New Mexico Geological Society Annual Spring Meeting
April 7, 2017

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A Hydrogeochemical Analysis and Recharge Evaluation of Cienega Spring Located in the Sandia Mountains, New Mexico

Alexandra J Minitrez1, Laura J Crossey1 and Christopher McGibbon1

1University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 87131,

In the southwestern United States, water resources are increasingly depleted due to multiple demands including anthropogenic use and climate change. Springs are particularly sensitive to change, and also serve as an important habitat. In an effort to assist water managers, we report on the status of springs in the Sandia Mountains, New Mexico. We focus on Cienega Spring, located in the East Mountain area, as it serves as a water source to over 50 surrounding homes. The spring is tapped by pipes using gravity, and overflow supplies a stream and wetlands. Total discharge rates are unknown, as is any seasonal change in discharge. In order to examine potential hydrologic flowpaths, we perform a hydrogeochemical analysis on the spring and compare with regional groundwater. We have also installed continuous sensors to examine seasonal fluctuations in recharge and use. Performing a hydrogeochemical analysis and recharge evaluation will allow for a conclusion regarding Cienega Spring and provide further insight on spring flow sustainability.


Sandia, Springs, Hydrogeochemical, Flow Sustainability

pp. 56

2017 New Mexico Geological Society Annual Spring Meeting
April 7, 2017, Macey Center, New Mexico Tech campus, Socorro, NM