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

Defining Riparian Areas, page 2

Riparian areas processes vary depending on where you are in the United States. There is significant variability in water availability and the pathways water follows to reach riparian areas in different regions.



Figure 1.21.Difference in the pathways water follows to reach the stream in mesic (humid) and arid (dry) regions. These differences can significantly influence riparian areas. In the eastern United States, that are mesic regions, precipitation water primarily infiltrates into the soils before it reaches the stream. In contrast in the western United States, that are arid regions, precipitation water moves across the soil surface as overland flow before it reaches the streams.