RRHS EnvSci & AP Capstone

Rio Rico High School Environmental Science

Landscape Change in the Desert Southwest:

Human Impact and Mitigation [from the LUHNA Project]


Downstream view of the confluence of the west branch of the Santa Cruz River in Tucson, looking northeast from the lower slope of Sentinel Peak. Between 1904 and 1981 deterioration of the riparian vegetation is evident due to groundwater depletion and urbanization, along with arroyo cutting. Many other southwestern floodplains have undergone similar changes, including reaches of the Rio Grande, the Salt River, and the Gila River. 

(Photos: 1904, unknown; 1981, R.M. Turner and J.L. Betancourt.)