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SWRC Bulletin (Summer 2008)
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The SWRC Bulletin

Sound Science for Water Decisions

Summer 2008

Latest Science Results (not yet published)

(click on title for more information)


Soil-dependent canopy-die back and plant mortality in two Mojave Desert shrubs


Ecophysiology of two SonoranDesert evergreen shrubs during extreme drought


Foliar D15N of Mojave Desert shrubs: relationship to soil hydrological characteristics


Archiving and Distributing Three Long-Term Interconnected Geospatial Data Sets


A new Splash and Sheet Erosion Equation for Rangelands


Assessing the benefits of conservation practices in western rangelands of the United States: the CEAP rangelands project


On the soil roughness parameterization problem in soil moisture retrieval of bare surfaces from Synthetic Aperture Radar


Estimation of Net Ecosystem Carbon Exchange for the Conterminous United States by Combining MODIS and AmeriFlux Data


The effect of drought on the water and carbon dioxide exchange of a woody-plant-encroached semiarid grassland


A Continuous Measure of Gross Primary Productivity for the Conterminous U.S. Derived from MODIS and AmeriFlux Data

Highlight from Recently Published Research


Sap flow velocity in a major lateral and tap root of a mesquite tree.  In this example, precipitation that falls prior to leaf out is redistributed downward from shallow to deeper soil depths. After leaf flush and the onset of transpiration, the transpiration is largely supported by the tap root. From Scott et al. 2008. Water Resources Research.

Papers Published This Year:

(click on title to download a reprint)


Nichols, M.H., Anson, E.A. 2008. Southwest Watershed Research Center Data Access Project.Water Resources Research. Vol. 44, W05S03, doi:10.1029/2006WR005665 (355 KB PDF)

Paige, G.P., Keefer, T.O. 2008. Field application performance of multiple soil moisture sensors.Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 44(1):121-135. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2007.00142.x (2.2 MB PDF)

Goodrich, D.C., Keefer, T.O., Unkrich, C.L., Nichols, M.H., Osborn H.B., Stone, J.J., Smith, J.R. 2008. Long-term precipitation database, Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed, Arizona, United States.Water Resources Research, Vol. 44, W05S04, doi:10.1029/2006WR005782, (381 KB PDF)

Thoma, D., Moran, M.S., Bryant, R., Rahman, M., Holifield Collins, C., Keefer, T.O., Noriega, R., Osman, I., Skirvin, S., Tischler, M., Bosch, D., Starks, P.J., Peters-Lidard, C. 2008. Appropriate scale of soil moisture retrieval from high-resolution radar imagery for bare and minimally vegetated soils.Remote Sensing of Environment. 112:403-414. (1248 KB PDF)

Renard, K.G., Nichols, M.H., Woolhiser, D.A., Osborn, H.B. 2008. A brief background on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed.Water Resources Research. Vol. 44, W05S02, doi:10.1029/2006WR005691 (348 KB PDF)

Skirvin, S., Kidwell, M., Biedenbender, S.H., Henley, F. P., King, D.M., Holifield Collins, C.D., Moran, M.S., Weltz, M.A. 2008. Vegetation data, Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed, Arizona, United States.Water Resources Research, Vol. 44, W05S08, doi:10.1029/2006WR005724, (254 KB PDF)

Garcia, M., Peters-Lidard, C.D., Goodrich, D.C. 2008. Spatial interpolation of precipitation in a dense gauge network for monsoon storm events in the southwestern United States.Water Resources Research, Vol. 44, W05S13, doi:10.1029/2006WR005788 (914 KB PDF)

Nichols, M.H., Stone, J.J., Nearing, M.A. 2008. Sediment database, Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed, Arizona, United StatesUnited States.Water Resources Research. Vol. 44, W05S06, doi:10.1029/2006WR005682 (229 KB PDF)

King, D., Skirvin, S., Holifield Collins, C., Moran, M.S., Biedenbender, S., Kidwell, M., Weltz, M.A., Diaz-Guiterrez, A. 2008. Assessing vegetation change temporally and spatially in southeastern Arizona.Water Resources Research, Vol. 44, W05S15, doi:10.1029/2006WR005850 (856 KB PDF)

Emmerich, W.E., Verdugo, C.L. 2008. Long-term carbon dioxide and water flux database, Walnut Gulch Experimeatal Watershed, Arizona.Water Resources Research. 44:1-3. 44, W05S09, doi: 10.1029/2006/WR05693 (72 KB PDF)

Emmerich, W.E., Verdugo, C.L. 2008. Precipitation thresholds for CO2 uptake in grass and shrub plant communities ON WALNUT GULCH EXPERIMENTAL WATERSHED.Water Resources Research. Vol. 44, W05S16, doi:10.1029/2006WR005690. (733 KB PDF)

Scott, R.L., Cable, W.L., Huxman, T.E., Nagler, P.L., Hernandez, M., Goodrich, D.C. 2008. Multiyear riparian evapotranspiration and groundwater use for a semiarid watershed.J. of Arid Environments, 72, 1232-1246. doi:10.1016/j.jaridenv.2008.01.001 (589KB PDF)

Keefer, T.O., Moran, M.S., Paige, G.B. 2008. Long-term meteorological and soil hydrology database, Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed, Arizona, United States.Water Resources Research, Vol. 44, W05S07, doi:10.1029/2006WR005702 (914 KB PDF)

Rahman, M.M., Moran, M.S., Thoma, D.P., Bryant, R., Holifield Collins, C.D., Jackson, T., Orr, B.J., Tischler, M. 2008. Mapping surface roughness and soil moisture using multi-angle radar imagery without ancillary data.Rem. Sens. Env. 112:391-402. (1958 KB PDF)

Cosh, M.H, Jackson, T.J., Moran, M.S., Bindlish, R. 2008. Temporal persistence and stability of surface soil moisture in a semi-arid watershed.Rem. Sens. Env. 112:304-313 (722 KB PDF)

Moran, M.S., Holifield Collins, C.D., Goodrich, D.C., Qi, J., Shannon, D.T., Olsson, A. 2008. Long-term remote sensing database, Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed, Arizona, United States.Water Resources Research. Vol. 44, W05S10, doi:10.1029/2006WR005689 (405 KB PDF)

Yatheendradas, S., Wagener, T., Gupta, H., Unkrich, C.L., Goodrich, D.C., Schaffner, M., Stewart, A. 2008. Understanding uncertainty in distributed flash flood forecasting for semiarid regions.Water Resources Research, Vol. 44, W05S19, doi:10.1029/2007WR005940. (2229 KB PDF)

Rodriguez, L.B., Cello, P.A., Vionnet, C.A., Goodrich, D.C. 2008. Fully conservative coupling of HEC-1 RAS with MODFLOW to simulate stream-aquifer interactions in a drainage basin.Journal of Hydrology. 353:129-142. (1066 KB PDF)

Holifield Collins, C., Emmerich, W.E., Moran, M.S., Hernandez, M., Scott, R.L., Bryant, R., King, D.M., Verdugo, C.L. 2008. A remote sensing approach for estimating distributed daily net carbon dioxide flux in semiarid grasslands.Water Resources Research. Vol. 44, W05S17, doi:10.1029/2006WR005699 (2609 KB PDF)

Jackson, R.J., Moran, M.S., O'Neill, P.E. 2008. Introduction to Soil Moisture Experiments 2004 (SMEX04) Special Issue.Remote Sensing of Environment 112:301-303. (102 KB PDF)

Heilman, P., Nichols, M.H., Goodrich, D.C., Miller, S.N., Guertin, D.P. 2008. Geographic information systems database, Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed, Arizona, United States.Water Resources Research, Vol. 44, W05S11, doi:10.1029/2006WR005777, (370 KB PDF)

Moran, M.S., Emmerich, W.E., Goodrich, D.C., Heilman, P., Holifield Collins, C., Keefer, T.O., Nearing, M.A., Nichols, M.H., Renard, K.G., Scott, R.L., Smith, J.R., Stone, J.J., Unkrich, C.L., Wong, J.K. 2008. Preface to special section on Fifty Years of Research and Data Collection: U.S. Department of Agriculture Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed.Water Resources Research, Vol. 44, W05S01, doi:10.1029/2007WR006083 (90.8 KB PDF)

Rhoton, F., Emmerich, W., DiCarol, D., McChesney, D., Nearing, M., Ritchie, J. 2008. Identification of suspended sources using soil characteristics in a semiarid watershed.Soil Science Society of America. 72(4): 1102-1112. (1.01 MB PDF)

Goodrich, D.C., Unkrich, C.L., Keefer, T.O., Nichols, M.H., Stone, J.J., Levick, L., Scott, R.L. 2008. Event to multidecadal persistence in rainfall and runoff in southeast Arizona.Water Resour. Res., 44, W05S14, doi:10.1029/2007WR006222 (5.3 MB PDF)

Al-Qurashi, A., McIntyre, N., Wheater, H., Unkrich, C.L. 2008. Application of the Kineros2 rainfall-runoff model to an arid catchment in Oman.J. of Hydrology. 355:91-105. (779 KB PDF)

Scott, R.L., Cable, W.L., Hultine, K.R. 2008. The ecohydrologic significance of hydraulic redistribution in a semiarid savanna.Water Resources Research. 44, W02440, doi:10.1029/2007WR006149. (611 KB PDF)

Peters-Lidard, C.D., Mocko, D,M., Garcia, M., Santanello, Jr, J.A., Moran, M.S., Tischler, M.A., Wu, Y. 2008. Role of precipitation uncertainty in the estimation of hydrologic soil properties using remotely sensed soil moisture in a semiarid environment.Water Resources Research, Vol. 44, W05S18, doi:10.1029/2007WR005884, (2068 KB PDF)

Keefer, T.O., Unkrich, C.L., Smith, J.R., Goodrich, D.C., Moran, M.S., Simanton, J.R. 2008. An event-based comparison of two types of automated-recording, weighing bucket rain gauges.Water Resources Research, Vol. 44, W05S12, doi:10.1029/2006WR005841. (1.06 MB PDF)

Stone, J.J., Nichols, M.H., Goodrich, D.C., Buono, J. 2008. Long-term runoff database, Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed, Arizona, United States.Water Resources Research, Vol. 44, W05S05, doi:10.1029/2006WR005733 (123 KB PDF)

Kepner, W.G., Hernandez, M., Semmens, D., Goodrich, D.C. 2008. The Use of Scenario Analysis to Assess Future Landscape Change on Watershed Condition in the Pacific Northwest (USA).In Use of Landscape Sciences for Environmental Security, Springer Publishers, The Netherlands. ISBN 978-1-4020-6588-0, pp. 237-261. (656 KB PDF)

Our full publication list is available at . 


Future Science Events:

Click here for information about upcoming conferences, including the 3rd ICRW and 5th RISE.

Rainfall Report:

WGEW and SRER data can be downloaded from the web site at   


Geographic locations of the three precipitation records can be found at /ARSUserFiles/20221000/images/sw_az3.jpg



SWRC continues to win honors and fellowships.  Click here for more information.

Staff News:

Click here for staff news, including a farewell to some staff and students, a welcome to others, and a Special Section dedicated to 50 years of research at WGEW.


SWRC Bulletin:

Contact the SWRC Research Leader, Dr. Mark Nearing at 520-670-6381 x152 or  Mailing address is USDA ARS SWRC, 2000 E. Allen Rd., Tucson, AZ 85719 and web address is  The SWRC Bulletin is online at /News/News.htm?modecode=53-42-45-00.



SWRC Mission:

To develop knowledge and technology to conserve water and soil in semi-arid lands.