thumbnail

Water resources in basin-fill deposits in the Tularosa Basin, New Mexico

Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4219

By:
,

Links

Abstract

The Tularosa Basin, a faulted intermontane depression in south-central New Mexico, contains a thick sequence of alluvial and lacustrine deposits of Tertiary and Quaternary age. Most of these sediments are saturated with very saline water. Freshwater supplies (dissolved solids concentration < 1000 mg/L) principally are found in alluvial fans located around the basin margin. On the eastern side of the Tularosa Basin, fresh groundwater supplies are limited to alluvial fan deposits from Grapevine Canyon to about 3 mi south of Alamogordo. Data from surface geophysical surveys indicate that about 1.4 to 2.1 million acre-ft of freshwater may be in storage in this area, not all of which is recoverable. An additional 3.6 to 5.4 million acre-ft of slightly saline water (dissolved solids concentration 1000 to 3000 mg/L) may be in storage in the same area, again not all of which is recoverable. On the western side of the Tularosa Basin, alluvial fans in the vicinity of Rhodes Canyon may contain freshwater. Geophysical data indicate the freshwater zone may be as thick as 1500 ft in places; however, the limited number of wells in this area precludes a precise definition of the volume of freshwater in storage. To the south, freshwater is present in alluvial fans associated with the Ash Canyon drainage system. Geophysical data indicate that perhaps as much as 450,000 acre-ft of freshwater, not all recoverable, may be in storage in this area. Fan deposits between Ash Canyon and Rhodes canyon may contain additional freshwater supplies. Possibly 10.7 million acre-ft of freshwater, not all of which is recoverable, may be in storage on the western side of the Tularosa Basin. Possibly 180 million acre-ft of brine (concentrations of dissolved solids exceeding 35,000 mg/L), not all of which is recoverable, may be in storage in the Tularosa Basin. Information is sparse concerning the capability of saline aquifers in the Tularosa Basin to store and transmit fluid. (Author 's abstract)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Water resources in basin-fill deposits in the Tularosa Basin, New Mexico
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
85-4219
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1986
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
vi, 94 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.