USGS - science for a changing world

Scientific Investigations Report 2004—5189

Precipitation; Ground-Water Age; Ground-Water Nitrate Concentrations, 1995-2002; and Ground-Water Levels, 2002-03 in Eastern Bernalillo County, New Mexico

U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2004—5189, 28 pages (Published 2004)

By Paul J. Blanchard

Prepared in Cooperation with Bernalillo County

This report is available online in pdf format: USGS sir2004-5189 (6 MB)

ABSTRACT

Cover of SIR 2004—5189.

The eastern Bernalillo County study area consists of about 150 square miles and includes all of Bernalillo County east of the crests of the Sandia and Manzanita Mountains. Soil and unconsolidated alluvial deposits overlie fractured and solution-channeled limestone in most of the study area. North of Interstate Highway 40 and east of New Mexico Highway 14, the uppermost consolidated geologic units are fractured sandstones and shales. Average annual precipitation at three long-term National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration precipitation and snowfall data-collection sites was 14.94 inches at approximately 6,300 feet (Sandia Ranger Station), 19.06 inches at about 7,020 feet (Sandia Park), and 23.07 inches at approximately 10,680 feet (Sandia Crest). The periods of record at these sites are 1933-74, 1939-2001, and 1953-79, respectively. Average annual snowfall during these same periods of record was 27.7 inches at Sandia Ranger Station, 60.8 inches at Sandia Park, and 115.5 inches at Sandia Crest. Seven precipitation data-collection sites were established during December 2000-March 2001. Precipitation during 2001-03 at three U.S. Geological Survey sites ranged from 66 to 94 percent of period-of-record average annual precipitation at corresponding National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration long-term sites in 2001, from 51 to 75 percent in 2002, and from 34 to 81 percent during January through September 2003. Missing precipitation records for one site resulted in the 34-percent value in 2003. Analyses of concentrations of chlorofluorocarbons CFC-11, CFC-12, and CFC-113 in ground-water samples from nine wells and one spring were used to estimate when the sampled water entered the ground-water system. Apparent ages of ground water ranged from as young as about 10 to 16 years to as old as about 20 to 26 years. Concentrations of dissolved nitrates in samples collected from 24 wells during 2001-02 were similar to concentrations in samples collected from the same wells during 1995, 1997, and (or) 1998. Nitrate concentrations in two wells were larger than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency primary drinking-water regulation of 10 milligrams per liter in 1998 and in 2001. Ground-water levels were measured during June and July 2002 and during June, July, and August 2003 in 18 monitoring wells. The median change in water level for all 18 wells was a decline of 2.03 feet.

CONTENTS

Abstract

Introduction

Purpose and Scope

Description of Study Area

Acknowledgments

Precipitation

Precipitation at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Sites

Snowfall at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Sites

Precipitation at U.S. Geological Survey Sites

Ground-Water Age

Dissolved Nitrate Concentrations, 1995-2002

Ground-Water-Level Changes, 2002-03

Summary

References

Supplemental Data


REPORT AVAILABILITY

This report is available online in pdf format: USGS SIR 2004-5189 (6 MB)
To view the PDF document, you need the Adobe Acrobat® Reader installed on your computer. (A free copy of the Acrobat® Reader may be downloaded from Adobe Systems Incorporated.)

Suggested citation:

Blanchard, P. J., 2004, Precipitation; Ground-Water Age; Ground-Water Nitrate Concentrations, 1995-2002; and Ground-Water Levels, 2002-03 in Eastern Bernalillo County, New Mexico: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 20045189

For more information, contact the New Mexico Publications Unit.

USGS New Mexico Publications New Mexico Water Science Center

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2004/5189/index.html
Page Contact Information: N.M. Water Science Center
Page Last Modified: Thursday, 10-Jan-2013 18:35:42 EST