skip all navigation
skip banner links
skip primary navigation

Open-file Report - 550
Geologic and hydrologic maps of the Ancha Formation, Santa Fe County

Peggy S. Johnson and Daniel J. Koning



The Pliocene to lower Pleistocene Ancha Formation, upper Santa Fe Group, is a relatively coarse deposit found south and west of Santa Fe, northern New Mexico. It extends southward from the downdropped southern Española Basin of the Rio Grande rift onto a weakly faulted structural platform that extends to the Rio Galisteo, a distance of approximately 30 km (19 mi). The Ancha Formation is found as far west as the La Bajada escarpment (also ~30 km distance). The Ancha Formation is texturally variable but predominately a sand to gravelly sand, with clayey-silty, fine-grained sand increasing towards the southwest. Examination of well logs indicates that the lower part of the Ancha Formation is commonly gravelly. Due in part to its relative coarseness, the Ancha Formation forms a locally important shallow aquifer for the Santa Fe area. The characteristics of the formation’s base and its thickness are important to regional groundwater studies and are also useful for other studies involving basin stratigraphy, structure, geophysical interpretations, and basin evolution. The base of the Ancha Formation coincides with a Pliocene erosional surface overlying tilted and faulted beds of the Tesuque Formation (upper Oligocene-upper Miocene), the Espinaso Formation (upper Eocene to lower Oligocene), the Galisteo Formation (Eocene), and, locally, older Mesozoic and Paleozoic units. In order to characterize the thickness and the basal contact of the Ancha Formation, three data sets were evaluated: (1) cuttings and geophysical logs of key exploration drill holes and water wells, including monitoring wells; (2) lower resolution, generalized lithologic logs from water wells; and (3) outcrop exposures of the basal contact. This report presents the latest lithologic, thickness, and hydrologic observations for the Ancha Formation in the Santa Fe embayment in the form of four map plates: (1) Plate 1, elevation contour map of the base of the Ancha Formation; (2) Plate 2, isopach map showing thickness of the Ancha Formation; (3) Plate 3, saturated thickness of the Ancha Formation (2000 to 2005 conditions); and (4) Plate 4, subcrop geologic map showing distribution of strata underlying the Ancha Formation. Supporting data are presented in five tables.

$10.00 Buy Now
CD or DVD-ROM format CD or DVD-ROM format

Also available as a free download.


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
OFR-550.pdf 6.76 MB 02/01/2021 10:40:18 AM 132.30 MB 02/01/2021 10:44:37 AM
GIS Data: 585 KB 02/01/2021 10:36:09 AM
OFR550_plate1_Ancha_Fm.pdf 5.37 MB 02/01/2021 10:40:34 AM
OFR550_plate2_Ancha_Isopach.pdf 5.79 MB 02/01/2021 10:40:41 AM
OFR550_plate3_Ancha_Saturation.pdf 5.75 MB 02/01/2021 10:40:47 AM
OFR550_plate4_Ancha_Subcrop.pdf 5.45 MB 02/01/2021 10:40:56 AM 106.63 MB 02/01/2021 10:42:20 AM
Ancha_5Tables_Dec2012.xls 290 KB 01/28/2013 11:29:46 AM

Most open-file reports are PDF files and require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software to view. These reports may also contain GIS data or other file types, and some are collections of files that are intended to run from a CD-ROM or local hard drive.