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Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed, Arizona (Meteorologic)

posted on 2024-02-13, 13:57 authored by Tim Keefer

The Southwest Watershed Research Center (SWRC) has operated Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed (WGEW), located in the vicinity of Tombstone, Arizona, for more than 50 years. A 17 year (1990-2006) meteorological and soil hydrology database has been established by the USDA Agricultural Research Service, SWRC. Data have been acquired at 3 automated weather stations, 5 soil profile trench sites, and 19 locations dispersed across the watershed colocated with recording rain gauges. Meteorological elements measured at the weather stations include air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, wind direction, barometric pressure, solar radiation, photosynthetically active radiation, and net radiation. Net radiation is measured at LHMet and KENMet. A single sensor is used to measure each variable at each AWS. Barometric pressure is sampled once and output at the output time step; all other sensors are sampled every 10 seconds and averaged at the output time step, either 20 or 60 minutes. Manufacturer supplied calibration or conversion factors are employed to report output in standard units.

Resources in this dataset:




Data contact name

Keefer, Tim

Data contact email


Agricultural Research Service

Intended use

Basic weather elements such as air temperature and solar radiation and soil hydrology elements such as soil moisture and soil temperature are required by natural resource and hydrologic managers and researchers for agricultural, planning, modeling and engineering applications. Ground-based observations of these elements are used for development and calibration of ecohydrological models [Nouvellon et al., 2001; Hymer et al., 2000], evaluation of soil hydrology sensing technology [Paige and Keefer, 2008], statistical characterization of soil hydrology networks [Cosh et al., 2008; Gebremichael and Vivoni, 2008], ecohydrological studies [Scott et al., 2000], and more recently for comparison with land, aircraft and satellite-based remote sensors [Jackson et al., 2008; Thoma et al., 2008].

Use limitations

The initial data stream from field sites may contain missing values for any property because the station was not in operation intentionally or accidentally, the sensor was not deployed at that time, or there was data collection, communication or computer failure. Data determined to be collected during periods when a sensor was known to be inoperable (e.g., vandalism, animal or natural interference) were coded with missing values. Incoming data, after transformation from measured value to final units, if applicable, are screened by automated and visual graphic processes for outliers beyond acceptable limits.

Temporal Extent Start Date


Temporal Extent End Date



  • Not specified

Geographic Coverage


ISO Topic Category

  • environment
  • farming

Ag Data Commons Group

  • Long-Term Agroecosystem Research
  • Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

watersheds; Arizona; hydrology; databases; Agricultural Research Service; weather stations; soil profiles; rain gauges; air temperature; relative humidity; wind speed; wind direction; solar radiation; photosynthetically active radiation; soil water; soil temperature; managers; researchers; planning; models; engineering; aircraft; satellites; remote sensing

OMB Bureau Code

  • 005:18 - Agricultural Research Service

OMB Program Code

  • 005:040 - National Research

ARS National Program Number

  • 211

Primary article PubAg Handle

Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

Keefer, Tim (2020). Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed, Arizona (Meteorologic). Agricultural Research Service.