• Bed Material Characteristics and Transmissions Losses in an Ephemeral Stream

      Murphey, J. B.; Lane, L. J.; Diskin, M. H.; Southwest Watershed Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Soil and Water Conservation Research Division; Arizona Agricultural Experiment Station, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1972-05-06)
      An average of 6 to 13 streamflows from intense summer convective storms occurs annually in the walnut gulch experimental station, 58 square miles in southeastern Arizona. Flows last generally less than 6 hours, and the channels are dry 99 percent of the time. The limiting factors imposed by the geology and geomorphology of the channel to transmission losses of a 6 square mile channel in the station are described. The Precambrian to quaternary geology is outlined, and geomorphology of the channels are described. Volume, porosity and specific yield of alluvium were determined. There is 106 acre-feet of alluvium with a mean specific yield of 28 percent, and a maximum water absorbing capacity of 29 acre-feet or 7 acre-feet per mile of reach. Channel slope is insensitive to changes in geological material beneath it or to changes in flow regime. Channel cross section is highly sensitive to geology and flow regime. Transmission losses were highly correlated to volume of inflow.
    • Nitrogen Species Transformations of Sewage Effluent Releases in a Desert Stream Channel

      Sebenik, P. G.; Cluff, C. B.; DeCook, K. J.; Water Resources Research Center, University of Arizona (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1972-05-06)
      A preliminary study was made with the objective of examining nitrogen species transformations of treated sewage effluent releases within the channel of an ephemeral stream, the Santa Cruz River of southern Arizona. Water quality samples were taken at established locations in sequence so that peak daily flows could be traced as the effluent moved downstream. Results indicate that increased nitrification, coinciding with changing stream characteristics, starts in the vicinity of Cortaro Road (6.3 river miles from the Tucson Sewage Treatment Plant discharge). Through physical-chemical changes in streamflow, nitrate -nitrogen values reach a maximum at approximately 90-95 percent and 60-80 percent of total flow distance for low flows and high flows, respectively. Concentrations of ammonia-nitrogen and total nitrogen decrease continuously downstream with both high and low flows. Therefore, the rate of nitrification within sewage effluent releases in a desert stream channel evidently is related to flow distance and physical characteristics of the stream.
    • Objective and Subjective Analysis of Transition Probabilities of Monthly Flow on an Ephemeral Stream

      Dvoranchik, William; Duckstein, Lucien; Kisiel, Chester C.; Department of Systems and Industrial Engineering, University of Arizona; Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1972-05-06)
      A critique of statistical properties of monthly flows on an ephemeral stream in Arizona is given. A subjective procedure, justified for managerial purposes not concerned with the variability of flow within the month, is proposed for sequential generation of monthly flow data. Ephemeral flows should be modeled by starting with at least historical daily flows for more meaningful monthly flow models. Stochastic properties of monthly streamflows and state transition probabilities are reviewed with regard to ephemeral streams. A flow chart for a streamflow model geared to digital computers, with a simulation of streamflow subroutine, is developed. Meaningful monthly flow models could serve as a check on alternative models (subjective matrix, lag-one auto regressive, harmonic, bivariate normal, bivariate log-normal models). Rules and guidelines are presented in developing meaningful probability matrices.
    • A Proposed Model for Flood Routing in Abstracting Ephemeral Channels

      Lane, Leonard J.; Soil and Water Conservation Research Division, Agricultural Research Service, USDA; Arizona Agricultural Experiment Station, Tucson, Arizona; Southwest Watershed Research Center, Tucson, Arizona 85705 (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1972-05-06)
      Almost all runoff from semiarid rangeland watersheds in southern Arizona results from intense highly variable thunderstorm rainfall. Abstractions, or transmission losses, are important in diminishing streamflow, supporting riparian vegetation and providing natural groundwater recharge. A flood routing procedure is developed using data from the walnut gulch experimental watershed, where flood movement and transmission losses are represented by a system using storage in the channel reach as a state variable which determines loss rates. Abstractions are computed as a cascade of general components in linear form. Wide variation in the parameters of this linear model with increasing inflow indicates that a linear relation between losses and storage is probably incorrect for ephemeral channels.
    • Water Disposition in Ephemeral Stream Channels

      Sammis, T. W.; Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1972-05-06)
      The contribution of flows from small watersheds to groundwater recharge is of interest. Water disposition depends on infiltration and evaporation characteristics. This study had the objective of developing an infiltration equation for estimating transmission losses during a flow event in an ephemeral stream near Tucson, Arizona, in the rocky mountain forest and range experiment station. Palo Verde, desert hackberry, cholla, marmontea and mesquite are the major bank species of the sandy channels. A climatic section consisting of a hydrothermograph recording rain gage and class a evaporation pan was installed. A water balance method was used to estimate evapotranspiration. A specially designed infiltrometer was used to simulate flow events. The data allowed the following conclusions: Philip's infiltration equation is an excellent mathematical model, initial moisture affects initial infiltration rate, the Philip coefficients are determinable by the infiltrometer constructed, soil moisture affects infiltration rates, and transpiration rates diminish linearly proportional to the ratio of available water to field capacity.