Biogeomorphic Relationships and Riparian Vegetation Changes Along Altered Ephemeral Stream Channels: Florence to Marana, Arizona

Abeer Hamdan, Soe Myint

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


This study examines riparian vegetation cover changes along ephemeral channels due to the emplacement of the Central Arizona Project (CAP) canal. Two research questions examined are the following: (1) How has riparian vegetation changed over the course of twenty-eight years due to altered flow conditions? (2) How has channel morphology affected changes in vegetation cover? Five Landsat TM images acquired in 1982, 1989, 1996, 2003, and 2010 were classified. The average change of vegetation cover per 0.5-km section over the twenty-eight-year period is approximately 100,436 m2 over 25.5-km length of the canal on the upstream section. In addition, the total amount of vegetation cover increase in the twenty-eight years over the 25.5-km length of the canal is approximately 5,122,239 m2. Larger streams experienced a greater increase in vegetation cover upslope than smaller streams. In addition, streams of similar width dimensions that were completely closed off resulted in greater vegetation cover than streams that were semiconnected. A significant relationship between changes in vegetation green-up and channel widths was examined. Results from this study suggest that there is a quasi-linear relationship between channel widths and increases in vegetation cover for altered and impounded channels due to the presence of the CAP canal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-38
Number of pages13
JournalProfessional Geographer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2016



  • CAP canal
  • ephemeral streams
  • geomorphology
  • riparian vegetation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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