Hydrologic characteristics of the Ojo Alamo Sandstone, San Juan Basin, New Mexico
— Clay L. Kilmer and T. E. Kelly


The Ojo Alamo Sandstone is a Paleocene sandstone and shale formation that is utilized as an aquifer in the south and west portions of the inner San Juan Basin. This aquifer is sandwiched between the Kirtland Shale and the Nacimiento Formation, two units that seldom produce useful quantities of potable water. The Ojo Alamo Sandstone was deposited in alluvial fans and channels upon erosional surfaces of the Kirtland Shale. Sediments appear to have originated, at least in part, from southwestern Colorado. Yields of wells range from 5 to 350 gpm. Transmissivity values range from 0.05 to 470 ft2/day. Specific capacities range from 0.02 to 5.2 gpm/ft. The most prolific water wells tapping this aquifer appear to be completed in channel-fill deposits. The aquifer is composed of multiple sands and penetration of all sands by water wells is essential for maximum production. The sands may be extremely friable and often cause difficulties in drilling, completing and producing wells. Improper well completions may result in sanding problems and low well efficiency. 

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Recommended Citation:

  1. Kilmer, Clay L.; Kelly, T. E., 1992, Hydrologic characteristics of the Ojo Alamo Sandstone, San Juan Basin, New Mexico, in: San Juan Basin IV, Lucas, Spencer, G.; Kues, Barry S.; Williamson, Thomas E.; Hunt, Adrian P., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 43rd Field Conference, pp. 409-411. https://doi.org/10.56577/FFC-43.409

[see guidebook]