New Mexico Geological Society
Fall Field Conference Guidebook - 35
Rio Grande Rift: Northern New Mexico


W. Scott Baldridge, Patricia W. Dickerson, Robert E. Riecker and Jiri Zidek, eds, 1984, 379 pages.

Welcome to the Thirty-fifth Field Conference of the New Mexico Geological Society, cosponsored this year by the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The theme is the Rio Grande rift. The first-day road log is from Taos to Embudo, Dixon, Penasco, Vadito, Tres Ritos, Holman Hill, and back to Taos via U.S. Hill and Talpa. This route circles the Picuris Range, an east trending spur on the west side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. It forms part of the division between the San Luis Valley and Espanola Basin segments of the Rio Grande rift. The second-day road log is from Taos to Hondo Canyon, Questa, Red River, Amalia, and back to Taos. This tours focuses on the complex geology of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, a narrow and rugged mountain uplift that extends for more than 300 km north and northwestward from Glorieta Pass east of Santa Fe, New Mexico to Poncha Pass southwest of Salida, Colorado. The guide is organized in three segments that permit examination of progressively higher structural and stratigraphic levels in the Taos Range. The third-day road log sets out from Taos and travels to Tres Piedras, Tusas Spring Canyon, Tres Piedras, Las Tablas, Petaca, La Madera, and Ojo Caliente. This tour will cross the Rio Grande rift from Taos to Tres Piedras. At Tres Piedras the route leaves the Taos Plateau and enters the Tusas Mountains where Precambrian rocks are partially covered by primarily Tertiary sedimentary deposits of the El Rito and Los Pinos formations. Throughout the Tusas Mountains there are also exposures of pre-rift volcanic rocks of intermediate composition, similar to those of the San Juan and Latir volcanic fields.

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Table of Contents:

Note —Downloads of the papers below are free. Road logs, mini-papers, and some other sections of recent guidebooks are only available in print.

Front Matter: (includes Dedication, President's Message, & Conference Organizer's Message)

Download (2.52 MB PDF)

Roadlogs: (each includes listed mini-papers)


Rio Grande rift--Problems and perspectives (7.72 MB PDF)
— W. Scott Baldridge, Kenneth H. Olsen, and Jonathan F. Callender, pp. 1-12. [ABSTRACT]
Teleseismic deep sounding of the velocity structure beneath the Rio Grande rift (2.27 MB PDF)
— P. M. Davis, E. C. Parker, J. R. Evans, H. M. Iyer, and K. H. Olsen, pp. 29-38. [ABSTRACT]
Preliminary interpretation of heat flow and radioactivity in the Rio Grande rift zone in central and northern Colorado (4.12 MB PDF)
— Edward R. Decker, Gerald J. Bucher, Kenneth L. Buelow, and H. P. Heasler, pp. 45-50.
A geophysical study of the San Luis Basin (3.77 MB PDF)
— G. Randy Keller, Lindrith Cordell, G. H. Davis, W. J. Peeples, and G. White, pp. 51-57. [ABSTRACT]
The Chama-El Rio Member of the Tesuque Formation, Espanola Basin, New Mexico (4.36 MB PDF)
— Leslie M. Ekas, Raymond V. Ingersoll, W. Scott Baldridge, and Muhammad Shafiqullah, pp. 137-143. [ABSTRACT]
Volcanic and sedimentary stratigraphy of the Rio Grande gorge and the late Cenozoic geologic evolution of the southern San Luis Valley (9.13 MB PDF)
— M. A. Dungan, W. R. Muehlberger, L. Leininger, C. Peterson, Nancy J. McMilan, G. Gunn, M. Lindstrom, and L. Haskin, pp. 157-170. [ABSTRACT]
Geology of the Cochiti mining district, Sandoval County, New Mexico (3.74 MB PDF)
— David J. Wronkiewicz, David I. Norman, Gary A. Parkison, and Karl M. Emanuel, pp. 219-222. [ABSTRACT]
Fluid chemistry of the Baca geothermal field, Valles caldera, New Mexico (3.85 MB PDF)
— Art F. White, Joan M. Delany, Truesdell, Alfred, Janik, Kathy, Goff, Fraser E., and Harrison Crecraft, pp. 257-263. [ABSTRACT]
Geochemical behavior of a hot dry rock geothermal reservoir (5.26 MB PDF)
— Charles O. Grigsby, Fraser E. Goff, Trujillo, Patricio E., Jr., and Dale A. Counce, pp. 265-270. [ABSTRACT]
Rio Grande prehistory: Prelude to contact (556 KB PDF)
— Linda S. Cordell, pp. 287-290.
A comparative study of early historic "Tewa" pottery (1.91 MB PDF)
— Nathan W. Bower and David H. Snow, pp. 291-296.
Railroads of the San Luis Valley (2.08 MB PDF)
— Allen L. Bowman, pp. 297-300.
First-day road log from Taos to Embudo, Dixon, Penasco, Vadito, Tres Ritos, Holman Hill, and back to Taos via U.S. Hill and Talpa
— Kim Manley, pp. 303-319.


The Precambrian rocks near Pilar
— Jeffrey A. Grambling, pp. 305-306. [ABSTRACT]
Second-day road log from Taos to Hondo Canyon, Questa, Red River, Amalia, and back to Taos
— Peter W. Lipman and Reed, John C., Jr., pp. 321-347.
Third-day road log from Taos to Tres Piedras, Tusas, Spring Canyon, Tres Piedras, Las Tablas, Petaca, La Madera, and Ojo Caliente
— Kim Manley and S. Judson May, pp. 349-376.


Tres Piedras Granite
— Reinhard A. Wobus, pp. 353. [ABSTRACT]
Precambrian rocks in the Tusas Mountains
— Reinhard A. Wobus, pp. 358. [ABSTRACT]
Rhyolite domes and flows at No Agua Peaks, New Mexico
— Richard Breese, pp. 373-374.

Recommended Guidebook Citation:

  1. Baldridge, W. S.; Dickerson, P. W.; Riecker, R. E.; Zidek, J.; [eds.], 1984, Rio Grande Rift (Northern New Mexico), New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 35th Annual Field Conference, 379 pp.