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New Mexico Geological Society
Fall Field Conference Guidebook - 46
Geology of the Santa Fe Region


Paul W. Bauer, Barry S. Kues, Nelia W. Dunbar, Karl E. Karlstrom and Bruce Harrison, eds, 1995, 338 pages.

The geology and scenery of the Santa Fe area are as diverse and stimulating as anywhere in the state, and yet, in 45 years the New Mexico Geological Society has staged only a single field conference here, in 1979 (Guidebook 30). Rather than being a condemnation of Santa Fe, however, we view this instead as a testament to the great size and varied geology of New Mexico, as well as to the membership's willingness to explore all corners of the state. We also believe that it's time for a revisit, in part because of the spectacular scenery, but also because of the tremendous recent advances in understanding Earth processes and the history of north-central New Mexico. The most dramatic shift in earth science investigation since the 1979 trip has resulted from the need for more information concerning the impact of human activities on natural resources and the environment. This trend is reflected in our guidebook by the variety of contributions on hydrogeology, mine and mill remediation and reclamation, environmental geology, and engineering geology. In Santa Fe County, the availability, quantity, and quality of potable water is now a major focus of research and debate. In the Ortiz Mountains and along the upper Pecos River, at sites we will visit on this trip, major efforts are being directed towards evaluating the past and future environmental effects of mining. In many areas within the Rio Grande rift, human-induced ground subsidence results in severe economic impacts. The first day examines the stratigraphy and structure of the Espanola Basin and Abiquiu embayment parts of Rio Grande rift and border rocks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Colorado Plateau. The road log starts in Santa Fe and visits Nambe, Cundiyo, Espanola, Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch. The second day road log is from Santa Fe to Pecos, Rowe, Bernal, Romeroville, and Mineral Hill just outside Las Vegas. This trip traverses much of the stratigraphic section, from 1.7 billion year old gneisses to Cretaceous shales of the Raton Basin. The final day trip takes us southeast from Santa Fe, through the Cerrillos Hills and into the Ortiz Mountains. There are also three supplemental road logs. One from Santa Fe to Santa Fe ski area via Hyde Park road, another from Nambe Falls to Nambe Lake and one from Cerrillos to I-25 via Waldo.

Papers from this guidebook are available for download from the NMGS website.

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Individual papers from this guidebook are available as free downloads from the NMGS site.

Table of Contents available for download (2.01 MB PDF requires Acrobat 7.0 or later)