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An arroyo (; from Spanish arroyo , "brook"), also called a wash, is a dry
creek A creek is a stream that is usually smaller than a river Creek may refer to: People * Muscogee, also known as Creek, Native Americans * Murder of Amber Creek, Amber Creek (1982–1997), American murder victim * Mitch Creek (born 1992), Austral ...

creek
,
stream bed A stream bed or streambed is the channel bottom of a stream A stream is a body of water (Lysefjord) in Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; lit ...
or
gulch In xeric Deserts and xeric shrublands are a biome A biome is a collection of plants Plants are mainly multicellular organisms, predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energ ...
that temporarily or seasonally fills and flows after sufficient
rain Rain is liquid water in the form of droplet Rain water flux from a canopy. Among the forces that govern drop formation: cohesion, Van der Waals force">Cohesion_(chemistry).html" ;"title="surface tension, Cohesion (chemistry)">cohesion, ...

rain
.
Flash flood A flash flood is a rapid flooding of low-lying areas: Washland, washes, rivers, dry lakes and Depression (geology), depressions. It may be caused by heavy rain associated with a severe thunderstorm, hurricane, tropical storm, or meltwater from ...
s are common in arroyos following thunderstorms. In Spain and Latin America any small river is called an ''arroyo,'' flowing continually all year and never drying. The Spanish term for the subject of this article is ''rambla'', while ''
wadi Wadi ( ar, وَادِي, wādī), alternatively ''wād'' ( ar, وَاد), North African Arabic Oued, is the Arabic term traditionally referring to a valley A valley is an elongated low area often running between hills or mountains, ...

wadi
'' (Arabic) is used in
North Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in th ...

North Africa
, and
Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion of the larger geographical region of Asia, as defined by some academics, UN bodies and other institutions. It is almost entirely a part of the Middle East, and includes Anat ...

Western Asia
. Arroyos provide a water source to desert animals. The desert dry wash
biome A biome is a collection of plants Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respi ...
is restricted to the arroyos of the southwestern United States.


Types and processes

Arroyos can be natural
fluvial In geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is ap ...
landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body A planet is an astronomical body Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws ...

landform
s or constructed
flood control channel Flood control channels are large and empty basins which let water flow in and out (except during flood A flood is an overflow of water that submerges land that is usually dry. In the sense of "flowing water", the word may also be applied to ...
s. The term usually applies to a
slope In mathematics, the slope or gradient of a line Line, lines, The Line, or LINE may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * ''Lines'' (film), a 2016 Greek film * ''The Line'' (2017 film) * ''The Line'' (2009 film) * ''The Line'', ...
d or
mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in having a limited summit area, and is larger than a hill, typically rising at least ...

mountain
ous terrain in
xeric Deserts and xeric shrublands are a biome A biome is a collection of flora, plants and fauna, animals that have common characteristics for the natural environment, environment they exist in. They can be found over a range of continents. Biome ...
and
desert A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to the processes of ...

desert
climates. In addition: in many rural communities arroyos are also the principal transportation routes; and in many urban communities arroyos are also parks and recreational locations, often with linear multi-use bicycle, pedestrian, and equestrian trails.
Flash flood A flash flood is a rapid flooding of low-lying areas: Washland, washes, rivers, dry lakes and Depression (geology), depressions. It may be caused by heavy rain associated with a severe thunderstorm, hurricane, tropical storm, or meltwater from ...
ing can cause the deep arroyos or deposition of sediment on flooded lands. This can lower the
groundwater Groundwater is the water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is vital for all known form ...

groundwater
level of the surrounding area, making it unsuitable for agriculture. However a shallow water table lowered in desert arroyo
valley A valley is an elongated low area often running between hills or mountains, which will typically contain a river or stream running from one end to the other. Most valleys are formed by erosion of the land surface by rivers or streams over ...

valley
s can reduce
saline seep A saline seep is seep A seep or flush is a moist or wet place where water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which i ...
ing and
alkali In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo dur ...

alkali
deposits in the
topsoil Topsoil is the upper, outermost layer of soil Soil is a mixture In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements t ...
, making it suitable for irrigated
farming Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...

farming
.


Natural

In the
U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state ...
New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejicano, Nuevo Mexicano) , seat = Santa Fe , LargestCity = Albuquerque , LargestMetro = Greater Albuquerque , OfficialLang = None , Languages = English English usually refer ...

New Mexico
, the
Doña Ana County Don (, , pt, Dom, links=no , from Latin ', roughly 'Lord Lord is an appellation for a person or deity who has authority, control, or power (social and political), power over others, acting as a master, a chief, or a ruler. The appellation c ...
Drainage Ordinance defines an arroyo as "a
watercourse A watercourse is the channel Channel, channels, channeling, etc., may refer to: Geography * Channel (geography), in physical geography, a landform consisting of the outline (banks) of the path of a narrow body of water. Australia * Channel Co ...

watercourse
that conducts an intermittent or ephemeral flow, providing primary drainage for an area of land of or larger; or a watercourse which would be expected to flow in excess of one hundred cubic feet per second as the result of a 100 year
storm A storm is any disturbed state of an environment Environment most often refers to: __NOTOC__ * Natural environment, all living and non-living things occurring naturally * Biophysical environment, the physical and biological factors along with t ...

storm
event." Research has been conducted in the hydrological modeling relative to arroyos. Natural arroyos are made through the process known as arroyo-cutting. This occurs in arid regions such as New Mexico, where heavy rains can lead to enlargement of rivers cutting into surrounding rock creating ravines which are dry under normal weather conditions. It is argued, however, whether these excessively stormy periods are the sole cause of arroyo-cutting as other factors such as long-term climate changes must also be taken into account.Rice, R. J.; ''Fundamentals of Geomorphology,'' Longman, 1988 Further, overgrazing by livestock throughout the 20th century and today has removed vast amounts of surface vegetation which decreases ground infiltration of precipitation and increased runoff, increasing speed and energy of high flow rain events. Coupled with groundwater pumping this increases downcutting in arroyos as well. Arroyo cutting which occurred in the 1900s in the southwestern United States caused serious farming issues such as a lowered water table and the destruction of agriculture lands.


Constructed

In
agricultural Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...

agricultural
areas in climates needing irrigation,
farmer A farmer is a person engaged in agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exe ...

farmer
s traditionally relied on small constructed arroyos, ''acequias'', ''zanjas'' or
aqueduct Aqueduct may refer to: Bridges *Aqueduct (bridge), a bridge to convey water over an obstacle, such as a ravine or valley *Navigable aqueduct, or water bridge, a structure to carry navigable waterway canals over other rivers, valleys, railways or r ...
channels and ditches for the distribution of water. An example of larger constructed arroyos is in
Albuquerque, New Mexico Albuquerque ( , ), ; kee, Arawageeki; tow, Vakêêke; zun, Alo:ke:k'ya; apj, Gołgéeki'yé. abbreviated as ABQ, is the most populous city in the U.S. state of New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejica ...
. There are several miles of open-air
concrete Concrete is a composite material A composite material (also called a composition material or shortened to composite, which is the common name) is a material Material is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a ter ...

concrete
lined drainage channels that drain an area into the main North Diversion Channel, a
tributary A tributary, or affluent, is a stream A stream is a body of water (Lysefjord) in Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") ...
of the
Rio Grande The Rio Grande ( and ), known in Mexico as the Río Bravo del Norte and as the Río Bravo, is one of the principal river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another r ...

Rio Grande
joining upstream of Albuquerque. After the San Juan Project Water Treatment Plant here, the Rio Grande's flow exceeding that needed for the river's silvery minnow
habitat In ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers at the ...

habitat
is available for municipal water supply diversion. Signs are posted at the constructed arroyos warning to keep out due to danger of
flash flood A flash flood is a rapid flooding of low-lying areas: Washland, washes, rivers, dry lakes and Depression (geology), depressions. It may be caused by heavy rain associated with a severe thunderstorm, hurricane, tropical storm, or meltwater from ...
ing. The Arroyo Seco and
Los Angeles River , name_etymology = , image = Los Angeles River.jpg , image_caption = Near Downtown Los Angeles Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) is the central business district A central business district (CBD) is the commercial and bu ...

Los Angeles River
are more famous examples in
Southern California Southern California (sometimes known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the southern portion of the U.S. state of California California is a in the . With over 39.3million resi ...

Southern California
of former natural arroyo seasonal watercourses that became constructed open drainage system arroyos.


See also

*
Billabong A billabong ( ) is an Australian Australians, colloquially referred to as "Aussies", are the citizens Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to ...

Billabong
*
Draw Draw, drawing, draws, or drawn may refer to: Common uses * Draw (terrain) A draw (US) or re-entrant (international) is a terrain Terrain or relief (also topographical Topography is the study of the forms and features of land ...
*
Wadi Wadi ( ar, وَادِي, wādī), alternatively ''wād'' ( ar, وَاد), North African Arabic Oued, is the Arabic term traditionally referring to a valley A valley is an elongated low area often running between hills or mountains, ...

Wadi


Notes


External links

{{Authority control Fluvial landforms Erosion landforms Dry or seasonal streams Canyons and gorges Valleys