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La Cienega & La Cieneguilla Wetlands

study area

Building on its basin-scale hydrogeologic studies of the Española Basin (2003-2010), in 2010-2013 the Aquifer Mapping Program helped develop a better understanding of the groundwater contribution to the wetlands around La Cienega. This work was completed with collaboration and support from NMED, NMOSE, Santa Fe County, and USF&WS.

After completion of this study, with local community funding through El Rancho de las Golondrinas, we have continued to collect continuous and manual groundwater level measurements. Groundwater level monitoring provides an essential tool in groundwater management. The data are used in development of more accurate groundwater models, and can help with protection of groundwater resources. Measurements of changing groundwater levels also directly reflect changes in groundwater storage. 

The history of publications and presentations related to this vital region are listed below. 

Funded by the Aquifer Mapping Program (NMBGMR), Healy Foundation, NMED Surface Water Quality Bureau, U.S. EPA Wetlands Program Development Grant.

For more information, please contact:
Stacy Timmons, Hydrogeologist / Aquifer Mapping Program Manager

AMP-Relevant Publications

Groundwater Level Monitoring in La Cienega, Santa Fe County, New Mexico: 2016 Summary of Findings

Available for free download.

Open-file Report 590
2017, Stacy Timmons and Ethan Mamer

Geology and Hydrology of Groundwater-Fed Springs and Wetlands at La Cienega, Santa Fe County, New Mexico

Bulletin-161
2016, Peggy S. Johnson, Daniel J. Koning, Stacy S. Timmons, and Brigitte Felix

Geologic and Hydrologic Maps of the Ancha Formation, Santa Fe County, New Mexico

Available for free download.

Open-file Report 550 (supersedes OFR 519)
2012, Peggy S. Johnson and Daniel Koning

New Mexico Environment Department Surface Water Quality Bureau - Wetlands Program
December, 2012, available for free download.

Exploring Springs and Wetlands and their Relationship with Surface Flows, Geology, and Groundwater in the La Cienega Area Santa Fe County, New Mexico

Contributors: Ecotone, New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, New Mexico Office of the State Engineer, Santa Fe County – Public Works Department, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Selected References

  1. Cole, G., Coblentz, D., Jacobs, E., Koning, D., Broxton, D., Vaniman, D., Goff, F., and WoldeGabriel, G., Simmons, A., and Heikoop, J., 2009, The 2009 three-dimensional, geologic models of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Site, southern Española Basin, and Española Basin: Los Alamos National Laboratory, Report LA-UR-09-3701.
  2. Grauch, V. J. S., and Hudson, M. R., 2007, Guides to understanding the aeromagnetic expression of faults in sedimentary basins—Lessons learned from the central Rio Grande rift, New Mexico: Geosphere, v. 3 , no. 6, p. 596–623. doi:10.1130/ges00128.1
  3. Grauch, V. J. S., Phillips, J. D., Koning, D. J., Johnson, P. S., and Bankey, V., 2009, Geophysical interpretations of the southern Española Basin, New Mexico, that contribute to understanding its hydrogeologic framework: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1761, 88 p.
  4. Grauch, V. J. S., Sawyer, D. A., Minor, S. A., Hudson, M. R., and Thompson, R. A., 2006, Gravity and aeromagnetic studies of the Santo Domingo Basin area, New Mexico (Chapter D), in Minor, S. A., ed., The Cerrillos uplift, the La Bajada Constriction, and hydrogeologic framework of the Santo Domingo Basin, Rio Grande rift: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1720, p. 61–86.
  5. Hudson, M. R., Grauch, V. J. S., Pantea, M. P., Koning, D. J., Johnson, P. S., Rodriguez, B. D., Minor, S. A., Caine, J. S., and Sawyer, D. A., 2009, Updated 3D Model of the Geological and Geophysical Framework of the Southern Española Basin near Santa Fe, New Mexico [abstract], in Simmons, A., ed., Geology and hydrology of the Española Basin—Proceedings of the 7th Annual Española Basin workshop, Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 6, 2008: New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, Open-file Report 513, p. 10. Download free pdf of the abstract.
  6. Johnson, P. S., and Koning, D. J., 2009, A preliminary hydrogeologic framework of the Santa Fe area, in Simmons, A., ed., Geology and hydrology of the Española Basin—Proceedings of the 7th Annual Española Basin workshop, Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 6, 2008: New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, Open-file Report 513, p. 12. Download free pdf of the abstract.
  7. Johnson, P. S., and Koning, D. J., 2005, An update on hydrogeologic conditions in the southern Española Basin, in McKinney, Kevin C., ed, Geologic and hydrogeologic framework of the Española Basin—Proceedings of the 4th Annual Española Basin Workshop, Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 1-3, 2005: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2005–1130, p. 8. Download free pdf of the abstract.
  8. Johnson, P. S., Grauch, V. J. S., Bauer, P. W., Koning, D. J., and Timmons, S. W., 2008, Influence of basement structure on shallow aquifer geochemistry in the Rio Grande rift, northern New Mexico – examples from the Santa Fe and Peñasco embayments of the Española Basin [abstract]: New Mexico Geology, vol. 30, no. 2, p. 54–55. Download free pdf of the abstract.
  9. Johnson, P. S, Koning, D. J., and Timmons, S. W., and Felix, B., 2008, Geochemical Characterization of Ground Water in the Southern Española Basin, Santa Fe, New Mexico, New Mexico Bureau of Geology Mineral Resources, Open-file Report 511.
  10. Johnson, P. S, Koning, D. J., and Timmons, S. W., and Felix, B., 2009, Elevation contour of base of Ancha Fm, Southern Española Basin, New Mexico, New Mexico Bureau of Geology Mineral Resources, Open-file Report 519.
  11. Johnson, P. S, 2009, Water-level contours and ground water flow conditions (2000 to 2005) for the Santa Fe area, southern Española Basin, New Mexico, New Mexico Bureau of Geology Mineral Resources, Open-file Report 520.
  12. Kelley, S., Koning, D., Kempter, K., Lawrence, R., and Rogers, M. A., 2007, Northern Jemez Mountains—First Day Road Log, Los Alamos to northern Jemez Mountains via Española , Abiquiu, Youngsville and back to Española : New Mexico Geological Society, 58th Annual Field Conference Guidebook, Geology of the Jemez Region II, p. 1–36.
  13. Koning, D. J., and Read, A. S., 2010, Geologic map and cross sections of the southern Española Basin, New Mexico: New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, Open-file Report 531, scale 1:48,000.
  14. Koning, D. J., and Johnson, P. S., 2006, Locations and textural contrasts of Tesuque Formation lithostratigraphic units in the southern Española basin, NM, and hydrogeologic implications [abstract], in McKinney, K. C., Geologic and hydrogeologic framework of the Española basin – Proceedings of the 5th Annual Española Basin workshop, Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 7–8, 2006: U.S. Geological Survey, Open-file Report 2006-1134, p. 24. Download free pdf of the abstract.
  15. Koning, D.J., and Johnson, P. S., 2005, Textural and thickness variability of the Ancha Formation in the Santa Fe embayment, Rio Grande rift, north-central New Mexico [abstract], in McKinney, Kevin C. (ed), Geologic and hydrogeologic framework of the Española Basin—Proceedings of the 4th Annual Española Basin Workshop, Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 1–3, 2005, U.S. Geological Survey, Open-File Report 2005–1130, p. 22. Download free pdf of the abstract.
  16. Koning, D. J., and Maldonado, F., 2001, Geology of the Horcado Ranch 7.5-minute quadrangle, Santa Fe County, north-central New Mexico: New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources Open-File Geologic Map OF-GM-44, 1:24,000 scale.
  17. Koning, D. J., Grauch, V. J. S., and Rodriguez, B. D., 2010, Cross sections and geologic map for the eastern Española Basin, Rio Grande Rift, north-central New Mexico, in Simmons, A., ed., 8th Annual Española Workshop: The link between science and water policy: New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, Open-file Report 525, p. 11. Download free pdf of the abstract.
  18. Koning, D. J., Aby, S., and Finch, S., 2008, Where are the target aquifers?—A preliminary assessment of hydrogeologic characteristics of lithostratigraphic units near Española, north-central New Mexico [abstract], in Borchert, C.I., ed., Geologic and hydrogeologic framework of the Española Basin—Proceedings of the 6th Annual Española Basin Workshop, Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 6, 2007: New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, Open-file Report 508, p. 10. Download free pdf of the abstract.
  19. Koning, D. J., Smith, G. A., and Read, A., 2008, Cenozoic stratigraphy in the Santa Fe embayment and northwards to the Buckman well field, Española Basin, NM [abstract], in Borchert, C. I., ed., Geologic and hydrogeologic framework of the Española Basin—Proceedings of the 6th Annual Española Basin Workshop, Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 6, 2007: New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, Open-file Report 508, p. 2. Download free pdf of the abstract.
  20. Koning, D. J., Connell, S. D., Slate, J., Wan, E., Ferguson, J. F., Grauch, V. J. S., WoldeGabriel, G., Peters, L., McIntosh, W.C., Dunbar, N., Broxton, D., and Baldridge, W.S., 2008, Structural evolution of the eastern Española Basin, Rio Grande rift, north-central New Mexico [abstract]: New Mexico Geology, vol. 30, no. 2, p. 53–54. Download free pdf of the abstract.
  21. Koning, D. J., Broxton, D., Sawyer, D., Vaniman, D., and Shomaker, J., 2007, Surface and subsurface stratigraphy of the Santa Fe Group near White Rock and the Buckman areas of the Española Basin, north-central New Mexico: New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook, 58th Field Conference, Geology of the Jemez Mountains Region II, p. 209–224.
  22. Koning, D. J., Aby, A., and Finch, S., 2007, Where is the water?—A preliminary assessment of hydrogeologic characteristics of lithostratigraphic units near Española , north-central New Mexico: New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook, 58th Field Conference, Geology of the Jemez Mountains Region II, p. 475–484.
  23. Koning, D. J., Smith, G., Connell, S. D., Slate, J. L., WoldeGabriel, G., Peters, L., McIntosh, W., Dunbar, N., and Horning, R., 2007, Tectonic evolution of the Española Basin, Rio Grande rift, north-central New Mexico [abstract]: Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 39, No. 6, p. 495. Download free pdf of the abstract.
  24. Koning, D. J., Read, A. S., Grauch, V. J. S., and Minor, S. A., 2006, Late Oligocene-Miocene structures in and west of the Santa Fe embayment, New Mexico, and inferences regarding tectonism and paleotopography [abstract], in McKinney, K. C., Geologic and hydrogeologic framework of the Española basin—Proceedings of the 5th Annual Española Basin workshop, Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 7-8, 2006, U.S. Geological Survey Open-file Report 2006–1134, p. 25. Download free pdf of the abstract.
  25. Koning, D. J., Johnson, P. S., Read, A. S., Grauch, V. J. S., and Minor, S. A., 2006, Stratigraphy and structure of the southern Española basin, New Mexico [abstract]: New Mexico Geology, v. 28, no. 2, p. 63. Download free pdf of the abstract.
  26. Koning, D. J., Broxton, D. E., Vaniman, D. T., and WoldeGabriel, G., 2005, Upper Miocene clastic deposits adjacent to the northeastern and eastern flanks of the Jemez Mountains, north-central New Mexico—preliminary results [abstract]: New Mexico Geology, V. 27, no. 2, p. 42–43. Download free pdf of the abstract.
  27. Koning, D. J., Read, A. S., Grauch, V. J. S., and Minor, S. A., 2005, Intrabasinal architecture of the southern Española basin [abstract], in McKinney, Kevin C. (ed), Geologic and hydrogeologic framework of the Española Basin—Proceedings of the 4th Annual Española Basin Workshop, Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 1–3, 2005: U.S. Geological Survey, Open-File Report 2005-1130, p. 21. Download free pdf of the abstract.
  28. Koning, D. J., Smith, G., Lyman, J., Johnnie, and Paul, Patricia., 2004, Lithosome S of the Tesuque Formation: Hydrostratigraphic and tectonic implications of a newly defined lithosome in the southern Española Basin, New Mexico [abstract], in Hudson, M. R., ed., Geologic and Hydrogeologic Framework of the Española Basin—Proceedings of the 3rd Annual Española Basin Workshop, Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 2–3, 2004: U.S. Geological Survey, Open-file Report 2004–1093, p. 17. Download free pdf of the abstract.
  29. Koning, D. J., Read, A., and Borchert, C., 2003, Sedimentologic and structural framework of the southern and central Española Basin – Insights from recent STATEMAP and EDMAP efforts [abstract], in Hudson, M.R., ed., Geologic and Hydrogeologic Framework of the Española Basin—Proceedings of the 2nd Annual Española Basin Workshop, Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 4-5, 2003: U.S. Geological Survey, Open-file Report 03-369, p. 10. Download free pdf of the abstract.
  30. Koning, D. J., Connell, S. D., Pazzaglia, F. J., and McIntosh, W. C., 2002, Redefinition of the Ancha Formation and Pliocene-Pleistocene deposition in the Santa Fe embayment, north-central New Mexico: New Mexico Geology, v. 24, no. 3, p. 75-87.
  31. Sawyer, D. A., and Minor, S. A., 2006, Geologic setting of the La Bajada constriction and Cochiti Pueblo area, New Mexico, in Minor, S. A. (ed.), The Cerrillos Uplift, the La Bajada Constriction, and Hydrogeologic Framework of the Santo Domingo Basin, Rio Grande Rift, New Mexico: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1720, p. 3–23.
  32. Sawyer, D. A., Minor, S. A., Thompson, R. A., Shroba, R. R., Smith, G. A., Dethier, D. P., Grauch, V. J. S., and Brandt, T. R., 2006, Geologic map of the Cochiti Pueblo area, New Mexico, in Minor, S.A. (ed.), The Cerrillos Uplift, the La Bajada Constriction, and Hydrogeologic Framework of the Santo Domingo Basin, Rio Grande Rift, New Mexico: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1720, Plate 2.
  33. Sawyer, D. A., Shroba, R. R., Minor, S. A., and Thompson, R. A., 2002, Geologic map of the Tetilla Peak quadrangle, Santa Fe and Sandoval Counties, New Mexico: U. S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-2352, scale 1:24,000, version 1.0.
  34. Sigda, J. M., Paul, P. J., and Koning, D. J., 2004, Comparison of permeability and grain size differences in Tesuque Formation deposits at the Santa Fe River and Buckman well field areas, Española Basin, New Mexico, in Hudson, M. R., ed., Geologic and Hydrogeologic Framework of the Española Basin—Proceedings of the 3rd Annual Española Basin Workshop, Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 2–3, 2004: U.S. Geological Survey, Open-file Report 2004–1093, p. 19. Download free pdf of the abstract.
  35. Thompson, R. A., Sawyer, D. A., Hudson, M. R., Grauch, V. J. S., and McIntosh, W. C., 2006, Cenozoic volcanism of the La Bajada constriction area, New Mexico, in Minor, S.A. (ed.), The Cerrillos Uplift, the La Bajada Constriction, and Hydrogeologic Framework of the Santo Domingo Basin, Rio Grande Rift, New Mexico: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1720, p. 43–60.