The New Mexico Geological Society
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Annual Fall Field Conference
2015: Geology of the Meadowlands,
Las Vegas Area — September 30th - October 3rd

Every fall since 1950, the Society has held a field conference to some part of New Mexico and, in some cases, to border states. From the beginning, the conference has been accompanied by a guidebook with detailed road logs as well as peer-reviewed papers relevant to the region. These guidebooks remain as invaluable references to the geology of the conference study area and most are available for purchase.

Widespread enthusiasm for the Fall Field Conferences has led to receipt of many proposals for future conferences. Therefore, the schedule of upcoming field conferences is now outlined for the next several years. The field conference venues and names of organizers are listed below. All members are encouraged to volunteer assistance to the organizers or to contribute to the guidebooks. If you live near or are involved with the geology in the vicinity of the future conference sites, please consider contacting one of the organizers.

2015 Conference:

Call For Papers

The 2015 NMGS Fall Field Conference will lead participants on a journey through geologic time as exposed in and around Las Vegas, NM. 

2015 route
2015 Field Conference Route (PDF version available)

Day 1 will take participants to view Proterozoic rock types and structural relationships within the southern Sangre de Cristo Mountains’ Las Vegas Range.  The group will then travel from Mineral Hill to Johnson’s Mesa and the upper Gallinas Canyon to look at Paleo- and Mesoproterozoic plutonic and metamorphic rocks.  Leaders will share geochronologic, structural, and igneous geochemistry data that shed new light on the Proterozoic tectonomagmatic history of the region.  Participants will have the opportunity to look at a variety of igneous intrusive relationships, discuss the timing of plutonism relative to deformation, and consider the tectonic setting of ca. 1.4 Ga granite magmatism.  The afternoon will include a visit to the Great Unconformity and end with a barbeque at the United World College (tentative) in the town of Montezuma.

Day 2 will focus on the geology Las Vegas basin.  Leaders will guide participants through the local stratigraphy and Paleozoic-Mesozoic-Cenozoic structural development of the region.  Discussions may include the oil and natural gas resource potential in the basin. Lunch will be enjoyed at the Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge where leaders will share the geology of the Wind River Ranch, the Turkey Mountains, and the Fort Union region.  The group will visit select volcanoes and volcanic features of the Mora-Ocate volcanic field and contemplate its petrologic evolution.   Leaders will coordinate an afternoon stop at Fort Union National Monument.  Participants will regroup in Las Vegas for the annual banquet at the Historic Plaza Hotel and Event Center.

Day 3 will consider the hydrostratigraphy and water budget of the Las Vegas region.  The day will begin at Storrie Lake where guest speakers will discuss the history of the Storrie Project and water management issues for the high desert town of Las Vegas.  Participants will visit several localities along the Storrie Project conveyance system ending at the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge for additional discussions of water management problems (better supply, additional storage, and more efficient conveyance) and proposed solutions.  The day’s discussion will undoubtedly include the factors that influenced the remarkable September 2013 flood of the Gallinas River.


Future Conferences:

2016: Geology of the Belen Area

If you have an idea for a future field conference, please contact the President of the NMGS.

Photos From Past Fall Field Conferences

Everyone is invited to share their best digital photos of past conferences with the rest of the Society membership. Please contact the society webmaster via the 'comments' link below.


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