The role of regional groundwater flow in the hydrogeology of the Culebra member of the Rustler formation at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), southeastern New Mexico

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Description

Numerical simulation has been used to enhance conceptual understanding, of the hydrogeology of the Culebra Dolomite in the context of regional groundwater flow. The hydrogeology is of interest because this unit is a possible pathway for offsite migration of radionuclides from a proposed repository for defense-generated transuranic wastes (the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant). The numerical model used is three-dimensional, extends laterally to topographic features that form the actual boundaries of a regional groundwater system, and uses a free-surface upper boundary condition to simulate the effect of change in the rate of recharge on groundwater flow. Steady-state simulations were performed to ... continued below

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203 p.

Creation Information

Corbet, T.F. & Knupp, P.M. December 1, 1996.

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This report is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 116 times . More information about this report can be viewed below.

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  • Corbet, T.F. Sandia National Lab., Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  • Knupp, P.M. Ecodynamics Research Associates, Albuquerque, NM (United States)

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  • Sandia National Laboratories
    Publisher Info: Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)
    Place of Publication: Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Description

Numerical simulation has been used to enhance conceptual understanding, of the hydrogeology of the Culebra Dolomite in the context of regional groundwater flow. The hydrogeology is of interest because this unit is a possible pathway for offsite migration of radionuclides from a proposed repository for defense-generated transuranic wastes (the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant). The numerical model used is three-dimensional, extends laterally to topographic features that form the actual boundaries of a regional groundwater system, and uses a free-surface upper boundary condition to simulate the effect of change in the rate of recharge on groundwater flow. Steady-state simulations were performed to examine the sensitivity of simulation results to assumed values for hydraulic conductivity and recharge rate. Transient simulations, covering the time period from 14,000 years in the past to 10,000 years in the future, provided insight into how patterns of groundwater flow respond to changes in climate. Simulation results suggest that rates and directions of Groundwater flow in the Culebra change with time due to interaction between recharge, movement of the water table, and the topography of the land surface. The gentle east-to-west slope of the land surface in the vicinity of the WIPP caused groundwater in the Culebra to flow toward and discharge into Nash Draw, a topographic depression. Modern-day flow directions in the Culebra reflect regional rather than local features of the topography. Changes in Groundwater flow, however, lagged behind changes in the rate of recharge. The present-day position of the water table is still adjusting to the decrease in recharge that ended 8,000 years ago. Contaminants introduced into the Culebra will travel toward the accessible environment along the Culebra rather than by leaking upward or downward into other units. Natural changes in flow over the next 10,000 years will be small and will mainly reflect future short-term wet periods.

Physical Description

203 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE97002327

Source

  • Other Information: PBD: Dec 1996

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  • Other: DE97002327
  • Report No.: SAND--96-2133
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/420404 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 420404
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc674574

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Creation Date

  • December 1, 1996

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • July 25, 2015, 2:20 a.m.

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  • June 13, 2016, 8:50 p.m.

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Corbet, T.F. & Knupp, P.M. The role of regional groundwater flow in the hydrogeology of the Culebra member of the Rustler formation at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), southeastern New Mexico, report, December 1, 1996; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc674574/: accessed October 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.