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Hydrogeology of the Socorro and La Jencia basins, Socorro County, New Mexico

Water-Resources Investigations Report 84-4342

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Abstract

The Socorro and La Jencia Basins are located in central Socorro County, New Mexico. The principal aquifer system in the Socorro and La Jencia Basins consists of, in descending order, the shallow aquifer, the Popotosa confining bed, and the Popotosa aquifer. The minor aquifer systems, which are dominant along the basin margins, are the Socorro volcanics aquifer system and the Mesozoic-Paleozoic aquifer system. On the east side of the Socorro Basin, water enters the principal aquifer system from the Mesozoic-Paleozoic aquifer system. On the west side of the Socorro Basin, groundwater flows from the principal aquifer system in La Jencia Basin eastward to the principal aquifer system in the Socorro Basin. The volume of this flow is limited by the permeability of the minor aquifer systems and the Popotosa confining bed. A water budget indicates that if no change in groundwater storage occurs in the Socorro Basin, groundwater inflow to the basin is about 53,000 acre-feet per year greater than groundwater outflow. Dissolution of gypsum, calcite, and dolomite seems to control water quality in the Mesozoic-Paleozoic aquifer. Water with a chloride concentration of as much as 1,000 milligrams per liter and a specific conductance of as much as 6,700 microsiemens per centimeter at 25 C is present in the northern and southern parts of the Socorro Basin. These large chloride concentrations may indicate upward movement of water from deeper in the basin in these areas. The water with the large chloride concentration in the southern part of the basin also may be caused by leakage of geothermal waters along the Capitan Lineament. In the central part of the Socorro Basin, infiltration of excess irrigation water and inflow of groundwater from the basin margins control water quality. In this area, specific conductance generally is less than 1,000 microsiemens per centimeter. Water in La Jencia Basin generally is of the calcium sodium bicarbonate type with specific conductance less than 500 microsiemens per centimeter. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Hydrogeology of the Socorro and La Jencia basins, Socorro County, New Mexico
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
84-4342
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1987
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
vi, 62 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.