by Rachel Armstrong

SOCORRO, N.M., Jan. 22, 2004 — The most recent issue of New Mexico Geology focuses on the study of coalbed methane production in the Raton Basin near Vermejo Park, west of Raton.

The study, which the article “New Mexico’s Raton Basin coalbed methane play” details, discusses Raton Basin’s exploration history, including coal mining, oil and gas exploration, and key coalbed methane-related literature. The article also analyzes the basin’s structure and coal stratigraphy, thickness, and continuity.

“Coalbed methane,” the article states, “has been recognized as an important and widespread resource in the U.S . . .” The article continues to explain that study of related extensive geologic data has resulted in better resolution of basin structure and coal thickness, extent, and quality, and has indicated the potential for methane production from Raton Formation sandstone reservoirs.

Another article in the geology journal honors the memory of Clay T. Smith, professor emeritus of geology at New Mexico Tech. Smith was well respected in his field and a favorite professor amongst Tech students. The article fondly states that Smith “lives on in the attitudes, polish, and professional contributions of his students to geology, to exploration, and to education, launched as [they] were by the fire of [their] professor, mentor, and friend.” Smith passed away in November 2003.

The periodical also includes a book review of New Mexico: Then and Now and a description of recent New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (NMBGMR) publications, which include Circular 211 — Hydrogeothermal studies in the Albuquerque Basin and Decision-Makers Field Guide 3.

New Mexico Geology is published quarterly by NMBGMR, a service division of New Mexico Tech. A subscription to the award-winning journal costs $12 per year, or $22 for two years. Individual issues may be purchased for $3.50 each.

For more information about New Mexico Geology, or any other NMBGMR publication, write to the Bureau Publications Office, New Mexico Tech, 801 Leroy Place, Socorro, NM 87801, call 505.835.5410, or visit the Bureau’s website .