Search Results

Feasibility study of the seismic reflection method in Amargosa Desert, Nye County, Nevada

Description: The US Geological Survey (USGS) working under an Interagency agreement with the Department of Energy is engaged in a broad geoscience program to assess and identify a potential repository for high level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada. The USGS program, referred to as the Yucca Mountain Project, or YMP, consists of integrated geologic, hydrologic and geophysical studies which range in nature from site specific to regional. This report is an evaluation of different acquisition methods for future regional seismic reflection studies to be conducted in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, located in the southwestern corner of the Nevada Test Site (NTS). In January 1988, field studies were conducted to investigate the feasibility of using the common-depth point (CDP) seismic reflection method to map subsurface geological horizons within the Amargosa Desert, Nye County, Nevada. The goal of the field study was to investigate which seismic reflection method(s) should be used for mapping shallow to lower-crustal horizons. Therefore, a wide-variety of field acquisition parameters were tested, included point versus linear receiver group arrays; Vibroseis (service and trademark of Conoco, Inc.) versus explosive sources; Vibroseis array patterns; and Vibroseis sweep and frequency range. 31 refs., 33 figs., 8 tabs.
Date: November 1, 1990
Creator: Brocher, T.M.; Hart, P.E. & Carle, S.F.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Case Studies of integrated hydrogen systems. International Energy Agency Hydrogen Implementing Agreement, Final report for Subtask A of task 11 - Integrated Systems

Description: Within the framework of the International Energy Agency Hydrogen Implementing Agreement, Task 11 was undertaken to develop tools to assist in the design and evaluation of existing and potential hydrogen demonstration projects. Emphasis was placed on integrated systems, from input energy to hydrogen end use. Included in the PDF document are the Executive Summary of the final report and the various case studies. The activities of task 11 were focused on near- and mid-term applications, with consideration for the transition from fossil-based systems to sustainable hydrogen energy systems. The participating countries were Canada, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United States. In order for hydrogen to become a competitive energy carrier, experience and operating data need to be generated and collected through demonstration projects. A framework of scientific principles, technical expertise, and analytical evaluation and assessment needed to be developed to aid in the design and optimization of hydrogen demonstration projects to promote implementation. The task participants undertook research within the framework of three highly coordinated subtasks that focused on the collection and critical evaluation of data from existing demonstration projects around the world, the development and testing of computer models of hydrogen components and integrated systems, and the evaluation and comparison of hydrogen systems. While the Executive Summary reflects work on all three subtasks, this collection of chapters refers only to the work performed under Subtask A. Ten projects were analyzed and evaluated in detail as part of Subtask A, Case Studies. The projects and the project partners were: Solar Hydrogen Demonstration Project, Solar-Wasserstoff-Bayern, Bayernwerk, BMW, Linde, Siemens (Germany); Solar Hydrogen Plant on Residential House, M. Friedli (Switzerland); A.T. Stuart Renewable Energy Test Site; Stuart Energy Systems (Canada); PHOEBUS Juelich Demonstration Plant Research Centre, Juelich (FZJ) (Germany); Schatz Solar Hydrogen Project, Schatz Energy Research Centre, Humboldt State ...
Date: December 31, 1999
Creator: Schucan, T.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Corrective Action Investigation Plan for Corrective Action Unit 321: Area 22 Weather Station Fuel Storage, Nevada Test Site, Nevada

Description: This Corrective Action Investigation Plan (CAIP) has been developed in accordance with the Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order (FFACO) that was agreed to by the US Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office (DOE/NV); the State of Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP); and the US Department of Defense (FFACO, 1996). The CAIP is a document that provides or references all of the specific information for investigation activities associated with Corrective Action Units (CAUs) or Corrective Action Sites (CASs). According to the FFACO (1996), CASs are sites potentially requiring corrective action(s) and may include solid waste management units or individual disposal or release sites. A CAU consists of one or more CASs grouped together based on geography, technical similarity, or agency responsibility for the purpose of determining corrective actions. This CAIP contains the environmental sample collection objectives and the criteria for conducting site investigation activities at the CAU 321 Area 22 Weather Station Fuel Storage, CAS 22-99-05 Fuel Storage Area. For purposes of this discussion, this site will be referred to as either CAU 321 or the Fuel Storage Area. The Fuel Storage Area is located in Area 22 of the Nevada Test Site (NTS). The NTS is approximately 105 kilometers (km) (65 miles [mi]) northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada (Figure 1-1) (DOE/NV, 1996a). The Fuel Storage Area (Figure 1-2) was used to store fuel and other petroleum products necessary for motorized operations at the historic Camp Desert Rock facility which was operational from 1951 to 1958 at the Nevada Test Site, Nevada. The site was dismantled after 1958 (DOE/NV, 1996a).
Date: January 28, 1999
Creator: /NV, DOE
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Biotic Processes Regulating the Carbon Balance of Desert Ecosystems

Description: This project provided the funding to operate and maintain the Nevada Desert FACE Facility. This support funds the CO{sub 2}, system repairs and maintenance, basic physical and biological site information, and personnel that are essential for the experiment to continue. They have continued to assess the effects of elevated CO{sub 2} on three key processes: (1) leaf- to plant-level responses of desert vegetation to elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2}; (2) ecosystem-level responses; and (3) integration of plant and ecosystem processes to understand carbon balance of deserts. The focus is the seminal interactions among atmospheric CO{sub 2}, water, and nitrogen that drive desert responses to elevated CO{sub 2} and explicitly address processes that occur across scales (biological, spatial, and temporal).
Date: July 26, 2005
Creator: Nowak, R. S.; Arnone, J.; Fenstermaker, L. & Smith, and S. D.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

ARBUSCULAR MYCORRHIZAL COLONIZATION OF LARREA TRIDENTATA AND AMBROSIA DUMOSA ROOTS VARIES WITH PRECIPITATION AND SEASON IN THE MOJAVE DESERT

Description: The percentage of fine roots colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi varied with season and with species in the co-dominant shrubs Lurreu tridentutu and Ambrosia dumosu at a site adjacent to the Nevada Desert FACE (Free-Air CO{sub 2} Enrichment) Facility (NDFF) in the Mojave Desert. We excavated downward and outward from the shrub bases in both species to collect and examine fine roots (< 1.0 mm diameter) at monthly intervals throughout 2001 and from October 2002 to September 2003. Fungal structures became visible in cleared roots stained with trypan blue. We quantified the percent colonization of roots by AM fungi via the line intercept method. In both years and for both species, colonization was highest in fall, relatively low in spring when root growth began, increased in late spring, and decreased during summer drought periods. Increases in colonization during summer and fall reflect corresponding increases in precipitation. Spring mycorrhizal colonization is low despite peaks in soil water availability and precipitation, indicating that precipitation is not the only factor influencing mycorrhizal colonization. Because the spring decrease in mycorrhizal colonization occurs when these shrubs initiate a major flush of fine root growth, other phenological events such as competing demands for carbon by fine root initiation, early season shoot growth, and flowering may reduce carbon availability to the fungus, and hence decrease colonization. Another possibility is that root growth exceeds the rate of mycorrhizal colonization.
Date: January 1, 2004
Creator: APPLE, M. E.; THEE, C. I.; SMITH-LONGOZO, V. L.; COGAR, C. R.; WELLS, C. E. & NOWAK, R. S.
Item Type: Article
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

DESERT PAVEMENTS AND SOILS ON BASALTIC PYROCLASTIC DEPOSITS AT LATHROP WELLS AND RED CONE VOLCANOES, SOUTHERN NEVADA

Description: Formation of desert pavement and accretionary soils are intimately linked in arid environments such as the Mojave Desert. Well-sorted fallout scoria lapilli at Lathrop Wells (75-80 ky) and Red Cone ({approx}1 Ma) volcanoes (southern Nevada) formed an excellent starting material for pavement, allowing infiltration of eolian silt and fine sand that first clogs the pore space of underlying tephra and then aggrades and develops vesicular A (Av) horizons. Variations in original pyroclast sizes provide insight into minimum and maximum clast sizes that promote pavement and soil formation: pavement becomes ineffective when clasts can saltate under the strongest winds, while clasts larger than coarse lapilli are unable to form an interlocking pavement that promotes silt accumulation (necessary for Av development). Contrary to predictions that all pavements above altitudes of {approx}400 m would have been ''reset'' in their development after late Pleistocene vegetation advances (about 15 ka), the soils and pavements show clear differences in maturity between the two volcanoes. This indicates that either the pavement soils develop slowly over many 10,000's of years and then are very stable, or that, if they are disrupted by vegetation advances, subsequent pavements are reestablished with successively more mature characteristics.
Date: August 10, 2005
Creator: Valentine, G.A. & Harrington, C.D.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

DESERT PAVEMENTS AND SOILS ON BASALTIC PYROCLASTIC DEPOSITS AT LATHROP WELLS AND RED CONE VOLCANOES, SOUTHERN NEVADA ABSTRACT

Description: Formation of desert pavement and accretionary soils are intimately linked in arid environments such as the Mojave Desert. Well-sorted fallout scoria lapilli at Lathrop Wells (75-80 ky) and Red Cone ({approx}1 Ma) volcanoes (southern Nevada) formed an excellent starting material for pavement, allowing infiltration of eolian silt and fine sand that first clogs the pore space of underlying tephra and then aggrades and develops vesicular A (Av) horizons. Variations in original pyroclast sizes provide insight into minimum and maximum clast sizes that promote pavement and soil formation: pavement becomes ineffective when clasts can saltate under the strongest winds, while clasts larger than coarse lapilli are unable to form an interlocking pavement that promotes silt accumulation (necessary for Av development). Contrary to predictions that all pavements above altitudes of {approx}400 m would have been ''reset'' in their development after late Pleistocene vegetation advances (about 15 ka), the soils and pavements show clear differences in maturity between the two volcanoes. This indicates that either the pavements/soils develop slowly over many 10,000's of years and then are very stable, or that, if they are disrupted by vegetation advances, subsequent pavements are reestablished with successively more mature characteristics.
Date: August 26, 2005
Creator: Valentine, G.A. & Harrington, C.D.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of a Groundwater Management Model for the Project Shoal Area

Description: This document describes the development of a user-friendly and efficient groundwater management model of the Project Shoal Area (PSA and surrounding area that will allow the U.S. Department of Energy and State of Nevada personnel to evaluate the impact of proposed water-use scenarios. The management model consists of a simple hydrologic model within an interactive groundwater management framework. This framework is based on an object user interface that was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey and has been used by the Desert Research Institute researchers and others to couple disparate environmental resource models, manage temporal and spatial data, and evaluate model results for management decision making. This framework was modified and applied to the PSA and surrounding Fairview Basin. The utility of the management model was demonstrated through the application of hypothetical future scenarios including mineral mining, regional expansion of agriculture, and export of water to large urban areas outside the region. While the results from some of the scenarios indicated potential impacts to groundwater levels near the PSA and others did not, together they demonstrate the utility of the management tool for the evaluation of proposed changes in groundwater use in or near the PSA.
Date: September 1, 2006
Creator: Lamorey, G.; Bassett, S.; Schumer, R.; Boyle, D.; Pohll, G. & Chapman, J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SEASONALITY OF ANNUAL PLANT ESTABLISHMENT INFLUENCES THE INTERACTIONBETWEEN THE NON-NATIVE ANNUAL GRASS BROMUS MADRITENSIS SSP. RUBENS AND MOJAVE DESERT PERENNIALS

Description: Competition between native and non-native species can change the composition and structure of plant communities, but in deserts the timing of non-native plant establishment can modulate their impacts to native species. In a field experiment, we varied densities of the non-native annual grass Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens around individuals of three native perennials--Larrea iridentata, Achnatherum hymenoides, and Pleuraphis rigida--in either winter or spring. Additional plots were prepared for the Same perennial species and seasons, but with a mixture of native annual species. Relative growth rates of perennial shoots (RGRs) declined with increasing Bromus biomass when Bromus that was established in winter had 2-3 mo of growth and high water use before perennial growth began. However, this high water use did not significantly reduce water potentials for the perennials, suggesting Bromus that established earlier depleted other soil resources, such as N, otherwise used by perennial plants. Spring-established Bromus had low biomass even at higher densities and did not effectively reduce RGRs, resulting in an overall lower impact to perennials than when Bromus was established in winter. Similarly, growth and reproduction of perennials with mixed annuals as neighbors did not differ from those with Bromus neighbors of equivalent biomass, but densities of these annuals did not support the high biomass necessary to reduce perennial growth. Thus, impacts of native Mojave Desert annuals to perennials are expected to be lower than those of Bromus because seed dormancy and narrow requirements for seedling survivorship produce densities and biomass lower than those achieved by Bromus. In comparing the effects of Bromus among perennial species, the impact of increased Bromus biomass on RGR was lower for Larrea than for the two perennial grasses, probably because Lurrea maintains low growth rates throughout the year, even after Bromus has completed its life cycle. This contrasts with the perennial ...
Date: January 1, 2004
Creator: DEFALCO, L A.; FERNANDEZ, G. C. & NOWAK, R. S.
Item Type: Article
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Simulating Injectate/Rock Chemical Interaction In Fractured Desert Peak Quartz Monzonite

Description: Simulations of the interactions of injected fluids with minerals within an engineered fracture in a sample of Desert Peak quartz monzonite were compared with experimental observations of fluid chemistry and fracture permeability. The observed decrease in permeability and effective hydraulic aperture was much more rapid ({approx}1.0 {micro}m/day) for a core injected with a mixed salt solution containing dissolved silica (near-saturation injectate), compared to cores injected with NaCl (far-from-saturation injectate) ({approx}0.1 {micro}m/day). Simulations were in qualitative agreement with these observations. Near-saturation injectate is predicted to result in net precipitation of secondary phases in the fracture ({approx}0.12 {micro}m/day), compared to a net dissolution of the rock for the far-from-saturation injectate ({approx}0.3 {micro}m/day). Permeability loss for the near-saturation-injectate is ascribed to precipitation in the fracture as well as potential dissolution of primary mineral asperities. Permeability loss for the far-from-saturation fluid is ascribed to dissolution of asperities and smoothing of the fracture. Post-test analysis of the fracture surface will be necessary to verify the processes occurring. The simplified geochemical models used do not account for mineral heterogeneity or for distributions of fluid residence times which could be important controls on permeability evolution. Further analysis is planned to explicitly account for these phenomena.
Date: June 2, 2005
Creator: Viani, B; Roberts, J; Detwiler, R; Roberts, S & Carlson, S
Item Type: Article
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Thermal Data of the Black Rock Desert area Humbolt and Washoe Counties, Nevada

Description: This is a progress report on analysis of thermal data from the Black Rock Desert of northwest Nevada. Hot springs at Soldier Meadows, Fly Ranch, Gerlach, and Pinto Mountains were mapped, and water flows and temperatures measured, by G.W. Berry and G.R. Downs in 1965 and 1966. These data have been studied further by Frank Hadsell (geophysicist) and L.T. Grose (geologist) at the Colorado School of Mines and with the computer facilities of the School of Mines Graduate Research Center, in an effort to determine geothermal power potentials. Power generation by hypothetical Carnot engines has been calculated for the four thermal areas. Data from seven prospect holes at Pinto Mountains have been exploited in plotting geothermal gradients and computing heat flows. It is emphasized that this report is to a large extent an exercise in arithmetic and thermodynamics, fraught with assumptions that may not endure. All of the conclusions are tentative. However, they consider this a valid line of practical research. To the extent that the figures and conclusions are applicable, they are generally encouraging in themselves and in comparison with those of developed geothermal areas, as to the geothermal power potential of Sun acreage in the Black Rock Desert areas.
Date: April 1, 1967
Creator: Hadsell, Frank; Grose, L.T. & Berry, G.W.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SunLine Tests HHICE Bus in Desert Climate

Description: Fact sheet describes the demonstration of a hybrid hydrogen internal combustion engine (HHICE) bus at SunLine Transit Agency.
Date: October 1, 2006
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chlorine-36 abundance in natural and synthetic perchlorate

Description: Perchlorate (ClO{sub 4}{sup -}) is ubiquitous in the environment. It occurs naturally as a product of atmospheric photochemical reactions, and is synthesized for military, aerospace, and industrial applications. Nitrate-enriched soils of the Atacama Desert (Chile) contain high concentrations of natural ClO{sub 4}{sup -}; nitrate produced from these soils has been exported worldwide since the mid-1800's for use in agriculture. The widespread introduction of synthetic and agricultural ClO{sub 4}{sup -} into the environment has complicated attempts to understand the geochemical cycle of ClO{sub 4}{sup -}. Natural ClO{sub 4}{sup -} samples from the southwestern United States have relatively high {sup 36}Cl abundances ({sup 36}Cl/Cl = 3,100 x 10{sup -15} to 28,800 x 10{sup -15}), compared with samples of synthetic ({sup 36}Cl/Cl = 0.0 x 10{sup -15} to 40 x 10{sup -15}) and Atacama Desert ({sup 36}Cl/Cl = 0.9 x 10{sup -15} to 590 x 10{sup -15}) ClO{sub 4}{sup -}. These data give a lower limit for the initial {sup 36}Cl abundance of natural ClO{sub 4}{sup -} and provide temporal and other constraints on its geochemical cycle.
Date: January 1, 2009
Creator: Heikoop, Jeffrey M; Dale, M; Sturchio, Neil C; Caffee, M; Belosa, A D; Heraty, Jr., L J et al.
Item Type: Article
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Infiltration/ground water linkage in the southwest: Response of shallow ground water to interannual variations of precipitation, Jemez Mountains, New Mexico

Description: Hydraulic gradients, residence times and the hydrochemistry of shallow ground water are linked to the episodic precipitation and recharge events characteristic of the arid southwest. In this region, the amount of precipitation, and corresponding biomass, is dependant upon altitude with greater frequency and duration in the montane highlands and less in the desert lowlands. Results from a four-year study at the Rio Calaveras research site in the Jemez Mountains of northern New Mexico show a strong correlation between the physical and hydrochemical properties of shallow ground water and variations of seasonal precipitation and infiltration. For example, the water table shows a dramatic response to snowmelt infiltration during years of abundant snow pack (El Nifio) and diminished response during years of reduced snow pack (La Niiia). The chemical structure of shallow ground water is also affected by the precipitation regime, primarily by variations in the flux of reductants (organic carbon) and oxidants (dissolved oxygen) from the vadose zone to the water table. Generally, oxic conditions persist during spring snowmelt infiltration shifting to anoxic conditions as biotic and abiotic processes transform dissolved oxygen. Other redox-sensitive constituents (ferrous iron, manganese, sulfate, nitrate, and nitrite) show increasing and decreasing concentrations as redox fluctuates seasonally and year-to-year. The cycling of these redox sensitive solutes in the subsurface depends upon the character of the aquifer materials, the biomass at the surface, moisture and temperature regime of the vadose zone, and frequency of infiltration events.
Date: January 1, 2002
Creator: Groffman, A. R. (Armand R.)
Item Type: Article
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Role of Low-Angle Extensional Tectonics, Flat Fracture Domains, and Gravity Slides in Hydrothermal and EGS Resources of the Western United States

Description: The Steamboat Springs geothermal system provides the most dramatic example of subhorizontal thermal-fluid aquifers in crystalline rock in the Basin and Range, but this is by no means an isolated case. Similar but more diffuse subhorizontal permeability has been reported at Roosevelt Hot Springs and Cove-Fort Sulphurdale, Utah; and a km-scale gravity-slide block channels injectate at Dixie Valley, Nevada. During the course of this phase of the project 2543 reports including text, figures and large format enclosures, 1428 maps, and 698 well logs were scanned. The information is stored in a Microsoft Access Database on the Geothermal Server. Detailed geologic cross sections of the Desert Peak geothermal field were developed to identify the structural controls on the geothermal system and locate possible fluid flow paths. The results of this work were published by Lutz and others (2009, Appendix 1) in the Stanford Reservoir Engineering Conference Proceedings.
Date: August 24, 2011
Creator: Moore, Joseph
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Non-Electric Application of Geothermal Resources at Desert Hot Springs, California: A Discussion of the Final Conclusion of Agricultural and Space Heating Applications

Description: This final discussion summarizes the investigation performed throughout the project on geothermal applications to agricultural operations, and the study work done on the suggested follow-on project. The purpose of the studies was to determine whether an economically feasible project could be developed utilizing the geothermal aquifer for heating and cooling of a greenhouse complex, or the heating of a number of municipal buildings.
Date: April 28, 1978
Creator: Bickerstaffe, John A.
Item Type: Article
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

San Emidio Desert Prospect, Washoe and Pershing Counties, Nevada, for Chevron Oil Co., Wells Se-A and SE-B, Temperature depth data, 19 wells

Description: During 1977 Chevron Resources conducted numerous temperature hole programs in the San Emidio Desert Prospect, Nevada. These programs were projected to evaluate recently acquired Fee Land and acreage which could be included in a unit package. The 1977 temperature holes (Map 1) were drilled to a maximum depth of 500 feet with a minimum of 100 feet. Maximum temperature encountered in these holes was 232 F with an average gradient of {approx} 9 F/100 feet (300-400 feet) and {approx} 11 F/100 feet (100-200 feet). In addition, shot holes drilled during the seismic program had temperature pipe installed and were also logged. Table 1 reflects data pertinent to the temperature holes drilled in 1977; in addition, complete temperature gradient plots (Appendix A) and lithology descriptions (Appendix B) are included in this report. Water samples from two temperature holes were collected early in the 1977 program and analyzed by Skyline Laboratories (Appendix C). The results of the estimated base temperature calculations are given.
Date: January 1, 1977
Creator: Kehoe, Mark
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Characterization of background reflectivity for MEDUSA

Description: The DARPA MEDUSA program goal is to detect, locate, and identify electro-optical threats in the vicinity of a moving platform. Laser sensing will be employed to find these threats by looking for anomalous reflections from threat sensors. However, the reflectivity variability (clutter) in both natural and manmade backgrounds will inherently limit target detection levels. In parallel with advanced component development by several aerospace contractors, a study of this clutter limitation was initiated in the long-wave (LW) and midwave (MW) infrared spectral regions to properly drive system design parameters. The analysis of clutter and associated limits on detection has been a major component of LANL efforts in laser remote sensing for non-proliferation. LANL is now analyzing existing data and conducting additional selected measurements in both the LWIR (9 and 10.6 pm) and MWIR (4.6 pm) in support of the DARPA program to increase our understanding of these clutter limitations and, thereby aid in the design and development of the MEDUSA system. The status of the LANL effort will be discussed. A variety of different natural and manmade target types have been investigated. Target scenes range from relatively low clutter sites typical of a southwestern desert to higher clutter downtown urban sites. Images are created by conducting raster scans across a scene interest. These images are then analyzed using data clustering techniques (e g K-means) to identify regions within the scene that contain similar reflectivity profiles. Data will be presented illustrating the reflectivity variability among different samples of the same target type, Le. within the same cluster, and among different data clusters. In general, it is found that the variability of reflectivities among similar targets is well represented by a log-normal distribution. Furthermore, manmade target tend to have higher reflectivities and more variability than natural targets. The implications of this observation for ...
Date: January 1, 2003
Creator: Oldenborg, R. C. (Richard C.); Tiee, J. J. (Joe J.); Foy, B. R. (Bernard R.); Petrin, R. R. (Roger R.) & Wilson, C. W. (Carl W.)
Item Type: Article
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

PRESERVATION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL MATERIALS IN ARID ENVIRONMENTS RELEVANT TO YUCCA MOUNTAIN

Description: The objective of this study was to evaluate archaeological materials from underground openings or shallow burial in arid environments relevant to Yucca Mountain and to draw conclusions about how their state and their environment of preservation could be of relevance to design and operational aspects of the high-level waste repository. The study has evaluated materials from cultures in the arid regions of the ancient Middle East and compared them with the preservation of ancient materials in dry cave sites in the Great Basin desert area of Nevada. The emphasis has been on materials found in undisturbed underground openings such as caves and un-backfilled tombs. Long-term preservation of such materials in underground openings and the stability of the openings themselves provide useful analogue information that serves as a reference point for considering the operation and evolution of the Yucca Mountain repository. Being able to shed light, by close physical and environmental analogy, on what happens in underground openings over many thousands of years provides valuable underpinning to illustrations of expected system performance and offers pointers towards optimizing repository system and operational design.
Date: February 24, 2006
Creator: N. Chapman, A. Dansie, C. McCombie
Item Type: Article
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Property Tax Assessments as a Finance Vehicle for Residential PV Installations: Opportunities and Potential Limitations

Description: Readily accessible credit has often been cited as a necessary ingredient to open up the market for residential photovoltaic (PV) systems. Though financing does not reduce the high up-front cost of PV, by spreading that cost over some portion of the system's life, financing can certainly make PV systems more affordable. As a result, a number of states have, in the past, set up special residential loan programs targeting the installation of renewable energy systems and/or energy efficiency improvements, and often featuring low interest rates, longer terms, and no-hassle application requirements. Historically, these loan programs have met with mixed success (particularly for PV), for a variety of reasons, including: (1) historical lack of homeowner interest in PV, (2) lack of program awareness, (3) reduced appeal in a low-interest-rate environment, and (4) a tendency for early PV adopters to be wealthy, and not in need of financing. Although some of these barriers have begun to fade--most notably, homeowner interest in PV has grown in some states, particularly those that offer solar rebates--the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005) introduced one additional roadblock to the success of low-interest PV loan programs: a residential solar investment tax credit (ITC), subject to the Federal government's 'anti-double-dipping' rules. Specifically, the residential solar ITC--equal to 30% of the system's tax basis, capped at $2000--will be reduced or offset if the system also benefits from what is known as 'subsidized energy financing', which is likely to include most government-sponsored low-interest loan programs. Within this context, it has been interesting to note the recent flurry of announcements from several U.S cities concerning a new type of PV financing program. Led by the City of Berkeley, California, these cities propose to offer their residents the ability to finance the installation of a PV system using ...
Date: February 1, 2008
Creator: Bolinger, Mark A & Bolinger, Mark
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Using RPS Policies to Grow the Solar Market in the United States

Description: The market for photovoltaics in the United States remains small relative to the nation's solar resource potential. Nonetheless, annual grid-connected PV installations have grown from just 4 MW in 2000 to over 100 MW in 2006, fast enough to the catch the attention of the global solar industry. The state of California deserves much of the credit for this growth. The State's historical rebate programs resulted in roughly 75% of the nation's grid-connected PV additions from 2000 through 2006 being located in California, and the $3 billion California Solar Initiative will ensure that the State remains a mainstay of the US solar industry for years to come. But California is not the only market for solar in the US; other states have recently developed policies that may rival those of the western state in terms of future growth potential. In particular, 25 states, as well as Washington, D.C., have established renewables portfolio standards (RPS), sometimes called quota systems in Europe, requiring electricity suppliers in those states to source a minimum portion of their need from renewable electricity. (Because a national RPS is not yet in place, my focus here is on state policies). Under many of these state policies, solar is not expected to fare particularly well: PV installations simply cannot compete on cost or scale with large wind plants in the US, at least not yet. In response, an expanding list of states have established solar or distributed generation (DG) set-asides within their RPS policies, effectively requiring that some fraction of RPS-driven supply derive from solar energy. The popularity of set-asides for solar and/or DG has increased dramatically in recent years. Already, 11 states and D.C. have developed such RPS set-asides. These include states with outstanding solar resources, such as Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico, as well as ...
Date: November 20, 2007
Creator: Wiser, Ryan H & Wiser, Ryan H.
Item Type: Article
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final Technical Report: Effects of Changing Water and Nitrogen Inputs on a Mojave Desert Ecosystem

Description: In order to anticipate the effects of global change on ecosystem function, it is essential that predictive relationships be established linking ecosystem function to global change scenarios. The Mojave Desert is of considerable interest with respect to global change. It contains the driest habitats in North America, and thus most closely approximates the world’s great arid deserts. In order to examine the effects of climate and land use changes, in 2001 we established a long-term manipulative global change experiment, called the Mojave Global Change Facility. Manipulations in this study include the potential effects of (1) increased summer rainfall (75 mm over three discrete 25 mm events), (2) increased nitrogen deposition (10 and 40 kg ha-1), and (3) the disturbance of biological N-fixing crusts . Questions addressed under this grant shared the common hypothesis that plant and ecosystem performance will positively respond to the augmentation of the most limiting resources to plant growth in the Mojave Desert, e.g., water and nitrogen. Specific hypotheses include (1) increased summer rainfall will significantly increase plant production through an alleviation of moisture stress in the dry summer months, (2) N-deposition will increase plant production in this N-limited system, particularly in wet years or in concert with added summer rain, and (3) biological crust disturbance will gradually decrease bio-available N, with concomitant long-term reductions in photosynthesis and ANPP. Individual plant and ecosystem responses to global change may be regulated by biogeochemical processes and natural weather variability, and changes in plant and ecosystem processes may occur rapidly, may occur only after a time lag, or may not occur at all. During the first PER grant period, we observed changes in plant and ecosystem processes that would fall under each of these time-response intervals: plant and ecosystem processes responded rapidly to added summer rain, whereas most processes responded ...
Date: November 30, 2007
Creator: Smith, Stanley, D.; Nowak, Robert S.; Fenstermaker, Lynn, F. & Young, Michael,H.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Prehistoric Rock Structures of the Idaho National Laboratory

Description: Over the past 13,500 years, human populations have lived in and productively utilized the natural resources offered by the cold desert environment of the northeastern Snake River Plain in eastern Idaho. Within an overall framework of hunting and gathering, groups relied on an intimate familiarity with the natural world and developed a variety of technologies to extract the resources that they needed to survive. Useful items were abundant and found everywhere on the landscape. Even the basaltic terrain and the rocks, themselves, were put to productive use. This paper presents a preliminary classification scheme for rock structures built on the Idaho National Laboratory landscape by prehistoric aboriginal populations, including discussions of the overall architecture of the structures, associated artifact assemblages, and topographic placement. Adopting an ecological perspective, the paper concludes with a discussion of the possible functions of these unique resources for the desert populations that once called the INL home.
Date: April 1, 2007
Creator: Pace, Brenda R
Item Type: Article
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department