Bonito Lake is an alpine reservoir located high in the Sierra Blanca mountains northwest of Ruidoso, New Mexico. It is a popular fishing and camping destination, and although it is surrounded by the Lincoln National Forest, it is not a part of the national forest. It is currently owned by the city of Alamogordo, New Mexico as their primary water source. The lake sediment has alternating carbon from the fire, sand from high erosion, and silts and fine sediments repeated from 5 fires over 100+ years. The 2012 Little Bear Fire caused flooding and other damage to Bonito Lake and the surrounding area. The lake has been closed to fishing since that time, and the campgrounds around the lake are also closed. This fire caused severe erosion in the watershed above the lake, and the lake was contaminated with sediment and ash from the fire. In 2013, SDI helped the city of Alamogordo assess how much sediment poured into Bonito Lake from core samples near the dam.


On a 20 foot pontoon boat, the crew collected several core samples by using SDI manufactured VibeCore D vibracoring sediment sampling equipment. It includes a 30-ft core tube collected a nearly full-length sediment sample. 

Equipment Used