Physical and ecohydrological watershed characterization of a semi-arid environment in Central Chihuahua, Mexico: A remote sensing and GIS approach

Hugo Alberto Gutierrez Jurado, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

This study describes the physical and biophysical characteristics of watersheds near Chihuahua City, Mexico. Natural resource assessments in which water resources play a major role are being addressed by official agencies within the Mexican government. These natural resources assessments are critical in arid regions where surface water resources are scarce and groundwater is the main source of the vital liquid. The water supply of the city of Chihuahua, Mexico is directly dependent on the quality and quantity of water in surrounding aquifers. However, the water resources of the area adjacent to the city are insufficient in volume and time to supply the demand of the agriculture, urban, industrial, ecological and treaty needs in the region. In addition, changes in land cover associated with extended drought conditions and social and economic factors may have affected the biophysical (land and vegetation cover) conditions of the watersheds feeding the aquifers, negatively altering the recharge of the aquifers. In order to quantify the factors impacting recharge of Chihuahua City's aquifers, a descriptive study of the physical and biophysical characteristics of the watersheds around Chihuahua City was made using a GIS (geographic information system) and remote sensing images. The major watersheds' sub-basins around Chihuahua City are characterized using digital elevation models (DEMs), Landsat Thematic Mapper scenes and digital thematic maps. An effort to describe the ecologic-hydrologic status of these sub-basins will be made using standard procedures published by INE-SEMARNAT and other previous work. The study is aimed to help in land use planning and the prospecting for and characterization of water resources in the area. ^

Subject Area

Physical Geography|Hydrology|Engineering, Civil|Remote Sensing

Recommended Citation

Gutierrez Jurado, Hugo Alberto, "Physical and ecohydrological watershed characterization of a semi-arid environment in Central Chihuahua, Mexico: A remote sensing and GIS approach" (2004). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAIEP10554.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAIEP10554

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