Geohydrologic and environmental indicators of a dewatered wetland: Ojo del Gallo, San Rafael, New Mexico
William D. White

Abstract:

A fault-controlled spring, the Ojo del Gallo, issues from the Permian San Andres Limestone on the eastern toe of the Zuni Mountains. immediately north of the village of San Rafael, New Mexico. The spring is a surface expression of the ground-water flow system that provides the water supply for the communities of Bluewater, Milan and Grants and supported the uranium industry during its heyday. As a result of agricultural development in the thirties and forties, and the uranium industry in the fifties, sixties and seventies, the spring's discharge declined from a virgin flow condition of approximately 7 cubic feet per second to zero discharge in 1953. A resurgence of the spring occurred in the winter of 1980-81 with the bust of the agricultural and uranium booms. The 27-year period of no discharge allowed eolian deflation to alter the surface expression of the related  spring deposits so much that the historical connection of the Ojo del Gallo to the Rio San Jose was questioned. A combination of geohydrologic and environmental indicators were evaluated and found to support conclusively the continuity of the spring deposits from the Ojo del Gallo to the Rio San Jose.


Citation:

  1. White, William D., 1989, Geohydrologic and environmental indicators of a dewatered wetland: Ojo del Gallo, San Rafael, New Mexico, in: Southeastern Colorado Plateau, Anderson, Orin J.; Lucas, Spencer G.; Love, David W.; Cather, Steven M., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 40th Field Conference, pp. 337-345.

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