Rainfall-runoff in the Albuquerque, New Mexico, area: Measurements, analyses and comparisons

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Edited by:
Moglen G.E.


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Albuquerque, New Mexico, has experienced significant growth over the last 20 years like many other cities in the Southwestern United States. While the US population grew by 37% between the 1970 and 2000 censuses, the growth for Albuquerque was 83%. More people mean more development and increased problems of managing runoff from urbanizing watersheds. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the Albuquerque Arroyo Metropolitan Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA) and the City of Albuquerque has maintained a rainfall-runoff data collection program since 1976. The data from measured precipitation events can be used to verify hydrologic modeling. In this presentation, data from a representative gaged watershed is analyzed and discussed to set the overall framework for the rainfall-runoff process in the Albuquerque area. Of particular interest are the basic relationships between rainfall and watershed runoff response and an analysis of curve numbers as an indicator of runoff function. In urbanized areas, four land treatment types (natural, irrigated lawns, compacted soil, and impervious) are used to define surface infiltration conditions. Rainfall and runoff gage data are used to compare curve number (CN) and initial abstraction/uniform infiltration (IA/INF) techniques in an Albuquerque watershed. The IA/INF method appears to produce superior results over the CN method for the measured rainfall events.

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Publication type:
Conference Paper
Publication Subtype:
Conference Paper
Rainfall-runoff in the Albuquerque, New Mexico, area: Measurements, analyses and comparisons
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Conference Title:
2005 Watershed Management Conference - Managing Watersheds for Human and Natural Impacts: Engineering, Ecological, and Economic Challenges
Conference Location:
Williamsburg, VA
Conference Date:
19 July 2005 through 22 July 2005