Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Estimation of urban-enhanced infiltration and groundwater recharge, Sierra Vista subbasin, southeast Arizona USA
by Stewart, Anne M., Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 2014, 129; 3618344
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation reports on the methods and results of a three-phased investigation to estimate the annual volume of ephemeral-channel-focused groundwater recharge attributable to urbanization (urban-enhanced groundwater recharge) in the Sierra Vista subwatershed of southeastern Arizona, USA. Results were used to assess a prior estimate.

The first research phase focused on establishment of a study area, installation of a distributed network of runoff gages, gaging for stage, and transforming 2008 stage data into time series of volumetric discharge, using the continuous slope-area method. Stage data were collected for water years 2008 - 2011.

The second research phase used 2008 distributed runoff data with NWS DOPPLER RADAR data to optimize a rainfall-runoff computational model, with the aim of identifying optimal site-specific distributed hydraulic conductivity values and model-predicted infiltration.

The third research phase used the period-of-record runoff stage data to identify study-area ephemeral flow characteristics and to estimate channel-bed infiltration of flow events. Design-storm modeling was used to identify study-area predevelopment ephemeral flow characteristics, given the same storm event. The difference between infiltration volumes calculated for the two cases was attributed to urbanization. Estimated evapotranspiration was abstracted and the final result was equated with study-area-scale urban-enhanced groundwater recharge. These results were scaled up to the Sierra Vista subwatershed: the urban-enhanced contribution to groundwater recharge is estimated to range between 3270 and 3635 cubic decameters (between 2650 and 2945 acre-feet) per year for the period of study. Evapotranspirational losses were developed from estimates made elsewhere in the subwatershed. This, and other sources of uncertainty in the estimates, are discussed and quantified if possible.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gupta, Hoshin V.
Commitee: Callegary, James B., Ferre, Ty P.A., Goodrich, David C., Meixner, Thomas
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Hydrology
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-B 75/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Hydrologic sciences, Environmental management, Remote sensing
Keywords: Channel-focused groundwater recharge, Continuous slope-area method, Distributed rainfall-runoff modeling, Ephemeral stream channel processes, Optimized rainfall-runoff modeling, Urban-enhanced groundwater recharge
Publication Number: 3618344
ISBN: 9781303865879