2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM

Paper No. 15
Presentation Time: 11:45 AM

The Impact of Hypogenic Processes on Water Resources in the Arid Southwest: Examples from the Lower Pecos Region of New Mexico, USA

LAND, Lewis A., New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, 1400 Commerce Dr, Carlsbad, NM 88220, lland@gis.nmt.edu

Hypogenic processes are well-developed throughout the lower Pecos region of southeastern New Mexico, where they are represented by strong artesian flow of groundwater from karst springs and sinkhole lakes that line the Pecos River over a distance of more than three degrees of latitude. Artesian flow from these natural features makes a substantial contribution to the stream flow in surface drainages such as the Pecos River and its tributaries. In addition, groundwater stored in karstic artesian aquifer systems in the lower Pecos region supports a robust agricultural community essential to the economy of the region. Human settlement in this part of the arid southwest would be much more limited without the benefit of hypogenic groundwater flow systems on a regional scale.