Chapter 1: Defining Arizona’s Riparian Areas and their Importance to the Landscape

Defining Riparian Areas

There is no universally accepted definition for riparian areas. There are many reasons for this:

  1. Riparian areas can be found in a great variety of climatic, hydrologic, ecological and geomorphologic environments. Riparian areas can be found in the tropical forest, alpine forest, grassland, desert, etc.
  2. Even in the state of Arizona there is great variation among riparian areas.


Figure 1.10. Santa Cruz near Marana, AZ. 


October 2, 2006align="center">Figure 1.11. Colorado River.


Figure 1.12. Cherry Creek, Tonto National Forest.

Figure 1.13. Las Cienegas.

Figure 1.14. Fossil Creek.


Figure 1.15. Mingus Spring.


Figure 1.16. Red Rock Creek near Patagonia, AZ.


Figure 1.17. San Pedro River.


Figure 1.18. Oak Creek.

Figure 1.19. Yankee Joe Creek, Tonto National Forest.

Figure 1.20. Riparian area around a pond in Las Cienegas.