Geohydrology of the southwest alluvial basins regional aquifer- systems analysis, parts of Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas

Water-Resources Investigations Report 84-4224



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The Southwest Alluvial Basins study is part of the National Regional Aquifer-Systems Analysis program. Twenty-two structural basins extend from the San Luis Basin in southern Colorado to the Presidio Basin in western Texas. Closed surface-water basins west of the Guadalupe Mountains and east of the Peloncillo Mountains are included in the study. The study area is bounded on the east by predominately Precambrian and Paleozoic rocks. Tertiary and Quaternary volcanics also are present. Tertiary and Quaternary volcanic rocks, and also Mesozoic rocks west of the Espanola and Albuquerque-Belen Basins, form the west boundary. The east and west boundary units converge at the north end of the study area to form the north boundary. The study area extends south to the international border between the United States and Mexico. The Santa Fe Group sediments of late Oligocene to middle Pleistocene age comprise the main aquifer in the area. Estimated maximum depths of sediments in the rift basins range from 8,000 ft in the Tularosa-Hueco Basin to 30,000 ft in the San Luis Basin. The average thickness of sediments in closed basins is about 4,000 ft. Santa Fe deposits are composed of layers of gravel, sand, silt, and clay interbedded with local volcanic lows of tuffs. Lacustrine deposits are more prevalent in the closed basins. Wells produce as much as 2,000 gal of water/min. Poteniometric-surface altitudes for 1971-82 indicate that water recharges in the highland areas around the basins and discharges in the center of valleys. Water generally flows from the east and west southward along the axis of the valleys. Groundwater quality for the region has been zoned into calcium sulfate, calcium chloride, magnesium sulfate, magnesium chloride; sodium sulfate, sodium chloride; sodium bicarbonate; and calcium bicarbonate, magnesium bicarbonate types. (USGS)

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Geohydrology of the southwest alluvial basins regional aquifer- systems analysis, parts of Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
v, 61 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.