Main Menu   Sites

Lake Estancia

NM: Torrance Co.


Location of the Lake Estancia sites.Age. Wisconsin.

General Description. The Estancia Basin is a large area of internal drainage in central New Mexico east of the Manzano Mountains. Sedimentary deposits indicate a series of lakes in the lower portions of the basin during the Pleistocene (Bachhuber 1989). Morgan and Lucas (2005) record fossils from four localities grouped for reporting.

Discussion. Bachhuber (1989) recognized four time spans in which there was water fresh enough to support Cutthroat Trout: an Illinoian or pre-Illinoian Early Lake Estancia; Late Lake Estancia (late Wisconsin), an interpluvial (late Wisconsin) and a near-terminal Pleistocene Lake Willard. The first of the three late Wisconsin deposits had abundant Barred Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium) fossil elements and is dated at 24,300±560 BP.


Oncorhynchus clarkii—Cutthroat Trout (Bachhuber 1989)
Ambystoma mavortium—Barred Tiger Salamander (Bachhuber 1989)
Anatidae—Ducks (Morgan and Lucas 2005)
Equus niobrarensis—Niobrara Horse Morgan and Lucas 2005


Last Update: 19 Oct 2008