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Investigation of rifting processes in the Rio Grande Rift using data from unusually large earthquake swarms

Description: San Acacia Swarm in the Rio Grande Rift. Because the Rio Grande rift is one of the best seismically instrumented rift zones in the world, studying its seismicity provides an exceptional opportunity to explore the active tectonic processes within continental rifts. We have been studying earthquake swarms recorded near Socorro in an effort to link seismicity directly to the rifting process. For FY94, our research has focused on the San Acacia swarm, which occurred 25 km north of Socorro, New Mexico, along the accommodation zone between the Albuquerque-Belen and Socorro basins of the central Rio Grande rift. The swarm commenced on 25 February 1983, had a magnitude 4.2 main shock on 2 March and ended on 17 March, 1983.
Date: December 1, 1995
Creator: Sanford, A.; Balch, R.; House, L. & Hartse, H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Investigation of rifting processes in the Rio Grande Rift using data from an unusually large earthquake swarm. Final report, October 1, 1992--September 30, 1993

Description: Because the Rio Grande Rift is one of the best seismically instrumented rift zones in the world, studying its seismicity provides an exceptional opportunity to elucidate the active tectonic processes within continental rifts. Beginning on 29 November 1989, a 15 square km region near Bernardo, NM, produced the strongest and longest lasting sequence of earthquakes in the rift in 54 years. Our research focuses on the Bernardo swarm which occurred 40 km north of Socorro, New Mexico in the axial region of the central Rio Grande rift. Important characteristics concerning hypocenters, fault mechanisms, and seismogenic zones are discussed.
Date: March 1, 1995
Creator: Sanford, A.; Balch, R.; Hartse, H. & House, L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Structure of the Espanola Basin, Rio Grande Rift, New Mexico, from SAGE seismic and gravity data

Description: Seismic and gravity data, acquired by the SAGE program over the past twelve years, are used to define the geometry of the Espanola basin and the extent of pre-Tertiary sedimentary rocks. The Paleozoic and Mesozoic units have been thinned and removed during Laramide uplift in an area now obscured by the younger rift basin. The Espanola basin is generally a shallow, asymmetric transitional structure between deeper, better developed basins to the northeast and southwest. The gravity data indicate the presence of three narrow, but deep, structural lows arrayed along the Embudo/Pajarito fault system. These sub-basins seem to be younger than the faults on the basin margins. This apparent focussing of deformation in the later history of the basin may be a response to changes in regional stress or more local accommodation of the rift extension. Future work is planned to develop seismic data over one of these sub-basins, the Velarde graben, and to better define the gravity map in order to facilitate three-dimensional modeling.
Date: April 1, 1995
Creator: Ferguson, J.F.; Baldridge, W.S.; Braile, L.W.; Biehler, S.; Gilpin, B. & Jiracek, G.R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Structural Geology of the Northwestern Portion of Los Alamos National Laboratory, Rio Grande Rift, New Mexico: Implications for Seismic Surface Rupture Potential from TA-3 to TA-55

Description: Los Alamos National Laboratory lies at the western boundary of the Rio Grande rift, a major tectonic feature of the North American Continent. Three major faults locally constitute the modem rift boundary, and each of these is potentially seismogenic. In this study we have gathered structural geologic data for the northwestern portion of Los Alamos National Laboratory through high-precision geologic mapping, conventional geologic mapping, stratigraphic studies, drilling, petrologic studies, and stereographic aerial photograph analyses. Our study area encompasses TA-55 and TA-3, where potential for seismic surface rupture is of interest, and is bounded on the north and south by the townsite of Los Alamos and Twomile Canyon, respectively. The study area includes parts of two of the potentially active rift boundary faults--the Pajarito and Rendija Canyon faults-that form a large graben that we name the Diamond Drive graben. The graben embraces the western part of the townsite of Los Alamos, and its southern end is in the TA-3 area where it is defined by east-southeast-trending cross faults. The cross faults are small, but they accommodate interactions between the two major fault zones and gentle tilting of structural blocks to the north into the graben. North of Los Alamos townsite, the Rendija Canyon fault is a large normal fault with about 120 feet of down-to-the-west displacement over the last 1.22 million years. South from Los Alamos townsite, the Rendija Canyon fault splays to the southwest into a broad zone of deformation. The zone of deformation is about 2,000 feet wide where it crosses Los Alamos Canyon and cuts through the Los Alamos County Landfill. Farther southwest, the fault zone is about 3,000 feet wide at the southeastern corner of TA-3 in upper Mortandad Canyon and about 5,000 feet wide in Twomile Canyon. Net down-to-the-west displacement across the entire fault zone over ...
Date: March 1, 1999
Creator: Lavine, Jamie N. Gardner: Alexis; WoldeGabriel, Giday; Krier, Donathon; Vaniman, David; Caporuscio, Florie; Lewis, Claudia et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A synthesis and review of geomorphic surfaces of the boundary zone Mt. Taylor to Lucero uplift area, West-Central New Mexico

Description: The Mt. Taylor volcanic field and Lucero uplift of west-central New Mexico occur in a transitional-boundary zone between the tectonically active Basin-and Range province (Rio Grande rift) and the less tectonically active Colorado plateau. The general geomorphology and Cenozoic erosional history has been discussed primarily in terms of a qualitative, descriptive context and without the knowledge of lithospheric processes. The first discussion of geomorphic surfaces suggested that the erosional surface underlying the Mt. Taylor volcanic rocks is correlative with the Ortiz surface of the Rio Grande rift. In 1978 a study supported this hypothesis with K-Ar dates on volcanic rocks within each physiographic province. The correlation of this surface was a first step In the regional analysis of the boundary zone; however, little work has been done to verify this correlation with numerical age dates and quantitatively reconstruct the surface for neotectonic purposes. Those geomorphic surfaces inset below and younger than the ``Ortiz`` surface have been studied. This report provides a summary of this data as well as unpublished data and a conceptual framework for future studies related to the LANL ISR project.
Date: January 1, 1989
Creator: Wells, S.G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fractal nature and scaling of normal faults, Rio Grande rift, NM: Implications for growth and strain

Description: In this paper I introduce a suite of Quaternary normal faults from within an active continental rift and characterize the nature of the relationship between fault dimensions. I address the statistical and geological significance of the fractal analysis used in that characterization and discuss the tectonic implications. Specifically, I suggest (1) scaling laws for a previously unanalyzed population of young normal faults in rift environment; (2) implications for fault growth models in this area, in particular, addressing self-similar growth implied from the population; and (3) estimates for the total strain in this part of the basin, considering the contribution of small to unobserved faults.
Date: September 1, 1994
Creator: Carter, K. E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Trace element characteristics of lithospheric and asthenospheric mantle in the Rio Grande rift region

Description: Trace element analyses of 10 mafic volcanic rocks from the Colorado Plateau transition zone, Colorado Plateau, Rio Grande rift, and Great Plains were obtained to characterize the trace element characteristics of asthenospheric and lithospheric mantle beneath these regions. Characterization of these mantle reservoirs using the trace element contents of basalts allows one to track the response of the lithosphere to continental rifting and extension.
Date: June 1, 1994
Creator: Perry, F. V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Geology of the Western Part of Los Alamos National Laboratory (TA-3 to TA-16), Rio Grande Rift, New Mexico

Description: We present data that elucidate the stratigraphy, geomorphology, and structure in the western part of Los Alamos National Laboratory between Technical Areas 3 and 16 (TA-3 and TA-16). Data include those gathered by geologic mapping of surficial, post-Bandelier Tuff strata, conventional and high-precision geologic mapping and geochemical analysis of cooling units within the Bandelier Tuff, logging of boreholes and a gas pipeline trench, and structural analysis using profiles, cross sections, structure contour maps, and stereographic projections. This work contributes to an improved understanding of the paleoseismic and geomorphic history of the area, which will aid in future seismic hazard evaluations and other investigations. The study area lies at the base of the main, 120-m (400-ft) high escarpment formed by the Pajarito fault, an active fault of the Rio Grande rift that bounds Los Alamos National Laboratory on the west. Subsidiary fracturing, faulting, and folding associated with the Pajarito fault zone extends at least 1,500 m (5,000 ft) to the east of the main Pajarito fault escarpment. Stratigraphic units in the study area include upper units of the Tshirege Member of the early Pleistocene Bandelier Tuff, early Pleistocene alluvial fan deposits that predate incision of canyons on this part of the Pajarito Plateau, and younger Pleistocene and Holocene alluvium and colluvium that postdate drainage incision. We discriminate four sets of structures in the area between TA-3 and TA-16: (a) north-striking faults and folds that mark the main zone of deformation, including a graben in the central part of the study area; (b) north-northwest-striking fractures and rare faults that bound the eastern side of the principal zone of deformation and may be the surface expression of deep-seated faulting; (c) rare northeast-striking structures near the northern limit of the area associated with the southern end of the Rendija Canyon fault; and (d) several ...
Date: December 1, 2002
Creator: C.J.Lewis; A.Lavine; S.L.Reneau; J.N.Gardner; R.Channell & C.W.Criswell
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Proximal potentially seismogenic sources for Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Description: Recent geologic and geophysical investigations within the Albuquerque Basin have shed light on the potentially seismogenic sources that might affect Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico (SNL/NM), a multi-disciplinary research and engineering facility of the US Department of Energy (DOE). This paper presents a summary of potentially seismogenic sources for SNL/NM, emphasizing those sources within approximately 8 kilometers (km) of the site. Several significant faults of the central Rio Grande rift transect SNL/NM. Although progress has been made on understanding the geometry and interactions of these faults, little is known of the timing of most recent movement or on recurrent intervals for these faults. Therefore, whether particular faults or fault sections have been active during the Holocene or even the late Pleistocene is undocumented. Although the overall subdued surface expression of many of these faults suggests that they have low to moderate slip rates, the proximity of these faults to critical (e.g., nuclear) and non-critical (e.g., high-occupancy, multistory office/light lab) facilities at SNL/NM requires their careful examination for evaluation of potential seismic hazard.
Date: October 1, 1995
Creator: Gibson, J.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Recent vertical crustal movements from leveling observations in the Rio Grande rift: a review

Description: Analysis of repeated leveling surveys suggests significant contemporary vertical deformation in at least three distinct areas in the vicinity of the Rio Grande rift. These areas include Socorro, New Mexico; the Diablo Plateau region of Trans-Pecos Texas; and the Espanola basin in northern New Mexico. The Socorro area is characterized by uplift relative to its surroundings. Maximum relative uplift of about 20 cm between 1911 and 1951 occurred about 25 km north of Socorro, corresponding to an average relative velocity of 5 mm/yr. The primary anomaly, defined by a north-south profile between El Paso, Texas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, extends from 15 km south to 70 km north of Socorro. The Diablo Plateau region is also characterized by relative uplift. Uplift of approximately 13 cm during the period from 1934 to 1958 was observed along an approximately east-west profile from El Paso, Texas, to Carlsbad, New Mexico. The leveling anomaly suggests broad uparching of the basin and range structures between El Paso and Carlsbad, with the maximum occurring near the eastern side of the Diablo Plateau. In contrast to the observed relative uplift near Socorro and on the Diablo Plateau, leveling data within the Espanola basin in northern New Mexico show a pronounced zone of relative subsidence. Maximum observed subsidence relative to nearby benchmarks was 4.9 cm between September 1934 and March 1939. Subsidence is observed over a distance of approximately 19 km, extending from 4 km north to 23 km north-northwest of Espanola. The consistency of the available geological and geophysical evidence suggests that these three leveling anomalies are due to crustal deformation and not to measurement errors or near surface effects. Deformation in all three areas can be related, with different degrees of uncertainty, to crustal magmatic activity.
Date: January 1, 1978
Creator: Reilinger, R.E.; Brown, L.D.; Oliver, J.E. & York, J.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Rio Grande rift: problems and perspectives

Description: Topics and ideas addressed include: (1) the regional extent of the Rio Grande rift; (2) the structure of the crust and upper mantle; (3) whether the evidence for an axile dike in the lower crust is compelling; (4) the nature of faulting and extension in the crust; and (5) the structural and magmatic development of the rift. 88 references, 5 figures.
Date: January 1, 1984
Creator: Baldridge, W.S.; Olsen, K.H. & Callender, J.F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Continental Scientific Drilling Program: Valles Caldera, New Mexico

Description: The U.S. Continental Scientific Drilling Program attempts to develop a better understanding of the geologic and hydrologic mechanisms within the continental crust, under the auspices of an interagency group comprising the US Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Geological Survey. Ten years of research and drilling in the Valles caldera of northern New Mexico has provided a new understanding of volcanism and geothermal systems within a large caldera. Situated at the intersection of the Rio Grande rift and the Jemez volcanic lineament, the Valles caldera and Toledo calderas were formed during two massive eruptions 1.1 and 1.5 M a that vented approximately 300 to 400 km{sup 3} of high-silica rhyolitic tephra. The research at the Valles/Toledo caldera has provided more than 3000 m of corehole samples, which are stored in a repository in Grand Junction, Colorado, and are accessible to the public. This research has also helped support theories of mineral deposition within hydrothermal systems-hot water circulating through breccias, leaching elements from the rocks, and later depositing veins of economically valuable materials.
Date: January 1, 1993
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Three-dimensional gravity ideal body studies in rough terrain

Description: An approach to the interpretation of potential field anomaly data is to maximize or minimize some non-linear scalar property of solutions fitting the data. As an example, a comparison of 2-D and 3-D gravity ideal body results from the Lucero Uplift, a westward-tilted fault block located on the western flank of the Rio Grande rift, is discussed. The anomaly was analyzed to obtain bounds on the density contrast, depth of burial, and minimum thickness of its sources. Based on a synthesis of the gravity data with structural analysis and geomorphology, a shallow mafic intrusion is proposed to account for the positive gravity anomaly. 12 refs. (ACR)
Date: January 1, 1985
Creator: Ander, M.E. & Huestis, S.P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Field Studies of Geothermal Reservoirs Rio Grande Rift, New Mexico

Description: The Rio Grande rift provides an excellent field laboratory to study the nature of geothermal systems in an extensional environment. Much of the geologic complexity that is found in the Basin and Range is absent because the rift is located on cratonic crust with a thin and well-characterized Phanerozoic stratigraphy and tectonic history. On the other hand, the Neogene thermo-tectonic history of the rift has many parallels with the Basin and Range to the west. The geology of the southern Rio Grande rift is among the best characterized of any rift system in the world. Also, most geologic maps for the region are rather unique in that detailed analyses of Quaternary stratigraphic and surficial unit are added in concert with the details of bedrock geology. Pleistocene to Holocene entrenchment of the Rio Grande and tributaries unroofs the alteration signatures and permeability attributes of paleo outflow plumes and upflow zones, associated with present-day, but hidden or ''blind,'' hydrothermal systems at Rincon and San Diego Mountain.
Date: July 30, 2002
Creator: Witcher, James C
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Thermomechanical models of the Rio Grande rift

Description: Fully two-dimensional, coupled thermochemical solutions of a continental rift and platform are used to model the crust and mantle structure of a hot, buoyant mantle diapir beneath the Rio Grande rift. The thermomechanical model includes both linear and nonlinear laws of the Weertman type relating shear stress and creep strain rate, viscosity which depends on temperature and pressure, and activation energy, temperature-dependent thermal conductivity, temperature-dependent coefficient of thermal expansion, the Boussinesq approximation for thermal bouyancy, material convection using a stress rate that is invariant to rigid rotations, an elastically deformable crust, and a free surface. The model determines the free surface velocities, solid state flow field in the mantle, and viscosity structure of lithosphere and asthenosphere. Regional topography and crustal heat flow are simulated. A suite of symmetric models, assumes continental geotherms on the right and the successively increasing rift geotherms on the left. These models predict an asthenospheric flow field which transfers cold material laterally toward the rift at > 300 km, hot, buoyant material approx. 200 km wide which ascends vertically at rates of 1 km/my between 175 to 325 km, and spreads laterally away from the rift at the base of the lithosphere. Crustal spreading rates are similar to uplift rates. The lithosphere acts as stiff, elastic cap, damping upward motion through decreased velocities of 1 km/10 my and spreading uplift laterally. A parameter study varying material coefficients for the Weertman flow law suggests asthenospheric viscosities of approx. 10/sup 22/ to 10/sup 23/ poise. Similar studies predict crustal viscosities of approx. 10/sup 25/ poise. The buoyant process of mantle flow narrows and concentrates heat transport beneath the rift, increases upward velocity, and broadly arches the lithosphere. 10 figures, 1 table.
Date: January 1, 1980
Creator: Bridwell, R.J. & Anderson, C.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Geological and Geophysical Study of the Baca Geothermal Field, Valles Caldera, New Mexico

Description: The Baca location {number_sign}1 geothermal field is located in north-central New Mexico within the western half of the Plio-Pleistocene valles Caldera. Steam and hot water are produced primarily from the northeast-trending Redondo Creek graben, where downhole temperatures exceed 500 F. Stratigraphically the reservoir region can be described as a five-layer sequence that includes (1) caldera fill and the upper units of the Bandelier ash flow tuff, (2) the lower members of this tuff, which comprise the main reservoir rock at Baca, (3) the Pliocene Paliza Canyon volcanics, (4) Tertiary sands and Paleozoic sedimentary rocks, and (5) Precambrian granitic basement. Production is controlled by fractures and faults that are ultimately related to activity in the Rio Grande Rift system. Geophysically, the caldera is characterized by a gravity minimum and a resistivity low. A 40-mgal gravity minimum over the caldera is due mostly to the relatively low-density volcanics and sediments that fill the caldera and probably bears no relation to deep-seated magmatic sources. Two-dimensional gravity modeling indicates that the depth to Precambrian basement in Redondo Canyon is probably at least 3 km and may exceed 5 km in eastern parts of the caldera. Telluric and magnetotelluric surveys have shown that the reservoir region is associated with low resistivity and that a deep low-resistivity zone correlates well with the depth of the primary reservoir inferred from well data.
Date: March 1, 1982
Creator: Wilt, M. & Haar, S.V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evaluation of geothermal potential of Rio Grande rift and Basin and Range province, New Mexico. Final technical report, January 1, 1977-May 31, 1978

Description: A study was made of the geological, geochemical and geophysical characteristics of potential geothermal areas in the Rio Grande rift and Basin and Range province of New Mexico. Both regional and site-specific information is presented. Data was collected by: (1) reconnaissance and detailed geologic mapping, emphasizing Neogene stratigraphy and structure; (2) petrologic studies of Neogene igneous rocks; (3) radiometric age-dating; (4) geochemical surveying, including regional and site-specific water chemistry, stable isotopic analyses of thermal waters, whole-rock and mineral isotopic studies, and whole-rock chemical analyses; and (5) detailed geophysical surveys, using electrical, gravity and magnetic techniques, with electrical resistivity playing a major role. Regional geochemical water studies were conducted for the whole state. Integrated site-specific studies included the Animas Valley, Las Cruces area (Radium Springs and Las Alturas Estates), Truth or Consequences region, the Albuquerque basin, the San Ysidro area, and the Abiquiu-Ojo Caliente region. The Animas Valley and Las Cruces areas have the most significant geothermal potential of the areas studied. The Truth or Consequences and Albuquerque areas need further study. The San Ysidro and Abiquiu-Ojo Caliente regions have less significant geothermal potential. 78 figs., 16 tabs.
Date: April 1, 1985
Creator: Callender, J.F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Geothermal Environmental Impact Assessment: Subsurface Environmental Assessment for Four Geothermal Systems

Description: Geothermal systems are described for Imperial Valley and The Geysers, California; Klamath Falls, Oregon; and the Rio Grande Rift Zone, New Mexico; including information on location, area, depth, temperature, fluid phase and composition, resource base and status of development. The subsurface environmental assessment evaluates potential groundwater degradation, seismicity and subsidence. A general discussion on geothermal systems, pollution potential, chemical characteristics of geothermal fluids and environmental effects of geothermal water pollutants is presented as background material. For the Imperial Valley, all publicly available water quality and location data for geothermal and nongeothermal wells in and near the East Mesa, Salton Sea, Heber, Brawley, Dunes and Glamis KGRAs have been compiled and plotted. The geothermal fluids which will be reinjected range in salinity from a few thousand to more than a quarter million ppm. Although Imperial Valley is a major agricultural center, groundwater use in and near most of these KGRAs is minimal. Extensive seismicity and subsidence monitoring networks have been established in this area of high natural seismicity and subsidence. The vapor-dominated Geysers geothermal field is the largest electricity producer in the world. Groundwater in this mountainous region flows with poor hydraulic continuity in fractured rock. Ground and surface water quality is generally good, but high boron concentrations in hot springs and geothermal effluents is of significant concern; however, spent condensate is reinjected. High microearthquake activity is noted around the geothermal reservoir and potential subsidence effects are considered minimal. In Klamath Falls, geothermal fluids up to 113 C (235 F) are used for space heating, mostly through downhole heat exchangers with only minor, relatively benign, geothermal fluid being produced at the surface. Seismicity is low and is not expected to increase. Subsidence is not recognized. Of all geothermal occurrences in the Rio Grande Rift, the Valles Caldera is currently of primary ...
Date: November 1, 1978
Creator: Sanyal, Subir & Weiss, Richard
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Geothermal Geophysical Research in Electrical Methods at UURI

Description: The principal objective of electrical geophysical research at UURI has been to provide reliable exploration and reservoir assessment tools for the shallowest to the deepest levels of interest in geothermal fields. Three diverse methods are being considered currently: magnetotellurics (MT, and CSAMT), self-potential, and borehole resistivity. Primary shortcomings in the methods addressed have included a lack of proper interpretation tools to treat the effects of the inhomogeneous structures often encountered in geothermal systems, a lack of field data of sufficient accuracy and quantity to provide well-focused models of subsurface resistivity structure, and a poor understanding of the relation of resistivity to geothermal systems and physicochemical conditions in the earth generally. In MT, for example, interpretation research has focused successfully on the applicability of 2-D models in 3-D areas which show a preferred structural grain. Leading computer algorithms for 2-D and 3-D simulation have resulted and are combined with modern methods of regularized inversion. However, 3-D data coverage and interpretation is seen as a high priority. High data quality in our own research surveys has been assured by implementing a fully remote reference with digital FM telemetry and real-time processing with data coherence sorting. A detailed MT profile across Long Valley has mapped a caldera-wide altered tuff unit serving as the primary hydrothermal aquifer, and identified a low-resistivity body in the middle crust under the west moat which corresponds closely with teleseismic delay and low density models. In the CSAMT method, our extensive tensor survey over the Sulphur Springs geothermal system provides valuable structural information on this important thermal regime and allows a fundamental analysis of the CSAMT method in heterogeneous areas. The self-potential (SP) method is promoted as an early-stage, cost-effective, exploration technique for covered hydrothermal resources, of low to high temperature, which has little or no adverse environmental impact ...
Date: March 24, 1992
Creator: Wannamaker, Philip E. & Wright, Phillip M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Summary of the geology of the San Luis Basin, Colorado-New Mexico with emphasis on the geothermal potential for the Monte Vista Graben. Special Publication 17

Description: The known geologic data of the San Luis Basin are reviewed and related to an understanding of the hydrogeothermal potential of the Alamosa-Monte Vista area. The physiographic setting of the region, the structural framework of the basin, and its influence on the stratigraphic makeup of the rock sequence, which in turn control the occurrence of potential deep water reservoirs, are reviewed. It is suggested that the San Luis Basin was well-developed by Miocene time, and that although the basin was modified by Neogene faulting, it is essentially a late Laramide event having been produced during the Paleogene. Attention is also given to high heat flow along the Rio Grande Rift and to the geothermal gradient of the San Luis Basin. The confined aquifer is then considered in respect to its hydrogeology, water quality, and as to the legal aspects of the system. (LEW)
Date: January 1, 1981
Creator: Burroughs, R.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Geologic evolution of the Jemez Mountains and their potential for future volcanic activity

Description: Geophysical and geochemical data and the geologic history of the Rio Grande rift and the vicinity of the Jemez Mountains are summarized to determine the probability of future volcanic activity in the Los Alamos, New Mexico area. The apparent cyclic nature of volcanism in the Jemez Mountains may be related to intermittent thermal inputs into the volcanic system beneath the region. The Jemez lineament, an alignment of late Cenozoic volcanic centers that crosses the rift near Los Alamos, has played an important role in the volcanic evolution of the Jemez Mountains. Geophysical data suggest that there is no active shallow magma body beneath the Valles caldera, though magma probably exists at about 15 km beneath this portion of the rift. The rate of volcanism in the Jemez Mountains during the last 10 million years has been 5 x 10/sup -9//km/sup 2//y. Lava or ash flows overriding Laboratory radioactive waste disposal sites would have little potential to release radionuclides to the environment. The probability of a new volcano intruding close enough to a radioactive waste disposal site to effect radionuclide release is 2 x 10/sup -7//y.
Date: January 1, 1982
Creator: Burton, B.W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Toward assessing the geothermal potential of the Jemez Mountains volcanic complex: a telluric-magnetotelluric survey

Description: Telluric-magnetotelluric studies were performed in the Jemez Mountains of north-central New Mexico to characterize the total geothermal system of the Valles Caldera and to be integrated with an east-west regional survey supported by the United States Geological Survey. The data from the regional survey indicate that electrically the San Juan Basin to the west of the Jemez Mountains is rather homogeneous in contrast to the eastern side near Las Vegas where the presence of a broad heterogeneous structure is clearly sensed. The data from the Jemez Mountain area are strikingly similar to other Rio Grande rift data and suggest a conducting layer at a depth of approximately 15 km. The telluric data indicate that the hydrothermal system in the area is of a localized nature.
Date: February 1, 1979
Creator: Hermance, J.F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Magnetotelluric/audiomagnetotelluric study of the Zuni Hot Dry Rock Geothermal Prospect, New Mexico

Description: The Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory has been investigating a large area in New Mexico for Hot Dry Rock geothermal potential. The area includes parts of the Jemez volcanic lineament and the central Rio Grande rift. LASL has completed a detailed magnetotelluric/audiomagnetotelluric survey covering 161 square km over an area of high heat flow, south of Zuni, NM. The data collection was collected and preliminary analysis phases of a regional MT survey which suggest the Jemez lineament is associated with a crustal structure of anomalously high electrical conductivity. The detailed MT shows an average tipper strike of N60/sup 0/E above 100 sec period, representing the structural trend within Precambrian basement. The Jemez lineament strikes approximately N55/sup 0/E; this suggests a relationship between the Precambrian structure beneath the Zuni area and the Jemez lineament.
Date: January 1, 1980
Creator: Ander, M.E.; Goss, R.; Strangway, D.; Hillebrand, C.; Laughlin, A.W. & Hudson, C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department