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Development of an ultracompact neutron spectrometer for identifying near-surface water on mars.

Description: One of the major goals of the Mars science program is to identify exact locations of near-surface water or hydrated minerals on Mars. Evidence is mounting that Mars may have contemporary near-surface groundwater activity. Though very water-poor by terrestrial igneous standards, the SNC meteorivtes were found to contain evaporite minerals suggestive of groundwater activity within the past 1.3 Ga. More recently, the Mars Surveyor camera recorded images of geologically young seepage and outflow channels attributed to liquid water. The sources of these channels were suggested to be only a few hundred meters or less below the surface. If these channels are truly geologically young, thinly buried ice may still exist at the termination of these channels.
Date: January 1, 2001
Creator: Lawrence, David J. (David Jeffery); Wiens, R. C. (Roger C.); Moore, K. R. (Kurt R.) & Prettyman, T. H. (Thomas H.)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Isopiestic Investigation of the Osmotic and Activity Coefficients of {yMgCl2 + (1 - y)MgSO4}(aq) and the Osmotic Coefficients of Na2SO4.MgSO4(aq) at 298.15 K

Description: Isopiestic vapor pressure measurements were made for {l_brace}yMgCl{sub 2} + (1-y)MgSO{sub 4}{r_brace}(aq) solutions with MgCl{sub 2} ionic strength fractions of y = 0, 0.1997, 0.3989, 0.5992, 0.8008, and (1) at the temperature 298.15 K, using KCl(aq) as the reference standard. These measurements for the mixtures cover the ionic strength range I = 0.9794 to 9.4318 mol {center_dot} kg{sup -1}. In addition, isopiestic measurements were made with NaCl(aq) as reference standard for mixtures of {l_brace}xNa{sub 2}SO{sub 4} + (1-x)MgSO{sub 4}{r_brace}(aq) with the molality fraction x = 0.50000 that correspond to solutions of the evaporite mineral bloedite (astrakanite), Na{sub 2}Mg(SO{sub 4}){sub 2} {center_dot} 4H{sub 2}O(cr). The total molalities, m{sub T} = m(Na{sub 2}SO{sub 4}) + m(MgSO{sub 4}), range from m{sub T} = 1.4479 to 4.4312 mol {center_dot} kg{sup -1} (I = 5.0677 to 15.509 mol {center_dot} kg{sup -1}), where the uppermost concentration is the highest oversaturation molality that could be achieved by isothermal evaporation of the solvent at 298.15 K. The parameters of an extended ion-interaction (Pitzer) model for MgCl2(aq) at 298.15 K, which were required for an analysis of the {l_brace}yMgCl{sub 2} + (1-y)MgSO{sub 4}{r_brace}(aq) mixture results, were evaluated up to I = 12.025 mol {center_dot} kg{sup -1} from published isopiestic data together with the six new osmotic coefficients obtained in this study. Osmotic coefficients of {l_brace}yMgCl{sub 2} + (1-y)MgSO{sub 4}{r_brace}(aq) solutions from the present study, along with critically-assessed values from previous studies, were used to evaluate the mixing parameters of the extended ion-interaction model.
Date: June 6, 2007
Creator: Miladinovic, J; Ninkovic, R; Todorovic, M & Rard, J A
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tracing early breccia pipe studies, Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, southeastern New Mexico: A study of the documentation available and decision-making during the early years of WIPP

Description: Breccia pipes in southeastern New Mexico are local dissolution-collapse features that formed over the Capitan reef more than 500,000 years ago. During early site studies for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), the threat to isolation by these features was undetermined. Geophysical techniques, drilling, and field mapping were used beginning in 1976 to study breccia pipes. None were found at the WIPP site, and they are considered unlikely to be a significant threat even if undetected. WIPP documents related to breccia pipe studies were assembled, inspected, and analyzed, partly to present a history of these studies. The main objective is to assess how well the record reflects the purposes, results, and conclusions of the studies from concept to decision-making. The main record source was the Sandia WIPP Central File (SWCF). Early records (about 1975 to 1977) are very limited, however, about details of objectives and plans predating any investigation. Drilling programs from about 1977 were covered by a broadly standardized statement of work, field operations plan, drilling history, and basic data report. Generally standardized procedures for peer, management, and quality assurance review were developed during this time. Agencies such as the USGS conducted projects according to internal standards. Records of detailed actions for individual programs may not be available, though a variety of such records were found in the SWCF. A complete written record cannot be reconstructed. With persistence, a professional geologist can follow individual programs, relate data to objectives (even if implied), and determine how conclusions were used in decision-making. 83 refs.
Date: January 1, 1996
Creator: Power, D.W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EVAPORITE MICROBIAL FILMS, MATS, MICROBIALITES AND STROMATOLITES

Description: Evaporitic environments are found in a variety of depositional environments as early as the Archean. The depositional settings, microbial community and mineralogical composition vary significantly as no two settings are identical. The common thread linking all of the settings is that evaporation exceeds precipitation resulting in elevated concentrations of cations and anions that are higher than in oceanic systems. The Dead Sea and Storrs Lake are examples of two diverse modern evaporitic settings as the former is below sea level and the latter is a coastal lake on an island in the Caribbean. Each system varies in water chemistry as the Dead Sea dissolved ions originate from surface weathered materials, springs, and aquifers while Storrs Lake dissolved ion concentration is primarily derived from sea water. Consequently some of the ions, i.e., Sr, Ba are found at significantly lower concentrations in Storrs Lake than in the Dead Sea. The origin of the dissolved ions are ultimately responsible for the pH of each system, alkaline versus mildly acidic. Each system exhibits unique biogeochemical properties as the extreme environments select certain microorganisms. Storrs Lake possesses significant biofilms and stromatolitic deposits and the alkalinity varies depending on rainfall and storm activity. The microbial community Storrs Lake is much more diverse and active than those observed in the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea waters are mildly acidic, lack stromatolites, and possess a lower density of microbial populations. The general absence of microbial and biofilm fossilization is due to the depletion of HCO{sub 3} and slightly acidic pH.
Date: January 28, 2008
Creator: Brigmon, R; Penny Morris, P & Garriet Smith, G
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hydrology and Hydraulic Properties of a Bedded Evaporite Formation

Description: The Permian Salado Formation in the Delaware Basin of New Mexico is an extensively studied evaporite deposit because it is the host formation for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, a repository for transuranic wastes. Geologic and hydrologic studies of the Salado conducted since the mid-1970's have led to the development of a conceptual model of the hydrogeology of the formation that involves far-field permeability in anhydrite layers and at least some impure halite layers. Pure halite layers and some impure halite layers may not possess an interconnected pore network adequate to provide permeability. Pore pressures are probably very close to lithostatic pressure. In the near field around an excavation, dilation, creep, and shear have created and/or enhanced permeability and decreased pore pressure. Whether flow occurs in the far field under natural gradients or only after some threshold gradient is reached is unknown. If far-field flow does occur, mean pore velocities are probably on the order of a meter per hundreds of thousands to tens of millions of years. Flow dimensions inferred from most hydraulic-test responses are subradial, which is believed to reflect channeling of flow through fracture networks, or portions of fractures, that occupy a diminishing proportion of the radially available space, or through percolation networks that are not ''saturated'' (fully interconnected). This is probably related to the directional nature of the permeability created or enhanced by excavation effects. Inferred values of permeability cannot be separated from their associated flow dimensions. Therefore, numerical models of flow and transport should include heterogeneity that is structured to provide the same flow dimensions as are observed in hydraulic tests. Modeling of the Salado Formation around the WIPP repository should also include coupling between hydraulic properties and the evolving stress field because hydraulic properties change as the stress field changes.
Date: November 27, 2000
Creator: BEAUHEIM,RICHARD L. & ROBERTS,RANDALL M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hydraulic testing around Room Q: Evaluation of the effects of mining on the hydraulic properties of Salado Evaporites

Description: Room Q is a 109-m-long cylindrical excavation in the Salado Formation at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site. Fifteen boreholes were drilled and instrumented around Room Q so that tests could be conducted to determine the effects of room excavation on the hydraulic properties of the surrounding evaporate rocks. Pressure-buildup and pressure-pulse tests were conducted in all of the boreholes before Room Q was mined. The data sets from only eight of the boreholes are adequate for parameter estimation, and five of those are of poor quality. Constant-pressure flow tests and pressure-buildup tests were conducted after Room Q was mined, producing eleven interpretable data sets, including two of poor quality. Pre-mining transmissivities interpreted from the three good-quality data sets ranged from 1 x 10{sup -15} to 5 x 10{sup -14} m{sup 2}/s (permeability-thickness products of 2 x 10{sup -22} to 9 x 10{sup -21} m{sup 3}) for test intervals ranging in length from 0.85 to 1.37 m. Pre-mining average permeabilities, which can be considered representative of undisturbed, far-field conditions, were 6 x 10{sup -20} and 8 x 10{sup -20} m{sup 2} for anhydrite, and 3 x 10{sup -22} m{sup 2} for halite. Post-mining transmissivities interpreted from the good-quality data sets ranged from 1 x 10{sup -16} to 3 x 10{sup -13} m{sup 2}/s (permeability-thickness products of 2 x 10{sup -23} to 5 x 10{sup -20} m{sup 3}). Post-mining average permeabilities for anhydrite ranged from 8 x 10{sup -20} to 1 x 10{sup -19} m{sup 2}. The changes in hydraulic properties and pore pressures that were observed can be attributed to one or a combination of three processes: stress reduction, changes in pore connectivity, and flow towards Room Q. The effects of the three processes cannot be individually quantified with the available data.
Date: March 1, 1996
Creator: Domski, P.S.; Upton, D.T. & Beauheim, R.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hydraulic Testing of Salado Formation Evaporites at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Site: Final Report

Description: This report presents interpretations of hydraulic tests conducted in bedded evaporates of the Salado Formation from May 1992 through May 1995 at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site in southeastern New Mexico. The WIPP is a US Department of Energy research and development facility designed to demonstrate safe disposal of transuranic wastes from the nation's defense programs. The WIPP disposal horizon is located in the lower portion of the Permian Salado Formation. The hydraulic tests discussed in this report were performed in the WIPP underground facility by INTERA inc. (now Duke Engineering and Services, Inc.), Austin, Texas, following the Field Operations Plan and Addendum prepared by Saulnier (1988, 1991 ) under the technical direction of Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Date: July 1, 1999
Creator: Beauheim, Richard L.; Domski, Paul S. & Roberts, Randall M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hydraulic testing of Salado Formation evaporites at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant site: Second interpretive report

Description: Pressure-pulse, constant-pressure flow, and pressure-buildup tests have been performed in bedded evaporites of the Salado Formation at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site to evaluate the hydraulic properties controlling brine flow through the Salado. Transmissivities have been interpreted from six sequences of tests conducted on five stratigraphic intervals within 15 m of the WIPP underground excavations.
Date: December 1, 1993
Creator: Beauheim, R. L.; Roberts, R. M.; Dale, T. F.; Fort, M. D. & Stensrud, W. A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Supai salt karst features: Holbrook Basin, Arizona

Description: More than 300 sinkholes, fissures, depressions, and other collapse features occur along a 70 km (45 mi) dissolution front of the Permian Supai Formation, dipping northward into the Holbrook Basin, also called the Supai Salt Basin. The dissolution front is essentially coincident with the so-called Holbrook Anticline showing local dip reversal; rather than being of tectonic origin, this feature is likely a subsidence-induced monoclinal flexure caused by the northward migrating dissolution front. Three major areas are identified with distinctive attributes: (1) The Sinks, 10 km WNW of Snowflake, containing some 200 sinkholes up to 200 m diameter and 50 m depth, and joint controlled fissures and fissure-sinks; (2) Dry Lake Valley and contiguous areas containing large collapse fissures and sinkholes in jointed Coconino sandstone, some of which drained more than 50 acre-feet ({approximately}6 {times} 10{sup 4} m{sup 3}) of water overnight; and (3) the McCauley Sinks, a localized group of about 40 sinkholes 15 km SE of Winslow along Chevelon Creek, some showing essentially rectangular jointing in the surficial Coconino Formation. Similar salt karst features also occur between these three major areas. The range of features in Supai salt are distinctive, yet similar to those in other evaporate basins. The wide variety of dissolution/collapse features range in development from incipient surface expression to mature and old age. The features began forming at least by Pliocene time and continue to the present, with recent changes reportedly observed and verified on airphotos with 20 year repetition. The evaporate sequence along interstate transportation routes creates a strategic location for underground LPG storage in leached caverns. The existing 11 cavern field at Adamana is safely located about 25 miles away from the dissolution front, but further expansion initiatives will require thorough engineering evaluation.
Date: December 31, 1994
Creator: Neal, J. T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Comparison of the Wymark CO2 Reservoir with the Midale Beds at the Weyburn CO2 Injection Project

Description: The Devonian carbonates of the Duperow Formation on the western flank of the Williston Basin in southwest Saskatchewan contain natural accumulations of CO{sub 2}, and may have done so for as long as 50 m.y. in the views of some investigations. These carbonate sediments are characterized by a succession of carbonate cycles capped by anhydrite-rich evaporites that are thought to act as seals to fluid migration. The Weyburn CO{sub 2} injection site lies 400 km to the east in a series of Mississippian carbonates that were deposited in a similar depositional environment. That natural CO{sub 2} can be stored long-term within carbonate strata has motivated the investigation of the Duperow rocks as a potential natural analogue to storage of anthropogenic CO{sub 2} that may ultimately provide additional confidence for CO{sub 2} sequestration in carbonate lithologies. For the Duperow strata to represent a legitimate analog for Midale injection and storage, the similarity in lithofacies, whole rock compositions, mineral compositions and porosity with the Midale Beds must be established. Previous workers have demonstrated the similarity of the lithofacies at both sites. Here we compare the whole rock compositions, mineralogy and mineral compositions. The major mineral phases at both locales are calcite, dolomite and anhydrite. In addition, accessory pyrite, fluorite and celestine are also observed. The distribution of porosity in the Midale Vuggy units is virtually identical to that of the Duperow Formation, but the Marly units of the Midale have significantly higher porosity. The Duperow Formation is topped by the Dinesmore evaporite that is particularly rich in anhydrite, and often contains authigenic K-feldspar. The chemistry of dolomite and calcite from the two localities also overlaps. Silicate minerals are in low abundance within the analyzed Duperow samples, < 3 wt% on a normative basis, with quartz the only phase identifiable in x-ray diffraction ...
Date: November 22, 2010
Creator: Ryerson, F & Johnson, J
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Geologic and hydrologic characterization and evaluation of the Basin and Range Province relative to the disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Part III. Geologic and hydrolic evaluation

Description: The geologic and hydrologic factors considered in the Province evaluation include distribution of potential host rocks, tectonic conditions and data on ground-water hydrology. Potential host media considered include argillaceous rocks, tuff, basaltic rocks, granitic rocks, evaporites, and the unsaturated zone. The tectonic factors considered are Quaternary faults, late Cenozoic volcanics, seismic activity, heat flow, and late Cenozoic rates of vertical uplift. Hydrologic conditions considered include length of flow path from potential host rocks to discharge areas, interbasin and geothermal flow systems and thick unsaturated sections as potential host media. The Basin and Range Province was divided into 12 subprovinces; each subprovince is evaluated separately and prospective areas for further study are identified. About one-half of the Province appears to have combinations of potential host rocks, tectonic conditions, and ground-water hydrology that merit consideration for further study. The prospective areas for further study in each subprovince are summarized in a brief list of the potentially favorable factors and the issues of concern. Data compiled for the entire Province do not permit a complete evaluation of the favorability for high-level waste isolation. The evaluations here are intended to identify broad regions that contain potential geohydrologic environments containing multiple natural barriers to radionuclide migration. 13 refs., 14 figs.
Date: December 31, 1983
Creator: Bedinger, M.S.; Sargent, K.A. & Brady, B.T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Storage opportunities in Arizona bedded evaporites

Description: Arizona is endowed with incredibly diverse natural beauty, and has also been blessed with at least seven discrete deposits of bedded salt. These deposits are dispersed around the state and cover some 2, 500 square miles; they currently contain 14 LPG storage caverns, with preliminary plans for more in the future. The areal extent and thickness of the deposits creates the opportunity for greatly expanded storage of LPG, natural gas, and compressed air energy storage (CAES). The location of salt deposits near Tucson and Phoenix may make CAES an attractive prospect in the future. The diversity of both locations and evaporate characteristics allows for much tailoring of individual operations to meet specific requirements.
Date: October 1, 1996
Creator: Neal, J.T. & Rauzi, S.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Geologic and hydrologic characterization and evaluation of the Basin and Range Province relative to the disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Part II. Geologic and hydrologic characterization

Description: The geology and hydrology of the Basin and Range Province of the western conterminous United States are characterized in a series of data sets depicted in maps compiled for evaluation of prospective areas for further study of geohydrologic environments for isolation of high-level radioactive waste. The data sets include: (1) average precipitation and evaporation; (2) surface distribution of selected rock types; (3) tectonic conditions; and (4) surface- and ground-water hydrology and Pleistocene lakes and marshes. Rocks mapped for consideration as potential host media for the isolation of high-level radioactive waste are widespread and include argillaceous rocks, granitic rocks, tuffaceous rocks, mafic extrusive rocks, evaporites, and laharic breccias. The unsaturated zone, where probably as thick as 150 meters (500 feet), was mapped for consideration as an environment for isolation of high-level waste. Unsaturated rocks of various lithologic types are widespread in the Province. Tectonic stability in the Quaternary Period is considered the key to assessing the probability of future tectonism with regard to high-level radioactive waste disposal. Tectonic conditions are characterized on the basis of the seismic record, heat-flow measurements, the occurrence of Quaternary faults, vertical crustal movement, and volcanic features. Tectonic activity, as indicated by seismicity, is greatest in areas bordering the western margin of the Province in Nevada and southern California, the eastern margin of the Province bordering the Wasatch Mountains in Utah and in parts of the Rio Grande valley. Late Cenozoic volcanic activity is widespread, being greatest bordering the Sierra Nevada in California and Oregon, and bordering the Wasatch Mountains in southern Utah and Idaho. 43 refs., 22 figs.
Date: December 31, 1985
Creator: Sargent, K.A. & Bedinger, M.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evaporites as a source for oil. Progress report, November 15, 1988--November 15, 1992

Description: Organic matter, present in some sediments, acts as the source for hydrocarbons and has been studied at great length, but organic-rich sediments from hypersaline environments are just beginning to be understood. Many types of organic matter from such restricted environments have been identified, and in this study their maturation pathways and products are being explored. By collecting biologically-identified organic matter produced within modern evaporative environments from a number of different marine and nonmarine settings and carrying out detailed geochemical examination of samples we are gradually beginning to understand these materials. The organic samples collected were from evaporative marine, sabkha, and lacustrine deposits, and have been subjected to two types of artificial maturation, hydrous and confined pyrolysis, over a fairly wide range of temperatures (1500 to 350{degrees}C). The biomarker products of these treatments are being analyzed and followed in great detail. Analyses of saturate and aromatic hydrocarbons as well as sulfur compounds in the original and the matured samples provide a comprehensive view of the biomarker assemblages associated with these different depositional environments at different stages of maturity. Infrared spectroscopy and Rock Eval pyrolysis of both the isolated kerogens from both the original and pyrolyzed samples has permitted us to clearly characterize the functional groupings on the one hand and the free hydrocarbons, the potential hydrocarbons, and the oxygenated compounds on the other hand. We have thus been able to demonstrate the potential of the organic matter associated with the different evaporitic environments to act as a good source for oil generation.
Date: February 1, 1993
Creator: Schreiber, B. C.; Benalihioulhaj, S. & Philp, R. P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Energetics of silicate melts from thermal diffusion studies. Annual progress report

Description: Efforts are reported in the following areas: laboratory equipment (multianvils for high P/T work, pressure media, SERC/DL sychrotron), liquid-state thermal diffusion (silicate liquids, O isotopic fractionation, volatiles, tektites, polymetallic sulfide liquids, carbonate liquids, aqueous sulfate solutions), and liquid-state isothermal diffusion (self-diffusion, basalt-rhyolite interdiffusion, selective contamination, chemical diffusion).
Date: July 1, 1992
Creator: Walker, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Assessment of the potential for karst in the Rustler Formation at the WIPP site.

Description: This report is an independent assessment of the potential for karst dissolution in evaporitic strata of the Rustler Formation at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site. Review of the available data suggests that the Rustler strata thicken and thin across the area in depositional patterns related to lateral variations in sedimentary accommodation space and normal facies changes. Most of the evidence that has been offered for the presence of karst in the subsurface has been used out of context, and the different pieces are not mutually supporting. Outside of Nash Draw, definitive evidence for the development of karst in the Rustler Formation near the WIPP site is limited to the horizon of the Magenta Member in drillhole WIPP-33. Most of the other evidence cited by the proponents of karst is more easily interpreted as primary sedimentary structures and the localized dissolution of evaporitic strata adjacent to the Magenta and Culebra water-bearing units. Some of the cited evidence is invalid, an inherited baggage from studies made prior to the widespread knowledge of modern evaporite depositional environments and prior to the existence of definitive exposures of the Rustler Formation in the WIPP shafts. Some of the evidence is spurious, has been taken out of context, or is misquoted. Lateral lithologic variations from halite to mudstone within the Rustler Formation under the WIPP site have been taken as evidence for the dissolution of halite such as that seen in Nash Draw, but are more rationally explained as sedimentary facies changes. Extrapolation of the known karst features in Nash Draw eastward to the WIPP site, where conditions are and have been significantly different for half a million years, is unwarranted. The volumes of insoluble material that would remain after dissolution of halite would be significantly less than the observed bed thicknesses, thus dissolution ...
Date: January 1, 2006
Creator: Lorenz, John Clay
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Long-Term Mechanical Behavior of Yucca Mountain Tuff and its Variability, Final Technical Report for Task ORD-FY04-021

Description: The study of the long term mechanical behavior of Yucca Mountain tuffs is important for several reasons. Long term stability of excavations will affect accessibility (e.g. for inspection purposes), and retrievability. Long term instabilities may induce loading of drip shields and/or emplaced waste, thus affecting drip shield and/or waste package corrosion. Failure of excavations will affect airflow, may affect water flow, and may affect temperature distributions. The long term mechanical behavior of rocks remains an elusive topic, loaded with uncertainties. A variety of approaches have been used to improve the understanding of this complex subject, but it is doubtful that it has reached a stage where firm predictions can be considered feasible. The long term mechanical behavior of "soft" rocks, especially evaporites, and in particular rock salt, has been the subject of numerous investigations (e.g. Cristescu and Hunsche, 1998, Cristescu et al, 2002), and basic approaches towards engineering taking into account the long term behavior of such materials have long been well established (e.g. Dreyer, 1972, 1982). The same is certainly not true of "hard" rocks. While it long has been recognized that the long term strength of ?hard? rocks almost certainly is significantly less than that measured during "short", i.e. standard (ASTM D 2938), ISRM suggested (Bieniawski et al, 1978) and conventionally used test procedures (e.g. Bieniawski, 1970, Wawersik, 1972, Hoek and Brown, 1980, p. 150), what limited approaches have been taken to develop strategies toward determining the long term mechanical behavior of "hard" rock remain in the early research and investigation stage, at best. One early model developed specifically for time dependent analysis of underground "hard" rock structures is the phenomenological model by Kaiser and Morgenstern (1981). Brady and Brown (1985, p. 93) state that over a wide range of strain rates, from 10^-8 to 10^2/s the difference ...
Date: March 20, 2006
Creator: Daemen, Jaak J. K.; Ma, Lumin & Zhao, Guohua
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Petrographic study of evaporite deformation near the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)

Description: The Delaware Basin of southeastern New Mexico contains about 1000 m of layered evaporites. Areas in the northern Delaware Basin, bordering the Capitan reef, have anomalous seismic reflection characteristics, such as loss in reflector continuity. Core from holes within this zone exhibits complex mesoscopic folds and extension structures. On a larger scale, anticlines and synclines are indicated by structure contours based on boreholes. The deformation is probably gravity-driven. Such a process is initiated by basin tilting during either a Mesozoic or Cenozoic period of uplift. Small-scale structures suggest that deformation was episodic with an early, syndepositional stage of isoclinal folding. Later, open-to-tight asymmetric folding is more penetrative and exhibits a sense of asymmetry opposite to that of the earlier isoclinal folding. The younger folds are associated with development of zonal crenulation cleavage and microboundinage of more competent carbonate layers. At the same time, halite beds developed dimensional fabrics and convolute folds in anhydrite stringers. Late-stage, near-vertical fractures formed in competent anhydrite layers. Microscopic textures exhibit rotated anhydrite porphyroblasts, stress shadow growth, and microboundinage. Except during late-stage deformation, anhydrite and halite recrystallized synkinematically. Drastic strength reduction in anhydrites through dynamic recrystallization occurs experimentally near 200/sup 0/C. However, evaporites of the WIPP site never experienced temperatures > 40/sup 0/C. Microscopic fabrics and P, T history of the evaporites suggest that pressure solution was the active mechanism during deformation of evaporites at the WIPP site.
Date: June 1, 1983
Creator: Borns, D.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Energetics of silicate melts from thermal diffusion studies

Description: Efforts are reported in the following areas: laboratory equipment (multianvils for high P/T work, pressure media, SERC/DL sychrotron), liquid-state thermal diffusion (silicate liquids, O isotopic fractionation, volatiles, tektites, polymetallic sulfide liquids, carbonate liquids, aqueous sulfate solutions), and liquid-state isothermal diffusion (self-diffusion, basalt-rhyolite interdiffusion, selective contamination, chemical diffusion).
Date: July 1, 1992
Creator: Walker, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evaporites as a source for oil

Description: Organic matter, present in some sediments, acts as the source for hydrocarbons and has been studied at great length, but organic-rich sediments from hypersaline environments are just beginning to be understood. Many types of organic matter from such restricted environments have been identified, and in this study their maturation pathways and products are being explored. By collecting biologically-identified organic matter produced within modern evaporative environments from a number of different marine and nonmarine settings and carrying out detailed geochemical examination of samples we are gradually beginning to understand these materials. The organic samples collected were from evaporative marine, sabkha, and lacustrine deposits, and have been subjected to two types of artificial maturation, hydrous and confined pyrolysis, over a fairly wide range of temperatures (1500 to 350[degrees]C). The biomarker products of these treatments are being analyzed and followed in great detail. Analyses of saturate and aromatic hydrocarbons as well as sulfur compounds in the original and the matured samples provide a comprehensive view of the biomarker assemblages associated with these different depositional environments at different stages of maturity. Infrared spectroscopy and Rock Eval pyrolysis of both the isolated kerogens from both the original and pyrolyzed samples has permitted us to clearly characterize the functional groupings on the one hand and the free hydrocarbons, the potential hydrocarbons, and the oxygenated compounds on the other hand. We have thus been able to demonstrate the potential of the organic matter associated with the different evaporitic environments to act as a good source for oil generation.
Date: February 1, 1993
Creator: Schreiber, B.C.; Benalihioulhaj, S. (Queens Coll., Flushing, NY (United States). Dept. of Geology) & Philp, R.P. (Oklahoma Univ., Norman, OK (United States). School of Geology and Geophysics)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Deformation of evaporites near the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site

Description: Layered evaporite units of Ochoan age in the Delaware Basin are 1000 m thick. They are divided into three stratigraphic units (listed in order of increasing age): the Rustler Formation, the Salado Formation, the Castile Formation. These units, especially the Castile, are deformed along portions of the margin of the Delaware Basin and in some areas internal to the basin. Hypotheses of origin of deformation considered are: gravity foundering; gravity sliding; gypsum dehydration; dissolution; and depositional variations. Gravity foundering and sliding are considered the most probable causes of deformation. However, no hypothesis adequately answers why the deformation has a limited areal distribution. A possible explanation would be areal variations in rock strength caused by variations of intergranular water content. Age and timing of deformation are also crucial. Standard stratigraphic arguments based on superposition may not apply to such a highly incompetent material as halite. Gravity foundering could have happened at any time since deposition including the present; gravity sliding would probably have occurred since basin tilting began in the Cenozoic. Deformation could be ongoing. However, the strain rates are such (10/sup -16/ s/sup -1/) that deformation would progress slowly relative to the facility's time frame of 2.5 x 10/sup 5/ y. Deformation of Salado units would be minimal (<10 m) or nonexistent, but within this time frame, upper anhydrite units of the Castile could fracture and provide the volume for a brine reservoir. Such Volumes would be small (<1%) and would require 10/sup 4/ to 10/sup 6/ y to develop. At these strain rates, fractures that connect the fractured anhydrites of the Castile with the middle Salado could not develop. Deformation should not directly jeopardize the facility over the next 2.5 x 10/sup 5/ y.
Date: March 1, 1983
Creator: Borns, D.J.; Barrows, L.J.; Powers, D.W. & Snyder, R.P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Geochemical study of evaporite and clay mineral-oxyhydroxide samples from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant site

Description: Samples of clay minerals, insoluble oxyhydroxides, and their host evaporites from the WIPP site have been studied for their major and minor elements abundances, x-ray diffraction characteristics, K-Ar ages, and Rb-Sr ages. This study was undertaken to determine their overall geochemical characteristics and to investigate possible interactions between evaporates and insoluble constituents. The evaporite host material is water-soluble, having Cl/Br ratios typical of marine evaporites, although the Br content is low. Insoluble material (usually a mixture of clay minerals and oxyhydroxide phases) yields very high Cl/Br ratios, possibly because of Cl from admixed halide minerals. This same material yields K/Rb and Th/U ratios in the normal range for shales; suggesting little, if any, effect of evaporite-induced remobilization of U, K, or Rb in the insoluble material. The rare-earth element (REE) data also show normal REE/chondrite (REE/CHON) distribution patterns, supporting the K/Rb and Th/U data. Clay minerals yield K-Ar dates in the range 365 to 390 Ma and a Rb-Sr isochron age of 428 {+-} 7 Ma. These ages are well in excess of the 220- to 230-Ma formational age of the evaporites, and confirm the detrital origin of the clays. The ages also show that any evaporite or clay mineral reactions that might have occurred at or near the time of sedimentation and diagenesis were not sufficient to reset the K-Ar and Rb-Sr systematics of the clay minerals. Further, x-ray data indicate a normal evaporitic assemblage of clay minerals and Fe-rich oxyhydroxide phases. The clay minerals and other insoluble material appear to be resistant to the destructive effects of their entrapment in the evaporites, which suggests that these insoluble materials would be good getters for any radionuclides (hypothetically) released from the storage of radioactive wastes in the area.
Date: June 1, 1993
Creator: Brookins, D. G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Waste Isolation Pilot Plant 2003 Site Environmental Report

Description: The purpose of this report is to provide information needed by the DOE to assess WIPP's environmental performance and to convey that performance to stakeholders and members of the public. This report has been prepared in accordance with DOE Order 231.1A and DOE guidance. This report documents WIPP's environmental monitoring programs and their results for 2003. The WIPP Project is authorized by the DOE National Security and Military Applications of Nuclear Energy Authorization Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-164). After more than 20 years of scientific study and public input, WIPP received its first shipment of waste on March 26, 1999. Located in southeastern New Mexico, WIPP is the nation's first underground repository permitted to safely and permanently dispose of TRU radioactive and mixed waste (as defined in the WIPP LWA) generated through the research and production of nuclear weapons and other activities related to the national defense of the United States. TRU waste is defined in the WIPP LWA as radioactive waste containing more than 100 nanocuries (3,700 becquerels [Bq]) of alpha-emitting transuranic isotopes per gram of waste, with half-lives greater than 20 years. Exceptions are noted as high-level waste, waste that has been determined not to require the degree of isolation required by the disposal regulations, and waste the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved for disposal. Most TRU waste is contaminated industrial trash, such as rags and old tools, and sludges from solidified liquids; glass; metal; and other materials from dismantled buildings. A TRU waste is eligible for disposal at WIPP if it has been generated in whole or in partby one or more of the activities listed in the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (42 United States Code [U.S.C.] §10101, et seq.), including naval reactors development, weapons activities, verification and control technology, defense nuclear ...
Date: September 3, 2005
Creator: Services, Washington Regulatory and Environmental
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Waste Isolation Pilot Plant 2005 Site Environmental Report

Description: The purpose of this report is to provide information needed by the DOE to assess WIPP's environmental performance and to make WIPP environmental information available to stakeholders and members of the public. This report has been prepared in accordance with DOE Order 231.1A and DOE guidance. This report documents WIPP's environmental monitoring programs and their results for 2004. The WIPP Project is authorized by the DOE National Security and Military Applications of Nuclear Energy Authorization Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-164). After more than 20 years of scientific study and public input, WIPP received its first shipment of waste on March 26, 1999. Located in southeastern New Mexico, WIPP is the nation's first underground repository permitted to safely and permanently dispose of TRU radioactive and mixed waste (as defined in the WIPP LWA) generated through defense activities and programs. TRU waste is defined, in the WIPP LWA, as radioactive waste containing more than 100 nanocuries (3,700 becquerels [Bq]) of alpha-emitting TRU isotopes per gram of waste, with half-lives greater than 20 years except for high-level waste, waste that has been determined not to require the degree of isolation required by the disposal regulations, and waste the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved for disposal. Most TRU waste is contaminated industrial trash, such as rags and old tools; sludges from solidified liquids; glass; metal; and other materials from dismantled buildings. TRU waste is eligible for disposal at WIPP if it has been generated in whole or in part by one or more of the activities listed in the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (42 United States Code [U.S.C.] §10101, et seq.), including naval reactors development, weapons activities, verification and control technology, defense nuclear materials production, defense nuclear waste and materials by-products management,defense nuclear materials security and safeguards and security ...
Date: October 13, 2006
Creator: Services, Washington Regulatory and Environmental
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department