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Data Extent

Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed, Arizona (Runoff)

The Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed (WGEW) runoff database has the longest period of record of runoff in the world for a semiarid location, with data collection beginning in 1953. Runoff occurs at Walnut Gulch primarily as a result of convective thunderstorms during the months of July through September. Runoff volume and flow duration are correlated with drainage area as a result of the limited areal extent of runoff producing rainfall and transmission losses or infiltration of the flood wave into the channel alluvium. Runoff is measured at three ranges of watershed size: small, 0.0018-0.059 km2; medium, 0.35-1.60 km2; and large, 2.27-149 km2. The small watersheds are termed ‘‘unit source area watersheds'' and were established to quantify the interaction of rainfall intensity patterns, soils, vegetation, and management on the rates and amounts runoff and sediment production. The medium watersheds were established at preexisting small earthen dams or stock tanks to obtain inexpensive measurements of storm runoff volume and annual sediment yield. The large watersheds were established to quantify the effects of the spatial and temporal variability of thunderstorm rainfall and channel characteristics on water yield, peak discharge, and sediment yield. Runoff was originally measured using a stilling well, float, and analog stage recorders (Stevens A-35, Friez FD-4, Friez FW-1) with mechanical clocks to record the timing of the event. In 1999, digital recorders consisting of potentiometers attached to the stilling well gear mechanism and a Campbell Scientific CR-10 data logger were added to all of the runoff measurement stations. At present, both the analog and digital data are being collected and are archived.

Release Date
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Area
POLYGON ((-110.2 31.773, -109.9 31.773, -109.9 31.662, -110.2 31.662))
USDA Agricultural Research Service
Temporal Coverage
January 1, 1953
Contact Name
Armendariz, Gerardo
Contact Email
Public Access Level
Program Code
005:040 - Department of Agriculture - National Research
Bureau Code
005:18 - Agricultural Research Service
Source ID
Harvested from Geodata Harvest
Harvest Source TitleGeodata Harvest
Harvest Source URIhttps://geodata.nal.usda.gov/geonetwork/srv/eng/csw
Last Harvest PerformedThu, 04/22/2021 - 01:01
NAL Geospatial Catalog