skip all navigation
skip banner links
skip primary navigation

Recent & Active Research

Use criteria in the form below to search by subject, program, keyword, feature or region. Combining search criteria may provide few or no results.




 
The current and recent research projects shown below are listed in random order.
Hydrogeology of La Cienega
figure

Building on its basin-scale hydrogeologic studies of the Española Basin (2003-2010), the Aquifer Mapping Program continues to monitor water levels in the area for 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 and the Healy Foundation.

[read more...]

Development of 3D Aquifer Maps
figure

It is surprising that New Mexico does not have a detailed map of all of the productive and accessible aquifers across the state. In a state with as little as 0.24% of our land surface covered with water (the least in the country!), having detailed maps of our groundwater resources and aquifers, is essential. Some of our neighboring states, like Texas and Colorado, have these maps already available, and are successfully being used to administer and conserve water. We have started a new multi-year project to develop 3D maps of aquifers.

[read more...]

MINES Thermodynamic Database
figure

The MINES Thermodynamic Database is an initiative to generate a revised internally consistent thermodynamic dataset for minerals, aqueous species and gases for simulating geochemical processes at hydrothermal conditions in the upper crust (≤5 kbar and ≤600 °C) with focus on ore forming processes.

Alexander GysiEconomic Geologist

[read more...]

Hydrologic Assessment of the Salt Basin Region in New Mexico and Texas
figure

The NM Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources is working with faculty and students at New Mexico Tech, as well as researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey, on a hydrogeologic assessment of the Salt Basin region. Our research project will evaluate the water availability by 1) filling data gaps, where there is currently little or no information about the groundwater system; 2) estimating the overall balance of water in the region including groundwater recharge, storage, evaporation and pumping; 3) updating the current hydrologic model and hydrogeologic framework; and 4) running simulations in the revised model. These efforts will help assess the ability of the region to sustain current groundwater withdrawals in the Salt Basin with implications for future development in New Mexico.

[read more...]

Precursors to Supereruptions at the Valles Caldera, New Mexico
figure
Matt Zimmerer

Despite recognition as one the most iconic volcanoes on the planet, there is still much to learn about Valles caldera in north-central NM. A new collaboration between researchers at the Bureau and from UT Austin is seeking to understand the events leading up to supereruptions. In particular, the team is studying the Cerro Toledo Formation, a group of volcanic domes and related ashes that erupted between the large caldera forming events at 1.61 and 1.23 million-years-ago.

[read more...]

Prelude to the ‘plano’: Assessing the contribution of Jurassic crustal thickening to growth of the Cretaceous Nevadaplano
figure

PhD. Student, Drew Levy, from the University of Nevada-Reno received an award for his proposal and will be working with Dr. Matthew Heizler.

The New Mexico Geochronology Research Laboratory (NMGRL) is a participant in the “Awards for Geochronology Student Research” program (AGeS2 ). AGeS2 grants are funded by the National Science Foundation Earthscope program, in conjunction with the Geological Society of America, and are designed to link students with geochronology laboratories to facilitate in depth student understanding of geochronology methods with hands on experience ultimately leading to publication of new data.

[read more...]

Snowy River Passage, Ft. Stanton Cave
figure

The main objective of this study is to examine hydrogeologic processes in Snowy River Passage by analysis of individual flood events. For a specific flood event, we will measure:

  1. The volume of water that infiltrates downward through the Snowy River streambed
  2. The volume of water that evaporates from the Snowy River stream
  3. The volume of water that discharges at Government Spring

[read more...]

Animas River Valley - Long Term Groundwater Monitoring
figure

Our agency collaborated with the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) on a hydrogeology study along the Animas River in New Mexico in response to the Gold King Mine spill, which occurred in August 2015. The water released from the spill was loaded with dissolved metals and contaminated sediments, which posed a possible risk to groundwater quality in the Animas Valley. This study, wihch included two phases, primarily focused on identifying potential adverse impacts on groundwater quality related to the Gold King Mine spill.

[read more...]

Uranium Transport and Sources in New Mexico: A five-year EPSCoR program
figure

In 2013, a team of New Mexico Tech researchers began a study of uranium transport, uranium source characteristics, and uranium legacy issues in New Mexico. The effort was funded by Energize New Mexico, a five-year NSF EPSCoR program that concluded in 2018 and that encompassed five research components focused on developing non-carbon emitting energy technologies. The uranium team, which included researchers from UNM, addressed uranium deposits and mine waste mainly in the Grants Mining District, including Laguna Pueblo, and on Navajo Nation lands. These uranium studies span a range of science and engineering disciplines, and not only provide new conclusions impacting remediation, hazard management, and uranium extraction, but hold implications for human health.

[read more...]

Dating the Sands of Time

A new dating method, being developed at the NMBG&MR, uses our state-of-the-art geochronology laboratory, funded by NSF and NM Tech, to determine the age of detrital sanidine (tiny volcanic minerals) from sediments.

[read more...]