Second-day road log: Storrie Lake State Park to Buena Vista Ranch, Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge,
Watrous, and Fort Union National Monument
— Jennifer Lindline, Michael Petronis, and Jospeh Zebrowski
Day 2 will focus on the geology of the Las Vegas basin, east of the Sangre de Cristo uplift. The day begins with a short drive north of Las Vegas to Storrie Lake State Park (Stop 1) to review the geology of the region, study out¬crops and collect fossils within the Upper Shale member of the Carlile Shale, and examine a dike representative of a suite of regional mid-Miocene dikes. The conference proceeds north on NM-518 along the boundary between the Southern Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Southern High Plains physiographic provinces. The route follows the Chinle strike valley then transects the eastern limb of the synclinal structure that defines the Las Vegas basin. The conference visits the Buena Vista Intrusion (Stop 2), a gabbroic intrusion that displays spectacular magma differentiation features and the influence of metamorphic fluids at the contact zone. The conference continues to travel east along the Las Vegas Plateau, passing the village of Golondrinas, crossing the Mora River, and viewing the eastern grasslands before descending into the Mora River valley at the Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge (Stop 3). Here, the group will discuss geologic studies, conserva¬tion research, and ecological restoration at the refuge. The conference then visits the Watrous Valley Ranch (Stop 4) to learn about current climate change research and ground¬water studies being conducted in the region. The afternoon ends at Fort Union National Monument (Stop 5) for discussions of the geology of the Turkey Mountains and the oil and natural gas potential of the Las Vegas basin. Participants may tour the Visitor Center and walk among the Fort Union ruins before regrouping in Las Vegas for the annual banquet at the Historic Plaza Hotel.
Note: Full-text Fall Field Conference road logs for recent guidebooks are only available in print.
- Lindline, Jennifer; Petronis, Michael; Zebrowski, Jospeh, 2015, Second-day road log: Storrie Lake State Park to Buena Vista Ranch, Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge, Watrous, and Fort Union National Monument, in: Geology of the Las Vegas Region, , New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 66th Field Conference, pp. 54-102.