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Post-fire rill and gully formation, Schultz Fire 2010, Arizona, USA


Neary, Daniel G.; Koestner, Karen A.; Youberg, Ann; Koestner, Peter E. 2011. Post-fire rill and gully formation, Schultz Fire 2010, Arizona, USA. In: Goncalves, Antonio Bento; Vieira, Antonio A. B., eds. Proceedings of the 3rd International Meeting of Fire Effects on Soil Properties; 15-19 March 2011; University of Minho, Guimaraes, Portugal. Guimaraes, Portugal: Universidade do Minho, NIGP e CEGOT. p. 60-63.

The Schultz Fire burned 6,100 ha on the eastern slopes of the San Francisco Peaks, a dormant Middle Pliocene to Holocene aged stratovolcano in northern Arizona (Figure 1). The fire burned in the Coconino National Forest between June 20th and 30th, 2010, across moderate to very steep ponderosa pine and mixed conifer watersheds. About 40% of the fire area was classified as high-severity, mostly on mountain slopes greater than 30% and in places exceeding 100%. The upper slopes rise to over 3,300 m and are the source for high energy water, coarse sediments, and woody material. A steep gradient of nearly 1,000 m exists from the upper slopes to the base of the lower fans. Summer thunderstorms tend to develop over the mountain due to orographic lifting. Over the course of an active 2010 Monsoon, ranking the fourth highest in rainfall on record, the burned area received numerous precipitation events. The largest event occurred on July 20th and was characterized by a peak rainfall of 25 mm in fifteen minutes, resulting in numerous debris flows, historic floods and substantial hillslope erosion. Flood flows were one to two orders of magnitude larger than those produced by similar pre-fire rainfall events.

Keywords: wildfire, soil erosion, rills, gullies, Schultz Fire


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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Post-fire rill and gully formation, Schultz Fire 2010, Arizona, USA
Electronic Publish Date: September 14, 2012
Last Update:
September 14, 2012

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