Potentiometric Surface Map of the Southern High Plains Aquifer in the Cannon Air Force Base Area, Curry County, New Mexico, 2020

Scientific Investigations Map 3504
Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force Civil Engineer Center
By:  and 



Declining water levels and the potential impact on water resources on and around Cannon Air Force Base (AFB), New Mexico, has necessitated an up-to-date review of the potentiometric surface to evaluate the availability of water resources for future use. Analysis of groundwater-flow directions and hydraulic gradients can provide an understanding of depletion by heavy groundwater pumping and recharge through playa lakes, as well as the relationship between the groundwater levels and underlying geology. The objectives of this study, conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force Civil Engineer Center, are to assist Cannon AFB in understanding and interpreting current and local hydrologic conditions and to evaluate groundwater-level change from 2015 to 2020 using new and historical data. A groundwater potentiometric surface contour map was constructed to better understand the Southern High Plains aquifer around Cannon AFB and to show the altitude of the water-table surface and groundwater-flow patterns. Four hydrographs were created from periodic measurements of groundwater levels in wells on and around Cannon AFB to provide information about historical groundwater-level changes and visualize trends from the water-level records. The long-term trend present in all four hydrographs is a steady decline in groundwater levels, with some areas declining faster than others. The groundwater-level change map presented in this study provides a visual representation of the change in groundwater level from the winter 2015 to winter 2020 measuring events. Results show that among corresponding wells measured in 2015 and 2020, 50.7 percent indicated a decline in water levels, 29.9 percent indicated neutral water levels, and 19.4 percent indicated a rise in water levels. The region to the north of the groundwater trough on Cannon AFB contained most of the groundwater-level rises, whereas the regions located near the trough and just west of Clovis, N. Mex., contained most of the declines. These results suggest that continued monitoring of declining groundwater levels in the area would provide valuable decision-support information for assessing the sustainability of this water resource.

Suggested Citation

Goodwin, A.B., and Bell, M.T., 2023, Potentiometric surface map of the Southern High Plains aquifer in the Cannon Air Force Base area, Curry County, New Mexico, 2020: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3504, 1 sheet, 18-p. pamphlet, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3504.

ISSN: 2329-132X (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results and Discussion
  • Summary
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Potentiometric surface map of the Southern High Plains aquifer in the Cannon Air Force Base area, Curry County, New Mexico, 2020
Series title Scientific Investigations Map
Series number 3504
DOI 10.3133/sim3504
Year Published 2023
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) New Mexico Water Science Center
Description Report: vi, 18 p., Dataset; 1 Sheet: 21.00 × 28.00 inches
Country United States
State New Mexico
County Curry County
Other Geospatial Cannon Air Force Base area
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details