The Northern Chaco Outliers Project: Surface Hydrology of the Lakeview Community
Digital elevation models
water control features
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractFarming was introduced and thrived in the high desert of the four-corners region since ca. A.D. 500. As subsistence patterns shifted from hunting and gathering to a more sedentary lifestyle based on agriculture, access to reliable water sources became increasingly crucial. Utilizing ESRI’s ArcGIS Pro, a Geographical Information System (GIS), I look at the surface hydrology of an ancestral Pueblo community in southwest Colorado using Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), to calculate the path and velocity of the community’s watershed. Using higher resolutions DEMs which have become available from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), I calculate the watershed using DEMs derived from 30-meters, 10-meters and 1-meter. The results are aiding researchers at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center to better understand ancestral inhabitants’ environments by providing models to aid in investigations to include stream flow, historic route changes, possibly water control features, seep spring locations, and agriculture potential. The various DEMs are used to delineate a watershed under 100 square kilometers, focusing on the Lakeview Community. The differing results display how the 30-meter resolution provides insight to prehistoric stream routes while detailed resolutions aid in the investigation of natural springs and the hydrologic impacts of historic irrigation projects. The results are part of a long-term environmental study to better understand how ancestral inhabitants used their terrain and resources and whether a community’s location intentionally sought to take advantage of local hydrology, arable soil or other factors.