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Geohydrology of the central Mesilla Valley, Dona Ana County, New Mexico

Open-File Report 82-555

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,

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Abstract

Five large-capacity irrigation wells, with depths ranging from 370 to 686 feet, were drilled by the Elephant Butte Irrigation District between 1973 and 1975, in the Mesilla Valley about 7 miles south of Las Cruces, New Mexico. These were the first deep wells in the area, and their installation provided an opportunity to conduct extensive aquifer tests under relatively undisturbed conditions. The deep irrigation wells are perforated in the Santa Fe Group of Miocene to Pleistocene Age. The Santa Fe Group is composed of interfingering and alternating beds of clay, silt, sand, and small gravel. In the area of these wells, the upper part of the saturated zone contains slightly saline water to a depth of about 100 to 175 feet below the water table, underlain by a freshwater zone extending to depths greater than 1,200 feet. As water is pumped from the freshwater zone, leakage occurs from above and below the perforated interval. At one of the irrigation district wells, slightly saline water moved downward because of a lack of confining layers in the aquifer. At three other wells, the surface casing was not set deep enough and slightly saline water moved into the top of the perforations , downward in the casing, and into the freshwater part of the aquifer. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Geohydrology of the central Mesilla Valley, Dona Ana County, New Mexico
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
82-555
Edition:
WRI/OFR
Year Published:
1984
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
vi, 144 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.