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Scientific Investigations Report 2011–5025

Three-Dimensional Geologic Model of the Southeastern Española Basin, Santa Fe County, New Mexico

By Michael P. Pantea, Mark R. Hudson, V.J.S. Grauch, and Scott A. Minor

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (9.5 MB)

This multimedia model and report show and describe digital three-dimensional faulted surfaces and volumes of lithologic units that confine and constrain the basin-fill aquifers within the Española Basin of north-central New Mexico. These aquifers are the primary groundwater resource for the cities of Santa Fe and Española, six Pueblo nations, and the surrounding areas. The model presented in this report is a synthesis of geologic information that includes (1) aeromagnetic and gravity data and seismic cross sections; (2) lithologic descriptions, interpretations, and geophysical logs from selected drill holes; (3) geologic maps, geologic cross sections, and interpretations; and (4) mapped faults and interpreted faults from geophysical data. Modeled faults individually or collectively affect the continuity of the rocks that contain the basin aquifers; they also help define the form of this rift basin. Structure, trend, and dip data not previously published were added; these structures are derived from interpretations of geophysical information and recent field observations. Where possible, data were compared and validated and reflect the complex relations of structures in this part of the Rio Grande rift.

This interactive geologic framework model can be used as a tool to visually explore and study geologic structures within the Española Basin, to show the connectivity of geologic units of high and low permeability between and across faults, and to show approximate dips of the lithologic units. The viewing software can be used to display other data and information, such as drill-hole data, within this geologic framework model in three-dimensional space.

First posted March 24, 2011

For additional information contact:

USGS Geology and Environmental Change Science Center
Box 25046, Mail Stop 980
Denver, CO 80225

This report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Pantea, M.P., Hudson, M.R., Grauch, V.J.S., and Minor, S.A., 2011, Three-dimensional geologic model of the southeastern Española Basin, Santa Fe County, New Mexico: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2011–5025, 17 p.




Geologic Setting



Modeled Geologic Elements and Descriptions

Modeled Stratigraphy

Modeled Intrusions

Modeled Structure

Model Construction and Methodology

Model Construction



References Cited

DVD-ROM Contents


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