Bosque Hydrology Group


    The Middle Rio Grande Bosque Initiative's

    Bosque Hydrology Group 

Next Meeting: Sediment Transport and the Middle Rio Grande. April 2006. Details to follow. Contact for more information.

Some of the documents below are in .pdf format. To access them you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Groundwater- Surface water meeting: Meeting Agenda. Punch-list of topics and research needs identified during December 15, 2005 meeting. Presentations and links to information.

Featured Article: "A River in Transition: Geomorphic and Bed Sediment Response toCochitit Dam on the Middle Rio Grande, Bernalillo to Albuquerque, New Mexico" by Rick Ortiz, PDF format

John Taylor Web Site

Water Quality Summit (held October 25-26th, 2004):Meeting summary. Power Point Presentations.

FLO 2D Model Development Documentation: The Middle Rio Grande FLO 2D model is a very useful tool for assessing the connection between the channel and the floodplain. For information about the latest (2/2004) status of the model please view "Development of the Middle Rio Grande FLO-2D Flood Routing Model: Cochiti Dam to Elephant Butte Reservoir" by Tetra Tech Inc. (PDF).

Climate PDF's and Links: Recent ideas regarding ocean temperatures and continental U.S. climate: 1) Patterns and sources of multidecadal oscillations in drought-sensitive tree-ring records from the central and southern Rocky Mountains, by Gray et al., 2) Pacific and Atlantic Ocean influences on multidecadal drought frequency in the United States, by Mcabe et al., 3) The Atlantic multidecadal oscillation and its relation to rainfall and river flows in the continental U.S., by Enfield et al.. For more information on tree ring records please got to Henri Grissino-Mayer's Ultimate Tree-Ring Web Pages. For a very nice overview of Southwestern United States climate, please view "The Climate of the Southwest" by Sheppard et al..

Planning Documents: Links to planning documents: 1) Middle Rio Grande Ecosystem: Bosque Biological Management Plan, 2) Albuquerque Bosque Restoration Projects, 3) Phase III of the Conceptual Restoration Plan for the Active Floodplain of the Rio Grande - San Acacia to San Marcial, 4) "Hope for a Living River", A FrameWork for a Restoration Vision for the Rio Grande, 5) Coming soon- 2003 Bosque Biological Managment Plan Update!

Featured Link: "Geomorphic and Sedimentologic Investigations of the Middle Rio Grande Between Cochiti Damand Elephant Butte Reservoir" by Mussetter Engineering Inc. as contracted by the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission

Middle Rio Grande Reach Hierarchy Proposal: The Bosque Hydrology Group is proposing a habitat reach hierarchy for the Middle Rio Grande. PDF for hierarchy. Please e-mail comments to Paul Tashjian. Thanks!

Restoration Information: Rehabilitation Conceptual Frameworks: Albuquerque Reach, Socorro Reach, Reach Specific Restoration Constraints and Promising Features

More Exciting Features: "Quantification and Prediction of Lateral Channel Adjustments Downstream From Cochiti Dam, Rio Grande, New Mexico" PhD Dissertation by Gigi Richard, PDF format.

"Seasonal estimates of actual evapotranspiration from Tamarix ramosissima stands using 3-dimensional eddy covariance" by James Cleverly, Clifford Dahm, James Thibault, David Gilroy , and Julie Coonrod, PDF format

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Why is there concern over the health of the Bosque?

What information is available at this site?

Who to contact for more information?


Featured Article

Welcome!                                                                                                 Go to top of page

  Welcome to the Middle Rio Grande Bosque Initiative's Bosque Hydrology Group Home Page. The Middle Rio Grande is the portion of the Rio Grande in New Mexico from the outflow of Cochiti Reservoir to the headwaters of Elephant Butte Reservoir. This stretch is roughly 175 river miles and spans Native American Pueblos, the urban center of Albuquerque, farm lands, and wilderness. Bosque is a Spanish word for riparian forest. The bosque of the Middle Rio Grande is a composite of native vegetation including cottonwood and willow trees, and non native vegetation including salt cedar and Russian olive trees. Over the past decade there has been an increasing concern over the health of the Middle Rio Grande Bosque. In 1993 the Bosque Biological Management Plan was published to "bring change to the way the biological resources of the riparian ecosystem are managed". This plan is a thorough analysis of the health of the Middle Rio Grande Bosque as well as a road map towards a more healthy ecosystem.   

    In order to accomplish the hydrologic and physical goals of the Bosque Biological Management Plan, the Bosque Hydrology Group (BHG) was formed in the summer of 1995. The goal of this group is to enhance the coordination, communication and synthesizing of bio-hydrologic data efforts within the Middle Rio Grande. Members of the group include both agency and academic parties who are directly involved with collecting and analyzing information on the physical health of our bosque including representatives from; the Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, University of New Mexico, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and FLO Engineering.

Why is there concern over the health of the Bosque?       Go to top of page

    The ecosystem that we refer to as the Middle Rio Grande Bosque is a dynamic interaction between biological and physical processes. When we talk about this ecosystem as being in disrepair we are really talking about this interaction as not functioning properly. The native plant and animal communities associated with the bosque evolved and adapted to a Rio Grande that overbanked annually and, at a 5 to 10 year recurrence, witnessed major floods. These floods were a key component to both the regeneration of the cottonwood-willow riparian communities and the maintenance of in stream habitat for the historic minnow community (at the turn of the century there were 5 native pelagic spawning minnow species in the Middle Rio Grande, now there is only one). In this century the Rio has witnessed an abrupt disruption of floods, a narrowing of the floodplain, and excessive bank stabilization by both jetty jacks and our friends the Russian olive and the salt cedar. Correspondingly, a deterioration of both riparian and in stream habitat has occurred. It is projected in the Bosque Biological Management Plan that if key components of physical processes are not returned to the Middle Rio Grande, the bosque will deteriorate and in many places be extirpated within the next 50 years.

The need for flood control within the Middle Rio Grande is both important and necessary. The struggle that agencies responsible for the Middle Rio Grande are grappling with is; 1) Can we restore components of the historic floods to the system while maintaining a safe Rio? and, 2) Where can we maintain a healthy bosque within the modern hydrology? For these questions it is a very important first step to understand and map the modern physical setting of the Middle Rio Grande including flooding potential, soil salinity, channel geomorphology, levy and jetty jack configurations, and the physical properties of vegetative composition.


Use the following form with keywords (including operators such as 'and', 'or') to search the entire Bosque Hydrology Group Web Site.


For further information please contact:

Paul Tashjian

Bosque Hydrology Group Coordinator


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The Bosque Hydrology Group is a multi-agency and multi-university cooperative effort. This world wide web page is being hosted by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, Southwest Region.

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