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Open-file Report - 613
La Cienega Groundwater Level Monitoring, Santa Fe County, New Mexico: 2020 Summary of Findings

Ethan Mamer



Beginning in 2003, the New Mexico Bureau of Geology began a hydrogeological investigation of the Española Basin, with a special focus on the wetlands at La Cienega, Santa Fe County, New Mexico to better understand the inputs that support them (Johnson, 2009). The studies focused on linking the geology of the region and the groundwater flow to help understand the potential influences on the wetlands. The research showed that the primary aquifer that supports the wetlands in La Cienega is the Ancha Formation, which is overlying and connected to the Tesuque Formation. The eroded upper surface of the Tesuque Formation has a network of paleo-valleys that were incised by ancestral rivers. The Ancha Formation aquifer fills these valleys with coarse sediments that are highly transmissive. The wetlands are positioned on the southwestern edge of the Española Basin where the Tesuque and Ancha aquifers thin and pinch-out over older, low-permeability rock units. The thinning of the aquifer forces groundwater to the surface, where it discharges as springs and seeps that support the wetlands. Findings from this research showed that the groundwater feeding the wetlands is highly susceptible to regional influences such as pumping, drought, and land use changes. Both the Tesuque and the Ancha are productive aquifers that have been a source of water for the City of Santa Fe and several other large consumers. The report, using data collected from 2004 to 2013, found water levels in many wells in the primary aquifer around La Cienega had steadily declined since the 1970s (Johnson et al., 2016).

This report is a brief summary of the groundwater level monitoring activities in La Cienega, and updates regarding the 2020 measurements.

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File Name Size Last Modified
OFR-613_La_Cienega_2020.pdf 9.30 MB 02/02/2021 01:47:55 PM
OFR-613_La_Cienega_2020_withAppendix.pdf 9.38 MB 02/02/2021 01:48:00 PM
OFR-613_La Cienega_AppendixHydrographs2020.pdf 167 KB 02/02/2021 01:48:24 PM

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