Geophysics of Rio Grande Basins
Geophysical studies are a major component of the USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program project, Geologic Framework of Rio Grande Basins. There are two major goals of this component.
The first is to understand subsurface aspects of the 3D hydrogeologic framework of basins along the Rio Grande rift. Gravity, aeromagnetic, and ground-based electromagnetic geophysics are integrated with geologic mapping to:
- model the thickness of the basin-fill aquifers
- locate concealed basin-bounding and intra-basin faults
- determine the lateral and vertical extents of buried igneous rocks
- image the subsurface spatial distribution of thick sequences of lacustrine clay.
The second goal is to understand the structural properties and geophysical expression of faults, and the impact of faults on ground water.