skip all navigation
skip banner links
skip primary navigation

Open-file Report - 561
Regional water table map of the northeastern Tularosa Basin region, Otero and Lincoln counties, New Mexico

Lewis Land, Brigitte Felix, and Talon Newton



A regional map of the water table in the northeastern Tularosa Basin region has been prepared based on elevations of springs and well water levels. Water levels were measured by the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources from 2009-2011. This map extends up to the western escarpment of the Sacramento Mountains, and is an extension of the water table map of the southern Sacramentos prepared by Land et a l. (2012).

In general, within the area indicated on the map, most ground water flows from east to west following topography. Near the crests of the highest mountains in the region, from the Sierra Blanca mountains to the southern Sacramentos, a ground water divide exists wherein some ground water flows west into the Tularosa Basin region, while the rest flows eastward toward the Pecos Slope. Water flowing west into the Tularosa Basin eventually flows southward.

The aquifer system in the southern Sacramento Mountains is developed primarily within the Yeso Formmation, and the vast majority of water supply wells produce from fractured carbonates, siltstones and mud stones within that rock unit (Land et al., 2012). By contrast, aquifers in the northeastern Tularosa Basin region occur within several different geologic formations with highly variable hydrologic properties. The heterogeneous aquifer system in this area results in part from the fact that the mapped area covers several distinctly different physiographic provinces with differing underlying lithologies. The primary physiographic provinces, which were identified by Mamer et a l. (2014), include the Tularosa Basin, the Carrizozo hilly plain, the northern high mountains (i.e. Sierra Blanca and Nogal Peaks), and the southern high mountains (southern Sacramento Mountains). A significant number of wells are screened in two or more aquifers. The water table represented on this map thus reflects water levels in multiple water-bearing zones, and is intended to show regional ground water patterns and flow paths. Local conditions may deviate from the larger scale, general trends shown on this regional map.

$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-561.pdf 51.41 MB 02/01/2021 01:49:36 PM
OFR_561_LR.pdf 13.18 MB 02/01/2021 01:49:55 PM

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.