Geoscience in Your State: New Mexico

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Cover of Geoscience Policy State Factsheet. Image credit: AGI

By the numbers: New Mexico

  • 3,956 geoscience employees (excludes self-employed)1
  • 1.44 billion gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal3
  • $1.31 billion: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20174
  • 81 total disaster declarations, including 49 fire, 18 flood, and 12 severe storm disasters (1953-2017)⁶
  • $9.82 million: NSF GEO grants awarded in 201714...

Agencies Working on Geoscience Issues in new mexico

New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources

The New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources serves as the geological survey for the State of New Mexico. The Survey conducts research and interacts with State and Federal agencies and industry to facilitate prudent exploitation of the state's geological resources; distributes accurate information to scientists, decision makers, and the New Mexico public regarding the state's geologic infrastructure, mineral and energy resources, and geohydrology (including water quantity and quality).

New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

The Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management leads the State’s response to emergencies and disasters while providing for the safety and welfare of its citizens. 

New Mexico Environment Department

The New Mexico Environment Department is committed to providing clear articulation of goals, standards, and expectations in a professional manner so that employees and the public can make informed decisions and be actively involved in setting priorities. This department is also involved in promoting environmental awareness through the practice of open and direct communication and sound decision-making by carrying out the mandates and initiatives of the department in a fair and consistent manner.

Case Studies & Factsheets

Cover of Geoscience Policy State Factsheet. Image credit: AGI

By the numbers: New Mexico 3,956 geoscience employees (excludes self-employed)1 1.44 billion gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal3 $1.31 billion: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20174 81 total disaster declarations, including 49 fire, 18 flood, and 12 severe storm disasters (1953-...

Cover of AGI Factsheet 2018-004 - Present Day Climate Change

Climate Science 101 Climate is the average of weather conditions over several decades.1,2 Geoscientists monitor modern climate conditions (1880 A.D. to present) in part by taking direct measurements of weather data (i.e., air temperature, rainfall and snowfall, wind speed, cloudiness, and so on)...


Background In areas prone to winter precipitation, transportation infrastructure must be able to quickly respond to snow and ice on roadways. Ice removal is a vital service in these communities. Deicing chemicals melt ice by lowering the temperature at which it melts. They can also prevent new ice...


What grows in arid, sandy soils? How do these soils become dust? Many small organisms, such as bacteria and fungi, grow among the sand and silt particles in dry valley and desert soils. At the soil’s surface, these organisms often form biological webs (“microbiotic crusts”) that keep small sand and...

Fig. 1. A groundwater hydrograph from a domestic well completed in an isolated sandstone of the Cretaceous lower Mancos Shale. The water level dropped about 70 ft in one year and the well subsequently went dry. Credit: P. Johnson

The geologic and groundwater mapping products support county land use and planning decisions in this rapidly developing area. State water agencies, planners, developers, home owners, home buyers, real estate agents, and county officials use the maps to support an array of decisions regarding water...

Cover of Spills in Oil and Natural Gas Fields

Introduction Oilfield spills can harm wildlife and pose a risk to human health if they reach fresh water sources or contaminate soil or air. The enormous size of the oil and gas industry and the huge volumes of oil and produced water that are handled, stored, and transported result in thousands of...


Fresh water from underground Groundwater is any water found underground in the cracks and pores in soil, sand, or rock. Groundwater provides 25% of the fresh water used in the United States.1 It is particularly important for irrigation and domestic uses in arid or remote areas, where surface water...

Cover of Induced Seismicity from Oil and Gas Operations

Manmade Earthquakes Any activity that significantly changes the pressure on or fluid content of rocks has the potential to trigger earthquakes. This includes geothermal energy production, water storage in large reservoirs, groundwater extraction, underground injection of water for enhanced oil...


Introduction Dry wells improve stormwater drainage and aquifer recharge by providing a fast, direct route for rainwater to drain deep into underlying sediment and rock. Dry wells are most common in the western U.S. where clay or caliche layers slow down the natural drainage of water into underlying...

Cover of AGI Factsheet 2018-002-Geologic Mapping and Public Health

Using Geologic Maps to Protect Public Health Geologic maps can be used to understand and mitigate public health risks across the US, in addition to their more traditional use in resource and infrastructure decisions. Geologic maps can show the location of naturally occurring hazardous materials and...

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GOLI Online Courses

GOLI Course: Making Produced Water More Productive; Image credit: USGS/ Doug Duncan
Course Type: GOLI Online Course

Geoscience is essential to our understanding and management of produced water, an inevitable byproduct of oil and gas development. This course provides a scientific and regulatory background of produced water, how it is commonly disposed, what opportunities exist for the re-use of produced water...

GOLI Course: State Responses to Induced Earthquakes. Image courtesy of Jerry Boak.
Course Type: GOLI Online Course

The surge in recent years of earthquake activity associated with some oil and gas operations, most notably in Oklahoma, has spurred a range of actions and responses from state geoscientists and regulators. States have taken measures to monitor these earthquakes and moderate the activities that...

GOLI Course: Induced Seismicity in the Mid-Continent; Image credit: USGS
Course Type: GOLI Online Course

This course provides information about induced seismic activity in the United States, specifically in the mid-continent. It includes information on mitigation planning, the state of seismic monitoring at the state level, and the challenges in communicating the science of the issue to the public...