• 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.
    • 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.