Spring Characteristics of the Western Roswell Artesian Basin
Recharge transmitted underground from the western rim of the Roswell artesian basin, the Sacramento Mountains, substantially contributes to the ground water supply of the basin. This recharge occurs by either ground water flow eastward along the Yeso-San Andres Formation contact or by springs discharging into the main drainage “routes” which subsequently lose their flow in the Principal Intake Area to the east. The major geologic controls of spring occurrence are silts and clays within the Yeso Formation which act as aquitards under the spring ground water systems, and collapse features within the Yeso Formation which generally act as high permeability zones.
Chemistry of the spring water is more variable in the north than in the southern part of the basin. This is due to the different geologic settings for the two areas.
Springs issue from three types of hydrologic systems: perched springs issuing well above the canyon floors, valley underflow springs issuing from alluvium in the canyon floors, and, possibly, springs which issue from a regional ground water system. Tritium analyses indicate that valley underflow and regional springs discharge relatively older water than perched springs.
Project No. A-055-NMEX