REGIONAL HYDROLOGY OF THE NOPAL I SITE, SIERRA DE PENA BLANCA, CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO

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The U.S. Department of Energy sponsored the drilling of three wells in 2003 near the Nopal I uranium deposit at the Sierra Pena Blanca, Chihuahua, Mexico. Piezometric information is being collected to understand groundwater flow at local and regional levels as part of an ongoing natural analogue study of radionuclide migration. Water level monitoring reported at these and other wells in the region is combined with archival data to provide a better understanding of the hydrology at Nopal I. Initial results suggest that the local hydrology is dependent on the regional hydrologic setting and that this groundwater system behaves as ... continued below

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Rodriguez-Pineda, J.A.; Goodell, P.; Dobson, P.F.; Walton, J.; Oliver, R.; Garza, De La et al. July 11, 2005.

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The U.S. Department of Energy sponsored the drilling of three wells in 2003 near the Nopal I uranium deposit at the Sierra Pena Blanca, Chihuahua, Mexico. Piezometric information is being collected to understand groundwater flow at local and regional levels as part of an ongoing natural analogue study of radionuclide migration. Water level monitoring reported at these and other wells in the region is combined with archival data to provide a better understanding of the hydrology at Nopal I. Initial results suggest that the local hydrology is dependent on the regional hydrologic setting and that this groundwater system behaves as an unconfined aquifer. The region is dominated by an alternating sequence of highlands and basins that step down from west to east. The Sierra de Pena Blanca was downdropped from the cratonic block to the west during Cenozoic extension. The Nopal I area is near the intersection of two large listric faults, and the questa of ash flow tuffs that hosts the deposit has been subjected to complex structural events. The Pena Blanca Uranium District was originally characterized by 105 airborne radiometric anomalies, indicating widespread uranium mineralization. The Nopal I uranium deposit is located in the Sierra del Pena Blanca between the Encinillas Basin to the west, with a mean elevation of 1560 m, and the El Cuervo Basin to the east, with a mean elevation of 1230 m. The Nopal I + 10 level is at an intermediate elevation of 1463 m, with a corresponding groundwater elevation of approximately 1240 m. The regional potentiometric surface indicates flow from west to east, with the El Cuervo Basin being the discharge zone for the regional flow system. However, it appears that the local groundwater potential beneath the Nopal I site is more in accordance with the water table of the El Cuervo Basin than with that of the Encinillas Basin. This might indicate that there is limited groundwater flow between the Encinillas Basin and the Nopal I area.

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  • Report No.: NA
  • Grant Number: NA
  • DOI: 10.2172/859183 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 859183
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc787378

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  • July 11, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • Feb. 10, 2016, 5:42 p.m.

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Rodriguez-Pineda, J.A.; Goodell, P.; Dobson, P.F.; Walton, J.; Oliver, R.; Garza, De La et al. REGIONAL HYDROLOGY OF THE NOPAL I SITE, SIERRA DE PENA BLANCA, CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO, report, July 11, 2005; Las Vegas, Nevada. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc787378/: accessed November 13, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.