The Cienega de Santa Clara, Sonora, Mexico, a brackish wetland area created near the delta of the Colorado River from drainage effluent flowing from the United States since 1977, may undergo changes owing to the operation of the Yuma Desalting Plant in the United States. This has become the largest wetland in the delta region containing rare and endangered species, yet little is known about the environmental impact of these changes. The water quality of the marsh is of growing concern to the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) which operates the Desalting Plant. Consequently, the BOR solicited the U.S. Geological Survey to investigate the limits and usefulness of satellite, global positioning system (GPS), and spectra data to map the Typha domingensis (cattail) of the Cienega de Santa Clara.
Typha domingensis was selected by the BOR as the Cienega de Santa Clara indicator species to best predict the environmental effects of effl uent from the Yuma Desalting Plant. The successful base mapping of Typha domingensis will provide a viable tool for long-term monitoring and stress detection in the Cienega de Santa Clara.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Mapping Typha Domingensis in the Cienega de Santa Clara Using Satellite Images, Global Positioning System, and Spectrometry