New Mexico Geological Society Annual Spring Meeting — Abstracts

Geologic Mapping in New Mexico: An Update on the New Mexico STATEMAP Program

Matthew J. Zimmerer1, Michael Timmons1, Phil Miller1, Jake Ross1, Siânin Spaur1 and Daniel Lavery1

1New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, New Mexico Tech, Socorro, NM, 87801,

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The New Mexico STATEMAP Program is the preeminent geologic mapping program in the state. Here, we present an update on the 31-year history of the program, with emphasis on current mapping priorities and derivative research. During the history of the program, ~$7.3 million dollars have been secured through competitive STATEMAP grants. These federal funds are matched 1-to-1, bringing the grand total to ~$14.6 million dollars to support mapping in New Mexico—the most of any state in the country as of 2023. With guidance from the NM STATEMAP Advisory Committee, three topics have been identified for focused, long-term geologic mapping. First, the administration and management of water is the most important issue in the state. As aridification of the American Southwest shows no signs of slowing, access to abundant and clean water remains the top priority. Characterization of aquifers and watersheds via geologic mapping is necessary to protect our limited water resources. Second, New Mexico's active geology generates an array of related hazards. Nine of the 14 natural hazards recognized by the state’s Department of Homeland Security involve geologic processes. Geologic mapping provides critical information to characterize, and sometimes mitigate, the impact from our geologic hazards. Third, much of New Mexico’s economy is linked to the abundant energy and mineral resources in the state. The same formations that host our rich hydrocarbon reservoirs are now being considered for storage of atmospheric carbon dioxide, helping to mitigate climate change impacts felt far outside the state. Geologic mapping is required to identify and safely use our resources as well as to select prime targets for carbon sequestration. The Advisory Committee has also selected three regions of the state as long-term mapping priorities. These areas are the Rio Grande watershed, the Pecos River watershed, and the San Juan basin. These regions are home to the majority of the state’s population and critical economic sectors. Prior work in these regions largely focused on 1:24,000-scale geologic mapping within or adjacent to major metropolitan corridors. New efforts are mostly centered on sparsely populated areas of equal importance, but have not yet been the focus of dedicated, detailed mapping. Of the 121,598 square miles of New Mexico, approximately 33% of the state has been mapped at 1:24,000-scale via the STATEMAP Program. Recently, the New Mexico STATEMAP Program has reorganized priorities to align with the goals of the U.S. Geoframework Initiative, a USGS Program that seeks to produce a seamless 2D and 3D map of the country. Much of our mapping is now focused on laying the groundwork for 1:100,000-scale compilations of large regions of the state to support this effort. The creation of 3D subsurface models, data synthesis projects, and updating published maps to modern standards further supports developing a multi-resolution seamless geoframework of the nation. Our geologic maps can be accessed from our website ( or from our interactive webmap application (


Geologic Mapping, STATEMAP, Hazards, 3D Subsurface Model, Geochronology

pp. 81

2024 New Mexico Geological Society Annual Spring Meeting
April 19, 2024, Macey Center, Socorro, NM
Online ISSN: 2834-5800