Rio Grande River basin snow is studied

July 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: New nanoporous metal foams uses sunlight to clean up water

Related Stories

Farewell to a pioneering pollution sensor

February 14, 2018

On Jan. 31, NASA ended the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer's (TES) almost 14-year career of discovery. Launched in 2004 on NASA's Aura spacecraft, TES was the first instrument designed to monitor ozone in the lowest layers ...

Humpback microbiome linked to seasonal, environmental changes

February 14, 2018

Just like with humans, the skin on marine mammals serves as an important line of defense against pathogens in their environment. A new study sheds light on the skin microbiome—a group of microorganisms that live on skin—in ...

Recommended for you

Hauling antiprotons around in a van

February 22, 2018

A team of researchers working on the antiProton Unstable Matter Annihilation (PUMA) project near CERN's particle laboratory, according to a report in Nature, plans to capture a billion antiprotons, put them in a shipping ...

Urban heat island effects depend on a city's layout

February 22, 2018

The arrangement of a city's streets and buildings plays a crucial role in the local urban heat island effect, which causes cities to be hotter than their surroundings, researchers have found. The new finding could provide ...

A statistical look at the probability of future major wars

February 22, 2018

Aaron Clauset, an assistant professor and computer scientist at the University of Colorado, has taken a calculating look at the likelihood of a major war breaking out in the near future. In an article published on the open ...

0 comments

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.