Hydrogeology of the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

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The unsaturated volcanic tuff beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is being evaluated by the US Department of Energy as a host rock for a potential mined geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. Assessment of site suitability needs an efficient and focused investigative program. A conceptual hydrogeologic model that simulates the flow of fluids through the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain was developed to guide the program and to provide a basis for preliminary assessment of site suitability. The study was made as part of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project of the US Department of Energy. Thickness of the unsaturated ... continued below

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17 p.

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Montazer, P. & Wilson, W.E. December 31, 1985.

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Description

The unsaturated volcanic tuff beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is being evaluated by the US Department of Energy as a host rock for a potential mined geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. Assessment of site suitability needs an efficient and focused investigative program. A conceptual hydrogeologic model that simulates the flow of fluids through the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain was developed to guide the program and to provide a basis for preliminary assessment of site suitability. The study was made as part of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project of the US Department of Energy. Thickness of the unsaturated zone is about 1640 to 2460 feet (500 to 750 meters). Based on physical properties, the rocks in the unsaturated zone are grouped for the purpose of this paper into five informal hydrogeologic units. From top to bottom these units are: Tiva Canyon welded unit, Paintbrush nonwelded unit. Topopah Spring welded unit, Calico Hills nonwelded unit, and Crater Flat unit. Welded units have a mean fracture density of 8 to 40 fractures per unit cubic meter, mean matrix porosities of 12 to 23%, matrix hydraulic conductivities with geometric means ranging from 6.5 x 10{sup -6} to 9.8 x 10{sup -6} foot per day (2 x 10{sup -6} to 3 x 10{sup -6} meter per day), and bulk hydraulic conductivities of 0.33 to 33 feet per day (0.1 to 10 meters per day). The nonwelded units have a mean fracture density of 1 to 3 fractures per unit cubic meter, mean matrix porosities of 31 to 46%, and saturated hydraulic conductivities with geometric means ranging from 2.6 x 10{sup -5} to 2.9 x 10{sup -2} foot per day (8 x 10{sup -6} to 9 x 10{sup -3} meter per day). 15 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

Physical Description

17 p.

Notes

NTIS, PC A02/MF A01; OSTI as DE86008847

Source

  • Conference on characterization and monitoring of the vadose zone, Denver, CO (United States), 19-21 Nov 1985

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  • Other: DE86008847
  • Report No.: CONF-8511172--6
  • Grant Number: AI08-78ET44802
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 59848
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc689666

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  • December 31, 1985

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Aug. 14, 2015, 8:43 a.m.

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  • April 18, 2016, 6:50 p.m.

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Montazer, P. & Wilson, W.E. Hydrogeology of the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada, article, December 31, 1985; Denver, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689666/: accessed October 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.