Conceptual evaluation of the potential role of fractures in unsaturated processes at Yucca Mountain

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A wide array of field observations, in situ testing, and rock and water sampling (and subsequent analyses) within the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain demonstrate the importance of fractures to flow and transport in the welded tuffs. The abundance of fractures and the spatial variability in their hydraulic properties, along with the heterogeneity within lithologic formations, make evaluation of unsaturated processes occurring within the potential repository horizon complex. Fracture mapping and field testing show that fractures are well connected, yet considerable variation is seen within and between units comprising the potential repository horizon with regard to fracture trace length, spacing, ... continued below

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Hinds, Jennifer J.; Bodvarsson, Gudmundur S. & Nieder-Westermann, Gerald H. April 4, 2002.

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A wide array of field observations, in situ testing, and rock and water sampling (and subsequent analyses) within the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain demonstrate the importance of fractures to flow and transport in the welded tuffs. The abundance of fractures and the spatial variability in their hydraulic properties, along with the heterogeneity within lithologic formations, make evaluation of unsaturated processes occurring within the potential repository horizon complex. Fracture mapping and field testing show that fractures are well connected, yet considerable variation is seen within and between units comprising the potential repository horizon with regard to fracture trace length, spacing, permeability, and capillarity. These variations have important implications for the distribution and movement of water and solutes through the unsaturated zone. Numerical models designed to assess such phenomena as unsaturated flow, transport, and coupled thermal-hydrological processes each require their own conceptual model for fracture networks, in order to identify the subset of all fractures that is relevant to the particular study. We evaluate several process-dependent conceptual models for fractures and identify the relevant fracture subsets related to these processes.

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  • Journal Name: Journal of Contaminant Hydrology; Journal Volume: 62; Journal Issue: 3 SI

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  • Report No.: LBNL--48950
  • Grant Number: AC03-76SF00098
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 838527
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc785484

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • April 4, 2002

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • April 4, 2016, 4:04 p.m.

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Hinds, Jennifer J.; Bodvarsson, Gudmundur S. & Nieder-Westermann, Gerald H. Conceptual evaluation of the potential role of fractures in unsaturated processes at Yucca Mountain, article, April 4, 2002; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc785484/: accessed October 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.