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MASKING REQUIRED INDOORS on NMT campus regardless of vaccination status Socorro, NM
August 2, 2021

Socorro County is considered an area of substantial COVID-19 transmission. Effective Tuesday, August 3, NMT is requiring all students, faculty and staff to wear a mask in public indoor settings on New Mexico Tech property, including off campus offices. This expectation applies to all individuals, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, unless they are alone in an office, lab, classroom, or residence hall room.

Please note that this announcement supersedes all previous guidelines on campus and signage may not reflect the current situation.

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Photo & Document Archive now accessible online
October 12, 2021

Archiving data and housing geological collections is an important role the Bureau of Geology plays in improving our understanding of the geology of New Mexico. Our Geologic Information Center has made many of our archived photographs and documents available online via a dedicated portal that uses ResourceSpace, an open-source digital asset management system. Additional archival materials are regularly being added to the system, so be sure to check back frequently.

If you have historical documents, photographs or mine maps and would like to contribute to our archives (or allow us to copy), please let us know.

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Listen to any Earth Science Week radio spots you missed
October 9, 2021

The Bureau of Geology collaborated again this year with KUNM 89.9 FM in Albuquerque, New Mexico to produce Earth Matters: Field Notes on the Geology of New Mexico's Enchanting Landscapes. A two-minute radio segment presented by a Bureau or New Mexico Tech geoscientist aired every evening from October 11-15 at 7:00 p.m. Each presentation focused on a different aspect of this year's theme: "Water Today and for the Future".

If you missed a segment, check out our archived Earth Matters segments going back to 2009.

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New paper about the California Blue Mine topaz-beryl pegmatite coauthored by Bureau scientist Alex Gysi published
October 5, 2021

The new paper: "Beryl as indicator of metasomatic processes in the California Blue Mine topaz-beryl pegmatite and associated miarolitic pockets" was published in Lithos.

Dr. Alex Gysi, a co-author of the new paper, arrived at the Bureau in 2020 and is instrumenting a new Ore Deposits & Critical Minerals Research Laboratory. He is assembing a team of doctoral students and post-doctoral reseachers to staff the laboratory.

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New paper: "Detrital zircon provenance and depositional links of Mesozoic Sierra Nevada intra-arc strata" by Dr. Snir Attia
September 29, 2021

Dissertation research by NMBGMR scientist Dr. Snir Attia was published as a new paper in Geosphere. This work was a compilation of detrital zircon age data within the intra-arc strata of the Sierra Nevada.

Dr. Attia joined the NMBGMR in 2020 and is now working on zircon provenance studies in the southwest, among other projects.

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"Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad: A Geologic Road Log" published
September 23, 2021

This geologic road log describes the diverse geology exposed along the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad between Antonito, Colorado and Chama, New Mexico. The booklet was designed for use on the annual "Geotrain" excursion offered by the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad each summer since 2011. The geologic journey begins in the San Luis Basin in the Rio Grande rift, traverses the southern San Juan volcanic field, and ends in the Chama Basin. The booklet includes a brief introduction to the regional geology of the area, a discussion of the engineering geology associated with building and maintaining the railroad, and descriptions of outcrops exposed in road cuts along the rail line.

$7.50 Purchase online

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New paper on Mancos Shale authored by Ron Broadhead San Juan Basin, NM
September 15, 2021

This new paper describes and analyzes the petroleum system of the Mancos Shale in the San Juan Basin with a focus on the recent offshore Mancos play. The reservoirs in the offshore Mancos play are fine-grained, low-permeability sandstones interbedded with shales. These sandstones are carrier beds that link the shale source rocks that generated the oil in the deep, northern part of the basin with the conventional, coarser-grained and higher permeability conventional sandstone reservoirs in the shallow southern part of the basin. The conventional sandstone reservoirs were mostly developed in the 1950’s and have produced most of the oil in the basin. Unlike the conventional sandstone reservoirs which were developed with vertically drilled wells, development of the carrier bed reservoirs is enhanced by the new technique of drilling wells vertically to the target zone and thence horizontally through the target zone for distances of one mile or more. The paper appears in a special issue of the AAPG Bulletin that focuses on carrier bed oil reservoirs.

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Alex Gysi
Seeking PhD candidates: molecular complexation of REE in high temperature and pressure supercritical geologic fluids Socorro, NM
September 7, 2021

We seek motivated candidates with a strong interest in high-temperature hydrothermal experimental geochemistry, EXAFS and Raman/UV-Vis spectroscopy, chemical thermodynamics and computational geochemistry. These positions are part of the new collaborative U.S. geoscience critical minerals experimental – thermodynamic research hub between New Mexico Tech (NMT), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and Indiana University Bloomington (IUB), which is a Department of Energy (DOE), Basic Energy Sciences, funded project (

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"The Rio Chama: A River Guide to the Geology and Landscapes" published
August 6, 2021

The 135-mile Rio Chama of northern New Mexico is a major tributary of the Rio Grande. From its alpine headwaters at the Continental Divide of the glaciated San Juan Mountains in southern Colorado, this hidden gem flows across the Colorado Plateau in a spectacular canyon cut into Mesozoic sedimentary rocks, in places up to 1,500 feet deep. Towering, vibrant, sandstone cliffs, heavily wooded side canyons, superb camping, and a diversity of historical sites offer an outstanding wild river backdrop for the boater, angler, hiker, or camper.

This book contains detailed river maps of the seven sections of the Rio Chama, plus its three resplendent reservoirs, from the Colorado headwaters to its confluence with the Rio Grande near Española. The Chama Canyon section, below El Vado Dam and through the Chama Canyon Wilderness, is one of the finest, multi-day, whitewater trips in the Southwest.

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New Mexico Earth Matters Summer 2021
"Earth Matters" publication focuses on induced seismicity in New Mexico
July 28, 2021

Bureau of Geology scientist Dr. Mairi Litherland summarizes earthquake activity linked to oil and gas activity in the Bureau of Geology's Summer 2021 New Mexico Earth Matters publication.

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New Paper on carbonatites coauthored by Dr. Virginia McLemore
July 28, 2021

This new paper, titled "Petrogenesis of silica-rich carbonatites from continental rift settings: a missing link between carbonatites and carbonated silicate melts?", presents the results of petrography, chemistry, and stable isotopes of four silicocarbonatites from rift settings (Lemitar Mts, New Mexico; Iron Hill, Colo, Sukulu and Tororo, Uganda). The paper presents a model that explains the origin of silicocarbonatites from parental carbonated silicate melts vis liquid immiscibility. This study also explains the link between silicate and carbonatite melts found throughout the world.

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OFR-611: "Geology of the Eastern Plains of San Agustin and Upper Alamosa Creek" released
July 22, 2021

This report gives a detailed treatment of the geology of the eastern Plains of San Agustin and the upper (northern) reaches of Alamosa Creek (aka Alamosa basin). We synthesize previous studies of geology and provide new detail on basin fill stratigraphy and sedimentology. This report is a complement to a hydrogeologic study (due to be released 2021; summarized in OFR-615) regarding groundwater movement, age, and storage under the Plains of San Agustin and the upper Alamosa Creek watershed.

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Petroleum Metrics for NM Available
July 16, 2021

We've assembled a convenient dashboard showing petroleum metrics specific to New Mexico. The metrics include NM rig count, spot prices for oil & gas, and production curves for NM.

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Isochron/West back-issues are now available
May 5, 2021

Isochron/West was published at irregular intervals from 1971 to 1996. The journal was patterned after the journal Radiocarbon and covered isotopic age-dating (except carbon-14) on rocks and minerals from the Western Hemisphere. Initially, the geographic scope of papers was restricted to the western half of the United States, but was later expanded. The journal was sponsored and staffed by the New Mexico Bureau of Mines (now Geology) & Mineral Resources and the Nevada Bureau of Mines & Geology.

Papers from all back-issues are accessible for free in PDF format.

We are actively seeking manuscripts for publication
August 29, 2018

The Publications Group at the New Mexico Bureau of Geology is actively seeking manuscripts for New Mexico Geology and our technical Bulletin and Memoir series.