Mount Sopris geophysicist Lia Martinez recently visited La Paz, Bolivia to give a training to the Ministry of Rural and Land Development (Ministerio de Desarrollo Rural y Tierras) with the help of our local representative Terratec SRL. The Ministry has recently purchased both a portable borehole camera as well as a combination natural gamma and resistivity downhole tool (40GRP) for their projects drilling water wells throughout Bolivia.


MSI Representative Terratec SRL has a booth at the Expo Bolivia Minera show in La Paz

In Bolivia, Mount Sopris and ALT work with our very knowledgeable local representativesTerratec SRL, headed by Omar Baspiniero and Juan Carlos Luque. Terratec sells other near surface geophysical equipment as well and has offices in La Paz and Santa Cruz. Omar is a geophysicist with decades of experience applying near surface instrumentation in a variety of applications from groundwater to mining. Juan Carlos is an expert technician whose skill provides Mount Sopris & ALT customers in Bolivia with after sales technical support and basic equipment repair.

The largest mining exhibition in Bolivia is called Expo Bolivia Minera and is held in August every year. Terratec and Mount Sopris Instruments were both in attendance. This allowed us to meet with and discuss upcoming projects with many of our current and future customers.


Lia Martinez giving a presentation and description of classic logging measurements for groundwater applications.

The Bolivian Ministry of Rural and Land Development is a large governmental department whose Mission follows:

The MDRyT is the public institution of the Executive Branch of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, responsible for defining and implementing policies to promote, facilitate, regulate and articulate the integral rural development of agriculture, forestry, aquaculture and coca, in a sustainable manner, and promote in the country a new structure of tenure and access to land and forests, generating decent employment for the benefit of producers, communities and peasant, indigenous and business sector economic organizations, under the principles of quality, equity, inclusion, transparency, reciprocity and cultural identity , in search of food security and sovereignty, to Live Well.

El MDRyT es la institución pública del Órgano Ejecutivo del Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia, encargada de definir e implementar políticas para promover, facilitar, normar y articular el desarrollo rural integral agropecuario, forestal, acuícola y de la coca, de forma sustentable, e impulsar en el país una nueva estructura de tenencia y acceso a la tierra y bosques, generando empleo digno en beneficio de productores, comunidades y organizaciones económicas campesinas, indígenas y sector empresarial, bajo los principios de calidad, equidad, inclusión, transparencia, reciprocidad e identidad cultural, en busca de la seguridad y soberanía alimentaria, para Vivir Bien.

Training for downhole geophysics in Carabuco, Bolivia

Part of their work centers on developing secure groundwater resources for communities who currently struggle for access to clean drinking water. To this end, the Ministry purchased:

The training for this equipment covered two full days and included an average of 10 students from the Ministry. They were also joined by customers from other water well drilling companies and Terratec.

The first day was spent in the Terratec offices where they reviewed the classic logging measurements of natural gamma, SP, short and long normal resistivity, SPR, temperature, and fluid conductivity. The Ministry employees learned about scientific principles underlying these data and how they can interpret them to gather useful information about their subsurface aquifers, fluid flow, and geology.


Discussing gamma and resistivity measurements using LoggerSuite software in the field.

The second day focused on field well logging at a recently drilled groundwater well near the small pueblo of Carabuco on the east side of Lake Titicaca. The well was fairly shallow with a maximum drilled depth of 90 meters. However, because of collapsing sediments and instability in the well located near the lake, they were only able to log to a little more than 50 meters.


Enjoying a day of wireline logging with the Ministerio de Desarrollo Rural y Tierras, Bolivia

The great news is that even with the shallow depth, they were able to collect gamma, sp, and resistivity data that allowed the Ministry to correctly identify layers of gravel water producing layers interbedded with clays. The clays can be identified on the log below as the thin layers where the gamma increases and the resistivity measurements decrease.


Overall the Ministry was very satisfied with the training and are eager to begin using their new downhole logging tools for geologically complex wells throughout the country. Mount Sopris is very thankful to our representatives at Terratec srl for their hard work and support throughout this trip.

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