Hydrology in the VEP North Study Area
VEP researchers wanted to know how far ancestral Pueblo people walked to get water for drinking and cooking. They located all of the springs, seeps, and streams in the VEP North study area and estimated their flow through time using a fine-grained model of hydrology, the study of how water moves through soils and bedrock. These figures show an example of how those hydrologic models work for the VEP North study area.
The three-dimensional model in panel (a) shows the layering of types of bedrock across the study area; panel (b) shows a bird’s-eye view of just the top layers of bedrock. Panel (c) presents a conceptual overview of how water might move through the VEP study area. Precipitation (rain and snow) falls across the landscape and soaks into the soil and through the more-porous bedrock (primarily sandstone). Some water returns to the atmosphere via evaporation and evapotranspiration from plants. When the water reaches less-porous layers (such as the relatively impermeable layers in the Dakota and Morrison formations), it moves laterally and emerges from slopes and canyon walls as springs and seeps. Panel (d) shows these processes around a canyon-head village.
Click here for source credits.