Deflation origin of Adams and Bartlett Lake basins, Vermejo Park, New Mexico
Charles L. Pillmore
Two large lakes, Adams and Bartlett, fill natural depressions in a gravel-covered pediment atop a high mesa on the east flank of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in northern New Mexico (see Pillmore and Scott, this Guidebook, Fig. 6). The lakes are about 6 mi (10 km) west of Vermejo Park in Colfax County and can be reached by private ranch roads. These lake basins are among several natural basins that occur in the Vermejo Park area, but most are shallow, small and are not surrounded by a gravel-covered bench. Adams and Bartlett Lakes are noteworthy because they are large, deep and are found on a gravel armored surface.
The positions of these lakes, inset in a gravel-covered pediment, require an explanation. Possible origins fall into two categories: catastrophic and noncatastrophic. No evidence of a catastrophic event can be found in the area. Of noncatastrophic natural processes, deflation by wind seems to be the most likely origin.
- Pillmore, Charles L., 1976, Deflation origin of Adams and Bartlett Lake basins, Vermejo Park, New Mexico, in: Vermejo Park, Ewing, Rodney C.; Kues, Barry S., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 27th Field Conference, pp. 121-124.