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Results from air-injection and tracer testing in the Upper Tiva Canyon, Bow Ridge Fault, and upper Paintbrush contact alcoves of the Exploratory Studies Facility, August 1994 through July 1996, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

Description: The Yucca Mountain Project is a US Department of Energy (DOE) scientific study to evaluate the potential for geologic disposal of high-level radioactive waste in an unsaturated-zone desert environment. The US Geological Survey (USGS) has been conducting geologic and hydrologic studies of the potential repository site for the DOE. These studies are to quantify the geologic and hydrologic characteristics of Yucca Mountain and to conceptualize and model gas and liquid flow at the potential repository site. Single-hole and cross-hole air-injection and tracer testing was conducted in alcoves located in the underground Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) to quantify the permeability and porosity values of the fractured and unfractured volcanic rocks (tuff). The permeability and porosity of these tuffs control the movement of fluids in Yucca Mountain. Study of these parameters provides an understanding of fluid flow in the unsaturated zone, and the parameters can be used in unsaturated-zone numerical modeling to estimate fluid flux through the mountain. This report presents the results from air-injection and tracer testing conducted in the upper Tiva Canyon alcove (UTCA), the Bow Ridge Fault alcove (BRFA), and the upper Paintbrush contact alcove (UPCA) by the USGS from August 1994 through July 1996. The locations of the alcoves and their relations to the potential repository are shown in a figure.
Date: September 1, 1998
Creator: LeCain, G.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air-injection testing in vertical boreholes in welded and nonwelded Tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

Description: Air-injection tests, by use of straddle packers, were done in four vertical boreholes (UE-25 UZ-No.16, USW SD-12, USW NRG-6, and USW NRG-7a) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The geologic units tested were the Tiva Canyon Tuff, nonwelded tuffs of the Paintbrush Group, Topopah Spring Tuff, and Calico Hills Formation. Air-injection permeability values of the Tiva Canyon Tuff ranged from 0.3 x 10{sup -12} to 54.0 x 10{sup -12} m{sup 2}(square meter). Air-injection permeability values of the Paintbrush nonwelded tuff ranged from 0.12 x 10{sup -12} to 3.0 x 10{sup -12} m{sup 2}. Air-injection permeability values of the Topopah Spring Tuff ranged from 0.02 x 10{sup -12} to 33.0 x 10{sup -12} m{sup 2}. The air-injection permeability value of the only Calico Hills Formation interval tested was 0.025 x 10{sup -12} m{sup 2}. The shallow test intervals of the Tiva Canyon Tuff had the highest air-injection permeability values. Variograms of the air-injection permeability values of the Topopah Spring Tuff show a hole effect; an initial increase in the variogram values is followed by a decrease. The hole effect is due to the decrease in permeability with depth identified in several geologic zones. The hole effect indicates some structural control of the permeability distribution, possibly associated with the deposition and cooling of the tuff. Analysis of variance indicates that the air-injection permeability values of borehole NRG-7a of the Topopah Spring Tuff are different from the other boreholes; this indicates areal variation in permeability.
Date: December 31, 1997
Creator: LeCain, G. D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pneumatic testing in 45-degree-inclined boreholes in ash-flow tuff near Superior, Arizona

Description: Matrix permeability values determined by single-hole pneumatic testing in nonfractured ash-flow tuff ranged from 5.1 to 20.3*10{sup -16} m{sup 2} (meters squared), depending on the gas-injection rate and analysis method used. Results from the single-hole tests showed several significant correlations between permeability and injection rate and between permeability and test order. Fracture permeability values determined by cross-hole pneumatic testing in fractured ash-flow tuff ranged from 0.81 to 3.49 x 10{sup -14} m{sup 2}, depending on injection rate and analysis method used. Results from the cross-hole tests monitor intervals showed no significant correlation between permeability and injection rate; however, results from the injection interval showed a significant correlation between injection rate and permeability. Porosity estimates from the cross-hole testing range from 0.8 to 2.0 percent. The maximum temperature change associated with the pneumatic testing was 1.2{degrees}C measured in the injection interval during cross-hole testing. The maximum temperature change in the guard and monitor intervals was 0.1{degrees}C. The maximum error introduced into the permeability values due to temperature fluctuations is approximately 4 percent. Data from temperature monitoring in the borehole indicated a positive correlation between the temperature decrease in the injection interval during recovery testing and the gas-injection rate. The thermocouple psychrometers indicated that water vapor was condensing in the boreholes during testing. The psychrometers in the guard and monitor intervals detected the drier injected gas as an increase in the dry bulb reading. The relative humidity in the test intervals was always higher than the upper measurement limit of the psychrometers. Although the installation of the packer system may have altered the water balance of the borehole, the gas-injection testing resulted in minimal or no changes in the borehole relative humidity.
Date: November 1995
Creator: LeCain, G. D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Use of Thermal Data to Estimate Infiltration in Pagany Wash Associated with the winter of 1997-1998 El Nino Precipitation, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

Description: Temperature and air-pressure monitoring in a vertical borehole located in Pagany Wash, a normally dry stream-carved channel northeast of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, indicated that the annual temperature wave was measurable to a depth of 11.1 m. Temperature depressions were measured at depths of 3.1, 6.1, 9.2, and 11.1 m below ground surface. The temperature depressions were interpreted to be the result of infiltration associated with the 1997-1998 El Nino precipitation. A pressure differential, of approximately 2 kiloPascals, between stations located 11.1 and 24.5 m below ground surface was interpreted to be the result of compressed air ahead of the wetting front. The pressure differences between stations indicated that the wetting front migrated deeper than 35.2 m and that the Yucca Mountain Tuff retarded the downward movement of the wetting front. An analytical method indicated that the infiltration flux through the Pagany Wash alluvium due to the 1997-1998 El Nino precipitation was approximately 940 mm. A one-dimensional numerical model indicated that the infiltration flux was approximately 1000 mm. Sensitivity analysis indicated that the potential temperature decrease due to conduction was minimal and that cooler surface temperatures could not account for the measured subsurface temperature depressions.
Date: January 20, 2000
Creator: LeCain, G.D.; lu, N. & Kurzmack, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of the Performance Confirmation Program at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

Description: The Yucca Mountain Performance Confirmation program consists of tests, monitoring activities, experiments, and analyses to evaluate the adequacy of assumptions, data, and analyses that form the basis of the conceptual and numerical models of flow and transport associated with a proposed radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The Performance Confirmation program uses an eight-stage risk-informed, performance-based approach. Selection of the Performance Confirmation activities (a parameter and a test method) for inclusion in the Performance Confirmation program was done using a risk-informed performance-based decision analysis. The result of this analysis and review was a Performance Confirmation base portfolio that consists of 20 activities. The 20 Performance Confirmation activities include geologic, hydrologic, and construction/engineering testing. Several of the activities were initiated during site characterization and are ongoing. Others activities will commence during construction and/or post emplacement and will continue until repository closure.
Date: March 17, 2006
Creator: LeCain, G.D.; Barr, D.; Weaver, D.; Snell, R.; Goodin, S.W. & Hansen, F.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of the Performance Confirmation Program at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

Description: The Yucca Mountain Performance Confirmation program consists of tests, monitoring activities, experiments, and analyses to evaluate the adequacy of assumptions, data, and analyses that form the basis of the conceptual and numerical models of flow and transport associated with a proposed radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The Performance Confirmation program uses an eight-stage risk-informed, performance-based approach. Selection of the Performance Confirmation activities (a parameter and a test method) for inclusion in the Performance Confirmation program was done using a risk-informed performance-based decision analysis. The result of this analysis and review was a Performance Confirmation base portfolio that consists of 20 activities. The 20 Performance Confirmation activities include geologic, hydrologic, and construction/engineering testing. Several of the activities were initiated during site characterization and are ongoing. Others activities will commence during construction and/or post emplacement and will continue until repository closure.
Date: March 17, 2006
Creator: LeCain, G.D.; Snell, R.; Barr, D.; Goodin, S.W.; Weaver, D. & Hansen, F.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department