Kyle Blasch, Ph.D.
Kyle is the Director of the USGS Idaho Water Science Center in Boise. For the past 25 years, he has been a research hydrologist studying groundwater recharge, groundwater and surface water interactions, and stream flow permanence. He is intent on addressing water resources issues by incorporating non-conventional data sources acquired via remote sensing and citizen science.
Ph.D., Hydrology and Water Resources, 2003, University of Arizona
M.S., Meteorology, 1994, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
B.S., Civil/Environmental Engineering, 1994, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
B.S., Earth Sciences, 1994, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- American Geophysical Union (AGU)
- American Water Resources Association (AWRA)
Science and Products
PRObability of Streamflow PERmanence (PROSPER)
Rivers and streams are constantly changing. Streamflows can change throughout the year and between years due to snowmelt, precipitation, diversions, and return flows. . For many streams, these fluctuations determine whether a stream has year-round flow or not.. PROSPER is a project initiated to better understand what causes these...
Potential Impacts of Prospective Climate Change on Groundwater Recharge in the Western United States
Groundwater withdrawals in the western US are a critical component of the water resources strategy for the region. Climate change already may be substantially altering recharge into groundwater systems; however, the quantity and direction (increase or decrease) of changes are relatively unknown as most climate change assessments have focused on surface water systems. We propose to conduct a...
Streamflow contributions from tribal lands to major river basins of the United States
While many studies on tribal water resources of individual tribal lands in the United States (US) have been conducted, the importance of tribal water resources at a national scale has largely gone unrecognized because their combined totals have not been quantified. Thus, we sought to provide a numerical estimate of major water budget components on...Blasch, Kyle; Hundt, Stephen; Wurster, Patrick; Sando, Thomas R.; Berthelote, Antony
Using remote sensing to characterize and compare evapotranspiration from different irrigation regimes in the Smith River Watershed of central Montana
According to the 2005 U.S. Geological Survey national water use compilation, irrigation is the second largest use of fresh water in the United States, accounting for 37%, or 484.48 million cubic meters per day, of total freshwater withdrawal. Accurately estimating the amount of water withdrawals and actual consumptive water use (the difference...Sando, Thomas R.; Caldwell, Rodney R.; Blasch, Kyle W.
Implications of projected climate change for groundwater recharge in the western United States
Existing studies on the impacts of climate change on groundwater recharge are either global or basin/location-specific. The global studies lack the specificity to inform decision making, while the local studies do little to clarify potential changes over large regions (major river basins, states, or groups of states), a scale often important in...Meixner, Thomas; Manning, Andrew H.; Stonestrom, David A.; Allen, Diana M.; Ajami, Hoori; Blasch, Kyle W.; Brookfield, Andrea E.; Castro, Christopher L.; Clark, Jordan F.; Gochis, David; Flint, Alan L.; Neff, Kirstin L.; Niraula, Rewati; Rodell, Matthew; Scanlon, Bridget R.; Singha, Kamini; Walvoord, Michelle Ann
Predicting alpine headwater stream intermittency: a case study in the northern Rocky Mountains
This investigation used climatic, geological, and environmental data coupled with observational stream intermittency data to predict alpine headwater stream intermittency. Prediction was made using a random forest classification model. Results showed that the most important variables in the prediction model were snowpack persistence, represented...Sando, Thomas R.; Blasch, Kyle W.
Regional groundwater-flow model of the Redwall-Muav, Coconino, and alluvial basin aquifer systems of northern and central Arizona
A numerical flow model (MODFLOW) of the groundwater flow system in the primary aquifers in northern Arizona was developed to simulate interactions between the aquifers, perennial streams, and springs for predevelopment and transient conditions during 1910 through 2005. Simulated aquifers include the Redwall-Muav, Coconino, and basin-fill aquifers...Pool, D.R.; Blasch, Kyle W.; Callegary, James B.; Leake, Stanley A.; Graser, Leslie F.
Methodology to assess water presence on speleothems during periods of low precipitation, with implications for recharge sources - Kartchner Caverns, Arizona
Beginning in January 2005, recharge processes and the presence of water on speleothems were monitored in Kartchner Caverns during a 44-month period when annual rainfall rates were 6 to 18 percent below the long-term mean. Electrical-resistance sensors designed to detect the presence of water were used to identify ephemeral streamflow in the...Blasch, Kyle W.
Environmental controls on drainage behavior of an ephemeral stream
Streambed drainage was measured at the cessation of 26 ephemeral streamflow events in Rillito Creek, Tucson, Arizona from August 2000 to June 2002 using buried time domain reflectometry (TDR) probes. An unusual drainage response was identified, which was characterized by sharp drainage from saturation to near field capacity at each depth with an...Blasch, K.W.; Ferré, T.P.A.; Vrugt, J.A.
Estimated infiltration, percolation, and recharge rates at the Rillito Creek focused recharge investigation site, Pima County, Arizona: Chapter H in Ground-water recharge in the arid and semiarid southwestern United States (Professional Paper 1703)
A large fraction of ground water stored in the alluvial aquifers in the Southwest is recharged by water that percolates through ephemeral stream-channel deposits. The amount of water currently recharging many of these aquifers is insufficient to meet current and future demands. Improving the understanding of streambed infiltration and the...Stonestrom, David A.; Constantz, Jim; Ferré, Ty P.A.; Leake, Stanley A.; Hoffmann, John P.; Blasch, Kyle W.; Pool, Don R.; Bailey, Matthew A.; Callegary, James B.
Geophysical Methods for Investigating Ground-Water Recharge
While numerical modeling has revolutionized our understanding of basin-scale hydrologic processes, such models rely almost exclusively on traditional measurements?rainfall, streamflow, and water-table elevations?for calibration and testing. Model calibration provides initial estimates of ground-water recharge. Calibrated models are important yet...Ferre, Ty P.A.; Binley, Andrew M.; Blasch, Kyle W.; Callegary, James B.; Crawford, Steven M.; Fink, James B.; Flint, Alan L.; Flint, Lorraine E.; Hoffmann, John P.; Izbicki, John A.; Levitt, Marc T.; Pool, Donald R.; Scanlon, Bridget R.
Thermal Methods for Investigating Ground-Water Recharge
Recharge of aquifers within arid and semiarid environments is defined as the downward flux of water across the regional water table. The introduction of recharging water at the land surface can occur at discreet locations, such as in stream channels, or be distributed over the landscape, such as across broad interarroyo areas within an alluvial...Blasch, Kyle W.; Constantz, Jim; Stonestrom, David A.
Distinguishing sources of ground water recharge by using δ2H and δ18O
Stable isotope values of hydrogen and oxygen from precipitation and ground water samples were compared by using a volumetrically based mixing equation and stable isotope gradient to estimate the season and location of recharge in four basins. Stable isotopes were sampled at 11 precipitation sites of differing elevation during a 2-year period to...Blasch, Kyle W.; Bryson, Jeannie R.
Hydrogeology of the upper and middle Verde River watersheds, central Arizona
The upper and middle Verde River watersheds in central Arizona are primarily in Yavapai County, which in 1999 was determined to be the fastest growing rural county in the United States; by 2050 the population is projected to more than double its current size (132,000 in 2000). This study combines climatic, surface-water, ground-water, water-...Blasch, Kyle W.; Hoffmann, John P.; Graser, Leslie F.; Bryson, Jeannie R.; Flint, Alan L.
An interdisciplinary team comprised of USGS and university scientists has developed the Probability of Streamflow Permanence Model or PROSPER which predicts flow permanence for unregulated and minimally impaired streams in the Pacific Northwest.