The population of the San Luis Valley region is growing rapidly. The shallow unconfined and the deeper confined Santa Fe Group aquifer in the San Luis Basin is the main sources of municipal water for the region. Water shortfalls could have serious consequences. Future growth and land management in the region depend on accurate assessment and protection of the region's ground-water resources. An important issue in managing the ground-water resources is a better understanding of the hydrogeology of the Santa Fe Group and the nature of the sedimentary deposits that fill the Rio Grande rift, which contain the principal ground-water aquifers.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is conducting a series of multidisciplinary studies of the San Luis Basin located in southern Colorado. Detailed geologic mapping, high-resolution airborne magnetic surveys, gravity surveys, an electromagnetic survey, called magnetotellurics (MT), and hydrologic and lithologic data are being used to better understand the aquifer systems. The primary goal of the MT survey is to map changes in electrical resistivity with depth that are related to differences in rock type. These various rock types help control the properties of aquifers in the region. This report does not include any interpretation of the data. Its purpose is to release the MT data acquired at the 22 stations shown in figure 1.