Impacts of Climate Change and Land Use on the 
Southwestern United States

Erosion in the Rio Puerco

Current research activities

Current research is aimed at unraveling the relative importance of climate and weather, vegetation disturbance by grazing, and intrinsic cycles of sediment movement within the Rio Puerco's channels. Elements of research include:

  • Mapping of valley-fill and channel-fill deposits of erodable materials (contact Jim Yount).

  • Mapping of soils and soil permeability based on remote sensing (this discriminates between areas that produce high versus low runoff) (contact Mel Podwysocki).

  • Chronology of past erosion by carbon-14 dating of charcoal found in old, refilled channels (contact Milan Pavich).

  • Direct measurement of the production and movement of sediment on hill slopes (contact Allen Gellis).

  • Measurement of ages of soils and the duration of their residence on the surface, using isotopes that are generated by cosmic-ray bombardment when soils are exposed to air (contact Milan Pavich).

  • Mapping of precipitation using satellite weather images and Doppler radar data (contact Ray Watts).

  • Quantitative modeling of sediment transport (contact Ray Watts).

    Return to Erosion in the Rio Puerco: Geography and Processes

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