Mineralogic Zonation Within the Tuff Confining Unit, Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site

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Recently acquired mineralogic data from drill hole samples in Yucca Flat show that the tuff confining unit (TCU) can be subdivided into three mineralogic zones based on the relative abundances of primary and secondary mineral assemblages. These zones are (1) an upper zone characterized by the abundance of the zeolite mineral clinoptilolite with lesser amounts of felsic and clay minerals; (2) a middle zone with felsic minerals dominant over clinoptilolite and clay minerals; and (3) a basal argillic zone where clay minerals are dominant over felsic minerals and clinoptilolite. Interpretation of the mineralogic data, along with lithologic, stratigraphic, and geophysical ... continued below

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Prothro, Lance September 1, 2005.

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Recently acquired mineralogic data from drill hole samples in Yucca Flat show that the tuff confining unit (TCU) can be subdivided into three mineralogic zones based on the relative abundances of primary and secondary mineral assemblages. These zones are (1) an upper zone characterized by the abundance of the zeolite mineral clinoptilolite with lesser amounts of felsic and clay minerals; (2) a middle zone with felsic minerals dominant over clinoptilolite and clay minerals; and (3) a basal argillic zone where clay minerals are dominant over felsic minerals and clinoptilolite. Interpretation of the mineralogic data, along with lithologic, stratigraphic, and geophysical data from approximately 500 drill holes, reveals a three-layer mineralogic model for the TCU that shows all three zones are extensive beneath Yucca Flat. The mineralogic model will be used to subdivide the TCU in the Yucca Flat hydrostratigraphic framework model, resulting in a more accurate and versatile framework model. In addition, the identification of the type, quantity, and distribution of minerals within each TCU layer will permit modelers to better predict the spatial distribution and extent of contaminant transport from underground tests in Yucca Flat, at both the level of the hydrologic source term and the corrective action unit.

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  • Report No.: DOE/NV/11718--995
  • Grant Number: AC08-96NV11718
  • DOI: 10.2172/861450 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 861450
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc793111

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  • September 1, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 19, 2015, 7:14 p.m.

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  • Dec. 6, 2016, 1:30 p.m.

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Prothro, Lance. Mineralogic Zonation Within the Tuff Confining Unit, Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, report, September 1, 2005; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc793111/: accessed October 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.