The surface of Mesita de los Alamos is formed by units 2b and 3 of the Tshirege Member of the Bandelier Tuff. These units dip gently east-southeastward at 3 to 6 degrees. The units are faulted near the center of the mesa by a north-south trending normal strike slip fault, that is downthrown about 14 feet to the east. The units east of the fault have moved about 14 feet south relative to the units on the west side of the fault.
Units 2b and 3 have bulk density values ranging from 80 to 120 pounds per cubic foot. The moisture content of the tuff below the soil zone and near surface tuff was less than 5 percent by volume in five of the 25 test holes drilled during a foundation investigation for the Meson Facility. The temperature of the tuff in the bottom of three test holes (depth 16 to 43 feet) varied from 50?F to 54?F. Temperature variations were a function of density and amount of solar radiation.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Geology and physical properties of the near-surface rocks of Mesita de los Alamos, Los Alamos County, New Mexico