Geothermal hydrology in the Rio Grande rift, north-central New Mexico
Frank W. Trainer and F. P. Lyford


Although the Rio Grande rift is shown by heat-flow measurements to be the site of a pronounced geothermal anomaly (Reiter and others, 1975), it contains relatively few thermal springs, and only a few of them have been investigated in detail. In north-central New Mexico, the most intensively studied are those in the Jemez Mountains (fig. 1), for which many chemical and other data are available (Table 1). In that region, geologic mapping (Smith and others, 1970; Wood and Northrop, 1946), geophysical surveys (Jiracek and others, 1975), and geothermal exploration and drilling (Dondanville, 1978; Pettit, 1975) facilitate interpretation of the hydrologic data. Elsewhere in the rift in north-central New Mexico (near Taos and near Ojo Caliente (no. 1, fig. 1C), in the San Luis basin north of Santa Fe, and in the Lucero uplift at the western margin of the Albuquerque basin southwest of Albuquerque), considerable information has been provided by mapping and geophysical surveys, but less is known of the geothermal phenomena. This report briefly summarizes the geothermal hydrology of part of the southwestern Jemez Mountains, and examines, against this background, the hydrologic and geothermal data available from the other areas of thermal springs.


  1. Trainer, Frank W.; Lyford, F. P., 1979, Geothermal hydrology in the Rio Grande rift, north-central New Mexico, in: Santa Fe Country, Ingersoll, Raymond V.; Woodward, Lee A.; James, H. L., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 30th Field Conference, pp. 299-306.

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