The proposed Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) area includes about 18,960 acres in Tps. 22 and 23 S., Rs. 30 and 31 E., New Mexico Principal Meridian, Eddy County, southeastern New Mexico. It is located within the Carlsbad Mining District about 25 miles east of Carlsbad. The WIPP area is immediately south of the Capitan Limestone subcrop, which formed the northern margin of the Delaware basin in Permian time. During Late Permian (Ochoan) time, gypsum, anhydrite, and halite were deposited in the seas of the Delaware basin to form the Castile Formation. These deposits have a maximum thickness of about 2,000 feet and grade upward into the more argillaceous beds of the Salado Formation. The Salado Formation contains abundant sulfate minerals, notably anhydrite and polyhalite. The potash ore minerals, langbeinite and sylvite, occur in the upper part of the Salado Formation in the McNutt potash zone, a local name applied to a potassium-rich zone.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Potash ore reserves in the proposed Waste Isolation Pilot Plant area, Eddy County, southeastern New Mexico
U.S. Geological Survey,
iii, 48 leaves :ill., maps (5 fold. in pocket) ; scale 1:31, 680 ;27 cm.