Modeling Temporal-Spatial Earthquake and Volcano Clustering at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

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The proposed national high-level nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain is close to Quaternary faults and cinder cones. The frequency of these events is low, with indications of spatial and temporal clustering, making probabilistic assessments difficult. In an effort to identify the most likely intrusion sites, we based a 3D finite element model on the expectation that faulting and basalt intrusions are primarily sensitive to the magnitude and orientation of the least principal stress in extensional terranes. We found that in the absence of fault slip, variation in overburden pressure caused a stress state that preferentially favored intrusions at Crater Flat. ... continued below

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Parsons, T.; Thompson, G.A. & Cogbill, A.H. May 31, 2006.

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The proposed national high-level nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain is close to Quaternary faults and cinder cones. The frequency of these events is low, with indications of spatial and temporal clustering, making probabilistic assessments difficult. In an effort to identify the most likely intrusion sites, we based a 3D finite element model on the expectation that faulting and basalt intrusions are primarily sensitive to the magnitude and orientation of the least principal stress in extensional terranes. We found that in the absence of fault slip, variation in overburden pressure caused a stress state that preferentially favored intrusions at Crater Flat. However, when we allowed central Yucca Mountain faults to slip in the model, we found that magmatic clustering was not favored at Crater Flat or in the central Yucca Mountain block. Instead, we calculated that the stress field was most encouraging to intrusions near fault terminations, consistent with the location of the most recent volcanism at Yucca Mountain, the Lathrop Wells cone. We found this linked fault and magmatic system to be mutually reinforcing in the model in that dike inflation favored renewed fault slip.

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  • Report No.: NA
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  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 893884
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc881521

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  • May 31, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 29, 2016, 8:22 p.m.

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Parsons, T.; Thompson, G.A. & Cogbill, A.H. Modeling Temporal-Spatial Earthquake and Volcano Clustering at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, article, May 31, 2006; Las Vegas, Nevada. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc881521/: accessed December 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.