Water resources of the Zuni Tribal Lands, McKinley and Cibola counties, New Mexico

Open-File Report 82-1013




The sandstones and limestones of the Glorieta-San Andres aquifer and sandstones within the Chinle Formation provide most of the municipal, stock, and domestic water supply to the Zuni Indian Tribe in west-central New Mexico. Both aquifers are recharged at outcrops in the Zuni Mountains, and their hydraulic conductivity is significantly enhanced by fractures in the sandstones and by fracture-solution openings in the carbonate rocks. The range of well yields, from 5 to 150 gallons per minute, is attributed to fracture frequency, continuity, and distribution controlled by regional uplift and folding. Water in the Glorieta-San Andres aquifer is enriched in calcium and sulfate, and dissolved-solids concentrations range from 389 to 994 milligrams per liter. Water in the sandstones of the Chinle Formation is enriched in sodium and bicarbonate, and dissolved-solids concentrations range from 215 to 1,980 milligrams per liter. The Bidahochi Formation, a loosely consolidated sand and gravel unit mantling western parts of the reservation, could provide an additional source of water chemically suitable for most uses. Preliminary seismic-reflection studies showed a buried drainage system eroded in Triassic bedrock underlying the Bidahochi. Filled channels may contain sufficient saturated material to supplement existing water supplies. (USGS)

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USGS Numbered Series
Water resources of the Zuni Tribal Lands, McKinley and Cibola counties, New Mexico
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Open-File Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
178 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.