- All Subjects: Geology
- Creators: Biggs, Thomas H.
- Creators: Fred Harvey
- Creators: The Pride Publishing Company
Throughout the southwestern United States, vegetation in what historically was grassland has changed to a mixture of trees and shrubs; exotic grass species and undesirable shrubs have also invaded the grasslands at the expense of native grasses. The availability and amount of soil nutrients influence the relative success of plants, but few studies have examined fire effects on soil characteristics in a temporal, spatial, and species group-specific fashion. Likewise, few studies have tied fire effects and ecological aspects to the underlying geology. Our research investigates the effects of fire events on selected soil characteristics pH, nitrate (NO3-), plant-available phosphorus (PO4-3), and total organic carbon (TOC) on native grass-, exotic grass-, and mixed grass-dominated plots distributed on four different geological surfaces. Treated and control plots were sampled prior to burn treatment and at intervals after the burns. In addition to new geologic mapping of the study areas, results indicate the geologic substrate is the most important variable for explaining pH, NO3- and PO4-3 values in the soils. Dominant grass type – native, non-native, or mixed – had little effect on the response of soil geochemistry to fire events: post-burn results indicate vegetation was a significant factor only for TOC. Recovery to pre-burn levels varies with characteristic: there were no significant initial differences between vegetation types, but significant differences in NO3-, PO4-3, and TOC amounts occur as a result of fire events, geological characteristics, and time. The research helps identify the soil response to fire and the recovery times of soil characteristics, further defines which fire frequency is optimal as a management strategy to maximize soil macronutrient contents, and illustrates the important role geology plays in grassland ecosystems.
This summary report overviews a State of Arizona and U. S. Department of Energy funded drilling project to determine if near-term hot dry rock (HDR) geothermal potential exists in the eastern portion of the White Mountains region of Arizona. A 4,505 feet deep slim-hole exploratory well, Alpine1/Federal, was drilled within the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest at Alpine Divide near the Alpine Divide camp ground about 5 miles north of Alpine, Arizona in Apache County (Figure 1). A comprehensive technical report, in two parts, details the results of the project. Part 1, Alpine1/Federal, Drilling Report, discusses the drilling operations,
logging program, permitting and site selection for the hole. Part 2, Temperature Gradients, Geothermal Potential, and Geology, summarizes the temperature gradients, heat flow, geothermal potential, and subsurface geology.