Geomorphology and morphometric characteristics of alluvial fans, Guadalupe Mountains National Park and adjacent areas, west Texas and New Mexico



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Texas A&M University


This study qualitatively and quantitatively analyzes the geomorphology of alluvial fans in the Guadalupe Mountains Region (GMR) of west Texas and south-central New Mexico. Morphometric data for 31 alluvial fans and drainage basins ha ve been derived. The data set was subdivided into Guadalupe and Brokeoff Mountain fans and was further subdivided on the basis of their location along the two mountain ranges. A conventional morphometric analysis was conducted relating alluvial fan area and slope to drainage basin area in order to understand if and to what extent the alluvial fans of the GMR are dependent on the physical environment, including characteristics and processes of the drainage basin and depositional site. The results of the morphometric analysis indicate that the morphometric relationships that exist between the alluvial fans of the GMR and their contributory drainage basins are comparably to those of alluvial fans of the western United States. Morphologic and morphometric differences between the various groups primarily reflect geographic differences in the physiography and lithology of the contributory drainage basin, tectonics, and the various physical constraints imposed by the GMR.