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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Preface Paper to the Semi-Arid Land-Surface-Atmosphere (Salsa) Program Special Issue 1299

Authors
item Goodrich, David
item Chehbouni, A. - ORSTOM/IMADES
item Goff, B. - CONSULTANT
item Mac Nish, R. - UNIV. OF ARIZ.
item Maddock, T. - UNIV. OF ARIZ.
item Moran, Mary
item Shuttleworth, J. - UNIV. OF ARIZ.
item Williams, D.G. - UNIV. OF ARIZ.
item Watts, C. - IMADES, HERMOSILLO, MEX.
item Hipps, L.H. - UTAH ST. UNIV.

Submitted to: Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 15, 2000
Publication Date: November 20, 2000

Interpretive Summary: Water is the key to life in arid and semi-arid regions. In order to manage both agriculture and municipal development, as well as minimize our impacts on the environment in these regions we must have better knowledge of the quantities and pathways of water. This requires coordinated efforts from scientists in a variety of disciplines including hydrologists, meteorologists, and plant sciences. A multi-disciplinary group of over 70 scientists were organized under the SALSA (Semi-Arid Land-Surface- Atmosphere) Program. They carried out a series of experimental activities in the Upper San Pedro River basin to understand, model and predict the consequences of natural and human-induced change on the basin-wide water balance and ecological diversity of semiarid regions. The study basin originates in northern Sonora, Mexico and flows north into southeastern Arizona. A variety of studies ranging from riparian vegetation water use in the U.S. portion of the basin to upland grass water use in the Mexican portion of the basin were conducted. This paper is a preface to a group of papers discussing SALSA research results from the scientists involved in the program.

Technical Abstract: The Semi-Arid Land-Surface-Atmosphere Program ("SALSA") is a multi-agency, multi-national research effort that seeks to evaluate the consequences of natural and human-induced environmental change in semi-arid regions. The ultimate goal of SALSA is to advance scientific understanding of the semi- arid portion of the hydrosphere-biosphere interface in order to provide reliable information for environmental decision-making. SALSA approaches this goal through a program of long-term, integrated observations, process research, modeling, assessment, and information management that is sustained by cooperation among scientists and information users. In this preface to the SALSA Special Issue general program background information and the critical nature of semi-arid regions is presented. A brief description of the Upper San Pedro River Basin, the initial location for focused SALSA research follows. Principle secondary objectives, methods, primary research sites and data collection used by numerous investigations during 1997-1999 is then presented. Scientists from about 20 US, 5 European (4 French), and 3 Mexican agencies and institutions have collaborated closely to make the research leading to this special issue a reality. The SALSA Program has served as a model of interagency cooperation by breaking new ground in the approach to large-scale interdisciplinary science where limited resources were available.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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