Status of understanding of the saturated-zone ground-water flow system at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as of 1995

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Description

Yucca Mountain, which is being studied extensively because it is a potential site for a high-level radioactive-waste repository, consists of a thick sequence of volcanic rocks of Tertiary age that are underlain, at least to the southeast, by carbonate rocks of Paleozoic age. Stratigraphic units important to the hydrology of the area include the alluvium, pyroclastic rocks of Miocene age (the Timber Mountain Group; the Paintbrush Group; the Calico Hills Formation; the Crater Flat Group; the Lithic Ridge Tuff; and older tuffs, flows, and lavas beneath the Lithic Ridge Tuff), and sedimentary rocks of Paleozoic age. The saturated zone generally ... continued below

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77 p.

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Luckey, R.R.; Tucci, P.; Faunt, C.C. & Ervin, E.M. December 31, 1996.

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Description

Yucca Mountain, which is being studied extensively because it is a potential site for a high-level radioactive-waste repository, consists of a thick sequence of volcanic rocks of Tertiary age that are underlain, at least to the southeast, by carbonate rocks of Paleozoic age. Stratigraphic units important to the hydrology of the area include the alluvium, pyroclastic rocks of Miocene age (the Timber Mountain Group; the Paintbrush Group; the Calico Hills Formation; the Crater Flat Group; the Lithic Ridge Tuff; and older tuffs, flows, and lavas beneath the Lithic Ridge Tuff), and sedimentary rocks of Paleozoic age. The saturated zone generally occurs in the Calico Hills Formation and stratigraphically lower units. The saturated zone is divided into three aquifers and two confining units. The flow system at Yucca Mountain is part of the Alkali Flat-Furnace Creek subbasin of the Death Valley groundwater basin. Variations in the gradients of the potentiometric surface provided the basis for subdividing the Yucca Mountain area into zones of: (1) large hydraulic gradient where potentiometric levels change at least 300 meters in a few kilometers; (2) moderate hydraulic gradient where potentiometric levels change about 45 meters in a few kilometers; and (3) small hydraulic gradient where potentiometric levels change only about 2 meters in several kilometers. Vertical hydraulic gradients were measured in only a few boreholes around Yucca Mountain; most boreholes had little change in potentiometric levels with depth. Limited hydraulic testing of boreholes in the Yucca Mountain area indicated that the range in transmissivity was more than 2 to 3 orders of magnitude in a particular hydrogeologic unit, and that the average values for the individual hydrogeologic units generally differed by about 1 order of magnitude. The upper volcanic aquifer seems to be the most permeable hydrogeologic unit, but this conclusion was based on exceedingly limited data.

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77 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE97002516

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  • Other Information: PBD: 1996

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  • Other: DE97002516
  • Report No.: DOE/NV/10874--T8
  • Report No.: USGS-WRI--96-4077
  • Grant Number: AI08-92NV10874
  • DOI: 10.2172/437703 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 437703
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc675870

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  • December 31, 1996

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • July 25, 2015, 2:20 a.m.

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  • May 18, 2016, 5:55 p.m.

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Luckey, R.R.; Tucci, P.; Faunt, C.C. & Ervin, E.M. Status of understanding of the saturated-zone ground-water flow system at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as of 1995, report, December 31, 1996; Denver, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc675870/: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.