Spatial Distribution of Calcite Cement in the Santa Fe Group, Albuquerque Basin, NM: Implications for Ground-Water Resources


Calcite is the most abundant cement in the Santa Fe Grouo. Calcitecemented zones occur as concretions and as laterally extensive cemented beds ( > 2 km lateral extent in some cases). Calcite cementation in the Santa Fe Group appears to be controlled by two main factors: depositional facies and primary depositional texture. Calcite is most abundant in tributaries to the ancestral Rio Grande, closed-basin fluvial facies, and piedmont facies. It is least abundant in the ancestral Rio Grande facies. The differences in the degree of cementation of the different facies may result from differences in their pore-water chemistry. This is supported by present-day chemical data that show undersaturation for calcite in aquifers adjacent to the rnodern Rio Grande, and oversaturation away from it. Regardless of depositional environment, coarser grained and better sorted sediments tend to be preferentially cemented. This suggests that cementation was in part controlled by pre-cementation permeability, perhaps from a greater flux of calcium and/or bicarbonate in permeable horizons.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Aquifer; Calcite; Cementation; Depositional Environment; Santa Fe Group; Sedimentary Texture; USA, New Mexico, Albuquerque Basin

Geographic Coverage

New Mexico

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Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 1995 New Mexico Bureau of Mines & Mineral Resources, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Nov 1995


Article Location