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Variability of the physical properties of tuff at Yucca Mountain, NV

Description: Lateral and vertical variabilities in the bulk and mechanical properties of silicic volcanic tuff at the potential nuclear waste repository site in Yucca Mountain, NV have been evaluated. Laboratory measurements have been performed on tuff specimens recovered from boreholes located to support the design of the Exploratory Studies Facility/North Ramp. The data include dry and saturated bulk densities, average grain density, porosity, compressional and shear wave velocities, elastic moduli, and compressional and tensional fracture strengths. Data from eight boreholes aligned in a northwest-southeast direction have been collected under the required quality assurance program. Three boreholes have penetrated the potential repository horizon. The information collected provides for an accurate appraisal of the variability of rock properties in the vicinity of the boreholes. As expected, there is substantial variability in the bulk and mechanical properties of the tuff with depth (lithology). This is due to variations in gross characteristics of the tuffs (e.g., cooling units, mode of deposition, etc.), as well as smaller scale features (welding, porosity, and internal structures) that have developed as a result of depositional and post-depositional mechanisms. An evaluation of the lateral variability in bulk and mechanical properties is somewhat limited, at this time, due to a lack of borehole control to the north and south (parallel to the depositional flow direction). Initial observations indicate that there is minimal lateral variability within lithologic units. There are observable differences however, that can be related to variability in specific properties (e.g., porosity, and internal structures).
Date: December 31, 1994
Creator: Boyd, P. J.; Martin, R. J., III & Price, R. H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An experimental comparison of laboratory techniques in determining bulk properties of tuffaceous rocks; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

Description: Samples of tuffaceous rock were studied as part of the site characterization for a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada. These efforts were scoping in nature, and their results, along with those of other investigations, are being used to develop suitable procedures for determining bulk properties of tuffaceous rock in support of thermal and mechanical properties evaluations. Comparisons were made between various sample preparation, handling, and measurement techniques for both zeolitized and nonzeolitized tuff in order to assess their effects on bulk property determinations. Laboratory tests included extensive drying regimes to evaluate dehydration behavior, the acquisition of data derived from both gas and water pycnometers to compare their suitability in determining grain densities, a comparison of particle size effects, and a set of experiments to evaluate whole core saturation methods. The results affirm the added complexity of these types of measurements where there is a zeolite component in the sample mineralogy. Absolute values for the bulk properties of zeolitized tuff are immeasurable due to the complex nature of their dehydration behavior. However, the results of the techniques that were investigated provide a basis for the development of preferred, consistent methods for determining the grain density, dry and saturated bulk densities, and porosity of tuffaceous rock, including zeolitic tuff in support of thermal and mechanical properties evaluations.
Date: April 1, 1994
Creator: Boyd, P.J.; Martin, R.J. III & Price, R.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The effect of frequency on Young`s modulus and seismic wave attenuation

Description: Laboratory experiments were performed to measure the effect of frequency, water-saturation, and strain amplitude on Young`s modulus and seismic wave attenuation on rock cores recovered on or near the site of a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The purpose of this investigation is to perform the measurements using four techniques: cyclic loading, waveform inversion, resonant bar, and ultrasonic velocity. The measurements ranged in frequency between 10{sup {minus}2} and 10{sup 6} Hz. For the dry specimens Young`s modulus and attenuation were independent of frequency; that is, all four techniques yielded nearly the same values for modulus and attenuation. For saturated specimens, a frequency dependence for both Young`s modulus and attenuation was observed. In general, saturation reduced Young`s modulus and increased seismic wave attenuation. The effect of strain amplitude on Young`s modulus and attenuation was measured using the cyclic loading technique at a frequency of 10{sup {minus}1} Hz. The effect of strain amplitude in all cases was small. For some rocks, such as the potential repository horizon of the Topopah Spring Member tuff (TSw2), the effect of strain amplitude on both attenuation and modulus was minimal.
Date: July 1, 1994
Creator: Price, R.H.; Martin, R.J. III & Haupt, R.W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Characterization of porosity in support of mechanical property analysis

Description: Previous laboratory investigations of tuff have shown that porosity has a dominant, general effect on mechanical properties. As a result, it is very important for the interpretation of mechanical property data that porosity is measured on each sample tested. Porosity alone, however, does not address all of the issues important to mechanical behavior. Variability in size and distribution of pore space produces significantly different mechanical properties. A nondestructive technique for characterizing the internal structure of the sample prior to testing is being developed and the results are being analyzed. The information obtained from this technique can help in both qualitative and quantitative interpretation of test results.
Date: December 31, 1992
Creator: Price, R.H.; Martin, R.J. III & Boyd, P.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mechanical and bulk properties of intact rock collected in the laboratory in support of the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

Description: A comprehensive laboratory investigation is determining the mechanical properties of tuffs for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP). Most recently, experiments have been performed on tuff samples from a series of drill holes along the planned alignment of the Exploratory Study Facilities (ESF) north ramp. Unconfined compression and indirect tension experiments were performed and the results are being analyzed with the help of bulk property information. The results on samples from eight of the drill holes are presented. In general, the properties vary widely, but are highly dependent on the sample porosity. The developed relationships between mechanical properties and porosity are powerful tools in the effort to model the rock mass response of Yucca Mountain to the emplacement of the potential high-level radioactive waste repository.
Date: November 1994
Creator: Price, R. H.; Martin, R. J., III; Boyd, P. J. & Boinott, G. N.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Anisotropy of the Topopah Spring Member Tuff

Description: Mechanical properties of the tuffaceous rocks within Yucca Mountain are needed for near and far-field modeling of the potential nuclear waste repository. If the mechanical properties are significantly anisotropic (i.e., direction-dependent), a more complex model is required. Relevant data from tuffs tested in earlier studies indicate that elastic and strength properties are anisotropic. This scoping study confirms the elastic anisotropy and concludes some tuffs are transversely isotropic. An approach for sampling and testing the rock to determine the magnitude of the anisotropy is proposed.
Date: July 1, 1992
Creator: Martin, R.J. III; Boyd, P.J.; Haupt, R.W. & Price, R.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Unconfined compression experiments on Topopah Spring Member tuff at 22{degrees}C and a strain rate of 10{sup {minus}9} s{sup {minus}1}: Data report; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

Description: Experiment results are presented for unconfined compressive strength and elastic moduli of tuffaceous rocks from Busted Butte near Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The data have been compiled for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Site and Engineering Properties Data Base. Experiments were conducted on water-saturated specimens of the potential nuclear waste repository horizon Topopah Spring Member tuff (thermal/mechanical unit TSw2). The influence of strain rate on mechanical properties of the tuff was examined by loading six specimens in uniaxial compression at a strain rate of 10{sup {minus}9} s{sup {minus}1}. The experiments performed under ambient pressure and temperature conditions and conformed to Technical Procedure 91, titled ``Unconfined Compression Experiments at 22{degrees}C and a Strain Rate of 10{sup {minus}9} s{sup {minus}1}.`` The mean and standard deviation values of ultimate strength, Young`s modulus and Poisson`s ratio determined from these experiments are 85.4{plus_minus}21.7 MPa, 33.9{plus_minus}4.6 GPa, and 0.09{plus_minus}0.07, respectively.
Date: August 1, 1993
Creator: Martin, R.J. III; Boyd, P.J.; Noel, J.S. & Price, R.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Relation between static and dynamic rock properties in welded and nonwelded tuff

Description: An integral part of the licensing procedure for the potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada involves accurate prediction of the in situ rheology for design and construction of the facility and emplacement of the canisters containing radioactive waste. The data required as input to successful thermal and mechanical models of the behavior of the repository and surrounding lithologies include bulk density, grain density, porosity, compressional and shear wave velocities, elastic moduli, and compressional and tensile strengths. In this study a suite of experiments was performed on cores recovered from the USW-NRG-6 borehole drilled to support the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) at Yucca Mountain. USW-NRG-6 was drilled to a depth of 1100 feet through four thermal/mechanical units of Paintbrush tuff. A large data set has been collected on specimens recovered from borehole USW-NRG-6. Analysis of the results of these experiments showed that there is a correlation between fracture strength, Young`s modulus, compressional wave velocity and porosity. Additional scaling laws relating; static Young`s modulus and compressional wave velocity; and fracture strength and compressional wave velocity are promising. Since there are no other distinct differences in material properties, the scatter that is present at each fixed porosity suggests that the differences in the observed property can be related to the pore structure of the specimen. Image analysis of CT scans performed on each test specimen are currently underway to seek additional empirical relations to aid in refining the correlations between static and dynamic properties of tuff.
Date: July 1, 1994
Creator: Price, R.H.; Boyd, P.J.; Noel, J.S. & Martin, R.J. III
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The influence of strain rate and sample inhomogeneity on the moduli and strength of welded tuff

Description: A series of constant strain rate, unconfined compression experiments was performed on saturated welded tuff specimens collected from Busted Butte near Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Twenty specimens were loaded to failure at strain rates ranging from 10{sup {minus}9}s{sup {minus}1} to 10{sup {minus}3}s{sup {minus}1}, under ambient pressure and temperature conditions. The strength of the specimens showed a continuous decrease with decreasing strain rate between 10{sup {minus}9} s{sup {minus}1} and 10{sup {minus}5} s{sup {minus}1}. At the highest strain rate, 10{sup {minus}3} s{sup {minus}1}, strengths were less than those observed at 10{sup {minus}5} s{sup {minus}1}, likely due to hydrofracturing within the specimen at rapid loading rates. Reduction in strength, corresponding to the decrease in strain rate, is explained in terms of stress corrosion cracking. A detailed examination of six specimens tested at a strain rate of 10{sup {minus}9} s{sup {minus}1}, using acoustic wave velocities and CT scans, shows a correlation between the nature of the microstructure of the specimens and the observed strengths and elastic moduli.
Date: December 31, 1992
Creator: Martin, R.J. III; Boyd, P.J.; Noel, J.S. & Price, R.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Modulus dispersion and attenuation in tuff and granite

Description: The effects of loading frequency, strain amplitude, and saturation on elastic moduli and attenuation have been measured in samples of the Topopah Spring Member welded tuff. Four different laboratory techniques have been used to determine Young`s modulus and extensional wave attenuation at frequencies ranging from 10{sup {minus}2} to 10{sup 6} Hz. The results are compared with data acquired for Sierra White granite under the same conditions. The modulus and attenuation in room dry samples remain relatively constant over frequency. Frequency dependent attenuation and modulus dispersion are observed in the saturated samples and are attributed to fluid flow and sample size. The properties of tuff were independent of strain amplitude in room dry and saturated conditions.
Date: December 23, 1991
Creator: Haupt, R.W.; Martin, R.J. III; Tang, X.; Dupree, W.J. & Price, R.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Procedure development study: Low strain rate and creep experiments; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

Description: Licensing of the potential nuclear-waste repository at Yucca Mountain by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would require, among other things, demonstrations of the long term usability of the underground facilities. Such a demonstration involves analysis of the mechanical response of the rock to the presence of underground openings and heat-producing waste, which in turn requires data on the mechanical properties of the rock. This document describes the experimental results from a scoping study which led to the development of procedures for performing quality-affecting rock-mechanics experiments on intact rock. The future experiments performed with these procedures will produce information on the time-dependent deformation of welded tuff and represent one aspect of the overall effort to characterize the rheology of the rock mass. 3 refs., 42 figs., 6 tabs.
Date: October 1, 1991
Creator: Martin, R.J. III; Boyd, P.J.; Noel, J.S. & Price, R.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Creep in Topopah Spring Member welded tuff. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

Description: A laboratory investigation has been carried out to determine the effects of elevated temperature and stress on the creep deformation of welded tuffs recovered from Busted Butte in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Water saturated specimens of tuff from thermal/mechanical unit TSw2 were tested in creep at a confining pressure of 5.0 MPa, a pore pressure of 4.5 MPa, and temperatures of 25 and 250 C. At each stress level the load was held constant for a minimum of 2.5 {times} 10{sup 5} seconds and for as long as 1.8 {times} 10{sup 6} seconds. One specimen was tested at a single stress of 80 MPa and a temperature of 250 C. The sample failed after a short time. Subsequent experiments were initiated with an initial differential stress of 50 or 60 MPa; the stress was then increased in 10 MPa increments until failure. The data showed that creep deformation occurred in the form of time-dependent axial and radial strains, particularly beyond 90% of the unconfined, quasi-static fracture strength. There was little dilatancy associated with the deformation of the welded tuff at stresses below 90% of the fracture strength. Insufficient data have been collected in this preliminary study to determine the relationship between temperature, stress, creep deformation to failure, and total failure time at a fixed creep stress.
Date: June 1, 1995
Creator: Martin, R.J. III; Boyd, P.J.; Noel, J.S. & Price, R.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department