Application of GIS and remote sensing methods to the paleohydrography of the Paso del Norte region

John F Kennedy, University of Texas at El Paso


The purpose of this project is to use geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing methods to investigate the paleohydrology of the Paso del Norte region during the latest pluvial event. During the research I gathered the best available geologic and hydrographic data sets and integrated these data within a GIS in order to create a digital paleohydrologic database for the region. In particular, I used the GIS to reconstruct the hydrography (i.e. streams, lakes, and watershed boundaries) that existed as a results of increased precipitation and a decrease in temperature in the recent geologic past. The existence of the pluvial lakes had an impact on ground-water and surface-water flow systems in this region. The results of my research are presented as two papers ready for peer-review publication submission and a third paper that is a previously published work. (1) Using GIS and Remote Sensing to Reconstruct Late Quaternary and Early Holocene Paleo-Hydrography Using Climate Data and Modern Topography—an Example from the Southwestern US. This paper describes the methods used to create a paleo-hydrography system for the Paso del Norte region, and the development of a water-balance equation that estimates the inputs and outputs of this system. (2) Estimating Water-Balance Equation for Playas in the Tularosa Basin of Southern New Mexico. This paper describes the calibration and testing of the GIS model presented in the first paper. Before it can be applied to paleohydrologic systems, it must be shown to reasonably approximate playa systems in the region under current conditions. Water balances were calculated for several playas and their associated drainages. (3) The Hydrogeologic Framework of Basin-Fill Aquifers and Associated Ground-water flow Systems in Southwestern New Mexico—An Overview. The paper is an overview of work done by many hydrogeologists in the Paso del Norte region; however, the primary source of most of our current knowledge is based on the lifetime of work supplied by this paper's co-author: John W. Hawley. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

Subject Area

Geology|Hydrology|Geography|Remote sensing

Recommended Citation

Kennedy, John F, "Application of GIS and remote sensing methods to the paleohydrography of the Paso del Norte region" (2004). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3138516.