Santa Catalina Mountains

Field Areas     

Next►

The Santa Catalina Mountains (Catalina) are located northeast of Tucson in southern Arizona. This location includes three sites: one in the Sonoran desert on the mountain foothill; the second in the mid elevation and the third - high elevation in the Marshall Gulch Creek catchment and Bigelow site which includes zero order basin (ZOB) and flux tower.

1022 - 2780 m   Elev

10-18 °C   Temp

420-940 mm   Precip

Santa Catalina Mountains in winter.

Areas within Santa Catalina Mountains

Jump down

Setting & Research
Overview Maps
Dynamic Map
Data
  • Setting & Research

    The Santa Catalina Mountains are a metamorphic core complex typical of the Basin and Range Province of North America, and he bedrock is predominantly granite, schist and gneiss, with steep and rugged terrain covered by thin soils. Elevation ranges from 805 m at the mountain front at Sabino Canyon to 2800 m at Mount Lemmon, the tallest peak in the range. The east and west branches of upper Sabino Creek, the principal drainage on the south side of the Santa Catalinas, separate a distinct forerange from the bulk of the mountains to the north. Sabino Creek is the main ephemeral stream in the watershed, flowing an average of 294 days per year with a mean flow of 0.41 m3s-1. Many smaller canyons drain the forerange from north to south. Most of the mountains are managed as part of the Coronado National Forest, the southern border of which follows the sharply defined mountain front and forms an abrupt transition between the Pusch Ridge Wilderness and metropolitan Tucson.

  • Overview Maps

    Map Overlays
    Satellite
    Elevation
    EEMT
    Instrumentation
    • Santa Catalina Mountains Satellite Map

    • Santa Catalina Mountains Elevation Map

    • Santa Catalina Mountains EEMT Map

    • Santa Catalina Mountains Instrumentation Map

  • Dynamic Map

    To fully zoom into a small area, you may need to visit the "Map" button and uncheck "Terrain" view.

  • Data

    Catalina-Jemez - GIS/Map Data (2010-2014)
    2 components    Santa Catalina Mountains, Jemez River Basin    GIS / Remote Sensing    Matej Durcik

    National - Climate, Flux Tower, Streamflow / Discharge - CUAHSI WDC web services (1968-2015)
    7 components    Boulder Creek Watershed, Christina River Basin, Jemez River Basin, Santa Catalina Mountains, El Verde Field Station, Northeastern Puerto Rico and the Luquillo Mountains, Rio Blanco, Rio Mameyes, Susquehanna Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory, Providence Creek Headwater Catchments (1660 - 2115 m elevation), Wolverton Basin (2230 - 2700 m elevation), Other instrumented sites    Climatology / Meteorology, Hydrology, Soil Science / Pedology    Boulder Creek Critical Zone Observatory; Catalina-Jemez Critical Zone Observatory; Luquillo Critical Zone Observatory; Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory; Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory; Christina River Basin Critical Zone Observatory

    National - Streamflow / Discharge - USGS and USDA Data Resources (1985-2017)
    22 components    Boulder Creek Watershed, Santa Catalina Mountains, Jemez River Basin, Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed, Susquehanna Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory, Northeastern Puerto Rico and the Luquillo Mountains, Clear Creek Watershed, Sangamon River Basin, Calhoun Critical Zone Observatory, Providence Creek Headwater Catchments (1660 - 2115 m elevation)    Hydrology    USGS National Water Information System

    Santa Catalina Mountains - GIS/Map Data - EEMT (2010)
    1 components    Santa Catalina Mountains    GIS / Remote Sensing, Biology / Ecology    Craig Rasmussen; Matej Durcik

    Santa Catalina Mountains - Stream Water Chemistry (2006-2018)
    11 components    Santa Catalina Mountains    Water Chemistry    Jon Chorover; Peter Troch; Jennifer McIntosh; Paul Brooks; Nate Abramson; Ingo Heidbüchel; Mary Key Amistadi; Shawn Alexander Pedron

    Santa Catalina Mountains - Soil Water Chemistry (2006-2018)
    11 components    Santa Catalina Mountains    Water Chemistry, Geochemistry / Mineralogy, Soil Science / Pedology    Jon Chorover; Julia Perdrial; Peter Troch; Ingo Heidbuechel; Nate Abramson; Mary Key Amistadi; Shawn Alexander Pedron

    Santa Catalina Mountains - Precipitation Chemistry (2006-2018)
    10 components    Santa Catalina Mountains    Water Chemistry    Jon Chorover; Peter Troch; Jennifer McIntosh; Paul Brooks; Nate Abramson; Ingo Heidbüchel; Mary Key Amistadi; Shawn Alexander Pedron

    Shale Hills, Boulder, Luquillo, JRB-SCM, Calhoun - Soil Geochemistry (2001-2013)
    1 components    Susquehanna Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory, Bisley, Boulder Creek Watershed, Northeastern Puerto Rico and the Luquillo Mountains, Santa Catalina Mountains    Geochemistry / Mineralogy, Biogeochemistry    Niu, Xianzeng; Williams, Jennifer; Brantley, Susan; Miller, Doug; Bills, Brian

Jump Up

Climate
  • Climate

    10-18 °C Mean Annual Temp
    24 °C Mean Warmest Month
    6 °C Mean Coldest Month
    420-940 mm Mean Annual Precipitation

    The climate is semiarid across most of the Santa Catalinas, with mean annual precipitation ranging from 330 mm at the mouth of Sabino Canyon to 750 mm on Mount Lemmon. As in the rest of southern Arizona, precipitation in Tucson is generally biseasonal with maxima in winter and summer. About 45% of rainfall falls during the summer monsoon season of July through September, typically in convective storms, and about 34% of precipitation occurs between December and March during less intense storms. The range is located near the eastern limit of the Sonoran desert, within a semi-arid climate. The vegetation varies from southwestern desert shrub at low elevations, to broadleaf woodland chaparral between 1300 and 2200 m, and mixed-coniferous forest at the highest elevations.