Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Deserts

Filter Total Items: 43

Southwest Energy Exploration, Development, and Reclamation (SWEDR)

Approximately 35% of the US and approximately 82% of DOI lands are “drylands” found throughout the western US. These lands contain oil, gas, oil shale, shale oil, and tar sand deposits and the exploration for and extraction of these resources has resulted in hundreds of thousands of operating and abandoned wells across the West. These arid and semi-arid lands have unique soil and plant communities...
link

Southwest Energy Exploration, Development, and Reclamation (SWEDR)

Approximately 35% of the US and approximately 82% of DOI lands are “drylands” found throughout the western US. These lands contain oil, gas, oil shale, shale oil, and tar sand deposits and the exploration for and extraction of these resources has resulted in hundreds of thousands of operating and abandoned wells across the West. These arid and semi-arid lands have unique soil and plant communities...
Learn More

New Tools for Modern Land Management Decisions

In an era of rapid land use changes and shifting climates, it is imperative that land managers and policymakers have actionable and current information available for decision processes. In this work, we seek to meet these needs through new data products and decision support tools built on digital soil mapping, new vegetation cover maps, agency inventory and monitoring data sets, and cutting-edge...
link

New Tools for Modern Land Management Decisions

In an era of rapid land use changes and shifting climates, it is imperative that land managers and policymakers have actionable and current information available for decision processes. In this work, we seek to meet these needs through new data products and decision support tools built on digital soil mapping, new vegetation cover maps, agency inventory and monitoring data sets, and cutting-edge...
Learn More

Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Projects

The Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center currently functions under a Triennial Work Plan (TWP) which is thoroughly reviewed and vetted both internally within the Center and through the GCDAMP Technical Work Group (TWG) and the Adaptive Management Work Group (AMWG). These advisory panels have been a part of the Glen Canyon Dam adaptive management process since the inception of the GCDAMP...
link

Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Projects

The Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center currently functions under a Triennial Work Plan (TWP) which is thoroughly reviewed and vetted both internally within the Center and through the GCDAMP Technical Work Group (TWG) and the Adaptive Management Work Group (AMWG). These advisory panels have been a part of the Glen Canyon Dam adaptive management process since the inception of the GCDAMP...
Learn More
link

Climate Adaptation Strategies for Arid Grasslands

Helping National Parks in the 4-Corners region manage grasslands in a changing climate.
Learn More

Ecosystems We Study: Deserts

In the United States, three “hot deserts” receive precipitation in the summer months (Mojave, Sonoran, Chihuahuan) and one “cold desert” receives precipitation in the winter (Great Basin). 
link

Ecosystems We Study: Deserts

In the United States, three “hot deserts” receive precipitation in the summer months (Mojave, Sonoran, Chihuahuan) and one “cold desert” receives precipitation in the winter (Great Basin). 
Learn More

Lake Powell Research

Lake Powell is a large arid reservoir that represents about 70% of the water storage capacity for the Upper Colorado River Basin. It is the second largest reservoir in the United States by capacity (second only to Lake Mead). Lake Powell is an oligotrophic reservoir, which means that nutrient concentrations and algal production are generally low. This often results in very clear-water conditions...
link

Lake Powell Research

Lake Powell is a large arid reservoir that represents about 70% of the water storage capacity for the Upper Colorado River Basin. It is the second largest reservoir in the United States by capacity (second only to Lake Mead). Lake Powell is an oligotrophic reservoir, which means that nutrient concentrations and algal production are generally low. This often results in very clear-water conditions...
Learn More

Biological Soil Crust ("Biocrust") Science

Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are commonly found on the soil surface in arid and semi-arid ecosystems (collectively called drylands). Biocrusts can consist of mosses, cyanobacteria, lichens, algae, and microfungi, and they strongly interact with the soil. These organisms or consortium of disparate organisms, depending on the specific biocrust, are important to the functioning of ecosystems...
link

Biological Soil Crust ("Biocrust") Science

Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are commonly found on the soil surface in arid and semi-arid ecosystems (collectively called drylands). Biocrusts can consist of mosses, cyanobacteria, lichens, algae, and microfungi, and they strongly interact with the soil. These organisms or consortium of disparate organisms, depending on the specific biocrust, are important to the functioning of ecosystems...
Learn More

Drought & Grazing Experiment: Understanding Impacts and Identifying Mitigation Strategies

Drylands (sometimes called ‘deserts’ or ‘arid and semi-arid' ecosystems) are defined by water scarcity. Understanding how land-use activities may effect dryland ecosystems and dryland ecological processes is a high priority for land conservation and management. Grazing by domestic livestock (typically cattle but also sheep and goats) is the most widespread land-use in drylands globally and a large...
link

Drought & Grazing Experiment: Understanding Impacts and Identifying Mitigation Strategies

Drylands (sometimes called ‘deserts’ or ‘arid and semi-arid' ecosystems) are defined by water scarcity. Understanding how land-use activities may effect dryland ecosystems and dryland ecological processes is a high priority for land conservation and management. Grazing by domestic livestock (typically cattle but also sheep and goats) is the most widespread land-use in drylands globally and a large...
Learn More

Airborne Remote Sensing in Grand Canyon

A high-resolution image collection in 2021 will be the most recent in a rich archive of aerial imagery that is used to track changes of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Imagery will be acquired from an airplane in Grand Canyon National Park along the Colorado River corridor and the Little Colorado River starting Memorial Day weekend and continuing through the first week of June 2021. This...
link

Airborne Remote Sensing in Grand Canyon

A high-resolution image collection in 2021 will be the most recent in a rich archive of aerial imagery that is used to track changes of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Imagery will be acquired from an airplane in Grand Canyon National Park along the Colorado River corridor and the Little Colorado River starting Memorial Day weekend and continuing through the first week of June 2021. This...
Learn More

River Sediment Dynamics

Sediment controls the physical habitat of river ecosystems. Changes in the amount and areal distribution of different sediment types cause changes in river-channel form and river habitat. The amount and type of sediment suspended in the water column determines water clarity. Understanding sediment transport and the conditions under which sediment is deposited or eroded from the various...
link

River Sediment Dynamics

Sediment controls the physical habitat of river ecosystems. Changes in the amount and areal distribution of different sediment types cause changes in river-channel form and river habitat. The amount and type of sediment suspended in the water column determines water clarity. Understanding sediment transport and the conditions under which sediment is deposited or eroded from the various...
Learn More

River Geomorphology and Geomorphic Change

River channels and their adjacent floodplains are ever evolving in form and composition in response to changing patterns of streamflow, the quantity and size of supplied sediment, and feedbacks with the riparian and aquatic ecosystems. Changes in channel form affect aquatic and riparian habitats, which are important for plants, animals, and insects. Erosion and deposition of river channels and...
link

River Geomorphology and Geomorphic Change

River channels and their adjacent floodplains are ever evolving in form and composition in response to changing patterns of streamflow, the quantity and size of supplied sediment, and feedbacks with the riparian and aquatic ecosystems. Changes in channel form affect aquatic and riparian habitats, which are important for plants, animals, and insects. Erosion and deposition of river channels and...
Learn More

Sediment Storage in Grand Canyon

The sandbars exposed along the shoreline of the Colorado River represent only a small fraction of the sand deposits in Grand Canyon, most of which are on the bed of the river in eddies and the channel. Current management practice includes efforts to maintain and build sandbars by releasing high flows from Glen Canyon Dam that are timed to coincide with periods of fine-sediment supply from...
link

Sediment Storage in Grand Canyon

The sandbars exposed along the shoreline of the Colorado River represent only a small fraction of the sand deposits in Grand Canyon, most of which are on the bed of the river in eddies and the channel. Current management practice includes efforts to maintain and build sandbars by releasing high flows from Glen Canyon Dam that are timed to coincide with periods of fine-sediment supply from...
Learn More