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Postcards from the Field

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Dan Koning
Geologic model of hydrostratigraphic units under the northwestern Albuquerque Basin
October 28, 2022

I am drawing on my experience in mapping the badlands northwest and west of Rio Rancho to make a geologic model of hydrostratigraphic units (HSUs) under the northwestern Albuquerque Basin. Hydrostratigraphic units are differentiated based on inferred groundwater-related properties of an aquifer, like permeability or porosity, as opposed to strictly outcrop-related criteria used to differentiate lithostratigraphic units.

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Up close and personal with the real squished clasts of the Funzie Conglomerate
August 10, 2022

The Funzie conglomerate started off as a thick package of pebbles, cobbles, and boulders within a sandy matrix that were eroded off of an immense mountain range formed during the Caledonian orogeny, a relatively early phase of the larger collision between what are now the eastern and southern edges of North America and parts of Europe and South America. This broader event shaped the geology of much of North America, including the Appalachians and the Ancestral Rocky Mountains uplifts! As the Caledonian orogeny progressed, the sediments of the Funzie were buried and deformed. However, the total penetrative strain that these rocks accumulated varied in space due to heterogeneous deformation (see figure). These differences are recorded in the shape of clasts, that is the clasts act as strain markers.