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Geology and hydrogeology of the Arroyo Seco Area, Taos County, New Mexico

Geologic map from OFR-492
(click for a larger version)

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.

The report includes a geologic map of the southwestern portion of the Arroyo Seco quadrangle, a subsurface bedrock map of the detailed study area, two geologic cross sections, two fence diagrams, and a water table elevation map. From these data and interpretations I derive a conceptual hydrogeologic model for the area and address how the groundwater system may respond to future development and/or drought.


  1. Rawling, Geoffrey C., 2005, Geology and hydrogeology of the Arroyo Seco area, Taos County, New Mexico; Final technical report, New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources, Open-file Report 492, 46p. [7 plates].

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