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Sample records for arid alluvial basins

  1. 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...

  2. Characterizing arid region alluvial fan surface roughness with airborne laser swath mapping digital topographic data

    E-print Network

    Frankel, Kurt L.

    Characterizing arid region alluvial fan surface roughness with airborne laser swath mapping digital; accepted 5 January 2007; published 26 May 2007. [1] Range-front alluvial fan deposition in arid differences between alluvial fan units has proven to be difficult in the past, high-resolution airborne laser

  3. Characterizing arid region alluvial fan surface roughness with airborne laser swath mapping digital topographic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frankel, Kurt L.; Dolan, James F.

    2007-06-01

    Range-front alluvial fan deposition in arid environments is episodic and results in multiple fan surfaces and ages. These distinct landforms are often defined by descriptions of their surface morphology, desert varnish accumulation, clast rubification, desert pavement formation, soil development, and stratigraphy. Although quantifying surface roughness differences between alluvial fan units has proven to be difficult in the past, high-resolution airborne laser swath mapping (ALSM) digital topographic data are now providing researchers with an opportunity to study topography in unprecedented detail. Here we use ALSM data to calculate surface roughness on two alluvial fans in northern Death Valley, California. We define surface roughness as the standard deviation of slope in a 5-m by 5-m moving window. Comparison of surface roughness values between mapped fan surfaces shows that each unit is statistically unique at the 99% confidence level. Furthermore, there is an obvious smoothing trend from the presently active channel to a deposit with cosmogenic 10Be and 36Cl surface exposure ages of ˜70 ka. Beyond 70 ka, alluvial landforms become progressively rougher with age. These data suggest that alluvial fans in arid regions smooth out with time until a threshold is crossed where roughness increases at greater wavelength with age as a result of surface runoff and headward tributary incision into the oldest surfaces.

  4. 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.

  5. The diachroneity of alluvial-fan lithostratigraphy? A test case from southeastern Ebro basin magnetostratigraphy

    E-print Network

    Swanson-Hysell, Nicholas

    The diachroneity of alluvial-fan lithostratigraphy? A test case from southeastern Ebro basin: R.W. Carlson Available online 12 July 2007 Abstract Alluvial-fan strata contain valuable proxy data composite alluvial-fan sections assumes the chronostratigraphic significance of lithostratigraphy. We

  6. 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.

  7. Precambrian alluvial fan and braidplain sedimentation patterns: Example from the Mesoproterozoic Rjukan Rift Basin, southern Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Köykkä, Juha

    2011-03-01

    An integrated approach of facies analysis, geochemistry and paleohydrology provides new insight into the sedimentology and paleogeography of alluvial sediments in the Precambrian. Here, alluvial fan and braidplain sedimentation patterns are documented in a Mesoproterozoic rift basin, called (known as) the Rjukan Rift Basin in southern Norway. The studied formation (Heddersvatnet Formation) consists of volcanoclastic breccias and conglomerates, cross-bedded sandstones with associated mudstones, and subaerial basaltic lava beds, deposited in a rift basin during the syn-rifting phase. Based on genetically related major lithofacies associations and individual minor lithofacies, the sedimentation is characterized by colluvial and screen apron deposits, subaerial debris flows, hyperconcentrated or sheet flood deposits in the proximal part, representing waning-flood cycles. The distal part contains shallow-water traction current deposits and associated subaerial continental flood basalts that flowed down the rift valleys. The synsedimentary intra-rift faulting formed seasonal or climatically controlled, intrafan ponded-lake with playa lake type cycles and shrinkage cracks. The geochemical composition of the of the studied sandstones and mudstones suggests a passive rifted continental margin with minor to moderate chemical weathering, possible in a semi-arid/arid paleoclimate. Clastic petrofacies of the sandstones indicate a locally uplifted and syn-rift paleotectonic setting during the main sedimentation stage, passing toward a post-rifting stage of the depositional basin. Small-scale structures within the sedimentary basin affected the depositional patterns of the Heddersvatnet Formation by creating local sites of uplift and erosion, controlling the sediment transport, and defining the accommodation space for deposition. The sedimentation of the Heddersvatnet Formation reflects a tectonic base level fall, which resulted in an accumulation of thick alluvial fan or braidplain sediments near uplifted flank(s) of the sedimentary basin. This was combined with intensive erosion of the basement in the pre-vegetation landscape, which resulted in changes in the hydraulic geometry of flow and sediment discharge of stream channels. The following criteria, observed from the Heddersvatnet Formation, are suggestive of an ancient alluvial fan and associated braidplain sedimentation: (1) deposition close to the source area; (2) slightly divergent paleoflows; (3) high-energy flows with waning flood-cycles; (4) abundance of poorly sorted and laterally extensive subaerial debris flows, and related streamflows, possible sheetfloods, hyperconcentrated flows, and their associations; (5) great distribution of grain size and lithofacies changes in proximal vs. distal parts; (6) limited suite of sedimentary structures (cross-stratification, ripple-marks, and desiccanation cracks); (7) fault bounded basin (graben) with hanging wall close to uplifted flank(s); (8) paleoslope estimation indicating at least moderate paleotopographic highs; (9) colluvial and scree apron breccias; (10) lack of any typical braided stream channel fill conglomerates and floodplains; and (11) channelized sediment bodies lacking extensive lateral continuity.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 sca

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Groundwater and Surface Water Interaction of Several Irrigation Systems in the Mississippi River Basin Alluvial Aquifer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reba, M. L.; Rigby, J.; Czarnecki, J.; Rawlings, L.

    2013-12-01

    The Lower Mississippi River Basin alluvial aquifer provides irrigation water for agriculture in most of eastern Arkansas, western Tennessee, southeastern Missouri, western Mississippi and northeastern Louisiana. The alluvial aquifer depth to water has been declining by approximately 1 foot per year due to unsustainable pumping levels. Replacing groundwater with surface water sources in the Lower Mississippi River Basin is one of the many solutions to declining groundwater stores that has taken root in the region, especially in eastern Arkansas. Surface water irrigation systems consist of an on-farm reservoir and tailwater recovery. The reservoir is used to store water for later use during wet periods of the year and the tailwater recovery creates a closed basin of the irrigation system, allowing for use and re-use of irrigation water. Several irrigation systems were instrumented to further understand the interaction between surface water and groundwater in alluvial aquifer region. Three reservoirs, 9 streams and ditches, and 8 groundwater wells were instrumented in fall of 2011. Groundwater potentiometric surface under the storage reservoirs showed a rebound while a potentiometric surface falls sharply south and west moving away from the storage reservoirs. Preliminary results from the findings from these sites are presented.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Stochastic Variations in Transport Capacity and its Role in 'Long- Runout' Gravel Progradation in Alluvial Basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engelder, T. M.; Pelletier, J. D.

    2008-12-01

    Sediment transport in gravel-bed rivers requires a critical shear stress. Several recent studies have used the critical shear stress criterion, together with measurements of median grain size and channel depth in ancient fluvial deposits, to infer the paleoslopes of alluvial basins in the western United States. In some applications of this method, inferred paleoslopes are sufficiently large that tectonic tilting must be invoked in order for the sediments to have been transported to their present locations. In this paper, we evaluate the robustness of the paleoslope-estimation method within the context of a coupled numerical model for the postorogenic topographic decay of a mountain belt coupled to a coarse-grained foreland sedimentary basin. In the model, critical slopes for entrainment are varied stochastically in time (to represent fluctuations in flow depth and local deviations from an equilibrium channel geometry) with a lognormal distribution characterized by a constant mean and variance equal to the values measured in a large dataset of gravel bed rivers in North America. The model shows that when critical slope values vary stochastically, foreland basin sediments can persistently prograde at slopes far below the minimum value predicted by paleoslope-estimation theory. As such, the model suggests that coarse-grained 'long-runout' gravels do not necessarily require steep slopes to form, especially in hydroclimatic regions characterized by flashy discharges, climatic changes, local deviations from channel equilibrium, and in cases when deposition occurs over long spans of geologic time. The model also suggests that postorogenic topographic decay is characterized by three distinct phases: an initial phase characterized by knickpoint retreat in the mountain belt and proximal deposition in the adjacent foreland basin (lasting ~5 Myr), a second phase in which erosion and deposition balance to maintain a constant basin aspect ratio (~5 to 10 Myr) and a third phase of gradual isostatic rebound of the mountain belt and adjacent basin, reworking of sediments from the proximal to the distal foreland basin, and basin thinning by episodic transport (~10 to 100 Myr). This sequence adds further refinement to the classic two-stage model of gravel progradation in foreland basins.

  19. Alluvial aquifer of the Cache and St. Francis River basins, northeastern Arkansas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Broom, Matthew E.; Lyford, Forest P.

    1981-01-01

    The alluvial aquifer underlies about 9,000 square miles of the study area. Well yields from the aquifer commonly are from 1,000 to 2,000 gallons per minute. Flow toward the main area of pumping stress is eastward from the Cache River and westward from the St. Francis River. The Memphis aquifer acts as a conduit through Crowleys Ridge for induced flow from the St. Francis River basin to the Cache River basn. Water use from the alluvial aquifer since the early 1900 's has been mostly for rice irrigation. Total pumpage for rice in 1978 was about 1,650 ,000 acre-feet, of which about 88 percent was pumped from the aquifer west of Crowleys Ridge. Water levels in wells west of the ridge in parts of Poinsett, Cross, and Craighead Counties in 1978 were 75 feet below land surface and declining about 2 feet per year. Digital-model analysis indicated that at the end of 1978 water was being removed from aquifer storage at the rate of 540,000 acre-feet per year, and streamflow, mostly from the Cache River and Bayou DeView, was being captured at the rate of 430,000 acre-feet per year. Projecting the 1978 pumping rate of 1,460,000 acre-feet per year, the pumping rate would have to be reduced by about 110,000 acre-feet per year by 1990 to sustain sufficient aquifer saturation for water needs through the year 2000 in all parts of Poinsett, Craighead, and Cross Counties west of Crowleys Ridge. (USGS)

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. A Synthetic View of Delta Progradation, Distributary Channel Stability and Alluvial Aggradation in Terms of the Control of Basin Water Depth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muto, T.

    2014-12-01

    Recent progress in experimental stratigraphy of river deltas has brought an implication that basin water depth seriously affects not only delta progradation, but also distributary channel behavior and alluvial aggradation of the delta plain. A series of experiments conducted with differential basement suggests that a prograding delta can retain its isotropic shoreline configuration even though there is significant variation in basin water depth in the transverse direction, and thus that local basin water depth affects local residence time and avulsion frequency of distributary channels. With deeper basin water, a delta progrades slowly, distributary channels migrate slowly and avulse less frequently, and the feeder alluvial system aggrades slowly. Another series of experiments, which were conducted to produce a 2D graded alluvial channel, reveals that a delta facing a very deep water basin does not prograde, its distributary channels do not migrate, and the feeder alluvial system does not aggrade at all (i.e. the state of grade). These experimental facts imply a synthetic understanding of delta progradation, distributary channel stability and alluvial aggradation, in terms of the control of basin water depth. This novel understanding can be expressed in part by a simple geometrical model. Dimensionless rates of (1) delta progradation, (2) channel migration and (3) alluvial aggradation are expressed with an identical numerical formula that can be specified only with dimensionless basin water depth and alluvial slope normalized with the delta's foreset slope. Values of those dimensionless rates, ranging between 0 and 1, denote how close the feeder alluvial system is to grade: 0 for grade and 1 for perfect aggradation. The three dimensionless rates, or grade index, are also applicable to a river delta growing with sea level change, as far as it retains an isotropic shoreline configuration.

  4. 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.

  5. Hydrogeology and simulation of flow between the alluvial and bedrock aquifers in the upper Black Squirrel Creek basin, El Paso County, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Watts, K.R.

    1995-01-01

    Anticipated increases in pumping from the bedrock aquifers in El Paso County potentially could affect the direction and rate of flow between the alluvial and bedrock aquifers and lower water levels in the overlying alluvial aquifer. The alluvial aquifer underlies about 90 square miles in the upper Black Squirrel Creek Basin of eastern El Paso County. The alluvial aquifer consists of unconsolidated alluvial deposits that unconformably overlie siltstones, sandstones, and conglomerate (bedrock aquifers) and claystone, shale, and coal (bedrock confining units) of the Denver Basin. The bedrock aquifers (Dawson, Denver, Arapahoe, and Laramie-Fox Hills aquifers) are separated by confining units (upper and lower Denver and the Laramie confining units) and overlie a relatively thick and impermeable Pierre confining unit. The Pierre confining unit is assumed to be a no-flow boundary at the base of the alluvial/ bedrock aquifer system. During 1949-90, substantial water-level declines, as large as 50 feet, in the alluvial aquifer resulted from withdrawals from the alluvial aquifer for irrigation and municipal supplies. Average recharge to the alluvial aquifer from infiltration of precipitation and surface water was an estimated 11.97 cubic feet per second and from the underlying bedrock aquifers was an estimated 0.87 cubic foot per second. Water-level data from eight bedrock observation wells and eight nearby alluvial wells indicate that, locally, the alluvial and bedrock aquifers probably are hydraulically connected and that the alluvial aquifer in the upper Black Squirrel Creek Basin receives recharge from the Denver and Arapahoe aquifers but-locally recharges the Laramie-Fox Hills aquifer. Subsurface-temperature profiles were evaluated as a means of estimating specific discharge across the bedrock surface (the base of the alluvial aquifer). However, assumptions of the analytical method were not met by field conditions and, thus, analyses of subsurface-temperature profiles did not reliably estimate specific discharge across the bedrock surface. The vertical hydraulic diffusivity of a siltstone and sandstone in the lower Denver confining unit was estimated, by an aquifer test, to be about 8 x 10'4 square foot per day. Physical and chemical characteristics of water from the bedrock aquifers in the study area generally differ from the physical and chemical characteristics of water from the alluvial aquifer, except for the physical and chemical characteristics of water from one bedrock well, which is completed in the Laramie-Fox Hills aquifer. In the southern part of the study area, physical and chemical characteristics of ground water indicate downward flow of water from the alluvial aquifer to the Laramie-Fox Hills aquifer. A three-dimensional numerical model was used to evaluate flow of water between the alluvial aquifer and underlying bedrock. Simulation of steady-state conditions indicates that flow from the bedrock aquifers to the alluvial aquifer was about 7 percent of recharge to the alluvial aquifer, about 0.87 cubic foot per second. The potential effects of withdrawal from the alluvial and bedrock aquifers at estimated (October 1989 to September 1990) rates and from the bedrock aquifers at two larger hypothetical rates were simulated for a 50-year projection period. The model simulations indicate that water levels in the alluvial aquifer will decline an average of 8.6 feet after 50 years of pumping at estimated October 1989 to September 1990 rates. Increases in withdrawals from the bedrock aquifers in El Paso County were simulated to: (1) Capture flow that currently discharges from the bedrock aquifers to springs and streams in upland areas and to the alluvial aquifer, (2) induce flow downward from the alluvial aquifer, and (3) accelerate the rate of waterlevel decline in the alluvial aquifer.

  6. Changes in alluvial architecture associated with Eocene hyperthermals: Preliminary results from the Bighorn Basin Coring Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Acks, R.; Kraus, M. J.

    2012-12-01

    The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) was followed by two lesser hyperthermal events: ETM2 and H2 both at ~53.7 Ma. The carbon isotope excursion for ETM2 was approximately half that of the PETM and the H2 excursion even smaller, indicating lower increases in temperature than during the PETM. The paleohydrologic responses to these events are less well understood than the response to PETM warming. Although the ETM2 and H2 events are better known from marine than continental strata, both events have been identified from outcrops of the alluvial Willwood Formation from the Deer Creek and Gilmore Hill areas of the Bighorn Basin, Wyoming (Abels et al., 2012). Here, we analyze two cores drilled from stratigraphically equivalent Willwood strata from Gilmore Hill. The cores provide an opportunity to examine the impact of these events on the architecture of fluvial strata. Willwood strata are composed largely of channel sandstones, heterolithic deposits generated by channel avulsion, and paleosols that formed on overbank deposits. The paleosols provide qualitative and quantitative information on changes in soil moisture and precipitation through this interval. The cores also show a distinct change in the stacking of paleosols The core is subdivided into three parts: (1) the lowest ~third has thinner, more densely spaced paleosols, (2) the middle has thicker paleosols that are more widely spaced, and (3) the upper third has thicker and more common channel sandstones interspersed with avulsion deposits and fewer red paleosols; this corresponds to the hyperthermal interval. In particular, a ~20 m thick sandstone complex caps the section and appears to truncate part of the hyperthermal interval. Although vertical variations in alluvial architecture can reflect tectonic or climatic change, the correspondence of the sandstone-rich part of the cores with the hyperthermals suggests climate was the major control on their formation. Thick purple paleosols associated with the hyperthermals at Deer Creek suggest wetter conditions, and our preliminary interpretation is that a change to wetter conditions caused increased discharge and deposition of coarser (sandy) sediment. The thick sandstone complex at Gilmore Hill is underlain by paleosols with abundant calcrete nodules, which indicate drier soil conditions prior to deposition of the sandstone, and the change from drier to wetter conditions probably also caused increased sediment yield.

  7. Hydrogeologic features of the alluvial deposits in the Greybull River valley, Bighorn Basin, Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1979-01-01

    The alluvial aquifer along the Greybull River in Wyoming, consists principally of the Greybull terrace doposits and flood-plain alluvium but also includes Burlington terrace deposits east of Burlington, the McKinnie terrace, and the younger, generally undissected alluvial-fan deposits. Well-log data and 18 surface-resistivity measurements at four localities indicate that the thickness of the alluvial aquifer is as much as 60 feet thick only near Burlington and Otto. The most favorable area for development of ground water from the alluvial aquifer is near Burlington and Otto where relatively large amounts of water can be obtained from the Greybull terrace deposits and the flood-plain alluvium. Elsewhere, the deposits of the alluvial aquifer yield only small amounts of water to wells. (Woodard-USGS)

  8. Estimating basin-wide hydraulic parameters of a semi-arid mountainous watershed by recession-flow analysis

    E-print Network

    ; Mexico; Arid watersheds; Fractured-flow 1. Introduction Hydraulic conductivity, specific yield, and effecEstimating basin-wide hydraulic parameters of a semi-arid mountainous watershed by recession 2002; accepted 23 April 2003 Abstract Insufficient sub-surface hydraulic data from watersheds often

  9. Comparison of the streamflow sensitivity to aridity index between the Danjiangkou Reservoir basin and Miyun Reservoir basin, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xiaomang; Liu, Wenhua; Xia, Jun

    2013-02-01

    The central route of China's South-to-North Water Diversion Project would divert water from the Danjiangkou Reservoir basin (DRB) to Beijing beginning in the year 2014. The current main surface water source for Beijing is the Miyun Reservoir basin (MRB). The observed streamflows into the DRB and the MRB decreased significantly due to climatic variation and human activities from 1960 to 2005. The climate elasticity method is widely used to quantitatively separate the impacts of climatic variation and human activities on streamflow. One of the uncertainties of the method is that the impacts of changes in precipitation and potential evapotranspiration on streamflow are separated with the assumption that they are independent. However, precipitation and potential evapotranspiration are not totally independent. Aridity index, as the ratio between potential evapotranspiration and precipitation, could be considered as the representative indicator of climatic variation. In this study, the sensitivity of streamflow to aridity index is evaluated to assess the impact of climatic variation on streamflow in the DRB and the MRB. The result shows that streamflow in the MRB is more sensitive to climatic variation than that in the DRB. However, the effective impact of aridity index on streamflow is the product of the sensitivity and the change rate of aridity index. The attribution results show that change in aridity index contributed 68.8 % of the decrease in streamflow in the DRB while it contributed 31.5 % of the decrease in streamflow in the MRB. This indicated that the impact of climatic variation was the main reason of decrease in streamflow in the DRB while human activities such as increasing water consumption and land use change were the main reasons of decreasing streamflow in the MRB.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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)

  14. 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)

  15. 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...

  16. Modern alluvial history of the Paria Rver drainage basin, southern Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hereford, R.

    1986-01-01

    Stream channels in the Paria River basin were eroded and partially refilled between 1883 and 1980. Basin-wide erosion began in 1883; channels were fully entrenched and widened by 1890. This erosion occurred during the well-documented period of arroyo cutting in the Southwest. Photographs of the Paria River channel taken between 1918 and 1940 show that the channel did not have a floodplain and remained wide and deep until the early 1940s. A thin bar (<50 cm), now reworked and locally preserved, was deposited at that time. Basin-wide aggradation, which began in the early 1940s, developed floodplains by vertical accretion. The floodplain alluvium, 1.3-3 m thick. consists of two units recognizable throughout the studied area. An older unit was deposited during a time of low flow and sediment yield whereas the younger unit was deposited during times of high flow, sediment yield, and precipitation. Tree-ring dating suggests that the older unit was deposited between the early 1940s and 1956, and the younger between 1956 and 1980. The units are not time transgressive, suggesting that deposition by knickpoint recession was not an important process. High peak-flood discharges were associated with crosion and low flood discharges with aggradation. The erosional or aggradational mode of the streams was determined principally by peak-flood discharge, which in turn was controlled by precipitation. ?? 1986.

  17. Interaction of a river with an alluvial basin aquifer: Stable isotopes, salinity and water budgets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eastoe, Christopher J.; Hutchison, William R.; Hibbs, Barry J.; Hawley, John; Hogan, James F.

    2010-12-01

    SummaryDetailed sets of tracer data (isotopes, salinity) and the results of MODFLOW modeling of water budgets provide an unprecedented opportunity for comparing modeling with field data in the area where the Rio Grande enters the Hueco Bolson basin of Texas and Chihuahua. Water from the Rio Grande has recharged the Hueco Bolson aquifer to a depth of 300 m below the surface in the El Paso-Ciudad Juárez area, the depth of infiltration corresponding to the depth of ancestral Rio Grande fluvial sediments. Groundwater beneath the river exhibits complex isotope and salinity stratification. Post-dam (post -1916, type A) river water has infiltrated to depths up to 80 m. Pre-dam (type B) river water has infiltrated to 300 m depth near downtown El Paso, and has mixed with, or been displaced further downstream by high-salinity native Hueco Bolson groundwater (type C, present in the basin north of the river). Salinity and isotope boundaries do not correspond precisely. Isotope stratification corresponds to water residence time and (for type C) to degree of evaporation; the highest salinities are associated with the most evaporated water. Modeling of water budgets in the basin fill beneath the river predicts present-day mixing of water types B and C where changing rates of pumping have caused a reversal of groundwater flow direction between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, and deep recharge of type B water under conditions prevailing in the 1960s.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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 (?13C, ?18O, ?2H) 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Seismic Velocities and Thicknesses of Alluvial Deposits along Baker Creek in the Great Basin National Park, East-Central Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allander, Kip K.; Berger, David L.

    2009-01-01

    To better understand how proposed large-scale water withdrawals in Snake Valley may affect the water resources and hydrologic processes in the Great Basin National Park, the National Park Service needs to have a better understanding of the relations between streamflow and groundwater flow through alluvium and karst topography of the Pole Canyon Limestone. Information that is critical to understanding these relations is the thickness of alluvial deposits that overlay the Pole Canyon Limestone. In mid-April 2009, the U.S. Geological Survey and National Park Service used seismic refraction along three profiles adjacent to Baker Creek to further refine understanding of the local geology. Two refractors and three distinct velocity layers were detected along two of the profiles and a single refractor and two distinct velocity layers were detected along a third profile. In the unsaturated alluvium, average velocity was 2,000 feet per second, thickness ranged from about 7 to 20 feet along two profiles downstream of the Narrows, and thickness was at least 100 feet along a single profile upstream of the Narrows. Saturated alluvium was only present downstream of the Narrows - average velocity was 4,400 feet per second, and thickness ranged from about 40 to 110 feet. The third layer probably represented Pole Canyon Limestone or Tertiary granitic rock units with an average velocity of 12,500 feet per second. Along the upstream and middle profiles (profiles 3 and 1, respectively), the depth to top of the third layer ranged from at least 60 to 110 feet below land surface and is most likely the Pole Canyon Limestone. The third layer at the farthest downstream profile (profile 2) may be a Tertiary granitic rock unit. Baker Creek is disconnected from the groundwater system along the upstream profile (profile 3) and streamflow losses infiltrate vertically downward to the Pole Canyon Limestone. Along the downstream and middle profiles (profiles 2 and 1, respectively), the presence of a shallow water table indicates that low permeability Tertiary granitic rock may extend across the Baker Creek Drainage intersecting the Pole Canyon Limestone. The Tertiary granitic rock may be acting as a barrier to groundwater flow within the Pole Canyon Limestone.

  4. [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

  5. Survey of Martian Alluvial Fans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

    Recent higher resolution images of the Martian surface reveal another complex geomorphic surface process - alluvial fans. Alluvial fans composed of water-transported, loose sediment deposited as the flow moves from steep, eroding terrain to low-gradient depositional basins. Martian alluvial fans are concentrated along crater rims where they erode into the higher surround topography depositing sediment into the crater interior. Initial work by Moore and Howard [2004] examined some of these fans in a band from 0-30 S. Their initial results included fan statistics, such as area and slope, and indicated that the fans were clustered in discrete areas. However, this survey was hampered by incomplete image coverage. We present the progress of our continuing, planet wide survey of alluvial fans. Specifically we focus on understanding if alluvial fans are indeed clustered in particular areas and if so, why. In addition, we expand fan statistics to include a comparison of fan volume to eroded area.

  6. The influence of river regulation and land use on floodplain forest regeneration in the semi-arid upper Colorado River Basin, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Northcott, K.; Andersen, D.C.; Cooper, D.J.

    2007-01-01

    Flow regulation effects on floodplain forests in the semi-arid western United States are moderately well understood, whereas effects associated with changes in floodplain land use are poorly documented. We mapped land cover patterns from recent aerial photos and applied a classification scheme to mainstem alluvial floodplains in 10 subjectively selected 4th order hydrologic units (subbasins) in the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB) in order to document land use patterns (floodplain development) and assess their effects on Fremont cottonwood forest (CF) regeneration. Three of the mainstem rivers were unregulated, five were moderately regulated and two were highly regulated. We classified polygons as Undeveloped (with two categories, including CF) and Developed (with five categories). We ground-truthed 501 randomly selected polygons (4-28% of the floodplain area in each subbasin) to verify classification accuracy and to search for cottonwood regeneration, defined as stands established since regulation began or 1950, whichever is most recent. From 40% to 95% of the floodplain area remained undeveloped, but only 19-70% of the floodplain area was classified as forest. Regeneration occupied a mean of 5% (range 1-17%) of the floodplain. The likelihood of the presence of regeneration in a polygon was reduced 65% by development and independently in a complex manner by flow regulation. Our analyses indicate that floodplain forests may be in jeopardy on both regulated and unregulated rivers and that information on historical forest extent is needed to better understand their current status in the UCRB. Conservation efforts need to be coordinated at a regional level and address the potentially adverse affects of both flow regulation and floodplain development.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  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. Analysis of some peculiarities of the DREAM model parameterization in a semi-arid basin of Southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bisantino, T.; Gentile, F.; Iacobellis, V.; Milella, P.; Trisorio Liuzzi, G.

    2009-04-01

    Water resources management in semi-arid environments is a complex issue because of the time and spatial variability of weather and the insufficient monitoring network useful to derive input data for hydrological modelling. In this work a water balance model is revised with particular attention to the input dataset and the theoretical approach in order to improve the accuracy of the predicted outputs. The DREAM model (Manfreda et al., 2005) is applied in a semi-arid basin of Southern Italy (Carapelle torrent, basin area: 506 km2). Hydrological processes are computed on a grid schematization of the river which takes into account the spatial heterogeneity of the basin using distributed data concerning soil texture, land use, hydraulic characteristics and local slope. Time and spatial variability of vegetation coverage is considered using satellite data. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index values are converted into Leaf Area Index profiles to estimate interception and evapotranspiration. The performance of the hydrological model was improved varying four aspects of the model: the pedotransfers functions used to predict the soil hydraulic characteristics, the equations referring to the evapotranspiration process, the type of satellite images and the parameters used for calibration. Evapotranspiration is calculated using two different approaches: Thornthwaite and Penman-Monteith. Leaf Area Index is estimated using a linear regression LAI-NDVI (Caraux-Garson) and a logaritmic one (Beer). The calibration of the Beer law is carried out selecting some sample areas and comparing the literature LAI values to the simulated ones. The spatial resolution of the satellite data influences the hydrologic response: the use of the MODIS images instead of the NOAA-AVHRR ones determines higher values of evapotranspiration more realistic for Mediterranean environments. The analysis described will be useful to select the equations which are more suitable for semi-arid catchments and to individuate which factors need to be measured accurately in order to achieve better results in the model output.

  11. The impact of the development of water resources on environment in arid inland river basins of Hexi region, Northwestern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, Xibin; Kang, Ersi; Chen, Rensheng; Zhao, Wenzhi; Zhang, Zhihui; Jin, Bowen

    2006-08-01

    Water resources use is a key parameter in the hydrological cycle, especially in arid inland of Northwest China, groundwater movement and circulation processes are closely related to the surface water, while recoverable and renewable groundwater mainly comes from the conversion of surface river water, and there is extensive transfer among rainfall, surface water and groundwater. Human activity, in particular, large-scale water resources exploitation and development associated with dramatic population growth in the last decades, has led to tremendous changes in the water regime. There are misuse and wastage of surface water with traditional multi-channel irrigation for most rivers, which in turn leads to over-exploitation of groundwater to augment supplies. This situation has been exacerbated by rapid population growth and socio-economic development, with decreased irrigational systems return to groundwater due to the irrigation system in the middle reaches of rivers in the Hexi region becoming better. The investigations of this study revealed that over the last decades, man-made oases have developed rapidly in various inland river basins. With the increasing human demand for water, the contradiction between water demand and water supply is becoming increasingly acute and the amount of groundwater usage significantly increased. Notwithstanding the annual surface water from mountains is relatively stable in the Hexi region, the recharges of groundwater have been reduced by 11.1%, with a maximum reduction of 50% in the Shiyang River basin. Groundwater abstraction increased by approximately six times, particularly in the Shiyang River basin, groundwater abstraction exceeds recharge by 4.1×108 m3 year-1 in recent decades. Consequently, the groundwater level has declined widely by 3 16 m, with a maximum decline of 45 m in several groundwater observation wells in the Minqin basin on the lower reaches of the Shiyang River basin. These cause serious human activity-induced environmental problems, such as water-quality deterioration, vegetation degradation, soil salinization and land desert desertification, etc. It is suggested that modernized irrigation technology and new regulation to cover water resources management and allocation with the river basins are urgently needed to achieve a sustainable development. The aim of this study is to analyze the impact of the development of water resources on the environment in arid inland river basins in Northwestern China, which were analyzed by comparing the three main river basins (i.e., the Shuilei, the Heihe and the Shiyang River basins) with different water resources development cases.

  12. Quality of shallow ground water in alluvial aquifers of the Williamette Basin, Oregon, 1993-95. National water-quality assessment program. Water-resources investigations

    SciTech Connect

    Hinkle, S.R.

    1997-12-31

    The purposes of this report are to describe the quality of shallow ground water in alluvial aquifers of the Willamette Basin and to identify relationships between shallow ground-water quality and various natural and anthropogenic factors. Several natural and anthropogenic factors (soil characteristics, cumulative thickness of clay above open interval of well, surficial geology, and land use) were evaluated because of the potential for these factors to either control or be related to contaminant occurrence and spatial distribution. Spatial distributions of nitrite plus nitrate, phosphorous, pesticides and pesticide degradation products, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), trace elements (primarily arsenic, a trace element of local concern), and radon were evaluated for 1993-95. Ancillary chemical data--nitrite, chloride, tritium (H-3), and dissolved-oxygen (DO) concentrations--also are presented.

  13. Lower Eocene alluvial paleosols (Willwood Formation, Northwest Wyoming, U.S.A.) and their significance for paleoecology, paleoclimatology, and basin analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bown, T.M.; Kraus, M.J.

    1981-01-01

    The lower Eocene Willwood Formation of northwest Wyoming is a 700 m thick accumulation of alluvial floodplain and channel mudstones and sandstones, nearly all of which show paleopedogenic modifications. Pedogenesis of Willwood sandstones is indicated by taproot and vertebrate and invertebrate bioturbation, early local cementation by calcium carbonate, and thin illuviation cutans on clastic grains. Pedogenesis in Willwood mudstones is indicated by plant bioturbation, insect and other invertebrate burrow casts and lebensspuren; free iron, aluminum, and manganese mobilization, including hydromorphic gleying; sesquioxide and calcareous glaebule formation in lower parts of the solum; presence of clay-rich and organic carbon-rich zones; and well differentiated epipedons and albic and spodic horizons. Probable A horizons are also locally well developed. Occurrence of variegated paleosol units in thick floodplain mudstone deposits and their association with thin, lenticular, and unconnected fluvial sandstones in the Willwood Formation of the central and southeast Bighorn Basin suggest that these soils formed during times of rapid sediment accumulation. The tabular geometry and lateral persistence of soil units as well as the absence of catenization indicate that Willwood floodplains were broad and essentially featureless. All Willwood paleosols were developed on alluvial parent materials and are complex in that B horizons of younger paleosols were commonly superimposed upon and mask properties of suspected A and B horizons of the next older paleosols. The soils appear to be wet varieties of the Spodosol and Entisol groups (aquods and ferrods, and aquents, respectively), though thick, superposed and less mottled red, purple, and yellow paleosols resemble some ultisols. Most Willwood paleosols resemble warm temperate to subtropical alluvial soils that form today under alternating wet and dry conditions and (or) fluctuating water tables. The up-section decrease in frequency of gley mottles, increase in numerical proportion and thickness of red versus orange coloration, and increase in abundance of calcrete glaebules indicate better drained soils and probably drier climate in late Willwood time. This drying is believed to be related to creation of rain shadows and spacing of rainfall (but not necessarily decrease in absolute rainfall) due to progressive tectonic structural elevation of the mountainous margins of the Bighorn Basin. ?? 1981.

  14. Shallow subsurface stratigraphy and alluvial architecture of the Kosi and Gandak megafans in the Himalayan foreland basin, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinha, Rajiv; Ahmad, Jawed; Gaurav, Kumar; Morin, Guillaume

    2014-03-01

    The Kosi and the Gandak are two major Himalayan tributaries of the Ganga River in the north Bihar plains India. With a large hinterland in the Nepal Himalaya, both these rivers have generated megafans in the plains over the Quaternary time scale. Both these rivers are known to be highly dynamic and sediment-charged. A few conceptual models and limited field data suggested that these megafans have produced thick sand sheets over Late Quaternary period but these ideas have remained speculative and there is no data on the size and dimension of these sand bodies. This paper attempts to reconstruct the subsurface stratigraphy and alluvial architecture for the upper ~ 100 m of the megafans based on electrical resistivity soundings, borehole data and drill cores. Alluvial architecture of the Kosi megafan shows significant variability from proximal to medial parts of the fan in terms of sediment grain size and layer thicknesses. While the medial part shows ~ 20-30 m thick medium to coarse sand sheets which are laterally stacked, the proximal part of the fan has a dominantly gravel unit below ~ 15 m depth that is underlain and overlain by medium to coarse sand units. Further, the medial fan also shows significant vertical and lateral variability in alluvial stratigraphy. The near-surface (< 20 m depth) deposits from the Kosi megafan have pockets of clay and silt within large amalgamated sand bodies whereas the shallow sub-surface (50-100 m depth) sediments are largely sandy and devoid of clay and silt pockets. Alluvial architecture of the Gandak megafan shows two major lithounits; the upper fan succession has a higher stacking density of smaller sand bodies perhaps reflecting the migratory behavior of the river whereas the lower succession shows narrow but thick sand fills reflecting incised channels. The western part of the Gandak megafan has more abundant sand bodies compared to the eastern side of the river along both transects. There are no significant differences between proximal and medial transects across the Gandak megafan. The absence of gravel deposits in the shallow subsurface of the Gandak megafan may be attributed to the presence of a prominent intermontane valley in the hinterland of the Gandak river which has acted as a 'sediment filter' thereby trapping most of the coarser fraction. On the other hand, the Kosi river exits directly through the mountain front, and therefore, has been able to transport gravels into the plains in pre-historic times. Our study thus suggests significant variability in subsurface stratigraphy of the Kosi and the Gandak megafans even though they are located in similar geographic region. Such differences are attributed to the geomorphic diversity of the mountain exits of these megafans and their sediment transport history.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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, Ajs

    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

  18. A tectonically controlled alluvial fan which developed into a marine fan-delta at a complex triple junction: Miocene Gildirli Formation of the Adana Basin, Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Görür, Naci

    1992-12-01

    The sediments of the Gildirli Formation in the Karaisali embayment of the Adana Basin, southern Turkey, records the evolution, under tectonic control at a complex triple junction, of an alluvial fan into a fan-delta during a rapid Early Miocene transgression. The alluvial fan is represented by the lower part of the formation (Çakmak Member) and is characterized by an internal architecture, recording an overall progradation of the coarse proximal fan conglomerates over distal fine-grained sediments. The conglomerates contain mostly Upper Cretaceous limestone clasts of various sizes derived from the faulted mountain front of the Taurus range where this limestone is widely exposed. This active mountain front delimited the Karaisah embayment to the north and provided, during the fault activity, abundant coarse clasts to this area throughout the deposition of both the alluvial fan and the overlying fan-delta sediments. The production of fine detritus during the faulting was very limited and therefore this source contributed little fine grain detritus to the sediments. Provenance studies indicate that the fine clastics in the Gildirli Formation were carried by streams during periods of active faulting and also during periods of tectonic quiescence from a far-distant source in the hinterlands of the Taurus Mountains. The recurrent activity along the northern boundary-fault resulted in the intercalation of these fine clastics with the predominant coarse sediments in this formation. When the study area was flooded from the south by a rapidly deepening Early Miocene sea, the accumulation of all these sediments took place in a fan-delta environment. The fan-delta sediments constitute the upper parts of the Gildirli Formation (Kabalaktepe Member) and display an inverse facies pattern in which foreset beds overlie topsets and hence an upward-fining and deepening sequence. This deviation from a genetic upward-coarsening sequence of a typical marine delta was perhaps the result of a rapid relative rise in sea-level, due to tectonically induced subsidence of the area possibly coupled with a short-term global sea-level rise in the Burdigalian.

  19. Stable isotope and hydrochemical evolution of groundwater in the semi-arid Hamersley Basin of subtropical northwest Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dogramaci, Shawan; Skrzypek, Grzegorz; Dodson, Wade; Grierson, Pauline F.

    2012-12-01

    SummaryThe Hamersley Basin, in the semi-arid Pilbara region of northwest Australia, is currently subject to increasing pressure from altered hydrology associated with mining activities as well as water abstraction for regional development. Sustainable water management across the region must be underpinned by an understanding of the factors that constrain water supply in arid zones. We measured the amount and isotopic signature of individual rainfall events over three consecutive years (2009-2011) to determine the likely processes that control surface water pools in streams and groundwater recharge across the Hamersley Basin. We also measured concentrations of ions (in particular bromide and chloride) to define and quantify sources of major recharge. Stable isotope composition of precipitation across the basin forms a Local Meteoric Water Line (LMWL) defined by the equation: ?2H = 7.03 ± 0.17 × ?18O + 4.78 ± 1.45. Thus, the slope of the LMWL was similar to the Global Meteoric Water Line (GMWL). However, the intercept of the LMWL was significantly different to the GMWL, which is attributable to the amount or "rainout" effect. The stable isotope composition of rainfall events was highly variable and dependent on event size. However, the ?2H and ?18O values of fresh groundwater from the alluvium and fractured aquifers were similar and characterised by a very narrow range (alluvium aquifer ?18O -8.02 ± 0.83‰, ?2H -55.6 ± 6.0‰, n = 65; fractured aquifer ?18O -8.22 ± 0.70‰, ?2H -56.9 ± 5.0‰, n = 207). Our findings suggest that intense rainfall events of >20 mm with limited evaporation prior to infiltration contribute most to recharge. In contrast, the ?2H and ?18O values and chemical composition of the relatively saline groundwater in the terminal Fortescue Marsh suggest a combination of evaporation and cyclic drying and wetting of the marsh surface prior to recharge. Saline groundwater samples were more 18O enriched than fresh groundwater; ?2H and ?18O values shifted to the right of the LMWL, forming a straight line with a slope of 3.58 ± 0.20 and an intercept of -25.55 ± 0.71 (R2 = 0.95, p < 0.001, n = 18). The stable isotope mass balance for most of the surface water pools in the basin show significant evaporation and are highly enriched compared to underlying groundwater. We conclude that significant seepage from highly evaporated pools to groundwater is very limited.

  20. 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.

  1. ERODIBILITY OF URBAN BEDROCK AND ALLUVIAL CHANNELS, NORTH TEXAS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Major erosion of urban stream channels is found in smaller basins in the North Texas study area with contributing drainage areas of less than ten square miles. Within these basins, four basic channel types are identified based on bed and bank lithologies: alluvial banks and bottoms, alluvial banks ...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 ?D and ?18O 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.

  6. 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 (?18O) 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 (?11B) and ?18O 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

  7. 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 (?(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 (?(11)B) and ?(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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Causality analysis of groundwater dynamics based on a Vector Autoregressive model in the semi-arid basin of Gundal (South India)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mangiarotti, S.; Sekhar, M.; Berthon, L.; Javeed, Y.; Mazzega, P.

    2012-08-01

    Causal relationships existing between observed levels of groundwater in a semi-arid sub-basin of the Kabini River basin (Karnataka state, India) are investigated in this study. A Vector Auto Regressive model is used for this purpose. Its structure is built on an upstream/downstream interaction network based on observed hydro-physical properties. Exogenous climatic forcing is used as an input based on cumulated rainfall departure. Optimal models are obtained thanks to a trial approach and are used as a proxy of the dynamics to derive causal networks. It appears to be an interesting tool for analysing the causal relationships existing inside the basin. The causal network reveals 3 main regions: the Northeastern part of the Gundal basin is closely coupled to the outlet dynamics. The Northwestern part is mainly controlled by the climatic forcing and only marginally linked to the outlet dynamic. Finally, the upper part of the basin plays as a forcing rather than a coupling with the lower part of the basin allowing for a separate analysis of this local behaviour. The analysis also reveals differential time scales at work inside the basin when comparing upstream oriented with downstream oriented causalities. In the upper part of the basin, time delays are close to 2 months in the upward direction and lower than 1 month in the downward direction. These time scales are likely to be good indicators of the hydraulic response time of the basin which is a parameter usually difficult to estimate practically. This suggests that, at the sub-basin scale, intra-annual time scales would be more relevant scales for analysing or modelling tropical basin dynamics in hard rock (granitic and gneissic) aquifers ubiquitous in south India.

  13. Groundwater vulnerability to selenium in semi-arid environments: Amman Zarqa Basin, Jordan.

    PubMed

    Kuisi, Mustafa Al; Abdel-Fattah, Ahmad

    2010-04-01

    An evaluation of approximately 250 samples of groundwater in the Amman Zarqa Basin for selenium along with other major and trace elements showed that concentrations of Se ranged between 0.09 and 742 microg/L, with an average value of about 24 microg/L. Selenium concentrations exceeded the recommended threshold for drinking water of the World Health Organization (WHO; 10 micro/L of Se) in 114 samples, with greater than 50 microg/L (quantity equivalent to the Jordanian standard of the allowed concentration of the element in water) of Se in nine cases. The average concentrations of Se in the lower, middle, and upper aquifers of the basin were 3.41, 32.99, and 9.19 microg/L, respectively. Based on the correlation with geologic formations and the statistical analysis of major/minor constituents and Piper tri-linear diagrams, we suggest that carbonate/phosphate dissolution, oxidation-reduction processes, and fertilizers/irrigation return flow are, together, the primary factors affecting the chemistry of the groundwater. Factor analysis helped to define the relative role of limestone-dolomitic dissolution in the aquifers (calcium, magnesium, and bicarbonate), agricultural activities (sulfate, nitrates, phosphorus, and potassium), oxidation-reduction factor (Eh, Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, and Se), and anthropogenic (industrial) factor (EC, Fe, Cr, Co, Zn, and As). The high variability in Se concentrations might be related to the possibility of a multi-source origin of Se in the area. PMID:19554458

  14. 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.

  15. Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of a middle Miocene alluvial fan to cyclic shallow lacustrine depositional system

    E-print Network

    Utrecht, Universiteit

    Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of a middle Miocene alluvial fan to cyclic shallow lacustrine sedimentary fill of the Calatayud Basin in north-eastern Spain consists of proximal to distal alluvial fan are recognized: (1) proximal and medial alluvial fan facies that comprise clast-supported gravel and subordinate

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 ?30Si) 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 ?30Si 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).

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 30 CFR 785.19 - Surface coal mining and reclamation operations on areas or adjacent to areas including alluvial...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... floor; (iv) Whether the reclamation plan is in compliance with requirements of the Act, this chapter... valley floors in the arid and semiarid areas west of the 100th meridian. (a) Alluvial valley floor..., may request the regulatory authority to make an alluvial valley floor determination with respect...

  9. 30 CFR 785.19 - Surface coal mining and reclamation operations on areas or adjacent to areas including alluvial...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... floor; (iv) Whether the reclamation plan is in compliance with requirements of the Act, this chapter... valley floors in the arid and semiarid areas west of the 100th meridian. (a) Alluvial valley floor..., may request the regulatory authority to make an alluvial valley floor determination with respect...

  10. 30 CFR 785.19 - Surface coal mining and reclamation operations on areas or adjacent to areas including alluvial...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... floor; (iv) Whether the reclamation plan is in compliance with requirements of the Act, this chapter... valley floors in the arid and semiarid areas west of the 100th meridian. (a) Alluvial valley floor..., may request the regulatory authority to make an alluvial valley floor determination with respect...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Using geochemical investigations for determining the interaction between groundwater and saline water in arid areas: case of the Wadi Ouazzi basin (Morocco)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El Moukhayar, R.; Bahir, M.; Youbi, N.; Chkir, N.; Chamchati, H.; Caréra, P.

    2015-04-01

    The characteristics of the Essaouira basin water resources are a semi-arid climate, which is severely impacted by the climate (quantity and quality). Considering the importance of the Essaouira aquifer in the groundwater supply of the region, a study was conducted in order to understand groundwater evolution in this aquifer. The Essaouira aquifer is a coastal aquifer located on the Atlantic coastline of southern Morocco, corresponding to a sedimentary basin with an area of nearly 200 km2. The control of the fluid exchange and the influence of mixing zones between the groundwater and saline water was investigated by sampling from 20 wells, drillings and sources belonging to the Plio-Quaternary and Turonian aquifers. It is hypothesized that groundwater major ions chemistry can be employed to determine the interaction between the groundwater and saline water (coastal aquifers). Groundwater samples examined for electric conductivity and temperature showed that waters belonging to the Plio-Quaternary and Turonian aquifers present very variable electric conductivities, from 900 ?s/cm to 3880 ?s/cm. Despite this variability, they are from the same family and are characterized by sodium-chloride facies. However, a good correlation exists between the electrical conductivity and chloride and sodium contents. The lower electrical conductivities are situated in the North quarter immediately to the south of the Wadi Ouazzi.

  14. 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

  15. The problems of overexploitation of aquifers in semi-arid areas: the Murcia Region and the Segura Basin (South-east Spain) case

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez-Estrella, T.

    2012-05-01

    A general analysis of the problems arising from aquifer exploitation in semi-arid areas such as the Autonomous Region of Murcia, which belongs to the Segura Basin is presented, with particular reference to the Ascoy-Sopalmo aquifer, which is the most overexploited aquifer in Spain. It has suffered intense overabstraction over the last forty years, given renewable water resources of 2 Mm3 yr-1 and abstractions amounting to as much as 55 Mm3 yr-1. This has resulted in the drying of springs, continuous drawdown of water levels (5 m yr-1); piezometric drops (over 30 m in one year, as a consequence of it being a karstic aquifer); increase in pumping costs (elevating water from more than 320 m depth); abandoning of wells (45 reduced to 20), diminishing groundwater reserves, and deteriorating water quality (progressing from a mixed sodium bicarbonate-chloride facies to a sodium chloride one). This is a prime example of poor management with disastrous consequences. In this sense, a series of internal measures is proposed to alleviate the overexploitation of this aquifer and of the Segura Basin, with the aim of contributing to a sustainable future.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. The implications of geology, soils, and vegetation on landscape morphology: Inferences from semi-arid basins with complex vegetation patterns in Central New Mexico, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yetemen, Omer; Istanbulluoglu, Erkan; Vivoni, Enrique R.

    2010-04-01

    This paper examines the relationship between land surface properties (e.g. soil, vegetation, and lithology) and landscape morphology quantified by the catchment descriptors: the slope-area (S-A) relation, curvature-area (C-A) relation, and the cumulative area distribution (CAD), in two semi-arid basins in central New Mexico. The first site is composed of several basins located in today's desert elevations with mesic north-facing and xeric south-facing hillslopes underlain by different lithological formations. The second site is a mountainous basin exhibiting vegetation gradients from shrublands in the lower elevations to grasslands and forests at higher elevations. All three land surface properties were found to have significant influences on the S-A and C- A relations, while the power-law exponents of the CADs for these properties did not show any significant deviations from the narrow range of universal scaling exponents reported in the literature. Among the three different surface properties we investigated, vegetation had the most profound impact on the catchment descriptors. In the S-A diagrams of the aspect-controlled ecosystems, we found steeper slopes in north-facing aspects than south-facing aspects for a given drainage area. In elevation-controlled ecosystems, forested landscapes exhibited the steepest slopes for the range of drainage areas examined, followed by shrublands and grasslands in all soil textures and lithologies. In the C-A diagrams, steeper slopes led to a higher degree of divergence on hillslopes and a higher degree of convergence in the valleys than shallower slopes. The influence of functional types of vegetation detected on observed topography provided some initial understanding of the potential impacts of life on the organization of topography. This finding also emphasizes the critical role of climate in catchment development. We suggest that climatic fluctuations that are capable of replacing vegetation communities could lead to highly amplified hydrological and geomorphic responses.

  20. 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...

  1. Volcanic-sedimentary features in the Serra Geral Fm., Paraná Basin, southern Brazil: Examples of dynamic lava-sediment interactions in an arid setting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petry, Karla; Jerram, Dougal A.; de Almeida, Delia del Pilar M.; Zerfass, Henrique

    2007-01-01

    The formation of volcanic-sedimentary interaction features in extreme arid environments is not a commonly described process. Specifically the occurrence of dynamically mixed sediments and juvenile igneous clasts as peperites, for water has been considered one major important factor in the processes of magma dismantling and mingling with unconsolidated sediment to form such deposits. The study area, located in south Brazil, shows a sequence of lava flows and intertrapic sandstone layers from the Paraná Basin, associated with the formation of clastic dykes, flow striations, peperite and 'peperite-like' breccias. Four processes are suggested for the genesis of the peperites: (a) fragmentation of the flow front and base; (b) sand injection; (c) dune collapse; (d) magma cascade downhill. The continued flow of a lava, while its outer crust is already cooling, causes it to break, especially in the front and base, fragments falling in the sand and getting mixed with it, generating the flow front 'peperite-like' breccia. The weight of the lava flow associated to shear stress at the base cause sand to be injected inwards the flow, forming injection clastic dykes in the cooled parts and injection peperite in the more plastic portions. The lava flow may partially erode the dune, causing the dune to collapse and forming the collapse 'peperite-like' breccia. The shear stress at the base of a flowing lava striates the unconsolidated sand, forming the flow striations. The sand that migrates over a cooled, jointed lava flow may get caught in the cavities and joints, forming the filling clastic dykes. These deposits are analogous to those found in the Etendeka, NW Namibia, and show that sediment-lava interactions in arid settings are widespread throughout the Paraná-Etendeka province during the onset of flood volcanism.

  2. Indication of Stable Isotope Composition on the Process of Oasification and Desertification in Arid Regions: A Case Study in the Heihe River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, J. Y.; Zeng, Q.

    2014-12-01

    Oasification and desertification are the two main land surface processes contrarily correlated with each other in arid regions. It is useful for environmental indication research to clarify the relationship between plants and environment under the oasification and desertification processes in arid regions. In the Heihe River basin, the most representative areas of oasification and desertification in China, we carried out a study to test whether or not we can use plant and soil stable isotope signature as an indicator of changes in key land surface process. Stable carbon (?13C) of plant leaves, hydrogen (?D) and oxygen (?18O) isotopes of plant stem water and potential water sources were analyzed to investigate the water use efficiency (WUE) and water sources of different plant species in three typical habitats (oasis, oasis-desert transitional zone, desert). The results suggest that plants in the desert habitat tended to use water from deeper soil layer (>160 cm). In the oasis-desert transitional zone, Artimisia arenaria and Calligonum mongolicum were likely used water mainly from the soil layer about 20-40 cm in depth, Haloxylon ammodendron utilized water primarily from 60-80 cm in depth, Hedysarum scoparium may use water from soil layer about 100 cm in depth and Tamarix ramosissima obtained its water from deeper soil layer(>120 cm). Plants in the oasis habitat used soil water mainly from 0 to 100 cm soil layers. Calamagrostis pseudophragmites used water about 20 cm in depth, Zea mays extracted soil water from the depth of 20-40 cm, and Tamarix ramosissima and Populus simonii obtained soil water about 60 cm in depth. The ?13C values of C3 plants in each habitat differed significantly. In the oasis zone, WUE of shrubs were more positive than this of grass, which were similar to the conclusions of the previous studies. Among the three habitats, plants in oasis-desert transitional zone had the most positive ?13C values whereas plants in oasis area had the most negative values. This pattern may have resulted from soil texture, soil water content and plant water sources differences among the habitats. Overall, the results of our study illustrated that plant and soil isotope composition are useful for the indication of the processes of oasification and desertification in arid regions.

  3. Alluvial Fan in Icaria Planum, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korteniemi, J.; Raitala, J.; Aittola, M.; Kostama, V.; Hauber, E.; Kronberg, P.; Neukum, G.; HRSC Co-I Team

    2005-12-01

    The Mars Express HRSC data were used to study fluvial history of southern Claritas on Mars (1, 2). Volatiles, transported downslope to the basin, breached through a saddle valley and formed a channel towards Icaria Planum in the west. Along the channel, sapping provided additional water. The channel broke into a 30-km impact crater and formed a temporary lake. The crater rim has terraces and the floor has smooth deposits. A delta was formed in a standing water. After breaching the crater rim through a neck which is higher than the crater floor, water deposited onto Icaria Planum an alluvial fan. This fan was studied using the HRSC colour data by mapping deposit units of the Icaria lowlands in front of the channel. The flood deposits were made visible by the multichannel HRSC data classification. The alluvial structures reflect topography and regional slopes as well as the amount of available water. The hi-resolution HRSC image provides an additional view into the alluvial structures, erosion and sedimentation in the channel formation. These remote sensing approaches facilitate the mapping of characteristic phases in the fluvial development of the area studied. References. (1) Raitala et al., 2005. LPS XXXVI, #1307. (2) Korteniemi, J., Raitala, J., Aittola, M., Kostama V.-P., Hauber E., Kronberg P., Neukum G. and the HRSC Co-I Team, 2005. Fluvial channel resulted in alluvial fan formation in Icaria Planum, Mars. Submitted to 42nd Vernadsky-Brown Microsymposium, Moscow 9-12. 10. 2005.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    2015-12-01

    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

  6. Using cosmogenic nuclides to contrast rates of erosion and sediment yield in a semi-arid, arroyo-dominated landscape, Rio Puerco Basin, New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bierman, P.R.; Reuter, J.M.; Pavich, M.; Gellis, A.C.; Caffee, M.W.; Larsen, J.

    2005-01-01

    Analysis of in-situ-produced 10Be and 26Al in 52 fluvial sediment samples shows that millennial-scale rates of erosion vary widely (7 to 366 m Ma-1) through the lithologically and topographically complex Rio Puerco Basin of northern New Mexico. Using isotopic analysis of both headwater and downstream samples, we determined that the semi-arid, Rio Puerco Basin is eroding, on average, about 100 m Ma-1. This rapid rate of erosion is consistent with estimates made using other techniques and is likely to result from a combination of easily eroded lithologies, sparse vegetation, and monsoon-dominated rainfall. Data from 331 stream water samples collected by the US Geological Survey between 1960 and 1995 are consistent with basin-wide, average chemical denudation rates of only about 1??4 m Ma-1; thus, the erosion rates we calculate may be considered rates of sediment generation because physical weathering accounts for almost 99 per cent of mass loss. The isotopic data reveal that sediment is generally well mixed downstream with the area-weighted average sediment generation rate for 16 headwater samples (234 ton km-2 a-1 for basin area 170 to 1169 km2) matching well that estimated from a single sample collected far downstream (238 ton km-2 a-1, basin area = 14 225 km2). A series of 15 samples, collected from an arroyo wall and representing deposition through the late Holocene, indicates that 10Be concentration in sediment delivered by the fluvial system has not changed appreciably over the last 1200 years despite at least two cycles of arroyo cutting and filling. Other samples (n = 21) were collected along the drainage network. Rio Puerco erosion rates scale directly with a variety of metrics describing vegetation, precipitation, and rock erodibility. Using the headwater basins for calibration, the erosion rates for both the downstream samples and also the data set as a whole, are best modelled by considering a combination of relief and vegetation metrics, both of which co-vary with precipitation and erodibility as inferred from lithology. On average, contemporary sediment yields, determined by monitoring suspended-sediment discharge, exceed cosmogenically determined millennial-scale erosion rates by nearly a factor of two. This discrepancy, between short-term rates of sediment yield and long-term rates of erosion, suggests that more sediment is currently being exported from the basin than is being produced. Because the failure of incised channel walls and the head cutting of arroyo complexes appear to be the main sources of channel sediment today, this incongruence between rates of sediment supply and sediment yield is likely to be transitory, reflecting the current states of the arroyo cycle and perhaps the influence of current or past land-use patterns. Copyright ?? 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Phosphorous concentration, solubility and species in the groundwater in a semi-arid basin, southern Malayer, western Iran

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jalali, Mohsen

    2009-05-01

    In areas of intensive crop production, continual phosphorous (P) applications as P fertilizer and farmyard manure have been made at levels exceeding crop requirement. As a result, surface soil accumulations of P have occurred to such an extent that loss of P in surface runoff and a high risk for P transfer into groundwater in concentrations exceeding the groundwater quality standard has become a priority management concern. Phosphorous content of groundwater was determined in order to examine dissolved P concentration and species in the groundwater and mineral solubilitiy in a semi-arid region of southern Malayer, western Iran. The speciation for P in groundwater was calculated using geochemical speciation model PHREEQC. The concentration of total P in the groundwater (0.01-2.56 mg P l-1) and estimated concentrations of HPO4 2- (49.5-89%), H2PO4 - (1.5-17.3%), CaHPO4 + (5.7-36.1%), and CaPO4 - (1.4-12.2%) varied considerably amongst the groundwater. Results suggest that the concentration of P in the groundwater could be primarily controlled by the solubility of octacalcium phosphate and ?-tricalcium phosphate. Large amounts of P fertilizer, inadequate management of P fertilization, and low irrigation efficiency, coupled with sandy soils in some parts of the study area could be mainly responsible for the greater P in the groundwater. In general, the greater the dissolved P concentration in the groundwater, the closer the solution was to equilibrium with respect to the more soluble Ca-phosphate minerals. The groundwater P content could be potentially used to identify areas where management approaches, such as P applied and crop type planted, could be adjusted to different types of soils, geology and topography.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Temporal variations of atmospheric water vapor ?D and ?18O 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 ?D, ?18O, 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 ?D, ?18O, 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), ?D, ?18O, 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 ?D and ?18O increased slowly and then decreased, whereas the monthly d showed a steady decrease. ?D, ?18O, and d exhibited a marked diurnal cycle, indicating the influence of the entrainment, local evapotranspiration (ET), and dewfall. The departures of ?D, ?18O, 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. ?D and ?18O 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 ?D and ?18O, with isofluxes of 102.5 and 23.50mmolm-2 s-1‰, respectively. However, the dominated effect of entrainment still decreased ?D and ?18O by 10.1 and 2.24‰, respectively. Both of the local ET and entrainment exerted a positive forcing on the diurnal variability in d.

  13. Master1RservoirsGologiquesDynamiquedesBassins-MichelSranne South Pyrenean foreland basin

    E-print Network

    Cattin, Rodolphe

    Basinal Turbidites Delta Alluvial fans South Pyrenean Foreland Basin M1 - Field trip (April) North South-fluvial Alluvial fans Facies distribution migrates with time Time-line Facies distribution = landscapeGéologiquesDynamiquedesBassins-MichelSéranne Facies distribution Alluvial fans Western USA foreland basin, restored in Cretaceous time Fluvial deltaic

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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 ?18O and ?13C 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. Integration of channel and floodplain suites. I. Developmental sequence and lateral relations of alluvial paleosols.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bown, T.M.; Kraus, M.J.

    1987-01-01

    The lower Eocene Willwood Formation of the Bighorn Basin, northwest Wyoming, consists of about 770 m of alluvial rocks that exhibit extensive mechanical and geochemical modifications resulting from Eocene pedogenesis. Five arbitrary stages are proposed to distinguish these soils of different maturities in the Willwood Formation. An inverse relationship exists between soil maturity and short-term sediment accumulation rate. Illustrates several important principles of soil-sediment interrelationships in aggrading alluvial systems that have broad application to other deposits.-from Authors

  5. Spatio-temporal variations of precipitation in arid and semiarid regions of China: The Yellow River basin as a case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Qiang; Peng, Juntai; Singh, Vijay P.; Li, Jianfeng; Chen, Yongqin David

    2014-03-01

    Daily precipitation data from 64 precipitation gauging stations within the Yellow River basin were analyzed by defining 17 precipitation indices with the aim to investigate space and time changes in precipitation characteristics. The modified Mann-Kendall trend test method was used to detect trends in the precipitation series. The influence of Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) on the basin precipitation was also investigated. Results indicate that: (1) the Yellow River basin is dominated by decreasing precipitation and precipitation deficit may further deteriorate the shortage of water resources. The middle Yellow River basin may encounter increasingly serious shortage of water resources and higher risk of floods would be expected in the lower Yellow River basin; (2) a higher risk of droughts can be expected in spring and autumn and precipitation in winter is increasing, which imply evident seasonality and seasonal shifts of precipitation changes within the basin; (3) short-duration consecutive precipitation events are prevalent in the basin and frequency and amount of short-duration consecutive precipitation events are increasing; (4) precipitation extremes are not dominant in the Yellow River basin, except for some regions in the North China Plain and rainstorm events are generally decreasing; and (5) no evident impact of IPO on the precipitation in the Yellow River basin is found. In this case, precipitation deficit would be a major problem the basin-scale water resources management may face in the future.

  6. 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 (37°S/178°E) 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.

  7. Dating intramontane alluvial deposits from NW Argentina using luminescence techniques: Problems and potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spencer, Joel Q. G.; Robinson, Ruth A. J.

    2008-01-01

    Intramontane basin sediments are an archive of the interaction between basin bounding faults, and alluvial fan and fluvial systems. The chronologies of intramontane basin sedimentation enable an understanding of the cycling of sediments within a basin through time, can be interrogated to identify periods of alluvial storage and erosion, provide rates of sediment accumulation and storage and date fault movement. If suitable dating methods (in terms of resolution and timescale) are applied to develop the chronologies of alluvial archives, it is then possible to discriminate between climate and tectonic forcing mechanisms on long-term basin behaviour. Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of quartz grains from alluvial sediments is an ideal technique for establishing a chronological framework of basin sedimentation as the method directly dates sedimentation events. However, our experience of OSL dating of quartz minerals extracted from Late Quaternary alluvial sequences in the quebradas of the Eastern Cordillera of NW Argentina has presented a number of challenges concerning selection of appropriate facies to analyse, mineral contamination, failure of fundamental protocol tests, proximity to saturation, and broad and multi-modal age distributions. Through careful analysis of the alluvial sedimentology and choice of sampling environments we have been able to locate suitable samples in most vertical sequences studied. A post-infrared-OSL approach demonstrated that contaminant signals were resulting in protocol test failure and, conversely, circumvention of this problem has increased confidence and reliability in the dating results. Assessment of dose-response characteristics suggests that the luminescence for the oldest samples is not likely to be saturated and in turn ages are not considered to be underestimated. Finally, different statistical tests have enabled objective identification of single low-dose populations in complex distributions and confirmed that broad distributions in some samples may be treated as single populations. These statistical approaches have considerably lowered uncertainty on OSL ages and confirmed concordance with other dating evidence.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. LATERAL MIGRATIONLATERAL MIGRATION ALLUVIAL CHANNELSALLUVIAL CHANNELS

    E-print Network

    Julien, Pierre Y.

    (IAHR-JHR, 1996) #12;15 Roaring River Alluvial Fan: Dramatic change in sediment supply Qs since flood1 1 LATERAL MIGRATIONLATERAL MIGRATION ofof ALLUVIAL CHANNELSALLUVIAL CHANNELS Pierre Y.Pierre YArgentina November 2011 #12;2 Objectives Discuss the lateral migration of alluvial channels and provide numerous

  12. 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.

  13. 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

    2015-08-01

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. ForPeerReview Functionally relevant climate variables for arid lands: a

    E-print Network

    Weisberg, Peter J.

    , gradient analysis, Great Basin, mechnistic model, PRISM, species distribution modelling, water balance variables for20 modelling vegetation distribution on arid and semi-arid landscapes of the Great Basin, USA: Dilts, Thomas; University of Nevada Reno, Natural Resources and Environmental Science Weisberg, Peter

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Trend and climatic sensitivity 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.; Jasoni, R. L.

    2015-07-01

    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 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 during 1982-2011. Interestingly, we found that the variation of mean vegetation greenness in the period of March to November (SSA) was not significantly correlated with its mean surface air temperature but was strongly correlated with its total precipitation. Seasonally, 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 played a strong role in extending GSL that in turn resulted in the upward trend in mean vegetation greenness during 1982-2011. Overall, our results suggested 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 30-year upward trend in the magnitudes of mean vegetation greenness in the dryland ecosystems during 1982-2011.

  5. 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 ?(2)H, ?(18)O ratios in precipitation exhibited a local meteoric water line of ?(2)H = 6.4 ?(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

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Avulsion processes at the terminus of low-gradient semi-arid fluvial systems: Lessons from the Río Colorado, Altiplano endorheic basin, Bolivia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donselaar, M. E.; Cuevas Gozalo, M. C.; Moyano, S.

    2013-01-01

    The Río Colorado dryland river system in the southeast of the endorheic Altiplano Basin (Bolivia) terminates on a very flat coastal plain at the edge of the Salar de Uyuni, the world's largest salt pan with an area of ca. 12,500 km2. Since the Pleistocene the basin has experienced several lake expansion and contraction cycles in response to wetter and drier climate periods, respectively. At present the basin is in a dry climate period which results in a lake level lowstand and progradation of fluvial systems such as the Río Colorado onto the former lake bottom. The present field study of the terminus of the Río Colorado shows that the river experiences a gradual downstream decrease of bankfull width and depth. This bankfull decrease is caused by the combined effects of: (1) extremely low gradient of the lake bottom and, hence, loss of flow energy, and (2) downstream transmission losses due to high evaporation potential and river water percolation through the channel floor. Peak water discharge in seasonal, short-duration rain periods causes massive overbank flooding and floodplain inundation. On satellite images the morphology of the river terminus has a divergent pattern and resembles a network of coeval sinuous distributary channels. However, field observations show that only one channel is active at low flow stage, and at high-flow stage an abandoned, partially infilled channel may be active as well. The active channel at its termination splits into narrow and shallow anastomosing streams before its demise on the lacustrine coastal plain. The rest of the channels which form the divergent network are older sediment-filled abandoned sinuous river courses with multiple random avulsion points. These channel deposits, together with extensive amalgamated crevasse-splay deposits, form an intricate network of fluvial sand deposits. Successive stages of progressively deeper crevasse-channel incision into the floodplain are the result of waning-stage return flow of floodwaters towards the main channel. This results in increased crevasse-channel width, depth and length, and redeposition of eroded lacustrine coastal-plain sediment at the junction of the crevasse channel with the present-day river. A sedimentary model is proposed in which deep river bank incision by return flow in crevasse-channels creates the preferential locus for river avulsion. In a Lowstand Systems Tract with little vertical accommodation increase, the recurring avulsed-river paths result in a thin but laterally extensive network of amalgamated channel-fill, point-bar, crevasse-channel and crevasse-splay deposits. The resulting sedimentary architecture could easily be mistaken as produced by a distributary system of simultaneously active fluvial channels.

  12. Observations on Alluvial Fans with Relevance to Recent Sediment Transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

    Steep (slope > 0.01) alluvial fans are widely written about, but there are almost no quantitative field studies of the fluvial channels moving water and sediment across them. For this reason, it is difficult to apply existing mechanistic models of fan evolution (e.g., Parker et al., 1998). It follows that we have little ability to quantitatively predict the effects of regional changes in water flux, sediment supply, or vegetation from ongoing anthropogenic and climatic changes on fans, particularly in arid lands. We have begun a field program to quantify fluvial sediment transport across alluvial fans by measuring the hydraulic geometry and bed texture of channels. The goal of the measurements is to parameterize sediment transport in a way that predicts the observed pattern of slope reduction, often from ~0.07 at fan heads to ~0.02 at downfan margins. In the Mojave Desert of California, we find that alluvial fan channel bankfull depths are largely 0.4-1.0 m at fan heads, decreasing to 0.1-0.2 m at distal fan margins. Contrary to many previous studies, we find that median gravel diameter does not change systematically along the upper 60-80% of active fan channels, and thus downstream gravel fining cannot explain most of the observed channel slope reduction. However, as slope declines, surface sand cover increases systematically downfan from values of <20% above fan heads to distal fan values in excess of 70%. Plots of reach gradient versus sand content from these channels agree with experimental flume data from Ikeda and Iseya (1988) with similar hydraulic geometries, suggesting a general relation where similar loads can be transported at lower slopes because of the role that increased fines play in reducing the threshold for sediment transport. However, our attempts to model this role using reduced nondimensional critical shear stress values at higher sand concentrations (Wilcock & Crowe, 2003) with conventional excess shear stress sediment transport formulas result in underpredictions of the observed downfan slope decline. Although the relation between reach slope and sand cover suggests a strong role for sand cover in reducing fan slope, calculations indicate a strong component of bedload deposition is also necessary to match observed slope patterns. These uncertainties about the relative roles of sediment load and grainsize illustrate that much remains to be understood about alluvial fans before we can predict even first-order responses to climatic or anthropogenic change.

  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. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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 ?18O and relatively high ?13C 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perunovi?, Tamara; Jovan?i?evi?, Branimir; Br?eski, Ilija; Šajnovi?, Aleksandra; Stojanovi?, Ksenija; Simi?, 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.

  1. Late Permian to Middle Triassic correlations and palaeogeographical reconstructions in south-western European basins: New sedimentological data from Minorca (Balearic Islands, Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linol, Bastien; Bercovici, Antoine; Bourquin, Sylvie; Diez, José Bienvenido; López-Gómez, José; Broutin, Jean; Durand, Marc; Villanueva-Amadoz, Uxue

    2009-09-01

    Description of sedimentary sections and interpretations of sequence stratigraphic evolution of Permian-Triassic red beds of Minorca, allow a new proposal of palaeoenvironment reconstructions. The Permian sediments mainly correspond to floodplain and pond deposits with sheetflood sand-bed rivers (environment DE 1), within a warm and semi-arid climate, and the preserved succession forms one complete stratigraphic cycle. The retrogradational phase of this cycle is represented by alluvial/colluvial deposits grading upwards to environment DE 1 and to extensive floodplain and pond deposits. The progradational phase is characterized by increasing fluvial influence (with palaeocurrent mainly oriented to the SW), palaeosol horizons, and preservation of a Late Permian palynoflora. The uppermost part of this succession is truncated by a major erosional surface. The sediments above this unconformity are characterized by braided river deposits (environment DE 2) with palaeocurrent oriented to the SSW within the more basal conglomeratic facies and to the WNW in overlying units. The absence of extensive floodplain deposits, a paucity of evidence for biogenic activity and palaeosols, together with the presence of ventifacts indicate an arid climatic setting for the succession. This environment evolved from braided rivers (palaeocurrents mainly oriented to the SE, environment DE 3) with in situ palaeosols and reworked breccias to fluvial-coastal and shallow marine deposits (environment DE 4) dated as upper Anisian to Ladinian. This succession characterizes a retrogradational trend. Although the transition between DE 2 and DE 3 was not observed, a switch in palaeocurrent directions may indicate a change in source area. A comparison at a regional scale with other Peri-Tethyan basins allows the succession to be placed within a broader palaeoenvironmental and stratigraphic context during Late Permian to Middle Triassic. During the Late Permian, sedimentation occurred in alluvial, playa-lake or ponded environments where fluvial systems generally flowed southward, except in south-eastern France (oriented to the NE). Within these SW European basins, such as Minorca, the Late Permian succession shows a major retrogradational (evolution from fluvial or alluvial fan deposits to extensive lake, playa or floodplain deposits) and a progradational trend (fluvial or alluvial fan deposits). The Permian-Triassic transition corresponds to an unconformity overlain by braided river deposits with arid climate indicators (aeolian deposits: ventifacts and aeolian dune sedimentation). At the scale of western Europe, this arid episode is dated as Smithian and the Induan age sedimentation deposits seem to be preserved only in the central part of the Germanic Basin. As with all other Peri-Tethyan basins, environment DE 2 of Minorca (above the major erosional surface) is attributed to the Smithian. In the upper part of the studied succession, braided river deposits indicative of less arid climatic conditions are preserved. This succession contains the earliest Mesozoic palaeosols, dated as Anisian by palynomorphs, and expresses a vertical evolution from fluvial to open marine depositional environments attributed to the Muschelkalk transgression.

  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. Late Miocene to Plio-Pleistocene fluvio-lacustrine system in the Karacasu Basin (SW Anatolia, Turkey): Depositional, paleogeographic and paleoclimatic implications

    E-print Network

    Jiménez-Moreno, Gonzalo

    evolution. Sedimentation commenced in the late Miocene with the deposition of proximal­medial alluvial fan and fluvial fa- cies (Damdere Formation; FA1). At this stage, alluvial fans developed in elevated areas and local alluvial fans. The basin was progressively incised by modern rivers that have largely smoothed out

  4. 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 ba

  5. 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.

  6. Sedimentology and stratigraphy of Cenozoic deposits in the Ka??zman-Tuzluca Basin, northeastern Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varol, Baki; ?en, ?evket; Ayy?ld?z, Turhan; Sözeri, Koray; Karaka?, Zehra; Métais, Grégoire

    2015-06-01

    The Ka??zman-Tuzluca Basin is located in the northeastern Anatolia, to the east of the intersection point (near Karl?ova) 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 (Ka?an 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 (Hal?k??lak and K?z?lkaya 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.

  7. SEDIMENTOLOGY AND GEOMORPHOLOGY OF QUATERNARY ALLUVIAL FANS WITH IMPLICATIONS TO GROWTH STRATA, LOST RIVER RANGE,

    E-print Network

    Dyer, Bill

    SEDIMENTOLOGY AND GEOMORPHOLOGY OF QUATERNARY ALLUVIAL FANS WITH IMPLICATIONS TO GROWTH STRATA......................................................................................14 5. UPPER CEDAR CREEK ALLUVIAL FAN.............................................. 19 Surface 6. JONES CREEK ALLUVIAL FAN......................................................... 67 Surface

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. Detection and Mapping of Sedimentary Features on Alluvial Fans Using High-Resolution Overhead Thermal Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hardgrove, C. J.; Moersch, J. E.; Whisner, S.

    2008-12-01

    In this study we evaluate the utility of thermal imagery for revealing geomorphic features and evidence of sedimentary processes on the surfaces of alluvial fans. Prior studies of alluvial fans have made extensive use of visible imagery and traditional field-based mapping techniques to identify surface geomorphic features and sedimentary processes. Here we present a comparison of features mapped using thermal images acquired from the ground, a light aircraft (altitude ~5000 ft, resolution ~2 m/pixel) and ASTER satellite imagery (resolution 90 m/pixel), to a preexisting ground-based map of features on an example alluvial fan in Owens Valley, California. Thermal images from a light aircraft were acquired at several times of day to determine how the surface temperatures of the alluvial fan rise and fall throughout a diurnal cycle. We have also acquired thermal images of the same fan from the ground at 5 minute intervals over the course of a full diurnal cycle. ASTER thermal data also covers the Owens Valley, and was used to determine if this technique can be used from orbit at significantly lower resolution (90 m/pixel). In an arid climate with low vegetation cover, the temperature of a surface at any given time of day is a complex function of many parameters, including slope, azimuth, composition, degree of induration, and grain size. By analyzing the temperatures on the surface of an alluvial fan with comparable slopes, azimuth, and composition, we make estimates of the relative particle size or degree of induration. We utilize the fact that several sedimentary processes acting on the surface of alluvial fans sort particles by size. For example, both debris flow and channelized flow processes can form linear features of large and small clasts. Therefore, thermal imagery could be expected to reveal evidence of these processes at the surfaces of alluvial fans in the form of spatial patterns of surface thermal properties. Process-related sedimentary features, such as clast-rich and clast-poor debris flows, debris-flow levees, and the change in particle size at the toe of the fan are all clearly revealed in the aerial thermal images of the Dolomite Fan in Owens Valley, California. The locations of these features in the thermal imagery match the locations of the features as mapped using traditional ground-based field sedimentology techniques by Blair and McPherson (1998). All debris flows that are exposed at the fan surface are evident in the aerial thermal imagery, including those that have been heavily weathered and are difficult to observe in visible aerial or orbital imagery. ASTER satellite thermal image data does not show the same sedimentary features as our aerial thermal images, presumably due to the significantly poorer spatial resolution of the satellite data. Our aerial thermal imagery suggests that higher resolution satellite data from a future satellite experiment could be used to detect sedimentary processes on alluvial fans anywhere on Earth. High resolution thermal imagery from above can be used to provide preliminary reconnaissance of an alluvial fan, suggest what processes have most recently acted on the surface of the fan, and to prioritize sites for detailed study on the ground. Future work will expand our database of alluvial fans and the list of process-related surface features that can be identified with thermal imagery.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Geospatial Data to Support Analysis of Water-Quality Conditions in Basin-Fill Aquifers in the Southwestern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McKinney, Tim S.; Anning, David W.

    2009-01-01

    The Southwest Principal Aquifers study area consists of most of California and Nevada and parts of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado; it is about 409,000 square miles. The Basin-fill aquifers extend through about 201,000 square miles of the study area and are the primary source of water for cities and agricultural communities in basins in the arid and semiarid southwestern United States (Southwest). The demand on limited ground-water resources in areas in the southwestern United States has increased significantly. This increased demand underscores the importance of understanding factors that affect the water quality in basin-fill aquifers in the region, which are being studied through the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program. As a part of this study, spatial datasets of natural and anthropogenic factors that may affect ground-water quality of the basin-fill aquifers in the southwestern United States were developed. These data include physical characteristics of the region, such as geology, elevation, and precipitation, as well as anthropogenic factors, including population, land use, and water use. Spatial statistics for the alluvial basins in the Southwest have been calculated using the datasets. This information provides a foundation for the development of conceptual and statistical models that relate natural and anthropogenic factors to ground-water quality across the Southwest. A geographic information system (GIS) was used to determine and illustrate the spatial distribution of these basin-fill variables across the region. One hundred-meter resolution raster data layers that represent the spatial characteristics of the basins' boundaries, drainage areas, population densities, land use, and water use were developed for the entire Southwest.

  15. Cosmogenic 10 Cl geochronology of offset alluvial fans

    E-print Network

    Frankel, Kurt L.

    Cosmogenic 10 Be and 36 Cl geochronology of offset alluvial fans along the northern Death Valley alluvial fan, which exposes clean dextral offsets of seven channels. Analysis of airborne laser swath Be and 36 Cl geochronology of offset alluvial fans along the northern Death Valley fault zone: Implications

  16. Morphodynamic equilibrium of alluvial estuaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tambroni, Nicoletta; Bolla Pittaluga, Michele; Canestrelli, Alberto; Lanzoni, Stefano; Seminara, Giovanni

    2014-05-01

    The evolution of the longitudinal bed profile of an estuary, with given plan-form configuration, subject to given tidal forcing at the mouth and prescribed values of water and sediment supply from the river is investigated numerically. Our main goal is to ascertain whether, starting from some initial condition, the bed evolution tends to reach a unique equilibrium configuration asymptotically in time. Also, we investigate the morphological response of an alluvial estuary to changes in the tidal range and hydrologic forcing (flow and sediment supply). Finally, the solution helps characterizing the transition between the fluvially dominated region and the tidally dominated region of the estuary. All these issues play an important role also in interpreting how the facies changes along the estuary, thus helping to make correct paleo-environmental and sequence-stratigraphic interpretations of sedimentary successions (Dalrymple and Choi, 2007). Results show that the model is able to describe a wide class of settings ranging from tidally dominated estuaries to fluvially dominated estuaries. In the latter case, the solution is found to compare satisfactory with the analytical asymptotic solution recently derived by Seminara et al. (2012), under the hypothesis of fairly 'small' tidal oscillations. Simulations indicate that the system always moves toward an equilibrium configuration in which the net sediment flux in a tidal cycle is constant throughout the estuary and equal to the constant sediment flux discharged from the river. For constant width, the bed equilibrium profile of the estuarine channel is characterized by two distinct regions: a steeper reach seaward, dominated by the tide, and a less steep upstream reach, dominated by the river and characterized by the undisturbed bed slope. Although the latter reach, at equilibrium, is not directly affected by the tidal wave, however starting from an initial uniform stream with the constant 'fluvial' slope, the final equilibrium state is reached through an erosional wave, which leads to bed degradation of the upstream 'fluvial reach'. For a given river discharge, the length of the tidal reach increases quite rapidly with tidal amplitude, up to some threshold value of the tidal amplitude above which the length of the estuary becomes comparable with the length of the tidal wave. When the channel plan-form is convergent, deposition of sediments of fluvial origin in the funnel-shaped region drastically changes the equilibrium configuration. The effect of an increasing channel convergence is thus to induce bed aggradation close to the inlet. Nevertheless, tidal forcing only slightly changes the non-tidal profile. The effect of increasing tidal oscillations again leads to an increase of the bed slope at the inlet and to a general bed degradation upstream. The effects of varying sediment supply, flow discharge and river width in the upstream reach have also been investigated and play an important role. Further geomorphological implications of these results will be discussed at the meeting. References Dalrymple, R. W., and K. Choi (2007), Morphologic and facies trends through the fluvialmarine transition in tide-dominated depositional systems: A schematic framework for environmental and sequence-stratigraphic interpretation, Earth-Science Reviews, 81(3-4), 135-174, doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2006.10.002. Seminara, G., M. Bolla Pittaluga, and N. Tambroni (2012), Morphodynamic equilibrium of tidal channels, Environmental Fluid Mechanics: Memorial Volume in Honour of Prof. Gerhard H. Jirka, 153-174

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. INTRODUCTION River courses, alluvial fans, shorelines, and

    E-print Network

    Lacassin, Robin

    INTRODUCTION River courses, alluvial fans, shorelines, and glacial valleys are geomorphological markers that can record offset along active strike-slip faults. Of these markers, rivers are the most- cult. This is because the magnitude of offset of any particular river course depends on the age

  20. Alluvial Fan, Rocky Mountain National Park

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    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...

  1. 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.

  2. How Ewald Oldekop discovered the discharge-aridity relationship

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andréassian, Vazken; Mander, Ulo

    2015-04-01

    The recent years have seen a renewed interest in the use of simple mathematical relationships relating streamflow to aridity. Similar or identical formulas have been proposed independently in different places of the world. We wish here to revisit the precursor work of Ewald Oldekop (1911) who was the first to understand the interest of using the aridity index in his formula relating streamflow to precipitation and evapotranspiration. References Oldekop, E. M. (1911), On the evaporation from the surface of river basins, Trans. Meteorol. Obs. Univ. Tartu, 4, 200.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Laboratory alluvial fans in one dimension.

    PubMed

    Guerit, L; Métivier, 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Hydrologic processes and geomorphic constraints on urbanization of alluvial fan slopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schick, A. P.; Grodek, T.; Wolman, M. G.

    1999-12-01

    The natural array of processes conveying water and sediment from arid mountain catchments, through alluvial fans, into the base level below is affected by human intervention to an extent unknown until a few years ago. Previously permeable fan terrain has now been replaced by paved impermeable surfaces whose drainage becomes problematic. This problem is intensified with the growth of the town and its building density, particularly vis a vis the smaller catchments. The high sediment yields, with typically predominant bed material components that are supplied by steep catchments, create situations difficult to manage in terms of effective economical and environmentally sensitive criteria. Within the context of the general inadequacy of structural attempts to fully control the floods emanating onto an alluvial fan, a case can be made for exercising the option of local, low-key engineering intervention in protecting fan settlements. Several aspects of the considerations involved are illustrated by examples from the town of Eilat, Southern Negev Desert, Israel, a dynamically developing international tourist resort.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Predicting changes in hydrologic retention in an evolving semi-arid alluvial stream

    E-print Network

    retention factor (Rh), a measure of the average time that solute spends in storage per unit length. To learn more about factors affecting hydrologic retention, we repeated stream-tracer injections for 5 Creek was more accurately predicted when measurements of the Darcy­Weisbach friction factor were used

  16. 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.

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

    2015-02-01

    The 1-D saltation-abrasion model of channel bedrock incision of Sklar and Dietrich (2004), 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 to unphysical consequences. Here we present a unified morphodynamic formulation of both channel incision and alluviation that specifically tracks the spatiotemporal variation in both bedload transport and alluvial thickness. It does so by relating the bedrock cover fraction to the ratio of alluvium thickness to bedrock macro-roughness, rather than to the ratio of bedload supply rate to capacity bedload transport. The new formulation (MRSAA) 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, thus 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 tectonically more complex case of rock uplift subject to a localized zone of subsidence (graben) yields a steady-state solution that is not attainable 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 progressively buried not far below the alluvium. Because the model tracks the spatiotemporal variation in 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.

  1. Mapping Quaternary Alluvial Fans in the Southwestern United States based on Multi-Parameter Surface Roughness of LiDAR Topographic Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Regmi, N. R.; McDonald, E.; Bacon, S. N.

    2012-12-01

    Quaternary alluvial fans, common landforms in hyper- to semi-arid regions, have diverse surface morphology, desert varnish accumulation, clasts rubification, desert pavement formation, soil development, and soil stratigraphy. Their age and surface topographic expression vary greatly within a single fan between adjacent fans. Numerous studies have demonstrated that the surface expression and morphometry of alluvial fans can be used as an indicator of their relative age of deposition, but only recently has there been an effort to utilize high resolution topographic data to differentiate alluvial fans with automated and quantifiable routines We developed a quantitative model for mapping the relative age of alluvial fan surfaces based on a multi-parameter surface roughness computed from 1-meter resolution LiDAR topographic data. Roughness is defined as a function of scale of observation and the integration of slope, curvature (tangential), and aspect topographic parameters. Alluvial fan roughness values were computed across multiple observation scales (3m×3m to 150m×150m moving observation windows) based on the standard deviation (STD) of slope, curvature, and aspect. Plots of roughness value versus size of observation scale suggest that the STD of each of the three topographic parameters at 7m×7m observation window best identified the signature of surface roughness elements. Roughness maps derived from the slope, curvature, and aspect at this scale were integrated using fuzzy logic operators (fuzzy OR and fuzzy gamma). The integrated roughness map was then classified into five relative morpho-stratigraphic surface age categories (active wash to ~400 ka) and statistically compared with a similar five-fold surface age map of alluvial fans developed using traditional field surveys and aerial photo interpretation. The model correctly predicted the distribution and relative surface age of ~61% of the observed alluvial fan map. The results of the multi-parameter model imply that the first order roughness elements of alluvial fan surfaces have the average wavelength of 7m, and the roughness contributed by these elements decreases with the age of alluvial fans.

  2. Paleoenvironmental clues archived in non-marine Pennsylvanianlower Permian limestones of the Central Appalachian Basin, USA

    E-print Network

    Montañez, Isabel Patricia

    are developed in the upper portions of the limestones, record subaerial exposure, pedogenic alteration a seasonally dry subhumid to semi-arid regional climate. Many of the sedimentologic and diage- netic features- plexes that developed on distal regions of a low-gradient, distal alluvial plain under seasonally dry

  3. The Jornada Basin long term ecological research program

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chihuahuan Desert landscapes exemplify the ecological conditions, vulnerability, and management challenges in arid and semi-arid regions around the world. The goal of the Jornada Basin Long Term Ecological Research program (JRN LTER) established in 1982 is to understand and quantify the key factors ...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Downstream hydraulic geometry of alluvial rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Julien, P. Y.

    2015-03-01

    This article presents a three-level approach to the analysis of downstream hydraulic geometry. First, empirical concepts based on field observations of "poised" conditions in irrigation canals are examined. Second, theoretical developments have been made possible by combining basic relationships for the description of flow and sediment transport in alluvial rivers. Third, a relatively new concept of equivalent channel widths is presented. The assumption of equilibrium may describe a perpetual state of change and adjustments. The new concepts define the trade-offs between some hydraulic geometry parameters such as width and slope. The adjustment of river widths and slope typically follows a decreasing exponential function and recent developments indicate how the adjustment time scale can be quantified. Some examples are also presented to illustrate the new concepts presented and the realm of complex river systems.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Mass balance from alluvial fan isopachs: a case study from the Chinese Tian Shan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

    Continental surfaces are incessantly reworked through erosion and sedimentation. Markers of erosion within drainage areas are often scarce and temporary, but at the outlet of mountain belts, more continuous and perennial records of deposition can be found in alluvial fans. These fans are constructed by the deposition through time of the coarse part of sediments transported by rivers. Volume of sediments trapped in alluvial fans can then be used in order to reconstruct sediment fluxes coming out from their catchment areas and the associated erosion rates. Quantifying such erosion rates is of great interest for the study of mass transfer. It is also necessary to understand relief dynamics, as well as the influence of tectonic and climate on this dynamics. We propose here a complete method to estimate erosion fluxes from alluvial fans in a specific area, the northern piedmont of the Tian Shan in China. Along the piedmont of this range, series of fans of different ages are clearly identified. In particular, abandoned fans (which were active before 10 000 years ago) are well preserved in the landscape, and easily identifiable on satellite images. These fans have been deeply incised during the last deglaciation (about 10 000 years ago), and therefore, their basal surface can be observed. In this specific area, it is then possible to obtain field constraints on the real fan thickness. First, we draw a morpho-sedimentary map of the fans and their drainage basins. Then, we went on the field to estimate the fan thickness wherever it is possible. Finally, based on this data set, and on geometrical considerations, we built isopach maps of the fans and calculate their volumes. These 3D reconstructions can then be compared to the geometrical relationships classically used to assess alluvial fan volumes from their upper surface only. Erosion rates of ten drainage basins can be derived from these volumes, allowing a sink to source investigation, for the period of fan activity. In north Tian Shan, these erosion rates can be compared with other values calculated from bedload measurements and cosmogenic data, providing thus an opportunity to discuss results coming from different methods

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. The Role of Climatic Change in Alluvial Fan Development Ronald I. Dorn

    E-print Network

    Dorn, Ron

    Chapter 24 The Role of Climatic Change in Alluvial Fan Development Ronald I. Dorn The Persistence of Climatic Change in Alluvial-Fan Studies Alluvial fans develop at the base of drainages where feeder, often blur the fan-shape resulting in a merged bajada. Alluvial fans can be found in almost all

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. A landscape-scale study of land use and parent material effects on soil organic carbon and total nitrogen in the Konya Basin, Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayes, M. T.; Marin-Spiotta, E.; Ozdogan, M.; Erdogan, M. A.

    2011-12-01

    In ecosystems where intensive farming and grazing have been occurring for millennia, there is poor understanding of how present-day soil biogeochemical properties relate to factors associated with soil parent materials (e.g. texture, mineralogy), and the net effects of long-term land use practices. Soil organic carbon (SOC) and total soil nitrogen (TN) are important for their roles in maintaining soil structure, moisture, fertility and contributing to carbon sequestration. Our research used a state factor approach (Jenny 1981) to study effects of soil parent materials and land use practices on SOC, TN, and other properties across thirty-five sites in the Konya Basin, an arid region in south-central Turkey farmed and grazed for over 8,000 years. This project is one of the first to study land use impacts on soils at a landscape scale (500 km2) in south-central Turkey, and incorporate geospatial data (e.g. a satellite imagery-derived land cover map we developed) to aid selection of field sites. Focusing on the plough layer (0-25cm) in two depth intervals, we compared effects of agriculture, orchard cultivation and grazing land use practices and clay-loam alluvial, sandy-loam volcanic and lacustrine clay soils on soil properties using standard least squares regression analyses. SOC and TN depended strongly on parent materials, but not on land use. Averaged across both depth intervals, alluvial soil SOC and TN concentrations (19.4 ± 1.32 Mg/ha SOC, 2.86 ± 1.23 Mg/ha TN) were higher and significantly different than lacustrine (9.72 ± 3.01 Mg/ha SOC, 1.57 ± 0.69 Mg/ha TN) and volcanic soil concentrations (7.40 ± 1.72 Mg/ha SOC, 1.02 ± 0.35 Mg/ha TN). Land use significantly affected SOC and TN on alluvial soils, but not on volcanic or lacustrine soils. Our results demonstrate the potential for land use to have different effects on different soils in this region. Our data on SOC, TN and other soil properties illustrate patterns in regional SOC and TN variability not shown by previous modeling or soil survey efforts. We provide baseline information on SOC and TN that can inform benchmarks for future soil monitoring and land use planning in an arid region that is likely to be highly impacted by future climatic changes, agricultural intensification and urban development. Our results suggest the importance of accounting for soil physical properties, and land use effects that are dependent on soil parent materials in future efforts to model or account for SOC and TN in similar ancient agricultural landscapes.

  1. Environmental impacts on the hydrology of ephemeral streams and alluvial aquifers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuells, C.; Marx, V.; Bittner, A.; Ellmies, R.; Seely, M.

    2009-04-01

    In arid and semi-arid regions alluvial groundwater resources of ephemeral streams are highly important for water supplies and ecosystems. Recent projects have studied processes of indirect recharge in situ and in detail (Dahan et al., 2008; Klaus et al., 2008). Still, little is known about the vulnerability of these aquifers to environmental impacts like surface dam constructions, land-use changes and climatic conditions as well as the time and type of response to such external impacts. With a catchment size of about 30.000 km² the Swakop River in Namibia is the largest of the country's twelve major ephemeral streams draining westwards into the Atlantic Ocean. The alluvial groundwater resources have been affected by the construction of two major surface water dams in the upper catchment as well as by abstractions for rural water supply, farming and mining downstream of the constructed dams (referred to as lower catchment). The determination of environmental impacts in the Swakop River catchment is difficult due to scarce hydrometric and water quality data. In order to obtain a better understanding of the hydrological system under changing environmental conditions a spatially distributed environmental tracer approach was applied. A longitudinal profile of groundwater samples was taken within a field study along the alluvial aquifer of the Swakop River. The samples were analysed for stable isotopes (18O, 2H), major ions and trace elements as well as for the residence time indicators CFC and SF6. The combined application of groundwater residence time analysis, stable isotope measurements and hydrochemical characterisation was used in order to associate a time scale with groundwater quality data. This method provides dated information on recharge and water quality before and after dam construction and can be used to detect environmental impacts on the hydrological system. CFC-12 analysis resulted in recharge years ranging from 1950 (0.01 pmol/l) to 1992 (1.4 pmol/l). Seven of 14 groundwater samples represent mainly groundwater recharged before or between the construction of surface water dams (1970 and 1978), the remaining samples represent groundwater recharge after dam construction. The groundwater residence time is generally short (recharge mainly after 1980) in the upper catchment and much higher (recharge mainly before 1980 and before dam construction) in the lower part of the catchment. Combining the age and isotope information shows how the surface water dams modified the pattern of groundwater recharge. The lower catchment has been partly cut off from the upper part in terms of indirect groundwater recharge by floods which means that most large floods originating in the headwaters of the Swakop River do not reach the lower alluvial aquifer anymore. The relationship between groundwater age and groundwater constituents helped to define baselines of hydrological properties (origin of water, recharge altitude) and of hydrochemical composition prior to the construction of dams (and other anthropogenic impacts). The well defined relationship between groundwater age and altitude of the river further helps to assess how fast different segments will be affected by these environmental impacts. References Dahan, O., Tatarsky, B., Enzel, Y., Kuells, C., Seely, M., Benito, G. (2008) Dynamics of Flood Water Infiltration and Ground Water Recharge in Hyperarid Desert. Ground Water, Vol. 46, 3. (6-2008), pp. 450-461. Klaus, J., Kuells, C., Dahan, O. (2008): Evaluating the recharge mechanism of the Lower Kuiseb Dune Area using mixing cell modeling and residence time data. Journal of Hydrology, v. 358, p. 304-316.

  2. Kinematic wave model of bed profiles in alluvial channels 

    E-print Network

    Tayfur, Gokmen; Singh, Vijay P.

    2006-06-21

    A mathematical model, based on the kinematic wave (KW) theory, is developed for describing the evolution and movement of bed profiles in alluvial channels. The model employs a functional relation between sediment transport rate and concentration, a...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The “Alluvial Mesovoid Shallow Substratum”, a New Subterranean Habitat

    PubMed Central

    Ortuño, Vicente M.; Gilgado, José D.; Jiménez-Valverde, Alberto; Sendra, Alberto; Pérez-Suárez, Gonzalo; Herrero-Borgoñón, Juan J.

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we describe a new type of subterranean habitat associated with dry watercourses in the Eastern Iberian Peninsula, the “Alluvial Mesovoid Shallow Substratum” (alluvial MSS). Historical observations and data from field sampling specially designed to study MSS fauna in the streambeds of temporary watercourses support the description of this new habitat. To conduct the sampling, 16 subterranean sampling devices were placed in a region of Eastern Spain. The traps were operated for 12 months and temperature and relative humidity data were recorded to characterise the habitat. A large number of species was captured, many of which belonged to the arthropod group, with marked hygrophilous, geophilic, lucifugous and mesothermal habits. In addition, there was also a substantial number of species showing markedly ripicolous traits. The results confirm that the network of spaces which forms in alluvial deposits of temporary watercourses merits the category of habitat, and here we propose the name of “alluvial MSS”. The “alluvial MSS” may be covered or not by a layer of soil, is extremely damp, provides a buffer against above ground temperatures and is aphotic. In addition, compared to other types of MSS, it is a very unstable habitat. It is possible that the “alluvial MSS” may be found in other areas of the world with strongly seasonal climatic regimes, and could play an important role as a biogeographic corridor and as a refuge from climatic changes. PMID:24124544

  6. 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.

  7. Mt. Chambers Creek alluvial fan - a recorder for Late Quaternary flow regime changes along the eastern Flinders Ranges (South Australia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    May, Jan-Hendrik; Larsen, Joshua; Cohen, Timothy; Nanson, Gerald

    2010-05-01

    Climate is a primary control on Late Quaternary alluvial fan evolution and past hydrological changes should be sensitively recorded in alluvial fan stratigraphy. The Flinders Ranges (S Australia) are situated between tropical and extra-tropical (e.g. westerlies) elements of the atmospheric circulation. Numerous alluvial fans constitute the transition between the Flinders Ranges and the large salt lake system of Lake Frome to the east. Along the arid eastern margin of the Flinders Ranges, geomorphology and stratigraphy were investigated at Mt. Chambers Creek alluvial fan (31°S). The fan is connected to a ~380 km2 catchment via the Mt. Chambers gorge, which has incised into the uplifted range front. Upstream of the gorge, manifold exposures along valley fills provide evidence for a generally fining-upward sequence of fluvial gravels and (eolian?) silts, which are topped by thick layers of tufa that have subsequently incised. Downstream of the apex, the alluvial fan surface is characterized by relatively low slopes (~0.5° - 1.5°) and a complex pattern of desert pavements, overlain by several inactive feeder channels and/or floodouts. The modern channel drains into an active floodout approximately 13 km downstream of the fan apex, showing that significant quantities of coarse-grained sediment load do not currently reach the baselevel at Lake Frome. Mt. Chambers Creek has incised several meters into the fan body, exposing extensive outcrops of alluvial fan sediments and paleosols. Generally, the fan stratigraphy can be divided into six different units, each of them bounded by laterally continuous and mostly carbonaceous paleosol horizons. The lowermost four units are dominated by matrix- and clast supported gravels, indicating high-energy events such as hyperconcentrated and debris flows. Along the distal fan, the thickness of these units and grain size generally decreases, locally exposing a sequence of well-developed and buried desert pavements. In combination, these observations imply environmental conditions favourable of increased frequency and/or magnitude during the deposition of units 1-4 under wetter climatic conditions. In contrast, unit 5 consists of silts and carbonatic gravel deposits, containing numerous fragments of well-rounded carbonate nodules, likely indicating the onset of upstream erosion leading to reworking of paleosols and tufa deposits. The uppermost unit 6 is composed of mainly fluvial sands and pebbles and seems to be limited to the distal fan, where it corresponds to the currently observed floodout dynamics. In combination with new radiocarbon and OSL dates (currently in progress), the correlation of downstream alluvial fan stratigraphy and upstream catchment dynamics provides the base for a much more reliable reconstruction of alluvial fan history and flow regime changes over the Late Quaternary. Thereby, our results will provide an important link between existing regional paleoclimatic records from Lake Frome (lake level variations) and the Flinders Ranges (loessic valley fills), eventually helping to decipher the relative roles of the southern westerlies vs. tropical moisture sources over the Late Quaternary.

  8. 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.

  9. Reconnaissance mapping of likely alluvial valley floors in five western states

    SciTech Connect

    Schmidt, J.C.; Nimick, D.A.

    1984-12-01

    Regional mapping of areas which potentially qualify as alluvial valley floors has been conducted under contract to the Office of Surface Mining in important coal fields of west-central North Dakota, central Utah, western Colorado, and the entire Powder River basin. Reconnaissance-level data were collected on the hydrology, geomorphology, and agricultural practices in each study area. Identification of unconsolidated deposits found in valleys was based on interpretation of aerial photography, topographic and geologic maps, and field data. Surface-irrigated sites were mapped based on irrigation surveys and an extensive regional inventory conducted during this project. An analysis of patterns of agricultural practices, physiography, geomorphology, and climate resulted in the designation of broad regions with similar styles of irrigation development. Criteria for assigning irrigation capability were developed for each region based on the irrigation practices and key physical components of the developed drainages. Subirrigated areas were interpreted from Landsat imagery taken during the moisture-stress period of mid- to late summer in five different years. Site-specific data available for small areas were used to calibrate the Landsat interpretation. These maps can be useful for planning and decision-making to regulatory and land management agencies as well as industry and public interest groups; they provide a regional perspective of the different components of alluvial valley floors and guidance regarding environmental concerns specific to each valley.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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 125±9 ka and 94±9 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

  13. 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.

  14. Hydrological Response of Semi-arid Degraded Catchments in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teka, Daniel; Van Wesemael, Bas; Vanacker, Veerle; Hallet, Vincent

    2013-04-01

    To address water scarcity in the arid and semi-arid part of developing countries, accurate estimation of surface runoff is an essential task. In semi-arid catchments runoff data are scarce and therefore runoff estimation using hydrological models becomes an alternative. This research was initiated in order to characterize runoff response of semi-arid catchments in Tigray, North Ethiopia to evaluate SCS-CN for various catchments. Ten sub-catchments were selected in different river basins and rainfall and runoff were measured with automatic hydro-monitoring equipments for 2-3 years. The Curve Number was estimated for each Hydrological Response Unit (HRU) in the sub-catchments and runoff was modeled using the SCS-CN method at ? = 0.05 and ? = 0.20. The result showed a significant difference between the two abstraction ratios (P =0.05, df = 1, n= 132) and reasonable good result was obtained for predicted runoff at ? = 0.05 (NSE = -0.69; PBIAS = 18.1%). When using the CN values from literature runoff was overestimated compared to the measured value (e= -11.53). This research showed the importance of using measured runoff data to characterize semi-arid catchments and accurately estimate the scarce water resource. Key words: Hydrological response, rainfall-runoff, degraded environments, semi-arid, Ethiopia, Tigray

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  18. 75 FR 62137 - Notice of Public Meeting; Proposed Alluvial Valley Floor Coal Exchange Public Interest Factors...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-10-07

    ...Public Meeting; Proposed Alluvial Valley Floor Coal Exchange Public Interest Factors; Montana...to consider a proposal to exchange Federal coal deposits for Alluvial Valley Floor (AVF) fee coal pursuant to the Federal Land Policy and...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Challenges in Arid-Land Meteorology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warner, T. T.

    2005-12-01

    A fundamental challenge in desert meteorology involves quantifying the various components of the water cycle for the coupled land-atmospheric system. Important issues include defining the fraction of precipitated water that actually reaches the ground, and, of the water that does reach the surface, how much is partitioned among evaporation, runoff to reservoirs, retention near the surface in substrates for use by vegetation, and percolation to the water table. Because monsoon rainfall is often a significant source of water in the hydrologic cycle in arid lands, understanding its inter-annual variability and improving its predictability are challenges. In addition, there are questions about how continued anthropogenic modification of the landscape will influence local weather processes and climate, in terms of changes due to agricultural conversion (including reversion away from agriculture as water tables drop), the urban conversion of prairie grassland and desert vegetation to asphalt and trees, and the trans-basin diversion of water. Predicting the elevation from the surface and the transport of natural and anthropogenic aerosols is also important in terms of their affect on the local and global radiation budget and climate, downwind effects on human health, and local and remote cloud processes. Lastly, large substrate and vegetation heterogeneities, frequently very complex orography, and extreme diurnal cycles present challenges in understanding and modeling land-atmosphere interaction and boundary-layer processes.

  3. 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

  4. 44 CFR 65.13 - Mapping and map revisions for areas subject to alluvial fan flooding.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... areas subject to alluvial fan flooding. 65.13 Section 65.13 Emergency Management and Assistance FEDERAL... areas subject to alluvial fan flooding. This section describes the procedures to be followed and the... provides protection from the base flood in an area subject to alluvial fan flooding. This information...

  5. 44 CFR 65.13 - Mapping and map revisions for areas subject to alluvial fan flooding.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... areas subject to alluvial fan flooding. 65.13 Section 65.13 Emergency Management and Assistance FEDERAL... areas subject to alluvial fan flooding. This section describes the procedures to be followed and the... provides protection from the base flood in an area subject to alluvial fan flooding. This information...

  6. Hiatal shell concentrations,sequence analysis, and sealevel history of a Pleistocene coastal alluvial fan,

    E-print Network

    alluvial fan, Punta Chueca, Sonora NANCY BECKVAR AND SUSAN M. KIDWELL LnHAIA Beckvar, Nancy & Kidwell of a Pleistocene coastal alluvial fan, Punta Chueca, Sonora. Lethaia, Vol. 21. pp. 257- 270. Oslo. ISSN 0024 surfaces is possible in the complex, alluvial fan-to-shallow marine transition at Punta Chueca despite

  7. 44 CFR 65.13 - Mapping and map revisions for areas subject to alluvial fan flooding.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... areas subject to alluvial fan flooding. 65.13 Section 65.13 Emergency Management and Assistance FEDERAL... areas subject to alluvial fan flooding. This section describes the procedures to be followed and the... provides protection from the base flood in an area subject to alluvial fan flooding. This information...

  8. 44 CFR 65.13 - Mapping and map revisions for areas subject to alluvial fan flooding.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... areas subject to alluvial fan flooding. 65.13 Section 65.13 Emergency Management and Assistance FEDERAL... areas subject to alluvial fan flooding. This section describes the procedures to be followed and the... provides protection from the base flood in an area subject to alluvial fan flooding. This information...

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

    E-print Network

    Small, Eric

    Spatial patterns of ecohydrologic properties on a hillslope-alluvial fan transect, central New, as well as landform type. On gently sloping alluvial fans, both microtopography and Ksat are high under. Keywords: Spatial patterns; Ecohydrology; Alluvial fans; Bajada; Hillslope; Vegetation; Soil properties 1

  10. Sedimentology of a muddy alluvial deposit: Triassic Denwa Formation, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghosh, Parthasarathi; Sarkar, Soumen; Maulik, Pradip

    2006-09-01

    Triassic Upper Denwa Formation (˜ 380 m) in the Satpura Gondwana basin, central India is a mudstone-dominated fluvial succession that comprises isolated ribbon-shaped (2-5-m-thick) channel-fill bodies encased within fine-grained extra-channel deposits. Eight architectural elements are recognized, of which five belong to channel-fill deposits and the remaining three to extra-channel deposits. Majority of channel-fill deposits are characterized by sandy or muddy inclined heterolithic strata (IHS) that record limited lateral accretion of point bars or benches (constrained by cohesive banks) in mixed- to suspended-load sinuous channels. A few ribbon bodies are mud rich and attest to nearly stagnant conditions in partly abandoned channels. A few single- or multistorey ribbon bodies that are dominantly sandy and lack inclined strata represent deposits of straight, laterally stable channel. The smallest ribbon bodies (˜ 1 m thick) of calcirudite/calcarenite possibly represent deposits of secondary channels in the interfluves. Coexistence of channel-fill bodies of different dimension, lithology and internal organization in restricted stratigraphic intervals suggests an anabranching system having channels with different fill histories. The extra-channel deposits mainly comprise red mudstone (1-5 m thick) that indicates pervasive oxidation of overbank sediments in well-aerated and well-drained setting. Sporadically developed calcic vertisols suggest a hot, semi-arid climate during the Upper Denwa period. Sandy to heterolithic sheets (70 cm to 2 m thick) with sharp, planar basal surfaces are replete with features suggestive of unconfined sheet flow. Also at places there are indications of subaqueous emplacement of sands. These bodies with paleocurrent oblique to that of the channel-fills are interpreted as crevasse splay deposits. Tabular heterolithic bodies (3-5 m thick) are characterized by undulating basal surface, complex organization of sandstone lenses interwoven with heteroliths and red mudstone (in decimeter-scale) with desiccation cracks. Such tabular bodies are attributed to repetitive, sheet-like and poorly channelized splaying. Very thick (10 to 20 m) mudstones intervals are inexplicable in terms of overbank flooding only. Poorly developed pedogenic features in sandy to muddy heterolithic sheets and certain mudstone intervals and well-developed cumulative paleosols in surrounding mudstone highlights the contrast between rapidly emplaced splay deposits and slowly accumulated floodplain deposits. The Denwa channels are comparable with modern, low-gradient and low-energy anabranching river system in which the sediment load is dominantly fine-grained. The semi-arid climate possibly facilitated enhanced supply of fines to the Upper Denwa system. However, sediment partitioning and distribution in a particular channel was controlled by flow diversion to and from other channels in that anabranching system. Low flow strength with periodic flood events, high bank strength and a rate of sediment supply that slightly exceeded that of onward transport probably were important factors for the development of the Upper Denwa anabranching system.

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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,...

  13. 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 ?-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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Modeling analysis of ground water recharge potential on alluvial fans using limited data.

    PubMed

    Munévar, A; Mariño, 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. GEOG 400 Spring 2013 ARID LANDS GEOMORPHOLOGY

    E-print Network

    GEOG 400 ­ Spring 2013 ARID LANDS GEOMORPHOLOGY Dr. Vatche P. Tchakerian Office: O&M 810 Time: TR, geomorphology and the physical environment, but also the major environmental issues in the global arid lands. Since this is foremost a course on the geomorphology of deserts, special emphasis will be placed

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Hydrology of the Bayou Bartholomew alluvial aquifer-stream system, Arkansas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Broom, M.E.; Reed, J.E.

    1973-01-01

    The study area comprises about 3,200 square miles of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain in southeast Arkansas. About 90 percent of the area drains south to the Ouachita River in Louisiana. The alluvial aquifer and the streams are hydraulically connected and are studied as an aquifer-stream system. Bayou Bartholomew is a principal stream of the system. The aquifer is underlain by confining strata of the Jackson Group and Cockfield Formation. The mean annual surface-water yield of the area that drains to the Ouachita River basin is nearly 2 million acre-feet. Flood-control projects have significantly reduced flooding in the area. Basin boundaries and low-flow characteristics of streams have been altered as a result of the flood-control projects and streamflow diversion for irrigation. The direction of ground-water flow generally is southward. Bayou Bartholomew functions mostly as a drain for ground-water flow from the west and as a recharge source to the aquifer east of the bayou. As a result of navigation pools, the Arkansas River is mostly a steady-recharge source to the aquifer. Pumpage from the aquifer and streams increased from about 20,000 acre-feet in 1941 to 237,000 acre-feet in 1970. Estimates of flow, derived from analog analysis but lacking field verification, indicate that recharge to the aquifer in 1970 was about 161,000 acre-feet. About 70 percent of the recharge was by capture from streams as a result of ground-water pumpage. Discharge from the aquifer was about 233,000 acre-feet. About 80 percent of the discharge was through wells. Stream diversion in 1970 from capture and open channel, excluding capture from the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers, was about 110,000 acre-feet. Return flow to streams from rice irrigation and fishponds was about 60,000 acre-feet. The chemical quality of streamflows is excellent for irrigation. Water from the aquifer generally ranges from permissible to excellent for irrigation. The use of water from the aquifer in the flood-plain area, exclusive of irrigation, is severely limited unless it is treated to remove the iron and reduce the hardness.

  9. 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

  10. ALLUVIAL CHANNEL GEOMETRY: THEORY AND ApPLICATIONS

    E-print Network

    Julien, Pierre Y.

    ALLUVIAL CHANNEL GEOMETRY: THEORY AND ApPLICATIONS 8 TABLE 2. Variation of q with hid. according to (32) and (36) hId. q (1) (2) Discussion by Willi H. Hager,3 Fellow, ASCE 10° 1.23 x J(i 10' 6.5 x 10 this function and one may note that q increases very rapidly with hid" The function under consideration may

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Stratigraphy and stable isotope results from an Eocene-Miocene section of the western Qaidam Basin, NW China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    The climate of central Asia has changed significantly throughout the Cenozoic, with surface uplift of the Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau cited as the primary cause of the change. However, the timing and mechanisms of plateau uplift, especially the northern plateau, is still unclear. Sedimentary basin deposits and their stable isotopic composition record both paleo-environment and paleoclimate information and thus can be used to study the climate evolution and ultimately-the surface uplift history. The Qaidam Basin, in the northern part of the Tibetan Plateau, deposited thick fluviolacustrine sediments from Eocene to Pleistocene time. Here, we report a newly documented 4440 m long sedimentary section near Huatugou town in the western Qaidam Basin, and preliminary O and C stable isotope results from sedimentary carbonates. The section includes four formations. Xiaganchaigou Formation (XGCG Fm), with a late Eocene age, is dominated by alluvial to fluvial conglomerates, sandstones and sandy mudstones in the lower part, and siltstones, mudstones with gypsum of lacustrine origin in the upper part. The Oligocene Shangganchaigou Formation (SGCG Fm) and early to middle Miocene Xiayoushashan Formation (XYSS Fm) both consist mainly of lacustrine mudstones, siltstones, sandstones, intercalated with marls, limestones and minor conglomerates. The late Miocene Shangyoushashan Formation (SYSS Fm, the lower part) is dominated by alluvial to delta-front conglomerates, gravelly sandstones and siltstones; paleosols with root traces are also common in this formation. Between 232 and 1196 m (XGCG Fm), both the ?18O (VPDB) and ?13C (VPDB) values of marls show large variability between -3.3 and -8.9‰ and between 0.7 and -2.7‰, respectively. Between 1196 and 2524 m (SGCG Fm), the ?18O values of marls and limestones show a more narrow range of lower values between -7.0 and -8.6‰, and the ?13C values decrease to between -1.5 and -4.9‰. We speculate that the large variability in XGCG Fm resulted from late Eocene climate cyclicity, followed by decreasing ? values related to global cooling during the Eocene-Oligocene transitions and cooling associated with the horizontal translation of the Basin to higher latitudes. From 2500 to 3500 m (XYSS Fm), there is a more pronounced decrease in the ?18O values of paleosols and carbonate cements to between -8.2 and -10.0‰, but their ?13C values show large variations between -0.6 and -6.8‰. A plausible explanation for these changes is localized climate perturbations associated with the growth of surrounding mountain ranges. At the top of the section, between 3500 and 4400 m (XYSS and SYSS Fm), both the ?18O and ?13C values of paleosols and carbonate cements show a positive shift by 1 to 2‰. This positive shift is interpreted as the result of mid-Miocene aridification, a regional climatic change event that was also documented in Tarim Basin, eastern Qaidam Basin, and in the northeastern Tibetan Plateau. Extreme aridity that is comparable to present day is not recorded in the Huatuguo section, most likely because these deposits predate the Plio-Pleistocene time period when modern conditions were established.

  14. 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.

  15. Evaluating the complementary relationship for estimating evapotranspiration from arid shrublands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huntington, J. L.; Szilagyi, J.; Tyler, S. W.; Pohll, G. M.

    2011-05-01

    Given increasing demands on finite water supplies, accurate estimates of evapotranspiration (LE) from arid shrublands of the Southwestern United States are needed to develop or refine basin water budgets. In this work, a novel approach to estimating the equilibrium (or wet environment) surface temperature (Te) and LE from regionally extensive phreatophyte shrublands is tested using complementary theory and micrometeorological data collected from five eddy correlation stations located in eastern Nevada. A symmetric complementary relationship between the potential LE (LEp) and actual LE is extremely attractive because it is based on general feedback mechanisms where detailed knowledge of the complex processes and interactions between soil, vegetation, and the near-surface boundary layer can be avoided. Analysis of computed LEp and eddy correlation-derived LE indicates that there is unequivocal evidence of a complementary relationship between LEp and LE, where the measured and normalized complementary relationship is symmetric when Te is utilized to compute the wet environment LE (LEw). Application of a modified Brutsaert and Stricker advection-aridity (AA) model, where Te is utilized to compute LEw as opposed to the measured air temperature, indicates an improvement in prediction accuracy over the standard Brutsaert and Stricker AA model. Monthly and annual predictions of LE using the modified AA model are within the uncertainty of the measurement accuracy, making the application of this approach potentially useful for estimating regional LE in arid shrubland environments. Our observational evidence supports the idea of a symmetric complementary relationship yielding an approach with standard parameters, making it simple to apply with satisfactory accuracy. To our knowledge, this work presents the first application and evaluation of the complementary relationship in phreatophyte shrublands while utilizing the Te with comparisons to actual LE via flux measurements.

  16. 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

  17. Nitrate and Groundwater Residence Time in an Isolated Shallow Aquifer of the Judith River Basin, Montana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, C. R.; Sigler, W.; Weissmann, G.; Ewing, S. A.

    2012-12-01

    Land management is an important driver of water quality, yet soil-groundwater systems are often poorly characterized, making nonpoint source pollution mitigation difficult. This is of particular concern in agricultural systems in semi-arid climates, where most nitrogen (N) entering watersheds is a result of inefficiencies in synthetic fertilizer use. In the Judith River Basin (JRB) of Central Montana, nitrate concentrations in many groundwater samples from shallow aquifers have been high (>10 mg nitrate-N L-1) and increasing since the 1970s. Dryland cultivation for cereals is a dominant land use, and thin soils overlying shallow unconfined gravelly aquifers provide a likely conduit for rapid groundwater recharge and transport to domestic wells and surface water. Landforms associated with vulnerable aquifers and high groundwater nitrate include alluvial fans and strath terraces variably connected to mountain front stream recharge (MFSR). Here we focus on an extensive (~600 km2) strath terrace where the shallow, unconfined aquifer is isolated from MFSR. We use a combination of solute, isotopic, and modeling analyses of groundwater and surface water to argue that recharge of the shallow aquifer occurs exclusively from diffuse infiltration of precipitation over time-scales of days to years with very limited influence from deeper and older aquifer water. Excess soil nitrate reaches shallow groundwater in locations where infiltration is not limited by evapotranspiration or spring rainfall drives rising water tables that capture accumulated nitrate. In shallow wells and emergent streams of this landform, tritium analyses indicate that distinctly young water (~0 to 60 years since recharge) is associated with high nitrate concentrations generally ranging from 5 to 20 mg nitrate-N L-1. A three dimensional model of groundwater flow provides clues about landform scale relationships between nitrate concentrations and groundwater mean residence times. Using indicators of nitrate sources and groundwater residence times in shallow aquifers of the JRB, we quantify the time required to observe a change in local water quality as a result of change in nutrient management practices.

  18. 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.

  19. Exploration in the Ombilin Intermontane Basin, West Sumatra

    SciTech Connect

    Koning, T. Petroleum Co., Lagos )

    1996-01-01

    The Ombilin Basin is a Tertiary intermontane basin located within the Barisan Mountain Range of Sumatra. Oil exploration commenced in the Ombilin Basin in the early 1980s when geological mapping was carried out, a synthetic aperture radar survey was flown, and a basin-wide geophysical survey was completed. This effort led to the drilling of Sinimar No. 1 to a total depth 3020 m. Sinimar No. 1 was a historic well in Indonesia's oil industry since it was the first oil exploration well drilled in the Ombilin Basin and also the first well drilled in an intermontane basin in Indonesia. Oil, gas and condensate was tested in the well. An integrated interpretation of the well, geophysical and outcrop data indicates that despite its small areal size (30 km x 50 km), the Ombilin Basin is a deep pull-apart basin containing up to 4500 m of Tertiary sediments, ranging in age from Middle Eocene to Early Miocene. The basin currently is in an intermontane basin structural setting but it was also an intermontane basin during its Early Tertiary depositional history. During the Eocene, alluvial fans and massive debris flows were deposited on the basin margins and a large lake occupied the basin center. Fluvial deposition occurred in the basin during the Oligocene followed by deposition of marine shales, sandstones, and isolated reefs during the Miocene. Although the Ombilin Basin is located within Sumatra's magmatic arc and is partially covered by volcanics from extinct and active volcanoes, the subsurface temperature gradients of 1.62 deg. F/100 ft. recorded in Sinimar No. I and 1.47 deg F/100 ft. measured in a deep (670 m) coal exploration core hole are significantly cooler than the average subsurface temperature gradients in the Sumatra back-arc basins. Organic-rich Eocene lacustrine shales are the likely source rocks for the hydrocarbons tested in Sinimar No. 1 and the oil seeps located along the basin margins.

  20. Exploration in the Ombilin Intermontane Basin, West Sumatra

    SciTech Connect

    Koning, T.

    1996-12-31

    The Ombilin Basin is a Tertiary intermontane basin located within the Barisan Mountain Range of Sumatra. Oil exploration commenced in the Ombilin Basin in the early 1980s when geological mapping was carried out, a synthetic aperture radar survey was flown, and a basin-wide geophysical survey was completed. This effort led to the drilling of Sinimar No. 1 to a total depth 3020 m. Sinimar No. 1 was a historic well in Indonesia`s oil industry since it was the first oil exploration well drilled in the Ombilin Basin and also the first well drilled in an intermontane basin in Indonesia. Oil, gas and condensate was tested in the well. An integrated interpretation of the well, geophysical and outcrop data indicates that despite its small areal size (30 km x 50 km), the Ombilin Basin is a deep pull-apart basin containing up to 4500 m of Tertiary sediments, ranging in age from Middle Eocene to Early Miocene. The basin currently is in an intermontane basin structural setting but it was also an intermontane basin during its Early Tertiary depositional history. During the Eocene, alluvial fans and massive debris flows were deposited on the basin margins and a large lake occupied the basin center. Fluvial deposition occurred in the basin during the Oligocene followed by deposition of marine shales, sandstones, and isolated reefs during the Miocene. Although the Ombilin Basin is located within Sumatra`s magmatic arc and is partially covered by volcanics from extinct and active volcanoes, the subsurface temperature gradients of 1.62 deg. F/100 ft. recorded in Sinimar No. I and 1.47 deg F/100 ft. measured in a deep (670 m) coal exploration core hole are significantly cooler than the average subsurface temperature gradients in the Sumatra back-arc basins. Organic-rich Eocene lacustrine shales are the likely source rocks for the hydrocarbons tested in Sinimar No. 1 and the oil seeps located along the basin margins.

  1. New interpretation of the role of water balance in an extended Budyko hypothesis in arid regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, C.; Sun, F.; Yu, J.; Liu, X.; Chen, Y.

    2015-10-01

    The Budyko hypothesis (BH) is an effective approach to investigating long-term water balance at large basin scale under steady state. The assumption of steady state prevents applications of the BH to basins, which is unclosed, or with significant variations in soil water storage, i.e., under unsteady state, such as in extremely arid regions. In this study, we choose the Heihe River Basin (HRB) in China, an extremely arid inland basin, as the study area. We firstly use a calibrated and then validated monthly water balance model, i.e., the abcd model to quantitatively determine annual and monthly variations of water balance for the sub-basins and the whole catchment of the HRB and find that the role of soil water storage change and that of inflow from upper sub-basins in monthly water balance are significant. With the recognition of the inflow water from other regions and the soil water storage change as additional possible water sources to evapotranspiration in unclosed basins, we further define the equivalent precipitation (Pe) to include local precipitation, inflow water and soil water storage change as the water supply in the Budyko framework. With the newly defined water supply, the Budyko curve can successfully describe the relationship between the evapotranspiration ratio and the aridity index at both annual and monthly timescales, whilst it fails when only the local precipitation being considered. Adding to that, we develop a new Fu-type Budyko equation with two non-dimensional parameters (? and ?) based on the deviation of Fu's equation. Over the annual time scale, the new Fu-type Budyko equation developed here has more or less identical performance to Fu's original equation for the sub-basins and the whole catchment. However, over the monthly time scale, due to large seasonality of soil water storage and inflow, the new Fu-type Budyko equation generally performs better than Fu's original equation. The new Fu-type Budyko equation (? and ?) developed here enables one to apply the BH to interpret regional water balance over extremely dry environments under unsteady state (e.g., unclosed basins or sub-annual timescales).

  2. Desert Pavement Process and Form: Modes and Scales of Landscape Stability and Instability in Arid Regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wells, Stephen G.; McFadden, Leslie D.; McDonald, Eric V.; Eppes, Martha C.; Young, Michael H.; Wood, Yvonne A.

    2014-05-01

    Desert pavements are recognized in arid landscapes around the world, developing via diminution of constructional/depositional landform relief and creating a 1-2 stone thick armor over a "stone free" layer. Surface exposure dating demonstrates that clasts forming the desert pavements are maintained at the land surface over hundreds of thousands of years, as aeolian fines are deposited on the land surface, transported into the underlying parent material and incorporated into accretionary soil horizons (e.g., the stone free or vesicular [Av] horizon). This surface armor provides long-term stability over extensive regions of the landscape. Over shorter time periods and at the landform-element scale, dynamic surficial processes (i.e., weathering, runoff) continue to modify the pavement form. Clast size reduction in comparison to underlying parent material, along with armoring and packing of clasts in pavements contribute to their persistence, and studies of crack orientations in pavement clasts indicate physical weathering and diminution of particle size are driven by diurnal solar insolation. Over geologic time, cracks form and propagate from tensile stresses related to temporal and spatial gradients in temperature that evolve and rotate in alignment with the sun's rays. Observed multimodal nature of crack orientations appear related to seasonally varying, latitude-dependent temperature fields resulting from solar angle and weather conditions. Surface properties and their underlying soil profiles vary across pavement surfaces, forming a landscape mosaic and controlling surface hydrology, ecosystem function and the ultimate life-cycle of arid landscapes. In areas of well-developed pavements, surface infiltration and soluble salt concentrations indicate that saturated hydraulic conductivity of Av horizons decline on progressively older alluvial fan surfaces. Field observations and measurements from well-developed desert pavement surfaces landforms also yield significantly lower infiltration rates, enhanced rates of overland flow characterized by high water:sediment ratios and reduced production of desert ecosystems. Consequently, regionally extensive pavement and significantly decreased infiltration over geologic time have resulted in widespread overland flow, elaborate drainage networks on alluvial and eolian-mantled bedrock landscapes, and channel incision and regional dissection of the pavement-mantled landforms. However, these once stable landscapes become progressively unstable with time, serving as sediment source areas for younger alluvial deposits (i.e., geologic life-cycle). Thus, regional dissection (instability) of these desert landscapes can be influenced by the intrinsic properties of pavement-mantled landscapes and not necessarily to external forces of climate change and tectonics.

  3. Abundance of the Louisiana Black Bear in the Upper Atchafalaya River Basin

    E-print Network

    Gray, Matthew

    125 PSB Arkansas Background/Justification the `Delta' · Mississippi River Alluvial Valley Mississippi River Atchafalaya River ~27,000 ha total Study Area #12;4/25/2009 4 Study Area Private land4/25/2009 1 Abundance of the Louisiana Black Bear in the Upper Atchafalaya River Basin Carrie Lowe

  4. Late Quaternary loess landscape evolution on an active tectonic margin, Charwell Basin, South Island, New Zealand

    E-print Network

    Roering, Joshua J.

    Late Quaternary loess landscape evolution on an active tectonic margin, Charwell Basin, South in revised form 9 September 2009 Accepted 18 September 2009 Available online 4 October 2009 Keywords: Loess Landscape evolution Active tectonics Alluvial terraces Loess deposits constitute an important archive

  5. Depositional setting and diagenetic evolution of some Tertiary unconventional reservoir rocks, Uinta Basin, Utah.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pitman, J.K.; Fouch, T.D.; Goldhaber, M.B.

    1982-01-01

    The Douglas Creek Member of the Tertiary Green River Formation underlies much of the Uinta basin, Utah, and contains large volumes of oil and gas trapped in a complex of fractured low-permeability sandstone reservoirs. In the SE part of the basin at Pariette Bench, the Eocene Douglas Creek Member is a thick sequence of fine- grained alluvial sandstone complexly intercalated with lacustrine claystone and carbonate rock. Sediments were deposited in a subsiding intermontane basin along the shallow fluctuating margin of ancient Lake Uinta. Although the Uinta basin has undergone postdepositional uplift and erosion, the deepest cored rocks at Pariette Bench have never been buried more than 3000m.-from Authors

  6. ARID relative calibration experimental data and analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doty, Keith L

    1992-01-01

    Several experiments measure the orientation error of the ARID end-frame as well as linear displacements in the Orbiter's y- and z-axes. In each experiment the position of the ARID on the trolley is fixed and the manipulator extends and retracts along the Orbiter's y-axis. A sensor platform consisting of four sonars arranged in a '+' pattern measures the platform pitch about the Orbiter's y-axis (angle b) and yaw about the Orbiter's x-axis (angle alpha). Corroborating measurements of the yaw error were performed using a carpenter's level to keep the platform perpendicular to the gravity vector at each ARID pose being measured.

  7. Hydrocarbon potential of early mesozoic basins of eastern United States

    SciTech Connect

    Schlamel, S.

    1988-01-01

    The exposed Triassic-Liassic rift basins in the eastern United States are half-grabens filled with up to 7 km of continental sediments. The location and sense of asymmetry of the half-grabens are closely tied to the structural grain of the Appalachian crystalline terranes on which they have formed. In many instances, the faulted margins of the basins are older thrusts or terrane boundaries reactivated as listric normal faults. The sediment fill of the basins reflects their structural asymmetry. Coarse alluvial fan deposits along the main border faults pass basinward into a complex assemblage of fluvial, paludal, and lacustrine facies. The oldest sediment fill in the rift basins is dated palynologically as late Ladinian to late Carnian. Perhaps reflecting the northward opening of the central Atlantic, the youngest rift-fill sediments are older in the southern basins than in the northern-Carnian in the Righmond basin vs. Toarcian in the Hartford-Deerfield basin. Floral evidence points to a tropical to near-tropical environment, with severe oscillations between xerophytic (dry) and hydrophytic (wet) conditions. The degree of thermal maturation, as estimated from vitrinite reflectance and clay mineralogy, varies widely from basin to basin; however, most of the basins are within the oil to dry gas generative window. The basins with highest thermal maturities are those having large volumes of diabase intrusives and presumed higher paleogeothermal gradients. The peak of thermal maturation/migration may have occurred as early as the Jurassic.

  8. 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.

  9. Estimation of the aerodynamic roughness length in arid and semi-arid regions over the globe with the ERS scatterometer

    E-print Network

    Aires, Filipe

    Estimation of the aerodynamic roughness length in arid and semi-arid regions over the globe 2005. [1] Estimates of the aerodynamic roughness lengths z0 in arid and semi-arid regions: Prigent, C., I. Tegen, F. Aires, B. Marticorena, and M. Zribi (2005), Estimation of the aerodynamic

  10. Controls of the water and sediment fluxes on alluvial fans morphology: theory and experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guerit, Laure; Delorme, Pauline; Métivier, François; 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.

  11. 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.

  12. A Comparison of Nannochloropsis salina Growth Performance in Two Outdoor Pond Designs: Conventional Raceways versus the ARID Pond with Superior Temperature Management

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Crowe, Braden; Attalah, Said; Agrawal, Shweta; Waller, Peter; Ryan, Randy; Van Wagenen, Jon; Chavis, Aaron; Kyndt, John; Kacira, Murat; Ogden, Kim L.; et al

    2012-01-01

    The present study examines how climatic conditions and pond design affect the growth performance of microalgae. From January to April of 2011, outdoor batch cultures of Nannochloropsis salina were grown in three replicate 780 L conventional raceways, as well as in an experimental 7500 L algae raceway integrated design (ARID) pond. The ARID culture system utilizes a series of 8-20 cm deep basins and a 1.5 m deep canal to enhance light exposure and mitigate temperature variations and extremes. The ARID culture reached the stationary phase 27 days earlier than the conventional raceways, which can be attributed to its superiormore »temperature management and shallower basins. On a night when the air temperature dropped to -9°C, the water temperature was 18°C higher in the ARID pond than in the conventional raceways. Lipid and fatty acid content ranged from 16 to 25% and from 5 to15%, respectively, as a percentage of AFDW. Palmitic, palmitoleic, and eicosapentaenoic acids comprised the majority of fatty acids. While the ARID culture system achieved nearly double the volumetric productivity relative to the conventional raceways (0.023 versus 0.013 g L-1day-1), areal biomass productivities were of similar magnitude in both pond systems (3.47 versus 3.34 g m-2day-1), suggesting that the ARID pond design has to be further optimized, most likely by increasing the culture depth or operating at higher cell densities while maintaining adequate mixing.« less

  13. A comparison of Nannochloropsis salina growth performance in two outdoor pond designs: conventional raceways versus the ARID pond with superior temperature management

    SciTech Connect

    Crowe, Braden J.; Attalah, Said; Agrawal, Shweta; Waller, Peter; Ryan, Randy; Van Wagenen, Jonathan M.; Chavis, Aaron R.; Kyndt, John; Kacira, Murat; Ogden, Kimberly L.; Huesemann, Michael H.

    2012-10-01

    The present study examines how climatic conditions and pond design affect the growth performance of microalgae. From January to April of 2011, outdoor batch cultures of Nannochloropsis salina were grown in three replicate 780 L conventional raceways, as well as in an experimental 7500 L ARID (Algae Raceway Integrated Design) pond. The ARID culture system utilizes a series of 8 to 20 cm deep basins and a 1.5 m deep canal to enhance light exposure and mitigate temperature variations and extremes. The ARID culture reached the stationary phase 27 days earlier than the conventional raceways, which can be attributed to its superior temperature management and shallower basins. On a night when the air temperature dropped to -9 °C, the water temperature was 18 °C higher in the ARID pond than in the conventional raceways. Lipid and fatty acid content ranged from 16 - 25 % and 5 - 15 %, respectively, as a percentage of AFDW. Palmitic, palmitoleic, and eicosapentaenoic acid comprised the majority of fatty acids. While the ARID culture system achieved nearly double the volumetric productivity relative to the conventional raceways (0.023 vs 0.013 g L-1day-1), areal biomass productivities were of similar magnitude in both pond systems (3.34 vs. 3.47 g m-2day-1), suggesting that the ARID pond design has to be further optimized, most likely by increasing the culture depth or operating at higher cell densities while maintaining adequate mixing.

  14. Depositional character of a dry-climate alluvial fan system from Palaeoproterozoic rift setting using facies architecture and palaeohydraulics: Example from the Par Formation, Gwalior Group, central India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chakraborty, Partha Pratim; Paul, Pritam

    2014-09-01

    The ?20 m thick coarse-grained clastic succession in the basal part of Palaeoproterozoic Par Formation, Gwalior Group has been investigated using process-based sedimentology and deductive palaeohydraulics. Bounded between granitic basement at its base and shallow marine succession at the top, the studied stratigraphic interval represents products of an alluvial fan and its strike-wise co-existent braided river system that possibly acted as a tributary for the fan. Detailed facies, facies association analysis allowed identification of two anatomical parts for the fan system viz. proximal and mid fan. While thin proximal fan is represented by products of rock avalanche and hyperconcentrated flows with widely varying rheology, the mid fan is represented by products of sheet floods and flows within streamlets. The interpretation found support from palaeoslope estimation carried out on the fluvial part of the mid fan that plot dominantly within the alluvial fan field demarcated by Blair and McPherson (1994). Dry climatic condition suggested from dominance of stream flow over mass flow deposition within the Par alluvial fan. Strike-wise, the fan is discontinuous and juxtaposed with a braid plain system. In contrast to the fluvial part of fan system, the palaeoslope data from the braid plain system dominantly plot within the ‘natural depositional gap' defined by Blair and McPherson. A raised palaeoslope for the river systems, as suggested from Proterozoic braid plain deposits around the Globe, is found valid for the Par braid plain system as well. From preponderance of granular and sandy sediments within the alluvial fan and braid plain systems and a pervasive north-westward palaeocurrent pattern within the fluvial systems the present study infers a gently sloping bevelled source area in the south-southeast of the basin with occurrence of steep cliffs only locally.

  15. Global and continental changes of arid areas using the FAO Aridity Index over the periods 1951-1980 and 1981-2010

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spinoni, Jonathan; Micale, Fabio; Carrao, Hugo; Naumann, Gustavo; Barbosa, Paulo; Vogt, Jürgen

    2013-04-01

    An increase in arid areas and progressing land degradation are two of the main consequences of global climate change. In the 2nd edition of the World Atlas of Desertification (WAD), published by the United Nation Environment Program (UNEP) in 1997, a global aridity map was presented. This map was based on the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Aridity Index (AI) that takes into account the annual ratio between precipitation (RR) and Potential Evapo-Transpiration (PET). According to the long-term mean value of this ratio, climate is therefore classified in hyper-arid (<0.05), arid (0.05-0.2), semi-arid (0.2-0.5), dry sub-humid (0.5-0.65), and humid (>0.65); a special case are cold climates, which occur if the mean annual PET is below 400 mm. In the framework of the 3rd edition of the WAD, we computed new global aridity maps to improve and update the old version that was based on a single dataset (CRU dataset, Climate Research Unit of University of East Anglia) related to the 1951-80 period only. We computed the AI on two different time intervals (1951-80 and 1981-2010) in order to account for shifts in classes between the two periods and we used two different datasets: PET from CRU (version 3.2), and precipitation from the global 0.5?x0.5? gridded monthly precipitation of the Global Precipitation Climatology Center (GPCC) of the Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD). We used the GPCC Full Data Reanalysis Version 6.0, which showed a high reliability during many quality checks and is based on more stations than the CRU's precipitation counterpart. The results show that the "arid areas" (i.e. AI <0.5) globally increased from 28.4% to 29.6% and in Northern Hemisphere the cold climate areas decreased from 26.6% to 25.4%. Comparing the aridity maps of the two periods, the areas which most remarkably moved to lower AI values ("more arid" conditions) are: Canada, Brazil, the Mediterranean Region, Eastern Europe, almost all of Africa, the Middle East, Eastern China, Borneo, and Australia. At regional or country level, a shift of one class towards a "more arid" class can be found in Alaska (U.S.), Alberta (Canada), Patagonia (Argentina), Pernambuco (Brazil), Western Peru, Spain, the Southern Sahara and North-Eastern Kalahari deserts, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh (India), Mongolia, the Yang-Tze Basin (China), and the North-Eastern and South-Western Australian coasts. On the other hand, Central U.S., Paraguay and Northern Argentina, Scandinavia, Northern Australia, and Western China moved to a wetter climate in the last period. Due to the low data availability, we assumed that no changes took place in Antarctica, which is meant to be under a permanent ice cap, excluding the northernmost Graham Land.

  16. Preface paper to the Semi-Arid Land-Surface-Atmosphere (SALSA) Program special issue

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Goodrich, D.C.; Chehbouni, A.; Goff, B.; MacNish, B.; Maddock, T.; Moran, S.; Shuttleworth, W.J.; Williams, D.G.; Watts, C.; Hipps, L.H.; Cooper, D.I.; Schieldge, J.; Kerr, Y.H.; Arias, H.; Kirkland, M.; Carlos, R.; Cayrol, P.; Kepner, W.; Jones, B.; Avissar, R.; Begue, A.; Bonnefond, J.-M.; Boulet, G.; Branan, B.; Brunel, J.P.; Chen, L.C.; Clarke, T.; Davis, M.R.; DeBruin, H.; Dedieu, G.; Elguero, E.; Eichinger, W.E.; Everitt, J.; Garatuza-Payan, J.; Gempko, V.L.; Gupta, H.; Harlow, C.; Hartogensis, O.; Helfert, M.; Holifield, C.; Hymer, D.; Kahle, A.; Keefer, T.; Krishnamoorthy, S.; Lhomme, J.-P.; Lagouarde, J.-P.; Lo, Seen D.; Luquet, D.; Marsett, R.; Monteny, B.; Ni, W.; Nouvellon, Y.; Pinker, R.; Peters, C.; Pool, D.; Qi, J.; Rambal, S.; Rodriguez, J.; Santiago, F.; Sano, E.; Schaeffer, S.M.; Schulte, M.; Scott, R.; Shao, X.; Snyder, K.A.; Sorooshian, S.; Unkrich, C.L.; Whitaker, M.; Yucel, I.

    2000-01-01

    The Semi-Arid Land-Surface-Atmosphere Program (SALSA) is a multi-agency, multi-national research effort that seeks to evaluate the consequences of natural and human-induced environmental change in semi-arid regions. The ultimate goal of SALSA is to advance scientific understanding of the semi-arid portion of the hydrosphere-biosphere interface in order to provide reliable information for environmental decision making. SALSA approaches this goal through a program of long-term, integrated observations, process research, modeling, assessment, and information management that is sustained by cooperation among scientists and information users. In this preface to the SALSA special issue, general program background information and the critical nature of semi-arid regions is presented. A brief description of the Upper San Pedro River Basin, the initial location for focused SALSA research follows. Several overarching research objectives under which much of the interdisciplinary research contained in the special issue was undertaken are discussed. Principal methods, primary research sites and data collection used by numerous investigators during 1997-1999 are then presented. Scientists from about 20 US, five European (four French and one Dutch), and three Mexican agencies and institutions have collaborated closely to make the research leading to this special issue a reality. The SALSA Program has served as a model of interagency cooperation by breaking new ground in the approach to large scale interdisciplinary science with relatively limited resources.

  17. Miocene fluvial-tidal sedimentation in a residual forearc basin of the Northeastern Pacific Rim: Cook Inlet, Alaska case study

    SciTech Connect

    Stricker, G.D.; Flores, R.M. )

    1996-01-01

    Cook Inlet in southern Alaska represents a Cenozoic residual forearc basin in a convergent continental margin, where the Pacific Plate is being subducted beneath the North American Plate. This basin accumulated the >6,700-m-thick, mainly nonmarine, Eocene-Pliocene Kenai Group. These rocks contain biogenic coal-bed methane estimated to be as high as 245 TCF. Lignites to subbituminous coals with subsurface R[sub o] ranging from 0.38 to 0.73 percent and the stage of clay-mineral diagenesis and expandibility indicate a thermally [open quotes]cool[close quotes] basin. Miocene Tyonek and Beluga Formations compose 65 percent (>4,300 m thick) of the Kenai Group. The Tyonek includes conglomeratic sandstones, siltstones, mudstones, coals, and carbonaceous shales, interpreted as braided- stream deposits. These fluvial deposits are interbecided with burrowed, lenticular, and flaser-bedded sandstones, siltstones, and mudstones, interpreted as tidal deposits. Tyonek framework conglomerates formed in wet alluvial fans incised on paleovalleys of the Chugach terrane. Coal-forming mires are well developed on abandoned braided-stream deposits. Tyonek drainages formed in high-gradient alluvial plains inundated by tides similar to environments in the modern upper Cook Inlet. The upper Miocene Beluga consists of sandstones, siltstones, mudstones, carbonaceous shales, and coals deposited in meandering (low sinuosity) and anastomosed fluvial systems. These fluvial deposits alternated vertically with deposits of coal-forming mires. The Beluga drainages formed in low-gradient alluvial plains. The high-gradient Tyonek alluvial plain was probably controlled by provenance uplift and eustatic change, whereas the low-gradient Beluga alluvial plain was influenced by subdued provenance uplift and rapid basin subsidence. Rapid sedimentation on both these low- and high-gradient alluvial plains, which kept up with subsidence, produced a thermally [open quotes]cool[close quotes] basin.

  18. Miocene fluvial-tidal sedimentation in a residual forearc basin of the Northeastern Pacific Rim: Cook Inlet, Alaska case study

    SciTech Connect

    Stricker, G.D.; Flores, R.M.

    1996-12-31

    Cook Inlet in southern Alaska represents a Cenozoic residual forearc basin in a convergent continental margin, where the Pacific Plate is being subducted beneath the North American Plate. This basin accumulated the >6,700-m-thick, mainly nonmarine, Eocene-Pliocene Kenai Group. These rocks contain biogenic coal-bed methane estimated to be as high as 245 TCF. Lignites to subbituminous coals with subsurface R{sub o} ranging from 0.38 to 0.73 percent and the stage of clay-mineral diagenesis and expandibility indicate a thermally {open_quotes}cool{close_quotes} basin. Miocene Tyonek and Beluga Formations compose 65 percent (>4,300 m thick) of the Kenai Group. The Tyonek includes conglomeratic sandstones, siltstones, mudstones, coals, and carbonaceous shales, interpreted as braided- stream deposits. These fluvial deposits are interbecided with burrowed, lenticular, and flaser-bedded sandstones, siltstones, and mudstones, interpreted as tidal deposits. Tyonek framework conglomerates formed in wet alluvial fans incised on paleovalleys of the Chugach terrane. Coal-forming mires are well developed on abandoned braided-stream deposits. Tyonek drainages formed in high-gradient alluvial plains inundated by tides similar to environments in the modern upper Cook Inlet. The upper Miocene Beluga consists of sandstones, siltstones, mudstones, carbonaceous shales, and coals deposited in meandering (low sinuosity) and anastomosed fluvial systems. These fluvial deposits alternated vertically with deposits of coal-forming mires. The Beluga drainages formed in low-gradient alluvial plains. The high-gradient Tyonek alluvial plain was probably controlled by provenance uplift and eustatic change, whereas the low-gradient Beluga alluvial plain was influenced by subdued provenance uplift and rapid basin subsidence. Rapid sedimentation on both these low- and high-gradient alluvial plains, which kept up with subsidence, produced a thermally {open_quotes}cool{close_quotes} basin.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Modeling water scarcity and droughts for policy adaptation to climate change in arid and semiarid regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahil, Mohamed Taher; Dinar, Ariel; Albiac, Jose

    2015-03-01

    Growing water extractions combined with emerging demands for environment protection increase competition for scarce water resources worldwide, especially in arid and semiarid regions. In those regions, climate change is projected to exacerbate water scarcity and increase the recurrence and intensity of droughts. These circumstances call for methodologies that can support the design of sustainable water management. This paper presents a hydro-economic model that links a reduced form hydrological component, with economic and environmental components. The model is applied to an arid and semiarid basin in Southeastern Spain to analyze the effects of droughts and to assess alternative adaptation policies. Results indicate that drought events have large impacts on social welfare, with the main adjustments sustained by irrigation and the environment. The water market policy seems to be a suitable option to overcome the negative economic effects of droughts, although the environmental effects may weaken its advantages for society. The environmental water market policy, where water is acquired for the environment, is an appealing policy to reap the private benefits of markets while protecting ecosystems. The current water management approach in Spain, based on stakeholders' cooperation, achieves almost the same economic outcomes and better environmental outcomes compared to a pure water market. These findings call for a reconsideration of the current management in arid and semiarid basins around the world. The paper illustrates the potential of hydro-economic modeling for integrating the multiple dimensions of water resources, becoming a valuable tool in the advancement of sustainable water management policies.

  3. Tracing sources of water to an alluvial aquifer using strontium isotopes and radon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pritchard, J. L.; Herczeg, A. L.

    2003-04-01

    87Sr/86Sr and 222Rn were measured in groundwaters of an alluvial aquifer adjacent to an ephemeral stream to quantify the extent of surface water infiltration versus upward groundwater leakage from the brackish regional aquifer system, and their degree of mixing. These tracers were used to differentiate between the potential sources of water to the alluvial aquifer because hydraulic gradients between the regional groundwater, alluvial groundwater and surface water reservoirs were low. The pumping of near-stream alluvial groundwater in the Wollombi Brook Catchment (SE Australia) has compromised the health of the stream ecosystem, potentially affecting water quality and flow rates. It is crucial to understand stream water and groundwater interactions in the alluvial aquifer to balance both consumptive and environmental water requirements. The distinct 87Sr/86Sr and 222Rn signatures of the surface water and groundwater reservoirs were used to differentiate between the potential sources of water to the alluvial aquifer system. These were compared to the alluvial groundwater signatures sampled from a piezometer network that was installed at various depths beneath the water table and at various distances from the stream channel. 222Rn emanation rates from the alluvial sands were also measured to discriminate between the production of 222Rn within the alluvial aquifer and influxes from other water flow paths. Regional groundwater had low 87Sr/86Sr (0.7051 to 0.7069) and relatively high Sr concentrations, whereas surface waters had higher 87Sr/86Sr (0.7095 to 0.7141) and relatively low Sr concentrations. Alluvial groundwater 87Sr/86Sr (0.7056 to 0.7118) and Sr concentrations were more variable. 222Rn emanation rates from the alluvial aquifer ranged from 2 to 7 Bq/L, whereas surface water 222Rn activities were < 1 Bq/L and regional groundwaters were generally an order of magnitude higher. 87Sr/86Sr and 222Rn activities showed there was some regional groundwater leakage into the alluvial aquifer system. However, 87Sr/86Sr also indicated that regional groundwater had little influence on the near-stream alluvial groundwater quality. Infiltration of stream water into the alluvial aquifer, following periodic flooding, appeared to buffer the transfer of water and solutes from the regional groundwater into the near-stream zone. This was, however, a very narrow buffer zone that could easily be eroded by further surface water diversions or excessive groundwater pumping from the alluvial aquifer.

  4. Sedimentology and depositional environments of the Red Sandstone Group, Rukwa Rift Basin, southwestern Tanzania: New insight into Cretaceous and Paleogene terrestrial ecosystems and tectonics in sub-equatorial Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, Eric M.; O'Connor, Patrick M.; Stevens, Nancy J.; Gottfried, Michael D.; Jinnah, Zubair A.; Ngasala, Sifael; Choh, Adeline M.; Armstrong, Richard A.

    2010-05-01

    The Red Sandstone Group (RSG) in the Rukwa Rift Basin of southwestern Tanzania represents one of the only well-exposed, fossiliferous Cretaceous-Paleogene continental sedimentary sequences in sub-equatorial Africa. The significance of the RSG for reconstructing the paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic history of African ecosystems during these critical time periods has been obfuscated by long-standing confusion and debate over the age of the deposits. Detailed stratigraphic, sedimentologic, and paleontologic investigations of the RSG conducted between 2002 and 2008 have produced a wealth of new fossil discoveries and data on lithofacies, alluvial architecture, sedimentary provenance, clay mineralogy and geochronology that resolve the long-standing debate over the age of these deposits. This study confirms the existence of an extensive middle Cretaceous sequence, herein named the Galula Formation, and subdivided into the Mtuka and Namba members. Moreover, we document the existence of a previously unrecognized late Paleogene continental sequence termed the Nsungwe Formation, which is divided into the Utengule and Songwe members. The Galula Formation represents a 600-3000 m thick sequence of amalgamated, braided fluvial deposits that were deposited across a large braidplain system via multiple parallel channels that had their source in the highlands of Malawi and Zambia. The middle Cretaceous Dinosaur Beds of Malawi are hypothesized to be at least partially correlative with the Galula Formation, and represent proximal deposits of this large, northwest flowing, trunk stream system. A moderately diverse terrestrial vertebrate fauna, including multiple species of dinosaurs, crocodyliforms, turtles, fishes and mammals have been recovered, along with a sparse aquatic molluscan fauna. Lithofacies and clay mineralogy indicate that Cretaceous paleoclimate ameliorated during deposition of the Galula Formation, transitioning from tropical semi-arid to tropical humid conditions. The 400+ m-thick late Oligocene Nsungwe Formation is temporally constrained by concordant mammalian biostratigraphy, detrital zircon geochronology and a radiometrically dated volcanic tuff capping the sequence (˜24.9 Ma). A significant change in depositional environments occurs between the lower alluvial fan-dominated Utengule Member and the upper fluvial and lacustrine-dominated Songwe Member. The Songwe Member preserves a diverse terrestrial and aquatic vertebrate and invertebrate fauna, with abundant ashfall and ashflow volcanic tuffs that were deposited in a semi-arid wetland landscape during the late Oligocene. The Nsungwe Formation provides a new window into the early tectonics and faunal transitions associated with initiation of the "modern" East African Rift System.

  5. Photodegradation Pathways in Arid Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, J. Y.; Lin, Y.; Adair, E. C.; Brandt, L.; Carbone, M. S.

    2013-12-01

    Recent interest in improving our understanding of decomposition patterns in arid and semi-arid ecosystems and under potentially drier future conditions has led to a flurry of research related to abiotic degradation processes. Oxidation of organic matter by solar radiation (photodegradation) is one abiotic degradation process that contributes significantly to litter decomposition rates. Our meta-analysis results show that increasing solar radiation exposure corresponds to an average increase of 23% in litter mass loss rate with large variation among studies associated primarily with environmental and litter chemistry characteristics. Laboratory studies demonstrate that photodegradation results in CO2 emissions. Indirect estimates suggest that photodegradation could account for as much as 60% of ecosystem CO2 emissions from dry ecosystems, but these CO2 fluxes have not been measured in intact ecosystems. The current data suggest that photodegradation is important, not only for understanding decomposition patterns, but also for modeling organic matter turnover and ecosystem C cycling. However, the mechanisms by which photodegradation operates, along with their environmental and litter chemistry controls, are still poorly understood. Photodegradation can directly influence decomposition rates and ecosystem CO2 flux via photochemical mineralization. It can also indirectly influence biotic decomposition rates by facilitating microbial degradation through breakdown of more recalcitrant compounds into simpler substrates or by suppressing microbial activity directly. All of these pathways influence the decomposition process, but the relative importance of each is uncertain. Furthermore, a specific suite of controls regulates each of these pathways (e.g., environmental conditions such as temperature and relative humidity; physical environment such as canopy architecture and contact with soil; and litter chemistry characteristics such as lignin and cellulose content), and these controls have not yet been identified or quantified. To advance our understanding of photodegradation and its role in decomposition and in ecosystem C cycling, we must characterize its mechanisms and their associated controls and incorporate this understanding into biogeochemical models. Our objective is to summarize the current state of understanding of photodegradation and discuss some paths forward to address remaining critical gaps in knowledge about its mechanisms and influence on ecosystem C balance.

  6. A. Reservoir Effects of Stream Channels DAM IMPACTS ON AND RESTORATION OF AN ALLUVIAL RIVER

    E-print Network

    Julien, Pierre Y.

    A. Reservoir Effects of Stream Channels DAM IMPACTS ON AND RESTORATION OF AN ALLUVIAL RIVER ­ RIO and reservoirs on alluvial rivers extends both upstream and downstream of the dam. Downstream of dams, both the water and sediment supplies can be altered leading to adjustments in the river channel geometry

  7. Herbicide interchange between a stream and the adjacent alluvial aquifer

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wang, W.; Squillace, P.

    1994-01-01

    Herbicide interchange between a stream and the adjacent alluvial aquifer and quantification of herbicide bank storage during high streamflow were investigated at a research site on the Cedar River flood plain, 10 km southeast of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. During high streamflow in March 1990, alachlor, atrazine, and metolachlor were detected at concentrations above background in water from wells as distant as 20, 50, and 10 m from the river's edge, respectively. During high streamflow in May 1990, alachlor, atrazine, cyanazine, and metolachlor were detected at concentrations above background as distant as 20, 50, 10, and 20 m from the river's edge, respectively. Herbicide bank storage took place during high streamflow when hydraulic gradients were from the river to the alluvial aquifer and the laterally infiltrating river water contained herbicide concentrations larger than background concentrations in the aquifer. The herbicide bank storage can be quantified by multiplying herbicide concentration by the "effective area" that a well represented and an assumed porosity of 0.25. During March 1990, herbicide bank storage values were calculated to be 1.7,79, and 4.0 mg/m for alachlor, atrazine, and metolachlor, respectively. During May 1990, values were 7.1, 54, 11, and 19 mg/m for alachlor, atrazine, cyanazine, and metolachlor, respectively. ?? 1994 American Chemical Society.

  8. Statistic inversion of multi-zone transition probability models for aquifer characterization in alluvial fans

    E-print Network

    Zhu, Lin; Gong, Huili; Gable, Carl; Teatini, Pietro

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the heterogeneity arising from the complex architecture of sedimentary sequences in alluvial fans is challenging. This paper develops a statistical inverse framework in a multi-zone transition probability approach for characterizing the heterogeneity in alluvial fans. An analytical solution of the transition probability matrix is used to define the statistical relationships among different hydrofacies and their mean lengths, integral scales, and volumetric proportions. A statistical inversion is conducted to identify the multi-zone transition probability models and estimate the optimal statistical parameters using the modified Gauss-Newton-Levenberg-Marquardt method. The Jacobian matrix is computed by the sensitivity equation method, which results in an accurate inverse solution with quantification of parameter uncertainty. We use the Chaobai River alluvial fan in the Beijing Plain, China, as an example for elucidating the methodology of alluvial fan characterization. The alluvial fan is divided...

  9. FUTURE STUDIES AT PENA BLANCA: RADIONUCLIDE MIGRATION IN THE VADOSE ZONE OF AN ALLUVIAL FAN

    SciTech Connect

    P. Goodell; J. Walton; P.J. Rodriguez

    2005-07-11

    The pathway to the accessible environment at Yucca Mountain contains volcanic rocks and alluvial fill. Transport properties in alluvial fill, specifically retardation and dispersivity, may be significant in determining the overall performance of the repository. Prior relevant studies, with the exception of the Nye County Tracer Test, are almost entirely in bedrock material. The proposed study will provide field data on radionuclide migration in alluvial material. High grade uranium ore was mined at the Nopal I deposit. This mined ore (60,000 tons) was moved in 1994 to its present site as open piles on an alluvial fan in the Boquilla Colorada Microbasin. Precipitation is approximately 20 cm/year, and has caused migration of radionuclides into the subsurface. We propose partial removal of an ore pile, excavation into the alluvial fan, sampling, and determination of radionuclide mobilities from the uranium decay chain. The proposed research would be taking advantage of a unique opportunity with a known time frame for migration.

  10. The depositional environment of the late Pliocene ``red clay'', Jing-Le Basin, Shanxi Province, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duowen, Mo; Derbyshire, Edward

    1991-02-01

    Red silty clays of late Pliocene age are widely distributed in northern China. At the type section in the Jing-Le Basin in Shanxi Province they overlie alluvial and lacustrine sands and gravels and underlie loess. New data on grain size, grain shape, fabric, chemistry, floral (pollen) content and previously catalogued faunal evidence suggest sedimentation of the silty clays in a warm temperate and sub-humid environment as a weathered mantle transported down gentle slopes by creep and rainwash. The Jing-Le Formation represents a transition from dominantly alluvial deposition in the Upper Pliocene to dominantly aeolian deposition in the Lower Pleistocene.

  11. Management implications of the ecology of free-roaming horses in semi-arid ecosystems of the western United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beever, Erik A.

    2003-01-01

    Compared to other ungulates of North America, free-roaming horses (Equus caballus) possess a unique evolutionary history that has given rise to a distinct suite of behavioral, morphological, and physiological traits. Because of their unique combination of cecal digestion, an elongate head with flexible lips, and non-uniform use of the landscape, horses represent a unique disturbance agent in semi-arid ecosystems of the western United States. Consequently, it is inappropriate to assume that influences of horses on the structure, composition, function, and pattern of arid and semi-arid ecosystems will mirror influences of cattle or other artiodactyls. Although management areas for free-roaming horses occupy 18.6 million ha of land across western North America, we know relatively little about how western ecosystems and their components have responded to this uniquely managed ungulate. I draw on my research of horse habitats in the western Great Basin (U.S.A.) to examine predictions of horses' unique influence, and advocate for continued research to refine our understanding of synecological relationships among horses and diverse ecosystem components in arid and semi-arid regions.

  12. Long-term slip rate of the southern San Andreas Fault Al surface exposure dating of an offset alluvial fan

    E-print Network

    Klinger, Yann

    of an offset alluvial fan Je´ro^me van der Woerd,1,2 Yann Klinger,3,4 Kerry Sieh,3 Paul Tapponnier,5 Frederick alluvial fan surface. Field mapping complemented with topographic data, air photos and satellite images Andreas Fault from 10 Be-26 Al surface exposure dating of an offset alluvial fan, J. Geophys. Res., 111, B

  13. ALLUVIAL SCRUB VEGETATION IN COASTAL SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA1 Ted L. Hanes, Richard D. Friesen, and Kathy Keane2

    E-print Network

    apart from alluvial fans and large rivers. Alluvial scrub is composed of an assortment of droughtALLUVIAL SCRUB VEGETATION IN COASTAL SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA1 Ted L. Hanes, Richard D. Friesen- parian woodlands due to a lack of perennial water. Allu- vial scrub occurs on outwash fans and riverine

  14. Hydrogeochemistry of groundwaters in an alluvial aquifer: removal of Fe and Mn in an alluvial aquifer by sulfate reduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, H.; Kim, K.; Choi, B.; Kim, S.; Jeong, H.; Koh, D.

    2006-12-01

    Alluvial aquifer is considered as an optimal site to produce riverbank filtration water in Korea. However, the application of riverbank filtration is greatly hindered in those aquifers due to high nitrate levels caused by agricultural activities occurring above it. Nitrate is readily attenuated by denitrification under a moderately reducing condition. In contrast, Fe and Mn generally become the additional problems as nitrate is removed by denitrification. This study shows that Fe/Mn can also be removed from groundwater under a more reducing condition with high sulfate concentration. This study was performed in an agricultural, alluvial aquifer located alongside of the Mankyeong River. For this study, we installed six multi-level samplers to collect minimally disturbed water samples. Our results show that the shallow groundwaters are highly contaminated with nitrate due to excessive fertilizer application. However, nitrate is soon removed from groundwater by denitrification at the depth 10-15 m. The study site also shows that Fe and Mn concentrations drastically increase up to 50 mg/l and 5 mg/l, respectively, after the removal of nitrate. Interestingly, the levels for Fe and Mn steeply decrease to the detection limit of the analysis at the deeper depths. A precise inspection of the chemical data suggests that the abrupt decreases in Fe and Mn levels are the results of sulfate reduction. It is likely that Fe and Mn are removed as sulfide minerals by reaction with sulfide ions produced from sulfate reduction.

  15. Sedimentation and tectonics in the southern Bida Basin, Nigeria: depositional response to varying tectonic context

    SciTech Connect

    Braide, S.P. )

    1990-05-01

    The Upper Cretaceous Bida basin of central Nigeria is sandwiched between the Precambrian schist belts of the Northern Nigerian massif and the West African craton. Of interest is the southern part of the basin, which developed in continental settings, because the facies architecture of the sedimentary fill suggests a close relation between sedimentation dynamics and basin margin tectonics. This relationship is significant to an understanding of the basin's origin, which has been controversial. A simple sag and rift origin has been suggested, and consequently dominated the negative thinking on the hydrocarbon prospects of the basin which were considered poor. This detailed study of the facies indicates rapid basin-wide changes from various alluvial fan facies through flood-basin and deltaic facies to lacustrine facies. Paleogeographic reconstruction suggests lacustrine environments were widespread and elongate. Lacustrine environments occurred at the basin's axis and close to the margins. This suggests the depocenter must have migrated during the basin's depositional history and subsided rapidly to accommodate the 3.5-km-thick sedimentary fill. Although distinguishing pull-apart basins from rift basins, based solely on sedimentologic grounds, may be difficult, the temporal migration of the depocenter, as well as the basin architecture of upward coarsening cyclicity, show a strong tectonic and structural overprint that suggests a tectonic framework for the Southern Bida basin similar in origin to a pull-apart basin.

  16. A Review of Fire Effects on Vegetation and Soils in the Great Basin Region: Response and Ecological Site Characteristics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This review summarizes the state of our knowledge on fire effects on plants and soils in semi-arid ecosystems in the Great Basin Region, including the Columbia River and Snake River basins. It identifies what we know and don’t know and the key components that influence how plants, communities, and ...

  17. Facies architecture and paleohydrology of a synrift succession in the Early Cretaceous Choyr Basin, southeastern Mongolia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ito, M.; Matsukawa, M.; Saito, T.; Nichols, D.J.

    2006-01-01

    The Choyr Basin is one of several Early Cretaceous rift basins in southwestern Mongolia that developed in specific regions between north-south trending fold-and-thrust belts. The eastern margin of the basin is defined by high-angle normal and/or strike-slip faults that trend north-to-south and northeast-to-southwest and by the overall geometry of the basin, which is interpreted to be a half graben. The sedimentary succession of the Choyr Basin documents one of the various types of tectono-sedimentary processes that were active in the rift basins of East Asia during Early Cretaceous time. The sedimentary infill of the Choyr Basin is newly defined as the Khalzan Uul and Khuren Dukh formations based on detailed mapping of lateral and vertical variations in component lithofacies assemblages. These two formations are heterotopic deposits and constitute a third-order fluvio-lacustrine sequence that can be divided into transgressive and highstand systems tracts. The lower part of the transgressive systems tract (TST) is characterized by sandy alluvial-fan and braided-river systems on the hanging wall along the western basin margin, and by a gravelly alluvial-fan system on the footwall along the eastern basin margin. The alluvial-fan and braided-river deposits along the western basin margin are fossiliferous and are interpreted to have developed in association with a perennial fluvial system. In contrast, alluvial-fan deposits along the eastern basin margin do not contain any distinct faunas or floras and are interpreted to have been influenced by a high-discharge ephemeral fluvial system associated with fluctuations in wetting and drying paleohydrologic processes. The lower part of the TST deposit fines upward to siltstone-dominated flood-plain and ephemeral-lake deposits that constitute the upper part of the TST and the lower part of the highstand systems tract (HST). These mudstone deposits eventually reduced the topographic irregularities typical of the early stage of synrift basin development, with an associated decrease in topographic-slope gradients. Finally, a high-sinuosity meandering river system drained to the south during the late highstand stage in response to the northward migration of the depocenter. The upper HST deposits are also fossiliferous and are interpreted to have been influenced by a perennial fluvial system, although the average annual discharge of this system was probably less than 5 percent of that involved in the formation of the lower TST deposits along the western basin margin. ?? 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Geomorphological characterization of endorheic basins in northern Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorsaz, J.; Gironas, J. A.; Escauriaza, C. R.; Rinaldo, A.

    2011-12-01

    Quantitative geomorphology regroups a large number of interesting tools to characterize natural basins across scales. The application of these tools to several river basins allows the description and comparison of geomorphological properties at different spatial scales as oppose to more traditional descriptors that are typically applied at a single scale, meaning the catchment scale. Most of the recent research using these quantitative geomorphological tools has focused on open catchments and no specific attention has been given to endorheic basins, and the possibility of having particular features that distinguish them from exorheic catchments. The main objective of our study is to characterize endorheic basins and investigate whether these special geomorphological features can be identified. Because scaling invariance is a widely observed and relatively well quantified property of open basins, it provides a suitable tool to characterize differences between the geomorphology of closed and open basins. Our investigation focuses on three closed basins located in northern Chile which describe well the diversity in the geomorphology and geology of this arid region. Results show that endhoreic basins exhibit different slope-area and flow paths sinuosity regimes compared to those observed in open basins. These differences are in agreement with the particular self-similar behavior across spatial scales of the Euclidean length of subcatchments, as well as the Hack's law and Horton's ratios. These regimes imply different physical processes inside the channel network regardless of the basin area, and they seem to be related to the endorheic character of these basins. The analysis of the probability density functions of contributing areas and lengths to the lower region shows that the hypothesis of self-similarity can also be applied to closed basins. Theoretical expressions for these distributions were derived and validated by the data. Future research will focus on (1) applying similar analyses in other locations and comparing the results, and (2) understanding and modeling the effects of groundwater in forming the landscape of these arid regions.

  19. Modelling Water Flow In An Alluvial Groundwater-fed Wetland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joris, I.; Feyen, J.

    Complex hydrological interactions occur within alluvial wetlands as a result of fluxes of water to and from the river, atmospheric fluxes and groundwater interactions. The relative importance of these fluxes and their interaction are responsible for the root zone conditions, which in turn determine the potential for different types of natu- ral vegetation. In this research, field data and numerical modeling are combined to examine the water flow processes occurring in an alluvial wetland and to develop a tool to asses the sensitivity of root zone conditions to changes in hydrological bound- ary conditions. The investigated field site is a wetland along the river Dijle with a typical micro-topography with natural levees along the river and depressions further from the river. It is a highly dynamical system with ground water amplitudes ranging from 1,5 meters close to the river to 0,5 meters in the floodplain depression. Along a transect perpendicular to the river, groundwater level and soil moisture content have been monitored for a period of two years. Groundwater inflow at the site is estimated from measurements of nested piezometers, from a regional groundwater model and from recorded soil temperature profiles. Soil hydraulic parameters are measured in the laboratory on undisturbed field cores. Saturated soil moisture contents show a sys- tematic variation with distance from the river, consistent with the observed textural variation typical for alluvial plains. The SWMS-2D code for simulating water flow in two-dimensional variably saturated media is used to reconstruct pressure head and moisture content distributions along the transect. The boundary conditions of the sim- ulation domain are determined by piezometric level in the depression, river stage on the other side, the groundwater inflow from the shallow aquifer at the bottom and rainfall/evapotranspiration at the top of the domain. Scaling factors are included in the model to allow linear variations of the hydraulic curves over the domain and reflect the observed trend in the field. A MATLAB-routine is developed in order to allow in- verse optimization of the hydraulic parameters against measured groundwater levels. Results show that the model is capable of describing the groundwater dynamics fairly well and that the introduction of scaling factors results in a significant improvement of the predicted soil moisture profiles.

  20. Sustainable Water Use System of Artesian Water in Alluvial Fan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kishi, K.; Tsujimura, M.; Tase, N.

    2013-12-01

    The traditional water use system, developed with the intelligence of the local residents, usually takes advantage of local natural resources and is considered as a sustainable system, because of its energy saving(only forces of nature). For this reason, such kind of water use system is also recommended in some strategic policies for the purpose of a symbiosis between nature and human society. Therefore, it is important to clarify the relationship between human activities and water use systems. This study aims to clarify the mechanism of traditional water use processes in alluvial fan, and in addition, to investigate the important factors which help forming a sustainable water use system from the aspects of natural conditions and human activities. The study area, an alluvial fan region named Adogawa, is located in Shiga Prefecture, Japan and is in the west of Biwa Lake which is the largest lake in Japan. In this alluvial region where the land use is mainly occupied by settlements and paddy fields, a groundwater flowing well system is called "kabata" according to local tradition. During field survey, we took samples of groundwater, river water and lake water as well as measured the potential head of groundwater. The results showed that the upper boundary of flowing water was approximately 88m amsl, which is basically the same as the results reported by Kishi and Kanno (1966). In study area, a rapid increase of water pumping for domestic water use and melting snow during last 50 years, even if the irrigation area has decreased about 30% since 1970, and this fact may cause a decrease in recharge rate to groundwater. However, the groundwater level didn't decline based on the observed results, which is probably contributed by some water conservancy projects on Biwa Lake which maintained the water level of the lake. All the water samples are characterized by Ca-HCO3 type and similar stable isotopic value of ?D and ?18O. Groundwater level in irrigation season is higher than that in non-irrigation season, which indicates that groundwater level is apparently influenced by surface water. Some communities and NPOs working in this area maintain the "kabata" and canal for environment conservation. There are many rules for the local residents when using the water resources. For example, the use of detergents is prohibited for "kabata" users. The residents living upstream also should think of other groundwater users downstream. For this reason, it can be considered that the "kabata" water use method contributed to a symbiosis between ecosystem and human activity The study area case showed that the traditional water use system is useful for forming a sustainable groundwater flowing well use system.

  1. Architectural analysis and chronology of an Alpine alluvial fan using 3D ground penetrating radar investigation and quantitative outcrop analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franke, D.; Hornung, J.; Hinderer, M.

    2012-04-01

    Alluvial fans represent sediment sinks directly at the outlet of the source area in mountain landscapes. They contain multiple information on short-term as well as on long-term changes of sediment supply and of environmental parameters like climate and vegetation. However, most studies on alluvial fans are restricted to selective surface analysis and almost no studies exist which aim to clear the subsurface geometry of an alluvial fan in total. Our study is embedded in the SedyMONT research program within the TOPO-EUROPE framework and aims to clarify the subsurface structure of an alluvial fan by a time-controlled 3D architectural model. The Illgraben fan is located in the Central Alps of Switzerland within the Rhone valley and covers an area of about 6.5 km2. Currently construction works for a highway cuts through the fan exposing its deposits (mainly gravel and diamicton) up to 15 m depth and therefore offers the unique opportunity to link ground penetrating radar (GPR) investigations with quantitative outcrop analysis. GPR measurements on the Illgraben fan have been carried out at two different scales: (i) a fan-wide scale with about 80 km radar sections forming a half spiderweb pattern to identify the fundamental architecture of the fan (using 100 MHz and 40 MHz antenna), and (ii) four orthogonal grids of about 50 m x 100 m for detailed architectural analysis (using a 200 MHz antenna). Penetration depth was up to 15 m for high and low frequency antennas. The radargrams were processed, georeferenced and transferred into a 3D-modeling software (GOCAD®) to map radar facies units. By means of quantitative sedimentological analyses and precisely scaled photo panels we could translate radar facies pattern into sedimentary facies, and interpret reflectors and their properties in terms of sedimentary units. These geobodies can be characterized in terms of volume, shape, geometrical key parameters, their spatial distribution, as well as internal sedimentary structures in order to identify depositional processes. Preliminary results show distinct horizons ('palaeosurfaces') indicating fan-wide depositional starvation and minimized sediment supply. Furthermore, between these horizons the Illgraben fan is built up by multi-storey and multilateral architectural elements of different type and at characteristic scales which can be attributed to specific depositional processes (e.g. debris flows, channel fills, levees). At small-scale a heterogeneous and complex stacking pattern of geobody interfaces was observed, showing a distinct multi-fold hierarchy of mainly concave, convex and horizontal structures. First 14C AMS ages from the central part of the alluvial fan (ca. 10 m depth) indicate high sedimentation rates during the past 2000 years. We found no control of natural spectral gamma-ray radiation by lithofacies units. Hence variations must indicate changes in the source areas and/or climate-controlled weathering conditions in the drainage basin (ca. 9.5 km2).

  2. Late Holocene Soil Stratigraphy and Geochronology of Alluvial Sedimentation in the Sonoran Desert, Arizona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bacon, S. N.; McDonald, E. V.; Dalldorf, G. K.; Caldwell, T. G.

    2007-12-01

    The integration of soil stratigraphic investigations and radiocarbon dating at two sites in combination with geomorphic mapping at scales of 1:50k and 1:5k offer insight to the timing and magnitude of alluvial sedimentation during the late Holocene within the Sonoran Desert near Yuma, Arizona. Mapping at 1:50k was performed over an area of 3400 km2 and alluvial landforms were labeled Qf1 to Qf5, from oldest to youngest, using 1- and 5-meter resolution satellite imagery within the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground (YPG). Approximately 70% of the identified landforms within YPG are Quaternary alluvial fans, alluvial plains, and active washes, whereas the other 30% consist of mountain highlands, pediments, and badlands. In the southwest portion of YPG near Muggins Mountains, alluvial fan terraces (Qf4) positioned 0.5 m above active washes are characterized as having moderate bar-and-swale microtopography, moderately developed desert pavement, and a Av/ Bw/ Cky/ Cky1/ Cky2/ Cky3 gravelly soil profile. A large piece of charcoalized Ironwood ( Olneya tesota) was recovered from a depth of 0.75 m and yielded three AMS 14C dates that range from 3330 to 2860 cal yr B.P. Geomorphic mapping at a scale of 1:5k indicates that in an area of 25 km2 at the site, the distribution of late Holocene alluvial fan terraces comprise 17% of the surrounding Quaternary alluvium. Similar aged alluvial features were observed about 70 km to the north near South Trigo Peak at YPG. Terraces of a broad and flat alluvial plain positioned 0.5 m above active channels are characterized as having moderate bar- and-swale microtopography, poorly developed desert pavement, and a AC/ C/ Bwkb1/ Bwk1b2/ Bwk2b2/ BCkb2/ Bwkb3 sandy soil profile. A terrestrial gastropod shell ( Lymnea sp.) fragment was recovered from a depth of 0.5 m and yielded an AMS 14C date of 2360-2310 cal yr B.P. Additional geomorphic mapping at 1:5k shows that in an area of 30 km2, the distribution of late Holocene alluvial plain terraces and equivalent alluvial fans include 35% of the surrounding Quaternary alluvium. Of the total Quaternary alluvium identified at 1:50k, 10% of the landforms consist of gravelly alluvial fans and sandy alluvial plains deposited between 3330 and 2310 cal yr B.P. The numerical ages and associated soil development provide evidence of regional alluvial sedimentation near Yuma, Arizona, and provides well constrained geomorphic data for paleoclimatic modeling in the Sonoran Desert during the late Holocene.

  3. Strategies for cooler cities? Ecophysiological responses of semi-arid street trees to storm water harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeMets, C. M.; Pavao-zuckerman, M.; Barron-Gafford, G.

    2013-12-01

    As the southwestern U.S. moves into an uncertain future in terms of water supply and climate, communities are seeking creative ways to harvest urban runoff. One such solution is to implement water-sensitive urban design features such as rain basins, which are designed to capture and facilitate infiltration of precipitation and storm water as it runs off impermeable surfaces like streets and sidewalks. Rain basins essentially act as temporary cisterns, allowing a given rain event to have a much larger impact in recharging soil water profiles. In this sense, even a 'small' rain may yield a more saturated soil profile and stimulate plant physiological activity well beyond plants that lack this additional moisture input. However, the impacts of rain basins on plant function remain unquantified. Therefore, the purpose of our research is to characterize the performance of native mesquite trees in basins relative to non-basin native mesquites. To answer our question, we randomly sampled basin and non-basin native mesquites in two different neighborhoods in Tucson, AZ, and characterized their response to precipitation events. We measured stomatal conductance, a proxy for transpiration, on the first and third days following rain events in 2013. Numerous environmental factors, such as photosynthetically available radiation (PAR), temperature, relative humidity, and soil moisture, were also measured in order to explore relationships with conductance. These measurements were conducted before and during monsoon season in order to determine the significance of water in basin performance, enabling us to better characterize plant response to medium (6 to 12 mm) rain events. Findings from this study indicate that basin and non-basin mesquites have similar pre-monsoon conductance rates, with a mean basin value of 70 +/-10 mmol/(m2*s) and a mean non-basin value of 57 +/-6 mmol/(m2*s) at peak conductance. In contrast, during the monsoon, basin mesquites showed significantly higher peak conductance rates (179 +/-22 mmol/(m2*s)) than non-basin trees (126 +/-9 mmol/(m2*s)). Perhaps more importantly, basin mesquite conductance remained elevated for an extended period of time into the afternoon as compared to non-basin mesquites. While this difference was negligible before the monsoon, it was significant during the monsoon. The day immediately after a medium rainfall event, non-basin mesquites shut down around 13:00, while basin mesquites never shut down completely before the end of the measurement period around 17:30. Soil moisture levels were elevated in the rain basins relative to the non-basin soils, suggesting that basins impact plant functioning through enhanced soil water availability. These preliminary results demonstrate that basins are an effective means of capturing water and irrigating plants. Here we have demonstrated how an appreciation of wildland plant ecophysiology can be applied to an urban setting in support of a suite of ecosystem services. Notably, there is a potential for enhanced urban heat island mitigation in semi-arid cities through the application of water-sensitive urban design features such as rain basins, due to their supporting a longer duration of latent heat flux cooling (i.e., transpiration) into the afternoon.

  4. Optimizing conjunctive use of surface water and groundwater for irrigation in arid and semi-arid areas: an integrated modeling approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    In arid and semi-arid agricultural areas, groundwater (GW) is an important water source of irrigation, in addition to surface water (SW). Groundwater pumping would significantly alter the regional hydrological regime, and therefore complicate the water resources management process. This study explored how to optimize the conjunctive use of SW and GW for agricultural irrigation at a basin scale, based on integrated SW-GW modeling and global optimization methods. The improved GSFLOW model was applied to the Heihe River Basin, the second largest inland river basin in China. Two surrogate-based global optimization approaches were implemented and compared, including the well-established DYCORS algorithm and a new approach we proposed named as SOIM, which takes radial basis function (RBF) and support vector machine (SVM) as the surrogate model, respectively. Both temporal and spatial optimizations were performed, aiming at maximizing saturated storage change of midstream part conditioned on non-reduction of irrigation demand, constrained by certain annual discharge for the downstream part. Several scenarios for different irrigation demand and discharge flow are designed. The main study results include the following. First, the integrated modeling not only provides sufficient flexibility to formulation of optimization problems, but also makes the optimization results more physically interpretable and managerially meaningful. Second, the surrogate-based optimization approach was proved to be effective and efficient for the complex, time-consuming modeling, and is quite promising for decision-making. Third, the strong and complicated SW-GW interactions in the study area allow significant water resources conservation, even if neither irrigation demand nor discharge for the downstream part decreases. Under the optimal strategy, considerable part of surface water division is replaced by 'Stream leakage-Pump' process to avoid non-beneficial evaporation via canals. Spatially, the optimization suggests increase of pumping percentage in areas with significant GW recharge and shallow water table and adjacent to the main river channel. Temporally, the optimization suggests increase of pumping percentage during dry seasons, and decrease during flooding seasons. The groundwater storage zone could work as inartificial reservoirs because of the fierce interactions between SW and GW to help achieve spatial and temporal reallocation without loss from evaporation. Moreover, the results of different scenarios reveal that, sustainability of saturated zone for the midstream part could be promoted dramatically by cutting down irrigation demand. The study results are of significant importance to the water resources management in arid and semi-arid agricultural areas.

  5. Evaluating the complementary relationship for estimating evapotranspiration from arid shrublands

    E-print Network

    Szilagyi, Jozsef

    Evaluating the complementary relationship for estimating evapotranspiration from arid shrublands J supplies, accurate estimates of evapotranspiration (LE) from arid shrublands of the Southwestern United. M. Pohll (2011), Evaluating the complementary relationship for estimating evapotranspiration from

  6. Methodologies for hydraulic hazard mapping in alluvial fan areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milanesi, L.; Pilotti, M.; Ranzi, R.; Valerio, G.

    2014-09-01

    Hydraulic hazards in alluvial fan areas are mainly related to torrential floods and debris flows. These processes are characterized by their fast time evolution and relevant sediment load. Rational approaches for the estimation of hazard levels in flood-prone areas make use of the maps of depth and velocity, which are provided by numerical simulations of the event. This paper focuses on national regulations regarding quantitative debris-flow hazard mapping and compares them to a simple conceptual model for the quantification of the hazard levels on the basis of human stability in a flood. In particular, the proposed method takes into account, in a conceptual fashion, both the local slope and the density of the fluid, that are crucial aspects affecting stability for processes in mountain environments. Physically-based hazard criteria provide more comprehensible and objective maps, increasing awareness among stakeholders and providing more acceptable constraints for land planning.

  7. Basin analysis of tertiary strata in the Pattani Basin, Gulf of Thailand

    SciTech Connect

    Chonchawalit, A. ); Bustin, R.M. )

    1994-07-01

    The stratigraphic and structural evolution of the Pattani basin, the most prolific petroleum basin in Thailand, reflects the extensional tectonics of continental southeast Asia. East-west extension, a product of the northward collision of India with Eurasia since the early Tertiary resulted in the formation of a series of north-south-trending sedimentary basins including the Pattani basin. Subsidence and thermal histories of the basin can generally be accounted for by nonuniform lithospheric stretching. The validity of nonuniform lithospheric stretching as a mechanic for the formation of the Pattani basin is confirmed by a reasonably good agreement between modeled and observed vitrinite reflectance at various depths and locations. The amount of stretching and surface heat flow generally increases from the basin margin to the basin center. Crustal stretching factor ([beta]) ranges from 1.3 at the basin margin to 2.8 in the center. Subcrustal stretching factor ([sigma]) ranges from 1.3 at the margin to more than 3.0 in the center. The stretching of the lithosphere may have extended basement rocks as much as 45 to 90 km and may have caused the upwelling of asthenosphere, resulting in high heat flow. The sedimentary succession in the Pattani basin is divisible into synrift and postrift sequences. The synrift sequences comprise (1) late Eocene ( ) to early Oligocene alluvial fan, braided river, and flood-plain deposits; (2) late Oligocene to early Miocene floodplain and channel deposits; and (3) an early Miocene regressive package of marine to nonmarine sediments. Deposition of synrift sequences corresponded to rifting and extension, which included episodic block faulting and rapid subsidence. Postrift succession comprises (1) an early to middle Miocene regressive package of shallow marine to nonmarine sediments, (2) a late early Miocene transgressive package; and (3) a late Miocene to Pleistocene transgression succession.

  8. Arid site characterization and technology assessment: Volatile Organic Compounds-Arid Integrated Demonstration

    SciTech Connect

    Riley, R.G.

    1993-06-01

    The US Department of Energy`s (DOE`s) Volatile Organic Compounds-Arid Integrated Demonstration (VOC-Arid ID) program was initiated in March 1991 to evaluate technologies for all phases of remediation of VOCs in soils and groundwater at DOE arid/semiarid sites. The primary site for field demonstrations under the VOC-Arid ID program is the Hanford Site. The purpose of this report is to describe (1) the bases for technologies currently under evaluation in the VOC-Arid ID program; (2) the types of subsurface contamination at DOE arid/semiarid sites; and (3) the areas of potential common technology interests based on perceived technology needs at other DOE sites. This report was compiled by Pacific Northwest Laboratory in response to DOE`s Office of Technology Development`s mission to carry out an aggressive program to accelerate the development and implementation of new and existing technologies to meet a 30-year goal set by DOE in June 1989 to clean up all of its sites and to bring all sites into compliance with current and future environmental regulations. A key component of this program is the development of technologies that are better, faster, safer, and cheaper than those technologies currently available. Included in this report are an evaluation of technologies currently (fiscal year 1993) being pursued at the Hanford Site under the auspices of the VOC-Arid ID program, an assessment of subsurface contaminants at arid/semiarid sites, a summarization of technologies under consideration at other DOE sites, a discussion of areas of potential common technology interests, and the conclusions. Also included are a summary of the extent of contamination at the DOE arid/semiarid sites under consideration and a bibliography of source documents from which this report was prepared.

  9. Alluvial diamond resource potential and production capacity assessment of Guinea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chirico, Peter G.; Malpeli, Katherine C.; Van Bockstael, Mark; Diaby, Mamadou; Cissé, Kabinet; Diallo, Thierno Amadou; Sano, Mahmoud

    2012-01-01

    In May of 2000, a meeting was convened in Kimberley, South Africa, by representatives of the diamond industry and leaders of African governments to develop a certification process intended to assure that export shipments of rough diamonds were free of conflict concerns. Outcomes of the meeting were formally supported later in December of 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 diamond-producing and diamond-importing countries. The goal of this study was to estimate the alluvial diamond resource endowment and the current production capacity of the alluvial diamond mining sector of Guinea. A modified volume and grade methodology was used to estimate the remaining diamond reserves within Guinea's diamondiferous regions, while the diamond-production capacity of these zones was estimated by inputting the number of artisanal miners, the number of days artisans work per year, and the average grade of the deposits into a formulaic expression. Guinea's resource potential was estimated to be approximately 40 million carats, while the production capacity was estimated to lie within a range of 480,000 to 720,000 carats per year. While preliminary results have been produced by integrating historical documents, five fieldwork campaigns, and remote sensing and GIS analysis, significant data gaps remain. The artisanal mining sector is dynamic and is affected by a variety of internal and external factors. Estimates of the number of artisans and deposit variables, such as grade, vary from site to site and from zone to zone. This report has been developed on the basis of the most detailed information available at this time. However, continued fieldwork and evaluation of artisanally mined deposits would increase the accuracy of the results.

  10. Controls on flow width in aggrading alluvial systems and implications for alluvial fan evolution and environmental reconstruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicholas, Andrew; Quine, Timothy; Clarke, Lucy

    2010-05-01

    Alluvial fans are dynamic landforms, the evolution of which is controlled by both external environmental forcing (climate, tectonics and base level change) and internal process-form feedbacks. The latter include changes in flow configuration and width, driven by aggradation and degradation, which may in turn promote changes in sediment transport capacity. Recent numerical modelling indicates that such feedbacks may lead to dramatic and persistent fan entrenchment in the absence of external forcing. However, the parameterisation of flow width within such models is untested to date and is subject to considerable uncertainty. Here we consider this problem and its implications in two ways. (1) We present results from a physical modelling study of flow width dynamics on an aggrading fan in which spatial and temporal patterns of fan inundation are monitored continuously using analysis of digital vertical photography. Observed flow widths are compared with results from a simple theoretical model developed for non-equilibrium (aggradational) conditions. Results demonstrate that the theoretical model is capable of capturing the first-order characteristics of width adjustment over the course of the experiment, and indicate that flow width is a function of fan aggradation rate. This illustrates that models of alluvial flow width derived for equilibrium conditions may have limited utility in non-equilibrium situations, despite their widespread use to date. (2) We then apply this model to simulate post-glacial fan entrenchment in the Avoca Valley, New Zealand. This is carried out by conducting a series of c. 80000 numerical simulations of fan formation, within a Monte Carlo framework, in order to evaluate the potential for reconstructing past environmental conditions by matching simulated and observed fan morphologies. Our results indicate that simulations based on a wide range of model boundary conditions are able to reproduce the observed fan characteristics. Such equifinal behaviour is a product of an imposed limit on fan progradation and associated autogenic feedbacks, which drive flow narrowing and fan entrenchment even in the absence of external changes in water or sediment supply. We find little evidence that the majority of preserved fan terraces that formed post-entrenchment did so during periods of higher than average discharge or sediment supply to the fan apex, or that evidence for significant changes in sediment supply associated with major climate shifts are likely to be preserved in the current fan morphology. These results have significant implications for the use of numerical models to assist interpretation of alluvial landforms in the context of past environment change.

  11. ARID3B Directly Regulates Ovarian Cancer Promoting Genes

    PubMed Central

    Bobbs, Alexander; Gellerman, Katrina; Hallas, William Morgan; Joseph, Stancy; Yang, Chao; Kurkewich, Jeffrey; Cowden Dahl, Karen D.

    2015-01-01

    The DNA-binding protein AT-Rich Interactive Domain 3B (ARID3B) is elevated in ovarian cancer and increases tumor growth in a xenograft model of ovarian cancer. However, relatively little is known about ARID3B's function. In this study we perform the first genome wide screen for ARID3B direct target genes and ARID3B regulated pathways. We identified and confirmed numerous ARID3B target genes by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) followed by microarray and quantitative RT-PCR. Using motif-finding algorithms, we characterized a binding site for ARID3B, which is similar to the previously known site for the ARID3B paralogue ARID3A. Functionality of this predicted site was demonstrated by ChIP analysis. We next demonstrated that ARID3B induces expression of its targets in ovarian cancer cell lines. We validated that ARID3B binds to an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) enhancer and increases mRNA expression. ARID3B also binds to the promoter of Wnt5A and its receptor FZD5. FZD5 is highly expressed in ovarian cancer cell lines, and is upregulated by exogenous ARID3B. Both ARID3B and FZD5 expression increase adhesion to extracellular matrix (ECM) components including collagen IV, fibronectin and vitronectin. ARID3B-increased adhesion to collagens II and IV require FZD5. This study directly demonstrates that ARID3B binds target genes in a sequence-specific manner, resulting in increased gene expression. Furthermore, our data indicate that ARID3B regulation of direct target genes in the Wnt pathway promotes adhesion of ovarian cancer cells. PMID:26121572

  12. Integrating a Gravity Simulation and Groundwater Numerical Modeling on the Calibration of Specific Yield for Choshui Alluvial Fan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, C. Y.

    2014-12-01

    In Taiwan, groundwater resources play a vital role on the regional supply management. Because the groundwater resources have been used without proper management in decades, several kinds of natural hazards, such as land subsidence, have been occurred. The Choshui alluvial fan is one of the hot spots in Taiwan. For sustainable management, accurately estimation of recharge is the most important information. The accuracy is highly related to the uncertainty of specific yield (Sy). Besides, because the value of Sy should be tested via a multi-well pumping test, the installation cost for the multi-well system limits the number of field tests. Therefore, the low spatial density of field test for Sy makes the estimation of recharge contains high uncertainty. The proposed method combines MODFLOW with a numerical integration procedure that calculates the gravity variations. Heterogeneous parameters (Sy) can be assigned to MODFLOW cells. An inverse procedure is then applied to interpret and identify the Sy value around the gravity station. The proposed methodology is applied to the Choshui alluvial fan, one of the most important groundwater basins in Taiwan. Three gravity measurement stations, "GS01", "GS02" and "GS03", were established. The location of GS01 is in the neighborhood of a groundwater observation well where pumping test data are available. The Sy value estimated from the gravitation measurements collected from GS01 compares favorably with that obtained from the traditional pumping test. The comparison verifies the correctness and accuracy of the proposed method. We then use the gravity measurements collected from GS02 and GS03 to estimate the Sy values in the areas where there exist no pumping test data. Using the estimated values obtained from gravity measurements, the spatial distribution of the values of specific yield for the aquifer can be further refined. The proposed method is a cost-saving and accuracy alternative for the estimation of specific yield in a regional groundwater system.

  13. The plight of arid land agriculture

    SciTech Connect

    Hinman, C. W.; Hinman, K.W.

    1992-01-01

    This book analyses the problems of the agricultural environment worldwide and possible solutions. Problems covered include the following: famines caused by agricultural land mismanegment in Subsaharan Africa and population increase; improved productivity leading to salinity, erosion, and water depletion; toxic wastes; loging, deforestation, and over-grazing. Agricultural practices, both ancient and modern, in arid lands are described. Food crops suited for arid lands, potential industrial crops, oil extraction from seed and rubber extraction, and biomass as a source of energy are discussed in different chapters. Finally the book deals with optimization of water use, prevention of salinization, and the prospect of global warming.

  14. Alluvial Fan Delineation from SAR and LIDAR-Derived Digital Elevation Models in the Philippines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aquino, D. T.; Ortiz, I.; Timbas, N.; Gacusan, R.; Montalbo, K.; Eco, R. C.; Lagmay, A.

    2013-12-01

    Occurrence of floods and debris flows leading to the formation of alluvial fans at the base of mountains naturally improve fertility of alluvial plains. However, these formations also have detrimental effects to communities within these zones like the case of Barangay (village) Andap, New Bataan, Compostela Valley where the whole village was wiped out by debris flow when it was hit by Supertyphoon Bopha in 2012. Hence, demarcating the boundaries of alluvial fans is crucial in disaster preparedness and mitigation. This study describes a method to delineate alluvial fans through contour maps from SAR and LiDAR-derived digital elevation models. Based on this data, we used hydrographic apex point polygons to plot the outflow points of upstream watersheds. The watershed and alluvial fan polygons were used to simulate debris flows in the study sites. The fans generated from the flood simulation were consistent with the polygons delineated from the digital elevation model. Satellite imagery and evidences of alluvial deposits found on site revealed 392 alluvial fans in the country. Widest among these is the sprawling 760 sq km fan identified in Cagayan Valley threatening about 434,329 persons at risk of debris flow. Other fans include those identified in Calapan, Mindoro (531 sq km), Kaliwanagan, Pangasinan (436 sq km), Pampanga Alluvial Fan (325 sq km), Mina, Iloilo (315 sq km), Lamsugod, S. Cotabato (286 sq km), in Tignaman, Oton and Alimodian in Iloilo (272 sq km), and the bajada, a series of alluvial fan coalescing to form a larger fan, identified in Ilocos Norte (218 sq km).

  15. A Dataset of Rock Strength Along the Mixed Bedrock-alluvial Colorado River-Quantifying a Fundamental Control in Geomorphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pederson, J. L.; Bursztyn, N.

    2014-12-01

    Bedrock strength is a key parameter in slope stability, landscape erosion, and fluvial incision, though it is typically ignored or at best indirectly constrained in models, as with the k erodability parameter in stream-power formulations. Indeed, empirical datasets of rock strength suited to address geomorphic questions are rare, in part because of the difficulty in measuring those rocks that are heterolithic, weak, or poorly exposed. We have completed a large dataset of measured bedrock strength organized by rock units exposed along the length of the trunk Colorado-Green river through the Colorado Plateau of the western U.S. Measurements include Selby RMS, fracturing, and field compressive tests at 168 localities, as well as 672 individual-sample tensile-strength tests in the laboratory. These rock strength results are compared to geomorphic metrics of unit stream power, river gradient, valley-bottom width, and local relief through the arid Colorado Plateau. Our measurements trend coherently and logically with bedrock type and age/induration, especially in the case of tensile strength and when the influence of fracturing is also considered, signs that the dataset is robust. Focusing on bedrock (rather than alluvial) reaches of the fluvial transect and tensile strength, there is a positive rank-correlation and a strong power-law correlation between reach-averaged rock strength and unit stream power, as well as an elegant linear relation between tensile strength and river gradient. To address the problem of immeasureable rock types, we utilize the inverse power-law scaling between tensile strength and valley-bottom width to estimate the "effective" tensile strength of heterolithic, shale-rich bedrock in alluvial reaches. These results suggest that tensile strength varies to at least an order-of-magnitude smaller values than evident with directly testable rocks in this landscape, with implications for scaling erodibility parameters. Overall, results lead to the conclusion that bedrock strength is, in fact, the first-order control on large-scale fluvial geomorphology in the Colorado Plateau. On one hand this is intuitive, yet it highlights the erroneous but common assumption that bedrock erodibility is uniform or of secondary importance in fluvial morphology and landscape evolution.

  16. Seismic response of a deep continental basin including velocity inversion: the Sulmona intramontane basin (Central Apennines, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Giulio, Giuseppe; de Nardis, Rita; Boncio, Paolo; Milana, Giuliano; Rosatelli, Gianluigi; Stoppa, Francesco; Lavecchia, Giusy

    2016-01-01

    The Sulmona plain (central Italy) is an intramontane basin of the Abruzzi Apennines that is known in the literature for its high seismic hazard. We use extensive measurements of ambient noise to map the fundamental frequency and to detect the presence of geological heterogeneities in the basin. We perform noise measurements along two basin-scale orthogonal transects, in conjunction with 2-D array experiments in specific key areas. The key areas are located in different positions with respect to the basin margins: one at the eastern boundary (fault-controlled basin margin) and one in the deepest part of the basin. We also collect independent data by using active seismic experiments (MASW), down-hole and geological surveys to characterize the near-surface geology of the investigated sites. In detail, the H/V noise spectral ratios and 2-D array techniques indicate a fundamental resonance (f0) in the low-frequency range (0.35-0.4 Hz) in the Sulmona Basin. Additionally, our results highlight the important role that is played by the alluvial fans near the edge-sectors of the basin, which are responsible for a velocity inversion in the uppermost layering of the soil profile. The H/V ratios and the dispersion curves of adjacent measurements strongly vary over a few dozens of meters in the alluvial fan area. Furthermore, we perform 1-D numerical simulations that are based on a linear-equivalent approach to estimate the site response in the key areas, using realistic seismic inputs. Finally, we perform a 2-D simulation that is based on the spectral element method to propagate surface waves in a simple model with an uppermost stiff layer, which is responsible for the velocity inversion. The results from the 2-D modelling agree with the experimental curves, showing deamplified H/V curves and typical shapes of dispersion curves of a not normally dispersive site.

  17. Geology of Norton Basin and continental shelf beneath northwestern Bering Sea, Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Fisher, M.A.; Patton, W.W. Jr.; Holmes, M.L.

    1982-03-01

    The rocks that floor the Norton basin and the northwestern Bering Sea are most likely of Precambrian and Paleozoic age, like those rocks that crop out around the basin. A maximum of 6.5 km of mainly Cenozoic strata lie over basement in the basin. On the basis of the geometry of reflections in seismic data, it is believed alluvial fans to be present deep in the basin and to border major basement fault blocks. These fans are the lowest units of the basin fill in many areas and consist of uppermost Cretaceous or lower Paleogene, possibly coal- and volcanic-rich rocks. Mainly clastic nonmarine sedimentary rocks overlie the fan deposits. The Neogene and Quaternary basin rocks apparently were deposited in a marine environment.

  18. Texture and depositional history of near-surface alluvial deposits in the central part of the western San Joaquin Valley, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laudon, Julie; Belitz, Kenneth

    1989-01-01

    Saline conditions and associated high levels of selenium and other soluble trace elements in soil, shallow ground water, and agricultural drain water of the western San Joaquin Valley, California, have prompted a study of the texture of near-surface alluvial deposits in the central part of the western valley. Texture is characterized by the percentage of coarse-grained sediment present within a specified subsurface depth interval and is used as a basis for mapping the upper 50 feet of deposits. Resulting quantitative descriptions of the deposits are used to interpret the late Quaternary history of the area. Three hydrogeologic units--Coast Range alluvium, flood-basin deposits, and Sierran sand--can be recognized in the upper 50 feet of deposits in the central part of the western San Joaquin Valley. The upper 30 feet of Coast Range alluvium and the adjacent 5 to 35 feet of flood-basin deposits are predominantly fine grained. These fine-grained Coast Range deposits are underlain by coarse-grained channel deposits. The fine-grained flood basin deposits are underlain by coarse-grained Sierran sand. The extent and orientation of channel deposits below 20 feet in the Coast Range alluvium indicate that streams draining the Coast Range may have been tributary to the axial stream that deposited the Sierran sand and that streamflow may have been to the southeast. The fining-upward stratigraphic sequence in the upper 50 feet of deposits and the headward retreat of tributary stream channels from the valley trough with time support a recent hypothesis of climatic control of alluviation in the western San Joaquin Valley.

  19. Variations in rock types on alluvial fan surfaces as an indicator of source reach and geomorphic process, Fish Lake Valley, Nevada-California

    SciTech Connect

    Slate, J.L. )

    1993-04-01

    Lithologic composition of fan-surface clasts can reflect the source of alluvial fan deposits within those drainages where rock types vary with location in the basin, provided that clasts at the surface resemble the makeup of rocks within the deposit. Interpreting the reach from which deposits were derived may, in turn, be used to infer the relation of fan deposition to causal events and source-area conditions. A multiparameter study of alluvial fans in four drainage basins of Fish Lake Valley, Nevada-California, included assessing modal lithology and the lithologic ratio among three main rock types. The author tallied rock types of 100 surface pebbles described on geomorphic surfaces along 50-m-long transects oriented perpendicular to streamflow direction near the mountain fronts. Source areas for the fan deposits shifted from the Pleistocene to the late Holocene, and may be a result of changes in weathering and transport conditions. The middle and lower reach sources of the two youngest (late Holocene) units (based on 7 transects) suggest that they were deposited in response to events that were only sufficient to transport material from these areas and not the headwaters, or that insufficient material was available for transport from the headwaters. The presence of these units of apparently similar age in the four mapped areas rules out localized storms or isolated faulting events as causes of deposition. The headwater and drainage-basin wide sources of two Pleistocene fan units (based on 13 transects) indicate deposition of these units may have occurred in response to significant climatic events that weathered material in the headwaters areas and transported that material to the fans. Thus, climatic conditions or elapsed time or a combination of the two may control sources of fan deposits.

  20. Deducing Weathering Processes Using Silicon Isotopes in the Ganges Alluvial Plain, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frings, P.; De La Rocha, C. L.; Fontorbe, G.; Chakrapani, G.; Clymans, W.; Conley, D. J.

    2014-12-01

    The Ganges Alluvial Plain ('GAP') is the sedimentary infill of the foreland basin created during Himalayan orogeny. Freshly eroded material from the Himalaya and southern cratonic tributaries is deposited into a system with long water-sediment interaction times, creating potential for further generation of river weathering fluxes. To quantify weathering processes in the GAP, 51 sites including all major tributaries were sampled in a September 2013 campaign and analysed for major and minor ions, Ge/Si ratios and ?30Si, ?13C and ?18O. Net dissolved Si (DSi) and major cation yields are 2 to 5 times lower in the GAP than the Himalaya, and at a whole basin scale approximate the global average, indicating that the plain apparently moderates the efficiency of Himalayan weathering rates. Mainstem ?30Si spans 0.81 to 1.93‰ (see figure) and gives the impression of a system buffered to moderate DSi and ?30Si. Ge/Si ratios (µmol/mol) are higher than expected in the Himalaya (>3), reflecting input of Ge-enriched water from hot springs, and decline to ~1.4 in the GAP. For the Himalayan sourced rivers, ?30Si increases with distance from the Himalayan front, and can not be explained entirely by conservative mixing with higher ?30Si peninsular and GAP streams. To a first degree, the ?30Si data suggest incorporation of Si into secondary minerals as the key fractionating process, and that this occurs both in situ during initial weathering and progressively in the GAP. Partitioning of solutes between sources is complicated in the GAP. Consistent with previous work, carbonate weathering dominates the ion fluxes, but with substantial contributions from saline/alkaline soil salts, the chlorination of wastewater and highly variable rainfall chemistry. Due to these contributions, precisely inferring the input from silicate weathering is difficult. We introduce a novel method to infer silicate-weathering rates that exploits the fractionation of Si during clay formation to account for the loss of DSi from solution.

  1. On predicting debris flows in arid mountain belts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stolle, Amelie; Langer, Maria; Blöthe, Jan Henrik; Korup, Oliver

    2015-03-01

    The use of topographic metrics for estimating the susceptibility to, and reconstructing the characteristics of, debris flows has a long research tradition, although largely devoted to humid mountainous terrain. The exceptional 2010 monsoonal rainstorms in the high-altitude mountain desert of Ladakh and Zanskar, NW India, were a painful reminder of how susceptible arid regions are to rainfall-triggered flash floods, landslides, and debris flows. The rainstorms of August 4-6 triggered numerous debris flows, killing 182 people, devastating 607 houses, and more than 10 bridges around Ladakh's capital of Leh. The lessons from this disaster motivated us to revisit methods of predicting (a) flow parameters such as peak discharge and maximum velocity from field and remote sensing data, and (b) the susceptibility to debris flows from catchment morphometry. We focus on quantifying uncertainties tied to these approaches. Comparison of high-resolution satellite images pre- and post-dating the 2010 rainstorm reveals the extent of damage and catastrophic channel widening. Computations based on these geomorphic markers indicate maximum flow velocities of 1.6-6.7 m s- 1 with runout of up to ~ 10 km on several alluvial fans that sustain most of the region's settlements. We estimate median peak discharges of 310-610 m3 s- 1, which are largely consistent with previous estimates. Monte Carlo-based error propagation for a single given flow-reconstruction method returns a variance in discharge similar to one derived from juxtaposing several different flow reconstruction methods. We further compare discriminant analysis, classification tree modelling, and Bayesian logistic regression to predict debris-flow susceptibility from morphometric variables of 171 catchments in the Ladakh Range. These methods distinguish between fluvial and debris flow-prone catchments at similar success rates, but Bayesian logistic regression allows quantifying uncertainties and relationships between potential predictors. We conclude that, in order to be robust and reliable, morphometric reconstruction of debris-flow properties and susceptibility requires careful assessment and reporting of errors and uncertainties.

  2. Elementary and Secondary Education in Arid Lands.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Herbert B.

    The basic point to be considered in establishing a curriculum for elementary and secondary schools in the arid areas of the world is relevancy. Usually, the educational system of an area reflects the dominant culture of the political power in control. However, the educational system of the dominant culture might not be relevant to the people of…

  3. Applying animal behavior to arid rangeland mangement

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Livestock production is one of many demands placed on today’s arid rangelands. Therefore, understanding plant and animal biology and their effects on biotic and abiotic landscape components is fundamental if rangelands are to remain ecologically sustainable. One limiting factor to accomplishing posi...

  4. Paleogeographic and paleotectonic development of Laramide basins of SW Utah

    SciTech Connect

    Goldstrand, P.M. )

    1993-04-01

    Initial Laramide-style deformation in SW Utah began in latest Cretaceous (late Campanian or Maastrichtian) time during deposition of the conglomeratic Canaan Peak Formation (TKcp) which thins onto a broad arch located on the northern Paunsaugunt Plateau (Paunsaugunt upwarp). This NNE-SSW trending upward affected sediment dispersal patterns during the early Paleocene and was the southern basin margin for braided fluvial sediments of the Grand Castle Formation (Tgc). These sediments were shed SE, from the inactive Sevier highlands, as far east as the Table Cliff Plateau. Laramide deformation increased during the late( ) Paleocene, after deposition of the Tgc, with the formation of at least two closed basins. During the late( ) Paleocene, the Johns Valley and Upper Valley anticlines, and Circle Cliff Uplift developed with sediment being shed to the SE, E, and SW into the Pine Hollow basin. During initial development of the Pine Hollow basin, the underlying TKcp and Tgc were reworked into the basal Pine Hollow Formation. Small alluvial fans bounded the basin, grading laterally into low-energy fluvial, playa mudflat, and ephemeral lacustrine environments. The basal Claron Formation represents a broad, closed basin that initially developed during the later Paleocene to the SW of the Pine Hollow basin. The Claron basin was bordered by low relief uplands, fluvial floodplains, and calcrete paleosols to the north and moderate relief uplands to the west and east. Shallow lacustrine deposition occurred to the south. Lacustrine onlap of Laramide structures by middle Eocene suggests cessation of Laramide deformation by this time.

  5. Aridity and decomposition processes in complex landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ossola, Alessandro; Nyman, Petter

    2015-04-01

    Decomposition of organic matter is a key biogeochemical process contributing to nutrient cycles, carbon fluxes and soil development. The activity of decomposers depends on microclimate, with temperature and rainfall being major drivers. In complex terrain the fine-scale variation in microclimate (and hence water availability) as a result of slope orientation is caused by differences in incoming radiation and surface temperature. Aridity, measured as the long-term balance between net radiation and rainfall, is a metric that can be used to represent variations in water availability within the landscape. Since aridity metrics can be obtained at fine spatial scales, they could theoretically be used to investigate how decomposition processes vary across complex landscapes. In this study, four research sites were selected in tall open sclerophyll forest along a aridity gradient (Budyko dryness index ranging from 1.56 -2.22) where microclimate, litter moisture and soil moisture were monitored continuously for one year. Litter bags were packed to estimate decomposition rates (k) using leaves of a tree species not present in the study area (Eucalyptus globulus) in order to avoid home-field advantage effects. Litter mass loss was measured to assess the activity of macro-decomposers (6mm litter bag mesh size), meso-decomposers (1 mm mesh), microbes above-ground (0.2 mm mesh) and microbes below-ground (2 cm depth, 0.2 mm mesh). Four replicates for each set of bags were installed at each site and bags were collected at 1, 2, 4, 7 and 12 months since installation. We first tested whether differences in microclimate due to slope orientation have significant effects on decomposition processes. Then the dryness index was related to decomposition rates to evaluate if small-scale variation in decomposition can be predicted using readily available information on rainfall and radiation. Decomposition rates (k), calculated fitting single pool negative exponential models, generally decreased with increasing aridity with k going from 0.0025 day-1 on equatorial (dry) facing slopes to 0.0040 day-1 on polar (wet) facing slopes. However, differences in temperature as a result of morning vs afternoon sun on east and west aspects, respectively, (not captured in the aridity metric) resulted in poor prediction of decomposition for the sites located in the intermediate aridity range. Overall the results highlight that relatively small differences in microclimate due to slope orientation can have large effects on decomposition. Future research will aim to refine the aridity metric to better resolve small scale variation in surface temperature which is important when up-scaling decomposition processes to landscapes.

  6. Basin and range-age reactivation of the ancestral Rocky Mountains in Texas Panhandle: evidence from Ogallala Formation

    SciTech Connect

    Budnik, R.T.

    1984-04-01

    The Ogallala Formation (Neogene) is a widespread syntectonic alluvial apron that was shed eastward from the Rio Grande rift and related uplifts in Colorado and New Mexico during Basin and Range extension. In the Texas Panhandle, the Ogallala completely buried Ancestral Rocky Mountain (Pennsylvanian) structures. Renewed movement on these older structures during the Neogene influenced the thickness and facies distribution of the Ogallala. The Ogallala thickens into the Palo Duro, Dalhart, and Anadarko basins. Major distributary channels on Ogallala alluvial fans coincide with the axes of these basins, whereas major interchannel areas overlie intervening uplifts. Second-order structures subtly influenced the unit as well. For example, the Carson basin, a Pennsylvanian rhomb graben along the Amarillo uplift, the Ogallala is over 250 m (820 ft) thick compared with 90 m (275 ft) in adjacent areas. Within the Palo Duro basin, local highs controlled the distribution of thin, interchannel flood-basin and lacustrine deposits. Thicker, braided-stream channel deposits follow local lows. Later movement on the Amarillo uplift broadly folded the Ogallala. The southern high plains surface subtly reflects basement structure, with topographic highs overlying basement highs, suggesting post-Ogallala deformation within the Palo Duro basin. The Amarillo uplift is approximately perpendicular to the Rio Grande rift and parallel to the direction of Basin and Range extension. Thus, the stress field that produced the rift may have caused strike-slip movement and reactivation of the Carson basin along the Amarillo uplift.

  7. Systematic oversteepening in longitudinal profiles of mixed bedrock-alluvial channels at tributary junctions : Appalachians, Virginia

    E-print Network

    Windhorst, Leah M. (Leah Marie), 1981-

    2004-01-01

    Certain mixed bedrock/alluvial channels located in the Valley and Ridge province of the Appalachians in Virginia were identified as having a pattern of systematic oversteepening of channel gradients at tributary junctions. ...

  8. INFILTRATION OF ATRAZINE AND METABOLOTES FROM A STREAM TO AN ALLUVIAL AQUIFER

    EPA Science Inventory

    The infiltration of atrazine, deethylatrazine, and deisopropylatrazine from Walnut Creek, a tributary stream, to the alluvial valley aquifer along the South Skunk River in central Iowa occurred where the stream transects the river's flood plain. A preliminary estimate indicated t...

  9. Phosphorus dynamics within agricultural drainage ditches in the lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Excessive phosphorus loading from fertilizers in agriculture results in enriched runoff and downstream freshwater and saltwater aquatic system eutrophication. This study evaluated phosphorus dynamics in agricultural drainage ditches across eight sites within the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley (LM...

  10. Kinematic wave model for transient bed profiles in alluvial channels under nonequilibrium conditions 

    E-print Network

    Tayfur, Gokmen; Singh, Vijay P.

    2007-12-27

    deficiency) of sediment supply due to mostly flows during flash floods or floods resulting from dam break or dike failure. In such situations the sediment transport process occurs under nonequilibrium conditions, and extensive changes in alluvial river...

  11. 8 Climatic Hypotheses of Alluvial-fan Evolution in Death Valley Are Not

    E-print Network

    Dorn, Ron

    ________________________________________________________________________ The Scientific Nature of Geomorphology: Proceedings of the 27th Binghamton Symposium in Geomorphology held 27 NATURE OF GEOMORPHOLOGY Table 8.1 Twentieth-century geomorphological models used in alluvial-fan research

  12. Petroleum geology of the Southern Bida Basin, Nigeria

    SciTech Connect

    Braide, S.P. )

    1990-05-01

    The Southern Bida basin is located in central Nigeria and is a major sedimentary area with a 3.5-km-thick sedimentary fill. However, it is the least understood of Nigeria's sedimentary basins because serious oil and gas exploration has not been undertaken in the basin. The surrounding Precambrian basement rocks experienced severe deformation during the Late Panafrican phase (600 {plus minus} 150 m.y.), and developed megashears that were reactivated during the Late Campanian-Maestrichtian. The ensuing wrenchfault tectonics formed the basin. The sedimentary fill, which comprises the Lokoja Formation are chiefly, if not wholly, nonmarine clastics. These have been characterized into facies that rapidly change from basin margin to basin axis, and have undergone only relatively mild tectonic distortion. Subsurface relations of the Lokoja Formation are postulated from outcrop study. The potential source rocks are most likely within the basinal axis fill and have not been deeply buried based on vitrinite reflectance of <0.65%. These findings, with the largely nonmarine depositional environment, suggest gas and condensate are the most likely hydrocarbons. Alluvial fans and deltaic facies that interfinger with lacustrine facies provide excellent reservoir capabilities. Potential traps for hydrocarbon accumulation were formed by a northwest-southeast-trending Campanian-Maestrichtian wrench system with associated northeast-southwest-oriented normal faults. The traps include strata in alluvial fans, fractured uplifted basement blocks, and arched strata over uplifted blocks. However, the size of hydrocarbon accumulations could be limited to some extent by a lack of effective hydrocarbon seal, because the dominant seals in the formation are unconformities.

  13. Provenance of alluvial fan deposits to constrain the mid-term offsets along a strike-slip active fault: the Elsinore fault in the Coyote Mountains, Imperial Valley, California.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masana, Eulalia; Stepancikova, Petra; Rockwell, Thomas

    2013-04-01

    The lateral variation in rates along a fault and its constancy along time is a matter of discussion. To give light to this discussion, short, mid and long term offset distribution along a fault is needed. Many studies analyze the short-term offset distribution along a strike-slip fault that can be obtained by the analysis of offset features imprinted in the morphology of the near-fault area. We present an example on how to obtain the mid- to long-term offset values based on the composition of alluvial fans that are offset by the fault. The study area is on the southern tip of the Elsinore fault, which controls the mountain front of the Coyote Mountains (California). The Elsinore-Laguna Salada fault is part of the San Andreas fault (SAF) system, extending 250 km from the Los Angeles Basin southeastward into the Gulf of California, in Mexico. The slip-rate on the southern Elsinore fault is believed to be moderate based on recent InSAR observations, although a recent study near Fossil Canyon (southern Coyote Mountains) suggests a rate in the range of 1-2 mm/yr. For this study we processed the airborne LiDAR dataset (EarthScope Southern & Eastern California, SoCal) to map short to mid-term alluvial offsets. We reprocessed the point clouds to produce DEMs with 0.5m and 0.25m grids and we varied the insolation angles to illuminate the various fault strands and the offset features. We identified numerous offset features, such as rills, channel bars, channel walls, alluvial fans, beheaded channels and small erosional basins that varied in displacement from 1 to 350 m. For the mid- to long-term offsets of the alluvial fans we benefited from the diverse petrological composition of their sources. Moreover, we recognized that older alluvium, which is offset by greater amounts, is in some cases buried beneath younger alluvial fan deposits and separated by buried soils. To determine the source canyon of various alluvial elements, we quantified the clast assemblage of each source basin and each alluvial fan on both sides of the fault. To accomplish this, we used a portable grid and classified more than 300 clasts at each of more than 90 sites along the fault. We found a very good fit between displaced alluvial fan elements and their inferred source canyons, but a poor match with the alluvium from neighboring canyons, which allows us to resolve the long-term offset. Planned dating of the pedogenic carbonate associated with these buried soils will allow the resolution of the mid- to long-term slip rates over multiple time frames to test the constancy of fault slip rate during the late Quaternary, as well as to test the lateral variations in rate along the fault.

  14. Minturn and Sangre de Cristo Formations of southern Colorado: a prograding fan-delta to alluvial-fan sequence shed from ancestral Rocky Mountains

    SciTech Connect

    Lindsey, D.A.; Clark, R.F.; Ashe, S.J.; Flores, R.J.

    1983-08-01

    The Pennsylvanian Minturn and Pennsylvanian-Permian Sangre de Cristo Formations of the northern Sangre de Cristo Mountains comprise a 3,800-m (12,500-ft) thick progradational sequence of coarse clastic sediments shed into a basin on the northeastern side of the late Paleozoic San Luis-Uncompahgre highland. From bottom to top, the mostly marine Minturn Formation contains probable deltaic (700 m, 2,300 ft), mixed fan-delta and prodelta (800 m, 2,600 ft), and fan-delta (600 m, 2,000 ft) deposits; the mostly continental Sangre de Cristo Formation contains distal alluvial fan (600 m, 2,000 ft) and proximal alluvial fan (1,100m 3,600 ft) deposits. At least three episodes of uplift are indicated by the distribution of unconformities, geometry of intertonguing facies, and abrupt vertical changes in facies. The deltaic and mixed fan-delta and prodelta deposits of the lower and middle parts of the Minturn Formation consist of coarsening-upward cycles 30 to 300 m (100 to 1,000 ft) thick of shale, siltstone, sandstone, and conglomeratic sandstone. The mixed deposits in the middle part of the Minturn contain cycles of shale, proximalturbidite sandstones, and conglomeratic sandstone; such cycles are interpreted as deposits of submarine fans overridden by fan deltas. Continental deposits of the lower member of the Sangre de Cristo Formation consist of fining-upward cycles 2 to 37 m (6.5 to 121 ft) thick of cross-bedded conglomerate, sandstone, and siltstone deposited by braided streams on the distal parts of alluvial fans.

  15. Are the topsoil structures relevant indicators of alluvial soil evolution ?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salomé, Clémence; Le Bayon, Renée.-Claire; Guenat, Claire; Hallaire, Vincent; Bullinger Weber, Géraldine; Verrecchia, Eric

    2010-05-01

    Floodplains contain a wide range of all steps of soil evolution, which are relevant in order to study the initial steps of soil structuring. Alluvial soils exhibit characteristics of both sediment and / or inherited soil deposition, and in situ soil formation resulting in different types of soil structure, especially in the topsoil layers. In calcareous alluvium deposits, the structuration processes of the topsoil are fast resulting in different structures. In this context, our aim is to verify if these topsoil structures, at macroscopic and microscopic scales, are relevant indicators of in situ soil evolution in a carbonate-rich and calcium saturated environment. We hypothesise that along a soil-vegetation stabilisation gradient both macroscopic and microscopic structures of topsoil reflect this in situ soil evolution. Along this evolutionary gradient the type of structure changes and becomes more stable and widespread within the topsoil. We characterize the topsoil structure in three different vegetation types from the pioneer stage (willow vegetation) on new sediment deposits (carbonate-rich FLUVIOSOLS BRUTS according to the Sound Reference base for soils, 1998) to mature forests (beech, ash, spruce) on stable soils (carbonate-rich FLUVIOSOLS TYPIQUES) at three different altitudes (subalpine to hill levels). In order to evaluate the heterogeneity within each site and between them three replicates are made resulting in a total of 27 soil samples. At the macroscopic scale, topsoil structure is described based on morphological and macroscopic descriptions (humus form, type and size of structure) as well as structure stability (Mean Weight Diameter, MWD) and water stable macro aggregates (WSA%) according to Kemper and Rossenau (1986). At the microscopic scale, polished slabs (dimension of 7cm X 10 cm and 0.5 cm in thickness) are used to quantify pore space using a morphological approach and 2D image analysis. After binarization of the image, leading to the detection and quantification of the soil porosity, a multi fractal algorithm is applied in order to characterize the pores by the slope value of the regression line between the frequencies and their associated amplitudes. In addition, the pore size distribution is described using moments of the third and the fourth orders applied on the pore cumulative curve (pore size vs frequency). These holistic parameters of the structure can be compared with other evolution indicators (e.g. vegetation stage, soil type, structural stability) and are pertinent to evaluate the stage of the humiferous topsoil evolution. They can be considered as relevant indicators of in situ alluvial soil evolution.

  16. Comparing Reactive Surface Area of Sediments in Hot and Cold Arid Climates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funderburg, R.; Elwood Madden, M.; Joo, Y. J.; Marra, K. R.; Soreghan, G. S.; Hall, B. L.

    2014-12-01

    The reactive surface area of primary silicate phases in sediment is an important determinant in weathering rates and fluxes in the critical zone. Weathering rates in warm climates are presumed to be faster than rates in cold climates, but glacial stream systems have chemical fluxes similar to temperate climates due to the production of highly reactive fresh mineral surfaces. To assess climate as a controller on weathering rates by comparing reactive surface area in cold arid and hot arid systems, samples were collected at the base of Denton Glacier, Wright Valley, Antarctica, and in the Anza Borrego Desert, California. Sediments were wet sieved and treated to remove carbonates and organics. Mud and very fine fractions were freeze dried. Surface areas of each size fraction were determined using the BET method. Sediment reactivity was measured through batch dissolution experiments in water buffered to pH 8.4. Samples were removed and filtered at predetermined time intervals, then refrigerated prior to ICP-OES analysis. Antarctic glacial sediment released an order of magnitude or more cations to solution compared to alluvial sediments from the Anza Borrego Desert. The Anza Borrego sand fraction was more reactive than the mud for Ca, P, Mn, and Si, while the Antarctic mud was more reactive than the sand for all cations. The high reactivity of the glacial mud can be attributed to the high reactive surface area (10.42 m2/g) created by physical crushing. In addition, the cation exchange capacity of the mud fraction was reached more quickly in the Antarctica samples, while Anza Borrego muds produced more complicated weathering fluxes, likely due to their higher clay mineral component. These results emphasize a strong climate control and the importance of physical weathering mechanisms on the chemical weathering fluxes over geologic time scales.

  17. Geological controls on alluvial river behaviour: a comparative study of three rivers on the South African Highveld

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tooth, S.; Brandt, D.; Hancox, P. J.; McCarthy, T. S.

    2004-01-01

    Owing to tectonic readjustments following the breakup of Gondwana, many rivers in the subhumid to semi-arid South African Highveld are in a long-term state of incision, with their channel beds positioned on or just above bedrock. Comparison of the upper Klip River, the Schoonspruit and the Venterspruit, three adjacent left-bank tributaries of the Vaal River, demonstrates how dolerite sills and dykes form local base levels in the longitudinal profiles and thus exert strong, but variable, controls on river behaviour in the upstream, dominantly alluvial reaches. The upper Klip River flows largely over weakly cemented Karoo Supergroup sandstones but also crosses highly resistant dolerite dykes and sills. On the sandstones, vertical erosion rates are retarded by the slow erosion of the downstream dolerites, and in the interim the river is laterally planing bedrock and meandering extensively (sinuosity ( P) up to ˜1.75) within broad (up to 1.5 km wide) floodplains marked by oxbow lakes and abandoned channels. The floodplains host extensive wetlands that are in a near-pristine condition. The Schoonspruit flows largely over erodible Karoo Supergroup shales in its upper and middle reaches but also crosses a resistant dolerite sill in its lower reaches. On the shales, vertical erosion previously was retarded by the downstream dolerite, and the river laterally planed bedrock and carved a wide valley. The river formerly meandered ( P˜1.99) within a broad (up to 1 km wide) floodplain marked by oxbows but partial breaching of the dolerite has resulted in headward knickpoint migration, which in turn has led to incision into shale, abandonment and desiccation of the floodplain wetlands, and secondary erosion of the valley fills by dongas (gullies). The Venterspruit also flows largely over erodible Karoo Supergroup shales, apparently having completely breached a dolerite sill in its lower reaches. Vertical erosion has not been retarded to the same degree as on the Klip and the Schoonspruit, and the river follows a much straighter course ( P˜1.53), which is now deeply incised into bedrock, with little surviving evidence of floodplain wetlands, and with numerous dongas having formed in the valley fills. These three river reaches represent a temporal sequence whereby river superimposition first exposes and then breaches dolerite sills and dykes to create a natural cycle of floodplain wetland formation and destruction. Furthermore, depending on their location in the catchment vis-à-vis dolerite barriers, individual reaches of rivers will have responded differently to Quaternary climatic changes, thus resulting in strong diachroneity in the alluvial record. Recognition of the role exerted by dolerite on alluvial river behaviour in the Highveld thus has implications for interpretations of river and landscape response to environmental change, and also may provide key field data for theoretical and numerical models of long-term fluvial landscape development.

  18. Geotechnical mapping for alluvial fan deposits controlled by active faults: a case study in the Erzurum, NE Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yarbasi, Necmi; Kalkan, Ekrem

    2009-08-01

    Erzurum, the biggest city of Eastern Anatolia Region in the Turkey, is located in Karasu Plain. Karasu Plain, located on the central segment of the Erzurum Fault Zone, is an intermountain sedimentary basin with a Miocene-Quaternary volcanic basement, andesitic-basaltic lava flows and fissure eruptions of basaltic lava. It was filled in the early Quaternary by lacustrine fan-delta deposits. The basin is characterized by NNE-SSW trending sinistral wrench faults on its eastern margin and ENE-WSW trending reverse faults on its southern margin. Both systems of active faults intersect very near to Erzurum, which is considered to be the most likely site for the epicenter of a probable future large earthquake. Historical records of destructive earthquakes, morphotectonic features formed by paleo-seismic events and instrument seismic data of region indicate to a very high regional seismicity. The residential areas of Erzurum are located on thick alluvial fan deposits forming under the control of faults on the central segment of the Erzurum Fault Zone, which is one of the most active fault belts of the East Anatolian Region. Over time, the housing estates of city such as Yenisehir and Yildizkent have been expanded toward to the west and southwest part of Erzurum as a consequence of rapid and massive construction during the last 30 years. Geotechnical investigation has therefore been undertaken the residential areas of city in order to characterize geotechnical properties over the varied lithologies examine the potential for geotechnical mapping and assess the foundation conditions of the present and future settlement areas. The geological field observations and operations have been performed to make the soil sampling and characterize the lateral and vertical changes in thickness of the alluvial deposits in trenches, excavations and deep holes with 6-12 m sections. The soil samples have been subjected to a series of tests under laboratory conditions to obtain physical and mechanical properties. Furthermore, the standard penetration tests have been applied to the soils under field conditions. The geological field observations, geotechnical data and distribution of bearing capacity have been considered for the geotechnical mapping. Based on the geotechnical map, there are five geotechnical zones distinguished in the study area.

  19. Sources and transport of nitrogen in arid urban watersheds

    SciTech Connect

    Hale, Rebecca L.; Turnbull, Laura; Earl, Stevan; Grimm, Nancy B.; Riha, Krystin M.; Michalski, Greg; Lohse, Kathleen; Childers, Daniel L.

    2014-06-03

    Urban watersheds are often sources of nitrogen (N) to downstream systems, contributing to poor water quality. However, it is unknown which components (e.g., land cover and stormwater infrastructure type) of urban watersheds contribute to N export and which may be sites of retention. In this study we investigated which watershed characteristics control N sourcing, biogeochemical processing of nitrate (NO3–) during storms, and the amount of rainfall N that is retained within urban watersheds. We used triple isotopes of NO3– (?15N, ?18O, and ?17O) to identify sources and transformations of NO3– during storms from 10 nested arid urban watersheds that varied in stormwater infrastructure type and drainage area. Stormwater infrastructure and land cover—retention basins, pipes, and grass cover—dictated the sourcing of NO3– in runoff. Urban watersheds can be strong sinks or sources of N to stormwater depending on the proportion of rainfall that leaves the watershed as runoff, but we found no evidence that denitrification occurred during storms. Our results suggest that watershed characteristics control the sources and transport of inorganic N in urban stormwater but that retention of inorganic N at the timescale of individual runoff events is controlled by hydrologic, rather than biogeochemical, mechanisms.

  20. Age-dating volcanic and alluvial surfaces with multipolarization data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farr, T. G.

    1985-01-01

    A false-color multipolarization version of one of the images of Owens Valley area acquired by the JPL Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is given. A geologic map of the alluvial fans there (Gillespie, 1982) is also given for comparison. In general, brightness in the multipolarization images can be seen to be inversely proportional to the age of the surfaces. A more detailed investigation of the relationship between backscatter and age of the surfaces was undertaken with calibrated aircraft SAR data. The quantitative relationship between backscatter coefficient and age for the three polarizations is shown. The straight lines connecting the measured data points imply a steady-state process, although the process or processes leading to this relationship may have operated at rates that varied with climate fluctuations, such as the glacial ages. It is expected that the relationship between radar brightness and age is a consistent one, and that with the wider availability of calibrated radar backscatter data, these relationships can be less well-known areas. The effect of variable such as past climate fluctuations, tectonic disturbance, and rock type must be understood before extension beyond the Mojave Desert region can be attempted.

  1. Biodegradation of Petroleum Hydrocarbon Vapors In Unsaturated Alluvial Sand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Höhener, P.; Duwig, C.; Pasteris, G.; Dakhel, N.; Kaufmann, K.; Werner, D.

    Biodegradation rates are critical parameters in models aimed at predicting the nat- ural attenuation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the unsaturated zone. In this study the kinetic rate laws for the aerobic biodegradation of selected petroleum hydrocarbons and MTBE were investigated in unsaturated alluvial sand exposed to the vapors from a fuel mixture. Laboratory column and batch experiments were per- formed at room temperature under aerobic conditions. An analytical reactive transport model for VOC vapors in soil based on Monod kinetics is used for data interpretation. In the column experiment, steady-state diffusive vapor transport was reached after 23 days. Monod kinetic parameters were derived from the column profiles for toluene, m-xylene, octane and hexane. The degradation of cyclic alkanes, isooctane, and 1,2,4- trimethylbenzene was best described by first-order kinetics. MTBE, pentane and chlo- rofluorocarbons were recalcitrant. Batch experiments suggested first-order disappear- ance rate laws for all VOCs except octane, which followed zero-order kinetics. For some compounds including MTBE, disappearance rates in abiotic batch experiments were as high as in live batches. Abiotic disappearance is explained by slow intraparti- cle diffusion and sorption. It is concluded that the column approach is preferable for determining biodegradation rate parameters to be used in risk assessment models.

  2. Estimation of hydraulic conductivity in an alluvial system using temperatures

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Su, G.W.; Jasperse, J.; Seymour, D.; Constantz, J.

    2004-01-01

    Well water temperatures are often collected simultaneously with water levels; however, temperature data are generally considered only as a water quality parameter and are not utilized as an environmental tracer. In this paper, water levels and seasonal temperatures are used to estimate hydraulic conductivities in a stream-aquifer system. To demonstrate this method, temperatures and water levels are analyzed from six observation wells along an example study site, the Russian River in Sonoma County, California. The range in seasonal ground water temperatures in these wells varied from < 0.2??C in two wells to ???8??C in the other four wells from June to October 2000. The temperature probes in the six wells are located at depths between 3.5 and 7.1 m relative to the river channel. Hydraulic conductivities are estimated by matching simulated ground water temperatures to the observed ground water temperatures. An anisotropy of 5 (horizontal to vertical hydraulic conductivity) generally gives the best fit to the observed temperatures. Estimated conductivities vary over an order of magnitude in the six locations analyzed. In some locations, a change in the observed temperature profile occurred during the study, most likely due to deposition of fine-grained sediment and organic matter plugging the streambed. A reasonable fit to this change in the temperature profile is obtained by decreasing the hydraulic conductivity in the simulations. This study demonstrates that seasonal ground water temperatures monitored in observation wells provide an effective means of estimating hydraulic conductivities in alluvial aquifers.

  3. Floodplain biogeochemical mosaics: A multidimensional view of alluvial soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Appling, Alison P.; Bernhardt, Emily S.; Stanford, Jack A.

    2014-08-01

    The alluvial floodplains of large rivers are exceptionally productive and dynamic ecosystems, characterized by a complex mosaic of vegetation at different successional stages overlying soils sorted by historic floods. Natural floodplains are widely credited with efficiently removing nitrogen from surface waters and accumulating carbon in biomass, yet very little floodplain research has examined carbon and nitrogen cycling below surficial soils. We evaluated the extent to which vegetation cover could be used to predict subsurface carbon and nitrogen dynamics and to estimate whole-floodplain carbon storage and denitrification rates. We dug soil pits under three dominant vegetation communities on a gravel-bedded floodplain in northwest Montana to the depth of the permanent water table (1-3 m). We compared depth profiles of total and dissolved carbon (C) and nitrogen (N), denitrification potentials (DEAs), organic particulates, moisture, and pH across vegetation types. Near-surface soils (0-10 cm) of forests had larger C and N pools and DEAs than grasslands or gravel bars, but such vegetation effects dissipated within the upper ~50 cm of soil. At depth, spatial heterogeneity in carbon and nitrogen pools and fluxes depended instead on soil texture, and relatively high rates of DEA and carbon storage were measured in zones of buried organic debris. Although C storage and denitrification potential are generally low in subsurface soils, these deep soils might nonetheless contribute substantially to whole-floodplain C storage and denitrification because of their large volume, high hydrologic connectivity, and heterogeneous biogeochemistry.

  4. Stream depletion in alluvial valleys using the SDF semianalytical model.

    PubMed

    Miller, Calvin D; Durnford, Deanna; Halstead, Mary R; Altenhofen, Jon; Flory, Val

    2007-01-01

    A semianalytical method commonly used for quantifying stream depletion caused by ground water pumping was reviewed for applicability in narrow alluvial aquifers. This stream depletion factor (SDF) method is based on the analytic Glover model, but uses a numerical model-derived input parameter, called the SDF, to partly account for mathematically nonideal conditions such as variable transmissivity and nearby aquifer boundaries. Using the SDF can improve and simplify depletion estimates. However, the method's approximations introduce error that increases with proximity to the impermeable aquifer boundary. This article reviews the history of the method and its assumptions. New stream depletion response curves are presented as functions of well position within bounded aquifers. A simple modification to modeled SDF values is proposed that allows the impermeable boundary to be accounted for with image wells, but without overaccounting for boundary effects that are already reflected in modeled SDFs. It is shown that SDFs for locations closer to the river than to the aquifer boundary do not reflect impermeable-boundary effects, and thus need no modification, and boundary effects in the other portion of the aquifer follow a predictable removable pattern. This method is verified by comparing response curves using modified SDFs with response curves from an extensively calibrated numerical model of a managed ground water recharge site. The modification improves SDF-based stream depletion estimates in bounded aquifers while still benefiting from the additional information contained in SDF maps and retaining their value as standardized references for water rights administration. PMID:17600582

  5. Stratigraphic framework and evolution of the Cretaceous continental sequences of the Bauru, Sanfranciscana, and Parecis basins, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batezelli, Alessandro; Ladeira, Francisco Sergio Bernardes

    2016-01-01

    With the breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, the South American Plate has undergone an intense process of tectonic restructuring that led to the genesis of the interior basins that encompassed continental sedimentary sequences. The Brazilian Bauru, Sanfranciscana and Parecis basins during Late Cretaceous have had their evolution linked to this process of structuring and therefore have very similar sedimentary characteristics. The purpose of this study is to establish a detailed understanding of alluvial sedimentary processes and architecture within a stratigraphic sequence framework using the concept of the stratigraphic base level or the ratio between the accommodation space and sediment supply. The integration of the stratigraphic and facies data contributed to defining the stratigraphic architecture of the Bauru, Sanfranciscana and Parecis Basins, supporting a model for continental sequences that depicts qualitative changes in the sedimentation rate (S) and accommodation space (A) that occurred during the Cretaceous. This study discusses the origin of the unconformity surfaces (K-0, K-1 and K-1A) that separate Sequences 1, 2A and 2B and the sedimentary characteristics of the Bauru, Sanfranciscana and Parecis Basins from the Aptian to the Maastrichtian, comparing the results with other Cretaceous Brazilian basins. The lower Cretaceous Sequence 1 (Caiuá and Areado groups) is interpreted as a low-accommodation systems tract compound by fluvial and aeolian systems. The upper Cretaceous lacustrine, braided river-dominated alluvial fan and aeolian systems display characteristics of the evolution from high-to low-accommodation systems tracts (Sequences 2A and 2B). Unconformity K-0 is related to the origin of the Bauru Basin itself in the Early Cretaceous. In Sanfranciscana and Parecis basins, the unconformity K-0 marks the contact between aeolian deposits from Lower Cretaceous and Upper Cretaceous alluvial systems (Sequences 1 and 2). Unconformity K-1, which was generated in the Late Cretaceous, is related to an increase of the A/S ratio, whereas Unconformity K-1A is the result of the decrease in the A/S ratio. Unconformity K-1A bound Sequence 2A (lacustrine and fluvial systems) and Sequence 2B (alluvial deposits) in Bauru Basin whereas in the Sanfranciscana and Parecis basins this unconformity marks the transition from alluvial system to aeolian system (Sequences 2A and 2B). Changes in depositional style in both basins correspond to two distinct tectonic moments occurring within the South American plate. The first associated with post-volcanic thermal subsidence of the Early Cretaceous (Serra Geral and Tapirapuã volcanismos), and the second moment associated with the uplift occurred in the Late Cretaceous (Alto Paranaíba, Vilhena and Serra Formosa Arcs).

  6. Semi-arid aquifer responses to forest restoration treatments and climate change.

    PubMed

    Wyatt, Clinton J W; O'Donnell, Frances C; Springer, Abraham E

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to develop an interpretive groundwater-flow model to assess the impacts that planned forest restoration treatments and anticipated climate change will have on large regional, deep (>400?m), semi-arid aquifers. Simulations were conducted to examine how tree basal area reductions impact groundwater recharge from historic conditions to 2099. Novel spatial analyses were conducted to determine areas and rates of potential increases in groundwater recharge. Changes in recharge were applied to the model by identifying zones of basal area reduction from planned forest restoration treatments and applying recharge-change factors to these zones. Over a 10-year period of forest restoration treatment, a 2.8% increase in recharge to one adjacent groundwater basin (the Verde Valley sub-basin) was estimated, compared to conditions that existed from 2000 to 2005. However, this increase in recharge was assumed to quickly decline after treatment due to regrowth of vegetation and forest underbrush and their associated increased evapotranspiration. Furthermore, simulated increases in groundwater recharge were masked by decreases in water levels, stream baseflow, and groundwater storage resulting from surface water diversions and groundwater pumping. These results indicate that there is an imbalance between water supply and demand in this regional, semi-arid aquifer. Current water management practices may not be sustainable into the far future and comprehensive action should be taken to minimize this water budget imbalance. PMID:24665998

  7. Actual evapotranspiration (water use) assessment of the Colorado River Basin at the Landsat resolution using the operational Simplified Surface Energy Balance Model.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Accurately estimating consumptive water use in the Colorado River Basin (CRB) is important for assessing and managing limited water resources in the basin. Increasing water demand from various sectors may threaten long-term sustainability of the water supply in the arid southwestern United States. L...

  8. Geodynamic basin classification

    SciTech Connect

    Klein, G.

    1987-05-01

    Four criteria (continental margin type, basin position within a plate, crustal type, geodynamic models and processes of basin formation) are used to classify sedimentary basins. Within plate interiors, cratonic margin basins and interior cratonic basins are distinguished by position on a tectonic plate. In passive margins, rift basins, aulacogens, and flexure basins are distinguished by orientation with respect to margins (rifts parallel and aulacogens normal to margins) and geodynamic process (rifts and aulacogens form by stretching, flexure basins by elastic or viscoelastic flexure). Basins associated with active continental margins are distinguished by position with respect to margin, crustal type, and stress regimen. Trench-slope basins involve compressional-extensional regimens, whereas trench basins, forearc basins and retroarc basins form in compressional regimes (retroarc basins on continental crust; forearc and trench basins occupy different positions on margin boundaries). Extensional intra-arc basins form on continental crust whereas backarc basins form by rifting oceanic crust and rapid thermal subsidence. Both pull-apart and transform basins form in transform margins by rifting and thermal subsidence with different translational stress regimens. In collision margins, foreland basins occur within continental plates, and superposed (or collage) basins occur along suture zones. Polyhistory basins include successor basins involving changing tectonic styles, and resurgent basins involving repeated tectonic styles. Many mapped basins show polyhistory. Thus the cratonic Illinois basin evolved through stages of a rift basin, followed by thermal subsidence akin to passive margins, followed by viscoelastic basin formation akin to a foreland basin.

  9. Hydrologic and Soil Science in a Mediterranean Critical Zone Observatory: Koiliaris River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nikolaidis, Nikolaos; Stamati, Fotini; Schnoor, Jerald; Moraetis, Daniel; Kotronakis, Manolis

    2010-05-01

    The Koiliaris River watershed is situated 25km east from the city of Chania, Crete, Greece. The total watershed area is 145km2 and the main supply of water originates in the White Mountains. At high elevations (altitude 2014 m), the maximum slope is 43% while at the lower elevations the slope measures 1-2%. Land use includes heterogeneous agricultural areas (25.4%), olive and orange groves (15.6%), and scrub and/or herbaceous vegetation associations (57.6%). The geology of the Basin consists of 23.8% Plattenkalk (dolomites, marbles, limestone and re-crystallized limestone with cherts); 31% of Trypali units (re-crystallized calcaric breccias); 9.4% limestones with marls in Neogene formations; 13% marls in Neogene formations; 12.8% schists, and 10% quaternary alluvial deposits. Intensive hydrologic and geochemical monitoring has been conducted since 2004 while the site has historical data since the ‘60s. In addition, a telemetric high-frequency hydrologic and water quality monitoring station has been deployed to obtain data for the characterization of the hydrologic and biogeochemical processes with varying process response-times. Hydrologic and geochemical modeling confirms the estimation of characteristic times of these processes. The main type of soil degradation in the basin as well as in other arid and semi-arid regions is water erosion, which is due to the clearing of forests and natural vegetation for cropping and livestock grazing. De-vegetation and inappropriate cultivation practices induces soil organic matter (SOM) losses making soils susceptible to erosion and desertification with global consequences for food security, climate change, biodiversity, water quality, and agricultural economy. Cropland plowing breaks-up water stable aggregates making the bio-available pool bio-accessible; which could be microbially attacked and oxidized resulting in SOM decline. Chronosequence data analysis suggested first-order kinetic rate of decline of the bio-available carbon and nitrogen pools, where as much as half of the total OM loss could take place during the first year after the conversion of grassland to cropland. We have shown by physical fractionation and spectroscopic techniques in croplands and set-aside fields that most of the SOM decline in croplands has been attributed to the breakup of macroaggregates and the oxidation of particulate organic matter despite the climatic or textural conditions. However, lower decomposition rates and higher silt-clay content of Greek soil create more stable aggregates and facilitate OM stabilization. Studies on Koiliaris River highland de-vegetated grazing lands suggested decline of soil biochemical quality compared to native vegetated lands. The size of soluble mineral nitrogen and organic carbon pools have also decreased. The composition of the soluble OM pool had significantly lower DOC aromaticity and was nitrogen enriched compared with the naturally vegetated lands. The DON Aromaticity Index was shown to be a promising sensitive indicator of de-vegetation effect on the soluble pool of OM. The partitioning coefficients of the potential soluble organic nitrogen increased with increasing DON aromaticity for the de-vegetated lands, indicating that the lower the aromaticity, the more prone soils are to leaching DON and potentially affect water quality. The land-use load apportionment analysis revealed that the river export load of dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) is linearly correlated with the normalized, livestock derived, DON load input from pasture suggesting that increasing livestock grazing in a watershed would result in higher DON export in river. DON aromaticity could serve as a simple indicator of soil biochemical quality and aggregate disturbance in soils and therefore SOM stability. We have conducted a stratified soil sampling intending to validate the utility of the examined indices for the quantification of the effects of agricultural pressures to soil quality and the detection of potential effects on water quality. The watershed is one of the Critical Zone Observator

  10. Cambrian to Devonian evolution of alluvial systems: The sedimentological impact of the earliest land plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, Neil S.; Gibling, Martin R.

    2010-02-01

    In present-day alluvial environments, the impact of vegetation on sedimentological processes and deposits is well known. A vegetated catchment may decrease sediment yield, sediment erodibility, Hortonian overland flow, aeolian winnowing of fines, the proportion of sediment transported as bedload, and may increase bank stability, infiltration into substrates, and bed roughness. Vegetation also promotes the production of chemically-weathered clays and soils and the adoption of a meandering style. It is generally understood that, prior to the evolution of terrestrial vegetation during the Early Palaeozoic, ancient alluvial systems were markedly different from modern systems, with many systems adopting a "sheet-braided" style. This understanding has previously informed the interpretations of many Precambrian pre-vegetation alluvial successions, but there has been relatively little work regarding Early Palaeozoic alluvial successions laid down prior to and during the initial colonization of the Earth's surface by plants. A comprehensive review of 144 Cambrian to Devonian alluvial successions documented in published literature was combined with original field data from 34 alluvial successions across Europe and North America. The study was designed to identify changes in alluvial style during the period that vegetation was evolving and first colonizing alluvial environments. An increase in mudrock proportion and sandstone maturity is apparent, along with a decrease in overall sand grain size through the Early Palaeozoic. These trends suggest that primitive vegetation cover promoted the production and preservation of muds from the mid Ordovician onwards and increased the residence time of sand-grade sediment in alluvial systems. The compilation also enables the first stratigraphic occurrence of certain vegetation-dependent sedimentary features to be pinpointed and related to the evolution of specific palaeobotanical adaptations. The first markedly heterolithic alluvial sequences appeared at about the same time as the most primitive terrestrial vegetation in the Ordovician, and prolific pedogenic calcite, charcoal and bioturbated floodplain fines first appeared in the rock record at about the same time as vascular-plant macrofossils became abundant in the late Silurian. Lateral accretion sets in channel deposits appeared near the Silurian-Devonian boundary, at or shortly before the appearance of underground rooting systems, and become progressively more abundant in the record during the Devonian, implying a major expansion of meandering rivers as rooted plants stabilized river banks. Coals become abundant after the development of plant arborescence. The analysis suggests that the evolution of embryophytes had a profound effect on fluvial processes and deposits, and this period of landscape evolution must be considered amongst the most significant environmental and geomorphological changes in Earth history, with profound consequences for all aspects of the Earth system.

  11. Fluvial transport and surface enrichment of arsenic in semi-arid mining regions: examples from the Mojave Desert, California.

    PubMed

    Kim, Christopher S; Stack, David H; Rytuba, James J

    2012-07-01

    As a result of extensive gold and silver mining in the Mojave Desert, southern California, mine wastes and tailings containing highly elevated arsenic (As) concentrations remain exposed at a number of former mining sites. Decades of weathering and erosion have contributed to the mobilization of As-enriched tailings, which now contaminate surrounding communities. Fluvial transport plays an intermittent yet important and relatively undocumented role in the migration and dispersal of As-contaminated mine wastes in semi-arid climates. Assessing the contribution of fluvial systems to tailings mobilization is critical in order to assess the distribution and long-term exposure potential of tailings in a mining-impacted environment. Extensive sampling, chemical analysis, and geospatial mapping of dry streambed (wash) sediments, tailings piles, alluvial fans, and rainwater runoff at multiple mine sites have aided the development of a conceptual model to explain the fluvial migration of mine wastes in semi-arid climates. Intense and episodic precipitation events mobilize mine wastes downstream and downslope as a series of discrete pulses, causing dispersion both down and lateral to washes with exponential decay behavior as distance from the source increases. Accordingly a quantitative model of arsenic concentrations in wash sediments, represented as a series of overlapping exponential power-law decay curves, results in the acceptable reproducibility of observed arsenic concentration patterns. Such a model can be transferable to other abandoned mine lands as a predictive tool for monitoring the fate and transport of arsenic and related contaminants in similar settings. Effective remediation of contaminated mine wastes in a semi-arid environment requires addressing concurrent changes in the amounts of potential tailings released through fluvial processes and the transport capacity of a wash. PMID:22718027

  12. Temperature as a tracer to identify surface water-groundwater exchanges in the Heihe River Basin, northwest China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, J.; Yao, Y.; Liu, C.; Xiao, H.; Zheng, C.; Li, W.

    2013-12-01

    The Heihe River Basin (HRB) is the second largest inland river basin in the arid region of northwestern China. Under natural conditions, the Heihe River recharges to groundwater in the piedmont areas after coming out of the Qilian Mountains. In the front edge of the alluvial and fluvial fans in the middle HRB, groundwater discharges to the surface in the form of springs and then flows into the Heihe River and ends up at the terminal lakes in the lower HRB. The surface water-groundwater interactions are frequent and dynamic along the Heihe River, and the understanding of these interactions is essential for conjunctive use and management of water resources and is fundamental to ensuring ecosystem health of the HRB. Among the various methods used to study surface water-groundwater interactions, those based on temperature have some distinct advantages because of the obvious temperature differences between surface water and groundwater and also because of the simplicity and low cost of temperature measurement. Fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing (DTS) can measure temperature at very high spatial and temporal resolutions and has led to important insights into the processes of groundwater and surface water interactions. In this study, DTS was applied to measure high-resolution temperature variations in the river water with a 0.25 m spatial interval and a 15 minute temporal frequency in a total distance of 5 km along two sections of the Heihe River. A statistical approach was used to discern the spatial distribution and the size of groundwater discharge zones and hyporheic zones, respectively. The exchange flux was then estimated using 1-D hydrodynamic model, which calculates the inflow flux in the study area by comparing the simulated temperatures with the measured ones. In addition, temperature data, combined with more traditional hydrological data such as hydraulic heads and fluxes, can provide independent constraints for calibrating the coupled surface water-groundwater model. This study utilized the airborne thermal-infrared (TIR) remote sensing method to obtain the pattern of temperature changes on the river surface in the middle HRB. The TIR sensed temperatures were compared with the simultaneous ground observations and the two showed a good match. The distribution and variation pattern of temperature anomalies were identified, thus providing an effective means of locating groundwater discharge areas. This information can be further compared with the simulated groundwater discharge areas by the integrated surface water-groundwater model to improve the model calibration over a regional scale.

  13. Guatemalan forest synthesis after Pleistocene aridity

    PubMed Central

    Leyden, Barbara W.

    1984-01-01

    Sediments from two lakes in the Peten Department, Guatemala, provide palynological evidence from Central America of late Pleistocene aridity and subsequent synthesis of mesic forests. Late Glacial vegetation consisted of marsh, savanna, and juniper scrub. An early Holocene temperate forest preceded a mesic tropical forest with Brosimum (ramon). Thus “primeval” rain forests of Guatemala are no older than 10,000 to 11,000 years and are considerably younger in the Peten due to Mayan disturbances. Among dated Neotropical sites, the Peten has the most mesic vegetation yet shown to have supplanted xeric vegetation present during the Pleistocene. The arid late Glacial-humid early Holocene transition appears to have been pantropical in the lowlands. The Peten was not a Pleistocene refugium for mesophytic taxa, as has been suggested. Thus genesis of extant rain forests in northern Central America and southern Mexico remains unexplained. Images PMID:16593498

  14. Geologic evolution of Uinta-Piceance basin province, northwestern Colorado and northeastern Utah

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, S.Y.; Tuttle, M.L.; Bryant, B.H.; Dubiel, R.F.; Fouch, T.D.; Franczyk, K.J.; Grauch, V.J.S.; Grout, M.A.; Johnson, R.C.; Molenaar, C.M.; Nichols, D.J.; Nichols, K.M.; Nuccio, V.F.; Peterson, F.; Pitman, J.K.; Perry, W.J. Jr.; Potter, C.J.; Sawatzky, D.L.; Scott, R.W. Jr.; Verbeek, E.R.; Wanty, R.B. )

    1990-05-01

    The Uinta-Piceance basin province (UPBP) has a complex Phanerozoic history characterized by five distinct phases of basin development (1) The UPBP formed part of a continental platform shelf on the northwestern flank of North America during the early and middle Paleozoic. Cambrian through Mississippian strata consist mainly of carbonate rocks, shale, and quartzite; contain major unconformities; and thicken westward. (2) Pennsylvanian-Permian uplifts of the ancestral Rocky Mountain orogeny segmented this continental platform shelf into the Eagle, Paradox, and Oquirrh basins. Basin-margin tectonics and cyclic eustatic-climatic fluctuations strongly controlled deposition of the clastic, carbonate, and evaporitic fill of these basins. (3) During the early Mesozoic, the UPBP formed part of a slowly subsiding continental platform. Triassic-Jurassic rocks include eolian, alluvial, and lacustrine deposits that thicken and grade westward into marine facies. (4) Paleozoic and early Mesozoic strata in the westernmost part of the UPBP were thrust eastward during the late Mesozoic Sevier orogeny, causing subsidence in the adjacent foreland basin. The history of the UPBP part of this foreland basin is recorded by thick nonmarine deposits within and adjacent to the thrust belt that grade eastward into thinner accumulations of marine rocks. (5) The geometry and style of regional compressional deformation changed markedly with onset of the latest Cretaceous-Paleogene Laramide orogeny. Laramide uplifts segmented the UPBP foreland basin into the Uinta and Piceance intermontane lacustrine basins. The geometry of these lacustrine basins is notably different from that of the late Paleozoic segment basins.

  15. VOCs in Arid soils: Technology summary

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-02-01

    The Volatile Organic Compounds In Arid Soils Integrated Demonstration (VOC-Arid ID) focuses on technologies to clean up volatile organic compounds and associated contaminants in soil and groundwater at arid sites. The initial host site is the 200 West Area at DOE`s Hanford site in southeastern Washington state. The primary VOC contaminant is carbon tetrachloride, in association with heavy metals and radionuclides. An estimated 580--920 metric tons of carbon tetrachloride were disposed of between 1955 and 1973, resulting in extensive soil and groundwater contamination. The VOC-Arid ID schedule has been divided into three phases of implementation. The phased approach provides for: rapid transfer of technologies to the Environmental Restoration (EM-40) programs once demonstrated; logical progression in the complexity of demonstrations based on improved understanding of the VOC problem; and leveraging of the host site EM-40 activities to reduce the overall cost of the demonstrations. During FY92 and FY93, the primary technology demonstrations within the ID were leveraged with an ongoing expedited response action at the Hanford 200 West Area, which is directed at vapor extraction of VOCs from the vadose (unsaturated) zone. Demonstration efforts are underway in the areas of subsurface characterization including: drilling and access improvements, off-gas and borehole monitoring of vadose zone VOC concentrations to aid in soil vapor extraction performance evaluation, and treatment of VOC-contaminated off-gas. These current demonstration efforts constitute Phase 1 of the ID and, because of the ongoing vadose zone ERA, can result in immediate transfer of successful technologies to EM-40.

  16. Use of U-series nuclides to constrain sediments transfer-times in the alluvial plains: example of the Ganges and Bramaputra river system.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chabaux, François; Granet, Mathieu; Blaes, Estelle; Stille, Peter; France-Lanord, Christian; Dosseto, Antony

    2010-05-01

    U-series nuclides have the potential to bring important information on the transfer time of sediments in the alluvial plains. This is a consequence of the dual property of these nuclides 1) to be fractionated during physical denudation and chemical weathering processes and 2) to have radioactive decay periods of the same order of magnitude as the time-scales of these processes (e.g. Chabaux et al., 2003b, 2008). We have illustrated such a potential with the analysis of U-series disequilibria in sediments collected in the Ganges and Bramaputra river basin. The approach relies on the analysis of U-series in river sediments collected along the streams. Indeed, as illustrated in Granet et al. (2007), in large alluvial plains where sediments are only transferred and not affected by additional inputs of new weathering products from fresh rocks, the intensity of 238U-234U-230Th disequilibria in river sediments will only depend on two parameters: (a) the duration of the transfer including the time spent in soils and in the river, and (b) the nature and the intensity of U-Th fractionations occurring in sediments during their transfer into alluvial plains. Recovering time information from the variation of U-Th disequilibria in such sediments requires therefore the use of realistic models accounting for the U-Th fractionation of sediments during their transfers into the plain. From the data, it is proposed for the Ganges and Bramaputra river sediments, that the main U-Th fractionation process is connected with the sediment weathering during their transit and storage in the plain. In this case the U-Th variation in sediments along the two main rivers lead to quite long sediment transfer time in the alluvial plains, of 100-150 ky for Bramaputra plain and of 400 or 500 ky for the Ganges river. Chabaux F., Riotte J., Dequincey O. (2003) U-Th-Ra fractionation during weathering and river transport, Rev Mineral. Geochem. 52, 533-576. Chabaux, F., Bourdon, B., Riotte, J., 2008. U-series Geochemistry in weathering profiles, river waters and lakes. In : S. Krishnaswami and J.K. Cochran (Eds.), U/Th Series Radionuclides in Aquatic Systems, Elsevier, Radioactivity in the Environment, 13, 49-104 M. Granet, F. Chabaux, C. France-Lanord, P. Stille, E. Pelt (2007). Time-scales of sedimentary transfer and weathering processes from U-series nuclides: Clues from the Himalayan rivers, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 261, 389-406.

  17. Sedimentary fill and stratigraphic traps of Porcupine basin, offshore Ireland

    SciTech Connect

    Macurda, D.B. Jr.

    1986-05-01

    The Porcupine basin, off the southwest coast of Ireland, is a triangular north-south re-entrant into the present-day continental shelf. This aulacogen was formed in the Jurassic during the opening of the North Atlantic. A seismic stratigraphic investigation of the southern part of the basin has shown the complex evolution of the sedimentary fill from shallow to deep water facies, resulting in several stratigraphic traps. The central axis of the basin is dominated by a volcanic ridge. Part of the early sedimentary fill was intermittently covered by volcanic flows. The final stage of thin initial siliciclastic infill was the development of an extensive alluvial fan or fan-delta complex along the eastern basin margin. Aerially extensive carbonate sedimentation occurred during the Cretaceous, including a north-south reef tract more than 20 km wide in the eastern part of the basin. Increased subsidence resulted in the deposition of deep water siliciclastics in the Tertiary. The most prominent of these is a series of lower Tertiary submarine fans that were sourced from the western, northern, and eastern margins of the aulacogen. The early portions of the fans correlate well basin-wide; their later history is much more complex, with younger lobes up to 25 km wide developing south of their precursors. Subsequent onlap fill deposits provide an excellent seal. Sedimentation in the late Tertiary has included both high-energy and low-energy deep water deposits. The complex fill of the aulacogen has set up several stratigraphic plays, including carbonate reefs, alluvial fans of fan deltas, and submarine fans. Seismic amplitude anomalies in the latter suggest the heat flow has been sufficient to generate hydrocarbons to fill some of the traps.

  18. Avalanche sedimentation in seas and oceans, paper 4: sedimentogenesis stages at the second global level (preparation, transport, and accumulation). Models of submarine alluvial cones

    SciTech Connect

    Lisitsyn, A.P.

    1986-07-01

    This paper demonstrates that, in the terminal discharge basins, the ordinary sedimentogenesis stages are combined with gravity effects. The models of submerged alluvial cones--fans--are considered, which are constructed on the basis of studies of recent and ancient fans of different sizes. An important feature of the sedimentary process in this case is the relationship between the influx of the bulk of sedimentary matter and the repeated variations of the ocean level in the past (up to 8-12 times within the Quaternary alone), leading to massive discharges of sedimentary matter from upper (recent, short-lived) levels of avalanche sedimentation (in river mouths) to a lower level (to sites of constant storage of the material at the base of the continental slope).

  19. Landslides as a determining geomorphologicic factor of the Barranco de Tirajana basin, Gran Canaria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quintana, A.; Lomoschitz, Alejandro

    The Barranco de Tirajana (BdT) basin is a 35 km 2 depression located in the central-southern part of Gran Canaria, a volcanic island. The important role of mass movements in shaping the BdT basin has been studied during the last decade. The basin's origin has been under discussion since the last century but its erosive genesis is now widely accepted. Both its origin and morphological evolution were directly related to erosive periods during the Quaternary. These produced backward erosion in the ravine and, as a result, a huge number of landslides occurred in the upper basin. From the Middle Pleistocene to the Holocene, the basin was enlarged and the material from the landslides was transported through a narrow valley and deposited as an extensive alluvial delta fan on the coast.

  20. A Comparison of Nannochloropsis salina Growth Performance in Two Outdoor Pond Designs: Conventional Raceways versus the ARID Pond with Superior Temperature Management

    SciTech Connect

    Crowe, Braden; Attalah, Said; Agrawal, Shweta; Waller, Peter; Ryan, Randy; Van Wagenen, Jon; Chavis, Aaron; Kyndt, John; Kacira, Murat; Ogden, Kim L.; Huesemann, Michael

    2012-01-01

    The present study examines how climatic conditions and pond design affect the growth performance of microalgae. From January to April of 2011, outdoor batch cultures of Nannochloropsis salina were grown in three replicate 780 L conventional raceways, as well as in an experimental 7500 L algae raceway integrated design (ARID) pond. The ARID culture system utilizes a series of 8-20 cm deep basins and a 1.5 m deep canal to enhance light exposure and mitigate temperature variations and extremes. The ARID culture reached the stationary phase 27 days earlier than the conventional raceways, which can be attributed to its superior temperature management and shallower basins. On a night when the air temperature dropped to -9°C, the water temperature was 18°C higher in the ARID pond than in the conventional raceways. Lipid and fatty acid content ranged from 16 to 25% and from 5 to15%, respectively, as a percentage of AFDW. Palmitic, palmitoleic, and eicosapentaenoic acids comprised the majority of fatty acids. While the ARID culture system achieved nearly double the volumetric productivity relative to the conventional raceways (0.023 versus 0.013 g L-1day-1), areal biomass productivities were of similar magnitude in both pond systems (3.47 versus 3.34 g m-2day-1), suggesting that the ARID pond design has to be further optimized, most likely by increasing the culture depth or operating at higher cell densities while maintaining adequate mixing.

  1. Comparison of different investigation methods to characterise alluvial gravel aquifers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reist, Fabian; Brauchler, Ralf; Jiménez, Santos; Bühler, Lukas; Hu, Linwei; Leuenberger-West, Fanny; Bayer, Peter

    2014-05-01

    For reliable groundwater transport modelling of unconsolidated porous aquifers, high resolution characterisation of spatially heterogeneous hydraulic and transport properties is of great importance. Predictions of first-arrival times and long term behaviour depend strongly on the quality of estimated hydraulic and transport parameters. By neglecting small-scale structures such as sand lenses and sediment intra-channel deposits, predictions are hardly accurate. This paper deals with the comparison of methods to characterize hydraulic parameters governing solute transport in unconsolidated porous aquifer materials. A large number of single-well slug tests, cross-well slug tests, a pumping test and a multi-level tracer test were conducted in a shallow alluvial gravel aquifer. This facilitated describing the spatial variation of hydraulic and transport parameters with high resolution. Multi-level slug tests results show distinct positive correlation with porosity-logs and drill cores and are thus an effective means to identify and characterize subsurface structures at high resolution. Values for hydraulic conductivity gained from pumping tests and cross-well slug tests revealed good accordance but were around one order of magnitude higher than the values derived from multi-level slug tests. This might be due to the fact that the three methods are involving different test-volumes. Hence, the determination of hydraulic conductivity underlies a scale dependency: larger test volumes tend to be characterized by larger K-values. Furthermore, our pumping test results show the importance of a high sampling rate, in our case 50 Hz, in order to determine reliably the hydraulic properties storage and anisotropy of hydraulic conductivity. Although pumping tests typically estimate hydraulic parameters on large-scale, small-scale heterogeneity could also be identified and characterized. This was again possible through the high resolution records of the early time drawdown. Finally, results of multi-level tracer testing supported observations from slug tests and porosity logs.

  2. Geotechnical Parameters of Alluvial Soils from in-situ Tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    M?ynarek, Zbigniew; Stefaniak, Katarzyna; Wierzbicki, Jedrzej

    2012-10-01

    The article concentrates on the identification of geotechnical parameters of alluvial soil represented by silts found near Poznan and Elblag. Strength and deformation parameters of the subsoil tested were identified by the CPTU (static penetration) and SDMT (dilatometric) methods, as well as by the vane test (VT). Geotechnical parameters of the subsoil were analysed with a view to using the soil as an earth construction material and as a foundation for buildings constructed on the grounds tested. The article includes an analysis of the overconsolidation process of the soil tested and a formula for the identification of the overconsolidation ratio OCR. Equation 9 reflects the relation between the undrained shear strength and plasticity of the silts analyzed and the OCR value. The analysis resulted in the determination of the Nkt coefficient, which might be used to identify the undrained shear strength of both sediments tested. On the basis of a detailed analysis of changes in terms of the constrained oedometric modulus M0, the relations between the said modulus, the liquidity index and the OCR value were identified. Mayne's formula (1995) was used to determine the M0 modulus from the CPTU test. The usefullness of the sediments found near Poznan as an earth construction material was analysed after their structure had been destroyed and compacted with a Proctor apparatus. In cases of samples characterised by different water content and soil particle density, the analysis of changes in terms of cohesion and the internal friction angle proved that these parameters are influenced by the soil phase composition (Fig. 18 and 19). On the basis of the tests, it was concluded that the most desirable shear strength parameters are achieved when the silt is compacted below the optimum water content.

  3. Geotechnical Parameters of Alluvial Soils from in-situ Tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    M?ynarek, Zbigniew; Stefaniak, Katarzyna; Wierzbicki, J?drzej

    2012-10-01

    The article concentrates on the identification of geotechnical parameters of alluvial soil represented by silts found near Poznan and Elblag. Strength and deformation parameters of the subsoil tested were identified by the CPTU (static penetration) and SDMT (dilatometric) methods, as well as by the vane test (VT). Geotechnical parameters of the subsoil were analysed with a view to using the soil as an earth construction material and as a foundation for buildings constructed on the grounds tested. The article includes an analysis of the overconsolidation process of the soil tested and a formula for the identification of the overconsolidation ratio OCR. Equation 9 reflects the relation between the undrained shear strength and plasticity of the silts analyzed and the OCR value. The analysis resulted in the determination of the Nkt coefficient, which might be used to identify the undrained shear strength of both sediments tested. On the basis of a detailed analysis of changes in terms of the constrained oedometric modulus M0, the relations between the said modulus, the liquidity index and the OCR value were identified. Mayne's formula (1995) was used to determine the M0 modulus from the CPTU test. The usefullness of the sediments found near Poznan as an earth construction material was analysed after their structure had been destroyed and compacted with a Proctor apparatus. In cases of samples characterised by different water content and soil particle density, the analysis of changes in terms of cohesion and the internal friction angle proved that these parameters are influenced by the soil phase composition (Fig. 18 and 19). On the basis of the tests, it was concluded that the most desirable shear strength parameters are achieved when the silt is compacted below the optimum water content.

  4. Waste rice for waterfowl in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stafford, J.D.; Kaminski, R.M.; Reinecke, K.J.; Manley, S.W.

    2006-01-01

    Flooded rice fields are important foraging habitats for waterfowl in the lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV). Waste rice previously was abundant in late autumn (140?492 kg/ha), but early planting and harvest dates in recent years may have increased losses of waste rice during autumn before waterfowl arrive. Research in Mississippi rice fields revealed waste-rice abundance decreased 79?99% during autumns 1995?1996. To determine if this trend existed throughout the MAV, we used multistage sampling (MSS) to estimate waste-rice abundance during September?December 2000?2002. Averaged over years, mean abundance of waste rice decreased 71% between harvest ((x) over bar = 271.0 kg/ha, CV = 13% n = 3 years) and late autumn ( (x) over bar = 78.4 kg/ha, CV = 15% n = 3). Among 15 models formulated to explain variation in rice abundance among fields and across years, the best model indicated abundance of waste rice in late autumn differed between harvester types (i.e., conventional > stripper header) and was positively related to initial waste-rice abundance after harvest. Because abundance of waste rice in late autumn was less than previous estimates in all 3 years, we concluded that waterfowl conservationists have overestimated carrying capacity of rice fields for wintering waterfowl by 52?83% and recommend 325 duck-use days/ha (DUDs) as a revised estimate. We suggest monitoring advances in rice harvest dates to determine when new surveys are warranted and recommend increased management of moist-soil wetlands to compensate for decreased rice abundance.

  5. Surfactant enhanced remediation of an alluvial aquifer contaminated with DNAPL

    SciTech Connect

    Londergan, J.T.; Meinardus, H.W.; Pope, G.A.; Brown, C.L.

    1997-12-31

    During 1996, a successful demonstration of surfactant-enhanced-aquifer-remediation (SEAR) and the use of partitioning interwell tracer tests (PITTs) was conducted beneath the former waste disposal trenches at Operable Unit 2 at Hill AFB, Utah. The trenches had received large volumes of chlorinated solvents from degreasing operations. The solvents drained downward, pooling in an alluvial sand aquifer confined in a buried paleochannel eroded into thick clay deposits. The hydraulic conductivity of the alluvium is in the range of 10{sup -3} to 10{sup -2} cm/sec. The well array installed for the demonstration consisted of a line of three injection wells, a line of three extraction wells, a central observation well, and a single hydraulic control well. The distance between injectors and extractors was 20 feet; the distance between individual injectors and extractors in line was 10 feet. The water table was 25 feet below ground surface with a saturated zone approximately 19 feet thick. There was a 4 foot thick zone of DNAPL 42-46 feet below ground surface. The injectors and extractors were completed in this DNAPL zone. The demonstration was conducted in two phases. The first of these consisted of an initial partitioning interwell tracer test (PITT) followed by a pilot scale surfactant flood. The PITT indicated that a total of approximately 346 gallons of DNAPL was present in, the demonstration area. The pilot scale surfactant flood demonstrated the efficacy of the surfactant, showed there was no degradation of hydraulic conductivity due to the introduction of a surfactant solution, and demonstrated that the effluent could be efficiently treated by the on-site steam stripper. Approximately 185 gallons of DNAPL were removed from the aquifer by the pilot scale surfactant flood. The second phase consisted of a pre-flood PITT, a line drive surfactant flood, and a post-flood PITT.

  6. Hydrogeochemical factors affecting the mobilization of As into the groundwater of the Brahmaputra alluvial plains of Assam, Northeast India.

    PubMed

    Sailo, Lalsangzela; Mahanta, Chandan

    2013-09-01

    Groundwater in the Brahmaputra river basin is known to contain an elevated concentration of naturally occurring Arsenic (As). To better understand the mobilization processes responsible for the As enrichment in the groundwater of the alluvial plains of the Brahmaputra river, the hydrochemical characteristics of the groundwater were studied in two districts, namely the Darrang and Jorhat districts of Assam. A total of 217 groundwater samples were analyzed for 20 water quality parameters. A lower As concentration was observed in the Darrang district with a mean concentration of 0.02 ?g l(-1), while the Jorhat district had a higher As concentration (mean 100 ?g l(-1)). The groundwater in the study areas is characterized by high concentrations of dissolved Fe, Mn, HCO3(-) and PO4(3-) and low concentrations of NO3(-) and SO4(2-). The redox potential and the groundwater composition showed reducing conditions in the groundwater. A difference in the groundwater geochemistry between the two districts was observed and was mainly controlled by the redox conditions in the subsurface, which control the mobility of As in the floodplains. The saturation indices of various As associated minerals were calculated using the geochemical code PHREEQC. The mobilization of As into the groundwater was anticipated to be largely controlled by the reductive dissolution of Fe-oxides and Mn-oxides and partly by competitive anions viz. PO4(3-). PMID:23925481

  7. Sedimentary record and climatic implications of recurrent deformation in the Tian Shan: Evidence from Mesozoic strata of the north Tarim, south Junggar, and Turpan basins, northwest China

    SciTech Connect

    Hendrix, M.S.; Graham, S.A.; Sobel, E.R.

    1992-01-01

    Detailed stratigraphic, sedimentologic, paleocurrent, and subsidence analyses were conducted on Mesozoic nonmarine sedimentary sections of the south Junggar, north Tarim, and Turpan basins, Xinjang Uygur Autonomous Region, northwest China. These three basins have been foreland basins throughout the Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras, as demonstrated by asymmetrically distributed basinwide sediment accumulations, foreland-style subsidence profiles, and a variety of outcrop and subsurface facies data. Mesozoic paleocurrent indicators measured in the south Junggar and north Tarim basins, as well as Mesozoic sandstone compositions from both basins, indicate that the intervening Tian Shan has existed as a positive physiographic feature partitioning the two basins throughout Mesozoic and Cenozoic time. Paleocurrent, facies, and subsurface isopach data suggest that the Turpan basin was established as a discrete feature by the Early Jurassic period. The timing and style of depositional systems within the north Tarim Mesozoic depocenter, the south Junggar Mesozoic depocenter, and the central Turpan basin are remarkably similar. Upper Triassic strata of each basin consist of alluvial conglomerate and associated braided-fluvial sandstone and siltstone which fine upward into lower through Middle Jurassic, locally organic-rich, meandering-fluvial, and lacustrine strata. Upper Jurassic braided-fluvial red beds in each basin are overlain by a distinct pulse of uppermost Jurassic alluvial conglomerate. Lower Cretaceous exposures consist of fine-grained red beds in north Tarim and Turpan and interbedded red and gray shale with local silty carbonates in south Junggar. Upper Cretaceous strata of the north Tarim and south Junggar basins are composed of alluvial conglomerate with associated braided-fluvial sandstone and siltstone. 94 refs., 17 figs.

  8. Environmental significance of vesicular sediment structure in arid regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dietze, M.; Kleber, A.

    2012-04-01

    Vesicular structure is a frequent and widely spread phenomenon in surficial fine-grained sediments in arid environments. It typically affects the upper few millimetres to decimetres of sediment and consists of isolated, spherical to ovoid pores, some 100 to 1000 micrometres in diameter, which give the sediment a foamy appearance. The vesicular layer has, together with an often genetically associated stone pavement cover, major control functions for dust trapping as well as dust mobilisation, water infiltration, soil moisture and surface runoff, as well as ecological site characteristics. Accordingly, there are numerous but often contradictory hypotheses about vesicular structure formation. Most of them are based on individual experiments with settings that were never consistent and overarching but rather focused on one sediment or environmental variable and its relative influence on vesicle formation. We present highlights of extensive laboratory experiments where physical and chemical sediment properties as well as environmental variables such as wetting technique, wetting amount, surface cover type or drying temperature were changed systematically over the entire range of published characteristics of vesicular layers. A series of measures of vesicle features, derived from digitised sediment sections, forms the base for quantitative sample comparison. Furthermore, the experimental results are related to natural analogues from severe regions throughout a climatic gradient from the hyper-arid part of Baja California, Mexico, to the sub-humid southern Sevier Basin, USA. Based on the results, the plausibility of published vesicle formation hypotheses is discussed and a genetic model is formulated. Vesicles are no transient feature but rather evolve exponentially and become stabilised. They form due to surface puddling and a wetting front which advances downward, thereby elevating the gas pressure within the sediment matrix. Translocation of clay and calcium carbonate support stabilisation. An increasing sand content leads to larger and rounder vesicles, whereas calcium carbonate content has the opposite effect. The amount of dissolved ions does not considerably influence vesicle formation. Under a clast cover vesicles were not formed at all, which has consequences for the published genetic coupling of stone pavement and vesicular layer. Vesicular structures can be connected to environmental parameters which allows one to use fossilised formations as palaeo-environment proxy in sediment archives.

  9. Arid sites stakeholder participation in evaluating innovative technologies: VOC-Arid Site Integrated Demonstration

    SciTech Connect

    Peterson, T.S.; McCabe, G.H.; Brockbank, B.R.

    1995-05-01

    Developing and deploying innovative environmental cleanup technologies is an important goal for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), which faces challenging remediation problems at contaminated sites throughout the United States. Achieving meaningful, constructive stakeholder involvement in cleanup programs, with the aim of ultimate acceptance of remediation decisions, is critical to meeting those challenges. DOE`s Office of Technology Development sponsors research and demonstration of new technologies, including, in the past, the Volatile Organic Compounds Arid Site Integrated Demonstration (VOC-Arid ID), hosted at the Hanford Site in Washington State. The purpose of the VOC-Arid ID has been to develop and demonstrate new technologies for remediating carbon tetrachloride and other VOC contamination in soils and ground water. In October 1994 the VOC-Arid ID became a part of the Contaminant Plume Containment and Remediation Focus Area (Plume Focus Area). The VOC Arid ID`s purpose of involving stakeholders in evaluating innovative technologies will now be carried on in the Plume Focus Area in cooperation with Site Technology Coordination Groups and Site Specific Advisory Boards. DOE`s goal is to demonstrate promising technologies once and deploy those that are successful across the DOE complex. Achieving that goal requires that the technologies be acceptable to the groups and individuals with a stake in DOE facility cleanup. Such stakeholders include groups and individuals with an interest in cleanup, including regulatory agencies, Native American tribes, environmental and civic interest groups, public officials, environmental technology users, and private citizens. This report documents the results of the stakeholder involvement program, which is an integral part of the VOC-Arid ID.

  10. Parana basin

    SciTech Connect

    Zalan, P.V.; Wolff, S.; Conceicao, J.C.J.; Vieira, I.S.; Astolfi, M.A.; Appi, V.T.; Zanotto, O.; Neto, E.V.S.; Cerqueira, J.R.

    1987-05-01

    The Parana basin is a large intracratonic basin in South America, developed entirely on continental crust and filled with sedimentary and volcanic rocks ranging in age from Silurian to Cretaceous. It occupies the southern portion of Brazil (1,100,000 km/sup 2/ or 425,000 mi/sup 2/) and the eastern half of Paraguay (100,000 km/sup 2/ or 39,000 mi/sup 2/); its extension into Argentina and Uruguay is known as the Chaco-Parana basin. Five major depositional sequences (Silurian, Devonian, Permo-Carboniferous, Triassic, Juro-Cretaceous) constitute the stratigraphic framework of the basin. The first four are predominantly siliciclastic in nature, and the fifth contains the most voluminous basaltic lava flows of the planet. Maximum thicknesses are in the order of 6000 m (19,646 ft). The sequences are separated by basin wide unconformities related in the Paleozoic to Andean orogenic events and in the Mesozoic to the continental breakup and sea floor spreading between South America and Africa. The structural framework of the Parana basin consists of a remarkable pattern of criss-crossing linear features (faults, fault zones, arches) clustered into three major groups (N45/sup 0/-65/sup 0/W, N50/sup 0/-70/sup 0/E, E-W). The northwest- and northeast-trending faults are long-lived tectonic elements inherited from the Precambrian basement whose recurrent activity throughout the Phanerozoic strongly influenced sedimentation, facies distribution, and development of structures in the basin. Thermomechanical analyses indicate three main phases of subsidence (Silurian-Devonian, late Carboniferous-Permian, Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous) and low geothermal gradients until the beginning of the Late Jurassic Permian oil-prone source rocks attained maturation due to extra heat originated from Juro-Cretaceous igneous intrusions. The third phase of subsidence also coincided with strong tectonic reactivation and creation of a third structural trend (east-west).

  11. Irrigated forestry in arid and semi-arid lands - A synthesis

    SciTech Connect

    Armitage, F.B.

    1985-01-01

    An examination of the potential for irrigation in forest plantation in arid and semi-arid areas, this book reviews recent past experience, the range of inputs required, and the benefits of integrating tree plantations with irrigated agriculture. It provides a checklist of economic, sociological and technical criteria needed to guide decisions concerning the feasibility of such developments. Actions to be covered in the planning, implementation and operational phases of irrigated forest plantations are indicated, as are illustrative production levels and research needs. Closing chapters review effective approaches to economic analysis, management and planning.

  12. Salt Accumulation in the Loessial Sequence in the Be'er Sheva Basin, Israel

    E-print Network

    Gvirtzman, Haim

    Salt Accumulation in the Loessial Sequence in the Be'er Sheva Basin, Israel MORDECKAIMAGARr / Evidence of climatic changes is recorded in the salt content of the surface sediments in arid zones, In wetter periods airborne salts are removed downward by leaching to the groundwater, whereas in drier

  13. Petrographically deduced triassic climate for the Deep River Basin, eastern piedmont of North Carolina

    SciTech Connect

    McCarn, S.T.; Mansfield, C.F.

    1985-01-01

    A petrographic comparison of Triassic, fluvial sandstones from the Deep River Basin in the eastern piedmont of North Carolina with nearby Holocene stream sands (1) indicates that he Triassic climate was more arid than today's and (2) distinguishes an eastern, more plutonic terrane from a western, more metamorphic source terrane. The paleoclimatic interpretation is based on differences in framework composition between modern and ancient sands of the same grain size, derived from the same rock type, transported similar distances and deposited in similar settings. The Triassic sandstones contain more lithic-fragments but less quartz than otherwise equivalent, modern sand in the Deep River Basin. Feldspar content is more complex, controlled by both source-rock composition and climate. Sand from the more plutonic terrane contains more feldspar and plutonic lithic-fragments than sand from the more metamorphic terrane, which contains more quartz and metamorphic lithic-fragments. This petrographic interpretation of the Triassic sandstones along with the presence of coal, limestone, chert and caliche in the middle of the section suggests that the Triassic climate was cyclic, changing from arid to humid and back to arid. Plate-tectonic reconstructions place the Deep River Basin between the Triassic equator and Tropic of cancer, where the easterly trade winds would predominate. Therefore, the arid portions of the cycle could have been due to a periodic, orographic, rain shadow formed as the result of intermittent movement along the Jonesboro Fault, creating a highland area east of the Deep River Basin.

  14. GEOMORPHIC AND HYDROGEOLOGICAL CONTROLS ON THE DISTRIBUTION OF WET MEADOWS IN THE CENTRAL GREAT BASIN

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Great Basin is an arid landscape dominated by dryland vegetation such as big sage and xeric grasses. Meadow complexes occur in mountain drainages and consist of discrete parcels of land up to several hectares in area that are characterized by high water tables and that primar...

  15. Stunting of onion caused by Rhizoctonia spp. isolated from the Columbia Basin of Oregon and Washington

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    During 2009 and 2010, 45 isolates of Rhizoctonia spp. were recovered from onion bulb crops in the semi-arid Columbia Basin of Oregon and Washington, in which patches of severely stunted onion plants developed following rotation with winter cereal cover crops. Characterization of isolates recovered f...

  16. Future Water Supply and Demand in the Okanagan Basin, British Columbia: A Scenario-Based Analysis

    E-print Network

    decision-making. Keywords Water supply and demand . Integrated water resource model . Climate change-renewable sources, a changing climate, and increased demands for clean water (Sprague 2007). The Okanagan Basin in Canada in that it has a semi-arid climate, a small catchment for renewable water, and is undergoing

  17. Alluvial fans and fan deltas: a guide to exploration for oil and gas

    SciTech Connect

    Fraser, G.S.; Suttner, L.

    1986-01-01

    This volume is a result of a series of lectures presented to an oil company in 1985 and is intended for an audience of explorationists. Material is presented in the order in which an exploration program might proceed in a frontier area. The volume is divided into six chapters that cover definitions and tectonic setting, alluvial-fan morphology, processes and facies on alluvial fans, geomorphic controls, effects of extrinsic controls (chiefly tectonism and climate) on alluvial-fan sequences, and diagenesis. Previously published black-and-white line drawings from studies of modern and ancient fans and fan deltas provide almost all the illustrative material; only one photograph is included, an aerial view of fans in part of Death Valley. The authors emphasize the complexity and variability of fan deposits and their resultant architecture. Although the volume contains a useful review of previous literature, it contains little new material, and it is remarkably lacking subsurface examples and data for a volume intended for the exploration community. In addition, fan deltas receive only brief attention; the overwhelming part of the book is devoted to alluvial fans. The volume will be of interest to those involved in studies of modern and ancient alluvial-fan deposits. 165 references.

  18. Flood hazard assessment on alluvial fans: an examination of the methodology

    SciTech Connect

    French, R.H.

    1984-08-01

    The report presents the results of a critical examination of assumptions and methodology recommended by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assess flood hazard on alluvial fans. The conculsions reached are as follows. First, the assumption that a flow on an alluvial fan has an equal probability of crossing any point on a given contour seems to be a very conservative assumption. Second, given the data from the Nevada Test Site, it would appear that the assumption that fans have critical to supercritical slopes is acceptable. Third, the present methods of estimating channel width and depth on alluvial fans seem to be invalid. Fourth, the specific flood hazard evaluation procedures recommended by FEMA are not valid in some cases because they are based on the assumption that sufficient records exist to do a standard peak flow analysis. Fifth, the validity of the implied assumption that debris flows present no risk can only be assessed after a location on a fan relative to the intersection point has been established. It is concluded that the current methods of flood hazard assessment on alluvial fans are not adequate given the current and projected economic value of structures and development on alluvial fans in the southwestern United States. 55 references, 5 figures, 5 tables.

  19. Modified High-resolution Sequence Stratigraphy of Alluvial Sediments Based on Modern Geomorphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaoli, Lan; Junfeng, Zhang; Weixiang, Tao

    2010-05-01

    The short-term base level cycle was subdivided into two types in the established high-resolution sequence stratigraphic model of alluvial deposits, namely deepening-upward unsymmetrical type and symmetrical type, which all stress that the common "dualistic structure" of fluvial vertical profile in alluvial environments was deposited in a deepening-upward base level half-cycle. However, according to observation about modern fluvial geomorphology, it is found that fluvial deposits always behave as characteristics of shoaling-upward sedimentary successions. On the basis of redefinition of base level and accommodation in alluvial settings, rise and fall of base level and their sedimentological responses were investigated that sediments are piled up in a descending base level half-cycle in this environment, while show eroding-downward or lateral erosion in a rising base level half-cycle with coarse bed lags perhaps. On the principle of base level rise-fall process and sedimentation response, it is suggested an improved division proposal for short-term base level cycle of alluvial deposits that includes two types, consisting of shoaling-upward unsymmetrical type and symmetrical type mainly on shoaling-upward cycle. The most difference between the recommended and the existed is that the former put emphasis on alluvial sediments deposited during period of base level fall. Although reliability of the suggested plan needs to be testified further, it at least reduces arbitrariness in ascertaining transformation surface between short term rise and fall half-cycle of base level.

  20. Some Cenozoic hydrocarbon basins on the continental shelf of Vietnam

    SciTech Connect

    Dien, P.T.

    1994-07-01

    The formation of the East Vietnam Sea basins was related to different geodynamic processes. The pre-Oligocene basement consists of igneous, metamorphic, and metasediment complexes. The Cretaceous-Eocene basement formations are formed by convergence of continents after destruction of the Tethys Ocean. Many Jurassic-Eocene fractured magmatic highs of the Cuulong basin basement constitute important reservoirs that are producing good crude oil. The Paleocene-Eocene formations are characterized by intramountain metamolasses, sometimes interbedded volcanic rocks. Interior structures of the Tertiary basins connect with rifted branches of the widened East Vietnam Sea. Bacbo (Song Hong) basin is predominated by alluvial-rhythmic clastics in high-constructive deltas, which developed on the rifting and sagging structures of the continental branch. Petroleum plays are constituted from Type III source rocks, clastic reservoirs, and local caprocks. Cuulong basin represents sagging structures and is predominated by fine clastics, with tidal-lagoonal fine sandstone and shalestone in high-destructive deltas that are rich in Type II source rocks. The association of the pre-Cenozoic fractured basement reservoirs and the Oligocene-Miocene clastic reservoir sequences with the Oligocene source rocks and the good caprocks is frequently met in petroleum plays of this basin. Nan Conson basin was formed from complicated structures that are related to spreading of the oceanic branch. This basin is characterized by Oligocene epicontinental fine clastics and Miocene marine carbonates that are rich in Types I, II, and III organic matter. There are both pre-Cenozoic fractured basement reservoirs, Miocene buildup carbonate reservoir rocks and Oligocene-Miocene clastic reservoir sequences, in this basin. Pliocene-Quaternary sediments are sand and mud carbonates in the shelf facies of the East Vietnam Sea back-arc basin. Their great thickness provides good conditions for maturation and trapping.

  1. A Network for Observing Great Basin Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mensing, Scott; Strachan, Scotty; Arnone, Jay; Fenstermaker, Lynn; Biondi, Franco; Devitt, Dale; Johnson, Brittany; Bird, Brian; Fritzinger, Eric

    2013-03-01

    The ability to evaluate accurately the response of the environment to climate change ideally involves long-term continuous in situ measurements of climate and landscape processes. This is the goal of the Nevada Climate-Ecohydrology Assessment Network (NevCAN), a novel system of permanent monitoring stations located across elevational and latitudinal gradients within the Great Basin hydrographic region (Figure 1). NevCAN was designed, first, to quantify the daily, seasonal, and interannual variability in climate that occurs from basin valleys to mountain tops of the Great Basin in the arid southwest of the United States; second, to relate the temporal patterns of ecohydrologic response to climate occurring within each of the major ecosystems that compose the Great Basin; and, last, to monitor changes in climate that modulate water availability, sequestration of carbon, and conservation of biological diversity.

  2. Understanding runoff processes in a semi-arid environment through isotope and hydrochemical hydrograph separations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camacho Suarez, V. V.; Saraiva Okello, A. M. L.; Wenninger, J. W.; Uhlenbrook, S.

    2015-10-01

    The understanding of runoff generation mechanisms is crucial for the sustainable management of river basins such as the allocation of water resources or the prediction of floods and droughts. However, identifying the mechanisms of runoff generation has been a challenging task, even more so in arid and semi-arid areas where high rainfall and streamflow variability, high evaporation rates, and deep groundwater reservoirs may increase the complexity of hydrological process dynamics. Isotope and hydrochemical tracers have proven to be useful in identifying runoff components and their characteristics. Moreover, although widely used in humid temperate regions, isotope hydrograph separations have not been studied in detail in arid and semi-arid areas. Thus the purpose of this study is to determine whether isotope hydrograph separations are suitable for the quantification and characterization of runoff components in a semi-arid catchment considering the hydrological complexities of these regions. Through a hydrochemical characterization of the surface water and groundwater sources of the catchment and two- and three-component hydrograph separations, runoff components of the Kaap catchment in South Africa were quantified using both isotope and hydrochemical tracers. No major disadvantages while using isotope tracers over hydrochemical tracers were found. Hydrograph separation results showed that runoff in the Kaap catchment is mainly generated by groundwater sources. Two-component hydrograph separations revealed groundwater contributions of between 64 and 98 % of total runoff. By means of three-component hydrograph separations, runoff components were further separated into direct runoff, shallow and deep groundwater components. Direct runoff, defined as the direct precipitation on the stream channel and overland flow, contributed up to 41 % of total runoff during wet catchment conditions. Shallow groundwater defined as the soil water and near-surface water component (and potentially surface runoff) contributed up to 45 % of total runoff, and deep groundwater contributed up to 84 % of total runoff. A strong correlation for the four studied events was found between the antecedent precipitation conditions and direct runoff. These findings suggest that direct runoff is enhanced by wetter conditions in the catchment that trigger saturation excess overland flow as observed in the hydrograph separations.

  3. Permian Basin

    SciTech Connect

    Donaldson, D.A.

    1981-12-01

    A description of the geology of the Permian Basin of the West Texas And Southeastern New Mexico was presented. Also, a brief history of the petroleum and natural gas drilling in the region was given. It was concluded that the New Mexico portion of the Permian Basin has the greatest potential for future fuel production. During 1980, there were 646 oil well completions, and 168 dry holes were recorded in southeast New Mexico. The average total depths of new wells completed was 4,901 feet for oil wells, 8,987 feet for gas wells, and 6,250 feet for dry holes.

  4. Alluvial diamond resource potential and production capacity assessment of Mali

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chirico, Peter G.; Barthelemy, Francis; Kone, Fatiaga

    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 diamond-producing and diamond-importing countries. Over 70 countries were included as members of the KPCS 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 (1) to assess the naturally occurring endowment of diamonds in Mali (potential resources) based on geological evidence, previous studies, and recent field data and (2) to assess the diamond-production capacity and measure the intensity of mining activity. Several possible methods can be used to estimate the potential diamond resource. However, because there is generally a lack of sufficient and consistent data recording all diamond mining in Mali and because time to conduct fieldwork and accessibility to the diamond mining areas are limited, four different methodologies were used: the cylindrical calculation of the primary kimberlitic deposits, the surface area methodology, the volume and grade approach, and the content per kilometer approach. Approximately 700,000 carats are estimated to be in the alluvial deposits of the Kenieba region, with 540,000 carats calculated to lie within the concentration grade deposits. Additionally, 580,000 carats are estimated to have been released from the primary kimberlites in the region. Therefore, the total estimated diamond resources in the Kenieba region are thought to be nearly 1,300,000 carats. The Bougouni zones are estimated to have 1,000,000 carats with more than half, 630,000 carats, contained in concentrated deposits. When combined, the Kenieba and Bougouni regions of Mali are estimated to be host to 2,300,000 carats of diamonds.

  5. Thermal influence on the groundwater fluid dynamics of the shallow Santiago forearc basin: 2D numerical simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gramusset, Anneli; Herrera, Paulo; Parada, Miguel Angel

    2014-05-01

    A thorough understanding of the thermal processes that occur in aquifers is essential to assess local and regional low enthalpy geothermal resources. The relationship between heat convection and heat conduction has been widely studied in basins around the world at a regional scale. However, few studies have focused on smaller, shallower basins containing free aquifers hosted in unconsolidated fluvial-alluvial sediments, like Santiago Basin. We use numerical modeling to simulate the fluid dynamics of the Santiago basin groundwater system under different thermal conditions. Despite the current computational advances, modeling such a complex system with a full 3D approach is still numerically time demanding and unstable. Besides, the basin has irregular geometry and variable hydraulic and thermal features. Thus, we performed a 2D model comprising a thin water saturated slice of sediments beneath the central part of the city, where the basin morphology is well constrained. We simulate coupled groundwater and heat flow throughout this vertical slice and we compare results for different scenarios that comprise different hydraulic, thermal and geometric parameters. Results obtained with certain hydraulic conductivities show that instabilities appear giving rise to free thermal convection in the deepest parts of the basin. If the system is split into several hydrogeological units, the onset of these instabilities is inhibited. Consequently, we suggest that the stratigraphic complexities of a fluvial-alluvial deposit should be considered to better understanding the thermal-driven groundwater fluid dynamics.

  6. Problems and Prospects of Swat Model Application on an Arid/Semi-Arid Watershed in Arizona

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hydrological characteristics in the semi-arid southwest create unique challenges to watershed modellers. Streamflow in these regions is largely dependent on seasonal, short term, and high intensity rainfall events. The objectives of this study are: 1) to analyze the unique hydrol...

  7. Abstract Rivers provide important resources for rip-arian consumers, especially in arid or seasonally arid

    E-print Network

    Power, Mary Eleanor

    or seasonally arid biomes. Pygmy grasshoppers (Paratettix aztecus and P. mexicanus; Tetrigidae) graze river plants (­28.2), and higher than those of acridid grasshoppers (­27.9) from the same habitats. Mixing models suggest that 88­100% of the C in tetrigid grasshoppers at our study site is derived from riverine

  8. Problems and Prospects of SWAT Model Application on an Arid/Semi-arid Watershed in Arizona

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hydrological characteristics in the semi-arid southwest create unique challenges to watershed modelers. Streamflow in these regions is largely dependent on seasonal, short term, and high intensity rainfall events. The objectives of this study are: 1) to analyze the unique hydrolo...

  9. Evaluation of Flow Dynamics in a Karst Aquifer System at Sapanca Lake Basin (turkey) via Hydrochemical and Isotopic Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gunduz, O. C.; Yolcubal, I.

    2013-12-01

    Sapanca Lake, located 20 km west of Izmit bay, is a fresh water lake with tectonic origin and supplies drinking and municipal water to the region. Groundwater discharges from a karstic aquifer developed in Permo-Triassic and Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous aged marbles and an alluvial aquifer distributed in east-west direction on the Sapanca plain play an important role in the recharge of the lake. In the Sapanca lake basin, there are numerous springs discharging (1 to 75 lt/s) from different elevations of the karstic aquifer system. Dolines, sinkholes, depression fields, and disappearing rivers developed on the southern heights of the basin are directly connected with the karstic aquifer and allow the aquifer system to show rapid recharge and discharge characteristics. In the scope of the study, 25 karst spring waters as well as 25 wells drilled in the alluvial aquifer were sampled as representatives of dry and rainy periods. Hydrochemical and isotopic (18O/2D/3H) compositions of the samples were evaluated along with the hydrogeology and the fracture analysis of the basin in order to assess the hydraulic relationship between the aquifer systems and the groundwater circulation in the basin. Results show that groundwaters from alluvial and karstic aquifers are modern water and demonstrate similar hydrochemical facies (Ca-HCO3 ve Ca+Mg-HCO3). Although showing seasonal differences, isotopic composition (18O/2D) of the karst springs resembles those of the streams and groundwaters from alluvial aquifer. This suggests that ground and surface waters feed each other periodically and characterize a mixing. Fracture analysis of the basin suggests that faulting has significant control over groundwater discharge and circulation in the karst aquifer and form discontinuities in the system, subdividing it into several aquifer sub-systems.

  10. Nucleation of Waterfalls at Fault Scarps Temporarily Shielded By Alluvial Fan Aggradation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malatesta, L. C.; Lamb, M. P.

    2014-12-01

    Waterfalls are important components of mountain river systems and they can serve as an agent to transfer tectonic, climatic, or authigenic signals upstream through a catchment. Retreating waterfalls lower the local base level of the adjacent hillslopes, and temporarily increase sediment delivery to the fluvial system. Their creation is often attributed to seismic ruptures, lithological boundaries, or the coalescence of multiple smaller steps. We explore here a mechanism for the nucleation of waterfalls that does not rely on sudden seismic slip but on the build-up of accumulated slip during periods of fault burial by fluvial aggradation. Alluvial fans are common features at the front of mountain ranges bound by normal or thrust faults. Climate change or internal forcing in the mountain catchment modifies the equilibrium slope of alluvial fans. When alluvial fans aggrade, they shield the active fault scarp from fluvial erosion allowing the scarp to grow undisturbed. The scarp may then be exposed when the channel incises into the fan exposing a new bedrock waterfall. We explore this mechanism analytically and using a numerical model for bedrock river incision and sediment deposition. We find that the creation of waterfalls by scarp burial is limited by three distinct timescales: 1) the critical timescale for the scarp to grow to the burial height, 2) the timescale of alluvial re-grading of the fan, and 3) the timescale of the external or internal forcing, such as climate change. The height of the waterfall is controlled by i) the difference in equilibrium alluvial-fan slopes, ii) the ratio of the respective fan and catchment sizes, iii) the catchment wide denudation rate, and iv) the fault slip rate. We test whether an individual waterfall could be produced by alluvial shielding of a scarp, and identify the tectonic, climatic, or authigenic nature of waterfalls using example field sites in the southwest United States.

  11. Use of composts in revegetating arid lands

    SciTech Connect

    Brandt, C.A.; Hendrickson, P.L.

    1991-09-01

    Compost has been suggested as a soil amendment for arid lands at the US Department of Energy's Hanford Site in southeastern Washington State. The operating contractor of the site, Westinghouse Hanford Company, requested that the Pacific Northwest Laboratory conduct a literature review to compile additional information on the use of compost amendments and their benefits. This report provides background information on the factors needed for plant growth and the consequences of severe soil disturbance. This report also discussed the characteristics of composts relative to other amendments and how they each affect plant growth. Finally,regulatory requirements that could affect land application of sludge-based compost on the Hanford Site are reviewed.

  12. Alluvial deposition and lake-level fluctuations forced by Late Quaternary climate change: the Dead Sea case example

    E-print Network

    Klinger, Yann

    Alluvial deposition and lake-level fluctuations forced by Late Quaternary climate change: the Dead-level fluctuations, alluvial deposition and river entrenchment in the Dead Sea­Wadi Araba area. The bulk of alluvium fan deltas along the margin of the Dead Sea. Wetter conditions settled at the end of this period

  13. Late Tertiary and Quaternary geology of the Tecopa basin, southeastern California

    SciTech Connect

    Hillhouse, J.W.

    1987-12-31

    Stratigraphic units in the Tecopa basin, located in southeastern California, provide a framework for interpreting Quaternary climatic change and tectonism along the present Amargosa River. During the late Pliocene and early Pleistocene, a climate that was appreciably wetter than today`s sustained a moderately deep lake in the Tecopa basin. Deposits associated with Lake Tecopa consists of lacustrine mudstone, conglomerate, volcanic ash, and shoreline accumulations of tufa. Age control within the lake deposits is provided by air-fall tephra that are correlated with two ash falls from the Yellowstone caldera and one from the Long Valley caldera. Lake Tecopa occupied a closed basin during the latter part, if not all, of its 2.5-million-year history. Sometime after 0.5 m.y. ago, the lake developed an outlet across Tertiary fanglomerates of the China Ranch Beds leading to the development of a deep canyon at the south end of the basin and establishing a hydrologic link between the northern Amargosa basins and Death Valley. After a period of rapid erosion, the remaining lake beds were covered by alluvial fans that coalesced to form a pediment in the central part of the basin. Holocene deposits consist of unconsolidated sand and gravel in the Amargosa River bed and its deeply incised tributaries, a small playa near Tecopa, alluvial fans without pavements, and small sand dunes. The pavement-capped fan remnants and the Holocene deposits are not faulted or tilted significantly, although basins to the west, such as Death Valley, were tectonically active during the Quaternary. Subsidence of the western basins strongly influenced late Quaternary rates of deposition and erosion in the Tecopa basin.

  14. Aridity and grazing as convergent selective forces: an experiment with an Arid Chaco bunchgrass.

    PubMed

    Quiroga, R Emiliano; Golluscio, Rodolfo A; Blanco, Lisandro J; Fernández, Roberto J

    2010-10-01

    It has been proposed that aridity and grazing are convergent selective forces: each one selects for traits conferring resistance to both. However, this conceptual model has not yet been experimentally validated. The aim of this work was to experimentally evaluate the effect of aridity and grazing, as selective forces, on drought and grazing resistance of populations of Trichloris crinita, a native perennial forage grass of the Argentinean Arid Chaco region. We collected seeds in sites with four different combinations of aridity and grazing history (semiarid/ subhumid x heavily grazed/lightly grazed), established them in pots in a common garden, and subjected the resulting plants to different combinations of drought and defoliation. Our results agreed with the convergence model. Aridity has selected T. crinita genotypes that respond better to drought and defoliation in terms of sexual reproduction and leaf growth, and that can evade grazing due to a lower shoot: root ratio and a higher resource allocation to reserves (starch) in stem bases. Similarly, grazing has selected genotypes that respond better to drought and defoliation in terms of sexual reproduction and that can evade grazing due to a lower digestibility of leaf blades. These results allow us to extend concepts of previous models in plant adaptation to herbivory to models on plant adaptation to drought. The only variable in which we obtained a result opposite to predictions was plant height, as plants from semiarid sites were taller (and with more erect tillers) than plants from subhumid sites; we hypothesize that this result might have been a consequence of the selection exerted by the high solar radiation and soil temperatures of semiarid sites. In addition, our work allows for the prediction of the effects of dry or wet growing seasons on the performance of T. crinita plants. Our results suggest that we can rely on dry environments for selecting grazing-resistant genotypes and on high grazing pressure history environments for selecting drought-resistant ones. PMID:21049876

  15. Watershed Management in Arid Zones: A Prototype Short Course.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thames, John L., Ed.; Fischer, John N., Ed.

    Presented is information recommended for inclusion in a short course to help extend knowledge of water resource development and research techniques in arid and semi-arid regions. Information is particularly intended for applicability in developing nations. Included are considerations of livestock grazing, use of hydrologic data, vegetation…

  16. Uses of tree legumes in semi-arid regions

    SciTech Connect

    Felker, P.

    1980-01-01

    Uses of tree legumes in semi-arid and arid regions are reviewed. This review is divided into sections according to the following general use categories: fuels; human food; livestock food; to increase yields of crops grown beneath their canopies;and control of desertification. (MHR)

  17. Sediment source determination using fallout Cesium-137 in arid rangelands.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sediment source identification in arid rangelands is necessary to understanding rangeland conditions and developing management practices to improve rangeland health and reduce sediment load to streams. The purpose of this research was to use Cesium-137 to identify sources of sediments in an arid ran...

  18. Progress, challenges and prospects of eco-hydrological studies in the Tarim river basin of Xinjiang, China.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yaning; Xu, Changchun; Chen, Yapeng; Liu, Yongbo; Li, Weihong

    2013-01-01

    Eco-hydrological research in arid inland river basins has been a focus of geologists and ecologists as it is crucial for maintaining the sustainable development of socio-economy, particularly in ecologically vulnerable areas. Based on the research work carried out in the Tarim River basin of Xinjiang, northwestern China, this paper summarizes synthetically the climate change and associated responses of water resources in the mountainous area, land use and land cover in the oasis, and plants responding to environmental stresses in the desert area of the river basin. Research gaps, challenges, and future perspectives in the eco-hydrological studies of the Tarim River basin are also discussed. PMID:22392285

  19. A refined characterization of the alluvial geology of yucca flat and its effect on bulk hydraulic conductivity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Phelps, G.A.; Halford, K.J.

    2011-01-01

    In Yucca Flat, on the Nevada National Security Site in southern Nevada, the migration of radionuclides from tests located in the alluvial deposits into the Paleozoic carbonate aquifer involves passage through a thick, heterogeneous section of late Tertiary and Quaternary alluvial sediments. An understanding of the lateral and vertical changes in the material properties of the alluvial sediments will aid in the further development of the hydrogeologic framework and the delineation of hydrostratigraphic units and hydraulic properties required for simulating groundwater flow in the Yucca Flat area. Previously published geologic models for the alluvial sediments within Yucca Flat are based on extensive examination and categorization of drill-hole data, combined with a simple, data-driven interpolation scheme. The U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with Stanford University, is researching improvements to the modeling of the alluvial section, incorporating prior knowledge of geologic structure into the interpolation method and estimating the uncertainty of the modeled hydrogeologic units.

  20. HOW IMPORTANT ARE SOIL FUNGI IN THE NITROGEN CYCLE OF ARID AND SEMIHOW IMPORTANT ARE SOIL FUNGI IN THE NITROGEN CYCLE OF ARID AND SEMIHOW IMPORTANT ARE SOIL FUNGI IN THE NITROGEN CYCLE OF ARID AND SEMIHOW IMPORTANT ARE SOIL FUNGI IN THE NITROGEN CYCLE OF

    E-print Network

    Hall, Sharon J.

    HOW IMPORTANT ARE SOIL FUNGI IN THE NITROGEN CYCLE OF ARID AND SEMIHOW IMPORTANT ARE SOIL FUNGI IN THE NITROGEN CYCLE OF ARID AND SEMIHOW IMPORTANT ARE SOIL FUNGI IN THE NITROGEN CYCLE OF ARID AND SEMIHOW IMPORTANT ARE SOIL FUNGI IN THE NITROGEN CYCLE OF ARID AND SEMI----ARID ECOSYSTEMS?ARID ECOSYSTEMS

  1. Effects of Land Use and Hydrogeology on the Water Quality of Alluvial Aquifers in Eastern Iowa and Southern Minnesota, 1997

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Savoca, Mark E.; Sadorf, Eric M.; Linhart, S. Mike; Akers, Kim K.B.

    2000-01-01

    Ground-water samples were collected from monitoring wells at 31 agricultural and 30 urban sites in the Eastern Iowa Basins study unit during June-August 1997 to evaluate the effects of land use and hydrogeology on the water quality of alluvial aquifers. Ground-water samples were analyzed for common ions, nutrients, dissolved organic carbon, tritium, radon-222, pesticides and pesticide metabolites, volatile organic compounds, and environmental isotopes. Calcium, magnesium, and bicarbonate were the dominant ions in most samples and were likely derived from solution of carbonate minerals (calcite and dolomite) present in alluvial detrital deposits. Chloride and nitrate were dominant anions in samples from several wells. Sodium and chloride concentrations were significantly higher in samples from urban areas, where roads are more numerous and road salts may be more frequently applied, than in agricultural areas. Nitrate was detected in 94 percent of samples from agricultural areas and 77 percent of samples from urban areas. Nitrate concentrations were significantly higher in agricultural areas than in urban areas and exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency maximum contaminant level for drinking water (10 milligrams per liter as N) in 39 percent of samples from agricultural areas. Nitrate concentrations in samples from urban areas did not exceed the maximum contaminant level. Greater use of fertilizers in agricultural areas most likely contributes to higher nitrate concentrations in samples from those areas. Tritium-based ages indicate ground water was most likely recharged after the 1950's at all but one sampling site. Agricultural and urban land-use areas have remained relatively stable in the study area since the 1950's; therefore, the effects of current land use should be reflected in ground water sampled during this study. Radon-222 was detected in all samples and exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's previously proposed maximum contaminant level for drinking water (300 picocuries per liter) in 71 percent of samples. Pesticides were detected in 84 percent of samples from agricultural areas and 70 percent from urban areas. Atrazine and metolachlor were the most frequently detected pesticides in samples from agricultural areas; atrazine and prometon were the most frequently detected pesticides in samples from urban areas. None of the pesticide concentrations exceeded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency maximum contaminant levels or lifetime health advisories for drinking water. Pesticide metabolites were detected in 94 percent of samples from agricultural areas and 53 percent from urban areas. Metolachlor ethane sulfonic acid and deethylatrazine were the most frequently detected metabolites in samples from agricultural areas; metolachlor ethane sulfonic acid and alachlor ethane sulfonic acid were the most frequently detected metabolites in samples from urban areas. Total metabolite concentrations were significantly higher in samples from agricultural areas than in samples from urban areas. Total pesticide concentrations (parent compounds) tended to be higher in samples from agricultural areas; however, this difference was not statistically significant. Metabolites constituted the major portion of the total residue concentration in the alluvial aquifer. Volatile organic compounds were detected in 40 percent of samples from urban areas and 10 percent from agricultural areas. Methyl tertbutyl ether was the most commonly detected volatile organic compound and was present in 23 percent of samples from urban areas. Elevated concentrations (greater than 30 micrograms per liter) of methyl tert-butyl ether and BTEX compounds (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene) in two samples from urban areas suggest the possible presence of point-source gasoline leaks or spills. Factors other than land use may contribute to observed differences in water quality between and within agricultural and urban

  2. Water-balance and groundwater-flow estimation for an arid environment: San Diego region, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flint, L. E.; Flint, A. L.; Stolp, B. J.; Danskin, W. R.

    2012-03-01

    The coastal-plain aquifer that underlies the San Diego City metropolitan area in southern California is a groundwater resource. The understanding of the region-wide water balance and the recharge of water from the high elevation mountains to the east needs to be improved to quantify the subsurface inflows to the coastal plain in order to develop the groundwater as a long term resource. This study is intended to enhance the conceptual understanding of the water balance and related recharge processes in this arid environment by developing a regional model of the San Diego region and all watersheds adjacent or draining to the coastal plain, including the Tijuana River basin. This model was used to quantify the various components of the water balance, including semi-quantitative estimates of subsurface groundwater flow to the coastal plain. Other approaches relying on independent data were used to test or constrain the scoping estimates of recharge and runoff, including a reconnaissance-level groundwater model of the San Diego River basin, one of three main rivers draining to the coastal plain. Estimates of subsurface flow delivered to the coastal plain from the river basins ranged from 12.3 to 28.8 million m3 yr-1 from the San Diego River basin for the calibration period (1982-2009) to 48.8 million m3 yr-1 from all major river basins for the entire coastal plain for the long-term period 1940-2009. This range of scoping estimates represents the impact of climatic variability and realistically bounds the likely groundwater availability, while falling well within the variable estimates of regional recharge. However, the scarcity of physical and hydrologic data in this region hinders the exercise to narrow the range and reduce the uncertainty.

  3. Mountains and arid climates of middle latitudes

    SciTech Connect

    Manabe, S.; Broccoli, A.J. )

    1990-01-12

    Simulations from a global climate model with and without orography have been used to investigate the role of mountains in maintaining extensive arid climates in middle latitudes of the Northern hemisphere. Dry climates similar to those observed were simulated over central Asia and western interior North America in the experiment with mountains, whereas relatively moist climates were simulated in these areas in the absence of orography. The experiments suggest that these interior regions are dry because general subsidence and relatively infrequent storm development occur upstream of orographically induced stationary wave troughs. Downstream of these troughs, precipitation-bearing storms develop frequently in association with strong jet streams. In contrast, both atmospheric circulation and precipitation were more zonally symmetric in the experiment without mountains. In addition, orography reduces the moisture transport into the continental interiors from nearby oceanic sources. The relative soil wetness of these regions in the experiment without mountains is consistent with paleoclimatic evidence of less aridity during the late Tertiary, before substantial uplift of the Rocky Mountains and Tibetan Plateau is believed to have occurred.

  4. Assessment of spatial and temporal patterns of green and blue water flows in inland river basins in Northwest China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zang, C. F.; Liu, J.; van der Velde, M.; Kraxner, F.

    2012-03-01

    In arid and semi-arid regions freshwater resources have become scarcer with increasing demands from socio-economic development and population growth. Until recently, water research and management in these has mainly focused on blue water but ignored green water. Here we report on spatial and temporal patterns of both blue and green water flows simulated by the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) for the Heihe river basin, the second largest inland river basin in Northwest China. Calibration and validation at two hydrological stations show good performance of the SWAT model in modelling hydrological processes. The total green and blue water flows were 22.09 billion m3 in the 2000s for the Heihe river basin. Blue water flows are larger in upstream sub-basins than in downstream sub-basins mainly due to high precipitation and large areas of glaciers in upstream. Green water flows are distributed more homogeneously among different sub-basins. The green water coefficient was 88.0% in the 2000s for the entire river basin, varying from around 80-90% in up- and mid-stream sub-basins to above 95% in downstream sub-basins. This is much higher than reported green water coefficient in many other river basins. The spatial patterns of green water coefficient were closely linked to dominant land covers (e.g. glaciers in upstream and desert in downstream) and climate conditions (e.g. high precipitation in upstream and low precipitation in downstream). There are no clear consistent historical trends of change in green and blue water flows and green water coefficient at both the river basin and sub-basin levels. This study provides insights into green and blue water endowments for the entire Heihe river basin at sub-basin level. The results are helpful for formulating reasonable water policies to improve water resources management in the inland river basins of China.

  5. ARID1B-mediated disorders: Mutations and possible mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Sim, Joe C. H.; White, Susan M; Lockhart, Paul J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Mutations in the gene encoding AT-rich interactive domain-containing protein 1B (ARID1B) were recently associated with multiple syndromes characterized by developmental delay and intellectual disability, in addition to nonsyndromic intellectual disability. While the majority of ARID1B mutations identified to date are predicted to result in haploinsufficiency, the underlying pathogenic mechanisms have yet to be fully understood. ARID1B is a DNA-binding subunit of the Brahma-associated factor chromatin remodelling complexes, which play a key role in the regulation of gene activity. The function of remodelling complexes can be regulated by their subunit composition, and there is some evidence that ARID1B is a component of the neuron-specific chromatin remodelling complex. This complex is involved in the regulation of stem/progenitor cells exiting the cell cycle and differentiating into postmitotic neurons. Recent research has indicated that alterations in the cell cycle contribute to the underlying pathogenesis of syndromes associated with ARID1B haploinsufficiency in fibroblasts derived from affected individuals. This review describes studies linking ARID1B to neurodevelopmental disorders and it summarizes the function of ARID1B to provide insights into the pathogenic mechanisms underlying ARID1B-mediated disorders. In conclusion, ARID1B is likely to play a key role in neurodevelopment and reduced levels of wild-type protein compromise normal brain development. Additional studies are required to determine the mechanisms by which impaired neural development contributes to the intellectual disability and speech impairment that are consistently observed in individuals with ARID1B haploinsufficiency. PMID:25674384

  6. Alluvial deposits and plant distribution in an Amazonian lowland megafan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zani, H.; Rossetti, D.; Cremon; Cohen, M.; Pessenda, L. C.

    2012-12-01

    A large volume of sandy alluvial deposits (> 1000 km2) characterizes a flat wetland in northern Amazonia. These have been recently described as the sedimentary record of a megafan system, which have a distinct triangular shape produced by highly migratory distributary rivers. The vegetation map suggests that this megafan is dominated by open vegetation in sharp contact with the surround rainforest. Understanding the relationship between geomorphological processes and vegetation distribution is crucial to decipher and conserve the biodiversity in this Amazonian ecosystem. In this study we interpret plant dynamics over time, and investigate its potential control by sedimentary processes during landscape evolution. The study area is located in the Viruá National Park. Two field campaigns were undertaken in the dry seasons of 2010 and 2011 and the sampling sites were selected by combining accessibility and representativeness. Vegetation contrasts were recorded along a transect in the medial section of the Viruá megafan. Due to the absence of outcrops, samples were extracted using a core device, which allowed sampling up to a depth of 7.5 m. All cores w