• The Use of a Realistic Rainfall Simulator to Determine Relative Infiltration Rates of Contributing Watersheds to the Lower Gila Below Painted Rock Dam

      Cluff, C. B.; Boyer, D. G.; Water Resources Research Center, University of Arizona; Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      The rotadisk rainulator is a recently developed rainfall simulator utilizing a full-cone-spray type nozzle. Its unique feature is the rotation of disks of various size openings that makes it possible to produce intensities from close to zero up to full nozzle capacity. Disks may be quickly changed, making it possible to study the effects of various intensities on infiltration rates, such as occur in natural storms. For all intensities above 1.0 in/hr, the instrument comes closer to duplicating kinetic energies and momenta of natural rainfall than any other type of rainfall simulator. Little rainfall-runoff data are available on most of the Lower Gila watersheds. Infiltration rates were therefore determined using the rotadisk rainulator on recompacted soil samples from the watershed. The results permitted a ranking of the watersheds on the basis of infiltration rates, which supports an independent flood frequency analysis indicating that the flood threat from subwatersheds along the Gila is much lower than had previously been projected. When the instrument is taken into the field, it should be possible to directly determine the infiltration rates of different soil and vegetation types, which will be of more use to hydrologists than data from recompacted samples
    • The Use of Chemical Hydrographs in Groundwater Quality Studies

      Schmidt, Kenneth D.; Harshbarger and Associates, Tucson, Arizona (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      High nitrates in drinking water are significant in relation to an infant disease, methemoglobinemia, and the U.S. public health service has set a limit of 45 ppm for human consumption. This paper illustrates how chemical hydrographs were used in a study of nitrates in the groundwater of the Fresno-Clovis metropolitan area (F.C.M.A.) of semiarid central California. The area comprises about 145 square miles, with a population of 310,000. Urban water use is entirely derived from wells, whereas the surrounding agriculture relies on surface and ground water. In 1965, the California department of water resources noted nitrate concentrations in the F.C.M.A. were exceeding the safe limit. A number of sources of error in chemical analyses of water quality are noted. A measure of the accuracies of analyses and a method of double-checking anomalous results is furnished by plotting chemical hydrographs of individual wells. Seasonal changes in nitrate were consistent for many parts of the area, and were related to hydrogeologic factors and parameters directly affecting nitrification. Nitrate hydrographs were monitored by chloride hydrographs. The highest nitrate concentrations were in the shallower parts of the aquifer, and well deepening and changes in water level, pumping patterns and recharge rates complicated interpretations. However, the hydrographs helped to pinpoint the source of nitrate in areas where several possible sources were present.