Description: A variety of geophysical methods including the spectrum of seismic, electrical, electromagnetic and potential field techniques have supported characterization, monitoring and experimental studies at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The geophysical studies have provided significant understanding of the nature of site deformation, tectonics and stability. Geophysical methods have delineated possible brine reservoirs beneath the underground facility and have defined the disturbed rock zone that forms around underground excavations. The role of geophysics in the WIPP project has evolved with the project. The early uses were for site characterization to satisfy site selection criteria or factors. As the regulatory framework for WIPP grew since 1980, the geophysics program supported experimental and field programs such as Salado hydrogeology and underground room systems and excavations. In summary, the major types of issues that geophysical studies addressed for WIPP are: Site Characterization; Castile Brine Reservoirs; Rustler/Dewey Lake Hydrogeology; Salado Hydrogeology; and Excavation Effects. The nature of geophysics programs for WIPP has been to support investigation rather than being the principal investigation itself. The geophysics program has been used to define conceptual models (e.g., the Disturbed Rock Zone-DRZ) or to test conceptual models (e.g., high transmissivity zones in the Rustler Formation). The geophysics program primarily supported larger characterization and experimental programs. Funding was not available for the complete documentation and interpretation. Therefore, a great deal of the geophysics survey information resides in contractor reports.
Date: March 5, 1997
Creator: Borns, D.J.
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