Rio Grande River basin snow is studied

Jul 18, 2005

A multi-million dollar, 10-year study is under way in the Rio Grande basin to track the water cycle from the river's Colorado headwaters across New Mexico.

Paul Brooks, a hydrologist at the University of Arizona, told the Albuquerque Journal researchers want improve water management and policy by filling in knowledge gaps.

For example, he said while snow is a significant contributor to the region's water, scientists don't know how much that contribution is or how long it takes to recharge ground water levels. Nor do they know exactly where the high-elevation snows enter the ground water or to what extent other environmental factors influence ground water recharge.

The information is important, since the region's ground water is the primary source of water for much of the Southwestern United States, the Journal said.

Funded by a National Science Foundation grant, researchers are collecting such data as snowpack depths, carbon dioxide exchange rates with the atmosphere, soil moisture, wind speeds, solar radiation, temperature, and relative humidity.

"The science that we learn here will be transportable to much of the West," Brooks told the newspaper.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Digging up the 'Spanish Vikings'

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scientists make strides in tsunami warning since 2004

13 hours ago

The 2004 tsunami led to greater global cooperation and improved techniques for detecting waves that could reach faraway shores, even though scientists still cannot predict when an earthquake will strike.

Kepler proves it can still find planets

Dec 18, 2014

To paraphrase Mark Twain, the report of the Kepler spacecraft's death was greatly exaggerated. Despite a malfunction that ended its primary mission in May 2013, Kepler is still alive and working. The evidence ...

Recommended for you

Digging up the 'Spanish Vikings'

16 hours ago

The fearsome reputation of the Vikings has made them the subject of countless exhibitions, books and films - however, surprisingly little is known about their more southerly exploits in Spain.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.