.; Allard, M.; Falardeau-Marcoux, C.

    2011-12-01

    An exceptional rainstorm, high air temperature, thick snow cover and low soil permeability due to high permafrost table in early summer are some of the main causes that led to an extreme peak discharge of the Duval River, in Pangnirtung, Nunavut, on June 8, 2008. The 95 km2 catchment is located on mountainous terrain and the river flows in a steep channel down to a large Holocene alluvial fan on which the community is partially built. In a matter of several hours, an estimated volume of 91 000 m3 of sediments were eroded by the combined mechanical and thermal action of flowing water (thermoerosion). The bouldery main channel of the river was overdeepened by nearly 10 m while the permafrost river banks were undercut up to ~ 80 m laterally. The weight of the undercut bank eventually exceeded the strength of the permafrost and they collapsed, permanently damaging two bridges. As the Duval River flows through the community, the damage to the bridges resulted in limited access to some vital services such as distribution of drinking water and sewage transport. This event shows how climate change and, more specifically, the potential increase in the recurrence of extreme climatic events can trigger landscape hazards, raising safety concerns and infrastructure issues in northern communities. In order to help develop a more resilient community, this study focuses on understanding the process of thermal erosion and on assessing the potential risk of reoccurrence of a high magnitude fluvial event in Pangnirtung. The susceptibility to thermoerosion of the alluvial fan on which the river flows was determined by measuring the main characteristics of the permafrost (grain size, temperature profile, water and ice content) and of the Duval River (water temperature, discharge, channel slope). The unconsolidated sediments (silty-sand matrix till), the low ice-content and the relatively high permafrost temperature at the 12 m depth (-2.8 °C) are all factors promoting thermal erosion. However, the bouldery pavement of the river bed and at the foot of the river banks limits contact between water and permafrost and therefore inhibits heat transfer. The size of the boulders (over a meter in diameter) indicates that a particularly strong discharge is necessary to move them in order to expose permafrost to water. As the river is not gauged and precipitation data are sparse, estimates of the flow regime at the time of the thermal erosion event were derived from the assessment of the convective heat transport coefficient based on the size and rate of cutting of the thermal erosion notch as observed and photographed by community members.

  16. Integrated neural networks for monthly river flow estimation in arid inland basin of Northwest China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huo, Zailin; Feng, Shaoyuan; Kang, Shaozhong; Huang, Guanhua; Wang, Fengxin; Guo, Ping

    2012-02-01

    Streamflow model including rainfall-runoff and river flow models play an important role in water resources management, especially in arid inland area. Traditional conceptual models have the disadvantage of requirement of spatial variation parameters about the physical characteristics of the catchments. To overcome this difficulty, in this study, several integrated Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) were presented to estimate monthly river flow, and the models include the semi-distributed forms of ANNs that can explore spatial variation in hydrological process (such as rainfall distribution and evaporation distribution) and no requirement of physical characteristic parameters of the catchments. In an arid inland basin of Northwest, integrated ANNs were developed using hydrological and agricultural data, and its performance was compared with that of lumped ANN and local linear regression model (LLR). Results showed that the integrated ANNs perform well to estimate the monthly streamflow at outlet of mountain with Root Mean Square Error ( RMSE) of 0.36 × 10 7 m 3 and Relative Error ( RE) of 9%. Similarly, the integrated ANNs can also accurately estimate the monthly river flow downstream of the basin with RMSE of 0.35-0.38 × 10 7 m 3 and RE of 22-27%. When compared with integrated ANNs, the lumped ANN and LLR models have lower precision to simulate monthly streamflow in arid inland basin. Presented integrated ANN models retain the advantages of the semi-distributed models considering the heterogeneity and spatial variation of hydrological factors and the physical characteristics in the catchment, while taking advantage of the potential of ANNs as an effective tool in nonlinear mapping or functional relationship establishment. In contrast to traditional models either in the lumped ANN or in empirical regression forms, the new approach of integration of Artificial Neural Networks has shown great potential in streamflow modeling.

  17. Remotely-Sensed Regional-Scale Evapotranspiration of a Semi-Arid Great Basin Desert and its Relationship to Geomorphology, Soils, and Vegetation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Laymon, C.; Quattrochi, D.; Malek, E.; Hipps, L.; Boettinger, J.; McCurdy, G.

    1997-01-01

    Landsat Thematic Mapper data is used to estimate instantaneous regional-scale surface water and energy fluxes in a semi-arid Great Basin desert of the western United States. Results suggest that it is possible to scale from point measurements of environmental state variables to regional estimates of water and energy exchange. This research characterizes the unifying thread in the classical climate-topography-soil-vegetation relation-the surface water and energy balance-through maps of the partitioning of energy throughout the landscape. The study was conducted in Goshute Valley of northeastern Nevada, which is characteristic of most faulted graben valleys of the Basin and Range Province of the western United States. The valley comprises a central playa and lake plain bordered by alluvial fans emanating from the surrounding mountains. The distribution of evapotranspiration (ET) is lowest in the middle reaches of the fans where the water table is deep and plants are small, resulting in low evaporation and transpiration. Highest ET occurs in the center of the valley, particularly in the playa, where limited to no vegetation occurs, but evaporation is relatively high because of a shallow water table and silty clay soil capable of large capillary movement. Intermediate values of ET are associated with large shrubs and is dominated by transpiration.

  18. Remotely-Sensed Regional-Scale Evapotranspiration of a Semi-Arid Great Basin Desert and its Relationship to Geomorphology, Soils, and Vegetation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Laymon, C.; Quattrochi, D.; Malek, E.; Hipps, L.; Boettinger, J.; McCurdy, G.

    1998-01-01

    Landsat thematic mapper data are used to estimate instantaneous regional-scale surface water and energy fluxes in a semi-arid Great Basin desert of the western United States. Results suggest that it is possible to scale from point measurements of environmental state variables to regional estimates of water and energy exchange. This research characterizes the unifying thread in the classical climate-topography-soil-vegetation relation -the surface water and energy balance-through maps of the partitioning of energy throughout the landscape. The study was conducted in Goshute Valley of northeastern Nevada, which is characteristic of most faulted graben valleys of the Basin and Range Province of the western United States. The valley comprises a central playa and lake plain bordered by alluvial fans emanating from the surrounding mountains. The distribution of evapotranspiration (ET) is lowest in the middle reaches of the fans where the water table is deep and plants are small, resulting in low evaporation and transpiration. Highest ET occurs in the center of the valley, particularly in the playa, where limited to no vegetation occurs, but evaporation is relatively high because of a shallow water table and silty clay soil capable of large capillary movement. Intermediate values of ET are associated with large shrubs and is dominated by transpiration.

  19. Ground water in the alluvial deposits of Cottonwood Creek Basin, Oklahoma

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stacy, B.L.

    1960-01-01

    Cottonwood Creek basin is a 377 square mile area in central Oklahoma. The rim of the basin has altitudes as high as 1,300 feet, and the mouth is at an altitude of 910. Deposits of Quaternary age consist of alluvium along the stream courses and high terrace deposits along the southern rim of the basin. The alluvium contains a high percentage of clay and silt, ranges in thickness from a few inches to 40 feet, and underlies about 36 square miles of the basin. Sandstone, siltstone, and shale of Permian age, which form the bedrock, consist of the Garber sandstone along the eastern edge, the Hennessey shale through the central part, and Flowerpot shale along the western edge. Replenishment of water in the alluvium is from precipitation, lateral seepage and runoff from adjoining areas, and infiltration from the stream channels during high flows. The major use of ground water in the alluvium is transpiration by cottonwood and willow trees. Virtually no water is withdrawn from the alluvium by wells. (available as photostat copy only)

  20. Timescales of alluvial fan development by precipitation on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armitage, John J.; Warner, Nicholas H.; Goddard, Kate; Gupta, Sanjeev

    2011-09-01

    Dozens of large, low-gradient alluvial fans are present within impact crater basins on the cratered highlands of Mars. The timescales and climate conditions that were required to generate such fans are unknown, but testable through our understanding of terrestrial hill slope erosion in the presence of precipitation. Previous estimates of fan formation time vary from years to millions of years. Here, we use an idealised physical model of 2-D catchment-fan evolution to present a framework within which the development of Martian alluvial fans should be considered. We simplify the erosional and depositional system so that there are only three variables: erodibility due to gravity, amount of water runoff due to precipitation, and catchment-fan boundary elevation. Within this framework, to generate large, low-gradient (<6°) alluvial fans on Mars requires significant periods of erosion due to runoff. We suggest two climate scenarios, either: (1) rates of precipitation that are similar to arid terrestrial climates over timescales of 107 to 108 yr or (2) a shorter duration of semiarid to temperate climate conditions over a period on the order of 106 yr. Hyper-arid conditions generate low-gradient alluvial fans under conditions of a topographically lowered fan-catchment boundary and only over timescales >108 yr if the substrate is extremely erodible relative to terrestrial examples.

  1. Clay sized fraction and powdered whole-rock X-ray analyses from alluvial basin deposits in central and southern New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderholm, S.K.

    1985-01-01

    As part of the study of the water quality and geochemistry of Southwest Alluvial Basins (SWAB) in parts of Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas, which is a Regional Aquifer-System Analysis (RASA) program, whole rock x-ray analysis and clay-size fraction mineralogy (x-ray) analysis of selected samples from alluvial basin deposits were done to investigate the types of minerals and clay types present in the aquifers. This was done to determine the plausible minerals and clay types in the aquifers that may be reacting with groundwater and affecting the water quality. The purpose of this report is only to present the whole rock x-ray and clay-fraction mineralogy data. Nineteen surface samples or samples from outcrop of Tertiary and Quaternary alluvial basin deposits in the central and southern Rio Grande rift were collected and analyzed. The analysis of the samples consisted of grain size analysis, and clay-size fraction mineralogy and semiquantitative analysis of the relative abundance of different clay mineral groups present. (USGS)

  2. Hydraulic processes on alluvial fans

    SciTech Connect

    French, R.H.

    1987-01-01

    Alluvial fans are among the most prominent landscape features in the American Southwest and throughout the semi-arid and arid regions of the world. The importance of developing a qualitative and quantitative understanding of the hydraulic processes which formed, and which continue to modify, these features derives from their rapid and significant development over the past four decades. As unplanned urban sprawl moved from valley floors onto alluvial fans, the serious damage incurred from infrequent flow events has dramatically increased. This book presents a discussion of our current and rapidly expanding knowledge of hydraulic processes on alluvial fans. It addresses the subject from a multidisciplinary viewpoint, acquainting the reader with geological principles pertinent to the analysis of hydraulic processes on alluvial fans.

  3. Recharge estimation in a large semi-arid basin using storage - discharge relationships

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bulovic, Nena; Larsen, Joshua; Reading, Lucy; McIntyre, Neil; Jarihani, Abdollah; Sabburg, Letitia; Undershultz, Jim

    2015-04-01

    The characteristics of flow recession in the absence of precipitation have long been used to infer upstream catchment storage properties. An intriguing aspect of this storage - discharge relationship occurs when changes in flow recession occur following a rainfall event due to increased storage. The main assumption in this case is that additional groundwater recharge has increased the storage within flow systems connected to the stream, which is then reflected in the increased recessional flow. Using flow records from 4 catchments (~100 km2) across the headwaters of the semi-arid Condamine Basin (and the unconfined section of the Surat artesian groundwater basin) within central eastern Australia, we evaluate and compare storage -discharge relationships and the change in storage for large individual events. Converting this to recharge resulted in low values compared to a number of independent recharge estimation techniques (chloride mass balance, water balance, groundwater hydrograph analysis). This discrepancy may arise because of some inherent differences between the techniques, however some important assumptions in the storage - discharge analysis are worth exploring. These include: the impact of evapotranspiration (ET) on the flow recession, which is largely unaccounted for, and is likely to be significant in semi-arid environments, and the bias towards larger events within the analysis, which is related to the difficulty associated with incorporating the large number of small events within automated time series analysis. We propose accounting for these limitations through the inclusion of remote sensing based ET estimates, and the use of multiple automated hydrograph separation techniques in extracting flow recession periods for analysis, and preferably those with lower user subjectivity. Overcoming these limitations is essential if catchment storage - discharge analysis techniques are to be more broadly applied to groundwater recharge estimation problems, especially in data poor semi-arid areas where the need for a better understanding of available water resources is only increasing.

  4. Conceptual model of the Great Basin carbonate and alluvial aquifer system

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2011-01-01

    Prior to groundwater development, total groundwater discharge was estimated to be 4,200,000 acre-ft/yr with an uncertainty of ± 30 percent (± 1,300,000 acre-ft/yr). The two major components of discharge are evapotranspiration and springs. Estimated groundwater discharge to evapotranspiration and springs for predevelopment conditions was 1,800,000 acre-ft/yr and 990,000 acre-ft/yr, respectively. Other forms of discharge include discharge to basin-fill streams/lakes/reservoirs (660,000 acre-ft/yr), disc

  5. Seasonalizing mountain system recharge in semi-arid basins-climate change impacts.

    PubMed

    Ajami, Hoori; Meixner, Thomas; Dominguez, Francina; Hogan, James; Maddock, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Climate variability and change impact groundwater resources by altering recharge rates. In semi-arid Basin and Range systems, this impact is likely to be most pronounced in mountain system recharge (MSR), a process which constitutes a significant component of recharge in these basins. Despite its importance, the physical processes that control MSR have not been fully investigated because of limited observations and the complexity of recharge processes in mountainous catchments. As a result, empirical equations, that provide a basin-wide estimate of mean annual recharge using mean annual precipitation, are often used to estimate MSR. Here North American Regional Reanalysis data are used to develop seasonal recharge estimates using ratios of seasonal (winter vs. summer) precipitation to seasonal actual or potential evapotranspiration. These seasonal recharge estimates compared favorably to seasonal MSR estimates using the fraction of winter vs. summer recharge determined from isotopic data in the Upper San Pedro River Basin, Arizona. Development of hydrologically based seasonal ratios enhanced seasonal recharge predictions and notably allows evaluation of MSR response to changes in seasonal precipitation and temperature because of climate variability and change using Global Climate Model (GCM) climate projections. Results show that prospective variability in MSR depends on GCM precipitation predictions and on higher temperature. Lower seasonal MSR rates projected for 2050-2099 are associated with decreases in summer precipitation and increases in winter temperature. Uncertainty in seasonal MSR predictions arises from the potential evapotranspiration estimation method, the GCM downscaling technique and the exclusion of snowmelt processes. PMID:22091994

  6. Estimation of alluvial-fill thickness in the Mimbres ground-water basin, New Mexico, from interpretation of isostatic residual gravity anomalies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heywood, Charles E.

    2002-01-01

    The geologic structure of the Mimbres ground-water basin in southwest New Mexico is characterized by north- and northwest-trending structural subbasins. Sedimentation of Miocene and Pliocene age has filled and obscured the boundaries of these subbasins and formed poten- tially productive aquifers of varied thickness. The location and depth of the subbasins can be esti- mated from analysis of isostatic residual gravity anomalies. Density contrasts of various basement lithologies generate complex regional gravity trends, which are convolved with the gravity signal from the Miocene and Pliocene alluvial fill. An iterative scheme was used to separate these regional gravity trends from the alluvial-fill grav- ity signal, which was inverted with estimated depth-density relations to compute the thickness of the alluvial fill at 1-kilometer spacing. The thickness estimates were constrained by explor- atory drill-hole information, interpreted seismic- refraction profiles, and location of bedrock lithol- ogy from surficial geologic mapping. The result- ing map of alluvial-fill thickness suggests large areas of thin alluvium that separate deep structural subbasins.

  7. Monitoring and modeling of two alluvial aquifers in lower Nestos river basin, Northern Greece.

    PubMed

    Boskidis, Ioannis; Pisinaras, Vassilios; Petalas, Christos; Tsihrintzis, Vassilios A

    2012-01-01

    A groundwater monitoring and modeling program in two aquifers within the lower Nestos river basin in Northern Greece is presented. A monitoring network of 54 wells was developed in the two study areas, and groundwater level measurements and water quality sample analyses were conducted for a period of 2.5 years, from March 2007 to October 2009. The field data were used for the calibration and verification of the mathematical model MODFLOW in the two aquifers. The validated model was used to examine ten alternative management scenarios regarding groundwater abstraction in the two aquifers. The study showed that MODFLOW, if properly validated, is a useful and flexible tool in groundwater resources management. PMID:22755533

  8. Sustainability of Water Resources in Arid Ecosystems: A View from Hei River Basin, China (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, C.; Cheng, G.; Xiao, H.; Ma, R.

    2009-12-01

    The northwest of China is characterized by an arid climate and fragile ecosystems. With irrigated agriculture, the region is a prolific producer of cotton, wheat, and maize with some of the highest output per acre in the country. The region is also rich in ore deposits, with the reserves of numerous minerals ranked at or near the top in the country. However, the sustainability of irrigated agriculture and economic development in the region is threaten by severe eco-environmental problems resulting from both global changes and human activities, such as desertification, salinization, groundwater depletion, and dust storms. All these problems are a direct consequence of water scarcity. As global warming accelerates and rapid economic growth continues, the water shortage crisis is expected to worsen. To improve the bleak outlook for the health of ecosystem and environment in northwest China, the Chinese government has invested heavily in ecosystem restoration and watershed management in recent years. However, the effectiveness of such measures and actions depends on scientific understanding of the complex interplays among ecological, hydrological and socioeconomic factors. This presentation is intended to provide an overview of a major new research initiative supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China to study the integration of ecological principles, hydrological processes and socioeconomic considerations toward more sustainable exploitation of surface water and groundwater resources in the Hei River Basin in northwest China. The Hei River Basin is an inland watershed located at the center of the arid region in East Asia, stretching from Qilianshan Mountains in the south to the desert in the north bordering China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Mongolia. The total area of Hei River Basin is approximately 130,000 km2. The research initiative builds on existing research infrastructure and ecohydrological data and seeks to reveal complex interactions and feedbacks between ecosystem functioning and water resources in an arid inland watershed. The findings will provide scientific basis for sustainable water resource management that maximizes the economic benefits without irreparably damaging the ecosystem.

  9. Simulation of Populus euphratica root uptake of groundwater in an arid woodland of the Ejina basin, China

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Ejina Basin is an extremely arid subwatershed in Northwest China. The predominant natural tree species in the area, Populus euphratica (P. euphratica), depends on groundwater for sustenance. In recent decades, groundwater overdraft and increased water diversions from the Heihe River caused wat...

  10. Evaluation of soil and water conservation measures in a semi-arid river basin in Tunisia using SWAT

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Merguellil catchment (Central Tunisia) is a typical Mediterranean semi-arid basin which suffers from regular water shortage aggravated by current droughts. During the recent decades the continuous construction of small and large dams and Soil and Water Conservation Works (i.e. Contour ridges) ha...

  11. Ground-water quality in alluvial aquifers in the eastern Iowa basins, Iowa and Minnesota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sadorf, Eric M.; Linhart, S. Michael

    2000-01-01

    The effects of land use on ground-water quality also were examined. There was a positive correlation between percentage of land used for soybean production and concentrations of metolachlor, metolachlor ethanesulfonic acid, and metolachlor oxanilic acid in ground-water samples.Data from this study and from previous studies in the Eastern Iowa Basins were compared statistically by well type (domestic, municipal, and monitoring wells). Well depths were significantly greater in domestic and municipal wells than in monitoring wells. pH, calcium, sulfate, chloride, and atrazine concentrations were significantly higher in municipal-well samples than in domestic-well samples. pH and sulfate concentrations were significantly higher in municipal-well samples than in monitoring-well samples. Ammonia was significantly higher in domestic-well samples than in monitoring-well samples, chloride was significantly higher in monitoring-well samples than in domestic-well samples, and fluoride was significantly higher in domestic-well samples than in municipal-well samples.

  12. Simulation of Carbon-14 Migration Through a Thick Unsaturated Alluvial Basin Resulting from an Underground Nuclear Explosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martian, P.; Larentzos, J.

    2008-12-01

    Yucca Flat is one of several areas on the Nevada Test Site that was used for underground nuclear testing. Extensive testing performed in the unsaturated and saturated zones have resulted in groundwater contamination and surface subsidence craters in the vicinity of the underground test areas. Simulation of multiphase 14C transport through the thick Yucca Flat alluvial basin was performed to estimate the magnitude of radionuclide attenuation occurring within the unsaturated zone. Parameterization of the 14C transport in the multiphase flow and transport simulator (FEHM) was verified with experimental data collected from a large unsaturated soil column experiment. The experimental data included 14C as a radio-labeled bicarbonate solution, SF6 gas, and lithium bromide solution breakthroughs. Two representative simulation cases with working points located at shallow and deep depths relative to the water table were created to investigate the impact of subsidence crater-enhanced recharge, crater-playa areal extent, gas-phase partitioning, solid-phase partitioning, and a reduced permeability/porosity compressed zone created during the explosion on 14C transport. The representative shallow test had a detonation point located 175 m below land surface, and the deep test had a working point 435 m below land surface in a 500 m deep unsaturated zone. Carbon-14 transport is influenced by gas-phase diffusion and sorption within the alluvium. Gas-phase diffusion is an attenuation mechanism that transports 14C gas as 14CO2 throughout the unsaturated zone and exposes it to a large amount of soil moisture, resulting in dilute concentrations. The simulations indicated that the majority of the 14C inventory remains in the unsaturated zone over a 1,000-year time period after detonation because gas-phase diffusion moves the bulk of the 14C away from the higher recharge occurring in crater playas. Retardation also plays a role in slowing advective aqueous phase transport to the water table.

  13. Regional flow system delineation in arid karstic basins with sparse hydrogeologic data: Cuatro Cienegas Basin, Coahuila, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolaver, B. D.; Sharp, J. M.; Rodriguez, J. M.

    2006-12-01

    We develop procedures for the delineation of regional groundwater flow systems in arid, karstic basins with sparse hydrogeologic data using surface topography data, geologic mapping, permeability data, chloride concentrations of groundwater and precipitation, and measured discharge data. Aquifers are characterized using geographic information systems (GIS) for groundwater catchment delineation, an analytical model for interbasin flow evaluation, a chloride balance approach for recharge estimation, and a water budget for mapping contributing catchments over a 160,000 km2 region (24.87° to 28.70° north latitude and 100.68° west to 104.75° west longitude). The study area includes the Cuatro Cienegas Basin (CCB) of Coahuila, Mexico, a National Biosphere Reserve containing springs that support groundwater-dependent ecosystems and irrigated agriculture. Sustainable groundwater development is a key issue on the U.S. Mexico border. However, these procedures may be applicable in similar settings globally. We delineate groundwater catchments that contribute local and regional groundwater discharge to CCB springs and identify a large regional flow system includes mountain recharge from as both the Sierra Madre Oriental and Occidental.

  14. Modeling the Hydrological Response to Climate Change in an Arid Inland River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, C.; Zhang, A.; Tian, Y.; Zheng, Y.; Liu, J.

    2014-12-01

    Located deep in the hinterlands of Eurasia, the Heihe River Basin (HRB) is an arid inland river basin in northwest China where the hydrologic regime responds sensitively to climate change. From the headwater region to terminal lakes, the HRB can be roughly divided into three sections, i.e., the upstream Qilian Mountains, the midstream oases and the downstream Gobi Desert. Runoff generated in the upstream mountainous terrains, dominated by climate variations, is the critical water resource for the whole river basin. With increasing intensification of climate change, there is an urgent need to understand future changes of water resources and water-related disasters to support regional water management. This study investigates the potential impact of climate change on hydrologic processes in the upper HRB for the future period of 2021~2150. Downscaled temperature and precipitation projections from six General Circulation Models under two emission scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) are adopted to drive a commonly used flow model, Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), for the upper HRB. The impacts of climate change on the total runoff and its components are quantified based on the future climate scenario analysis and the results of SWAT simulation. To understand how the climate change affects the availability and distribution of water resources in the middle and lower HRB where irrigated agriculture and ecosystem conservation compete for water resources, runoffs from the upper HRB are used as the boundary conditions for an integrated groundwater-surface water model based on the USGS GSFLOW for the middle and lower HRB. The integrated model assimilated multiple types of data including groundwater levels at monitoring wells, streamflow at gaging stations, and evapotranspiration (ET) derived from remote sensing data. The calibrated model was able to adequately reproduce the observed hydrological variables. The integrated model was then used to assess the potential response of the water cycle to both climate change and human activities, as well as the effectiveness of the current restoration practice. This study enhances our understanding of the complex interactions between future climate and watershed hydrology and provides the scientific basis for sustainable water resources management in arid inland river basins.

  15. Dynamics of Dissolved Inorganic Carbon in the Waterways of Antropogenically Influenced Closed Semi-Arid Basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jameel, M. Y.; Bowen, G. J.

    2014-12-01

    Inland aquatic carbon cycling is an important component of global carbon cycle and recent work has shown that anthropogenic activities can significantly alter the flux of terrestrial carbon through these systems to oceans and lakes. The study of dissolved carbon species in rivers provides detailed information about the natural and anthropogenic processing of carbon within a watershed. We measured water chemistry and stable isotope ratios (δ13C, δ18O, δ2H) of three major rivers (Bear, Jordan and Weber) seasonally, within the Great Salt Lake Basin to understand sources and processes governing the carbon cycling within the basin. Our preliminary data suggest strong correlation between the DIC concentration and land use/land cover for all the three waterways, with DIC increasing as the rivers flow through agricultural and urban regions. We also observed significant decrease in the DIC with the addition of fresh water from the tributaries which was most significant during the spring sampling. All the three rivers are super saturated in dissolved CO2 with respected to the atmospheric CO2 concentration, with pCO2 ranging from 1-5 times the atmospheric value and also showing strong seasonal variations. Coupling the pCO2 data with the isotopic value and concentration of DIC suggests that the variations within and among the rivers are manifestation of the different sources of DIC, further altered by in-situ processes such as organic respiration and photosynthesis. Our result suggest that human induced changes in land use and land cover have significantly altered the carbon budget of waterways of the Great Salt Lake Basin and carbon flux to the Great Salt Lake itself. Our future work will further quantify these changes, increasing our understanding of past, present and future changes in carbon cycling in closed semi-arid basins, and its importance in the global carbon cycle.

  16. Ground water budget analysis and cross-formational leakage in an arid basin.

    PubMed

    Hutchison, William R; Hibbs, Barry J

    2008-01-01

    Ground water budget analysis in arid basins is substantially aided by integrated use of numerical models and environmental isotopes. Spatial variability of recharge, storage of water of both modern and pluvial age, and complex three-dimensional flow processes in these basins provide challenges to the development of a good conceptual model. Ground water age dating and mixing analysis with isotopic tracers complement standard hydrogeologic data that are collected and processed as an initial step in the development and calibration of a numerical model. Environmental isotopes can confirm or refute a priori assumptions of ground water flow, such as the general assumption that natural recharge occurs primarily along mountains and mountain fronts. Isotopes also serve as powerful tools during postaudits of numerical models. Ground water models provide a means of developing ground water budgets for entire model domains or for smaller regions within the model domain. These ground water budgets can be used to evaluate the impacts of pumping and estimate the magnitude of capture in the form of induced recharge from streams, as well as quantify storage changes within the system. The coupled analyses of ground water budget analysis and isotope sampling and analysis provide a means to confirm, refute, or modify conceptual models of ground water flow. PMID:18384598

  17. Scaling up the Hydrologic Effects of Forest Thinning in Semi-Arid Basins of Arizona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreno, H. A.; White, D. D.; Gupta, H. V.; Vivoni, E. R.; Sampson, D. A.

    2013-12-01

    Understanding the effects of intensive forest thinning on the hydrology of semi-arid basins is critical to achieving water resources sustainability in the water limited Southwestern US, where disturbances to headwater catchment forests, can scale up to significant perturbations of the basin-scale water balance components. In northern Arizona, the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) is being developed with the goal of restoring 2.4 million acres of Ponderosa pine along the Mogollon Rim. In this study, we examine the potential impacts of the 4FRI initiative on the hydrology of the Verde, Tonto and Salt rivers, which provide much of the water supply to the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Long-term (20 year) simulations conducted using the tRIBS physically based spatially distributed model reveal shifts in the spatio-temporal regimes, and in the triggering processes, of runoff and integrated discharge as a response to feasible forest thinning scenarios. Specifically, our analysis suggests that alterations to the interception, evapotranspiration, recharge and snow processes within the forested areas will result in changes to long term water yield, and to extreme (peak and low flow) values. The results are helping local and regional water managers and policy makers to better understand the potential consequences of intensive forest removal and thereby influence decision making related to land use and the management of water resources.

  18. Geohydrology, water quality, and preliminary simulations of ground-water flow of the alluvial aquifer in the Upper Black Squirrel Creek basin, El Paso County, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Buckles, D.R.; Watts, K.R.

    1988-01-01

    The upper Black Squirrel Creek basin in eastern El Paso County, Colorado, is underlain by an alluvial aquifer and four bedrock aquifers. Groundwater pumpage from the alluvial aquifer has increased since the mid-1950's, and water level declines have been substantial; the bedrock aquifers virtually are undeveloped. Groundwater pumpage for domestic, stock, agricultural, and municipal uses have exceeded recharge for the past 25 years. The present extent of the effect of pumpage on the alluvial aquifer was evaluated, and a groundwater flow model was used to simulate the future effect of continued pumpage on the aquifer. Measured water level declines from 1974 through 1984 were as much as 30 ft in an area north of Ellicott, Colorado. On the basis of the simulations, water level declines from October 1984 to April 1999 north of Ellicott might be as much as 20 to 30 ft and as much as 1 to 10 ft in most of the aquifer. The groundwater flow models provided a means of evaluating the importance of groundwater evapotranspiration at various stages of aquifer development. Simulated groundwater evapotranspiration was about 43% of the outflow from the aquifer during predevelopment stages but was less than 3% of the outflow from the aquifer during late-development stages. Analyses of 36 groundwater samples collected during 1984 indicated that concentrations of dissolved nitrite plus nitrate as nitrogen generally were large. Samples from 5 of the 36 wells had concentrations of dissolved nitrite plus nitrate as nitrogen that exceeded drinking water standards. Water from the alluvial aquifer generally is of suitable quality for most uses. (USGS)

  19. Potential impact of climate change on rainfed agriculture of a semi-arid basin in Jordan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Bakri, Jawad; Suleiman, Ayman; Abdulla, Fayez; Ayad, Jamal

    Rainfed agriculture in Jordan is one of the most vulnerable sectors to climate change, as the available water and land resources are limited and most of the country’s land is arid. In this study, a crop simulation model (DSSAT) was used to assess the impact of different climate change scenarios on rainfed wheat and barley in the Yarmouk basin in Jordan. Analysis of observed crop data showed differences between cultivated and harvested areas for both crops in the study area with variations among years. Results from DSSAT model for years showed that it was able to capture the trend of yield over the years realistically well. The model predicted an average yield of wheat of 1176 kg ha -1, which was close to the average (1173 kg ha -1) obtained from the data of department of statistics (DOS), and an average predicted yield of barley was 927 kg ha -1 while the DOS average was 922 kg ha -1, with higher RMSE for barley (476 kg ha -1) than for wheat (319 kg ha -1). Results for predicting future yield of both crops showed that the responses of wheat and barley were different under different climate change scenarios. The reduction of rainfall by 10-20% reduced the expected yield by 4-8% for barley and 10-20% for wheat, respectively. The increase in rainfall by 10-20% increased the expected yield by 3-5% for barley and 9-18% for wheat, respectively. The increase of air temperature by 1, 2, 3 and 4 °C resulted in deviation from expected yield by -14%, -28%, -38% and -46% for barley and -17%, +4%, +43% and +113% for wheat, respectively. These results indicated that barley would be more negatively affected by the climate change scenarios and therefore adaptation plans should prioritize the arid areas cultivated with this crop.

  20. Sahra integrated modeling approach to address water resources management in semi-arid river basins

    SciTech Connect

    Springer, E. P.; Gupta, Hoshin V. ,; Brookshire, David S.; Liu, Y.

    2004-01-01

    Water resources decisions in the 21Sf Century that will affect allocation of water for economic and environmental will rely on simulations from integrated models of river basins. These models will not only couple natural systems such as surface and ground waters, but will include economic components that can assist in model assessments of river basins and bring the social dimension to the decision process. The National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center for Sustainability of semi-Arid Hydrology and Riparian Areas (SAHRA) has been developing integrated models to assess impacts of climate variability and land use change on water resources in semi-arid river basins. The objectives of this paper are to describe the SAHRA integrated modeling approach and to describe the linkage between social and natural sciences in these models. Water resources issues that arise from climate variability or land use change may require different resolution models to answer different questions. For example, a question related to streamflow may not need a high-resolution model whereas a question concerning the source and nature of a pollutant will. SAHRA has taken a multiresolution approach to integrated model development because one cannot anticipate the questions in advance, and the computational and data resources may not always be available or needed for the issue to be addressed. The coarsest resolution model is based on dynamic simulation of subwatersheds or river reaches. This model resolution has the advantage of simplicity and social factors are readily incorporated. Users can readily take this model (and they have) and examine the effects of various management strategies such as increased cost of water. The medium resolution model is grid based and uses variable grid cells of 1-12 km. The surface hydrology is more physically based using basic equations for energy and water balance terms, and modules are being incorporated that will simulate engineering components such as reservoirs or irrigation diversions and economic features such as variable demand. The fine resolution model is viewed as a tool to examine basin response using best available process models. The fine resolution model operates on a grid cell size of 100 m or less, which is consistent with the scale that our process knowledge has developed. The fine resolution model couples atmosphere, surface water and groundwater modules using high performance computing. The medium and fine resolution models are not expected at this time to be operated by users as opposed to the coarse resolution model. One of the objectives of the SAHRA integrated modeling task is to present results in a manner that can be used by those making decisions. The application of these models within SAHRA is driven by a scenario analysis and a place location. The place is the Rio Grande from its headwaters in Colorado to the New Mexico-Texas border. This provides a focus for model development and an attempt to see how the results from the various models relate. The scenario selected by SAHRA is the impact of a 1950's style drought using 1990's population and land use on Rio Grande water resources including surface and groundwater. The same climate variables will be used to drive all three models so that comparison will be based on how the three resolutions partition and route water through the river basin. Aspects of this scenario will be discussed and initial model simulation will be presented. The issue of linking economic modules into the modeling effort will be discussed and the importance of feedback from the social and economic modules to the natural science modules will be reviewed.

  1. The impact of changing environments on the runoff regimes of the arid Heihe River basin, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sang, Yan-Fang; Wang, Zhonggen; Liu, Changming; Yu, Jingjie

    2014-01-01

    This study analyzed the inter- and inner-annual variations of discharge regimes in the upper and mid reaches of the Heihe River basin. These variations then correlated with temperature and precipitation variations in the area. The differences between the runoff regimes at the upper and mid reaches were compared, and the human impacts on discharge variations in the Heihe River were discussed. The results indicate that in the upper reaches, the long-term trends and periods of discharge and precipitation correlate well. In the mid reaches, the discharge and temperature trends correlate well, and the short discharge and precipitation periods correlate well. Precipitation increases would generate more runoff in both the upper and mid reaches, but the effects of temperature increases on discharge are different in the upper and mid reaches. Temperature increases would enhance the glacial ablation processes and increase runoff in the upper reaches. However, temperature increases would increase the evaporation and decrease runoff in the mid reaches. After the 1980s, higher temperature enhanced snow and glacial melt, and increasing precipitation increased the discharge in the upper reaches. Although increasing precipitation increased some discharge, great human activities caused a notable discharge decrease in the 1990s in the mid reaches, especially during the spring to autumn when large amounts of water resources were used for irrigation. In summary, both precipitation and temperature impact the availability of water resources in the study area, and active and effective adaptation strategies should be developed to improve the efficiency of water resource exploration and to prevent the desertification processes in the arid Heihe River basin.

  2. [Transpiration of Hedysarum scoparium in arid desert region of Shiyang River basin, Gansu Province].

    PubMed

    Xia, Gui-min; Kang, Shao-zhong; Du, Tai-sheng; Yang, Xiu-ying; Zhang, Ji

    2007-06-01

    By using heat pulse technique, an investigation on the transpiration of Hedysarum scoparium was conducted in the arid desert region of Shiyang River basin, Gansu Province. The results indicated that with increasing inserted depth of probe, the sap flow velocity in H. scoparium xylem had a trend from high to low. In the taproot with smaller diameter, the average sap flow velocity at different positions was faster, and the change range was bigger. Among the taproots with different diameters, there existed a larger difference in the magnitude of sap flux, but the change trend was similar, i. e., smaller at nighttime and larger at daytime, and showing a multi-peak curve. A linear correlation was observed between the diurnal sap flux and the reference crop evapotranspiration, and the transpiration mainly occurred during the period from June to September, occupying 79.04% of the total annual transpiration. The diurnal sap flux of H. scoparium at its later growth period had significant correlation with the moisture content in 0-50 cm sand layer, but no correlations with that in other sand layers. The effects of main meteorological factors on the sap flux of H. scoparium were in the sequence of air temperature > vapor pressure difference > wind speed. PMID:17763715

  3. The Italian Project S2 - Task 4:Near-fault earthquake ground motion simulation in the Sulmona alluvial basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stupazzini, M.; Smerzini, C.; Cauzzi, C.; Faccioli, E.; Galadini, F.; Gori, S.

    2009-04-01

    Recently the Italian Department of Civil Protection (DPC), in cooperation with Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) has promoted the 'S2' research project (http://nuovoprogettoesse2.stru.polimi.it/) aimed at the design, testing and application of an open-source code for seismic hazard assessment (SHA). The tool envisaged will likely differ in several important respects from an existing international initiative (Open SHA, Field et al., 2003). In particular, while "the OpenSHA collaboration model envisions scientists developing their own attenuation relationships and earthquake rupture forecasts, which they will deploy and maintain in their own systems", the main purpose of S2 project is to provide a flexible computational tool for SHA, primarily suited for the needs of DPC, which not necessarily are scientific needs. Within S2, a crucial issue is to make alternative approaches available to quantify the ground motion, with emphasis on the near field region. The SHA architecture envisaged will allow for the use of ground motion descriptions other than those yielded by empirical attenuation equations, for instance user generated motions provided by deterministic source and wave propagation simulations. In this contribution, after a brief presentation of Project S2, we intend to illustrate some preliminary 3D scenario simulations performed in the alluvial basin of Sulmona (Central Italy), as an example of the type of descriptions that can be handled in the future SHA architecture. In detail, we selected some seismogenic sources (from the DISS database), believed to be responsible for a number of destructive historical earthquakes, and derive from them a family of simplified geometrical and mechanical source models spanning across a reasonable range of parameters, so that the extent of the main uncertainties can be covered. Then, purely deterministic (for frequencies < 2Hz) and hybrid deterministic- stochastic source and propagation simulations are carried out for different fault rupture scenarios (but including important features such as the dominant near-surface geology), and the results in terms of representative ground motion parameters appropriately enveloped. The fully 3D problem is solved using the Spectral Element (SE) method, extensively published by Faccioli and his co-workers, and Quarteroni and co- workers, starting from 1996, and the computational code GeoELSE (Stupazzini et al., 2009; http://GeoELSE.stru.polimi.it/). Finally, numerical results are compared with available data and attenuation relationships of peak values of ground motion in the near-fault regions elsewhere. Based on the results of this work, the unfavorable interaction between fault rupture, radiation mechanism and complex geological conditions may give rise to large values of peak ground velocity (exceeding 1 m/s) even in low-to-moderate seismicity areas, and therefore increase considerably the level of seismic risk, especially in highly populated and industrially active regions, such as the Central Italy. Faccioli E., Maggio F., Paolucci R. and Quarteroni A. (1997),2D and 3D elastic wave propagation by a pseudo-spectral domain decomposition method, Journal of Seismology, 1, 237-251. Field, E.H., T.H. Jordan, and C.A. Cornell (2003), OpenSHA: A Developing Community-Modeling Environment for Seismic Hazard Analysis, Seism. Res. Lett. 74, 406-419. Stupazzini M., R. Paolucci, H. Igel (2009), Near-fault earthquake ground motion simulation in the Grenoble Valley by a high-performance spectral element code, accepted for publication in Bull. of the Seism. Soc. of America.

  4. Well-log signatures of alluvial-lacustrine reservoirs and source rocks, Lagoa-Feia Formations, Lower Cretaceous, Campos Basin, offshore Brazil

    SciTech Connect

    Abrahao, D.; Warme, J.E.

    1988-01-01

    The Campos basin is situated in offshore southeastern Brazil. The Lagoa Feia is the basal formation in the stratigraphic sequence of the basin, and was deposited during rifting in an evolving complex of lakes of different sizes and chemical characteristics, overlying and closely associated with rift volcanism. The stratigraphic sequence is dominated by lacustrine limestones and shales (some of them organic-rich), and volcaniclastic conglomerates deposited on alluvial fans. The sequence is capped by marine evaporites. In the Lagoa Feia Formation, complex lithologies make reservoirs and source rocks unsuitable for conventional well-log interpretation. To solve this problem, cores were studied and the observed characteristics related to log responses. The results have been extended through the entire basin for other wells where those facies were not cored. The reservoir facies in the Lagoa Feia Formation are restricted to levels of pure pelecypod shells (''coquinas''). Resistivity, sonic, neutron, density, and gamma-ray logs were used in this work to show how petrophysical properties are derived for the unconventional reservoirs existing in this formation. The same suite of logs was used to develop methods to define geochemical characteristics where source rock data are sparse in the organic-rich lacustrine shales of the Lagoa Feia Formation. These shales are the main source rocks for all the oil discovered to date in the Campos basin.

  5. Geophysical and hydrogeologic investigations of two primary alluvial aquifers embedded in the southern San Andreas fault system: San Bernardino basin and upper Coachella Valley

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wisely, Beth Ann

    This study of alluvial aquifer basins in southern California is centered on observations of differential surface displacement and the search for the mechanisms of deformation. The San Bernardino basin and the Upper Coachella Valley aquifers are bound by range fronts and fault segments of the southern San Andreas fault system. I have worked to quantify long-term compaction in these groundwater dependent population centers with a unique synthesis of data and methodologies using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) and groundwater data. My dissertation contributes to the understanding of alluvial aquifer heterogeneity and partitioning. I model hydrogeologic and tectonic interpretations of deformation where decades of overdraft conditions and ongoing aquifer development contribute to extreme rapid subsidence. I develop the Hydrogeologic InSAR Integration (HII) method for the characterization of surface deformation in aquifer basins. The method allows for the separation of superimposed hydraulic and/or tectonic processes in operation. This formalization of InSAR and groundwater level integration provides opportunities for application in other aquifer basins where overdraft conditions may be causing permanent loss of aquifer storage capacity through compaction. Sixteen years of SAR data for the Upper Coachella Valley exhibit rapid vertical surface displacement (≤ 48mm/a) in sharply bound areas of the western basin margin. Using well driller logs, I categorize a generalized facies analysis of the western basin margin, describing heterogeneity of the aquifer. This allowed for assessment of the relationships between observed surface deformation and sub-surface material properties. Providing the setting and context for the hydrogeologic evolution of California's primary aquifers, the mature San Andreas transform fault is studied extensively by a broad range of geoscientists. I present a compilation of observations of creep, line integrals across the Pacific-North America Plate Boundary, and strain tensor volumes for comparison to the Working Group 2007 (UCERF 2) seismicity-based deformation model. I find that the moment accumulation across the plate boundary is consistent with the deformation model, suggesting fault displacement observations within the plate boundary zone accurately capture the strain across the plate boundary. This dissertation includes co-authored materials previously published, and also includes unpublished work currently under revisions for submission to a technical journal.

  6. How Widely Applicable is River Basin Management? An Analysis of Wastewater Management in an Arid Transboundary Case

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dombrowsky, Ines; Almog, Ram; Becker, Nir; Feitelson, Eran; Klawitter, Simone; Lindemann, Stefan; Mutlak, Natalie

    2010-05-01

    The basin scale has been promoted universally as the optimal management unit that allows for the internalization of all external effects caused by multiple water uses. However, the basin scale has been put forward largely on the basis of experience in temperate zones. Hence whether the basin scale is the best scale for management in other settings remains questionable. To address these questions this paper analyzes the economic viability and the political feasibility of alternative management options in the Kidron/Wadi Nar region. The Kidron/Wadi Nar is a small basin in which wastewater from eastern Jerusalem flows through the desert to the Dead Sea. Various options for managing these wastewater flows were analyzed ex ante on the basis of both a cost benefit and a multi-criteria analysis. The paper finds that due to economies of scale, a pure basin approach is not desirable from a physical and economic perspective. Furthermore, in terms of political feasibility, it seems that the option which prompts the fewest objections from influential stakeholder groups in the two entities under the current asymmetrical political setting is not a basin solution either, but a two plant solution based on an outsourcing arrangement. These findings imply that the river basin management approach can not be considered the best management approach for the arid transboundary case at hand, and hence is not unequivocally universally applicable.

  7. How widely applicable is river basin management? An analysis of wastewater management in an arid transboundary case.

    PubMed

    Dombrowsky, Ines; Almog, Ram; Becker, Nir; Feitelson, Eran; Klawitter, Simone; Lindemann, Stefan; Mutlak, Natalie

    2010-05-01

    The basin scale has been promoted universally as the optimal management unit that allows for the internalization of all external effects caused by multiple water uses. However, the basin scale has been put forward largely on the basis of experience in temperate zones. Hence whether the basin scale is the best scale for management in other settings remains questionable. To address these questions this paper analyzes the economic viability and the political feasibility of alternative management options in the Kidron/Wadi Nar region. The Kidron/Wadi Nar is a small basin in which wastewater from eastern Jerusalem flows through the desert to the Dead Sea. Various options for managing these wastewater flows were analyzed ex ante on the basis of both a cost benefit and a multi-criteria analysis. The paper finds that due to economies of scale, a pure basin approach is not desirable from a physical and economic perspective. Furthermore, in terms of political feasibility, it seems that the option which prompts the fewest objections from influential stakeholder groups in the two entities under the current asymmetrical political setting is not a basin solution either, but a two plant solution based on an outsourcing arrangement. These findings imply that the river basin management approach can not be considered the best management approach for the arid transboundary case at hand, and hence is not unequivocally universally applicable. PMID:20383707

  8. Regional groundwater-flow model of the Redwall-Muav, Coconino, and alluvial basin aquifer systems of northern and central Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pool, D.R.; Blasch, Kyle W.; Callegary, James B.; Leake, Stanley A.; Graser, Leslie F.

    2011-01-01

    A numerical flow model (MODFLOW) of the groundwater flow system in the primary aquifers in northern Arizona was developed to simulate interactions between the aquifers, perennial streams, and springs for predevelopment and transient conditions during 1910 through 2005. Simulated aquifers include the Redwall-Muav, Coconino, and basin-fill aquifers. Perennial stream reaches and springs that derive base flow from the aquifers were simulated, including the Colorado River, Little Colorado River, Salt River, Verde River, and perennial reaches of tributary streams. Simulated major springs include Blue Spring, Del Rio Springs, Havasu Springs, Verde River headwater springs, several springs that discharge adjacent to major Verde River tributaries, and many springs that discharge to the Colorado River. Estimates of aquifer hydraulic properties and groundwater budgets were developed from published reports and groundwater-flow models. Spatial extents of aquifers and confining units were developed from geologic data, geophysical models, a groundwater-flow model for the Prescott Active Management Area, drill logs, geologic logs, and geophysical logs. Spatial and temporal distributions of natural recharge were developed by using a water-balance model that estimates recharge from direct infiltration. Additional natural recharge from ephemeral channel infiltration was simulated in alluvial basins. Recharge at wastewater treatment facilities and incidental recharge at agricultural fields and golf courses were also simulated. Estimates of predevelopment rates of groundwater discharge to streams, springs, and evapotranspiration by phreatophytes were derived from previous reports and on the basis of streamflow records at gages. Annual estimates of groundwater withdrawals for agriculture, municipal, industrial, and domestic uses were developed from several sources, including reported withdrawals for nonexempt wells, estimated crop requirements for agricultural wells, and estimated per capita water use for exempt wells. Accuracy of the simulated groundwater-flow system was evaluated by using observational control from water levels in wells, estimates of base flow from streamflow records, and estimates of spring discharge. Major results from the simulations include the importance of variations in recharge rates throughout the study area and recharge along ephemeral and losing stream reaches in alluvial basins. Insights about the groundwater-flow systems in individual basins include the hydrologic influence of geologic structures in some areas and that stream-aquifer interactions along the lower part of the Little Colorado River are an effective control on water level distributions throughout the Little Colorado River Plateau basin. Better information on several aspects of the groundwater flow system are needed to reduce uncertainty of the simulated system. Many areas lack documentation of the response of the groundwater system to changes in withdrawals and recharge. Data needed to define groundwater flow between vertically adjacent water-bearing units is lacking in many areas. Distributions of recharge along losing stream reaches are poorly defined. Extents of aquifers and alluvial lithologies are poorly defined in parts of the Big Chino and Verde Valley sub-basins. Aquifer storage properties are poorly defined throughout most of the study area. Little data exist to define the hydrologic importance of geologic structures such as faults and fractures. Discharge of regional groundwater flow to the Verde River is difficult to identify in the Verde Valley sub-basin because of unknown contributions from deep percolation of excess surface water irrigation.

  9. Persistence at distributional edges: Columbia spotted frog habitat in the arid Great Basin, USA.

    PubMed

    Arkle, Robert S; Pilliod, David S

    2015-09-01

    A common challenge in the conservation of broadly distributed, yet imperiled species is understanding which factors facilitate persistence at distributional edges, locations where populations are often vulnerable to extirpation due to changes in climate, land use, or distributions of other species. For Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) in the Great Basin (USA), a genetically distinct population segment of conservation concern, we approached this problem by examining (1) landscape-scale habitat availability and distribution, (2) water body-scale habitat associations, and (3) resource management-identified threats to persistence. We found that areas with perennial aquatic habitat and suitable climate are extremely limited in the southern portion of the species' range. Within these suitable areas, native and non-native predators (trout and American bullfrogs [Lithobates catesbeianus]) are widespread and may further limit habitat availability in upper- and lower-elevation areas, respectively. At the water body scale, spotted frog occupancy was associated with deeper sites containing abundant emergent vegetation and nontrout fish species. Streams with American beaver (Castor canadensis) frequently had these structural characteristics and were significantly more likely to be occupied than ponds, lakes, streams without beaver, or streams with inactive beaver ponds, highlighting the importance of active manipulation of stream environments by beaver. Native and non-native trout reduced the likelihood of spotted frog occupancy, especially where emergent vegetation cover was sparse. Intensive livestock grazing, low aquatic connectivity, and ephemeral hydroperiods were also negatively associated with spotted frog occupancy. We conclude that persistence of this species at the arid end of its range has been largely facilitated by habitat stability (i.e., permanent hydroperiod), connectivity, predator-free refugia, and a commensalistic interaction with an ecosystem engineer. Beaver-induced changes to habitat quality, stability, and connectivity may increase spotted frog population resistance and resilience to seasonal drought, grazing, non-native predators, and climate change, factors which threaten local or regional persistence. PMID:26380699

  10. Persistence at distributional edges: Columbia spotted frog habitat in the arid Great Basin, USA

    PubMed Central

    Arkle, Robert S; Pilliod, David S

    2015-01-01

    A common challenge in the conservation of broadly distributed, yet imperiled species is understanding which factors facilitate persistence at distributional edges, locations where populations are often vulnerable to extirpation due to changes in climate, land use, or distributions of other species. For Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) in the Great Basin (USA), a genetically distinct population segment of conservation concern, we approached this problem by examining (1) landscape-scale habitat availability and distribution, (2) water body-scale habitat associations, and (3) resource management-identified threats to persistence. We found that areas with perennial aquatic habitat and suitable climate are extremely limited in the southern portion of the species’ range. Within these suitable areas, native and non-native predators (trout and American bullfrogs [Lithobates catesbeianus]) are widespread and may further limit habitat availability in upper- and lower-elevation areas, respectively. At the water body scale, spotted frog occupancy was associated with deeper sites containing abundant emergent vegetation and nontrout fish species. Streams with American beaver (Castor canadensis) frequently had these structural characteristics and were significantly more likely to be occupied than ponds, lakes, streams without beaver, or streams with inactive beaver ponds, highlighting the importance of active manipulation of stream environments by beaver. Native and non-native trout reduced the likelihood of spotted frog occupancy, especially where emergent vegetation cover was sparse. Intensive livestock grazing, low aquatic connectivity, and ephemeral hydroperiods were also negatively associated with spotted frog occupancy. We conclude that persistence of this species at the arid end of its range has been largely facilitated by habitat stability (i.e., permanent hydroperiod), connectivity, predator-free refugia, and a commensalistic interaction with an ecosystem engineer. Beaver-induced changes to habitat quality, stability, and connectivity may increase spotted frog population resistance and resilience to seasonal drought, grazing, non-native predators, and climate change, factors which threaten local or regional persistence. PMID:26380699

  11. Palaeoenvironments and palaeotectonics of the arid to hyperarid intracontinental latest Permian- late Triassic Solway basin (U.K.)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brookfield, Michael E.

    2008-10-01

    The late Permian to late Triassic sediments of the Solway Basin consist of an originally flat-lying, laterally persistent and consistent succession of mature, dominantly fine-grained red clastics laid down in part of a very large intracontinental basin. The complete absence of body or trace fossils or palaeosols indicates a very arid (hyperarid) depositional environment for most of the sediments. At the base of the succession, thin regolith breccias and sandstones rest unconformably on basement and early Permian rift clastics. Overlying gypsiferous red silty mudstones, very fine sandstones and thick gypsum were deposited in either a playa lake or in a hypersaline estuary, and their margins. These pass upwards into thick-bedded, multi-storied, fine- to very fine-grained red quartzo-felspathic and sublithic arenites in which even medium sand is rare despite channels with clay pebbles up to 30 cm in diameter. Above, thick trough cross-bedded and parallel laminated fine-grained aeolian sandstones (deposited in extensive barchanoid dune complexes) pass up into very thick, multicoloured mudstones, and gypsum deposited in marginal marine or lacustrine sabkha environments. The latter pass up into marine Lower Jurassic shales and limestones. Thirteen non-marine clastic lithofacies are arranged into five main lithofacies associations whose facies architecture is reconstructed where possible by analysis of large exposures. The five associations can be compared with the desert pavement, arid ephemeral stream, sabkha, saline lake and aeolian sand dune environments of the arid to hyperarid areas of existing intracontinental basins such as Lake Eyre and Lake Chad. The accommodation space in such basins is controlled by gradual tectonic subsidence moderated by large fluctuations in shallow lake extent (caused by climatic change and local variation) and this promotes a large-scale layer-cake stratigraphy as exemplified in the Solway basin. Here, the dominant fine-grained mature sandstones above the local basal reg breccias suggest water-reworking of wind-transported sediment, as in the northern part of the Lake Chad basin. Growth faulting occurs in places in the Solway basin, caused by underlying evaporite movement, but these faults did not significantly affect pre-late Triassic sedimentation and did not expose pre-Permian units above the basal breccias. There is no evidence of post-early Permian rifting anywhere during deposition of the late Permian to middle Triassic British succession although the succession is often interpreted with a rift-basin model. The arid to hyperarid palaeoclimate changed little during deposition of the Solway basin succession, in contrast to Lakes Eyre and Chad: and this is attributed to tectonic and palaeolatitude stability. Unlike the later Mesozoic- Cenozoic, only limited plate movements took place during the Triassic in western Europe, palaeolatitude changed little, and the Solway Basin remained in the northern latitudinal desert belt from early to mid-Triassic times. However, the influence of the early Triassic impoverished biota on environmental interpretations needs further study.

  12. Late Pleistocene to Holocene alluvial tableland formation in an intra-mountainous basin in a tectonically active mountain belt ― A case study in the Puli Basin, central Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tseng, Chia-Han; Lüthgens, Christopher; Tsukamoto, Sumiko; Reimann, Tony; Frechen, Manfred; Böse, Margot

    2016-01-01

    The morphology in Taiwan is a product of high tectonic activity at the convergent margin and East Asian monsoon climate. Tablelands are prominent geomorphic features in the Puli Basin in central Taiwan. These tablelands provide an archive to understand links between past climatic evolution and tectonic events resulting in the formation of the present-day landforms. To establish a geochronological framework for the alluvium underlying the tablelands in the Puli Basin, optically stimulated luminescence dating was applied to obtain burial ages. The numerical data indicate an accumulation phase of alluvial fans in the Late Pleistocene to Early Holocene transition. The study area in the Taomi River catchment, an obvious longer precursor of the Taomi River, originating from west of the Yuchih Basin, transported the sediments forming the present-day southern tablelands. During the Pleistocene-Holocene transition, the climate changed to wetter and warmer conditions, so that slope processes might have changed and an increasing transport in the fluvial system was stimulated. Fluvial and fan terraces in other river catchments in Taiwan also indicate a period of increased fluvial transport and deposition. A geomorphic evolution model in the Puli Basin is reconstructed on the basis of the chronological framework and of sedimentological features. Fluvial processes controlled by climatic change and accompanied by tectonic activities have created the diverse topography in the Puli Basin.

  13. Effect of seasonal flooding cycle on litterfall production in alluvial rainforest on the middle Xingu River (Amazon basin, Brazil).

    PubMed

    Camargo, M; Giarrizzo, T; Jesus, A J S

    2015-08-01

    The assumption for this study was that litterfall in floodplain environments of the middle Xingu river follows a pattern of seasonal variation. According to this view, litterfall production (total and fractions) was estimated in four alluvial rainforest sites on the middle Xingu River over an annual cycle, and examined the effect of seasonal flooding cycle. The sites included two marginal flooded forests of insular lakes (Ilha Grande and Pimentel) and two flooded forests on the banks of the Xingu itself (Boa Esperança and Arroz Cru). Total litterfall correlated with rainfall and river levels, but whereas the leaf and fruit fractions followed this general pattern, the flower fraction presented an inverse pattern, peaking in the dry season. The litterfall patterns recorded in the present study were consistent with those recorded at other Amazonian sites, and in some other tropical ecosystems. PMID:26691098

  14. Estimation of groundwater pumping as closure to the water balance of a semi-arid, irrigated agricultural basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruud, Nels; Harter, Thomas; Naugle, Alec

    2004-09-01

    Groundwater pumping is frequently the least measured water balance component in semi-arid basins with significant agricultural production. In this article, we develop a GIS-based water balance model for estimating basin-scale monthly and annual groundwater pumping and apply it to a 2300 km 2 semi-arid, irrigated agricultural area in the southern San Joaquin Valley, California. Both, annual groundwater storage changes and pumping are estimated as closure terms. The local hydrology is dominated by distributed surface water supplies, limited precipitation, and large crop water uses; whereas basin-scale runoff generation and groundwater-to-surface water discharges are negligible. Groundwater represents a terminal long-term storage reservoir with distributed inputs and outputs. To capture the spatio-temporal variability in water management and water use, the study area is delineated into 26 water service areas and 9611 individual fields or land units. The model computes conveyance seepage losses external to districts; seepage losses within districts; and net applied surface water of each district. For each land unit, the model calculates the applied water demand; its allotment of delivered surface water; the groundwater pumping required to meet the balance of its applied water demand; and aquifer recharge resulting from deep percolation of applied water and precipitation. These spatially distributed components are aggregated to the basin scale. Estimated annual groundwater storage changes compared well to those computed by the water-table fluctuation method over the 30-year study period, providing an independent verification of the consumptive use estimation. Pumping accounted for as much as 80% of the total applied water in 'Critical' water years and as little as 30% in 'Wet' years. Pumping estimates are most sensitive to estimation uncertainty of soil available water. They show little sensitivity to estimation errors in effective root depth, irrigation efficiencies, and intra-district seepage losses, although the cumulative sensitivity is significant.

  15. Large Alluvial Fans on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, Jeffrey M.; Howard, Alan D.

    2004-01-01

    Several dozen distinct alluvial fans, 10 to greater than 40 km long downslope are observed exclusively in highlands craters. Within a search region between 0 deg. and 30 deg. S, alluvial fan-containing craters were only found between 18 and 29 S, and they all occur at around plus or minus 1 km of the MOLA-defined Martian datum. Within the study area they are not randomly distributed but instead form three distinct clusters. Fans typically descend greater than 1 km from where they disgorge from their alcoves. Longitudinal profiles show that their surfaces are very slightly concave with a mean slope of 2 degrees. Many fans exhibit very long, narrow low-relief ridges radially oriented down-slope, often branching at their distal ends, suggestive of distributaries. Morphometric data for 31 fans was derived from MOLA data and compared with terrestrial fans with high-relief source areas, terrestrial low gradient alluvial ramps in inactive tectonic settings, and older Martian alluvial ramps along crater floors. The Martian alluvial fans generally fall on the same trends as the terrestrial alluvial fans, whereas the gentler Martian crater floor ramps are similar in gradient to the low relief terrestrial alluvial surfaces. For a given fan gradient, Martian alluvial fans generally have greater source basin relief than terrestrial fans in active tectonic settings. This suggests that the terrestrial source basins either yield coarser debris or have higher sediment concentrations than their Martian counterpoints. Martian fans and Basin and Range fans have steeper gradients than the older Martian alluvial ramps and terrestrial low relief alluvial surfaces, which is consistent with a supply of coarse sediment. Martian fans are relatively large and of low gradient, similar to terrestrial fluvial fans rather than debris flow fans. However, gravity scaling uncertainties make the flow regime forming Martian fans uncertain. Martian fans, at least those in Holden crater, apparently formed around the time of the Noachian-Hesperian boundary. We infer that these fans formed during an episode of enhanced precipitation (probably snow) and runoff, which exhibited both sudden onset and termination.

  16. Mapping Ecological Processes and Ecosystem Services for Prioritizing Restoration Efforts in a Semi-arid Mediterranean River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trabucchi, Mattia; O'Farrell, Patrick J.; Notivol, Eduardo; Comín, Francisco A.

    2014-06-01

    Semi-arid Mediterranean regions are highly susceptible to desertification processes which can reduce the benefits that people obtain from healthy ecosystems and thus threaten human wellbeing. The European Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 recognizes the need to incorporate ecosystem services into land-use management, conservation, and restoration actions. The inclusion of ecosystem services into restoration actions and plans is an emerging area of research, and there are few documented approaches and guidelines on how to undertake such an exercise. This paper responds to this need, and we demonstrate an approach for identifying both key ecosystem services provisioning areas and the spatial relationship between ecological processes and services. A degraded semi-arid Mediterranean river basin in north east Spain was used as a case study area. We show that the quantification and mapping of services are the first step required for both optimizing and targeting of specific local areas for restoration. Additionally, we provide guidelines for restoration planning at a watershed scale; establishing priorities for improving the delivery of ecosystem services at this scale; and prioritizing the sub-watersheds for restoration based on their potential for delivering a combination of key ecosystem services for the entire basin.

  17. Modeling flash flood events in an ungaged semi-arid basin using a real-time distributed model: Fish Creek near Anza Borrego, California

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fast responding headwater basins and canyons pose a significant threat to life and property throughout the semi-arid western United States. This paper presents the results from the application of the real-time distributed model KINematic runoff and EROsin model (KINEROS2) to the complex terrain of t...

  18. Depositional environments in an alluvial-lacustrine system: molluscan paleoecology and lithofacies relations in upper part of Tongue River Member of Fort Union Formation, Powder River Basin, Wyoming

    SciTech Connect

    Hanley, J.H.; Flores, R.M.

    1983-03-01

    The upper part of the Tongue River Member of the Fort Union Formation (Paleocene) in the northern Powder River basin, Wyoming, contains assemblages of excellently preserved nonmarine mollusks which occur in laterally continuous outcrops of diverse lithologic sequences and sedimentary structures. Three facies are recognized vertically within an alluvial-lacustrine system. The interfluvial lake and lake splay facies is characterized by sequences of coarsening-upward detritus, abundant continuous limestone beds, and few beds of discontinuous coal and continuous carbonaceous shale. Limestones contain two lacustrine mollusk assemblages: a locally reworked assemblage dominated by the bivalve Plesielliptio (two species), and the gastropods Viviparus, Lioplacodes (three species), and Clenchiella; and a quite-water assemblage dominated by sphaeriid bivalves. The interfluvial crevasse splay-crevasse channel facies is characterized by sequences of coarsening-upward detritus and few discontinuous limestone beds, separated vertically by thick, continuous coal and carbonaceous shale beds. This facies includes small crevasse channel sandstones which scour into splay sandstones. Biofabric of lacustrine mollusk assemblages, which are identical in composition (but with dwarfed species of Plesielliptio) to locally reworked lacustrine assemblages of the interfluvial lake and lake splay facies, reflects deterioration of lakes through active infilling by crevasses. The fluvial channel and interchannel facies is typified by thick channel sandstones laterally separated by sequences of coarsening-upward detritus, overbank sediments, and rare limestones. This facies includes thick, continuous coal and carbonaceous shale beds.

  19. Identifying sources of groundwater nitrate contamination in a large alluvial groundwater basin with highly diversified intensive agricultural production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lockhart, K. M.; King, A. M.; Harter, T.

    2013-08-01

    Groundwater quality is a concern in alluvial aquifers underlying agricultural areas worldwide. Nitrate from land applied fertilizers or from animal waste can leach to groundwater and contaminate drinking water resources. The San Joaquin Valley, California, is an example of an agricultural landscape with a large diversity of field, vegetable, tree, nut, and citrus crops, but also confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs, here mostly dairies) that generate, store, and land apply large amounts of liquid manure. As in other such regions around the world, the rural population in the San Joaquin Valley relies almost exclusively on shallow domestic wells (≤ 150 m deep), of which many have been affected by nitrate. Variability in crops, soil type, and depth to groundwater contribute to large variability in nitrate occurrence across the underlying aquifer system. The role of these factors in controlling groundwater nitrate contamination levels is examined. Two hundred domestic wells were sampled in two sub-regions of the San Joaquin Valley, Stanislaus and Merced (Stan/Mer) and Tulare and Kings (Tul/Kings) Counties. Forty six percent of well water samples in Tul/Kings and 42% of well water samples in Stan/Mer exceeded the MCL for nitrate (10 mg/L NO3-N). For statistical analysis of nitrate contamination, 78 crop and landuse types were considered by grouping them into ten categories (CAFO, citrus, deciduous fruits and nuts, field crops, forage, native, pasture, truck crops, urban, and vineyards). Vadose zone thickness, soil type, well construction information, well proximity to dairies, and dominant landuse near the well were considered. In the Stan/Mer area, elevated nitrate levels in domestic wells most strongly correlate with the combination of very shallow (≤ 21 m) water table and the presence of either CAFO derived animal waste applications or deciduous fruit and nut crops (synthetic fertilizer applications). In Tulare County, statistical data indicate that elevated nitrate levels in domestic well water are most strongly associated with citrus orchards when located in areas with a very shallow (≤ 21 m) water table. Kings County had relatively few nitrate MCL exceedances in domestic wells, probably due to the deeper water table in Kings County.

  20. Identifying sources of groundwater nitrate contamination in a large alluvial groundwater basin with highly diversified intensive agricultural production.

    PubMed

    Lockhart, K M; King, A M; Harter, T

    2013-08-01

    Groundwater quality is a concern in alluvial aquifers underlying agricultural areas worldwide. Nitrate from land applied fertilizers or from animal waste can leach to groundwater and contaminate drinking water resources. The San Joaquin Valley, California, is an example of an agricultural landscape with a large diversity of field, vegetable, tree, nut, and citrus crops, but also confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs, here mostly dairies) that generate, store, and land apply large amounts of liquid manure. As in other such regions around the world, the rural population in the San Joaquin Valley relies almost exclusively on shallow domestic wells (≤150 m deep), of which many have been affected by nitrate. Variability in crops, soil type, and depth to groundwater contribute to large variability in nitrate occurrence across the underlying aquifer system. The role of these factors in controlling groundwater nitrate contamination levels is examined. Two hundred domestic wells were sampled in two sub-regions of the San Joaquin Valley, Stanislaus and Merced (Stan/Mer) and Tulare and Kings (Tul/Kings) Counties. Forty six percent of well water samples in Tul/Kings and 42% of well water samples in Stan/Mer exceeded the MCL for nitrate (10mg/L NO3-N). For statistical analysis of nitrate contamination, 78 crop and landuse types were considered by grouping them into ten categories (CAFO, citrus, deciduous fruits and nuts, field crops, forage, native, pasture, truck crops, urban, and vineyards). Vadose zone thickness, soil type, well construction information, well proximity to dairies, and dominant landuse near the well were considered. In the Stan/Mer area, elevated nitrate levels in domestic wells most strongly correlate with the combination of very shallow (≤21 m) water table and the presence of either CAFO derived animal waste applications or deciduous fruit and nut crops (synthetic fertilizer applications). In Tulare County, statistical data indicate that elevated nitrate levels in domestic well water are most strongly associated with citrus orchards when located in areas with a very shallow (≤21 m) water table. Kings County had relatively few nitrate MCL exceedances in domestic wells, probably due to the deeper water table in Kings County. PMID:23800783

  1. Runoff generation processes during the wet-up phase in a semi-arid basin in Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zarei, H.; Akhondali, A. M.; Mohammadzadeh, H.; Radmanesh, F.; Laudon, H.

    2014-04-01

    Understanding the hydrological processes in catchments is important for water resources management, particularly in semi-arid regions of the world. To contribute to this field, dominant runoff generation processes in a semi-arid basin (283 km2) in Southwestern Iran were investigated using analysis of hydrometric data in combination with natural isotopic tracers through the wet-up phase of a rainy season. The analysis of seven rainfall-runoff events during the rainfall dominated period illustrated the role of antecedent base flow and cumulative rainfall for explaining the hydrological response. Three distinct storm events and the corresponding discharge were collected and analyzed for oxygen-18 and deuterium isotope composition. The results show that during the wetting-up cycle, the runoff ratio during storm events increased progressively from 1 to 10%. Higher event runoff ratios following catchment wet-up were shown to be directly linked to changes in soil moisture, which in turn controlled the runoff generation processes. In line with the hydrometric results, the two-component hydrograph separation using δ18O and δ2H demonstrated a clear connection to the antecedent wetness conditions. The results suggest that the runoff ratios during storms and the partitioning of event and pre-event water fractions are sensitive to the amount of catchment wet-up and could hence be strongly impacted by changes in the timing, duration and amount of precipitation in the future.

  2. Isotopes and groundwater management strategies under semi-arid area: case of the Souss upstream basin (Morocco).

    PubMed

    Bouragba, L; Mudry, J; Bouchaou, L; Hsissou, Y; Krimissa, M; Tagma, T; Michelot, J L

    2011-07-01

    This study concerns the Souss upstream basin. The objective is to investigate the characteristics of surface water and groundwater, to assess the impact of artificial recharge as reinforcement of the natural replenishment and assess the renewal of groundwater under semi-arid area. Two major water types are observed: (i) surface waters and upstream springs (least mineralized) and (ii) all groundwater samples (prevailing calcium and magnesium bicarbonate water type). Water isotopes show a low evaporation of precipitations during infiltration. Impoverishment in heavy isotopes is the characteristic of mountain rainfalls, or of a climate colder and wetter than present. Carbon-14 activities (34-94 pmc) indicate a long residence time. The artificial recharge is low compared to the reservoir volume, due to which the renewal rate is also low. PMID:21377885

  3. Responses of shelterbelt stand transpiration to drought and groundwater variations in an arid inland river basin of Northwest China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Qin; Gao, Guangyao; Fu, Bojie; Lü, Yihe

    2015-12-01

    Plant water use characteristics and transpiration responses under dry conditions are considered essential for effective and sustainable ecosystem management in arid areas. This study was conducted to evaluate the response of shelterbelt stand transpiration to precipitation, soil drought and groundwater variations in an oasis-desert ecotone in the middle of the Heihe River Basin, China. Sap flow was measured in eight Gansu Poplar trees (Populus Gansuensis) with different diameter at breast height over three consecutive growing seasons (2012-2014). The groundwater evapotranspiration via plant use was estimated by the White method with diurnal water table fluctuations. The results showed that precipitation increased the stand transpiration but not statistically significant (paired t-test, p > 0.05). The recharge of soil water by irrigation caused stand transpiration acceleration significantly (t-test, p < 0.05). Stand transpiration and canopy conductance increased by 27% and 31%, respectively, when soil water conditions changed from dry to wet. Canopy conductance decreased logarithmically with vapor pressure deficit, while there was no apparent relationship between canopy conductance and solar radiation. The sensitivity of canopy conductance to vapor pressure deficit decreased under dry soil conditions. Groundwater evapotranspiration (0.6-7.1 mm day-1) was linearly correlated with stand transpiration (1.1-6.5 mm day-1) (R2 = 0.71), and these two variables had similar variability. During the drought period, approximately 80% of total stand transpiration came from groundwater evapotranspiration. This study highlighted the critical role of irrigation and groundwater for shelterbelt, and might provide the basis for the development of water requirement schemes for shelterbelt growth in arid inland river basins.

  4. Morphostratigraphy of Alluvial Fans in East-Central Nevada, USA: Evidence for Climatically Driven Geomorphic Activity in the Central Great Basin During the Latest Pleistocene and Holocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia, A. F.; Gracely, J. T.; Marsh, J. H.; Chakmak, A. M.; Aichner, S. L.; Ford, R.

    2001-12-01

    We present results of a reconnaissance survey of the Quaternary geology of basins within and adjacent to the White Pine Range, Nye and White Pine Counties. Alluvial fans typically are composed of 2 or 3 morphostratigraphic units. The oldest units (Qf1) predate the last glacial maximum, and are present in apical as well as distal fan settings. Qf2 depositional units are locally inset into Qf1 in fan-head trenches, and consist of terraces in the fan-head trench that grade down-fan to distal prograding lobes. Qf2 fan-head-trench terraces also locally grade upstream to fan-feeder stream terraces. On fans fed by relatively small mountain-front catchments, Qf3 lobes are present as lobes that prograde over and/or down-fan of Qf1 and Qf2 lobes. We studied in detail soil properties and field relationships of Qf1, Qf2, and pluvial-lake beach ridges in Jake's Valley (northern White Pine Range). Qf1 soils include Stage III to III+ calcic horizons. Paleoshoreline features on Qf1 are wave-cut benches, and Qf1 fans are graded to a paleo base level that was below the wave-cut benches. Qf2 and beach ridge soils include Stage I to I+ calcic horizons, and Qf2 surfaces are graded to beach ridges. These soil properties and field relationships indicate that Qf2 deposition occurred during pluvial-lake highstands associated with the latest Pleistocene glacial maximum. The field relationships of Qf2 and Qf3 to beach ridges indicates that alluvial-fan sedimentation persisted uninterrupted through the late Holocene. Field relationships also suggest that pluvial-lake beach ridge formation in Jake's Valley is dependent on sediment supplied via actively prograding fan lobes. Based on the map pattern of Qf1, Qf2, and Qf3, we conclude that the primary source of Qf2 and Qf3 sediment is hillslopes above the Jake's Valley piedmont. We follow Harvey et al (1999) and propose that latest Pleistocene and Holocene geomorphic activity is due to the onset of summer monsoonal storms as the polar jetstream migrated north at the end of the last glacial maximum.

  5. Achieving Sustainability in a Semi-Arid Basin in Northwest Mexico through an Integrated Hydrologic-Economic-Institutional Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munoz-Hernandez, A.; Mayer, A. S.

    2008-12-01

    The hydrologic systems in Northwest Mexico are at risk of over exploitation due to poor management of the water resources and adverse climatic conditions. The purpose of this work is to create and Integrated Hydrologic-Economic-Institutional Model to support future development in the Yaqui River basin, well known by its agricultural productivity, by directing the water management practices toward sustainability. The Yaqui River basin is a semi-arid basin with an area of 72,000 square kilometers and an average precipitation of 527 mm per year. The primary user of water is agriculture followed by domestic use and industry. The water to meet user demands comes from three reservoirs constructed, in series, along the river. The main objective of the integrated simulation-optimization model is to maximize the economic benefit within the basin, subject to physical and environmental constraints. Decision variables include the water allocation to major users and reservoirs as well as aquifer releases. Economic and hydrologic (including the interaction of the surface water and groundwater) simulation models were both included in the integrated model. The surface water model refers to a rainfall-runoff model created, calibrated, and incorporated into a MATLAB code that estimates the monthly storage in the main reservoirs by solving a water balance. The rainfall-runoff model was coupled with a groundwater model of the Yaqui Valley which was previously developed (Addams, 2004). This model includes flow in the main canals and infiltration to the aquifer. The economic benefit of water for some activities such as agricultural use, domestic use, hydropower generation, and environmental value was determined. Sensitivity analysis was explored for those parameters that are not certain such as price elasticities or population growth. Different water allocation schemes were created based on climate change, climate variability, and socio-economic scenarios. Addams L. 2004. Water resource policy evaluation using a combined hydrologic-economic-agronomic modeling framework: Yaqui Valley, Sonora, Mexico. Ph.D.dissertation, Stanford University.

  6. Hydrogeochemical zonation and its implication for arsenic mobilization in deep groundwaters near alluvial fans in the Hetao Basin, Inner Mongolia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Yongfeng; Guo, Huaming; Jiang, Yuxiao; Wu, Yang; Zhou, Yinzhu

    2014-10-01

    High As groundwater has been found in shallow aquifers of the flat plain of the Hetao basin, but little is known about As concentration in deep groundwaters around piedmont areas, which are the major drinking water resources. One hundred and three groundwater samples from wells with depths >50 m and seven samples from one multi-level monitoring well (89 m in depth) were analyzed for chemical compositions and 18O and D isotopes to examine the geochemical processes controlling As mobilization. According to hydrogeological setting, chemical and isotopic characteristics of deep groundwater, three distinguished hydrogeochemical zones are delineated, including Recharge-Oxic Zone (Zone I), Groundwater Flow-Moderate Reducing Zone (Zone II), and Groundwater Flow-Reducing Zone (Zone III). Zone I is located in proximal fans in the recharge area with oxic conditions, where low As groundwater generally occurs. In Zone II, located in the intermediate between the fans and the flat plain with Fe-reduction predominated, groundwater As is moderate. Zone III lies in the flat plain with the occurrence of SO42- reduction, where high As groundwater is mostly found. This indicates that release of As to groundwater is primarily determined by reduction sequences. Arsenic is immobilized in O2 /NO3- reduction stage in Zone I and released in Fe-reducing conditions of Zone II, and displays a significant elevated concentration in SO4-reducing stage in Zone III. Dissolution of carbonate minerals occurs in Zone I, while Ca2+ and Mg2+ are expected to precipitate in Zone II and Zone III. In the multi-level monitoring well, both chemical and isotopic compositions are dependent of sampling depths, with the similar trend to the hydrogeochemical zonation along the flow path. The apparent increases in δD and δ18O values in Zone III reveal the possibility of high As shallow groundwater recharge to deep groundwater. It indicates that deep groundwaters in proximal fans have low As concentrations and are considered as safe drinking water resources in the Hetao basin. However, high As concentration is frequently observed in deep groundwater in the flat plain, which should be routinely monitored in order to avoid chronic As poisoning.

  7. Geomorphology of the Alluvial Sediments and Bedrock in an Intermontane Basin: Application of Variogram Modeling to Electrical Resistivity Soundings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, Adnan Ahmad; Farid, Asam; Akhter, Gulraiz; Munir, Khyzer; Small, James; Ahmad, Zulfiqar

    2016-05-01

    The study describes a methodology used to integrate legacy resistivity data with limited geological data in order to build three-dimensional models of the near subsurface. Variogram analysis and inversion techniques more typically found in the petroleum industry are applied to a set of 1D resistivity data taken from electrical surveys conducted in the 1980s. Through careful integration with limited geological data collected from boreholes and outcrops, the resultant model can be visualized in three dimensions to depict alluvium layers as lithological and structural units within the bedrock. By tuning the variogram parameters to account for directionality, it is possible to visualize the individual lithofacies and geomorphological features in the subsurface. In this study, an electrical resistivity data set collected as part of a groundwater study in an area of the Peshawar basin in Pakistan has been re-examined. Additional lithological logs from boreholes throughout the area have been combined with local outcrop information to calibrate the data. Tectonic activity during the Himalayan orogeny has caused uplift in the area and generated significant faulting in the bedrock resulting in the formation of depressions which are identified by low resistivity values representing clays. Paleo-streams have reworked these clays which have been eroded and replaced by gravel-sand facies along paleo-channels. It is concluded that the sediments have been deposited as prograding fan-shaped bodies and lacustrine deposits with interlayered gravel-sand and clay-silt facies. The Naranji area aquifer system has thus been formed as a result of local tectonic activity with fluvial erosion and deposition and is characterized by coarse sediments with high electrical resistivities.

  8. Geomorphology of the Alluvial Sediments and Bedrock in an Intermontane Basin: Application of Variogram Modeling to Electrical Resistivity Soundings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, Adnan Ahmad; Farid, Asam; Akhter, Gulraiz; Munir, Khyzer; Small, James; Ahmad, Zulfiqar

    2016-02-01

    The study describes a methodology used to integrate legacy resistivity data with limited geological data in order to build three-dimensional models of the near subsurface. Variogram analysis and inversion techniques more typically found in the petroleum industry are applied to a set of 1D resistivity data taken from electrical surveys conducted in the 1980s. Through careful integration with limited geological data collected from boreholes and outcrops, the resultant model can be visualized in three dimensions to depict alluvium layers as lithological and structural units within the bedrock. By tuning the variogram parameters to account for directionality, it is possible to visualize the individual lithofacies and geomorphological features in the subsurface. In this study, an electrical resistivity data set collected as part of a groundwater study in an area of the Peshawar basin in Pakistan has been re-examined. Additional lithological logs from boreholes throughout the area have been combined with local outcrop information to calibrate the data. Tectonic activity during the Himalayan orogeny has caused uplift in the area and generated significant faulting in the bedrock resulting in the formation of depressions which are identified by low resistivity values representing clays. Paleo-streams have reworked these clays which have been eroded and replaced by gravel-sand facies along paleo-channels. It is concluded that the sediments have been deposited as prograding fan-shaped bodies and lacustrine deposits with interlayered gravel-sand and clay-silt facies. The Naranji area aquifer system has thus been formed as a result of local tectonic activity with fluvial erosion and deposition and is characterized by coarse sediments with high electrical resistivities.

  9. Northwest Arid Lands : an introduction to the Columbia Basin shrub-steppe

    SciTech Connect

    O'Connor, Georganne P. ); Wieda, Karen J. )

    2001-04-15

    This book explores the rich variety of life in shrub-steppe lands of the Columbia River Basin. It describes, for a non-technical audience, the flora, fauna, and geology of the lower Columbia Basin in and around the Tri-Cities, Washington. Features include color photos and maps of shrub-steppe plants and animals; lists and illustration of common plants, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish, and species of conservation concern; tips on places to see wildflowers and wildlife; geological travel logs from the Tri-Cities to Seattle and Spokane; and a comprehensive bibliography and definition of ecological terms.

  10. Late Miocene episodic lakes in the arid Tarim Basin, western China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Weiguo; Liu, Zhonghui; An, Zhisheng; Sun, Jimin; Chang, Hong; Wang, Ning; Dong, Jibao; Wang, Huanye

    2014-11-18

    The Tibetan Plateau uplift and Cenozoic global cooling are thought to induce enhanced aridification in the Asian interior. Although the onset of Asian desertification is proposed to have started in the earliest Miocene, prevailing desert environment in the Tarim Basin, currently providing much of the Asian eolian dust sources, is only a geologically recent phenomenon. Here we report episodic occurrences of lacustrine environments during the Late Miocene and investigate how the episodic lakes vanished in the basin. Our oxygen isotopic (δ(18)O) record demonstrates that before the prevailing desert environment, episodic changes frequently alternating between lacustrine and fluvial-eolian environments can be linked to orbital variations. Wetter lacustrine phases generally corresponded to periods of high eccentricity and possibly high obliquity, and vice versa, suggesting a temperature control on the regional moisture level on orbital timescales. Boron isotopic (δ(11)B) and δ(18)O records, together with other geochemical indicators, consistently show that the episodic lakes finally dried up at ∼4.9 million years ago (Ma), permanently and irreversibly. Although the episodic occurrences of lakes appear to be linked to orbitally induced global climatic changes, the plateau (Tibetan, Pamir, and Tianshan) uplift was primarily responsible for the final vanishing of the episodic lakes in the Tarim Basin, occurring at a relatively warm, stable climate period. PMID:25368156

  11. Late Miocene episodic lakes in the arid Tarim Basin, western China

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Weiguo; Liu, Zhonghui; An, Zhisheng; Sun, Jimin; Chang, Hong; Wang, Ning; Dong, Jibao; Wang, Huanye

    2014-01-01

    The Tibetan Plateau uplift and Cenozoic global cooling are thought to induce enhanced aridification in the Asian interior. Although the onset of Asian desertification is proposed to have started in the earliest Miocene, prevailing desert environment in the Tarim Basin, currently providing much of the Asian eolian dust sources, is only a geologically recent phenomenon. Here we report episodic occurrences of lacustrine environments during the Late Miocene and investigate how the episodic lakes vanished in the basin. Our oxygen isotopic (δ18O) record demonstrates that before the prevailing desert environment, episodic changes frequently alternating between lacustrine and fluvial-eolian environments can be linked to orbital variations. Wetter lacustrine phases generally corresponded to periods of high eccentricity and possibly high obliquity, and vice versa, suggesting a temperature control on the regional moisture level on orbital timescales. Boron isotopic (δ11B) and δ18O records, together with other geochemical indicators, consistently show that the episodic lakes finally dried up at ∼4.9 million years ago (Ma), permanently and irreversibly. Although the episodic occurrences of lakes appear to be linked to orbitally induced global climatic changes, the plateau (Tibetan, Pamir, and Tianshan) uplift was primarily responsible for the final vanishing of the episodic lakes in the Tarim Basin, occurring at a relatively warm, stable climate period. PMID:25368156

  12. Changes in Remotely Sensed Vegetation Growth Trend in the Heihe Basin of Arid Northwestern China.

    PubMed

    Sun, Wenchao; Song, Hao; Yao, Xiaolei; Ishidaira, Hiroshi; Xu, Zongxue

    2015-01-01

    The Heihe River Basin (HRB) is the second largest inland river basin in China, characterized by high diversity in geomorphology and irrigated agriculture in middle reaches. To improve the knowledge about the relationship between biotic and hydrological processes, this study used Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data (1982-2006) to analyze spatiotemporal variations in vegetation growth by using the Mann-Kendall test together with Sen's slope estimator. The results indicate that 10.1% and 1.6% of basin area exhibit statistically significant (p < 0.05) upward and downward trends, and maximum magnitude is 0.066/10a and 0.026/10a, respectively. More specifically, an increasing trend was observed in the Qilian Mountains and Hexi Corridor and a decreasing trend detected in the transitional region between them. Increases in precipitation and temperature may be one possible reason for the changes of vegetation growth in the Qilian Mountains. And decreasing trend in transitional region may be driven by the changes in precipitation. Increases of irrigation contribute to the upward trend of NDVI for cropland in the Hexi Corridor, reflecting that agricultural development becomes more intensive. Our study demonstrates the complexity of the response of vegetation growth in the HRB to climate change and anthropogenic activities and correspondingly adopting mechanistic ecological models capable of describing both factors is favorable for reasonable predictions of future vegetation growth. It is also indicated that improving irrigation water use efficiency is one practical strategy to balance water demand between human and natural ecosystems in the HRB. PMID:26284656

  13. Changes in Remotely Sensed Vegetation Growth Trend in the Heihe Basin of Arid Northwestern China

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Xiaolei; Ishidaira, Hiroshi; Xu, Zongxue

    2015-01-01

    The Heihe River Basin (HRB) is the second largest inland river basin in China, characterized by high diversity in geomorphology and irrigated agriculture in middle reaches. To improve the knowledge about the relationship between biotic and hydrological processes, this study used Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data (1982–2006) to analyze spatiotemporal variations in vegetation growth by using the Mann—Kendall test together with Sen’s slope estimator. The results indicate that 10.1% and 1.6% of basin area exhibit statistically significant (p < 0.05) upward and downward trends, and maximum magnitude is 0.066/10a and 0.026/10a, respectively. More specifically, an increasing trend was observed in the Qilian Mountains and Hexi Corridor and a decreasing trend detected in the transitional region between them. Increases in precipitation and temperature may be one possible reason for the changes of vegetation growth in the Qilian Mountains. And decreasing trend in transitional region may be driven by the changes in precipitation. Increases of irrigation contribute to the upward trend of NDVI for cropland in the Hexi Corridor, reflecting that agricultural development becomes more intensive. Our study demonstrates the complexity of the response of vegetation growth in the HRB to climate change and anthropogenic activities and correspondingly adopting mechanistic ecological models capable of describing both factors is favorable for reasonable predictions of future vegetation growth. It is also indicated that improving irrigation water use efficiency is one practical strategy to balance water demand between human and natural ecosystems in the HRB. PMID:26284656

  14. Hydrogeology of an ancient arid closed basin: Implications for tabular sandstone-hosted uranium deposits

    SciTech Connect

    Sanford, R.F. )

    1990-11-01

    Hydrogeologic modeling shows that tabular-type uranium deposits in the grants uranium region of the San Juan basin, New Mexico, formed in zones of ascending and discharging regional ground-water flow. The association of either lacustrine mudstone or actively subsiding structures and uranium deposits can best be explained by the occurrence of lakes at topographic depressions where ground water having different sources and compositions is likely to converge, mix, and discharge. Ascending and discharging flow also explains the association of uranium deposits with underlying evaporites and suggests a brine interface. The simulations contradict previous suggestions that ground water moved downward in the mudflat.

  15. Intensified pluvial conditions during the twentieth century in the inland Heihe River Basin in arid northwestern China over the past millennium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Chun; Yang, Bao; Burchardt, Iris; Hu, Xiaoli; Kang, Xingcheng

    2010-06-01

    Past streamflow variability is of special significance in the inland river basin, i.e., the Heihe River Basin in arid northwestern China, where water shortage is a serious environmental and social problem. However, the current knowledge of issues related to regional water resources management and long-term planning and management is limited by the lack of long-term hydro-meteorological records. Here we present a 1009-year annual streamflow (August-July) reconstruction for the upstream of the Heihe River in the arid northwestern China based on a well-replicated Qilian juniper ( Sabina przewalskii Kom.) ring-width chronology. This reconstruction accounts for 46.9% of the observed instrumental streamflow variance during the period 1958-2006. Considerable multidecadal to centennial flow variations below and above the long-term average are displayed in the millennium streamflow reconstruction. These periods 1012-1053, 1104-1212, 1259-1352, 1442-1499, 1593-1739 and 1789-1884 are noteworthy for the persistence of low-level river flow, and for the fact that these low streamflow events are not found in the observed instrumental hydrological record during the recent 50 years. The 20th century witnessed intensified pluvial conditions in the upstream of the Heihe River in the arid northwestern China in the context of the last millennium. Comparison with other long-term hydrological reconstructions indicates that the intensification of the hydrological cycle in the twentieth century from different regions could be attributable to regional to large-scale temperature increase during this time. Furthermore, from a practical perspective, the streamflow reconstruction can serve as a robust database for the government to work out more scientific and more reasonable water allocation alternatives for the Heihe River Basin in arid northwestern China.

  16. Observed changes of drought/wetness episodes in the Pearl River basin, China, using the standardized precipitation index and aridity index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Qiang; Xu, Chong-Yu; Zhang, Zengxin

    2009-09-01

    Monthly precipitation data of 42 rain stations over the Pearl River basin for 1960-2005 were analyzed to classify anomalously wet and dry conditions by using the standardized precipitation index (SPI) and aridity index ( I) for the rainy season (April-September) and winter (December-February). Trends of the number of wet and dry months decided by SPI were detected with Mann-Kendall technique. Furthermore, we also investigated possible causes behind wet and dry variations by analyzing NCAR/NCEP reanalysis dataset. The results indicate that: (1) the Pearl River basin tends to be dryer in the rainy season and comes to be wetter in winter. However, different wetting and drying properties can be identified across the basin: west parts of the basin tend to be dryer; and southeast parts tend to be wetter; (2) the Pearl River basin is dominated by dry tendency in the rainy season and is further substantiated by aridity index ( I) variations; and (3) water vapor flux, moisture content changes in the rainy season and winter indicate different influences of moisture changes on wet and dry conditions across the Pearl River basin. Increasing moisture content gives rise to an increasing number of wet months in winter. However, no fixed relationships can be observed between moisture content changes and number of wet months in the rainy season, indicating that more than one factor can influence the dry or wet conditions of the study region. The results of this paper will be helpful for basin-scale water resource management under the changing climate.

  17. Evaluation of future climate change impacts on semi-arid Cobres basin in southern Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Rong; Corte-Real, João; Moreira, Madalena; Kilsby, Chris; Burton, Aidan; Blenkinsop, Stephen; Forsythe, Nathan; Nunes, João; Sampaio, Elsa

    2014-05-01

    This study evaluated future climate change impacts on hydrological and sediment transport processes for the medium-sized (705 km2) agriculture dominated Cobres basin, Portugal, in the context of anti-desertification strategies. We used the Spatial-Temporal Neyman-Scott Rectangular Pulses (STNSRP) model—RainSim V3, a rainfall conditioned weather generator—ICAAM-WG, developed in this study but based on the modified Climate Research Unit daily weather generator (CRU-WG), and a PBSD hydrological model—SHETRAN, to downscale projections of change. Climate projections were derived from the RCM HadRM3Q0 output, provided by the ENSEMBLES project, for the SRES A1B scenario for the period 2041-2070. The RainSim V3 and ICAAM-WG models are demonstrated to be able to reproduce observed climatology for the period 1981-2010. The SHETRAN model reproduces hourly runoff with Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) of 0.86 for calibration (2004-2006) and 0.74 for validation (2006-2008) for basin outlet; it reproduces hourly sediment discharge with NSE of 0.48 for the storm from October 23rd 2006 to October 27th 2006. We found that future mean climate is drier, with mean annual rainfall decreased by ~88 mm (19%), mean annual PET increased ~196 mm (16%) and consequent mean annual runoff and sediment yield decreased respectively ~48 mm (50%) and 1.06 t/ha/year (45%). The future mean annual AET decreases ~41 mm (11%), which occurs mainly in spring indicating a more water-limited future climate for vegetation and crop growth. Under current conditions, November to February is the period in which runoff and sediment yield occur frequently; however, it is reduced to December to January in future, with changes in the occurrence rate of ~50%. On the other hand, future wet extremes are more right-skewed. Future annual maximum discharge and sediment discharge decrease for extremes with return periods (T) less than 20 years and the decreases are especially greater for those with T less than 2 years; besides, both quantities present the same or slightly lower magnitudes as those with T larger than 20 years. The annual maximum discharge (sediment discharge) series, under control climate, follows the GEV distribution with location parameter of 64.6 m3/s (164.4 kg/s), scale parameter of 46.5 m3/s (120.3 kg/s) and shape parameter of 0.09 (-0.24); under future climate, the annual maximum discharge series follows the gamma distribution with scale parameter of 75.2 m3/s and shape parameter of 0.97 and the annual maximum sediment discharge series follows the three-parameter lognormal distribution with location parameter of -46.2 kg/s, mean of 5.3 kg/s and standard deviation of 0.78. This study has confirmed the increasing concerns of water scarcity and drought problems in southern Portugal; but it also indicated the mitigation of sediment transport for most of time in the future except heavy events. However, the results should be interpreted carefully since we did not consider possible changes of land-use in the future, as well as the climate and hydrological modelling uncertainties.

  18. Estimation of evapotranspiration in an arid region by remote sensing—A case study in the middle reaches of the Heihe River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xingmin; Lu, Ling; Yang, Wenfeng; Cheng, Guodong

    2012-07-01

    Estimating surface evapotranspiration is extremely important for the study of water resources in arid regions. Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (NOAA/AVHRR), meteorological observations and data obtained from the Watershed Allied Telemetry Experimental Research (WATER) project in 2008 are applied to the evaporative fraction model to estimate evapotranspiration over the Heihe River Basin. The calculation method for the parameters used in the model and the evapotranspiration estimation results are analyzed and evaluated. The results observed within the oasis and the banks of the river suggest that more evapotranspiration occurs in the inland river basin in the arid region from May to September. Evapotranspiration values for the oasis, where the land surface types and vegetations are highly variable, are relatively small and heterogeneous. In the Gobi desert and other deserts with little vegetation, evapotranspiration remains at its lowest level during this period. These results reinforce the conclusion that rational utilization of water resources in the oasis is essential to manage the water resources in the inland river basin. In the remote sensing-based evapotranspiration model, the accuracy of the parameter estimate directly affects the accuracy of the evapotranspiration results; more accurate parameter values yield more precise values for evapotranspiration. However, when using the evaporative fraction to estimate regional evapotranspiration, better calculation results can be achieved only if evaporative fraction is constant in the daytime.

  19. Alluvial Fans on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kraal, E. R.; Moore, J. M.; Howard, A. D.; Asphaug, E. A.

    2005-01-01

    Moore and Howard [1] reported the discovery of large alluvial fans in craters on Mars. Their initial survey from 0-30 S found that these fans clustered in three distinct regions and occurred at around the +1 km MOLA defined Mars datum. However, due to incomplete image coverage, Moore and Howard [1]could not conduct a comprehensive survey. They also recognized, though did not quantitatively address, gravity scaling issues. Here, we briefly discuss the identification of alluvial fans on Mars, then consider the general equations governing the deposition of alluvial fans and hypothesize a method for learning about grain size in alluvial fans on Mars.

  20. Groundwater quality and management in arid and semi-arid regions: Case study, Central Eastern Desert of Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amer, Reda; Ripperdan, Robert; Wang, Tao; Encarnación, John

    2012-07-01

    This study presents a model budget for groundwater in the Central Eastern Desert of Egypt. The stable isotopic composition and hydrochemistry of groundwater samples collected from different aquifers were determined to identify recharge sources and water quality. Stable isotopic values suggest that shallow alluvial and fracture zone aquifers are recharged from seasonal precipitation, while groundwater in deeper sedimentary sub-basins is paleowater that was recharged during periods of less arid regional climate. Hydrochemical analysis indicates elevated salinity in each aquifer type, which is attributed to leaching and dissolution of terrestrial salts and to mixing with marine water. Groundwater from sedimentary sub-basin aquifers can be treated and used for drinking and domestic purposes. Groundwater from shallow alluvial and fracture zone wells is suitable for animal husbandry and mineral ore dressing. A model water budget shows that approximately 4.8 × 109 m3 of recoverable groundwater is stored in sedimentary sub-basin aquifers, or approximately 550 years of water at present utilization rates.

  1. Holocene dune accumulation in the Youledusi Basin of Tianshan Mt., NW China Response to the westerly-dominated climate in arid central Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, Hao; Shen, Ji; Frechen, Manfred; Chen, Jianhui; Yang, Linhai

    2013-04-01

    Understanding the spatial and temporal patterns of climate change in a given region may provide insights into the underlying climate-forcing mechanisms. In east and south Asia, Asian monsoon variations during the Holocene have been well-documented by precisely dated cave deposits, peat and lake and marine sediments. However, Holocene climate patterns in arid central Asia (ACA) dominated by the Westerlies are poorly documented and understood. Although there have been some published studies on lake cores recording Holocene moisture evolution in the ACA, we still know little about the climate evolutionary patterns and mechanisms that drive the westerlies. In the arid areas aeolian dunes are often regarded as indicators of past aridity, and the development of palaeosol implicates relatively wet condition. This study will first provide the chronostratigraphy of a set of palaeodunes in the Youledusi Basin (ca. 2400 m above sea level) of Tianshan Mt., NW China. Systematic optically stimulated luminescence dating (ca. 60 samples) of multiple sites (eight sections) is used together with stratigraphic analysis in order to reconstruct the evolution of the sand dunes, which is able to infer the history of Holocene moisture variation.

  2. Atmospheric-Ecosystem CO2 Exchange in Sparse Arid Shrublands Across the Great Basin USA Over Multiple Years: Identifying Patterns and Mechanisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnone, J. A.; Jasoni, R. L.; Larsen, J. D.; Fenstermaker, L. F.; Wohlfahrt, G.

    2008-12-01

    Up to recently, desert ecosystems have essentially been ignored with respect to their influence on global carbon cycling and their potential role in modulating atmospheric CO2 levels. Because deserts, defined here as ecosystems receiving <280 mm of precipitation annually, cover 35% of Earth's surface, even small positive or negative net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE=fluxes) can have globally meaningful effects on atmospheric CO2. Since 2003 we have been measuring NEE and annual NEP at 10 arid shrubland sites around the Great Basin in Nevada, USA using eddy covariance and large static chamber "domes" with the objectives of quantifying seasonal, annual and interannual fluxes and the environmental and ecological factors that may be modulating these fluxes. Surprisingly, annual NEP measured in Mojave Desert creosote bush (Larrea tridentata)-dominated ecosystems, high desert sagebrush steppe (Aremesia tridentata) ecosystems, and greasewood (Sarcobatus vermiculatus) ecosystems have been largely positive (net C uptake by ecosystems; range of zero to 90 g C m-2 yr-1) and often large (as high 100 to 180 g C m-2 yr-1). Thus, the data from these arid shrublands suggest a much larger arid land C sink than has been previously assumed and call for closer tracking of the CO2 fluxes in these ecosystems.

  3. Understanding hydrologic budgets, dynamics in an arid basin and explore spatial scaling properties using Process-based Adaptive Watershed Simulator (PAWS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, K.; Shen, C.; Salve, R.

    2013-12-01

    The Southern California hot desert hosts a fragile ecosystem as well as a range of human economic activities, primarily mining, energy production and recreation. This inland arid landscape is characterized by occasional intensive precipitation events and year-round strong potential evapotranspiration. In this landscape, water and especially groundwater is vital for ecosystem functions and human use. However, the impact of recent development on the sustainability of groundwater resources in the area has not been thoroughly investigated. We apply an integrated, physically-based hydrologic-land surface model, the Process-based Adaptive Watershed Simulator + Community Land Model (PAWS+CLM) to evaluate the sustainability of the groundwater resources in the area. We elucidate the spatio-temporal patterns of hydrologic fluxes and budgets. The modeling results indicate that mountain front recharge is the essential recharging mechanism for the alluvial aquifer. Although pumping activities do not exceed annual-average recharge values, they are still expected to contribute significantly to groundwater drawdown in business-as-usual scenario. The impact of groundwater withdrawals is significant on the desert ecosystem. The relative importance of groundwater flow on NPP rises significantly as compared to other ecosystems. We further evaluate the fractal scaling properties of soil moisture in this very arid system and found the relationship to be much more static in time than that found in a humid continental climate system. The scaling exponents can be predicted using simple functions of the mean. Therefore, multi-scale model based on coarse-resolution surrogate model is expected to perform well in this system. The modeling result is also important for assessing the groundwater sustainability and impact of human activities in the desert environment.

  4. Using a physically-based model, tRIBS-Erosion, for investigating the effects of climate change in semi-arid headwater basins.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Francipane, Antonio; Fatichi, Simone; Ivanov, Valeriy Y.; Noto, Leonardo V.

    2013-04-01

    Soil erosion due to rainfall detachment and flow entrainment of soil particles is a physical process responsible for a continuous evolution of landscapes. The rate and spatial distribution of this phenomenon depend on several factors such as climate, hydrologic regime, geomorphic characteristics, and vegetation of a basin. Many studies have demonstrated that climate-erosion linkage in particular influences basin sediment yield and landscape morphology. Although soil erosion rates are expected to change in response to climate, these changes can be highly non-linear and thus require mechanistic understanding of underlying causes. In this study, an integrated geomorphic component of the physically-based, spatially distributed hydrological model, tRIBS, the TIN-based Real-time Integrated Basin Simulator, is used to analyze the sensitivity of semi-arid headwater basins to climate change. Downscaled outputs of global circulation models are used to inform a stochastic weather generator that produces an ensemble of climate scenarios for an area in the Southwest U.S. The ensemble is used as input to the integrated model that is applied to different headwater basins of the Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed to understand basin response to climate change in terms of runoff and sediment yield. Through a model application to multiple catchments, a scaling relationship between specific sediment yield and drainage basin area is also addressed and probabilistic inferences on future changes in catchment runoff and yield are drawn. Geomorphological differences among catchments do not influence specific changes in runoff and sediment transport that are mostly determined by precipitation changes. Despite a large uncertainty dictated by climate change projections and stochastic variability, sediment transport is predicted to decrease despite a non-negligible possibility of larger runoff rates.

  5. Integrated Surface and Ground Water modeling of a tank cascaded sub basin using physically based model in a semi-arid region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ilampooranan, I.; Muthiah, K.; Athikesavan, R.

    2013-05-01

    Hydrological Modeling of tank (small reservoirs) cascaded sub-basin of a semi-arid region is a complex process. Physically based approach can simulate the various processes in surface, unsaturated and saturated ground water zones of such sub basin in an integrated manner. The objectives of the study are (i) to characterize the study area to replicate the physical conditions of surface and saturated zones (ii) to carryout overland flow routing of a tank cascaded basin using physically based modular approach (iii) To simulate the ground water levels in the unconfined aquifer (iv) to study the surface and groundwater dynamics on incorporation of tank cascades in the integrated model. An integrated, physically based model MIKE 11 & MIKE SHE was applied to study the hydrological processes of a tank cascaded semi-arid basin in which flow through tanks were modeled using MIKE 11 and coupled with MIKE SHE in-order to best represent the surface water dynamics in a distributed manner. Sindapalli Uppodai sub-basin, Southern Tamilnadu, India is chosen as study area. There are 15 tanks connected in series forming a tank cascade. Other tanks and depressions in the sub basin are also considered for the study and their effectiveness were analysed. DEM was obtained from SRTM data. The maps such as drainage network, land use and soil are prepared. Soil sampling was carried out. The time series data of rainfall and climate parameters are given as input. The characterization of unconfined aquifer formation was done by Geo-Resistivity survey. 71 observation and pumping wells are monitored within and periphery of sub basin which are used for calibration of the model. The flow routing over the land is done by MIKE SHE's Overland Flow Module, using the diffusive wave approximation of the Saint Venant equation. The hydrograph of routed runoff from the tank cascaded catchment was obtained. The spatial and temporal variation of hydraulic head of the saturated ground water zone is simulated mathematically by three dimensional Darcy equation through ground water solver of MIKE SHE. Comprehensive budgeting of surface and ground water was made which will help the planners towards conserving and managing the scarce resources on a micro watershed level.

  6. Assessing the impacts of cooling methods of energy plants on groundwater resources in an arid basin and the delayed influence on the Colorado River leakance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, K.; Shen, C.; Salve, R.

    2014-12-01

    Different cooling methods associated will utility-scale solar energy production utilize vastly different amounts of water. In a hyper-arid Southwestern US basin, where new energy projects are being developed, groundwater is the only available water for such cooling needs. The hydrologic impacts of groundwater withdrawal remain unclear, as recharge to the aquifer and exchange with the Colorado River are poorly quantified. The basin is also a data-scarce region, with few available groundwater parameter measurements for most of the basin. Characterized by a thick alluvium layer and deep aquifer, the basin also has a long response time to forcings. We employ both an integrated, physically-based surface-subsurface processes model (PAWS+CLM) and the MODFLOW+PEST package. The integrated model PAWS+CLM is used to estimate recharge while MODFLOW+PEST is used to estimate the groundwater conductivity fields. Calibration of the two models are iterated to obtain the best estimates of parameter values. We have identified the main area of recharge by forcing the model with both station-based measurements and NLDAS. The Colorado River is losing water in this reach. Using the combined, coupled model, we estimate the influence of cooling methods on the water table and its effect on the land-river exchange.

  7. Isotopic evidence for climatic influence on alluvial-fan development in Death Valley, California

    SciTech Connect

    Dorn, R.I.; DeNiro, M.J.; Ajie, H.O.

    1987-02-01

    At least three semiarid to arid cycles are recorded by ..delta../sup 13/C values of organic matter in layers of rock varnishes on surfaces of Hanaupah Canyon and Johnson Canyon alluvial fans, Death Valley, California. These isotopic paleoenvironmental signals are interpreted as indicating major periods of fan aggradation during relatively more humid periods and fan entrenchment during subsequent lengthy arid periods.

  8. End-Pleistocene to Holocene paleoenvironmental record from piston corer samples and the challenge of stratigraphic correlation of playa sediment data with a connected alluvial apron from Damghan Basin, Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Büdel, Christian; Hoelzmann, Philipp; Wennrich, Volker; Majid Padashi, Sajed; Baumhauer, Roland

    2015-04-01

    The study yields a first characterization and correlation of the end-Pleistocene to Holocene sediment archive of playa and playa lake deposits in the Damghan Basin, northern Iran. The Basin sediments are deposited since Mio- and Pliocene, which is valid for the connected alluvial fans, too. These are covering the area between the playa and mountains and while prograding from the mountain ranges they deliver gravels and fine-sediments to the basins sink. The processes on the studied alluvial apron are described and dated already and can be explained in seven morphodynamic phases, which are linked to a general lake level high-stand in north-east Iran at about 8000-9000 years ago. If and how these phases are passed on from the alluvial record down to the playa sediment record is aim of this study. Today the salt pans margins are highly affected by salt tectonic drifting and access was suboptimal. Only here drilling could be performed through about 280 centimeters of salt-crust unfrequently intercalated with loamy layers. For yielding undisturbed playa sediment records sampling was performed with inliner-tubes deployed in a piston corer (Kullenberg type). Thus at two different drilling sites in summation seven cores could be taken, down to a maximum depth of 129 cm and 1000 cm. Back in Germany the cores had been opened and initially described, photographed and optically scanned with a core logger. Regarding future studies, the aim was a best possible comprehensive documentation of the cores. Therefore basically grainsize measurements (laser diffraction), multi element analyses (XRF, ICP-OES, titrimetry) and mineralogical measurements (XRD) had been deployed on samples taken from every single previously identified layer. Continuous elemental data was secured by use of a XRF-scanning core logger. The sedimentological description together with laboratory element analyses shows saline conditions in the first three meters coincide with general coarser grain sizes. The next three meters are made up by homogenous partly laminated deposits, rich auf clay and silt and with a decreased content of sulphur and halite. Regular Peaks of sulfate and calcium within this unit presumably indicate post-sedimentary precipitation of gypsum. The homogenous sediment unit is followed by layers clearly set up in three major phases of up-fining sediments. Higher Al and Mg contents following this sedimentation phases suggest a considerable amount of syn-sedimentary clay mineral enrichment. The alignment of alluvial fan phases and phases recorded in the playa is challenging. As figured out before, the focused signals in the study are linked to non-local factors affecting supra-regional land surface alteration. But 0 to less than 1 % organic carbon contents decrease the chance of deriving a valid sediment dating and the possibility of chrono-stratigraphic correlation. Anyway, the clear transitional zone from halite dominated to more or less halite-free sediments can serve as a guideline to the development of further correlations.

  9. Silicate weathering in the Ganges alluvial plain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frings, Patrick J.; Clymans, Wim; Fontorbe, Guillaume; Gray, William; Chakrapani, Govind J.; Conley, Daniel J.; De La Rocha, Christina

    2015-10-01

    The Ganges is one of the world's largest rivers and lies at the heart of a body of literature that investigates the interaction between mountain orogeny, weathering and global climate change. Three regions can be recognised in the Ganges basin, with the Himalayan orogeny to the north and the plateaus of peninsular India to the south together delimiting the Ganges alluvial plain. Despite constituting approximately 80% of the basin, weathering processes in the peninsula and alluvial plain have received little attention. Here we present an analysis of 51 water samples along a transect of the alluvial plain, including all major tributaries. We focus on the geochemistry of silicon and its isotopes. Area normalised dissolved Si yields are approximately twice as high in rivers of Himalaya origin than the plain and peninsular tributaries (82, 51 and 32 kmol SiO2 km-2 yr-1, respectively). Such dissolved Si fluxes are not widely used as weathering rate indicators because a large but variable fraction of the DSi mobilised during the initial weathering process is retained in secondary clay minerals. However, the silicon isotopic composition of dissolved Si (expressed as δ30Si) varies from + 0.8 ‰ in the Ganges mainstem at the Himalaya front to + 3.0 ‰ in alluvial plain streams and appears to be controlled by weathering congruency, i.e. by the degree of incorporation of Si into secondary phases. The higher δ30Si values therefore reflect decreasing weathering congruency in the lowland river catchments. This is exploited to quantify the degree of removal using a Rayleigh isotope mass balance model, and consequently derive initial silica mobilisation rates of 200, 150 and 107 kmol SiO2 km-2 yr-1, for the Himalaya, peninsular India and the alluvial plain, respectively. Because the non-Himalayan regions dominate the catchment area, the majority of initial silica mobilisation from primary minerals occurs in the alluvial plain and peninsular catchment (41% and 34%, respectively).

  10. Particle Dynamics: Bedrock versus Alluvial River Segments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wohl, E.

    2014-12-01

    Many channels alternate longitudinally between bedrock and alluvial substrate. These alternations occur over a range of spatial scales and associated temporal scales. Transient bedrock and alluvial patches alternate over downstream distances of a few meters to hundreds of meters, whereas persistent bedrock and alluvial reaches alternate downstream over distances of kilometers to hundreds of kilometers. These longitudinal alternations are significant because of the differences in process and form between bedrock and alluvial reaches. Bedrock reaches limit the response of the channel and the greater drainage basin to relative base level fall. Alluvial reaches limit the rate and distance of particle movement downstream, as well as limiting the habitat available for riverine organisms, biogeochemical reactions and nutrient storage, and water quality. In both types of substrate, particle movement is a limiting factor. (Here, particles include mineral sediment and particulate organic matter.) In bedrock channels, particle movement largely governs the rate and manner of erosion. In alluvial channels, particle movement governs channel form and the stability of habitat. Fundamental research questions for both channel types center on particle dynamics: How do interactions among bedrock substrate, sediment supply, sediment transport, and hydraulics influence rates of bedrock erosion? How do interactions among sediment supply, sediment transport, and biota influence particle transport and residence time? Although bedrock channel segments likely exert a more fundamental influence on river response to relative base level change and landscape evolution, alluvial channel segments likely exert a stronger limiting effect on downstream fluxes of water, solutes, and particles, as well as more critical influences on riverine habitat.

  11. Modeling the distributed effects of forest thinning on the long-term water balance and streamflow extremes for a semi-arid basin in the southwestern US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreno, Hernan A.; Gupta, Hoshin V.; White, Dave D.; Sampson, David A.

    2016-03-01

    To achieve water resource sustainability in the water-limited southwestern US, it is critical to understand the potential effects of proposed forest thinning on the hydrology of semi-arid basins, where disturbances to headwater catchments can cause significant changes in the local water balance components and basinwise streamflows. In Arizona, the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) is being developed with the goal of restoring 2.4 million acres of ponderosa pine along the Mogollon Rim. Using the physically based, spatially distributed triangulated irregular network (TIN)-based Real-time Integrated Basin Simulator (tRIBS) model, we examine the potential impacts of the 4FRI on the hydrology of Tonto Creek, a basin in the Verde-Tonto-Salt (VTS) system, which provides much of the water supply for the Phoenix metropolitan area. Long-term (20-year) simulations indicate that forest removal can trigger significant shifts in the spatiotemporal patterns of various hydrological components, causing increases in net radiation, surface temperature, wind speed, soil evaporation, groundwater recharge and runoff, at the expense of reductions in interception and shading, transpiration, vadose zone moisture and snow water equivalent, with south-facing slopes being more susceptible to enhanced atmospheric losses. The net effect will likely be increases in mean and maximum streamflow, particularly during El Niño events and the winter months, and chiefly for those scenarios in which soil hydraulic conductivity has been significantly reduced due to thinning operations. In this particular climate, forest thinning can lead to net loss of surface water storage by vegetation and snowpack, increasing the vulnerability of ecosystems and populations to larger and more frequent hydrologic extreme conditions on these semi-arid systems.

  12. Modeling the distributed effects of forest thinning on the long-term water balance and stream flow extremes for a semi-arid basin in the southwestern US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreno, H. A.; Gupta, H. V.; White, D. D.; Sampson, D. A.

    2015-10-01

    To achieve water resources sustainability in the water-limited Southwestern US, it is critical to understand the potential effects of proposed forest thinning on the hydrology of semi-arid basins, where disturbances to headwater catchments can cause significant changes in the local water balance components and basin-wise stream flows. In Arizona, the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) is being developed with the goal of restoring 2.4 million acres of ponderosa pine along the Mogollon Rim. Using the physically based, spatially distributed tRIBS model, we examine the potential impacts of the 4FRI on the hydrology of Tonto Creek, a basin in the Verde-Tonto-Salt (VTS) system, which provides much of the water supply for the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Long-term (20 year) simulations indicate that forest removal can trigger significant shifts in the spatio-temporal patterns of various hydrological components, causing increases in net radiation, surface temperature, wind speed, soil evaporation, groundwater recharge, and runoff, at the expense of reductions in interception and shading, transpiration, vadose zone moisture and snow water equivalent, with south facing slopes being more susceptible to enhanced atmospheric losses. The net effect will likely be increases in mean and maximum stream flow, particularly during El Niño events and the winter months, and chiefly for those scenarios in which soil hydraulic conductivity has been significantly reduced due to thinning operations. In this particular climate, forest thinning can lead to net loss of surface water storage by vegetation and snow pack, increasing the vulnerability of ecosystems and populations to larger and more frequent hydrologic extreme conditions on these semi-arid systems.

  13. Valley-fill alluviation during the Little Ice Age (ca. A.D. 1400-1880), Paria River basin and southern Colorado Plateau, United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hereford, R.

    2002-01-01

    Valley-fill alluvium deposited from ca. A.D. 1400 to 1880 is widespread in tributaries of the Paria River and is largely coincident with the Little Ice Age epoch of global climate variability. Previous work showed that alluvium of this age is a mappable stratigraphic unit in many of the larger alluvial valleys of the southern Colorado Plateau. The alluvium is bounded by two disconformities resulting from prehistoric and historic arroyo cutting at ca. A.D. 1200-1400 and 1860-1910, respectively. The fill forms a terrace in the axial valleys of major through-flowing streams. This terrace and underlying deposits are continuous and interfinger with sediment in numerous small tributary valleys that head at the base of hillslopes of sparsely vegetated, weakly consolidated bedrock, suggesting that eroded bedrock was an important source of alluvium along with in-channel and other sources. Paleoclimatic and high-resolution paleoflood studies indicate that valley-fill alluviation occured during a long-term decrease in the frequency of large, destructive floods. Aggradation of the valleys ended about A.D. 1880, if not two decades earlier, with the beginning of historic arroyo cutting. This shift from deposition to valley entrenchment near the close of the Little Ice Age generally coincided with the beginning of an episode of the largest floods in the preceding 400-500 yr, which was probably caused by an increased recurrence and intensity of flood-producing El Nin??o events beginning at ca. A.D. 1870.

  14. Rain Basin Design Implications for Soil Microbial Activity and N-mineralization in a Semi-arid Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, C.; Pavao-Zuckerman, M.

    2014-12-01

    Rain basins have been an increasingly popular Green Infrastructure (GI) solution to the redistribution of water flow caused by urbanization. This study was conducted to examine how different approaches to basin design, specifically mulching (gravel vs. compost and gravel), influence the water availability of rain basins and the effects this has on the soil microbial activity of the basins. Soil microbes are a driving force of biogeochemical process and may impact the carbon and nitrogen dynamics of rain basin GI. In this study we sampled 12 different residential-scale rain basins, differing in design established at Biosphere 2, Arizona in 2013. Soil samples and measurements were collected before and after the onset of the monsoon season in 2014 to determine how the design of basins mediates the transition from dry to wet conditions. Soil abiotic factors were measured, such as moisture content, soil organic matter (SOM) content, texture and pH, and were related to the microbial biomass size within the basins. Field and lab potential N-mineralization and soil respiration were measured to determine how basin design influences microbial activity and N dynamics. We found that pre-monsoon basins with compost had higher moisture contents and that there was a positive correlation between the moisture content and the soil microbial biomass size of the basins. Pre-monsoon data also suggests that N-mineralization rates for basins with compost were higher than those with only gravel. These design influences on basin-scale biogeochemical dynamics and nitrogen retention may have important implications for urban biogeochemistry at neighborhood and watershed scales.

  15. Regional potentiometric-surface map of the Great Basin carbonate and alluvial aquifer system in Snake Valley and surrounding areas, Juab, Millard, and Beaver Counties, Utah, and White Pine and Lincoln Counties, Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gardner, Philip M.; Masbruch, Melissa D.; Plume, Russell W.; Buto, Susan G.

    2011-01-01

    Water-level measurements from 190 wells were used to develop a potentiometric-surface map of the east-central portion of the regional Great Basin carbonate and alluvial aquifer system in and around Snake Valley, eastern Nevada and western Utah. The map area covers approximately 9,000 square miles in Juab, Millard, and Beaver Counties, Utah, and White Pine and Lincoln Counties, Nevada. Recent (2007-2010) drilling by the Utah Geological Survey and U.S. Geological Survey has provided new data for areas where water-level measurements were previously unavailable. New water-level data were used to refine mapping of the pathways of intrabasin and interbasin groundwater flow. At 20 of these locations, nested observation wells provide vertical hydraulic gradient data and information related to the degree of connection between basin-fill aquifers and consolidated-rock aquifers. Multiple-year water-level hydrographs are also presented for 32 wells to illustrate the aquifer system's response to interannual climate variations and well withdrawals.

  16. The effect of vegetation and beaver dams on geomorphic recovery rates of incised streams in the semi-arid regions of the Columbia River basin, USA.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pollock, M.; Beechie, T.; Jordan, C.

    2005-05-01

    Channel incision is a common occurrence in semi-arid regions of the Columbia River basin and throughout the world, where a fragile balance between climate, vegetation and geology makes channels susceptible to changes in hillslope erosion, stream discharge and sediment yield. Incision is defined as a rapid downcutting and lowering of the stream bed such that it reduces the frequency and duration of flooding onto the adjacent floodplain. We are studying the feasibility of restoring incised streams throughout the interior Columbia River basin. We hypothesize that under proper land use management, it is possible for them to aggrade such that they reconnect to their former floodplains within relatively short time frames. Theoretical and empirical evidence suggests that over decadal time scales, changes to land management that excludes grazing and allows riparian vegetation to become established can cause significant fill within the incised valleys. Preliminary modeling suggests that factors most affecting the length of time for an incised valley to completely aggrade and reconnect to its pre-incision floodplain are the depth of the incision, sediment production in the watershed, the amount and type of riparian vegetation, and the extent of beaver dam construction. While most natural resource and fisheries managers are aware of widespread incision throughout the Columbia River basin, the extent of incision within the range of the Pacific salmon is largely undocumented. However, we do know many incised streams that historically supported salmon no longer do so, and that habitat conditions are severely degraded in these incised streams. The historical record shows that numerous salmon-bearing streams in the semi-arid region of the interior Columbia River basin once contained narrow and deep, slowly meandering channels lined with cottonwoods, willows and/or sedges, contained numerous beaver dams, contained abundant and easily accessible off-channel habitat on the floodplain and had good flow and cool temperatures throughout most of the year. Today most of these streams are incised and contain little or no riparian vegetation or beaver dams. Stream temperatures are high and flow is ephemeral. Incision is thought to have lowered stream-adjacent water tables, causing both the loss of riparian vegetation and the increase in stream temperature. Many of these streams no longer support fish populations. We hypothesize that if incised streams were restored by creating conditions such that they could aggrade and reconnect to their former floodplains, that habitat conditions would be sufficient to again support salmon populations, and that this would greatly expand their range throughout much of the Columbia River basin.

  17. Enhanced sediment delivery in a changing climate in semi-arid mountain basins: Implications for water resource management and aquatic habitat in the northern Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goode, Jaime R.; Luce, Charles H.; Buffington, John M.

    2012-02-01

    The delivery and transport of sediment through mountain rivers affects aquatic habitat and water resource infrastructure. While climate change is widely expected to produce significant changes in hydrology and stream temperature, the effects of climate change on sediment yield have received less attention. In the northern Rocky Mountains, we expect climate change to increase sediment yield primarily through changes in temperature and hydrology that promote vegetation disturbances (i.e., wildfire, insect/pathogen outbreak, drought-related die off). Here, we synthesize existing data from central Idaho to explore (1) how sediment yields are likely to respond to climate change in semi-arid basins influenced by wildfire, (2) the potential consequences for aquatic habitat and water resource infrastructure, and (3) prospects for mitigating sediment yields in forest basins. Recent climate-driven increases in the severity and extent of wildfire suggest that basin-scale sediment yields within the next few years to decades could be greater than the long-term average rate of 146 T km - 2 year - 1 observed for central Idaho. These elevated sediment yields will likely impact downstream reservoirs, which were designed under conditions of historically lower sediment yield. Episodic erosional events (massive debris flows) that dominate post-fire sediment yields are impractical to mitigate, leaving road restoration as the most viable management opportunity for offsetting climate-related increases in sediment yield. However, short-term sediment yields from experimental basins with roads are three orders of magnitude smaller than those from individual fire-related events (on the order of 10 1 T km - 2 year - 1 compared to 10 4 T km - 2 year - 1 , respectively, for similar contributing areas), suggesting that road restoration would provide a relatively minor reduction in sediment loads at the basin-scale. Nevertheless, the ecologically damaging effects of fine sediment (material < 6 mm) chronically produced from roads will require continued management efforts.

  18. The earliest well-dated archeological site in the hyper-arid Tarim Basin and its implications for prehistoric human migration and climatic change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, WenXia; Yu, LuPeng; Lai, ZhongPing; Madsen, David; Yang, Shengli

    2014-07-01

    The routes and timing of human occupation of the Tibetan Plateau (TP) are crucial for understanding the evolution of Tibetan populations and associated paleoclimatic conditions. Many archeological sites have been found in/around the Tarim Basin, on the northern margin of the Tibetan Plateau. Unfortunately, most of these sites are surface sites and cannot be directly dated. Their ages can only be estimated based on imprecise artifact comparisons. We recently found and dated an archeological site on a terrace along the Keriya River. Our ages indicate that the site was occupied at ~ 7.0-7.6 ka, making it the earliest well-dated archeological site yet identified in the Tarim Basin. This suggests that early human foragers migrated into this region prior to ~ 7.0-7.6 ka during the early to mid-Holocene climatic optimum, which may have provided the impetus for populating the region. We hypothesize that the Keriya River, together with the other rivers originating from the TP, may have served as access routes onto the TP for early human foragers. These rivers may also have served as stepping stones for migration further west into the now hyper-arid regions of the Tarim Basin, leading ultimately to the development of the Silk Road.

  19. A groundwater-based, objective-heuristic parameter optimisation method for a precipitation-runoff model and its application to a semi-arid basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazi, K.; Koussis, A. D.; Restrepo, P. J.; Koutsoyiannis, D.

    2004-05-01

    A hydrologic model calibration methodology that is based on groundwater data is developed and implemented using the US Geological Survey's precipitation-runoff modelling system (PRMS) and the modular modelling system (MMS), which performs automatic calibration of parameters. The developed methodology was tested in the Akrotiri basin, Cyprus. The necessity for the groundwater-based model calibration, rather than a typical runoff-based one, arose from the very intermittent character of the runoff in the Akrotiri basin, a case often met in semi-arid regions. Introducing a datum and converting groundwater storage to head made the observable groundwater level the calibration indicator. The modelling of the Akrotiri basin leads us to conclude that groundwater level is a useful indicator for hydrological model calibration that can be potentially used in other similar situations in the absence of river flow measurements. However, the option of an automatic calibration of the complex hydrologic model PRMS by MMS did not ensure a good outcome. On the other hand, automatic optimisation, combined with heuristic expert intervention, enabled achievement of good calibration and constitutes a valuable means for saving effort and improving modelling performance. To this end, results must be scrutinised, melding the viewpoint of physical sense with mathematical efficiency criteria. Thus optimised, PRMS achieved a low simulation error, good reproduction of the historic trend of the aquifer water level evolution and reasonable physical behaviour (good hydrologic balance, Reasonable match of aquifer level evolution, good estimation of mean natural recharge rate).

  20. Bedload transport in alluvial channels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bravo-Espinosa, M.; Osterkamp, W.R.; Lopes, V.L.

    2003-01-01

    Hydraulic, sediment, land-use, and rock-erosivity data of 22 alluvial streams were used to evaluate conditions of bedload transport and the performance of selected bedload-transport equations. Transport categories of transport-limited (TL), partially transport-limited (PTL), and supply-limited (SL) were identified by a semiquantitative approach that considers hydraulic constraints on sediment movement and the processes that control sediment availability at the basin scale. Equations by Parker et al. in 1982, Schoklitsch in 1962, and Meyer-Peter and Muller in 1948 adequately predicted sediment transport in channels with TL condition, whereas the equations of Bagnold in 1980, and Schoklitsch, in 1962, performed well for PTL and SL conditions. Overall, the equation of Schoklitsch predicted well the measured bedload data for eight of 22 streams, and the Bagnold equation predicted the measured data in seven streams.

  1. REACH SPECIFIC CHANNEL STABILIZATION BASED ON COMPREHENSIVE EVALUATION OF VALLEY FILL HISTORY, ALLUVIAL ARCHITECTURE AND GROUNDWATER HYDROLOGY IN A MOUNTAIN STREAM IN THE CENTRAL GREAT BASIN, NEVADA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Kingston meadow, located in the Toiyabe Range, is one of many wet meadow complexes threatened by rapid channel incision in the mountain ranges of the central Great Basin. Channel incision can lower the baselevel for groundwater discharge and de-water meadow complexes resulting in...

  2. Assessment of the Hydrogeochemistry and Groundwater Quality of the Tarim River Basin in an Extreme Arid Region, NW China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Jun; Jin, Zhangdong; Wang, Jin

    2014-01-01

    The concentrations of the major and trace elements in the groundwater of the Tarim River Basin (TRB), the largest inland river basin of China, were analyzed before and during rainy seasons to determine the hydrogeochemistry and to assess the groundwater quality for irrigation and drinking purposes. The groundwater within the TRB was slightly alkaline and characterized by high ionic concentrations. The groundwater in the northern sub-basin was fresh water with a Ca2+-HCO3 - water type, whereas the groundwater in the southern and central sub-basins was brackish with a Na+-Cl- water type. Evaporite dissolution and carbonate weathering were the primary and secondary sources of solutes in the groundwater within the basin, whereas silicate weathering played a minor role. The sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), water quality index (WQI), and sodium percentage (%Na) indicated that the groundwater in the northern sub-basin was suitable for irrigation and drinking, but that in the southern and central sub-basins was not suitable. The groundwater quality was slightly better in the wet season than in the dry season. The groundwater could be used for drinking after treatment for B3+, F-, and SO4 2- and for irrigation after control of the sodium and salinity hazards. Considering the high corrosivity ratio of the groundwater in this area, noncorrosive pipes should be used for the groundwater supply. For sustainable development, integrated management of the surface water and the groundwater is needed in the future.

  3. Assessment of the hydrogeochemistry and groundwater quality of the Tarim River Basin in an extreme arid region, NW China.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Jun; Jin, Zhangdong; Wang, Jin

    2014-01-01

    The concentrations of the major and trace elements in the groundwater of the Tarim River Basin (TRB), the largest inland river basin of China, were analyzed before and during rainy seasons to determine the hydrogeochemistry and to assess the groundwater quality for irrigation and drinking purposes. The groundwater within the TRB was slightly alkaline and characterized by high ionic concentrations. The groundwater in the northern sub-basin was fresh water with a Ca(2+)-HCO3(-) water type, whereas the groundwater in the southern and central sub-basins was brackish with a Na(+)-Cl(-) water type. Evaporite dissolution and carbonate weathering were the primary and secondary sources of solutes in the groundwater within the basin, whereas silicate weathering played a minor role. The sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), water quality index (WQI), and sodium percentage (%Na) indicated that the groundwater in the northern sub-basin was suitable for irrigation and drinking, but that in the southern and central sub-basins was not suitable. The groundwater quality was slightly better in the wet season than in the dry season. The groundwater could be used for drinking after treatment for B(3+), F(-), and SO4(2-) and for irrigation after control of the sodium and salinity hazards. Considering the high corrosivity ratio of the groundwater in this area, noncorrosive pipes should be used for the groundwater supply. For sustainable development, integrated management of the surface water and the groundwater is needed in the future. PMID:24221557

  4. Restoring the Mississippi River Basin from the Catchment to the Coast Defines Science and Policy Issues of Ecosystem Services Associated with Alluvial and Coastal Deltaic Floodplains: Soil Conservation, Nutrient Reduction, Carbon Sequestration, and Flood Control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Twilley, R.

    2014-12-01

    Large river systems are major economic engines that provide national economic wealth in transporting commerce and providing extensive agriculture production, and their coastal deltas are sites of significant ports, energy resources and fisheries. These coupled natural and social systems from the catchment to the coast depend on how national policies manage the river basins that they depend. The fundamental principle of the Mississippi River Basin, as in all basins, is to capitalize on the ability of fertile soil that moves from erosional regions of a large watershed, through downstream regions of the catchment where sediment transport and storage builds extensive floodplains, to the coastal region of deposition where deltas capture sediment and nutrients before exported to the oceans. The fate of soil, and the ability of that soil to do work, supports the goods and services along its path from the catchment to the coast in all large river basin and delta systems. Sediment is the commodity of all large river basin systems that together with the seasonal pulse of floods across the interior of continents provide access to the sea forming the assets that civilization and economic engines have tapped to build national and global wealth. Coastal landscapes represent some of the most altered ecosystems worldwide and often integrate the effects of processes over their entire catchment, requiring systemic solutions to achieve restoration goals from alluvial floodplains upstream to coastal deltaic floodplains downstream. The urgent need for wetland rehabilitation at landscape scales has been initiated through major floodplain reclamation and hydrologic diversions to reconnect the river with wetland processes. But the constraints of sediment delivery and nutrient enrichment represent some critical conflicts in earth surface processes that limit the ability to design 'self sustaining' public work projects; particularly with the challenges of accelerated sea level rise. Only through rethinking how we manage the Mississippi River not only to provide for navigation and flood control, but also as the critical source of sediments to stabilize degrading wetlands, will restoration be realized in a 100-year project cycle.

  5. Tectonic and climatic control on geomorphological and sedimentary evolution of the Mercure basin, southern Apennines, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robustelli, Gaetano; Ermolli, Elda Russo; Petrosino, Paola; Jicha, Brian; Sardella, Raffaele; Donato, Paola

    2014-06-01

    The morpho-tectonic and sedimentary evolution of the Mercure intramontane basin (Calabria-Lucania boundary, southern Apennines) has been assessed through facies analysis, morphostratigraphy and geomorphological correlation with adjacent areas. The Mercure basin, one of the most active seismogenic zones of the southern Apennines, is a favorable area for reconstructing the main stages of landscape evolution of the axial zone because of its capability to record changes in base level during the Quaternary. In addition, the presence of both erosional and depositional Palaeosurfaces is a useful marker for reconstructing tectonic and morphogenetic events, and hence to detect the role played by tectonics and climate in its genesis, evolution and extinction. The present study identifies the key role of tectonics and denudation, combined with high-frequency floods, as mechanisms controlling alluvial sedimentation in the study area. During endorheic conditions, denudational processes driven by pulses of extensional deformation of the basin margin caused strong alluvial inputs that resulted in the development of alluvial fans. Alluvial facies are mainly characterized by turbulent, subaerial, hyperconcentrated flood flows deposited during the glacial, semi-arid conditions of MIS 14. The retrogradational stacking pattern of the alluvial system indicates decreasing rates of tectonic activity along with declining river gradients. The Mercure coalescing alluvial fans were inundated by lake transgression during MIS 13 in response to (i) abrupt tectonic subsidence at the basin margins and (ii) large decrease of coarse sediment supply due to the interplay among climate, tectonics and catchment size changes. In this regard, it is suggested that tectonic control on the drainage network along with climate and long-term slope evolution may have caused marked pulses in sediment supply, thus influencing the arrangement of facies associations in the sedimentary succession. In addition, the study points out that the main tectonic landforms developed during each period of the landscape evolution well correspond with some active fault segments.

  6. Responses of Surface Runoff to Climate Change and Human Activities in the Arid Region of Central Asia: A Case Study in the Tarim River Basin, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Changchun; Chen, Yaning; Chen, Yapeng; Zhao, Ruifeng; Ding, Hui

    2013-04-01

    Based on hydrological and climatic data and land use/cover change data covering the period from 1957 to 2009, this paper investigates the hydrological responses to climate change and to human activities in the arid Tarim River basin (TRB). The results show that the surface runoff of three headstreams (Aksu River, Yarkant River and Hotan River) of the Tarim River exhibited a significant increasing trend since 1960s and entered an even higher-runoff stage in 1994. In the contrary, the surface runoff of Tarim mainstream displayed a persistent decreasing trend since 1960s. The increasing trend of surface runoff in the headstreams can be attributed to the combined effects of both temperature and precipitation changes during the past five decades. But, the decreasing trend of surface runoff in the mainstream and the observed alterations of the temporal and spatial distribution patterns were mainly due to the adverse impacts of human activities. Specifically, increasingly intensified water consumption for irrigation and the associated massive constructions of water conservancy projects were responsible for the decreasing trend of runoff in the mainstream. And, the decreasing trend has been severely jeopardizing the ecological security in the lower reaches. It is now unequivocally clear that water-use conflicts among different sectors and water-use competitions between upper and lower reaches are approaching to dangerous levels in TRB that is thus crying for implementing an integrated river basin management scheme.

  7. Responses of surface runoff to climate change and human activities in the arid region of central Asia: a case study in the Tarim River basin, China.

    PubMed

    Xu, Changchun; Chen, Yaning; Chen, Yapeng; Zhao, Ruifeng; Ding, Hui

    2013-04-01

    Based on hydrological and climatic data and land use/cover change data covering the period from 1957 to 2009, this paper investigates the hydrological responses to climate change and to human activities in the arid Tarim River basin (TRB). The results show that the surface runoff of three headstreams (Aksu River, Yarkant River and Hotan River) of the Tarim River exhibited a significant increasing trend since 1960s and entered an even higher-runoff stage in 1994. In the contrary, the surface runoff of Tarim mainstream displayed a persistent decreasing trend since 1960s. The increasing trend of surface runoff in the headstreams can be attributed to the combined effects of both temperature and precipitation changes during the past five decades. But, the decreasing trend of surface runoff in the mainstream and the observed alterations of the temporal and spatial distribution patterns were mainly due to the adverse impacts of human activities. Specifically, increasingly intensified water consumption for irrigation and the associated massive constructions of water conservancy projects were responsible for the decreasing trend of runoff in the mainstream. And, the decreasing trend has been severely jeopardizing the ecological security in the lower reaches. It is now unequivocally clear that water-use conflicts among different sectors and water-use competitions between upper and lower reaches are approaching to dangerous levels in TRB that is thus crying for implementing an integrated river basin management scheme. PMID:23377191

  8. Hydraulic Modeling of Alluvial Fans along the Truckee Canal using the 2-Dimensional Model SRH2D

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, J.; Kallio, R.; Sankovich, V.

    2013-12-01

    Alluvial fans are gently sloping, fan-shaped landforms created by sediment deposition at the ends of mountain valleys. Their gentle slopes and scenic vistas are attractive to developers. Unfortunately, alluvial fans are highly flood-prone, and the flow paths of flood events are highly variable, thereby placing human developments at risk. Many studies have been performed on alluvial fans in the arid west because of the uncertainty of their flow paths and flood extents. Most of these studies have been focused on flood elevations and mitigation. This study is not focused on the flood elevations. Rather, it is focused on the attenuation effects of alluvial fans on floods entering and potentially failing a Reclamation canal. The Truckee Canal diverts water from the Truckee River to Lahontan Reservoir. The drainage areas along the canal are alluvial fans with complex distributary channel networks . Ideally, in nature, the sediment grain-size distribution along the alluvial fan flow paths would provide enough infiltration and subsurface storage to attenuate floods entering the canal and reduce risk to low levels. Human development, however, can prevent the natural losses from occurring due to concentrated flows within the alluvial fan. While the concentrated flows might mitigate flood risk inside the fan, they do not lower the flood risk of the canal. A 2-dimensional hydraulic model, SRH-2D, was coupled to a 1-dimensional rainfall-runoff model to estimate the flood attenuation effects of the alluvial fan network surrounding an 11 mile stretch of the Truckee Canal near Fernley, Nevada. Floods having annual exceedance probabilities ranging from 1/10 to 1/100 were computed and analyzed. SRH-2D uses a zonal approach for modeling river systems, allowing areas to be divided into separate zones based on physical parameters such as surface roughness and infiltration. One of the major features of SRH-2D is the adoption of an unstructured hybrid mixed element mesh, which is based on the arbitrarily shared element method for geometric representation. The flexibility of the mesh generation allowed the complex alluvial network of incised channels to be modeled in greater detail. The SRH-2D model was modified to allow for Green-Ampt infiltration losses, thus producing more accurate characterization of the alluvial fan process where such losses can be significant. The SRH-2D model was built using a LiDAR based terrain grid, and the assumed channel mesh was refined using a geologic map. Water conveyance was modeled to coincide with the young geologic unit . By developing lateral inflow hydrographs using the SRH-2D model, a more accurate risk assessment was achieved. Model results show basins without human development have the highest flood attenuation, and development tends to concentrate channel flows. The SRH-2D model improved Reclamation's understanding of flood flows entering the Truckee Canal from alluvial fans.

  9. Large wood dynamics and biophysical consequences for riparian forests: A comparison of an unconfined alluvial river in a temperate rainforest and a bedrock confined river in a semi-arid South African savanna.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Latterell, J. J.; Pettit, N. E.; Naiman, R. J.

    2005-05-01

    Large wood shapes the geomorphology and ecology of rivers. We determined the origin, distribution, and fate of large wood in two rivers from contrasting environments. The Queets is an unstable temperate, rainforest river running from the Olympic Mountains (USA) through a glacial valley with colossal trees. In most years, the channel erodes a variety of forested landforms which forms jams that sculpt habitats. Many are displaced in a few years. Remaining jams initiate landform development and forest renewal. Thus, wood is stockpiled in the floodplain where it may become buried. Channel movements recapture most logs within 50 years. In contrast, the Sabie is a perennial river running through a confined bedrock channel in a fire-prone semi-arid South African savanna. Riparian trees are relatively small and many sink in water. A recent flood (February 2000) devastated the riparian forest, introducing wood to the channel. Jams formed on toppled trees, transported logs, and bedrock outcrops. Many trees survived and resprouted. Jams facilitated the establishment of woody plant seedlings and the intrusion of fire into riparian areas. Sunken wood formed unique depositional features. The Queets and Sabie rivers are strikingly different systems. However, large wood appears to promote the renewal and development of complex riparian forests in both rivers.

  10. Morphogenesis and grain size variation of alluvial gold recovered in auriferous sediments of the Tormes Basin (Iberian Peninsula) using a simple correspondence analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrios, S.; Merinero, R.; Lozano, R.; Orea, I.

    2015-12-01

    With present techniques it is difficult to determine whether the gold particles present at fluvial placers have come from one or multiple sources. Knowledge of this would be useful in prospecting for larger gold deposits. The aim of the present work was to test the potential of a technique based on modern visual and classic statistical methods to determine the single or multisource origin of gold particles at different sites in the Tormes Basin (Central Iberian Zone of the Iberian Massif, Iberian Peninsula). This basin contains numerous lode and placer gold deposits that have been exploited since ancient times. Today, gold nuggets (usually associated with quartz, 0.2-6 g in weight, 0.53-3.74 cm long and mostly discoidal in shape and of intermediate roundness) can be recovered from the sediments of the upper reaches of the River Tormes. These nuggets, as well as small gold particles collected at three gravel pits from across the basin (all of which showed abrasion marks) were examined by optical and/or environmental scanning electron microscopy, and the differences in their dimensions and morphological features noted. Simple correspondence analysis of the sphericity and roundness of the nuggets and particles was used to morphologically classify the gold samples collected at each location. The gold nuggets were best classified as elongated rods of intermediate roundness. Surprisingly, the gold particles from the most upstream and downstream gravel pits were best described as discs/sub-discs of rounded appearance, while those from the intermediate gravel pit were discs of intermediate roundness. Analysis of the variance followed by the Tukey honest significant differences test revealed the particles from the most upstream gravel pit to be significantly more flattened and smaller. These were therefore transported further from their source than the particles collected at the other two pits. These results suggest that multiple sources of sedimentary gold exist in the Tormes Basin and that these feed these different gravel pits. Present techniques for classifying gold would not have detected these differences.

  11. Assimilation of Gridded Snow Water Equivalent and Satellite Snowcover Products for Semi- arid Mountain Basins in a Hydrologic Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dressler, K. A.; Moradkhani, H.

    2006-12-01

    This study examines the Particle Filter (PF) assimilation technique for distributed estimates of snow covered area (SCA) and snow-water equivalent (SWE) to update hydrologic model states. PF is a class of Bayesian filtering algorithms derived from a discrete description of Bayes rule well-suited for updating the nonlinear model states, resulting in improved model outputs. Assimilation runs are applied to the USGS Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) hydrologic model using 1-km2 SCA derived from NOAA Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer imagery and 1-km2 SWE estimates interpolated from National Resources Conservation Service Snow Telemetry (SNOTEL) point measurements for a six-year period (1995-2000). Two headwater basins within the Rio Grande (i.e. upper Rio Grande River basin) and Salt River (i.e. Black River basin) drainages in the Southwestern United States are contrasted. Base runs indicate measured SCA and SWE estimates were consistently lower than values estimated from temperature and precipitation within PRMS. The greatest differences occurred in the relatively complex terrain of the Rio Grande basin, as opposed to the relatively homogeneous terrain of the Black River basin, where differences were small. Differences between modeled and measured snow were different for the accumulation period versus the ablation period and had an elevational trend. Direct insertion of measured snowfields into a version of PRMS calibrated to achieve water balance led to reduced performance in estimating streamflow for the Rio Grande and increased performance in estimating streamflow for the Black River basin. However, PF as a sequential Monte Carlo technique is able to take the most advantage of information content in the data which relaxes the need for restrictive assumptions in direct insertion and even other assimilation techniques. Therefore, in this study we demonstrate the features of such a filtering technique with the potential to estimate the uncertainty of updated SCA and SWE in an ensemble framework.

  12. Project 5322 Mid-Term Report: Key Eco-Hydrological Parameters Retrieval And Land Data Assimilation System Development In A Typical Inland River Basin Of Chinas Arid Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faivre, R.; Colin, J.; Menenti, M.; Lindenbergh, R.; Van Den Bergh, L.; Yu, H.; Jia, L.; Xin, L.

    2010-10-01

    Improving the understanding and the monitoring of high elevation regions hydrology is of major relevance from both societal and environmental points of view for many Asian countries, in particular in terms of flood and drought, but also in terms of food security in a chang- ing environment. Satellite and airborne remote sensing technologies are of utmost for such a challenge. Exist- ing imaging spectro-radiometers, radars, microwave ra- diometers and backscatter LIDAR provide a very com- prehensive suite of measurements over a wide rage of wavelengths, time frequencies and spatial resolu- tions. It is however needed to devise new algorithms to convert these radiometric measurements into useful eco-hydrological quantitative parameters for hydrologi- cal modeling and water management. The DRAGON II project entitled Key Eco-Hydrological Parameters Re- trieval and Land Data Assimilation System Development in a Typical Inland River Basin of Chinas Arid Region (ID 5322) aims at improving the monitoring, understand- ing, and predictability of hydrological and ecological pro- cesses at catchment scale, and promote the applicability of quantitative remote sensing in watershed science. Ex- isting Earth Observation platforms provided by the Euro- pean Space Agency as well as prototype airborne systems developed in China - ENVISAT/AATSR, ALOS/PRISM and PALSAR, Airborne LIDAR - are used and combined to retrieve advanced land surface physical properties over high elevation arid regions of China. The existing syn- ergies between this project, the CEOP-AEGIS project (FP7) and the WATER project (CAS) provide incentives for innovative studies. The investigations presented in the following report focus on the development of advanced and innovative methodologies and algorithms to monitor both the state and the trend of key eco-hydrological vari- ables: 3D vegetation properties, land surface evaporation, glacier mass balance and drought indicators.

  13. Estimating Spatially-distributed Surface Fluxes in a Semi-arid Great Basin Desert Using Landsat TM Thermal Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Quattrochi, Dale A.; Luvall, Jeffrey C.

    2004-01-01

    The research described in this chapter demonstrates a method for using Landsat Thematic Mapper data to estimate instantaneous regional-scale energy fluxes over an arid valley in eastern Nevada, U.S.A. Here point-based models of surface energy and water balance fluxes were applied to individual pixels of a Landsat Thematic Mapper scene over the study area. Although the method used to estimate these instantaneous fluxes requires certain assumptions be made about the spatial distribution of several physical parameters, the results from this analysis and modeling suggest that it is possible to scale from point measurements of environmental state variables (i.e., net radiation flux, surface heat flux, sensible heat flux, and latent heat flux) to regional estimates of energy exchange to obtain an understanding of the spatial relationship between these fluxes and landscape variables.

  14. Estimation of groundwater recharge via deuterium labelling in the semi-arid Cuvelai-Etosha Basin, Namibia.

    PubMed

    Beyer, Matthias; Gaj, Marcel; Hamutoko, Josefina Tulimeveva; Koeniger, Paul; Wanke, Heike; Himmelsbach, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    The stable water isotope deuterium ((2)H) was applied as an artificial tracer ((2)H2O) in order to estimate groundwater recharge through the unsaturated zone and describe soil water movement in a semi-arid region of northern central Namibia. A particular focus of this study was to assess the spatiotemporal persistence of the tracer when applied in the field on a small scale under extreme climatic conditions and to propose a method to obtain estimates of recharge in data-scarce regions. At two natural sites that differ in vegetation cover, soil and geology, 500 ml of a 70% (2)H2O solution was irrigated onto water saturated plots. The displacement of the (2)H peak was analyzed 1 and 10 days after an artificial rain event of 20 mm as well as after the rainy season. Results show that it is possible to apply the peak displacement method for the estimation of groundwater recharge rates in semi-arid environments via deuterium labelling. Potential recharge for the rainy season 2013/2014 was calculated as 45 mm a(-1) at 5.6 m depth and 40 mm a(-1) at 0.9 m depth at the two studied sites, respectively. Under saturated conditions, the artificial rain events moved 2.1 and 0.5 m downwards, respectively. The tracer at the deep sand site (site 1) was found after the rainy season at 5.6 m depth, corresponding to a displacement of 3.2 m. This equals in an average travel velocity of 2.8 cm d(-1) during the rainy season at the first site. At the second location, the tracer peak was discovered at 0.9 m depth; displacement was found to be only 0.4 m equalling an average movement of 0.2 cm d(-1) through the unsaturated zone due to an underlying calcrete formation. Tracer recovery after one rainy season was found to be as low as 3.6% at site 1 and 1.9% at site 2. With an in situ measuring technique, a three-dimensional distribution of (2)H after the rainy season could be measured and visualized. This study comprises the first application of the peak displacement method using a deuterium labelling technique for the estimation of groundwater recharge in semi-arid regions. Deuterium proved to be a suitable tracer for studies within the soil-vegetation-atmosphere interface. The results of this study are relevant for the design of labelling experiments in the unsaturated zone of dry areas using (2)H2O as a tracer and obtaining estimations of groundwater recharge on a local scale. The presented methodology is particularly beneficial in data-scarce environments, where recharge pathways and mechanisms are poorly understood. PMID:26414647

  15. Hydrological and land-use controls of watershed exports of DOM and nutrients in a large arid river basin of Western China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Y.; Lu, Y.; Edmonds, J. W.; Zheng, C.; Wang, S.

    2014-12-01

    The Heihe River Basin (HRB) is the second largest inland river basin in arid Western China. The Heihe river has been significantly modified to make human settlements possible, particularly involving regulating water flow and extracting groundwater to support irrigated agriculture. It remains unknown how these engineered modifications alter transfers of carbon and nutrients from the watersheds to the river. We sampled surface water and groundwater in the middle reach of the HRB during contrasting hydrology regimes. In addition to DOM and nutrients (nitrate, nitrite, phosphate), a series of parameters (δ18O, δD, cation, and DIC) were analyzed to constrain water sources. Five DOM fluorescence components were identified, including two terrestrial humic-like components (C1 and C2), two protein-like components (C3 and C4), and one component (C5) indicative of resistant compounds persisting in deep groundwater. During the period of high discharge, high fluxes of DOM and nutrients were observed, and DOM was characterized by higher %C1, %C2 and %C5, lower %C3 and %C4, greater values of humification index, and lower values of fluorescence index (FI). This observation suggests that high riverine flow mobilized soil-derived OM and resistant OM into the river but suppressed the contributions of autochthonous, microbial OM. δ13C-DOC values fell in a general range indicative of the dominance of C3 plants but became more enriched in agricultural areas, indicating the influence of corn OM. A positive correlation between nutrient concentrations versus FI values during the period of low discharge suggests that irrigation return flow was an important source for both nutrients and humic DOM in the river. Our data demonstrate that watershed exports of nutrients and DOM were collectively controlled by hydrology and watershed land use, and the influence of land use was more evident during low discharge regimes.

  16. Soil Water Content Variations and Hydrological Relations of a Typical Land Use Pattern in an Arid Inland River Basin of Northwest China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Q.; Gao, G.; Fu, B.

    2014-12-01

    A good understanding of the interrelations of a typical land use pattern was essential for ecosystem management and water resources distribution in arid inland river basin. This study was conducted to compare the soil water content and explore the hydrological relation of a cropland-treebelt-desert system at the oasis-desert ecotone in the middle of China's Heihe River Basin. Volumetric soil water content, the relationship between treebelt water use characteristics and groundwater, and plant root distribution were measured. The results showed that the mean volumetric soil water content in the 0-200 cm layer was greater in the cropland (8.88%) than that in the treebelt (5.78%) and desert (4.37%) as a result of frequent irrigation events. However, the cropland had noticeably lower mean volumetric soil water content below 200 cm depth (14.27%), compared to treebelt (18.07%) and desert (17.30%) with deeper roots to suck up groundwater. Groundwater table had negative impact on tree transpiration. The contribution of groundwater to tree transpiration was estimated to be 35.1% and 19.0% in 2012 and 2013, respectively. The great precipitation in 2013 weakened the dependence of tree transpiration on groundwater. The hydrological relation between treebelt and cropland in the upper soil layer was mainly occurred by treebelt root water uptake from cropland. The biomass of fine treebelt root extended into the cropland decreased logarithmically with the distance from the cropland-treebelt interface, which resulted in the smaller volumetric soil water content in the cropland with more proximity to the treebelt. Meanwhile, the threshold distance of cropland irrigation influencing the tree transpiration was about 8 m. The hydrological relation in the lower soil layer among cropland-treebelt-desert was caused by groundwater recharge, as cropland irrigation raised up the groundwater level to replenish the deep soil layer. The percolation in the cropland was an important water source for the growth of treebelt and desert plants.

  17. Hydrological and land use control of watershed exports of dissolved organic matter in a large arid river basin in northwestern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Yue; Lu, YueHan; Edmonds, Jennifer W.; Liu, Chuankun; Wang, Sai; Das, Oindrila; Liu, Jie; Zheng, Chunmiao

    2016-02-01

    We evaluated variation in dissolved organic matter (DOM) export as a function of hydrology and land use from a large arid river basin in northwestern China. Two soil-derived, humic-like (C1 and C2) and three protein-like fluorescence components (C3, C4, and C5) were identified. During high discharges, river water DOM had higher values of DOC concentration, percent humic fluorescence, and humification index, but lower values of fluorescence index and percent protein fluorescence than found at base flow, suggesting that flow paths shifted to shallower depths flushing out topsoil organic matter. Loading of DOC and soil-derived humic fluorescence were driven largely by discharge, with values over 10 times higher during high discharges than at base flow. Furthermore, both δ13C-DOC and C1 at high flows positively correlated with %agricultural lands within 1 km river buffers, demonstrating that near-river agricultural activities enhanced storm export of soil DOM. At base flow, C4 positively correlated with %agricultural lands, showing stimulation of aquatic bacterial carbon production as a result of elevated nutrient inputs from agricultural lands. Percent contributions of humic fluorescence in groundwater varied with well depths in shallow wells, but this pattern was not observed for deeper groundwater, suggesting that humic DOM could serve as a water source tracer indicating deeper aquifers were isolated from river water and shallow groundwater. Together, our data demonstrate that hydrology and land use controlled the sources and amount of riverine DOM in this large agricultural basin and that regulating storm runoff and near-river agricultural activities should be incorporated in ecosystem-based management of water resources.

  18. [Stem sap flow of grape under different drip irrigation patterns and its relationships with environmental factors in arid oasis region of Shiyang River basin].

    PubMed

    Du, Tai-Sheng; Kang, Shao-Zhong; Zhang, Bao-Zhong; Li, Si-En; Yang, Xiu-Ying

    2008-02-01

    This paper studied the stem sap flow of grape in arid oasis region of Shiyang River basin under conventional drip irrigation (CDI), alternate drip irrigation (ADI), and fixed drip irrigation (FDI), and its relationships with meteorological conditions and soil moisture content. The results showed that the stem sap flow of grape had an obvious day-night rhythm synchronous with solar radiation, and was significantly higher under CDI than under ADI and FDI during new branch growth and flowering stages. Solar radiation and air temperature were the main meteorological factors affecting the hourly sap flow, and the daily stem sap flow had linear relationships with daily air temperature and wind speed. The correlation coefficients between the stem sap flow and the meteorological factors ranked in the order of CDI > ADI > FDI. There was a significant correlation between daily stem sap flow and reference crop evapotranspiration (ET0). Compared with CDI, ADI could save 50% of irrigation water while the stem sap flow only reduced by 6.56%, and an obvious compensation effect between stem sap flow and hydraulic conductivity was observed. PMID:18464634

  19. Identification of spatiotemporal patterns of biophysical droughts in semi-arid region - a case study of the Karkheh river basin in Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamali, B.; Abbaspour, K. C.; Lehmann, A.; Wehrli, B.; Yang, H.

    2015-06-01

    This study aims at identifying historical patterns of meteorological, hydrological, and agricultural (inclusively biophysical) droughts in the Karkheh River Basin (KRB), one of the nine benchmark watersheds of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food. Standardized precipitation index (SPI), standardized runoff index (SRI), and soil moisture deficit index (SMDI) were used to represent the above three types of droughts, respectively. The three drought indices were compared across temporal and spatial dimensions. Variables required for calculating the indices were obtained from the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) constructed for the region. The model was calibrated based on monthly runoff and yearly wheat yield using the Sequential Uncertainty Fitting (SUFI-2) algorithm. Five meteorological drought events were identified in the studied period (1980-2004), of which four corresponded with the hydrological droughts with 1-3 month lag. The meteorological droughts corresponded well with the agricultural droughts during dry months (May-August), while the latter lasted for a longer period of time. Analysis of drought patterns showed that southern parts of the catchment were more prone to agricultural drought, while less influenced by hydrological drought. Our analyses highlighted the necessity for monitoring all three aspects of drought for a more effective watershed management. The analysis on different types of droughts in this study provides a framework for assessing their possible impacts under future climate change in semi-arid areas.

  20. A debris flow deposit in alluvial, coal-bearing facies, Bighorn Basin, Wyoming, USA: Evidence for catastrophic termination of a mire

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Roberts, S.B.; Stanton, R.W.; Flores, R.M.

    1994-01-01

    Coal and clastic facies investigations of a Paleocene coal-bearing succession in the Grass Creek coal mine, southwestern Bighorn Basin, Wyoming, USA, suggest that disruption of peat accumulation in recurrent mires was caused by the repetitive progradation of crevasse splays and, ultimately, by a catastrophic mass movement. The mass movement, represented by deposits of debris flow, marked the termination of significant peat accumulation in the Grass Creek coal mine area. Megascopic and microscopic analyses of coal beds exposed along the mine highwalls suggest that these deposits developed in low-lying mires, as evidenced primarily by their ash yields and maceral composition. Disruption of peat accumulation in successive mires was caused by incursions of sediment into the mire environments. Termination by crevasse splay progradation is represented by coarsening-upward successions of mudrock and tabular, rooted sandstone, which overlie coal beds in the lower part of the coal-bearing interval. A more rapid process of mire termination by mass movement is exemplified by a debris flow deposit of diamictite, which overlies the uppermost coal bed at the top of the coal-bearing interval. The diamictite consists of a poorly sorted, unstratified mixture of quartzite cobbles and pebbles embedded in a claystone-rich or sandy mudstone matrix. Deposition of the diamictite may have taken place over a matter of weeks, days, or perhaps even hours, by catastrophic flood, thus reflecting an instantaneous process of mire termination. Coarse clastics and mud were transported from the southwest some 20-40 km as a viscous debris flow along stream courses from the ancestral Washakie Range to the Grass Creek area, where the flow overrode a low-lying mire and effectively terminated peat accumulation. ?? 1994.

  1. Nuclear-waste isolation in the unsaturated zone of arid regions

    SciTech Connect

    Wollenberg, H.A.; Wang, J.S.Y.; Korbin, G.

    1982-05-01

    The vadose zone in arid regions is considered as a possible environment for geologic isolation of nuclear waste. There are several topographic and lithologic combinations in the vadose zone of arid regions that may lend themselves to waste isolation considerations. In some cases, topographic highs such as mesas and interbasin ranges - comprised of several rock types, may contain essentially dry or partially saturated conditions favorable for isolation. The adjacent basins, especially in the far western and southwestern US, may have no surface or subsurface hydrologic connections with systems ultimately leading to the ocean. Some rock types may have the favorable characteristics of very low permeability and contain appropriate minerals for the strong chemical retardation of radionuclides. Environments exhibiting these hydrologic and geochemical attributes are the areas underlain by tuffaceous rocks, relatively common in the Basin and Range geomorphic province. Adjacent valley areas, where tuffaceous debris makes up a significant component of valley fill alluvium, may also contain thick zones of unsaturated material, and as such also lend themselves to strong consideration as respository environments. This paper summarizes the aspects of nuclear waste isolation in unsaturated regimes in alluvial-filled valleys and tuffaceous rocks of the Basin and Range province.

  2. Evaluation of the importance of clay confining units on groundwater flow in alluvial basins using solute and isotope tracers: the case of Middle San Pedro Basin in southeastern Arizona (USA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hopkins, Candice B.; McIntosh, Jennifer C.; Eastoe, Chris; Dickinson, Jesse E.; Meixner, Thomas

    2014-06-01

    As groundwater becomes an increasingly important water resource worldwide, it is essential to understand how local geology affects groundwater quality, flowpaths and residence times. This study utilized multiple tracers to improve conceptual and numerical models of groundwater flow in the Middle San Pedro Basin in southeastern Arizona (USA) by determining recharge areas, compartmentalization of water sources, flowpaths and residence times. Ninety-five groundwater and surface-water samples were analyzed for major ion chemistry (water type and Ca/Sr ratios) and stable (18O, 2H, 13C) and radiogenic (3H, 14C) isotopes, and resulting data were used in conjunction with hydrogeologic information (e.g. hydraulic head and hydrostratigraphy). Results show that recent recharge (<60 years) has occurred within mountain systems along the basin margins and in shallow floodplain aquifers adjacent to the San Pedro River. Groundwater in the lower basin fill aquifer (semi confined) was recharged at high elevation in the fractured bedrock and has been extensively modified by water-rock reactions (increasing F and Sr, decreasing 14C) over long timescales (up to 35,000 years BP). Distinct solute and isotope geochemistries between the lower and upper basin fill aquifers show the importance of a clay confining unit on groundwater flow in the basin, which minimizes vertical groundwater movement.

  3. Evaluation of the importance of clay confining units on groundwaterflow in alluvial basins using solute and isotope tracers: the case of Middle San Pedro Basin in southeastern Arizona (USA)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hopkins, Candice B.; McIntosh, Jennifer C.; Eastoe, Chris; Dickinson, Jesse E.; Meixner, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    As groundwater becomes an increasingly important water resource worldwide, it is essential to understand how local geology affects groundwater quality, flowpaths and residence times. This study utilized multiple tracers to improve conceptual and numerical models of groundwater flow in the Middle San Pedro Basin in southeastern Arizona (USA) by determining recharge areas, compartmentalization of water sources, flowpaths and residence times. Ninety-five groundwater and surface-water samples were analyzed for major ion chemistry (water type and Ca/Sr ratios) and stable (18O, 2H, 13C) and radiogenic (3H, 14C) isotopes, and resulting data were used in conjunction with hydrogeologic information (e.g. hydraulic head and hydrostratigraphy). Results show that recent recharge (<60 years) has occurred within mountain systems along the basin margins and in shallow floodplain aquifers adjacent to the San Pedro River. Groundwater in the lower basin fill aquifer (semi confined) was recharged at high elevation in the fractured bedrock and has been extensively modified by water-rock reactions (increasing F and Sr, decreasing 14C) over long timescales (up to 35,000 years BP). Distinct solute and isotope geochemistries between the lower and upper basin fill aquifers show the importance of a clay confining unit on groundwater flow in the basin, which minimizes vertical groundwater movement.

  4. Configuration of water resources for a typical river basin in an arid region of China based on the ecological water requirements (EWRs) of desert riparian vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ling, Hongbo; Guo, Bin; Xu, Hailiang; Fu, Jinyi

    2014-11-01

    Desert riparian vegetation is a natural cover promoting the stability and development of inland river ecosystems in arid regions. Calculating the ecological water requirements (EWRs) of desert riparian vegetation is an important step in achieving reasonable water utilization. Therefore, this study examined the Tarim River, located in an extremely arid region of China, and collected relevant data on hydrology, weather and vegetation using remote sensing. Subsequently, we analyzed the spatial distribution of the desert riparian vegetation in four sections of the Tarim River and calculated the EWR of the desert riparian vegetation using the phreatic evaporation model; additionally, we determined the required runoffs at five hydrologic stations based on the water balance principle. Ultimately, the necessary protection ranges and goals for desert riparian vegetation were established according to the water resource variations in the Tarim River. Our research showed that the total area of desert riparian vegetation along the Tarim River is 16,285.3 km2; this distribution area gradually decreased as the distance from the river increased, and areas varied in the different river sections. The EWRs of desert riparian vegetation from Sections 1 to 5 are 5.698 × 108, 7.585 × 108, 4.900 × 108, 4.101 × 108 m3 and 1.078 × 108 m3, respectively. Therefore, the total EWR of the study region is 23.362 × 108 m3. In terms of the transpiration law of the "unimodal type", the peak value of EWR of natural vegetation occurs in July, and the decreasing trend appears in the other months. Based on the water balance principle, the required runoffs in Alar, Xinquman, Yingbaza, Wusiman and Qiala were determined to be 47.105 × 108, 35.174 × 108, 22.734 × 108, 15.775 × 108 and 7.707 × 108 m3, respectively. According to the water resource frequency and the EWR of the desert riparian vegetation along the Tarim River, we divided the region into three protection ranges: key protection (8.9-11.8 km from the river), basic protection (15.8-21.8 km from the river) and influence protection (43.0 km from the river). This research not only provides a reasonable calculation method for EWR on the scale of a river basin but also supports the healthy development of the desert riparian vegetation ecosystem and helps to achieve the optimal water allocation for this river.

  5. Temporal variations of atmospheric water vapor δD and δ18O above an arid artificial oasis cropland in the Heihe River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wen, Xue-Fa

    2015-04-01

    The high temporal resolution measurements of δD, δ18O, and deuterium excess (d) of atmospheric water vapor provide an improved understanding of atmospheric and ecohydrological processes at ecosystem to global scales. Isotope ratio infrared spectroscopy has recently allowed high-frequency in situ measurements of atmospheric water vapor isotopic ratios in China (Wen et al., 2008, Journal of Hydrology; Wen et al., 2012, Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology). For our group, in situ and continuous observations of δD, δ18O, and d of atmospheric water vapor have been performed at the surface air in Beijing (Wen et al., 2010, Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres; Zhange et al., 2011, Journal of Geographical Sciences), a winter wheat and summer maize cropland in Luancheng (Wen et al., 2012, Oecologia; Xiao et al., 2012, Global Change Biology), a grassland in Duolun (Hu et al., 2014, Journal of Geophysical Research- Biogeosciences), a spring maize cropland (Huang and Wen, 2014, Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres) and a subtropical coniferous plantation (Yang et al., 2015, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology). In this study (Huang and Wen, 2014), δD, δ18O, and d of water vapor and their flux ratios were continuously measured from May to September 2012 using an in situ technique above an arid artificial oasis in the Heihe River Basin, which has a typical continental arid climate. The monthly δD and δ18O increased slowly and then decreased, whereas the monthly d showed a steady decrease. δD, δ18O, and d exhibited a marked diurnal cycle, indicating the influence of the entrainment, local evapotranspiration (ET), and dewfall. The departures of δD, δ18O, and d from equilibrium prediction were significantly correlated with rain amount, relative humidity (RH), and air temperature (T). The "amount effect" was observed during one precipitation event. δD and δ18O were log linear dependent on water vapor mixing ratio with respective R2 of 17% and 14%, whereas d was significantly correlated with local RH and T, suggesting the less influence of air mass advection and more important contribution of the local source of moisture to atmospheric water vapor. Throughout the experiment, the local ET acted to increase δD and δ18O, with isofluxes of 102.5 and 23.50mmolm-2 s-1‰, respectively. However, the dominated effect of entrainment still decreased δD and δ18O by 10.1 and 2.24‰, respectively. Both of the local ET and entrainment exerted a positive forcing on the diurnal variability in d.

  6. Effects of permafrost degradation on alpine grassland in a semi-arid basin on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yi, Shuhua; Zhou, Zhaoye; Ren, Shilong; Xu, Ming; Qin, Yu; Chen, Shengyun; Ye, Baisheng

    2011-10-01

    Permafrost on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) has degraded over the last few decades. Its ecological effects have attracted great concern. Previous studies focused mostly at plot scale, and hypothesized that degradation of permafrost would cause lowering of the water table and drying of shallow soil and then degradation of alpine grassland. However, none has been done to test the hypothesis at basin scale. In this study, for the first time, we investigated the relationships between land surface temperature (LST) and fractional vegetation cover (FVC) in different types of permafrost zone to infer the limiting condition (water or energy) of grassland growth on the source region of Shule River Basin, which is located in the north-eastern edge of the QTP. LST was obtained from MODIS Aqua products at 1 km resolution, while FVC was upscaled from quadrat (50 cm) to the same resolution as LST, using 30 m resolution NDVI data of the Chinese HJ satellite. FVC at quadrat scale was estimated by analyzing pictures taken with a multi-spectral camera. Results showed that (1) retrieval of FVC at quadrat scale using a multi-spectral camera was both more accurate and more efficient than conventional methods and (2) the limiting factor of vegetation growth transitioned from energy in the extreme stable permafrost zone to water in the seasonal frost zone. Our study suggested that alpine grassland would respond differently to permafrost degradation in different types of permafrost zone. Future studies should consider overall effects of permafrost degradation, and avoid the shortcomings of existing studies, which focus too much on the adverse effects.

  7. Combining SAR with LANDSAT for Change Detection of Riparian Buffer Zone in a Semi-arid River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, N.

    2006-12-01

    A combination of RADARSAT-1 and Landsat 5 TM satellite images linking the soil moisture variation with Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) measurements were used to accomplish remotely sensed change detection of riparian buffer zone in the Choke Canyon Reservoir Watershed (CCRW), South Texas. The CCRW was selected as the study area contributing to the reservoir, which is mostly agricultural and range land in a semi-arid coastal environment. This makes the study significant due to the interception capability of non-point source impact within the riparian buffer zone and the maintenance of ecosystem integrity region wide. First of all, an estimation of soil moisture using RADARSAT-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite imagery was conducted. With its all-weather capability, the RADARSAT-1 is a promising tool for measuring the surface soil moisture over seasons. The time constraint is almost negligible since the RADARSAT-1 is able to capture surface soil moisture over a large area in a matter of seconds, if the area is within its swath. RADARSAT-1 images presented at here were captured in two acquisitions, including April and September 2004. With the aid of five corner reflectors deployed by Alaska Satellite Facility (ASF), essential radiometric and geometric calibrations were performed to improve the accuracy of the SAR imagery. The horizontal errors were reduced from initially 560 meter down to less than 5 meter at the best try. Then two Landsat 5 TM satellite images were summarized based on its NDVI. The combination of and NDVI and SAR data obviously show that soil moisture and vegetation biomass wholly varies in space and time in the CCRW leading to identify the riparian buffer zone evolution over seasons. It is found that the seasonal soil moisture variation is highly tied with the NDVI values and the change detection of buffer zone is technically feasible. It will contribute to develop more effective management strategies for non-point source pollution control, bird habitat monitoring, and grazing and live stock handlings in the future. Future research focuses on comparison of soil moisture variability within RADARSAT-1 footprints and NDVI variations against interferometric SAR for studying riparian ecosystem functioning on a seasonal basis.

  8. Inland Aridification of NW China Since the Late Middle Eocene: Stable Isotope Evidence from Western Qaidam Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, L.; Garzione, C. N.; Pullen, A. T.; Chang, H.; Molnar, P. H.

    2014-12-01

    Cenozoic paleoclimate reconstructions of China, based on pollens, fossils and sedimentary deposits, show a change from planetary aridity to inland aridity of NW China by the early Miocene. However, the initiation of this paleoclimate transition is not well-documented and might be much earlier. The surface uplift of the Tibetan Plateau, the retreat of the Para-Tethys sea, and global cooling have all been suggested to influence the establishment of this inland aridity, although their relative significance remains obscure. This paper presents a stable isotope study of a 4435 m long sedimentary section from the western Qaidam Basin, northern Tibetan Plateau, that spans from the late middle Eocene to late Miocene. The lowermost and uppermost parts of the section are dominated by fluvial and alluvial fan deposits, while the majority of the middle of the section represents palustrine, lower fan delta and marginal to shallow lacustrine fine-grained sediments intercalated with coarse sandstone and conglomerate. Our isotope data show sporadic aridity events in the late middle Eocene to early Oligocene, which might mark the transition from planetary aridity to, or the initiation of, inland aridity in NW China, due to the retreat of the Para-Tethys sea, a process that might be significantly influenced by the early topographic growth of the south-central Tibetan Plateau. A negative shift in oxygen isotope values around 19 Ma is also in accordance with other geological evidence suggesting the Oligocene-early Miocene growth of the Kunlun mountains south of the Qaidam basin. Later intensification of aridity occurred at ~12 Ma that corresponds with a regional climate change event, which we attribute to the upward and outward growth of the northern Tibetan Plateau. The final establishment of extreme inland aridity that is comparable to present day was most likely established at ~3.1-2.6 Ma in the Qaidam basin, and therefore global cooling and northern hemisphere glaciation is a major candidate for the cause.

  9. Evolution and palaeoenvironment of the Bauru Basin (Upper Cretaceous, Brazil)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandes, Luiz Alberto; Magalhães Ribeiro, Claudia Maria

    2015-08-01

    The Bauru Basin was one of the great Cretaceous desert basins of the world, evolved in arid zone called Southern Hot Arid Belt. Its paleobiological record consists mainly of dinosaurs, crocodiles and turtles. The Bauru Basin is an extensive region of the South American continent that includes parts of the southeast and south of Brazil, covering an area of 370,000 km2. It is an interior continental basin that developed as a result of subsidence of the central-southern part of the South-American Platform during the Late Cretaceous (Coniacian-Maastrichtian). This sag basin is filled by a sandy siliciclastic sequence with a preserved maximum thickness of 480 m, deposited in semiarid to desert conditions. Its basement consists of volcanic rocks (mainly basalts) of the Lower Cretaceous (Hauterivian) Serra Geral basalt flows, of the Paraná-Etendeka Continental Flood Basalt Province. The sag basin was filled by an essentially siliciclastic psammitic sequence. In lithostratigraphic terms the sequence consists of the Caiuá and Bauru groups. The northern and northeastern edges of the basin provide a record of more proximal original deposits, such as associations of conglomeratic sand facies from alluvial fans, lakes, and intertwined distributary river systems. The progressive basin filling led to the burial of the basaltic substrate by extensive blanket sand sheets, associated with deposits of small dunes and small shallow lakes that retained mud (such as loess). Also in this intermediate context between the edges (more humid) and the interior (dry), wide sand sheet areas crossed by unconfined desert rivers (wadis) occurred. In the central axis of the elliptical basin a regional drainage system formed, flowing from northeast to southwest between the edges of the basin and the hot and dry inner periphery of the Caiuá desert (southwest). Life in the Bauru Basin flourished most in the areas with the greatest water availability, in which dinosaurs, crocodiles, turtles, fish, amphibians, molluscs, crustaceans, and charophyte algae lived. The fossil record mainly consists of transported bones and other skeletal fragments. In the northeastern and eastern marginal regions fossils are found in marginal alluvial fan deposits, broad plains of braided streams and ephemeral alkaline water lakes. In the basin interior the fossil record is related to deposits in sand sheets with braided streams, small dunes, and shallow lakes. In the great Caiuá inner desert a few smaller animals could survive (small reptiles and early mammals), sometimes leaving their footprints in dune foreset deposits. The aim of this article is to present and link the basin sedimentary evolution, palaeoecological features and palaeontological record.

  10. Impact of wind erosion on detecting active tectonics from geomorphic indexes in extremely arid areas: a case study from the Hero Range, Qaidam Basin, NW China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Lei; Xiao, Ancheng; Yang, Shufeng

    2014-11-01

    Geomorphologic analysis has been used widely to detect active tectonics in regions where fluvial incision is the major erosional process. In this paper, however, we assess the feasibility of utilizing these frequently-used geomorphic indexes (e.g., hypsometric curves, longitudinal channel profiles, normalized stream length-gradient (SLK) index) to determine active tectonics in extremely arid areas where wind erosion also plays an important role. The case study is developed on the Hero Range in the western Qaidam Basin, one of the driest regions on Earth with severe wind erosion since late Pliocene. The result shows that in the west and south sectors, as well as the western part of the east sector, of the Hero Range where fluvial incision prevails, these geomorphic indexes are good indicators of active faulting and consistent with the geological result based on study of fault traces, scarps, faulted Holocene fans and historical seismicity within the past four decades. In contrast, along the northeastern margin (the NE and the SE parts of the east sector) of the range where wind erosion is also important, the results from the geomorphic indexes show quite active tectonics, contrary with the geological evidence favoring weakly active tectonics. Moreover, the positive SLK anomaly lies oblique to the fault trace and the anticline axis but parallel to the wind direction. To reconcile the contradiction, we propose that wind erosion caused by northwestern winds has a tendency to make geomorphic indexes exhibit anomalous values that indicate higher activities, by way of (1) lowering the base-level to generate knickpoints on the longitudinal channel profiles and therefore positive SLK anomalies, and (2) lateral erosion of the mountain front making the hypsometric curves and even the longitudinal channel profiles more convex, and producing obvious slope breaks.

  11. Point sources of emerging contaminants along the Colorado River Basin: source water for the arid Southwestern United States.

    PubMed

    Jones-Lepp, Tammy L; Sanchez, Charles; Alvarez, David A; Wilson, Doyle C; Taniguchi-Fu, Randi-Laurant

    2012-07-15

    Emerging contaminants (ECs) (e.g., pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs, personal care products) have been detected in waters across the United States. The objective of this study was to evaluate point sources of ECs along the Colorado River, from the headwaters in Colorado to the Gulf of California. At selected locations in the Colorado River Basin (sites in Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and California), waste stream tributaries and receiving surface waters were sampled using either grab sampling or polar organic chemical integrative samplers (POCIS). The grab samples were extracted using solid-phase cartridge extraction (SPE), and the POCIS sorbents were transferred into empty SPEs and eluted with methanol. All extracts were prepared for, and analyzed by, liquid chromatography-electrospray-ion trap mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-ITMS). Log D(OW) values were calculated for all ECs in the study and compared to the empirical data collected. POCIS extracts were screened for the presence of estrogenic chemicals using the yeast estrogen screen (YES) assay. Extracts from the 2008 POCIS deployment in the Las Vegas Wash showed the second highest estrogenicity response. In the grab samples, azithromycin (an antibiotic) was detected in all but one urban waste stream, with concentrations ranging from 30ng/L to 2800ng/L. Concentration levels of azithromycin, methamphetamine and pseudoephedrine showed temporal variation from the Tucson WWTP. Those ECs that were detected in the main surface water channels (those that are diverted for urban use and irrigation along the Colorado River) were in the region of the limit-of-detection (e.g., 10ng/L), but most were below detection limits. PMID:22684090

  12. Point sources of emerging contaminants along the Colorado River Basin: Source water for the arid Southwestern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jones-Lepp, Tammy L.; Sanchez, Charles; Alvarez, David A.; Wilson, Doyle C.; Taniguchi-Fu, Randi-Laurant

    2012-01-01

    Emergingcontaminants (ECs) (e.g., pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs, personal care products) have been detected in waters across the UnitedStates. The objective of this study was to evaluate pointsources of ECs along the ColoradoRiver, from the headwaters in Colorado to the Gulf of California. At selected locations in the ColoradoRiver Basin (sites in Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and California), waste stream tributaries and receiving surface waters were sampled using either grab sampling or polar organic chemical integrative samplers (POCIS). The grab samples were extracted using solid-phase cartridge extraction (SPE), and the POCIS sorbents were transferred into empty SPEs and eluted with methanol. All extracts were prepared for, and analyzed by, liquid chromatography-electrospray-ion trap mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-ITMS). Log Dow values were calculated for all ECs in the study and compared to the empirical data collected. POCIS extracts were screened for the presence of estrogenic chemicals using the yeast estrogen screen (YES) assay. Extracts from the 2008 POCIS deployment in the Las Vegas Wash showed the second highest estrogenicity response. In the grab samples, azithromycin (an antibiotic) was detected in all but one urban waste stream, with concentrations ranging from 30 ng/L to 2800 ng/L. Concentration levels of azithromycin, methamphetamine and pseudoephedrine showed temporal variation from the Tucson WWTP. Those ECs that were detected in the main surface water channels (those that are diverted for urban use and irrigation along the ColoradoRiver) were in the region of the limit-of-detection (e.g., 10 ng/L), but most were below detection limits.

  13. Vegetation and geomorphic significance of the riparian greenline in the Sprague River basin, southern Oregon: implications for biogeomorphic monitoring of riparian corridors in semi-arid mountain valleys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, M. L.; Leeseberg, C.

    2009-12-01

    Like many regions in the western U.S., valley-floor environments of the semi-arid Sprague River basin of southern Oregon are heavily irrigated and widely grazed by cattle. To better understand the impacts of grazing and other land uses on river quality, the Klamath Tribes have begun a long-term, basin-wide program aimed at: (1) establishing baseline geomorphic and vegetative conditions along the Sprague River and its tributaries, and (2) monitoring changes in these conditions over time. Because of its widespread use and ease of application, determining the composition of the lowest line of perennial vegetation above baseflow, or the “greenline,” has been included. The goal of this paper is to summarize results of 38 greenline surveys conducted at 19 sites in 2008-9 and to explore geomorphic hypotheses that may explain vegetation patterns evident in the surveys. Spikerush (Eleocharis ssp.) and reed-canary grass (Phalaris arudinacea) were the most commonly occurring vegetation in the greenline across all sites. Because these species are aggressive colonizers, they indicate high availability of fresh alluvium, which may be associated with sustained channel-bank disturbance. Sedges dominated some portions of the greenline at most of the sites, but occurred in less abundance. The late successional or early-to-late transitional state of these sedges, combined with their relatively low frequency, further supports the hypothesis that channel-bank systems remain chronically disturbed and dynamic. Grazing is common, but variable in intensity, at nearly all of the study sites, likely contributing to the persistence of channel-bank disturbance. Among meandering channels, the richness of dominant species (i.e., “community diversity”) was higher on the outer bends than on the inner bends of meanders at 10 of 12 sites. The variability of geomorphic surfaces (old floodplain, new floodplain, failed bank, accreted toe, etc.) incorporated in the greenline by the spatially discontinuous processes of channel-bank erosion and failure on the outer meander bends appears to increase the types of habitats surveyed and their combined biodiversity. In contrast, the spatial continuity of bar accretion on the inner meander bends appears to result in a more uniform geomorphic setting with fewer dominant species in the greenline. Despite widespread recognition that geomorphic processes influence riparian vegetation, factors such as the type and severity of bank erosion, the location of the survey with respect to meander geometry, and the type of geomorphic surface underlying greenline observations are not explicitly included in published guidance for biogeomorphic monitoring of the riparian greenline. Inclusion of such factors would improve communication, study design, and application of research by fluvial geomorphologists, riparian ecologists, and resource managers utilizing the greenline methodology.

  14. Tectonically induced climate and its control on the distribution of depositional systems in a continental foreland basin, Cloverly and Lakota Formations (Lower Cretaceous) of Wyoming, U.S.A.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elliott, William S.; Suttner, Lee J.; Pratt, Lisa M.

    2007-12-01

    Continental sediments of the Cloverly and Lakota Formations (Lower Cretaceous) in Wyoming are subdivided into three depositional systems: perennial to intermittent alluvial, intermittent to ephemeral alluvial, and playa. Chert-bearing sandstones, conglomerates, carbonaceous mudrocks, blocky mudrocks, and skeletal limestones were deposited by perennial to intermittent alluvial systems. Carbonaceous mudrocks contain abundant wood fragments, cuticle and cortical debris, and other vascular plant remains representing deposition in oxbow lakes, abandoned channels, and on floodplains under humid to seasonal conditions. Intraformational conglomerates, sandstones, bioturbated and blocky mudrocks with caliche nodules, and bioturbated limestones characterize deposition in intermittent to ephemeral alluvial systems. Bioturbated limestones are encased in bioturbated mudrocks with abundant pseudo-slickensides. The presence of caliche nodules in some of the blocky to bioturbated mudrocks is consistent with supersaturation and precipitation of calcium carbonate from groundwater under semi-arid conditions. Caliche nodules, pseudo-slickensides, and carbonate-rich floodplain sediments are interpreted to have been deposited by intermittent to ephemeral alluvial systems under seasonal to semi-arid climatic conditions. Laminated mudrocks, siltstones, vuggy carbonates, bedded to nodular evaporites, pebbly mudrocks, and diamictites were deposited in evaporative alkaline lakes or playas. Pebbly mudrocks and diamictites are interpreted to represent deposition from channelized and unchannelized hyperconcentrated flows on a playa, resulting from intense rain events within the basin. The areal abundance and distribution of these depositional systems change systematically across the overfilled portion of the Early Cretaceous Cordilleran foreland basin in Wyoming. The lower part (A-interval) of the Cloverly and Lakota Formations is characterized by deposits of perennial to intermittent rivers that existed 300 to 1000 km east of the Sevier fold-and-thrust belt. Proximal to the Sevier fold-and-thrust belt, the A-interval of the Cloverly Formation and upper Ephraim Formation of the Gannett Group are typified by deposits of intermittent to ephemeral rivers and their associated floodplains. In the middle part (B-interval) of the Cloverly Formation, intermittent to ephemeral alluvial systems expand to 600 km into the basin. The upper part (C-interval) of the Cloverly Formation is characterized by playa deposits in the Bighorn and Wind River Basins and intermittent to ephemeral alluvial deposits along the front of the ancestral Sevier Mountains. Deposits of perennial to intermittent alluvial systems in the C-interval of the Cloverly and Lakota Formations are restricted to the Black Hills region, almost 900 km to the east of the Sevier Mountains. The change in the areal distribution of depositional systems through time within this continental foreland basin may be attributed to the development of a rain shadow associated with the uplift of the Sevier Mountains in the Early Cretaceous.

  15. Mid-Eocene alluvial-lacustrine succession at Gebel El-Goza El-Hamra (Shabrawet area, NE Eastern Desert, Egypt): Facies analysis, sequence stratigraphy and paleoclimatic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wanas, H. A.; Sallam, E.; Zobaa, M. K.; Li, X.

    2015-11-01

    This study aims to provide the depositional facies, sequence stratigraphic and paleoclimatic characteristics of the Mid-Eocene (Bartonian) continental succession exposed at Gebel El-Goza El-Hamra (Shabrawet Area, NE Eastern Desert, Egypt). The studied succession consists of siliciclastic rocks followed upward by carbonate rocks. Detailed field observation and petrographic investigation indicate accumulation in floodplain-dominated alluvial and shallow lacustrine systems. The floodplain-dominated alluvial facies (45 m thick) is composed mainly of carbonate nodules-bearing, mottled mudrock with subordinate sandstone and conglomerate beds. The conglomerate and pebbly sandstone bodies interpreted as ephemeral braided channel deposits. The massive, laminated, planner cross-bedded, fine- to medium-grained sandstone bodies interlayered within mudstone reflect sheet flood deposits. The mudrocks associated with paleosols represent distal floodplain deposits. The shallow lacustrine facies (15 m thick) is made up of an alternation of marlstone, micritic limestone, dolostone and mudrock beds with charophytes and small gastropods. Both the alluvial and lacustrine facies show evidence of macro-and micro-pedogenic features. Pollen assemblages, stable δ18O and δ13C isotopes, and paleopedogenic features reflect prevalence of arid to semi-arid climatic conditions during the Bartonian. The sequence stratigraphic framework shows an overall fining-upward depositional sequence, consisting of Low- and High-accommodation Systems Tracts (LAST, HAST), and is bounded by two sequence boundaries (SB-1, SB-2). Conglomerate and pebbly sandstone deposits (braided channel and sheet flood deposits) of the lower part of the alluvial facies reflect a LAST. Mudrock and silty claystone facies (distal floodplain deposits) of the upper part of alluvial facies and its overlying lacustrine facies correspond to a HAST. The LAST, HAST and SB were formed during different accommodation-to-sediment supply (A/S) ratio phases. The variation in A/S ratios was mainly controlled by sea-level change as well as by local tectonic subsidence and uplift of the basin coincident with the reactivation of the Syrian Arc System during the Bartonian.

  16. Pleistocene calcareous aeolian-alluvial deposition in a steep relief karstic coastal belt (island of Hvar, eastern Adriatic, Croatia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavelić, Davor; Kovačić, Marijan; Vlahović, Igor; Wacha, Lara

    2011-07-01

    Pleistocene aeolian and alluvial deposits occur on the island of Hvar, belonging to the eastern Adriatic karstic coastal belt along the north-eastern Mediterranean margin. The depositional mechanism of the aeolian, alluvial and talus sediments are interpreted based on facies analysis and mineralogical composition. Aeolian deposits are represented by cross-bedded, cross-laminated, and sub-horizontally laminated fine- to medium-grained calcareous sands. The cross-bedded units form tabular sets stacked into cosets. Sets and cosets are separated by distinct low-angle bounding surfaces which mostly dip towards the east interpreted as the upwind direction. Cross-laminated units form isolated sets within the cross-bedded and sub-horizontally laminated units. Cross-bedded and cross-laminated units represent dunes dominated by grain fall and wind ripple deposition, respectively. Dunes produced by sand flow also occur, but are less common. The cross-bedding is truncated by reactivation surfaces. Transverse dunes and some small dome-shaped dunes were also present. Sub-horizontally laminated sandy units represent aeolian sand sheets developed by wind ripple migration in the interdune area. A few wind-rippled dune apron deposits also occur. Trace fossils are locally very abundant within the aeolian deposits, mostly produced by plants. Soft-sediment deformation, such as contorted cross-bedding and pocket structures occur scattered, and rare reddish horizons show pedogenesis. Unlikely most Quaternary coastal aeolian sands, these sands do not include marine bioclasts in composition. The sands are composed of extraclasts dominated by limestone with subordinate chert, quartz-sericite schist, quartzite and quartz. Amphiboles, pyroxene and epidote are the most abundant translucent heavy minerals. The mineralogical composition and palaeoflow directions indicate that the Dinarides were the main provenance of the sand transported by primary easterly and northerly continental winds causing migration of dunes towards the palaeo-Adriatic Sea. Alluvial deposits are intercalated with the aeolian sands. They are composed of breccia derived from a nearby steep hill-ridge, and by resedimented aeolian sand deposited by traction currents during flash floods. Talus fragments reached the aeolian sands only sporadically. Climate strongly affected aeolian, alluvial and talus depositions. During arid conditions dunes migrated forming a dune field, whilst more humid climate triggered heavy rains and generated erosion of aeolian deposits, alluvial sedimentation, colonisation of plants and pedogenesis. Deposition was in a topographic basin, and was controlled by capacity of source area and wind. However, local orography characterised by developed and steep karstic relief strongly affected wind directions, and in that way had specific controls on the dune field evolution. Dominating winds caused seaward dune migration differing from most Mediterranean Quaternary coastal aeolian dune localities characterised by landward migration.

  17. Climatic and Tectonic Controls on Alluvial Fan Evolution: The Lost River Range, Idaho

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, R. J.; Pierce, J. L.; Sharp, W. D.; Pierce, K. L.

    2006-12-01

    In the northern Basin &Range, alluvial fans developed along the Lost River range-front consist of several distinct inset fan segments with concave-up radial profiles. Multiple large radius (>5 km), shallow (2- 3°), alluvial fans extend across and beyond the active, ~140-km-long, normal Lost River fault. These large fans are relict features, formed by major sheetfloods that occurred intermittently between ~15-180 ka. More recent deposition has been dominated by debris-flows that form small-radius (<2 km), steep (8- 17°), fans closely confined to the mountain front [1,2]. In order to determine the timing of fan surface stabilization, we have undertaken precise mass spectrometric 230Th/U dating of pedogenic carbonate from calcic soils that mantle fan surfaces on the Arco fault segment. Careful selection of mg-size samples of dense soil carbonate pebble coats, from within a trench that cuts through gravelly fan deposits, indicates that the fan soils are geochemically suitable for uranium-series dating (median U=7ppm, 232Th=0.09ppm, 232Th/230Th=154). 230Th/U analysis of these calcic soils can thus provide precise temporal constraints on intervals of surface stability and subsequent soil formation. The oldest fan surface (Qfo1, 178+/-8 ka), exposed within the footwall of the trench, suggests an interval of surface stability, indicating that the fan was likely abandoned due to incision early in MIS 6. Incision may have resulted from surface faulting along the Arco segment of the Lost River fault, but could relate to changes in stream power or sediment supply associated with climatic change or with auto-cyclic variations within the drainage basin. A younger incised and faulted fan surface (Qfo2, 69+/-6 ka), likely represents active alluviation at the beginning of MIS 4 and, since it formed as hanging-wall alluvial gravel, provides age limits on an episode of fault displacement between Qfo1 and Qfo2. In situ pedogenic carbonate coats on sub-angular gravels within the colluvial fault wedge date at 68+/-2 ka, suggesting that either faulting occurred soon after Qfo2 stabilized or that soil carbonate coats were recycled into the colluvial wedge from the faulted surface. Further studies in the Lost River Range will assess the timing of fan deposition, surface stabilization and fault activity since the late Pleistocene using coupled application of Optically Stimulated Thermoluminescence (OSL) dating of loess and fine-sands, and 230Th/U-dating of pedogenic carbonate formed within well- exposed fan stratigraphy. Defining intervals of erosion, deposition and stability within the context of regional records of Quaternary climate change will yield new insights into the interplay between faulting, climate change and alluvial fan deposition and incision in semi-arid environments. [1] Pierce, K.L., Scott, W.E., 1982. Idaho Mines &Geol. Bull. 26. [2] Patterson, S.J., 2006. M.S. Thesis, Montana State University

  18. Application of a stochastic weather generator to assess climate change impacts in a semi-arid climate: The Upper Indus Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forsythe, N.; Fowler, H. J.; Blenkinsop, S.; Burton, A.; Kilsby, C. G.; Archer, D. R.; Harpham, C.; Hashmi, M. Z.

    2014-09-01

    Assessing local climate change impacts requires downscaling from Global Climate Model simulations. Here, a stochastic rainfall model (RainSim) combined with a rainfall conditioned weather generator (CRU WG) have been successfully applied in a semi-arid mountain climate, for part of the Upper Indus Basin (UIB), for point stations at a daily time-step to explore climate change impacts. Validation of the simulated time-series against observations (1961-1990) demonstrated the models' skill in reproducing climatological means of core variables with monthly RMSE of <2.0 mm for precipitation and ⩽0.4 °C for mean temperature and daily temperature range. This level of performance is impressive given complexity of climate processes operating in this mountainous context at the boundary between monsoonal and mid-latitude (westerly) weather systems. Of equal importance the model captures well the observed interannual variability as quantified by the first and last decile of 30-year climatic periods. Differences between a control (1961-1990) and future (2071-2100) regional climate model (RCM) time-slice experiment were then used to provide change factors which could be applied within the rainfall and weather models to produce perturbed ‘future' weather time-series. These project year-round increases in precipitation (maximum seasonal mean change:+27%, annual mean change: +18%) with increased intensity in the wettest months (February, March, April) and year-round increases in mean temperature (annual mean +4.8 °C). Climatic constraints on the productivity of natural resource-dependent systems were also assessed using relevant indices from the European Climate Assessment (ECA) and indicate potential future risk to water resources and local agriculture. However, the uniformity of projected temperature increases is in stark contrast to recent seasonally asymmetrical trends in observations, so an alternative scenario of extrapolated trends was also explored. We conclude that interannual variability in climate will continue to have the dominant impact on water resources management whichever trajectory is followed. This demonstrates the need for sophisticated downscaling methods which can evaluate changes in variability and sequencing of events to explore climate change impacts in this region.

  19. Implementation of Drainage Water Management in Open Ditch Drainage Systems of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increased riverine nutrients linked to agricultural activities in the Mississippi River Basin have contributed to degraded surface waters within the basin as well as to the hypoxic zone along the Louisiana Gulf coast. In the Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV), these nutrients are transported from agr...

  20. Seasonality of groundwater recharge in the Basin and Range Province, western North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neff, Kirstin Lynn

    Alluvial groundwater systems are an important source of water for communities and biodiverse riparian corridors throughout the arid and semi-arid Basin and Range Geological Province of western North America. These aquifers and their attendant desert streams have been depleted to support a growing population, while projected climate change could lead to more extreme episodes of drought and precipitation in the future. The only source of replenishment to these aquifers is recharge. This dissertation builds upon previous work to characterize and quantify recharge in arid and semi-arid basins by characterizing the intra-annual seasonality of recharge across the Basin and Range Province, and considering how climate change might impact recharge seasonality and volume, as well as fragile riparian corridors that depend on these hydrologic processes. First, the seasonality of recharge in a basin in the sparsely-studied southern extent of the Basin and Range Province is determined using stable water isotopes of seasonal precipitation and groundwater, and geochemical signatures of groundwater and surface water. In northwestern Mexico in the southern reaches of the Basin and Range, recharge is dominated by winter precipitation (69% +/- 42%) and occurs primarily in the uplands. Second, isotopically-based estimates of seasonal recharge fractions in basins across the region are compared to identify patterns in recharge seasonality, and used to evaluate a simple water budget-based model for estimating recharge seasonality, the normalized seasonal wetness index (NSWI). Winter precipitation makes up the majority of annual recharge throughout the region, and North American Monsoon (NAM) precipitation has a disproportionately weak impact on recharge. The NSWI does well in estimating recharge seasonality for basins in the northern Basin and Range, but less so in basins that experience NAM precipitation. Third, the seasonal variation in riparian and non-riparian vegetation greenness, represented by the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), is characterized in several of the study basins and climatic and hydrologic controls are identified. Temperature was the most significant driver of vegetation greenness, but precipitation and recharge seasonality played a significant role in some basins at some elevations. Major contributions of this work include a better understanding of recharge in a monsoon-dominated basin, the characterization of recharge seasonality at a regional scale, evaluation of an estimation method for recharge seasonality, and an interpretation of the interaction of seasonal hydrologic processes, vegetation dynamics, and climate change.

  1. Deep arid system hydrodynamics 2. Application to paleohydrologic reconstruction using vadose zone profiles from the northern Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walvoord, M.A.; Phillips, F.M.; Tyler, S.W.; Hartsough, P.C.

    2002-01-01

    Site-specific numerical modeling of four sites in two arid alluvial basins within the Nevada Test Site employs a conceptual model of deep arid system hydrodynamics that includes vapor transport, the role of xeric vegetation, and long-term surface boundary transients. Surface boundary sequences, spanning 110 kyr, that best reproduce measured chloride concentration and matric potential profiles from four deep (230-460 m) boreholes concur with independent paleohydrologic and paleoecological records from the region. Simulations constrain a pluvial period associated with infiltration of 2-5 mm yr-1 at 14-13 ka and denote a shift linked to the establishment of desert vegetation at 13-9.5 ka. Retrodicted moisture flux histories inferred from modeling results differ significantly from those determined using the conventional chloride mass balance approach that assumes only downward advection. The modeling approach developed here represents a significant advance in the use of deep vadose zone profile data from arid regions to recover detailed paleohydrologic and current hydrologic information.

  2. Risk-assessment of post-wildfire hydrological response in semi-arid basins: The effects of varying rainfall representations in the KINEROS2/AGWA model

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Representation of precipitation is one of the most difficult aspects of modeling post-fire runoff and erosion and also one of the most sensitive input parameters to rainfall-runoff models. The impact of post-fire convective rainstorms, especially in semi-arid watersheds, depends on the overlap betwe...

  3. Braided alluvial fan in the Terra Sirenum region, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adeli, S.; Hauber, E.; Le Deit, L.; Kleinhans, M. G.; Platz, T.; Fawdon, P.; Jaumann, R.

    2015-10-01

    Here we report the presence of an Amazonian-aged outflow channel located on the rim of the Ariadnes Colles basin (37S/178E) that has an alluvial fan on its downstream part. The study area is located in the Noachian highlands of Terra Sirenum, the site of a large hypothesized paleolake [3]. This so-called Eridania lake existed during the Late Noachian -Early Hesperian and drained into Ma'adim Vallis, one of the largest valleys on Mars. The Ariadnes Colles basin was part of the Eridania paleolake and hosted later a closed lake.

  4. Active Tectonics and Alluvial Rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Talwani, Pradeep

    Flying into San Francisco, California, for the AGU Fall Meeting from the east coast of the United States, one sees an ever-changing pattern of rivers below. From straight channels, the rivers take on a meandering pattern, become braided, and form oxbow lakes. Their drainage patterns change from regional directions in response to local structures and tectonic activity This carving of the landscape is the response of alluvial rivers to active tectonics manifested locally by ongoing tectonic uplift, river erosion, and alluvial deposition.

  5. Experimental study of alluvial fans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weaver, W. E.

    The role of geomorphic thresholds in the short term operation and long term evolution of alluvial fans was examined. A theoretical, cyclic pattern of alluvial fan evolution, involving apex sedimentation, followed by channel incision and a longer period of lateral channel migration and backfilling, was confirmed. The regularity and predictability of cyclic changes in spatial sedimentation patterns increased as mudflows became more important. When mudflows were the primary agent, apex slopes were steep and unstable under intervening streamflow conditions. It is suggested that the alluvial fans of an area will display a myriad of contrasting morphologic forms, even if they were not subject to a change in external conditions. Incongruous morphologic responses of fans in Idaho imply differing levels of landform stability existed at the last major change in conditions. Changes in external variables may affect the stability of alluvial fans by either physically altering the landform relative to an unchanging threshold value or by modifying the threshold value of one of the variables which controls fan response. Instead of controlling landform behavior, external stimuli act within the cyclic framework of landform development to merely hasten or delay the conclusion of one cycle and the initiation of the next.

  6. Directional scales of heterogeneity in alluvial fan aquifers

    SciTech Connect

    Neton, M.J.; Dorsch, J.; Young, S.C.; Olson, C.D. . Dept. of Geological Sciences Tennessee Valley Authority Engineering Lab., Norris, TN )

    1992-01-01

    Abrupt lateral and vertical permeability changes of up to 12 orders of magnitude are common in alluvial fan aquifers due to depositional heterogeneity. This abrupt heterogeneity is problematic, particularly in construction of a continuous hydraulic conductivity field from point measurements. Site characterization is improved through use of a scale-and-directionally-related model of fan heterogeneities. A directional classification of alluvial fan aquifer heterogeneities is proposed. The three directional scales of heterogeneity in alluvial fan aquifers are: (1) within-fan, (2) between-fan (strike-parallel), and (3) cross-fan (strike-perpendicular). Within-fan heterogeneity ranges from very small-scale intergrain relationships which control the nature of pores, to larger scale permeability trends between fan apex and toe, and includes abrupt lateral and vertical facies relationships. Between-fan heterogeneities are of a larger-scale and include differences between adjacent (non)coalescent fans along a basin-margin fault due primarily to changes in lithology between adjacent upland source basins. These differences produce different (a) grain and pore fluid compositions, (b) lithologic facies and proportions, and (c) down-fan fining trends, between adjacent fans. Cross-fan heterogeneities extend from source to basin. Fan deposits are in abrupt contact upgradient with low permeability, basin-margin source rock. Downgradient, fan deposits are in gradational to abrupt contact with time-equivalent, generally lower permeability deposits of lake, desert, longitudinal braided and meandering river, volcanic, and shallow marine environments. Throughout basin history these environments may abruptly cover the fan with low permeability horizons.

  7. Sedimentology of Holocene debris flow-dominated alluvial fans, northwest Wyoming: Contributions to alluvial fan facies models

    SciTech Connect

    Cechovic, M.T.; Schmitt, J.G. . Dept. of Earth Sciences)

    1993-04-01

    Facies models for debris flow-dominated alluvial fans are based exclusively upon studies of relatively few fans in the arid American southwest. Detailed geomorphic, stratigraphic, and sedimentologic analyses of several highly-active, debris flow-dominated alluvial fans in northern Yellowstone National Park, WY (temperature, semi-arid) serve to diversify and increase the usefulness of alluvial fan facies models. These fans display an intricate distributary pattern of incised active (0--6 m deep; 700--900 m long) and abandoned channels (1--4 m deep; 400 m long) with levees/levee complexes (<3 m high; <20 m wide; <750 m long) and lobes constructed by pseudoplastic to plastic debris flows. The complex pattern of debris flow deposits is due to repeated channel back filling and overtopping by debris flows behind in-channel obstructions which subsequently lead to channel abandonment. Debris-flow deposition is dominant due to: (1) small, steep (up to 35 degrees) source area catchments, (2) extensive mud rock outcrops in the source area, and (3) episodic summer rainfall events. Proximal to distal fan surfaces exhibit sheetflood deposits several cm thick and up to 70 m in lateral extent. Vertical lithofacies profiles reveal: (1) massive, matrix- and clast-supported gravel units (1--2 m thick) deposited by clast-poor and clast-rich debris flows respectively, with reworked; scoured tops overlain by thin (<0.25 m) trough cross-bedded gravel and ripple cross-laminated sand intervals, and (2) volumetrically less significant 1--2 m thick intervals comprising fining-upward sequences of interbedded cm-scale trough cross-bedded pebbly gravel, massive sand, horizontally stratified sand, and mud rock deposited by hyperconcentrated flow and stream flow during decelerating sheetflood events. Organic rich layers record periods of non-deposition. Channelized stream flow is restricted to minor reworking of in-channel debris flow and hyperconcentrated flow deposits.

  8. Taphonomy and paleoecology of nonmarine mollusca: indicators of alluvial plain lacustrine sedimentation, upper part of the Tongue River Member, Fort Union Formation ( Paleocene), Northern Powder River Basin, Wyoming and Montana ( USA).

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hanley, J.H.; Flores, R.M.

    1987-01-01

    The composition, species abundances, and spatial and temporal distributions of mollusc assemblages were controlled by the environments in which they lived and the depositional processes that affected the molluscs after death and before final burial. Post-mortem transport, reworking and concentration of shells, and mixing of faunal elements from discrete habitats produced a taphonomic 'overprint' on assemblage characteristics that directly reflects the processes of alluvial plain and floodbasin lacustrine sedimentation. The 'overprint' can be interpreted from outcrop analysis of molluscan biofabric, which consists of: 1) orientation, fragmentation, size-sorting, abrasion, density, and dispersion of shells, 2) the nature and extent of shell-infilling, and 3) ratio of articulated to disarticulated bivalves. Taphonomic characteristics were used with sedimentological properties to differentiate in-place, reworked, transported, and ecologically mixed mollusc assemblages. This study also defines the paleoecology of habitat preferences of mollusc species as a basis for recognition of the environments in which these assemblages were deposited: 1) large floodbasin lakes, 2) small floodbasin lakes, and 3) crevasse deltas and splays. Integration of sedimentology and paleoecology provides an interdisciplinary approach to the interpretation of alluvial environments through time in the Tongue River Member. -Authors

  9. Aridity Modulates N Availability in Arid and Semiarid Mediterranean Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Maestre, Fernando T.; Gallardo, Antonio; Quero, José L.; Ochoa, Victoria; García-Gómez, Miguel; Escolar, Cristina; García-Palacios, Pablo; Berdugo, Miguel; Valencia, Enrique; Gozalo, Beatriz; Noumi, Zouhaier; Derak, Mchich; Wallenstein, Matthew D.

    2013-01-01

    While much is known about the factors that control each component of the terrestrial nitrogen (N) cycle, it is less clear how these factors affect total N availability, the sum of organic and inorganic forms potentially available to microorganisms and plants. This is particularly true for N-poor ecosystems such as drylands, which are highly sensitive to climate change and desertification processes that can lead to the loss of soil nutrients such as N. We evaluated how different climatic, abiotic, plant and nutrient related factors correlate with N availability in semiarid Stipa tenacissima grasslands along a broad aridity gradient from Spain to Tunisia. Aridity had the strongest relationship with N availability, suggesting the importance of abiotic controls on the N cycle in drylands. Aridity appeared to modulate the effects of pH, plant cover and organic C (OC) on N availability. Our results suggest that N transformation rates, which are largely driven by variations in soil moisture, are not the direct drivers of N availability in the studied grasslands. Rather, the strong relationship between aridity and N availability could be driven by indirect effects that operate over long time scales (decades to millennia), including both biotic (e.g. plant cover) and abiotic (e.g. soil OC and pH). If these factors are in fact more important than short-term effects of precipitation on N transformation rates, then we might expect to observe a lagged decrease in N availability in response to increasing aridity. Nevertheless, our results suggest that the increase in aridity predicted with ongoing climate change will reduce N availability in the Mediterranean basin, impacting plant nutrient uptake and net primary production in semiarid grasslands throughout this region. PMID:23565170

  10. Surface roughness as a calibrated proxy for dating alluvial surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mushkin, A.; Sagy, A.; Trabelci, E.

    2012-12-01

    Determining the age of alluvial deposits, which often constitute effective recorders of tectonic and climatic signals, is a pivotal component in many quantitative studies of recent tectonic activity, past climatic variations and landscape evolution processes. In arid to semi-arid desert environments the scarcity in suitable materials for dating commonly implies that numerical dating of alluvial surfaces remains a challenging and fairly expensive task, carried out on an opportunistic basis and typically requiring substantial commitment of resources. With the goal of addressing this problem, we present a new and widely applicable surface dating technique that builds on surface roughness as a quantitative calibrated proxy for the age of alluvial surfaces in desert environments. The well-studied development of reg soils provides the physical basis for the approach, and recent technological advances in the form of portable ground-based laser scanners (LiDAR), facilitate its application by allowing quantitative high resolution (~several millimeters) 3D characterization of the roughness of alluvial chronosequences as they mature into smooth and stable desert pavements. We construct regional age-roughness calibration curves using 'conventional' numerical dating techniques and LiDAR to quantitatively characterize the evolution trends and time-scales associated with roughness changes of reg soils through time. Here, we present results from two previously dated late Quaternary alluvial chronosequences along the Dead Sea Transform in the hyper-arid Negev desert of southern Israel. LiDAR scanning was applied on representative areas (~30-50 m2) of 10 separate terraces ranging from rough (active surfaces) to fairly smooth surfaces with well-developed pavements displaying an OSL age of 87 kyr. Power spectral density (PSD) analysis was used to characterize the roughness evolution trend of these terraces: We find typical and recurring time-dependent changes in the offset as well as shape of the PSD curves in both chronosequences: PSD offset is continuously reduced over time reflecting the overall reduction in the amplitude of roughness at all wavelengths. All PSD curves display moderation of slopes at the longer wavelengths, which consistently increases with increasing surface age. The kink point itself in the PSD curves is systematically shifted to shorter wavelengths. This characteristic evolution of PSD offset and slope moderation at longer wavelengths reflects the typical break up of boulder-sized clasts through time as such reg soil surfaces mature into well-developed desert pavements. Deviation of the PSD curve from the characteristic evolution pattern also serves as an indication in cases where the natural surface evolution was interrupted. Accordingly, we thus suggest that with suitable regional calibration curves, PSD analysis of desert alluvial surfaces can serve as a practical and quantitative proxy for constraining surface age in places where 'conventional' dating cannot be applied.

  11. Radiogenic 3He/4He Estimates and Their Effect on Calculating Plio-Pleistocene Cosmogenic 3He Ages of Alluvial-Fan Terraces in the Lower Colorado River Basin, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenton, C.; Pelletier, J.

    2005-12-01

    Several alluvial-fan terraces near Topock, AZ were created by successive entrenchment of Pliocene and Pleistocene alluvial-fan gravels shed from the adjacent Black Mountains along the lower Colorado River corridor below Hoover Dam. These fans interfinger with and overlie main-stem Colorado River sands and gravels and grade to terrace levels that correspond with pre-existing elevations of the Colorado River. Absolute dates for the ages of Quaternary deposits on the lower Colorado River are rare and cosmogenic 3He age estimates of these surfaces would help constrain the timing of aggradation and incision in the lower Colorado River corridor. We analyzed individual basalt boulders from several terrace surfaces for total 3He/4He concentrations to calculate cosmogenic 3He ages of each fan terrace; 3He/4He values, expressed as R/Ra where Ra is the 3He/4He of air, range from 0.29 to 590. Black Mountain volcanic rocks have reported K-Ar ages between 15 and 30 Ma and basalt samples from adjacent alluvial fans contain 0.42 to 47 1012 at/g of 4He, which has likely accumulated due to nuclear processes. The amount of radiogenic 3He/4He can be significant in old rocks with young exposure ages and can complicate determination of cosmogenic 3 He content. Alpha-decay of U, Th, and their daughter isotopes produces large amounts of 4He, whereas significant amounts of radiogenic 3He are only produced through the neutron bombardment of Li and subsequent beta-decay of tritium. We measured Li, U, Th, major and rare-earth element concentrations in whole-rock basalts and mineral separates. These concentrations are used to estimate the ratio of radiogenic helium contributed to the total helium system in our samples. Li concentrations typically range from 6 to 17 ppm, with one outlier of 62 ppm. U contents range from <0.1 to 2.7 ppm and Th contents range from 0.4 to 15.3 ppm. Based on these values, our calculations predict that the average radiogenic helium (R/Ra) contributed to the total helium in Black Mountain basalt samples is 0.011. Other noble gas studies have shown that radiogenic 3He/4He is independent of the U content, nearly independent of the Th content, and strongly influenced by the Li content of a rock; we find the same results. It is assumed that mantle gases are released when the sample is crushed into a fine powder before melting in a furnace under vacuum. To correct for the possible presence of mantle gases in our age-calculations, we crushed two samples under vacuum to measure the R/Ra value (7.9 and 16.03) of mantle helium trapped in fluid inclusions in olivines and pyroxenes. Based on our 3He corrections and calculations, boulders on these alluvial fans range in age from 10 ka to 2.7 Ma.

  12. Geochemical signature and properties of sediment sources and alluvial sediments within the Lago Paranoá catchment, Brasilia DF: a study on anthropogenic introduced chemical elements in an urban river basin.

    PubMed

    Franz, C; Makeschin, F; Weiß, H; Lorz, C

    2013-05-01

    One of the largest urban agglomerations in Brazil is the capital Brasilia and its surrounding area. Due to fast urban sprawl and accelerated land use changes, available water supplies are near their limits. The water supply depends largely on surface water collected in reservoirs. There are increasing concerns regarding water shortages due to sediment aggradations, and of water quality due to geochemical modification of sediments from human activities. The concentration of 18 chemical elements and five sediment properties was analyzed from different potential land-based sediment sources and deposited alluvial sediment within the Lago Paranoà catchment. The goal of this study was to assess the distribution of chemical elements and geochemical/physical properties of potential sediment sources in the Lago Paranoá catchment. Principal component analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis were used to investigate the influence of different land use types on the geochemistry of sediments. Geochemical fingerprints of anthropogenic activities were developed based on the results of the cluster analysis grouping. The anthropogenic input of land use specific geochemical elements was examined and quantified by the calculation of enrichment factors using the local geological background as reference. Through comparison of the geochemical signature of potential sediment sources and alluvial sediments of the Lago Paranoá and sub-catchments, the relative contribution of land use specific sediment sources to the sediment deposition of the main water reservoir were estimated. The existing findings suggest a strong relationship between land use and quantifiable features of sediment geochemistry and indicate that urban land use had the greatest responsibility for recent silting in the Lago Paranoá. This assessment helps to characterize the role of human activities in mixed-used watersheds on sediment properties, and provides essential information to guide management responses towards more effective source-reduction strategies. PMID:23542435

  13. Core, well log, and seismic integrated stratigraphic study of humid and arid climate lacustrine oil shales, Green River Formation: Washakie Basin, Wyoming

    SciTech Connect

    Glaser, K.S.; Miskell-Gerhardt, K.J.

    1995-12-31

    An integrated sequence-stratigraphic framework has been constructed for three lacustrine oil shale intervals in the Green River Formation of southwestern Wyoming. The framework was developed by integrating parasequences and parasequence stacking patterns identified in core and outcrop, with well logs, seismic geometries and seismic facies. Because base level in lacustrine environments is directly related to rainfall rather than eustasy, the development of facies assemblages within each systems tract of lacustrine depositional sequences, as well as the geometrices of stratal units, differ from the traditional marine model. Recognition of these differences resulted in the development of two idealized depositional sequence models, one each for arid and humid climates.

  14. Co-contamination of As and F in alluvial aquifer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, S.; Kim, K.; Kim, B.; Zhu, W.; Lee, E.; Ko, K.

    2010-12-01

    Co-contamination of As and F is frequently observed in alluvial aquifers of many countries including Argentina, Mexico, China, and Pakistan. However, processes causing this phenomenon are still poorly understood. In arid or semi-arid areas, the aquifers are generally under oxidizing condition and As and F show a good correlation. In contrast, groundwaters under reducing condition generally show a poorer correlation. In this study, we explored the geochemical mechanisms causing the co-contamination of As and F and their poorer correlation in the reducing environment by investigating alluvial groundwaters of the Mankyeong River floodplain, Korea. For this study, we collected 72 groundwater samples from 42 shallow wells placed into the alluvial aquifer. Desorption experiments using soils collected from the study area were also performed. Groundwater chemistry data showed that waters are under strong reducing condition and the reductive dissolution of Fe oxides was the main process increasing As concentration in groundwaters. The co-contamination was also observed in the study area and F did not show a good correlation with As. F showed concentrations increasing with pH. Desorption experiments also showed the dependences of As and F on pH. The experiments using soils treated with Na citrate-NaHCO3-dithonite solution indicated that iron oxides were the main phases hosting both As and F in soils. In our study area, pH of groundwaters increases due to a series of reduction reactions, and which increased F concentration by desorption from iron oxides. This result suggests that sharing the same adsorption hosts and the pH increased by reduction reactions are the main reason for the co-occurrence of As and F in alluvial groundwater under reducing environments. The lack of correlation between As and F was derived by the precipitation of As as sulfides in sulfate reducing condition. However, the correlation could be much better in the oxidizing condition because As released from iron oxides by pH increase cannot be removed as sulfides.

  15. Assessing groundwater recharge in an Andean closed basin using isotopic characterization and a rainfall-runoff model: Salar del Huasco basin, Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uribe, Javier; Muñoz, José F.; Gironás, Jorge; Oyarzún, Ricardo; Aguirre, Evelyn; Aravena, Ramón

    2015-11-01

    Closed basins are catchments whose drainage networks converge to lakes, salt flats or alluvial plains. Salt flats in the closed basins in arid northern Chile are extremely important ecological niches. The Salar del Huasco, one of these salt flats located in the high plateau (Altiplano), is a Ramsar site located in a national park and is composed of a wetland ecosystem rich in biodiversity. The proper management of the groundwater, which is essential for the wetland function, requires accurate estimates of recharge in the Salar del Huasco basin. This study quantifies the spatio-temporal distribution of the recharge, through combined use of isotopic characterization of the different components of the water cycle and a rainfall-runoff model. The use of both methodologies aids the understanding of hydrological behavior of the basin and enabled estimation of a long-term average recharge of 22 mm/yr (i.e., 15 % of the annual rainfall). Recharge has a high spatial variability, controlled by the geological and hydrometeorological characteristics of the basin, and a high interannual variability, with values ranging from 18 to 26 mm/yr. The isotopic approach allowed not only the definition of the conceptual model used in the hydrological model, but also eliminated the possibility of a hydrogeological connection between the aquifer of the Salar del Huasco basin and the aquifer that feeds the springs of the nearby town of Pica. This potential connection has been an issue of great interest to agriculture and tourism activities in the region.

  16. Anthropogenic driven modern recharge and solute flux to arid basin aquifers: Results and implications for sustainability based on field observations and computational modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, W. M.; Sharp, J. M.

    2013-12-01

    Development of natural grass and scrubland for agricultural use (grazing and irrigated agriculture) has changed recharge mechanisms and raised questions about the sustainability of groundwater resources in the Trans-Pecos region of Texas. When quantifying the availability of water in the region, previous research relied upon the ';classic' conceptual model; minimal modern recharge, no widespread recharge on basin floors, and no recharge from anthropogenic sources such as irrigation return flow. Increasing nitrate (NO3-) concentrations in basin groundwater from the 1950's to present (median increase of 3-4 mg/L (as NO3-) over approximately 40 years) belie the model of limited modern recharge and pose a risk to water quality throughout the basins. We posit that grazing practices and irrigated agriculture have affected hydrologic processes in the basins by altering 1) the vegetation regime on the basin floors and 2) the magnitude and spatial distribution of infiltrating water. These impacts have increased recharge and transported Cl- and mobile nitrogen (N) from the vadose zone to the underlying groundwater. Using a spatially distributed net infiltration model, we estimate that between 7-20% of recharge occurring in the basins results from widespread recharge on the basin floors and that between 1960 and 2000 an additional 8.5 x 10^3 to 1.2 x 10^6 cubic meters of irrigation water has potentially been returned through irrigation return flow. Vadose zone cores collected from beneath land used for agricultural purposes document changes in water content and pore water chemistry that imply an increase in downward flux of moisture and solute resulting from human alteration of the natural system; reservoirs of NO3- and Cl- typically observed beneath the rooting depth of un-impacted vegetation are either displaced downward or flushed beyond the core depth under land with historical or ongoing irrigated agriculture. There are significant implications for the sustainability of groundwater resources in this system based upon the trends in groundwater NO3- concentrations, vadose zone core data, and results of the net infiltration models: 1) there may be more recharge to the basins than previously estimated and 2) there is a potential long-term concern for water quality. Due to the thick unsaturated zone in much of the system, long travel times are expected between the base of the root zone and the water table. It is unclear if the flux of NO3- and Cl- to the groundwater has peaked or if effects from the alteration of the natural vegetation regime will continue for years to come.

  17. Nitrate in Arid Basin Groundwater: How Historical Trends in Water Quality, Pumping Practices, and Land Use Inform our Understanding of Flow in these Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, W. M.; Sharp, J. M., Jr.

    2011-12-01

    During the past 60 years, an overall increase in nitrate (NO3-) concentration has been observed in basinal groundwaters of the Trans-Pecos region of West Texas. In wells where data from multiple decades are available (n = 60), 75% had an increase in NO3- concentration of greater than 1mg/L that appears largely independent of changes in salinity; some wells experienced an increase in NO3- and TDS while others experienced an increase in NO3- with no change or a decrease in TDS. These changes in water quality are rapid in comparison to previously estimated rates of recharge to these basins (~10,000 yrs). We infer that changes in land use and pumping practices over the past 6 decades are partially responsible for the observed changes in water quality and water level in the basin aquifers. In the summer of 2011, we collected water quality information (including NO3 and TDS) from approximately 80 wells in five basins located in the Trans-Pecos Region of West Texas; Red Light Draw, Lobo and Ryan Flats, Eagle Flats, Wild Horse and Michigan Flats, and the Northern Salt Basin. We have combined these data with past water quality data, water level monitoring, pumping records, and historical land use data (including historical aerial photographs and historical land cover data sets) to examine how anthropogenic effects have altered recharge, flow systems, and water quality in these basins over the past 60 years. We observe that the largest historical users of water in the region have water with some of the highest NO3- concentrations and the largest increases in NO3- during the period of examination; this indicates a potential anthropogenic source for (at least some of) the NO3- in the basin aquifers. Water tables have rebounded and salinity has decreased in areas of some basins where irrigated agriculture has been curtailed, though the trends in NO3- concentrations are less clear. These observations point to flow systems that are more preferentially permeable and more complex than is reflected in current groundwater models.

  18. Artificial recharge in arid zone- Example from the Arava Valley- Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guttman, Joseph

    2010-05-01

    In arid zones direct recharge from rainfall is negligible. The indirect recharge like recharging of flood water is the principal source of water of the alluvial aquifers in arid environment. Flooding of ephemeral streams occur as a consequence of the rain intensity and its pattern, the basin size and the geomorphic settings as slops, vegetation and soil properties. In the Arava Valley there are several reservoirs that act as diversion levees. They were constructed on few ravines for two reasons. (1) to store large volumes of floodwater for direct use in nearby agricultural fields. (2) to enhance the recharge to the local alluvial aquifers. Since flood duration is relatively short compared to the infiltration (percolation) rate, it was assumed that by storing the water in the reservoirs it will increase the recharge volume because of higher water head, longer resistance time and larger surface area available for infiltration. Unfortunately, accumulation of silts and clays in the reservoirs clogged them to direct infiltration. The accumulation of silt and clay in the reservoirs is typically to arid zones where lack of vegetation cover creates a very high erosion rate and transportation of large amounts of sediment at the duration of the water flowing on the stream channel bed. To bypass the problem of reduction in the direct recharge inside the reservoirs because of clogging, and to continue the artificial recharge into the aquifer, two kinds of artificial recharge system are operating in the Arava Valley. In one site we use a system that is similar to the conventional spreading ponds system. The big reservoir is using to store the flood water and as a settling pond. The clean water is diverted to three infiltration ponds. In the rest five reservoirs we construct a drainage pipeline close to the bottom of the levee that allow us to release the clean water (after settling of the fine particles) downstream in a slow rate that is much more efficiency for artificial recharge than in high velocity. Monitoring after the recharge water is very important and in some cases very problematic. In cases where the groundwater is shallow (10-20 m' depth) the response to the recharge is quickly and takes few days (rising in water level and or decreasing in the salinity). But in cases where the water level is very deep (about 60-110 m' in most of the area) the response to the recharge can takes few months. At this condition, it is impossible to distinguish whether the rising in the water level and or decreasing in the salinity is a result of the artificial recharge or it is a result of natural lateral flow in the aquifer itself.

  19. INFLUENCE OF SEDIMENT SUPPLY, LITHOLOGY, AND WOOD DEBRIS ON THE DISTRIBUTION OF BEDROCK AND ALLUVIAL CHANNELS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Field surveys in the Willapa River basin, Washington State, indicate that the drainage area?channel slope threshold describing the distribution of bedrock and alluvial channels is influenced by the underlying lithology and that local variations in sediment supply can overwhelm ba...

  20. Trends and climatic sensitivities of vegetation phenology in semiarid and arid ecosystems in the US Great Basin during 1982-2011

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, G.; Arnone, J. A., III; Verburg, P. S. J.; Jasoni, R. L.; Sun, L.

    2015-12-01

    We quantified the temporal trend and climatic sensitivity of vegetation phenology in dryland ecosystems in the US Great Basin during 1982-2011. Our results indicated that vegetation greenness in the Great Basin increased significantly during the study period, and this positive trend occurred in autumn but not in spring and summer. Spatially, increases in vegetation greenness were more apparent in the northwestern, southeastern, and eastern Great Basin but less apparent in the central and southwestern Great Basin. In addition, the start of growing season (SOS) was not advanced while the end of growing season (EOS) was delayed significantly at a rate of 3.0 days per decade during the study period. The significant delay in EOS and lack of earlier leaf onset caused growing season length (GSL) to increase at a rate of 3.0 days per decade. Interestingly, we found that the interannual variation of mean vegetation greenness calculated for the period of March to November (spring, summer, and autumn - SSA) was not significantly correlated with mean surface air temperature in SSA but was strongly correlated with total precipitation. On a seasonal basis, the variation of mean vegetation greenness in spring, summer, and autumn was mainly attributable to changes in pre-season precipitation in winter and spring. Nevertheless, climate warming appeared to play a strong role in extending GSL that, in turn, resulted in the upward trend in mean vegetation greenness. Overall, our results suggest that changes in wintertime and springtime precipitation played a stronger role than temperature in affecting the interannual variability of vegetation greenness, while climate warming was mainly responsible for the upward trend in vegetation greenness we observed in Great Basin dryland ecosystems during the 30-year period from 1982 to 2011.

  1. Anabranching Channel Patterns: the Kingdom of Large Alluvial Rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Latrubesse, E. M.

    2014-12-01

    For a long time anabranching patterns were primarily restricted to "exotic and remote" zones in arid systems such as Australia. For that reason, they were not accepted as a major topic of discussion in our discipline, which was based on concepts principally derived from case studies in the Northern Hemisphere. However, anabranching alluvial patterns are widespread in a variety of environments and scales, from arid small rivers to alluvial reaches of giant rivers such as the Amazon, Congo, and Negro. The largest rivers of the world in water discharge are anabranching, and the majority of the forty-five largest rivers (water discharges >5000m3s-1) are dominantly anabranching systems. Only a small number of rivers with meandering patterns, or sinuous with branches (meandering-tendency to anabranch) are part of the largest rivers group. The present large anabranching rivers with well developed floodplains flowing on lowlands have in common a characteristic very slow slopes, specific stream power of < 25 Wm-2 and sandy bed load with sand sizes dominantly ranging from 0.1 < D50 <0.5 mm. Large axial anabranching rivers also contain the largest floodplains. The diversity of planforms and island morphologies in large anabranching rivers result from autogenic adjustments to millennial scales in broad valleys and to century-decadal scale channel-floodplain processes. The variety of anabranching styles are not specifically related to a single explanatory "physically based theory" but to a variety of morphological processes, complex-channel floodplain interactions and the geologic characteristics of the valleys. Once considered a kind of oddity, anabranching rivers must be considered major and fundamental representatives of the fluvial world.

  2. Anabranching Channel Patterns: the Kingdom of Large Alluvial Rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Latrubesse, Edgardo

    2015-04-01

    For a long time anabranching patterns were primarily restricted to "exotic and remote" zones in arid systems such as Australia. For that reason, they were not accepted as a major topic of discussion in our discipline, which was based on concepts principally derived from case studies in braided and meandering rivers of the Northern Hemisphere. However, anabranching alluvial patterns are widespread in a variety of environments and scales, from arid small rivers to alluvial reaches of giant rivers such as the Amazon, Congo, and Negro. The largest rivers of the world in water discharge are anabranching, and the majority of the forty-five largest rivers (water discharges >5000m3s-1) are dominantly anabranching systems. Only a small number of rivers with meandering patterns, or sinuous with branches (meandering-tendency to anabranch) are part of the largest rivers group. The present large anabranching rivers flowing on lowlands and well developed floodplains have in common a characteristic very slow slopes, specific stream power of < 25 Wm-2 and sandy bed load with sand sizes dominantly ranging from 0.1 < D50 <0.5 mm. The diversity of planforms and island morphologies in large anabranching rivers result from autogenic adjustments to millennial scales in broad valleys and to century-decadal scale channel-floodplain processes. The variety of anabranching styles are not specifically related to a single explanatory "physically based theory" but to a variety of morphological processes, complex-channel floodplain interactions and the geologic characteristics of the valleys. Once considered a kind of oddity, anabranching rivers must be considered major and fundamental representatives of the fluvial world.

  3. Using the Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) for remotely mapping surface roughness on alluvial fans: A comparison of Death Valley, CA to Mojave Crater on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doyle, S. L.; Wilkinson, M. J.; Scuderi, L. A.; Weissmann, G. S.; Scuderi, L. J.

    2011-12-01

    The Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) describes how incoming light from a given direction is reflected from specific surfaces in response to different incoming solar radiation angles. The amount and directionality of reflected light is a function of surface roughness and orientation. The goal of this study is to assess whether a BRDF based approach may be applicable for creating surface roughness maps for Martian alluvial fans. Landsat 7 satellite imagery is used to make classifications of surfaces with different roughness and spectral properties for alluvial fan surfaces in Death Valley, California. The resulting classes have been interpreted to represent surfaces of different ages and also different deposit types. In Death Valley, older surfaces are classified based on the amount of shadowing due to gully formation, differences in the amount of surface smoothness from desert pavement formation, and desert varnish color variations. In contrast, the most recently formed surfaces have an assemblage of classes that represent surface deposits of different grain size and sorting, as well as different landform types - incised channels and elevated bars. Many Death Valley fans have a telescoping morphology where progressively younger surfaces reach basin-ward. This is more evident on some fans using a BRDF classification. A similar map was made for depositional landforms within Mojave Crater on Mars, identified as sub-kilometer alluvial fans by Williams and Malin (2008). These alluvial fans are the youngest found on Mars (Amazonian age) and have topographic similarities to fans in the southwestern US. Any geomorphic similarities between Death Valley fans and those within Mojave Crater can be assessed using surface roughness. Imagery from both the High Resolution Imaging Experiment (HiRISE) and Context Camera (CTX) onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) were used to compare differences in spatial resolution on BRDF classifications. The resulting surface roughness maps are strikingly similar in classes and patterns to many fans within Death Valley. The surfaces interpreted by Williams and Malin (2008) to be evidence of multiple flow events are clearly classified using BRDF. In addition to age differences, possible locations of materials with different grain size and sorting are also identified. Since the BRDF classes of certain surface features on Earth and Mars fans largely overlap, field observations for each class type made for Death Valley fan surfaces may be useful for understanding the past fluvial processes on Mars and their similarities with fan forming processes in arid regions on Earth. This remote sensing approach has the potential to provide a tool for studying fans that may be inaccessible or too large for extensive fieldwork.

  4. Development of the alluvial and lacustrine terraces on the northern margin of the Hetao Basin, Inner Mongolia, China: Implications for the evolution of the Yellow River in the Hetao area since the late Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Liyun; Zhang, Xujiao; Ye, Peisheng; Zhao, Xitao; He, Zexin; He, Xiangli; Zhou, Qingshuo; Li, Jie; Ye, Mengni; Wang, Zhen; Meng, Jing

    2016-06-01

    Terrace formation processes can reflect the evolution of large rivers. The Hetao Basin is a floodplain of the Yellow River, and there are two to three terraces that extend E-W on the northern margin. Based on a detailed field geological survey and measurement of the terrace sections, combined with sedimentological and chronological analyses, we reconstructed the developmental processes of the three terraces and inferred that three river terraces were formed by the Yellow River. The OSL dating results show that the time of deposition of terrace 3 was prior to 118 ka BP. Subsequently, the terrace began to experience incision and formed the geomorphic surface of terrace T3. Similarly, terrace 2 and terrace 1 were mainly deposited from ~ 109 and 59 ka, respectively; and began to be incised prior to 71 and 46 ka, respectively. The three terraces in the northern Hetao Basin are the products of the combined actions of climatic shifts and tectonic uplift. The Yellow River's evolutionary history in the Hetao area since the Late Pleistocene is discussed. Before about 120 ka BP, the Yellow River may have flowed through the northern Hetao Basin. Between 110 and 70 ka BP, the Yellow River experienced at least two changes between river and lake sedimentation. From 60 to 50 ka, a very large river-connected lake of the Yellow River was developed in the Hetao Basin. After 50 ka, the Hetao river-connected paleolake of the Yellow River gradually dried.

  5. Ground-Water Recharge in the Arid and Semiarid Southwestern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stonestrom, David A.; Constantz, Jim; Ferre, Ty P.A.; Leake, Stanley A.

    2007-01-01

    Ground-water recharge in the arid and semiarid southwestern United States results from the complex interplay of climate, geology, and vegetation across widely ranging spatial and temporal scales. Present-day recharge tends to be narrowly focused in time and space. Widespread water-table declines accompanied agricultural development during the twentieth century, demonstrating that sustainable ground-water supplies are not guaranteed when part of the extracted resource represents paleorecharge. Climatic controls on ground-water recharge range from seasonal cycles of summer monsoonal and winter frontal storms to multimillennial cycles of glacial and interglacial periods. Precipitation patterns reflect global-scale interactions among the oceans, atmosphere, and continents. Large-scale climatic influences associated with El Ni?o and Pacific Decadal Oscillations strongly, but irregularly, control weather in the study area, so that year-to-year variations in precipitation and ground-water recharge are large and difficult to predict. Proxy data indicate geologically recent periods of naturally occurring multidecadal droughts unlike any in the modern instrumental record. Any anthropogenically induced climate change will likely reduce ground-water recharge through diminished snowpack at higher elevations. Future changes in El Ni?o and monsoonal patterns, both crucial to precipitation in the study area, are highly uncertain in current models. Current land-use modifications influence ground-water recharge through vegetation, irrigation, and impermeable area. High mountain ranges bounding the study area?the San Bernadino Mountains and Sierra Nevada to the west, and the Wasatch and southern Colorado Rocky Mountains to the east?provide external geologic controls on ground-water recharge. Internal geologic controls stem from tectonic processes that led to numerous, variably connected alluvial-filled basins, exposure of extensive Paleozoic aquifers in mountainous recharge areas, and distinct modes of recharge in the Colorado Plateau and Basin and Range subregions. The chapters in this professional paper present (first) an overview of climatic and hydrogeologic framework (chapter A), followed by a regional analysis of ground-water recharge across the entire study area (chapter B). These are followed by an overview of site-specific case studies representing different subareas of the geographically diverse arid and semiarid southwestern United States (chapter C); the case studies themselves follow in chapters D?K. The regional analysis includes detailed hydrologic modeling within the framework of a high-resolution geographic-information system (GIS). Results from the regional analysis are used to explore both the distribution of ground-water recharge for mean climatic conditions as well as the influence of two climatic patterns?the El Ni?o-Southern Oscillation and Pacific Decadal Oscillation?that impart a high degree of variability to the hydrologic cycle. Individual case studies employ a variety of geophysical and geochemical techniques to investigate recharge processes and relate the processes to local geologic and climatic conditions. All of the case studies made use of naturally occurring tracers to quantify recharge. Thermal and geophysical techniques that were developed in the course of the studies are presented in appendices. The quantification of ground-water recharge in arid settings is inherently difficult due to the generally low amount of recharge, its spatially and temporally spotty nature, and the absence of techniques for directly measuring fluxes entering the saturated zone from the unsaturated zone. Deep water tables in arid alluvial basins correspond to thick unsaturated zones that produce up to millennial time lags between changes in hydrologic conditions at the land surface and subsequent changes in recharge to underlying ground water. Recent advances in physical, chemical, isotopic, and modeling techniques have foster

  6. Report from working group on alluvial pedogenesis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Autin, W.J.; Aslan, A.; Bettis, E.A.; Walthall, P.M.

    1998-01-01

    These uses illustrate the complexity of alluvial pedogenesis as it relates to the analysis and interpretation of paleosols. Difficulties with interpretations of alluvial paleosols are probably greatest when applied to the preserved sedimentary record, where direct evidence of paleolandscape variability is scanty or lacking.

  7. Groundwater potentiality mapping of hard-rock terrain in arid regions using geospatial modelling: example from Wadi Feiran basin, South Sinai, Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnous, Mohamed O.

    2016-04-01

    Identifying a good site for groundwater exploitation in hard-rock terrains is a challenging task. In Sinai, Egypt, groundwater is the only source of water for local inhabitants. Interpretation of satellite data for delineation of lithological units and weathered zones, and for mapping of lineament density and their trends, provides a valuable aid for the location of groundwater promising areas. Complex deformational histories of the wide range of lithological formations add to the difficulty. Groundwater prospect mapping is a systematic approach that considers the major controlling factors which influence the aquifer and quality of groundwater. The presented study aims to delineate, identify, model and map groundwater potential zones in arid South Sinai using remote sensing data and a geographic information system (GIS) to prepare various hydromorphogeological thematic maps such as maps of slope, drainage density, lithology, landforms, structural lineaments, rainfall intensity and plan curvature. The controlling-factor thematic maps are each allocated a fixed score and weight, computed by using a linear equation approach. Furthermore, each weighted thematic map is statistically computed to yield a groundwater potential zone map of the study area. The groundwater potential zones thus obtained were divided into five categories (very poor, poor, moderate, good and very good) and were validated using the relation between the zone and the spatial distribution of productive wells and of previous geophysical investigations from a literature review. The results show the groundwater potential zones in the study area, and create awareness for better planning and management of groundwater resources.

  8. Modeling of groundwater level fluctuations using dendrochronology in alluvial aquifers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gholami, V.; Chau, K. W.; Fadaee, F.; Torkaman, J.; Ghaffari, A.

    2015-10-01

    Groundwater is the most important water resource in semi-arid and arid regions such as Iran. It is necessary to study groundwater level fluctuations to manage disasters (such as droughts) and water resources. Dendrochronology, which uses tree-rings to reconstruct past events such as hydrologic and climatologic events, can be used to evaluate groundwater level fluctuations. In this study, groundwater level fluctuations are simulated using dendrochronology (tree-rings) and an artificial neural network (ANN) for the period from 1912 to 2013. The present study was undertaken using the Quercus Castaneifolia species, which is present in an alluvial aquifer of the Caspian southern coasts, Iran. A multilayer percepetron (MLP) network was adopted for the ANN. Tree-ring diameter and precipitation were the input parameters for the study, and groundwater levels were the outputs. After the training process, the model was validated. The validated network and tree-rings were used to simulate groundwater level fluctuations during the past century. The results showed that an integration of dendrochronology and an ANN renders a high degree of accuracy and efficiency in the simulation of groundwater levels. The simulated groundwater levels by dendrochronology can be used for drought evaluation, drought period prediction and water resources management.

  9. Geomorphological evolution of the Tilcara alluvial fan (Jujuy Province, NW Argentina): Tectonic implications and palaeoenvironmental considerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sancho, Carlos; Peña, José Luis; Rivelli, Felipe; Rhodes, Ed; Muñoz, Arsenio

    2008-07-01

    The development and evolution of the Tilcara alluvial fan, in the Quebrada de Humahuaca (Andean Eastern Cordillera, NW Argentina), has been analysed by using geomorphological mapping techniques, sedimentological characterisation of the deposits and OSL chronological methods. It is a complex segmented alluvial fan made up of five evolutionary stages (units Qf1, Qf2, Qf3, Qf4 and Qf5) developed under arid climatic environments as well as compressive tectonic conditions. Segmentation processes, including aggradation/entrenchment cycles and changes in the location of the depositional lobe, are mainly controlled by climatic and/or tectonic changes as well as channel piracy processes in the drainage system. Alluvial fan deposits include debris flows, sheet flows and braided channel facies associated with high water discharge events in an arid environment. The best mean OSL age estimated for stage Qf2 is 84.5 ± 7 ka BP. In addition, a thrust fault affecting these deposits has been recognized and, as a consequence, the compressive tectonics must date from the Upper Pleistocene in this area of the Andean Eastern Cordillera.

  10. Differentiating tectonic from climatic factors in the evolution of alluvial fans

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, D.S.; West, R.B. . Dept. of Geology)

    1993-04-01

    Alluvial fans are integral parts of landscapes of arid and semi-arid regions and are most commonly found along the flanks of tectonically active mountain ranges. Alluvial fans are sensitive indicators of tectonic and climatic activity through time. Three dimensional fan modelling has the potential to discriminate between these two forces and provide quantitative estimates of deformation of fan surfaces due to tilting, faulting, or folding. The model has tremendous potential for seismic hazard evaluation at both the reconnaissance and detailed level of investigation. The ability to recognize deformation of alluvial fans alleviates the need for postulation of complex interactions between climate and internal variables in the depositional system leading to present fan morphology. The greatest problems associated with fan modelling come from failure to identify individual segments. Inclusion of more than one segment can lead to poor model performance or, more likely, inaccurate results. The long term tectonic influence on a fan's evolution can be assessed from the differences in deformation of different segments. Reliable correlations of segments from different fans along the same mountain front can provide a means to asses regional deformation. Once tectonic effects are taken into account, then climatic effects can be evaluated. Previous fan models have failed to recognize areal limitations, failed to account for deformation, or assumed deformation geometry.

  11. Geochemical evolution of groundwater salinity at basin scale: a case study from Datong basin, Northern China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Ya; Wang, Yanxin

    2014-05-01

    A hydrogeochemical investigation using integrated methods of stable isotopes ((18)O, (2)H), (87)Sr/(86)Sr ratios, Cl/Br ratios, chloride-mass balance, mass balance and hydrogeochemical modeling was conducted to interpret the geochemical evolution of groundwater salinity in Datong basin, northern China. The δ(2)H, δ(18)O ratios in precipitation exhibited a local meteoric water line of δ(2)H = 6.4 δ(18)O -5 (R(2) = 0.94), while those in groundwater suggested their meteoric origin in a historically colder climatic regime with a speculated recharge rate of less than 20.5 mm overall per year, in addition to recharge from a component of deep residual ancient lake water enriched with Br. According to the Sr isotope binary mixing model, the mixing of recharges from the Shentou karst springs (24%), the western margins (11%) and the eastern margins (65%) accounts for the groundwater from the deep aquifers of the down-gradient parts in the central basin is a possible mixing mechanism. In Datong, hydrolysis of silicate minerals is the most important hydrogeochemical process responsible for groundwater chemistry, in addition to dissolution of carbonate and evaporites. In the recharge areas, silicate chemical weathering is typically at the bisiallitization stage, while that in the central basin is mostly at the monosiallitization stage with limited evidence of being in equilibrium with gibbsite. Na exchange with bound Ca, Mg prevails at basin scale, and intensifies with groundwater salinity, while Ca, Mg exchange with bound Na locally occurs in the east pluvial and alluvial plains. Although groundwater salinity increases with the progress of water-rock/sediment interactions along the flow path, as a result of carbonate solubility control and continuous evapotranspiration, Na-HCO3 and Na-Cl-SO4 types of water are usually characterized respectively in the deep and the shallow aquifers of an inland basin with a silicate terrain in an arid climatic regime. PMID:24737419

  12. Use of TOPSAR digital elevation data to determine the 3-dimensional shape of an alluvial fan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farr, Tom G.

    1995-01-01

    Landforms in arid regions record the interplay between tectonic forces and climate. Alluvial fans are a common landform in desert regions where the rate of uplift is greater than weathering or sedimentation. Changes in uplift rate or climatic conditions can lead to isolation of the currently forming fan surface through entrenchment and construction of another fan either further from the mountain front (decreased uplift or increased runoff) or closer to the mountain front (increased uplift or decreased runoff). Thus, many alluvial fans are made up of a mosaic of fan units of different age, some older than 1 million years. For this reason, determination of the stages of fan evolution can lead to a history of uplift and runoff. In an attempt to separate the effects of tectonic (uplift) and climatic (weathering, runoff, sedimentation) processes on the shapes of alluvial fan units, a modified conic equation developed by Troeh (1965) was fitted to TOPSAR digital topographic data for the Trail Canyon alluvial fan in Death Valley, California. This allows parameters for the apex position, slope, and radial curvature to be compared with unit age.

  13. Geomorphic Processes and Remote Sensing Signatures of Alluvial Fans in the Kun Lun Mountains, China

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farr, Tom G.; Chadwick, Oliver A.

    1996-01-01

    The timing of alluvial deposition in arid and semiarid areas is tied to land-surface instability caused by regional climate changes. The distribution pattern of dated deposits provides maps of regional land-surface response to past climate change. Sensitivity to differences in surface roughness and composition makes remote sensing techniques useful for regional mapping of alluvial deposits. Radar images from the Spaceborne Radar Laboratory and visible wavelength images from the French SPOT satellite were used to determine remote sensing signatures of alluvial fan units for an area in the Kun Lun Mountains of northwestern China. These data were combined with field observations to compare surface processes and their effects on remote sensing signatures in northwestern China and the southwestern United States. Geomorphic processes affecting alluvial fans in the two areas include aeolian deposition, desert varnish, and fluvial dissection. However, salt weathering is a much more important process in the Kun Lun than in the southwestern United States. This slows the formation of desert varnish and prevents desert pavement from forming. Thus the Kun Lun signatures are characteristic of the dominance of salt weathering, while signatures from the southwestern United States are characteristic of the dominance of desert varnish and pavement processes. Remote sensing signatures are consistent enough in these two regions to be used for mapping fan units over large areas.

  14. Key Eco-Hydrological Parameters Retrieval and Land Data Assimilation System Development in a Typical Inland River Basin of China's Arid Region- Final Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xin; Wang, Shuguo; Han, Xujun

    2013-01-01

    During Dragon 2 period, fruitful results have been achieved with regard to the estimation of land surface parameters and the development of a catchment scale land data assimilation system in the Heihe River Basin (HRB), China. By using multi-platforms (satellite, aircraft, crane-based, ground station etc.), various observation results have been obtained, paving the way for carrying out a variety of dedicated and novel retrieval investigations related to eco-hydrological parameters, e.g. precipitation, snow properties, soil moisture (SM), land surface temperature (LST), evapotranspiration (ET), canopy resistance, leaf chlorophyll content, bi-directional reflectance, albedo. In addition, the Heihe data assimilation system has been developed to make use of these multi-source observations at the catchment scale, in order to improve the estimation of SM, soil temperature, ET, snow and streamflow at 1 km spatial resolution with a temporal resolution of 1 hour.

  15. Modern and ancient alluvial fan deposits

    SciTech Connect

    Nilsen, T.H.

    1985-01-01

    Understanding the structure and depositional processes of alluvial fans (river outwash deposits) has a special interest for those involved with the exploration of petroleum and many minerals. This collection of facsimile reprints of significant and classical research papers sheds new light on the subject. This reference covers the stratigraphy, sedimentology, and depositional processes of modern and ancient alluvial fans. Geographical areas considered include Arctic Canada, the American Southwest, Australia, Wyoming, Norway, and Spain. It includes a state-of-the-art introduction by the editor along with commentaries on all the papers included, a master author citation index and a subject index, and a chronological listing of early studies of alluvial fans.

  16. The origin and geologic evolution of the East Continent Rift Basin

    SciTech Connect

    Drahovzal, J.A. . Kentucky Geological Survey)

    1992-01-01

    The East Continent Rift Basin (ECRB) is a newly recognized, dominantly sedimentary-volcanic Proterozoic rift basin that apparently represents the southern extension of the Keweenawan Midcontinent Rift. The ECRB extends from central Michigan at least as far south as south-central Kentucky. The inferred age of the rift fill is approximately 1,000 Ma. Evidence supporting a rift origin for the ECRB includes: interbedding of continental flood basalts and felsic volcanics with siliciclastics; sedimentary fill consisting of distal, arid-climate alluvial fan sediments that lack metamorphic lithologies; close proximity and similar lithologic succession to the Keweenawan rift-fill rocks of the Michigan Basin; and inferred marginal block faulting of Granite-Rhyolite Province rocks near the western edge of the ECRB. ECRB evolution is interpreted as follows: (1) formation of Granite-Rhyolite Province rocks (1,500--1,340 Ma); (2) Keweenawan crustal extension and rifting with development of central mafic complexes, emplacement of volcanic rocks, and deposition of siliciclastic fill from eroded marginal Granite-Rhyolite Province tilted fault blocks (ca 1,000 Ma); (3) overthrusting of the Grenville allochthon and associated foreland thrusting and folding of the rift sequence rocks together with deposition of foreland basin sediments (975---890 Ma); (4) Late Proterozoic erosional removal of the foreland basin sediments and interpreted wrench faulting along the Grenville Front (post-975 to pre-570 Ma); and (5) tectonic inversion, with the ECRB area remaining relatively high during major cambrian subsidence in central Kentucky (590--510 Ma).

  17. Aggradation-incision transition in arid environments at the end of the Pleistocene: An example from the Negev Highlands, southern Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faershtein, Galina; Porat, Naomi; Avni, Yoav; Matmon, Ari

    2016-01-01

    One of the most significant environmental processes that occurred at the transition from the last glacial phase into the present inter-glacial phase in arid regions was the shift from aggradation to incision in the drainage systems. This is evident by the sharp transition from a fluvial regime depositing fine-grained sediment within the wadis to intensive incision which formed gullies and narrow channels that dissected the late Pleistocene sediments. In order to investigate this transition, we studied three small-scale basins in the arid region of the Negev Highlands, southern Israel. Although the selected basins drain toward different base levels, their geomorphological parameters, particle size distribution of alluvial units and their OSL ages are similar. Sediments from the penultimate glacial cycle are found in patches in the bigger catchments. Fluvial loess was widely deposited since at least 67 ka until after 28 ka, covering valleys and slopes. Between ~ 28 and ~ 24 ka, loess was washed from the slopes into the channels, exposing the underlying colluvium. At ~ 24 ka erosion began with the transport of slope colluvium as gravels into the valleys that eroded the underlying loess sediments. Incision became dominant at ~ 12 ka and is still ongoing and intensifying. Dust and reworked loess continued to be deposited during the main incision stages. It is proposed that the transition from aggradation to incision was controlled by rates of loess supply and removal. Until ~ 24 ka dust choked the drainage system and only after reduction in dust supply was erosion and incision possible. It began first on the slopes and then in the channels. Our results show that an increase in precipitation is not a prerequisite for initiation of incision as is often assumed. Similar processes are described in other arid zones around the world.

  18. Changing Nitrate Concentrations in Arid Basin Aquifers- How Anthropogenic and Natural Processes Affect Water Quality and Availability in Trans-Pecos, TX

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, W. M.; Bohlke, J. K.; Sharp, J. M.

    2012-12-01

    For the past six decades nitrate concentrations in groundwater of the West Texas Bolson Aquifers have been increasing. Long-term records (from 1950 to present) indicate an average increase of 3-5 mg/L (as nitrate) with some wells increasing by over 40 mg/L within 1-2 decades. While irrigated agriculture is the second largest land use in the region (range land being the largest), isotopic analyses indicate that direct leaching of synthetic fertilizers is not a primary source of nitrate to the groundwater; the isotopic composition of the nitrate in the groundwater (delta 18-O of +2 to +10 per mil and delta 15-N of +6 to +13 per mil) is more similar to that of natural soil-derived nitrate in the region, or possibly manure-derived nitrate. Various anion ratios (chloride/bromide, nitrate/chloride, and nitrate/bromide) provide additional insight into the likely sources of groundwater nitrate and the mechanisms by which it is transported through the unsaturated zone; compared to atmospheric deposition, groundwater N/Cl and N/Br ratios appear to be relatively low, consistent with net N loss accompanied by relatively high delta 15-N of residual N. The observed decadal scale changes in groundwater nitrate concentration and presence of young (<70 year old) recharge (as measured using CFCs) are coincident with the growth of irrigated agriculture and intensive grazing within the basins. We hypothesize that past and present land use practices have contributed to the increase in nitrate in the groundwater in three ways; 1) plowing and grazing of previously undisturbed grasslands led to mobilization of soil nitrogen, 2) irrigation of crops has increased recharge beneath agricultural fields and mobilized naturally occurring nitrate from the unsaturated zone, and 3) deposition of manure by grazing animals may have contributed to high delta 15-N values, and in the case of now disused CAFO operations (confined feed lots) may have contributed locally to the total mass of reactive nitrogen. These effects are likely temporally and spatially variable, but have a substantial impact on strategies for addressing water quality and sustainability concerns in these basins and similar environments elsewhere.

  19. Carbonates in alluvial fan systems. An approach to physiography, sedimentology and diagenesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nickel, Enno

    1985-01-01

    This paper deals with the modes of accumulation and distribution of terrestrial carbonates in semi-arid alluvial-fluvial, generally clastic sedimentary environments. It is shown that composition and distribution of the carbonate phases are controlled by physical (transportation energy), morphological (slope gradient), chemical (precipitation, evaporization) processes and biochemical interaction with the respective subenvironment of mainly cyanophytes. Evaluation of recent and fossil examples from semi-arid alluvial settings indicate that the physical processes produce carbonate sequences which, like the clastic ones, are fining-upward, corresponding to the intermittently active sedimentation on an alluvial fan. The mineralogy of the carbonates seems to depend upon disproportioning of dissolved compounds in subsurface waters in down-fan directions. There is obviously a shift towards more "evaporitic" minerals in the distal parts in favour of high-Mg-calcite, dolomite or even gypsum. Biochemical carbonate production is in direct correspondence with the respective sedimentary subenvironment. In terms of transport energy and sediment supply there is evidence that high-energy (proximal) regimes are producing isolated biosedimentary structures, whereas low energy areas (distal, interchannel, floodplains) are favourable for continuous structures like algal stromatolites and algal mats. A newly proposed classification system based upon transport/precipitation mode and sediment type is thought to be more useful for environmental analysis and reconstructions than purely descriptive ones neglecting the process of formation. This is especially the case for the non-active phases of alluvial fans when the area of deposition is sediment-starved, referring to the clastics. The system takes into account that there are two general carbonate groups: detrital allochthonous and chemical/biochemical autochthonous ones. The latter may be formed within the pores of the clastic sediments or may be due to sedimentation in open water. Pedogenic processes may themselves be the carbonate-forming factor or they may "superprint" non-pedogenic processes.

  20. Characterization of dust emission from alluvial sediments using aircraft observations and modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schepanski, K.; Flamant, C.; Chaboureau, J.; Kocha, C.; Banks, J.; Brindley, H. E.; Lavaysse, C.; Marnas, F.; Pelon, J.; Tulet, P.

    2013-12-01

    Recent studies using satellite observations show that numerous dust sources are located in the foothills of arid and semi-arid mountain regions such as over North Africa. Alluvial sediments deposited on the valley bottoms and flood plains are very prone to wind erosion and frequently serve as dust source. High surface wind speeds related to the break-down of the nocturnal low-level jet (LLJ) during the morning hours are identified as a frequent driving mechanism for dust uplift. We investigate dust emission from alluvial dust sources located within the upland region in northern Mauritania and discuss the impact of valleys with regard to their role as dust source. Measures for local atmospheric dust burden were retrieved from airborne observations, MSG SEVIR dust AOD fields and MesoNH model simulations, and analyzed in order to provide complementary information on dust source activation and local dust transport at different horizontal scales. Vertical distribution of atmospheric mineral dust was obtained from the LNG backscatter lidar system flying aboard the French Falcon-20 aircraft. Lidar extinction coefficients were compared to topography, aerial photographs, and dust AOD fields to confirm the relevance of alluvial sediments at the valley bottoms as dust source. The observed dust emission event was further evaluated using the regional model MesoNH. A sensitivity study on the impact of the horizontal grid spacing highlights the importance of the spatial resolution on simulated dust loadings. The results further illustrate the importance of an explicit representation of alluvial dust sources in such models to better capture the spatial-temporal distribution of airborne dust concentrations.

  1. Lake Urmia (Iran): can future socio-ecologically motivated river basin management restore lake water levels in an arid region with extensive agricultural development?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fazel, Nasim; Berndtsson, Ronny; Bertacchi Uvo, Cintia; Klove, Bjorn; Madani, Kaveh

    2015-04-01

    Lake Urmia, one of the world's largest hyper saline lakes located in northwest of Iran, is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and Ramsar site, protected as a national park and, supports invaluable and unique biodiversity and related ecosystem services for the region's 6.5 million inhabitants. Due to increased development of the region's water resources for agriculture and industry and to a certain extent climate change, the lake has started to shrink dramatically since 1995 and now is holding less than 30 percent of its volume. Rapid development in agricultural sector and land-use changes has resulted in immense construction of dams and water diversions in almost all lake feeding rivers, intensifying lake shrinking, increasing salinity and degrading its ecosystem. Recently, lake's cultural and environmental importance and social pressure has raised concerns and brought government attention to the lake restoration plans. Along with poor management, low yield agriculture as the most water consuming activity in the region with, rapid, insufficient development is one of the most influential drivers in the lake desiccation. Part of the lake restoration plans in agricultural sector is to restrict the agricultural areas in the main feeding river basins flowing mostly in the southern part of the lake and decreasing the agricultural water use in this area. This study assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the proposed plans and its influence on the lake level rise and its impacts on economy in the region using a system dynamics model developed for the Lake consist of hydrological and agro-economical sub-systems. The effect of decrease in agricultural area in the region on GDP and region economy was evaluated and compared with released water contribution in lake level rise for a five year simulation period.

  2. Morphometric Characterization and Classification of Alluvial Fans in Eastern Oman

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leuschner, Annette; Mattern, Frank; van Gasselt, Stephan

    2015-04-01

    Morphologic characteristics of alluvial fans are a product of fluvial erosion, transportation and deposition. Consequently, fans have been described and defined on the basis of their shape, their composition, conditions and processes under which they from, their so-called "controlling factors", and their geomorphic and tectonic settings. The aim of our study is to reconstruct the morphologic evolution and to relate it to past and present climate conditions. In order to achieve this, we first characterize alluvial fans based on their climatic settings and conditions and classify them accordingly using satellite image data and digital elevation models. For mapping of different alluvial fan bodies multispectral images of the Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+) with a scale of 15-30 m/px were utilized. For the detection of morphometric parameters as input data for subsequent hydrological studies digital terrain model data of the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) and the ASTER GDEM with a scale of 90 m/px and 30m, respectively, were used. Using these datasets morphological characteristics, such as sizes of drainage basins, transport areas and areas of deposition derived from spatial semi-automatic analysis, have been computed. The area of Muscat at the Oman Mountains has been selected as a study area because of its size, accessibility and climate conditions and it is considered well-suited for studying the development of alluvial fans and their controlling factors. The Oman Mountains are well-known for the world's largest intact and best exposed obducted ophiolite complex, the Semail Ophiolite. They are today subjected to a mild desert climate (Bwh), influenced by the Indian Ocean but they have experienced extensive pluvial periods in the geologic past. Formation of alluvial fans was, therefore, likely triggered by the interplay of increased sediment production caused by high rainfalls with enhanced erosion of hillslopes and transport rates during pluvial periods. Typical morphometric parameters controlled by hydrological conditions are sizes of catchment areas, the morphometry of associated rivers and slope angles as well as sizes of alluvial fans. In order to distinguish the catchment areas, semi-automatized spatial analyses based on DEM data were carried out within a commercial GIS environment. Our analyses generally verify that there is a positive correlation between, e.g., fan areas and sizes of catchment areas as well as between fan areas and lengths of valley lines of associated rivers. Furthermore, our analyses show a negative correlation between average fan slopes and sizes of catchment areas. The observations are in good agreement with previous analyses from other areas we conducted. The applied methodology has shown to be adequate to be compared to and combined with future field investigations. Flow events are dominant in fan evolution, but the way in which alluvial fan systems responded to fluvial environmental conditions differs between systems under different climate conditions. We compared our results with data from other places located in different climate zones around the world. This allows us to constrain boundary conditions and their potential influence on shapes in a more efficient way.

  3. Changes in soil organic carbon and nitrogen capacities of Salix cheilophila Schneid along a revegetation chronosequence in semi-arid degraded sandy land of the Gonghe Basin, Tibet Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Y.; Jia, Q. Z.

    2014-08-01

    The Gonghe Basin is a sandified and desertified region of China, but the distribution of soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) along the cultivation chronosequence across this ecologically fragile region is not well understood. This study was carried out to understand the effects of afforestation with Salix cheilophila for different periods of time (6, 11, 16, 21 years) to test whether it enhanced C and N storage. Soil samples, in four replications from seven depth increments (every 10 cm from 0 to 30 cm, every 20 cm from 30 to 50 cm and every 50 cm from 50 to 200 cm), were collected in each stand. Soil bulk density, SOC, TN, aboveground biomass and root biomass were measured. Results indicated that changes occurred in both the upper and deeper soil layers with an increase in revegetation time. The 0-200 cm soil showed that the 6-year stand gained 3.89 Mg C ha-1 and 1.00 Mg N ha-1, which accounted for 40.82% of the original SOC and 11.06% of the TN of the 0-year stand. The 11-year stand gained 7.82 Mg C ha-1 and 1.98 Mg N ha-1 in the 0-200 cm soil layers, accounting for 58.06% of the SOC and 19.80% of the TN of the 0-year stand. The 16-year stand gained 11.32 Mg C ha-1 and 3.30 Mg N ha-1 in the 0-200 cm soil layers, accounting for 66.71% of the SOC and 21.98% of the TN of the 0-year stand. The 21-year stand gained 13.05 Mg C ha-1 and 5.45 Mg N ha-1 from the same soil depth, accounting for 69.79% of the SOC and 40.47% of the TN compared with the 0-year stand. The extent of these changes depended on soil depth and plantation age. The results demonstrated that as stand age increased, the storage of SOC and TN increased. These results further indicated that afforestation with S. cheilophila has positive impacts on the Gonghe Basin and has increased the capacity of SOC sequestration and N storage. Shrub's role as carbon sink is compatible with system's management and persistence. The findings are significant for assessing C and N sequestration accurately in semi-arid degraded high-cold sandy regions in the future.

  4. Changes in soil organic carbon and nitrogen capacities of Salix cheilophila Schneid along a revegetation chronosequence in semi-arid degraded sandy land of the Gonghe Basin, Tibet Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Y.; Jia, Z. Q.

    2014-11-01

    The Gonghe Basin is a sandified and desertified region of China, but the distribution of soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) along the cultivation chronosequence across this ecologically fragile region is not well understood. This study was carried out to understand the effects of restoration with Salix cheilophila for different periods of time (6, 11, 16, 21 years) to test whether it enhanced C and N storage. Soil samples, in four replications from seven depth increments (0-10, 10-20, 20-30, 30-50, 50-100, 100-150 and 150-200 cm), were collected in each stand. Soil bulk density, SOC, TN, aboveground biomass and root biomass were measured. Results indicated that changes occurred in both the upper and deeper soil layers with an increase in revegetation time. The 0-200 cm soil showed that the 6-year stand gained 3.89 Mg C ha-1 and 1.00 Mg N ha-1, which accounted for 40.82% of the original SOC and 11.06% of the TN of the 0-year stand. The 11-year stand gained 7.82 Mg C ha-1 and 1.98 Mg N ha-1 in the 0-200 cm soil layers, accounting for 58.06% of the SOC and 19.80% of the TN of the 0-year stand. The 16-year stand gained 11.32 Mg C ha-1 and 3.30 Mg N ha-1 in the 0-200 cm soil layers, accounting for 66.71% of the SOC and 21.98% of the TN of the 0-year stand. The 21-year stand gained 13.05 Mg C ha-1 and 5.45 Mg N ha-1 from the same soil depth, accounting for 69.79% of the SOC and 40.47% of the TN compared with the 0-year stand. The extent of these changes depended on soil depth and plantation age. The results demonstrated that, as stand age increased, the storage of SOC and TN increased. These results further indicated that restoration with S. cheilophila has positive impacts on the Gonghe Basin and has increased the capacity of SOC sequestration and N storage. The shrub's role as carbon sink is compatible with system management and persistence. The findings are significant for assessing C and N sequestration accurately in semi-arid degraded high, cold sandy regions in the future.

  5. Geoenvironmental and structural studies for developing new water resources in arid and semi-arid regions using remote sensing and GIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amer, Reda Mohammed

    2011-12-01

    Water crises are rising with increasing world population and decreasing of freshwater resources. This problem is magnified in the arid and semi-arid regions because surface water resources are very limited and highly unreliable and therefore groundwater is the primary source of water supply in these regions. This study presents an integrated approach for the identification of groundwater occurrences using remote sensing, geological, and geophysical data, and establishing sustainable paths to groundwater management. The Central Eastern Desert (CED) of Egypt was selected as a test site for this study because its climate is arid and there is an urgent need to identify potential areas for groundwater accumulations. Field investigations indicated that the CED has three types of aquifers; shallow alluvial (SA), and fracture zone (FZ) aquifers in the valley depressions, and deep aquifers in the sedimentary succession that range in age from Late Cretaceous to Recent in the marginal extensional sub-basins (ESB) along the Red Sea coast. I developed three models: (1) a Geographic Information System (GIS) model for groundwater potential in the SA and FZ shallow aquifers; (2) a kinematic model for the development of the ESB; and (3) a groundwater budget model for the ESB aquifers. The GIS model is based on the analysis of remote sensing data of the Phased Array L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar, the Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus, and the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer digital elevation model. The model was evaluated and proven successful against the existing shallow water wells, and by geophysical surveys using Ground Penetrating Radar and Geoelectric methods. The kinematic model indicated that the ESB were formed in the orthogonal rifting phase in the late Oligocene that is followed by oblique rifting phase during the early Miocene which resulted to the en-echelon pattern of the inland ESB and nucleation of the rift depression into segments separated by oblique-slip accommodation zones. The groundwater budget model shows that the ESB aquifers have considerable amounts of paleowater that can be purified and used for drinking. The renewable groundwater of SA and FZ aquifers can be used for herding, irrigation, and ore dressing in the mining zones.

  6. Geometry and evolution of a syntectonic alluvial fan, Southern Pyrenees

    SciTech Connect

    Arminio, J.F. ); Nichols, G.J. )

    1993-02-01

    Syntectonic alluvial fans formed on the northern margin of the Ebro Foreland Basin along the South Pyrenean thrust front during late orogenic thrust movements in the late Oligocene/early Miocene. The present-day geometry, structural relations and sedimentology of one of these fans, the Aguero fan in the province of Huesca, Spain, were studied. Field observations of the architecture of depositional facies and the geometries of syn-tectonic folds and unconformities indicate that the Aguero fan formed as the result of several phases of sedimentation which were primarily controlled by periods of tectonic activity and quiescence. The syntectonic unconformities and growth folds in the fan deposits provide a detailed record of the evolution of a fan adjacent to an active thrust front. Using a computer program to simulate sedimentation and deformation of an alluvial fan it is possible to constrain rates of both sedimentary and tectonic processes by modeling the evolution of the fan body. A facies model for the fan phases indicates that the facies change from proximal (coarse-grained, amalgamated) to distal (finger grained, stacked fining up cycles) in less than 1 km across a fan of radius estimated to be about 2 km.

  7. Dependable water supplies from valley alluvium in arid regions.

    PubMed

    Van Haveren, Bruce P

    2004-12-01

    Reliable sources of high-quality water for domestic use are much needed in arid regions. Valley alluvium, coarse sand and gravel deposited by streams and rivers, provides an ideal storage medium for water in many regions of the world. However, river sediments will not accumulate in a valley without a natural or artificial barrier to slow the water. Sediments will deposit upstream of a barrier dam and form an alluvial deposit of relatively well-sorted material. The alluvium then acts as both an underground water-supply reservoir and a water filter, yielding a constant flow of high-quality water. Trap dams that store water in alluvial sediments and slowly release the filtered water represent an appropriate and inexpensive technology for combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought at the community level. Small trap dams may be built as a community project using local materials and local labor. PMID:15641388

  8. Application of the groundwater-balance equation to indicate interbasin and vertical flow in two semi-arid drainage basins, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrillo-Rivera, J. J.

    2000-09-01

    An analysis of horizontal inflow and outflow in the groundwater-budget equation and the significance for interbasin flow are presented. Two field cases in Mexico, one in the Baja California peninsula and another in central Mexico, highlight the influence of interbasin flow. A significant proportion (approximately 70%) of the ed (thermal) groundwater probably originates outside the drainage basin. A conclusion is that a groundwater-balance study is an unsatisfactory method for determining some parameters, such as storativity (S). Specifically, the groundwater-balance approach provides unreliable results when vertical inflow is ignored or cannot be adequately defined. Vertical flow is indicated by the presence of groundwater temperatures as much as 23 °C higher than ambient temperature. Regional faults could be the pathways for upward flow. When vertical inflow is ignored, uncertainty in the estimation of the storativity through regional groundwater-balance calculation results. On the basis of the groundwater-balance equation, a value of S=0.19 appears to represent the confined condition of the developed part of the aquifer; this result is several orders of magnitude higher than would be reasonable according to the geological conditions. Findings are useful in evaluating whether a groundwater resource is being "overexploited". Conclusions are instructive in the application of transient-flow computer models, in which vertical flow of less dense water from beneath is not included. Résumé. L'article présente une analyse des entrées et des sorties horizontales dans l'équation du bilan d'une nappe et leur signification dans les écoulements entre bassins. Deux exemples provenant du Mexique, l'un dans la péninsule de Basse Californie, l'autre dans le centre du Mexique, mettent en lumière l'influence de l'écoulement entre bassins, où une proportion significative (environ 70%) de l'eau souterraine extraite, thermale, a probablement son origine hors du bassin. Une conclusion est qu'une étude par bilan de la nappe est une méthode qui n'est pas satisfaisante pour déterminer certains paramètres comme le coefficient d'emmagasinement. En particulier, l'approche par le bilan de la nappe donne des résultats qui ne sont pas fiables lorsque l'on ignore la drainance verticale ou que l'on ne peut pas la définir correctement. L'existence d'une drainance verticale est prouvée par des températures de l'eau souterraine pouvant être supérieures de 23 °C à la température ambiante. Des failles régionales peuvent permettre ces écoulements vers le haut. Lorsque l'on ignore la drainance verticale, on introduit une incertitude sur l'estimation de l'emmagasinement à partir des calculs du bilan régional de la nappe. Sur la base de l'équation du bilan de la nappe, une valeur de S=0,19 semble représenter les conditions captives de la partie développée de l'aquifère ce résultat est plus élevé, de plusieurs ordres de grandeur, que celui que l'on peut raisonnablement attendre des conditions géologiques. Ces résultats sont utiles pour évaluer si une ressource en eau souterraine est "surexploitée". Ces conclusions sont intéressantes lorsque l'on applique des modèles d'écoulement transitoire dans lesquels on ne prend pas en compte la drainance verticale d'une eau plus légère remontant. Resumen. En este trabajo, se investigan las entradas y salidas de flujo horizontal en la ecuación de balance de agua subterránea, así como el papel que desempeñan en el flujo entre cuencas. Se analizan dos ejemplos de México, uno en la Península de Baja California y otro en la parte central del país. En ambos, destaca la influencia del flujo entre cuencas, ya que se estima que una parte importante (aproximadamente el 70%) del agua termal extraída procede de una cuenca superficial externa. Se concluye que el método basado en cálculos de balance de agua subterránea no es satisfactorio para determinar algunos parámetros, como, por ejemplo, el coeficiente de almacenamiento (S). En particular, la ecuación de balance de agua subterránea proporciona resultados poco fiables cuando el flujo vertical es ignorado o no puede ser evaluado de forma adecuada. El flujo vertical se identifica por un incremento de temperatura del agua subterránea, que puede llegar a superar la temperatura ambiental en hasta 23 °C. La presencia de fallas regionales y las extracciones pueden favorecer el flujo vertical. Cuando éste es ignorado, aumenta la incertidumbre en la estimación del coeficiente de almacenamiento mediante un balance de agua subterránea. El valor obtenido con este médodo (S=0,19) es característico de acuíferos libres, pero resulta varios órdenes de magnitud mayor que el que sería esperable teniendo en cuenta las condiciones hidrogeológicas. Estos hallazgos son útiles para evaluar si los recursos de agua subterránea están siendo "sobreexplotados". Las conclusiones obtenidas son instructivas de cara a la aplicación de modelos numéricos de flujo transitorio que no consideran el flujo vertical por densidad.

  9. Vegetation and carbon sequestration and their relation to water resources in an inland river basin of Northwest China.

    PubMed

    Kang, E; Lu, L; Xu, Z

    2007-11-01

    In the Heihe River Basin in the arid inland area of northwest China, the distribution of water resources in vegetation landscape zones controls the ecosystems. The carbon sequestration capacity of vegetation is analyzed in relation to water resources and vegetation growing conditions. During the last 20 years, the vegetation ecosystems have degenerated in the Heihe River Basin. Simulation using the C-FIX model indicates that, at present, the total amount of NPP of vegetation accounts for about 18.16 TgC, and the average value is 106 gC/m(2)/yr over the whole basin. NPP has generally the highest value in the upperstream mountain area, middlestream artificial oases area, downstream river bank area, alluvial fan and the terminal lake depression where vegetation grows relatively well. The lowest value is found in the vast downstream desert and Gobi area. Protection of vegetation ecosystems and enhancement of carbon sequestration require such inland river basins as the Heihe River Basin to be brought under management in a comprehensive way, taking water as a key, to carry out a rational and efficient allocation and utilization of water resources. PMID:17126989

  10. Impacts of hydroelectric dams on alluvial riparian plant communities in Eastern Brazilian Amazonian.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Leandro Valle; Cunha, Denise A; Chaves, Priscilla P; Matos, Darley C L; Parolin, Pia

    2013-09-01

    The major rivers of the Amazon River basin and their biota are threatened by the planned construction of large hydroelectric dams that are expected to have strong impacts on floodplain plant communities. The present study presents forest inventories from three floodplain sites colonized by alluvial riparian vegetation in the Tapajós, Xingu and Tocantins River basins in eastern Amazonian. Results indicate that tree species of the highly specialized alluvial riparian vegetation are clearly distinct among the three river basins, although they are not very distinct from each other and environmental constraints are very similar. With only 6 of 74 species occurring in all three inventories, most tree and shrub species are restricted to only one of the rivers, indicating a high degree of local distribution. Different species occupy similar environmental niches, making these fragile riparian formations highly valuable. Conservation plans must consider species complementarily when decisions are made on where to place floodplain forest conservation units to avoid the irreversible loss of unique alluvial riparian vegetation biodiversity. PMID:24068089

  11. Complex tectonic and tectonostratigraphic evolution of an Alpine foreland basin: The western Duero Basin and the related Tertiary depressions of the NW Iberian Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martín-González, F.; Heredia, N.

    2011-04-01

    The tectonic and tectonostratigaphic evolution of foreland basins and related Tertiary depressions are the key to investigate deformation history and the uplifting of the continental lithosphere of the Alpine-Pyrenean Orogeny. The northern part of the Duero basin is the foreland basin of the Cantabrian Mountains, which are, in turn, the western part of the Pyrenean Orogen. We have studied the western sharp end of the Duero foreland basin, and its relation to the Tertiary deposits of the NW Iberian Peninsula and the topography evolution. In order to propose a coherent tectonic and tectonosedimentary model that could explain all Tertiary deposits, we have analysed the depositional environment, stratigraphic sequences, paleocurrents and established a correlation of the main outcrops. Besides, a detailed structural mapping of the Alpine structures that limit and affect the main Tertiary outcrops has been carried out. The Tertiary deposits of the NW Iberian Peninsula depressions are affected and fragmented by Alpine structures that limit their extensions and locations. The stratigraphic succession is similar in the NW Tertiary outcrops; they are mainly terrigenous and carbonated continental deposits formed by assemblage of alluvial fans developed at the mountains front, in arid or semiarid conditions. Three formations can be identified in the main depressions: Toral Fm, Santalla Fm and Médulas Fm. The NW Tertiary outcrops were the western deposits of the Duero foreland basin that surrounded the lateral termination of the Pyrenean Orogen. These deposits were fragmented and eroded by the subsequent uplift of the Galaico-Leoneses Mountains and the NE-SW strike-slip faults activity (broken foreland basin). Only the latest stages of some of these outcrops can be considered as intramontane basins as traditionally have been interpreted. The sedimentation started in the northeast (Oviedo-Infiesto) during the Eocene and migrated to the west (As Pontes) during the Late Oligocene-Early Miocene times. Meanwhile, southern areas were far away from the tectonic activity (El Bierzo, O Barco, Monforte, Sarria depressions).

  12. Geological and geochemical characteristics of sedimentary rocks in Kremna, basin (Serbia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perunović, Tamara; Jovančićević, Branimir; Brčeski, Ilija; Šajnović, Aleksandra; Stojanović, Ksenija; Simić, Vlada; Kašanin-Grubin, Milica

    2014-05-01

    Studying lacustrine sediments is important because of their potential economic value since they often bear coal, oil shales and non-metallic mineral raw materials. Besides this, lacustrine sediments offer valuable information on the climate conditions which existed during the sedimentation. In Serbia there are 14 lacustrine basins spanning in age from Oligocene to Lower Pliocene. The aim of this study was to examine Lower Miocene Kremna basin, located in southwest Serbia. Kremna basin is a small basin, covering 15km2, but sedimentologically very interesting. For the purpose of this study, 43 sediment samples were taken from a borehole at different depths, from surface to 343 m depth of the basin. The borehole ended in weathered serpentinite. Mineralogical composition of sediments was determined using thin-sections and X-ray diffraction analysis, contents of macro-and microelements and rare-earth elements were determined by ICP-ES and ICP-MS techniques. Also, elemental analysis was applied to determine the contents of carbon, sulphur and nitrogen and n-alkanes, isoprenoide aliphatic alkanes and bitumen were also determined using GC-MS technique. Mineralogical analyses proved presents of several lithological types in Kremna basin: clastic sediments, tuffs, tuffaceous sediments, marlstones, dolomites, magnezites, and coal of non-economic value. Occurrence of sirlezite and sepiolite was also determined. Furthermore, according to all obtained results two faciae were determined: alluvial-marginal lacustrine and intrabasinal. Alluvial-marginal facies originated from predominantly ultramafic rocks which underlie the basin. Magnezites and Mg-marls and Mg-dolomites are dominant sediments in this facies. These sediments formed under arid, slightly saline conditions. Intrabasinal facies is represented mostly with marls, Mg-marls and dolomitic limestones. These sediments were deposited under a more humid climate with increase in paleoproductivity. The uppermost sediments of Kremna basin are represented with marly dolomite. Due to the swallowing of the basin sediments became relatively rich in predominantly land plant material. Tuffs and tuffaceous sediments were determined in both faciae.

  13. Ground-Water Recharge in the Arid and Semiarid Southwestern United States - Climatic and Geologic Framework

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stonestrom, David A.; Harrill, James R.

    2007-01-01

    Ground-water recharge in the arid and semiarid southwestern United States results from the complex interplay of climate, geology, and vegetation across widely ranging spatial and temporal scales. Present-day recharge tends to be narrowly focused in time and space. Widespread water-table declines accompanied agricultural development during the twentieth century, demonstrating that sustainable ground-water supplies are not guaranteed when part of the extracted resource represents paleorecharge. Climatic controls on ground-water recharge range from seasonal cycles of summer monsoonal and winter frontal storms to multimillennial cycles of glacial and interglacial periods. Precipitation patterns reflect global-scale interactions among the oceans, atmosphere, and continents. Large-scale climatic influences associated with El Ni?o and Pacific Decadal Oscillations strongly but irregularly control weather in the study area, so that year-to-year variations in precipitation and ground-water recharge are large and difficult to predict. Proxy data indicate geologically recent periods of multidecadal droughts unlike any in the modern instrumental record. Anthropogenically induced climate change likely will reduce ground-water recharge through diminished snowpack at higher elevations, and perhaps through increased drought. Future changes in El Ni?o and monsoonal patterns, both crucial to precipitation in the study area, are highly uncertain in current models. Land-use modifications influence ground-water recharge directly through vegetation, irrigation, and impermeable area, and indirectly through climate change. High ranges bounding the study area?the San Bernadino Mountains and Sierra Nevada to the west, and the Wasatch and southern Colorado Rocky Mountains to the east?provide external geologic controls on ground-water recharge. Internal geologic controls stem from tectonic processes that led to numerous, variably connected alluvial-filled basins, exposure of extensive Paleozoic aquifers in mountainous recharge areas, and distinct modes of recharge in the Colorado Plateau and Basin and Range subregions.

  14. The paradox of large alluvial rivers (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Latrubesse, E. M.

    2010-12-01

    Large alluvial rivers exhibit large floodplains, very gentle slopes, a good selection of bed materials (generally sand), low specific stream power, and could represent the ultimate examples of “dynamic equilibrium” in fluvial systems. However, equilibrium can be discussed at different temporal scales. Base level changes by tectonic or climatic effects, modifications in sediment and water supply or different kinds of human impacts are the traditional causes that could trigger “disequilibrium” and changes in the longitudinal profile. Simultaneously, adjustments of longitudinal profiles were thought to be evolving from downstream to upstream by several processes, being the most common receding erosion. Some authors,have demonstrated that when changes in base level happen, a variety of adjustments can be reached in the lower course in function of the available sediment and water discharge, slopes articulations between the fluvial reach and the continental shelve, among others, and that the adjustments can be transferred upstream significantly in small rivers but not far upstream along large fluvial systems. When analyzing the Quaternary fluvial belts of large rivers in the millennium scale, paleohydrological changes and modifications in floodplain constructional processes or erosion, are associated normally to late Quaternary climatic changes. The study of several of the largest rivers demonstrates that climatic changes and fluvial responses are not always working totally in phase and those direct cause-consequences relations are not a rule. This paper describes floodplain evolution and the lagged geomorphic responses of some large river system to recent climatic changes. Information from some of the largest rivers of the world such as the Amazon, Parana, several tributaries of the Amazon (Negro, Xingú, Tapajos) as well as some large Siberian Rivers was used. Since the last deglaciation, these large fluvial systems have not had enough time to reach equilibrium conditions along whole the river and present several stages of “incomplete floodplains”. Furthermore, minor climatic changes during the Holocene have possibly also affected their fluvial style, producing additional and partial adjustments. A main concept presented here is that large rivers achieved equilibrium conditions mainly from upstream to downstream by partially filling up their valleys and local sedimentary basins/sediment sinks (e.g. wide valleys, flood basins and permanent water saturated floodplains, tectonic sunken blocks, among others) with a variety of morpho-sedimentological processes, and transferring equilibrium conditions from upstream to downstream. When the “available space” (sedimentary sink) becomes as full of sediments as possible, the rivers adjust on a more efficient corridor of channels in quasi-equilibrium conditions. Valley infilling processes progress downstream as a prograding system on areas of the channel-floodplain system that have not yet reached quasi-equilibrium conditions Because most results in the literature are focused on small to medium size rivers, these results intend to open a new discussion about floodplain mechanisms of construction, demystifying some traditional concepts relating floodplains and equilibrium, and climatic changes and river responses in large rivers.

  15. Putting the "Basin" Back in Southeastern Arizona's Basin and Range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jungers, M. C.; Heimsath, A. M.

    2011-12-01

    The pace and pattern of southeastern Arizona's transition from a series of internally drained sedimentary basins to the modern, integrated Gila River system are poorly constrained. Steep normal faulting associated with the Basin and Range disturbance ~12-5 Ma created structural basins that filled with sediment throughout the Late Miocene and Early Pliocene. Early rates of basin deposition were rapid due to high upland erosion rates driven by continuous base level fall within the extensional basins. Subsequently, as tectonic forcing waned, sedimentation rates slowed until a combination of basin spillover events and headward capture integrated individual basins into a through-flowing drainage network. Newly integrated streams with suddenly lower base levels rapidly incised, perching the uppermost surfaces of basin fill and eroding large volumes of sediment throughout the Quaternary. Relatively thin (10-100 m), coarse-grained alluvial fan remnants on erosional surfaces of basin fill or bedrock pediments are commonly the highest elevation, undeformed deposits in basins of southeastern Arizona. Although they often overlie basin-bounding faults, it is rare that they are cut by these faults. This suggests quiescent tectonics both during and after the deposition of these alluvial fans. Early work on two complexes of these alluvial fan remnants (Menges and McFadden, 1981) used the degree of soil development of relict soils on the fan surfaces to estimate an age of at least 1 Ma for these basin high stands. Further, the degree of soil oxidation and the depth of weathering suggest a wetter climate when these relict soils were forming. This age estimate and inference of a different climate begin to inform a model for climatically driven deposition of these coarse-grained fan deposits at the Pliocene-Pleistocene shift, but absolute dates are lacking. Here we report spatial and temporal patterns of regional drainage integration focusing on the timing of abandonment for uppermost surfaces of basin fill (10Be derived surface exposure dates are pending) and we present basin surface reconstructions. Previous research has suggested that uppermost basin fill surfaces are roughly correlative. We use our data to 1) test the hypothesis of broadly synchronous timing for a regional shift from internal drainage to external drainage for southeastern Arizona's basins, and 2) infer incision rates through the Quaternary. We have identified basin high stand remnants throughout several basins of interest in southeastern Arizona, and use spline interpolations to reconstruct basin fill surfaces. By subtracting the modern day topography from reconstructed basin surfaces, we quantify first order estimates of incision rates through basin fill since drainage integration. Our surface exposure dates will allow accurate quantification of incision rates for each basin, and resolve regional patterns of drainage integration.

  16. Erosion surfaces and Neogene landscape evolution in the NE Duero Basin (north-central Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benito-Calvo, Alfonso; Pérez-González, Alfredo

    2007-08-01

    We present a chronological model of erosion surface development in the Iberian and Cantabrian Ranges of north-central Spain. We map four erosion surfaces and interpret these to be related to Duero basin continental sediments and tectonic activity from Upper Oligocene to Plio-Pleistocene. The oldest erosion surface, SE1, formed across Upper Oligocene-Lower Miocene synorogenic deposits; while surface SE2 was contemporaneous with the Middle Miocene alluvial systems, ending with an uplift stage in the Astaracian. The two most recent erosion surfaces, SE3 and SE4, developed during extensional tectonic episodes and are associated with the deposition of Upper Páramo sedimentary units at the end of the Miocene (Upper Turolian) and alluvial fan deposits, known as rañas (Plio-Pleistocene). With the exception of SE1, which seems to be associated with a relatively wet climate, the surfaces formed during periods of marked aridity and generally warm temperatures. Through geostatistical reconstruction of the best preserved surface (SE2), applying ordinary kriging method to the topography (DEM) of the erosion surface and its correlating sedimentary plains, we identify the deformation processes which occurred on this surface after its formation.

  17. Geomorphological evidence of neotectonic deformation in the Carnarvon Basin, Western Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitney, Beau B.; Hengesh, James V.

    2015-01-01

    This study examines channel-scale morphodynamics of ephemeral streams in the onshore Carnarvon basin in arid west-central Western Australia. The rivers in this region have low gradients, the landscape has low relief, and the rates of climatically and tectonically driven geomorphic processes also are low. As a result, the rivers in the Carnarvon alluvial plain are highly sensitive to minor perturbations in base level, channel slope, and fluvial energy. We use channel planform adjustments, stream gradient changes, and floodplain profiles across multiple ephemeral streams within a variety of catchments and flow regimes to determine if tectonically driven land level changes are affecting channel form and fluvial processes. Growth of individual fold segments is shown to have altered stream and floodplain gradients and triggered repeated avulsions at structurally controlled nodes. Aligned perturbations in channel form across multiple channel-fold intersections provide systematic geomorphic evidence for the location and orientation of neotectonic structures in the region. These features occur as a belt of low relief anticlines in the Carnarvon alluvial plain.

  18. Alluvial Fan, Rocky Mountain National Park

    The Alluvial Fan is a fan-shaped area of disturbance in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was created on July 15, 1982, when the earthen Lawn Lake Dam above the area gave way, flooding the Park and nearby town of Estes Park with more than 200 million gallons of water. Enormous boulders were displaced...

  19. Do I have an alluvial valley floor

    SciTech Connect

    Beach, G.G.

    1980-12-01

    The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 establishes specific restrictions for coal mining on or adjacent to alluvial valley floors. Alluvial valley floors are lands in the Western United States where water availability for flood irrigation or subirrigation provides enhanced agricultural productivity on stream-laid deposits located in valley bottoms. Alluvial valley floors may consist of developed land or undeveloped rangeland. Developed land, if of sufficient size to be important to a farming operation, cannot be mined whereas undeveloped rangeland can be mined provided certain performance standards are met. Developed land is important to farming when the percentage loss of production by removal of the alluvial valley floor from a farm(s) total production exceeds the equation P = 3 + 0.0014X, where P is the maximum percentage loss of productivity considered to be a negligible impact to a Wyoming farming operation and X is the number of animal units of total farm production above 100. A threshold level of 10 percent is placed on P, above which such a loss is considered to be a significant loss to any size farming operation.

  20. Arsenate adsorption by unsaturated alluvial sediments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Arsenate adsorption as a function of solution arsenic concentration and solution pH was investigated on five alluvial sediments from the Antelope Valley, Western Mojave Desert, California. Arsenate adsorption increased with increasing solution pH, exhibited a maximum around pH 4 to 5, and then decr...

  1. Aridity in Vojvodina, Serbia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hrnjak, Ivana; Lukić, Tin; Gavrilov, Milivoj B.; Marković, Slobodan B.; Unkašević, Miroslava; Tošić, Ivana

    2014-01-01

    For investigating aridity in Vojvodina, two parameters were used: the De Martonne aridity index and the Pinna combinative index. These indices were chosen as the most suitable for the analysis of climate in Vojvodina (a region in northern part of Serbia). Also, these indices were calculated from data obtained from 10 meteorological stations for the period from 1949 to 2006. The spatial distribution of the annual and seasonal De Martonne and the Pinna combinative indices as well as the mean monthly values of the De Martonne index and aridity trends of these indices are presented. There were two, four, and five types of climate on a yearly, seasonal, and monthly basis in Vojvodina, according to the De Martonne climate classification which consists of a total of seven types. In addition, semi-humid and humid climate types were represented in the region, on a yearly basis. The winter season was dominated by wetter types of climate, while the summer season was characterized by drier ones. During the spring and autumn seasons, there were types of climate which range between both aforementioned types. Two out of three climate types, which can be identified using the Pinna combinative index, were registered in Vojvodina region. The most dominant climate type was the semidry Mediterranean with formal Mediterranean vegetation, while the humid type was only identified in one small part of southwestern Vojvodina. The calculated values of both aridity indices showed that there were no annual trends. Therefore, it can be considered that there were no recent aridity changes during the observed period. For paleoclimate, the general story is more complex. The lack of aridity trends in the recent period from 1949 to 2006 supports the fact that Vojvodina has very well preserved loess-palaeosol sequences from the Middle and Late Pleistocene, which indicates that crucial point for their preservation was caused by the weak aridity variability in the region.

  2. The association of land cover with aeolian sediment production at Jornada Basin, New Mexico, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Floyd, Kevin W.; Gill, Thomas E.

    2011-06-01

    We investigated amounts and particle size distributions (PSDs) of aeolian sediments collected at five heights in five ecosystem types at the Jornada Basin, Chihuahuan Desert, New Mexico, USA. Particle size distributions, mass fluxes, and percent of dust-sized (⩽50 μm) mass flux were determined for all heights and all ecosystem types. Differences between sites were determined using ANOVA followed by Tukey-Kramer post hoc tests to find groupings. For creosote shrublands, grasslands, and two tarbush-dominated alluvial flats, samples collected at 5, 10, and 20 cm had >80% sand-sized (>50 μm) particles, while one playa and tarbush site yielded ˜45% dust-sized particles at 5 and 10 cm. The transition from saltation to suspension was ˜20 cm for most sites. Two mesquite dune sites and an anthropogenically devegetated site, all with high overall mass fluxes, shifted to suspension at ˜50 cm. Highest dust fluxes occurred at the devegetated site, followed by the playa, a mesquite site with unvegetated "streets," and tarbush sites. These field observations are consistent with laboratory-based dust emission experiments and remote sensing studies in the Chihuahuan Desert. Playas and tarbush sites are major dust producers due to high proportions of fines, whereas the mesquite site produces much dust because of greater overall mass flux. Mesquite dunes covering most of the basin likely produce the most dust overall, though playas and tarbush-dominated alluvial flats (which cover about 8%) can emit large amounts of dust. Continuing shrubland encroachment will likely increase dust emissions from the Jornada Basin, as well as in other arid regions.

  3. Extremely arid soils of the Ili Depression in Kazakhstan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lebedeva, M. P.; Gerasimova, M. I.; Golovanov, D. L.; Yamnova, I. A.

    2015-01-01

    On the basis of macro- and micromorphological and analytical studies of extremely arid soils of the Ili Depression in Kazakhstan, a comparative analysis of pedogenetic processes shaping these soils on piedmont plains of different ages and heights is performed. The types of soil horizons and their combinations are analyzed in the context opf modern Russian and international soil classification systems. The genesis of extremely arid soils is controlled by the climatic conditions and by their geomorphic position on alluvial fans of piedmont plains. The following processes are diagnosed in these soils: soil crusting with vesicular porosity, the development of desert pavements with rock varnish, rubification, surface salinization, and iron depletion around the pores. It is suggested that the initial factor-based name (extremely arid) of these soils can be replaced by the name vesicular-crusty soils with the corresponding AKL diagnostic horizon, which is more consistent with the principles of substantive-genetic classification systems. In order to determine the classification position of these soils in terms of the new Russian soil classification system, new diagnostic horizons—AKL and CS—have to be introduced in this system. According to the WRB classification, the studied soils belong to the group of Gypsisols; the soil with strong salinization fits the criteria of the group of Solonchaks. A qualifier [yermic] is to be added to reflect the development of desert pavement and vesicular layer under extreme arid conditions.

  4. Luminescence ages for alluvial-fan deposits in Southern Death Valley: Implications for climate-driven sedimentation along a tectonically active mountain front

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sohn, M.F.; Mahan, S.A.; Knott, J.R.; Bowman, D.D.

    2007-01-01

    Controversy exists over whether alluvial-fan sedimentation along tectonically active mountain fronts is driven by climatic changes or tectonics. Knowing the age of sedimentation is the key to understanding the relationship between sedimentation and its cause. Alluvial-fan deposits in Death Valley and throughout the arid southwestern United States have long been the subjects of study, but their ages have generally eluded researchers until recently. Most mapping efforts have recognized at least four major relative-age groupings (Q1 (oldest), Q2, Q3, and Q4 (youngest)), using observed changes in surface soils and morphology, relation to the drainage net, and development of desert pavement. Obtaining numerical age determinations for these morphologic stages has proven challenging. We report the first optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages for three of these four stages deposited within alluvial-fans along the tectonically active Black Mountains of Death Valley. Deposits showing distinct, remnant bar and swale topography (Q3b) have OSL ages from 7 to 4 ka., whereas those with moderate to poorly developed desert pavement and located farther above the active channel (Q3a) have OSL ages from 17 to 11 ka. Geomorphically older deposits with well-developed desert pavement (Q2d) have OSL ages ???25 ka. Using this OSL-based chronology, we note that alluvial-fan deposition along this tectonically active mountain front corresponds to both wet-to-dry and dry-to-wet climate changes recorded globally and regionally. These findings underscore the influence of climate change on alluvial fan deposition in arid and semi-arid regions. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

  5. Sediments in Semi-arid Wetlands: US Southern High Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Playas are ephemeral wetlands on the semi-arid U.S. Southern High Plains that serve as runoff catchment basins and are thought to be focal points of Ogallala aquifer recharge. Sediments in playas alter biodiversity and hydroperiods. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of outerbas...

  6. Seismic responses of pipelines laid through alluvial valleys

    SciTech Connect

    Liang, J.W.; Jia, S.; Hou, Z.

    1995-12-31

    In this paper, dynamic characteristics of pipelines laid through alluvial valleys are analyzed. The scattering solution of SH-waves by a shallow circular alluvial valley is used to evaluate ground motion, and pipeline-soil interaction is considered. The results show that the alluvial valley has spectacular effects on dynamic behaviors of the pipelines, and for a narrow valley, damage will appear at two interfaces between the alluvial deposit and the riverbed, and for a wider valley, the damage will appear not only at two interfaces but also in the alluvial deposit, this depends on the valley width and the wavelength of incidence seismic waves.

  7. Pliocene-Quaternary fluvial and aeolian records in the Souss Basin, southwest Morocco: A geomorphological model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aït Hssaine, Ali; Bridgland, David

    2009-09-01

    The Souss Basin in SW Morocco is filled by Pliocene-Quaternary fluvial, fluvio-lacustrine and aeolian sediments, representing an excellent archive of palaeohydrology, palaeoclimate and the effects of crustal deformation. In general these sediments indicate stream-dominated alluvial systems, influenced by fluctuations in climate (humidity/aridity). Lakes developed within the basin around the Pliocene-Pleistocene transition and persisted into the Early Pleistocene. During this early period, relatively humid conditions are indicated by the dominance of coarse-grained sedimentation in the upper reaches of fluvial systems, the existence of large lakes and the considerable sediment thicknesses in the centre of the basin. Uplift of the surrounding mountain ranges contributed to piedmont formation by providing large amounts of coarse-grained material that accumulated at the lowland margin. Climatic deterioration in the Middle Pleistocene was accompanied by progressively more irregular and disrupted fluvial regimes. These trends were evident in the Late Pleistocene and became clearer after the mid-Holocene, with aeolian activity becoming the dominant sedimentary agent. Differences between upstream and downstream depositional regimes became marked: while coarse-grained sedimentation has characterized the upper reaches of wadi catchments, fine-grained sedimentation has prevailed downstream. Hiatuses in sedimentation throughout the Pliocene and Quaternary are marked by palaeosol horizons interbedded within the sedimentary sequences, indicating alternate vegetated (stable) and unvegetated (unstable/active) phases (biostasy and 'rhexistasy').

  8. Late Cenozoic evolution of the upper Amargosa River drainage system, southwestern Great Basin, Nevada and California

    SciTech Connect

    Huber, N.K.

    1988-12-31

    A major part of the upper Amargosa River drainage system is centered on Timber Mountain, a high central area within a volcanic caldera northeast of Beatty, Nevada, on the west margin of the Nevada Test Site. The basic drainage pattern in this area was established soon after caldera collapse and resurgent dome formation about 11 million years ago. The gross drainage pattern has changed little since then, although subsequent volcanic activity has temporarily blocked drainage channels. As there have been no significant changes in subbasin geometry, general tectonic stability of the region during this time is implied. A major change in alluvial regimen occurred with the end of major alluvial-fan construction within the drainage system and the beginning of fanhead erosion that formed incised washes. The size and shape of incised channels differ, but they show a similar relation to the geomorphic parameters of their respective drainage basins---including such diverse-appearing washes as the deep Fortymile Wash and the wide, shallow wash on the Amargosa River downstream from Beatty. If the subbasin drainages have not changed appreciably during the Quaternary, then the forcing mechanism for the change in alluvial regimen is most likely either climatic or tectonic. Because this change appears to have occurred at about the same time throughout the upper Amargosa River drainage system, a climatic cause is preferred; its nature and timing are still speculative, but probably was increasing aridity that reached a threshold in the middle Pleistocene. This analysis also concludes that a postulated Pleistocene drainage capture by the Fortymile Canyon drainage system did not occur and that a large Pliocene lake in the Amargosa Desert, the postulated ``Lake Amargosa``, is equivocal.

  9. Spatial patterns of ecohydrologic properties on a hillslope-alluvial fan transect, central New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bedford, D.R.; Small, E.E.

    2008-01-01

    Spatial patterns of soil properties are linked to patchy vegetation in arid and semi-arid landscapes. The patterns of soil properties are generally assumed to be linked to the ecohydrological functioning of patchy dryland vegetation ecosystems. We studied the effects of vegetation canopy, its spatial pattern, and landforms on soil properties affecting overland flow and infiltration in shrublands at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge/LTER in central New Mexico, USA. We studied the patterns of microtopography and saturated conductivity (Ksat), and generally found it to be affected by vegetation canopy and pattern, as well as landform type. On gently sloping alluvial fans, both microtopography and Ksat are high under vegetation canopy and decay with distance from plant center. On steeper hillslope landforms, only microtopography was significantly higher under vegetation canopy, while there was no significant difference in Ksat between vegetation and interspaces. Using geostatistics, we found that the spatial pattern of soil properties was determined by the spatial pattern of vegetation. Most importantly, the effects of vegetation were present in the unvegetated interspaces 2-4 times the extent of vegetation canopy, on the order of 2-3??m. Our results have implications for the understanding the ecohydrologic function of semi-arid ecosystems as well as the parameterization of hydrologic models. ?? 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Laboratory alluvial fans in one dimension.

    PubMed

    Guerit, L; Mtivier, F; Devauchelle, O; Lajeunesse, E; Barrier, L

    2014-08-01

    When they reach a flat plain, rivers often deposit their sediment load into a cone-shaped structure called alluvial fan. We present a simplified experimental setup that reproduces, in one dimension, basic features of alluvial fans. A mixture of water and glycerol transports and deposits glass beads between two transparent panels separated by a narrow gap. As the beads, which mimic natural sediments, get deposited in this gap, they form an almost one-dimensional fan. At a moderate sediment discharge, the fan grows quasistatically and maintains its slope just above the threshold for sediment transport. The water discharge determines this critical slope. At leading order, the sediment discharge only controls the velocity at which the fan grows. A more detailed analysis reveals a slight curvature of the fan profile, which relates directly to the rate at which sediments are transported. PMID:25215729

  11. Fire, Holocene Climate Change, and Geomorphic Response Recorded in Alluvial Fan Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierce, J. L.; Meyer, G. A.

    2004-12-01

    Alluvial fan stratigraphic sequences record fire history in charcoal-rich deposits and buried burned soil surfaces. Deposit characteristics provide information about the magnitude of fire-related sedimentation events and severity of associated fires, and radiocarbon-dating of charcoal establishes the timing of fires. Unlike lakes, alluvial fans are ubiquitous in mountain environments. Although alluvial-fan fire records lack the annual resolution of tree-ring records, compilation of data from many alluvial fan sites provides a statistical sample of fire timing and approximate severity that can be related to climate variations over centennial to millennial timescales. We examine alluvial fan records from xeric Pinus ponderosa-dominated forests of central Idaho, and compare them with similar records from cooler, high-elevation Pinus contorta-dominated forests of Yellowstone National Park. Identification of charcoal macrofossils from Idaho fan deposits limits inbuilt age errors in radiocarbon dating, and shows that similar forest compositions have existed over the last ca. 4000 years in the fan drainage basins. Limited data from ca. 4000-7000 yr ago suggest that Pinus ponderosa was either sparse or absent in the 4 basins represented. Large fire-related debris flows in both Idaho and Yellowstone indicate severe fires during the ca. 1050-750 cal yr BP Medieval Climatic Anomaly (MCA), which included widespread and severe western US droughts. Another such episode 2700-1600 cal yr BP is less prominent in the Idaho record. Numerous small, fire-induced sedimentation events in Idaho ca. 350-500 (Little Ice Age), 1200-1400, and 2800-3000 cal yr BP likely indicate frequent low- to mixed-severity fires, and coincide with indicators of generally cool, moist conditions in the western USA and North Atlantic, and with minimal fire activity in Yellowstone. We infer that these effectively wetter periods allow greater grass growth, fueling frequent surface fires in ponderosa forests, but limiting fires in general in the effectively wetter forests of Yellowstone. Maxima in dated small events may relate to significant droughts within these intervals, e.g. in the late AD 1500s, but widespread severe fires are not indicated. Alluvial-fan records add to data from other charcoal-based proxy records of fire that indicate the importance of centennial- to millennial-scale climate change in modulating fire activity and geomorphic response in conifer forests over the Holocene.

  12. Interaction of fine sediment with alluvial streambeds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jobson, H.E.; Carey, W.P.

    1989-01-01

    An alluvial streambed can have a large capacity to store fine sediments that are extracted from the flow when instream concentrations are high and it can gradually release fine sediment to the flow when the instream concentrations are low. Several types of storage mechanisms are available depending on the relative size distribution of the suspended load and bed material, as well as the flow hydraulics. -from Authors

  13. Water-quality assessment of the Carson River ground-water basin, Nevada and California; project description

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Welch, A.H.; Plume, R.W.

    1987-01-01

    In April 1986, the U.S. Geological Survey began a pilot program to assess the quality of the nation 's surface water and groundwater resources. This program, called the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program, is designed to acquire and interpret information about a wide range of water quality issues. The program is in its early stages and consists of four surface water and three groundwater pilot projects. The objectives of the Carson River basin NAWQA project are described in the context of the national program, the study area and its associated water quality issues, and a proposed study approach. The objectives of the Carson River basin NAWQA project are to: (1) investigate regional groundwater quality; (2) describe relations of groundwater quality to land use, geohydrology, and other pertinent factors; (3) provide a general description of the location, nature and possible causes of selected widespread water quality problems in the project area; and (4) develop new techniques for characterizing regional groundwater quality, especially in arid alluvial basins. There are to be three major phases of the Carson River basin project. The first will consist of compilation and analysis of existing data. The second phase will consist of a regional water quality survey that will produce a consistent set of data that can be used to: (1) define regional quality of groundwater within the Carson River basin; and (2) compare that water quality with other aquifers in the Nation. The third phase will include topical studies that will define groundwater quality in the Carson River basin with respect to certain constituents, either basin wide or within specific areas of concern. (Lantz-PTT)

  14. Estimating alluvial fan surface ages using Landsat 8 multispectral imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Arcy, Mitch; Mason, Philippa J.; Whittaker, Alexander C.; Roda Boluda, Duna C.

    2015-04-01

    Accurate exposure age models are now essential for geomorphological and stratigraphic field research, and generally depend on laboratory analyses such as radiocarbon, cosmogenic nuclide or luminescence approaches. However, these techniques cannot be deployed in situ in the field, meaning other methods are needed to produce a preliminary age model, map depositional surfaces of different ages, and select sampling sites for the types of laboratory analyses outlined above. With the widespread availability of high-resolution multispectral imagery, a promising approach is to use remotely sensed data to discriminate depositional surfaces with different ages. Here, we use new Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) multispectral imagery to characterise the reflectance of 35 alluvial fan surfaces in the semi-arid Owens Valley, California. These surfaces have been mapped in detail in the field, have similar granitic compositions, and have well-constrained exposure ages ranging from modern to ~ 125 ka, measured using a high density of 10-Be cosmogenic nuclide samples. We identify a clear age signal recorded in the spectral properties of these surfaces. With increasing exposure age, there is a predictable redshift effect in the reflectance of the surfaces across the visible and short-wave infrared spectrum. Simple calculations, such as the brightness ratio of red/blue wavelengths, produce sensitive power law relationships with exposure age for at least 125 ka, meaning Landsat 8 imagery can be used to estimate surface exposure age remotely, at least in this calibrated dryland location. The ability to remotely sense exposure age has useful implications for field mapping, selecting suitable sampling sites for laboratory-based exposure age techniques, and correlating existing age constraints to previously un-sampled surfaces. We present the uncertainties associated with this spectral approach to exposure dating, evaluate its likely physical origins, and discuss its applicability in other locations and with other remotely sensed datasets.

  15. Evidence of late early Miocene aridification intensification in the Xining Basin caused by the northeastern Tibetan Plateau uplift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Chunxia; Xiao, Guoqiao; Guo, Zhengtang; Wu, Haibin; Hao, Qingzhen

    2015-05-01

    Few early Miocene terrestrial climate records exist from the Asian interior and as a result the evolution of Central Asian aridification and the driving forces behind it remain unclear. Here we report sedimentary, mineralogy and geochemical proxies from an early Miocene sedimentary sequence (ca. 22.1 to 16.5 Ma) from Xining Basin on the northeastern side of the Tibetan Plateau. Multiple proxies indicate a change of sedimentary facies of a distal alluvial fan from subfluvial to subatmospheric under a dominantly arid climate coupled with a clear two-stage climate change. During ~ 22.1-19.7 Ma (Unit I), the enrichment of I/S (irregular mixed-layers of illite and smectite) content, high values of a*/L* (redness/lightness), and stronger degree of chemical weathering suggest relatively warm and humid climate conditions during a generally arid climate. During 19.7-16.5 Ma (Unit II), the increase of chlorite and dolomite content, the upward decrease of a*/L*, and weaker degree of chemical weathering than Unit I suggest gradually increasing aridity since ca. 19.7 Ma. Comprehensive comparisons among records from central western China demonstrate that the aridification since ca. 19.7 Ma is widespread in northeastern part of the Tibetan Plateau. The climate changes in inner Asia are different to that of global-scale changes, which indicates that global climate changes and the retreat of the Para-Tethys Sea possibly had little influences on this region. The episodic, but persistent tectonic uplift of the north and northeastern Tibetan Plateau during the early Miocene likely played a key role in the aridification of the Xining Basin.

  16. Metagenomic characterization of biodiversity in the extremely arid desert soils of Kazakhstan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kutovaya, O. V.; Lebedeva, M. P.; Tkhakakhova, A. K.; Ivanova, E. A.; Andronov, E. E.

    2015-05-01

    For the first time, the composition of microbiomes in the biological crust (AKL) horizons of extremely arid desert soils (Aridic Calcisols) developed from saline and nonsaline alluvial deposits in the Ili Depression (eastern Kazakhstan) was analyzed. To describe the diversity of microorganisms in the soil samples, a novel method of pyrosequencing (Roche/454 Life Sciences) was applied. It was shown that bacteria from the Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, Verrucomicrobia, Acidobacteria, and Bacteroidetes phyla predominate in all the samples; these are typical representatives of the microbiome of soil crusts. A distinctive feature of the extremely arid soils is the high contribution of cyanobacteria (25-30%) to the total DNA. In the soils developed from saline sediments, representatives from the Rubrobacteraceae, Streptococcaceae, and Caulobacteraceae families and from the Firmicutes phylum predominated. In the soils developed from nonsaline gypsiferous deposits, bacteria from the class of Acidobacteria, subgroup Gp3, of the Methylobacteriaceae family and the class of Subdivision 3 from the Verrucomicrobia phylum predominated.

  17. Evolution of the groundwater system under the impacts of human activities in middle reaches of Heihe River Basin (Northwest China) from 1985 to 2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mi, Lina; Xiao, Honglang; Zhang, Jianming; Yin, Zhenliang; Shen, Yongping

    2016-01-01

    Investigation of the evolution of the groundwater system and its mechanisms is critical to the sustainable management of water in river basins. Temporal and spatial distributions and characteristics of groundwater have undergone a tremendous change with the intensity of human activities in the middle reaches of the Heihe River Basin (HRB), the second largest arid inland river basin in northwestern China. Based on groundwater observation data, hydrogeological data, meteorological data and irrigation statistical data, combined with geostatistical analyses and groundwater storage estimation, the basin-scaled evolution of the groundwater levels and storage (from 1985 to 2013) were investigated. The results showed that the unbalanced allocation of water sources and expanded cropland by policy-based human activities resulted in the over-abstraction of groundwater, which induced a general decrease in the water table and groundwater storage. The groundwater level has generally fallen from 4.92 to 11.49 m from 1985 to 2013, especially in the upper and middle parts of the alluvial fan (zone I), and reached a maximum depth of 17.41 m. The total groundwater storage decreased by 177.52 × 108 m3; zone I accounted for about 94.7 % of the total decrease. The groundwater balance was disrupted and the groundwater system was in a severe negative balance; it was noted that the groundwater/surface-water interaction was also deeply affected. It is essential to develop a rational plan for integration and management of surface water and groundwater resources in the HRB.

  18. Aridity changes in the Tibetan Plateau in a warming climate

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Gao, Yanhong; Li, Xia; Leung, Lai-Yung R.; Chen, Deliang; Xu, Jianwei

    2015-03-10

    Desertification in the Tibetan Plateau (TP) has drawn increasing attention in the recent decades. It has been postulated as a consequence of climate aridity due to the observed warming. This study quantifies the aridity changes in the TP and attributes the changes to different climatic factors. Using the ratio of P/PET (precipitation to potential evapotranspiration) as an aridity index to indicate changes in dryness and wetness in a given area, P/PET was calculated using observed records at 83 stations in the TP, with PET calculated using the Penman–Monteith (PM) algorithm. Spatial and temporal changes of P/PET in 1979-2011 are analyzed.more » Results show that stations located in the arid and semi-arid northwestern TP are becoming significantly wetter and stations in the semi-humid southeastern TP are becoming drier, though not significantly, in the recent three decades. The aridity change patterns are significantly correlated with precipitation, sunshine duration and diurnal temperature range changes at confidence level of 99.9% from two-tail t-test. Temporal correlations also confirm the significant correlation between aridity changes with the three variables, with precipitation being the most dominant driver of P/PET changes at interannual time scale. PET changes are insignificant but negatively correlated with P/PET in the cold season. In the warm season, however, correlation between PET changes and P/PET changes are significant at confidence level of 99.9% when the cryosphere melts near the surface. Significant correlation between wind speed changes and aridity changes occurs in limited locations and months. Consistency in the climatology pattern and linear trends in surface air temperature and precipitation calculated using station data, gridded data, and nearest grid-to-stations for the TP average and across sub-basins indicate the robustness of the trends despite the large spatial heterogeneity in the TP that challenge climate monitoring.« less

  19. Aridity changes in the Tibetan Plateau in a warming climate

    SciTech Connect

    Gao, Yanhong; Li, Xia; Leung, Lai-Yung R.; Chen, Deliang; Xu, Jianwei

    2015-03-10

    Desertification in the Tibetan Plateau (TP) has drawn increasing attention in the recent decades. It has been postulated as a consequence of climate aridity due to the observed warming. This study quantifies the aridity changes in the TP and attributes the changes to different climatic factors. Using the ratio of P/PET (precipitation to potential evapotranspiration) as an aridity index to indicate changes in dryness and wetness in a given area, P/PET was calculated using observed records at 83 stations in the TP, with PET calculated using the Penman–Monteith (PM) algorithm. Spatial and temporal changes of P/PET in 1979-2011 are analyzed. Results show that stations located in the arid and semi-arid northwestern TP are becoming significantly wetter and stations in the semi-humid southeastern TP are becoming drier, though not significantly, in the recent three decades. The aridity change patterns are significantly correlated with precipitation, sunshine duration and diurnal temperature range changes at confidence level of 99.9% from two-tail t-test. Temporal correlations also confirm the significant correlation between aridity changes with the three variables, with precipitation being the most dominant driver of P/PET changes at interannual time scale. PET changes are insignificant but negatively correlated with P/PET in the cold season. In the warm season, however, correlation between PET changes and P/PET changes are significant at confidence level of 99.9% when the cryosphere melts near the surface. Significant correlation between wind speed changes and aridity changes occurs in limited locations and months. Consistency in the climatology pattern and linear trends in surface air temperature and precipitation calculated using station data, gridded data, and nearest grid-to-stations for the TP average and across sub-basins indicate the robustness of the trends despite the large spatial heterogeneity in the TP that challenge climate monitoring.

  20. Aridity changes in the Tibetan Plateau in a warming climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Yanhong; Li, Xia; Leung, L. Ruby; Chen, Deliang; Xu, Jianwei

    2015-03-01

    Desertification in the Tibetan Plateau (TP) has drawn increasing attention in the recent decades. It has been postulated as a consequence of increasing climate aridity due to the observed warming. This study quantifies the aridity changes in the TP and attributes the changes to different climatic factors. Using the ratio of precipitation to potential evapotranspiration (P/PET) as an aridity index, we used observed meteorological records at 83 stations in the TP to calculate PET using the Penman-Monteith algorithm and the ratio. Spatial and temporal changes of P/PET in 1979-2011 were analyzed. Results show that stations located in the arid and semi-arid northwestern TP are becoming significantly wetter, and half of the stations in the semi-humid eastern TP are becoming drier, though not significantly, in the recent three decades. The aridity change patterns are significantly correlated with the change patterns of precipitation, sunshine duration and diurnal temperature range. Temporal correlations between the annual P/PET ratio and other meteorological variables confirm the significant correlation between aridity and the three variables, with precipitation being the dominant driver of P/PET changes at the interannual time scale. Annual PET are insignificantly but negatively correlated with P/PET in the cold season. In the warm season, however, the correlation between PET and P/PET is significant at the confidence level of 99.9% when the cryosphere near the surface melts. Significant correlation between annual wind speed and aridity occurs in limited locations and months. Consistency in the climatology pattern and linear trends in surface air temperature and precipitation calculated using station data, gridded data, and nearest grid-to-stations for the TP average and across sub-basins indicate the robustness of the trends despite the large spatial heterogeneity in the TP that challenge climate monitoring.

  1. Origin and recharge rates of alluvial ground waters, Eastern Desert, Egypt.

    SciTech Connect

    Sultan, M.; Gheith, H.; Sturchio, N. C.; El Alfy, Z.; Danishwar, S.

    2002-04-12

    Stable isotope and tritium analyses of shallow ground waters in the Eastern Desert of Egypt showed that the waters were derived largely by evaporation of regional precipitation and at least partly from precipitation in the past 45 y. To estimate the ground water recharge rate, we developed an integrated hydrologic model based on satellite data, geologic maps, infiltration parameters, and spatial rainfall distribution. Modeling indicated that during a severe 1994 storm, recharge through transmission loss in Wadi El-Tarfa was 21% of the precipitation volume. From archival precipitation data, we estimate that the annual recharge rate for the El-Tarfa alluvial aquifer is 4.7 x 10{sup 6} m{sup 3}. Implications for the use of renewable ground waters in arid areas of Egypt and in neighboring countries are clear.

  2. The application of remotely sensed data to pedologic and geomorphic mapping on alluvial fan and playa surfaces in Saline Valley, California

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, D. A.; Petersen, G. W.; Kahle, A. B.

    1986-01-01

    Arid and semiarid regions yield excellent opportunities for the study of pedologic and geomorphic processes. The dominance of rock and soil exposure over vegetation not only provides the ground observer with observational possibilities but also affords good opportunities for measurement by aircraft and satellite remote sensor devices. Previous studies conducted in the area of pedologic and geomorphic mapping in arid regions with remotely sensed data have utilized information obtained in the visible to near-infrared portion of the spectrum. Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner (TIMS) and Thematic Mapping (TM) data collected in 1984 are being used in comjunction with maps compiled during a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) soil survey to aid in a detailed mapping of alluvial fan and playa surfaces within the valley. The results from this study may yield valuable information concerning the application of thermal data and thermal/visible data combinations to the problem of dating pedologic and geomorphic features in arid regions.

  3. Dynamic Modeling of Meandering Alluvial Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lan, Yongqiang

    1990-01-01

    The migration of meandering alluvial channels is investigated theoretically, numerically, and experimentally. An equation for the rate of bank erosion is derived from a two-dimensional continuity equation for sediment transport linked with the depth-averaged dynamic flow equations. A simple one-dimensional theoretical analysis of meander migration leads to a relationship between the migration rate and the relative channel curvature and sediment properties. The simple model appropriately simulates the pattern and rate of meander expansion and migrations of the White River, Indiana and the East Nishnabotna River, Iowa. Application of the one-dimensional model to sine -generated alluvial channels indicates that meander migration reaches its maximum when the relative radius of curvature reaches about 4.8, or when the sinuosity of meander approaches 1.3. A two-dimensional numerical model, DYNAMIC, which predicts both lateral and longitudinal migration of alluvial channels is then developed, based on a system of quasi -steady depth-averaged flow dynamic equations, a sediment continuity equation, and a bank erosion equation. A linear analysis of the two-dimensional model leads to a convolutional relation between the rate of meander migration and flow and sediment properties. In the two-dimensional numerical analysis, a numerical algorithm called FLOWSOL is developed to solve the flow dynamic equations. The flow algorithm is then linked to the sediment continuity equation and bank erosion equation to simulate bed deformation and bank erosion. The developed two-dimensional model is applied to calculate the velocity profiles in Rozovskii's experiments and the bed deformation and shear stress in Hooke's experiments. Good agreement is obtained between the calculated and measured velocities, shear stresses and bed profiles in all experiments. Small scaled meandering rivers are developed successfully on a floodplain with or without cohesive materials (about 3%) in a wide recirculating flume. The lateral migration of miniature rivers under relatively constant flow discharge is documented, analyzed, and compared with simulation results by the two-dimensional numerical model.

  4. Turkana Grits - a Cretaceous braided alluvial system in northern Kenya

    SciTech Connect

    Handford, C.R.

    1987-05-01

    Rather spotty but excellent exposures of the Cretaceous-age Turkana Grits occur near the western shore of Lake Turkana, northern Kenya. These very coarse to pebbly arkosic sandstones and sandy conglomerates were derived from and rest unconformably upon Precambrian metamorphic basement; they are overlain by late Tertiary basaltic flows that comprise much of the volcanics in the East African Rift Zone. The formation ranges up to 2000 ft thick in the Laburr Range. Several outcrops contain sauropod, crocodile, and tortoise remains as well as abundant trunks of petrified wood (Dryoxylon). Five major facies make up the Turkana Grits and record a major episode of continental fluvial deposition in basins flanked by Precambrian basement. Facies 1 is crudely stratified, cobble and boulder conglomerate (clast-supported); Facies 2 is crudely stratified pebble-cobble conglomerate and pebbly sandstone; Facies 3 is trough cross-bedded, very coarse sandstones containing fossils wood and vertebrate remains; Facies 4 is crudely stratified to massive sandstones with ironstone nodules; and Facies 5 is red, purple, and gray mudstone and mud shale with carbonate nodules. Facies 1 through 3 record deposition in proximal to medial braided-stream channel, longitudinal bar and dune complexes. Facies 4 is a lowland, hydromorphic paleosol, and Facies 5 represents overbank and abandoned channel-fill sedimentation in an alluvial plain.

  5. Controls on alluvial fan long-profiles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stock, J.D.; Schmidt, K.M.; Miller, D.M.

    2008-01-01

    Water and debris flows exiting confined valleys have a tendency to deposit sediment on steep fans. On alluvial fans where water transport of gravel predominates, channel slopes tend to decrease downfan from ???0.10-0.04 to ???0.01 across wide ranges of climate and tectonism. Some have argued that this pattern reflects grain-size fining downfan such that higher threshold slopes are required just to entrain coarser particles in the waters of the upper fan, whereas lower slopes are required to entrain finer grains downfan (threshold hypothesis). An older hypothesis is that slope is adjusted to transport the supplied sediment load, which decreases downfan as deposition occurs (transport hypothesis). We have begun to test these hypotheses for alluvial fan long-profiles using detailed hydraulic and particle-size data in sediment transport models. On four alluvial fans in the western U.S., we find that channel hydraulic radiiare largely 0.5-0.9 m at fan heads, decreasing to 0.1-0.2 m at distal margins. We find that median gravel diameter does not change systematically along the upper 60%-80% of active fan channels as slope declines, so downstream gravel fining cannot explain most of the observed channel slope reduction. However, as slope declines, channel-bed sand cover increases systematically downfan from areal fractions of <20% above fan heads to distal fan values in excess of 70%. As a result, entrainment thresholds for bed material might decrease systematically downfan, leading to lower slopes. However, current models of this effect alone tend to underpredict downfan slope changes. This is likely due to off-channel gravel deposition. Calculations that match observed fan long-profiles require an exponential decline in gravel transport rate, so that on some fans approximately half of the load must be deposited off channel every -0.20-1.4 km downfan. This leads us to hypothesize that some alluvial fan long-proffies are statements about the rate of overbank deposition of coarse particles downfan, a process for which there is currently no mechanistic theory. ?? 2007 Geological Society of America.

  6. CHANNEL EVOLUTION IN MODIFIED ALLUVIAL STREAMS.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Simon, Andrew; Hupp, Cliff R.

    1987-01-01

    This study (a) assesses the channel changes and network trends of bed level response after modifications between 1959 and 1972 of alluvial channels in western Tennessee and (b) develops a conceptual model of bank slope development to qualitatively assess bank stability and potential channel widening. A six-step, semiquantitative model of channel evolution in disturbed channels was developed by quantifying bed level trends and recognizing qualitative stages of bank slope development. Development of the bank profile is defined in terms of three dynamic and observable surfaces: (a) vertical face (70 to 90 degrees), (b) upper bank (25 to 50 degrees), and (c) slough line (20 to 25 degrees).

  7. Transition from arid to hyper-arid environment in the southern Levant deserts as recorded by early Pleistocene cummulic Aridisols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amit, Rivka; Simhai, Ori; Ayalon, Avner; Enzel, Yehouda; Matmon, Ari; Crouvi, Onn; Porat, Naomi; McDonald, Eric

    2011-02-01

    The time at which deserts established their current arid or hyper-arid conditions remains a fundamental question regarding the history of Earth. Cosmogenic isotope exposure ages of desert pavement and welded, calcic-gypsic-salic Reg soils that developed on relatively flat alluvial surfaces ˜2 Ma ago in the Negev Desert indicate long geomorphic stability under extremely dry conditions. Over a short interval during their initial stage of development between 1-2 Ma, these cumulative soils are characterized by calcic soils reaching maximum stage III of carbonate morphology. This interval is the only period when calcic soil horizons formed on stable abandoned alluvial surfaces in the southern Negev Desert. Since ˜1 Ma pedogenesis changed toward more arid soil environment and the formation of gypsic-salic soil horizons that were later followed by dust accumulation. The dichotomy of only moderately-developed calcic soil (stages II-III) during a relatively long time interval (10 5-10 6 years) indicates an arid environment that does not support continuous development but only occasional calcic soil formation. The very low δ18O and relatively high δ13C values of these early pedogenic carbonates support soil formation under arid climatic conditions. Such an environment was probably characterized by rare and relatively longer duration rainstorms which occasionally allowed deeper infiltration of rainwater and longer retention of soil moisture. This, in turn enabled the growth of sparse vegetation that enhanced deposition of pedogenic carbonate. At ˜1 Ma these rare events of slightly wetter conditions ceased and less atmospheric moisture reached the southern Negev Desert leading to deposition of soluble salts and dust deposited in the soils. The combination of long-term hyperaridity, scarcity of vegetation and lack of bioturbation, salts cementation, dust accumulation and tight desert pavement cover, has protected the surfaces from erosion forming one of the most remarkably stable landscapes on Earth, a landscape that essentially has not eroded, but accumulated salt and dust for more than 10 6 yr.

  8. Late Quaternary eolian and alluvial response to paleoclimate, Canyonlands, southeastern Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reheis, M.C.; Reynolds, R.L.; Goldstein, H.; Roberts, H.M.; Yount, J.C.; Axford, Y.; Cummings, L.S.; Shearin, N.

    2005-01-01

    In upland areas of Canyonlands National Park, Utah, thin deposits and paleosols show late Quaternary episodes of eolian sedimentation, pedogenesis, and climate change. Interpretation of the stratigraphy and optically stimulated luminescence ages of eolian and nearby alluvial deposits, their pollen, and intercalated paleosols yields the following history: (1) Eolian deposition at ca. 46 ka, followed by several episodes of alluviation from some time before ca. 40 ka until after 16 ka (calibrated). (2) Eolian deposition from ca. 17 ka to 12 ka, interrupted by periods of pedogenesis, coinciding with late Pleistocene alluviation as local climate became warmer and wetter. (3) A wetter period from 12 to 8.5 ka corresponding to the peak of summer monsoon influence, during which soils formed relatively quickly by infiltration of eolian silt and clay, and trees and grasses were more abundant. (4) A drier period between ca. 8.5 and 6 ka during which sheetwash deposits accumulated and more desertlike vegetation was dominant; some dunes were reactivated at ca. 8 ka. (5) Episodic eolian and fluvial deposition during a wetter, cooler period that began at ca. 6 ka and ended by ca. 3-2 ka, followed by a shift to drier modern conditions; localized mobilization of dune sand has persisted to the present. These interpretations are similar to those of studies at the Chaco dune field, New Mexico, and the Tusayan dune field, Arizona, and are consistent with paleoclimate interpretations of pollen and packrat middens in the region. A period of rapid deposition and infiltration of eolian dust derived from distant igneous source terranes occurred between ca. 12 and 8 ka. Before ca. 17 ka, and apparently back to at least 45 ka, paleosols contain little or no such infiltrated dust. After ca. 8 ka, either the supply of dust was reduced or the more arid climate inhibited translocation of dust into the soils. ?? 2005 Geological Society of America.

  9. Correlation and dating of Quaternary alluvial-fan surfaces using scarp diffusion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, Leslie; Pelletier, Jon D.

    2004-06-01

    Great interest has recently been focused on dating and interpreting alluvial-fan surfaces. As a complement to the radiometric methods often used for surface-exposure dating, this paper illustrates a rapid method for correlating and dating fan surfaces using the cross-sectional shape of gullies incised into fan surfaces. The method applies a linear hillslope-diffusion model to invert for the diffusivity age, κt (m 2), using an elevation profile or gradient (slope) profile. Gullies near the distal end of fan surfaces are assumed to form quickly following fan entrenchment. Scarps adjacent to these gullies provide a measure of age. The method is illustrated on fan surfaces with ages of approximately 10 ka to 1.2 Ma in the arid southwestern United States. Two areas of focus are Death Valley, California, and the Ajo Mountains piedmont, Arizona. Gully-profile morphology is measured in two ways: by photometrically derived gradient (slope) profiles and by ground-surveyed elevation profiles. The κt values determined using ground-surveyed profiles are more consistent than those determined using photo-derived κt values. However, the mean κt values of both methods are comparable. The photometric method provides an efficient way to quantitatively and objectively correlate and relatively-date alluvial-fan surfaces. The κt values for each surface are determined to approximately 30-50% accuracy.

  10. Macro-roughness model of bedrock-alluvial river morphodynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, L.; Parker, G.; Stark, C. P.; Inoue, T.; Viparelli, E.; Fu, X.; Izumi, N.

    2014-05-01

    The 1-D saltation-abrasion model of channel bedrock incision of Sklar and Dietrich, in which the erosion rate is buffered by the surface area fraction of bedrock covered by alluvium, was a major advance over models that treat river erosion as a function of bed slope and drainage area. Their model is, however, limited because it calculates bed cover in terms of bedload sediment supply rather than local bedload transport. It implicitly assumes that as sediment supply from upstream changes, the transport rate adjusts instantaneously everywhere downstream to match. This assumption is not valid in general, and thus can give rise unphysical consequences. Here we present a unified morphodynamic formulation of both channel incision and alluviation which specifically tracks the spatiotemporal variation of both bedload transport and alluvial thickness. It does so by relating the cover fraction not to a ratio of bedload supply rate to capacity bedload transport, but rather to the ratio of alluvium thickness to a macro-roughness characterizing the bedrock surface. The new formulation predicts waves of alluviation and rarification, in addition to bedrock erosion. Embedded in it are three physical processes: alluvial diffusion, fast downstream advection of alluvial disturbances and slow upstream migration of incisional disturbances. Solutions of this formulation over a fixed bed are used to demonstrate the stripping of an initial alluvial cover, the emplacement of alluvial cover over an initially bare bed and the advection-diffusion of a sediment pulse over an alluvial bed. A solution for alluvial-incisional interaction in a channel with a basement undergoing net rock uplift shows how an impulsive increase in sediment supply can quickly and completely bury the bedrock under thick alluvium, so blocking bedrock erosion. As the river responds to rock uplift or base level fall, the transition point separating an alluvial reach upstream from an alluvial-bedrock reach downstream migrates upstream in the form of a "hidden knickpoint". A solution for the case of a zone of rock subsidence (graben) bounded upstream and downstream by zones of rock uplift (horsts) yields a steady-state solution that is unattainable with the original saltation-abrasion model. A solution for the case of bedrock-alluvial coevolution upstream of an alluviated river mouth illustrates how the bedrock surface can be progressive buried not far below the alluvium. Because the model tracks the spatiotemporal variation of both bedload transport and alluvial thickness, it is applicable to the study of the incisional response of a river subject to temporally varying sediment supply. It thus has the potential to capture the response of an alluvial-bedrock river to massive impulsive sediment inputs associated with landslides or debris flows.

  11. Fertilizers mobilization in alluvial aquifer: laboratory experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mastrocicco, M.; Colombani, N.; Palpacelli, S.

    2009-02-01

    In alluvial plains, intensive farming with conspicuous use of agrochemicals, can cause land pollution and groundwater contamination. In central Po River plain, paleo-channels are important links between arable lands and the underlaying aquifer, since the latter is often confined by clay sediments that act as a barrier against contaminants migration. Therefore, paleo-channels are recharge zones of particular interest that have to be protected from pollution as they are commonly used for water supply. This paper focuses on fertilizer mobilization next to a sand pit excavated in a paleo-channel near Ferrara (Italy). The problem is approached via batch test leaking and columns elution of alluvial sediments. Results from batch experiments showed fast increase in all major cations and anions, suggesting equilibrium control of dissolution reactions, limited availability of solid phases and geochemical homogeneity of samples. In column experiments, early elution and tailing of all ions breakthrough was recorded due to preferential flow paths. For sediments investigated in this study, dispersion, dilution and chemical reactions can reduce fertilizers at concentration below drinking standards in a reasonable time frame, provided fertilizer loading is halted or, at least, reduced. Thus, the definition of a corridor along paleo-channels is recommended to preserve groundwater quality.

  12. Fire, climate, and alluvial system dynamics: A Holocene record from Yellowstone National Park

    SciTech Connect

    Meyer, G.A. . Dept. of Geology); Wells, S.G. . Dept. of Earth Sciences); Jull, A.J. . NSF-Arizona Accelerator Facility For Isotope Dating)

    1992-01-01

    Many large debris-flow, hyperconcentrated-flow, and flood-streamflow sediment transport events have been produced in steep basins that were burned in the 1988 fires in northeaster Yellowstone National Park. The charcoal- and fines-rich character of fire-related debris-flow deposits and the abundance of similar facies in Holocene fan sections have allowed them to construct a [sup 14]C-dated chronology of fire-related sedimentation in the Soda Butte and Slough Creek drainages for the last 3500 years. Major periods of fire-related alluvial fan aggradation are interpreted as drought-dominated with the support of local paleoenvironmental data and statistical analyses of historical climate-fire relations; however, some fire-related events may occur due to high climatic variability and severe short-term drought within generally moist intervals. The last major episode of fire-related debris-flow activity encompasses the Medieval Warm Period of 900--1300 AD and peaks ca. 1150 AD; a prior episode culminates ca. 350--100 BC. Wetter periods contain minimal fire-related fan sedimentation; however, floodplain broadening and aggradation occurs along axial streams. Higher average snowmelt runoff discharges are probably involved, such that the dominant alluvial activity shifts to removal of sediment from alluvial fan storage and transport to downstream floodplains. The Little Ice Age (ca. 1300--1900 AD) contains minimal fire-related debris0flow activity and is associated with floodplain aggradation of the T4 terrace, and independent evidence suggests substantially wetter conditions during T3 aggradation ca. 350--650 AD. Thus, small-scale climate changes of the late Holocene effectively control the dominant mode of alluvial activity.

  13. On the Role of Flash Floods for Dust Emission over North Africa: Alluvial Sediments acting as Dust Source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schepanski, K.; Klueser, L.; Tegen, I.

    2014-12-01

    Studies analyzing satellite dust products show that numerous dust sources are located in the foothills of arid and semi-arid mountain regions. There, alluvial sediments deposited on valley bottoms and flood plains are very susceptible to wind erosion and frequently serve as dust source. This study focuses on the spatio-temporal distribution of dust source activation events over the mountain foothills and flood plains over North Africa. Satellite dust retrievals with sub-daily resolution such as from Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) Spinning Enhanced Visible and InfraRed Imager (SEVIRI) and METOP A/B Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) instruments are used to identify dust source regions. Identified dust source regions are then linked to soil properties and land type classification data sets. Information on the mineralogical composition of transported dust inferred from IASI observation are used (a) to investigate the impact of different source geomorphologies and thus different radiative properties of airborne dust particles, and (b) to estimate the contribution of dust uplift from alluvial sediments compared to dust emission from non-hydrological sources. Ultimately, this study contributes to the understanding of controlling mechanism on the interannual variability of dust source activation and will improve current dust emission modules coupled to atmosphere models.

  14. Simulating Fine grained Alluvial Fan Sedimentation on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgan, A. M.; Howard, A. D.; Moore, J. M.; Beyer, R. A.

    2013-12-01

    The alluvial fans on Mars date to as late as the Hesperian Period and may be representative of the last major episode of widespread fluvial modification to the red planet's surface. These fans lie within enclosed crater basins, and are characterized by their large size (tens of km in length) and gentle gradient (less than 1-3°). The fans generally feature a network of channel distributaries floored with coarser sediment and what we have interpreted to be fine grained overbank deposits that comprise the bulk of the fan material [1]. We have developed a landform evolution model based on the approach of [2] to simulate the growth of these fans in order to answer several questions about their formation, including: (1) what are the characteristics of water discharge (flow magnitude and duration) and sediment supply (quantity and grain size); and (2) what are the associated implications for the responsible climatic environment (e.g. amount and frequency of precipitation sourcing the fans). The model combines discharge and sediment deposition with channel avulsion and abandonment, allowing for an analysis of both the micro and macro scale processes concerning fan formation. Water and sediment is routed through a distributary network that can branch, recombine, and avulse. The model simulates deposition of both coarse-grained bedload and a fine-grained suspended load material that can be deposited overbank during flood events. The model records the stratigraphy of the deposited material in terms of the relative proportions of coarse and fine-grained sediment. Using measures such as channel width, relative proportions of channel versus overbank deposited sediment, and frequency of channel branching, output is statistically compared with digital elevation models that have been produced from high-resolution CTX and HiRISE stereo pairs. Initial results suggest fans formed from hundreds of flow events over many thousands of years. Fan formation processes appear to be similar to those active in terrestrial fans in northern Chile's Atacama Desert. Additional model runs will simulate fan development under different patterns of precipitation (uniform over the fan versus an orographic pattern of greater precipitation on upper crater walls) and variations in sediment size distribution. References: [1] Morgan, A. M., Howard, A. D., Hobley, D. E. J., Moore, J. M., Dietrich, W. E., Williams, R. M. E., Burr, D. M., Grant, J. A., Wilson, S. A., and Matsubara, Y. (in review) Sedimentology and Climatic Environment of Alluvial Fans in the Martian Saheki Crater and a Comparison with Terrestrial Fans in the Atacama Desert [2] Sun, T., C. Paola, G. Parker, and P. Meakin (2002), Water Resour. Res., 38, no.8, 10.

  15. Modelling the response of an alluvial aquifer to anthropogenic and recharge stresses in the United States Southern Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zume, Joseph T.; Tarhule, Aondover A.

    2011-08-01

    This paper uses Visual MODFLOW to simulate potential impacts of anthropogenic pumping and recharge variability on an alluvial aquifer in semi-arid northwestern Oklahoma. Groundwater withdrawal from the aquifer is projected to increase by more than 50% (relative to 1990) by the year 2050. In contrast, climate projections indicate declining regional precipitation over the next several decades, creating a potential problem of demand and supply. The following scenarios were simulated: (1) projected groundwater withdrawal, (2) a severe drought, (3) a prolonged wet period, and (4) a human adjustment scenario, which assumes future improvements in water conservation measures. Results indicate that the combined impacts of anthropogenic pumping and droughts would create drawdown of greater than 12 m in the aquifer. Spatially, however, areas of severe drawdown will be localized around large-capacity well clusters. The worst impacts of both pumping and droughts will be on stream-aquifer interaction. For example, the projected aquifer pumpage would lead to a total streamflow loss of 40%, creating losing stream system regionally. Similarly, a severe drought would lead to a total streamflow loss of >80%. A post-audit of the model was also carried out to evaluate model performance. By simulating various stress scenarios on the alluvial aquifer, this study provides important information for evaluating management options for alluvial aquifers.

  16. Appraisal of nuclear waste isolation in the vadose zone in arid and semiarid regions (with emphasis on the Nevada Test Site)

    SciTech Connect

    Wollenberg, H.A.; Wang, J.S.Y.; Korbin, G.

    1983-05-01

    An appraisal was made of the concept of isolating high-level radioactive waste in the vadose zone of alluvial-filled valleys and tuffaceous rocks of the Basin and Range geomorphic province. Principal attributes of these terranes are: (1) low population density, (2) low moisture influx, (3) a deep water table, (4) the presence of sorptive rocks, and (5) relative ease of construction. Concerns about heat effects of waste on unsaturated rocks of relatively low thermal conductivity are considered. Calculations show that a standard 2000-acre repository with a thermal loading of 40 kW/acre in partially saturated alluvium or tuff would experience an average temperature rise of less than 100{sup 0}C above the initial temperature. The actual maximum temperature would depend strongly on the emplacement geometry. Concerns about seismicity, volcanism, and future climatic change are also mitigated. The conclusion reached in this appraisal is that unsaturated zones in alluvium and tuff of arid regions should be investigated as comprehensively as other geologic settings considered to be potential repository sites.

  17. The volcano-sedimentary evolution of a post-Variscan intramontane basin in the Swiss Alps (Glarus Verrucano) as revealed by zircon U-Pb age dating and Hf isotope geochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Letsch, Dominik; Winkler, Wilfried; von Quadt, Albrecht; Gallhofer, Daniela

    2015-01-01

    The Late Palaeozoic Glarus Verrucano basin (GVB, Glarus Alps, eastern Switzerland) formed as an intramontane graben in the aftermath of the Variscan orogeny. Its fill, the Glarus Verrucano, consists of immature alluvial fan and playa lake deposits with intercalated bimodal volcanics (basalts and rhyolites). Despite its importance for local and regional geology, no modern sedimentologic or stratigraphic studies on the GVB exist. By means of sedimentologic and geochronologic studies, we reconstruct the volcano-sedimentary evolution of the GVB: it developed at the Carboniferous/Permian boundary and experienced a first (bimodal) volcanic phase around 285 Ma. For the same time, indications for temporarily humid climate in the otherwise rather arid Early Permian are demonstrated (e.g. pyrite-bearing sandstones). During the Middle and Early Late Permian, increasing aridity is indicated by playa deposits, fanglomerates and subaerial ignimbrites, which mark a second (silicic) volcanic phase at 268 Ma. The detrital zircon age spectra are dominated by Late Variscan ages and thus demonstrate that older sedimentary and metamorphic rocks once forming the Variscan nappe edifice were already mostly eroded at that time. Finally, some larger-scale speculations are given which could indicate a causal connection between the widespread tectono-magmatic Mid-Permian Episode and the local development of the Glarus Verrucano basin.

  18. Sedimentology and palaeontology of the Upper Jurassic Puesto Almada Member (Cañadón Asfalto Formation, Fossati sub-basin), Patagonia Argentina: Palaeoenvironmental and climatic significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cabaleri, Nora G.; Benavente, Cecilia A.; Monferran, Mateo D.; Narváez, Paula L.; Volkheimer, Wolfgang; Gallego, Oscar F.; Do Campo, Margarita D.

    2013-10-01

    Six facies associations are described for the Puesto Almada Member at the Cerro Bandera locality (Fossati sub-basin). They correspond to lacustrine, palustrine, and pedogenic deposits (limestones); and subordinated alluvial fan, fluvial, aeolian, and pyroclastic deposits. The lacustrine-palustrine depositional setting consisted of carbonate alkaline shallow lakes surrounded by flooded areas in a low-lying topography. The facies associations constitute four shallowing upward successions defined by local exposure surfaces: 1) a Lacustrine-Palustrine-pedogenic facies association with a 'conchostracan'-ostracod association; 2) a Palustrine facies association representing a wetland subenvironment, and yielding 'conchostracans', body remains of insects, fish scales, ichnofossils, and palynomorphs (cheirolepidiacean species and ferns growing around water bodies, and other gymnosperms in more elevated areas); 3) an Alluvial fan facies association indicating the source of sediment supply; and 4) a Lacustrine facies association representing a second wetland episode, and yielding 'conchostracans', insect ichnofossils, and a palynoflora mainly consisting of planktonic green algae associated with hygrophile elements. The invertebrate fossil assemblage found contains the first record of fossil insect bodies (Insecta-Hemiptera and Coleoptera) for the Cañadón Asfalto Formation. The succession reflects a mainly climatic control over sedimentation. The sedimentary features of the Puesto Almada Member are in accordance with an arid climatic scenario across the Upper Jurassic, and they reflect a strong seasonality with periods of higher humidity represented by wetlands and lacustrine sediments.

  19. Denudation rates from mass balance on alluvial fans in the chinese Tian Shan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guerit, Laure; Barrier, Laurie; Métivier, François; Jolivet, Marc; Fu, Bihong

    2015-04-01

    Denudation is a key process for mountain ranges evolution as it is an essential parameter to study the mass transfer over the Earth surface, the evolution of reliefs, or the complex relationships between climate, erosion and landscape changes. Several methods have been develop to quantify denudation such as the estimation of paleo-sediment fluxes from mass budget. In fact, markers of erosion within drainage areas are often scarce, temporary and difficult to reach. At the outlet of mountain belts, more continuous and perennial records of deposition can be found in sedimentary basins. Sediment budget is thus a powerful approach, generally used at the scale of sedimentary basins. However, this method can also be applied on smaller sedimentary systems, such as alluvial fans. Yet, it is seldom used on these systems, and consequently, its accuracy is barely questioned. We propose to implement such a method on several alluvial fan systems in the Chinese part of the Tian Shan Range, where estimations of denudation rates have already been proposed. Based on the reconstruction of two generations of alluvial fans, we estimate the volume of sediment exported out of the drainage system of the range for the Middle- Late Pleistocene (300 000 to ~11 000 y) and for the Holocene (~11 000 y to present). From these volumes, we derive denudation rates of ~135 m/My at maximum for these two periods, in good agreement with previous mass balance studies. Despite a strong change in the morphology of the piedmont at the onset of the Holocene, denudation rate seems quite stable within the hinterland mountains. This value is quite low for such a range. Based on a comparison of denudation rates observed in other areas over the world with comparable shortening or precipitation rates, we suggest that the low denudation rate observed in the chinese Tian Shan is related to the limited amount of precipitation.

  20. Groundwater quality in the Northern Coast Ranges Basins, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mathany, Timothy M.; Belitz, Kenneth

    2015-01-01

    Recharge to the groundwater system is primarily from mixture of ambient sources, including direct percolation of precipitation and irrigation waters, infiltration of runoff from surrounding hills/areas, seepage from rivers and creeks, and subsurface inflow (from non-alluvial geologic units that bound the alluvial basins). The primary sources of discharge are evaporation, discharge to streams, and water pumped for municipal supply and irrigation.

  1. Movement of water infiltrated from a recharge basin to wells.

    PubMed

    O'Leary, David R; Izbicki, John A; Moran, Jean E; Meeth, Tanya; Nakagawa, Brandon; Metzger, Loren; Bonds, Chris; Singleton, Michael J

    2012-01-01

    Local surface water and stormflow were infiltrated intermittently from a 40-ha basin between September 2003 and September 2007 to determine the feasibility of recharging alluvial aquifers pumped for public supply, near Stockton, California. Infiltration of water produced a pressure response that propagated through unconsolidated alluvial-fan deposits to 125 m below land surface (bls) in 5 d and through deeper, more consolidated alluvial deposits to 194 m bls in 25 d, resulting in increased water levels in nearby monitoring wells. The top of the saturated zone near the basin fluctuates seasonally from depths of about 15 to 20 m. Since the start of recharge, water infiltrated from the basin has reached depths as great as 165 m bls. On the basis of sulfur hexafluoride tracer test data, basin water moved downward through the saturated alluvial deposits until reaching more permeable zones about 110 m bls. Once reaching these permeable zones, water moved rapidly to nearby pumping wells at rates as high as 13 m/d. Flow to wells through highly permeable material was confirmed on the basis of flowmeter logging, and simulated numerically using a two-dimensional radial groundwater flow model. Arsenic concentrations increased slightly as a result of recharge from 2 to 6 µg/L immediately below the basin. Although few water-quality issues were identified during sample collection, high groundwater velocities and short travel times to nearby wells may have implications for groundwater management at this and at other sites in heterogeneous alluvial aquifers. PMID:21740423

  2. Combining point and distributed snowpack data with landscape-based discretization for hydrologic modeling of the snow-dominated Maipo River basin, in the semi-arid Andes of Central Chile.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McPhee, James; Videla, Yohann

    2014-05-01

    The 5000-km2 upper Maipo River Basin, in central Chile's Andes, has an adequate streamgage network but almost no meteorological or snow accumulation data. Therefore, hydrologic model parameterization is strongly subject to model errors stemming from input and model-state uncertainty. In this research, we apply the Cold Regions Hydrologic Model (CRHM) to the basin, force it with reanalysis data downscaled to an appropriate resolution, and inform a parsimonious basin discretization, based on the hydrologic response unit concept, with distributed data on snowpack properties obtained through snow surveys for two seasons. With minimal calibration the model is able to reproduce the seasonal accumulation and melt cycle as recorded in the one snow pillow available for the basin, and although a bias in maximum accumulation persists, snowpack persistence in time is appropriately simulated based on snow water equivalent and snow covered area observations. Blowing snow events were simulated by the model whenever daily wind speed surpassed 8 m/s, although the use of daily instead of hourly data to force the model suggests that this phenomenon could be underestimated. We investigate the representation of snow redistribution by the model, and compare it with small-scale observations of wintertime snow accumulation on glaciers, in a first step towards characterizing ice distribution within a HRU spatial discretization. Although built at a different spatial scale, we present a comparison of simulated results with distributed snow depth data obtained within a 40 km2 sub-basin of the main Maipo watershed in two snow surveys carried out at the end of winter seasons 2011 and 2012, and compare basin-wide SWE estimates with a regression tree extrapolation of the observed data.

  3. Debris-flow dominance of alluvial fans masked by runoff reworking and weathering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Haas, Tjalling; Ventra, Dario; Carbonneau, Patrice E.; Kleinhans, Maarten G.

    2014-07-01

    Arid alluvial fan aggradation is highly episodic and fans often comprise active and inactive sectors. Hence the morphology and texture of fan surfaces are partly determined by secondary processes of weathering and erosion in addition to primary processes of aggradation. This introduces considerable uncertainty in the identification of formative processes of terrestrial and Martian fans from aerial and satellite imagery. The objectives of this study are (i) to develop a model to describe the sedimentological and morphological evolution of inactive fan surfaces in arid settings, and (ii) to assess the relative importance of primary processes of aggradation and secondary processes of weathering and reworking for surface morphology and sedimentology and for the stratigraphic record. We studied an alluvial fan characterized by a recently active sector and a long-abandoned, inactive sector along the coast of the hyperarid Atacama Desert. Here, rates of primary geomorphic activity are exceptionally low because of extreme aridity, while weathering rates are relatively high because of the effects of coastal fogs. Long-term processes of fan aggradation and reworking were determined through sedimentological facies analysis of stratigraphic sections. Ground surveys for textural and morphological patterns at the fan surface were integrated with remote-sensing by an Unmanned Airborne Vehicle (UAV). Discharges and sediment-transport capacities were calculated to estimate the efficiency of secondary runoff in reshaping the inactive fan sector. Stratigraphic sections reveal that the fan was dominantly aggraded by debris flows, whereas surface morphology is dominated by debris-flow signatures in the active sector and by weathering and runoff on the inactive sector. On the latter, rapid particle breakdown prevents the formation of a coarse desert pavement. Furthermore, relatively frequent local runoff events erode proximal debris-flow channels on the inactive sector to form local lag deposits and accumulate fine sediment in low-gradient distal channels, forming a well-developed drainage pattern that would suggest a runoff origin from aerial images. Nevertheless, reworking is very superficial and barely preserved in the stratigraphic record. This implies that fans on Earth and Mars that formed dominantly by sporadic mass flows may be masked by a surface morphology related to other processes.

  4. Assessment of global aridity change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asadi Zarch, Mohammad Amin; Sivakumar, Bellie; Sharma, Ashish

    2015-01-01

    The growing demand for water and the anticipated impacts of climate change necessitate a more reliable assessment of water availability for proper planning and management. Adequate understanding of the past changes in water resources availability can offer crucial information about potential changes in the future. Aridity is a reliable representation of potential water availability, especially at large scales. The present study investigates the changes in global aridity since 1960. The study considers the UNESCO aridity index, with aridity being represented as a function of its two key drivers: precipitation (P) and potential evapotranspiration (PET). First, published literature on changes in trends of P, PET, and aridity across the world is surveyed. This is followed by the analysis of trends in the aridity observations over the period 1960-2009. The nonparametric Mann-Kendall test is performed for trend analysis and outcomes investigated for the presence of clusters of trend across different grid cells the analysis is conducted over. The results suggest that arid zones are becoming slightly more humid and vice versa. They also indicate that the trend in aridity changed, or even reversed, around 1980 in most parts of the world. We speculate that the reason for this was the dramatic change (rise) in global temperature around 1980 as per both published literature and the present analysis, which, in turn, caused similar trends for global PET. We also call for additional research to verify, and possibly confirm, the present results.

  5. Deglacial Flood Origin of the Charleston Alluvial Fan, Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, Donna A.; Guccione, Margaret J.

    1994-05-01

    Large-magnitude flooding of the Mississippi River from proglacial lakes Agassiz and Superior most likely occurred between 11,300 and 10,900 and 9900 and 9500 yr B.P. The Charleston alluvial fan, a depositional remnant of one of these floods, is located at the head of a wide alluvial plain near Charleston, Missouri. The fan is an elongate, convex-up sand body (16 × 24 km) composed of medium- and fine-grained sand at least 8 m thick. This sand contrasts with the older coarse-grained sand of the braided stream surface to the west and south and younger silty clay of the meandering stream level to the north and east. A weakly developed soil separates the underlying braided steam deposits from the alluvial fan. A bulk-soil radiocarbon date of 10,590 ± 200 yr B.P. from the contact between the fan and clays of the meandering stream system indicates that the Charleston fan was deposited near the end of the early interval of flooding from Lake Agassiz about 10,900 yr B.P. If the Charleston fan is the last remnant of deglacial flooding in the lower Mississippi Valley, then deposition of significant quantities of sediment from largemagnitude floods between 10,000 and 9500 yr B.P. did not extend into the lower Mississippi Valley through Thebes Gap.

  6. Hydrochemical and isotopic characteristics of groundwater in the Souss Upstream Basin, southwestern Morocco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dindane, K.; Bouchaou, L.; Hsissou, Y.; Krimissa, M.

    2003-05-01

    Heterogeneous shallow Plio-Quaternary formations of the Souss Plain represent the most important aquifer in southern High Atlas Mountains in Morocco. The present work was conducted in the Souss Upstream Basin to identify the chemical characteristics and the origin of groundwater in an aquifer under semi-arid climate. Isotopic and hydrochemical compositions combined with geological and hydrogeological data were used for this purpose. The total dissolved solids vary from 239 to 997 mg l-1, and the following groundwater types are recognized: Ca2+-Mg2+-HCO3-, Ca2+-Mg2+-SO42- and Ca2+-Mg2+-Cl-. The groundwater is saturated and slightly supersaturated with respect to carbonate minerals and undersaturated with respect to evaporite minerals, which means that the groundwater composition is largely controlled by the dissolution of carbonate rocks known in the basin. The isotopic contents of groundwaters ranged from -8‰ to -5.2‰ for δ18O, from -52‰ to -34‰ for δD, and from 0 to 5.5 TU for tritium. The hydrogen (δD) and oxygen (δ18O) isotope signatures reveal a significant infiltration before evaporation takes place, indicating a major recharge directly from fractures in the crystalline and limestone formations of Atlas Mountains (above 800 m a.s.l.) and infiltration of surface water in the alluvial cones at the border of the Atlas basins. The very low tritium values suggest that the groundwater recharge follows a long flow path and a mixing between old and modern water is shown. However, a slight evaporation effect is noted in the southern part of the basin close to the Anti-Atlas Mountains.

  7. Cosmogenic dating ranging from 20 to 700 ka of a series of alluvial fan surfaces affected by the El Tigre fault, Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siame, Lionel L.; Bourlès, Didier L.; Sébrier, Michel; Bellier, Olivier; Castano, Juan Carlos; Araujo, Mario; Perez, Miguel; Raisbeck, Grant M.; Yiou, Françoise

    1997-11-01

    It is crucial to date continental landforms to quantify processes involved in terrestrial surface evolution, especially in regions affected by active tectonics. Andean quaternary alluvial fan surfaces affected by the El Tigre strike-slip fault have been studied using combined geomorphic and 10Be exposure age approaches. Field observations and SPOT (French acronym for “Satellite for Observation of the Earth”) image analysis enable the identification of six alluvial fan units. Measurements of in situ produced cosmogenic 10Be concentrations in quartzite boulders exposed on the top of fan surfaces show that the depositional periods ended during successive major interglacial stages. The calculated minimum exposure ages date the abandonments of the alluvial fan surface from 41 000 ± 8500 yr for the youngest to 670 000 ± 140 000 yr for the oldest unit. When linked to the measured maximum cumulative right-lateral displacement of stream channels, the exposure ages yield a horizontal slip rate of about 1 mm/yr on the El Tigre fault. This study shows that for arid regions, where fan surface erosion is minimal, in situ produced 10Be can be used to constrain the age of stratigraphically separate alluvial fan surfaces. These fan surface exposure ages can be further used to calculate slip rates on active faults and infer depositional periods correlative with climatic events.

  8. Alluvial Bars of the Obed Wild and Scenic River, Tennessee

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wolfe, W.J.; Fitch, K.C.; Ladd, D.E.

    2007-01-01

    In 2004, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Park Service (NPS) initiated a reconnaissance study of alluvial bars along the Obed Wild and Scenic River (Obed WSR), in Cumberland and Morgan Counties, Tennessee. The study was partly driven by concern that trapping of sand by upstream impoundments might threaten rare, threatened, or endangered plant habitat by reducing the supply of sediment to the alluvial bars. The objectives of the study were to: (1) develop a preliminary understanding of the distribution, morphology, composition, stability, and vegetation structure of alluvial bars along the Obed WSR, and (2) determine whether evidence of human alteration of sediment dynamics in the Obed WSR warrants further, more detailed examination. This report presents the results of the reconnaissance study of alluvial bars along the Obed River, Clear Creek, and Daddys Creek in the Obed WSR. The report is based on: (1) field-reconnaissance visits by boat to 56 alluvial bars along selected reaches of the Obed River and Clear Creek; (2) analysis of aerial photographs, topographic and geologic maps, and other geographic data to assess the distribution of alluvial bars in the Obed WSR; (3) surveys of topography, surface particle size, vegetation structure, and ground cover on three selected alluvial bars; and (4) analysis of hydrologic records.

  9. Particle dynamics: The continuum of bedrock to alluvial river segments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wohl, Ellen

    2015-07-01

    Particle dynamics refers to production, erosion, transport, and storage of particulate material including mineral sediment and organic matter. Particle dynamics differ significantly between the end members of bedrock and alluvial river segments and between alluvial river segments with different grain-size distributions. Bedrock segments are supply limited and resistant to change, with relatively slow, linear adjustments and predominantly erosion and transport. Particle dynamics in alluvial segments, in contrast, are transport limited and dominated by storage of mineral sediment and production of organic matter. Alluvial segments are resilient to change, with relatively rapid, multidirectional adjustments and stronger internal influences because of feedbacks between particles and biota. Bedrock segments are the governors of erosion within a river network, whereas alluvial segments are the biogeochemical reactors. Fundamental research questions for both types of river segments center on particle dynamics, which limit network-scale incision in response to base level fall (bedrock segments) and habitat, biogeochemical reactions, and biomass production (alluvial segments). These characterizations illuminate how the spatial arrangement of bedrock and alluvial segments within a river network influence network-scale resistance and resilience to external changes in relative base level, climate, and human activities.

  10. Distribution and Orientation of Alluvial Fans in Martian Craters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kraal, E. R.; Moore, J. M.; Howard, A. D.; Asphaug, E. I.

    2005-01-01

    We present the results of the complete survey of Martian alluvial fans from 0-30 S, initiated by Moore and Howard. Nineteen impact craters contain alluvial fans. They are regionally grouped into three distinct areas. We present our initial results regarding their distribution and orientation in order to understand what controls their formation. Since alluvial fans are formed by water transport of sediment, these features record wetter episodes of Martian climate. In addition, their enigmatic distribution (in regional groups and in some craters, but not similar adjacent ones) needs to be understood, to see how regional geology, topographic characteristics, and/or climate influence their formation and distribution.

  11. Design of flood protection for transportation alignments on alluvial fans

    SciTech Connect

    French, R.H.

    1991-01-01

    The method of floodplain delineation on alluvial fans developed for the national flood insurance program is modified to provide estimates of peak flood flows at transportation alignments crossing an alluvial fan. The modified methodology divides the total alignment length into drainage design segments and estimates the peak flows that drainage structures would be required to convey as a function of the length of the drainage design segment, the return period of the event, and the location of the alignment on the alluvial fan. An example of the application of the methodology is provided. 16 refs., 5 figs.

  12. Sand-flat/playa mud-flat-lacustrine cycles in Fundy rift basin (Triassic-Jurassic), Nova Scotia: implications for climatic and tectonic controls

    SciTech Connect

    Mertz, K.A. Jr.; Hubert, J.F.

    1989-03-01

    Blomidon Formation red beds comprise over 200 m-scale cycles of (1) sand-flat sandstone (distal alluvial-fan deposits) and (2) playa sandy mudstone and/or lacustrine claystones. Rift basin subsidence and local sagging along the Glooscap fault system generated sand-flat/playa mud-flat cycles by shifting loci of active fan sedimentation toward and away from the playa surface as fan lobes migrated toward topographic lows. Episodes of intense aridity are recorded in the sand-flat and playa mud-flat deposits where amalgamated sheetflood packages are characterized by pervasive evaporite mineralization (principally gypsum) controlled by subsurface evolution of a Ca-SO/sub 4/-Na-Cl brine. Aridity is further evidenced by significant disruption of sedimentary fabrics beneath evaporite crusts, deep mud cracks, eolian sandstone layers and patches, and precipitation of authigenic calcium and magnesium-rich illite/smectite and analcime. Carbon isotopic data from early formed, low-magnesium calcite cements (pre-gypsum) reflect slightly to moderately elevated subsurface salinities that accompanied initial brine evolution. During relatively wetter periods, lacustrine platy claystones accumulated in shallow, oxidizing lakes that lapped onto the sand flats. Claystone units lack evaporite minerals and textures, and many units are partially burrowed. Carbon isotopic data from calcite cements are consistently lighter than sand-flat/playa mud-flat calcites and were in equilibrium with relatively fresh subsurface pore waters.

  13. Long-term interactions between man and the fluvial environment - case of the Diyala alluvial fan, Iraq

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heyvaert, Vanessa M. A.; Walstra, Jan; Mortier, Clément

    2014-05-01

    The Mesopotamian alluvial plain is dominated by large aggradading river systems (the Euphrates, Tigris and their tributaries), which are prone to avulsions. An avulsion can be defined as the diversion of flow from an existing channel onto the floodplain, eventually resulting in a new channel belt. Early civilizations depended on the position of rivers for their economic survival and hence the impact of channel shifts could be devastating (Wilkinson 2003; Morozova 2005; Heyvaert & Baeteman 2008). Research in the Iranian deltaic part of the Mesopotamian plain has demonstrated that deliberate human action (such as the construction of irrigation canals and dams) triggered or obstructed the alluvial processes leading to an avulsion on fluvial megafans (during preconditioning, triggering and post-triggering stages) (Walstra et al. 2010; Heyvaert et al. 2012, Heyvaert et al.2013). Thus, there is ample evidence that the present-day alluvial landscapes in the region are the result of complex interactions between natural and anthropogenic processes. Here we present a reconstruction of the Late Holocene evolution of the Diyala alluvial fan (one of the main tributaries of the Tigris in Iraq), with particular attention to the relations between alluvial fan development, changes in channel pattern, the construction of irrigation networks and the rise and collapse of societies through historic times. The work largely draws on the use of remote sensing and GIS techniques for geomorphological mapping, and previously published archaeological field data (Adams 1965). By linking archaeological sites of known age with traces of ancient irrigation networks we were able to establish a chronological framework of alluvial activity of the Diyala alluvial fan. Our results demonstrate that centralized and technologically advanced societies were able to maintain a rapidly aggradading distibutary channel system, supplying water and sediment across the entire alluvial fan. As a consequence, during these periods (Parthian, Sasanian and again in modern times), significant human modification of the landscape took place. Periods of societal decline are associated with reduced human impact and the development of a single-threaded incising river system. Adams, R.M. (1965). Land behind Baghdad: A history of settlement on the Diyala plains. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois. Heyvaert, V.M.A. & Baeteman, C. (2008). A Middle to Late Holocene avulsion history of the Euphrates river: a case study from Tell ed-D-er, Iraq, Lower Mesopotamia. Quaternary Science Reviews, 27, 2401-2410. Heyvaert, V. M. A., Walstra, J., Verkinderen, P., Weerts, H. J. T. & Ooghe, B. (2012). The role of human interference on the channel shifting of the river Karkheh in the Lower Khuzestan plain (Mesopotamia, SW Iran). Quaternary International, 251, 52-63. Heyvaert, V.M.A., Walstra, J., Weerts, H.J.T. (2013). Human impact on avulsion and fan development in a semi-arid region: examples from SW Iran. Abstractbook of the 10th International Fluvial Sedimentology Conference, July 2013,Leeds, United Kingdom. Morozova, G.S. (2005). A review of Holocene avulsions of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and possible effects on the evolution of civilizations in lower Mesopotamia. Geoarchaeology, 20, 401-423. Walstra, J., Heyvaert, V. M. A. & Verkinderen, P. (2010). Assessing human impact on alluvial fan development: a multidisciplinary case-study from Lower Khuzestan (SW Iran). Geodinamica Acta, 23, 267-285. Wilkinson, T.J. (2003). Archaeological Landscapes of the Near East. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona.

  14. Chloride mass-balance method for estimating ground water recharge in arid areas: Examples from western Saudi Arabia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bazuhair, A.S.; Wood, W.W.

    1996-01-01

    The chloride mass-balance method, which integrates time and aerial distribution of ground water recharge, was applied to small alluvial aquifers in the wadi systems of the Asir and Hijaz mountains in western Saudi Arabia. This application is an extension of the method shown to be suitable for estimating recharge in regional aquifers in semi-arid areas. Because the method integrates recharge in time and space it appears to be, with certain assumptions, particularly well suited for and areas with large temporal and spatial variation in recharge. In general, recharge was found to be between 3 to 4% of precipitation - a range consistent with recharge rates found in other arid and semi-arid areas of the earth.

  15. Modeling the Surface Water-Groundwater Interaction in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions Impacted by Agricultural Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Y.; Wu, B.; Zheng, Y.

    2013-12-01

    In many semi-arid and arid regions, interaction between surface water and groundwater plays an important role in the eco-hydrological system. The interaction is often complicated by agricultural activities such as surface water diversion, groundwater pumping, and irrigation. In existing surface water-groundwater integrated models, simulation of the interaction is often simplified, which could introduce significant simulation uncertainty under certain circumstance. In this study, GSFLOW, a USGS model coupling PRMS and MODFLOW, was improved to better characterize the surface water-groundwater interaction. The practices of water diversion from rivers, groundwater pumping and irrigation are explicitly simulated. In addition, the original kinematic wave routing method was replaced by a dynamic wave routing method. The improved model was then applied in Zhangye Basin (the midstream part of Heihe River Baisn), China, where the famous 'Silk Road' came through. It is a typical semi-arid region of the western China, with extensive agriculture in its oasis. The model was established and calibrated using the data in 2000-2008. A series of numerical experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of those improvements. It has been demonstrated that with the improvements, the observed streamflow and groundwater level were better reproduced by the model. The improvements have a significant impact on the simulation of multiple fluxes associated with the interaction, such as groundwater discharge, riverbed seepage, infiltration, etc. Human activities were proved to be key elements of the water cycle in the study area. The study results have important implications to the water resources modeling and management in semi-arid and arid basins.

  16. Inference of lithologic distributions in an alluvial aquifer using airborne transient electromagnetic surveys

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dickinson, Jesse E.; Pool, D.R.; Groom, R.W.; Davis, L.J.

    2010-01-01

    An airborne transient electromagnetic (TEM) survey was completed in the Upper San Pedro Basin in southeastern Arizona to map resistivity distributions within the alluvial aquifer. This investigation evaluated the utility of 1D vertical resistivity models of the TEM data to infer lithologic distributions in an alluvial aquifer. Comparisons of the resistivity values and layers in the 1D resistivity models of airborne TEM data to 1D resistivity models of ground TEM data, borehole resistivity logs, and lithologic descriptions in drill logs indicated that the airborne TEM identified thick conductive fine-grained sediments that result in semiconfined groundwater conditions. One-dimensional models of ground-based TEM surveys and subsurface lithology at three sites were used to determine starting models and constraints to invert airborne TEM data using a constrained Marquardt-styleunderparameterized method. A maximum structural resolution of six layers underlain by a half-space was determined from the resistivity structure of the 1D models of the ground TEM data. The 1D resistivity models of the airborne TEM data compared well with the control data to depths of approximately 100 m in areas of thick conductive silt and clay and to depths of 200 m in areas of resistive sand and gravel. Comparison of a 3D interpolation of the 1D resistivity models to drill logs indicated resistive (mean of 65 ohm-m ) coarse-grained sediments along basin margins and conductive (mean of 8 ohm-m ) fine-grained sediments at the basin center. Extents of hydrologically significant thick silt and clay were well mapped by the 1D resistivity models of airborne TEM data. Areas of uncertain lithology remain below conductive fine-grained sediments where the 1D resistivity structure is not resolved: in areas where multiple lithologies have similar resistivity values and in areas of high salinity.

  17. The Lower Cretaceous Way Group of northern Chile: An alluvial fan-fan delta complex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flint, S.; Clemmey, H.; Turner, P.

    1986-01-01

    Alluvial fan sediments of the Lower Cretaceous Coloso Basin in northern Chile were deposited in a half-graben and derived from andesitic volcanics of a former island arc. Transport directions were towards the east, away from the present-day Peru-Chile trench. Grain flow, density modified grain flow and sheetflow processes were responsible for most of the sediment deposition with cohesive debris flows playing only a minor part. An early phase of conglomerate deposition (Coloso Formation) into a restricted basin records the transition from proximal fan facies with abundant grain flows and remobilized screes to mid-fan facies dominated by sheetflows. Stratiform copper mineralization near the top of the lower conglomerates is related to the unroofing of the Jurassic island arc. This mineralization comprises copper sulphide-cemented sands and gravels and formed by the reaction of mineralized detritus with diagenetic and hydrothermal solutions. A later phase of deposition (Lombriz Formation) includes sandstones, siltstones and conglomerates with a source area different from the Coloso Formation. This change in source may be related to strike-slip tectonics as the basin extended. The Lombriz conglomerates pass distally (eastwards) into red sandstones and purple siltstones with thin limestones deposited under marine conditions. This sequence is interpreted as a major fan delta complex. It passes conformably into marine carbonates of the Tableado Formation signifying the complete drowning of the basin in lower Cretaceous times.

  18. Contribution of alluvial groundwater to the outflow of mountainous catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Käser, Daniel; Hunkeler, Daniel

    2016-02-01

    Alluvial aquifers in mountainous regions cover typically a limited area. Their contribution to catchment storage and outflow is rarely isolated; alluvial groundwater discharge under gauging stations is generally assumed negligible; and hydrological models tend to lump alluvial storage with other units. The role of alluvial aquifers remains therefore unclear: can they contribute significantly to outflow when they cover a few percent of catchment area? Should they be considered a dynamic storage unit or merely a transmission zone? We address these issues based on the continuous monitoring of groundwater discharge, river discharge (one year), and aquifer storage (6 months) in the 6 km2 alluvial system of a 194 km2 catchment. River and groundwater outflow were measured jointly through "coupled gauging stations." The contribution of alluvial groundwater to outflow was highest at the outlet of a subcatchment (52 km2), where subsurface discharge amounted to 15% of mean annual outflow, and 85% of outflow during the last week of a drought. In this period, alluvial-aquifer depletion supported 75% of the subcatchment outflow and 35% of catchment outflow—thus 3% of the entire catchment supported a third of the outflow. Storage fluctuations occurred predominantly in the aquifer's upstream part, where heads varied over 6 m. Not only does this section act as a significant water source, but storage recovers also rapidly at the onset of precipitation. Storage dynamics were best conceptualized along the valley axis, rather than across the more conventional riparian-channel transect. Overall the contribution of alluvial aquifers to catchment outflow deserves more attention.

  19. Accelerated Alluviation, Legacy Sediments the Anthropocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Tony; Toms, Phillip; Carey, Chris

    2013-04-01

    This paper will present the case that geomorphology must be an integral part of any attempt to define the Anthropocene as a geological period or any particular rank. It is postulated that there is a clear lithostratigraphic boundary which can easily identified in the field and which represents a fundamental change in sediment transfer processes, and rates, caused by human activity and particularly agriculture. Two case studies in England (central & southwest) show how a 6-10 fold increase in floodplain sedimentation resulted from the erosion of arable fields but over very different time periods. This highlights the constrained diachrony of alluviation in Europe as compared to other areas where the conversion of land to large-scale intensive cultivation was more synchronous. There are good reasons to believe that these legacy sediments, and this near-global lithostratigraphic boundary, will persist into the future geological record. Lastly the implications of this for any demarcation of the Anthropocene will be discussed. This paper is a contribution by the British Geomorphological Society Working Group on the Anthropocene.

  20. Investigations on the Aridity Paradox

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donohue, R. J.; Roderick, M. L.

    2014-12-01

    How global aridity might change in the immediate future is an important question. Several recent analyses have concluded that aridity will, in general, increase over land primarily because of increasing vapour pressure deficit. Taken at face value that result is difficult to understand because a warmer world is also anticipated to be a moister world. For example, at the global scale, climate model projections are for increasing rainfall and runoff. In this presentation we investigate this seeming paradox. We find that the previous analyses have not accounted for the biological impacts of elevated CO2 and when that is incorporated, the climate model projections are for a modest reduction in meteorological and hydrologic aridity and for larger reductions in biological aridity.

  1. Geomorphologic flood-hazard assessment of alluvial fans and piedmonts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Field, J.J.; Pearthree, P.A.

    1997-01-01

    Geomorphologic studies are an excellent means of flood-hazard assessment on alluvial fans and piedmonts in the southwestern United States. Inactive, flood-free, alluvial fans display well developed soils, desert pavement, rock varnish, and tributary drainage networks. These areas are easily distinguished from flood-prone active alluvial fans on aerial photographs and in the field. The distribution of flood-prone areas associated with alluvial fans is strongly controlled by fanhead trenches dissecting the surface. Where fanhead trenches are permanent features cut in response to long-term conditions such as tectonic quiescence, flood-prone surfaces are situated down-slope from the mountain front and their positions are stable for thousands of years. Since the length and permanency of fanhead trenches can vary greatly between adjacent drainages, it is not appropriate to use regional generalizations to evaluate the distribution and stability of flood-hazard zones. Site-specific geomorphologic studies must be carried out if piedmont areas with a high risk of flooding are to be correctly identified and losses due to alluvial-fan flooding minimized. To meet the growing demand for trained professionals to complete geomorphologic maps of desert piedmonts, undergraduate and graduate geomorphology courses should adopt an instructional unit on alluvial-fan flood hazards that includes: 1) a review of geomorphologic characteristics that vary with surface age; 2) a basic mapping exercise; and 3) a discussion of the causes of fanhead trenching.

  2. Quaternary climate change and hillslope processes: What can we learn from alluvial fans?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kenworthy, M.; Pierce, J. L.; Rittenour, T. M.; Sharp, W. D.; Pierce, K. L.

    2009-12-01

    Examining the timing of sediment deposition on alluvial fans may clarify relationships among Quaternary changes in climate, sediment production, and sediment removal from uplifted mountain blocks. Deposition on fans indicates that (1) ample sediment is available for transport within contributing basins and (2) that stream power is adequate to move that sediment to the fan environment. Dating alluvial fan deposition clarifies relationships among climatically controlled factors (e.g. precipitation, vegetation, temperature), and hydrologic and geomorphic responses (e.g. weathering rates, frost action, glaciation, stream power) that influence landscape evolution. Numerous 2-5 km radius, low gradient alluvial fans head along the western side of the Lost River Range (LRR) in east-central Idaho. Timing of deposition on these fans is based on optically stimulated luminescence dating (OSL). In addition we described general deposit characteristics and mapped different aged fan surfaces to explore how fan deposition has changed over time. OSL results indicate that evacuation of sediment from contributing basins and deposition on fans was enhanced ~10-14 ka and ~40-50 ka. The younger episode is more robust in this record, with deposition recorded on all five studied fans despite differences in Quaternary glacial extent in contributing basins that varied from ~0-80%. Glacial chronologies from the nearby Sawtooth Range (Thackray, 2008) and Yellowstone-Teton region (Licciardi and Pierce, 2008; Gosse et al, 1995) suggest that this time period may have coincided with and followed the last glacial maxima in the northern Rocky Mountains. Deposition during the ~40-50 ka episode is recorded on the two largest studied fans, both with <10% glaciation in basin areas, as well as a ~40 m terrace of the East Fork Big Lost River that drains the Pioneer Range west of the LRR. A ~60-65 ka moraine in the northern LRR dated by U-series on pedogenic carbonate, an extensive glacio-fluvial terrace in the Wind River Basin (~200 km east of the LRR) dated to >55 ± 8.6 ka (Sharp et al, 2003), and substantial loess accumulation near the Teton Range at ~46-54 ka (Pierce et al, personal comm.) suggest that this episode of fan deposition was late- to post-glacial with respect to the MIS 4 glaciation and associated climatic conditions. Deposition on alluvial fans generally results from (1) increases in the sediment supply and/or (2) changes in stream power that alter the relative balance between sediment supply and stream power. In this region, sediment supply could increase following glacial conditions if reduced effective moisture decreases hillslope vegetation cover, freeing accumulated regolith for transport to fans, or greater temperature fluctuations increase the effectiveness of frost weathering. Stream power following a glacial maxima may have decreased in response to effectively drier climate, but may still have been adequate to transport sediment to fans. It’s also possible that stream power increased following glacial maxima with greater frequency of stochastic events such as rain on snow.

  3. From source to sink in the sediment cascade of the Hei-River Basin: Implications for late Quaternary landscape dynamics in the Gobi Desert, NW China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schimpf, Stefan; Nottebaum, Veit; Diekmann, Bernhard; Hartmann, Kai; Lehmkuhl, Frank; Wünnemann, Bernd; Zhang, Chi

    2014-05-01

    The Hei River Basin with a catchment size of ~130,000 km² is host to one of the largest continental alluvial fans in the world. The basin comprises: (1) its high-elevated river sources in the glacier and the permafrost zone of the Qilian Mountains, (2) the semi-arid foreland of the Hexi Corridor in the middle reaches and (3) the endorheic Ejina Basin (Gaxun Nur Basin) as its recent sink. The river basin is characterized by small subcatchments of hyper-arid mountain ranges of the Gobi-Tienshan and Beishan as well as of smooth and fuzzy water divides of the Hexi-Corridor and the Badain Jaran Sand Sea. Up to 300 m of Quaternary sediments establish the large Ejina Basin, with a size of 28,000 km², as an excellent archive for environmental reconstructions located at the recent intersection of westerly and monsoonal air masses. Three sediment cores (up to 230 m long) provide evidence of sedimentation dynamics over the last 250,000 years, and cover at least two terminations since OIS 6. The sediments have to be regarded as a result of the interplay between tectonic activity and climate dynamics, accompanied by a related eolian and hydrological response of the catchment. Thus, it is crucial to understand and reconstruct the sedimentary processes along the huge sediment cascades, and to identify the most important sediment sources. Here we present a provenance analysis from mineralogical fingerprints of modern sediments that have been deposited along recent pathways from the sources to the Ejina Basin. The methodical approach combines the analysis of clay minerals, bulk mineralogy, and bulk geochemistry. Furthermore, we use heavy mineral data obtained from automated particle-analysis via a computer-controlled scanning electron microscope (CCSEM) and XRD measurements. We analyzed ~200 surface samples from the whole catchment as reference material, as well as the upper 19 m of cored sediments, to gain insight into temporal changes of depositional processes and provenance. Geostatistical analyses of the compositional data reveal a clear discrimination between sediments from the Qilian Shan in the south and from local basin sediments in the north. Moreover the mineralogical fingerprints allow the differentiation of sources from intrusive rocks that are dominant in the Bei Shan mountain sub-catchment, and from greenschist-bearing metamorphic rocks, that are widespread in the Qilian Mountain catchment. Finally, we draw conclusions about the main transport processes and pathways from assumed source regions to the sink (Ejina Basin). The provenance analysis of the sediment core reveals strong changes from local (Bei Shan) to long-distant (Qilian Shan) sources. The Late Pleistocene record reveals frequently changing sediment supply between periodic high mountain runoff and local episodic runoff. We assume that these variations are related to basin internal processes (e.g. fan dynamics, tectonics) and changing environmental conditions that are linked with variations in meltwater runoff and precipitation in the upper reaches of the southern catchment. These conclusions are supported by grain size characteristics that indicate phases of predominant alluvial activity and limnic deposition around the Late Glacial to Holocene transition and enhanced pre-Holocene eolian activity.

  4. Effects of the Biofuels Initiative on Water Quality and Quantity in the Mississippi Alluvial Plain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welch, H. L.; Green, C. T.; Coupe, R. H.

    2010-12-01

    In the search for renewable fuel alternatives, biofuels have gained strong political momentum. In the last decade, extensive mandates, policies, and subsidies have been adopted to foster the development of a biofuels industry in the United States. The manifestation of the Biofuels Initiative in the Mississippi Delta was a 47-percent decrease in cotton acreage with a concurrent 288 percent increase in corn acreage in 2007. Because corn uses 80 percent more water for irrigation than cotton, and more nitrogen fertilizer is recommended for corn cultivation, this crop type change has implications for water quantity and quality in the Delta. Increased water use for corn is accelerating water-level declines in the Mississippi River Valley alluvial aquifer at a time when conservation is being encouraged due to concerns about sustainability. A mathematical model calibrated to existing conditions in the Delta shows that increased fertilizer applications on corn will increase the extent of nitrate movement into the alluvial aquifer. Estimates based on surface-water modeling results indicate that higher application rates of nitrogen from increased corn production increases the amount of nitrogen exported from the Yazoo River basin to the Gulf of Mexico by about 7 percent; increasing the Delta’s contribution to hypoxic conditions in the Gulf of Mexico.

  5. Characterization of alluvial formation by stochastic modelling of paleo-fluvial processes: The concept and method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Zhenjiao; Mariethoz, Gregoire; Farrell, Troy; Schrank, Christoph; Cox, Malcolm

    2015-05-01

    Modelling fluvial processes is an effective way to reproduce basin evolution and to recreate riverbed morphology. However, due to the complexity of alluvial environments, deterministic modelling of fluvial processes is often impossible. To address the related uncertainties, we derive a stochastic fluvial process model on the basis of the convective Exner equation that uses the statistics (mean and variance) of river velocity as input parameters. These statistics allow for quantifying the uncertainty in riverbed topography, river discharge and position of the river channel. In order to couple the velocity statistics and the fluvial process model, the perturbation method is employed with a non-stationary spectral approach to develop the Exner equation as two separate equations: the first one is the mean equation, which yields the mean sediment thickness, and the second one is the perturbation equation, which yields the variance of sediment thickness. The resulting solutions offer an effective tool to characterize alluvial aquifers resulting from fluvial processes, which allows incorporating the stochasticity of the paleoflow velocity.

  6. Martian alluvial fans and fan deltas as climate archives using analogue laboratory experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kleinhans, M.; Postma, G.; van Dijk, M.

    The climate and hydrological conditions on early Mars have been the subject of heated debate in the past 40 years. The presence of deltas and fans, e.g. in crater lakes, is evidence for flowing water, but the duration of hydrological activity is highly uncertain. Deltas and fans come in an amazing variety of sizes and morphologies, which contains information on past hydrological conditions and changes therein. The aim of this work is to develop concepts and models to infer past hydrological conditions from delta and fan morphology. The methodology is to compare the Martian cases to deltas and fans created in highly controlled laboratory conditions, supported by palaeo-reconstruction of flow and sediment transport modelling for the Martian cases. We studied the autogenic (self-organised) and allogenic (forced) morphologies of alluvial fans and deltas based on experiments under constant boundary conditions as well as with changing upstream or downstream boundary conditions. The upstream conditions were water and sediment input into a feeder channel (reflecting hydrology and sediment delivery) and the downstream condition was basin water level (reflecting crater lake overflow level). The two experimental basins were 3x3.4m and 1m deep, and 6x8m and 2m deep. Detailed DTMs were collected during the experiments, which typically had durations of days to months. For deltas the water level above the initial sand bed was of the order of cm-s and was varied in some experiments, whereas for alluvial fans the initial beds emerged above the ground water surface in the tank. Based on our experiments with cohesionless sand producing bed load dominated systems representative of gravel systems at the natural terrestrial and martian scales, the following results were obtained. (1) Under constant boundary conditions, the surface slope is constant over time while the fan builds out quasi-radially. Smaller fans and fan deltas have an autogenic quasi-periodic alternation between channelised flow and unconfined sheet flow. Larger systems have frequent avulsing of the active depositional sectors. Shallow basins and higher discharge/sediment ratios show more fingering deltas and deep basins and smaller ratios more rounded fan deltas. (2) An increase of discharge (or decrease of sediment input) generally decreases the surface slope, causing excavation on (initially) the upper delta and unconfined flooding on the lower delta, whereas a decrease of discharge causes steepening of the upper delta. The slope follows directly from the ratio of discharge and sediment for a certain grain size. (3) The height of the delta foreset is directly related to basin depth and any changes therein 1 can be interpreted in terms of base (lake) level change. A rise of the water level causes the formation of second, backstepping deltas on top of the first delta, whereas a fall causes incision of a relatively narrow channel on the lower delta and the building out of secondary delta lobes. The absence of a water-filled basin in the cases of alluvial fans causes a more fingered fan shape with a channelised run-off system at the base of the fan. In literature some crater lake deltas with various terraces have been described, which must be interpreted as a (perhaps event-wise) increase of lake water level. The relatively simple morphology of many fans and deltas indicate a simple basin depth history compared to systems on Earth. Other examples will be given. Palaeoflow reconstruction and sediment transport modelling indicates that typical deltas and channels on Mars may have formed in less than thousands of years. Gravity directly affects the flow and sediment transport rate but this is well known and captured in common, well non-dimensionalised numbers in the models. The effect on the overall morphology of gravity differences between Mars and Earth is negligible compared to that of the other factors. 2

  7. Numerical simulations of runoff generation with surface water groundwater interactions in the Alzette river alluvial plain (Luxembourg)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenicia, F.; Zhang, G. P.; Rientjes, T.; Hoffmann, L.; Pfister, L.; Savenije, H. H. G.

    Detailed field measurements of water table levels and river stages operated on the Alzette river basin in Luxembourg have pointed out that the runoff response of the catchment to rainfall is strongly dependent on the groundwater level behaviour and on the water storage of the catchment. This dependency becomes even more pronounced for the topographic configuration of the Alzette basin that is characterized by narrowing valleys that hamper the downstream progression of alluvial groundwater. Modelling the hydrologic response of the Alzette catchment with a physically based approach requires the selection of a model that allows the simulation of an interaction between groundwater and surface water in the alluvial plain. For this reason a hydrological model based on the representative elementary watershed (REW) approach has been selected. The approach consists in discretizing a watershed in sub-watersheds or REWs, each subdivided into five zones according to dominant hydrological processes. Balance laws are averaged within each zone and hydrologic relations are derived directly at the REW scale. Each REW is considered as a spatial unit, represented by averaged watershed scale parameters and variables. The approach enables an interaction between saturated zone and channel reaches, which plays an essential role in the runoff generation in the Alzette floodplain. For this study a sub-catchment of the Alzette basin is selected that is located upstream of Luxembourg City. Results show that the model conceptualization is appropriate to describe the catchment dynamics in the alluvial plain, while the same cannot be assured for other regions of the study area. The model has been calibrated on channel flow data and piezometric observations provided by the Public Research Center-Gabriel Lippmann of Luxembourg.

  8. Water sources accessed by arid zone riparian trees in highly saline environments, Australia.

    PubMed

    Costelloe, Justin F; Payne, Emily; Woodrow, Ian E; Irvine, Elizabeth C; Western, Andrew W; Leaney, Fred W

    2008-05-01

    The flow regimes of arid zone rivers are often highly variable, and shallow groundwater in the alluvial aquifers can be very saline, thus constraining the availability and quality of the major water sources available to riparian trees-soil water, shallow groundwater and stream water. We have identified water sources and strategies used by riparian trees in more highly saline and arid conditions than previously studied for riparian trees of arid zone rivers. Our research focused on the riparian species Eucalyptus coolabah, one of the major riparian trees of ephemeral arid zone rivers in Australia. The water sources available to this riparian tree were examined using delta(18)O isotope data from xylem, soil water, groundwater and surface water. Additionally, soil chloride and matric potential data were used to infer zones of water availability for root uptake. Despite the saline conditions, the trees used a mixture of soil water and groundwater sources, but they did not use surface water directly. The study identified three strategies used to cope with typically high groundwater and soil water salinities. Firstly, the trees preferentially grow in zones of most frequent flushing by infiltrating streamflow, such as the bank-tops of channels. Secondly, the trees limit water use by having low transpiration rates. Thirdly, the trees are able to extract water at very low osmotic potentials, with water uptake continuing at chloride concentrations of at least 20,000-30,000 mg L(-1). PMID:18270743

  9. A classification of Meso-Cenozoic continental basins and their oil-gas potentials in China

    SciTech Connect

    Wu Changlin ); Xue Shuhao )

    1991-03-01

    Most of the oilfields in China are located in Mesozoic-Cenozoic continental basins. Characteristics of continental sediments are controlled by such factors as paleoclimatic zones, distance from oceans, paleogeomorphic features, and tectonic settings. Based on paleoclimatic zonation, the continental basins in China can be divided into humid, arid, and humid-arid transitional types. Furthermore, based on the distances from oceans, they can be classified into inland and onshore types, and based on regional geomorphic features, they can be classified into faulted and depressional types. According to three factors, the Mesozoic-Cenozoic continental petroliferous basins in China can be grouped under ten types as follows: (1) onshore humid faulted type such as Zhujiangkou (Pearl River Mouth; E); (2) onshore humid depressional type such as Songliao (K); (3) inland humid faulted type such as Baise (E); (4) inland humid depressional type such as Ordos (T); (5) onshore arid-humid faulted type such as Bohai Bay (E); (6) inland arid-humid faulted type such as Jiuxi (K); (7) inland arid-humid depressional type such as Junggar (E); (8) onshore arid depressional type such as Tarim (E); (9) inland arid faulted type such as Jianghan (E); and (10) inland arid depressional type such as Tsaidam (E-N). Sedimentary systems in different basins have different depositional characteristics and petroliferous potentials. Onshore basins in humid zone and arid-humid transitional zone have best petroleum prospects, and inland basins in humid and arid-humid transitional zones are second while the basins in arid zone are third.

  10. Paleogeographic and paleotectonic setting of sedimentary basins in the Sevier thrust belt and hinterland, eastern Great Basin

    SciTech Connect

    Schmitt, J.G. . Dept. of Earth Sciences); Vandervoort, D.S. . Dept. of Geological Sciences); Suydam, J.D. . Dept. of Geology)

    1993-04-01

    The eastern Great Basin contains a sparse record of broadly distributed Cretaceous sedimentary rocks which record: evolution of intermontane basins during development of the Sevier (Sv)contractional orogen and incipient extensional collapse of the elevated Sv hinterland (east-central NV), and complex tectono-sedimentary interactions between frontal thrust belt structures and the western margin of the adjacent foreland basin. Palinspastic restoration of these strata and associated structures to pre-Tertiary extension positions reveals a clearer pictures of Cretaceous basin paleogeography and allows comparison with the Puna/Altiplano plateau and precordillera thrust belt of the Neogene Andean orogen. Two syntectonic stratal assemblages are present in east-central NV. Lower Cretaceous alluvial strata (Newark Canyon Fm) record basin development coeval with emergence of contractional structures in the Sv hinterland. Localized early Cretaceous basins were possibly piggyback immature; periods of open drainage to the to the east and south suggest connection with the nascent Sv foreland basin to the east (Cedar Mountain/Sanpete Fms) prior to major thrust loading in central Utah. Development of hinterland structures is almost recorded by Aptian-Albian foreland basin alluvial deposits in SW Utah (Dakota Fm) and southern Nevada (Willow Tank Fm). Upper Cretaceous to Eocene strata (Sheep Pass Fm) record inception of regionally abundant alluvial-lacustrine basins which developed in response to onset of latest Cretaceous extension and associated collapse of the Sv hinterland. Evolution of the structurally complex western margin of the Sv foreland basin is recorded in Cretaceous through Eocene strata deposited in: piggyback basins which were at times hydrologically connected to the adjacent foreland basins, and thrust-proximal portions of the foreland basin. These proximal areas are characterized by folding and faulting of basin fill and development of intrabasinal unconformities.

  11. Estimating mountain block recharge to downstream alluvial aquifers from standard methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kao, Yu-Hsuan; Liu, Chen-Wuing; Wang, Sheng-Wei; Lee, Cheng-Haw

    2012-03-01

    SummaryThe purpose of the study is to assess the applicability in estimating the mountain block recharge (MBR) to the downstream alluvial aquifers in the sub-tropical area using baseflow separation and rainfall infiltration methods. The Choushui-Wu River basin, the largest groundwater region in Taiwan was the study area. The high slope mountainous catchment located in the upstream of Choushui-Wu River basin, act as an important conduit in conveying surface and subsurface runoff to the recharge of the downstream alluvial aquifers. Geographic Information Systems (GISs) was applied to facilitate the estimation processes. The estimated MBR using the baseflow separation method was 1.08 × 109 m3/year of which Wu River and Choushui River basins comprised 0.27 × 109 m3/year (25.2%) and 0.81 × 109 m3/year (74.8%), respectively. These results are similar to the previous O18 isotopic study indicating that 22% and 78% were from the Wu River and Choushui River basins, respectively. Moreover, the estimated amount of lateral flow using C14 technique from the upstream of Choushui River basin was 0.83 × 109 m3/year, which is close to the result (0.81 × 109 m3/year) of this study. For comparison, groundwater recharged by rainfall infiltration in the mountainous catchment was derived from the precipitation, evapotranspiration, land use and soil types of the region. The estimated MBR by the rainfall infiltration method is 1.06 × 109 m3/year, which is close to 1.08 × 109 m3/year determined by the baseflow separation method. These results are also similar to the groundwater hydrograph analysis. The proposed methods show simple and efficient computation and do not require complex hydrological modeling and detailed knowledge of soil characteristics. They can reasonably estimate the lateral boundary influx contributing from the MBR and are thus applicable to estimate the MBRs in other sub-tropical regions.

  12. Reseach of Soil Moisture Measurement in Arid Areas by Using Ground-penetrating Radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Q.; Yin, X.; Zhao, Q.; Wu, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Inland river basins under an arid rain-fed environment have low and limited water content, in which soil water availability plays a key role in root growth and function and is the prime factor to limit the number and size of plant species. Compared with conventional point measurements and remote sensing method, ground-penetrating radar (GPR) provides an effective methodology for rapidly mapping continuous soil moisture at an intermediate scale, which is of significance to research the processes in arid areas, desert vegetation protection, precision water regulation and water-saving irrigation. By selecting the Urumqi River Basin for experimental observations, this study considered the typical arid landscapes and soil characteristics, and then used ground-penetrating radar to monitor soil moisture in different sites, with time domain reflectometry (TDR) and gravimetric sampling method used synchronously to validate the accuracy and suitability of GPR method.

  13. A review of stratigraphy and sedimentary environments of the Karoo Basin of South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, R. M. H.

    The Karoo Supergroup covers almost two thirds of the present land surface of southern Africa. Its strata record an almost continuous sequence of continental sedimentation that began in the Permo-Carboniferous (280 Ma) and terminated in the early Jurassic 100 million years later. The glacio-marine to terrestrial sequence accumulated in a variety of tectonically controlled depositories under progressively more arid climatic conditions. Numerous vertebrate fossils are preserved in these rocks, including fish, amphibians, primitive aquatic reptiles, primitive land reptiles, more advanced mammal-like reptiles, dinosaurs and even the earliest mammals. Palaeoenvironmental analysis of the major stratigraphic units of the Karoo sequence demonstrates the effects of more localised tectonic basins in influencing depositional style. These are superimposed on a basinwide trend of progressive aridification attributed to the gradual northward migration of southwestern Gondwanaland out of polar climes and accentuated by the meteoric drying effect of the surrounding land masses. Combined with progressive climatic drying was a gradual shrinking of the basin brought about by the northward migration of the subducting palaeo-Pacific margin to the south. Following deposition of the Cape Supergroup in the pre-Karoo basin there was a period of uplift and erosion. At the same time the southern part of Gondwana migrated over the South Pole resulting in a major ice-sheet over the early Karoo basin and surrounding highlands. Glacial sedimentation in both upland valley and shelf depositories resulted in the basal Karoo Dwyka Formation. After glaciation, an extensive shallow sea remained over the gently subsiding shelf fed by large volumes of meltwater. Black clays and muds accumulated under relatively cool climatic conditions (Lower Ecca) with perhaps a warmer "interglacial" during which the distinctive Mesosaurus-bearing, carbonaceous shales of the Whitehill Formation were deposited. Deformation of the southern rim of the basin, caused by the subducting palaeo-Pacific plate, resulted in mountain ranges far to the south. Material derived from this source, as well as granitic uplands to the west and morth-east, was deposited on large deltas that built out into the Ecca sea (Upper Ecca). The relatively cool climate and lowland setting promoted thick accumulations of peat on the coastal and delta plains and which now constitute the major coal reserves of southern Africa. Later the prograding deltas coalesced to fill most of the basin after which fluvial sedimentation of the Beaufort Group dominated. The climate by this time (Late Permian) had warmed to become semi-arid with highly seasonal rainfall. The central parts of the basin were for the most part drained by fine-grained meanderbelts and semi-permanent lakes. Significant stratabound uranium reserves have been delimited in the channel sandstones of the Beaufort Group in the southwestern parts of the basin. Pulses of uplift in the southern source areas combined with a possible orogenic effect resulted in two coarser-grained alluvial fans prograding into the more central parts of the basin (Katberg Sandstone Member and Molteno Formation). In the upper Karoo sequence progressive aridification dominated depositional style with playa lake and wadi-type environments (Elliot Formation) that finally gave way to a dune sand dominated system (Clarens Formation). Basinwide volcanic activity of the early Jurassic Drakensberg Group brought deposition in the Karoo Basin to a close.

  14. Digital-model simulation of the Toppenish alluvial aquifer, Yakima Indian Reservation, Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bolke, E.L.; Skrivan, James A.

    1981-01-01

    Increasing demands for irrigating additional lands and proposals to divert water from the Yakima River by water users downstream from the Yakima Indian Reservation have made an accounting of water availability important for present-day water management in the Toppenish Creek basin. A digital model was constructed and calibrated for the Toppenish alluvial aquifer to help fulfill this need. The average difference between observed and model-calculated aquifer heads was about 4 feet. Results of model analysis show that the net gain from the Yakima River to the aquifer is 90 cubic feet per second, and the net loss from the aquifer to Toppenish Creek is 137 cubic feet per second. Water-level declines of about 5 feet were calculated for an area near Toppenish in response to a hypothetical tenfold increase in 1974 pumping rates. (USGS)

  15. Caribbean basin framework, 3: Southern Central America and Colombian basin

    SciTech Connect

    Kolarsky, R.A.; Mann, P. )

    1991-03-01

    The authors recognize three basin-forming periods in southern Central America (Panama, Costa Rica, southern Nicaragua) that they attempt to correlate with events in the Colombian basin (Bowland, 1984): (1) Early-Late Cretaceous island arc formation and growth of the Central American island arc and Late Cretaceous formation of the Colombian basin oceanic plateau. During latest Cretaceous time, pelagic carbonate sediments blanketed the Central American island arc in Panama and Costa Rica and elevated blocks on the Colombian basin oceanic plateau; (2) middle Eocene-middle Miocene island arc uplift and erosion. During this interval, influx of distal terrigenous turbidites in most areas of Panama, Costa Rica, and the Colombian basin marks the uplift and erosion of the Central American island arc. In the Colombian basin, turbidites fill in basement relief and accumulate to thicknesses up to 2 km in the deepest part of the basin. In Costa Rica, sedimentation was concentrated in fore-arc (Terraba) and back-arc (El Limon) basins; (3) late Miocene-Recent accelerated uplift and erosion of segments of the Central American arc. Influx of proximal terrigenous turbidites and alluvial fans in most areas of Panama, Costa Rica, and the Colombian basin marks collision of the Panama arc with the South American continent (late Miocene early Pliocene) and collision of the Cocos Ridge with the Costa Rican arc (late Pleistocene). The Cocos Ridge collision inverted the Terraba and El Limon basins. The Panama arc collision produced northeast-striking left-lateral strike-slip faults and fault-related basins throughout Panama as Panama moved northwest over the Colombian basin.

  16. Event scale variability of mixed alluvial-bedrock channel dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, Kristen; Turowski, Jens; Hovius, Niels

    2015-04-01

    The relationship between flood events and fluvial behavior is critical for understanding how rivers may respond to the changing hydrologic forcing that may accompany climate change. In mixed bedrock-alluvial rivers, the response of the system to a flood event can be affected by a large number of factors, including coarse sediment availability in the channel, sediment supply from the hillslopes, bedrock-controlled changes in channel width and planform, and the shape of the hydrograph. We use the Daan River Gorge in western Taiwan as a case study to directly observe the effect of individual flood events on channel evolution. The 1200 m long and up to 20 m deep bedrock gorge formed in response to uplift of the riverbed during the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake. The extremely rapid pace of change ensures that flood events have measurable and often dramatic effects on the channel. Taiwan is subject to both summer typhoons and a spring monsoon, resulting in numerous channel-altering floods with a range of magnitudes. Discharge is therefore highly variable, ranging from 5 to over 2000 m3/s, and changes in the channel are almost entirely driven by discrete flood events. Since early 2009 we have monitored changes in the gorge with repeated RTK GPS surveys, laser rangefinder measurements, and terrestrial LIDAR surveys. Six rainfall stations and five water level gauges provide hydrological data for the basin. We find a distinct relationship between flood magnitude and the magnitude of geomorphic change; however, we do not find a clear relationship between flood characteristics and the direction of change - whether the channel experienced aggradation or erosion in a particular flood. Upstream coarse sediment supply and the influence of abrupt changes in channel width on bedload flux through the gorge appear to have important influences on the channel response. The better understand these controls, we use the model sedFlow (Heimann et al., 2014) to explore the effects of interactions between sediment supply, channel width, and flood characteristics on aggradation and erosion of the channel bed. Heimann, F. U. M., Rickenmann, D., Turowski, J. M., and Kirchner, J. W.: sedFlow - an efficient tool for simulating bedload transport, bed roughness, and longitudinal profile evolution in mountain streams, Earth Surf. Dynam. Discuss., 2, 733-772, doi:10.5194/esurfd-2-733-2014, 2014.

  17. Tectonic controls on the geomorphic evolution of alluvial fans in the Piedmont Zone of Ganga Plain, Uttarakhand, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goswami, Pradeep K.; Pant, Charu C.; Pandey, Shefali

    2009-06-01

    The Piedmont Zone is the least studied part of the Ganga Plain. The northern limit of the Piedmont Zone is defined by the Himalayan Frontal Thrust (HFT) along which the Himalaya is being thrust over the alluvium of the Ganga Plain. Interpretation of satellite imagery, Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) and field data has helped in the identification and mapping of various morphotectonic features in the densely forested and cultivated Piedmont Zone in the Kumaun region of the Uttarakhand state of India. The Piedmont Zone has formed as a result of coalescing alluvial fans, alluvial aprons and talus deposits. The fans have differential morphologies and aggradation processes within a common climatic zone and similar litho-tectonic setting of the catchment area. Morphotectonic analysis reveals that the fan morphologies and aggradation processes in the area are mainly controlled by the ongoing tectonic activities. Such activities along the HFT and transverse faults have controlled the accommodation space by causing differential subsidence of the basin, and aggradation processes by causing channel migration, channel incision and shifting of depocentres. The active tectonic movements have further modified the landscape of the area in the form of tilted alluvial fan, gravel ridges, terraces and uplifted gravels.

  18. Identification of recharge zones in the Lower Mississippi River alluvial aquifer using high-resolution precipitation estimates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dyer, Jamie; Mercer, Andrew; Rigby, James R.; Grimes, Alexandria

    2015-12-01

    Water resources in the lower Mississippi River alluvial valley play a critical role in agricultural productivity due to the widespread use of irrigation during the growing season. However, the unknown specifics of surface-atmosphere feedbacks in the region, along with diminishing groundwater availability and the non-sustainable trend in irrigation draws from the alluvial aquifer, makes it difficult for water resource managers to make sound decisions for future water sustainability. As a result, it is crucial to identify spatial and temporal associations between local rainfall patterns and groundwater levels to determine the influence of precipitation on regional aquifer recharge. Specifically, it is critical to define the recharge zones of the aquifer so that rainfall distribution can be used to assess potential groundwater recovery. This project addresses the issue of defining areas of recharge in the lower Mississippi River alluvial aquifer (LMRAA) through an assessment of historical precipitation variability using high-resolution radar-derived precipitation estimates. A rotated principal component analysis (RPCA) of both groundwater and precipitation data from October through April is used to define locations where aquifer levels show the greatest variability, with a stepwise regression approach used to define areas where rainfall and groundwater levels show the strongest association. Results show that the greatest recharge through direct rainfall is along the Tallahatchie River basin in the northeastern Mississippi Delta, with recharge along the periphery of the LMRAA likely a result of direct water flux from surface hydrologic features.

  19. Preservation of daily tidal cycles and stacked alluvial swamp deposits: Depositional response to early compaction of buried peat bodies

    SciTech Connect

    Demko, T.M.; Gastaldo, R.A. )

    1990-05-01

    The character of the clastic depositional environments represented in the lower Mary Lee coal zone of the Pennsylvanian Pottsville Formation in the Warrior basin Alabama (tidally influenced mud flats and alluvial swamps) was controlled by the compaction of buried peat bodies. The lowest mineable coal in the Mary Lee coal zone, the Jagger, is overlain by laminated shale and sandstone exhibiting pronounced cycle bedding. This bedding records daily tidal cyclicity in the form of sand-mud couplets. These correspond to flood-current deposition of the coarser fraction followed by fallout of the finer grained fraction during ensuing slack-water periods. These couplets are cyclically bundled-sandier bundles corresponding to spring tides and muddier bundles to neap tides (lamination counts suggest a 24-30-day cycle). The clastic sequence above the overlying Blue Creek coal is characterized by a series of stacked alluvial swamp horizons. These can be identified by autochthonous fossil plants and pedological features indicative of gleyed paleosols. Catastrophic flooding buried and preserved these horizons. The rapid, early compaction of the buried Jagger and Blue Creek peat bodies created accommodation space that allowed both the preservation of tidalites in the Jagger coal to Blue Creek coal interval and the stacking of alluvial swamp paleosols above the Blue Creek seam. Carboniferous peats were comprised of highly compressible plant parts and hence, were sensitive to sediment loading. Once the peat bodies had compressed to a certain extent, stability of the overlying sediment surface created conditions amenable to resumption of peat accumulation.

  20. Geohydrology of the alluvial and terrace deposits of the North Canadian River from Oklahoma City to Eufaula Lake, central Oklahoma

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Havens, J.S.

    1989-01-01

    This investigation was undertaken to describe the geohydrology of the alluvial and terrace deposits along the North Canadian River between Lake Overholser and Eufaula Lake, an area of about 1,835 square miles, and to determine the maximum annual yield of ground water. A 1982 water-level map of the alluvial and terrace aquifer was prepared using field data and published records. Data from test holes and other data from the files of the U.S. Geological Survey and the Oklahoma Water Resources Board were used to establish the approximate thickness of the alluvial and terrace deposits. The North Canadian River from Lake Overholser, near Oklahoma City, to Eufaula Lake is paralleled by a 2- to 3-mile wide band of alluvium. Scattered terrace deposits on either side of the alluvium reach an extreme width of 8 miles. Rocks of Permian age bound the alluvial and terrace deposits from the west to the midpoint of the study area; Pennsylvanian rocks bound the alluvial and terrace deposits from that point eastward. Three major aquifers are present in the study area: the alluvial and terrace aquifer, consisting of alluvium and terrace deposits of Quaternary age in a narrow band on either side of the North Canadian River; the Garber-Wellington aquifer of Permian age, consisting of an upper unconfined zone and a lower confined zone separated by relatively impermeable shales; and the Ada-Vamoosa aquifer of Pennsylvanian age. At locations were the alluvial and terrace aquifer overlies either of the other aquifers, there is hydraulic continuity between the alluvial and terrace aquifer and the other aquifers, and water levels are the same. Most large-scale municipal and industrial pumping from the Garber-Wellington aquifer is from the lower zone and has little discernible effect upon the alluvial and terrace aquifer. The total estimated base flow of the North Canadian River for the studied reach is 264 cubic feet per second. Evapotranspiration from the basin in August is about 60 cubic feet per second for the North Canadian River from Lake Overholser to a measuring station above Eufaula Lake. Estimated recharge rates to the alluvial and terrace aquifer in the basin range from 1.7 inches at the west edge of the study area to 7.0 inches at the east edge. Total permitted withdrawal from the aquifer, according to records of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, ranged from 2,107 acre-feet per year in 1942 to about 21,415 acre-feet per year in 1982. Simulations of the alluvial and terrace aquifer from Lake Overholser to Eufaula Lake were made using a finite-difference model developed by McDonald and Harbaugh (1984). The area of the aquifers was subdivided into a finite-difference grid having 30 rows and 57 columns with cells measuring 1 mile in the north-south direction and 2 miles in the east-west direction. The model was calibrated in two steps: A steady-state calibration simulated head distribution prior to extensive pumping of the aquifer in 1942, and a transient calibration simulated head distribution after extensive pumpage. The final horizontal hydraulic conductivity used for the alluvial and terrace aquifer was 0.0036 feet per second (310 feet per day) at all locations. The recharge rate for the alluvial and terrace aquifer ranged from 1.7 inch per year in the west to 7.0 inches per year in the east, and averaged about 3.3 inches per year. A specific yield of 15 percent was used for the transient simulation. Permitted pumpage for 1942 through 1982 was used in the digital model to estimate the annual volume of water in storage in the alluvial and terrace aquifer for the years for this time period. The 1982 permitted pumpage rates were used for projections for 1983 to 2020. The estimated volume of water in storage was 1,940,000 acre-feet in 1982. Because the estimated recharge rate is equal to the allowed pumpage rate in 1982, the projected volume of water in storage in both 1993 and 2020 was 1,890,000 acre-feet.

  1. Loess is the accumulation of dust, not evidence for aridity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zech, Roland

    2013-04-01

    Loess-paleosol sequences (LPS) are valuable terrestrial archives for Quaternary climate and environmental changes. The famous sections on the Chinese Loess Plateau, for example, document the alternation of warm and humid interglacials (paleosols) and cold and more arid glacials (loess). This, at least partly, reflects the weakening of the monsoonal circulation during glacials and has led to the notion that loess in general documents more arid conditions. Paleosols, on the other hand, are often interpreted to document more humid conditions. We studied the LPS Crvenka in the Carpathian Basin, southeast Europe, which spans the full last glacial cycle, and obtained results that do not fit the above concept: (i) The analysis of plant-derived long-chain n-alkanes indicates the presence of deciduous trees and shrubs during glacials, i.e. sufficient precipitation for tree growth, whereas tree-less grass steppes seem to have prevailed during the Eemian, the last interglacial. (ii) Compound-specific deuterium analyses on the alkanes show only little changes on glacial-interglacial timescale. When compared with the isotopic enrichment of the Mediterranean Sea during the last glacial, this likely documents a combination of increased rainfall, reduced evapo-transpiration and reduced temperatures. (iii) Novel lipid biomarkers derived from soil bacteria (GDGTs, glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers) also indicate humid glacials (BIT index close to 1) and more arid interglacials (BIT<0.8). Our results are in good agreement with modelling studies suggesting a southward shift of the westerlies during glacials, and aridization in the Mediterranean area in response to man-made global warming. More importantly, they remind us of an important fact: Loess is the accumulation of dust, but not (necessarily) evidence for aridity. Pedogenesis may simply not have been able to keep pace with high glacial dust accumulation rates related to intense glacial, periglacial and fluvial activity. Proxies independent of accumulation rates should be further developed and applied in LPS.

  2. A discontinuity in the late Pleistocene alluvial deposits, Hwacheon-ri, Gyeongju, Korea: Occurrences and paleoenvironmental implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paik, In Sung; Kyeong Seol, Weon; Kim, Hyun Joo; Lee, Ho Il; Kang, Hee Cheol

    2015-04-01

    Sedimentary discontinuity surface occurs in the late Pleistocene alluvial deposits exposed along the cliff (about 10 m thick and over 140 m in length) in stream side, Gyeongju, Korea. The discontinuity surface is laterally extensive and marked by distinct carbonaceous dark horizon in the middle part of the deposits. The deposits are divided into lower and upper units by the discontinuity surface. The lower unit overlies unconformably the Cretaceous andesitic rock (basement), and consists of braided-river deposits. Lower part of the lower unit is mainly composed of lenticular-bedded and clast-supported conglomeratic deposits, whereas gray to dark gray sandy to muddy channel-plug deposits occur in the uppermost part of the lower unit. It is characteristic that iron-oxide crusts occur in the lower unit. They are cutting across the lower unit and truncated by the overlying upper unit. Rootlets mineralized by vivianite are present in the channel-plug deposits below the discontinuity surface. The upper unit overlying the lower unit with erosive contact (discontinuity surface) is mostly composed of matrix-supported conglomeratic alluvial fan deposits. Hornfelsic gravels are common in the lower unit, whereas andesitic gravels are predominant in the upper unit, suggesting the provenance change from the lower unit to the upper unit. OSL ages for the lower and the upper units are 1259 ka and 949 ka, respectively, suggesting that the lower unit was deposited in MIS5e and the upper unit was formed in MIS5c to 5b. It is thus interpreted that the shift of depositional environment from a fluvial plain (lower unit) to an alluvial fan (upper unit) was an alluvial response to sea level change inducing fall of base level in an alluvial basin from the interglacial to the glacial stages. The development of iron-oxide crusts and diagenetic vivianite in the discontinuity surface suggest that humid condition persisted during the paleoclimatic shift from the last interglacial to the last glacial stages. Key words: Late Pleistocene, Alluvial deposits, Discontinuity, Iron-oxides, Vivianite

  3. New crops for arid lands.

    PubMed

    Hinman, C W

    1984-09-28

    Five plants are described that could be grown commercially under arid conditions. Once the most valuable component has been obtained from each plant (rubber from guayule; seed oil from jojoba, buffalo gourd, and bladderpod; and resin from gumweed), the remaining material holds potential for useful products as well as fuel. It is difficult to realize the full potential of arid land plants, however, because of the complexities of developing the necessary agricultural and industrial infrastructure simultaneously. To do so, multicompany efforts or cooperative efforts between government and the private sector will be required. PMID:17770060

  4. Problems and Prospects of SWAT Model Application on an Arid/Semi-Arid Watershed in Arizona

    EPA Science Inventory

    In arid/semi-arid regions, precipitation mainly occurs during two periods: long-duration, low-intensity rainfall in winter; and short-duration, high-intensity rainfall in summer. Watersheds in arid/semi-arid regions often release water almost immediately after a storm due to spa...

  5. Climatic and tectonic controls on Quaternary eolian sedimentary sequences of the Chott Rharsa Basin, southern Tunisia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swezey, Christopher Stephen

    This dissertation presents an investigation of climatic and tectonic controls on Quaternary eolian sedimentary sequences of the Chott Rharsa Basin on the northern margin of the Sahara Desert, in southern Tunisia. This basin, which lies within the larger Atlas foreland basin of North Africa, is a structurally controlled depocenter created by Miocene-Pleistocene compression associated with the Atlas Orogeny. Alluvial fans and fluvial systems are present on the northern margin of the basin, a continental sabkha occupies the basin center, and eolian deposits characterize the southern margin. Mapping of the southern margin of the basin, combined with thermoluminescence dates from eolian deposits, reveal late Quaternary millennial-scale changes in eolian activity and stabilization. Specifically, the Chott Rharsa record contains four phases of eolian sand accumulation that occurred around 12.2, 10.0, 7.5, and 6.2-5.6 ka B.P. Lacustrine deposition occurred sometime between the eolian accumulations of 10.0 and 7.5 ka B.P., and sabkha deposition occurred sometime between the eolian accumulations of 7.5 and 6.2 ka B.P. There was also an episode of pedogenic gypsum crust development following the 6.2-5.6 ka B.P. eolian accumulation but before the onset of deflationary conditions that prevail today. From this record, which is of greater chronologic resolution than has been established previously from other Saharan eolian settings, it is determined that tectonic and structural features control locations of depocenters and locations of major sediment sources while climate exerts a greater influence on the nature and rates of stratigraphic accumulation. Humid times of higher water table positions and more abundant vegetation correspond with preservation of a stratigraphic record via lacustrine/sabkha deposition and stabilization of eolian deposits. Arid times of lower water table positions and less abundant vegetation coincide with eolian activity and also with destruction of the stratigraphic record via greater deflation and removal of stabilization agents. Furthermore, comparison of the Chott Rharsa record with other eolian-based records indicates that late Quaternary Saharan eolian activity has been relatively synchronous and that timing of Saharan eolian activity is coincident with major oceanic and atmospheric changes, suggesting the existence of global forcing mechanisms.

  6. Understanding Hydrologic Processes in Semi-Arid Cold Climates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barber, M. E.; Beutel, M.; Lamb, B.; Watts, R.

    2004-12-01

    Water shortages destabilize economies and ecosystems. These shortages are caused by complex interactions between climate variability, ecosystem processes, and increased demand from human activities. In the semi-arid region of the northwestern U.S., water availability during drought periods has already reached crisis levels and the problems are expected to intensify as the effects of global climate change and population growth continue to alter the supply and demand patterns. Many of the problems are critical to this region because hydropower, agriculture, navigation, fish and wildlife survival, water supply, tourism, environmental protection, and water-based recreation are vital to state economies and our way of life. In order to assess the spatial and temporal nature of hydrologic responses, consistent and comprehensive long-term data sets are needed. In response to these needs, we would like to propose the Spokane River drainage basin as a long-term hydrologic observatory. The Spokane River basin is located in eastern Washington and northern Idaho and is a tributary of the Columbia River. The watershed consists of several major surface water tributaries as well as natural and man-made lakes and reservoirs. With headwaters beginning in the Rocky Mountains, the drainage area is approximately 6,640 mi2. In addition to providing an excellent study area for examining many conventional water resource problems, the Spokane River watershed also presents a unique opportunity for investigating many of the hydrologic processes found in semi-arid cold climates. Snowfall in the watershed varies spatially between 35 inches near the mouth of the basin to over 112 inches at the headwaters. These varied hydrologic uses provide a unique opportunity to address many common challenges faced by water resource professionals. This broad array of issues encompasses science, engineering, agriculture, social sciences, economics, fisheries, and a host of other disciplines. In addition, because precipitation patterns in this semi-arid region tend to be temporally distributed, storage and global climate change issues are significant.

  7. Characterizing avulsion stratigraphy in ancient alluvial deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, H. L.; Hajek, E. A.

    2007-11-01

    Guidelines for identifying ancient avulsion deposits were set forth by Kraus and Wells [Kraus, M.J., Wells, T.M., 1999. Recognizing avulsion deposits in the ancient stratigraphical record. In: Smith, N.D., Rogers, J. (Eds.), Fluvial Sedimentology VI, Special Publication of the International Association of Sedimentologists, vol. 28, pp. 251-268], building on the study by Smith et al. [Smith, N.D., Cross, T.A., Dufficy, J.P., Clough, S.R., 1989. Anatomy of an avulsion. Sedimentology 36, 1-23] of the modern Saskatchewan River system (Cumberland Marshes, central Canada), and serve to characterize avulsion depositional sequences in the ancient Willwood and Fort Union Formations (Paleogene, Bighorn Basin, NW Wyoming, USA). We recognize, however, that the model is not universally applicable to avulsion-dominated successions, specifically systems which lack defining "heterolithic avulsion deposits", set forth by Kraus and Wells [Kraus, M.J., Wells, T.M., 1999. Recognizing avulsion deposits in the ancient stratigraphical record. In: Smith, N.D., Rogers, J. (Eds.), Fluvial Sedimentology VI, Special Publication of the International Association of Sedimentologists, vol. 28, pp. 251-268]. Observations in several fluvial intervals suggest that the avulsion stratigraphy outlined by Kraus and Wells [Kraus, M.J., Wells, T.M., 1999. Recognizing avulsion deposits in the ancient stratigraphical record. In: Smith, N.D., Rogers, J. (Eds.), Fluvial Sedimentology VI, Special Publication of the International Association of Sedimentologists, vol. 28, pp. 251-268] represents one category of avulsion stratigraphy found in the rock record, but does not capture the nature of avulsion deposits everywhere. Based on observations (using measured sections, outcrop photo-panels, and aerial photographs) in the Willwood Formation (Eocene, Wyoming) and Ferris Formation (Cretaceous/Paleogene, Wyoming), we present two end-member categories of avulsion stratigraphy in ancient deposits; stratigraphically abrupt, when a main paleochannel is stratigraphically juxtaposed directly atop floodplain/overbank deposits, and stratigraphically transitional, where crevasse splays and other non-floodplain/-overbank deposits stratigraphically precede a main paleochannel. This characterization provides a broader, more inclusive way to recognize and describe avulsion stratigraphy in ancient deposits and may be an important factor to consider when modeling connectivity in fluvial reservoirs. Furthermore, our observations show that one type of avulsion channel stratigraphy may prevail over another within an ancient basin, suggesting that system-wide factors such as splay-proneness or avulsion style (i.e. aggradational, incisional, etc.; [Slingerland, R., Smith, N.D., 2004. River avulsions and their deposits. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 32, 257-285]) may be primary controls on the type of avulsion stratigraphy deposited and preserved in ancient basin-fills.

  8. Calibration of the ARID robot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doty, Keith L.

    1992-09-01

    The author has formulated a new, general model for specifying the kinematic properties of serial manipulators. The new model kinematic parameters do not suffer discontinuities when nominally parallel adjacent axes deviate from exact parallelism. From this new theory the author develops a first-order, lumped-parameter, calibration-model for the ARID manipulator. Next, the author develops a calibration methodology for the ARID based on visual and acoustic sensing. A sensor platform, consisting of a camera and four sonars attached to the ARID end frame, performs calibration measurements. A calibration measurement consists of processing one visual frame of an accurately placed calibration image and recording four acoustic range measurements. A minimum of two measurement protocols determine the kinematics calibration-model of the ARID for a particular region: assuming the joint displacements are accurately measured, the calibration surface is planar, and the kinematic parameters do not vary rapidly in the region. No theoretical or practical limitations appear to contra-indicate the feasibility of the calibration method developed here.

  9. Calibration of the ARID robot

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doty, Keith L

    1992-01-01

    The author has formulated a new, general model for specifying the kinematic properties of serial manipulators. The new model kinematic parameters do not suffer discontinuities when nominally parallel adjacent axes deviate from exact parallelism. From this new theory the author develops a first-order, lumped-parameter, calibration-model for the ARID manipulator. Next, the author develops a calibration methodology for the ARID based on visual and acoustic sensing. A sensor platform, consisting of a camera and four sonars attached to the ARID end frame, performs calibration measurements. A calibration measurement consists of processing one visual frame of an accurately placed calibration image and recording four acoustic range measurements. A minimum of two measurement protocols determine the kinematics calibration-model of the ARID for a particular region: assuming the joint displacements are accurately measured, the calibration surface is planar, and the kinematic parameters do not vary rapidly in the region. No theoretical or practical limitations appear to contra-indicate the feasibility of the calibration method developed here.

  10. Lake Murray, Fly and Strickland River Basins, Papua, New Guinea

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    Lake Murray, a manmade reservoir, lies between the Fly and Strickland River Basins, Papua, New Guinea (7.0S, 141.5E). The region, photographed in sunglint, shows the water level in the reservoir and the full extent of the drainage basins of both river systems as the rivers meander through wide alluvial floodplains. Some forest clearing can be seen in places throughout the region, but most of the area remains in closed canopy forest.

  11. Sedimentology and stratigraphy of Cenozoic deposits in the Kağızman-Tuzluca Basin, northeastern Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varol, Baki; Şen, Şevket; Ayyıldız, Turhan; Sözeri, Koray; Karakaş, Zehra; Métais, Grégoire

    2016-01-01

    The Kağızman-Tuzluca Basin is located in the northeastern Anatolia, to the east of the intersection point (near Karlıova) of the major North and East Anatolian Fault systems. This intermontane basin displays a thick sequence (over 2000 m) of mostly terrestrial deposits represented by repetitive alternations of the lake and fluvial environments ranging from ?Late Eocene/Oligocene to Middle/? Late Miocene. A marine incursion only mappable in the southeastern margin of the basin deposited limestones and sandy limestones rich in marine mollusks and nummulites, in particular N. fichteli that constrain an Early Oligocene age for this marine unit (Kağan Fm). The terrestrial basin-fill deposits show different thicknesses throughout the basin due to irregular bottom topography and tectonic configuration of the basin margins. The thickest deposits were accumulated along the different margins of the basin, which received high quantities of siliciclastics from meandering river, alluvial and coastal fans, fan delta/Gilbert-type delta and wave-worked fluvial delta. Climate changes have also driven the development of lake environments during distinct depositional periods. Siliciclastic-dominated overfilled lakes (Halıkışlak and Kızılkaya formations) and chemical-dominated underfilled lakes (Turabi and Tuzluca formations) were formed. They have been also classified as "Newark-type" and "Fundy-type" lakes, respectively. Fluvial systems evolved from high-energy meandering rivers deposited under humid climate (Güngören Formation) to low-energy meandering rivers resulted from arid and semiarid climates (Çincavat Formation). The transitional intervals from ephemeral river-dry mudflat (Çincavat Formation) to saline pan/lake (Tuzluca Formation) indicate wadi-sand flat-playa fluvial systems. The chronostratigraphic constrains of the entire sequence remain poor and so far solely based on vertebrate fossil assemblages. The evaporitic Tuzluca Formation would be Middle Miocene in age due to its stratigraphic position over the Çincavat Formation.

  12. Finite amplitude bars in mixed bedrock-alluvial channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, Peter A.; Bolla Pittaluga, Michele; Seminara, Giovanni

    2014-03-01

    We present a nonlinear asymptotic theory of fully developed flow and bed topography in a wide channel of constant curvature to describe finite amplitude perturbations of bottom topography, subject to an inerodible bedrock layer. The flow field is evaluated at the leading order of approximation as a slowly varying sequence of locally uniform flows, slightly perturbed by a weak curvature-induced secondary flow. Using the constraint of constant fluid discharge and sediment flux, we calculate an analytical solution for the cross-sectional profile of flow depth and bed topography, and we determine the average slope in the bend necessary to transport the sediment supplied from a straight, alluvial, upstream reach. Both fully alluvial bends and bends with partial bedrock exposure are shown to require a larger average slope than a straight upstream reach; the relative slope increase is much larger for mixed bedrock-alluvial bends. Curvature and sediment supply are shown to have a strong effect on the characteristics of the point bars in mixed bedrock-alluvial channels. Higher curvature bends produce bars of larger amplitude and more bedrock exposure through the cross section, and increasing the sediment supply leads to taller and wider point bars. Differences in the relative roughness of sediment and bedrock have a smaller, secondary effect on point bar characteristics. Our analytical approach can potentially be extended to the case of arbitrary, yet slowly varying, curvature, and should ultimately lead to an improved understanding of the formation of meanders in bedrock channels.

  13. MAP OF ECOREGIONS OF THE MISSISSIPPI ALLUVIAL PLAIN

    EPA Science Inventory

    The ecoregions of The Mississippi Alluvial Plain (73) have been identified, mapped, and described and provide a geographic structure for environmental resources research, assessment, monitoring, and management. This project is part of a larger effort by the U.S. EPA to create a ...

  14. HYDRAULIC ANALYSIS OF BASEFLOW AND BANK STORAGE IN ALLUVIAL STREAMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This paper presents analytical solutions, which describe the effect of time-variable net recharge (net accretion to water table) and bank storage in alluvial aquifers on the sustenance of stream flows during storm and inter-storm events. The solutions relate the stream discharge,...

  15. Structure of Alluvial Valleys from 3-D Gravity Inversion: The Low Andarax Valley (Almería, Spain) Test Case

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camacho, Antonio G.; Carmona, Enrique; García-Jerez, Antonio; Sánchez-Martos, Francisco; Prieto, Juan F.; Fernández, José; Luzón, Francisco

    2015-11-01

    This paper presents a gravimetric study (based on 382 gravimetric stations in an area about 32 km2) of a nearly flat basin: the Low Andarax valley. This alluvial basin, close to its river mouth, is located in the extreme south of the province of Almería and coincides with one of the existing depressions in the Betic Cordillera. The paper presents new methodological work to adapt a published inversion approach (GROWTH method) to the case of an alluvial valley (sedimentary stratification, with density increase downward). The adjusted 3D density model reveals several features in the topography of the discontinuity layers between the calcareous basement (2,700 kg/m3) and two sedimentary layers (2,400 and 2,250 kg/m3). We interpret several low density alignments as corresponding to SE faults striking about N140-145°E. Some detected basement elevations (such as the one, previously known by boreholes, in Viator village) are apparently connected with the fault pattern. The outcomes of this work are: (1) new gravimetric data, (2) new methodological options, and (3) the resulting structural conclusions.

  16. 30 CFR 947.822 - Special performance standards-operations on alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 947.822 Section 947.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE WASHINGTON § 947.822 Special performance standards—operations on alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Performance Standards—Operations on Alluvial Valley Floors, shall apply...

  17. 30 CFR 912.822 - Special performance standards-operations in alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 912.822 Section 912.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE IDAHO § 912.822 Special performance standards—operations in alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Permanent Program Performance Standards—Operations in Alluvial Valley...

  18. 30 CFR 903.822 - Special performance standards-Operations in alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 903.822 Section 903.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE ARIZONA § 903.822 Special performance standards—Operations in alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Permanent Program Performance Standards—Operations in Alluvial Valley...

  19. 30 CFR 912.822 - Special performance standards-operations in alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 912.822 Section 912.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE IDAHO § 912.822 Special performance standards—operations in alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Permanent Program Performance Standards—Operations in Alluvial Valley...

  20. 30 CFR 941.822 - Special performance standards-operations in alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 941.822 Section 941.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE SOUTH DAKOTA § 941.822 Special performance standards—operations in alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Permanent Program Performance Standards—Operations in Alluvial...

  1. 30 CFR 905.822 - Special performance standards-Operations in alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 905.822 Section 905.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE CALIFORNIA § 905.822 Special performance standards—Operations in alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Permanent Program Performance Standards—Operations in Alluvial Valley...

  2. 30 CFR 947.822 - Special performance standards-operations on alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 947.822 Section 947.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE WASHINGTON § 947.822 Special performance standards—operations on alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Performance Standards—Operations on Alluvial Valley Floors, shall apply...

  3. 30 CFR 903.822 - Special performance standards-Operations in alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 903.822 Section 903.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE ARIZONA § 903.822 Special performance standards—Operations in alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Permanent Program Performance Standards—Operations in Alluvial Valley...

  4. 30 CFR 905.822 - Special performance standards-Operations in alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 905.822 Section 905.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE CALIFORNIA § 905.822 Special performance standards—Operations in alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Permanent Program Performance Standards—Operations in Alluvial Valley...

  5. 30 CFR 903.822 - Special performance standards-Operations in alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 903.822 Section 903.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE ARIZONA § 903.822 Special performance standards—Operations in alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Permanent Program Performance Standards—Operations in Alluvial Valley...

  6. 30 CFR 912.822 - Special performance standards-operations in alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 912.822 Section 912.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE IDAHO § 912.822 Special performance standards—operations in alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Permanent Program Performance Standards—Operations in Alluvial Valley...

  7. 30 CFR 905.822 - Special performance standards-Operations in alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 905.822 Section 905.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE CALIFORNIA § 905.822 Special performance standards—Operations in alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Permanent Program Performance Standards—Operations in Alluvial Valley...

  8. 30 CFR 947.822 - Special performance standards-operations on alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 947.822 Section 947.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE WASHINGTON § 947.822 Special performance standards—operations on alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Performance Standards—Operations on Alluvial Valley Floors, shall apply...

  9. 30 CFR 941.822 - Special performance standards-operations in alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 941.822 Section 941.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE SOUTH DAKOTA § 941.822 Special performance standards—operations in alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Permanent Program Performance Standards—Operations in Alluvial...

  10. 30 CFR 941.822 - Special performance standards-operations in alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 941.822 Section 941.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE SOUTH DAKOTA § 941.822 Special performance standards—operations in alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Permanent Program Performance Standards—Operations in Alluvial...

  11. 30 CFR 912.822 - Special performance standards-operations in alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 912.822 Section 912.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE IDAHO § 912.822 Special performance standards—operations in alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Permanent Program Performance Standards—Operations in Alluvial Valley...

  12. 30 CFR 905.822 - Special performance standards-Operations in alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 905.822 Section 905.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE CALIFORNIA § 905.822 Special performance standards—Operations in alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Permanent Program Performance Standards—Operations in Alluvial Valley...

  13. 30 CFR 947.822 - Special performance standards-operations on alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 947.822 Section 947.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE WASHINGTON § 947.822 Special performance standards—operations on alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Performance Standards—Operations on Alluvial Valley Floors, shall apply...

  14. 30 CFR 941.822 - Special performance standards-operations in alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 941.822 Section 941.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE SOUTH DAKOTA § 941.822 Special performance standards—operations in alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Permanent Program Performance Standards—Operations in Alluvial...

  15. 30 CFR 947.822 - Special performance standards-operations on alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 947.822 Section 947.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE WASHINGTON § 947.822 Special performance standards—operations on alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Performance Standards—Operations on Alluvial Valley Floors, shall apply...

  16. 30 CFR 941.822 - Special performance standards-operations in alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 941.822 Section 941.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE SOUTH DAKOTA § 941.822 Special performance standards—operations in alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Permanent Program Performance Standards—Operations in Alluvial...

  17. 30 CFR 905.822 - Special performance standards-Operations in alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 905.822 Section 905.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE CALIFORNIA § 905.822 Special performance standards—Operations in alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Permanent Program Performance Standards—Operations in Alluvial Valley...

  18. 30 CFR 903.822 - Special performance standards-Operations in alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 903.822 Section 903.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE ARIZONA § 903.822 Special performance standards—Operations in alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Permanent Program Performance Standards—Operations in Alluvial Valley...

  19. 30 CFR 903.822 - Special performance standards-Operations in alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 903.822 Section 903.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE ARIZONA § 903.822 Special performance standards—Operations in alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Permanent Program Performance Standards—Operations in Alluvial Valley...

  20. 30 CFR 912.822 - Special performance standards-operations in alluvial valley floors.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... alluvial valley floors. 912.822 Section 912.822 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND... STATE IDAHO § 912.822 Special performance standards—operations in alluvial valley floors. Part 822 of this chapter, Special Permanent Program Performance Standards—Operations in Alluvial Valley...

  1. A summary of methods for the collection and analysis of basic hydrologic data for arid regions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rantz, S.E.; Eakin, T.E.

    1971-01-01

    This report summarizes and discusses current methods of collecting and analyzing the data required for a study of the basic hydrology of arid regions. The fundamental principles behind these methods are no different than those that apply to studies of humid regions, but in arid regions the infrequent occurrence of precipitation, the great variability of the many hydrologic elements, and the inaccessibility of most basins usually make it economically infeasible to use conventional levels of instrumentation. Because of these economic considerations hydrologic studies in arid regions have been commonly of the reconnaissance type; the more costly detailed studies are generally restricted to experimental basins and to those basins that now have major economic significance. A thorough search of the literature and personal communication with workers in the field of arid-land hydrology provided the basis for this summary of methods used in both reconnaissance and detailed hydrologic studies. The conclusions reached from a consideration of previously reported methods are interspersed in this report where appropriate.

  2. Aridity threshold in controlling ecosystem nitrogen cycling in arid and semi-arid grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Chao; Wang, Xiaobo; Liu, Dongwei; Wu, Honghui; Lü, Xiaotao; Fang, Yunting; Cheng, Weixin; Luo, Wentao; Jiang, Ping; Shi, Jason; Yin, Huaqun; Zhou, Jizhong; Han, Xingguo; Bai, Edith

    2014-09-01

    Higher aridity and more extreme rainfall events in drylands are predicted due to climate change. Yet, it is unclear how changing precipitation regimes may affect nitrogen (N) cycling, especially in areas with extremely high aridity. Here we investigate soil N isotopic values (δ15N) along a 3,200 km aridity gradient and reveal a hump-shaped relationship between soil δ15N and aridity index (AI) with a threshold at AI=0.32. Variations of foliar δ15N, the abundance of nitrification and denitrification genes, and metabolic quotient along the gradient provide further evidence for the existence of this threshold. Data support the hypothesis that the increase of gaseous N loss is higher than the increase of net plant N accumulation with increasing AI below AI=0.32, while the opposite is favoured above this threshold. Our results highlight the importance of N-cycling microbes in extremely dry areas and suggest different controlling factors of N-cycling on either side of the threshold.

  3. Increased storminess during MIS3 altered the late Quaternary basin-scale weathering, erosion, and deposition in Nahal Yael, hyperarid Negev, Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Enzel, Y.; Amit, R.; Grodek, T.; Ayalon, A.; Lekach, J.; Porat, N.; Bierman, P. R.; Blum, J. D.; Erel, Y.

    2012-12-01

    A conceptual model for geomorphic response to Pleistocene to Holocene climate change (Bull and Schick, 1979, Quat. Res. 11: 153-171) was probably based on earlier observations in the southwestern US, but first applied to the hyperarid (<30 mm yr-1) Nahal Yael watershed, southern Negev desert. This influential model includes a chain of events following a climate change from semiarid late Pleistocene to hyperarid Holocene: reduced vegetation cover, increased yield of sediments from slopes, and accelerated aggradation of terraces and export of sediment from the basin to deposit an alluvial fan. The model is now >30 years old and during this time chronologic, paleoenvironmental and hydrogeomorphic research have all advanced but the discussions are still within the framework put forward then. The model is revaluated here by using data acquired in Nahal Yael over the 30 years since the original model was proposed. Recent studies indicate late Pleistocene climate was hyperarid and the transition from semiarid to hyperarid climates did not occur. The revised chronology reveals a 35-20 ka episode (probably already beginning at ~50 ka with lower rates) of accelerated weathering and sediment production and distinct talus accretion on slopes. Coeval with accretion on slopes, sediments were also transported and aggraded in fluvial terraces and alluvial fans, without noticeable lag time or a chain of discernable events. This intensified sediment production and delivery phase is unrelated to the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. The depositional landforms were rapidly incised during 20-18 ka; since this approximately LGM incision, sediment yield is from the storage in these depositional landforms and is not produced from bedrock in significant quantities. We propose that in such hyperarid environment, the main operators are individual extreme storms, and in this case specifically an episode of frequent storms and floods is the driver of change regardless the mean climatic conditions. It created a pulse of intense weathering due to numerous cycles of wetting and drying on slopes and sediment transport to fluvial terraces and alluvial fans; its impact continues all the way to the present. We suggest that even if aspects of the original conceptual model of Bull and Schick (1979) are correct, it has been applied too frequently, too generally, across very diverse arid climates and settings, and for too long in lieu of collecting new data at a full basin scale and testing the model.

  4. Limited hydrological connectivity in arid and semi-arid areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yair, Aaron

    2014-05-01

    Many studies contend that runoff and erosion rate increase as slope angle and slope length increase. These studies have been often conducted in agricultural areas, on small plots with quite uniform surface conditions;and relatively low slope angles. Such an approach assumes flow continuity and sediment movement along whole hillslopes; or in other terms That runoff concentration time is shorter than the duration of most effective rain events. Question: Can we apply the above approach to dry-land areas where the concentration time, especially over long hillslopes is much longer than the duration of most effective rainshowers. Hydrological data collected at two small instrumented watersheds, located one in an arid rocky area and the other in a semi-arid area (90 and 280 mm average annual rainfall)point to a high frequency of flow discontinuity at the hillslope scale, as well as along channels of first order streams,even at extreme rain events. Connectivity at both scales is higher in the arid than in the semi-arid area. Flow discontinuity increases with increasing slope length. The frequent flow discontinuity at the hillslope scale leads to the development of colluvial deposits at the slope base; characterized by high infiltration rate, that limits flow connectivity at the hillslope-channel interface. THe frequent flow discontinuity in dry land areas is mainly explained by the intermittent character of most rain events. The duration of most effective rainshowers is much shorter than the concentration time require for a continuous flow from the top to the base of the flow. The long term effect of flow discontinuity is very well expressed by soil development along the colluvial mantle; whose upper part if far better leached than its lower oart

  5. Late glacial aridity in southern Rocky Mountains

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, O.K.; Pitblado, B.L.

    1995-09-01

    While the slopes of the present-day Colorado Rocky Mountains are characterized by large stands of subalpine and montane conifers, the Rockies of the late glacial looked dramatically different. Specifically, pollen records suggest that during the late glacial, Artemisia and Gramineae predominated throughout the mountains of Colorado. At some point between 11,000 and 10,000 B.P., however, both Artemisia and grasses underwent a dramatic decline, which can be identified in virtually every pollen diagram produced for Colorado mountain sites, including Como Lake (Sangre de Cristo Mountains), Copley Lake and Splains; Gulch (near Crested Butte), Molas Lake (San Juan Mountains), and Redrock Lake (Boulder County). Moreover, the same pattern seems to hold for pollen spectra derived for areas adjacent to Colorado, including at sites in the Chuska Mountains of New Mexico and in eastern Wyoming. The implications of this consistent finding are compelling. The closest modem analogues to the Artemisia- and Gramineae-dominated late-glacial Colorado Rockies are found in the relatively arid northern Great Basin, which suggests that annual precipitation was much lower in the late-glacial southern Rocky Mountains than it was throughout the Holocene.

  6. Intelligent mapping of alluvial aquifer characteristics in the Otago region, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friedel, Michael; Rawlinson, Zara; Westerhoff, Rogier

    2015-04-01

    We adopt a hybrid approach to map the 3D hydrostratigraphy of an alluvial aquifer using big data collected in the Ettrick basin, Otago New Zealand. First, a subset (1%) of the 18 million regional helicopter frequency-domain electromagnetic (HEM) sounding measurements (300 Hz, Horizontal co-planar; 3300 Hz, vertical co-planar; 8200 Hz, horizontal co-planar; 40 kHz, horizontal co-planar; 137 kHz horizontal coplanar) and their numerically-inverted 1D resistivity (50¬-100 Ω-m) profiles are randomly split. For example, 50% of these data are used for training an unsupervised machine-learning (ML) network, and 50% of these data are used for performance at independent locations. The remaining set of HEM measurements are then presented to the vetted ML network to estimate regional resistivity structure which is compared to previously inverted resistivity. Second, about 50 borehole autocorrelation functions are computed based on cross-component correlations of quantized borehole locations sampled for lithology and HEM sounding data. Third, an unsupervised ML network is trained and performance tested using sparse borehole lithology (fractions of sand, silt, clay, mudstone, schist) and hydraulic properties (storage, hydraulic conductivity), and those HEM sounding data occurring within a radius defined by the maximum borehole autocorrelation distances. Fourth, this ML network is then used together with independent HEM sounding measurements to map the spatial distribution of physical aquifer properties and hydraulic properties across the basin.

  7. Modeling ground water flow in alluvial mountainous catchments on a watershed scale.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Jens; Barthel, Roland; Braun, Jrgen

    2008-01-01

    In large mountainous catchments, shallow unconfined alluvial aquifers play an important role in conveying subsurface runoff to the foreland. Their relatively small extent poses a serious problem for ground water flow models on the river basin scale. River basin scale models describing the entire water cycle are necessary in integrated water resources management and to study the impact of global climate change on ground water resources. Integrated regional-scale models must use a coarse, fixed discretization to keep computational demands low and to facilitate model coupling. This can lead to discrepancies between model discretization and the geometrical properties of natural systems. Here, an approach to overcome this discrepancy is discussed using the example of the German-Austrian Upper Danube catchment, where a coarse ground water flow model was developed using MODFLOW. The method developed uses a modified concept from a hydrological catchment drainage analysis in order to adapt the aquifer geometry such that it respects the numerical requirements of the chosen discretization, that is, the width and the thickness of cells as well as gradients and connectivity of the catchment. In order to show the efficiency of the developed method, it was tested and compared to a finely discretized ground water model of the Ammer subcatchment. The results of the analysis prove the applicability of the new approach and contribute to the idea of using physically based ground water models in large catchments. PMID:18459959

  8. Delineation of regional arid karstic aquifers: an integrative data approach.

    PubMed

    Wolaver, Brad D; Sharp, John M; Rodriguez, Juan M; Flores, Juan Carlos Ibarra

    2008-01-01

    This research integrates data procedures for the delineation of regional ground water flow systems in arid karstic basins with sparse hydrogeologic data using surface topography data, geologic mapping, permeability data, chloride concentrations of ground water and precipitation, and measured discharge data. This integrative data analysis framework can be applied to evaluate arid karstic aquifer systems globally. The accurate delineation of ground water recharge areas in developing aquifer systems with sparse hydrogeologic data is essential for their effective long-term development and management. We illustrate the use of this approach in the Cuatrociénegas Basin (CCB) of Mexico. Aquifers are characterized using geographic information systems for ground water catchment delineation, an analytical model for interbasin flow evaluation, a chloride balance approach for recharge estimation, and a water budget for mapping contributing catchments over a large region. The test study area includes the CCB of Coahuila, Mexico, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve containing more than 500 springs that support ground water-dependent ecosystems with more than 70 endemic organisms and irrigated agriculture. We define recharge areas that contribute local and regional ground water discharge to springs and the regional flow system. Results show that the regional aquifer system follows a topographic gradient that during past pluvial periods may have linked the Río Nazas and the Río Aguanaval of the Sierra Madre Occidental to the Río Grande via the CCB and other large, currently dry, upgradient lakes. PMID:18194323

  9. Experimental alluvial fan evolution: Channel dynamics, slope controls, and shoreline growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reitz, Meredith D.; Jerolmack, Douglas J.

    2012-06-01

    River deltas and alluvial fans have channelization and deposition dynamics that are not entirely understood, but which dictate the evolution of landscapes of great social, economic, and ecologic value. Our lack of a process-based understanding of fan dynamics hampers our ability to construct accurate prediction and hazard models, leaving these regions vulnerable. Here we describe the growth of a series of experimental alluvial fans composed of a noncohesive grain mixture bimodal in size and density. We impose conditions that simulate a gravel/sand fan prograding into a static basin with constant water and sediment influx, and the resulting fans display realistic channelization and avulsion dynamics. We find that we can describe the dynamics of our fans in terms of a few processes: (1) an avulsion sequence with a timescale dictated by mass conservation between incoming flux and deposit volume; (2) a tendency for flow to reoccupy former channel paths; and (3) bistable slopes corresponding to separate entrainment and deposition conditions for grains. Several important observations related to these processes are: an avulsion timescale that increases with time and decreases with sediment feed rate; fan lobes that grow in a self-similar, quasi-radial pattern; and channel geometry that is adjusted to the threshold entrainment stress. We propose that the formation of well-defined channels in noncohesive fans is a transient phenomenon resulting from incision following avulsion, and can be directly described with dual transport thresholds. We present a fairly complete, process-based description of the mechanics of avulsion and its resulting timescale on our fans. Because the relevant dynamics depend only on threshold transport conditions and conservation of mass, we show how results may be directly applied to field-scale systems.

  10. Morphostructural characterization of the Charco basin and its surrounding areas in the Chihuahua segment of north Mexican Basin and Range Province

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Troiani, Francesco; Menichetti, Marco

    2014-05-01

    The Chihuahua Basin and Range (CBR) is the eastern branch of the northern Mexican Basin and Range Province that, from a morphostructural point of view, presently is one amongst the lesser-known zones of the southern portion of the North America Basin and Range Province. The study area covers an approximately 800 km2-wide portion of the CBR and encompasses the fault-bounded Charco basin and its surrounding areas. The bedrock of the area pertains to the large siliceous-igneous province of the Sierra Madre Occidental and consists of volcanoclastic rocks including Oligocene dacite, rhyolite, rhyolitic tuffs, and polimitic conglomerates. The region is characterized by a series of NW-SE oriented valleys delimited by tilted monoclinal blocks bounded by high angle, SW-dipping, normal faults. Abrupt changes in elevation, alternating between narrow faulted mountain chains and flat arid valleys or basins are the main morphological elements of the area. The valleys correspond to structural grabens filled with Plio-Pleistocene continental sediments. These grabens are about 10 km wide, while the extensional fault system extend over a distance of more than 15 km. The mountain ranges are in most cases continuous over distances that range from 10 to 70 km including different branches of the extensional and transfer faults. The morphogenesis is mainly erosive in character: erosional landforms (such as rocky scarps, ridges, strath-terraces, erosional pediment, reverse slopes, landslide scar zones, litho-structural flat surfaces) dominate the landscape. In contrast, Quaternary depositional landforms are mainly concentrated within the flat valleys or basins. The Quaternary deposits consist of wide alluvial fans extending to the foot of the main ridges, fluvial and debris-slope deposits. The morphostructural characterization of the area integrated different methodologies, including: i) geomorphological and structural field analyses; ii) remote sensing and geo-morphometric investigations based on aerial photos and Digital Elevation Models (a 28x28 m DEM and high-resolution LIDAR dataset in key sites), and iii) geophysical investigations (high resolution reflection seismic profiling combined with refraction seismic tomography). The main outputs of this research are as follows: i) the Charco basin master-faults and their conjugate extensional system were geometrically characterized and their main associated landforms mapped and described; ii) the morphostratigraphic correlations amongst both deformed and tectonically unaffected Quaternary deposits revealed that the Charco basin master fault has been inactive over the Holocene; iii) the main extensional fault system is associated with conjugate faults, oriented approximately SSW-NNE, that segmented the Charco basin master faults and favored the deposition of the most recent piedmont fans along the eastern margin of the basin; iv) the local morphostructures had played a dominant influence on the Quaternary evolution of both drainage network and relief landforms.

  11. Do invasive riparian Tamarix alter hydrology of riparian areas of arid and semi-arid regions under climate change scenarios?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattarai, M. P.; Acharya, K.; Chen, L.

    2012-12-01

    Competitiveness of riparian invasive species, Tamarix, in arid and semi-arid riparian areas of the southwestern United States under climate change scenario (SRES A2) was investigated. Tamarix has been replacing native vegetation along the riparian corridors of these areas for the past several decades and is thought to alter water balance. Changes in depth to groundwater, soil moisture distribution and flood frequency are critical in survival and growth of a facultative phreatophyte such as Tamarix. In this study, a fully coupled 2d surface flow and 3d subsurface flow hydrologic model, HydroGeoSphere, was used to simulate surface-subsurface hydrology of the lower Virgin River basin (4500 sq. km), located in Nevada, Utah and Arizona. The hydrologic model results, depth to groundwater and soil saturation, were then applied to the species distribution model, Maxent, along with other bioclimatic parameters to asses future Tamarix distribution probability. Simulations were made for the climate scenarios of the end of 21st centry conditions. Depth to groundwater is found to be the most important predictor variable to the Maxent model. Future Tamarix distribution range is not uniform across the basin. It is likely to decrease at lower elevations and increase in some higher elevation areas.

  12. Landform map of the Kaiparowits Coal-Basin area, Utah

    SciTech Connect

    Sargent, K.A.; Hansen, D.E.

    1980-01-01

    A 1:125,000 scale map of the Kaiparowits Coal-Basin area of Utah is presented. The map portrays the shape and erosional resistance of and features, and it is intended to be a modified slope-analysis map for use by planners in their identification of areas suitable for transportation routes and construction sites. Depositional landforms such as alluvial flats, stream courses, dune fields, and alluviated pediments are shown, and a stratigraphic section of the rocks in the area is provided. (JMT)

  13. A review of the stratigraphy and sedimentary environments of the Karoo-aged basins of Southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, R. M. H.; Eriksson, P. G.; Botha, W. J.

    1993-02-01

    The Karoo Basin of South Africa was one of several contemporaneous intracratonic basins in southwestern Gondwana that became active in the Permo-Carboniferous (280 Ma) and continued to accumulate sediments until the earliest Jurassic, 100 million years later. At their maximum areal extent, during the early Permian, these basins covered some 4.5 million km 2. The present outcrop area of Karoo rocks in southern Africa is about 300 000 km 2 with a maximum thickness of some 8000 m. The economic importance of these sediments lies in the vast reserves of coal within the Ecca Group rocks of northern and eastern Transvaal and Natal, South Africa. Large reserves of sandstone-hosted uranium and molybdenum have been proven within the Beaufort Group rocks of the southern Karoo trough, although they are not mineable in the present market conditions. Palaeoenvironmental analysis of the major stratigraphic units of the Karoo succession in South Africa demonstrates the changes in depositional style caused by regional and localized tectonism within the basin. These depocentres were influenced by a progressive aridification of climate which was primarily caused by the northward drift of southwestern Gondwana out of a polar climate and accentuated by the meteoric drying effect of the surrounding land masses. Changing palaeoenvironments clearly influenced the rate and direction of vertebrate evolution in southern Gondwana as evidenced by the numerous reptile fossils, including dinosaurs, which are found in the Karoo strata of South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe. During the Late Carboniferous the southern part of Gondwana migrated over the South Pole resulting in a major ice sheet over the early Karoo basin and surrounding highlands. Glacial sedimentation in upland valleys and on the lowland shelf resulted in the Dwyka Formation at the base of the Karoo Sequence. After glaciation, an extensive shallow sea covered the gently subsiding shelf, fed by large volumes of meltwater. Marine clays and muds accumulated under cool climatic conditions (Lower Ecca Group) including the distinctive Mesosaurus-bearing carbonaceous shales of the Whitehill Formation. Subduction of the palaeo-Pacific plate reslted in an extensive chain of mountains which deformed and later truncated the southern rim of the main Karoo Basin. Material derived from these "Gondwanide" mountains as well as from the granitic uplands to the north-east, accumulated in large deltas that prograded into the Ecca sea (Upper Ecca Group). The relatively cool and humid climate promoted thick accumulations of peat on the fluvial and delta plains which now constitute the major coal reserves of southern Africa. As the prograding deltas coalesced, fluvio-lacustrine sediments of the Beaufort Group were laid down on broad gently subsiding alluvial plains. The climate by this time (Late Permian) had warmed to become semi-arid with highly seasonal rainfall. Vegetation alongside the meander belts and semi-permanent lakes supported a diverse reptilian fauna dominated by therapsids or "mammal-like reptiles". Pulses of uplift in the southern source areas combined with possible orographic effects resulted in the progadation of two coarse-grained alluvial fans into the central parts of the basin (Katberg Sandstone Member and Molteno Formation). In the upper Karoo Sequence, progressive aridification and tectonic deformation of the basin through the late Triassic and early Jurassic led to the accumulation, in four separate depositories, of "redbeds" which are interpreted as fluvial and flood-fan, playa and dune complexes (Elliot Formation). This eventually gave way to westerly wind-dominated sedimentation that choked the remaining depositories with fine-grained dune sand. The interdune areas were damp and occasionally flooded and provided a habitat for small dinosaurs and the earliest mammals. During this time (Early Jurassic), basinwide volcanic activity began as a precursor to the break-up of Gondwana in the late Jurassic and continued until the early Cretaceous. This extrusion of extensive flood basalts (Drakensberg Group) onto the Clarens landscape eventually brought Karoo sedimentation to a close.

  14. Modeling analysis of ground water recharge potential on alluvial fans using limited data.

    PubMed

    Munvar, A; Mario, M A

    1999-01-01

    A modeling approach is developed to evaluate the potential for artificial recharge on alluvial fans in the Salinas Valley, California, using limited data of soil texture, soil hydraulic properties, and interwell stratigraphy. Promising areas for surface recharge are identified and mapped on a broad-scale using soil surveys, geologic investigations, permeability tests, and seasonal ground water response to rainfall and runoff. Two-dimensional representations of the vadose zone at selected sites are then constructed from drillers'logs and soil material types are estimated. Next, hydraulic properties are assigned to each soil material type by comparing them to laboratory-tested cores of similar soils taken from one site. Finally, water flow through the vadose zone is modeled in two dimensions at seven sites using a transient, finite-difference, variably saturated flow model. Average infiltration rates range from 0.84 to 1.54 cm/hr and recharge efficiency, the percentage of infiltrated water that reaches the water table, varies from 51% to 79%. Infiltration rates and recharge efficiency are found to be relatively insensitive to recharge basin ponding depth due to the thickness of the vadose zones modeled (31 to 84 m). The impact of artificial recharge on the Salinas Valley ground water basin is investigated by simulating the regional ground water response to surface spreading and streamflow augmentation with a recently calibrated, finite-element, ground water-surface water model for the basin. It was determined that a combined approach of surface recharge and streamflow augmentation significantly reduces the state of ground water overdraft and, to a lesser extent, reduces the rate of sea water intrusion. PMID:19125917

  15. A model of channel response in disturbed alluvial channels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Simon, A.

    1989-01-01

    Dredging and straightening of alluvial channels between 1959 and 1978 in West Tennessee caused a series of morphologic changes along modified reaches and tributary streams. Degradation occurred for 10 to 15 years at sites upstream of the area of maximum disturbance and lowered bed-levels by as much as 6.1 m. Following degradation, reaches upstream of the area of maximum disturbance experienced a secondary aggradation phase in response to excessive incision and gradient reduction. -from Author

  16. Uranium in framboidal pyrite from a naturally bioreduced alluvial sediment.

    PubMed

    Qafoku, Nikolla P; Kukkadapu, Ravi K; McKinley, James P; Arey, Bruce W; Kelly, Shelly D; Wang, Chongmin; Resch, Charles T; Long, Philip E

    2009-11-15

    Samples of a naturally bioreduced, U-contaminated alluvial sediment were characterized with various microscopic and spectroscopic techniques and wet chemical extraction methods. The objective was to investigate U association and interaction with minerals of the sediment. Bioreduced sediment comprises approximately 10% of an alluvial aquifer adjacent to the Colorado River, in Rifle, CO, that was the site of a former U milling operation. Past and ongoing research has demonstrated that bioreduced sediment is elevated in solid-associated U, total organic carbon, and acid-volatile sulfide, and depleted in bioavailable Fe(III) confirming that sulfate and Fe(III) reduction have occurred naturally in the sediment. SEM/EDS analyses demonstrated that framboidal pyrites (FeS(2)) of different sizes ( approximately 10-20 microm in diameter), and of various microcrystal morphology, degree of surface weathering, and internal porosity were abundant in the <53 microm fraction (silt + clay) of the sediment and absent in adjacent sediments that were not bioreduced. SEM-EMPA, XRF, EXAFS, and XANES measurements showed elevated U was present in framboidal pyrite as both U(VI) and U(IV). This result indicates that U may be sequestered in situ under conditions of microbially driven sulfate reduction and pyrite formation. Conversely, such pyrites in alluvial sediments provide a long-term source of U under conditions of slow oxidation, contributing to the persistence of U of some U plumes. These results may also help in developing remedial measures for U-contaminated aquifers. PMID:20028047

  17. Scaling of alluvial bedforms using the Backwater Number

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaw, J. B.; McElroy, B. J.

    2014-12-01

    The backwater number (Bw), defined as the characteristic flow depth divided by the characteric slope and bedform wavelength, is found to strongly determine the evolution of said alluvial bedform. When Bw > 1, deposition and erosion derived from changes in flow depth that produce accelerations akin to a kinematic wave. When Bw < 1, shear stress is determined by changes in slope, which produces diffusional evolution. We conduct a survey of Bw for 41 alluvial bedform studies ranging in scale from dunes to river deltas, from both field and experimental studies. For field-scale measurements, we find that dunes have Bw > 140, braid bars range between 13 and 37, meanders wavelengths range between 13 and 18, river mouth processes range between 8 and 30, and delta avulsions cluster around 1, as predicted by theory. Importantly, Bw >> 1 for field-scale alluvial bedforms appears to be a rule. Further, bedforms that are traditionally simple to recreate in physical experiments have strong overlap between lab and field scales, while experimental meanders and river mouth processes, which have been difficult to recreate in the lab, have much smaller Bw in the lab than in the field. We present the theory of backwater scaling as a method for estimating sedimentary dimensions, and propose a potential solution to the difficulties of Bw scaling in the laboratory.

  18. Implications of deep drainage through saline clay for groundwater recharge and sustainable cropping in a semi-arid catchment, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Timms, W. A.; Young, R. R.; Huth, N.

    2011-11-01

    The magnitude and timing of deep drainage and salt leaching through clay soils is a critical issue for dryland agriculture in semi-arid regions (<500 mm yr-1 rainfall), such as parts of Australia's Murray-Darling Basin (MDB). In this unique study, hydrogeological measurements and estimations of the historic water balance of crops grown on overlying Grey Vertosols were combined to estimate the contribution of deep drainage below crop roots to recharge and salinization of shallow groundwater. Soil sampling at two sites on the alluvial flood plain of the Lower Namoi catchment revealed significant peaks in chloride concentrations at 0.8-1.2 m depth under perennial vegetation and at 2.0-2.5 m depth under continuous cropping indicating deep drainage and salt leaching since conversion to cropping. Total salt loads of 91-229 t ha-1 NaCl equivalent were measured for perennial vegetation and cropping, with salinity to ≥10 m depth that is not detected by shallow soil surveys. Groundwater salinity varied spatially from 910 to 2430 mS m-1 at 21 to 37 m depth (N = 5), whereas deeper groundwater was less saline (290 mS m-1) with use restricted to livestock and rural domestic supplies in this area. The Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) software package predicted deep drainage of 3.3-9.5 mm yr-1 (0.7-2.1% rainfall) based on site records of grain yields, rainfall, salt leaching and soil properties. Predicted deep drainage was highly episodic, dependent on rainfall and antecedent, and over a 39 yr period was restricted mainly to the record wet winter of 1998. During the study period, groundwater levels were unresponsive to major rainfall events (70 and 190 mm total), and most piezometers at about 18 m depth remained dry. In this area, at this time, recharge negligible due to low rainfall and large potential evapotranspiration, transient hydrological conditionsafter changes in land use and a thick clay dominated vadose zone. This is in contrast to regional groundwater modelling that assumes annual recharge of 0.5% of rainfall. Importantly, it was found that leaching from episodic deep drainage could not cause discharge of saline groundwater in the area, since the water table was several meters below the incised river bed.

  19. Implications of deep drainage through saline clay for groundwater recharge and sustainable cropping in a semi-arid catchment, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Timms, W. A.; Young, R. R.; Huth, N.

    2012-04-01

    The magnitude and timing of deep drainage and salt leaching through clay soils is a critical issue for dryland agriculture in semi-arid regions (<500 mm yr-1 rainfall, potential evapotranspiration >2000 mm yr-1) such as parts of Australia's Murray-Darling Basin (MDB). In this rare study, hydrogeological measurements and estimations of the historic water balance of crops grown on overlying Grey Vertosols were combined to estimate the contribution of deep drainage below crop roots to recharge and salinization of shallow groundwater. Soil sampling at two sites on the alluvial flood plain of the Lower Namoi catchment revealed significant peaks in chloride concentrations at 0.8-1.2 m depth under perennial vegetation and at 2.0-2.5 m depth under continuous cropping indicating deep drainage and salt leaching since conversion to cropping. Total salt loads of 91-229 t ha-1 NaCl equivalent were measured for perennial vegetation and cropping, with salinity to ≥ 10 m depth that was not detected by shallow soil surveys. Groundwater salinity varied spatially from 910 to 2430 mS m-1 at 21 to 37 m depth (N = 5), whereas deeper groundwater was less saline (290 mS m-1) with use restricted to livestock and rural domestic supplies in this area. The Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) software package predicted deep drainage of 3.3-9.5 mm yr-1 (0.7-2.1% rainfall) based on site records of grain yields, rainfall, salt leaching and soil properties. Predicted deep drainage was highly episodic, dependent on rainfall and antecedent soil water content, and over a 39 yr period was restricted mainly to the record wet winter of 1998. During the study period, groundwater levels were unresponsive to major rainfall events (70 and 190 mm total), and most piezometers at about 18 m depth remained dry. In this area, at this time, recharge appears to be negligible due to low rainfall and large potential evapotranspiration, transient hydrological conditions after changes in land use and a thick clay dominated vadose zone. This is in contrast to regional groundwater modelling that assumes annual recharge of 0.5% of rainfall. Importantly, it was found that leaching from episodic deep drainage could not cause discharge of saline groundwater in the area, since the water table was several meters below the incised river bed.

  20. Lateral groundwater inflows into alluvial aquifers of main alpine valleys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burger, Ulrich

    2015-04-01

    In alpine regions the topography is mainly characterised by deep incised valleys, mountain slopes and ridges. Usually the main valleys contain aquifers in alluvial soft rock. Lateral these aquifers are confined by mountainous hard rock slopes covered by heterogeneous sediments with different thickness. The slopes can be incised by lateral valleys. Numerical models for the main alluvial aquifers ask for lateral hydrogeological boundaries. Usually no flow boundaries or Constant head Boundaries are used, even if the lateral inflows to the main aquifers are rarely known. In this example a data set for a detailed investigated and monitored area is studied to give an answer on the location and the quantification of these lateral subsurface inflows. The study area is a typical main alpine valley with a thick alluvial aquifer (appr. 120m thick), lateral confined by granite, covered at the base of the steep slopes by quaternary sediments (Burger at al. 2012). The study consists of several steps 1.) Analytical calculation of the inflows on the base of investigated and monitored 2d profiles along fault zones (Perello et al 2013) which pinch out in the main valley 2.) Analytical models along typical W-dipping slopes with monitored slope springs 3.) Evaluating temperature and electrical conductivity profiles measured in approx. 30 groundwater wells in the alluvial aquifers and along the slopes to locate main lateral subsurface inflows 4.) Output of a regional model used for the hydrogeological back analyses of the excavation of a tunnel (Baietto et al. 2014) 5.) Output of a local numerical model calibrated with a monitoring dataset and results of a pumping test of big scale (450l/s for 10days) Results of these analyses are shown to locate and quantify the lateral groundwater inflows in the main alluvial aquifer. References Baietto A., Burger U., Perello P. (2014): Hydrogeological modelling applications in tunnel excavations: examples from tunnel excavations in granitic rocks; congress of IAEG, Engineering Geology for Society and Territory, Torino Burger U., San Nicoló L. Bösel D. und Perello P. (2012): Hydrogeologische Modelle - Hilfsmittel für die Planung am Beispiel des Brenner Basistunnel, Beiträge zur Beiträge zur COGeo 2011, Salzburg COGEO Perello P., Baietto A., Burger U., Skuk S. (2013): Excavation of the Aica-Mules pilot tunnel for the Brenner base tunnel: information gained on water inflows in tunnels in granitic massifs, Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, DOI 10.1007/s00603-013-0480-x

  1. Carbon accumulation in arid croplands of northwest China: pedogenic carbonate exceeding organic carbon

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiujun; Wang, Jiaping; Xu, Minggang; Zhang, Wenju; Fan, Tinglu; Zhang, Juan

    2015-01-01

    Soil carbonate (SIC) exceeds organic carbon (SOC) greatly in arid lands, thus may be important for carbon sequestration. However, field data for quantifying carbonate accumulation have been lacking. This study aims to improve our understanding of SIC dynamics and its role in carbon sequestration. We analyzed two datasets of SOC and SIC and their 13C compositions , one with over 100 soil samples collected recently from various land uses in the Yanqi Basin, Xinjiang, and the other with 18 archived soil samples from a long-term experiment (LTE) in Pingliang, Gansu. The data from the Yanqi Basin showed that SOC had a significant relationship with SIC and pedogenic carbonate (PIC); converting shrub land to cropland increased PIC stock by 5.2 kg C m−2, which was 3.6 times of that in SOC stock. The data from the LTE showed greater accumulation of PIC (21–49 g C m−2 year−1) than SOC (10–39 g C m−2 year−1) over 0–20 cm. Our study points out that intensive cropping in the arid and semi-arid regions leads to an increase in both SOC and PIC. Increasing SOC through straw organic amendments enhances PIC accumulation in the arid cropland of northwestern China. PMID:26091554

  2. Carbon accumulation in arid croplands of northwest China: pedogenic carbonate exceeding organic carbon.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiujun; Wang, Jiaping; Xu, Minggang; Zhang, Wenju; Fan, Tinglu; Zhang, Juan

    2015-01-01

    Soil carbonate (SIC) exceeds organic carbon (SOC) greatly in arid lands, thus may be important for carbon sequestration. However, field data for quantifying carbonate accumulation have been lacking. This study aims to improve our understanding of SIC dynamics and its role in carbon sequestration. We analyzed two datasets of SOC and SIC and their (13)C compositions , one with over 100 soil samples collected recently from various land uses in the Yanqi Basin, Xinjiang, and the other with 18 archived soil samples from a long-term experiment (LTE) in Pingliang, Gansu. The data from the Yanqi Basin showed that SOC had a significant relationship with SIC and pedogenic carbonate (PIC); converting shrub land to cropland increased PIC stock by 5.2 kg C m(-2), which was 3.6 times of that in SOC stock. The data from the LTE showed greater accumulation of PIC (21-49 g C m(-2) year(-1)) than SOC (10-39 g C m(-2) year(-1)) over 0-20 cm. Our study points out that intensive cropping in the arid and semi-arid regions leads to an increase in both SOC and PIC. Increasing SOC through straw organic amendments enhances PIC accumulation in the arid cropland of northwestern China. PMID:26091554

  3. Carbon accumulation in arid croplands of northwest China: pedogenic carbonate exceeding organic carbon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xiujun; Wang, Jiaping; Xu, Minggang; Zhang, Wenju; Fan, Tinglu; Zhang, Juan

    2015-06-01

    Soil carbonate (SIC) exceeds organic carbon (SOC) greatly in arid lands, thus may be important for carbon sequestration. However, field data for quantifying carbonate accumulation have been lacking. This study aims to improve our understanding of SIC dynamics and its role in carbon sequestration. We analyzed two datasets of SOC and SIC and their 13C compositions , one with over 100 soil samples collected recently from various land uses in the Yanqi Basin, Xinjiang, and the other with 18 archived soil samples from a long-term experiment (LTE) in Pingliang, Gansu. The data from the Yanqi Basin showed that SOC had a significant relationship with SIC and pedogenic carbonate (PIC); converting shrub land to cropland increased PIC stock by 5.2 kg C m-2, which was 3.6 times of that in SOC stock. The data from the LTE showed greater accumulation of PIC (21-49 g C m-2 year-1) than SOC (10-39 g C m-2 year-1) over 0-20 cm. Our study points out that intensive cropping in the arid and semi-arid regions leads to an increase in both SOC and PIC. Increasing SOC through straw organic amendments enhances PIC accumulation in the arid cropland of northwestern China.

  4. Geomorphic Characterization of the FortyMile Wash Alluvial Fan, Nye County, Nevada, In Support of the Yucca Mountain Project

    SciTech Connect

    Cline; De Long; Pelletier; Harrington

    2005-09-06

    In the event of an unlikely volcanic eruption through the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, contaminated ash would be deposited in portions of the Fortymile Wash drainage basin and would subsequently be redistributed to the Fortymile Wash alluvial fan by fluvial processes. As part of an effort to quantify the transport of contaminated ash throughout the fluvial system, characterization of the Fortymile Wash alluvial fan is required, especially the spatial distribution of fluvial activity over time scales of repository operation, and the rates of radionuclide migration into different soils on the fan. The Fortymile Wash alluvial fan consists of extremely low relief terraces as old as 70 ka. By conducting soils-geomorphic mapping and correlating relative surface ages with available geochronology from the Fortymile Wash fan and adjacent piedmonts, we identified 4 distinct surfaces on the fan. Surface ages are used to predict the relative stability of different areas of the fan to fluvial activity. Pleistocene-aged surfaces are assumed to be fluvially inactive over the 10 kyr time scale, for example. Our mapping and correlation provides a map of the depozone for contaminated ash that takes into account long-term channel migration the time scales of repository operation, and it provides a geomorphic framework for predicting radionuclide dispersion rates into different soils across the fan. The standard model for vertical migration of radionuclides in soil is diffusion; therefore we used diffusion profiles derived from {sup 137}Cs fallout to determine infiltration rates on the various geomorphic surfaces. The results show a strong inverse correlation of the geomorphic surface age and diffusivity values inferred from the {sup 137}Cs profiles collected on the different surfaces of the fan.

  5. Alluvial fans and their natural distinction from rivers based on morphology, hydraulic processes, sedimentary processes, and facies assemblages

    SciTech Connect

    Blair, T.C. ); McPherson, J.G. )

    1994-07-01

    Contrary to common contemporary usage, alluvial fans are a naturally unique phenomenon readily distinguishable from other sedimentary environments, including gravel-bed rivers, on the basis of morphology, hydraulic processes, sedimentologic processes, and facies assemblages. The piedmont setting of alluvial fans where the feeder channel of an upland drainage basin intersects the mountain front assures that catastrophic fluid gravity flows and sediment gravity flows, including sheetfloods, rock falls, rock slides, rock avalanches, and debris flows, are major constructional processes, regardless of climate. The unconfinement of these flows at the mountain front gives rise to the high-sloping, semiconical form that typifies fans. The plano-convex cross-profile geometry inherent in this form is the inverse of the toughlike cross-sectional form of river systems, and precludes the development of floodplains that characterize rivers. The relatively high slope of alluvial fans creates unique hydraulic conditions where passing fluid gravity flows attain high capacity, high competency, and upper flow regime, resulting in sheetfloods that deposit low-angle antidune or surface-parallel planar-stratified sequences. These waterlaid facies contrast with the typically lower-flow-regime thick-bedded, cross-bedded, and lenticular channel facies, and associated floodplain sequences, of rivers. The unconfinement of flows on fans causes a swift decrease in velocity, competency, and capacity as they attenuate, inducing rapid deposition that leads to the angular, poorly sorted textures and short radii typical of fans. This condition is markedly different than for rivers, where sediment gravity flows are rare and water flows remain confined by channel walls or spill into floodplains, and increase in depth downstream.

  6. Arid lands of the Southwest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thorsteinson, Lyman

    2005-01-01

    When thinking about plants and animals that inhabit hot arid lands of the southwestern U.S., fish are easily overlooked by most people. However, these desert lands often contain isolated springs or cienegas (a Spanish term referring to permanently saturated 'seep wetlands') and streams supporting native fishes that occur no where else in the world. These aquatic remnants from the last Ice Age have survived for thousands of years due to an amazing ability to tolerate harsh environmental conditions, especially extremely high water temperatures, high salinities, and unpredictable water flows.

  7. Progress and prospects of climate change impacts on hydrology in the arid region of northwest China.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yaning; Li, Zhi; Fan, Yuting; Wang, Huaijun; Deng, Haijun

    2015-05-01

    The arid region of Northwest China, located in the central Asia, responds sensitively to global climate change. Based on the newest research results, this paper analyzes the impacts of climate change on hydrology and the water cycle in the arid region of Northwest China. The analysis results show that: (1) In the northwest arid region, temperature and precipitation experienced "sharply" increasing in the past 50 years. The precipitation trend changed in 1987, and since then has been in a state of high volatility, during the 21st century, the increasing rate of precipitation was diminished. Temperature experienced a "sharply" increase in 1997; however, this sharp increasing trend has turned to an apparent hiatus since the 21st century. The dramatic rise in winter temperatures in the northwest arid region is an important reason for the rise in the average annual temperature, and substantial increases in extreme winter minimum temperature play an important role in the rising average winter temperature; (2) There was a significant turning point in the change of pan evaporation in the northwest arid area in 1993, i.e., in which a significant decline reversed to a significant upward trend. In the 21st century, the negative effects of global warming and increasing levels of evaporation on the ecology of the northwest arid region have been highlighted; (3) Glacier change has a significant impact on hydrology in the northwest arid area, and glacier inflection points have appeared in some rivers. The melting water supply of the Tarim River Basin possesses a large portion of water supplies (about 50%). In the future, the amount of surface water will probably remain at a high state of fluctuation. PMID:25682220

  8. Bahia Adair and vicinity, Sonora: modern siliciclastic-dominated arid macrotidal coastline

    SciTech Connect

    Lock, B.E.; Sinitiere, S.M.; Williams, L.J.

    1989-03-01

    The northwestern Sonoran coastline, in the vicinity of Bahia Adair, combines several important geologic features. The arid landward environments are dominated by the dunes of the Gran Desierto and the surrounding alluvial fans and ephemeral streams. The Colorado River, whose delta lies to the northwest, has been an important source of sediment until very recently. The high tidal energy of the region has profoundly influenced the distribution and geometries of coastal and shallow-marine sand bodies, and the active tectonic setting has also played a role. The Cerro Prieto splay of the San Andreas fault system has been responsible for local uplift and downwarp and resulting transgression and regression. The intertidal and supratidal zones are dominated by sand and constitute a sand-body type that has been seldom considered by petroleum explorationists or other students of ancient sand bodies, and the associated evaporites are rather different from those described from the superficially analogous Persian Gulf sabkhas.

  9. RIVERBANK FILTRATION EFFECTIVENESS IN AN ARID ENVIRONMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    This experiment is a field test of bank filtration at a site where water level and salinity vary on an annual basis, as they do in many arid and semi-arid streams. No other studies of bank filtration have been performed in this kind of setting. Along the border with Mexico, shall...

  10. Kinematic analysis of the ARID manipulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doty, Keith L

    1992-01-01

    The kinematic structure of the ARID manipulator lends itself to simple forward and inverse kinematics analysis. The purpose of this paper is to fully document and verify an existing analysis. The symbolic software package MATHEMATICA was used to produce and verify the equations presented here. In the analysis to follow, the standard Devenit-Hartenberg kinematic parameters of the ARID were employed.

  11. Precipitation and nitrogen interactions in arid ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Arid and semi-arid ecosystems are among the most impoverished terrestrial systems in terms of water and nitrogen (N) availability. Productivity (NPP) is generally low, soil N pools are small and N loss through percolation is assumed to be negligible. Increased water availability can stimulate both N...

  12. Provenance and basin evolution, Zhada basin, southwestern Tibet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saylor, J.; Decelles, P.; Gehrels, G.; Kapp, P.

    2007-12-01

    The Zhada basin is a late Miocene - Pliocene intermontane basin situated at high elevations in the Himalayan hinterland. The fluvial and lacustrine sediments of the Zhada formation are undeformed and sit in angular unconformity above the deformed Tethyan Sedimentary Sequence (TSS). The basin sits just south of the Indus suture in a structural position occupied elsewhere in the Himalayan orogen by some of the highest mountains on earth, including Everest. The occurrence of a basin at this location demands explanation. Currently, the Sutlej River flows parallel to the structural grain of the Himalaya, westward through the basin, towards the Leo Pargil (Qusum) range. Near the range front it takes a sharp southward turn, cuts across the structural grain of the Himalaya and out into the Gangetic foreland. Palaeocurrent indicators in the lower part of the Zhada formation show that the basin originated as a northwest flowing axial river. Palaeocurrent indicators are consistently northwest oriented, even to within to within 10 km of the Leo Pargil range front in the north-western end of the basin. This implies that at the onset of sedimentation in Zhada basin the Leo Pargil range was not a barrier as it is today. In the upper part of the Zhada formation, palaeocurrent indicators are generally directed towards the centre of the basin. In the central and southern portions of the basin this indicates a transition from an axial, northwest flowing river to prograding fluvial and alluvial fans. However, in the north-western part of the basin the change between lower and upper Zhada formation involves a complete drainage reversal. This change in palaeocurrent orientation is also reflected in the detrital zircon signal from basin sediments. Low in the Zhada formation the detrital zircon signal is dominated by zircons from the Kailash (Gangdese) batholith (or associated extrusives, see below). However, higher in the sections, a local source, either from the TSS or the core of the Leo Pargil range dominates the detrital zircon signal. Finally, there is a shift in the sandstone composition from unmetamorphosed sedimentary lithic fragments and extrusive felsic volcanic fragments in the lower part of the Zhada formation to metasedimentary and metaigneous fragments in the upper part of the Zhada formation. This is likely linked either to unroofing of the source terrain or a change to another source terrain. Based on the palaeocurrent and detrital zircon data, a change to another source terrain is favoured. This combination of evidence suggests that the Zhada basin evolved from a through-going fluvial plain to a dammed lake primarily due to uplift of the Leo Pargil range. This uplift would have dammed and ponded the river, and exposed higher grade metamorphic rocks at the surface for incorporation into Zhada formation sandstones. It also would have introduced a new source for detrital zircons. Uplift of the Leo Pargil range along a low angle normal fault would also have evacuated portions of the mid-crust, providing a mechanism for subsidence in the Zhada region. Lacustrine sedimentation would have coincided with progradation of marginal alluvial fans and would have continued until the basin was filled in to the level of a new spill point. At this time incision and re- establishment of the Sutlej River would have occurred.

  13. Rain and channel flow supplements to subsurface water beneath hyper-arid ephemeral stream channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kampf, Stephanie K.; Faulconer, Joshua; Shaw, Jeremy R.; Sutfin, Nicholas A.; Cooper, David J.

    2016-05-01

    In hyper-arid regions, ephemeral stream channels are important sources of subsurface recharge and water supply for riparian vegetation, but few studies have documented the subsurface water content dynamics of these systems. This study examines ephemeral channels in the hyper-arid western Sonoran Desert, USA to determine how frequently water recharges the alluvial fill and identify variables that affect the depth and persistence of recharge. Precipitation, stream stage, and subsurface water content measurements were collected over a three-year study at six channels with varying contributing areas and thicknesses of alluvial fill. All channels contain coarse alluvium composed primarily of sands and gravels, and some locations also have localized layers of fine sediment at 2-3 m depth. Rain alone contributed 300-400 mm of water input to these channels over three years, but water content responses were only detected for 36% of the rain events at 10 cm depth, indicating that much of the rain water was either quickly evaporated or taken up by plants. Pulses of water from rain events were detected only in the top meter of alluvium. The sites each experienced ⩽5 brief flow events, which caused transient saturation that usually lasted only a few hours longer than flow. These events were the only apparent source of water to depths >1 m, and water from flow events quickly percolated past the deepest measurement depths (0.5-3 m). Sustained saturation in the shallow subsurface only developed where there was a near-surface layer of finer consolidated sediments that impeded deep percolation.

  14. Determination of the Subsurface Water Balance Within a Semi-Arid Sky Island

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harlow, R. C.; Blasch, K. W.; Brown, C. M.; Petti, J. R.; Shuttleworth, W. J.; Ferre, T. P.; Burke, E. J.

    2002-12-01

    Whole basin water balances for semi-arid watersheds are complicated by the need to determine the mountain block recharge at higher elevations. Higher elevations are characterized by cooler, wetter, conditions than the lower elevation basins and have been proposed as a major contributor to basin recharge. This poster presents two point-scale methods for determining infiltration in soils at higher elevations and compares them to a larger scale sky island water budget. First, a physically-based heat and mass transport model (VS2DH) is applied to observed soil moisture and temperature profiles to determine infiltration fluxes past a depth of 24 cm. Secondly, a soil-vegetation-atmosphere transfer scheme - the Common Land Model (CLM) is coupled with a multi-objective optimization routine to again quantify infiltration fluxes. Both models determine the most appropriate fluxes by minimizing differences between observed and modeled soil moisture and temperature profiles. These estimated point scale fluxes will be compared to a broader recharge water balance estimate based on runoff determined from gaging stations, evapotranspiration determined from an eddy correlation tower, and precipitation measured at the four sites within the basin. The difference between the larger areal recharge estimates and point scale infiltration estimates may be used to understand the processes controlling recharge beneath the soil profile at upper elevations in semi-arid basins.

  15. Attributes of an alluvial river and their relation to water policy and management.

    PubMed

    Trush, W J; McBain, S M; Leopold, L B

    2000-10-24

    Rivers around the world are being regulated by dams to accommodate the needs of a rapidly growing global population. These regulatory efforts usually oppose the natural tendency of rivers to flood, move sediment, and migrate. Although an economic benefit, river regulation has come at unforeseen and unevaluated cumulative ecological costs. Historic and contemporary approaches to remedy environmental losses have largely ignored hydrologic, geomorphic, and biotic processes that form and maintain healthy alluvial river ecosystems. Several commonly known concepts that govern how alluvial channels work have been compiled into a set of "attributes" for alluvial river integrity. These attributes provide a minimum checklist of critical geomorphic and ecological processes derived from field observation and experimentation, a set of hypotheses to chart and evaluate strategies for restoring and preserving alluvial river ecosystems. They can guide how to (i) restore alluvial processes below an existing dam without necessarily resorting to extreme measures such as demolishing one, and (ii) preserve alluvial river integrity below proposed dams. Once altered by dam construction, a regulated alluvial river will never function as before. But a scaled-down morphology could retain much of a river's original integrity if key processes addressed in the attributes are explicitly provided. Although such a restoration strategy is an experiment, it may be the most practical solution for recovering regulated alluvial river ecosystems and the species that inhabit them. Preservation or restoration of the alluvial river attributes is a logical policy direction for river management in the future. PMID:11050220

  16. Attributes of an alluvial river and their relation to water policy and management

    PubMed Central

    Trush, William J.; McBain, Scott M.; Leopold, Luna B.

    2000-01-01

    Rivers around the world are being regulated by dams to accommodate the needs of a rapidly growing global population. These regulatory efforts usually oppose the natural tendency of rivers to flood, move sediment, and migrate. Although an economic benefit, river regulation has come at unforeseen and unevaluated cumulative ecological costs. Historic and contemporary approaches to remedy environmental losses have largely ignored hydrologic, geomorphic, and biotic processes that form and maintain healthy alluvial river ecosystems. Several commonly known concepts that govern how alluvial channels work have been compiled into a set of “attributes” for alluvial river integrity. These attributes provide a minimum checklist of critical geomorphic and ecological processes derived from field observation and experimentation, a set of hypotheses to chart and evaluate strategies for restoring and preserving alluvial river ecosystems. They can guide how to (i) restore alluvial processes below an existing dam without necessarily resorting to extreme measures such as demolishing one, and (ii) preserve alluvial river integrity below proposed dams. Once altered by dam construction, a regulated alluvial river will never function as before. But a scaled-down morphology could retain much of a river's original integrity if key processes addressed in the attributes are explicitly provided. Although such a restoration strategy is an experiment, it may be the most practical solution for recovering regulated alluvial river ecosystems and the species that inhabit them. Preservation or restoration of the alluvial river attributes is a logical policy direction for river management in the future. PMID:11050220

  17. Tracing the lateral movement of sediments through a shrubland environment using fallout radionuclides, Jornada Basin, Southern New Mexico

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Semi-arid grassland and savanna communities in many parts of the world have been displaced by woody shrubs. In the Jornada Basin of southern New Mexico, the displacement of perennial grasslands is well documented beginning in 1858. As shrubs invade semi-arid perennial grasslands, the length, number,...

  18. Alluvial Diamond Resource Potential and Production Capacity Assessment of Ghana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chirico, Peter G.; Malpeli, Katherine C.; Anum, Solomon; Phillips, Emily C.

    2010-01-01

    In May of 2000, a meeting was convened in Kimberley, South Africa, and attended by representatives of the diamond industry and leaders of African governments to develop a certification process intended to assure that rough, exported diamonds were free of conflictual concerns. This meeting was supported later in 2000 by the United Nations in a resolution adopted by the General Assembly. By 2002, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) was ratified and signed by both diamond-producing and diamond-importing countries. Over 70 countries were included as members at the end of 2007. To prevent trade in 'conflict' diamonds while protecting legitimate trade, the KPCS requires that each country set up an internal system of controls to prevent conflict diamonds from entering any imported or exported shipments of rough diamonds. Every diamond or diamond shipment must be accompanied by a Kimberley Process (KP) certificate and be contained in tamper-proof packaging. The objective of this study was to assess the alluvial diamond resource endowment and current production capacity of the alluvial diamond-mining sector in Ghana. A modified volume and grade methodology was used to estimate the remaining diamond reserves within the Birim and Bonsa diamond fields. The production capacity of the sector was estimated using a formulaic expression of the number of workers reported in the sector, their productivity, and the average grade of deposits mined. This study estimates that there are approximately 91,600,000 carats of alluvial diamonds remaining in both the Birim and Bonsa diamond fields: 89,000,000 carats in the Birim and 2,600,000 carats in the Bonsa. Production capacity is calculated to be 765,000 carats per year, based on the formula used and available data on the number of workers and worker productivity. Annual production is highly dependent on the international diamond market and prices, the numbers of seasonal workers actively mining in the sector, and environmental conditions, which influence seasonal farming.

  19. Characteristics of sedimentary structures in coarse-grained alluvial rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ackerley, David; Powell, Mark

    2013-04-01

    The characteristics of coarse-grained alluvial surfaces have important implications for the estimation of flow resistance, entrainment thresholds and sediment transport rates in gravel-bed rivers. This area of research has, thus, demanded attention from geomorphologists, sedimentologists, and river engineers. The majority of research has focused towards understanding the characteristics and adjustments in surface grain size. Bed stability, however, is not ultimately defined by particle size but how grains are arranged within the bed surface. For example, by the organisation of particles into a variety of grain and form scale sedimentary structures and bedforms (e.g. imbrication; pebble clusters, stone nets, transverse ribs). While it is widely acknowledged sedimentary structuring must be considered within estimates of flow resistance and sediment transport, relatively little is known about the structural properties of water-worked river gravels. As a consequence, we remain woefully ignorant of this important aspect of gravel-bed river sedimentology. The aim of this poster is to present some preliminary results of a study designed to characterise the morphodynamics of sedimentary structures in coarse-grained alluvial rivers and their implications upon entrainment thresholds and sediment transport rates. The poster focuses on investigating the variability in grain and form scale sedimentary structuring across a number of field sites. Representative patches of three gravel bars on the Rivers Wharfe, Manifold and Afon Elan, UK, have been surveyed using a Leica HDS 3000 Terrestrial Laser Scanner. The resultant raw point-cloud data, recorded at a 4mm resolution, has been registered, filtered, and interpolated to produce highly detailed 2½D digital elevation models of gravel-bed surface topography. These surfaces have been analysed using a number of structural parameters including bed elevation probability distribution function statistics (standard deviation, skewness, kurtosis), semivariograms, and inclination indices. This research enhances our understanding of alluvial bed surface structures and lays the foundations for developing a more detailed understanding of their morphodynamics.

  20. Thermal tracer tests for characterizing a shallow alluvial aquifer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wildemeersch, Samuel; Klepikova, Maria; Jamin, Pierre; Orban, Philippe; Hermans, Thomas; Brouyère, Serge; Dassargues, Alain

    2014-05-01

    Using heat as an active tracer in different types of aquifers is a topic of increasing interest [e.g. Vandenbohede et al.; 2008, Wagner et al., 2013; Read et al., 2013]. In this study, we investigate the potential interest of coupling heat and solute tracer tests for characterization of a shallow alluvial aquifer. A thermal tracer test was conducted in the alluvial aquifer of the Meuse River, Belgium. The tracing experiment consisted in simultaneously injecting heated water and a dye tracer in a piezometer and monitoring the evolution of groundwater temperature and tracer concentration in the recovery well and in nine monitoring wells located according to three transects with regards to the main groundwater flow direction. The breakthrough curves measured in the recovery well showed that heat transfer in the alluvial aquifer is slower and more dispersive than solute transport. Recovery is very low for heat while in the same time it is measured as relatively high for the solute tracer. This is due to the fact that heat diffusion is larger than molecular diffusion, implying that exchange between groundwater and the porous medium matrix is far more significant for heat than for solute tracers. Temperature and concentrations in the recovery well are then used for estimating the specific heat capacity with the energy balance approach and the estimated value is found to be consistent with those found in the literature. Temperature breakthrough curves in other piezometers are contrasted with what would be expected in an ideal layered aquifer. They reveal strongly unequal lateral and vertical components of the transport mechanisms. By means of a numerical heat transport model, we provide a preliminary interpretation of these temperature breakthrough curves. Furthermore, these data could be included in the calibration of a complex heat transfer model for estimating the entire set of heat transfer parameters and their spatial distribution by inverse modeling.

  1. Semi-Arid Landscapes: The Canary in the Climate-Change Coalmine (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierce, J. L.; Poulos, M. J.

    2013-12-01

    The balance between precipitation as a driving force of sediment transport (via hillslope erosional processes) or a resisting force (via increases in vegetation cover) is reflected by the landforms and denudation rates in semi-arid landscapes. While exact values vary, studies examining the relationship between land surface lowering and mean annual precipitation show a ';sweet spot' of peak denudation rates for semi-arid landscapes receiving ~300-500 mm precipitation/year. Ongoing and future climate change necessitates the investigation of how landscapes may respond as they move towards or away from this erosional threshold; semi-arid landscapes on the edge of ecohydrologic thresholds (e.g. treelines) may experience dramatic environmental changes as ongoing and future climate change alters ecosystems. Semi-arid landscapes are the equivalent to canaries in a coal-mine, and studying them advances understanding of how other sensitive landscapes may respond to climate change. Landforms, however, are a product of thousands to millions of years of climatic forcing. Direct measurement of both short and long-term erosion rates is complicated, and observations of modern erosional processes may not reflect the past. Over 10 years of environmental data collected in the heavily instrumented Dry Creek Experimental Watershed (DCEW) outside Boise, Idaho facilitates 2nd order analysis of climate-driven environmental variability across a large area (27 km2). Multi-scaled analyses relate runoff production from pedons to catchments, and erosion rates and processes from hillslopes to landforms, while prior mapping results (Poulos et al, 2012) allow application of results to similar semi-arid montane landscapes. Preliminary data reveal intriguing, but counterintuitive, feedbacks among soil properties, hillslope hydrology, ecology, and drainage development. Despite steeper slope angles, north-facing slopes have thicker soils than south-facing slopes, suggesting slower erosion rates. This conflicts with theories of hillslope processes which predict that erosion rates increase and soil thicknesses decrease with increasing slope angles. Could future increases in temperatures and decreased vegetation push north-facing slopes beyond a geomorphic tipping point, where their soils and drainages erode like south-facing slopes? Also, shallower soils and reduced plant cover on south-facing slopes appear to limit soil water storage and evapotranspiration, culminating in increased runoff and streamflow from these relatively drier ecosystems. What impact do these pedon- and hillslope-scale differences in runoff have on catchment-scale drainage erosion, incision and expansion? Finally, while landforms and erosion rates reflect, to some degree, the annual to centennial-scale climate conditions and precipitation events, episodic events such as wildfires exert a major control on erosion rates. Alluvial fans act as natural (albeit a bit leaky) sediment traps for hillslope erosion from 1st order drainage systems, while charcoal fragments in alluvial fan stratigraphic sequences provide both evidence of fire, and (through 14C dating) a means to estimate erosion rates. Ongoing fire studies in the DCEW, combined with surveys of alluvial fan sediment volumes, will reveal 1) the contribution of fire events to overall erosion rates, 2) variability in erosion rates between north and south facing slopes and 3) changes in Holocene fire activity with changes in climate.

  2. Investigating the use of alluvial fan volume to represent fan size in morphometric studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giles, Philip T.

    2010-09-01

    Studies of the morphometric properties of alluvial fans have predominantly used a two-dimensional planimetric area to represent fan size even though fans are three-dimensional sediment deposits, but the validity of this substitution has been questioned. Volumes of fans in nonsubsiding settings were estimated with the objective of investigating the relationship between fan volume and fan area. A simple geometric approach was developed so that volumes of noncoalescent fans could be estimated with measurements from topographic maps. Data were collected from two study areas with humid, temperate climates: the Bow Valley in Alberta, Canada, and the Absaroka Range in Wyoming, USA. Because these landscapes were glaciated, the fans are of paraglacial origin and are not related to contemporaneous tectonic subsidence. Using functional relation analysis, results indicate that the proportional power-law relationship between fan volume and fan area is not significantly different from 1:1 in both study areas. Morphometric relationships between fans and drainage basins are also examined, with fan volume and cumulative sediment yield employed as variables.

  3. Controls of the water and sediment fluxes on alluvial fans morphology: theory and experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guerit, Laure; Delorme, Pauline; Mtivier, Franois; Lajeunesse, Eric; Devauchelle, Olivier; Barrier, Laurie

    2015-04-01

    Alluvial fans are major sedimentary bodies that make the transition between the reliefs in erosion and the sedimentary basins, where deposition occurs. Understanding their dynamics of formation and evolution is a great problem of sediment transport, which leads to a better understanding of the control exerted by the water and sediment fluxes on the fan morphology. At the cost of several simplifications, we propose a totally predictive model for one-dimensional fans composed by one grain size and built under laminar flow. In this simplified context, it is possible to propose a unique relationship between the water flux, the sediment flux, the grain size and the slope of the fan. The theory is validated by one-dimension experiments, performed with glass beads and glycerine: the fan grows quasi-statically and maintains its slope just above the threshold for sediment transport. In addition, at leading order, the sediment discharge only controls the velocity at which the fan grows. These main predictions are then successfully tested in two-dimensional experiments.

  4. Cosmogenic Helium In Alluvial Diamonds From Namaqualand, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgess, R.; Harris, J. W.

    2005-12-01

    The interpretation of He in diamonds is not straightforward, potential sources include trapped mantle-derived He, radiogenic 4He, and 3He produced in situ by cosmic-ray spallation. The presence of cosmogenic 3He is manifested by high 3He/4He values and ratios of >200 Ra have been measured. 3He contents can be used to distinguish pipe from alluvial diamonds and the time interval that they have been involved in the sedimentary cycle, i.e. their surface exposure history. This is important information for locating the source of alluvial diamonds, understanding their transport histories and may provide a useful tool for diamond exploration. In this study we are analysing the He composition of ten alluvial diamonds from the Koignass-Namaqualand area along the south-west coast of South Africa and Namibia. Diamonds are currently mined at a depth of 100m below the surface from deposits of gravel beaches and river channels. Helium is extracted from the diamonds using a newly developed high temperature filament furnace having a blank approximately 200x lower than conventional resistance furnaces. The low blank of this system means it is possible to extract He by stepwise heating of diamonds weighing 0.05 g. Helium isotopes were analysed using a mass spectrometer with a 3He detection limit of 2,000,000 atoms equivalent to about 20 ka of surface exposure. Results from one diamond from Namaqualand illustrate the range of data obtained so far. This diamond was analysed using eight temperature steps and shows an overall increase in 3He/4He value with temperature from 8.8 x 10-6 to 2.6 x 10-2, the latter being only 10x lower than the pure spallogenic ratio. The cosmogenic 3He content is estimated at 73.5 x 10-12 cm3/g which is at the upper end of the range determined previously in alluvial diamonds from west African sources. Assuming a sea level 3He production rate at 30°S, then the 3He content of this diamond is equivalent to 16 Ma of surface exposure. Most of this exposure is likely to have occurred since the mid to late Tertiary when diamonds were no longer being released from primary sources, but were being reworked from older terrace deposits.

  5. Are North Slope surface alluvial fans pre-Holocene relicts?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reimnitz, Erk; Wolf, Stephen C.

    1998-01-01

    The surface morphology of the northern slope of the Brooks Range (North Slope) from the Canning River, Alaska, eastward is dominated by a series of large alluvial fans and braided streams floored by coarse alluvium. On the basis of our studies, we conclude that the fans are not prograding now nor have they been prograding at any time during the Holocene. During the latest transgression and the following sea-level highstand, the North Slope depositional environment and climate probably differed greatly from the present ones.

  6. Plio-Pleistocene drainage development in an inverted sedimentary basin: Vera basin, Betic Cordillera, SE Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stokes, Martin

    2008-08-01

    The Vera basin is one of a series of interconnected Neogene-Quaternary sedimentary basins located within the Internal Zone of the Betic Cordillera (southeast Spain). Since the Pliocene the Vera basin has been subjected to low uplift rates (11-21 m Ma - 1 ) and inverted via compressive tectonics that are related to the ongoing oblique collision between the African and Iberian plates. Within this paper the sedimentary and geomorphic response to basin inversion is explored. Sedimentary processes and environments are established for key stratigraphic units of the Pliocene/Plio-Pleistocene basin fill and Pleistocene dissectional landscape. These data are subsequently utilised to reconstruct an evolving basin palaeogeography. Fault and uplift data are employed to discuss the role of tectonically driven basin inversion for controlling the resultant palaeogeographic changes and associated patterns of drainage development. During the Early-Mid Pliocene the Vera basin was characterised by shallow marine shelf conditions (Cuevas Formation). A major palaeogeographic reorganisation occurred during the Mid-Late Pliocene. Strike-slip movement along the eastern basin margin, coupled with uplift and basin emergence created a protected, partially enclosed marine embayment that was conducive for Gilbert-type fan-delta sedimentation from fluvial inputs along the northern and eastern basin margins (Espíritu Santo Formation). The Vera basin then became fully continental and internally drained through the development of a consequent drainage network that formed following the withdrawal of marine conditions during the Late Pliocene to Early Pleistocene. Alluvial fans developed along the northern and western basin margins, grading to a bajada and terminating in a playa lake in central basin areas (Salmerón Formation). During the Early-Mid Pleistocene a switch from basin infilling to dissection took place, recorded by alluvial fan incision, a switch to braided river sedimentation and fluvial incision into the underlying basin fill sediments and basin margin mountainous topography. Fluvial incision, headwards erosion, expansion and modification of the consequent drainage network is documented within a series of up to four major inset river terrace levels and associated landforms. Fluvial incision and drainage network expansion are attributed to differential uplift and the creation of regional gradients between adjacent basins. The relatively low Plio-Pleistocene uplift rate of the Vera basin (11-21 m Ma - 1 ) in comparison to adjacent basins (Sorbas: 80-160 m Ma - 1 ; Huercal-Overa: > 50 m Ma - 1 ) resulted in a switch from internal to external basin drainage. Ancestral forms of the principal drainage systems within the Vera basin: the Ríos Almanzora, Aguas and Antas, captured basins and mountain catchment areas to the north (Huercal-Overa basin), southwest (Sorbas basin) and west (Sierra de los Filabres range). The switch from basin infilling to fluvial dissection is coincident with a phase of Early-Mid Pleistocene compressional tectonics, expressed by extensional faulting. This deformation is probably linked to accelerated strike-slip movement along the Palomares Fault Zone. The faulting is superimposed onto the longer term pattern of Plio-Pleistocene uplift and basin inversion.

  7. Deposition and early hydrologic evolution of Westwater Canyon wet alluvial-fan system

    SciTech Connect

    Galloway, W.E.

    1980-01-01

    The Westwater Canyon Member is one of several large, low-gradient alluvial fans that compose the Morrison Formation in the Four Corners area. Morrison fans were deposited by major laterally migrating streams entering a broad basin bounded by highlands to the west and south. The Westwater Canyon sand framework consists of a downfan succession of 1) proximal braided channel, 2) straight bed-load channel, 3) sinuous mixed-load channel, and 4) distributary mixed-load-channel sand bodies. Regional sand distribution and facies patterns are highly digitate and radiate from a point source located northwest of Gallup, New Mexico. Early ground-water flow evolution within the Westwater Canyon fan aquifer system can be inferred by analogy with Quaternary wet-fan deposits and by the interpreted paragenetic sequence of diagenetic features present. Syndepositional flow was controlled by the downfan hydrodynamic gradient and the high horizontal and vertical transmissivity of the sand-rich fan aquifer. Dissolution and transport of soluble humate would be likely in earliest ground water, which was abundant, fresh, and slightly alkaline. With increasing confinement of the aquifer below less permeable tuffaceous Brushy Basin deposits and release of soluble constituents from volcanic ash, flow patterns stabilized, and relatively more saline, uranium-rich ground water permeated the aquifer. Uranium mineralization occurred during this early postdepositional, semiconfined flow phase. Development of overlying Dakota swamps suggests a shallow water table indicative of regional dischare or stagnation. In either event, only limited downward flux of acidic water is recorded by local, bleached, kaolinized zones where the Westwater Canyon directly underlies the Dakota swamps. Subsequent ground-water flow phases have further obscured primary alteration patterns and caused local oxidation and redistribution of uranium.

  8. Geomorphologic, stratigraphic and sedimentologic evidences of tectonic activity in Sone-Ganga alluvial tract in Middle Ganga Plain, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahu, Sudarsan; Saha, Dipankar

    2014-08-01

    The basement of the Ganga basin in the Himalayan foreland is criss-crossed by several faults, dividing the basin into several sub-blocks forming horsts, grabens, or half-grabens. Tectonic perturbations along basement faults have affected the fluvial regime and extent of sediment fill in different parts of the basin during Late Quaternary. The East Patna Fault (EPF) and the West Patna Fault (WPF), located in Sone-Ganga alluvial tract in the southern marginal parts of Middle Ganga Plain (MGP), have remained tectonically active. The EPF particularly has acted significantly and influenced in evolving the geomorphological landscape and the stratigraphic architecture of the area. The block bounded by the two faults has earlier been considered as a single entity, constituting a half-graben. The present investigation (by morpho-stratigraphic and sedimentologic means) has revealed the existence of yet another fault within the half-graben, referred to as Bishunpur-Khagaul Fault (BKF). Many of the long profile morphological characters (e.g., knick-zone, low width-depth ratio) of the Sone River at its lower reaches can be ascribed to local structural deformation along BKF. These basement faults in MGP lie parallel to each other in NE-SW direction.

  9. Elevated Mercury Concentrations in Alluvial Deposits of the Humid Tropics of South America: Natural vs. Anthropogenic Sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, J. R.; Lechler, P. J.

    2001-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) amalgamation is extensively used throughout the humid tropics of South America for the extraction of fine-gold particles from secondary ore deposits. Early studies of water, sediments and fish generally concluded that these gold mining operations have extensively contaminated the aquatic environment. However, investigations along a 900-km reach of the Maderia River, Brazil suggest that while Hg values in sediments and water are above global averages, the high mercury levels are largely due to natural sources. Of primary significance is the inability to distinguish between Hg concentrations in upland soils (oxisols) and modern channel and floodplain deposits. Spatial trends in the data suggest that the impact of anthropogenically released Hg from mine sites is relatively localized. This conclusion is supported by other, independent studies in the Rio Negro basin where elevated Hg values were found in terrace deposits in spite of the fact that no modern mining activities are known to occur within the watershed. Moreover, Roulet and his colleagues have demonstrated using mass balance calculations that within the Tapajos River basin as much as 97 percent of Hg in the alluvial deposits is derived from Hg enriched oxisols eroded during deforestation. In a regional examination of Hg levels within alluvial deposits of Essequibo and Mazaruni Rivers of Guyana, we again found that Hg levels were above both regional background values (10 to 80 ppb) and global averages. However, deforestation within these watersheds is limited, reducing the influx of Hg from eroded upland soils. In addition, the spatial trends in Hg concentrations suggest a closer link between mining activities and Hg values than is found in Maderia River of Brazil. It is unclear at this time, however, whether the primary Hg source in Guyana is the direct input of Hg to the river during amalgamation, or to the influx of Hg enriched soils eroded during the dredging of channel bed sediments and hydraulic mining of floodplain materials.

  10. The role of tropical cyclones on landscape dynamics in southern Baja California, Mexico based on Late Pleistocene-Holocene alluvial stratigraphy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDonald, Eric; Antinao, Jose Luis; Rhodes, Edward J.; Brown, Nathan; Gosse, John

    2015-04-01

    Region-wide alluvial records provide evidence that time-transgressive changes in climate can be a major driver of landscape evolution. Historically, landfall of eastern Pacific tropical cyclones in southwestern North America during the late summer and early fall provide the strongest storms that have demonstrated geomorphic impact on the landscape. The alluvial fan record of the southern portion of Baja California (Mexico) was investigated to determine if linkages exist between region-wide fluvial deposits and tropical cyclones. The regional distribution and Pleistocene to Holocene morphostratigraphy of alluvial fans has been established for the southern portion of Baja California with primary focus on the La Paz and San José del Cabo basins. Six discrete morphopedosedimentary alluvial units (Qt1 through Qt6) were differentiated across the region using a combination of geomorphologic mapping, sedimentological analysis, and soil development further reinforced with geochronology using radiocarbon, optically stimulated luminescence and cosmogenic depth-profiles. A first phase of regional aggradation began before ~ 100 ka (Qt1) and culminated ~10 ka (Qt4). After deposition of Qt4, increasing regional incision of older units and the progressive development of a channelized alluvial landscape coincide with deposition of Qt5 and Qt6 units in a second, incisional phase. All units are conformed of multiple 1-3 m thick alluvial packages deposited in upper-flow regime and representing individual storms. Aggradational units (Qt1-Qt4) covered broad (>2 km) channels in the form of sheetflood deposition while incisional stage deposits are mostly confined to channels of ~0.5-2 km width. Continuous deposition of the thicker sequences is demonstrated by closely spaced luminescence dates in vertical profiles. In a few places disconformities between major units are evident and indicated by partly eroded buried soils. Analysis of historical terraces as part of the younger units incised into older fans show that deposition was accomplished by large tropical cyclone events. Older units feature the same sedimentological traits as these historical deposits. We interpret the whole sequence as indicating discrete periods during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene when climatic conditions allowed large tropical cyclone events that today are not expressed. These discrete periods can be associated with specific periods when (a) insolation at the Equator was at peaks determined by precessional cycles and (b) the Tropical Pacific might have shown a state similar to that currently displayed during El Niño events.

  11. Remote sensing classification of the arid watersheds of Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solaimani, Karim; Habibnejad-Roshan, Mahmud

    2002-01-01

    Iran's most obvious hydroclimatic problems are compounded of the disadvantages of scanty and highly seasonal precipitation and a surface configuration which tends to concentrate moisture on the periphery of the country, leaving its vast heart an area of irreconcilable sterility. Most of the central Iran has arid conditions with dry and hot summer months, when streams with and the land is parched. Nowhere in Iran is there an annual surplus of water, and significant seasonal surpluses occur in only the wishbone of high mountains that encloses the central plateau on the north and west. In most parts (about 80 percent of the total of country) the nature of human activity depends upon the availability of surface water that can be tapped by wells and qantas. Runoff is episodic and occurs only because the precipitation, meagre as it is momentarily exceeds the infiltration capability of the surface. Such precipitation is not of course capricious in terms of quantity, location and distribution in time. For more accurate investigation, remote sensing data was used to overcome the large area. Finally for arid basins, combined data from remote sensing (Cosmos and Aerial photographs) data and topography maps provided significant results.

  12. Evaluating process domains in small arid granitic watersheds: Case study of Pima Wash, South Mountains, Sonoran Desert, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seong, Yeong Bae; Larson, Phillip H.; Dorn, Ronald I.; Yu, Byung Yong

    2016-02-01

    This paper provides support for the concept of geomorphic process domains developed by Montgomery (1999) by linking geomorphic processes to ecological variations seen in the Pima arid granitic watershed of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix, Arizona. Closer joint spacing shows a statistically significant correlation with lower percentages of mineral grain attachment as measured by digital image processing of backscattered electron microscope imagery. Lower mineral grain attachment leads to more frequent spalling of rock surfaces, as measured by varnish microlamination (VML) ages of the last spalling event. In contrast, more distant joint spacing leads to in situ 10Be erosion rates of 3.4-8.5 mm/ka and the emergence of low domes and kopje granitic landforms; these low domes also serve as knickpoints along ephemeral washes. Distant jointing thus plays a key role in generating the bare bedrock surfaces that funnel limited precipitation to bedrock margins - enhancing the canopy cover of perennial plants next to the bare bedrock. Joint-influenced geomorphic processes at Pima Wash generate four distinct process domains: (PD1) armored drainage divides; (PD2) slopes with different granite landforms; (PD3) mid- and upper basin channels that mix knickzones, strath floodplains, and sandy alluvial sections; and (PD4) the main ephemeral channel transitioning to the piedmont. Distant jointing promotes bedrock exposure and rock armoring along drainage divides in PD1 that then concentrates runoff and promotes perennial plant growth. More distant joint spacing on slopes in PD2 promotes exposure of granitic bedrock forms that shed overland flow to their margin and promotes flora and fauna growths along the margins of low granitic domes and kopjes. Similarly, wider joint spacing along ephemeral washes in PD3 leads to knickpoints, which in turn act to concentrate moisture immediately downstream. The stream terraces in PD4 influence the ecology through xeric desert pavements on terrace treads and roofs for coyotes (Canis latrans) and gray fox (Urocyon Cinereoargenteus) dens on terrace scarps via stage 3 pedogenic carbonate. These four process domains occur in six other randomly selected granitic watersheds with drainage areas < 5 km2 in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts. Results on rates of geomorphic processes in the Pima Wash watershed provide new insight in the desert geomorphology of small granitic watersheds. Catchment-wide denudation rates (CWDRs) recorded by 10Be sampled along the main ephemeral wash vary between 15 and 23 mm/ka and do not appear to be influenced by knickpoint or knickzone occurrence; instead slightly lower CWDRs appear to be associated with sediment contributions by subbasins with more abundance of bare bedrock forms. Resampling for CWDR after a 500-year flood event from hurricane moisture at two sites along the main ephemeral channel revealed no detectable changes; this finding confirms the average representativeness of CWDR as a long-term denudation proxy and also means that sediment transport on these arid granitic hillslopes must be incremental and without rapid crest to wash transport. The first reported measurements of incision rates into a small granitic Sonoran Desert watershed, using 10Be and VML, reveal rates on the order of 70-180 mm/ka in the lower quarter of Pima Wash for the last 60 ka - producing a narrow and deep trench. As this base-level fall propagates upstream, erosion focuses on weaker material with higher joint densities; this facilitates the emergence of domes and kopje landforms with more widely spaced jointing.

  13. Salinization in semi-arid irrigated agricultural regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ale, S.

    2014-12-01

    Large-scale introduction of canal irrigation systems across the semi-arid regions of the World has disturbed hydrologic equilibrium of many groundwater basins. This has resulted in rise of groundwater levels followed by degradation of soils through water logging and secondary saltbuild-up in many canal commands, and caused millions of hectares of irrigated agricultural land to go out of production. On the other hand, extensive pumping of groundwater for irrigation in some freshwater aquifers has lowered hydraulic heads and induced cross-formational flow from underlying highly mineralized older formations, which led to groundwater mixing between the formations and rise insalinity levels in the overlying fresh water aquifers over time. Some examples related to irrigation induced soil and groundwater salinization from India and the United States will be presented. Potential causes of salinization and possible solutions will be discussed.

  14. Water and the arid lands of the western United States

    SciTech Connect

    El-Ashry, M.T.; Gibbons, D.C.

    1988-01-01

    The United States is water-rich, but conflicts over water development and use are increasing. Today, economic scarcity - not absolute physical scarcity - is the key issue in many places. In the arid American West, traditionally over 90 percent of the water consumed has been used to irrigate agriculture. But as cities grow and the states's economies diversify, municipal, commercial, and industrial uses exert more pressure. At the same time, groundwater mining and water quality degradation are becoming commonplace. The challenge is to increase productivity while equitably distributing the costs and benefits of water use. This book includes three case studies that cover primarily agricultural areas (the Central Valley of California, the High Plains of Texas, and the upper Colorado River basin) and three on the problems of metropolitan areas (Denver, Tucson, and the southern California megalopolis). The authors also identify policies that could help the West sustain economic growth without destroying or undervaluing its natural resources.

  15. Experimental Drainage Basins in Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laronne, J. B.; Lekach, J.; Cohen, H.; Gray, J.

    2002-12-01

    Within the hyper-arid to semiarid areas of Israel are three experimental drainage basins. They are the Nahal (stream in Hebrew) Yael, subdivided into five sub-basins, Rahaf-Qanna'im (main and tributary, respectively) and Eshtemoa. These basins vary in drainage area and climate, and in monitoring duration and type. All are drained by gravel-bed channels. As the size of monitored drainage area is limited, 3-4 additional representative basins covering areas of 300, 1000, 2000 and 8000 square kilometers will likely be implemented in the next decade. The basins have precipitation, runoff, sediment and fluviomorphological records. Each was conceived for differing purposes, but all share the common two objectives for the continuous monitoring: 1. Many hydrological issues may be approached if, and only if, there are prototype databases on a wide spectrum of hydrological processes; and 2. There is a need for long-term records to assess large floods and subsequent hydrologic and geomorphic recovery. Lessons derived from a large number of research projects on these experimental basins focus on characteristics of runoff in arid climates. For example, the effect of the spatial distribution of rainfall on runoff generation becomes increasingly important with aridity. Rainfall angle on hillslopes and storm intensity and direction derived from rainfall recorders and radar backscatter are crucial for explanation of runoff response. Runoff hydrographs tend to have more bores, shorter-duration peaks, briefer recessions, longer dry periods, and are more variable in terms of flood volume and peaks with increased aridity. Suspended-sediment fluxes, yields and concentrations are relatively large in the semiarid realm, reaching maxima at the beginning of a flood season and after long dry spells. Bedload fluxes are exceptionally high from dryland basins in which hillslopes are minimally vegetated and where bedload transport takes place in channels lacking an armor layer. Bedload/suspended-sediment load ratios increase with aridity. Bedload yield may represent up to 70% of the total load. Hillslope to channel connectivity is high in drylands. In the hyperarid region suspended-sediment sources are hillslopes and the coarser, sandy fraction of the channel bedmaterial. The depth of channel bed activity is indicated by a fluvio-pedogenic unit beneath the channel surface. National and regional hydrological research needs will dictate future global monitoring in experimental basins. International collaboration may bring about considerable cost reduction by exclusion of monitoring aspects that can be evaluated based on the monitoring in other, similar conditions. Advanced international collaboration on validation and calibration of and consistency in monitoring means, as well as syntheses of lessons derived from international collaboration, such as from an International Watershed Research Network, are required for maximizing our understanding of water and sediment responses in varied global regions.

  16. ARID relative calibration experimental data and analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doty, Keith L

    1992-01-01

    S