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Research — Water Resources

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There are 10 projects that match your criteria:
Hydrogeology of the Eastern Tularosa Basin
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Desalinated brackish water has been discussed in New Mexico as a possible alternative supply for drinking water. The communities of Tularosa and Alamogordo continue to explore using brackish water as a municipal water supply, and plans are quite advanced toward production. The communities in this region are actively seeking information to insure protection of fresh water supplies while implementing the use of alternate source water sources - brackish groundwater.

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Hydrogeologic investigation of the northern Taos Plateau, Taos County, New Mexico
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The Taos Plateau in northern Taos County is a high-elevation, basalt-capped plain that lies between the Rio Grande and the Tusas Mountains. The plateau overlaps the New Mexico-Colorado border and forms the west rim of the Rio Grande gorge. The hydrogeologic field investigation of the northern Taos Plateau, conducted between October 2007 and October 2009, is the first comprehensive assessment of groundwater conditions on the Taos Plateau and interactions between local aquifers and the Rio Grande. The investigative approach integrates new and existing geologic, geophysical, hydrologic, and geochemical data. This study has been undertaken in parallel with a major investigation of the springs in the Rio Grande gorge (Bauer et al., 2007). These studies advance understanding of the groundwater system in the northern Taos Plateau, and the interconnection of groundwater and surface water along the Rio Grande in northern Taos County.

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Geology and hydrogeology of the Arroyo Seco Area, Taos County, New Mexico
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This report describes the geology and hydrogeology of the southwestern Arroyo Seco quadrangle in Taos County, New Mexico. This area is approximately eight miles north of the Town of Taos and is undergoing extensive residential development. The New Mexico Office of the State Engineer (NMOSE) Hydrology Bureau has identified a need for more detailed hydrogeologic information to improve the NMOSE groundwater simulation model. To this end, I compiled existing geologic, hydrologic, and geophysical data, performed new geologic mapping, and measured water levels in 43 domestic wells. The synthesis of these data leads to an improved understanding of the distribution and flow patterns of groundwater in the area and the relation of groundwater to surface water, in addition to clarifying the geologic controls on the groundwater system.

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Animas River Valley - Long Term Groundwater Monitoring
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Our agency has been collaborating 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.

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Hydrologic Assessment of the San Juan Basin
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The San Juan Basin, an important source of oil and gas located in northwestern New Mexico, has recently experienced renewed production from the Cretaceous Mancos Shale through the use of horizontal drilling and hydrofracturing. The Bureau of Land Management commissioned this study of the possible impacts of new exploration and development of this resource on the land surface and on the groundwater supply.

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Development of 3D Aquifer Maps
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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.

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Hydrogeology of the La Cienega Wetlands
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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.

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Hydrogeologic Investigation at White Sands National Monument
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This study focused on the shallow aquifer that occurs in the dune field with depth-to-water ranging from 1 to 3 feet below interdunal surfaces. We used hydrologic and geochemical data to identify water sources that contribute to the shallow groundwater system in the dune field and to assess how this system responds to water level fluctuations in the adjacent regional basin-fill aquifer. Hydrologic modeling was used to assess the effects of projected additional groundwater pumping in Alamogordo on the shallow dune aquifer on the Monument.

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Hydrogeology of Central Jornada Del Muerto: Implications for Travel along El Camino Real De Tierra Adentro, Sierra and Doña Ana Counties, New Mexico
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Between 1598 and the 1880s, El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro (El Camino Real) served as a 1,600 mile long trade route between Mexico City and San Juan Pueblo/Ohkay Owingeh, New Mexico (north of Santa Fe). El Camino Real transects the Jornada del Muerto, located in southern New Mexico (see below figure). This stretch of the trail is thought to have been one of the most feared sections along El Camino Real due, primarily, to the scarcity of water.

The study area is located primarily in the central portion of the Jornada del Muerto Basin, extending from just North of Engle to just south of Point of Rocks and spanning the entire basin from the Caballo Mountains in the west to the San Andres Mountains to the east.

We characterized the local geology and hydrogeology of the central Jornada del Muerto with a purpose of identifying features that likely influenced the location of El Camino Real de Tierro Adentro. This study aimed to assess the relationship between the location of the trail and parajes (campsites) and water sources that would be available to travelers on the trail. The study was funded by the New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) and is the fulfillment of one of the measures specified in a mitigation plan that identifies a series of measures specifically intended to mitigate adverse effects to El Camino Real.

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Scientists Use Ancient Ore Deposits to Predict Ground Water Quality and Paleoclimate
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Two Bureau of Geology scientists, in collaboration with scientists at the United State Geological Survey, have discovered similarities between ground water systems that formed ore deposits 10 million years ago and modern ground water in the Rio Grande Rift. They reported their work in an invited presentation at the 2000 Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America.

Dr. Virgil Lueth, mineralogist/ economic geologist, and Lisa Peters, senior lab associate at the New Mexico Geochronological Research Lab, have been studying the mineral jarosite in ore deposits from Chihuahua, Mexico, to Albuquerque.

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