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Springs of the Rio Grande Gorge, Taos County, New Mexico: Inventory, data report, and preliminary geochemistry - Open-file Report 506

Between August 2006 and April 2007, the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources conducted a spring inventory and preliminary geochemical sampling as a first step in evaluating the hydrogeologic connections between the ground water and the Rio Grande in Taos County. The objective and principal task was to locate, inventory, describe, and selectively sample the springs of the Rio Grande gorge. The springs in the Rio Grande gorge appear to naturally fall into zones or clusters that coincide with either a hydrologically important geologic feature, such as a fault or a volcano, or one of the perennial tributaries of the Rio Grande. Spring data are evaluated in the context of the regional geologic and hydrologic framework.

Basic data are presented for springs surveyed in the following locations: • the Sunshine Valley in the Ute Mountain reach, • the Cerro Chiflo area, above the Cerro gaging station, • the west side of the gorge near Bear Crossing, • the Arroyo Hondo area, • Taos Junction Bridge, • Pilar, and • The Racecourse reach of the Rio Grande, between the BLM quartzite site and the county line.

Water samples were collected from 31 springs and analyzed for general chemistry, trace metals, stable isotopes, and for several relative age-dating analyses, including tritium, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and carbon-14. The report contains maps of the locations of inventoried springs, data tables that characterize the springs, the results of geochemical sampling and laboratory analysis of spring water chemistry and a variety of tracers, and a brief summary of the location and field parameters of each major cluster of springs.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Division Hydrogeology
Subdivision Aquifer Mapping Program
Contact Name Stacy Timmons
Contact Email