Field investigation of the drift shadow

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A drift shadow is an area immediately beneath an undergroundvoidthat, in theory, will be relatively drier than the surrounding rockmass. Numerical and analytical models of water flow through unsaturatedrock predict the existence of a drift shadow, but field tests confirmingits existence have yet to be performed. Proving the existence of driftshadows and understanding their hydrologic and transport characteristicscould provide a better understanding of how contaminants move in thesubsurface if released from waste emplacement drifts such as the proposednuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. We describe the fieldprogram that will be used to investigate the existence of a drift shadowand ... continued below

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Su, Grace W.; Kneafsey, Timothy J.; Ghezzehei, Teamrat A.; Marshall, Brian D. & Cook, Paul J. September 8, 2005.

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A drift shadow is an area immediately beneath an undergroundvoidthat, in theory, will be relatively drier than the surrounding rockmass. Numerical and analytical models of water flow through unsaturatedrock predict the existence of a drift shadow, but field tests confirmingits existence have yet to be performed. Proving the existence of driftshadows and understanding their hydrologic and transport characteristicscould provide a better understanding of how contaminants move in thesubsurface if released from waste emplacement drifts such as the proposednuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. We describe the fieldprogram that will be used to investigate the existence of a drift shadowand the corresponding hydrological process at the Hazel-Atlas silica-sandmine located at the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch,California. The location and configuration of this mine makes it anexcellent site to observe and measure drift shadow characteristics. Themine is located in a porous sandstone unit of the Domengine Formation, anapproximately 230 meter thick series of interbedded Eocene-age shales,coals, and massive-bedded sandstones. The mining method used at the minerequired the development of two parallel drifts, one above the other,driven along the strike of the mined sandstone stratum. Thisconfiguration provides the opportunity to introduce water into the rockmass in the upper drift and to observe and measure its flow around theunderlying drift. The passive and active hydrologic tests to be performedare described. In the passive method, cores will be obtained in a radialpattern around a drift and will be sectioned and analyzed for in-situwater content and chemical constituents. With the active hydrologic test,water will be introduced into the upper drift of the two parallel driftsand the flow of the water will be tracked as it passes near the bottomdrift. Tensiometers, electrical resistance probes, neutron probes, andground penetrating radar may be used to monitor the change in moisturecontent and potential over time as water is released.

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  • 2005 AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, 5-9December 2005

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  • Report No.: LBNL--60950
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 920350
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc898684

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

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  • September 8, 2005

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Sept. 29, 2016, 8:35 p.m.

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Su, Grace W.; Kneafsey, Timothy J.; Ghezzehei, Teamrat A.; Marshall, Brian D. & Cook, Paul J. Field investigation of the drift shadow, article, September 8, 2005; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc898684/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.