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A Hydrostrat Model and Alternatives for Groundwater Flow and Contaminant Transport Model of Corrective Action Unit 99: Rainer Mesa-Shoshone Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

Description: The three-dimensional hydrostratigraphic framework model for the Rainier Mesa-Shoshone Mountain Corrective Action Unit was completed in Fiscal Year 2006. The model extends from eastern Pahute Mesa in the north to Mid Valley in the south and centers on the former nuclear testing areas at Rainier Mesa, Aqueduct Mesa, and Shoshone Mountain. The model area also includes an overlap with the existing Underground Test Area Corrective Action Unit models for Yucca Flat and Pahute Mesa. The model area is geologically diverse and includes un-extended yet highly deformed Paleozoic terrain and high volcanic mesas between the Yucca Flat extensional basin on the east and caldera complexes of the Southwestern Nevada Volcanic Field on the west. The area also includes a hydrologic divide between two groundwater sub-basins of the Death Valley regional flow system. A diverse set of geological and geophysical data collected over the past 50 years was used to develop a structural model and hydrostratigraphic system for the model area. Three deep characterization wells, a magnetotelluric survey, and reprocessed gravity data were acquired specifically for this modeling initiative. These data and associated interpretive products were integrated using EarthVision{reg_sign} software to develop the three-dimensional hydrostratigraphic framework model. Crucial steps in the model building process included establishing a fault model, developing a hydrostratigraphic scheme, compiling a drill-hole database, and constructing detailed geologic and hydrostratigraphic cross sections and subsurface maps. The more than 100 stratigraphic units in the model area were grouped into 43 hydrostratigraphic units based on each unit's propensity toward aquifer or aquitard characteristics. The authors organized the volcanic units in the model area into 35 hydrostratigraphic units that include 16 aquifers, 12 confining units, 2 composite units (a mixture of aquifer and confining units), and 5 intrusive confining units. The underlying pre-Tertiary rocks are divided into six hydrostratigraphic units, including three ...
Date: March 1, 2007
Creator: Group, NSTec Geotechnical Sciences
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Nevada Test Site Environmental Report 2007 Attachment A: Site Description

Description: This appendix expands on the general description of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) presented in the Introduction to the Nevada Test Site Environmental Report 2007 (U.S. Department of Energy [DOE], 2008). Included are subsections that summarize the site's geological, hydrological, climatological, and ecological setting. The cultural resources of the NTS are also presented. The subsections are meant to aid the reader in understanding the complex physical and biological environment of the NTS. An adequate knowledge of the site's environment is necessary to assess the environmental impacts of new projects, design and implement environmental monitoring activities for current site operations, and assess the impacts of site operations on the public residing in the vicinity of the NTS. The NTS environment contributes to several key features of the site which afford protection to the inhabitants of adjacent areas from potential exposure to radioactivity or other contaminants resulting from NTS operations. These key features include the general remote location of the NTS, restricted access, extended wind transport times, the great depths to slow-moving groundwater, little or no surface water, and low population density. This attachment complements the annual summary of monitoring program activities and dose assessments presented in the main body of this report.
Date: September 1, 2008
Creator: Wills, Cathy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Nevada Test Site Environmental Report 2009, Attachment A: Site Description

Description: This attachment expands on the general description of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) presented in the Introduction to the Nevada Test Site Environmental Report 2009. Included are subsections that summarize the site’s geological, hydrological, climatological, and ecological setting. The cultural resources of the NTS are also presented. The subsections are meant to aid the reader in understanding the complex physical and biological environment of the NTS. An adequate knowledge of the site’s environment is necessary to assess the environmental impacts of new projects, design and implement environmental monitoring activities for current site operations, and assess the impacts of site operations on the public residing in the vicinity of the NTS. The NTS environment contributes to several key features of the site that afford protection to the inhabitants of adjacent areas from potential exposure to radioactivity or other contaminants resulting from NTS operations. These key features include the general remote location of the NTS, restricted access, extended wind transport times, the great depths to slow-moving groundwater, little or no surface water, and low population density. This attachment complements the annual summary of monitoring program activities and dose assessments presented in the main body of this report.
Date: September 13, 2010
Creator: Cathy Wills, ed.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Large-Scale Transport Model Uncertainty and Sensitivity Analysis: Distributed Sources in Complex Hydrogeologic Systems

Description: The Underground Test Area (UGTA) Project of the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office is in the process of assessing and developing regulatory decision options based on modeling predictions of contaminant transport from underground testing of nuclear weapons at the Nevada Test Site (NTS). The UGTA Project is attempting to develop an effective modeling strategy that addresses and quantifies multiple components of uncertainty including natural variability, parameter uncertainty, conceptual/model uncertainty, and decision uncertainty in translating model results into regulatory requirements. The modeling task presents multiple unique challenges to the hydrological sciences as a result of the complex fractured and faulted hydrostratigraphy, the distributed locations of sources, the suite of reactive and non-reactive radionuclides, and uncertainty in conceptual models. Characterization of the hydrogeologic system is difficult and expensive because of deep groundwater in the arid desert setting and the large spatial setting of the NTS. Therefore, conceptual model uncertainty is partially addressed through the development of multiple alternative conceptual models of the hydrostratigraphic framework and multiple alternative models of recharge and discharge. Uncertainty in boundary conditions is assessed through development of alternative groundwater fluxes through multiple simulations using the regional groundwater flow model. Calibration of alternative models to heads and measured or inferred fluxes has not proven to provide clear measures of model quality. Therefore, model screening by comparison to independently-derived natural geochemical mixing targets through cluster analysis has also been invoked to evaluate differences between alternative conceptual models. Advancing multiple alternative flow models, sensitivity of transport predictions to parameter uncertainty is assessed through Monte Carlo simulations. The simulations are challenged by the distributed sources in each of the Corrective Action Units, by complex mass transfer processes, and by the size and complexity of the field-scale flow models. An efficient methodology utilizing particle tracking results and ...
Date: December 1, 2007
Creator: Sig Drellack, Lance Prothro
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department