Field geophysical training of astronauts in the Taos region
P. W. Dickerson


Astronaut teams acquired ~16 km of gravity data during a planetary exploration simulation conducted in the vicinity of Taos, New Mexico. In the course of the investigation, a previously unsuspected fault - the Pingüino fault - with hundreds of meters of displacement was discovered. The gravimetric survey (summer, 1999) was the first phase of a geophysical assessment of the ground-water resources around Taos, an area of rapid population growth, and it was executed to help delineate buried structures that significantly influence ground-water flow and accumulation in the valley. Participants in the investigation learned a technique with direct relevance for lunar and planetary exploration and acquired data that were incorporated into subsurface geological and hydrological models of Taos valley.


  1. Dickerson, P. W., 2004, Field geophysical training of astronauts in the Taos region, in: Geology of the Taos Region, Brister, Brian S.; Bauer, Paul W.; Read, AdamS.; Lueth, Virgil W., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 55th Field Conference, pp. 278-281.

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