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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Subject
Date Range
2011 2018


Land-atmosphere interactions of semiarid shrublands have garnered significant scientific interest. One of the main tools used for this research is the eddy covariance (EC) method, which measures fluxes of energy, water vapor, and carbon dioxide. EC fluxes can be difficult to interpret due to complexities within the EC footprint (i.e. the surface conditions that contribute to the flux measurements). Most EC studies use a small number of soil probes to estimate the land surface states underlying the measured fluxes, which likely undersamples the footprint-scale conditions, especially in semiarid shrublands which are characterized by high spatial and temporal variability. In this …

Contributors
Anderson, Cody Alan, Vivoni, Enrique R, Wang, Zhihua, et al.
Created Date
2013

The North American Monsoon (NAM) is characterized by high inter- and intra-seasonal variability, and potential climate change effects have been forecasted to increase this variability. The potential effects of climate change to the hydrology of the southwestern U.S. is of interest as they could have consequences to water resources, floods, and land management. I applied a distributed watershed model, the Triangulated Irregular Network (TIN)-based Real-time Integrated Basin Simulator (tRIBS), to the Beaver Creek basin in Arizona. This sub-basin of the Verde River is representative of the regional topography, land cover, and soils distribution. As such, it can serve to illustrate …

Contributors
Hawkins, Gretchen A., Vivoni, Enrique R., Semken, Steven, et al.
Created Date
2012

The Western Continental United States has a rapidly changing and complex ecosystem that provides valuable resources to a large portion of the nation. Changes in social and environmental factors have been observed to be significantly correlated to usable ground and surface water levels. The assessment of water level changes and their influences on a semi-national level is needed to support planning and decision making for water resource management at local levels. Although many studies have been done in Ground and Surface Water (GSW) trend analysis, very few have attempted determine correlations with other factors. The number of studies done on …

Contributors
Reynolds, Ryan, Myint, Soe, Werth, Susanna, et al.
Created Date
2018

Water resource systems have provided vital support to transformative growth in the Southwest United States; and for more than a century the Salt River Project (SRP) has served as a model of success among multipurpose federal reclamation projects, currently delivering approximately 40% of water demand in the metropolitan Phoenix area. Drought concerns have sensitized water management to risks posed by natural variability and forthcoming climate change. Full simulations originating in climate modeling have been the conventional approach to impacts assessment. But, once debatable climate projections are applied to hydrologic models challenged to accurately represent the region’s arid hydrology, the range …

Contributors
Murphy, Kevin William, Cerveny, Randall S., Balling, Jr., Robert C., et al.
Created Date
2016

Population growth within drylands is occurring faster than growth in any other ecologic zone, putting pressure on already stressed water resources. Because the availability of surface water supplies in drylands tends to be highly variable, many of these populations rely on groundwater. A critical process contributing to groundwater recharge is the interaction between ephemeral channels and groundwater aquifers. Generally, it has been found that ephemeral channels contribute to groundwater recharge when streamflow infiltrates into the sandy bottoms of channels. This process has traditionally been studied in channels that drain large areas (10s to 100s km2). In this dissertation, I study …

Contributors
Schreiner-McGraw, Adam, Vivoni, Enrique R., Whipple, Kelin X., et al.
Created Date
2017

Many studies over the past two decades examined the link between climate patterns and discharge, but few have attempted to study the effects of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on localized and watershed specific processes such as nutrient loading in the Southwestern United States. The Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) is used to describe the state of the ENSO, with positive (negative) values referring to an El Niño condition (La Niña condition). This study examined the connection between the MEI and precipitation, discharge, and total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) concentrations in the Upper Salt River Watershed in Arizona. …

Contributors
Sversvold, Darren, Neuer, Susanne, Elser, James, et al.
Created Date
2012

The Colorado River Basin (CRB) is the primary source of water in the southwestern United States. A key step to reduce the uncertainty of future streamflow projections in the CRB is to evaluate the performance of historical simulations of General Circulation Models (GCMs). In this study, this challenge is addressed by evaluating the ability of nineteen GCMs from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase Five (CMIP5) and four nested Regional Climate Models (RCMs) in reproducing the statistical properties of the hydrologic cycle and temperature in the CRB. To capture the transition from snow-dominated to semiarid regions, analyses are conducted by …

Contributors
Gautam, Jenita, Mascaro, Giuseppe, Vivoni, Enrique, et al.
Created Date
2018

The morphology of mountainous areas is strongly influenced by stream bed incision rates, but most studies of landscape evolution consider erosion at basin scales or larger. The research here attempts to understand the smaller-scale mechanics of erosion on exposed bedrock channels in the conceptual framework of an established saltation-abrasion model by Sklar and Dietrich [2004]. The recirculating flume used in this experiment allows independent control of bed slope, water discharge rate, sediment flux, and sediment grain size – all factors often bundled together in simple models of river incision and typically cross-correlated in natural settings. This study investigates the mechanics …

Contributors
Adams, Mark Andrew, Whipple, Kelin, Heimsath, Arjun, et al.
Created Date
2016

Woody plant encroachment is a worldwide phenomenon linked to water availability in semiarid systems. Nevertheless, the implications of woody plant encroachment on the hydrologic cycle are poorly understood, especially at the catchment scale. This study takes place in a pair of small semiarid rangeland undergoing the encroachment of Prosopis velutina Woot., or velvet mesquite tree. The similarly-sized basins are in close proximity, leading to equivalent meteorological and soil conditions. One basin was treated for mesquite in 1974, while the other represents the encroachment process. A sensor network was installed to measure ecohydrological states and fluxes, including precipitation, runoff, soil moisture …

Contributors
Pierini, Nicole, Vivoni, Enrique R, Wang, Zhi-Hua, et al.
Created Date
2013

Ponderosa pine forests are a dominant land cover type in semiarid montane areas. Water supplies in major rivers of the southwestern United States depend on ponderosa pine forests since these ecosystems: (1) receive a significant amount of rainfall and snowfall, (2) intercept precipitation and transpire water, and (3) indirectly influence runoff by impacting the infiltration rate. However, the hydrologic patterns in these ecosystems with strong seasonality are poorly understood. In this study, we used a distributed hydrologic model evaluated against field observations to improve our understandings on spatial controls of hydrologic patterns, appropriate model resolution to simulate ponderosa pine ecosystems …

Contributors
Mahmood, Taufique H., Vivoni, Enrique R., Whipple, Kelin X., et al.
Created Date
2012