Rio Grande Basin and San Luis Valley Aquifer

Dr. Eric T. Karlstrom, Professor of Geography, California State University, Stanilaus, 2008 Whiskey’s for drinking and water’s for fighting about. Mark Twain Figure 1. Location of Rio Grande River and Rio Grande drainage basin. The Rio Grande River and Rio Grande Basin The Rio Grande River heads up in the eastern San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado and flows nearly 2000 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. It is the second longest river in the U.S. and for 2/3 of its length it forms the boundary between the U.S. and Mexico (from El Paso, Texas/Ciudad Juarez, Mexico to the Gulf of Mexico at Brownsville, Texas). Since its waters are utilized Read More …

Geology of the San Luis Valley: What priceless treasures are buried here?

Dr. Eric Karlstrom, Professor of Geography, California State University, Stanislaus, 2008 The San Luis Valley and Rio Grande Rift The San Luis Valley is part of the Rio Grande Rift system that extends from central Colorado southward through New Mexico, Texas, and into northern Mexico (Figure 1). The rift began to form about 28 million years ago during the Oligocene Period when a largegraben began to sink along deep bounding faults (Figure 2). Geologic cross-sections through the valley indicate two major half-grabens, including the Baca Graben to the east and the Monte Vista Graben to the west (Figure 2). These half-grabens are filled with some 10,000 to 15,000 feet of Read More …