Matching Items (3)

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The Sentinel-Arlington Volcanic Field, Arizona

Description

ABSTRACT

The Sentinel-Arlington Volcanic Field (SAVF) is the Sentinel Plains lava field and associated volcanic edifices of late Cenozoic alkali olivine basaltic lava flows and minor tephra deposits near the Gila

ABSTRACT

The Sentinel-Arlington Volcanic Field (SAVF) is the Sentinel Plains lava field and associated volcanic edifices of late Cenozoic alkali olivine basaltic lava flows and minor tephra deposits near the Gila Bend and Painted Rock Mountains, 65 km-100km southwest of Phoenix, Arizona. The SAVF covers ~600 km2 and consists of 21+ volcanic centers, primarily low shield volcanoes ranging from 4-6 km in diameter and 30-200 m in height. The SAVF represents plains-style volcanism, an emplacement style and effusion rate intermediate between flood volcanism and large shield-building volcanism. Because of these characteristics, SAVF is a good analogue to small-volume effusive volcanic centers on Mars, such as those seen the southern flank of Pavonis Mons and in the Tempe Terra region of Mars. The eruptive history of the volcanic field is established through detailed geologic map supplemented by geochemical, paleomagnetic, and geochronological analysis.

Paleomagnetic analyses were completed on 473 oriented core samples from 58 sites. Mean inclination and declination directions were calculated from 8-12 samples at each site. Fifty sites revealed well-grouped natural remanent magnetization vectors after applying alternating field demagnetization. Thirty-nine sites had reversed polarity, eleven had normal polarity. Fifteen unique paleosecular variation inclination and declination directions were identified, six were represented by more than one site with resultant vectors that correlated within a 95% confidence interval. Four reversed sites were radiometrically dated to the Matuyama Chron with ages ranging from 1.08 ± 0.15 Ma to 2.37 ± 0.02 Ma; and one normal polarity site was dated to the Olduvai normal excursion at 1.91 ± 0.59 Ma. Paleomagnetic correlations within a 95% confidence interval were used to extrapolate radiogenic dates. Results reveal 3-5 eruptive stages over ~1.5 Ma in the early Pleistocene and that the SAVF dammed and possibly diverted the lower Gila River multiple times. Preliminary modeling of the median clast size of the terrace deposits suggests a maximum discharge of ~11300 cms (~400,000 cfs) was necessary to transport observed sediment load, which is larger than the historically recorded discharge of the modern Gila River.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Forecasting the Winners and Losers of a Riparian Herpetofauna in Response to Habitat Invasion and Xerification

Description

Riparian systems in the arid southwest are heavily altered and, based on relative land-area, provision a disproportionately high number of native wildlife. Amphibians and reptiles are collectively the most threatened

Riparian systems in the arid southwest are heavily altered and, based on relative land-area, provision a disproportionately high number of native wildlife. Amphibians and reptiles are collectively the most threatened vertebrate taxa and, in the Sonoran Desert, are often reliant on riparian habitat. The link between amphibians and environmental water characteristics, as well as the association between lizards and habitat structure, make herpetofauna good organisms for which to examine the effects of environmental change.

My objective was to relate capture rates of a fossorial anuran and lizard abundance to aspects of native, invaded, and shrub-encroached riparian habitats in order to forecast the potential winners and losers of riparian habitat xerification and invasion.

I measured habitat and monitored herpetofauna at 18 sites near the confluence of the San Pedro River and Gila River in Pinal County, Arizona in 2016 and 2017. Sites were divided into three categories based on dominant tree genus; Populus-Salix, Prosopis, and Tamarix, which represented native riparia, xeric riparia, and invaded riparia, respectively.

Habitat measurements indicated that sites varied significantly in structure, and that dominant tree species was a useful descriptor of habitat physiognomy. Results from herpetofauna trapping demonstrated that Scaphiopus couchii, a fossorial anuran, occupy Prosopis sites at a much higher rate than at Tamarix sites, which were almost completely avoided. S. couchii was also found to be closely tied to xero-riparian habitat components present at Prosopis sites and soil analyses indicate that aspects of soil moisture and texture play an important role in the partitioning of this species across altered riparian habitats. Lizard abundance was found to be significantly lower in Tamarix habitat, with the majority of captures attributed to the generalist whiptail Aspidoscelis tigris. Additionally, more than half of lizard species that were analyzed displayed a negative association to Tamarix habitat. Of the three habitat types considered, Populus-Salix supported the greatest abundance of lizards.

Based on this study, the deleterious effects of xerfication on a riparian herpetofauna community may be lesser than those of Tamarix invasion. These two forms of riparian habitat shift often co-occur, with the ultimate cause being changes in hydrologic regime. This may imply that a bottom-up approach, wherein historic hydrology is restored to restore or maintain native habitats, to riverine management is appropriate for riparian herpetofauna conservation.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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The Phoenix Four Rivers Flora, Maricopa County, Arizona

Description

ABSTRACT The Phoenix Four Rivers Flora is an inventory of all the vascular plants growing along the Salt, Gila, New and Agua Fria Rivers, and their tributaries in the

ABSTRACT The Phoenix Four Rivers Flora is an inventory of all the vascular plants growing along the Salt, Gila, New and Agua Fria Rivers, and their tributaries in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area during the years of the study (2009-2011). This floristic inventory documents the plant species and habitats that exist currently in the project area, which has changed dramatically from previous times. The data gathered by the flora project thus not only documents how the current flora has been altered by urbanization, but also will provide a baseline for future ecological studies. The Phoenix Metropolitan Area is a large urbanized region in the Sonoran Desert of Central Arizona, and its rivers are important for the region for many uses including flood control, waste water management, recreation, and gravel mining. The flora of the rivers and tributaries within the project area is extremely diverse; the heterogeneity of the systems being caused by urbanization, stream modification for flood control, gravel mining, and escaped exotic species. Hydrological changes include increased runoff in some areas because of impermeable surfaces (e.g. paved streets) and decreased runoff in other areas due to flood retention basins. The landscaping trade has introduced exotic plant species that have escaped into urban washes and riparian areas. Many of these have established with native species to form novel plant associations.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011