Environmental Geology and Hydrogeology
Our environmental geology and hydrogeology program is concerned with:
- Determining potential and actual environmental impacts caused by development of mineral, water, and land resources.
- Investigating potentially hazardous geologic processes such as landslides, debris flows, earthquakes, and land subsidence.
- Siting of waste management facilities.
- Measuring and documenting the geologic characteristics of aquifers.
- Development of a comprehensive database on the subjects listed above.
Examples of Bureau of Geology Environmental Projects
- A cooperative study of soil and indoor radon problems.
- Mapping and analysis of debris flows, landslides, and subsidence-related features.
- Characterization of the geologic composition and physical properties of major aquifers in New Mexico.
- Geologic mapping and environmental evaluation of areas undergoing rapid development.
- Evaluation of earthquake hazards in cooperation with the Department of Public Safety.
- Providing geologic expertise to state and federal agencies, Indian tribes, and private industry.
These and other projects are accomplished through a combination of field work, laboratory studies, and mathematical modeling of geologic processes.
Applied research on ground-water resources is an important area of emphasis. Results are used for
- Developing or protecting ground-water supplies.
- Evaluating water-quality and pollution problems.
- Evaluating abandoned mines and mine and mill wastes.
- Evaluating and utilizing geothermal resources.
- Public education.
Service and research activities include
- Investigating and preparing reports on the ground-water geology and water resources of basin, county, and smaller-size areas.
- Maintaining a database on water wells and ground-water chemistry.
- Responding to requests for information from the public, other governmental agencies, industries and the research community.
- Soils Laboratory