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Bureau of Geology News

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Study of the Plains of San Agustin and Alamosa Creek area provides regulators and decision makers facts regarding controversial diversion project Catron and Socorro Counties, NM
July 16, 2019

The New Mexico Bureau of Geology is soon to publish the results of a detailed study about the groundwater within the Plains of San Agustin. This research, led by Dr. Alex Rinehart and Dan Koning, involved geologic mapping, analysis of wells and other subsurface data, water geochemistry, extensive water level measurements, analysis of geophysical data.

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Ken Eack
Anniversary of the 2018 Flood Event, San Antonio, New Mexico San Antonio, NM
July 16, 2019

Today is the one year anniversary of the San Antonio, NM, flash flood. The July 16 event flooded at least 18 homes and farm fields in San Antonio and knocked out power to more than 1500 customers in Magdalena. The flood coincided with rain rates in the mountains to the west near 3 inches per hour. Ranchers upstream of the town estimated 30-foot water marks in canyons west of I-25. Parts of town saw up to two feet of mud. The railroad tracks just east of town were damaged as the flood undercut the tracks.

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NMT Seismic Network Records Recent California Quakes
July 9, 2019

Magnitude 6.4 and 7.1 earthquakes struck the Mojave Desert in California on July 4 and July 5, respectively, causing an estimated $1 billion in economic losses. These quakes were the result of shallow strike-slip faulting in the Eastern California shear zone and were separated by nearly 250 M2.5+ tremblors over the course of 34 hours. Both earthquakes were recorded on sensors in the NMT Seismic Observatory.

New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources highlighted in Water Foundation article
July 9, 2019

The Water Foundation published an article in which the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and the recently passed Water Data Act (House Bill 651) are highlighted. HB 651, sponsored by Representatives Melanie A. Stansbury , Gail Armstrong, and Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, gives state agencies funding and technical support to standardize water data collection and create tools that help water managers get quick and easy access to information on water resources. The ultimate goal of this act is to make water data in New Mexico widely and easily available, in order to be able to better understand and manage our state's precious water resources. We are fortunate to have the support and guidance of the Internet of Water, who are technical team, housed at Duke University, who specialize in modern data management. We look forward to seeing this effort evolve and support water science throughout our state.

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Albuquerque Journal article highlights Quebradas Back Country Byway and Bureau publication
July 3, 2019

An Albuquerque Journal article, published on June 28, describes the beauty and geologic interest of our local Quebradas Back Country Byway. In the article, the author highlights the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources' "Geologic Guide of Quebradas", co-published with the BLM, which features numbered stops to help visitors identify what they are looking at. The guide can be obtained at in the Bureau of Geology's bookstore, and at the BLM’s Socorro Office. A downloadable free PDF is also available. Anyone interested in New Mexico's scenic beauty, or fascinating geology, will not be disappointed by a visit to the Quebradas!

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Bureau awarded USGS funding for participation in the National Groundwater Monitoring Network
May 17, 2019

The Aquifer Mapping Program at the NM Bureau of Geology has recently been awarded a third year of a cooperative agreement with the USGS though the National Groundwater Monitoring Network . The NM Bureau of Geology, which joined the network in 2017, is one of many state surveys sharing data to this national program.

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STATEMAP Program awarded $150,000 Socorro, NM
May 15, 2019

The NM Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources was awarded a nearly $150,000 award from the STATEMAP component of the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program for the next year. The competitive program requires a 50/50 match of state and federal funds, and New Mexico remains one of the top-ranked geological surveys in the nation for receiving this award.

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Dr. Virginia McLemore named Geological Society of American Fellow
May 13, 2019

Dr. Virginia McLemore has been named a Fellow of the Geological Society of America for her sustained record of distinguished contributions to the field of geoscience research. She has also been notably productive in applied geoscience, and training of geologists. She will be recognized at the Presidential Address and Awards Ceremony held at the Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America, held in Phoenix, Arizona in September 2019. Congratulations, Ginger!

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Dr. Matthew Heizler named Geological Society of American Fellow
May 13, 2019

Dr. Matthew Heizler has been named a Fellow of the Geological Society of America for his sustained record of distinguished contributions to the field of geoscience research, particularly in the field of argon geochronology. Matt’s 200 published papers underscore his remarkable productivity, but the salient characteristics of his career are his scientific originality and perseverance. He will be recognized at the Presidential Address and Awards Ceremony held at the Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America, held in Phoenix, Arizona in September 2019. Congratulations, Matt!

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Bureau mineralogist part of Mars biosignatures research
May 7, 2019

The recent discovery of manganese oxides on Mars suggests more oxygen was present in the Martian atmosphere the originally thought. A pilot project was recently funded by NASA to test the feasibility of discovering biosignatures in manganese deposits on Mars with payload instruments. There are two primary goals for this project; the first is to identify key chemical signatures and second to identify key mineralogical signatures in natural biologic and abiologic manganese materials. The pilot project will focus on three field sites in New Mexico that display features of formation that range from at or near the surface then extend to the deeper subsurface; essentially examining manganese deposits from surface, cave, geothermal springs, finally fossil hydrothermal environments. Should sufficient variation be noted during the pilot project, additional funding to the project will further characterize terrestrial occurrences for comparison to Mars by utilizing rover payload instruments.


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