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Proceedings of the Hydrology section of the Annual Meeting of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science. Full text manuscripts of work presented. Research related to water resources, water management, and hydrologic studies primarily focused regionally on southwestern US.

Volume 5. Proceedings of the 1975 Meetings of the Arizona Section - American Water Resources Assn. and the Hydrology Section - Arizona Academy of Science.

April 11-12, 1975, Tempe, Arizona


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  • Hydrology and Water Resources in Arizona and the Southwest, Volume 5 (1975)

    Unknown author (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1975-04-12)
  • Measuring Snow Cover from ERTS Imagery on the Black River Basin

    Aul, Jerry S.; Ffolliott, Peter F.; School of Renewable Natural Resources, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1975-04-12)
    The possibility of using imagery from the earth resources technology satellites (ERTS) to monitor changes in areal snow cover in east-central Arizona is examined. Four methods were used in the interpretation of areal snow cover from the ERTS imagery, the densitometer, dot grid, squares grid and projection-planimeter methods providing results of 69, 71, 72 and 74 percent of areal cover respectively. No one method for interpretation of ERTS imagery should be ruled unusable, but any use made of ERTS imagery is dependent upon turn-around time for obtaining the imagery, as snow cover information which cannot be obtained within 24 hours is limited in practical application.
  • Aerial Snowpack Mapping

    Warksow, William L.; Salt River Project, Phoenix, Arizona (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1975-04-12)
    Arizona's continued growth and development depends upon sound management of water resources, especially melted snow which is the primary source of water for the 1.1. Million residents of Maricopa county. The method for snowpack information gathering practiced by watershed specialists of the Salt River project in Arizona is described. The method is outlined, describing aircraft reconnaissance, direct enroute mapping of extent and depth of snowpack, and techniques for identifying ice and/or melt conditions. Under optimal conditions, this technique is considered more than acceptable for determining snowpack levels. Limitations of the technique result from the observer's tolerance of vertigo which can arise under flying conditions; cloud cover, which can reduce contrast and shadows thereby reducing accuracy of observation; and vegetation zones where density of plant matter screens much of the snow.
  • Assessing the Bare Soil Evaporation Via Surface Temperature Measurements

    Idso, Sherwood B.; Reginato, Robert J.; Jackson, Ray D.; Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; ARS, USDA, U. S. Water Conservation Laboratory, Phoenix, Arizona 85040 (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1975-04-12)
    Evaporation of water from bare soils is an important consideration in the scheduling of many farming operations in both irrigated and dryland agriculture. Accurate predictions of bare soil evaporation can serve as the basis for decisions to increase the acreage planted with a given crop. An alternative is presented to previous approaches to bare soil evaporation estimation by empirically correlating the ratio of daily totals of actual to potential evaporation and the amplitude of the diurnal surface soil temperature wave. Since evaporation is directly related to the surface soil water pressure, the soil thermal inertia technique might be capable of prescribing relative bare soil evaporation rates which, combined with potential evaporation calculations, could allow determination of actual evaporation rates over the entire range of soil drying.
  • Assessing Soil Moisture Remotely

    Reginato, Robert J.; Idso, Sherwood B.; Jackson, Ray D.; Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; ARS, USDA, U. S. Water Conservation Laboratory, Phoenix, Arizona 85040 (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1975-04-12)
    Space-age technology has produced tools which when turned to earthly pursuits can provide information on food and fiber production. Soil moisture has the potential for being remotely assessed, and three techniques for accomplishing this are under study. Two of the methods, reflectance and thermal, are sensitive to the conditions of the bare soil surface. The third technique, microwave emission, appears to have a good potential for assessing soil moisture with depth, because of its greater wavelength.
  • Development and Testing of a Laser Rain Gage

    Ozment, Arnold D.; Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona; Colorado State University, Fort Collins (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1975-04-12)
    Current catchment methods of measuring precipitation have several problems which affect their accuracy. The physical presence of the gage disturbs windflow patterns and reduces catch. Other errors of less significance arise from evaporation from the gage, and wetting of the gage. A method is described of measuring precipitation by scattering light from a beam by waterdrops. The sampling medium is a collimated beam from a helium-neon laser. The amount of light scattered is a function of the number and size of drops intercepting the beam.
  • Salt Balance in Groundwater of the Tulare Lake Basin, California

    Schmidt, Kenneth D. (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1975-04-12)
    The Tulare Lake basin at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains is the basis for water supply for several cities and a highly productive agricultural area. Little attention has been given to groundwater quality during the past one hundred years. A careful study of the salt balance produced a set of guidelines for future groundwater managers to follow. The major emphasis for future water consumption should be the efficient use of irrigation. This would produce a positive impact on groundwater quality, energy savings, and less imported water would be needed. Groundwater management in the future must consider water quality as well as quantity. Appropriate monitoring programs are urgently needed to provide data on trends in groundwater quality.
  • Transformations in Quality of Recharging Effluent in the Santa Cruz River

    Wilson, L. G.; Herbert, R. A.; Ramsey, C. R.; Water Resources Research Center; Department of Soils, Water and Engineering, The University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1975-04-12)
    Since 1955 secondary treated effluent from the city of Tucson treatment plant has been released into the Santa Cruz River, the principal drainage tributary of the Tucson basin. Because the river is ephemeral, it has functioned essentially as an artificial recharge facility for sewage effluent. In past years the total volume of effluent artificially recharged amounted to about 31,000 ac-ft per year. Such recharge has affected not only the groundwater levels in the vicinity of the river, but also water quality. Recharge of nitrate is of particular concern.
  • Chemistry of Effervescing Groundwater from Municipal Wells, Flagstaff, Arizona

    Germ, John C.; Montgomery, Errol L.; Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1975-04-12)
    Gas which effervesces from groundwater from Flagstaff's municipal wells is derived from dissolved atmospheric air. Groundwater from the Coconino aquifer at the flagstaff municipal wells is classified as calcium magnesium bicarbonate sulfate water and is similar to groundwater pumped from the Coconino aquifer by other wells in the flagstaff area. The source of the gas which effervesces from groundwater pumped by the municipal wells is believed to be air which is trapped in the Coconino aquifer during recharge.
  • Water Resources of the Woody Mountain Well Field Area, Coconino County, Arizona

    Montgomery, Errol L.; DeWitt, Ronald H.; Northern Arizona University; City of Flagstaff Water Department (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1975-04-12)
    Conclusions drawn from a water resources study of the woody mountain area are: the average coefficients of transmissibility and of storage of the principal aquifer are approximately 30,000 gpd/ft and 0.05 respectively; drawdown in wells is greater than predicted using theoretical calculations due to the turbulent flow near the well bore in the fractured Coconino aquifer; the computed interference between pumped wells in the field ranges from 10.5 ft. To 19.7 ft. Interference would be negligible between wells spaced at distances greater than 6,000 ft. For pumping periods as long as two hundred days; the negative boundary effect of off-set on the oak creek fault may be balanced by the recharge effect of groundwater located in the highly permeable fractured zone adjacent to the fault; and the quantity of recharge water to the well field is greater than withdrawals from the wells.
  • The Application of Step-Drawdown Pumping Tests for Determining Well Losses in Consolidated Rock Aquifers

    Uhl, V. W., Jr.; Joshi, V. G.; Alpheus, A.; Sharma, G.; Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona; Evangelical Lutheran Church Water Development Project, Getul, M.P., India (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1975-04-12)
    The concept of a step -drawdown test was first introduced by Jacob, and further modifications in the technique were made by Rorabaugh. Analysis of step -drawdown test data enables the quantification of the components of drawdown due to formation or aquifer loss, and due to well losses in a pumped well. This technique has been used to test approximately 100 wells that were drilled in crystalline and basalt formations in central India. Test data have been analyzed by Rorabaugh's method and by a graphical method, and the results of a number of tests are presented and discussed. Anomalies in the test analysis often proved helpful for interpreting aquifer irregularities. In general, the well loss constant decreases with an increase in specific capacity and the aquifer loss constant decreases with increasing transmissivity. Significant reductions in specific capacity during a step test occur in wells with high well losses. An attempt is made to quantify the well losses in a consolidated rock well, and a number of practical applications of step -drawdown tests are discussed.
  • Applications of Finite Element and Computer Graphics Techniques in Aquifer Analysis

    O'Donnell, D. F.; Wilson, L. G.; Rasmussen, W. O.; Water Resources Research Center, The University of Arizona, Tucson; School of Renewable Natural Resources, The University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1975-04-12)
    Aquifer flow systems have been simulated by a variety of techniques. The results of these simulations can be presented in several ways. Of the approaches in modeling groundwater flow, the finite element method offers an advantage through its ease in approximating various boundary conditions. Graphic methods offer a means of simplifying data presentation. This study demonstrates the use of a finite element technique in modeling aquifer flow systems, and illustrates a 3-dimensional graphic approach when representing the results of the modeling.
  • Application of Bayesian Decision Theory in Well Field Design

    Bostock, Charles A.; Davis, Donald R.; Department of Hydrology & Water Resources, University of Arizona, Tucson 85721; Hydrology & Water Resources, and Systems and Industrial Engineering, University of Arizona, Tucson 85721 (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1975-04-12)
    Bayesian decision theory is a method for comparing expected utilities of alternative actions given various possible states of nature. The method treats uncertainty as to the true state of nature by determining the expected utility of each action in terms of the probabilities of the various possible states. The decision rule is to choose the action having the best expected utility. This paper illustrates an application of Bayesian decision theory in a well field design problem where a decision had to be made regarding capacity-density combination for wells located in an extensive uniform grid. The uncertainty lay in anticipating the frequencies of transmissivity values among the wells.
  • Application of Direct Osmosis: Possibilities for Reclaiming Wellton-Mohawk Drainage Water

    Moody, C. D.; Kessler, J. O.; School of Renewable Resources, University of Arizona, Tucson; Department of Physics, University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1975-04-12)
    A direct osmosis plant can reclaim twenty to thirty thousand acre feet of Wellton-Mohawk brackish drainage water using no more nitrogen fertilizer than is normally used in the Yuma, Coachella valley, Imperial Valley and the bordering Mexican areas. On a per-acre basis ammonium sulfate-driven direct osmosis can reclaim about one percent of the total irrigation requirement from 3000 ppm brackish water. In addition to the ammonium sulfate-driven direct osmosis efficiency, the by-product energy recovery of the manufacture of the fertilizer and the low technology inherent in direct osmosis processes make direct osmosis an appealing water reclaiming process.
  • Applications of Direct Osmosis: Design Characteristics for Hydration and Dehydration

    Kessler, J. O; Moody, C. D.; School of Renewable Resources, University of Arizona, Tucson; Department of Physics, University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1975-04-12)
    In direct (normal, forward) osmosis water automatically flows through a semipermeable membrane from a "source" solution of low concentration to a "driving" solution with higher solute content. The process requires a membrane which is impermeable to the solutes; hydrostatic pressure differences are not directly involved and can be set equal to zero. In principle, direct osmosis is a low -technology, low-power consumption method for reducing the water volume of industrial effluents or liquid agricultural products, and for reclaiming brackish irrigation water. In the latter application the driving solution may utilize fertilizer as a solute; the source solution is drainage that contains harmful salt components. This type of operation has been experimentally demonstrated. This paper summarizes basic physical principles and introduces some quantitative design factors which must be understood on both a fundamental and on an applications level.
  • Describing Snowpacks in Arizona Mixed Conifer Forests with a Storage-Duration Index

    Warren, Mark A.; Ffolliott, Peter F.; School of Renewable Natural Resources, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1975-04-12)
    The quantification of snowpacks in relation to inventory-prediction may be useful in the development of water yield improvement practices involving vegetation management in the mixed conifer forests in Arizona. While mixed conifer forests are relatively limited in extent in Arizona, the potential for water yield improvement by manipulation of snow storage through vegetation management may be high. Sample points on the north fork of Thomas Creek showed high initial snow storage followed by slow melt in association with low forest densities, low potential insolation values, and high elevation. Sample points exhibiting these conditions also possessed maximum storage-duration index values. Low initial snow storage followed by rapid melt was associated with high forest densities, high potential insolation values, and low elevations
  • Freeze-Thaw Effects on Soils Treated for Water Repellency

    Fink, Dwayne H.; Mitchell, Stanley T.; U. S. Water Conservation Laboratory, Phoenix, Arizona 85040 (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1975-04-12)
    Water can be supplied to many arid areas by harvesting the precipitation that falls on artificially prepared water-repellent soil catchments. The failure, in 1973, of wax-treated water harvesting catchment led to this study which indicates that the failure was due to swelling and shrinking of the treated soil which caused complete structural breakdown and loss of repellency. The laboratory freeze-thaw studies demonstrated that the smoother the plot, the less chance of freeze-thaw damage. Generally, coarser-textured soil can withstand freeze-thaw cycles better than finer-textured soils. Soil properties, other than texture, may also affect resistance to damage by freeze-thaw cycles. Increasing the repellent application rate may improve resistance to breakdown.
  • Variability of Infiltration Characteristics and Water Yield of a Semi Arid Catchment

    Nnaji, Soronadi; Sammis, Ted W.; Evans, Daniel D.; Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721 (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1975-04-12)
    Space-time variability in the hydrologic characteristics of four major soil series represented in the Silverbell validation site was investigated by sampling the infiltration characteristics, at randomly selected locations, under several vegetative covers within each series. The experimental data was the time distribution of infiltration which, for each sampled location, was fitted by least squares to the Philip's infiltration equation. The parameters of this equation have physical interpretation and therefore were used as measures of the infiltration characteristics. Analysis of variance was used to investigate the spatial variability in the parameters. The mean values of the parameters for selected soil-vegetation combinations were used to simulate runoff due to a rainfall event over a desert catchment "containing" the given combination. Statistical tests show that there is no significant difference among the infiltration parameters of all the soil-vegetation combinations. However, the statistically insignificant variations in the parameters produce significant variations in simulated runoff volumes indicating the sensitivity of the runoff generating process to infiltration characteristics vis-a-vis the hydrologic properties of the soils.
  • The Effect of Increasing the Organic Carbon Content of Sewage on Nitrogen, Carbon, and Bacteria Removal and Infiltration in Soil Columns

    Lance, J. C.; Whisler, F. D.; U. S. Water Conservation Laboratory, Phoenix, Arizona 85040; Department of Agronomy, Mississippi State University, State College, Mississippi 39762 (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1975-04-12)
    Denitrification is the only reaction capable of removing the tremendous quantity of nitrogen applied when high-rate land filtration systems are used for renovating sewage water. This study determined that a shortage of organic carbon limits denitrification, and the effects of increased dissolved organic carbon concentrations on soil clogging and movement of fecal coliform bacteria are clearly shown. Finally, the removal of dissolved organic carbon at different carbon concentrations during high rate soil filtration (40-50 cm/day) also limits denitrification.
  • Thunderstorm Precipitation Effects on the Rainfall-Erosion Index of the Universal Soil Loss Equation

    Renard, Kenneth G.; Simanton, J. Roger; United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Western Region, Southwest Watershed Research Center, Tucson, Arizona 85705 (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1975-04-12)
    The universal soil loss equation (USLE) is widely used for estimating annual and individual storm erosion from field-sized watersheds. Records from a single precipitation gage in climatic areas dominated by thunderstorms can be used to estimate the erosion index (EI) only for the point in question on individual storms or for a specific annual value. Extrapolating the results for more than about a mile leads to serious error in estimating the erosion by the use of the USLE. Short time intervals must be used to obtain an adequate estimate of the EI when using the USLE. The variability of the annual EI can be approximated with a log-normal distribution. All studies indicated that investigations are needed to facilitate estimating the average annual EI from precipitation data as reported by state climatological summaries for states west of the 104th meridian. Additional work is needed to facilitate estimating the EI value from the precipitation data available in most areas of the southwest where thunderstorms dominate the rainfall pattern.

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