Santa Catalina Mountains and Jemez River Basin CZO consists of a pair of observatories:
1022-2780 m elevation, 10-18 °C, 420-940 mm/yr
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.
1022-1161 m elevation, 18.2 °C, 420 mm/yr
1.09 km2, 2064-2388 m elevation, 11.9 °C, 840 mm/yr
1.54 km2, 2284-2634 m elevation, 10.4 °C, 940 mm/yr
0.016 km2, 2532-2574 m elevation, 9.2 °C, 609 mm/yr
2060-3433 m elevation, 3 - 9 °C, 480-850 mm/yr
The Jemez River Basin is located in the transition zone between the southwestern desert and the Rocky Mountains.
0.01 km2, 2751-2753 m elevation,
0.13 km2, 2664-2934 m elevation, 5.1 °C, 670 mm/yr
0.14 km2, 2986-3103 m elevation, 4.1 °C, 770 mm/yr
The Catalina-Jemez CZO comprises an elevation gradient in granite, schist, and rhyolite lithologies that spans a range of ecosystem types representative of much variation found in the larger southwestern US. The Santa Catalina Mountains location includes sites instrumented in Sonoran desert, Piñon-Juniper to Ponderosa Pine transition, and Ponderosa Pine – White Fir transition ecosystems. The Jemez location focuses on wildfire disturbance effects in high elevation mixed conifer forest with sites instrumented in unburned and wildfire-impacted (2011 and 2013) systems.
The Catalina-Jemez CZO is building and maintaining its field research infrastructure via close collaboration with the Valles Caldera National Preserve (VCNP) in northern New Mexico and the Coronado National Forest (CNF) in Southern Arizona. Lands associated with these federal agencies are the subject of CZO inquiry because they contain gradients in climate and lithology that represent a large portion of the southwestern US (Breshears et al., 2005, PNAS). Southwestern climate gradients such as those studied in the Catalina-Jemez CZO are undergoing rapid ecosystem transformations, including tree die-off thought to be the combined manifestation of prolonged relative drought and increased temperature that give rise to higher vapor pressure deficit (e.g., see Williams et al., 2012, Nature Climate Change).
Federal government personnel from these two land stewardship organizations are collaborating with CZO students, staff and faculty on identifying emergent problems that could be effectively addressed through collaborative research, locating appropriates sites for instrument installations and measurement/sampling campaigns and obtaining the requisite permits. These agencies facilitate NSF-funded CZO research by prioritizing Earth surface science among their set of multiple land use priorities. A broader impact goal of our CZO is to provide these agencies with foundational science to inform land management strategies. Doing so should enable the agencies to more effectively address future challenges to valuable public lands that are critical to sustaining water, soil and vegetation resources.