Erosion and Invasive Saltcedar
Science Center Objects
Formation of arroyos in the late 1800s greatly increased erosion across the southwestern United States. Since the 1930s, however, this erosion has decreased, partly because of bank stabilization by introduced saltcedar. With Isleta Pueblo Indian Nation, the Aquatic Systems Branch developed a new sediment dating method using saltcedar tree rings. We applied the method in a landmark study of arroyo filling along the Rio Puerco, New Mexico. We then showed how aerial application of herbicide to control saltcedar accidentally renewed erosion. This erosion may now be amplified by a beetle introduced for saltcedar control.