Earth and Planetary Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 10-12-2023


Las Huertas in the Sandia Mountains relies on snowmelt, monsoonal recharge, and groundwater inputs. Our hypothesis, the proportion of groundwater contribution varied spatially and temporally, was assessed by observing travertine and multiple geochemical tracers to differentiate water balance components. We report 26 samples from 13 locations (sampled between 2021-2023). Major ion and isotopic analysis indicated Las Huertas headsprings vary spatially. Capulin Spring has higher salinity; major ions suggest recharged waters are a mix of CaCO3-rich and sulfate-chloride-containing water. The proportion of groundwater to spring discharge is a mix of winter and summer precipitation. Travertine supersaturation is seasonal, with variations downstream, suggesting seep from near-surface karst. Major ions show greater dissolved ions in baseflow seasons and less in runoff seasons. Las Huertas springs differ from springs down the Madera dip-slope – by CO2 manifested by travertine deposition - high CO2 is from the limestone aquifer and external CO2, likely from deep sources.

Degree Name

Earth and Planetary Sciences

Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Laura Crossey

Second Committee Member

Rebecca Bixby

Third Committee Member

Karl Karlstrom

Fourth Committee Member

Tobias Fischer

Document Type


Included in

Geology Commons