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Sediment studies at Bikini Atoll part 3. Inventories of some long-lived gamma-emitting radionuclides associated with lagoon surface sediments

Description: Surface sediment samples were collected during 1979 from 87 locations in the lagoon at Bikini Atoll. The collections were made to better define the concentrations and distribution of long-lived radionuclides associated with the bottom material and to show what modifications occurred to the composition of the surface sediment from the nuclear testing program conducted by the United States at the Atoll between 1946 and 1958. This is the last of three reports on Bikini sediment studies. In this report, we discuss the concentrations and inventories of the residual long-lived gamma-emitting radionuclides in sediments from the lagoon. The gamma-emitting radionuclides detected most frequently in sediments collected in 1979, in addition to Americium-241 ({sup 241}Am) (discussed in the second report of this series), included Cesium-137 ({sup 137}Cs), Bismuth-207 ({sup 207}Bi), Europium-155 ({sup 155}Eu), and Cobalt-60 ({sup 60}Co). Other man-made, gamma-emitting radionuclides such as Europium-152,154 ({sup 152,154}Eu), Antimony-125 ({sup 125}Sb), and Rhodium-101,102m ({sup 101,102m}Rh) were occasionally measured above detection limits in sediments near test site locations. The mean inventories for {sup 137}Cs, {sup 207}Ei, {sup 155}Eu, and {sup 60}Co in the surface 4 cm of the lagoon sediment to be 1.7, 0.56, 7.76, and 0.74 TBq, respectively. By June 1997, radioactive decay would reduce these values to 1.1, 0.38, 0.62, and 0.07 TBq, respectively. Some additional loss results from a combination of different processes that continuously mobilize and return some amount of the radionuclides to the water column. The water and dissolved constituents are removed from the lagoon through channels and exchange with the surface waters of the north equatorial Pacific Ocean. Highest levels of these radionuclides are found in surface deposits lagoonward of the Bravo Crater. Lowest concentrations and inventories are associated with sediment lagoonward of the eastern reef. The quantities in the 0-4 cm surface layer are estimated to be less ...
Date: December 1, 1997
Creator: Noshkin, V.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Characterizing fractured rock for fluid-flow, geomechanical, and paleostress modeling: Methods and preliminary results from Yucca Mountain, Nevada

Description: Fractures have been characterized for fluid-flow, geomechanical, and paleostress modeling at three localities in the vicinity of drill hole USW G-4 at Yucca Mountain in southwestern Nevada. A method for fracture characterization is introduced that integrates mapping fracture-trace networks and quantifying eight fracture parameters: trace length, orientation, connectivity, aperture, roughness, shear offset, trace-length density, and mineralization. A complex network of fractures was exposed on three 214- to 260-m 2 pavements cleared of debris in the upper lithophysal unit of the Tiva Canyon Member of the Miocene Paint-brush Tuff. The pavements are two-dimensional sections through the three-dimensional network of strata-bound fractures. All fractures with trace lengths greater than 0.2 m were mapped and studied.
Date: December 31, 1993
Creator: Barton, C.C.; Larsen, E.; Page, W.R. & Howard, T.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Manganese-oxide minerals in fractures of the Crater Flat Tuff in drill core USW G-4, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

Description: The Crater Flat Tuff is almost entirely below the water table in drill hole USW G-4 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Manganese-oxide minerals from the Crater Flat Tuff in USW G-4 were studied using optical, scanning electron microscopic, electron microprobe, and x-ray powder diffraction methods to determine their distribution, mineralogy, and chemistry. Manganese-oxide minerals coat fractures in all three members of the Crater Flat Tuff (Prow Pass, Bullfrog, and Tram), but they are most abundant in fractures in the densely welded devitrified intervals of these members. The coatings are mostly of the cryptomelane/hollandite mineral group, but the chemistry of these coatings varies considerably. Some of the chemical variations, particularly the presence of calcium, sodium, and strontium, can be explained by admixture with todorokite, seen in some x-ray powder diffraction patterns. Other chemical variations, particularly between Ba and Pb, demonstrate that considerable substitution of Pb for Ba occurs in hollandite. Manganese-oxide coatings are common in the 10-m interval that produced 75% of the water pumped from USW G-4 in a flow survey in 1983. Their presence in water-producing zones suggests that manganese oxides may exert a significant chemical effect on groundwater beneath Yucca Mountain. In particular, the ability of the manganese oxides found at Yucca Mountain to be easily reduced suggests that they may affect the redox conditions of the groundwater and may oxidize dissolved or suspended species. Although the Mn oxides at Yucca Mountain have low exchange capacities, these minerals may retard the migration of some radionuclides, particularly the actinides, through scavenging and coprecipitation. 23 refs., 21 figs., 2 tabs.
Date: July 1, 1990
Creator: Carlos, B.A.; Bish, D.L. & Chipera, S.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Initial source and site characterization studies for the U. C. San Diego campus

Description: The basic approach of the Campus Laboratory Collaboration (CLC) project is to combine the substantial expertise that exists within the University of California (UC) system in geology, seismology, geotechnical engineering, and structural engineering to evaluate the effects of large earthquakes on UC facilities. These estimates draw upon recent advances in hazard assessment, seismic wave propagation modeling in rocks and soils, dynamic soil testing, and structural dynamics. The UC campuses currently chosen for applications of our integrated methodology are Riverside, San Diego, and Santa Barbara. The basic procedure is first to identify possible earthquake source regions and local campus site conditions that may affect estimates of strong ground motion. Combined geological , geophysical, and geotechnical studies are conducted to characterize each campus with specific focus on the location of particular target buildings of special interest to the campus administrators. The project will then drill and log deep boreholes next to the target structure, to provide direct in-situ measurements of subsurface material properties and to install uphole and downhole 3-component seismic sensors capable of recording both weak and strong motions. The boreholes provide access to deeper materials, below the soil layers, that have relatively high seismic shear-wave velocities. Analysis of conjugate downhole and uphole records provides a basis for optimizing the representation of the low-strain response of the sites. Earthquake rupture scenarios of identified causative faults are combined with the earthquake records and nonlinear soil models to provide site-specific estimates of strong motions at the selected target locations. The predicted ground motions are then used as input to the dynamic analysis of the buildings.
Date: July 1, 1999
Creator: Day, S.; Erick, F.; Heuze, F.E.; Mellors, R.; Minster, B.; Park, S. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Critical assessment of seismic and geomechanics literature related to a high-level nuclear waste underground repository

Description: A comprehensive literature assessment has been conducted to determine the nature and scope of technical information available to characterize the seismic performance of an underground repository and associated facilities. Significant deficiencies were identified in current practices for prediction of seismic response of underground excavations in jointed rock. Conventional analytical methods are based on a continuum representation of the host rock mass. Field observations and laboratory experiments indicate that, in jointed rock, the behavior of the joints controls the overall performance of underground excavations. Further, under repetitive seismic loading, shear displacement develops progressively at block boundaries. Field observations correlating seismicity and groundwater conditions have provided significant information on hydrological response to seismic events. However, lack of a comprehensive model of geohydrological response to seismicity has limited the transportability conclusions from field observations. Based on the literature study, matters requiring further research in relation to the Yucca Mountain repository are identified. The report focuses on understanding seismic processes in fractured tuff, and provides a basis for work on the geohydrologic response of a seismically disturbed rock mass. 220 refs., 43 figs., 11 tabs.
Date: June 1991
Creator: Kana, D. D.; Vanzant, B. W.; Nair, P. K. & Brady, B. H. G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Investigation of rifting processes in the Rio Grande Rift using data from unusually large earthquake swarms

Description: San Acacia Swarm in the Rio Grande Rift. Because the Rio Grande rift is one of the best seismically instrumented rift zones in the world, studying its seismicity provides an exceptional opportunity to explore the active tectonic processes within continental rifts. We have been studying earthquake swarms recorded near Socorro in an effort to link seismicity directly to the rifting process. For FY94, our research has focused on the San Acacia swarm, which occurred 25 km north of Socorro, New Mexico, along the accommodation zone between the Albuquerque-Belen and Socorro basins of the central Rio Grande rift. The swarm commenced on 25 February 1983, had a magnitude 4.2 main shock on 2 March and ended on 17 March, 1983.
Date: December 1, 1995
Creator: Sanford, A.; Balch, R.; House, L. & Hartse, H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Faulting in the Yucca Mountain region: Critical review and analyses of tectonic data from the central Basin and Range

Description: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, has been proposed as the potential site for a high-level waste (HLW) repository. The tectonic setting of Yucca Mountain presents several potential hazards for a proposed repository, such as potential for earthquake seismicity, fault disruption, basaltic volcanism, magma channeling along pre-existing faults, and faults and fractures that may serve as barriers or conduits for groundwater flow. Characterization of geologic structures and tectonic processes will be necessary to assess compliance with regulatory requirements for the proposed high level waste repository. In this report, we specifically investigate fault slip, seismicity, contemporary stain, and fault-slip potential in the Yucca Mountain region with regard to Key Technical Uncertainties outlined in the License Application Review Plan (Sections through and These investigations center on (i) alternative methods of determining the slip history of the Bare Mountain Fault, (ii) cluster analysis of historic earthquakes, (iii) crustal strain determinations from Global Positioning System measurements, and (iv) three-dimensional slip-tendency analysis. The goal of this work is to assess uncertainties associated with neotectonic data sets critical to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses` ability to provide prelicensing guidance and perform license application review with respect to the proposed HLW repository at Yucca Mountain.
Date: March 1, 1996
Creator: Ferrill, D. A.; Stirewalt, G. L.; Henderson, D. B.; Stamatakos, J.; Morris, A. P.; Spivey, K. H. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Adsorption of radionuclides on minerals studies illustrating the effect of solid phase selectivity and of mechanisms controlling sorption processes

Description: Currently, extensive research is being done on the geochemistry of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The purpose of this research is to determine whether this location would be suitable as a permanent high-level radioactive waste repository. Site characterization tests must prove that Yucca Mountains` geology will safely isolate radioactive waste from the environment for at least 10,000 years before approval is granted. In order for this to occur, it is necessary to study the sorptive properties of the host rock, and its selectivity in sorption of solutions containing multiple radionuclides. Validation of this must occur, because in the case of a catastrophic leak, the host rock must have properties that will retard the migration of radionuclides. Columnar experimental techniques were employed using goethite, (a hydrous iron oxide), beidellite (clay mineral), & {open_quotes}nonscents{close_quotes} (a zeolitized volcanic tuff) as sorbents. These sorbents were used to measure the isotherms of an identical binary solution (Ni-Sr) to illustrate the selectivity that occurs in different minerals. In beidellite, the sorption process was ideal, while for {open_quotes}nonscents{close_quotes} there was a strong preference for Sr{sup 2+}. The sorption process was modeled (Ni-Sr {open_quotes}Nonscents{close_quotes}) using ion exchange theory as the mechanism. In goethite, the sorption of Ni-Sr showed a complete preference for Ni{sup 2+} at a pH of 7. In various other systems for goethite. Co-Ni (pH=7) was ideal (no selectivity) where the ratios in the solid and solution phases were relatively equal. Conversely in the case of the Pb-Ni system, the Pb{sup 2+} ion predominated completely in the solidphase over Ni{sup 2+} at a pH of 5.5. Noting the strong effect of pH on the sorption process in goethite, the selectivity could not necessarily be credited to ion-exchange because of possible exclusion from charged sites at low pH values.
Date: February 1, 1996
Creator: Netus, B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Interpretation of data obtained from non-destructive and destructive post-test analyses of an intact-core column of culebra dolomite

Description: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has been developing a nuclear waste disposal facility, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), located approximately 42 km east of Carlsbad, New Mexico. The WIPP is designed to demonstrate the safe disposal of transuranic wastes produced by the defense nuclear-weapons program. Pefiormance assessment analyses (U.S. DOE, 1996) indicate that human intrusion by inadvertent and intermittent drilling for resources provide the only credible mechanisms for significant releases of radionuclides horn the disposal system. These releases may occur by five mechanisms: (1) cuttings, (2) cavings, (3) spallings, (4) direct brine releases, and (5) long- term brine releases. The first four mechanisms could result in immediate release of contaminant to the accessible environment. For the last mechanisq migration pathways through the permeable layers of rock above the Salado are important, and major emphasis is placed on the Culebra Member of the Rustler Formation because this is the most transmissive geologic layer in the disposal system. For reasons of initial quantity, half-life, and specific radioactivity, certain isotopes of T~ U, Am, and Pu would dominate calculated releases from the WIPP. In order to help quantifi parameters for the calculated releases, radionuclide transport experiments have been carried out using five intact-core columns obtained from the Culebra dolomite member of the Rustler Formation within the Waste Isolation Pilot Pknt (WIPP) site in southeastern New Mexico. This report deals primarily with results of analyses for 241Pu and 241Am distributions developed during transport experiments in one of these cores. All intact-core column transport experiments were done using Culebra-simukmt brine relevant to the core recovery location (the WIPP air-intake shaft - AK). Hydraulic characteristics (i.e., apparent porosity and apparent dispersion coefficient) for intact-core columns were obtained via experiments using conservative tracer `Na. Elution experiments carried out over periods of a few days with ...
Date: September 1, 1998
Creator: Lucero, Daniel L. & Perkins, W. George
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A study of the source materials, depositional environments, mechanisms of generation and migration of oils in the Anadarko and Cherokee Basins, Oklahoma. Quarterly technical progress report, September 15, 1989--September 14, 1990

Description: The geochemical characterization of petroleum and source rocks from the Anadarko Basin, Oklahoma, has continued. Major emphasis has seen on geochemistry of the Woodford shale.
Date: January 1, 1996
Creator: Philp, R.P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gypsy Field project in reservoir characterization. [Quarterly report], October 1--December 31, 1995

Description: The overall objective of this project is to use the extensive Gypsy Field laboratory and data set as focus for developing and testing reservoir characterization methods that are targeted at improved recovery of conventional oil. The Gypsy Field laboratory, as described by Doyle, O`Meara, and Witterholt (1991), consists of coupled outcrop and subsurface sites which have been characterized to a degree of detail not possible in a production operation. Data from these sites entail geological descriptions, core measurements, well logs, vertical seismic surveys, a 3D seismic survey, crosswell seismic surveys, and pressure transient well tests. The over all project consists of four inter disciplinary sub-projects which are closely interlinked: (1) modeling depositional environments; (2) upscaling; (3) sweep efficiency; and (4) tracer testing. During this quarter, the main activities involved task 1, modeling depositional environments, for which progress is reported. This task aims at improving the investigators ability to model complex depositional environments which trap movable oil.
Date: December 31, 1995
Creator: O`Meara, D.J. Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Naturally fractured tight gas reservoir detection optimization. Quarterly report, January 1 - March 31, 1996

Description: The objective is to determine methods for detection and mapping of naturally fractured systems for economic production of natural gas from fractured reservoirs. This report contains: 3D P-wave alternate processing; down hole 3C geophone analysis; fracture pattern analysis of the Fort Union and Wind River Basin; 3D-3C seismic processing; and technology transfer.
Date: 1996
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Intracaldera volcanism and sedimentation - Creede Caldera, Colorado

Description: Within the Creede caldera, Colorado, many of the answers to its postcaldera volcanic and sedimentary history lie within the sequence of tuffaceous elastic sedimentary rocks and tuffs known as the Creede Formation. The Creede Formation and its interbedded ash deposits were sampled by research coreholes Creede 1 and 2, drilled during the fall of 1991. In an earlier study of the Creede Formation, based on surface outcrops and shallow mining company coreholes, Heiken and Krier concluded that the process of caldera structural resurgence was rapid and that a caldera lake had developed in an annulus ({open_quotes}moat{close_quotes}) located between the resurgent dome and caldera wall. So far we have a picture of intracaldera activity consisting of intermittent hydrovolcanic eruptions within a caldera lake for the lower third of the Creede Formation, and both magmatic and hydrovolcanic ash eruptions throughout the top two-thirds. Most of the ash deposits interbedded with the moat sedimentary rocks are extremely fine-grained. Ash fallout into the moat lake and unconsolidated ash eroded from caldera walls and the slopes of the resurgent dome were deposited over stream delta distributaries within relatively shallow water in the northwestern moat, and in deeper waters of the northern moat, where the caldera was intersected by a graben. Interbedded with ash beds and tuffaceous siltstones are coarse-grained turbidites from adjacent steep slopes and travertine from fissure ridges adjacent to the moat. Sedimentation rates and provenance for elastic sediments are linked to the frequent volcanic activity in and near the caldera; nearly all of the Creede Formation sedimentary rocks are tuffaceous.
Date: June 1, 1997
Creator: Heiken, G.; Krier, D. & Snow, M.G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Climate system modeling on massively parallel systems: LDRD Project 95-ERP-47 final report

Description: Global warming, acid rain, ozone depletion, and biodiversity loss are some of the major climate-related issues presently being addressed by climate and environmental scientists. Because unexpected changes in the climate could have significant effect on our economy, it is vitally important to improve the scientific basis for understanding and predicting the earth`s climate. The impracticality of modeling the earth experimentally in the laboratory together with the fact that the model equations are highly nonlinear has created a unique and vital role for computer-based climate experiments. However, today`s computer models, when run at desired spatial and temporal resolution and physical complexity, severely overtax the capabilities of our most powerful computers. Parallel processing offers significant potential for attaining increased performance and making tractable simulations that cannot be performed today. The principal goals of this project have been to develop and demonstrate the capability to perform large-scale climate simulations on high-performance computing systems (using methodology that scales to the systems of tomorrow), and to carry out leading-edge scientific calculations using parallelized models. The demonstration platform for these studies has been the 256-processor Cray-T3D located at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Our plan was to undertake an ambitious program in optimization, proof-of-principle and scientific study. These goals have been met. We are now regularly using massively parallel processors for scientific study of the ocean and atmosphere, and preliminary parallel coupled ocean/atmosphere calculations are being carried out as well. Furthermore, our work suggests that it should be possible to develop an advanced comprehensive climate system model with performance scalable to the teraflops range. 9 refs., 3 figs.
Date: December 1, 1996
Creator: Mirin, A.A.; Dannevik, W.P.; Chan, B.; Duffy, P.B.; Eltgroth, P.G. & Wehner, M.F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Rapid estimate of solid volume in large tuff cores using a gas pycnometer

Description: A thermally insulated, rigid-volume gas pycnometer system has been developed. The pycnometer chambers have been machined from solid PVC cylinders. Two chambers confine dry high-purity helium at different pressures. A thick-walled design ensures minimal heat exchange with the surrounding environment and a constant volume system, while expansion takes place between the chambers. The internal energy of the gas is assumed constant over the expansion. The ideal gas law is used to estimate the volume of solid material sealed in one of the chambers. Temperature is monitored continuously and incorporated into the calculation of solid volume. Temperature variation between measurements is less than 0.1{degrees}C. The data are used to compute grain density for oven-dried Apache Leap tuff core samples. The measured volume of solid and the sample bulk volume are used to estimate porosity and bulk density. Intrinsic permeability was estimated from the porosity and measured pore surface area and is compared to in-situ measurements by the air permeability method. The gas pycnometer accommodates large core samples (0.25 m length x 0.11 m diameter) and can measure solid volume greater than 2.20 cm{sup 3} with less than 1% error.
Date: September 1, 1996
Creator: Thies, C.; Geddis, A.M. & Guzman, A.G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL): Quinquennial report, November 14-15, 1996

Description: This Quinquennial Review Report of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) branch of the Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP) provides an overview of IGPP-LLNL, its mission, and research highlights of current scientific activities. This report also presents an overview of the University Collaborative Research Program (UCRP), a summary of the UCRP Fiscal Year 1997 proposal process and the project selection list, a funding summary for 1993-1996, seminars presented, and scientific publications. 2 figs., 3 tabs.
Date: October 1, 1996
Creator: Tweed, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Phase 1. Screening guidelines to determine the structures exempt from Executive Order 12941

Description: This report presents data regarding the guidelines for determining structures that are exempt from executive order 12941. Executive order 12941 was enacted to assure seismic safety of existing federally owned or leased buildings. This reports considered only the minimum amount of information. This information varied from building to building and from site to site. The scope of the guidelines is to cover all five DOE sites that fall under the DOE Oak Ridge Operations and are operated by LMES. These facilities are the ORNL, Y-12 Plant, K-25 Site all at Oak Ridge, Tennessee; the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Paducah, Kentucky; and the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Portsmouth, Ohio. Off site facilities, owned or leased, that are occupied by LMES are also included.
Date: September 1, 1995
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Update to modeling soil selenium concentrations in the shallow soil profile at Kesterson Reservoir Merced County, California

Description: A mass balance model was developed to predict concentrations of water-extractable selenium in surface and subsurface soil by extrapolating the trend observed from 6 years of soil monitoring data collected at Kesterson Reservoir. Correlations between observed and calculated concentrations indicate that the major trends and year-to-year variations are well represented with the model. Results from this exercise were then used, under three climatic scenarios, to simulate the evolution of the soluble selenium inventory 25 years into the future. Based on these simulations, we expect that the availability of the soluble selenium inventory has most likely reached peak levels, and is now declining. However, year-to-year climatic variations may influence the rate of decline, and occasionally reverse this prevailing trend.
Date: January 1, 1996
Creator: Wahl, C. & Benson, S. M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Post-Injection Geophysical Evaluation of the Winding Ridge Site CRADA 98-F012, Final Report

Description: Acid mine drainage (AMD) from underground mines is a major environmental problem. The disposal of coal combustion by-products (CCB) is also a major national problem due to the large volumes produced annually and the economics associated with transportation and environmentally safe disposal. The concept of returning large volumes of the CCB to their point of origin, underground mines, and using the typically alkaline and pozzolanic attributes of the waste material for the remediation of AMD has been researched rather diligently during the past few years by various federal and state agencies and universities. As the result, the State of Maryland initiated a full-scale demonstration of this concept in a small, 5-acre, unmapped underground mine located near Friendsville, MD. Through a cooperative agreement between the State of Maryland and the U.S. Department of Energy, several geophysical techniques were evaluated as potential tools for the post-injection evaluation of the underground mine site. Three non-intrusive geophysical surveys, two electromagnetic (EM) techniques and magnetometry, were conducted over the Frazee Mine, which is located on Winding Ridge near Friendsville, MD. The EM surveys were conducted to locate ground water in both mine void and overburden. The presence of magnetite, which is naturally inherent to CCB'S due to the combustion process and essentially transparent in sedimentary rock, provided the reason for using magnetometry to locate the final resting place of the CCB grout.
Date: September 16, 1998
Creator: Lyons, Connie; Current, Richard & Ackman, Terry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Real-time earthquake alert system for the greater San Francisco Bay Area: a prototype design to address operational issues

Description: This paper describes a prototype for this EAS (real time) in the Bay area. Approach is pragmatic, attempting to establish a prototype system at a low cost and quickly. A real-time warning system can protect the public and mitigate earthquake damage. The proposed system is a distributed network of real-time strong-motion monitoring stations that telemetered data in real time to a central analysis facility which could transmit earthquake parameter information to an area before elastic wave energy arrived. Upgrades and issues that should be resolved before an operational EAS can be established, are listed.
Date: May 29, 1996
Creator: Harben, P.E.; Jarpe, S. & Hunter, S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Micromechanics of failure in brittle geomaterials. Final technical report (for 7/1/1994 - 8/31/2000)

Description: The overall objective was to provide a fundamental understanding of brittle failure processes in porous and compact geomaterials. This information is central to energy-related programs such as oil and gas exploration/production, reservoir engineering, drilling technology, geothermal energy recovery, nuclear waste isolation, and environmental remediation. The effects of key parameters such as grain boundary structure and cementation, damage state, and load path on the deformation and failure model of brittle geomaterials are still largely unknown. The research methodology emphasized the integration of experimental rock mechanical testing, quantitative microscopy, and detailed analysis using fracture mechanics, continuum plasticity theory, and numerical methods. Significant progress was made in elucidating the micromechanics of brittle failure in compact crystalline rocks, as well as high-porosity siliciclastic and carbonate rocks. Substantial effort was expended toward applying a new quantitative three-dimensional imaging technique to geomaterials and for developing enhanced image analysis capabilities. The research is presented under the following topics: technique for imaging the 3-D pore structure of geomaterials; mechanics of compressive failure in sandstone; effect of water on compressive failure of sandstone; micromechanics of compressive failure: observation and model; and the brittle-ductile transition in porous carbonate rocks.
Date: December 1, 2000
Creator: Wong, Teng-fong
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High resolution imaging of vadose zone transport using surface and crosswell ground penetrating radar methods

Description: To effectively clean up many contaminated sites there is a need for information on heterogeneities at scales ranging from one centimeter to tens of meters, as these features can alter contaminant transport significantly. At the Department of Energy's Hanford, Washington site heterogeneities of interest can range from localized phenomena such as silt or gravel lenses, fractures, clastic dikes, to large-scale lithologic discontinuities. In the vadose zone it is critical to understand the parameters controlling flow. These features have been suspected of leading to funneling and fingering, additional physical mechanisms that could alter and possibly accelerate the transport of contaminants to underlying groundwater. For example, it has been observed from the studies to date that over relatively short distances there are heterogeneities in the physical structure of the porous medium and structural differences between repacked soil cores and the field site from which the materials initially came (Raymond and Shdo, 1966). Analysis of cores taken from the vadose zone (i.e., soil surface to water table) has been useful in identifying localized zones of contamination. Unfortunately, these analyses are sparse (limited to a few boreholes) and extremely expensive. The high levels of radioactivity at many of the contaminated sites increase drilling and sample costs and analysis time. Cost of drilling and core analysis for the SX tank farm has exceeded $1M per borehole (50 meter deep) for sampling. The inability to track highly mobile species through the vadose zone highlights an important need: the need for methods to describe the complete vadose zone plume and to determine processes controlling accelerated contamination of groundwater at Hanford. A combination of surface and crosswell (i.e. borehole) geophysical measurements is one means to provide this information. The main questions addressed with the radar methods in this study are: (1) What parts of the vadose zone-groundwater system ...
Date: November 5, 2002
Creator: Williams, Kenneth H.; Kowalsky, Mike B. & Peterson, John E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reconnaissance Estimates of Recharge Based on an Elevation-dependent Chloride Mass-balance Approach

Description: Significant uncertainty is associated with efforts to quantity recharge in arid regions such as southern Nevada. However, accurate estimates of groundwater recharge are necessary to understanding the long-term sustainability of groundwater resources and predictions of groundwater flow rates and directions. Currently, the most widely accepted method for estimating recharge in southern Nevada is the Maxey and Eakin method. This method has been applied to most basins within Nevada and has been independently verified as a reconnaissance-level estimate of recharge through several studies. Recharge estimates derived from the Maxey and Eakin and other recharge methodologies ultimately based upon measures or estimates of groundwater discharge (outflow methods) should be augmented by a tracer-based aquifer-response method. The objective of this study was to improve an existing aquifer-response method that was based on the chloride mass-balance approach. Improvements were designed to incorporate spatial variability within recharge areas (rather than recharge as a lumped parameter), develop a more defendable lower limit of recharge, and differentiate local recharge from recharge emanating as interbasin flux. Seventeen springs, located in the Sheep Range, Spring Mountains, and on the Nevada Test Site were sampled during the course of this study and their discharge was measured. The chloride and bromide concentrations of the springs were determined. Discharge and chloride concentrations from these springs were compared to estimates provided by previously published reports. A literature search yielded previously published estimates of chloride flux to the land surface. {sup 36}Cl/Cl ratios and discharge rates of the three largest springs in the Amargosa Springs discharge area were compiled from various sources. This information was utilized to determine an effective chloride concentration for recharging precipitation and its associated uncertainty via Monte Carlo simulations. Previously developed isohyetal maps were utilized to determine the mean and standard deviation of precipitation within the area. A digital elevation ...
Date: August 31, 2002
Creator: Russell, Charles E. & Minor, Tim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Field Validation of the NUFT Code for Subsurface Remediation by Soil Vapor Extraction

Description: Soil vapor extraction (SVE) is a widely-used method for remediation of contaminants in the unsaturated, or vadose, zone. SVE removes volatile contaminants by extracting gases from the subsurface. The pressure gradients necessary to drive gas flow are limited by at most one atmosphere of vacuum. Therefore, a common adjunct to SVE is the injection of fresh air into the subsurface at a distance from the extraction wells in order to increase overall gas pressure gradients, and, hence, flow rates. SVE has also been used for saturated zone remediation by first pumping the water table down to expose free phase contaminants. The selection of a vadose zone remediation method depends on a variety of site parameters. The type of contaminant is a major factor. Obviously, the selection of SVE as a method makes sense only for volatile contaminants since, otherwise, gas phase transport would be impossible. Bioventing is often a cost-effective candidate for contaminants that biodegrade easily in an aerobic environment, such as petroleum hydrocarbons. Bioventing shares some similarity to SVE, except that the flow rates are usually much lower. Whereas, the main goal of bioventing is to provide oxygen to the micro-organisms that break-down the contaminant; the main goal of SVE is physical removal. Biodegradation may be, for some contaminants, an important side benefit of SVE. However, bioventing and other forms of bioremediation are not considered to be effective for chlorinated vadose zone contaminants, such as trichloroethylene (TCE), which does not biodegrade readily in an aerobic environment. Soil excavation is a viable remediation method for the shallow spills where there are no existing important man-made structures. Otherwise, SVE is often the most appropriate and widely used remediation method for VOC's in the vadose zone.
Date: September 23, 2000
Creator: Nitao, J.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department