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Open-file Report - 544
Hydrogeologic investigation of the northern Taos Plateau, Taos County, New Mexico

Peggy Johnson and Paul Bauer



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.

This report contains seven detailed geologic cross sections and a regional geologic map, maps of surface drainages and closed basins, locations of inventoried wells, and data tables of well characteristics, water-level measurements, and results of geochemical sampling. It also contains interpretive maps of a regional water-table surface, the physical, chemical and isotopic characteristics of groundwater including temperature, distribution of dissolved ions and elements, and apparent 14C, tritium (3H), and chlorofluorocarbon groundwater ages. Interpretive plots of groundwater geochemistry provide insight into controlling hydrogeochemical processes, sources of groundwater, and groundwater flow paths. When integrated, these multiple data sets support a conceptual hydrogeologic model of the groundwater and surface water systems of the Taos Plateau.

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Open-file Reports are available as free downloads or on CD/DVD-ROM (see below). Note that these reports are subject to frequent revisions and may be unavailable when being modified. The Last Modified date listed here reflects when a file was last saved and may not be the date this report was last revised.

File Name Size Last Modified 54.37 MB 02/01/2021 10:03:13 AM
OFR-544_Report.pdf 29.45 MB 02/01/2021 10:01:12 AM
OFR-544_AppendixA_TP_Well_Records.pdf 19.38 MB 02/01/2021 10:01:40 AM
OFR-544_AppendixB_TP_Sampling_Chemistry.pdf 6.18 MB 02/01/2021 10:02:00 AM
GIS Data: 422 KB 02/01/2021 10:02:11 AM
TaosPlateau_contours.mdb 3.63 MB 03/13/2012 05:17:26 PM
OFR544_tables.xls 262 KB 03/13/2012 05:21:26 PM

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