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Sample records for canyon tuff yucca

  1. Absolute Paleointensity Study of Miocene Tiva Canyon Tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patiman, A.; Bowles, J.

    2014-12-01

    Unoriented samples from the ~12.7 Ma Tiva Canyon (TC) tuff from Yucca Mountain, Nevada are studied in terms of magnetic properties and geomagnetic paleointensity. The magnetic mineralogy and magnetic properties of the TC tuff have previously been well documented, and the remanence-carrier in ~15-m thick zones at the top and bottom of the unit is dominantly is single domain (SD) to superparamagnetic (SP) magnetite, which may be considered ideal for absolute paleointensity studies. Among one of the several episodic volcanic eruptions of the Southwestern Nevada Volcanic Field (SWNVF), the welded TC tuff belongs to the Paintbrush Group. Here we present magnetic properties from two previously unreported sections of the TC tuff, as well as Thellier-type absolute paleointensity estimates. Samples were collected from the lower ~7 m at the base of the flow. Magnetic properties studied include hysteresis, bulk magnetic susceptibility, frequency-dependent susceptibility, and anhysteretic remanent magnetization acquisition. Magnetic property results are consistent with earlier work, showing that the main magnetic mineral is magnetite. SP samples are dominant from the lower ~1 m to ~3.6 m basal unit while the middle unit of ~3.7 m to 7.0 m mainly consists of SD samples. The paleointensity results are closely tied to the stratigraphic height and magnetic properties linked to domain state. The SD samples have consistent absolute paleointensity values 32.40±0.22 uT, VADM 5.74*1022 A.m2 and behaved ideally during paleointensity experiments. The SP samples have consistently higher paleointensity and less ideal behavior, but would likely pass many traditional quality-control tests. Since the magnetite has been interpreted to form by precipitation out of the glass post-emplacement, but at temperatures higher than the Curie temperature, we tentatively interpret the SD remanence to be a primary thermal remanent magnetization and the paleointensity result to be a valid estimate of

  2. Oxygen isotopes and trace elements in the Tiva Canyon Tuff, Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nye County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marshall, B.D.; Kyser, T.K.; Peterman, Z.E.

    1996-12-31

    Yucca Mountain is being studied as a potential site for an underground repository for high-level radioactive waste. Because Yucca Mountain is located in a resource-rich geologic setting, one aspect of the site characterization studies is an evaluation of the resource potential at Yucca Mountain. The Tiva Canyon Tuff (TCT) is a widespread felsic ash-flow sheet that is well exposed in the Yucca Mountain area. Samples of the upper part of the TCT were selected to evaluate the potential for economic mineral deposits within the Miocene volcanic section. These samples of the upper cliff and caprock subunits have been analyzed for oxygen isotopes and a large suite of elements. Oxygen isotope compositions ({delta}{sup 18}O) of the TCT are typical of felsic igneous rocks but range from 6.9 to 11.8 permil, indicating some post-depositional alteration. There is no evidence of the low {delta}{sup 18}O values (less than 6 permil) that are typical of epithermal precious-metal deposits in the region. The variation in oxygen isotope ratios is probably the result of deuteric alteration during late-stage crystallization of silica and low-temperature hydration of glassy horizons; these processes are also recorded by the chemical compositions of the rocks. However, most elemental contents in the TCT reflect igneous processes, and the effects of alteration are observed only in some of the more mobile elements. These studies indicate that the TCT at Yucca Mountain has not been affected by large-scale meteoric-water hydrothermal circulation. The chemical compositions of the TCT, especially the low concentrations of most trace elements including typical pathfinder elements, show no evidence for epithermal metal deposits. Together, these data indicate that the potential for economic mineralization in this part of the volcanic section at Yucca Mountain is small.

  3. Mechanical excavator performance in Yucca Mountain tuffs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ozdemir, L.; Hansen, F.D.

    1991-01-01

    A research effort of four phases is in progress at the Colorado School of Mines. The overall program will evaluate the cutability of welded tuff and other lithologies likely to be excavated at Yucca Mountain in the site characterization process. Several mechanical systems are considered with emphasis given to the tunnel boring machine. The research comprises laboratory testing, linear drag bit and disc cutter tests and potentially large-scale laboratory demonstrations to support potential use of a tunnel boring machine in welded tuff. Preliminary estimates of mechanical excavator performance in Yucca Mountain tuff are presented here. As phases of the research project are completed, well quantified estimates will be made of performance of mechanical excavators in the Yucca Mountain tuffs. 3 refs., 2 tabs

  4. Geochemistry of core samples of the Tiva Canyon Tuff from drill hole UE-25 NRG number-sign 3, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peterman, Z.E.; Futa, K.

    1996-01-01

    The Tiva Canyon Tuff of Miocene age is composed of crystal-poor, high-silica rhyolite overlain by a crystal-rich zone that is gradational in composition from high-silica rhyolite to quartz latite. Each of these zones is divided into subzones that have distinctive physical, mineralogical, and geochemical features.Accurate identification of these subzones and their contacts is essential for detailed mapping and correlation both at the surface and in the subsurface in drill holes and in the exploratory studies facility (ESF). This report presents analyses of potassium (K), calcium (Ca), titanium (Ti), rubidium (Rb), strontium (Sr), yttrium (Y), zirconium (Zr), niobium (Nb), barium (Ba), lanthanum (La), and cerium (Ce) in core samples of the Tiva Canyon Tuff from drill hole UE-25 NRG number-sign 3. The concentrations of most of these elements are remarkably constant throughout the high-silica rhyolite, but at its upper contact with the crystal-rich zone, Ti, Zr, Ba, Ca, Sr, La, Ce, and K begin to increase progressively through the crystal-rich zone. In contrast, Rb and Nb decrease, and Y remains essentially constant. Initial 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratios are relatively uniform in the high-silica rhyolite with a mean value of 0.7117, whereas initial 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratios decrease upward in the quartz latite to values as low as 0.7090

  5. Summary of the mineralogy-petrology of tuffs of Yucca Mountain and the secondary-phase thermal stability in tuffs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bish, D.L.; Vaniman, D.T.; Byers, F.M. Jr.; Broxton, D.E.

    1982-11-01

    Yucca Mountain is composed of a thick sequence of silicic tuffs that are quite variable in degree of welding, alteration, and zeolitization. Tuff units above the water table are commonly devitrified or still vitric, with the exception of the zeolitized Pah Canyon Member in USW-G2. The devitrified tuffs above the water table commonly contain alkali feldspar, quartz, tridymite, and cristobalite, with minor smectite. The vitric tuffs are partly to wholly altered to sodium-calcium-saturated smectite. Below the water table are generally densely welded nonzeolitized tuffs and less densely welded zeolite-containing tuffs. The specific mineral assemblage present in Yucca Mountain tuffs has important implications in choosing a repository. The secondary phases clinoptilolite, mordenite, and smectite are very important because of their large cation sorption capacities. However, whereas densely welded tuffs containing no zeolite or glass are resistant to heating and do not dehydrate significantly, zeolitized, vitric, and smectite-containing horizons are very sensitive to minor increases in temperature. Smectites are particularly sensitive to changes in water vapor pressure and temperature, and temperature increases can lead to water evolution and large volume reductions. Similarly, clinoptilolite and mordenite begin to dehydrate below 100{sup 0}C, resulting in volume decreases. The exact effect of temperature on vitric tuffs is unclear. Under hydrothermal conditions the smectites gradually transform to nonexpanding, low sorption capacity illites, and there is evidence that this reaction has occurred in the deeper portions of USW-G2. Clinoptilolite transforms under hydrothermal conditions to analcime plus quartz with a concomitant volume decrease and water evolution. Again, there is evidence of this reaction occurring in Yucca Mountain tuffs at 80 to 100{sup 0}C.

  6. Sorption of radionuclides on Yucca Mountain tuffs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meijaer, A.; Triay, I.; Knight, S.; Cisneros, M.

    1989-01-01

    A substantial database of sorption coefficients for important radionuclides on Yucca Mountain tuffs has been obtained by Los Alamos National Laboratory over the past ten years. Current sorption studies are focussed on validation questions and augmentation of the existing database. Validation questions concern the effects of the use of crushed instead of solid rock samples in the batch experiments, the use of oversaturated stock solutions, and variations in water/rock ratios. Sorption mechanisms are also being investigated. Database augmentation activities include determination of sorption coefficients for elements with low sorption potential, sorption on psuedocolloids, sorption on fracture lining minerals, and sorption kinetics. Sorption can provide an important barrier to the potential migration of radionuclides from the proposed repository within Yucca Mountain to the accessible environment. In order to quantify this barrier, sorption coefficients appropriate for the Yucca Mountain groundwater system must be obtained for each of the important radionuclides in nuclear waste. Los Alamos National Laboratories has conducted numerous batch (crushed-rock) sorption experiments over the past ten years to develop a sorption coefficient database for the Yucca Mountain site. In the present site characterization phase, the main goals of the sorption test program will be to validate critical sorption coefficients and to augment the existing database where important data are lacking. 11 refs., 1 fig., 3 tabs

  7. Geologic map of the Paintbrush Canyon Area, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dickerson, R.P. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Drake, R.M. II [Pacific Western Technologies, Ltd., Lakewood, CO (United States)

    1998-11-01

    This geologic map is produced to support site characterization studies of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, site of a potential nuclear waste storage facility. The area encompassed by this map lies between Yucca Wash and Fortymile Canyon, northeast of Yucca Mountain. It is on the southern flank of the Timber Mountain caldera complex within the southwest Nevada volcanic field. Miocene tuffs and lavas of the Calico Hills Formation, the Paintbrush Group, and the Timber Mountain Group crop out in the area of this map. The source vents of the tuff cones and lava domes commonly are located beneath the thickest deposits of pyroclastic ejecta and lava flows. The rocks within the mapped area have been deformed by north- and northwest-striking, dominantly west-dipping normal faults and a few east-dipping normal faults. Faults commonly are characterized by well developed fault scarps, thick breccia zones, and hanging-wall grabens. Latest movement as preserved by slickensides on west-dipping fault scarps is oblique down towards the southwest. Two of these faults, the Paintbrush Canyon fault and the Bow Ridge fault, are major block-bounding faults here and to the south at Yucca Mountain. Offset of stratigraphic units across faults indicates that faulting occurred throughout the time these volcanic units were deposited.

  8. Geologic map of the Paintbrush Canyon Area, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dickerson, R.P.; Drake, R.M. II

    1998-01-01

    This geologic map is produced to support site characterization studies of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, site of a potential nuclear waste storage facility. The area encompassed by this map lies between Yucca Wash and Fortymile Canyon, northeast of Yucca Mountain. It is on the southern flank of the Timber Mountain caldera complex within the southwest Nevada volcanic field. Miocene tuffs and lavas of the Calico Hills Formation, the Paintbrush Group, and the Timber Mountain Group crop out in the area of this map. The source vents of the tuff cones and lava domes commonly are located beneath the thickest deposits of pyroclastic ejecta and lava flows. The rocks within the mapped area have been deformed by north- and northwest-striking, dominantly west-dipping normal faults and a few east-dipping normal faults. Faults commonly are characterized by well developed fault scarps, thick breccia zones, and hanging-wall grabens. Latest movement as preserved by slickensides on west-dipping fault scarps is oblique down towards the southwest. Two of these faults, the Paintbrush Canyon fault and the Bow Ridge fault, are major block-bounding faults here and to the south at Yucca Mountain. Offset of stratigraphic units across faults indicates that faulting occurred throughout the time these volcanic units were deposited

  9. The role of fracture coatings on water imbibition into unsaturated tuff from Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chekuri, V.S.; Tyler, S.W.; Fordham, J.W.

    1995-11-01

    Studies dealing with fracture flow at Yucca Mountain have generally assumed that any water flowing down in a fracture will be absorbed by the porous matrix. However, a thin lining of low permeability material on the fracture walls may significantly impede imbibition into the matrix of unsaturated tuff. In this research, imbibition was measured across the fracture surfaces in the laboratory. Samples were collected from surface outcrops of Tiva Canyon and Topopah Spring members of the Paintbrush tuff near Yucca Mountain. Sorptivity, a convenient measure of imbibition, was used to investigate the changes in hydraulic properties as a result of fracture coatings. Results from experimental analysis of Topopah Spring tuff showed decreased sorptivity across coated fracture surfaces. Statistically, the coatings on the Tiva Canyon samples do not significantly affect sorptivity. Scanning Electron Microscope analysis shows that coatings on the s grit Tiva Canyon samples are made up of iron, aluminum and to some extent magnesium. Coating material on the Topopah Spring samples is made up of calcium, magnesium, aluminum and iron. Coating significantly reduces the sorptivity for the Topopah Spring tuff. Numerical results are presented to show the effect of fracture coatings on water infiltration down a vertical fracture in simulated tuff. For the Topopah Spring tuff, the wetting front in the coated fracture travels deeper in the fracture and less into the matrix compared to the wetting front in the uncoated fracture. For the Tiva Canyon tuff, the wetting front in the uncoated fracture travels deeper in the fracture and less into the matrix as compared to the wetting front in the coated fracture

  10. Neptunium retardation with tuffs and groundwaters from Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Triay, I.R.; Robinson, B.A.; Lopez, R.M.; Mitchell, A.J.; Overly, C.M.

    1993-01-01

    The retardation of neptunium was studied using batch sorption and column techniques. Pure mineral separates, tuffs and groundwaters from Yucca Mountain were used for these experiments. Our results indicate that Np sorption increases rapidly as the pH of the water increases in cases where surface complexation is thought w be the dominant sorption mechanism. Oxide minerals (such as hematite) sorb Np strongly; therefore, these minerals even at trace levels in Yucca Mountain tuffs can result in significant Np retardation. Neptunium in groundwaters from Yucca Mountain exhibited a significant amount of sorption onto quartz. Neptunium sorption onto quartz is important because of the large quantity of silica in the tuffs. Elution of neptunium solutions in groundwater through columns made of crushed tuff yielded sorption coefficients that agree with the sorption results obtained using batch sorption techniques. Agreement between batch and column experiments indicates a neptunium sorption mechanism that is linear, reversible, and instantaneous

  11. Repository site data report for unsaturated tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tien, P.L.; Updegraff, C.D.; Siegel, M.D.; Wahi, K.K.; Guzowski, R.V.

    1985-11-01

    The US Department of Energy is currently considering the thick sequences of unsaturated, fractured tuff at Yucca Mountain, on the southwestern boundary of the Nevada Test Site, as a possible candidate host rock for a nuclear-waste repository. Yucca Mountain is in one of the most arid areas in the United States. The site is within the south-central part of the Great Basin section of the Basin and Range physiographic province and is located near a number of silicic calderas of Tertiary age. Although localized zones of seismic activity are common throughout the province, and faults are present at Yucca Mountain, the site itself is basically aseismic. No data are available on the composition of ground water in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. It has been suggested that the composition is bounded by the compositions of water from wells USW-H3, UE25p-1, J-13, and snow or rain. There are relatively few data available from Yucca Mountain on the moisture content and saturation, hydraulic conductivity, and characteristic curves of the unsaturated zone. The available literature on thermomechanical properties of tuff does not always distinguish between data from the saturated zone and data from the unsaturated zone. Geochemical, hydrologic, and thermomechanical data available on the unsaturated tuffs of Yucca Mountain are tabulated in this report. Where the data are very sparse, they have been supplemented by data from the saturated zone or from areas other than Yucca Mountain. 316 refs., 58 figs., 37 tabs.

  12. Repository site data report for unsaturated tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tien, P.L.; Updegraff, C.D.; Siegel, M.D.; Wahi, K.K.; Guzowski, R.V.

    1985-11-01

    The US Department of Energy is currently considering the thick sequences of unsaturated, fractured tuff at Yucca Mountain, on the southwestern boundary of the Nevada Test Site, as a possible candidate host rock for a nuclear-waste repository. Yucca Mountain is in one of the most arid areas in the United States. The site is within the south-central part of the Great Basin section of the Basin and Range physiographic province and is located near a number of silicic calderas of Tertiary age. Although localized zones of seismic activity are common throughout the province, and faults are present at Yucca Mountain, the site itself is basically aseismic. No data are available on the composition of ground water in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. It has been suggested that the composition is bounded by the compositions of water from wells USW-H3, UE25p-1, J-13, and snow or rain. There are relatively few data available from Yucca Mountain on the moisture content and saturation, hydraulic conductivity, and characteristic curves of the unsaturated zone. The available literature on thermomechanical properties of tuff does not always distinguish between data from the saturated zone and data from the unsaturated zone. Geochemical, hydrologic, and thermomechanical data available on the unsaturated tuffs of Yucca Mountain are tabulated in this report. Where the data are very sparse, they have been supplemented by data from the saturated zone or from areas other than Yucca Mountain. 316 refs., 58 figs., 37 tabs

  13. Chemistry of diagenetically altered tuffs at a potential nuclear waste repository, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Broxton, D.E.; Warren, R.G.; Hagan, R.C.; Luedemann, G.

    1986-10-01

    The chemistry of diagenetically altered tuffs at a potential nuclear waste repository, Yucca Mountain, Nevada is described. These tuffs contain substantial amounts of zeolites that are highly sorptive of certain radionuclides. Because of their widespread distribution, the zeolitic tuffs could provide important barriers to radionuclide migration. Physical properties of these tuffs and of their constituent zeolites are influenced by their chemical compositions. This study defines the amount of chemical variability within diagenetically altered tuffs and within diagenetic minerals at Yucca Mountain. Zeolitic tuffs at Yucca Mountain formed by diagenetic alteration of rhyolitic vitric tuffs. Despite their similar starting compositions, these tuffs developed compositions that vary both vertically and laterally. Widespread chemical variations were the result of open-system chemical diagenesis in which chemical components of the tuffs were mobilized and redistributed by groundwaters. Alkalies, alkaline earths, and silica were the most mobile elements during diagenesis. The zeolitic tuffs can be divided into three compositional groups: (1) calcium- and magnesium-rich tuffs associated with relatively thin zones of alteration in the unsaturated zone; (2) tuffs in thick zones of alteration at and below the water table that grade laterally from sodic compositions on the western side of Yucca Mountain to calcic compositions on the eastern side; and (3) potassic tuffs at the north end of Yucca Mountain. Physical properties of tuffs and their consistuent zeolites at Yucca Mountain may be affected by variations in compositions. Properties important for assessment of repository performance include behavior and ion exchange

  14. Selenite transport in unsaturated tuff from Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Conca, J.L.; Triay, I.R.

    1994-01-01

    Direct measurements of unsaturated selenite retardation coefficients and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity were obtained on two tuff samples from Yucca Mountain using the UFA trademark technology. The retardation factor for the selenite species was only 2.5 in both Yucca Mountain vitric member at 62.6% saturation and zeolitized nonwelded tuff from G-tunnel at 52.8% saturation with respect to J-13 well water from the Nevada Test Site contaminated with selenium at 1.31 mg/l (ppm). In batch tests on the same material using 1.2 mg/l (ppm), the average K d was determined to be 13, giving retardation factors higher than the UFA column breakthrough tests by an order of magnitude. The difference could result from preferential flow paths in the UFA column as might occur in the field or differences in residence times between the two types of test. The unsaturated hydraulic conductivities during the experiments were 2.49 x 10 -8 cm/s for the Yucca Mountain vitric member and 1.16 x 10 -8 cm/s for the zeolitized nonwelded tuff

  15. Structural character of the northern segment of the Paintbrush Canyon fault, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dickerson, R.P.; Spengler, R.W.

    1994-01-01

    Detailed mapping of exposed features along the northern part of the Paintbrush Canyon fault was initiated to aid in construction of the computer-assisted three-dimensional lithostratigraphic model of Yucca Mountain, to contribute to kinematic reconstruction of the tectonic history of the Paintbrush Canyon fault, and to assist in the interpretation of geophysical data from Midway Valley. Yucca Mountain is segmented into relatively intact blocks of east-dipping Miocene volcanic strata, bounded by north-striking, west-dipping high-angle normal faults. The Paintbrush Canyon fault, representing the easternmost block-bounding normal fault, separates Fran Ridge from Midway Valley and continues northward across Yucca Wash to at least the southern margin of the Timber Mountain Caldera complex. South of Yucca Wash, the Paintbrush Canyon Fault is largely concealed beneath thick Quaternary deposits. Bedrock exposures to the north reveal a complex fault, zone, displaying local north- and west-trending grabens, and rhombic pull-apart features. The fault scarp, discontinuously exposed along a mapped length of 8 km north of Yucca Wash, dips westward by 41 degrees to 74 degrees. Maximum vertical offset of the Rhyolite of Comb Peak along the fault measures about 210 m in Paintbrush Canyon and, on the basis of drill hole information, vertical offset of the Topopoah Spring Tuff is about 360 m near the northern part of Fran Ridge. Observed displacement along the fault in Paintbrush Canyon is down to the west with a component of left-lateral oblique slip. Unlike previously proposed tectonic models, strata adjacent to the fault dip to the east. Quaternary deposits do not appear displaced along the fault scarp north of Yucca Wash, but are displaced in trenches south of Yucca Wash

  16. Physical and hydrologic properties of outcrop samples from a nonwelded to welded tuff transition, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rautman, C.A.; Flint, L.E.; Flint, A.L.; Istok, J.D.

    1995-01-01

    Quantitative material-property data are needed to describe lateral and vertical spatial variability of physical and hydrologic properties and to model ground-water flow and radionuclide transport at the potential Yucca Mountain nuclear-waste repository site in Nevada. As part of on-going site characterization studies of Yucca Mountain directed toward this understanding of spatial variability, laboratory measurements of porosity, bulk and particle density, saturated hydraulic conductivity, and sorptivity have been obtained for a set of outcrop samples that form a systematic, two-dimensional grid that covers a large exposure of the basal Tiva Canyon Tuff of the Paintbrush Group of Miocene age at Yucca Mountain. The samples form a detailed vertical grid roughly parallel to the transport direction of the parent ash flows, and they exhibit material-property variations in an interval of major lithologic change overlying a potential nuclear-waste repository at Yucca Mountain. The observed changes in hydrologic properties were systematic and consistent with the changes expected for the nonwelded to welded transition at the base of a major ash-flow sequence. Porosity, saturated hydraulic conductivity, and sorptivity decreased upward from the base of the Tiva Canyon Tuff, indicating the progressive compaction of ash-rich volcanic debris and the onset of welding with increased overburden pressure from the accumulating ash-flow sheet. The rate of decrease in the values of these material properties varied with vertical position within the transition interval. In contrast, bulk-density values increased upward, a change that also is consistent with progressive compaction and the onset of welding. Particle-density values remained almost constant throughout the transition interval, probably indicating compositional (chemical) homogeneity

  17. Performance predictions for mechanical excavators in Yucca Mountain tuffs; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ozdemir, L.; Gertsch, L.; Neil, D.; Friant, J. [Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States). Earth Mechanics Inst.

    1992-09-01

    The performances of several mechanical excavators are predicted for use in the tuffs at Yucca Mountain: Tunnel boring machines, the Mobile Miner, a roadheader, a blind shaft borer, a vertical wheel shaft boring machine, raise drills, and V-Moles. Work summarized is comprised of three parts: Initial prediction using existing rock physical property information; Measurement of additional rock physical properties; and Revision of the initial predictions using the enhanced database. The performance predictions are based on theoretical and empirical relationships between rock properties and the forces-experienced by rock cutters and bits during excavation. Machine backup systems and excavation design aspects, such as curves and grades, are considered in determining excavator utilization factors. Instanteous penetration rate, advance rate, and cutter costs are the fundamental performance indicators.

  18. Mineralogy, petrology and whole-rock chemistry data compilation for selected samples of Yucca Mountain tuffs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Connolly, J.R.

    1991-12-01

    Petrologic, bulk chemical, and mineralogic data are presented for 49 samples of tuffaceous rocks from core holes USW G-1 and UE-25a number-sign 1 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Included, in descending stratigraphic order, are 11 samples from the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff, 12 samples from the Tuffaceous Beds of Calico Hills, 3 samples from the Prow Pass Member of the Crater Flat Tuff, 20 samples from the Bullfrog Member of the Crater Flat Tuff and 3 samples from the Tram Member of the Crater Flat Tuff. The suite of samples contains a wide variety of petrologic types, including zeolitized, glassy, and devitrified tuffs. Data vary considerably between groups of samples, and include thin section descriptions (some with modal analyses for which uncertainties are estimated), electron microprobe analyses of mineral phases and matrix, mineral identifications by X-ray diffraction, and major element analyses with uncertainty estimates

  19. Analysis of the rock mechanics properties of volcanic tuff units from Yucca Mountain, Nevada Test Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Price, R.H.

    1983-08-01

    Over two hundred fifty mechanical experiments have been run on samples of tuff from Yucca Mountain, Nevada Test Site. Cores from the Topopah Spring, Calico Hills, Bullfrog and Tram tuff units were deformed to collect data for an initial evaluation of mechanical (elastic and strength) properties of the potential horizons for emplacement of commercial nuclear wastes. The experimental conditions ranged in sample saturation from room dry to fully saturated, confining pressure from 0.1 to 20 MPa, pore pressure from 0.1 to 5 MPa, temperature from 23 to 200 0 C, and strain rate from 10 -7 to 10 -2 s -1 . These test data have been analyzed for variations in elastic and strength properties with changes in test conditions, and to study the effects of bulk-rock characteristics on mechanical properties. In addition to the site-specific data on Yucca Mountain tuff, mechanical test results on silicic tuff from Rainier Mesa, Nevada Test Site, are also discussed. These data both overlap and augment the Yucca Mountain tuff data, allowing more definitive conclusions to be reached, as well as providing data at some test conditions not covered by the site-specific tests

  20. Geologic character of tuffs in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, southern Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scott, R.B.; Spengler, R.W.; Diehl, S.; Lappin, A.R.; Chornack, M.P.

    1982-12-31

    At Yucca Mountain, a potential site for a high-level nuclear waste repository on the Nevada Test Site in southern Nevada, evaluation of the geologic setting and rock physical properties, along with previous regional hydrologic studies, has provided background that can be used for construction of a preliminary conceptual hydrologic model of the unsaturated zone. The 500-m-thick unsaturated portion of Yucca Mountain consists of alternating layers of two contrasting types of tuff. One type consists of highly fractured, densely welded, relatively nonporous but highly transmissive ash-flow tuffs. The other type consists of relatively unfractured, nonwelded, highly porous but relatively nontransmissive, argillic and zeolitic bedded tuffs and ash-flow tuffs. The contrast between these two sets of distinctive physical properties results in a stratified sequence best described as "physical-property stratigraphy" as opposed to traditional petrologic stratigraphy of volcanic rocks. The vast majority of recharge through the unsaturated zone is assumed to be vertical; the dominant migration may occur in fractures of densely welded tuffs and in the matrix of nonwelded tuff, but the mode of fluid flow in these unsaturated systems is undetermined. Limited lateral flow of recharge may occur at horizons where local perched water tables may exist above relatively nontransmissive zeolitized nonwelded tuffs. The pervasive north-northwest-striking fractures may control the direction of lateral flow of recharge, if any, in the unsaturated zone, and certainly that direction coincides closely with the observed southeasterly flow direction in the saturated zone under Yucca Mountain. Empirical evaluation of this conceptual hydrologic model has begun. 41 refs., 18 figs., 2 tabs.

  1. Geologic character of tuffs in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, southern Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scott, R.B.; Spengler, R.W.; Diehl, S.; Lappin, A.R.; Chornack, M.P.

    1982-01-01

    At Yucca Mountain, a potential site for a high-level nuclear waste repository on the Nevada Test Site in southern Nevada, evaluation of the geologic setting and rock physical properties, along with previous regional hydrologic studies, has provided background that can be used for construction of a preliminary conceptual hydrologic model of the unsaturated zone. The 500-m-thick unsaturated portion of Yucca Mountain consists of alternating layers of two contrasting types of tuff. One type consists of highly fractured, densely welded, relatively nonporous but highly transmissive ash-flow tuffs. The other type consists of relatively unfractured, nonwelded, highly porous but relatively nontransmissive, argillic and zeolitic bedded tuffs and ash-flow tuffs. The contrast between these two sets of distinctive physical properties results in a stratified sequence best described as ''physical-property stratigraphy'' as opposed to traditional petrologic stratigraphy of volcanic rocks. The vast majority of recharge through the unsaturated zone is assumed to be vertical; the dominant migration may occur in fractures of densely welded tuffs and in the matrix of nonwelded tuff, but the mode of fluid flow in these unsaturated systems is undetermined. Limited lateral flow of recharge may occur at horizons where local perched water tables may exist above relatively nontransmissive zeolitized nonwelded tuffs. The pervasive north-northwest-striking fractures may control the direction of lateral flow of recharge, if any, in the unsaturated zone, and certainly that direction coincides closely with the observed southeasterly flow direction in the saturated zone under Yucca Mountain. Empirical evaluation of this conceptual hydrologic model has begun. 41 refs., 18 figs., 2 tabs

  2. Some geochemical considerations for a potential repository site in tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Erdal, B.R.; Bish, D.L.; Crowe, B.M.; Daniels, W.R.; Ogard, A.E.; Rundberg, R.S.; Vaniman, D.T.; Wolfsberg, K.

    1982-01-01

    The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations, which is evaluating potential locations for a high-level waste repository at the Nevada Test Site and environs, is currently focusing its investigations on tuff, principally in Yucca Mountain, as a host rock. This paper discusses some of the geochemical investigations. Particular emphasis is placed on definition of some basic elements and necessary technical approaches for the geochemistry data acquisition and modeling program. Some site-specific tuff geochemical information that is important for site selection and repository performance will be identified and the current status of knowledge will then be discussed

  3. The Hydrogeologic Character of the Lower Tuff Confining Unit and the Oak Springs Butte Confining Unit in the Tuff Pile Area of Central Yucca Flat

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Drellack, Jr., Sigmund L.; Prothro, Lance B.; Gonzales, Jose L.; Mercadante, Jennifer M.

    2010-07-30

    The lower tuff confining unit (LTCU) in the Yucca Flat Corrective Action Unit (CAU) consists of a monotonous sequence of pervasively zeolitized volcanic tuff (i.e., mostly bedded with lesser nonwelded to poorly welded tuff; not fractured) (Bechtel Nevada, 2006). The LTCU is an important confining unit beneath Yucca Flat because it separates the alluvial and volcanic aquifers, where many underground nuclear tests were conducted, from the regional lower carbonate aquifer. Recent sub-CAU-scale modeling by Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Tuff Pile area of Yucca Flat (Boryta, et al., in review) includes postulated low-porosity, high-permeability zones (i.e., fractured welded-tuff aquifers) within the LTCU. This scenario indicates that such postulated low-porosity, high-permeability zones could provide fast-path lateral conduits to faults, and eventually to the lower carbonate aquifer. A fractured and faulted lower carbonate aquifer is postulated to provide a flow path(s) for underground test-derived contaminants to potential offsite receptors. The ramifications of such a scenario are obvious for groundwater flow and contaminant migration beneath Yucca Flat. This paper describes the reasoning for not including postulated low-porosity, high-permeability zones within the LTCU in the Tuff Pile area or within the LTCU in the Yucca Flat CAU-scale model. Both observational and analytical data clearly indicate that the LTCU in the Tuff Pile area consists of pervasively zeolitic, nonwelded to poorly welded tuffs that are classified as tuff confining units (i.e., high-porosity, low-permeability). The position regarding the LTCU in the Tuff Pile area is summarized as follows: • The LTCU in the Tuff Pile area consists of a monotonous sequence of predominantly zeolitic nonwelded to poorly welded tuffs, and thus is accurately characterized hydrogeologically as a tuff confining unit (aquitard) in the Yucca Flat-Climax Mine hydrostratigraphic framework model (Bechtel Nevada

  4. Feldspar dissolution rates in the Topopah Spring Tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryan, C.R.; Helean, K.B.; Marshall, B.D.; Brady, P.V.

    2009-01-01

    Two different field-based methods are used here to calculate feldspar dissolution rates in the Topopah Spring Tuff, the host rock for the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The center of the tuff is a high silica rhyolite, consisting largely of alkali feldspar (???60 wt%) and quartz polymorphs (???35 wt%) that formed by devitrification of rhyolitic glass as the tuff cooled. First, the abundance of secondary aluminosilicates is used to estimate the cumulative amount of feldspar dissolution over the history of the tuff, and an ambient dissolution rate is calculated by using the estimated thermal history. Second, the feldspar dissolution rate is calculated by using measured Sr isotope compositions for the pore water and rock. Pore waters display systematic changes in Sr isotopic composition with depth that are caused by feldspar dissolution. The range in dissolution rates determined from secondary mineral abundances varies from 10-16 to 10-17 mol s-1 kg tuff-1 with the largest uncertainty being the effect of the early thermal history of the tuff. Dissolution rates based on pore water Sr isotopic data were calculated by treating percolation flux parametrically, and vary from 10-15 to 10-16 mol s-1 kg tuff-1 for percolation fluxes of 15 mm a-1 and 1 mm a-1, respectively. Reconciling the rates from the two methods requires that percolation fluxes at the sampled locations be a few mm a-1 or less. The calculated feldspar dissolution rates are low relative to other measured field-based feldspar dissolution rates, possibly due to the age (12.8 Ma) of the unsaturated system at Yucca Mountain; because oxidizing and organic-poor conditions limit biological activity; and/or because elevated silica concentrations in the pore waters (???50 mg L-1) may inhibit feldspar dissolution. ?? 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. METHODS FOR PORE WATER EXTRACTION FROM UNSATURATED ZONE TUFF, YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    K.M. SCOFIELD

    2006-01-01

    Assessing the performance of the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, requires an understanding of the chemistry of the water that moves through the host rock. The uniaxial compression method used to extract pore water from samples of tuffaceous borehole core was successful only for nonwelded tuff. An ultracentrifugation method was adopted to extract pore water from samples of the densely welded tuff of the proposed repository horizon. Tests were performed using both methods to determine the efficiency of pore water extraction and the potential effects on pore water chemistry. Test results indicate that uniaxial compression is most efficient for extracting pore water from nonwelded tuff, while ultracentrifugation is more successful in extracting pore water from densely welded tuff. Pore water splits taken from a single nonwelded tuff core during uniaxial compression tests have shown changes in pore water chemistry with increasing pressure for calcium, chloride, sulfate, and nitrate, while the chemistry of pore water splits from welded and nonwelded tuffs using ultracentrifugation indicates that there is no significant fractionation of solutes

  6. Stratigraphic relations and hydrologic properties of the Paintbrush Tuff (PTn) hydrologic unit, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moyer, T.C.; Geslin, J.K.; Flint, L.E.

    1996-01-01

    Yucca Mountain is being investigated as a potential site for a high- level nuclear waste repository. The intent of this study was to clarify stratigraphic relations within the Paintbrush Tuff (PTn) unit at Yucca Mountain in order to better understand vertical and lateral variations in hydrologic properties as they relate to the lithologic character of these rocks. This report defines informal stratigraphic units within the PTn interval, demonstrates their lateral continuity in the Yucca Mountain region, describes later and vertical variations within them, and characterizes their hydrologic properties and importance to numerical flow and transport models. We present tables summarizing the depth to stratigraphic contacts in cored borehole studies, and unit descriptions and correlations in 10 measured sections

  7. Stratigraphic relations and hydrologic properties of the Paintbrush Tuff (PTn) hydrologic unit, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moyer, T.C.; Geslin, J.K. [Science Applications International Corp., Golden, CO (United States); Flint, L.E. [U.S. Geological Survey, Yucca Mountain Project, Mercury, NV (United States)

    1996-08-01

    Yucca Mountain is being investigated as a potential site for a high- level nuclear waste repository. The intent of this study was to clarify stratigraphic relations within the Paintbrush Tuff (PTn) unit at Yucca Mountain in order to better understand vertical and lateral variations in hydrologic properties as they relate to the lithologic character of these rocks. This report defines informal stratigraphic units within the PTn interval, demonstrates their lateral continuity in the Yucca Mountain region, describes later and vertical variations within them, and characterizes their hydrologic properties and importance to numerical flow and transport models. We present tables summarizing the depth to stratigraphic contacts in cored borehole studies, and unit descriptions and correlations in 10 measured sections.

  8. Triaxial- and uniaxial-compression testing methods developed for extraction of pore water from unsaturated tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mower, T.E.; Higgins, J.D.; Yang, I.C.

    1989-01-01

    To support the study of hydrologic system in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, two extraction methods were examined to obtain representative, uncontaminated pore-water samples from unsaturated tuff. Results indicate that triaxial compression, which uses a standard cell, can remove pore water from nonwelded tuff that has an initial moisture content greater than 11% by weight; uniaxial compression, which uses a specifically fabricated cell, can extract pore water from nonwelded tuff that has an initial moisture content greater than 8% and from welded tuff that has an initial moisture content greater than 6.5%. For the ambient moisture conditions of Yucca Mountain tuffs, uniaxial compression is the most efficient method of pore-water extraction. 12 refs., 7 figs., 2 tabs

  9. Clinoptilolite compositions in diagenetically-altered tuffs at a potential nuclear waste repository, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Broxton, D.E.

    1987-01-01

    The compositions of Yucca Mountain clinoptilolites and their host tuffs are highly variable. Clinoptilolites and heulandites in fractures near the repository and in a thin, altered zone at the top of the Topopah Spring basal vitrophyre have consistent calcium-rich compositions. Below this level, clinoptilolites in thick zones of diagenetic alteration on the east side of Yucca Mountain have calcic-potassic compositions and become more calcium rich with depth. Clinoptilolites in stratigraphically equivalent tuffs to the west have sodic-potassic compositions and become more sodic with depth. Clinoptilolite properties important for repository performance assessment include thermal expansion/contraction behavior, hydration/dehydration behavior, and ion-exchange properties. These properties can be significantly affected by clinoptilolite compositions. The compositional variations for clinoptilolites found by this study suggest that the properties will vary vertically and laterally at Yucca Mountain. Used in conjunction with experimental data, the clinoptilolite compositions presented here can be used to model the behavior of clinoptilolites in the repository environment and along transport pathways

  10. Hydraulic Characterization of Overpressured Tuffs in Central Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    K.J. Halford; R.J. Laczniak; D.L. Galloway

    2005-10-07

    A sequence of buried, bedded, air-fall tuffs has been used extensively as a host medium for underground nuclear tests detonated in the central part of Yucca Flat at the Nevada Test Site. Water levels within these bedded tuffs have been elevated hundreds of meters in areas where underground nuclear tests were detonated below the water table. Changes in the ground-water levels within these tuffs and changes in the rate and distribution of land-surface subsidence above these tuffs indicate that pore-fluid pressures have been slowly depressurizing since the cessation of nuclear testing in 1992. Declines in ground-water levels concurrent with regional land subsidence are explained by poroelastic deformation accompanying ground-water flow as fluids pressurized by underground nuclear detonations drain from the host tuffs into the overlying water table and underlying regional carbonate aquifer. A hydraulic conductivity of about 3 x 10-6 m/d and a specific storage of 9 x 10-6 m-1 are estimated using ground-water flow models. Cross-sectional and three-dimensional ground-water flow models were calibrated to measured water levels and to land-subsidence rates measured using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar. Model results are consistent and indicate that about 2 million m3 of ground water flowed from the tuffs to the carbonate rock as a result of pressurization caused by underground nuclear testing. The annual rate of inflow into the carbonate rock averaged about 0.008 m/yr between 1962 and 2005, and declined from 0.005 m/yr in 2005 to 0.0005 m/yr by 2300.

  11. Creep in Topopah Spring Member welded tuff. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, R.J. III; Boyd, P.J.; Noel, J.S. [New England Research, Inc., White River Junction, VT (United States); Price, R.H. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1995-06-01

    A laboratory investigation has been carried out to determine the effects of elevated temperature and stress on the creep deformation of welded tuffs recovered from Busted Butte in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Water saturated specimens of tuff from thermal/mechanical unit TSw2 were tested in creep at a confining pressure of 5.0 MPa, a pore pressure of 4.5 MPa, and temperatures of 25 and 250 C. At each stress level the load was held constant for a minimum of 2.5 {times} 10{sup 5} seconds and for as long as 1.8 {times} 10{sup 6} seconds. One specimen was tested at a single stress of 80 MPa and a temperature of 250 C. The sample failed after a short time. Subsequent experiments were initiated with an initial differential stress of 50 or 60 MPa; the stress was then increased in 10 MPa increments until failure. The data showed that creep deformation occurred in the form of time-dependent axial and radial strains, particularly beyond 90% of the unconfined, quasi-static fracture strength. There was little dilatancy associated with the deformation of the welded tuff at stresses below 90% of the fracture strength. Insufficient data have been collected in this preliminary study to determine the relationship between temperature, stress, creep deformation to failure, and total failure time at a fixed creep stress.

  12. Creep in Topopah Spring Member welded tuff. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, R.J. III; Boyd, P.J.; Noel, J.S.; Price, R.H.

    1995-06-01

    A laboratory investigation has been carried out to determine the effects of elevated temperature and stress on the creep deformation of welded tuffs recovered from Busted Butte in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Water saturated specimens of tuff from thermal/mechanical unit TSw2 were tested in creep at a confining pressure of 5.0 MPa, a pore pressure of 4.5 MPa, and temperatures of 25 and 250 C. At each stress level the load was held constant for a minimum of 2.5 x 10 5 seconds and for as long as 1.8 x 10 6 seconds. One specimen was tested at a single stress of 80 MPa and a temperature of 250 C. The sample failed after a short time. Subsequent experiments were initiated with an initial differential stress of 50 or 60 MPa; the stress was then increased in 10 MPa increments until failure. The data showed that creep deformation occurred in the form of time-dependent axial and radial strains, particularly beyond 90% of the unconfined, quasi-static fracture strength. There was little dilatancy associated with the deformation of the welded tuff at stresses below 90% of the fracture strength. Insufficient data have been collected in this preliminary study to determine the relationship between temperature, stress, creep deformation to failure, and total failure time at a fixed creep stress

  13. Gravity and magnetic investigations of the Ghost Dance and Solitario Canyon faults, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ponce, D.A.; Langenheim, V.E.

    1995-01-01

    Ground magnetic and gravity data collected along traverses across the Ghost Dance and Solitario Canyon faults on the eastern and western flanks, respectively, of Yucca Mountain in southwest Nevada are interpreted. These data were collected as part of an effort to evaluate faulting in the vicinity of a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Gravity and magnetic data and models along traverses across the Ghost Dance and Solitario Canyon faults show prominent anomalies associated with known faults and reveal a number of possible concealed faults beneath the eastern flank of Yucca Mountain. The central part of the eastern flank of Yucca Mountain is characterized by several small amplitude anomalies that probably reflect small scale faulting

  14. Geologic evaluation of six nonwelded tuff sites in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada for a surface-based test facility for the Yucca Mountain Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Broxton, D.E.; Chipera, S.J.; Byers, F.M. Jr.; Rautman, C.A.

    1993-10-01

    Outcrops of nonwelded tuff at six locations in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, were examined to determine their suitability for hosting a surface-based test facility for the Yucca Mountain Project. Investigators will use this facility to test equipment and procedures for the Exploratory Studies Facility and to conduct site characterization field experiments. The outcrops investigated contain rocks that include or are similar to the tuffaceous beds of Calico Hills, an important geologic and hydrologic barrier between the potential repository and the water table. The tuffaceous beds of Calico Hills at the site of the potential repository consist of both vitric and zeolitic tuffs, thus three of the outcrops examined are vitric tuffs and three are zeolitic tuffs. New data were collected to determine the lithology, chemistry, mineralogy, and modal petrography of the outcrops. Some preliminary data on hydrologic properties are also presented. Evaluation of suitability of the six sites is based on a comparison of their geologic characteristics to those found in the tuffaceous beds of Calico Hills within the exploration block

  15. Summary of sorption measurements performed with Yucca Mountain, Nevada, tuff samples and water from Well J-13

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thomas, K.W.

    1987-12-01

    The sorption studies undertaken from 1977 to 1985 by Los Alamos National Laboratory in support of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations project are summarized, and the data are tabulated in the Appendix. These studies of the sorptive behavior of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, area tuffs have been partly generic in nature (to understand the sorptive behavior of tuff as a function of many variables) and partly site specific (to obtain data for a possible repository site at Yucca Mountain). Sorption has been investigated as a function of mineralogy, temperature, particle size, waste-element concentration, water composition, sorption time, and other variables. The major elements studied were americium, cesium, neptunium, plutoniuim, thorium, uranium, strontium, technetium, tin, barium, radium, cerium, europium, and selenium. 24 refs., 2 figs., 10 tabs.

  16. LITHOSTRATIGRAPHY AND SHEAR-WAVE VELOCITY IN THE CRYSTALLIZED TOPOPAH SPRING TUFF, YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    D. BUESCH; K.H. STOKOE; M. SCHUHEN

    2006-01-01

    Evaluation of the seismic response of the proposed spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is in part based on the seismic properties of the host rock, the 12.8-million-year-old Topopah Spring Tuff. Because of the processes that formed the tuff, the densely welded and crystallized part has three lithophysal and three nonlithophysal zones, and each zone has characteristic variations in lithostratigraphic features and structures of the rocks. Lithostratigraphic features include lithophysal cavities, rims on lithophysae and some fractures, spots (which are similar to rims but without an associated cavity or aperture), amounts of porosity resulting from welding, crystallization, and vapor-phase corrosion and mineralization, and fractures. Seismic properties, including shear-wave velocity (V s ), have been measured on 38 pieces of core, and there is a good ''first order'' correlation with the lithostratigraphic zones; for example, samples from nonlithophysal zones have larger V s values compared to samples from lithophysal zones. Some samples have V s values that are beyond the typical range for the lithostratigraphic zone; however, these samples typically have one or more fractures, ''large'' lithophysal cavities, or ''missing pieces'' relative to the sample size. Shear-wave velocity data measured in the tunnels have similar relations to lithophysal and nonlithophysal rocks; however, tunnel-based values are typically smaller than those measured in core resulting from increased lithophysae and fracturing effects. Variations in seismic properties such as V s data from small-scale samples (typical and ''flawed'' core) to larger scale traverses in the tunnels provide a basis for merging our understanding of the distributions of lithostratigraphic features (and zones) with a method to scale seismic properties

  17. LITHOSTRATIGRAPHY AND SHEAR-WAVE VELOCITY IN THE CRYSTALLIZED TOPOPAH SPRING TUFF, YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D. BUESCH; K.H. STOKOE; M. SCHUHEN

    2006-03-20

    Evaluation of the seismic response of the proposed spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is in part based on the seismic properties of the host rock, the 12.8-million-year-old Topopah Spring Tuff. Because of the processes that formed the tuff, the densely welded and crystallized part has three lithophysal and three nonlithophysal zones, and each zone has characteristic variations in lithostratigraphic features and structures of the rocks. Lithostratigraphic features include lithophysal cavities, rims on lithophysae and some fractures, spots (which are similar to rims but without an associated cavity or aperture), amounts of porosity resulting from welding, crystallization, and vapor-phase corrosion and mineralization, and fractures. Seismic properties, including shear-wave velocity (V{sub s}), have been measured on 38 pieces of core, and there is a good ''first order'' correlation with the lithostratigraphic zones; for example, samples from nonlithophysal zones have larger V{sub s} values compared to samples from lithophysal zones. Some samples have V{sub s} values that are beyond the typical range for the lithostratigraphic zone; however, these samples typically have one or more fractures, ''large'' lithophysal cavities, or ''missing pieces'' relative to the sample size. Shear-wave velocity data measured in the tunnels have similar relations to lithophysal and nonlithophysal rocks; however, tunnel-based values are typically smaller than those measured in core resulting from increased lithophysae and fracturing effects. Variations in seismic properties such as V{sub s} data from small-scale samples (typical and ''flawed'' core) to larger scale traverses in the tunnels provide a basis for merging our understanding of the distributions of lithostratigraphic features (and zones) with a method to scale seismic properties.

  18. Paleotransport of lanthanides and strontium recorded in calcite compositions from tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vaniman, D.T.; Chipera, S.J.

    1996-01-01

    Secondary calcite occurs in both saturated and unsaturated hydrologic zones (SZ and UZ, respectively) in the tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA. In the upper UZ, the major constituents of the calcite crystal structure (C, O) have surface origins. At greater depth there is a open-quotes barren zone,close quotes straddling the water table, where calcite is rare and mixing of surface and subsurface sources may occur. Deep in the SZ, distinctive Mn calcites reflect deep sources, including Ca released as analcime or albite formed and carbonates derived from underlying Paleozoic rocks. In the UZ and in the barren zone, above the deep Mn calcites, variations in calcite lanthanide chemistry can be used to distinguish rhyolitic from quartz-latitic sources. Lanthanide ratios and Sr contents of calcites record the chemical evolution of waters flowing through the UZ and upper SZ. Variations in calcite chemistry in the UZ and in the barren zone show that (1) Sr, which is readily exchanged with clays or zeolites, is essentially removed from some flowpaths that are in contact with these minerals and (2) traces of Mn oxides found in the tuffs have a significant effect of groundwater chemistry in the UZ and in the barren zone by removing almost all Ce from solution (evidenced by characteristic Ce depletions in calcite throughout this zone). Extreme Ce removal may be a result of Ce oxidation (Ce 3+ → Ce 4+ ) at the surfaces of some Mn oxides, particularly rancieite. Higher Sr contents and lack of Ce depletions in the deeper Mn calcites reflect different ages, origins, and transport systems. The calcite record of lanthanide and Sr transport in the UZ shows that minor minerals (clays and zeolites) and even trace minerals (Mn oxides) will affect the compositions of groundwaters that flow over distances greater than a few tens of meters. 43 refs., 8 figs., 4 tabs

  19. CONTACT ANGLE OF YUCCA MOUNTAIN WELDED TUFF WITH WATER AND BRINES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    H. Kalia

    2006-01-01

    A number of tests were performed to acquire contact angles between Yucca Mountain welded tuff from Topopah Springs Lower Lithophysal geologic unit and various brine solutions. The tests were performed on core disks received from Sample Management Facility (SMF), oven dried to a constant weight and the core disks vacuum saturated in: distilled water, J-13 water, calcium chloride brine and sodium chloride brine to constant weight. The contact angles were acquired from eight points on the surface of the core disks, four on rough surface, and four on polished surface. The contact angle was measured by placing a droplet of the test fluid, distilled water, J-13 water, calcium chloride brine and sodium chloride brine on the core disks. The objective of this test was to acquire contact angles as a potential input to estimating capillary forces in accumulated dust on the waste packages and drip shields slated for the proposed High-Level Radioactive Waste Repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. It was noted that once the droplet contacts the test surface, it continues to spread hence the contact angle continues to decrease with elapsed time. The maximum observed angle was at time 0 or when the drop contacted the rock surface. The measured contact angle, in all cases has significant scatter. In general, the time zero contact angles for core disks saturated in sodium chloride brine were smaller than those saturated in calcium chloride brine, distilled water, and J-13 water. The contact angles for samples saturated in distilled water, J-13 water and calcium chloride brine at time zero were similar. There was slight difference between the observed contact angles for smooth and rough surface of the test samples. The contact angles for smooth surfaces were smaller than for the rough surfaces

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carlos, B.A.; Bish, D.L.; Chipera, S.J.

    1990-07-01

    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

  1. Decreasing Slip Rates From 12.8 Ma to Present on the Solitario Canyon Fault at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    D. Buesch

    2006-01-01

    The Solitario Canyon fault, which bounds the west side of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is the closest fault with Quaternary offset adjacent to the proposed spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste repository. Dip-slip offset between 12.8 and 10.7 Ma is determined from lithostratigraphic displacement in boreholes USW H-3 and USW WT-7, drilled in the footwall and hanging wall, respectively. The base of the 12.8-Ma Topopah Spring Tuff is interpreted to have 463.3 m of separation across the fault, an average dip slip rate of 0.036 mm/yr. Previous researchers identified a geothermal system active from 11.5 to 10.0 Ma with peak activity at 10.7 Ma that resulted in pervasive alteration of vitric rock to zeolitic minerals where the rocks were in the ground-water saturated zone. The contact between vitric (V) and pervasively zeolitic (Z) rocks cuts across the lithostratigraphic section and offset of this V-Z boundary can be used to measure slip rates between 12.8 and 10.7 Ma. In H-3, the V-Z boundary is 138.4 m below the base of the vitric, densely welded subzone of the Topopah Spring Tuff (Tptpv3). In WT-7, although the V-Z boundary is identified at the base of the Tptpv3, borehole video, cuttings, and geophysical log data indicate the Tptpv3 has well-developed zeolitic alteration along fractures, and this implies 19.5 m of the total thickness of Tptpv3 (and probably additional overlying crystallized rocks) also were in the saturated zone by 10.7 Ma. The V-Z relations across the Solitario Canyon fault in H-3 and WT-7 indicate a minimum of 157.9 m of separation before 10.7 Ma, which is 34.1 percent of the total slip of the Topopah Spring Tuff, and a minimum dip slip rate of 0.075 mm/yr from 12.8 to 10.7 Ma. These data are consistent with the broader structural history of the area near Yucca Mountain. Previous workers used angular unconformities, tilting of structural blocks, and paleomagnetic data to constrain the main period of extensional faulting between 12.7 and 8

  2. Geohydrology of volcanic tuff penetrated by test well UE-25b#1, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lahoud, R.G.; Lobmeyer, D.H.; Whitfield, M.S.

    1984-01-01

    Test well UE-25bNo1, located on the east side of Yucca Mountain in the southwestern part of the Nevada Test Site, was drilled to a total depth of 1,220 meters and hydraulically tested as part of a program to evaluate the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a nuclear-waste repository. The well penetrated almost 46 meters of alluvium and 1,174 meters of Tertiary volcanic tuffs. The composite hydraulic head for aquifers penetrated by the well was 728.9 meters above sea level (471.4 meters below land surface) with a slight decrease in loss of hydraulic head with depth. Average hydraulic conductivities for stratigraphic units determined from pumping tests, borehole-flow surveys, and packer-injection tests ranged from less than 0.001 meter per day for the Tram Member of the Crater Flat Tuff to 1.1 meters per day for the Bullfrog Member of the Crater Flat Tuff. The small values represented matrix permeability of unfractured rock; the large values probably resulted from fracture permeability. Chemical analyses indicated that the water is a soft sodium bicarbonate type, slightly alkaline, with large concentrations of dissolved silica and sulfate. Uncorrected carbon-14 age dates of the water were 14,100 and 13,400 years. (USGS)

  3. Preliminary numerical modeling for the G-Tunnel welded tuff mining experiment; Yucca Mountain site characterization project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnson, R.L.; Bauer, S.J.

    1991-09-01

    Yucca Mountain, located in Southern Nevada, is to be considered as a potential site for a nuclear waste repository. Located in Rainier Mesa on the Nevada Test Site, G-Tunnel has been the site of a series of experiments, part of whose purpose is to evaluate measurement techniques for rock mechanics before testing in the Exploratory Shaft. Rainier Mesa is composed of welded and nonwelded tuffs that have thermal and mechanical properties and stress states similar to those of tuffs expected to be encountered at Yucca Mountain. A series of finite element calculations were performed to aid in designing instrumentation for the experiments in G-Tunnel and later to correlate with measured data. In this report are presented the results of the preliminary finite element calculations performed in conjunction with experimental measurements of drift convergence, or closure, and rock mass relaxation zones made before, during, and after completing the welded tuff mining experiment in G-Tunnel. Tape extensometer measurements of drift convergences and measurements determined by multiple point borehole extensometers are compared with corresponding calculated values using linear elastic and jointed rock material models. 9 refs., 25 figs., 7 tabs.

  4. Measurements of matric and water potentials in unsaturated tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thamir, F.; McBride, C.M.

    1985-01-01

    Two types of instruments were installed in a borehole in order to monitor matric and water potentials of various hydrogeologic units consisting of tuff. The borehole was drilled as part of a study to provide information to the US Department of Energy for their use in evaluating Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for a repository for high-level radioactive waste. Heat-dissipation probes were used to monitor matric potentials and thermocouple psychrometers were used to monitor water potentials. Two major concerns regarding the use of these instruments in deep boreholes are: (1) the effect of length of the lead wires, and (2) the inability to recalibrate the instruments after installation. The length of the lead wire contributes to the source resistance and lead capacitance, which affects the signal settling time. Both instruments tested proved to be insensitive to lead-wire length, except when connected to smaller input-impedance data loggers. Thermocouple wires were more sensitive than heat-dissipation probe wires because of their greater resistance and quality of voltmeters used. Two thermocouple psychrometers were installed at every instrument station for backup and verification of data, because the instruments could not be recalibrated in situ. Multiple scanning rather than single-point scanning of the evaporation curve of a thermocouple psychrometer could give more reliable data, especially in differentiating between very wet and very dry environments. An isolated power supply needs to be used for each heat dissipation probe rather than a single power supply for a group of probes to avoid losing data from all probes when one probe malfunctions. This type of system is particularly desirable if the site is unattended by an operator for as long as a month. 20 refs., 13 figs., 2 tabs

  5. A strategy to seal exploratory boreholes in unsaturated tuff; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fernandez, J.A. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Case, J.B.; Givens, C.A.; Carney, B.C. [IT Corp., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1994-04-01

    This report presents a strategy for sealing exploratory boreholes associated with the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Over 500 existing and proposed boreholes have been considered in the development of this strategy, ranging from shallow (penetrating into alluvium only) to deep (penetrating into the groundwater table). Among the comprehensive list of recommendations are the following: Those boreholes within the potential repository boundary and penetrating through the potential repository horizon are the most significant boreholes from a performance standpoint and should be sealed. Shallow boreholes are comparatively insignificant and require only nominal sealing. The primary areas in which to place seals are away from high-temperature zones at a distance from the potential repository horizon in the Paintbrush nonwelded tuff and the upper portion of the Topopah Spring Member and in the tuffaceous beds of the Calico Hills Unit. Seals should be placed prior to waste emplacement. Performance goals for borehole seals both above and below the potential repository are proposed. Detailed construction information on the boreholes that could be used for future design specifications is provided along with a description of the environmental setting, i.e., the geology, hydrology, and the in situ and thermal stress states. A borehole classification scheme based on the condition of the borehole wall in different tuffaceous units is also proposed. In addition, calculations are presented to assess the significance of the boreholes acting as preferential pathways for the release of radionuclides. Design calculations are presented to answer the concerns of when, where, and how to seal. As part of the strategy development, available technologies to seal exploratory boreholes (including casing removal, borehole wall reconditioning, and seal emplacement) are reviewed.

  6. Petrochemical variation of Topopah Spring tuff matrix with depth (stratigraphic level), drill hole USW G-4, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Byers, F.M. Jr.

    1985-12-01

    This study describes and interprets petrochemical variation of the matrix (excluding fractures and large gas cavities) of the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff. This tuff includes the candidate host rock for a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain on the Nevada Test Site. Cored hole USW G-4, near the site of a potential exploratory shaft at Yucca Mountain, penetrated 359.4 m (1179 ft) of the member within the unsaturated zone. This study shows that petrographic textures and chemistry of the matrix vary systematically within recognizable lithologic subunits related to crystallization (cooling) zones, welding (compaction) zones, and compositional zones (rhyolite versus quartz latite). The methods used for this study include petrographic modal thin section analysis using an automated counter and electron microprobe analysis of the groundmass. Distinctive textural categories are defined, and they can be ranked from finest to coarsest as vitrophyre (glass), cryptocrystalline groundmass, spherulites, granophyre, lithic fragments, and phenocrysts. The two main groundmass compositions are also defined: rhyolite high silica) and quartz latite. The value of these petrochemical studies lies in providing microscopic criteria for recognizing the zonal subunits where they may have greatly limited exposure, as in mined drifts and in core from horizontal drill holes. For example, the lower nonlithophysal zone can be distinguished microscopically from the middle nonlithophysal zone by (1) degree of compaction, (2) amount of quartz, and (3) amount of lithic fragments. The variability between these textural categories should also be considered in designing physical and chemical tests of the Topopah Spring.

  7. Evaluation of past and future alterations in tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, based on the clay mineralogy of drill cores USW G-1, G-2, and G-3

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bish, D.L.

    1989-03-01

    The tuffs at Yucca Mountain in south-central Nevada are being studied by the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) to determine their suitability for a high-level radioactive waste repository. For predictive purposes, it is important to understand the alteration history of Yucca Mountain and to know how the minerals in Yucca Mountain tuffs respond to changing conditions such as elevated temperatures. The clay mineralogy of these tuffs has been examined using x-ray powder diffraction, and approximation temperatures of alteration have been determined using available clay mineral data and fluid inclusion analyses. Also, several illites from drill holes USW G-1 and G-2 have been dated using K/Ar techniques, yielding ages of about 11 Myr. The clay mineral in Yucca Mountain tuffs are predominantly interstratified illite/smectites, with minor amounts of chloride, kaolinite, and interstratified chlorite/smectite at depth in USW G-1 and G-2. The reactions observed for these illite/smectites are similar to those observed in pelitic rocks. With depths, the illite/smectites transform from random interstratifications (R = 0) through ordered intermediates (R = 1) to illite in USW G-2 and to Kalkberg (R ≥ 3) interstratifications in USW G-1. The illite/smectites in USW G-3 have not significantly transformed. It appears that the illites in deeper rock results from hydrothermal and diagenetic reactions of earlier-formed smectites. These data demonstrate that the rocks at depth in the northern end of Yucca Mountain were significantly altered about 11 Myr ago. Both clay mineralogy and fluid inclusions suggest that the rocks at depth in USW G-2 have been subjected to postdepositional temperatures of at least 275/degree/C, those in USW G-1 have reached 200/degree/C, and USW G-3 rocks probably have not exceeded 100/degree/C. 64 refs., 9 figs., 3 tabs

  8. Zoning Characteristics of the Devine Canyon Tuff, an Extremely Widespread High-silica Rhyolite Ash-flow Tuff: Constraints for Rhyolite Evolution Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isom, S. L.; Shafer, E.; Streck, M. J.

    2016-12-01

    Large volume (>100 km3) ignimbrites provide a snapshot into the evolution of voluminous batches of rhyolite that have accumulated at shallow depth. Researchers have been studying such deposits for decades to constrain the generation, accumulation and evolution of voluminous rhyolites. Despite this, evolution models for large volume rhyolite bodies remain controversial. The 9.7 Ma Devine Canyon Tuff (DCT) is a large volume ( 200-300 km3), thin, high-silica rhyolite ignimbrite in eastern Oregon with a presumed source in the Harney Basin south of Burns. The tuff, a single cooling unit, likely covered an area in excess of 30,000 km2 originally. The DCT ranges from non- to densely welded, vitric to devitrified, and pumice poor to pumice rich. Phenocryst content of bulk tuff ranges from 5 to 30% and samples indicate strong incompatible trace element zonation (e.g. [in ppm], Rb: 90-154, Zr: 790-1330, Y: 96-151, Nb: 54-92). Pumice analyses slightly extend the range of rhyolite compositions seen in bulk rock and indicate the existence of a minor andesitic to dacitic component found as streaks in banded pumices or as individual pumice clasts. The compositional range is further extended by including pumices from fallout deposits that occur at a few places immediately below the ignimbrite. Detailed mineral data from a select set of pumices, including fallout, indicate rhyolite magmas range in crystallinity from 3 to 19% and dacite magma is at 22%, yet size distribution of phenocrysts among rhyolites, especially in dacite magma, changes. Sanidine compositions are narrow within rhyolites (Ab: 54-59, Or: 46-41, An: 0-1) while sanidine from the dacite pumice trends away from rhyolitic compositions (Ab: 65-66, Or: 29-27, An: 6-7). Composition of mafic silicates (Fe-rich cpx and fayalite) are mostly overlapping across all pumice compositions. Current distribution data indicate different rhyolites are found throughout the entire Devine Canyon Tuff with limited compositional

  9. Geochemistry of outcrop samples from the Raven Canyon and Paintbrush Canyon reference sections, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peterman, Z.E.; Spengler, R.W.; Singer, F.R.; Dickerson, R.P.

    1996-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain area in southern Nevada is being evaluated for its suitability as a potential site for the construction of an underground, high-level nuclear waste repository. With support from the Department of Energy, the US Geological Survey is conducting detailed petrographic, geochemical, and isotopic analyses of samples collected from drill cores and from outcrops. The geochemical and isotopic compositions of the volcanic rocks of Yucca Mountain derive from those of their parental magmas, from changes resulting from the eruptive processes and from post-depositional alteration. In this study, geochemical and isotopic data were acquired on samples from reference sections selected in areas where the effects of the post-depositional alteration has been minimal. These data will be used as baseline information for delineating and correlating zonal features in the volcanic rock alteration that may occur in the thermal aureole of the potential repository after it has been loaded with nuclear waste

  10. Petrographic variation of the Topopah Spring tuff matrix within and between cored drill holes, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Byers, F.M. Jr.; Moore, L.M.

    1987-02-01

    Our study extends the petrographic zonation of the devitrified rhyolitic tuff matrix of the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff observed in USW G-4 to four other cored holes in the Yucca Mountain area of the Nevada Test Site: UE-25a No. 1, USW G-1, USW G-2, and USW GU-3. The four petrographic zones occur above the basal vitrophyre and in ascending order are the lower nonlithophysal (ln); the lower lithophysal (ll); the middle nonlithophysal (mn); and the upper lithophysal (ul). Drill hole USW G-2, about two miles north of the Yucca Mountain Exploratory Block, differs significantly from the other four cored holes within or near the block; it has essentially one thick microlitic zone, largely lithophysal, above the vitrophyre. Textural attributes (from coarsest to finest) are phenocrysts, lithics, granophyre, amygdules, spherulites, and cryptocrystalline groundmass. Among individual phenocrysts, only quartz shows significant decrease upward. The four petrographic zones agree fairly well with those defined by contacts placed by USGS geologists and, with minor reservations, can be correlated between the four cored holes in the vicinity of the exploration block. The ln zone is characterized by dense welding, upwardly decreasing cryptocrystallinity, common lithics, and quartz phenocrysts. The ll zone is largely spherulitic with 1 to 13% granophyre generally increasing upward and shard texture becoming less distinct upward. The mn zone is similar to the ln zone except for the moderate welding and fewer quartz and lithic fragments present in the mn zone. The ul and ll zones are similar in microscopic texture, but the ul has more amygdules with tridymite rather than cristobalite and can generally be recognized by its ''Swiss cheese'' appearance in core or hand specimens. A series of discriminatory statistical analyses were made with the thin section modal data to test variation in textural type and quartz phenocrysts

  11. Performance prediction of mechanical excavators from linear cutter tests on Yucca Mountain welded tuffs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gertsch, R.; Ozdemir, L.

    1992-09-01

    The performances of mechanical excavators are predicted for excavations in welded tuff. Emphasis is given to tunnel boring machine evaluations based on linear cutting machine test data obtained on samples of Topopah Spring welded tuff. The tests involve measurement of forces as cutters are applied to the rock surface at certain spacing and penetrations. Two disc and two point-attack cutters representing currently available technology are thus evaluated. The performance predictions based on these direct experimental measurements are believed to be more accurate than any previous values for mechanical excavation of welded tuff. The calculations of performance are predicated on minimizing the amount of energy required to excavate the welded tuff. Specific energy decreases with increasing spacing and penetration, and reaches its lowest at the widest spacing and deepest penetration used in this test program. Using the force, spacing, and penetration data from this experimental program, the thrust, torque, power, and rate of penetration are calculated for several types of mechanical excavators. The results of this study show that the candidate excavators will require higher torque and power than heretofore estimated

  12. Linear thermal expansion data for tuffs from the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schwartz, B.M.; Chocas, C.S.

    1992-07-01

    Experiment results are presented for linear thermal expansion measurements on tuffaceous rocks from the unsaturated Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Data were obtained both with and without confining pressure. The accuracy of the unconfined data collected between 50 and 250{degrees}C is better than 1.8 percent, with the precision better than 4.5 ;percent. The accuracy of the unconfined data collected between ambient temperature and 50{degrees}C and is approximately 11 percent deviation from the true value, with a precision of 12 percent of the mean value. Because of experiment design and the lack of information related calibrations, the accuracy and precision of the confined thermal expansion measurements could not be determined.

  13. Strontium isotope evolution of pore water and calcite in the Topopah Spring Tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marshall, Brian D.; Futa, Kiyoto

    2001-01-01

    Pore water in the Topopah Spring Tuff has a narrow range of (delta) 87 Sr values that can be calculated from the (delta) 87 Sr values of the rock considering advection through and reaction with the overlying nonwelded tuffs of the PTn. This model can be extended to estimate the variation of (delta) 87 Sr in the pore water through time; this approximates the variation of (delta) 87 Sr measured in calcite fracture coatings. In samples of calcite where no silica can be dated by other methods, strontium isotope data may be the only method to determine ages. In addition, other Sr-bearing minerals in the calcite and opal coatings, such as fluorite, may be dated using the same model

  14. G-Tunnel Welded Tuff Mining Experiment instrumentation evaluations; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zimmerman, R.M. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Bellman, R.A. Jr.; Mann, K.L.; Thompson, T.W. [Science Applications International Corp., Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    1992-04-01

    Designers and analysts of radioactive waste repositories must be able to predict the mechanical behavior of the host rock. Sandia National Laboratory has conducted a mine-by experiment in welded tuff so that information could be obtained regarding the response of the rock to a drill and blast excavation process, where smooth-blasting techniques were used. This report describes the results of the evaluations of nine different instrument or measurement systems used in conjunction with these mining activities.

  15. Natural alteration in the cooling Topopah Spring tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as an analog to a waste-repository hydrothermal regime

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Levy, S.; Valentine, G.

    1993-11-01

    Studies of natural hydrothermal alteration in the cooling Topopah Spring tuff suggest a useful ``self-analog`` predictor of fluid-rock interactions within the thermal regime imposed by a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. This tuff has the advantages of representative rock types and appropriate spatial distribution of lithologic features. The cooling history of the tuff spanned the temperature range for any proposed repository thermal load, and the unsaturated-zone hydrologic conditions of the natural alteration would have been similar to existing conditions. A site at northeastern Yucca Mountain, with a prominent vertical fracture zone, has been selected for natural analog studies. The cooling of the tuff and the movement of water in the fracture zone and adjacent matrix will be modeled with the finite element code FEHNM, capable of simulating flow through porous and fractured media using a dual porosity-dual permeability continuum model, with heat transfer and two-phase (vapor and liquid) processes fully accounted for.

  16. Natural alteration in the cooling Topopah Spring tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as an analog to a waste-repository hydrothermal regime

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Levy, S.; Valentine, G.

    1993-01-01

    Studies of natural hydrothermal alteration in the cooling Topopah Spring tuff suggest a useful ''self-analog'' predictor of fluid-rock interactions within the thermal regime imposed by a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. This tuff has the advantages of representative rock types and appropriate spatial distribution of lithologic features. The cooling history of the tuff spanned the temperature range for any proposed repository thermal load, and the unsaturated-zone hydrologic conditions of the natural alteration would have been similar to existing conditions. A site at northeastern Yucca Mountain, with a prominent vertical fracture zone, has been selected for natural analog studies. The cooling of the tuff and the movement of water in the fracture zone and adjacent matrix will be modeled with the finite element code FEHNM, capable of simulating flow through porous and fractured media using a dual porosity-dual permeability continuum model, with heat transfer and two-phase (vapor and liquid) processes fully accounted for

  17. Method development and strategy for the characterization of complexly faulted and fractured rhyolitic tuffs, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karasaki, K. [Lawrence Berkeley Lab., CA (United States); Galloway, D. [Geological Survey, Sacramento, CA (United States)

    1991-06-01

    The planned high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, would exist in unsaturated, fractured welded tuff. One possible contaminant pathway to the accessible environment is transport by groundwater infiltrating to the water table and flowing through the saturated zone. Therefore, an effort to characterize the hydrology of the saturated zone is being undertaken in parallel with that of the unsaturated zone. As a part of the saturated zone investigation, there wells-UE-25c{number_sign}1, UE-25c{number_sign}2, and UE-25c{number_sign}3 (hereafter called the c-holes)-were drilled to study hydraulic and transport properties of rock formations underlying the planned waste repository. The location of the c-holes is such that the formations penetrated in the unsaturated zone occur at similar depths and with similar thicknesses as at the planned repository site. In characterizing a highly heterogeneous flow system, several issues emerge. (1) The characterization strategy should allow for the virtual impossibility to enumerate and characterize all heterogeneities. (2) The methodology to characterize the heterogeneous flow system at the scale of the well tests needs to be established. (3) Tools need to be developed for scaling up the information obtained at the well-test scale to the larger scale of the site. In the present paper, the characterization strategy and the methods under development are discussed with the focus on the design and analysis of the field experiments at the c-holes.

  18. Occurrence of fracture-lining manganese minerals in silicic tuffs, Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carlos, B.A.

    1986-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, in southern Nevada, is being studied by the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) Project as a potential site for an underground high-level nuclear waste repository. The site is within Miocene volcanic rocks that are 1.5 to 4 km thick and range in age from 12.5 to 14 MY. Several holes have been drilled in Yucca Mountain for geologic and hydrologic studies. Drill hole USW G-4, the most recently cored hole within the potential repository block, was chosen for detailed study of fracture-filling minerals because it is closest to the planned NNWSI exploratory shaft. Drill hole USW G-4 was drilled to 914.7 m (3001 ft) and continuously cored from 6.7 m (22 ft) to total depth (TD). The drilling history, lithology of the core, and geophysical logs of the well were published earlier. Because manganese oxides in fractures may act as a natural barrier to radionuclide migration, it is important to determine exactly which manganese minerals are present, in what intervals they occur, and how extensive these fracture coatings are

  19. Alteration history studies in the Exploratory Studies Facility, Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Levy, S.S.; Chipera, S.J.; Norman, D.I.

    1996-01-01

    By mid-1995, the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) extended about 1. 1 km from Exile Hill westward toward Yucca Mountain, mostly within densely welded, devitrfied Tiva Canyon Tuff. Secondary mineral occurrences in this unit include breccia cements of mordenite, a fibrous zeolite, and vapor-phase deposits of silica, alkali feldspar, apatite, hollandite, amphibole, and zircon. Calcite is also a common secondary mineral in faults and fractures. Studies of water and gas contents in fluid inclusions in calcites from a fault in nonwelded tuff and a fracture in densely welded tuff suggest mineral deposition under transient locally saturated conditions. Calcite in the nonwelded tuff incorporated air from the unsaturated tuff adjacent to the fault. A highly altered interval within pre-Pah Canyon tuffs just above the top of the Topopah Spring Tuff may be a fossil fumarole or other hydrothermal feature associated with cooling pyroclastic deposits, overprinted by later zeolitic alteration. The observed quartz, cristobalite, opal-CT, and fluorite have been widely identified as products of syngenetic devitrification and vapor-phase alteration in and above the Topopah Spring Tuff. Smectite, also an abundant secondary mineral at the ESF site, has been observed elsewhere at this stratigraphic level. Zeolitic alteration of nonwelded tuffs above the Topopah Spring Tuff, as seen in the ESF, has also been noted in drill core and outcrop at northeastern Yucca Mountain. The hydrologic and geochemical conditions that favored zeolitization only in certain areas of this stratigraphic interval have yet to be determined

  20. Isotopic and trace element variability in altered and unaltered tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterman, Z.E.; Spengler, R.W.; Singer, F.R.; Dickerson, R.P.

    1993-01-01

    Reference stratigraphic sections near Yucca Mountain, Nevada were established and sampled in outcrop areas where the volcanic rocks have been minimally altered. Isotopic and trace element analyses obtained for these reference sections are baseline data for assessing the degree and extent of element mobility attendant with past zonal alteration of the rock mass. In agreement with earlier studies, zeolitization is shown to have occurred under wholesale open-system conditions. Calcium was increased by two three times the baseline values and strontium up to twenty times. In contrast, barium displays less variability, and the high-field strength elements zirconium and titanium were the least mobile during zeolitization. The data reported here establish the usefulness of reference sections of assessing past elements mobility. The information gained will be helpful in predicting possible future element mobility induced by thermally activated fluids in the near field of a potential repository.

  1. Fluid inclusion studies of calcite veins from Yucca Mountain, Nevada, Tuffs: Environment of formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roedder, E.; Whelan, J.F.; Vaniman, D.T.

    1994-01-01

    Calcite vein and vug fillings at four depths (130-314m), all above the present water table in USW G-1 bore hole at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, contain primary fluid inclusions with variable vapor/liquid raitos: Most of these inclusions are either full of liquid or full of vapor. The liquid-filled inclusions show that most of the host calcite crystallized from fluids at 2 vapor phase at ''<100 degrees C''. Our new studies reveal the additional presence of major methane in the vapor-filled inclusion, indicating even lower temperatures of trapping, perhaps at near-surface temperatures. They also show that the host calcite crystals grew from a flowing film of water on the walls of fractures open to the atmosphere, the vapor-filled inclusions representing bubbles that exsolved from this film onto the crystal surface

  2. Fluid inclusion studies of calcite veins from Yucca Mountain, Nevada, Tuffs: Environment of formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roedder, E.; Whelan, J.F.; Vaniman, D.T.

    1994-01-01

    Calcite vein and vug fillings at fourth depths (130-314m), all above the present water table in USW G-1 bore hole at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, contain primary fluid inclusions with variable vapor/liquid ratios: most of these inclusions are either full of liquid or full of vapor. The liquid-filled inclusions show that most of the host calcite crystallized from fluids at 2 vapor phase at open-quotes 100 degrees Cclose quotes. Our new studies reveal the additional presence of major methane in the vapor-filled inclusion, indicating even lower temperatures of trapping, perhaps at near-surface temperatures. They also show that the host calcite crystals grew from a flowing film of water on the walls of fractures open to the atmosphere, the vapor-filled inclusions representing bubbles that exsolved from this film onto the crystal surface

  3. Bulk and mechanical properties of the Paintbrush tuff recovered from borehole USW NRG-7/7A: Data report. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, R.J.; Boyd, P.J.; Noel, J.S.; Price, R.H.

    1995-05-01

    An integral part of the licensing procedure for the potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, involves prediction of the in situ rheology for the design and construction of the facility and the emplacement of canisters containing radioactive waste. The data used to model the thermal and mechanical behavior of the repository and surrounding lithologies include dry and saturated bulk densities, average grain density, porosity, compressional and shear wave velocities, elastic moduli, and compressional and tensional fracture strengths. In this study, a suite of experiments was performed on cores recovered from the USW NRG-717A borehole drilled in support of the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) at Yucca Mountain. USW NRG-7/7A was drilled to a depth of 1,513.4 feet through five thermal/mechanical units of Paintbrush tuff and terminating in the tuffaceous beds of the Calico IEUS. The thermal/mechanical stratigraphy was defined by Orfiz et al. to group rock horizons of similar properties for the purpose of simplifying modeling efforts. The relationship between the geologic stratigraphy and the thermal/mechanical stratigraphy is presented. The tuff samples in this study have a wide range of welding characteristics, and a smaller range of mineralogy and petrology characteristics. Generally, the samples are silicic, ash-fall tuffs that exhibit large variability in their elastic and strength properties

  4. Major element and oxygen isotope geochemistry of vapour-phase garnet from the Topopah Spring Tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moscati, Richard J.; Johnson, Craig A.

    2014-01-01

    Twenty vapour-phase garnets were studied in two samples of the Topopah Spring Tuff of the Paintbrush Group from Yucca Mountain, in southern Nevada. The Miocene-age Topopah Spring Tuff is a 350 m thick, devitrified, moderately to densely welded ash-flow tuff that is zoned compositionally from high-silica rhyolite to latite. During cooling of the tuff, escaping vapour produced lithophysae (former gas cavities) lined with an assemblage of tridymite (commonly inverted to cristobalite or quartz), sanidine and locally, hematite and/or garnet. Vapour-phase topaz and economic deposits associated commonly with topaz-bearing rhyolites (characteristically enriched in F) were not found in the Topopah Spring Tuff at Yucca Mountain. Based on their occurrence only in lithophysae, the garnets are not primary igneous phenocrysts, but rather crystals that grew from a F-poor magma-derived vapour trapped during and after emplacement of the tuff. The garnets are euhedral, vitreous, reddish brown, trapezohedral, as large as 2 mm in diameter and fractured. The garnets also contain inclusions of tridymite. Electron microprobe analyses of the garnets reveal that they are almandine-spessartine (48.0 and 47.9 mol.%, respectively), have an average composition of (Fe1.46Mn1.45Mg0.03Ca0.10)(Al1.93Ti0.02)Si3.01O12 and are comparatively homogeneous in Fe and Mn concentrations from core to rim. Composited garnets from each sample site have δ18O values of 7.2 and 7.4‰. The associated quartz (after tridymite) has δ18O values of 17.4 and 17.6‰, values indicative of reaction with later, low-temperature water. Unaltered tridymite from higher in the stratigraphic section has a δ18O of 11.1‰ which, when coupled with the garnet δ18O values in a quartz-garnet fractionation equation, indicates isotopic equilibration (vapour-phase crystallization) at temperatures of ~600°C. This high-temperature mineralization, formed during cooling of the tuffs, is distinct from the later and commonly recognized

  5. YUCCA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller-Moulé, Patricia; Nozue, Kazunari; Pytlak, Melissa L; Palmer, Christine M; Covington, Michael F; Wallace, Andreah D; Harmer, Stacey L; Maloof, Julin N

    2016-01-01

    Plants respond to neighbor shade by increasing stem and petiole elongation. Shade, sensed by phytochrome photoreceptors, causes stabilization of PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR proteins and subsequent induction of YUCCA auxin biosynthetic genes. To investigate the role of YUCCA genes in phytochrome-mediated elongation, we examined auxin signaling kinetics after an end-of-day far-red (EOD-FR) light treatment, and found that an auxin responsive reporter is rapidly induced within 2 hours of far-red exposure. YUCCA2, 5, 8, and 9 are all induced with similar kinetics suggesting that they could act redundantly to control shade-mediated elongation. To test this hypothesis we constructed a yucca2, 5, 8, 9 quadruple mutant and found that the hypocotyl and petiole EOD-FR and shade avoidance responses are completely disrupted. This work shows that YUCCA auxin biosynthetic genes are essential for detectable shade avoidance and that YUCCA genes are important for petiole shade avoidance.

  6. Vacuum drilling of unsaturated tuffs at a potential radioactive-waste repository, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whitfield, M.S.

    1985-01-01

    A vacuum reverse-air circulation drilling method was used to drill two 17-1/2-inch (44.5-centimeter) diameter test holes to depths of 1269 feet (387 meters) and 1887 feet (575 meters) at Yucca Mountain near the Nevada Test Site. The site is being considered by the US Department of Energy for construction of a high-level radioactive-waste repository. One of these two test holes (USW UZ-1) has been equipped with instrumentation to obtain a long-term record of pressure and moisture potential data; the other test hole (USW UZ-6) will be similarly instrumented in the near future. These investigations are being conducted as part of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project of the US Department of Energy. The test holes were drilled using a 5-1/2-inch (14-centimeter) by 8-5/8-inch (22-centimeter) dual-string reverse-vacuum assembly. A vacuum, induced at the land surface, removed the drill cuttings through the inner string. Compressed air was injected into the dual-string annulus to cool the bit and to keep the bit and inner string clean. A tracer gas, sulfur hexafluoride (SF 6 ), was added to the compressed air for a later determination of atmospheric contamination that might have occurred during the drilling. After reaching the surface, the drill cuttings were routed to a dry separator for sample collection. Then return air and dust from the cuttings were routed to a wet separator where the dust was removed by a water spray, and the remaining air was exhausted through the vacuum unit (blower) to the atmosphere. 6 refs., 4 figs

  7. Magnetic Fabric Investigations of the Sapinero Mesa and Fish Canyon Tuffs, Northern Part of the Southern Rocky Mountain Volcanic Field, Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, C.; Martin, M.; Geissman, J. W.

    2013-12-01

    Exposures of two laterally extensive ignimbrites in the northern part of the Southern Rocky Mountain Volcanic Field (SRMVF) allow examination of the emplacement mechanisms of these pyroclastic deposits as a function of deposition on irregular preexisting topography using magnetic fabric techniques. The Sapinero Mesa Tuff (28.19 × 0.03 Ma) was erupted from the San Juan/Uncompahgre Caldera Complex and the Fish Canyon tuff (ca. 28.02 × 0.16 Ma) was erupted from the La Garita caldera. These ignimbrites are major components of the SRMVF and were emplaced on highly irregular paleotopography. The Sapinero Mesa Tuff was emplaced directly on the late Eocene West Elk Breccia near and west of the Blue Mesa reservoir and directly on Precambrian crystalline rocks south of the Blue Mesa reservoir. The Fish Canyon Tuff was emplaced directly on Precambrian crystalline rocks south and southwest of Gunnison. Our study of these two ignimbrites is concentrated in the northern part of the SRMVF and examines how these deposits were emplaced on different topographic features. To date, a total of 16 sites in the Fish Canyon and Sapinero Mesa tuffs have been collected and analyzed for determination of magnetic fabrics through measurements of anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS). These samples are currently being analyzed for measurements of anisotropy of anhysteretic remanent magnetization (AARM). Initial analyses indicate transport directions that generally coincide with the inferred regional north-northwest transport direction. Additional sampling includes a greater spatial extent and a more focused method of collection with an emphasis on localities chosen with careful consideration of relationships to paleotopographic features present during emplacement of the ignimbrites. Specifically, we have selected linear features of varying scales with strikes that vary significantly from the regional, inferred transport directions. Our work provides a means to compare regional inferred

  8. Lithostratigraphy of the Calico Hills Formation and Prow Pass Tuff (Crater Flat Group) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moyer, T.C.; Geslin, J.K. [Science Applications International Corp., Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    1995-07-01

    Lithostratigraphic relations within the Calico Hills Formation and Prow Pass Tuff (Crater Flat Group) were reconstructed from analysis of core samples and observation of outcrop exposures. The Calico Hills Formation is composed of five nonwelded pyroclastic units (each formed of one or more pyroclastic-flow deposits) that overlie an interval of bedded tuff and a basal volcaniclastic sandstone unit. The Prow Pass Tuff is divided into four pyroclastic units and an underlying interval of bedded tuff. The pyroclastic units of the Prow Pass Tuff are distinguished by the sizes and amounts of their pumice and lithic clasts and their degree of welding. Pyroclastic units of the Prow Pass Tuff are distinguished from those of the Calico Hills Formation by their phenocryst assemblage, chemical composition, and ubiquitous siltstone lithic clasts. Downhole resistivity tends to mirror the content of authigenic minerals, primarily zeolites, in both for-mations and may be useful for recognizing the vitric-zeolite boundary in the study area. Maps of zeolite distribution illustrate that the bedded tuff and basal sandstone units of the Calico Hills Formation are altered over a wider area than the pyroclastic units of both the Calico Hills Formation and the upper Prow Pass Tuff.

  9. Lithostratigraphy of the Calico Hills Formation and Prow Pass Tuff (Crater Flat Group) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moyer, T.C.; Geslin, J.K.

    1995-01-01

    Lithostratigraphic relations within the Calico Hills Formation and Prow Pass Tuff (Crater Flat Group) were reconstructed from analysis of core samples and observation of outcrop exposures. The Calico Hills Formation is composed of five nonwelded pyroclastic units (each formed of one or more pyroclastic-flow deposits) that overlie an interval of bedded tuff and a basal volcaniclastic sandstone unit. The Prow Pass Tuff is divided into four pyroclastic units and an underlying interval of bedded tuff. The pyroclastic units of the Prow Pass Tuff are distinguished by the sizes and amounts of their pumice and lithic clasts and their degree of welding. Pyroclastic units of the Prow Pass Tuff are distinguished from those of the Calico Hills Formation by their phenocryst assemblage, chemical composition, and ubiquitous siltstone lithic clasts. Downhole resistivity tends to mirror the content of authigenic minerals, primarily zeolites, in both for-mations and may be useful for recognizing the vitric-zeolite boundary in the study area. Maps of zeolite distribution illustrate that the bedded tuff and basal sandstone units of the Calico Hills Formation are altered over a wider area than the pyroclastic units of both the Calico Hills Formation and the upper Prow Pass Tuff

  10. Laboratory investigation of constitutive property up-scaling in volcanic tuffs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tidwell, V.C.

    1996-08-01

    One of the critical issues facing the Yucca Mountain site characterization and performance assessment programs is the manner in which property up-scaling is addressed. Property up-scaling becomes an issue whenever heterogeneous media properties are measured at one scale but applied at another. A research program has been established to challenge current understanding of property up-scaling with the aim of developing and testing improved models that describe up-scaling behavior in a quantitative manner. Up-scaling of constitutive rock properties is investigated through physical experimentation involving the collection of suites of gas-permeability data measured over a range of discrete scales. To date, up-scaling studies have been performed on a series of tuff and sandstone (used as experimental controls) blocks. Samples include a welded, anisotropic tuff (Tiva Canyon Member of the Paintbrush Tuff, upper cliff microstratigraphic unit), and a moderately welded tuff (Tiva Canyon Member of the Paintbrush Tuff, Caprock microstratigraphic unit). A massive fluvial sandstone (Berea Sandstone) was also investigated as a means of evaluating the experimental program and to provide a point of comparison for the tuff data. Because unsaturated flow is of prime interest to the Yucca Mountain Program, scoping studies aimed at investigating the up-scaling of hydraulic properties under various saturated conditions were performed to compliment these studies of intrinsic permeability. These studies focused on matrix sorptivity, a constitutive property quantifying the capillarity of a porous medium. 113 refs

  11. Laboratory investigation of constitutive property up-scaling in volcanic tuffs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tidwell, V.C. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States). Geohydrology Dept.

    1996-08-01

    One of the critical issues facing the Yucca Mountain site characterization and performance assessment programs is the manner in which property up-scaling is addressed. Property up-scaling becomes an issue whenever heterogeneous media properties are measured at one scale but applied at another. A research program has been established to challenge current understanding of property up-scaling with the aim of developing and testing improved models that describe up-scaling behavior in a quantitative manner. Up-scaling of constitutive rock properties is investigated through physical experimentation involving the collection of suites of gas-permeability data measured over a range of discrete scales. To date, up-scaling studies have been performed on a series of tuff and sandstone (used as experimental controls) blocks. Samples include a welded, anisotropic tuff (Tiva Canyon Member of the Paintbrush Tuff, upper cliff microstratigraphic unit), and a moderately welded tuff (Tiva Canyon Member of the Paintbrush Tuff, Caprock microstratigraphic unit). A massive fluvial sandstone (Berea Sandstone) was also investigated as a means of evaluating the experimental program and to provide a point of comparison for the tuff data. Because unsaturated flow is of prime interest to the Yucca Mountain Program, scoping studies aimed at investigating the up-scaling of hydraulic properties under various saturated conditions were performed to compliment these studies of intrinsic permeability. These studies focused on matrix sorptivity, a constitutive property quantifying the capillarity of a porous medium. 113 refs.

  12. Numerical simulation of air- and water-flow experiments in a block of variably saturated, fractured tuff from Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kwicklis, E.M.; Healy, R.W. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Thamir, F. [AMX International, Inc., Denver, CO (United States); Hampson, D. [EQE International, Evergreen, CO (United States)

    1998-11-01

    Numerical models of water movement through variably saturated, fractured tuff have undergone little testing against experimental data collected from relatively well-controlled and characterized experiments. This report used the results of a multistage experiment on a block of variably saturated, fractured, welded tuff and associated core samples to investigate if those results could be explained using models and concepts currently used to simulate water movement in variably saturated, fractured tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the potential location of a high-level nuclear-waste repository. Aspects of the experiment were modeled with varying degrees of success. Imbibition experiments performed on cores of various lengths and diameters were adequately described by models using independently measured permeabilities and moisture-characteristic curves, provided that permeability reductions resulting from the presence of entrapped air were considered. Entrapped gas limited maximum water saturations during imbibition to approximately 0.70 to 0,80 of the fillable porosity values determined by vacuum saturation. A numerical simulator developed for application to fluid flow problems in fracture networks was used to analyze the results of air-injection tests conducted within the tuff block through 1.25-cm-diameter boreholes. These analyses produced estimates of transmissivity for selected fractures within the block. Transmissivities of other fractures were assigned on the basis of visual similarity to one of the tested fractures. The calibrated model explained 53% of the observed pressure variance at the monitoring boreholes (with the results for six outliers omitted) and 97% of the overall pressure variance (including monitoring and injection boreholes) in the subset of air-injection tests examined.

  13. Geology of the USW SD-7 drill hole Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rautman, C.A. [Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Engstrom, D.A. [Spectra Research Inst., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1996-09-01

    The USW SD-7 drill hole is one of several holes drilled under Site Characterization Plan Study 8.3.1.4.3.1, also known as the Systematic Drilling Program, as part of the U.S. Department of Energy characterization program at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The Yucca Mountain site has been proposed as the potential location of a repository for high-level nuclear waste. The SD-7 drill hole is located near the southern end of the potential repository area and immediately to the west of the Main Test Level drift of the Exploratory Studies Facility. The hole is not far from the junction of the Main Test Level drift and the proposed South Ramp decline. Drill hole USW SD-7 is 2675.1 ft (815.3 m) deep, and the core recovered nearly complete sections of ash-flow tuffs belonging to the lower half of the Tiva Canyon Tuff, the Pah Canyon Tuff, and the Topopah Spring Tuff, all of which are part of the Miocene Paintbrush Group. Core was recovered from much of the underlying Calico Hills Formation, and core was virtually continuous in the Prow Pass Tuff and the Bullfrog Tuff. The SD-7 drill hole penetrated the top several tens of feet into the Tram Tuff, which underlies the Prow Pass and Bullfrog Tuffs. These latter three units are all formations of the Crater Flat Group, The drill hole was collared in welded materials assigned to the crystal-poor middle nonlithophysal zone of the Tiva Canyon Tuff; approximately 280 ft (85 m) of this ash-flow sheet was penetrated by the hole. The Yucca Mountain Tuff appears to be missing from the section at the USW SD-7 location, and the Pah Canyon Tuff is only 14.5 ft thick. The Pah Canyon Tuff was not recovered in core because of drilling difficulties, suggesting that the unit is entirely nonwelded. The presence of this unit is inferred through interpretation of down-hole geophysical logs.

  14. Analysis of Conservative Tracer Tests in the Bullfrog, Tram, and Prow Pass Tuffs, 1996 to 1998, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umari, Amjad; Fahy, Michael F.; Earle, John D.; Tucci, Patrick

    2008-01-01

    To evaluate the potential for transport of radionuclides in ground water from the proposed high-level nuclear-waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, conservative (nonsorbing) tracer tests were conducted among three boreholes, known as the C-hole Complex, and values for transport (or flow) porosity, storage (or matrix) porosity, longitudinal dispersivity, and the extent of matrix diffusion were obtained. The C-holes are completed in a sequence of Miocene tuffaceous rock, consisting of nonwelded to densely welded ash-flow tuff with intervals of ash-fall tuff and volcaniclastic rocks, covered by Quaternary alluvium. The lower part of the tuffaceous-rock sequence includes the Prow Pass, Bullfrog, and Tram Tuffs of the Crater Flat Group. The rocks are pervaded by tectonic and cooling fractures. Paleozoic limestone and dolomite underlie the tuffaceous rocks. Four radially convergent and one partially recirculating conservative (nonsorbing) tracer tests were conducted at the C-hole Complex from 1996 to 1998 to establish values for flow porosity, storage porosity, longitudinal dispersivity, and extent of matrix diffusion in the Bullfrog and Tram Tuffs and the Prow Pass Tuff. Tracer tests included (1) injection of iodide into the combined Bullfrog-Tram interval; (2) injection of 2,6 difluorobenzoic acid into the Lower Bullfrog interval; (3) injection of 3-carbamoyl-2-pyridone into the Lower Bullfrog interval; and (4) injection of iodide and 2,4,5 trifluorobenzoic acid, followed by 2,3,4,5 tetrafluorobenzoic acid, into the Prow Pass Tuff. All tracer tests were analyzed by the Moench single- and dual-porosity analytical solutions to the advection-dispersion equation or by superposition of these solutions. Nonlinear regression techniques were used to corroborate tracer solution results, to obtain optimal parameter values from the solutions, and to quantify parameter uncertainty resulting from analyzing two of the three radially convergent conservative tracer tests

  15. Sorption-desorption studies on tuff III. A continuation of studies with samples from Jackass Flats and Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wolfsberg, K.; Aguilar, R.D.; Bayhurst, B.P.

    1981-05-01

    This report is the third in a series of reports describing studies of sorption and migration of radionuclides in tuff. The investigations were extended to lithologies of tuff not previously studied. Continuing experiments with uranium, plutonium, and americium are described. The dependence of sorption on the concentration of the sorbing element and on the solution-to-solid ratio was investigated for a number of nuclides and two lithologies. A circulating system was designed for measuring sorption ratios. Values obtained from this system, batch measurements, and column elutions are compared. Progress on measuring and controlling Eh is described

  16. Mineralogy and petrology of tuff units from a UE25a-1 drill site, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sykes, M.L.; Heiken, G.H.; Smyth, J.R.

    1979-11-01

    Drill hole UE25a-1 has penetrated tuffs of Tertiary age which contain two major zeolitized horizons at depths below 380 m. These horizons are restricted to low-density, high-porosity nonwelded tuffs below the basal vitrophyre of the Topopah Springs Member of the Paintbrush Tuff (approximately 70 m above the current water table), and interfinger with more-densely-welded devitrified tuffs of granophyric mineralogy. Zeolites occur as glass pyroclast replacement, vug linings, and fracture fillings. Nonwelded units above the welded portion of the Topopah Springs Member are essentially unaltered, indicating that they have never been ground water-saturated for any significant length of time. Zeolite mineral assemblages appear to be characteristic of low temperature ( 0 C) ground water alteration of glass in an open hydrologic system. The principal zeolite phase is high-Si clinoptilolite with Si/Al ratios of 4.7 to 6.0. Ca tends to be the dominant large-radius cation, but grains with dominant K or Na are not uncommon, particularly with increasing depth. Compositional variations in clinoptilolite may be due to ground water composition or original pyroclast composition. Minor amounts of mordenite, characterized by lower silica content ( 10 wt % Na 2 O + K 2 O), occur as vug fillings at depths below 500 m. Presence of mordenite may indicate slightly elevated alteration temperatures, but more likely reflects enrichment of ground water in alkalis with depth. Mineralogical, compositional, and textural similarities of the zeolitized tuffs from UE25a-1 and J-13 are compatible with a single episode of crystallization. 16 figures

  17. Geology of the Yucca Mountain Region, Chapter in Stuckless, J.S., ED., Yucca Mountain, Nevada - A Proposed Geologic Repository for High-Level Radioactive Waste

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J.S. Stuckless; D. O' Leary

    2006-09-25

    Yucca Mountain has been proposed as the site for the Nation's first geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. This chapter provides the geologic framework for the Yucca Mountain region. The regional geologic units range in age from late Precambrian through Holocene, and these are described briefly. Yucca Mountain is composed dominantly of pyroclastic units that range in age from 11.4 to 15.2 Ma. The proposed repository would be constructed within the Topopah Spring Tuff, which is the lower of two major zoned and welded ash-flow tuffs within the Paintbrush Group. The two welded tuffs are separated by the partly to nonwelded Pah Canyon Tuff and Yucca Mountain Tuff, which together figure prominently in the hydrology of the unsaturated zone. The Quaternary deposits are primarily alluvial sediments with minor basaltic cinder cones and flows. Both have been studied extensively because of their importance in predicting the long-term performance of the proposed repository. Basaltic volcanism began about 10 Ma and continued as recently as about 80 ka with the eruption of cones and flows at Lathrop Wells, approximately 10 km south-southwest of Yucca Mountain. Geologic structure in the Yucca Mountain region is complex. During the latest Paleozoic and Mesozoic, strong compressional forces caused tight folding and thrust faulting. The present regional setting is one of extension, and normal faulting has been active from the Miocene through to the present. There are three major local tectonic domains: (1) Basin and Range, (2) Walker Lane, and (3) Inyo-Mono. Each domain has an effect on the stability of Yucca Mountain.

  18. Geology of the Yucca Mountain Region, Chapter in Stuckless, J.S., ED., Yucca Mountain, Nevada - A Proposed Geologic Repository for High-Level Radioactive Waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    J.S. Stuckless; D. O'Leary

    2006-01-01

    Yucca Mountain has been proposed as the site for the Nation's first geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. This chapter provides the geologic framework for the Yucca Mountain region. The regional geologic units range in age from late Precambrian through Holocene, and these are described briefly. Yucca Mountain is composed dominantly of pyroclastic units that range in age from 11.4 to 15.2 Ma. The proposed repository would be constructed within the Topopah Spring Tuff, which is the lower of two major zoned and welded ash-flow tuffs within the Paintbrush Group. The two welded tuffs are separated by the partly to nonwelded Pah Canyon Tuff and Yucca Mountain Tuff, which together figure prominently in the hydrology of the unsaturated zone. The Quaternary deposits are primarily alluvial sediments with minor basaltic cinder cones and flows. Both have been studied extensively because of their importance in predicting the long-term performance of the proposed repository. Basaltic volcanism began about 10 Ma and continued as recently as about 80 ka with the eruption of cones and flows at Lathrop Wells, approximately 10 km south-southwest of Yucca Mountain. Geologic structure in the Yucca Mountain region is complex. During the latest Paleozoic and Mesozoic, strong compressional forces caused tight folding and thrust faulting. The present regional setting is one of extension, and normal faulting has been active from the Miocene through to the present. There are three major local tectonic domains: (1) Basin and Range, (2) Walker Lane, and (3) Inyo-Mono. Each domain has an effect on the stability of Yucca Mountain

  19. A mountain-scale model for characterizing unsaturated flow and transport in fractured tuffs of Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, Yu-Shu; Lu, Guoping; Zhang, Keni; Bodvarsson, G.S.

    2003-01-01

    This paper presents a large-scale modeling study characterizing fluid flow and tracer transport in the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the proposed underground repository site for storing high-level radioactive waste. The modeling study is conducted using a three-dimensional numerical model, which incorporates a wide variety of field data and takes into account the coupled processes of flow and transport in Yucca Mountain's highly heterogeneous, unsaturated, fractured porous rock. The modeling approach is based on a dual-continuum formulation. Using different conceptual models of unsaturated flow, various scenarios of current and future climate conditions and their effects on the unsaturated zone are evaluated to aid in the assessment of the repository's system performance. These models are calibrated against field-measured data. Model-predicted flow and transport processes under current and future climates are discussed

  20. Assessment of hydrologic impact of extending exploratory shafts into the Calico Hills nonwelded tuff unit at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nichols, W.E.; Freshley, M.D.; Rockhold, M.L.

    1991-03-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is performing analyses to address an objection by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to plans in the Consultation Draft of the Site Characterization Plan for direct excavation of the Calico Hills nonwelded (CHn) unit within the repository exploration block at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The excavation was planned as part of site characterization activities for the potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. This characterization activities for the potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. This characterization activity has been deferred, pending the results of a risk/benefit analysis of alternative methods for obtaining needed characterization data from CHn unit. The benefits from characterizing the CHn unit are generally related to obtaining information leading to improved confidence in predictions of site performance. The risks are generally associated with potential adverse impacts to site performance that result from excavation or other intrusion into the CHn unit. The purpose of the risk/benefit analysis is to produce a recommendation to the Director, Regulatory and Site Evaluation Division. DOE/Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Office for a strategy for characterizing the CHn unit. The recommendation will describe characterization activities that are expected to provide the needed information while limiting adverse impacts to site performance to the extent practical. The risk/benefit analysis was supported with scoping calculations to provide a quantitative evaluation of the impacts associated with different strategies. The working group responsible for the risk/benefit analysis requested that these scoping calculations to be supported with more detailed performance assessments for evaluating impacts of different characterization activities. This report summarizes the results of these performance assessment analyses. 9 refs., 30 figs., 1 tab

  1. Transport of Radon Gas into a Tunnel at Yucca Mountain-Estimating Large-Scale Fractured Tuff Hydraulic Properties and Implications for the Operation of the Ventilation System

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Unger, A.; Finsterle, S.; Bodvarsson, G.

    2003-01-01

    Radon gas concentrations have been monitored as part of the operation of a tunnel (the Exploratory Studies Facility-ESF) at Yucca Mountain to ensure worker safety. The objective of this study was to examine the potential use of the radon data to estimate large-scale formation properties of fractured tuffs. This objective was examined by developing a numerical model, based upon the characteristics of the ESF and the Topopah Spring welded (TSw) tuff unit, capable of predicting radon concentrations for prescribed ventilation conditions. The model was used to address two specific issues. First, it was used to estimate the permeability and porosity of the fractures in the TSw at the length scale of the ESF and extending tens of meters into the TSw, which surrounds the ESF. Second, the model was used to understand the mechanism leading to radon concentrations exceeding a specified level within the ESF. The mechanism controlling radon concentrations in the ESF is a function of atmospheric barometric fluctuations being propagated down the ESF along with ventilated air flow and the slight suction induced by the ventilation exhaust fans at the South Portal of the ESF. These pressure fluctuations are dampened in the TSw fracture continuum according to its permeability and porosity. Consequently, as the barometric pressure in the ESF drops rapidly, formation gases from the TSw are pulled into the ESF, resulting in an increase in radon concentrations. Model calibration to both radon concentrations measured in the ESF and gas-phase pressure fluctuations in the TSw yielded concurrent estimates of TSw fracture permeability and porosity of l x 10 -11 m 2 and 0.00034, respectively. The calibrated model was then used as a design tool to predict the effect of adjusting the current ventilation-system operation strategy for reducing the probability of radon gas concentrations exceeding a specified level

  2. Preliminary gravity and magnetic models across Midway Valley and Yucca Wash, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ponce, D.A.; Langenheim, V.E.

    1994-01-01

    Detailed gravity and ground magnetic data collected along ten traverses across Midway Valley and Yucca Wash on the eastern flank of Yucca Mountain in southwest Nevada are interpreted. These data were collected as part of an effort to evaluate faulting in the vicinity of proposed surface facilities for a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Geophysical data show that Midway Valley is bounded by large gravity and magnetic anomalies associated with the Bow Ridge and Paintbrush Canyon faults, on the west side of Exile Hill and on the west flank of Fran Ridge, respectively. In addition, Midway Valley itself is characterized by a number of small-amplitude anomalies that probably reflect small-scale faulting beneath Midway Valley. Gravity and magnetic data across the northwest trending Yucca Wash and the inferred Yucca Wash fault indicate no major vertical offsets greater than 100 m using a density contrast of 0.2 to 0.3 g/cm 3 along the proposed Yucca Wash fault. In addition, a broad magnetic high coincides with the approximate location of the hydrologic gradient and probably reflects moderately magnetic Topopah Spring Tuff or lavas in the Calico Hills Formation

  3. Cavity-based secondary mineralization in volcanic tuffs of Yucca Mountain, Nevada: a new type of the polymineral vadose speleothem, or a hydrothermal deposit?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dublyansky Yuri V.

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Secondary minerals (calcite, chalcedony, quartz, opal, fluorite, heulandite, strontianite residing in open cavities in the Miocenerhyolite tuffs of Yucca Mountain, Nevada have been interpreted by some researchers as "speleothemic" formations, deposited as aresult of downward infiltration of meteoric waters (DOE, 2001, Whelan et al., 2002. The major mineral of the paragenesis, calcite,shows spectacular trend of the textural and crystal morphology change: from anhedral granular occurrences, through (optionalplatelet, bladed and scepter varieties, to euhedral blocky morphologies. The trend is consistent with the overall decrease in thesupesaturation of the mineral forming solution. Stable isotope properties of calcite evolve from 13C-enriched (δ13C = +4 to +9 ‰ PDBat early stages of growth to 13C-depleted (-5 to -10 ‰ at late stages. The non-cyclic character of the isotope record and extremevariations of isotopic values argue against the meteoric origin of mineral forming fluids. The δ13C >4 ‰ PDB require isotope partitioningbetween dissolved CO2 and CH4, which is only possible in reducing anoxic environment, but not in aerated vadose zone.Fluid inclusions studied in calcite, quartz and fluorite revealed that the minerals were deposited from thermal solutions. Thetemperatures were higher at early stages of mineral growth (60 to 85oC and declined with time. Most late-stage calcites containonly all-liquid inclusions, suggesting temperatures less than ca. 35-50oC. Minerals collected close to the major fault show the highesttemperatures. Gases trapped in fluid inclusions are dominated by CO2 and CH4; Raman spectrometry results suggest the presenceof aromatic/cyclic hydrocarbon gases. The gas chemistry, thus, also indicates reduced (anoxic character of the mineral formingfluids.Secondary minerals at Yucca Mountain have likely formed during the short-term invasion(s of the deep-seated aqueous fluidsinto the vadose zone. Following the invasion

  4. Method development and strategy for the characterization of complexly faulted and fractured rhyolitic tuffs, Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karasaki, K.; Galloway, D.

    1990-10-01

    Field experimental and analytical methods development is underway to define the hydraulic and transport properties of a thick saturated zone that underlies the planned high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The characterization strategy for the highly heterogeneous hydrology is that of hypothesis testing and confidence building. Three test wells, the UE-25c-holes, have been drilled and preliminary data have been collected. Hydro-mechanical analyses indicate formation fluid at depth is hydraulically connected to the water table. Preliminary hydraulic tests indicate highly localized, fracture-controlled transmissivity. Cross-hole seismic tomography is planned to assess the inter-borehole structure of fractures and faults. Multi-level cross-hole hydraulic interference and tracer tests are planned using up to 5 packed-off zones in each of the c-holes to assess the hydraulic conductivity and transport structure in a crude tomographic fashion. An equivalent discontinuum model conditioned with the observed hydraulic measurements will be applied to interpret the hydraulic test responses. As an approach to the scale problem the tests will be designed and analyzed to examine the hypothesis that the flow system may be represented by fractal geometry. 12 refs., 4 figs

  5. Initial field testing definition of subsurface sealing and backfilling tests in unsaturated tuff; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fernandez, J.A. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Case, J.B.; Tyburski, J.R. [I. T. Corp., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1993-05-01

    This report contains an initial definition of the field tests proposed for the Yucca Mountain Project repository sealing program. The tests are intended to resolve various performance and emplacement concerns. Examples of concerns to be addressed include achieving selected hydrologic and structural requirements for seals, removing portions of the shaft liner, excavating keyways, emplacing cementitious and earthen seals, reducing the impact of fines on the hydraulic conductivity of fractures, efficient grouting of fracture zones, sealing of exploratory boreholes, and controlling the flow of water by using engineered designs. Ten discrete tests are proposed to address these and other concerns. These tests are divided into two groups: Seal component tests and performance confirmation tests. The seal component tests are thorough small-scale in situ tests, the intermediate-scale borehole seal tests, the fracture grouting tests, the surface backfill tests, and the grouted rock mass tests. The seal system tests are the seepage control tests, the backfill tests, the bulkhead test in the Calico Hills unit, the large-scale shaft seal and shaft fill tests, and the remote borehole sealing tests. The tests are proposed to be performed in six discrete areas, including welded and non-welded environments, primarily located outside the potential repository area. The final selection of sealing tests will depend on the nature of the geologic and hydrologic conditions encountered during the development of the Exploratory Studies Facility and detailed numerical analyses. Tests are likely to be performed both before and after License Application.

  6. Mechanical tunnel excavation in welded tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sperry, P.E.

    1991-01-01

    The Technical Review Board for the US high-level radioactive waste facility at Yucca Mountain has recommended maximum use of open-quotes the most modern mechanical excavation techniques...in order to reduce disturbance to the rock walls and to achieve greater economy of time and cost.close quotes Tunnels for the waste repository at Yucca Mountain can be economically constructed with mechanical excavation equipment. This paper presents the results of mechanical excavation of a tunnel in welded tuff, similar to the tuffs of Yucca Mountain. These results are projected to excavation of emplacement drifts in Yucca Mountain using a current state-of-the-art tunnel boring machine (TBM)

  7. Further description of the petrology of the Topopah Spring member of the paintbrush tuff in drill holes UE25A-1 and USW-G1 and of the lithic-rich tuff in USW-G1, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carroll, P.I.; Caporuscio, F.A.; Bish, D.L.

    1981-11-01

    The Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff and the Lithic-rich tuff and two Tertiary volcanic units that occur in cores from drill holes UE25a-1 and USW-G1 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Recently they have been suggested as possibly suitable for the permanent storage of high-level radioactive waste. Earlier petrologic characterization of these units is augmented here. The Topopah Spring Member (approximately 350 m thick) has two compound cooling units. The upper, thinner unit is densely welded to vitrophyric. The lower unit ranges from nonwelded to vitrophyric, and its nonwelded base is extensively zeolitized to clinoptilolite and mordenite. Heulandite occurs as fracture fill in the overlying vitrophyric part, but zeolites are absent above that vitrophyre. Here primary devitrification plus vapor-phase crystallization dominate the mineralogy. Vapor-phase effects are especially prominent between the two vitrophyres in both cores and include numerous large lithophysal cavities throughout most of this moderately to densely welded tuff. The Lithic-rich tuff extends from 1203 to 1506 m in the USW-G1 drill core. It is nonwelded to partly welded but is well indurated due to pervasive intergrowths of authigenic minerals. These phases are analcime, albite, alkali feldspar, sericite, chlorite and quartz. The transition from analcime to secondary albite corresponds to Iijima's zeolite Zone IV boundary, and this boundary appears in USW-G1 at 1326 m. However, analcime remains as a prominent phase through most of the Lithic-rich tuff. Further work is necessary to assess the suitability of either of these horizons for a waste repository. In the Topopah Spring Member, both mechanical and hydrologic properties of thick lithophysal zone must be studied, as well as the complete sequence of fracture fill. For both units, zeolite and clay mineral stabilities need to be investigated

  8. Stratigraphy, structure, and some petrographic features of Tertiary volcanic rocks in the USW G-2 drill hole, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maldonado, Florian; Koether, S.L.

    1983-01-01

    A continuously cored drill hole designated as USW G-2, located at Yucca Mountain in southwestern Nevada, penetrated 1830.6 m of Tertiary volcanic strata composed of abundant silicic ash-flow tuffs, minor lava and flow breccias, and subordinate volcaniclastic rocks. The volcanic strata penetrated are comprised of the following in descending order: Paintbrush Tuff (Tiva Canyon Member, Yucca Mountain Member, bedded tuff, Pah Canyon Member, and Topopah Spring Member), tuffaceous beds of Calico Hills, Crater Flat Tuff (Prow Pass Member, Bullfrog Member, and Tram unit), lava and flow breccia (rhyodacitic), tuff of Lithic Ridge, bedded and ash-flow tuff, lava and flow breccia (rhyolitic, quartz latitic, and dacitic), bedded tuff, conglomerate and ash-flow tuff, and older tuffs of USW G-2. Comparison of unit thicknesses at USW G-2 to unit thicknesses at previously drilled holes at Yucca Mountain indicate the following: (1) thickening of the Paintbrush Tuff members and tuffaceous beds of Calico Hills toward the northern part of Yucca Mountain; (2) thickening of the Prow Pass Member but thinning of the Bullfrog Member and Tram unit; (3) thinning of the tuff of Lithic Ridge; (4) presence of approximately 280 m of lava and flow breccia not previously penetrated by any drill hole; and (5) presence of an ash-flow tuff unit at the bottom of the drill hole not previously intersected, apparently the oldest unit penetrated at Yucca Mountain to date. Petrographic features of some of the units include: (1) decrease in quartz and K-feldspar and increases in biotite and plagioclase with depth in the tuffaceous beds of Calico Hills; (2) an increase in quartz phenocrysts from the top to the bottom members of the Crater Flat Tuff; (3) a low quartz content in the tuff of Lithic Ridge, suggesting tapping of the magma chamber at quartz-poor levels; (4) a change in zeolitic alteration from heulandite to clinoptilolite to mordenite with increasing depth; (5) lavas characterized by a rhyolitic

  9. Thermal conductivity, bulk properties, and thermal stratigraphy of silicic tuffs from the upper portion of hole USW-G1, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lappin, A.R.; VanBuskirk, R.G.; Enniss, D.O.; Buters, S.W.; Prater, F.M.; Muller, C.B.; Bergosh, J.L.

    1982-03-01

    Thermal-conductivity and bulk-property measurements were made on welded and nonwelded silicic tuffs from the upper portion of Hole USW-G1, located near the southwestern margin of the Nevada Test Site. Bulk-property measurements were made by standard techniques. Thermal conductivities were measured at temperatures as high as 280 0 C, confining pressures to 10 MPa, and pore pressures to 1.5 MPa. Extrapolation of measured saturated conductivities to zero porosity suggests that matrix conductivity of both zeolitized and devitrified tuffs is independent of stratigraphic position, depth, and probably location. This fact allows development of a thermal-conductivity stratigraphy for the upper portion of Hole G1. Estimates of saturated conductivities of zeolitized nonwelded tuffs and devitrified tuffs below the water table appear most reliable. Estimated conductivities of saturated densely welded devitrified tuffs above the water table are less reliable, due to both internal complexity and limited data presently available. Estimation of conductivity of dewatered tuffs requires use of different air thermal conductivities in devitrified and zeolitized samples. Estimated effects of in-situ fracturing generally appear negligible

  10. Thermal conductivity, bulk properties, and thermal stratigraphy of silicic tuffs from the upper portion of hole USW-G1, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lappin, A.R.; VanBuskirk, R.G.; Enniss, D.O.; Buters, S.W.; Prater, F.M.; Muller, C.B.; Bergosh, J.L.

    1982-03-01

    Thermal-conductivity and bulk-property measurements were made on welded and nonwelded silicic tuffs from the upper portion of Hole USW-G1, located near the southwestern margin of the Nevada Test Site. Bulk-property measurements were made by standard techniques. Thermal conductivities were measured at temperatures as high as 280{sup 0}C, confining pressures to 10 MPa, and pore pressures to 1.5 MPa. Extrapolation of measured saturated conductivities to zero porosity suggests that matrix conductivity of both zeolitized and devitrified tuffs is independent of stratigraphic position, depth, and probably location. This fact allows development of a thermal-conductivity stratigraphy for the upper portion of Hole G1. Estimates of saturated conductivities of zeolitized nonwelded tuffs and devitrified tuffs below the water table appear most reliable. Estimated conductivities of saturated densely welded devitrified tuffs above the water table are less reliable, due to both internal complexity and limited data presently available. Estimation of conductivity of dewatered tuffs requires use of different air thermal conductivities in devitrified and zeolitized samples. Estimated effects of in-situ fracturing generally appear negligible.

  11. Distribution of lithostratigraphic units within the central block of Yucca Mountain, Nevada: A three-dimensional computer-based model, Version YMP.R2.0

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buesch, D.C.; Nelson, J.E.; Dickerson, R.P.; Drake, R.M. II; San Juan, C.A.; Spengler, R.W.; Geslin, J.K.; Moyer, T.C.

    1996-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada is underlain by 14.0 to 11.6 Ma volcanic rocks tilted eastward 3 degree to 20 degree and cut by faults that were primarily active between 12.7 and 11.6 Ma. A three-dimensional computer-based model of the central block of the mountain consists of seven structural subblocks composed of six formations and the interstratified-bedded tuffaceous deposits. Rocks from the 12.7 Ma Tiva Canyon Tuff, which forms most of the exposed rocks on the mountain, to the 13.1 Ma Prow Pass Tuff are modeled with 13 surfaces. Modeled units represent single formations such as the Pah Canyon Tuff, grouped units such as the combination of the Yucca Mountain Tuff with the superjacent bedded tuff, and divisions of the Topopah Spring Tuff such as the crystal-poor vitrophyre interval. The model is based on data from 75 boreholes from which a structure contour map at the base of the Tiva Canyon Tuff and isochore maps for each unit are constructed to serve as primary input. Modeling consists of an iterative cycle that begins with the primary structure-contour map from which isochore values of the subjacent model unit are subtracted to produce the structure contour map on the base of the unit. This new structure contour map forms the input for another cycle of isochore subtraction to produce the next structure contour map. In this method of solids modeling, the model units are presented by surfaces (structure contour maps), and all surfaces are stored in the model. Surfaces can be converted to form volumes of model units with additional effort. This lithostratigraphic and structural model can be used for (1) storing data from, and planning future, site characterization activities, (2) preliminary geometry of units for design of Exploratory Studies Facility and potential repository, and (3) performance assessment evaluations

  12. Geology of the USW SD-12 drill hole Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rautman, C.A. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Engstrom, D.A. [Spectra Research Institute, Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1996-11-01

    Drill hole USW SD-12 is one of several holes drilled under Site Characterization Plan Study 8.3.1.4.3.1, also known as the {open_quotes}Systematic Drilling Program,{close_quotes} as part of the U.S. Department of Energy characterization program at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, which has been proposed as the potential location of a repository for high-level nuclear waste. The SD-12 drill hole is located in the central part of the potential repository area, immediately to the west of the Main Test Level drift of the Exploratory Studies Facility and slightly south of midway between the North Ramp and planned South Ramp declines. Drill hole USW SD-12 is 2166.3 ft (660.26 m) deep, and the core recovered essentially complete sections of ash-flow tuffs belonging to the lower half of the Tiva Canyon Tuff, the Pah Canyon Tuff, and the Topopah Spring Tuff, all of which are part of the Miocene Paintbrush Group. A virtually complete section of the Calico Hills Formation was also recovered, as was core from the entire Prow Pass Tuff formation of the Crater Flat Group.

  13. The effect of sliding velocity on the mechanical response of an artificial joint in Topopah Spring Member tuff; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olsson, W.A.

    1994-04-01

    A smooth artificial joint in Topopah Spring Member tuff was sheared at constant normal stress at velocities from 0 to 100 {mu}m/s to determine the velocity-dependence of shear strength. Two different initial conditions were used: (1) unprimed -- the joint had been shear stress-free since last application of normal stress, and before renewed shear loading; and (2) primed -- the joint had undergone a slip history after application of normal stress, but before the current shear loading. Observed steady-state rate effects were found to be about 3 times lager than for some other silicate rocks. These different initial conditions affected the character of the stress-slip curve immediately after the onset of slip. Priming the joint causes a peak in the stress-slip response followed by a transient decay to the steady-state stress, i.e., slip weakening. Slide-hold-slide tests exhibit time-dependent strengthening. When the joint was subjected to constant shear stress, no slip was observed; that is, joint creep did not occur. One set of rate data was collected from a surface submerged in tap water, the friction was higher for this surface, but the rate sensitivity was the same as that for surfaces tested in the air-dry condition.

  14. Anisotropy of the Topopah Spring Member Tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, R.J. III; Boyd, P.J.; Haupt, R.W.; Price, R.H.

    1992-07-01

    Mechanical properties of the tuffaceous rocks within Yucca Mountain are needed for near and far-field modeling of the potential nuclear waste repository. If the mechanical properties are significantly anisotropic (i.e., direction-dependent), a more complex model is required. Relevant data from tuffs tested in earlier studies indicate that elastic and strength properties are anisotropic. This scoping study confirms the elastic anisotropy and concludes some tuffs are transversely isotropic. An approach for sampling and testing the rock to determine the magnitude of the anisotropy is proposed

  15. Anisotropy of the Topopah Spring Member Tuff

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, R.J. III; Boyd, P.J.; Haupt, R.W. [New England Research, Inc., White River Junction, VT (United States); Price, R.H. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1992-07-01

    Mechanical properties of the tuffaceous rocks within Yucca Mountain are needed for near and far-field modeling of the potential nuclear waste repository. If the mechanical properties are significantly anisotropic (i.e., direction-dependent), a more complex model is required. Relevant data from tuffs tested in earlier studies indicate that elastic and strength properties are anisotropic. This scoping study confirms the elastic anisotropy and concludes some tuffs are transversely isotropic. An approach for sampling and testing the rock to determine the magnitude of the anisotropy is proposed.

  16. Frictional properties of jointed welded tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teufel, L.W.

    1981-07-01

    The results of the experiments on simulated joints in welded tuff from the Grouse Canyon Member of the Belted Range Tuff warrant the following conclusions: (1) The coefficient of friction of the joints is independent of normal stress at a given sliding velocity. (2) The coefficient of friction increases with both increasing time of stationary contact and decreasing sliding velocity. (3) Time and velocity dependence of friction is due to an increase in the real area of contact on the sliding surface, caused by asperity creep. (4) Joints in water-saturated tuff show a greater time and velocity dependence of friction than those in dehydrated tuff. (5) The enhanced time and velocity dependence of friction with water saturation is a result of increased creep at asperity contacts, which is in turn due to a reduction in the surface indentation hardness by hydrolytic weakening and/or stress corrosion cracking

  17. Yucca L.: yucca

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert R. Alexander; Floyd W. Pond; Jane E. Rodgers

    2008-01-01

    There are about 30 species of yucca native to North America and the West Indies. Although most of these long-lived, evergreen plants grow in the arid southwestern United States and on Mexican tablelands, yuccas are found up to 2,400 m in elevation in the mountains of Colorado (Arnott 1962; Webber 1953). Four western species are considered here (table 1). Great Plains...

  18. Spatial distribution of potential near surface moisture flux at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flint, A.L.; Flint, L.E.

    1994-01-01

    An estimate of the areal distribution of present-day surface liquid moisture flux at Yucca Mountain was made using field measured water contents and laboratory measured rock properties. Using available data for physical and hydrologic properties (porosity, saturated hydraulic conductivity, moisture retention functions) of the volcanic rocks, surface lithologic units that are hydrologically similar were delineated. Moisture retention and relative permeability functions were assigned to each surface unit based on the similarity of the mean porosity and saturated hydraulic conductivity of the surface unit to laboratory samples of the same lithology. The potential flux into the mountain was estimated for each surface hydrologic unit using the mean saturated hydraulic conductivity for each unit and assuming all matrix flow. Using measured moisture profiles for each of the surface units, estimates were made of the depth at which seasonal fluctuations diminish and steady state downward flux conditions are likely to exist. The hydrologic properties at that depth were used with the current relative saturation of the tuff, to estimate flux as the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity. This method assumes a unit gradient. The range in estimated flux was 0.02 mm/yr for the welded Tiva Canyon to 13.4 mm/yr for the nonwelded Paintbrush Tuff. The areally averaged flux was 1.4 mm/yr. The major zones of high flux occur to the north of the potential repository boundary where the nonwelded tuffs are exposed in the major drainages

  19. Spatial distribution of potential near surface moisture flux at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flint, A.L.; Flint, L.E.

    1994-01-01

    An estimate of the areal distribution of present-day surface liquid moisture flux at Yucca Mountain was made using field measured water contents and laboratory measured rock properties. Using available data for physical and hydrologic properties (porosity, saturated hydraulic conductivity moisture retention functions) of the volcanic rocks, surface lithologic units that are hydrologically similar were delineated. Moisture retention and relative permeability functions were assigned to each surface unit based on the similarity of the mean porosity and saturated hydraulic conductivity of the surface unit to laboratory samples of the same lithology. The potential flux into the mountain was estimated for each surface hydrologic unit using the mean saturated hydraulic conductivity for each unit and assuming all matrix flow. Using measured moisture profiles for each of the surface units, estimates were made of the depth at which seasonal fluctuations diminish and steady state downward flux conditions are likely to exist. The hydrologic properties at that depth were used with the current relative saturation of the tuff, to estimate flux as the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity. This method assumes a unit gradient. The range in estimated flux was 0.02 mm/yr for the welded Tiva Canyon to 13.4 mm/yr for the nonwelded Paintbrush Tuff. The areally averaged flux was 1.4 mm/yr. The major zones of high flux occur to the north of the potential repository boundary where the nonwelded tuffs are exposed in the major drainages

  20. Geology of the Yucca Mountain site area, southwestern Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keefer, W.R.; Whitney, J.W.; Buesch, D.C.

    2006-01-01

    Yucca Mountain in southwestern Nevada is a prominent, irregularly shaped upland formed by a thick apron of Miocene pyroclastic-flow and fallout tephra deposits, with minor lava flows, that was segmented by through-going, large-displacement normal faults into a series of north-trending, eastwardly tilted structural blocks. The principal volcanic-rock units are the Tiva Canyon and Topopah Spring Tuffs of the Paintbrush Group, which consist of volumetrically large eruptive sequences derived from compositionally distinct magma bodies in the nearby southwestern Nevada volcanic field, and are classic examples of a magmatic zonation characterized by an upper crystal-rich (>10% crystal fragments) member, a more voluminous lower crystal-poor (Yucca Mountain, constitute the proposed host rock to be excavated for the storage of high-level radioactive wastes. Separation of the tuffaceous rock formations into subunits that allow for detailed mapping and structural interpretations is based on macroscopic features, most importantly the relative abundance of lithophysae and the degree of welding. The latter feature, varying from nonwelded through partly and moderately welded to densely welded, exerts a strong control on matrix porosities and other rock properties that provide essential criteria for distinguishing hydrogeologic and thermal mechanical units, which are of major interest in evaluating the suitability of Yucca Mountain to host a safe and permanent geologic repository for waste storage. A thick and varied sequence of surficial deposits mantle large parts of the Yucca Mountain site area. Mapping of these deposits and associated soils in exposures and in the walls of trenches excavated across buried faults provides evidence for multiple surface-rupturing events along all of the major faults during Pleistocene and Holocene times; these paleoseismic studies form the basis for evaluating the potential for future earthquakes and fault displacements. Thermoluminescence and U

  1. Natural language solution to a Tuff problem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Langkopf, B.S.; Mallory, L.H.

    1984-01-01

    A scientific data base, the Tuff Data Base, is being created at Sandia National Laboratories on the Cyber 170/855, using System 2000. It is being developed for use by scientists and engineers investigating the feasibility of locating a high-level radioactive waste repository in tuff (a type of volcanic rock) at Yucca Mountain on and adjacent to the Nevada Test Site. This project, the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) Project, is managed by the Nevada Operations Office of the US Department of Energy. A user-friendly interface, PRIMER, was developed that uses the Self-Contained Facility (SCF) command SUBMIT and System 2000 Natural Language functions and parametric strings that are schema resident. The interface was designed to: (1) allow users, with or without computer experience or keyboard skill, to sporadically access data in the Tuff Data Base; (2) produce retrieval capabilities for the user quickly; and (3) acquaint the users with the data in the Tuff Data Base. This paper gives a brief description of the Tuff Data Base Schema and the interface, PRIMER, which is written in Fortran V. 3 figures

  2. Hydrology of the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeCain, Gary D.; Stuckless, John S.

    2012-01-01

    Hills bedded tuff. Thermal gradients in the unsaturated zone vary with location, and range from ~2.0 °C to 6.0 °C per 100 m; the variability appears to be associated with topography. Large-scale heater testing identified a heat-pipe signature at ~97 °C, and identified thermally induced and excavation-induced changes in the stress field. Elevated gas-phase CO2 concentrations and a decrease in the pH of water from the condensation zone also were identified. Conceptual and numerical flow and transport models of Yucca Mountain indicate that infiltration is highly variable, both spatially and temporally. Flow in the unsaturated zone is predominately through fractures in the welded units of the Tiva Canyon and Topopah Spring Tuffs and predominately through the matrix in the Paintbrush Tuff nonwelded units and Calico Hills Formation. Isolated, transient, fast-flow paths, such as faults, do exist but probably carry only a small portion of the total liquid-water flux at Yucca Mountain. The Paintbrush Tuff nonwelded units act as a storage buffer for transient infiltration pulses. Faults may act as flow boundaries and/or fast pathways. Below the proposed repository horizon, low-permeability lithostratigraphic units of the Topopah Spring Tuff and/or the Calico Hills Formation may divert flow laterally to faults that act as conduits to the water table. Advective transport pathways are consistent with flow pathways. Matrix diffusion is the major mechanism for mass transfer between fractures and the matrix and may contribute to retardation of radionuclide transport when fracture flow is dominant. Sorption may retard the movement of radionuclides in the unsaturated zone; however, sorption on mobile colloids may enhance radionuclide transport. Dispersion is not expected to be a major transport mechanism in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. Natural analogue studies support the concepts that percolating water may be diverted around underground openings and that the percentage of

  3. Proposed stratigraphic nomenclature and macroscopic identification of lithostratigraphic units of the Paintbrush Group exposed at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buesch, D.C.; Spengler, R.W.; Moyer, T.C.; Geslin, J.K.

    1996-09-01

    This paper describes the formations of the Paintbrush Group exposed at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, presents a detailed stratigraphic nomenclature for the Tiva Canyon and Topopah spring Tuffs, and discusses the criteria that define lithostratigraphic units. The Tiva Canyon and Topopah Spring Tuffs are divided into zones, subzones, and intervals on the basis of macroscopic features observed in surface exposures and borehole samples. Primary divisions reflect depositional and compositional zoning that is expressed by variations in crystal content, phenocryst assemblage, pumice content and composition, and lithic content. Secondary divisions define welding and crystlalization zones, depositional features, or fracture characteristics. Both formations are divided into crystal-rich and crystal-poor members that have an identical sequency of zones, although subzone designations vary slightly between the two units. The identified lithostratigraphic divisions can be used to approximate thermal-mechanical and hydrogeologic boundaries in the field. Linking these three systems of nomenclature provides a framework within which to correlate these properties through regions of sparse data.

  4. Proposed stratigraphic nomenclature and macroscopic identification of lithostratigraphic units of the Paintbrush Group exposed at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buesch, D.C.; Spengler, R.W.; Moyer, T.C.; Geslin, J.K.

    1996-01-01

    This paper describes the formations of the Paintbrush Group exposed at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, presents a detailed stratigraphic nomenclature for the Tiva Canyon and Topopah spring Tuffs, and discusses the criteria that define lithostratigraphic units. The Tiva Canyon and Topopah Spring Tuffs are divided into zones, subzones, and intervals on the basis of macroscopic features observed in surface exposures and borehole samples. Primary divisions reflect depositional and compositional zoning that is expressed by variations in crystal content, phenocryst assemblage, pumice content and composition, and lithic content. Secondary divisions define welding and crystlalization zones, depositional features, or fracture characteristics. Both formations are divided into crystal-rich and crystal-poor members that have an identical sequency of zones, although subzone designations vary slightly between the two units. The identified lithostratigraphic divisions can be used to approximate thermal-mechanical and hydrogeologic boundaries in the field. Linking these three systems of nomenclature provides a framework within which to correlate these properties through regions of sparse data

  5. Ground magnetic studies along a regional seismic-reflection profile across Bare Mountain, Crater Flat and Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Langenheim, V.E.; Ponce, D.A.

    1995-01-01

    Ground magnetic data were collected along a 26-km-long regional seismic-reflection profile in southwest Nevada that starts in the Amargosa Desert, crosses Bare Mountain, Crater Flat and Yucca Mountain, and ends in Midway Valley. Parallel ground magnetic profiles were also collected about 100 m to either side of the western half of the seismic-reflection line. The magnetic data indicate that the eastern half of Crater Flat is characterized by closely-spaced faulting (1--2 km) in contrast to the western half of Crater Flat. Modeling of the data indicates that the Topopah Spring Tuff is offset about 250 m on the Solitario Canyon fault and about 50 m on the Ghost Dance fault. These estimates of fault offset are consistent with seismic-reflection data and geologic mapping. A broad magnetic high of about 500--600 nT is centered over Crater Flat. Modeling of the magnetic data indicates that the source of this high is not thickening and doming of the Bullfrog Tuff, but more likely lies below the Bullfrog Tuff. Possible source lithologies for this magnetic high include altered argillite of the Eleana Formation, Cretaceous or Tertiary intrusions, and mafic sills

  6. Effects of mineralogy on sorption of strontium and cesium onto Calico Hills Tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meyer, R.E.; Arnold, W.D.; Case, F.I.; O'Kelley, G.D.; Land, J.F.

    1990-04-01

    The sorption properties of tuff formations at the proposed site for the high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, have been extensively studied. Sorption and desorption measurements were made of strontium and cesium onto clinoptilolite and Calico Hills Tuff. The object was to see whether there was a correlation between sorption of strontium and cesium onto Calico Hills Tuff and the sorption of strontium and cesium onto clinoptilolite based on the content of clinoptilolite in the Calico Hills Tuff. 13 refs., 10 figs., 6 tabs

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barton, C.C.; Larsen, E.; Page, W.R.; Howard, T.M.

    1993-01-01

    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

  8. Infiltration and Seepage Through Fractured Welded Tuff

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    T.A. Ghezzehei; P.F. Dobson; J.A. Rodriguez; P.J. Cook

    2006-06-20

    The Nopal I mine in Pena Blanca, Chihuahua, Mexico, contains a uranium ore deposit within fractured tuff. Previous mining activities exposed a level ground surface 8 m above an excavated mining adit. In this paper, we report results of ongoing research to understand and model percolation through the fractured tuff and seepage into a mined adit both of which are important processes for the performance of the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Travel of water plumes was modeled using one-dimensional numerical and analytical approaches. Most of the hydrologic properly estimates were calculated from mean fracture apertures and fracture density. Based on the modeling results, we presented constraints for the arrival time and temporal pattern of seepage at the adit.

  9. Summary report on the geochemistry of Yucca Mountain and environs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Daniels, W.R.; Wolfsberg, K.; Rundberg, R.S.

    1982-12-01

    This report gives a detailed description of work at Los Alamos that will help resolve geochemical issues pertinent to siting a high-level nuclear waste repository in tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. It is necessary to understand the properties and setting of the host tuff because this rock provides the first natural barrier to migration of waste elements from a repository. The geochemistry of tuff is being investigated with particular emphasis on retardation processes. This report addresses the various aspects of sorption by tuff, physical and chemical makeup of tuff, diffusion processes, tuff/groundwater chemistry, waste element chemistry under expected repository conditions, transport processes involved in porous and fracture flow, and geochemical and transport modeling

  10. The paleohydrology of unsaturated and saturated zones at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and vicinity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paces, James B.; Whelan, Joseph F.; Stuckless, John S.

    2012-01-01

    caused by climate shifts between the Miocene and Pleistocene and between Pleistocene glacial-interglacial cycles. Secondary mineral distribution and δ18O profiles indicate that evaporation in the shallower welded tuffs reduces infiltration fluxes. Several near-surface and subsurface processes likely are responsible for diverting or dampening infiltration and percolation, resulting in buffering of percolation fluxes to the deeper unsaturated zone. Cooler and wetter Pleistocene climates resulted in increased recharge in upland areas and higher water tables at Yucca Mountain and throughout the region. Discharge deposits in the Amargosa Desert were active during glacial periods, but only in areas where the modern water table is within 7–30 m of the surface. Published groundwater models simulate water-table rises beneath Yucca Mountain of as much as 150 m during glacial climates. However, most evidence from Fortymile Canyon up gradient from Yucca Mountain limits water-table rises to 30 m or less, which is consistent with evidence from discharge sites in the Amargosa Desert. The isotopic compositions of uranium in tuffs spanning the water table in two Yucca Mountain boreholes indicate that Pleistocene water-table rises likely were restricted to 25–50 m above modern positions and are in approximate agreement with water-table rises estimated from zeolitic-to-vitric transitions in the Yucca Mountain tuffs (less than 60 m in the last 11.6 m.y.).

  11. Lead isotopes and trace metals in dust at Yucca Mountain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwak, Loretta; Neymark, Leonid A.; Peterman, Zell E.

    2008-01-01

    Lead (Pb)-isotope compositions and trace-metal concentrations were determined for samples of dust collected from underground and surface locations at and near the proposed radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Rare earth element concentrations in the dust samples from the underground tunnels are similar to those in wholerock samples of the repository host rocks (Miocene Tiva Canyon Tuff and Topopah Spring Tuff), supporting interpretation that the subsurface dust is mainly composed of rock comminuted during tunnel construction. Other trace metals (arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, copper, manganese, nickel, lead, antimony, thallium, and zinc) are variably enriched in the subsurface dust samples relative to the average concentrations in the host rocks. Average concentrations of arsenic and lead in dust samples, high concentrations of which can cause corrosion of waste canisters, have enrichment factors from 1.2 to 1.6 and are insignificant relative to the range of concentrations for these metals observed in the host rock samples. Most dust samples from surface sites also are enriched in many of these trace metals relative to average repository host rocks. At least some of these enrichments may be artifacts of sampling. Plotted on a 208Pb/206Pb-207Pb/206Pb graph, Pb-isotope compositions of dust samples from underground sites form a mixing line extending from host-rock Pb-isotope compositions towards compositions of many of the dust samples from surface sites; however, combined Pb concentration and isotope data indicate the presence of a Pbenriched component in the subsurface dust that is not derived from host rock or surface dust and may derive from anthropogenic materials introduced into the underground environment.

  12. Hydrogeology of the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Montazer, P.; Wilson, W.E.

    1985-12-31

    The unsaturated volcanic tuff beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is being evaluated by the US Department of Energy as a host rock for a potential mined geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. Assessment of site suitability needs an efficient and focused investigative program. A conceptual hydrogeologic model that simulates the flow of fluids through the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain was developed to guide the program and to provide a basis for preliminary assessment of site suitability. The study was made as part of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project of the US Department of Energy. Thickness of the unsaturated zone is about 1640 to 2460 feet (500 to 750 meters). Based on physical properties, the rocks in the unsaturated zone are grouped for the purpose of this paper into five informal hydrogeologic units. From top to bottom these units are: Tiva Canyon welded unit, Paintbrush nonwelded unit. Topopah Spring welded unit, Calico Hills nonwelded unit, and Crater Flat unit. Welded units have a mean fracture density of 8 to 40 fractures per unit cubic meter, mean matrix porosities of 12 to 23%, matrix hydraulic conductivities with geometric means ranging from 6.5 x 10{sup -6} to 9.8 x 10{sup -6} foot per day (2 x 10{sup -6} to 3 x 10{sup -6} meter per day), and bulk hydraulic conductivities of 0.33 to 33 feet per day (0.1 to 10 meters per day). The nonwelded units have a mean fracture density of 1 to 3 fractures per unit cubic meter, mean matrix porosities of 31 to 46%, and saturated hydraulic conductivities with geometric means ranging from 2.6 x 10{sup -5} to 2.9 x 10{sup -2} foot per day (8 x 10{sup -6} to 9 x 10{sup -3} meter per day). 15 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  13. Hydrogeology of the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Montazer, P.; Wilson, W.E.

    1985-01-01

    The unsaturated volcanic tuff beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is being evaluated by the US Department of Energy as a host rock for a potential mined geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. Assessment of site suitability needs an efficient and focused investigative program. A conceptual hydrogeologic model that simulates the flow of fluids through the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain was developed to guide the program and to provide a basis for preliminary assessment of site suitability. The study was made as part of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project of the US Department of Energy. Thickness of the unsaturated zone is about 1640 to 2460 feet (500 to 750 meters). Based on physical properties, the rocks in the unsaturated zone are grouped for the purpose of this paper into five informal hydrogeologic units. From top to bottom these units are: Tiva Canyon welded unit, Paintbrush nonwelded unit. Topopah Spring welded unit, Calico Hills nonwelded unit, and Crater Flat unit. Welded units have a mean fracture density of 8 to 40 fractures per unit cubic meter, mean matrix porosities of 12 to 23%, matrix hydraulic conductivities with geometric means ranging from 6.5 x 10 -6 to 9.8 x 10 -6 foot per day (2 x 10 -6 to 3 x 10 -6 meter per day), and bulk hydraulic conductivities of 0.33 to 33 feet per day (0.1 to 10 meters per day). The nonwelded units have a mean fracture density of 1 to 3 fractures per unit cubic meter, mean matrix porosities of 31 to 46%, and saturated hydraulic conductivities with geometric means ranging from 2.6 x 10 -5 to 2.9 x 10 -2 foot per day (8 x 10 -6 to 9 x 10 -3 meter per day). 15 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab

  14. The influence of long term climate change on net infiltration at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flint, A.L.; Hevesi, J.A.; Flint, L.E.

    1993-01-01

    Net infiltration and recharge at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, a potential site for a high level nuclear waste repository, are determined both by the rock properties and past and future changes in climate. A 1-dimensional model was constructed to represent a borehole being drilled through the unsaturated zone. The rock properties were matched to the lithologies expected to be encountered in the borehole. As current paleoclimate theory assumes that 18 O increases with wetter and cooler global climates, a past climate scenario, built on depletion of 18 O from ocean sediments was used as a basis for climate change over the past 700,000 years. The climate change was simulated by assigning net infiltration values as a linear function of 18 O. Assuming the rock properties, lithologies, and climate scenarios are correct, simulations indicated that Yucca Mountain is not in steady state equilibrium at the surface ( 250 meters. Based on the cyclic climate inputs, the near surface is currently in a long term drying trend (for the last 3,000 years) yet recharge into the water table is continuing to occur at an average rate equivalent to the average input rate of the climate model, indicating that conditions at depth are damped out over very long time periods. The Paintbrush Tuff nonwelded units, positioned between the Tiva Canyon and Topopah Spring welded tuff Members, do not appear to act as a capillary barrier and therefore would not perch water. The low porosity vitric caprock and basal vitrophyre of the Topopah Spring Member, however, act as restrictive layers. The higher porosity rock directly above the caprock reduces the potential for the caprock to perch water leaving the basal vitrophyre as the most likely location for perched water to develop

  15. Influence of deterministic geologic trends on spatial variability of hydrologic properties in volcanic tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rautman, C.A.; Flint, A.L.; Chornack, M.P.; Istok, J.D.

    1992-01-01

    Hydrologic properties have been measured on outcrop samples taken from a detailed, two-dimension grid covering a 1.4 km outcrop exposure of the 10-m thick non-welded-to-welded, shardy base microstratigraphic unit of the Tiva Canyon Member of the Miocene Paintbrush Tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. These data allow quantification of spatial trends in rock matrix properties that exist in this important hydrologic unit. Geologic investigation, combined with statistical and geostatistical analyses of the numerical data, indicates that spatial variability of matrix properties is related to deterministic geologic processes that operated throughout the region. Linear vertical trends in hydrologic properties are strongly developed in the shardy base microstratigraphic unit, and they are more accurately modeled using the concept of a thickness-normalized stratigraphic elevation within the unit, rather than absolute elevation. Hydrologic properties appear to be correlated over distances of 0.25 to 0.3 of the unit thickness after removing the deterministic vertical trend. The use of stratigraphic elevation allows scaling of identified trends by unit thickness which may be of particular importance in a basal, topography-blanketing unit such as this one. Horizontal changes in hydrologic properties do not appear to form obvious trends within the limited lateral geographic extent of the ash-flow environment that was examined. Matrix properties appear to be correlated horizontally over distances between 100 and 400 m. The existence and quantitative description of these trends and patterns of vertical spatial continuity should increase confidence in models of hydrologic properties and groundwater flow in this area that may be constructed to support the design of a potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain

  16. On conditions and parameters important to model sensitivity for unsaturated flow through layered, fractured tuff; Results of analyses for HYDROCOIN [Hydrologic Code Intercomparison Project] Level 3 Case 2: Yucca Mountain Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prindle, R.W.; Hopkins, P.L.

    1990-10-01

    The Hydrologic Code Intercomparison Project (HYDROCOIN) was formed to evaluate hydrogeologic models and computer codes and their use in performance assessment for high-level radioactive-waste repositories. This report describes the results of a study for HYDROCOIN of model sensitivity for isothermal, unsaturated flow through layered, fractured tuffs. We investigated both the types of flow behavior that dominate the performance measures and the conditions and model parameters that control flow behavior. We also examined the effect of different conceptual models and modeling approaches on our understanding of system behavior. The analyses included single- and multiple-parameter variations about base cases in one-dimensional steady and transient flow and in two-dimensional steady flow. The flow behavior is complex even for the highly simplified and constrained system modeled here. The response of the performance measures is both nonlinear and nonmonotonic. System behavior is dominated by abrupt transitions from matrix to fracture flow and by lateral diversion of flow. The observed behaviors are strongly influenced by the imposed boundary conditions and model constraints. Applied flux plays a critical role in determining the flow type but interacts strongly with the composite-conductivity curves of individual hydrologic units and with the stratigraphy. One-dimensional modeling yields conservative estimates of distributions of groundwater travel time only under very limited conditions. This study demonstrates that it is wrong to equate the shortest possible water-travel path with the fastest path from the repository to the water table. 20 refs., 234 figs., 10 tabs.

  17. Characterizing unsaturated diffusion in porous tuff gravel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hu, Qinhong; Kneafsey, Timothy J.; Roberts, Jeffery J.; Tomutsa, Liviu; Wang, Joseph, S.Y.

    2003-11-12

    Evaluation of solute diffusion in unsaturated porous gravel is very important for investigations of contaminant transport and remediation, risk assessment, and waste disposal (for example, the potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada). For a porous aggregate medium such as granular tuff, the total water content is comprised of surface water and interior water. The surface water component (water film around grains and pendular water between the grain contacts) could serve as a predominant diffusion pathway. To investigate the extent to which surface water films and contact points affect solute diffusion in unsaturated gravel, we examined the configuration of water using x-ray computed tomography in partially saturated gravel, and made quantitative measurements of diffusion at multiple water contents using two different techniques. In the first, diffusion coefficients of potassium chloride in 2-4 mm granular tuff at multiple water contents were calculated from electrical conductivity measurements using the Nernst-Einstein equation. In the second, we used laser ablation with inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry to perform micro-scale mapping, allowing the measurement of diffusion coefficients for a mixture of chemical tracers for tuff cubes and tetrahedrons having two contact geometries (cube-cube and cube-tetrahedron). The x-ray computed tomography images show limited contact between grains, and this could hinder the pathways for diffusive transport. Experimental results show the critical role of surface water in controlling transport pathways and hence the magnitude of diffusion. Even with a bulk volumetric water content of 1.5%, the measured solute diffusion coefficient is as low as 1.5 x 10{sup -14} m{sup 2}/s for tuff gravel. Currently used diffusion models relating diffusion coefficients to total volumetric water content inadequately describe unsaturated diffusion behavior in porous gravel at very low water contents.

  18. Observation of time dependent dispersion in laboratory scale experiments with intact tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rundberg, R.S.; Triay, I.R.; Ott, M.A.; Mitchell, A.J.

    1989-01-01

    The migration of radionuclides through intact tuff was studied using tuff from Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The tuff samples were both highly zeolitized ash-fall tuff from the Calico Hills and densely welded devitrified tuff from the Topopah Springs member of the Paintbrush tuff. Tritiated water and pertechnetate were used as conservative tracers. The sorbing tracers 85 Sr, 137 Cs, and 133 Ba were used with the devitrified tuff only. Greater tailing in the elution curves of the densely welded tuff samples was observed that could be fit by adjusting the dispersion coefficient in the conventional Advection Dispersion Equation, ADE. The curves could be fit using time dependent dispersion as was previously observed for sediments and alluvium by Dieulin, Matheron, and de Marsily. The peak of strontium concentration was expected to arrive after 1.5 years based on the conventional ADE and assuming a linear K d of 26 ml/g. The observed elution had significant strontium in the first sample taken at 2 weeks after injection. The peak in the strontium elution occurred at 5 weeks. The correct arrival time for the strontium peak was achieved using a one dimensional analytic solution with time dependent dispersion. The dispersion coefficient as a function of time used to fit the conservative tracers was found to predict the peak arrival of the sorbing tracers. The K d used was the K d determined by the batch method on crushed tuff. 23 refs., 9 figs., 2 tabs

  19. Use of Groundwater Chemistry to Evaluate Subsurface Flow at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coleman, N. M.; Dam, W. L.

    2001-12-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada is a potential site for the disposal of high-level nuclear wastes. Groundwater at the site occurs in Tertiary volcanic tuffs and in Quaternary valley fill alluvium at lower elevations in the Amargosa Desert. Groundwater seeps downward to the water table through a thick unsaturated zone (UZ), then flows south and southeasterly from Yucca Mountain toward Fortymile Wash. The wash is a highly ephemeral watercourse that drains Fortymile Canyon and Jackass Flats southward. The wash crosses Highway 95 just west of Lathrop Wells, Nevada. Water table contours in Jackass Flats show that groundwater flow strongly converges on the axis of Fortymile Wash, indicating that the same structural conditions that cause topographic lows in the area also enhance the southerly flow of groundwater. Groundwater chemistry is being used to evaluate flow conditions at local and regional scales, and to help resolve technical issues concerning UZ and saturated zone (SZ) flow conditions and dilution processes. A number of perched zones have been found beneath Yucca Mt. in five different wells (Patterson et al., 1998). The major element chemistry of perched water is distinct from pore water chemistry in the UZ and more similar to the water chemistry of the SZ. The perched water is more dilute than the UZ pore waters, with generally lower chloride concentrations. The lower chloride concentration suggests that a fraction of the perched water is recharge that moves downward from the surface through fractures, and has less interaction with the host rock than pore waters. However, only 1 of 5 wells yielded perched water with bomb-pulse levels of tritium. Deuterium and O-18 stable isotope chemistry indicates that perched water has an intermediate composition when compared to SZ groundwater. It is isotopically heavier (less negative) than SZ water beneath Yucca Mountain, but lighter than groundwater from wells along Fortymile Wash where significant recharge occurs. The heaviest

  20. U-Pb Ages of Secondary Silica at Yucca Mountain, Nevada: Implications for the Paleohydrology of the Unsaturated Zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    L.A. Neymark; Y. Amelin; J.B. Paces; Z.E. Peterman

    2001-01-01

    U, Th, and Pb isotopes were analyzed in layers of opal and chalcedony from individual millimeter- to centimeter-thick calcite and silica coatings at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA, a site that is being evaluated for a potential high-level nuclear waste repository. These calcite and silica coatings on fractures and in lithophysal cavities in Miocene-age tuffs in the unsaturated zone (UZ) precipitated from descending water and record a long history of percolation through the UZ. Opal and chalcedony have high concentrations of U (10 to 780 ppm) and low concentrations of common Pb as indicated by large values of 206 Pb/ 204 Pb (up to 53,806), thus making them suitable for U-Pb age determinations. Interpretations of U-Pb isotopes in opal samples at Yucca Mountain are complicated by the incorporation of excess 234 U at the time of mineral formation, resulting in reverse discordance of U-Pb ages. However, the 207 Pb/ 235 U ages are much less affected by deviation from initial secular equilibrium and provide reliable ages of most silica deposits between 0.6 and 9.8 Ma. For chalcedony subsamples showing normal age discordance, these ages may represent minimum times of deposition. Typically, 207 Pb/ 235 U ages are consistent with the microstratigraphy in the mineral coating samples, such that the youngest ages are for subsamples from outer layers, intermediate ages are from inner layers, and oldest ages are from innermost layers. 234 U and 230 Th in most silica layers deeper in the coatings are in secular equilibrium with 238 U, which is consistent with their old age and closed system behavior during the past 0.5 m.y. U-Pb ages for subsamples of silica layers from different microstratigraphic positions in individual calcite and silica coating samples collected from lithophysal cavities in the welded part of the Topopah Spring Tuff yield slow long-term average depositional rates of 1 to 5 mm/m.y. These data imply that the deeper parts of the UZ at Yucca Mountain maintained long

  1. Stonewall Mountain Volcanic Center, southern Nevada: Stratigraphic, structural, and facies relations of outflow sheets, near-vent tuffs, and intracaldera units

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Steven I.; Noble, Donald C.

    1989-05-01

    Directly south and southeast of Stonewall Mountain, Nevada, a depression and north facing caldera scarp were formed during and(or) after eruption of the Spearhead Member of the late Miocene Stonewall Flat Tuff. Abundant large lithic and juvenile blocks are present in the Spearhead Member within 0.5 km of this topographic margin but absent elsewhere in the ash-flow sheet, consistent with eruption from vents in the Stonewall Mountain area. Within about 100,000 years, comendite tuff of the overlying Civet Cat Canyon Member of the Stonewall Flat Tuff buried the depression and associated scarp. The Civet Cat Canyon Member is traceable continuously to the north from an outflow sheet capping northwestern Pahute Mesa, into near-vent tuff on the southeastern flank of Stonewall Mountain. Proximal outflow-sheet tuff locally exhibits strong rheomorphic disruption and is overlain without a cooling break by surge, flow, and fall deposits of trachytic composition. Much of Stonewall Mountain is composed of welded tuff and megabreccia interpreted as intracaldera tuff of the Civet Cat Canyon Member, strongly suggesting that the vent area of the member was largely within Stonewall Mountain. Welded tuff of trachytic composition comprises an important part of the intracaldera Civet Cat Canyon Member, which was intruded by dikes and plugs of trachyte and rhyolite. Juvenile inclusions of basalt dispersed in near-vent facies trachyte tuff provide direct evidence for the high-level involvement of basaltic magma in the evolution of the highly potassic Stonewall Mountain center. Complex discordant compaction foliations and the widespread presence of megabreccia within the intracaldera tuff suggest, following Foley (1978), cauldron subsidence by piecemeal collapse during eruption of the Civet Cat Canyon Member. The elevation of intracaldera tuff and intrusions in Stonewall Mountain above the surrounding ashflow sheet suggests a significant amount of magmatic uplift, perhaps involving the

  2. Mineralogic variation in drill core UE-25 UZ number-sign 16, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chipera, S.J.; Vaniman, D.T.; Carlos, B.A.; Bish, D.L.

    1995-02-01

    Quantitative X-ray powder diffraction methods have been used to analyze 108 samples from drill core UE-25 UZ number-sign 16 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This drill hole, located within the imbricate fault zone east of the potential Yucca Mountain repository site, confirms the authors' previous knowledge of gross-scale mineral distributions at Yucca Mountain and provides insight into possible shallow pathways for hydrologic recharge into the potential host rock. Analyses of samples from UE-25 UZ number-sign 16 have shown that the distribution of major zeolitized horizons, of silica phases, and of glassy tuffs are similar to those noted in nearby drill cores. However, the continuous core and closer sample spacing in UE-25 UZ number-sign 16 provide a more exact determination of mineral stratigraphy, particularly in hydrologically important units such as the Paintbrush bedded tuffs above the Topopah Spring Tuff and in the upper vitrophyre of the Topopah Spring Tuff. The discovery of matrix zeolitization in the devitrified Topopah Spring Tuff of UE25 UZ number-sign 16 shows that some unexpected mineralogic features can still be encountered in the exploration of Yucca Mountain and emphasizes the importance of obtaining a more complete three-dimensional model of Yucca Mountain mineralogy

  3. Mechanical characterization of densely welded Apache Leap tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fuenkajorn, K.; Daemen, J.J.K.

    1991-06-01

    An empirical criterion is formulated to describe the compressive strength of the densely welded Apache Leap tuff. The criterion incorporates the effects of size, L/D ratio, loading rate and density variations. The criterion improves the correlation between the test results and the failure envelope. Uniaxial and triaxial compressive strengths, Brazilian tensile strength and elastic properties of the densely welded brown unit of the Apache Leap tuff have been determined using the ASTM standard test methods. All tuff samples are tested dry at room temperature (22 ± 2 degrees C), and have the core axis normal to the flow layers. The uniaxial compressive strength is 73.2 ± 16.5 MPa. The Brazilian tensile strength is 5.12 ± 1.2 MPa. The Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio are 22.6 ± 5.7 GPa and 0.20 ± 0.03. Smoothness and perpendicularity do not fully meet the ASTM requirements for all samples, due to the presence of voids and inclusions on the sample surfaces and the sample preparation methods. The investigations of loading rate, L/D radio and cyclic loading effects on the compressive strength and of the size effect on the tensile strength are not conclusive. The Coulomb strength criterion adequately represents the failure envelope of the tuff under confining pressures from 0 to 62 MPa. Cohesion and internal friction angle are 16 MPa and 43 degrees. The brown unit of the Apache Leap tuff is highly heterogeneous as suggested by large variations of the test results. The high intrinsic variability of the tuff is probably caused by the presence of flow layers and by nonuniform distributions of inclusions, voids and degree of welding. Similar variability of the properties has been found in publications on the Topopah Spring tuff at Yucca Mountain. 57 refs., 32 figs., 29 tabs

  4. Geology of drill hole UE25p No. 1: A test hole into pre-Tertiary rocks near Yucca Mountain, southern Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carr, M.D.; Waddell, S.J.; Vick, G.S.; Stock, J.M.; Monsen, S.A.; Harris, A.G.; Cork, B.W.; Byers, F.M. Jr.

    1986-01-01

    Yucca Mountain in southern Nye County, Nevada, has been proposed as a potential site for the underground disposal of high-level nuclear waste. An exploratory drill hole designated UE25p No. 1 was drilled 3 km east of the proposed repository site to investigate the geology and hydrology of the rocks that underlie the Tertiary volcanic and sedimentary rock sequence forming Yucca Mountain. Silurian dolomite assigned to the Roberts Mountain and Lone Mountain Formations was intersected below the Tertiary section between a depth of approximately 1244 m (4080 ft) and the bottom of the drill hole at 1807 m (5923 ft). These formations are part of an important regional carbonate aquifer in the deep ground-water system. Tertiary units deeper than 1139 m (3733 ft) in drill hole UE25p No. 1 are stratigraphically older than any units previously penetrated by drill holes at Yucca Mountain. These units are, in ascending order, the tuff of Yucca Flat, an unnamed calcified ash-flow tuff, and a sequence of clastic deposits. The upper part of the Tertiary sequence in drill hole UE25p No. 1 is similar to that found in other drill holes at Yucca Mountain. The Tertiary sequence is in fault contact with the Silurian rocks. This fault between Tertiary and Paleozoic rocks may correlate with the Fran Ridge fault, a steeply westward-dipping fault exposed approximately 0.5 km east of the drill hole. Another fault intersects UE25p No. 1 at 873 m (2863 ft), but its surface trace is concealed beneath the valley west of the Fran Ridge fault. The Paintbrush Canyon fault, the trace of which passes less than 100 m (330 ft) east of the drilling site, intersects drill hole UE25p No. 1 at a depth of approximately 78 m (255 ft). The drill hole apparently intersected the west flank of a structural high of pre-Tertiary rocks, near the eastern edge of the Crater Flat structural depression

  5. Measuring geomechanical properties of Topopah Spring Tuff at the 1-meter scale

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blair, S.C.; Berge, P.A.

    1994-11-01

    The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project is studying physical and chemical properties of Topopah Spring tuff and coupled thermal, mechanical, hydrological, and geochemical processes expected in the near-field environment of the potential waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Investigating the suitability of Topopah Spring tuff as a host rock for radioactive waste disposal includes measuring mechanical properties. Since heterogeneities vary with scale, from vugs and cracks at the hand-sample scale to fractures and vertical variations in degree of welding at the outcrop scale, mechanical properties of the tuff depend on scale. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has planned a Large Block Test (LBT) to investigate rock mass properties and coupled processes at elevated temperatures in Topopah Spring tuff at the scale of a few meters. This paper describes planned laboratory experiments in support of the LBT, to measure elastic properties and mechanical behavior of Topopah Spring tuff at the scale of a few cm to 1 m. The laboratory experiments will include measurement of stress-strain behavior, acoustic emissions during heating, and elastic wave velocities in small blocks of tuff

  6. Geohydrologic data and models of Rainier Mesa and their implications to Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, J.S.Y.; Cook, N.G.W.; Wollenberg, H.A.; Carnahan, C.L.; Javandel, I.; Tsang, C.F.

    1993-01-01

    The geohydrologic data collected at Rainier Mesa provide the only extensive observations in tunnels presently available on flow and transport in tuff units similar to those of a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. This information can, therefore, be of great value in planning the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) testing in underground drifts at Yucca Mountain. In this paper, we compare the geohydrologic characteristics of tuff units of these two sites and summarize the hydrochemical data indicating the presence of nearly meteoric water in Rainier Mesa tunnels. A simple analytic model is used to evaluate the possibility of propagating transient pulses of water along fractures or faults through the Paintbrush nonwelded tuff unit to reach the tunnel beds below. The results suggest that fast flow could occur without significant mixing between meteoric fracture water and matrix pore water. The implications of these findings on planning for the ESF Calico Hills study at Yucca Mountain are discussed

  7. Climatic Forecasting of Net Infiltration at Yucca Mountain Using Analogue Meteorological Data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Faybishenko, Boris

    2005-01-01

    At Yucca Mountain, NV, future changes in climatic conditions will probably alter net infiltration, drainage below the bottom of the evapotranspiration zone within the soil profile, or flow across the interface between soil and the densely welded part of the Tiva Canyon Tuff. The objectives of this study were to: (1) develop a semiempirical model and forecast average net infiltration rates, using the limited meteorological data from analog meteorological stations, for interglacial(present day), and future monsoon, glacial transition, and glacial climates over the Yucca Mountain region; and (2) corroborate the computed net infiltration rates by comparing them with the empirically and numerically determined groundwater recharge and percolation rates through the unsaturated zone from published data. This study approached calculations of net infiltration, aridity, and precipitation effectiveness indices using a modified Budyko's water-balance model, with reference-surface potential evapotranspiration determined from the radiation-based Penman formula. Results of calculations show that net infiltration rates are expected to generally increase from the present-day climate to monsoon climate, to glacial transition climate, and then to the glacial climate, following a power law relationship between net infiltration and precipitation. The forecasting results indicate the overlap between the ranges of net infiltration for different climates. Forecasting of net infiltration for different climate states is subject to numerous uncertainties associated with selecting climate analog sites, using relatively short analog meteorological records, neglecting the effects of vegetation and surface runoff and run-on on a local scale, as well as possible anthropogenically induced climate changes

  8. Climatic Forecasting of Net Infiltration at Yucca Mountain Using Analogue Meteorological Data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    B. Faybishenko

    2006-01-01

    At Yucca Mountain, Nevada, future changes in climatic conditions will most likely alter net infiltration, or the drainage below the bottom of the evapotranspiration zone within the soil profile or flow across the interface between soil and the densely welded part of the Tiva Canyon Tuff. The objectives of this paper are to: (a) develop a semi-empirical model and forecast average net infiltration rates, using the limited meteorological data from analogue meteorological stations, for interglacial (present day), and future monsoon, glacial transition, and glacial climates over the Yucca Mountain region, and (b) corroborate the computed net-infiltration rates by comparing them with the empirically and numerically determined groundwater recharge and percolation rates through the unsaturated zone from published data. In this paper, the author presents an approach for calculations of net infiltration, aridity, and precipitation-effectiveness indices, using a modified Budyko's water-balance model, with reference-surface potential evapotranspiration determined from the radiation-based Penman (1948) formula. Results of calculations show that net infiltration rates are expected to generally increase from the present-day climate to monsoon climate, to glacial transition climate, and then to the glacial climate. The forecasting results indicate the overlap between the ranges of net infiltration for different climates. For example, the mean glacial net-infiltration rate corresponds to the upper-bound glacial transition net infiltration, and the lower-bound glacial net infiltration corresponds to the glacial transition mean net infiltration. Forecasting of net infiltration for different climate states is subject to numerous uncertainties-associated with selecting climate analogue sites, using relatively short analogue meteorological records, neglecting the effects of vegetation and surface runoff and runon on a local scale, as well as possible anthropogenic climate changes

  9. Climatic Forecasting of Net Infiltration at Yucca Montain Using Analogue Meteororological Data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    B. Faybishenko

    2006-09-11

    At Yucca Mountain, Nevada, future changes in climatic conditions will most likely alter net infiltration, or the drainage below the bottom of the evapotranspiration zone within the soil profile or flow across the interface between soil and the densely welded part of the Tiva Canyon Tuff. The objectives of this paper are to: (a) develop a semi-empirical model and forecast average net infiltration rates, using the limited meteorological data from analogue meteorological stations, for interglacial (present day), and future monsoon, glacial transition, and glacial climates over the Yucca Mountain region, and (b) corroborate the computed net-infiltration rates by comparing them with the empirically and numerically determined groundwater recharge and percolation rates through the unsaturated zone from published data. In this paper, the author presents an approach for calculations of net infiltration, aridity, and precipitation-effectiveness indices, using a modified Budyko's water-balance model, with reference-surface potential evapotranspiration determined from the radiation-based Penman (1948) formula. Results of calculations show that net infiltration rates are expected to generally increase from the present-day climate to monsoon climate, to glacial transition climate, and then to the glacial climate. The forecasting results indicate the overlap between the ranges of net infiltration for different climates. For example, the mean glacial net-infiltration rate corresponds to the upper-bound glacial transition net infiltration, and the lower-bound glacial net infiltration corresponds to the glacial transition mean net infiltration. Forecasting of net infiltration for different climate states is subject to numerous uncertainties-associated with selecting climate analogue sites, using relatively short analogue meteorological records, neglecting the effects of vegetation and surface runoff and runon on a local scale, as well as possible anthropogenic climate changes.

  10. Rock mass mechanical property estimation strategy for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin, M.; Brechtel, C.E.; Hardy, M.P.; Bauer, S.J.

    1992-01-01

    This paper presents a method of estimating the rock mass properties for the welded and nonwelded tuffs based on currently available information on intact rock and joint characteristics at the Yucca Mountain site. Variability of the expected ground conditions at the potential repository horizon (the TSw2 thermomechanical unit) and in the Calico Hills nonwelded tuffs is accommodated by defining five rock mass quality categories in each unit based upon assumed and observed distributions of the data

  11. Update report on fracture flow in saturated tuff: Dynamic transport task for the Nevada Nuclear Waste Investigations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Janecky, D.R.; Rundberg, R.S.; Ott, M.; Mitchell, A.

    1990-11-01

    This report summarizes the results of continuing experiments on the behavior of tracers during fracture flow in saturated, welded tuff. These experiments were completed during the past year as part of the Dynamic Transport Task of geochemical investigations for the Yucca Mountain Project sponsored by the US Department of Energy. These experiments are designed to investigate the effects of fluid movement in fractures when coupled with matrix diffusion and sorption but isolated from the effects of capillary suction and two-phase flow characteristic of unsaturated conditions. The experiments reported here are continuations of experimental efforts reported previously. The behavior of three tracers [HTO (tritiated water), TcO 4 - (pertechnetate), and sulforhodamine B dye] have been investigated during flow through a saturated column of densely welded tuff from the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, southern Nevada. 31 refs., 26 figs., 2 tabs

  12. Geologyy of the Yucca Mountain Site Area, Southwestern Nevada, Chapter in Stuckless, J.S., ED., Yucca Mountain, Nevada - A Proposed Geologic Repository for High-Level Radioactive Waste (Volume 1)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    W.R. Keefer; J.W. Whitney; D.C. Buesch

    2006-09-25

    Yucca Mountain in southwestern Nevada is a prominent, irregularly shaped upland formed by a thick apron of Miocene pyroclastic-flow and fallout tephra deposits, with minor lava flows, that was segmented by through-going, large-displacement normal faults into a series of north-trending, eastwardly tilted structural blocks. The principal volcanic-rock units are the Tiva Canyon and Topopah Spring Tuffs of the Paintbrush Group, which consist of volumetrically large eruptive sequences derived from compositionally distinct magma bodies in the nearby southwestern Nevada volcanic field, and are classic examples of a magmatic zonation characterized by an upper crystal-rich (> 10% crystal fragments) member, a more voluminous lower crystal-poor (< 5% crystal fragments) member, and an intervening thin transition zone. Rocks within the crystal-poor member of the Topopah Spring Tuff, lying some 280 m below the crest of Yucca Mountain, constitute the proposed host rock to be excavated for the storage of high-level radioactive wastes. Separation of the tuffaceous rock formations into subunits that allow for detailed mapping and structural interpretations is based on macroscopic features, most importantly the relative abundance of lithophysae and the degree of welding. The latter feature, varying from nonwelded through partly and moderately welded to densely welded, exerts a strong control on matrix porosities and other rock properties that provide essential criteria for distinguishing hydrogeologic and thermal-mechanical units, which are of major interest in evaluating the suitability of Yucca Mountain to host a safe and permanent geologic repository for waste storage. A thick and varied sequence of surficial deposits mantle large parts of the Yucca Mountain site area. Mapping of these deposits and associated soils in exposures and in the walls of trenches excavated across buried faults provides evidence for multiple surface-rupturing events along all of the major faults during

  13. Analysis of Heat Flow to Estimate Percolation Flux in the Unsaturated Zone Beneath an Ephemeral Stream at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rousseau, J. P.; Kwicklis, E. M.

    2001-05-01

    Temperature data from a well-documented site in Pagany Wash at Yucca Mountain, Nevada indicate the presence of a significant heat-flow deficit between the Paintbrush nonwelded and underlying Topopah Spring welded hydrogeologic units that most likely is due to nonconductive heat-flow processes with substantial capacity to extract heat. Percolation fluxes on the order of 10 to 20 millimeters per year beneath Pagany Wash and on the order of 5 millimeters per year beneath the hillslopes bordering the channel can account for this apparent heat-flow deficit. Total heat flow within the unsaturated zone is the sum of its convective and conductive components. The conductive component can be calculated from the temperature gradient and thermal conductivity of the rocks comprising the section of interest. The convective component can be inferred from any observed decrease in the conductive component with increasing elevation in a borehole. Because the enthalpy and specific heat of water are well known, identification of the convectively transported heat component is equivalent to determining the percolation flux. Temperature data from two 120-meter deep boreholes, UZ#4 and UZ#5, in Pagany Wash were examined to determine the vertical distribution of upward, conductive heat flow in the unsaturated zone. The temperature data, in combination with estimates of thermal conductivity, adjusted for ambient saturation and porosity, indicated that upward conductive heat flow was approximately 15.5 mJ/s/m2 within the Pah Canyon Tuff. This heat flow estimate represents a substantial reduction in heat flow from the deeper unsaturated-zone(32 to 40 mJ/s/m2), as indicated on a map of regional heat-flow across the water table beneath Pagany Wash. Percolation fluxes of between 12.4 and 18.4 mm/yr for the depth interval between the Pah Canyon Tuff and the water table at UZ#4 and UZ#5 can account for the apparent heat-flow deficit in the deeper unsaturated zone. Two-dimensional numerical

  14. Summary of lithologic logging of new and existing boreholes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, August 1993 to February 1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geslin, J.K.; Moyer, T.C.; Buesch, D.C.

    1995-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is being investigated as a potential site for a high-level radioactive waste repository. This report summarizes the lithologic logging of new and existing boreholes at Yucca Mountain that was done from August 1993 to February 1994 by the Rock Characteristics Section, Yucca Mountain Project Branch, US Geological Survey (USGS). Units encountered during logging include Quaternary-Tertiary alluvium/colluvium, Tertiary Rainier Mesa Tuff, all units in the Tertiary Paintbrush Group, Tertiary Calico Hills Formation and Tertiary Prow Pass Tuff. We present criteria used for recognition of stratigraphic contacts, logging results as tables of contact depths for core from neutron (UZN) boreholes and graphical lithologic logs for core from non-UZN boreholes, and descriptions of several distinctive nonwelded tuffs recognized in the PTn hydrogeologic unit of the Paintbrush Group

  15. Summary of lithologic logging of new and existing boreholes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, August 1993 to February 1994

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Geslin, J.K.; Moyer, T.C.; Buesch, D.C.

    1995-05-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is being investigated as a potential site for a high-level radioactive waste repository. This report summarizes the lithologic logging of new and existing boreholes at Yucca Mountain that was done from August 1993 to February 1994 by the Rock Characteristics Section, Yucca Mountain Project Branch, US Geological Survey (USGS). Units encountered during logging include Quaternary-Tertiary alluvium/colluvium, Tertiary Rainier Mesa Tuff, all units in the Tertiary Paintbrush Group, Tertiary Calico Hills Formation and Tertiary Prow Pass Tuff. We present criteria used for recognition of stratigraphic contacts, logging results as tables of contact depths for core from neutron (UZN) boreholes and graphical lithologic logs for core from non-UZN boreholes, and descriptions of several distinctive nonwelded tuffs recognized in the PTn hydrogeologic unit of the Paintbrush Group.

  16. Geohydrology of Bandelier Tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abeele, M.V.; Wheeler, M.L.; Burton, B.W.

    1981-10-01

    The Los Alamos National Laboratory has been disposing of radioactive wastes since 1944. Environmental studies and monitoring for radioactive contamination started concurrently. In this report, only two mechanisms and rates by which the radionuclides can enter the environment are studied in detail: subsurface transport of radionuclides by migrating water, and diffusion of tritiated water (HTO) in the vapor phase. The report also includes a section concerning the influence of moisture on shear strength and possible resulting subsidences occurring in the pit overburdens. Because subsurface transport of radionuclides is influenced by the hydraulic conductivity and this in turn is regulated by the moisture content of any given material, a study was also undertaken involving precipitation, the most important climatic element influencing the geohydrology of any given area. Further work is in progress to correlate HTO emanation to atmospheric and pedological properties, especially including thermal characteristics of the tuff

  17. Geohydrology of Bandelier Tuff

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abeele, M.V.; Wheeler, M.L.; Burton, B.W.

    1981-10-01

    The Los Alamos National Laboratory has been disposing of radioactive wastes since 1944. Environmental studies and monitoring for radioactive contamination started concurrently. In this report, only two mechanisms and rates by which the radionuclides can enter the environment are studied in detail: subsurface transport of radionuclides by migrating water, and diffusion of tritiated water (HTO) in the vapor phase. The report also includes a section concerning the influence of moisture on shear strength and possible resulting subsidences occurring in the pit overburdens. Because subsurface transport of radionuclides is influenced by the hydraulic conductivity and this in turn is regulated by the moisture content of any given material, a study was also undertaken involving precipitation, the most important climatic element influencing the geohydrology of any given area. Further work is in progress to correlate HTO emanation to atmospheric and pedological properties, especially including thermal characteristics of the tuff.

  18. Hydrogeology of the unsaturated zone, North Ramp area of the Exploratory Studies Facility, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rousseau, Joseph P.; Kwicklis, Edward M.; Gillies, Daniel C.; Rousseau, Joseph P.; Kwicklis, Edward M.; Gillies, Daniel C.

    1999-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, in southern Nevada, is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Energy as a potential site for a repository for high-level radioactive waste. This report documents the results of surface-based geologic, pneumatic, hydrologic, and geochemical studies conducted during 1992 to 1996 by the U.S. Geological Survey in the vicinity of the North Ramp of the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) that are pertinent to understanding multiphase fluid flow within the deep unsaturated zone. Detailed stratigraphic and structural characteristics of the study area provided the hydrogeologic framework for these investigations. Multiple lines of evidence indicate that gas flow and liquid flow within the welded tuffs of the unsaturated zone occur primarily through fractures. Fracture densities are highest in the Tiva Canyon welded (TCw) and Topopah Spring welded (TSw) hydrogeologic units. Although fracture density is much lower in the intervening nonwelded and bedded tuffs of the Paintbrush nonwelded hydrogeologic unit (PTn), pneumatic and aqueous-phase isotopic evidence indicates that substantial secondary permeability is present locally in the PTn, especially in the vicinity of faults. Borehole air-injection tests indicate that bulk air-permeability ranges from 3.5x10-14 to 5.4x10-11 square meters for the welded tuffs and from 1.2x10-13 to 3.0x10-12 square meters for the non welded and bedded tuffs of the PTn. Analyses of in-situ pneumatic-pressure data from monitored boreholes produced estimates of bulk permeability that were comparable to those determined from the air-injection tests. In many cases, both sets of estimates are two to three orders of magnitude larger than estimates based on laboratory analyses of unfractured core samples. The in-situ pneumatic-pressure records also indicate that the unsaturated-zone pneumatic system consists of four subsystems that coincide with the four major hydrogeologic units of the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. In

  19. Measuring and Modeling Flow in Welded Fractured Tuffs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    R. Salve; C. Doughty; J.S. Wang

    2001-01-01

    We have carried out a series of in situ liquid-release experiments in conjunction with a numerical modeling study to examine the effect of the rock matrix on liquid flow and transport occurring primarily through the fracture network. Field experiments were conducted in the highly fractured Topopah Spring welded tuff at a site accessed from the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESFS), an underground laboratory in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. During the experiment, wetting-front movement, flow-field evolution, and drainage of fracture flow paths were evaluated. Modeling was used to aid in experimental design, predict experimental results, and study the physical processes accompanying liquid flow through unsaturated fractured welded tuff. Field experiments and modeling suggest that it may not be sufficient to conceptualize the fractured tuff as consisting of a single network of high-permeability fractures embedded in a low-permeability matrix. The need to include a secondary fracture network is demonstrated by comparison to the liquid flow observed in the field

  20. Performance testing of waste forms in a tuff environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oversby, V.M.

    1983-11-01

    This paper describes experimental work conducted to establish the chemical composition of water which will have reacted with Topopah Spring Member tuff prior to contact with waste packages. The experimental program to determine the behavior of spent fuel and borosilicate glass in the presence of this water is then described. Preliminary results of experiments using spent fuel segments with defects in the Zircaloy cladding are presented. Some results from parametric testing of a borosilicate glass with tuff and 304L stainless steel are also discussed. Experiments conducted using Topopah Spring tuff and J-13 well water have been conducted to provide an estimate of the post-emplacement environment for waste packages in a repository at Yucca Mountain. The results show that emplacement of waste packages should cause only small changes in the water chemistry and rock mineralogy. The changes in environment should not have any detrimental effects on the performance of metal barriers or waste forms. The NNWSI waste form testing program has provided preliminary results related to the release rate of radionuclides from the waste package. Those results indicate that release rates from both spent fuel and borosilicate glass should be below 1 part in 10 5 per year. Future testing will be directed toward making release rate testing more closely relevant to site specific conditions. 17 references, 7 figures

  1. Low temperature spent fuel oxidation under tuff repository conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Einziger, R.E.; Woodley, R.E.

    1985-01-01

    The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project is studying the suitability of tuffaceous rocks at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada, for high level waste disposal. The oxidation state of LWR spent fuel in a tuff repository may be a significant factor in determining its ability to inhibit radionuclide migration. Long term exposure at low temperatures to the moist air expected in a tuff repository is expected to increase the oxidation state of the fuel. A program is underway to determine the spent fuel oxidation mechanisms which might be active in a tuff repository. Initial work involves a series of TGA experiments to determine the effectiveness of the technique and to obtain preliminary oxidation data. Tests were run at 200 0 C and 225 0 C for as long as 720 hours. Grain boundary diffusion appears to open up a greater surface area for oxidation prior to onset of bulk diffusion. Temperature strongly influences the oxidation rates. The effect of moisture is small but readily measurable. 25 refs., 7 figs., 4 tabs

  2. Mineralogic alteration history and paleohydrology at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Levy, S.S.

    1991-01-01

    The importance of paleohydrology to the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project derives from the role water will play in radioactive waste repository performance. Changes in hydrologic conditions during the lifetime of the repository may be estimated by investigating past hydrologic variations, including changes in the static water-level position. Based on the distribution of vitric and zeolitized tuffs and the structural history of the site, the highest water levels were reached and receded downward 11.6 to 12.8 myr ago. Since that time, the water level at central Yucca Mountain has probably not risen more than about 60 m above its present position. The history of the high potentiometric gradient running through northern Yucca Mountain may be partly elucidated by the study of tridymite distribution in rocks that have experienced saturated conditions for varying periods of time

  3. Geology of the Yucca Mountain Site Area, Southwestern Nevada, Chapter in Stuckless, J.S., ED., Yucca Mountain, Nevada - A Proposed Geologic Repository for High-Level Radioactive Waste (Volume 1)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    W.R. Keefer; J.W. Whitney; D.C. Buesch

    2006-01-01

    Yucca Mountain in southwestern Nevada is a prominent, irregularly shaped upland formed by a thick apron of Miocene pyroclastic-flow and fallout tephra deposits, with minor lava flows, that was segmented by through-going, large-displacement normal faults into a series of north-trending, eastwardly tilted structural blocks. The principal volcanic-rock units are the Tiva Canyon and Topopah Spring Tuffs of the Paintbrush Group, which consist of volumetrically large eruptive sequences derived from compositionally distinct magma bodies in the nearby southwestern Nevada volcanic field, and are classic examples of a magmatic zonation characterized by an upper crystal-rich (> 10% crystal fragments) member, a more voluminous lower crystal-poor ( 10 Be and 36 Cl cosmogenic dating methods to determine the length of time bedrock outcrops and hillslope boulder deposits were exposed to cosmic rays, which then served as a basis for calculating long-term erosion rates. The results indicate rates ranging from 0.04 to 0.27 cm/k.y., which represent the maximum downcutting along the summit of Yucca Mountain under all climatic conditions that existed there during most of Quaternary time. Associated studies include the stratigraphy of surficial deposits in Fortymile Wash, the major drainage course in the area, which record a complex history of four to five cut-and-fill cycles within the channel during middle to late Quaternary time. The last 2 to 4 m of incision probably occurred during the last pluvial climatic period, 22 to 18 ka, followed by aggradation to the present time

  4. Evidence for a welded tuff in the Rhyolite of Calico Hills

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dickerson, R.P.; Hunter, W.C.

    1994-01-01

    A welded pyroclastic deposit has been identified in the Rhyolite of Calico Hills near Yucca Mountain, Nevada, where only lava flows and nonwelded pyroclastic deposits were previously described. Field data from Fortymile Wash show that nonwelded, bedded tuff grades upward into partially welded massive ruff, and thence into densely welded vitrophyre. Petrographic data show a progressive decrease in inter- and intragranular porosity and amount of vapor-phase minerals, with increasing welding. Pumice fragments are first deformed, then develop diffuse boundaries which become increasingly obscure with progressive welding. The most densely welded rock is a perlitic vitrophyre. The origin of this welded tuff is not clear, as it could represent an ignimbrite or a tuff fused beneath a thick lava flow

  5. Modeling fluid-rock interaction at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Viani, B.E.; Bruton, C.J.

    1992-08-01

    Volcanic rocks at Yucca Mountain, Nevada aie being assessed for their suitability as a potential repository for high-level nuclear waste. Recent progress in modeling fluid-rock interactions, in particular the mineralogical and chemical changes that may accompany waste disposal at Yucca Mountain, will be reviewed in this publication. In Part 1 of this publication, ''Geochemical Modeling of Clinoptilolite-Water Interactions,'' solid-solution and cation-exchange models for the zeolite clinoptilolite are developed and compared to experimental and field observations. At Yucca Mountain, clinoptilolite which is found lining fractures and as a major component of zeolitized tuffs, is expected to play an important role in sequestering radionuclides that may escape from a potential nuclear waste repository. The solid-solution and ion-exchange models were evaluated by comparing predicted stabilities and exchangeable cation distributions of clinoptilolites with: (1) published binary exchange data; (2) compositions of coexisting clinoptilolites and formation waters at Yucca Mountain; (3) experimental sorption isotherms of Cs and Sr on zeolitized tuff, and (4) high temperature experimental data. Good agreement was found between predictions and expertmental data, especially for binary exchange and Cs and Sr sorption on clinoptilolite. Part 2 of this publication, ''Geochemical Simulation of Fluid-Rock Interactions at Yucca Mountain,'' describes preliminary numerical simulations of fluid-rock interactions at Yucca Mountain. The solid-solution model developed in the first part of the paper is used to evaluate the stability and composition of clinciptilolite and other minerals in the host rock under ambient conditions and after waste emplacement

  6. K/AR dating of clinoptilolite, mordenite, and associated clays from Yucca Mountains, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    WoldeGabriel, G.

    1993-01-01

    Zeolites are abundant in the geologic record in both continental and marine environments. The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the utility of K-bearing zeolites for dating by the K/Ar method to determine the time of zeolite diagenesis at Yucca Mountain, Nevada (Fig. 1). At Yucca Mountain, K-rich clinoptilolite and possibly mordenite are the only potentially K/Ar dateable secondary minerals present in the zeolite-rich tuffs except for some illite/smectites (≥10% illite layers) associated with these minerals. Direct dating of K-rich clinoptilolite, the most abundant zeolite in the altered tuffs, is important to delineate zeolite chronology as part of the site characterization of Yucca Mountain

  7. POTENTIAL EFFECTS OF FAULTS ON GROUNDWATER FLOW FOR THE YUCCA FLAT BASIN, NEVADA TEST SITE, NEVADA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickerson, R. P.; Fryer, W.

    2009-12-01

    The permeability changes resulting from finely comminuted material in fault cores and the fractured and brecciated rock in fault damage zones allows faults to channelize groundwater flow along the plane of the fault. The efficiency of faults as permeability structures depends on fault zone width, fault offset, depth at which the fault developed, type of faulted rock, extent of secondary mineralization, and fault orientation within current stress field. Studies of faulted volcanic rocks at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, indicate that fault zone width and brecciation increase with fault offset, that faulted welded tuff is more permeable than nonwelded or bedded tuff, and that non-hydrothermal secondary mineralization commonly diminishes fracture permeability. These results are applied to the groundwater conceptual flow model for Yucca Flat (YF) on the Nevada Test Site (NTS). Yucca Flat contains Tertiary volcanic rocks similar to thoise at Yucca Mountain deposited on Paleozoic carbonate rocks whose thickness is increased by local thrust-faults. The YF basin contains north-striking normal faults and is bordered by southwest-striking strike-slip faults to the south and east. Fault permeability values derived from faulted volcanic rocks at Yucca Mountain suggests that major normal faults in Yucca Flat potentially manifest permeability values along the fault plane equal to the highest values determined for volcanic aquifers. Numerous minor faults not assigned specific permeability values are assumed to imbue the basin with a hydraulic anisotropy favoring fault-parallel flow. In this scenario groundwater flows generally from north to south in the Yucca Flat basin, even as the head gradient is primarily towards the centrally located Yucca Fault, which acts as the main subsurface drainage feature within the basin. Studies show that the regional stress field has rotated clockwise such that southwest-striking strike-slip faults are currently under tension. In this scenario these

  8. Yucca: A medicinally significant genus with manifold therapeutic attributes

    OpenAIRE

    Patel, Seema

    2012-01-01

    The genus Yucca comprising of several species is dominant across the chaparrals, canyons and deserts of American South West and Mexico. This genus has long been a source of sustenance and drugs for the Native Americans. In the wake of revived interest in drug discovery from plant sources, this genus has been investigated and startling nutritive and therapeutic capacities have come forth. Apart from the functional food potential, antioxidant, antiinflammation, antiarthritic, anticancer, antidi...

  9. HYDROLOGIC CHARACTERISTICS OF FAULTS AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    R.P. Dickerson

    2000-01-01

    Yucca Mountain comprises a series of north-trending ridges composed of tuffs within the southwest Nevada volcanic field, 120 km northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada. These ridges are formed of east-dipping blocks of interbedded welded and nonwelded tuff that are offset along steep, mostly west-dipping faults that have tens to hundreds of meters of vertical separation. Yucca Mountain is currently under study as a potential site for underground storage of high-level radioactive waste, with the principle goal being the safe isolation of the waste from the accessible environment. To this end, an understanding of the behavior of ground-water flow through the mountain in the unsaturated zone and beneath the mountain in the saturated zone is critical. The percolation of water through the mountain and into the ground-water flow system beneath the potential repository site is predicated on: (1) the amount of water available at the surface as a result of the climatic conditions, (2) the hydrogeologic characteristics of the volcanic strata that compose the mountain. and (3) the hydrogeologic characteristics of the structures, particularly fault zones and fracture networks, that disrupt these strata. This paper addresses the hydrogeologic characteristics of the fault zones at Yucca Mountain, focusing primarily on the central part of the mountain where the potential repository block is located

  10. Preparing to Submit a License Application for Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    W.J. Arthur; M.D. Voegele

    2005-01-01

    of the United States, approximately 100 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of Las Vegas (Figure 1). The location is remote from population centers, and there are no permanent residents within approximately 14 miles (23 km) of the site. Overall, Nye County has a population density of about two persons per square mile (two persons per 2.5 square km); in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, it is significantly less. Yucca Mountain is a series of north-south-trending ridges extending approximately 25 miles (40 km), and consists of successive layers of fine-grained volcanic tuffs, millions of years old, underlain by older carbonate rocks. The alternating layers of welded and nonwelded volcanic tuffs have differing hydrologic properties that significantly impact the manner in which water moves through the mountain. The repository horizon will be in welded tuff located in the unsaturated zone, more than 1,000 feet (300 meters) above the water table in the present-day climate, and is expected to remain well above the water table during wetter future climate conditions. Future meteorology and climatology at Yucca Mountain are important elements in understanding the amount of water available to potentially interact with the waste

  11. Dehydration and rehydration of a tuff vitrophyre

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vaniman, D.; Bish, D., Chipera, S.

    1993-01-01

    The basal vitrophyre of the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is a perlitic glass with 2.8 to 4.6% water. The dehydration of this vitrophyre was studied by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and by isothermal heating at 50 degrees, 100 degrees, 200 degrees, and 400 degrees C for 3.4 years followed by 1.1 years of rehydration at high controlled humidity (∼79% relative humidity). No crystallization of the glass was observed in long-term dehydration or rehydration; the only observed chemical alteration was loss of up to 60% of original fluorine. TGA studies show a characteristic two-stage dehydration of the vitrophyre, with two-thirds to three-fourths weight loss occurring most rapidly at temperatures ranging from 278 degrees to 346 degrees C in 10 degrees C/min heating experiments. The remaining water, about 1% in all of the vitrophyre samples studied regardless of total water content, is lost only on second-stage heating to temperatures above 650 degrees C. Long-term isothermal heating at ≤400 degrees C releases only the first-stage water. Loss of essentially all first-stage water occurred in less than 1 hour at 400 degrees C; proportionately lower losses were obtained at 200 degrees and 100 degrees C. Small (0.2%) water loss occurred in the 50 degrees C experiment. A time-temperature-dehydration diagram generated from the isothermal heating data shows a clustering of dehydration contours that are the equilibrium equivalent of the rapid first-stage water loss in dynamic TGA experiments. These dry-heating experiments provide an end-member characterization of glass transformations for comparison with water-saturated heating experiments in which glass alteration is prominent. 29 figs., 7 figs., 7 tabs

  12. Scaling behavior of gas permeability measurements in volcanic tuffs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tidwell, V.C.

    1994-01-01

    One of the critical issues facing the Yucca Mountain site characterization and performance assessment programs is the manner in which property scaling is addressed. Property scaling becomes an issue whenever heterogeneous media properties are measured at one scale but applied at another. A research program has been established to challenge current understanding of property scaling with the aim of developing and testing models that describe scaling behavior in a quantitative manner. Scaling of constitutive rock properties is investigated through physical experimentation involving the collection of suites of gas-permeability data measured over a range of discrete scales. The approach is to systematically isolate those factors believed to influence property scaling and investigate their relative contributions to overall scaling behavior. Two blocks of tuff, each exhibiting differing heterogeneity structure, have recently been examined. Results of the investigation show very different scaling behavior, as exhibited by changes in the distribution functions and variograms, for the two tuff samples. Even for the relatively narrow range of measurement scales employed significant changes in the distribution functions, variograms, and summary statistics occurred. Because such data descriptors will likely play an important role in calculating effective media properties, these results demonstrate both the need to understand and accurately model scaling behavior

  13. Detailed petrographic descriptions and microprobe data for drill holes USW-G2 and UE25b-1H, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Broxton, D.; Vaniman, D.; Caporuscio, F.; Arney, B.; Heiken, G.

    1982-10-01

    Drill holes USW-G2 and UE25b-1H at Yucca Mountain, Nevada penetrate a thick sequence of volcanic rocks consisting of voluminous ash-flow tuffs, intercalated with thin bedded tuffs and minor lavas. This report provides detailed petrologic descriptions that were summarized in an earlier report. Microprobe analyses of feldspars and mafic phenocrysts as well as secondary feldspars are tabulated for these drill holes for the first time in this report

  14. Surface complexation modeling of americium sorption onto volcanic tuff.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, M; Kelkar, S; Meijer, A

    2014-10-01

    Results of a surface complexation model (SCM) for americium sorption on volcanic rocks (devitrified and zeolitic tuff) are presented. The model was developed using PHREEQC and based on laboratory data for americium sorption on quartz. Available data for sorption of americium on quartz as a function of pH in dilute groundwater can be modeled with two surface reactions involving an americium sulfate and an americium carbonate complex. It was assumed in applying the model to volcanic rocks from Yucca Mountain, that the surface properties of volcanic rocks can be represented by a quartz surface. Using groundwaters compositionally representative of Yucca Mountain, americium sorption distribution coefficient (Kd, L/Kg) values were calculated as function of pH. These Kd values are close to the experimentally determined Kd values for americium sorption on volcanic rocks, decreasing with increasing pH in the pH range from 7 to 9. The surface complexation constants, derived in this study, allow prediction of sorption of americium in a natural complex system, taking into account the inherent uncertainty associated with geochemical conditions that occur along transport pathways. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Preliminary drift design analyses for nuclear waste repository in tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hardy, M.P.; Brechtel, C.E.; Goodrich, R.R.; Bauer, S.J.

    1990-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) is examining the feasibility of siting a repository for high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, on and adjacent to the Nevada Test Site (NTS). The proposed repository will be excavated in the Topopah Spring Member, which is a moderately fractured, unsaturated, welded tuff. Excavation stability will be required during construction, waste emplacement, retrieval (if required), and closure to ensure worker safety. The subsurface excavations will be subject to stress changes resulting from thermal expansion of the rock mass and seismic events associated with regional tectonic activity and underground nuclear explosions (UNEs). Analyses of drift stability are required to assess the acceptable waste emplacement density, to design the drift shapes and ground support systems, and to establish schedules and cost of construction. This paper outlines the proposed methodology to assess drift stability and then focuses on an example of its application to the YMP repository drifts based on preliminary site data. Because site characterization activities have not begun, the database currently lacks the extensive site-specific field and laboratory data needed to form conclusions as to the final ground support requirements. This drift design methodology will be applied and refined as more site-specific data are generated and as analytical techniques and methodologies are verified during the site characterization process

  16. Petrologic studies of drill cores USW-G2 and UE25b-1H, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Caporuscio, F.; Vaniman, D.; Bish, D.; Broxton, D.; Arney, B.; Heiken, G.; Byers, F.; Gooley, R.; Semarge, E.

    1982-07-01

    The tuffs of the Nevada Test Site are currently under investigation as a possible deep geologic site for high-level radioactive waste disposal. This report characterizes tuff retrieved in core from two drill holes, USW-G2 and UE25b-1H, at the Yucca Mountain block. The USW-G2 drill core is from the northernmost extent of the block, whereas UE25b-1H is adjacent to an earlier drill hole, UE25a-1. The drill cores USW-G2 and UE25b-1H bottomed at 6000 and 4200 ft, respectively. Petrographic and x-ray diffraction studies of the two drill cores are presented in this report and indicate that tuffs (composed primarily of variably welded ash flows) are partially recrystallized to secondary minerals. Correlations of stratigraphy are also made with previous drill cores from Yucca Mountain

  17. Yucca Mountain digital database

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Daudt, C.R.; Hinze, W.J.

    1992-01-01

    This paper discusses the Yucca Mountain Digital Database (DDB) which is a digital, PC-based geographical database of geoscience-related characteristics of the proposed high-level waste (HLW) repository site of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. It was created to provide the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste (ACNW) and its staff with a visual perspective of geological, geophysical, and hydrological features at the Yucca Mountain site as discussed in the Department of Energy's (DOE) pre-licensing reports

  18. Investigations of natural groundwater hazards at the proposed Yucca Mountain high level nuclear waste repository. Part A: Geology at Yucca Mountain. Part B: Modeling of hydro-tectonic phenomena relevant to Yucca Mountain. Annual report - Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Szymanski, J.S.; Schluter, C.M.; Livingston, D.E.

    1993-05-01

    This document is an annual report describing investigations of natural groundwater hazards at the proposed Yucca Mountain, Nevada High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository.This document describes research studies of the origin of near surface calcite/silica deposits at Yucca Mountain. The origin of these deposits is controversial and the authors have extended and strengthened the basis of their arguments for epigenetic, metasomatic alteration of the tuffs at Yucca Mountain. This report includes stratigraphic, mineralogical, and geochronological information along with geochemical data to support the conclusions described by Livingston and Szymanski, and others. As part of their first annual report, they take this opportunity to clarify the technical basis of their concerns and summarize the critical geological field evidence and related information. Selected papers are indexed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database

  19. Investigations of natural groundwater hazards at the proposed Yucca Mountain high level nuclear waste repository. Part A: Geology at Yucca Mountain. Part B: Modeling of hydro-tectonic phenomena relevant to Yucca Mountain. Annual report - Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Szymanski, J.S.; Schluter, C.M.; Livingston, D.E. [and others

    1993-05-01

    This document is an annual report describing investigations of natural groundwater hazards at the proposed Yucca Mountain, Nevada High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository.This document describes research studies of the origin of near surface calcite/silica deposits at Yucca Mountain. The origin of these deposits is controversial and the authors have extended and strengthened the basis of their arguments for epigenetic, metasomatic alteration of the tuffs at Yucca Mountain. This report includes stratigraphic, mineralogical, and geochronological information along with geochemical data to support the conclusions described by Livingston and Szymanski, and others. As part of their first annual report, they take this opportunity to clarify the technical basis of their concerns and summarize the critical geological field evidence and related information. Selected papers are indexed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database.

  20. Revised potentiometric-surface map, Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ervin, E.M.; Luckey, R.R.; Burkhardt, D.J.

    1994-01-01

    The revised potentiometric-surface map presented in this report updates earlier maps of the Yucca Mountain area using mainly 1988 average water levels. Because of refinements in the corrections to the water-level measurements, these water levels have increased accuracy and precision over older values. The small-gradient area to the southeast of Yucca Mountain is contoured with a 0.25-meter interval and ranges in water-level altitude from 728.5 to 73 1.0 meters. Other areas with different water levels, to the north and west of Yucca Mountain, are illustrated with shaded patterns. The potentiometric surface can be divided into three regions: (1) A small-gradient area to the southeast of Yucca Mountain, which may be explained by flow through high-transmissivity rocks or low ground-water flux through the area; (2) A moderate-gradient area, on the western side of Yucca Mountain, where the water-level altitude ranges from 775 to 780 meters, and appears to be impeded by the Solitario Canyon Fault and a splay of that fault; and (3) A large-gradient area, to the north-northeast of Yucca Mountain, where water level altitude ranges from 738 to 1,035 meters, possibly as a result of a semi-perched groundwater system. Water levels from wells at Yucca Mountain were examined for yearly trends using linear least-squares regression. Data from five wells exhibited trends which were statistically significant, but some of those may be a result of slow equilibration of the water level from drilling in less permeable rocks. Adjustments for temperature and density changes in the deep wells with long fluid columns were attempted, but some of the adjusted data did not fit the surrounding data and, thus, were not used

  1. Revised potentiometric-surface map, Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ervin, E.M.; Luckey, R.R.; Burkhardt, D.J.

    1994-12-01

    The revised potentiometric-surface map presented in this report updates earlier maps of the Yucca Mountain area using mainly 1988 average water levels. Because of refinements in the corrections to the water-level measurements, these water levels have increased accuracy and precision over older values. The small-gradient area to the southeast of Yucca Mountain is contoured with a 0.25-meter interval and ranges in water-level altitude from 728.5 to 73 1.0 meters. Other areas with different water levels, to the north and west of Yucca Mountain, are illustrated with shaded patterns. The potentiometric surface can be divided into three regions: (1) A small-gradient area to the southeast of Yucca Mountain, which may be explained by flow through high-transmissivity rocks or low ground-water flux through the area; (2) A moderate-gradient area, on the western side of Yucca Mountain, where the water-level altitude ranges from 775 to 780 meters, and appears to be impeded by the Solitario Canyon Fault and a splay of that fault; and (3) A large-gradient area, to the north-northeast of Yucca Mountain, where water level altitude ranges from 738 to 1,035 meters, possibly as a result of a semi-perched groundwater system. Water levels from wells at Yucca Mountain were examined for yearly trends using linear least-squares regression. Data from five wells exhibited trends which were statistically significant, but some of those may be a result of slow equilibration of the water level from drilling in less permeable rocks. Adjustments for temperature and density changes in the deep wells with long fluid columns were attempted, but some of the adjusted data did not fit the surrounding data and, thus, were not used.

  2. Fracture analysis and rock quality designation estimation for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lin, M.; Hardy, M.P. [Agapito (J.F.T.) and Associates, Inc., Grand Junction, CO (United States); Bauer, S.J. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1993-02-01

    Within the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project, the design of drifts and ramps and evaluation of the impacts of thermomechanical loading of the host rock requires definition of the rock mass mechanical properties. Ramps and exploratory drifts will intersect both welded and nonwelded tuffs with varying abundance of fractures. The rock mass mechanical properties are dependent on the intact rock properties and the fracture joint characteristics. An understanding of the effects of fractures on the mechanical properties of the rock mass begins with a detailed description of the fracture spatial location and abundance, and includes a description of their physical characteristics. This report presents a description of the abundance, orientation, and physical characteristics of fractures and the Rock Quality Designation in the thermomechanical stratigraphic units at the Yucca Mountain site. Data was reviewed from existing sources and used to develop descriptions for each unit. The product of this report is a data set of the best available information on the fracture characteristics.

  3. Determination of Heat Capacity of Yucca Mountain Stratigraphic Layers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    T. Hadgu; C. Lum; J.E. Bean

    2006-01-01

    The heat generated from the radioactive waste to be placed in the proposed geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, will affect the thermal-hydrology of the Yucca Mountain stratigraphic layers. In order to assess the effect of the movement of repository heat into the fractured rocks accurate determination of thermodynamic and hydraulic properties is important. Heat capacity is one of the properties that are required to evaluate energy storage in the fractured rock. Rock-grain heat capacity, the subject of this study, is the heat capacity of the solid part of the rock. Yucca Mountain consists of alternating lithostratigraphic units of welded and non-welded ash-flow tuff, mainly rhyolitic in composition and displaying varying degrees of vitrification and alteration. A number of methods exist that can be used to evaluate heat capacity of the stratigraphic layers that consist of different compositions. In this study, the mineral summation method has been used to quantify the heat capacity of the stratigraphic layers based on Kopp's rule. The mineral summation method is an addition of the weighted heat capacity of each mineral found in a specific layer. For this study the weighting was done based on the mass percentage of each mineral in the layer. The method utilized a mineralogic map of the rocks at the Yucca Mountain repository site. The Calico Hills formation and adjacent bedded tuff layers display a bimodal mineral distribution of vitric and zeolitic zones with differing mineralogies. Based on this bimodal distribution in zeolite abundance, the boundary between the vitric and zeolitic zones was selected to be 15% zeolitic abundance. Thus, based on the zeolite abundance, subdivisions have been introduced to these layers into ''vitric'' and ''zeolitic'' zones. Heat capacity values have been calculated for these layers both as ''layer average'' and ''zone average''. The heat capacity determination method presented in this report did not account for spatial

  4. Microautoradiography in studies of Pu(V) sorption by trace and fracture minerals in tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vaniman, D.; Furlano, A.; Chipera, S.; Thompson, J.; Triay, I.

    1996-01-01

    Microautoradiography was used to evaluate the mineralogic basis of Pu(V) retention by tuffs from Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Altered orthopyroxenes and oxide minerals are associated with high Pu retention but are limited to specific stratigraphic horizons. A weaker but more general association of Pu with smectite occurs in most samples. Thin-sections that cross fractures allow comparative studies of Pu retention by fracture-lining versus matrix minerals. Using Ag metal in emulsions as a measure of underlying Pu concentration, electron-microprobe analysis can quantify Pu retention along fracture walls and provide mineral/mineral Pu retention factors. For smectite-lined microfractures in zeolitized tuff, the smectite/clinoptilolite Pu retention factor is >80

  5. Experiences of fitting isotherms to data from batch sorption experiments for radionuclides on tuffs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Polzer, W.L.; Fuentes, H.R.

    1989-11-01

    Laboratory experiments have been performed on the sorption of radionuclides on tuff as site characterization information for the Yucca Mountain Project. This paper presents general observations on the results of curve-fitting of sorption data by isotherm equations and the effects of experimental variables on their regressional analysis. Observations are specific to the effectiveness and problems associated with fitting isotherms, the calculation and value of isotherm parameters, and the significance of experimental variables such as replication, particle size, mode of sorption, and mineralogy. These observations are important in the design of laboratory experiments to ensure that collected data are adequate for effectively characterizing sorption of radionuclides on tuffs or other materials. 13 refs., 2 figs., 4 tabs

  6. Education and Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lamont, M.A.

    1995-01-01

    This paper outlines a middle school social studies curriculum taught in Nevada. The curriculum was designed to educate students about issues related to the Yucca Mountain project. The paper focuses on the activities used in the curriculum

  7. YUCCA MOUNTAIN SITE DESCRIPTION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    A.M. Simmons

    2004-04-16

    The ''Yucca Mountain Site Description'' summarizes, in a single document, the current state of knowledge and understanding of the natural system at Yucca Mountain. It describes the geology; geochemistry; past, present, and projected future climate; regional hydrologic system; and flow and transport within the unsaturated and saturated zones at the site. In addition, it discusses factors affecting radionuclide transport, the effect of thermal loading on the natural system, and tectonic hazards. The ''Yucca Mountain Site Description'' is broad in nature. It summarizes investigations carried out as part of the Yucca Mountain Project since 1988, but it also includes work done at the site in earlier years, as well as studies performed by others. The document has been prepared under the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management quality assurance program for the Yucca Mountain Project. Yucca Mountain is located in Nye County in southern Nevada. The site lies in the north-central part of the Basin and Range physiographic province, within the northernmost subprovince commonly referred to as the Great Basin. The basin and range physiography reflects the extensional tectonic regime that has affected the region during the middle and late Cenozoic Era. Yucca Mountain was initially selected for characterization, in part, because of its thick unsaturated zone, its arid to semiarid climate, and the existence of a rock type that would support excavation of stable openings. In 1987, the United States Congress directed that Yucca Mountain be the only site characterized to evaluate its suitability for development of a geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel.

  8. YUCCA MOUNTAIN SITE DESCRIPTION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simmons, A.M.

    2004-01-01

    The ''Yucca Mountain Site Description'' summarizes, in a single document, the current state of knowledge and understanding of the natural system at Yucca Mountain. It describes the geology; geochemistry; past, present, and projected future climate; regional hydrologic system; and flow and transport within the unsaturated and saturated zones at the site. In addition, it discusses factors affecting radionuclide transport, the effect of thermal loading on the natural system, and tectonic hazards. The ''Yucca Mountain Site Description'' is broad in nature. It summarizes investigations carried out as part of the Yucca Mountain Project since 1988, but it also includes work done at the site in earlier years, as well as studies performed by others. The document has been prepared under the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management quality assurance program for the Yucca Mountain Project. Yucca Mountain is located in Nye County in southern Nevada. The site lies in the north-central part of the Basin and Range physiographic province, within the northernmost subprovince commonly referred to as the Great Basin. The basin and range physiography reflects the extensional tectonic regime that has affected the region during the middle and late Cenozoic Era. Yucca Mountain was initially selected for characterization, in part, because of its thick unsaturated zone, its arid to semiarid climate, and the existence of a rock type that would support excavation of stable openings. In 1987, the United States Congress directed that Yucca Mountain be the only site characterized to evaluate its suitability for development of a geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel

  9. Preliminary calculations of release rates from spent fuel in a tuff repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Apted, M.J.; O'Connell, W.J.; Lee, K.H.; MacIntyre, A.T.; Ueng, T.S.; Pigford, T.H.; Lee, W.W.L.

    1991-01-01

    Time-dependent release rates of Tc-99, I-129, Cs-135, and Np-237 have been calculated for wet-drip and moist-continuous release modes from the engineered barrier system of a potential nuclear waste repository in unsaturated tuff, representative of a possible repository at Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada. We describe the modes of water contact and of release of dissolved radionuclides to the surrounding intact rock, and the corresponding calculational models. We list the parameter values adopted, and then present numerical results, conclusions, and recommendations. 21 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs

  10. Criticality characteristics of mixtures of plutonium, silicon dioxide, Nevada tuff, and water

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanchez, R.; Myers, W.; Hayes, D.

    1997-01-01

    The nuclear criticality characteristics of mixtures of plutonium, silicon dioxide, and water (Part A) or plutonium, silicon dioxide, Nevada Yucca Mountain tuff, and water (Part B) have become of interest because of the appearance of recent papers on the subject. These papers postulate that if excess weapons plutonium is vitrified into a silicate log and buried underground, a self-sustaining neutron chain reaction may develop given sufficient time and interaction with the burial medium. Moreover, given specific geologic actions resulting in postulated configurations, the referenced papers state that nuclear explosions could occur with multi-kiloton yields or yields equivalent to hundreds of tons of TNT

  11. In-situ tuff water migration/heater experiment: experimental plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnstone, J.K.

    1980-08-01

    Tuffs on the Nevada Test Site (NTS) are currently under investigation as a potential isolation medium for heat-producing nuclear wastes. The National Academy of Sciences has concurred in our identification of the potentially large water content (less than or equal to 40 vol %) of tuffs as one of the important issues affecting their suitability for a repository. This Experimental Plan describes an in-situ experiment intended as an initial assessment of water generation/migration in response to a thermal input. The experiment will be conducted in the Grouse Canyon Welded Tuff in Tunnel U12g (G-Tunnel) located in the north-central region of the NTS. While the Grouse Canyon Welded Tuff is not a potential repository medium, it has physical, thermal, and mechanical properties very similar to those tuffs currently under consideration and is accessible at depth (400 m below the surface) in an existing facility. Other goals of the experiment are to support computer-code and instrumentation development, and to measure in-situ thermal properties. The experimental array consists of a central electrical heater, 1.2 m long x 10.2 cm diameter, surrounded by three holes for measuring water-migration behavior, two holes for measuring temperature profiles, one hole for measuring thermally induced stress in the rock, and one hole perpendicular to the heater to measure displacement with a laser. This Experimental Plan describes the experimental objectives, the technical issues, the site, the experimental array, thermal and thermomechanical modeling results, the instrumentation, the data-acquisition system, posttest characterization, and the organizational details

  12. Multiple origins of the yucca-yucca moth association.

    OpenAIRE

    Bogler, D J; Neff, J L; Simpson, B B

    1995-01-01

    The association of species of yucca and their pollinating moths is considered one of the two classic cases of obligate mutualism between floral hosts and their pollinators. The system involves the active collection of pollen by females of two prodoxid moth genera and the subsequent purposeful placement of the pollen on conspecific stigmas of species of Yucca. Yuccas essentially depend on the moths for pollination and the moths require Yucca ovaries for oviposition. Because of the specificity ...

  13. The Yucca Mountain Project prototype air-coring test, U12g tunnel, Nevada test site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ray, J.M.; Newsom, J.C.

    1994-12-01

    The Prototype Air-Coring Test was conducted at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) G-Tunnel facility to evaluate standard coring techniques, modified slightly for air circulation, for use in testing at a prospective nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Air-coring technology allows sampling of subsurface lithology with minimal perturbation to ambient characteristic such as that required for exploratory holes near aquifers, environmental applications, and site characterization work. Two horizontal holes were cored, one 50 ft long and the other 150 ft long, in densely welded fractured tuff to simulate the difficult drilling conditions anticipated at Yucca Mountain. Drilling data from seven holes on three other prototype tests in nonwelded tuff were also collected for comparison. The test was used to establish preliminary standards of performance for drilling and dust collection equipment and to assess procedural efficiencies. The Longyear-38 drill achieved 97% recovery for HQ-size core (-2.5 in.), and the Atlas Copco dust collector (DCT-90) captured 1500 lb of fugitive dust in a mine environment with only minor modifications. Average hole production rates were 6-8 ft per 6-h shift in welded tuff and almost 20 ft per shift on deeper holes in nonwelded tuff. Lexan liners were successfully used to encapsulate core samples during the coring process and protect core properties effectively. The Prototype Air-Coring Test demonstrated that horizontal air coring in fractured welded tuff (to at least 150 ft) can be safely accomplished by proper selection, integration, and minor modification of standard drilling equipment, using appropriate procedures and engineering controls. The test also indicated that rig logistics, equipment, and methods need improvement before attempting a large-scale dry drilling program at Yucca Mountain

  14. Mineralogy of drill hole UE-25pnumber1 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chipera, S.J.; Bish, D.L.

    1988-05-01

    Drill hole UE-25p/number sign/1 is located east of the candidate repository block at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and as such provides information on the geology of the accessible environment. The hole was drilled to a depth of 1807 m (5923 ft) and is unique in that it penetrates tuffs that are older than any volcanic units previously encountered in drill holes at Yucca Mountain. In addition, it is the only hole drilled to date that penetrates the base of the tuff sequence and enters the underlying Paleozoic dolomite basement. We have examined the mineralogy of drill cuttings, core, and sidewall samples from drill hole UE-25p/number sign/1 is similar to that in the other drill holes examined at Yucca Mountain. The only significant differences in mineralogy from other drill holes include the presence of dolomite in the Paleozoic carbonate rocks and the occurrence of up to 3% laumontite, a Ca-zeolite, in four samples of the Lithic Ridge Tuff. 15 refs., 5 figs., 4 tabs

  15. Water levels in periodically measured wells in the Yucca Mountain area, Nye County, Nevada, 1981-87

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robison, J.H.; Stephens, D.M.; Luckey, R.R.; Baldwin, D.A.

    1988-01-01

    This report contains data on groundwater levels beneath Yucca Mountain and adjacent areas, Nye County, Nevada. In addition to new data collected since 1983, the report contains data that has been updated from previous reports, including added explanations of the data. The data was collected in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy to help that agency evaluate the suitability of the area of storing high-level nuclear waste. The water table in the Yucca Mountain area occurs in ash-flow and air-fall tuff of Tertiary age. West of the crest of Yucca Mountain, water level altitudes are about 775 m above sea level. Along the eastern edge and southern end of Yucca Mountain, the potentiometric surface generally is nearly flat, ranging from about 730 to 728 m above sea level. (USGS)

  16. Characteristics of Fault Zones in Volcanic Rocks Near Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Donald Sweetkind; Ronald M. Drake II

    2007-11-27

    During 2005 and 2006, the USGS conducted geological studies of fault zones at surface outcrops at the Nevada Test Site. The objectives of these studies were to characterize fault geometry, identify the presence of fault splays, and understand the width and internal architecture of fault zones. Geologic investigations were conducted at surface exposures in upland areas adjacent to Yucca Flat, a basin in the northeastern part of the Nevada Test Site; these data serve as control points for the interpretation of the subsurface data collected at Yucca Flat by other USGS scientists. Fault zones in volcanic rocks near Yucca Flat differ in character and width as a result of differences in the degree of welding and alteration of the protolith, and amount of fault offset. Fault-related damage zones tend to scale with fault offset; damage zones associated with large-offset faults (>100 m) are many tens of meters wide, whereas damage zones associated with smaller-offset faults are generally a only a meter or two wide. Zeolitically-altered tuff develops moderate-sized damage zones whereas vitric nonwelded, bedded and airfall tuff have very minor damage zones, often consisting of the fault zone itself as a deformation band, with minor fault effect to the surrounding rock mass. These differences in fault geometry and fault zone architecture in surface analog sites can serve as a guide toward interpretation of high-resolution subsurface geophysical results from Yucca Flat.

  17. Conceptualization of a hypothetical high-level nuclear waste repository site in unsaturated, fractured tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parsons, A.M.; Olague, N.E.; Gallegos, D.P.

    1991-01-01

    Under the sponsorship of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) is developing a performance assessment methodology for the analysis of long-term disposal and isolation of high-level nuclear wastes (HLW) in alternative geologic media. As part of this exercise, SNL created a conceptualization of ground-water flow and radionuclide transport in the far field of a hypothetical HLW repository site located in unsaturated, fractured tuff formations. This study provides a foundation for the development of conceptual mathematical, and numerical models to be used in this performance assessment methodology. This conceptualization is site specific in terms of geometry, the regional ground-water flow system, stratigraphy, and structure in that these are based on information from Yucca Mountain located on the Nevada Test Site. However, in terms of processes in unsaturated, fractured, porous media, the model is generic. This report also provides a review and evaluation of previously proposed conceptual models of unsaturated and saturated flow and solute transport. This report provides a qualitative description of a hypothetical HLW repository site in fractured tuff. However, evaluation of the current knowledge of flow and transport at Yucca Mountain does not yield a single conceptual model. Instead, multiple conceptual models are possible given the existing information

  18. Investigations of hydro-tectonic hazards at the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level nuclear waste repository. Annual report - Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Livingston, D.E. [ed.

    1994-01-01

    This document includes several reports describing scientific studies of the origin of near surface calcite/silica deposits at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The origin of these deposits is controversial and the authors have extended and strengthened the basis of their arguments for epigenetic, metasomatic alteration of the tuffs at Yucca Mountain. This report includes stratigraphic, mineralogical, and geochronological information along with geochemical data to support the conclusions described by Livingston and Szymanski. Selected papers are indexed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database.

  19. Investigations of hydro-tectonic hazards at the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level nuclear waste repository. Annual report - Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Livingston, D.E.

    1994-01-01

    This document includes several reports describing scientific studies of the origin of near surface calcite/silica deposits at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The origin of these deposits is controversial and the authors have extended and strengthened the basis of their arguments for epigenetic, metasomatic alteration of the tuffs at Yucca Mountain. This report includes stratigraphic, mineralogical, and geochronological information along with geochemical data to support the conclusions described by Livingston and Szymanski. Selected papers are indexed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database

  20. DOE's Yucca Mountain Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Department of Energy, Washington, DC.

    This booklet is about the disposal of high-level nuclear waste in the United States with a particular focus on Yucca Mountain, Nevada as a repository site. Intended for readers who do not have a technical background, the booklet discusses why scientists and engineers think high-level nuclear waste may be disposed of safely underground. An…

  1. Modeling heterogeneous unsaturated porous media flow at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robey, T.H. [Spectra Research Inst., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1994-03-01

    Geologic systems are inherently heterogeneous and this heterogeneity can have a significant impact on unsaturated flow through porous media. Most previous efforts to model groundwater flow through Yucca Mountain have used stratigraphic units with homogeneous properties. However, modeling heterogeneous porous and fractured tuff in a more realistic manner requires numerical methods for generating heterogeneous simulations of the media, scaling of material properties from core scale to computational scale, and flow modeling that allows channeling. The Yucca Mountain test case of the INTRAVAL project is used to test the numerical approaches. Geostatistics is used to generate more realistic representations of the stratigraphic units and heterogeneity within units is generated using sampling from property distributions. Scaling problems are reduced using an adaptive grid that minimizes heterogeneity within each flow element. A flow code based on the dual mixed-finite-element method that allows for heterogeneity and channeling is employed. In the Yucca Mountain test case, the simulated volumetric water contents matched the measured values at drill hole USW UZ-16 except in the nonwelded portion of Prow Pass.

  2. Modeling heterogeneous unsaturated porous media flow at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robey, T.H.

    1994-01-01

    Geologic systems are inherently heterogeneous and this heterogeneity can have a significant impact on unsaturated flow through porous media. Most previous efforts to model groundwater flow through Yucca Mountain have used stratigraphic units with homogeneous properties. However, modeling heterogeneous porous and fractured tuff in a more realistic manner requires numerical methods for generating heterogeneous simulations of the media, scaling of material properties from core scale to computational scale, and flow modeling that allows channeling. The Yucca Mountain test case of the INTRAVAL project is used to test the numerical approaches. Geostatistical methods are used to generate more realistic representations of the stratigraphic units and heterogeneity within units is generated using sampling from property distributions. Scaling problems are reduced using an adaptive grid that minimizes heterogeneity within each flow element. A flow code based on the dual mixed-finite-element method that allows for heterogeneity and channeling is employed. In the Yucca Mountain test case, the simulated volumetric water contents matched the measured values at drill hole USW UZ-16 except in the nonwelded portion of Prow Pass

  3. Preliminary thermal expansion screening data for tuffs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lappin, A.R.

    1980-03-01

    A major variable in evaluating the potential of silicic tuffs for use in geologic disposal of heat-producing nuclear wastes is thermal expansion. Results of ambient-pressure linear expansion measurements on a group of tuffs that vary treatly in porosity and mineralogy are presente here. Thermal expansion of devitrified welded tuffs is generally linear with increasing temperature and independent of both porosity and heating rate. Mineralogic factors affecting behavior of these tuffs are limited to the presence or absence of cristobalite and altered biotite. The presence of cristobalite results in markedly nonlinear expansion above 200 0 C. If biotite in biotite-hearing rocks alters even slightly to expandable clays, the behavior of these tuffs near the boiling point of water can be dominated by contraction of the expandable phase. Expansion of both high- and low-porosity tuffs containing hydrated silicic glass and/or expandable clays is complex. The behavior of these rocks appears to be completely dominated by dehydration of hydrous phases and, hence, should be critically dependent on fluid pressure. Valid extrapolation of the ambient-pressure results presented here to depths of interest for construction of a nuclear-waste repository will depend on a good understanding of the interaction of dehydration rates and fluid pressures, and of the effects of both micro- and macrofractures on the response of tuff masss

  4. Effect of radiation on the mechanical properties of Topopah Spring Tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blair, S.C.; Kelly, J.M.; Pine, O.; Pletcher, R.; Berge, P.A.

    1996-01-01

    This report presents results of a suite of uniaxial compressive tests conducted to provide laboratory data to determine how radiation affects the compressive strength of Topopah Spring Tuff, which is the rock type for the proposed geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, in Nevada. The repository would be designed for storing spent fuel and other high-level radioactive wastes. We need to better understand what effect radiation has on the compressive strength of this type of rock because emplacement of radioactive waste may impose a radiation field on the rock that is exposed in the emplacement drifts and other excavations associated with the proposed repository. Thus, we must determine whether exposure to radiation will alter the mechanical strength or other geomechanical properties of the rock in the very near-field region of the repository. Until now, data describing the effect of radiation on tuff from the potential repository horizon have not been available. The approach taken was to precisely measure rock behavior in uniaxial compression on irradiated and non-irradiated samples of Topopah Spring Tuff. Identical procedures were used for preparing and testing the samples tested for radiation effects and those that were not irradiated, except for the exposure to gamma radiation. Results for the irradiated and non-irradiated samples were then compared

  5. A natural analogue for high-level waste in tuff: Chemical analysis and modeling of the Valles site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stockman, H.W.; Krumhansl, J.L.; Ho, C.K.; Kovach, L.; McConnell, V.S.

    1995-01-01

    The contact between an obsidian flow and a steep-walled tuff canyon was examined as an analogue for a high-level waste repository. The analogue site is located in the Valles Caldera in New Mexico, where a massive obsidian flow filled a paleocanyon in the Battleship Rock Tuff. The obsidian flow provided a heat source, analogous to waste panels or an igneous intrusion in a repository, and caused evaporation and migration of water. The tuff and obsidian samples were analyzed for major and trace elements and mineralogy by INAA, XRF, x-ray diffraction, and scanning electron microscopy and electron microprobe. Samples were also analyzed for D/H and 39 Ar/ 40 Ar isotopic composition. Overall, the effects of the heating event seem to have been slight and limited to the tuff nearest the contact. There is some evidence of devitrification and migration of volatiles in the tuff within 10 m of the contact, but variations in major and trace element chemistry are small and difficult to distinguish from the natural (pre-heating) variability of the rocks

  6. Mechanical and bulk properties of intact rock collected in the laboratory in support of the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Price, R.H.; Martin, R.J. III; Boyd, P.J.; Boinott, G.N.

    1994-01-01

    A comprehensive laboratory investigation is determining the mechanical properties of tuffs for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP). Most recently, experiments have been performed on tuff samples from a series of drill holes along the planned alignment of the Exploratory Study Facilities (ESF) north ramp. Unconfined compression and indirect tension experiments were performed and the results are being analyzed with the help of bulk property information. The results on samples from eight of the drill holes are presented. In general, the properties vary widely, but are highly dependent on the sample porosity. The developed relationships between mechanical properties and porosity are powerful tools in the effort to model the rock mass response of Yucca Mountain to the emplacement of the potential high-level radioactive waste repository

  7. Technical correspondence in support of an evaluation of the hydrologic effects of exploratory shaft facility construction at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peterson, A.C.; Eaton, R.R.; Russo, A.J.; Lewin, J.A.

    1988-12-01

    This document comprises four letter reports containing information that has been used in preparing the plan to characterize the site of the prospective repository at Yucca Mountain. The Yucca Mountain Project is studying the feasibility of constructing a high-level nuclear waste repository in the Topopah Spring Unit of the Paintbrush Tuff. One activity of site characterization is the construction of two exploratory shafts. The information in this report pertains to (1) engineering calculations of the potential distribution of residual water from constructing the exploratory shafts and drifts, (2) numerical calculations predicting the movement of the residual construction water from the shaft walls into the rock, (3) numerical calculations of the movement of the residual water and how the movement is affected by ventilation, and (4) measurement of the movement of water into a welded tuff core when a pulse of water pressure is applied to a laboratory test sample for a short time (100 min)

  8. Predicting spent fuel oxidation states in a tuff repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Einziger, R.E.; Woodley, R.E.

    1987-01-01

    Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project (NNWSI) is studying the suitability of the tuffaceous rocks at Yucca Mountain as a waste repository for spent fuel disposal. The oxidation state of the LWR spent fuel in the moist air environment of a tuff repository could be a significant factor in determining its leaching and dissolution characteristics. Predictions as to which oxidation states would be present are important in analyzing such a repository and thus the present study was undertaken. A set of TGA (thermogravimetric analysis) tests were conducted on well-controlled samples of irradiated PWR fuel with time and temperature as the only variables. The tests were conducted between 140 and 225 0 C for a duration up to 2200 hours. The weight gain curves were analyzed in terms of diffusion through a layer of U 3 O 7 , diffusion into the grains to form a solid solution, a simplified empirical representation of a combination of grain boundary diffusion and bulk grain oxidation. Reaction rate constants were determined in each case, but analysis of these data could not establish a definitive mechanism. 21 refs., 10 figs., 3 tabs

  9. Pore-water extraction from unsaturated tuff by triaxial and one-dimensional compression methods, Nevada Test Site, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mower, Timothy E.; Higgins, Jerry D.; Yang, In C.; Peters, Charles A.

    1994-01-01

    Study of the hydrologic system at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, requires the extraction of pore-water samples from welded and nonwelded, unsaturated tuffs. Two compression methods (triaxial compression and one-dimensional compression) were examined to develop a repeatable extraction technique and to investigate the effects of the extraction method on the original pore-fluid composition. A commercially available triaxial cell was modified to collect pore water expelled from tuff cores. The triaxial cell applied a maximum axial stress of 193 MPa and a maximum confining stress of 68 MPa. Results obtained from triaxial compression testing indicated that pore-water samples could be obtained from nonwelded tuff cores that had initial moisture contents as small as 13 percent (by weight of dry soil). Injection of nitrogen gas while the test core was held at the maximum axial stress caused expulsion of additional pore water and reduced the required initial moisture content from 13 to 11 percent. Experimental calculations, together with experience gained from testing moderately welded tuff cores, indicated that the triaxial cell used in this study could not apply adequate axial or confining stress to expel pore water from cores of densely welded tuffs. This concern led to the design, fabrication, and testing of a one-dimensional compression cell. The one-dimensional compression cell used in this study was constructed from hardened 4340-alloy and nickel-alloy steels and could apply a maximum axial stress of 552 MPa. The major components of the device include a corpus ring and sample sleeve to confine the sample, a piston and base platen to apply axial load, and drainage plates to transmit expelled water from the test core out of the cell. One-dimensional compression extracted pore water from nonwelded tuff cores that had initial moisture contents as small as 7.6 percent; pore water was expelled from densely welded tuff cores that had initial moisture contents as small as 7

  10. Hydrology of Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nevada-California : investigative results through mid-1983

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waddell, R.K.; Robison, J.H.; Blankennagel, R.K.

    1984-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is one of several sites under consideration for construction of the first repository for high-level nuclear waste. The climate is arid; few perennial streams are present in the region. Flash floods occasionally occur. The site is underlain by at least 1,800 meters of volcanic tuffs of Tertiary age; limestones and dolomites of Paleozoic age underlie much of the surrounding region, and, together with alluvial deposits, comprise the major aquifers. Yucca Mountain is in the Alkali Flat-Furnace Creek Ranch ground-water subbasin, which is part of the Death Valley ground-water basin. Discharge occurs at Alkali Flat almost entirely by evapotranspiration, and at Furnace Creek Ranch from small springs and seeps. Beneath Yucca Mountain, depth to water ranges from about 460 to 700 meters; the rock under consideration for construction of the repository is in the unsaturated zone. Rate of recharge at Yucca Mountain is small, perhaps much less than 5 millimeters per year. Within the saturated zone, water movement is principally along fractures. The hydraulic gradient is small east (downgradient) of Yucca Mountain, and increases to the north and west. Lack of effective-porosity data presently precludes accurate calculation of flow velocity and travel times. (USGS)

  11. Detailed petrographic descriptions and microprobe data for tertiary silicic volcanic rocks in drill hole USW G-1, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Caporuscio, F.A.; Warren, R.G.; Broxton, D.E.

    1985-12-01

    This report contains detailed petrographic descriptions of 74 thin sections from drill hole USW G-1 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. These descriptions are keyed to the distinctions between devitrified, vitrophyre, vitric, and zeolitized intervals below the Topopah Spring Member repository horizon. The petrographic features of the zeolitized intervals down through the Crater Flat tuff, as well as the sorption properties determined from these intervals, suggest that these zeolite occurrences may each have comparable sorptive capability.

  12. Summary of lithologic logging of new and existing boreholes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, March 1994 to June 1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geslin, J.K.; Moyer, T.C.

    1995-01-01

    This report summarizes lithologic logging of core from boreholes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, conducted from March 1994 to June 1994. Units encountered during logging include Quaternary-Tertiary alluvium and colluvium, Tertiary Rainier Mesa Tuff, all units in the Tertiary Paintbrush Group, and Tertiary Calico Hills Formation. Logging results are presented in a table of contact depths for core from unsaturated zone neutron (UZN) boreholes and graphic lithologic logs for core from north ramp geology (NRG) boreholes

  13. Ground-water recharge in Fortymile Wash near Yucca Mountain, Nevada, 1992--1993

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Savard, C.S.

    1994-01-01

    Quantification of the ground-water recharge from streamflow in the Fortymile Wash watershed will contribute to regional ground-water studies. Regional ground-water studies are an important component in the studies evaluating the ground-water flow system as a barrier to the potential migration of radionuclides from the potential underground high-level nuclear waste repository. Knowledge gained in understanding the ground-water recharge mechanisms and pathways in the Pah Canyon area, which is 10 km to the northeast of Yucca Mountain, may transfer to Yucca site specific studies. The current data collection network in Fortymile Canyon does not permit quantification of ground-water recharge, however a qualitative understanding of ground-water recharge was developed from these data

  14. DOE's Yucca Mountain studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-12-01

    This booklet is about the disposal of high-level nuclear waste in the United States. It is for readers who have a general rather than a technical background. It discusses why scientists and engineers thinkhigh-level nuclear waste may be disposed of safely underground. It also describes why Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is being studied as a potential repository site and provides basic information about those studies

  15. Status of understanding of the saturated-zone ground-water flow system at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as of 1995

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luckey, R.R.; Tucci, P.; Faunt, C.C.; Ervin, E.M.

    1996-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, which is being studied extensively because it is a potential site for a high-level radioactive-waste repository, consists of a thick sequence of volcanic rocks of Tertiary age that are underlain, at least to the southeast, by carbonate rocks of Paleozoic age. Stratigraphic units important to the hydrology of the area include the alluvium, pyroclastic rocks of Miocene age (the Timber Mountain Group; the Paintbrush Group; the Calico Hills Formation; the Crater Flat Group; the Lithic Ridge Tuff; and older tuffs, flows, and lavas beneath the Lithic Ridge Tuff), and sedimentary rocks of Paleozoic age. The saturated zone generally occurs in the Calico Hills Formation and stratigraphically lower units. The saturated zone is divided into three aquifers and two confining units. The flow system at Yucca Mountain is part of the Alkali Flat-Furnace Creek subbasin of the Death Valley groundwater basin. Variations in the gradients of the potentiometric surface provided the basis for subdividing the Yucca Mountain area into zones of: (1) large hydraulic gradient where potentiometric levels change at least 300 meters in a few kilometers; (2) moderate hydraulic gradient where potentiometric levels change about 45 meters in a few kilometers; and (3) small hydraulic gradient where potentiometric levels change only about 2 meters in several kilometers. Vertical hydraulic gradients were measured in only a few boreholes around Yucca Mountain; most boreholes had little change in potentiometric levels with depth. Limited hydraulic testing of boreholes in the Yucca Mountain area indicated that the range in transmissivity was more than 2 to 3 orders of magnitude in a particular hydrogeologic unit, and that the average values for the individual hydrogeologic units generally differed by about 1 order of magnitude. The upper volcanic aquifer seems to be the most permeable hydrogeologic unit, but this conclusion was based on exceedingly limited data

  16. Status of understanding of the saturated-zone ground-water flow system at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as of 1995

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luckey, R.R.; Tucci, P.; Faunt, C.C.; Ervin, E.M. [and others

    1996-12-31

    Yucca Mountain, which is being studied extensively because it is a potential site for a high-level radioactive-waste repository, consists of a thick sequence of volcanic rocks of Tertiary age that are underlain, at least to the southeast, by carbonate rocks of Paleozoic age. Stratigraphic units important to the hydrology of the area include the alluvium, pyroclastic rocks of Miocene age (the Timber Mountain Group; the Paintbrush Group; the Calico Hills Formation; the Crater Flat Group; the Lithic Ridge Tuff; and older tuffs, flows, and lavas beneath the Lithic Ridge Tuff), and sedimentary rocks of Paleozoic age. The saturated zone generally occurs in the Calico Hills Formation and stratigraphically lower units. The saturated zone is divided into three aquifers and two confining units. The flow system at Yucca Mountain is part of the Alkali Flat-Furnace Creek subbasin of the Death Valley groundwater basin. Variations in the gradients of the potentiometric surface provided the basis for subdividing the Yucca Mountain area into zones of: (1) large hydraulic gradient where potentiometric levels change at least 300 meters in a few kilometers; (2) moderate hydraulic gradient where potentiometric levels change about 45 meters in a few kilometers; and (3) small hydraulic gradient where potentiometric levels change only about 2 meters in several kilometers. Vertical hydraulic gradients were measured in only a few boreholes around Yucca Mountain; most boreholes had little change in potentiometric levels with depth. Limited hydraulic testing of boreholes in the Yucca Mountain area indicated that the range in transmissivity was more than 2 to 3 orders of magnitude in a particular hydrogeologic unit, and that the average values for the individual hydrogeologic units generally differed by about 1 order of magnitude. The upper volcanic aquifer seems to be the most permeable hydrogeologic unit, but this conclusion was based on exceedingly limited data.

  17. Characterizing the interaction between the bogus yucca moth and yuccas: do bogus yucca moths impact yucca reproductive success?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Althoff, David M; Segraves, Kari A; Sparks, Jed P

    2004-07-01

    Yucca moths are most well known for their obligate pollination mutualism with yuccas, where pollinator moths provide yuccas with pollen and, in exchange, the moth larvae feed on a subset of the developing yucca seeds. The pollinators, however, comprise only two of the three genera of yucca moths. Members of the third genus, Prodoxus, are the "bogus yucca moths" and are sister to the pollinator moths. Adult Prodoxus lack the specialized mouthparts used for pollination and the larvae feed on plant tissues other than seeds. Prodoxus larvae feed within the same plants as pollinator larvae and have the potential to influence yucca reproductive success directly by drawing resources away from flowers and fruit, or indirectly by modifying the costs of the mutualism with pollinators. We examined the interaction between the scape-feeding bogus yucca moth, Prodoxus decipiens, and one of its yucca hosts, Yucca filamentosa, by comparing female reproductive success of plants with and without moth larvae. We determined reproductive success by measuring a set of common reproductive traits such as flowering characteristics, seed set, and seed germination. In addition, we also quantified the percent total nitrogen in the seeds to determine whether the presence of larvae could potentially reduce seed quality. Flowering characteristics, seed set, and seed germination were not significantly different between plants with and without bogus yucca moth larvae. In contrast, the percent total nitrogen content of seeds was significantly lower in plants with P. decipiens larvae, and nitrogen content was negatively correlated with the number of larvae feeding within the inflorescence scape. Surveys of percent total nitrogen at three time periods during the flowering and fruiting of Y. filamentosa also showed that larval feeding decreased the amount of nitrogen in fruit tissue. Taken together, the results suggest that although P. decipiens influences nitrogen distribution in Y. filamentosa, this

  18. Assessment of the importance of mixing in the Yucca Mountain hydrogeological system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez, Javier B.; Auque, Luis F.; Gimeno, Maria; Acero, Patricia; Peterman, Zell; Oliver, Thomas A.; Gascoyne, Mel; Laaksoharju, Marcus

    2011-02-01

    The main objective of this work is to assess the importance of mixing on the hydrochemistry of waters in and around Yucca Mountain, most importantly in those waters south of Yucca Mountain. Due to the general north-south gradient of groundwater flow in the Yucca Mountain area, leakage from the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository would have the greatest consequences in the saturated zone waters south of Yucca Mountain. In this area (Amargosa River, Amargosa Flat and Ash Meadows), three main aquifers interact: the Regional Palaeozoic Carbonate Aquifer (RCA), the Tertiary Tuffs Aquifer (TTA) and the Quaternary Basin-fill Aquifer (QBfA). One consequence of upward leakage from the Palaeozoic Carbonate Aquifer would be to dilute the contaminant plume should one develop from the radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain. The reverse, downward leakage from the Tertiary Tuffs Aquifer or the Quaternary Basin-fill Aquifer into the Palaeozoic Carbonate Aquifer would contaminate a major aquifer system. It is clearly of the utmost importance to explore the links between theses aquifer systems and to assess the degree of mixing between the groundwaters. To attain this general objective, the following specific objectives have been either defined in advance or decided as being important during the development of the project: 1. Compile a dataset of water samples from the Yucca Mountain area. This dataset should contain samples from all the potential water types that contribute to the chemistry of the groundwaters in the aquifer systems in the area. 2. Perform a careful total-system exploratory analysis on the initial (raw) dataset in order to identify trends and outliers. 3. Perform a detailed exploratory analysis of each individual hydrofacies with the aim of identifying and eliminating from the raw dataset all the samples heavily affected by processes other than mixing (e.g. water-rock interaction, evaporation, cation exchange). PHREEQC simulations were

  19. Assessment of the importance of mixing in the Yucca Mountain hydrogeological system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gomez, Javier B.; Auque, Luis F.; Gimeno, Maria; Acero, Patricia (Geochemical Modelling Group, Dept. of Earth Sciences, Univ. of Zaragoza (Spain)); Peterman, Zell; Oliver, Thomas A. (U.S. Geological Survey (United States)); Gascoyne, Mel (Gascoyne Geoprojects Inc (Canada)); Laaksoharju, Marcus (Geopoint AB (Sweden))

    2011-02-15

    The main objective of this work is to assess the importance of mixing on the hydrochemistry of waters in and around Yucca Mountain, most importantly in those waters south of Yucca Mountain. Due to the general north-south gradient of groundwater flow in the Yucca Mountain area, leakage from the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository would have the greatest consequences in the saturated zone waters south of Yucca Mountain. In this area (Amargosa River, Amargosa Flat and Ash Meadows), three main aquifers interact: the Regional Palaeozoic Carbonate Aquifer (RCA), the Tertiary Tuffs Aquifer (TTA) and the Quaternary Basin-fill Aquifer (QBfA). One consequence of upward leakage from the Palaeozoic Carbonate Aquifer would be to dilute the contaminant plume should one develop from the radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain. The reverse, downward leakage from the Tertiary Tuffs Aquifer or the Quaternary Basin-fill Aquifer into the Palaeozoic Carbonate Aquifer would contaminate a major aquifer system. It is clearly of the utmost importance to explore the links between theses aquifer systems and to assess the degree of mixing between the groundwaters. To attain this general objective, the following specific objectives have been either defined in advance or decided as being important during the development of the project: 1. Compile a dataset of water samples from the Yucca Mountain area. This dataset should contain samples from all the potential water types that contribute to the chemistry of the groundwaters in the aquifer systems in the area. 2. Perform a careful total-system exploratory analysis on the initial (raw) dataset in order to identify trends and outliers. 3. Perform a detailed exploratory analysis of each individual hydrofacies with the aim of identifying and eliminating from the raw dataset all the samples heavily affected by processes other than mixing (e.g. water-rock interaction, evaporation, cation exchange). PHREEQC simulations were

  20. Chemical analyses of rocks, minerals, and detritus, Yucca Mountain--Preliminary report, special report No. 11

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hill, C.A.; Livingston, D.E.

    1993-09-01

    This chemical analysis study is part of the research program of the Yucca Mountain Project intended to provide the State of Nevada with a detailed assessment of the geology and geochemistry of Yucca Mountain and adjacent regions. This report is preliminary in the sense that more chemical analyses may be needed in the future and also in the sense that these chemical analyses should be considered as a small part of a much larger geological data base. The interpretations discussed herein may be modified as that larger data base is examined and established. All of the chemical analyses performed to date are shown in Table 1. There are three parts to this table: (1) trace element analyses on rocks (limestone and tuff) and minerals (calcite/opal), (2) rare earth analyses on rocks (tuff) and minerals (calcite/opal), and (3) major element analyses + CO{sub 2} on rocks (tuff) and detritus sand. In this report, for each of the three parts of the table, the data and its possible significance will be discussed first, then some overall conclusions will be made, and finally some recommendations for future work will be offered.

  1. Distribution of potentially hazardous phases in the subsurface at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guthrie, G.D. Jr.; Bish, D.L.; Chipera, S.J.; Raymond, R. Jr.

    1995-05-01

    Drilling, trenching, excavation of the Exploratory Studies Facility, and other surface and underground-distributing activities have the potential to release minerals into the environment from tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Some of these minerals may be potential respiratory health hazards. Therefore, an understanding of the distribution of the minerals that may potentially be liberated during site-characterization and operation of the potential repository is crucial to ensuring worker and public safety. Analysis of previously reported mineralogy of Yucca Mountain tuffs using data and criteria from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) suggests that the following minerals are of potential concern: quartz, cristobalite, tridymite, opal-CT, erionite, mordenite, and palygorskite. The authors have re-evaluated the three-dimensional mineral distribution at Yucca Mountain above the static water level both in bulk-rock samples and in fractures, using quantitative X-ray powder diffraction analysis. Erionite, mordenite, and palygorskite occur primarily in fractures; the crystalline-silica minerals, quartz, cristobalite, and tridymite are major bulk-rock phases. Erionite occurs in the altered zone just above the lower Topopah Spring Member vitrophyre, and an occurrence below the vitrophyre but above the Calico Hills has recently been identified. In this latter occurrence, erionite is present in the matrix at levels up to 35 wt%. Mordenite and palygorskite occur throughout the vadose zone nearly to the surface. Opal-CT is limited to zeolitic horizons

  2. Distribution of potentially hazardous phases in the subsurface at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guthrie, G.D. Jr.; Bish, D.L.; Chipera, S.J.; Raymond, R. Jr.

    1995-05-01

    Drilling, trenching, excavation of the Exploratory Studies Facility, and other surface and underground-distributing activities have the potential to release minerals into the environment from tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Some of these minerals may be potential respiratory health hazards. Therefore, an understanding of the distribution of the minerals that may potentially be liberated during site-characterization and operation of the potential repository is crucial to ensuring worker and public safety. Analysis of previously reported mineralogy of Yucca Mountain tuffs using data and criteria from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) suggests that the following minerals are of potential concern: quartz, cristobalite, tridymite, opal-CT, erionite, mordenite, and palygorskite. The authors have re-evaluated the three-dimensional mineral distribution at Yucca Mountain above the static water level both in bulk-rock samples and in fractures, using quantitative X-ray powder diffraction analysis. Erionite, mordenite, and palygorskite occur primarily in fractures; the crystalline-silica minerals, quartz, cristobalite, and tridymite are major bulk-rock phases. Erionite occurs in the altered zone just above the lower Topopah Spring Member vitrophyre, and an occurrence below the vitrophyre but above the Calico Hills has recently been identified. In this latter occurrence, erionite is present in the matrix at levels up to 35 wt%. Mordenite and palygorskite occur throughout the vadose zone nearly to the surface. Opal-CT is limited to zeolitic horizons.

  3. The role of fault zones in affecting multiphase flow at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tsang, Y.W.; Pruess, K.; Wang, J.S.Y.

    1993-01-01

    Within Yucca Mountain, the potential High Level Nuclear-Waste Repository site, there are large scale fault zones, most notably the Ghost Dance Fault. The effect of such high-permeability, large scale discontinuities on the flow and transport is a question of concern in assessing the ability of the site to isolate radio-nuclides from the biosphere. In this paper, we present a numerical study to investigate the role of the fault in affecting both the liquid and gas phase flows in the natural state at Yucca Mountain prior to waste emplacement, as well as after the waste emplacement when the fluid flow is strongly heat-driven. Our study shows that if the characteristic curves of the Ghost Dance Fault obey the same relationship between saturated permeability and capillary scaling parameter, as is observed from the measured data of Yucca Mountain welded and nonwelded tuffs. Apache Leap tuffs, and Las Cruces soil, then a large saturated permeability of the Ghost Dance Fault will play little role in channeling water into the fault, or inenhancing the flow of water down the fault. However, the Fault may greatly enhance the upward gas flow after emplacement of waste. This may have implications on the transport of gaseous radio-nuclides such as C 14 . The results of this study also focus attention on the need for field measurements of fluid flow in the fault zones

  4. YUCCA MOUNTAIN PROJECT - A BRIEFING --

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NA

    2003-08-05

    This report has the following articles: Nuclear waste--a long-term national problem; Spent nuclear fuel; High-level radioactive waste; Radioactivity and the environment; Current storage methods; Disposal options; U.S. policy on nuclear waste; The focus on Yucca Mountain; The purpose and scope of the Yucca Mountain Project; The approach for permanently disposing of waste; The scientific studies at Yucca Mountain; The proposed design for a repository at Yucca Mountain; Natural and engineered barriers would work together to isolate waste; Meticulous science and technology to protect people and the environment; Licensing a repository; Transporting waste to a permanent repository; The Environmental Impact Statement for a repository; Current status of the Yucca Mountain Project; and Further information available on the Internet.

  5. YUCCA MOUNTAIN PROJECT - A BRIEFING -

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2003-01-01

    This report has the following articles: Nuclear waste--a long-term national problem; Spent nuclear fuel; High-level radioactive waste; Radioactivity and the environment; Current storage methods; Disposal options; U.S. policy on nuclear waste; The focus on Yucca Mountain; The purpose and scope of the Yucca Mountain Project; The approach for permanently disposing of waste; The scientific studies at Yucca Mountain; The proposed design for a repository at Yucca Mountain; Natural and engineered barriers would work together to isolate waste; Meticulous science and technology to protect people and the environment; Licensing a repository; Transporting waste to a permanent repository; The Environmental Impact Statement for a repository; Current status of the Yucca Mountain Project; and Further information available on the Internet

  6. Water permeability and related rock properties measured on core samples from the Yucca Mountain USW GU-3/G-3 and USW G-4 boreholes, Nevada Test Site, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anderson, L.A.

    1994-01-01

    Core samples were measured for bulk density, grain density, porosity, resistivity, and water permeability as part of a comprehensive geologic investigation designed to determine the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a site for the containment of high-level radioactive waste products. The cores were selected at the drill sites so as to be representative of the major lithologic variations observed within stratigraphic units of the Paintbrush Tuff, Calico Hills Tuff, Crater Flat Tuff, Lithic Ridge Tuff, and Older Tuffs. Dry and saturated bulk density, grain density, and porosity measurements were made on the core samples principally to establish that a reasonable uniformity exists in the textural and mineral character of the sample pairs. Electrical resistivity measured on sample pairs tended to be lower along the plane transverse to the vertical axis of the drill core herein referred to as the horizontal plane. Permeability values, ranging from virtually zero (<.02 microdarcies) to over 200 millidarcies, also indicate a preferential flow direction along the horizontal plane of the individual tuff units. Permeability decreases with flow duration in all but the non-welded tuffs as unconsolidated particles within the pore network are repositioned so as to impede the continued flow of water through the rock. Reversing flow direction initially restores the permeability of the rock to its original or maximum value

  7. Hydrologic modeling and field testing at Yucca mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoxie, D.T.

    1991-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is being evaluated as a possible site for a mined geologic repository for the disposal of high-level nuclear waste. The repository is proposed to be constructed in fractured, densely welded tuff within the thick (500 to 750 meters) unsaturated zone at the site. Characterization of the site unsaturated-zone hydrogeologic system requires quantitative specification of the existing state of the system and the development of numerical hydrologic models to predict probable evolution of the hydrogeologic system over the lifetime of the repository. To support development of hydrologic models for the system, a testing program has been designed to characterize the existing state of the system, to measure hydrologic properties for the system and to identify and quantify those processes that control system dynamics. 12 refs

  8. High-precision /sup 40/Ar//sup 39/Ar ages of widespread Oligocene ash-flow tuff sheets near Socorro, New Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kedzie, L.L.; Sutter, J.F.; Chapin, C.E.

    1985-01-01

    High-precision /sup 40/Ar//sup 39/Ar age spectrum dating on 5 ash-flow tuff sheets erupted from a group of cauldrons in the Mogollon-Datil volcanic field near Socorro, New Mexico, has produced a precise stratigraphic framework. Previous dating by K-Ar and fission-track methods was not precise enough to distinguish units erupted during a short time (1 million-2 million years), and many K-Ar analyses of cogenetic biotite and Na-sanidine yielded discordant ages. The five units and their high-precision /sup 40/Ar//sup 39/Ar ages, compared to an adopted age of 519.4 Ma for the McClure Mountain hornblende standard (MMhb-1), are listed in ascending stratigraphic order: Hells Mesa Tuff, 32.04 Ma; La Jencia Tuff, 28.76 Ma; Vicks Peak Tuff, 28.46 Ma; Lemitar Tuff, 27.95 Ma; South Canyon Tuff, 27.36 Ma. The temporal resolution for each unit is about 150,000 years. Na-sanidines yield the most concordant age spectra; however, plateau ages of cogenetic sanidine and biotite are equivalent for most samples. Preliminary investigations suggest that the approximately 3.3-million-year hiatus between the Hells Mesa and La Jencia Tuffs may represent a regional lull in volcanic activity. If so, ash-flow tuffs erupted after the hiatus are unlikely to have been derived by differentiation from magmas that produced the underlying volcanic units. Eruption of 4 major ash-flow sheets in 1 million-1.5 million years following the hiatus coincides with the onset of strong, regional extension in the Rio Grande rift and may represent a different magma genesis.

  9. Preliminary U-series disequilibrium and thermoluminescence ages of surficial deposits and paleosols associated with Quaternary fault, Eastern Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paces, J.B.; Menges, C.M.; Bush, C.A.; Futa, K.; Millard, H.T.; Maat, P.B.; Whitney, J.W.; Widmann, B.; Wesling, J.R.

    1994-01-01

    Geochronological control is an essential component of paleoseismic evaluation of faults in the Yucca Mountain region. New U-series disequilibrium and thermoluminescence age estimates for pedogenic deposits that bracket surface-rupture events are presented from four sites exposing the Paintbrush Canyon, Bow Ridge and Stagecoach Road faults. Ages show an internal consistency with stratigraphic relationships as well as an overall concordancy between the two independent geochronometers. Age estimates are therefore interpreted to date depositional events or episodes of pedogenic carbonate mobility that can be used to establish a paleoseismic fault chronology. Ultimately, this type of chronological information will be used to evaluate seismic hazards at Yucca Mountain

  10. Preliminary U-series disequilibrium and thermoluminescence ages of surficial deposits and paleosols associated with Quaternary fault, Eastern Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paces, J.B.; Menges, C.M.; Bush, C.A.; Futa, K.; Millard, H.T.; Maat, P.B.; Whitney, J.W. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Widmann, B. [Science Applications International Corp., Golden, CO (United States); Wesling, J.R. [Geomatrix Consultants, Inc., San Francisco, CA (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Geochronological control is an essential component of paleoseismic evaluation of faults in the Yucca Mountain region. New U-series disequilibrium and thermoluminescence age estimates for pedogenic deposits that bracket surface-rupture events are presented from four sites exposing the Paintbrush Canyon, Bow Ridge and Stagecoach Road faults. Ages show an internal consistency with stratigraphic relationships as well as an overall concordancy between the two independent geochronometers. Age estimates are therefore interpreted to date depositional events or episodes of pedogenic carbonate mobility that can be used to establish a paleoseismic fault chronology. Ultimately, this type of chronological information will be used to evaluate seismic hazards at Yucca Mountain.

  11. Bulk and mechanical properties of the Paintbrush tuff recovered from borehole USW NRG-6: Data report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, R.J.; Boyd, P.J.; Noel, J.S.; Price, R.H.

    1994-11-01

    Experimental results are presented for bulk and mechanical properties measurements on specimens of the Paintbrush tuff recovered from borehole USW NRG-6 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Measurements have been performed on four thermal/mechanical units, TCw, PTn, TSw1 and TSw2. On each specimen the following bulk properties have been reported: dry bulk density, saturated bulk density, average grain density, and porosity. Unconfined compression to failure, confined compression to failure, and indirect tensile strength tests were performed on selected specimens recovered from the borehole. In addition, compressional and shear wave velocities were measured on specimens designated for unconfined compression and confined compression experiments. Measurements were conducted at room temperature on nominally water saturated specimens; however, some specimens of PTn were tested in a room dry condition. The nominal strain rate for the fracture experiments was 10 -5 s -1

  12. Sources of Fe in eolian and soil detritus at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vaniman, D.; Chipera, S.; Bish, D.

    1997-12-31

    Eolian deposits and adjacent soil horizons at Exile Hill near Yucca Mountain, Nevada, provide a desert environment where the origins of exotic eolian materials can be discerned. Petrographic, chemical, X-ray diffraction, and electron microprobe data allow an assessment of Fe mineral sources. Fe-rich minerals in local rhyolitic tuff bedrock consist of distinctive biotite and amphibole phenocrysts and groundmass Mn-hematites. Although the local tuffs contain only 1% FeO, detrital components of eolian and soil deposits have {approximately}3% FeO. Exotic minerals from distant sources provide most of the excess Fe in the surficial deposits. The exotic Fe sources are principally smectite, low-Mn hematite, low-F biotite, and high-Fe amphibole not found in local tuffs. Iron contents and the exotic Fe fraction increase with decreasing grain size, such that the clay fractions have {approximately}5--6% FeO, almost all of which is in exotic smectites. The distant origin of these smectites is evident in their high Fe content and distinct Sc/FeO enrichment trends, which differ from the strong local Sc/FeO control defined by coarser soil detritus. Approximate crustal average lanthanide composition in soil and eolian smectites rule out any significant contribution of local smectite derived from tuff alteration. The eolian and soil smectites instead inherit their high Fe content from eolian biotite.

  13. Sources of Fe in eolian and soil detritus at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vaniman, D.; Chipera, S.; Bish, D.

    1997-01-01

    Eolian deposits and adjacent soil horizons at Exile Hill near Yucca Mountain, Nevada, provide a desert environment where the origins of exotic eolian materials can be discerned. Petrographic, chemical, X-ray diffraction, and electron microprobe data allow an assessment of Fe mineral sources. Fe-rich minerals in local rhyolitic tuff bedrock consist of distinctive biotite and amphibole phenocrysts and groundmass Mn-hematites. Although the local tuffs contain only 1% FeO, detrital components of eolian and soil deposits have ∼3% FeO. Exotic minerals from distant sources provide most of the excess Fe in the surficial deposits. The exotic Fe sources are principally smectite, low-Mn hematite, low-F biotite, and high-Fe amphibole not found in local tuffs. Iron contents and the exotic Fe fraction increase with decreasing grain size, such that the clay fractions have ∼5--6% FeO, almost all of which is in exotic smectites. The distant origin of these smectites is evident in their high Fe content and distinct Sc/FeO enrichment trends, which differ from the strong local Sc/FeO control defined by coarser soil detritus. Approximate crustal average lanthanide composition in soil and eolian smectites rule out any significant contribution of local smectite derived from tuff alteration. The eolian and soil smectites instead inherit their high Fe content from eolian biotite

  14. Dietary supplementation of yucca (Yucca schidigera) affects ovine ovarian functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlčková, Radoslava; Sopková, Drahomíra; Andrejčáková, Zuzana; Valocký, Igor; Kádasi, Attila; Harrath, Abdel Halim; Petrilla, Vladimír; Sirotkin, Alexander V

    2017-01-15

    Yucca (Yucca schidigera) is a popular medicinal plant due to its many positive effects on animal and human physiology, including their reproductive systems. To examine the effect of supplemental yucca feeding on sheep reproduction, including ovarian functions and their hormonal regulators, ewes were fed (or not fed, control) yucca powder (1.5 g/head/day, 30 days). Macromorphometric indexes of the oviduct, ovary, and ovarian folliculogenesis were measured. Reproductive hormone levels in the blood were measured using a radioimmunoassay. Granulosa cells were aspirated from the ovary, and their proliferation and apoptosis were detected using immunocytochemistry. To assess secretory activity and its response to gonadotropin, ovarian fragments of treated and control ewes were cultured with and without follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH; 0, 0.1, 1, 10, or 100 IU/mL), and the release of reproductive hormones into the culture medium was evaluated. Finally, to examine the direct action of yucca on the ovary, ovarian fragments from control ewes were cultured with and without yucca extract (1, 10, or 100 μg/mL), and the release of reproductive hormones was measured. Yucca supplementation significantly decreased the size of small antral follicles (2 to yucca supplementation did not affect the size of larger follicles and number of follicles, volume and weight of ovaries, length and weight of oviducts, caspase 3 accumulation, cell proliferation, testosterone (T) or IGF-I serum levels, or T or E2 release by cultured ovarian fragments and their response to FSH. Yucca addition to culture medium inhibited P4 and IGF-I, but not T or E2 release at the lowest (1 μg/mL) dose, and stimulated P4, but not T, E2, or IGF-I release at the highest (100 μg/mL) dose. These data suggest that yucca supplementation can reduce small antral ovarian follicle development possibly via the stimulation of apoptosis of their granulosa cells, suppression of ovarian P4 and E2 release, and

  15. Post-closure performance assessment of waste packages for the Yucca Mountain Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Connell, W.J.; Ueng, T.S.; Lewis, L.C.

    1993-10-01

    This report details a system model of some core features of the performance of waste packages for the permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel at the Yucca Mountain Site. The model is realized in the prototype computer program PANDORA-1.1. The PANDORA system model links processes leading to possible release of radionuclides from the waste package. The PANDORA submodels are being developed for processes and conditions specific to this potential repository site, notably the comparatively dry location in an arid area and well above the groundwater table, and the rock medium of porous partially welded tuff

  16. A strategy to seal exploratory boreholes in unsaturated tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fernandez, J.A.; Case, J.B.; Givens, C.A.; Carney, B.C.

    1994-04-01

    This report presents a strategy for sealing exploratory boreholes associated with the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Over 500 existing and proposed boreholes have been considered in the development of this strategy, ranging from shallow (penetrating into alluvium only) to deep (penetrating into the groundwater table). Among the comprehensive list of recommendations are the following: Those boreholes within the potential repository boundary and penetrating through the potential repository horizon are the most significant boreholes from a performance standpoint and should be sealed. Shallow boreholes are comparatively insignificant and require only nominal sealing. The primary areas in which to place seals are away from high-temperature zones at a distance from the potential repository horizon in the Paintbrush nonwelded tuff and the upper portion of the Topopah Spring Member and in the tuffaceous beds of the Calico Hills Unit. Seals should be placed prior to waste emplacement. Performance goals for borehole seals both above and below the potential repository are proposed. Detailed construction information on the boreholes that could be used for future design specifications is provided along with a description of the environmental setting, i.e., the geology, hydrology, and the in situ and thermal stress states. A borehole classification scheme based on the condition of the borehole wall in different tuffaceous units is also proposed. In addition, calculations are presented to assess the significance of the boreholes acting as preferential pathways for the release of radionuclides. Design calculations are presented to answer the concerns of when, where, and how to seal. As part of the strategy development, available technologies to seal exploratory boreholes (including casing removal, borehole wall reconditioning, and seal emplacement) are reviewed

  17. Potentially disruptive hydrologic features, events and processes at the Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoxie, D.T.

    1995-04-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, has been selected by the United States to be evaluated as a potential site for the development of a geologic repository for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. If the site is determined to be suitable for repository development and construction is authorized, the repository at the Yucca Mountain site is planned to be constructed in unsaturated tuff at a depth of about 250 meters below land surface and at a distance of about 250 meters above the water table. The intent of locating a repository in a thick unsaturated-zone geohydrologic setting, such as occurs at Yucca Mountain under the arid to semi-arid climatic conditions that currently prevail in the region, is to provide a natural setting for the repository system in which little ground water will be available to contact emplaced waste or to transport radioactive material from the repository to the biosphere. In principle, an unsaturated-zone repository will be vulnerable to water entry from both above and below. Consequently, a major effort within the site-characterization program at the Yucca Mountain site is concerned with identifying and evaluating those features, events, and processes, such as increased net infiltration or water-table rise, whose presence or future occurrence could introduce water into a potential repository at the site in quantities sufficient to compromise the waste-isolation capability of the repository system.

  18. Potentially disruptive hydrologic features, events and processes at the Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoxie, D.T.

    1995-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, has been selected by the United States to be evaluated as a potential site for the development of a geologic repository for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. If the site is determined to be suitable for repository development and construction is authorized, the repository at the Yucca Mountain site is planned to be constructed in unsaturated tuff at a depth of about 250 meters below land surface and at a distance of about 250 meters above the water table. The intent of locating a repository in a thick unsaturated-zone geohydrologic setting, such as occurs at Yucca Mountain under the arid to semi-arid climatic conditions that currently prevail in the region, is to provide a natural setting for the repository system in which little ground water will be available to contact emplaced waste or to transport radioactive material from the repository to the biosphere. In principle, an unsaturated-zone repository will be vulnerable to water entry from both above and below. Consequently, a major effort within the site-characterization program at the Yucca Mountain site is concerned with identifying and evaluating those features, events, and processes, such as increased net infiltration or water-table rise, whose presence or future occurrence could introduce water into a potential repository at the site in quantities sufficient to compromise the waste-isolation capability of the repository system

  19. Use of Rhenish tuff in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijland, T.G.; Hees, R.P.J. van

    2006-01-01

    Rhenish tuffs (Rmer, Weiberner / Hohenleie, Et-tringer / Hasenstoppler) from the volcanic Eifel re-gion, Germany, have widely been used as building stone in the Netherlands. In the present paper, an overview is given of their historic use in the Nether-lands, the experience with weathering, the

  20. Products of an Artificially Induced Hydrothermal System at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Levy, S.

    2000-01-01

    Studies of mineral deposition in the recent geologic past at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, address competing hypotheses of hydrothermal alteration and deposition from percolating groundwater. The secondary minerals being studied are calcite-opal deposits in fractures and lithophysal cavities of ash-flow tuffs exposed in the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF), a 7.7-km tunnel excavated by the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project within Yucca Mountain. An underground field test in the ESF provided information about the minerals deposited by a short-lived artificial hydrothermal system and an opportunity for comparison of test products with the natural secondary minerals. The heating phase lasted nine months, followed by a nine-month cooling period. Natural pore fluids were the only source of water during the thermal test. Condensation and reflux of water driven away from the heater produced fluid flow in certain fractures and intersecting boreholes. The mineralogic products of the thermal test are calcite-gypsum aggregates of less than 4-micrometer crystals and amorphous silica as glassy scale less than 0.2 mm thick and as mounds of tubules with diameters less than 0.7 micrometers. The minute crystal sizes of calcite and gypsum from the field test are very different from the predominantly coarser calcite crystals (up to cm scale) in natural secondary-mineral deposits at the site. The complex micrometer-scale textures of the amorphous silica differ from the simple forms of opal spherules and coatings in the natural deposits, even though some natural spherules are as small as 1 micrometer. These differences suggest that the natural minerals, especially if they were of hydrothermal origin, may have developed coarser or simpler forms during subsequent episodes of dissolution and redeposition. The presence of gypsum among the test products and its absence from the natural secondary-mineral assemblage may indicate a higher degree of evaporation during the test than

  1. Yucca Mountain Project public interactions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reilly, B.E.

    1990-01-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is committed to keeping the citizens of Nevada informed about activities that relate to the high-level nuclear waste repository program. This paper presents an overview of the Yucca Mountain Project's public interaction philosophy, objectives, activities and experiences during the two years since Congress directed the DOE to conduct site characterization activities only for the Yucca Mountain site

  2. Flow in bedrock canyons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venditti, Jeremy G; Rennie, Colin D; Bomhof, James; Bradley, Ryan W; Little, Malcolm; Church, Michael

    2014-09-25

    Bedrock erosion in rivers sets the pace of landscape evolution, influences the evolution of orogens and determines the size, shape and relief of mountains. A variety of models link fluid flow and sediment transport processes to bedrock incision in canyons. The model components that represent sediment transport processes are increasingly well developed. In contrast, the model components being used to represent fluid flow are largely untested because there are no observations of the flow structure in bedrock canyons. Here we present a 524-kilometre, continuous centreline, acoustic Doppler current profiler survey of the Fraser Canyon in western Canada, which includes 42 individual bedrock canyons. Our observations of three-dimensional flow structure reveal that, as water enters the canyons, a high-velocity core follows the bed surface, causing a velocity inversion (high velocities near the bed and low velocities at the surface). The plunging water then upwells along the canyon walls, resulting in counter-rotating, along-stream coherent flow structures that diverge near the bed. The resulting flow structure promotes deep scour in the bedrock channel floor and undercutting of the canyon walls. This provides a mechanism for channel widening and ensures that the base of the walls is swept clear of the debris that is often deposited there, keeping the walls nearly vertical. These observations reveal that the flow structure in bedrock canyons is more complex than assumed in the models presently used. Fluid flow models that capture the essence of the three-dimensional flow field, using simple phenomenological rules that are computationally tractable, are required to capture the dynamic coupling between flow, bedrock erosion and solid-Earth dynamics.

  3. Containment barrier metals for high-level waste packages in a Tuff repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Russell, E.W.; McCright, R.D.; O`Neal, W.C.

    1983-10-12

    The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) Waste Package project is part of the US Department of Energy`s Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (CRWM) Program. The NNWSI project is working towards the development of multibarriered packages for the disposal of spent fuel and high-level waste in tuff in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain at the Nevada Test Site (NTS). The final engineered barrier system design may be composed of a waste form, canister, overpack, borehole liner, packing, and the near field host rock, or some combination thereof. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory`s (LLNL) role is to design, model, and test the waste package subsystem for the tuff repository. At the present stage of development of the nuclear waste management program at LLNL, the detailed requirements for the waste package design are not yet firmly established. In spite of these uncertainties as to the detailed package requirements, we have begun the conceptual design stage. By conceptual design, we mean design based on our best assessment of present and future regulatory requirements. We anticipate that changes will occur as the detailed requirements for waste package design are finalized. 17 references, 4 figures, 10 tables.

  4. Radionuclide Transport in Fractured Tuff under Episodic Flow Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Q.; Sun, Y.; Ewing, R. P.

    2005-12-01

    The current conceptual model of radionuclide transport in unsaturated fractured rock includes water movement in fractures, with migration of the entrained radionuclides being retarded by diffusion into and sorption within the rock matrix. Water infiltration and radionuclide transport through low-permeability unsaturated fractured rock are episodic and intermittent in nature, at least at local scales. Under episodic flow conditions, the matrix is constantly imbibing or draining, and this fluctuating wetness both drives two-way advective movement of radionuclides, and forces changes in the matrix diffusivity. This work is intended to examine, both experimentally and numerically, how radionuclide transport under episodic flow conditions is affected by the interacting processes of imbibition and drainage, diffusion, and matrix sorption. Using Topopah Spring welded volcanic tuff, collected from the potential repository geologic unit at Yucca Mountain for storing high-level nuclear waste, we prepared a saw-cut fracture core (length 10.2 cm, diameter 4.4 cm, and fracture aperture 100 microns). The dry core was packed into a flow reactor, flushed with CO2, then saturated via slow pumping (0.01 mL/min) of synthetic groundwater. The fractured core was then flushed with air at 97% relative humidity (to simulate in situ unsaturated fractured rock conditions at Yucca Mountain), then the episodic transport experiment was conducted. Episodic flow involved 4 cycles of tracer solution flow within the fracture, followed by flushing with high humidity air. Each flow episode contained a different suite of non-sorbing and sorbing tracers, which included 3H, ReO4- (a chemical analog for 99TcO4-), I- (for 129I-), Sr and Cs (for 90Sr and 137Cs), plus the radionuclides 235U, 237Np, and 241Pu. These radionuclides span a variety of sorption strengths and represent a large fraction of the radionuclides of concern at the potential Yucca Mountain repository. Meanwhile, the non-sorbing 3H and Re

  5. Geology at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1993-01-01

    Both advocates and critics disagree on the significance and interpretation of critical geological features which bear on the safety and suitability of Yucca Mountain as a site for the construction of a high-level radioactive waste repository. Critics believe that there is sufficient geological evidence to rule the site unsuitable for further investigation. Some advocates claim that there is insufficient data and that investigations are incomplete, while others claim that the site is free of major obstacles. We have expanded our efforts to include both the critical evaluations of existing geological and geochemical data and the collection of field data and samples for the purpose of preparing scientific papers for submittal to journals. Summaries of the critical reviews are presented in this paper

  6. Yucca Mountain Milestone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hunt, Rod

    1997-01-01

    The Department of Energy project to determine if the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada is suitable for geologic disposal of high-level nuclear waste reached a major milestone in late April when a 25-foot-diameter tunnel boring machine ''holed through'' completing a five-mile-long, horseshoe-shaped excavation through the mountain. When the cutting-head of the giant machine broke through to daylight at the tunnel's south portal, it ended a 2 1/2-year excavation through the mountain that was completed ahead of schedule and with an outstanding safety record. Video of the event was transmitted live by satellite to Washington, DC, where it was watched by Secretary of Energy Frederico Pena and other high-level DOE officials, signifying the importance of the project's mission to find a repository for high-level nuclear waste and spent nuclear fuel produced by nuclear power plants. This critical undertaking is being performed by DOE's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM). The tunnel is the major feature of the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF), which serves as an underground laboratory for engineers and scientists to help determine if Yucca Mountain is suitable to serve as a repository for the safe disposal of high-level nuclear waste. Morrison Knudsen's Environmental/Government Group is providing design and construction-management services on the project. The MK team is performing final design for the ESF and viability assessment design for the underground waste repository that will be built only if the site is found suitable for such a mission. In fact, if at anytime during the ESF phase, the site is found unsuitable, the studies will be stopped and the site restored to its natural state

  7. Yucca Mountain Project Subsurface Facilities Design

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Linden, A.; Saunders, R.S.; Boutin, R.J.; Harrington, P.G.; Lachman, K.D.; Trautner, L.J.

    2002-01-01

    Four units of the Topopah Springs formation (volcanic tuff) are considered for the proposed repository: the upper lithophysal, the middle non-lithophysal, the lower lithophysal, and the lower non-lithophysal. Yucca Mountain was recently designated the site for a proposed repository to dispose of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Work is proceeding to advance the design of subsurface facilities to accommodate emplacing waste packages in the proposed repository. This paper summarized recent progress in the design of subsurface layout of the proposed repository. The original Site Recommendation (SR) concept for the subsurface design located the repository largely within the lower lithophysal zone (approximately 73%) of the Topopah The Site Recommendation characterized area suitable for emplacement consisted of the primary upper block, the lower block and the southern upper block extension. The primary upper block accommodated the mandated 70,000 metric tons of heavy metal (MTHM) at a 1.45 kW/m hear heat load. Based on further study of the Site Recommendation concept, the proposed repository siting area footprint was modified to make maximum use of available site characterization data, and thus, reduce uncertainties associated with performance assessment. As a result of this study, a modified repository footprint has been proposed and is presently being review for acceptance by the DOE. A panel design concept was developed to reduce overall costs and reduce the overall emplacement schedule. This concept provides flexibility to adjust the proposed repository subsurface layout with time, as it makes it unnecessary to ''commit'' to development of a large single panel at the earliest stages of construction. A description of the underground layout configuration and influencing factors that affect the layout configuration are discussed in the report

  8. Evaluation of the effects of underground water usage and spillage in the Exploratory Studies Facility; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dunn, E.; Sobolik, S.R.

    1993-12-01

    The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project is studying Yucca Mountain in southwestern Nevada as a potential site for a high-level radioactive waste repository. Analyses reported herein were performed to support the design of site characterization activities so that these activities will have a minimal impact on the ability of the site to isolate waste and a minimal impact on underground tests performed as part of the characterization process. These analyses examine the effect of water to be used in the underground construction and testing activities for the Exploratory Studies Facility on in situ conditions. Underground activities and events where water will be used include construction, expected but unplanned spills, and fire protection. The models used predict that, if the current requirements in the Exploratory Studies Facility Design Requirements are observed, water that is imbibed into the tunnel wall rock in the Topopah Springs welded tuff can be removed over the preclosure time period by routine or corrective ventilation, and also that water imbibed into the Paintbrush Tuff nonwelded tuff will not reach the potential waste storage area.

  9. Modeling geochemical stability of cement formulations for use as shaft liner and sealing components at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gardiner, M.A.; Myers, J.; Hinkebein, T.E.

    1990-01-01

    The geochemical modeling codes EQ3NR/EQ6 were used to model the interaction of cementitious materials with ground water from the Yucca Mountain proposed nuclear waste repository site in Nevada. This paper presents a preliminary estimate of the compositional changes caused by these interactions in the ground water and in the cement-based compounds proposed for use as sealing and shaft liner materials at the Yucca Mountain site. The geochemical speciation/solubility/reaction path codes EQ3NR/EQ6 were used to model the interaction of cementitious materials and water. Interaction of water with a cementitious material will result in dissolution of certain cement phases and changes in the water chemistry. These changes in the water chemistry may further lead to the precipitation of minerals either in the concrete or in the surrounding tuff at the Yucca Mountain Site (YMS). As part of a larger scoping study, a range of water, cement, and tuff compositions, temperatures, and reaction path modes were used. This paper presents a subset of that study by considering the interaction of three different cement formulations at 25 degree C with J-13 water using the ''closed'' reaction path mode. This subset was chosen as a base case to answer important questions in selecting the compositions of cementitious materials for use in the proposed repository. 8 refs., 1 fig., 3 tabs

  10. Separations canyon decontamination facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hershey, J.H.

    1975-01-01

    Highly radioactive process equipment is decontaminated at the Savannah River Plant in specially equipped areas of the separations canyon building so that direct mechanical repairs or alterations can be made. Using these facilities it is possible to decontaminate and repair equipment such as 10- x 11-ft storage tanks, 8- x 8-ft batch evaporator pots and columns, 40-in. Bird centrifuges, canyon pumps and agitators, and various canyon piping systems or ''jumpers.'' For example, centrifuge or evaporator pots can be decontaminated and rebuilt for about 60 percent of the 1974 replacement cost. The combined facilities can decontaminate and repair 6 to 10 pieces of major equipment per year. Decontamination time varies with type of equipment and radioactivity levels encountered

  11. Separations canyon decontamination facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hershey, J.H.

    1975-05-01

    Highly radioactive process equipment is decontaminated at the Savannah River Plant in specially equipped areas of the separations canyon buildings so that direct mechanical repairs or alterations can be made. Using these facilities it is possible to decontaminate and repair equipment such as 10- x 11-ft storage tanks, 8- x 8-ft batch evaporator pots and columns, 40-in. Bird centrifuges, canyon pumps and agitators, and various canyon piping systems or ''jumpers.'' For example, centrifuge or evaporator pots can be decontaminated and rebuilt for about 60 percent of the 1974 replacement cost. The combined facilities can decontaminate and repair 6 to 10 pieces of major equipment per year. Decontamination time varies with type of equipment and radioactivity levels encountered. (U.S.)

  12. Mineralogy and clinoptilolite K/Ar results from Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA: A potential high-level radioactive waste repository site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    WoldeGabriel, G.; Broxton, D.E.; Bish, D.L.; Chipera, S.J.

    1993-11-01

    The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project is investigating Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as a potential site for a high-level nuclear waste repository. An important aspect of this evaluation is to understand the geologic history of the site including the diagenetic processes that are largely responsible for the present-day chemical and physical properties of the altered tuffs. This study evaluates the use of K/Ar geochronology in determining the alteration history of the zeolitized portions of Miocene tuffs at Yucca Mountain. Clinoptilolite is not generally regarded as suitable for dating because of its open structure and large ion-exchange capacity. However, it is the most abundant zeolite at Yucca Mountain and was selected for this study to assess the feasibility of dating the zeolitization process and/or subsequent processes that may have affected the zeolites. In this study we examine the ability of this mineral to retain all or part of its K and radiogenic Ar during diagenesis and evaluate the usefulness of the clinoptilolite K/Ar dates for determining the history of alteration

  13. Background studies in support of a feasibility assessment on the use of copper-base materials for nuclear waste packages in a repository in tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Konynenburg, R.A.; Kundig, K.J.A.; Lyman, W.S.; Prager, M.; Meyers, J.R.; Servi, I.S.

    1990-06-01

    This report combines six work units performed in FY'85--86 by the Copper Development Association and the International Copper Research Association under contract with the University of California. The work includes literature surveys and state-of-the-art summaries on several considerations influencing the feasibility of the use of copper-base materials for fabricating high-level nuclear waste packages for the proposed repository in tuff rock at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The general conclusion from this work was that copper-base materials are viable candidates for inclusion in the materials selection process for this application. 55 refs., 48 figs., 22 tabs

  14. Background studies in support of a feasibility assessment on the use of copper-base materials for nuclear waste packages in a repository in tuff

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Konynenburg, R.A. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (USA); Kundig, K.J.A.; Lyman, W.S.; Prager, M.; Meyers, J.R.; Servi, I.S. [CDA/INCRA Joint Advisory Group, Greenwich, CT (USA)

    1990-06-01

    This report combines six work units performed in FY`85--86 by the Copper Development Association and the International Copper Research Association under contract with the University of California. The work includes literature surveys and state-of-the-art summaries on several considerations influencing the feasibility of the use of copper-base materials for fabricating high-level nuclear waste packages for the proposed repository in tuff rock at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The general conclusion from this work was that copper-base materials are viable candidates for inclusion in the materials selection process for this application. 55 refs., 48 figs., 22 tabs.

  15. Effect of volcanic tuff on the characteristics of cement mortar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jehad Al-Zou'by

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines how Jordanian volcanic tuff aggregates affect the characteristics of cement mortar. Five mortar mixes were prepared by replacing normal aggregate (standard sand with volcanic tuff aggregate in ratios of 0, 25, 50, 75, and 100% (M1 to M5, respectively. Compressive strength, flexural strength, and unit weight were tested at mortar ages of 3, 7, 28, and 56 days. The results revealed improved compressive and flexural strength, which were maximal for the M3 sample. Unit weight decreased as the ratio of volcanic tuff increased. Based on these results, adding Jordanian volcanic tuff in the appropriate ratio will improve these mortar characteristics.

  16. Geologic map and upper Paleozoic stratigraphy of the Marble Canyon area, Cottonwood Canyon quadrangle, Death Valley National Park, Inyo County, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, Paul; Stevens, Calvin H.; Belasky, Paul; Montañez, Isabel P.; Martin, Lauren G.; Wardlaw, Bruce R.; Sandberg, Charles A.; Wan, Elmira; Olson, Holly A.; Priest, Susan S.

    2014-01-01

    This geologic map and pamphlet focus on the stratigraphy, depositional history, and paleogeographic significance of upper Paleozoic rocks exposed in the Marble Canyon area in Death Valley National Park, California. Bedrock exposed in this area is composed of Mississippian to lower Permian (Cisuralian) marine sedimentary rocks and the Jurassic Hunter Mountain Quartz Monzonite. These units are overlain by Tertiary and Quaternary nonmarine sedimentary deposits that include a previously unrecognized tuff to which we tentatively assign an age of late middle Miocene (~12 Ma) based on tephrochronologic analysis, in addition to the previously recognized Pliocene tuff of Mesquite Spring. Mississippian and Pennsylvanian rocks in the Marble Canyon area represent deposition on the western continental shelf of North America. Mississippian limestone units in the area (Tin Mountain, Stone Canyon, and Santa Rosa Hills Limestones) accumulated on the outer part of a broad carbonate platform that extended southwest across Nevada into east-central California. Carbonate sedimentation was interrupted by a major eustatic sea-level fall that has been interpreted to record the onset of late Paleozoic glaciation in southern Gondwana. Following a brief period of Late Mississippian clastic sedimentation (Indian Springs Formation), a rise in eustatic sea level led to establishment of a new carbonate platform that covered most of the area previously occupied by the Mississippian platform. The Pennsylvanian Bird Spring Formation at Marble Canyon makes up the outer platform component of ten third-order (1 to 5 m.y. duration) stratigraphic sequences recently defined for the regional platform succession. The regional paleogeography was fundamentally changed by major tectonic activity along the continental margin beginning in middle early Permian time. As a result, the Pennsylvanian carbonate shelf at Marble Canyon subsided and was disconformably overlain by lower Permian units (Osborne Canyon and

  17. Potential contaminant transport in the regional Carbonate Aquifer beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bredehoeft, John; King, Michael

    2010-05-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada is the site of the proposed US geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The repository is to be a mine, sited approximately 300 m below the crest of the mountain, in a sequence of variably welded and fractured mid-Miocene rhylolite tuffs, in the unsaturated zone, approximately 300 m above the water table. Beneath the proposed repository, at a depth of 2 km, is a thick sequence of Paleozoic carbonate rocks that contain the highly transmissive Lower Carbonate Aquifer. In the area of Yucca Mountain the Carbonate Aquifer integrates groundwater flow from north of the mountain, through the Amargosa Valley, through the Funeral Mountains to Furnace Creek in Death Valley, California where the groundwater discharges in a set of large springs. Data that describe the Carbonate Aquifer suggest a concept for flow through the aquifer, and based upon the conceptual model, a one-layer numerical model was constructed to simulate groundwater flow in the Carbonate Aquifer. Advective transport analyses suggest that the predicted travel time of a particle from Yucca Mountain to Death Valley through the Carbonate Aquifer might be as short as 100 years to as long 2,000 years, depending upon the porosity.

  18. Two-phase unsaturated flow at Yucca Mountain, Nevada - A Report on Current Understanding

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pruess, K.

    1998-01-01

    The U.S. civilian nuclear waste program is unique in its focus on disposal of high-level wastes in the unsaturated zone (UZ), above the water table. The potential repository site currently under investigation is located in a semi-arid region of the southwestern U.S. at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The geology of the site consists of layered sequences of faulted, fractured, and bedded tuffs. The groundwater table is approximately 600 m beneath the land surface, while the proposed repository horizon is at a nominal depth of approximately 375 m. In this kind of environment, two-phase flow is not just a localized perturbation to natural conditions, as in the saturated zone, but is the predominant mode of water and gas flow. The purpose of this report is to review the current understanding of gas and water flow, and mass transport, in the unique hydrogeologic environment of Yucca Mountain. Characteristics of the Yucca Mountain site are examined, and concepts and mathematical modeling approaches are described for variably saturated flow in thick unsaturated zones of fractured rock. The paper includes a brief summary of the disposal concept and repository design, as developed by a team of engineering contractors to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), with strong participation from the DOE National Laboratories

  19. Effect of a low-permeability layer on calculated gas flow at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lu, Ning; Amter, S.; Ross, B.

    1990-01-01

    Yucca Mountain is being studied to determine its suitability as a location for a high-level nuclear waste repository. Amter and Ross developed a model called TGIF (Topographic Induced Flow) to simulate gas flow under Yucca Mountain. The TGIF model differs significantly from previous gas flow models. It uses a governing equation that is based on the concept of freshwater head, thus avoiding the numerical problems associated with the near-cancellation of the forces due to gravity and the pressure gradient. Unlike most other models, dipping, layered media can be simulated. This paper describes a systematic sensitivity study that was designed to test several aspects of the TGIF model when used to simulate gas flow under Yucca Mountain. Values of three important inputs to the model were systematically varied to form a matrix of 80 runs. The matrix consisted of five values of permeability contrast between a bedded tuff layer and surrounding welded units (in all cases, bulk permeabilities were used to represent the combined effect of both fractures and matrix permeability), four temperature profiles representing different stages of repository cooldown, and four finite-difference grids

  20. Effect of a low-permeability layer on calculated gas flow at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lu, Ning; Amter, S.; Ross, B. [Disposal Safety, Inc., Washington, DC (USA)

    1990-12-31

    Yucca Mountain is being studied to determine its suitability as a location for a high-level nuclear waste repository. Amter and Ross developed a model called TGIF (Topographic Induced Flow) to simulate gas flow under Yucca Mountain. The TGIF model differs significantly from previous gas flow models. It uses a governing equation that is based on the concept of freshwater head, thus avoiding the numerical problems associated with the near-cancellation of the forces due to gravity and the pressure gradient. Unlike most other models, dipping, layered media can be simulated. This paper describes a systematic sensitivity study that was designed to test several aspects of the TGIF model when used to simulate gas flow under Yucca Mountain. Values of three important inputs to the model were systematically varied to form a matrix of 80 runs. The matrix consisted of five values of permeability contrast between a bedded tuff layer and surrounding welded units (in all cases, bulk permeabilities were used to represent the combined effect of both fractures and matrix permeability), four temperature profiles representing different stages of repository cooldown, and four finite-difference grids.

  1. A revised Lithostratigraphic Framework for the Southern Yucca Mountain Area, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    R.W. Spengler; F.M. Byers; R.P. Dickerson

    2006-01-01

    An informal, revised lithostratigraphic framework for the southern Yucca Mountain area, Nevada has been developed to accommodate new information derived from subsurface investigations of the Nye County Early Warning Drilling Program. Lithologies penetrated by recently drilled boreholes at locations between Stagecoach Road and Highway 95 in southern Nye County include Quaternary and Pliocene alluvium and alluvial breccia, Miocene pyroclastic flow deposits and intercalated lacustrine siltstone and claystone sequences, early Miocene to Oligocene pre-volcanic sedimentary rocks, and Paleozoic strata. Of the 37 boreholes currently drilled, 21 boreholes have sufficient depth, spatial distribution, or traceable pyroclastic flow, pyroclastic fall, and reworked tuff deposits to aid in the lateral correlation of lithostrata. Medial and distal parts of regional pyroclastic flow deposits of Miocene age can be correlated with the Timber Mountain, Paintbrush, Crater Flat, and Tram Ridge Groups. Rocks intercalated between these regional pyroclastic flow deposits are substantially thicker than in the central part of Yucca Mountain, particularly near the downthrown side of major faults and along the southern extent of exposures at Yucca Mountain

  2. High-temperature, large-volume, lavalike ash-flow tuffs without calderas in southwestern Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekren, E.B.; McIntyre, David H.; Bennett, Earl H.

    1984-01-01

    that were traced over areas having diameters of about 100 km. These two sheets are the herein-named Swisher Mountain Tuff, which is about 13.8 m.y. old, and the Little Jacks Tuff, which is about 10 m.y. old. The Swisher Mountain Tuff was erupted from the Juniper Mountain volcanic center, a gentle dome that is not bounded by arcuate faults indicative of cauldron subsidence. The tuff is 200 m thick over a considerable area in and adjacent to its source. It apparently thins gradually toward its distal edges, and it is inferred to be uniformly distributed around its source at Juniper Mountain. The unit contains vitrophyres at various intervals from base to top, and, although the vitrophyres are, in general, flow layered and commonly flow brecciated, they occasionally contain well-defined pumice clasts. The vitrophyres indicate compound cooling, and, near the distal edges of the sheet, some of them probably represent complete cooling breaks. The Little Jacks Tuff onlaps the Swisher Mountain Tuff in expo sures east of Juniper Mountain, and it is inferred to have been erupted from a source on the part of the Owyhee Plateau that lies just east of the area studied. This inferred source area, like that at Juniper Mountain, is also expressed today as a gentle dome without structural features indicative of cauldron subsidence. The Little Jacks Tuff, in most exposures in the deep canyons of the Plateau, consists of at least four cooling units, and, in places in the eastern part of the studied area near the source area, it possibly comprises as many as six. Although there is no obvious evidence of erosion between the various cooling units, magnetic polarity measurements indicate that there were at least two magnetic reversals during the eruption interval of the Little Jacks Tuff. Like the Swisher Mountain Tuff, the Little Jacks has flattened pumice clasts in a few outcrops-principally at the bases of the various cooling units. The two tuff sequences are calc-a

  3. SEEPAGE INTO DRIFTS IN UNSATRUATED FRACTURED ROCK AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    JENS BIRHOLZER; GUOMIN LI; CHIN-FU TSANG; YVONNE TSANG

    1998-01-01

    An important issue for the long-term performance of underground nuclear waste repositories is the rate of seepage into the waste emplacement drifts. A prediction of the future seepage rate is particularly complicated for the potential repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as it is located in thick, partially saturated, fractured tuff formations. The long-term situation in the drifts several thousand years after waste emplacement will be characterized by a relative humidity level close to or equal to 100%. as the drifts will be sealed and unventilated, and the waste packages will have cooled. The underground tunnels will then act as capillary barriers for the unsaturated flow, ideally diverting water around them, if the capillary forces are stronger than gravity and viscous forces. Seepage into the drifts will only be possible if the hydraulic pressure in the rock close to the drift walls increases to positive values; i.e., the flow field becomes locally saturated. In the present work, we have developed and applied a methodology to study the potential rate of seepage into underground cavities embedded in a variably saturated, heterogeneous fractured rock formation. The fractured rock mass is represented as a stochastic continuum where the fracture permeabilities vary by several orders of magnitude. Three different realizations of random fracture permeability fields are generated, with the random permeability structure based on extensive fracture mapping, borehole video analysis, and in-situ air permeability testing. A 3-D numerical model is used to simulate the heterogeneous steady-state flow field around the drift, with the drift geometry explicitly represented within the numerical discretization grid. A variety of flow scenarios are considered assuming present-day and future climate conditions at Yucca Mountain. The numerical study is complemented by theoretical evaluations of the drift seepage problem, using stochastic perturbation theory to develop a better

  4. Creep properties of the Paintbrush tuff recovered from borehole USW NRG-7/7A: Data report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, R.J.; Noel, J.S.; Boyd, P.J.

    1997-09-01

    Experimental results are presented for seven creep experiments on welded specimens of the Paintbrush tuff recovered from borehole USW NRG-7/7A at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The measurements were performed at differential stresses of 40, 70, 100, and 130 MPa. The confining pressure and temperature for each of the experiments was 10 MPa and 225 degrees C respectively. All of the specimens were tested drained, in a room dry condition. All of the experiments were terminated prior to failure. The duration of the experiments range from 2.6 x 10 6 seconds to 5.9 x 10 6 seconds. Creep strain is observed for those specimens tested at a stress difference. The strain rate is not constant. A primary creep stage is observed. Secondary creep does not exhibit a constant strain rate, but decreases with increasing time

  5. Dust control at Yucca Mountain project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kissell, F.; Jurani, R.; Dresel, R.; Reaux, C.

    1999-01-01

    This report describes actions taken to control silica dust at the Yucca Mountain Exploratory Studies Facility, a tunnel located in Southern Nevada that is part of a scientific program to determine site suitability for a potential nuclear waste repository. The rock is a volcanic tuff containing significant percentages of both quartz and cristobalite. Water use for dust control was limited because of scientific test requirements, and this limitation made dust control a difficult task. Results are reported for two drifts, called the Main Loop Drift and the Cross Drift. In the Main Loop Drift, dust surveys and tracer gas tests indicated that air leakage from the TBM head, the primary ventilation duct, and movement of the conveyor belt were all significant sources of dust. Conventional dust control approaches yielded no significant reductions in dust levels. A novel alternative was to install an air cleaning station on a rear deck of the TBM trailing gear. It filtered dust from the contaminated intake air and discharged clean air towards the front of the TBM. The practical effect was to produce dust levels below the exposure limit for all TBM locations except close to the head. In the Cross Drift, better ventilation and an extra set of dust seals on the TBM served to cut down the leakage of dust from the TBM cutter head. However, the conveyor belt was much dustier than the belt in the main loop drift. The problem originated with dirt on the bottom of the belt return side and much spillage from the belt top side. Achieving lower dust levels in hard rock tunneling operations will require new approaches as well as a more meticulous application of existing technology. Planning for dust control will require specific means to deal with dust that leaks from the TBM head, dust that originates with leaky ventilation systems, and dust that comes from conveyor belts. Also, the application of water could be more efficient if automatic controls were used to adjust the water flow

  6. In defense of Magnetite-Ilmenite Thermometry in the Bishop Tuff and its implication for gradients in silicic magma reservoirs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Bernard W; Hildreth, Edward; Bachmann, Olivier; Scaillet, Bruno

    2016-01-01

    Despite claims to the contrary, the compositions of magnetite and ilmenite in the Bishop Tuff correctly record the changing conditions of T and fO2 in the magma reservoir. In relatively reduced (∆NNO magmas (e.g., Bishop Tuff, Taupo units), Ti behaves compatibly (DTi ≈ 2-3.5), leading to a decrease in TiO2 activity in the melt with cooling and fractionation. In contrast, FeTi-oxides are poorer in TiO2 in more oxidized magmas (∆NNO > 1, e.g., Fish Canyon Tuff, Pinatubo), and the d(aTiO2)/dT slope can be negative. Biotite, FeTi-oxides, liquid, and possibly plagioclase largely maintained equilibrium in the Bishop Tuff magma (unlike the pyroxenes, and cores of quartz, sanidine, and zircon) prior ro and during a mixing event triggered by a deeper recharge, which, based on elemental diffusion profiles in minerals, took place at least several decades before eruption. Equilibrating phases and pumice compositions show evolving chemical variations that correlate well with mutually consistent temperatures based on the FeTi-oxides, sanidine-plagioclase, and ∆18O quartz-magnetite pairs. Early Bishop Tuff (EBT) temperatures are lower (700 to ~780‎°C) than temperatures (780 to >820°C) registered in Late Bishop Tuff (LBT), the latter defined here not strictly stratigraphically, but by the presence of orthopyroxene and reverse-zoned rims on quartz and sanidine. The claimed similarity in compositions, Zr-saturation temperatures and thermodynamically calculated temperatures (730-740°C) between EBT and less evolved LBT reflect the use of glass inclusions in quartz cores in LBT that were inherited from the low temperature rhyolitic part of the reservoir characteristic of the EBT. LBT temperatures as high as 820°C, the preservation of orthopyroxene, and the presence of reverse-zoned minerals (quartz, sanidine, zircons) are consistent with magma recharge at the base of the zoned reservoir, heating the cooler rhyolitic melt, partly remelting cumulate mush, and introducing

  7. Preliminary stratigraphic and petrologic characterization of core samples from USW-G1, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Waters, A.C.; Carroll, P.R. (eds.)

    1981-11-01

    Tuffs of the Nevada Test Site are currently under investigation to determine their potential for long-term storage of radioactive waste. As part of this program, hole USW-G1 was drilled to a depth of 6000 ft below the surface, in the central part of the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada Test Site, Nevada. Petrographic study of the USW-G1 core is presented in this report and shows the tuffs (which generally were variably welded ash flows) are partly recrystallized to a variety of secondary minerals. The important alteration products are zeolites (heulandite, clinoptilolite, mordenite and analcime), smectite clays with minor interstratified illite, albite, micas, potassium feldspar, and various forms of silica. Iijima`s zeolite zones I through IV of burial metamorphism can be recognized in the core. Zeolites are first observed at about the 1300-ft depth, and the high-temperature boundary of zeolite stability in this core occurs at about 4350 ft. Analcime persists, either metastably or as a retrograde mineral, deeper in the core. The oxidation state of Fe-Ti oxide minerals, through most of the core, increases as the degree of welding decreases, but towards the bottom of the hole, reducing conditions generally prevail. Four stratigraphic units transected by the core may be potentially favorable sites for a waste repository. These four units, in order of increasing depth in the core, are (1) the lower cooling unit of the Topopah Spring Member, (2) cooling unit II of the Bullfrog Member, (3) the upper part of the Tram tuff, and (4) the Lithic-rich tuff.

  8. Preliminary stratigraphic and petrologic characterization of core samples from USW-G1, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Waters, A.C.; Carroll, P.R.

    1981-11-01

    Tuffs of the Nevada Test Site are currently under investigation to determine their potential for long-term storage of radioactive waste. As part of this program, hole USW-G1 was drilled to a depth of 6000 ft below the surface, in the central part of the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada Test Site, Nevada. Petrographic study of the USW-G1 core is presented in this report and shows the tuffs (which generally were variably welded ash flows) are partly recrystallized to a variety of secondary minerals. The important alteration products are zeolites (heulandite, clinoptilolite, mordenite and analcime), smectite clays with minor interstratified illite, albite, micas, potassium feldspar, and various forms of silica. Iijima's zeolite zones I through IV of burial metamorphism can be recognized in the core. Zeolites are first observed at about the 1300-ft depth, and the high-temperature boundary of zeolite stability in this core occurs at about 4350 ft. Analcime persists, either metastably or as a retrograde mineral, deeper in the core. The oxidation state of Fe-Ti oxide minerals, through most of the core, increases as the degree of welding decreases, but towards the bottom of the hole, reducing conditions generally prevail. Four stratigraphic units transected by the core may be potentially favorable sites for a waste repository. These four units, in order of increasing depth in the core, are (1) the lower cooling unit of the Topopah Spring Member, (2) cooling unit II of the Bullfrog Member, (3) the upper part of the Tram tuff, and (4) the Lithic-rich tuff

  9. Geohydrology of rocks penetrated by test well USW H-6, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Craig, R.W.; Reed, R.L.

    1991-01-01

    Test well USW H-6 is one of several wells drilled in the Yucca Mountain area near the southwestern part of the Nevada Test Site for investigations related to isolation of high-level nuclear waste. This well was drilled to a depth of 1,220 meters. Rocks penetrated are predominantly ash-flow tuffs of Tertiary age, with the principal exception of dacitic(?) lave penetrated at a depth from 877 to 1,126 meters. The composite static water level was about 526 meters below the land surface; the hydraulic head increased slightly with depth. Most permeability in the saturated zone is in two fractured intervals in Crater Flat Tuff. Based on well-test data using the transitional part of a dual-porosity solution, an interval of about 15 meters in the middle part of the Bullfrog Member of the Crater Flat Tuff has a calculated transmissivity of about 140 meters squared per day, and an interval of about 11 meters in the middle part of the Tram Member of the Crater Flat Tuff has a calculated transmissivity of about 75 meters squared per day. The upper part of the Bullfrog Member has a transmissivity of about 20 meters squared per day. The maximum likely transmissivity of any rocks penetrated by the test well is about 480 meters squared per day, based on a recharge-boundary model. The remainder of the open hole had no detectable production. Matrix hydraulic conductivity ranges from less than 5 x 10 -5 to 1 x 10 -3 meter per day. Ground water is a sodium bicarbonate type that is typical of water from tuffaceous rock of southern Nevada. The apparent age of the water is about 14,6000 years. 29 refs., 26 figs., 5 tabs

  10. Radionuclide release from PWR fuels in a reference tuff repository groundwater

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, C.N.; Oversby, V.M.

    1985-03-01

    The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project (NNWSI) is studying the suitability of the welded devitrified Topopah Spring tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada, for potential use as a high-level nuclear waste repository. In support of the Waste Package task of NNWSI, tests have been conducted under ambient air environment to measure radionuclide release from two pressurized water reactor (PWR) spent fuels in water obtained from the J-13 well near the Yucca Mountain site. Four specimen types, representing a range of fuel physical conditions that may exist in a failed waste canister containing a limited amount of water were tested. The specimen types were: fuel rod sections split open to expose bare fuel particles; rod sections with water-tight end fittings with a 2.5-cm long by 150-μm wide slit through the cladding; rod sections with water-tight end fittings and two 200-μm-diameter holes through the cladding; and undefected rod segments with water-tight end fittings. Radionuclide release results from the first 223-day test runs on H.B. Robinson spent fuel specimens in J-13 water are reported and compared to results from a previous test series in which similar Turkey Point reactor spent fuel specimens were tested on deionized water. Selected initial results are also given for Turkey Point fuel specimens tested on J-13 water. Results suggest that the actinides Pu, Am, Cm and Np are released congruently with U as the UO 2 spent fuel matrix dissolves. Fractional release of 137 Cs and 99 Tc was greater than that measured for the actinides. Generally, lower radionuclide releases were measured for the H.B. Robinson fuel in J-13 water than for Turkey Point Fuel in deionized water. 8 references, 7 figures, 9 tables

  11. Microbial activity at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Horn, J.M.; Meike, A.

    1995-09-25

    The U.S. Department of Energy is engaged in a suitability study for a potential geological repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the containment and storage of commercially generated spent fuel and defense high-level nuclear waste. There is growing recognition of the role that biotic factors could play in this repository, either directly through microbially induced corrosion (MIC), or indirectly by altering the chemical environment or contributing to the transport of radionuclides. As a first step toward describing and predicting these processes, a workshop was held on April 10-12, 1995, in Lafayette, California. The immediate aims of the workshop were: (1) To identify microbially related processes relevant to the design of a radioactive waste repository under conditions similar to those at Yucca Mountain. (2) To determine parameters that are critical to the evaluation of a disturbed subterranean environment. (3) To define the most effective means of investigating the factors thus identified.

  12. Microbial activity at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horn, J.M.; Meike, A.

    1995-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy is engaged in a suitability study for a potential geological repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the containment and storage of commercially generated spent fuel and defense high-level nuclear waste. There is growing recognition of the role that biotic factors could play in this repository, either directly through microbially induced corrosion (MIC), or indirectly by altering the chemical environment or contributing to the transport of radionuclides. As a first step toward describing and predicting these processes, a workshop was held on April 10-12, 1995, in Lafayette, California. The immediate aims of the workshop were: (1) To identify microbially related processes relevant to the design of a radioactive waste repository under conditions similar to those at Yucca Mountain. (2) To determine parameters that are critical to the evaluation of a disturbed subterranean environment. (3) To define the most effective means of investigating the factors thus identified

  13. A Natural Analogue for Thermal-Hydrological-Chemical Coupled Processes at the Proposed Nuclear Waste Repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bill Carey; Gordon Keating; Peter C. Lichtner

    1999-01-01

    Dike and sill complexes that intruded tuffaceous host rocks above the water table are suggested as natural analogues for thermal-hydrologic-chemical (THC) processes at the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Scoping thermal-hydrologic calculations of temperature and saturation profiles surrounding a 30-50 m wide intrusion suggest that boiling conditions could be sustained at distances of tens of meters from the intrusion for several thousand years. This time scale for persistence of boiling is similar to that expected for the Yucca Mountain repository with moderate heat loading. By studying the hydrothermal alteration of the tuff host rocks surrounding the intrusions, insight and relevant data can be obtained that apply directly to the Yucca Mountain repository and can shed light on the extent and type of alteration that should be expected. Such data are needed to bound and constrain model parameters used in THC simulations of the effect of heat produced by the waste on the host rock and to provide a firm foundation for assessing overall repository performance. One example of a possible natural analogue for the repository is the Paiute Ridge intrusive complex located on the northeastern boundary of the Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada. The complex consists of dikes and sills intruded into a partially saturated tuffaceous host rock that has stratigraphic sequences that correlate with those found at Yucca Mountain. The intrusions were emplaced at a depth of several hundred meters below the surface, similar to the depth of the proposed repository. The tuffaceous host rock surrounding the intrusions is hydrothermally altered to varying extents depending on the distance from the intrusions. The Paiute Ridge intrusive complex thus appears to be an ideal natural analogue of THC coupled processes associated with the Yucca Mountain repository. It could provide much needed physical and chemical data for understanding the influence of heat

  14. The Whittard Canyon - A case study of submarine canyon processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amaro, T.; Huvenne, V. A. I.; Allcock, A. L.; Aslam, T.; Davies, J. S.; Danovaro, R.; De Stigter, H. C.; Duineveld, G. C. A.; Gambi, C.; Gooday, A. J.; Gunton, L. M.; Hall, R.; Howell, K. L.; Ingels, J.; Kiriakoulakis, K.; Kershaw, C. E.; Lavaleye, M. S. S.; Robert, K.; Stewart, H.; Van Rooij, D.; White, M.; Wilson, A. M.

    2016-08-01

    Submarine canyons are large geomorphological features that incise continental shelves and slopes around the world. They are often suggested to be biodiversity and biomass hotspots, although there is no consensus about this in the literature. Nevertheless, many canyons do host diverse faunal communities but owing to our lack of understanding of the processes shaping and driving this diversity, appropriate management strategies have yet to be developed. Here, we integrate all the current knowledge of one single system, the Whittard Canyon (Celtic Margin, NE Atlantic), including the latest research on its geology, sedimentology, geomorphology, oceanography, ecology, and biodiversity in order to address this issue. The Whittard Canyon is an active system in terms of sediment transport. The net suspended sediment transport is mainly up-canyon causing sedimentary overflow in some upper canyon areas. Occasionally sediment gravity flow events do occur, some possibly the result of anthropogenic activity. However, the role of these intermittent gravity flows in transferring labile organic matter to the deeper regions of the canyon appears to be limited. More likely, any labile organic matter flushed downslope in this way becomes strongly diluted with bulk material and is therefore of little food value for benthic fauna. Instead, the fresh organic matter found in the Whittard Channel mainly arrives through vertical deposition and lateral transport of phytoplankton blooms that occur in the area during spring and summer. The response of the Whittard Canyon fauna to these processes is different in different groups. Foraminiferal abundances are higher in the upper parts of the canyon and on the slope than in the lower canyon. Meiofaunal abundances in the upper and middle part of the canyon are higher than on adjacent slopes, but lower in the deepest part. Mega- and macrofauna abundances are higher in the canyon compared with the adjacent slope and are higher in the eastern than

  15. Geographic isolation trumps coevolution as a driver of yucca and yucca moth diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Althoff, David M; Segraves, Kari A; Smith, Christopher I; Leebens-Mack, James; Pellmyr, Olle

    2012-03-01

    Coevolution is thought to be especially important in diversification of obligate mutualistic interactions such as the one between yuccas and pollinating yucca moths. We took a three-step approach to examine if plant and pollinator speciation events were likely driven by coevolution. First, we tested whether there has been co-speciation between yuccas and pollinator yucca moths in the genus Tegeticula (Prodoxidae). Second, we tested whether co-speciation also occurred between yuccas and commensalistic yucca moths in the genus Prodoxus (Prodoxidae) in which reciprocal evolutionary change is unlikely. Finally, we examined the current range distributions of yuccas in relationship to pollinator speciation events to determine if plant and moth speciation events likely occurred in sympatry or allopatry. Co-speciation analyses of yuccas with their coexisting Tegeticula pollinator and commensalistic Prodoxus lineages demonstrated phylogenetic congruence between both groups of moths and yuccas, even though moth lineages differ in the type of interaction with yuccas. Furthermore, Yucca species within a lineage occur primarily in allopatry rather than sympatry. We conclude that biogeographic factors are the overriding force in plant and pollinator moth speciation and significant phylogenetic congruence between the moth and plant lineages is likely due to shared biogeography rather than coevolution. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Results and interpretation of preliminary aquifer tests in boreholes UE-25c number-sign 1, UE-25c number-sign 2, and UE-25c number-sign 3, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geldon, A.L.

    1996-01-01

    Pumping and injection tests conducted in 1983 and 1984 in boreholes UE-25c number-sign 1, UE-25c number-sign 2, and UE-25c number-sign 3 (the c-holes) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, were analyzed with respect to information obtained from lithologic and borehole geophysical logs, core permeameter tests, and borehole flow surveys. The three closely spaced c-holes, each of which is about 3,000 feet deep, are completed mainly in nonwelded to densely welded, ash-flow tuff of the tuffs and lavas of Calico Hills and the Crater Flat Tuff of Miocene age. Below the water table, tectonic and cooling fractures pervade the tuffaceous rocks but are distributed mainly in 11 transmissive intervals, many of which also have matrix permeability. Information contained in this report is presented as part of ongoing investigations by the US Geological Survey (USGS) regarding the hydrologic and geologic suitability of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as a potential site for the storage of high-level nuclear waste in an underground mined geologic repository. This investigation was conducted in cooperation with the US Department of Energy under Interagency Agreement DE-AI08-78ET44802, as part of the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

  17. Results and interpretation of preliminary aquifer tests in boreholes UE-25c {number_sign}1, UE-25c {number_sign}2, and UE-25c {number_sign}3, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Geldon, A.L.

    1996-07-01

    Pumping and injection tests conducted in 1983 and 1984 in boreholes UE-25c {number_sign}1, UE-25c {number_sign}2, and UE-25c {number_sign}3 (the c-holes) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, were analyzed with respect to information obtained from lithologic and borehole geophysical logs, core permeameter tests, and borehole flow surveys. The three closely spaced c-holes, each of which is about 3,000 feet deep, are completed mainly in nonwelded to densely welded, ash-flow tuff of the tuffs and lavas of Calico Hills and the Crater Flat Tuff of Miocene age. Below the water table, tectonic and cooling fractures pervade the tuffaceous rocks but are distributed mainly in 11 transmissive intervals, many of which also have matrix permeability. Information contained in this report is presented as part of ongoing investigations by the US Geological Survey (USGS) regarding the hydrologic and geologic suitability of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as a potential site for the storage of high-level nuclear waste in an underground mined geologic repository. This investigation was conducted in cooperation with the US Department of Energy under Interagency Agreement DE-AI08-78ET44802, as part of the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project.

  18. Investigation of bacterial transport in the large-block test, a thermally perturbed block of Topopah Spring tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, C.I.; Meike, A.; Chuu, Y.J.; Sawvel, A.; Lin, W.

    1999-01-01

    Transport of bacteria is investigated as part of the Large-Block Test (LBT), a thermally perturbed block of Topopah Spring tuff. Two bacterial species, Bacillus subtilis and Arthrobacter oxydans, were isolated from the Yucca Mountain Tuff. Natural mutants that can grow under the simultaneous presence of the two antibiotics, streptomycin and rifampicin, were selected from these species by laboratory procedures, cultured, and injected into the five heater boreholes of the large block hours before heating was initiated. The temperature, as measured 5 cm above one of the heater boreholes, rose slowly over a matter of months to a maximum of 142 C and to 60 C at the top and bottom of the block. Samples were collected from boreholes located approximately 5 ft below the injection points. Double-drug-resistant microbes also appeared in the heater boreholes where the temperature had been sustainably high throughout the test. The number of double-drug-resistant bacteria that were identified in the collection boreholes increased with time until the heater was deactivated. Negative indications in the collection holes after the heater was deactivated support the supposition that these bacteria were the species that were injected. An apparent homogeneous distribution among the collection boreholes suggests no pattern to the migration of bacteria through the block. The relationship between bacterial migration and the movement of water is not yet understood. These observations indicate the possibility of rapid bacterial transport in a thermally perturbed geologic setting. The implications for colloid transport need to be reviewed

  19. ELECTRICAL IMAGING AT THE LARGE BLOCK TEST YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramirez, A.

    2000-01-01

    A monolithic block of densely welded tuff was excavated from a site on Fran Ridge near Yucca Mountain, Nevada so that coupled thermohydrological processes could be studied in a controlled, in situ experiment. A series of heaters were placed in a horizontal plane about 3 m from the top of the 3 m by 3 m by 4.5 m high block. Temperatures were measured at many points within and on the block surface and a suite of other measurements were taken to define the thermal and hydrologic response. Electrical resistance tomography (ERT) was used to map 2 dimensional images of moisture content changes along four planes in the block. The ERT images clearly delineate the drying and wetting of the rockmass during the 13 months of heating and subsequent six months of cool down. The main feature is a prominent dry zone that forms around the heaters then gradually disappears as the rock cools down. Other features include linear anomalies of decreasing moisture content which are fractures dehydrating as the block heats up. There are also examples of compact anomalies of wetting. Some of these appear to be water accumulation in fractures which are draining condensate from the block. Others may be rain water entering a fracture at the top of the block. During cooldown a general rewetting is observed although this is less certain because of poor data quality during this stage of the experiment

  20. Testing the Concept of Drift Shadow at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    J.B. Paces; L.A. Neymark; T. Ghezzehei; P.F. Dobson

    2006-01-01

    If proven, the concept of drift shadow, a zone of reduced water content and slower ground-water travel time beneath openings in fractured rock of the unsaturated zone, may increase performance of a proposed geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain. To test this concept under natural-flow conditions present in the proposed repository horizon, isotopes within the uranium-series decay chain (uranium-238, uranium-234, and thorium-230, or 238 U- 234 U- 230 Th) have been analyzed in samples of rock from beneath four naturally occurring lithophysal cavities. All samples show 234 U depletion relative to parent 238 U, indicating varying degrees of water-rock interaction over the past million years. Variations in 234 U/ 238 U activity ratios indicate that depletion of 234 U relative to 238 U can be either smaller or greater in rock beneath cavity floors relative to rock near cavity margins. These results are consistent with the concept of drift shadow and with numerical simulations of meter-scale spherical cavities in fractured tuff. Differences in distribution patterns of 234 U/ 238 U activity ratios in rock beneath the cavity floors are interpreted to reflect differences in the amount of past seepage into lithophysal cavities, as indicated by the abundance of secondary mineral deposits present on the cavity floors

  1. Implications of seismic reflection and potential field geophysical data on the structural framework of the Yucca Mountain--Crater Flat region, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brocher, T.M.; Langenheim, V.E.; Hunter, W.C.

    1998-01-01

    Seismic reflection and gravity profiles collected across Yucca Mountain, Nevada, together with geologic data, provide evidence against proposed active detachment faults at shallow depth along the pre-Tertiary-Tertiary contact beneath this potential repository for high-level nuclear waste. The new geophysical data show that the inferred pre-Tertiary-Tertiary contact is offset by moderate-to-high-angle faults beneath Crater Flat and Yucca Mountain, and thus this shallow surface cannot represent an active detachment surface. The reflection lines reveal that the Amargosa Desert rift zone is an asymmetric half-graben having a maximum depth of about 4 km and a width of about 25 km. The east-dipping Bare Mountain fault that bounds this graben to the west can be traced by seismic reflection data to a depth of at least 3.5 km and possibly as deep as 6 km, with a constant dip of 64 degree ± 5 degree. Along the profile the transition from east- to west-dipping faults occurs at or just west of the Solitario Canyon fault, which bounds the western side of Yucca Mountain. The interaction at depth of these east- and west-dipping faults, having up to hundreds of meters offset, is not imaged by the seismic reflection profile. Understanding potential seismic hazards at Yucca Mountain requires knowledge of the subsurface geometry of the faults near Yucca Mountain, since earthquakes generally nucleate and release the greatest amount of their seismic energy at depth. The geophysical data indicate that many fault planes near the potential nuclear waste facility dip toward Yucca Mountain, including the Bare Mountain range-front fault and several west-dipping faults east of Yucca Mountain. Thus, earthquake ruptures along these faults would lie closer to Yucca Mountain than is often estimated from their surface locations and could therefore be more damaging

  2. Investigation of bacterial transport in the large-block test, a thermally perturbed block of Topopah Spring Tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, C. I.; Chuu, Y. J.; Lin, W.; Meike, A.; Sawvel, A.

    1998-01-01

    This study investigates the transport of bacteria in a large, thermally perturbed block of Topopah Spring tuff. The study was part of the Large-Block Test (LBT), thermochemical and physical studies conducted on a 10 ft x 10 ft x 14 ft block of volcanic tuff excavated on 5 of 6 sides out of Fran Ridge, Nevada. Two bacterial species, Bacillus subtilis and Arthrobacter oxydans, were isolated from the Yucca Mountain tuff. Natural mutants that can grow under the simultaneous presence of the two antibiotics, streptomycin and rifampicin, were selected from these species by laboratory procedures. The double-drug-resistant mutants, which could be thus distinguished from the indigenous species, were injected into the five heater boreholes of the large block hours before heating was initiated. The temperature, as measured 5 cm above one of the heater boreholes, rose slowly and steadily over a matter of months to a maximum of 142 C. Samples (cotton cloths inserted the length of the hole, glass fiber swabs, and filter papers) were collected from the boreholes that were approximately 5 ft below the injection points. Double-drug-resistant bacteria were found in the collection boreholes nine months after injection. Surprisingly, they also appeared in the heater boreholes where the temperature had been sustainably high throughout the test. These bacteria appear to be the species that were injected. The number of double-drug-resistant bacteria that were identified in the collection boreholes increased with time. An apparent homogeneous distribution among the observation boreholes and heater boreholes suggests that a random motion could be the pattern that the bacteria migrated in the block. These observations indicated the possibility of rapid bacterial transport in a thermally perturbed geologic setting

  3. New York Canyon Stimulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Raemy, Bernard

    2012-06-21

    The New York Canyon Stimulation Project was to demonstrate the commercial application of Enhanced Geothermal System techniques in Buena Vista Valley area of Pershing County, Nevada. From October 2009 to early 2012, TGP Development Company aggressively implemented Phase I of Pre-Stimulation and Site/Wellbore readiness. This included: geological studies; water studies and analyses and procurement of initial permits for drilling. Oversubscription of water rights and lack of water needed for implementation of EGS were identified and remained primary obstacles. Despite extended efforts to find alternative solutions, the water supply circumstances could not be overcome and led TGP to determine a "No Go" decision and initiate project termination in April 2012.

  4. The Integration and Abstraction of EBS Models in Yucca Mountain Performance Assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    S.D. Sevougian; V. Jain; A.V. Luik

    2006-01-01

    The safety strategy for geological disposal of radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain relies on a multi-barrier system to contain the waste and isolate it from the biosphere. The multi-barrier system consists of the natural barrier provided by the geological setting and the engineered barrier system (EBS). In the case of Yucca Mountain (YM) the geologic setting is the unsaturated-zone host rock, consisting of about 600 meters of layered ash-flow volcanic tuffs above the water table, and the saturated zone beneath the water table. Both the unsaturated and saturated rocks are part of a closed hydrologic basin in a desert surface environment. The waste is to be buried about halfway between the desert surface and the water table. The primary engineered barriers at YM consist of metal components that are highly durable in an oxidizing environment. The two primary components of the engineered barrier system are highly corrosion-resistant metal waste packages, made from a nickel-chromium-molybdenum alloy, Alloy 22, and titanium drip shields that protect the waste packages from corrosive dripping water and falling rocks. Design and performance assessment of the EBS requires models that describe how the EBS and near field behave under anticipated repository-relevant conditions. These models must describe coupled hydrologic, thermal, chemical, and mechanical (THCM) processes that drive radionuclide transport in a highly fractured host rock, consisting of a relatively permeable network of conductive fractures in a setting of highly impermeable tuff rock matrix. An integrated performance assessment of the EBS must include a quantification of the uncertainties that arise from (1) incomplete understanding of processes and (2) from lack of data representative of the large spatial scales and long time scales relevant to radioactive waste disposal (e.g., long-term metal corrosion rates and heterogeneities in rock properties over the large 5 km 2 emplacement area of the repository). A

  5. Probing the volcanic-plutonic connection and the genesis of crystal-rich rhyolite in a deeply dissected supervolcano in the Nevada Great Basin: Source of the late Eocene Caetano Tuff

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Kathryn E.; John, David A.; Colgan, Joseph P.; Henry, Christopher D.; Bindeman, Ilya N.; Schmitt, Axel K.

    2016-01-01

    Late Cenozoic faulting and large-magnitude extension in the Great Basin of the western USA has created locally deep windows into the upper crust, permitting direct study of volcanic and plutonic rocks within individual calderas. The Caetano caldera in north–central Nevada, formed during the mid-Tertiary ignimbrite flare-up, offers one of the best exposed and most complete records of caldera magmatism. Integrating whole-rock geochemistry, mineral chemistry, isotope geochemistry and geochronology with field studies and geologic mapping, we define the petrologic evolution of the magmatic system that sourced the >1100 km3Caetano Tuff. The intra-caldera Caetano Tuff is up to ∼5 km thick, composed of crystal-rich (30–45 vol. %), high-silica rhyolite, overlain by a smaller volume of comparably crystal-rich, low-silica rhyolite. It defies classification as either a monotonous intermediate or crystal-poor zoned rhyolite, as commonly ascribed to ignimbrite eruptions. Crystallization modeling based on the observed mineralogy and major and trace element geochemistry demonstrates that the compositional zonation can be explained by liquid–cumulate evolution in the Caetano Tuff magma chamber, with the more evolved lower Caetano Tuff consisting of extracted liquids that continued to crystallize and mix in the upper part of the chamber following segregation from a cumulate-rich, and more heterogeneous, source mush. The latter is represented in the caldera stratigraphy by the less evolved upper Caetano Tuff. Whole-rock major, trace and rare earth element geochemistry, modal mineralogy and mineral chemistry, O, Sr, Nd and Pb isotope geochemistry, sanidine Ar–Ar geochronology, and zircon U–Pb geochronology and trace element geochemistry provide robust evidence that the voluminous caldera intrusions (Carico Lake pluton and Redrock Canyon porphyry) are genetically equivalent to the least evolved Caetano Tuff and formed from magma that remained in the lower chamber after

  6. Preliminary assessment of in-situ geomechanical characteristics in drill hole USW G-1, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ellis, W.L.; Swolfs, H.S.

    1983-01-01

    Observations made during drilling and subsequent testing of the USW G-1 drill hole, Yucca Mountain, Nevada, provide qualitative insights into the insitu geomechanical characteristics of the layered tuff units penetrated by the hole. Substantial drilling-fluid losses, and the occurrence of drilling-induced fracturing, are understandable in terms of the low, minimum horizontal stress magnitudes interpreted from six hydraulic-fracturing stress measurements conducted between hole depths of 640 and 1300 meters. Although not confirmed directly by the hydraulic-fracturing data, other observations suggest that the minimum stress magnitudes in the more densely welded and brittle tuff layers may be even smaller than in the less welded and more ductile rocks. Stress-induced borehole ellipticity observed along most of the length of USW G-1 indicates that the horizontal stress components are not equal, and that the concentration of these stresses around the hole is sufficient to locally exceed the yield strength of the rock. The low, minimum horizontal stress magnitudes, perhaps variable with lithology, and the indications from borehole ellipticity of a high in-situ stress/strength ratio, indicate the need for further studies to characterize the structural and geomechanical properties of the rocks at depth in Yucca Mountain

  7. Age, composition, and areal distribution of the Pliocene Lawlor Tuff, and three younger Pliocene tuffs, California and Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarna-Wojcicki, Andrei M.; Deino, Alan L.; Fleck, Robert J.; McLaughlin, Robert J.; Wagner, David; Wan, Elmira; Wahl, David B.; Hillhouse, John W.; Perkins, Michael

    2011-01-01

    The Lawlor Tuff is a widespread dacitic tephra layer produced by Plinian eruptions and ash flows derived from the Sonoma Volcanics, a volcanic area north of San Francisco Bay in the central Coast Ranges of California, USA. The younger, chemically similar Huichica tuff, the tuff of Napa, and the tuff of Monticello Road sequentially overlie the Lawlor Tuff, and were erupted from the same volcanic field. We obtain new laser-fusion and incremental-heating 40Ar/39Ar isochron and plateau ages of 4.834 ± 0.011, 4.76 ± 0.03, ≤4.70 ± 0.03, and 4.50 ± 0.02 Ma (1 sigma), respectively, for these layers. The ages are concordant with their stratigraphic positions and are significantly older than those determined previously by the K-Ar method on the same tuffs in previous studies.Based on offsets of the ash-flow phase of the Lawlor Tuff by strands of the eastern San Andreas fault system within the northeastern San Francisco Bay area, total offset east of the Rodgers Creek–Healdsburg fault is estimated to be in the range of 36 to 56 km, with corresponding displacement rates between 8.4 and 11.6 mm/yr over the past ∼4.83 Ma.We identify these tuffs by their chemical, petrographic, and magnetic characteristics over a large area in California and western Nevada, and at a number of new localities. They are thus unique chronostratigraphic markers that allow correlation of marine and terrestrial sedimentary and volcanic strata of early Pliocene age for their region of fallout. The tuff of Monticello Road is identified only near its eruptive source.

  8. PRELIMINARY PALEOMAGNETIC RESULTS FROM OUTFLOW EOCENE-OLIGOCENE ASH FLOW TUFFS FROM THE WESTERN MARGIN OF THE SAN LUIS BASIN: IMPLICATION FOR THE KINEMATIC EVOLUTION OF THE RIO GRANDE RIFT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, S. N.; Geissman, J. W.; Sussman, A. J.

    2009-12-01

    In the Rio Grande rift (RGR), a late Cenozoic continental rift from central Colorado to southern New Mexico, hanging wall margins typically contain en echelon normal fault systems with intervening areas of typically complex structure, called relay zones. Relay zones transfer displacement through complex strain patterns and eventual linkage of faults and hold clues as to how fault zones initiate and grow. The western margin of the RGR at the latitude of the San Luis basin (SLB) exposes laterally continuous Eocene-Oligocene volcanic rocks, well-correlated by 40Ar/39Ar data, and well-preserved rift structures. Ash flow tuffs are usually excellent recorders of the instantaneous geomagnetic field and five ash flow tuffs (ca. 32.3 to 27.3 Ma; including the Saguache Creek, La Jara Canyon, Masonic Park, Fish Canyon, and Carpenter Ridge tuffs) have been sampled in spatial detail along west to east transects of the eastern San Juan volcanic field to the westernmost margin of the RGR at the SLB. Data obtained from our sampling approach will yield a comprehensive definition of relative vertical-axis rotations across the area and will be used to assess the timing of RGR fault linkages. Preliminary paleomagnetic data from the Masonic Park tuff (ca. 28.2 Ma) suggest up to ~17° clockwise rotation between sample locations on the Colorado Plateau and locations to the east, nearest the western margin of the RGR. Preliminary data from the Fish Canyon tuff (ca. 27.8 Ma) show a ~12° clockwise rotation. The relative clockwise vertical-axis rotation of sampling sites in both ash flow tuffs nearest the RGR margin suggests that relay zone development with attending vertical-axis rotation played an important role in the opening of the northern RGR. Our data set is not sufficiently robust at present to test the hypothesis that rotation was taking place concurrently with eruption of these large-volume ash flow tuffs in the early Oligocene, but it is a possibility and if so, the RGR at the

  9. Closure development for high-level nuclear waste containers for the tuff repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robitz, E.S. Jr.; McAninch, M.D. Jr.; Edmonds, D.P.; Babcock and Wilcox Co., Alliance, OH

    1990-09-01

    This report summarizes Phase 1 activities for closure development of the high-level nuclear waste package task for the tuff repository. Work was conducted under U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Contract 9172105, administered through the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), as part of the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP), funded through the DOE Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM). The goal of this phase was to select five closure processes for further evaluation in later phases of the program. A decision tree methodology was utilized to perform an objective evaluation of 15 potential closure processes. Information was gathered via a literature survey, industrial contacts, and discussions with project team members, other experts in the field, and the LLNL waste package task staff. The five processes selected were friction welding, electron beam welding, laser beam welding, gas tungsten arc welding, and plasma arc welding. These are felt to represent the best combination of weldment material properties and process performance in a remote, radioactive environment. Conceptual designs have been generated for these processes to illustrate how they would be implemented in practice. Homopolar resistance welding was included in the Phase 1 analysis, and developments in this process will be monitored via literature in Phases 2 and 3. Work was conducted in accordance with the YMP Quality Assurance Program. 223 refs., 20 figs., 9 tabs

  10. Support for the Astronomically Calibrated 40Ar/39Ar Age of Fish Canyon Sanidine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rivera, Tiffany; Storey, Michael; Zeeden, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Fish Canyon sanidine (FCs) is the neutron fluence monitor most widely used in Cenozoic argon geochronology. Recommend published ages for FCs have been determined through various intercalibration techniques, but have varied by up to 2% over the last three decades. The robust quality of the astrono......Fish Canyon sanidine (FCs) is the neutron fluence monitor most widely used in Cenozoic argon geochronology. Recommend published ages for FCs have been determined through various intercalibration techniques, but have varied by up to 2% over the last three decades. The robust quality....... Thus, the astronomically calibrated 40Ar/39Ar age for FCs provides concordant ages for a Quaternary tuff across multiple dating techniques. Single and multi-crystal 40Ar/39Ar experiments were conducted on a Nu Instruments Noblesse multi-collector noble gas mass spectrometer. The use of the multi...

  11. Limiting the costs of mutalism: multiple modes of interaction between yuccas and yucca moths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Addicott, J. F.; Bao, T.

    1999-01-01

    In pollination–seed predation mutualisms between yuccas and yucca moths, conflicts of interest exist for yuccas, because benefits of increased pollination may be outweighed by increased seed consumption. These conflicts raise the problem of what limits seed consumption, and ultimately what limits or regulates moth populations. Although the current hypothesis is that yuccas should selectively abscise flowers with high numbers of yucca-moth eggs, within-inflorescence selective abscission occurs in only one of the three moth–yucca systems that we studied. It occurs only when oviposition directly damages developing ovules, and does not, therefore, provide a general explanation for the resolution of moth–yucca conflicts. Within-locule egg mortality provides an alternative and stronger mechanism for limiting seed damage, and generating density-dependent mortality for yucca-moth populations. However, the most important feature of moth–yucca systems is that they are diverse, encompassing multiple modes of interaction, each with different consequences for limiting and regulating yucca moths.

  12. Rock mass mechanical property estimations for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin, M.; Hardy, M.P.; Bauer, S.J.

    1993-06-01

    Rock mass mechanical properties are important in the design of drifts and ramps. These properties are used in evaluations of the impacts of thermomechanical loading of potential host rock within the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Representative intact rock and joint mechanical properties were selected for welded and nonwelded tuffs from the currently available data sources. Rock mass qualities were then estimated using both the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (Q) and Geomechanics Rating (RMR) systems. Rock mass mechanical properties were developed based on estimates of rock mass quality, the current knowledge of intact properties, and fracture/joint characteristics. Empirical relationships developed to correlate the rock mass quality indices and the rock mass mechanical properties were then used to estimate the range of rock mass mechanical properties

  13. Procedure development study: Low strain rate and creep experiments; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, R.J. III; Boyd, P.J.; Noel, J.S. [New England Research, Inc., White River Junction, VT (United States); Price, R.H. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1991-10-01

    Licensing of the potential nuclear-waste repository at Yucca Mountain by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would require, among other things, demonstrations of the long term usability of the underground facilities. Such a demonstration involves analysis of the mechanical response of the rock to the presence of underground openings and heat-producing waste, which in turn requires data on the mechanical properties of the rock. This document describes the experimental results from a scoping study which led to the development of procedures for performing quality-affecting rock-mechanics experiments on intact rock. The future experiments performed with these procedures will produce information on the time-dependent deformation of welded tuff and represent one aspect of the overall effort to characterize the rheology of the rock mass. 3 refs., 42 figs., 6 tabs.

  14. Current status of waste package designs for the Yucca Mountain Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ballou, L.B.

    1989-07-01

    Conceptual designs for waste packages containing spent fuel or high-level waste glass have been developed for use in a repository at Yucca Mountain. The basis for these designs reflects the unique nature of the expected service environment associated with disposal in welded tuff in the unsaturated zone. In addition to a set of reference designs, alternative design concepts are being considered that would contain and isolate the waste radionuclides in a more aggressive service environment. Consideration is also being given to the feasibility of a concept known as ''heat tailoring'' that employs the thermal energy released by the wasteforms to enhance and extend the performance of the containers. 5 refs., 3 figs

  15. Water-rock interactions and the pH stability of groundwater from Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ebinger, M.H.

    1992-01-01

    Titrations of acidic solutions in waters from the tuff and carbonate aquifers at Yucca Mountain were simulated using the geochemical codes PHREEQE and EQ3/6. The simulations tested pH stability of the waters in the presence of different minerals and in their absence. Two acidic solutions, 10 -4 HCl and 10 -4 M UO 2 (NO 3 ) 2 , were titrated in to the water. Little pH and/or compositional change resulted in the groundwater when the HCl solution was titrated, but significant pH and CO 2 fugacity changes were observed when UO 2 (NO 3 ) 2 was titrated. Water interactions with alkali feldspar, quartz or cristobalite, and Ca-smectite buffered the pH and compositional changes in the carbonate water and decreased the magnitude of pH and compositional changes when small volumes of UO 2 (NO 3 ) 2 added to the tuffaceous waters

  16. First phase of small diameter heater experiments in tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zimmerman, R.M.

    1983-01-01

    As part of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) project, we have undertaken small diameter heater experiments in the G-Tunnel Underground Facility on the Nevada Test Site (NTS). These experiments are to evaluate the thermal and hydrothermal behavior which might be encountered if heat producing nuclear waste were disposed of in welded and nonwelded tuffs. The two Phase I experiments discussed have focused on vertical borehole emplacements. In each experiment, temperatures were measured along the surface of the 10.2-cm-dia heater and the 12.7-cm-dia boreholes. For each experiment, measurements were compared with computer model representations. Maximum temperatures reached were: 196 0 C for the welded tuff after 21 days of operations at 800W and 173 0 C for the nonwelded tuff after 35 days of operations at 500W. Computed results indicate that the same heat transfer model (includes conduction and radiation only) can describe the behavior of both tuffs using empirical techniques to describe pore water vaporization. Hydrothermal measurements revealed heat-indiced water migration. Results indicated that small amounts of liquid water migrated into the welded tuff borehole early in the heating period. Once the rock-wall temperatures exceeded 94 0 C, in both tuffs, there was mass transport of water vapor as evidence indicated condensation cooler regions. Borehole pressures remained essentially ambient during the thermal periods

  17. 236-Z canyon utilization study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dixon, D.R.

    1977-01-01

    The 236-Z canyon contains equipment for repurification of plutonium and recovery of plutonium from scrap material. To meet production requirements of Fast Flux Test Facility/Clinch River Breeder Reactor oxide with the existing plant, several new pieces of equipment will be needed in the future. More storage space and a better accountability system are needed to support this increased production. The available canyon space needs to be utilized to its fullest in order to accommodate the new equipment. The purpose of this document is to identify the new pieces of equipment, show how they fit into the flowsheet, and locate them in the canyon

  18. Cerro Xalapaxco: an unusual tuff cone with multiple explosion craters, in central Mexico (Puebla)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrams, Michael J.; Siebe, Claus

    1994-11-01

    The Xalapaxco tuff cone is located on the northeast flank of La Malinche stratovolcano in central Mexico. An unusually large number (10) of explosion craters, concentrated on the central and on the uphill side of the cone, expose alternating beds of stratified surge deposits and massive fall deposits. The morphology of the cone and the characteristics of its deposits point to the involvement of significant quantities of groundwater during its eruption. The phreatomagmatic eruptions which led to the cone's formation pierced an alluvial fan, whose source is a glacially carved canyon near the summit of La Malinche volcano. The large canyon was cut during repeated glacial episodes, the last of which ended ca. 8500 years ago. The present alluvial fan mostly consists of reworked glacio-fluviatile andesite/dacite material from La Malinche. Rising magma encountered substantial amounts of groundwater within the limestone basement and in overlying intercalated pyroclastic and glacio-fluviatile deposits of the alluvial fan. Short-lived phreatomagmatic eruptions produced surge and airfall deposits. Xenoliths found in the cone beds are composed of dacite and andesite clasts, limestone, chert, and rare ignimbrite fragments. No juvenile material could be unequivocally identified, but is represented most probably by porphyritic dacite similar in texture and composition to La Malinche lavas. The multiple craters were formed as a response to changes in water and magma supply during the short-lived eruption. Hence, the locations where ideal magma/water ratios existed to fuel phreatomagmatic explosions shifted in time and space. Analysis of diameter/depth ratios of the craters indicates that the activity shifted from the center of the cone to its periphery in the west. Due to the configuration of the hydrographic environment, more groundwater flowing from La Malinche was available from the fan on the uphill side than below the cone at later stages of the eruption. The apparently

  19. 2010 Pacific Gas and Electric Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP): Diablo Canyon, CA Central Coast

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP) LiDAR and Imagery datasets are comprised of three separate LiDAR surveys: Diablo Canyon (2010), Diablo Canyon (2010), and San...

  20. Photon Shielding Features of Quarry Tuff

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vega-Carrillo Hector Rene

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Cantera is a quarry tuff widely used in the building industry; in this work the shielding features of cantera were determined. The shielding characteristics were calculated using XCOM and MCNP5 codes for 0.03, 0.07, 0.1, 0.3, 0.662, 1, 2, and 3 MeV photons. With XCOM the mass interaction coefficients, and the total mass attenuation coefficients, were calculated. With the MCNP5 code a transmission experiment was modelled using a point-like source located 42 cm apart from a point-like detector. Between the source and the detector, cantera pieces with different thickness, ranging from 0 to 40 cm were included. The collided and uncollided photon fluence, the Kerma in air and the Ambient dose equivalent were estimated. With the uncollided fluence the linear attenuation coefficients were determined and compared with those calculated with XCOM. The linear attenuation coefficient for 0.662 MeV photons was compared with the coefficient measured with a NaI(Tl-based γ-ray spectrometer and a 137Cs source.

  1. Transport properties of Topopah Spring tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin, W.; Daily, W.

    1984-10-01

    Electrical resistivity, ultrasonic P-waves velocity, and water permeability were measured simultaneously on both intact and fractured Topopah Spring tuff samples at a confining pressure of 5.0 MPa, pore pressures to 2.5 MPa, and temperatures to 140 0 C. The tested samples were subjected to three dehydration and rehydration cycles. The dehydrations were accomplished at a temperature of 140 0 C, and the rehydrations were accomplished at various combinations of temperature and pore pressures so that the wetting fluid was either liquid water, steam or both. The electrical resistivity measurements indicate that for the intact sample, the drying and resaturation took place fairly uniformly throughout the sample. On the other hand, for the fractured sample, the drying and resaturation was spatially quite nonuniform. When samples had been subjected to 5 MPa of confining pressure and 140 0 C for several weeks, a gradual monotonic drift in resistivity was measured (decreasing resistivity when dry; increasing resistivity when wet). This may be the result of either minerological changes or grain boundary movement. In any case, the phenomenon may have important consequences on long term repository performance, and should be studied further. The permeability of the intact sample was independent of temperature, dehydration and rehydration cycles, and time. The permeability of the fractured sample, initially dominated by the fracture, decreased by about one order of magnitude after each dehydration and rehydration cycle. 11 references, 12 figures, 3 tables

  2. Evaluation of three Italian tuffs (Neapolitan Yellow Tuf, Tufo Romano and Tufo Etrusco) as compatible replacement stone for Römer tuff in Dutch built cultural heritage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijland, T.G.; Hees, R.P.J. van; Bolondi, L.

    2010-01-01

    Rhenish tuffs from the volcanic Eifel region in Germany, in particular the so-called Römer tuff, are among the most prominent and voluminous natural stones in Dutch monuments. The Römer tuff has been used since Roman times, and was widely used again in Romanesque (and to a lesser extent

  3. Specialization in the yucca-yucca moth obligate pollination mutualism: A role for antagonism?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Althoff, David M

    2016-10-01

    Specialized brood pollination systems involve both mutualism and antagonism in the overall interaction and have led to diversification in both plants and insects. Although largely known for mutualism, the role of the antagonistic side of the interaction in these systems has been overlooked. Specialization may be driven by plant defenses to feeding by the insect larvae that consume and kill developing plant ovules. The interaction among yuccas and yucca moths is cited as a classic example of the importance of mutualism in specialization and diversification. Pollinators moths are very host specific, but whether this specificity is due to adult pollination ability or larval feeding ability is unclear. Here, I test the potential role of antagonism in driving specialization among yuccas and yucca moths. I examined the ability of the most-polyphagous yucca moth pollinator, Tegeticula yuccasella, to pollinate and develop on five Yucca species used across its range. Yucca species endemic to the Great Plains and Texas were transplanted to a common garden in Syracuse, New York and exposed to the local pollinator moth population over 3 years. Local moths visited all but one of the Yucca species, but had drastically lower rates of successful larval development on non-natal Yucca species in comparison to the local host species. Specialization in many brood pollination systems may be strongly influenced by the antagonistic rather than the mutualistic side of the overall interaction, suggesting that antagonistic coevolution is a possible source of diversification. © 2016 Botanical Society of America.

  4. A first survey of disruption scenarios for a high-level-waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada: Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ross, B.

    1987-12-01

    A high-level-waste repository located in unsaturated welded tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, would rely on six different, although not entirely independent, barriers to prevent escape of radioactivity. These barriers are the waste canister, fuel cladding, dissolution of the spent fuel itself, and movement of released contaminants in the unsaturated Topopah Spring welded tuff unit, the unsaturated Calico Hills nonwelded tuff unit, and the saturated tuff aquifer. Fifty-eight processes and events that might affect such a repository were examined. Eighty-four different sequences were identified by which these processes and events could lead to failure of one or more barriers. Sequences that had similar consequences were grouped into 17 categories: direct release, repository flooding, colloid formation, increased water flux through the repository, accelerated fracture flow, water diverted toward the waste package, accelerated dissolution mechanisms, accelerated cladding corrosion mechanisms, accelerated canister corrosion mechanisms, canister breakage, fracture flow in the Topopah Spring welded unit without increased moisture flux, reduced sorption in the Topopah Spring welded unit, water table rise above the Calico Hills nonwelded unit, fracture flow in the Calico Hills nonwelded unit, new discharge points, and faster flow in the saturated zone. 52 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab

  5. Hazards and scenarios examined for the Yucca Mountain disposal system for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rechard, Rob P.; Freeze, Geoff A.; Perry, Frank V.

    2014-01-01

    This paper summarizes various hazards identified between 1978 when Yucca Mountain, located in arid southern Nevada, was first proposed as a potential site and 2008 when the license application to construct a repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste was submitted. Although advantages of an arid site are many, hazard identification and scenario development have generally recognized fractures in the tuff as important features; climate change, water infiltration and percolation, and an oxidizing environment as important processes; and igneous activity, seismicity, human intrusion, and criticality as important disruptive events to consider at Yucca Mountain. Some of the scientific and technical challenges encountered included a change in the repository design from in-floor emplacement with small packages to in-drift emplacement with large packages without backfill. This change, in turn, increased the importance of igneous and seismic hazards. - Highlights: • Historical milestones associated with identifying events such as igneous activity, seismicity, and criticality for the Yucca Mountain repository are described. • Increased importance of volcanism and seismicity when placing the package in an unbackfilled drift in the unsaturated zone is described. • The Poisson probability model for human intrusion, igneous activity, and seismicity is described

  6. Ground-water sampling of the NNWSI (Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigation) water table test wells surrounding Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matuska, N.A.

    1988-12-01

    The US Geological Survey (USGS), as part of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigation (NNWSI) study of the water table in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, completed 16 test holes on the Nevada Test Site and Bureau of Land Management-administered lands surrounding Yucca Mountain. These 16 wells are monitored by the USGS for water-level data; however, they had not been sampled for ground-water chemistry or isotropic composition. As part of the review of the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level nuclear waste repository, the Desert Research Institute (DRI) sampled six of these wells. The goal of this sampling program was to measure field-dependent parameters of the water such as electrical conductivity, pH, temperature and dissolved oxygen, and to collect samples for major and minor element chemistry and isotopic analysis. This information will be used as part of a program to geochemically model the flow direction between the volcanic tuff aquifers and the underlying regional carbonate aquifer

  7. Preliminary 3-D site-scale studies of radioactive colloid transport in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moridis, G J; Hu, Q; Wu, Y-S; Bodvarsson, G S

    2003-02-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is actively investigating the technical feasibility of permanent disposal of high-level nuclear waste in a repository to be situated in the unsaturated zone (UZ) at Yucca Mountain (YM), Nevada. In this study we investigate, by means of numerical simulation, the transport of radioactive colloids under ambient conditions from the potential repository horizon to the water table. The site hydrology and the effects of the spatial distribution of hydraulic and transport properties in the Yucca Mountain subsurface are considered. The study of migration and retardation of colloids accounts for the complex processes in the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain, and includes advection, diffusion, hydrodynamic dispersion, kinetic colloid filtration, colloid straining, and radioactive decay. The results of the study indicate that the most important factors affecting colloid transport are the subsurface geology and site hydrology, i.e., the presence of faults (they dominate and control transport), fractures (the main migration pathways), and the relative distribution of zeolitic and vitric tuffs. The transport of colloids is strongly influenced by their size (as it affects diffusion into the matrix, straining at hydrogeologic unit interfaces, and transport velocity) and by the parameters of the kinetic-filtration model used for the simulations. Arrival times at the water table decrease with an increasing colloid size because of smaller diffusion, increased straining, and higher transport velocities. The importance of diffusion as a retardation mechanism increases with a decreasing colloid size, but appears to be minimal in large colloids.

  8. Proceedings of the DOE/Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Radionuclde Adsorption Workshop at Los Alamos National Laboratory, September 11--12, 1990

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Canepa, J.A.

    1992-08-01

    Los Alamos National Laboratory hosted a workshop on radionuclide adsorption for the Department of Energy (DOE)/Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project on September 11 and 12, 1990. The purpose of the workshop was to respond to a recommendation by the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board that the DOE organize a radionuclide adsorption workshop to be attended by the DOE and its contractors involved in the measurement and modeling of such adsorption. The workshop would have two general purposes: (a) to determine the applicability of available radionuclide adsorption data on tuff and models for predicting such adsorption under existing and postclosure conditions at Yucca Mountain and (b) to establish what additional radionuclide adsorption research and model development are needed. Individual projects are processed separately for the databases

  9. 9 M.y. record of southern Nevada climate from Yucca Mountain secondary minerals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whelan, J.F.; Moscati, R.J.

    1998-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is presently the object of intense study as a potential permanent repository for the Nation's high-level radioactive wastes. The mountain consists of a thick sequence of volcanic tuffs within which the depth to water table ranges from 500 to 700 meters below the land surface. This thick unsaturated zone (UZ), which would host the projected repository, coupled with the present day arid to semi-arid climate, is considered a favorable attribute of the site. Evaluation of the site includes defining the relation between climate variability, as the input function or driver of site- and regional-scale ground-water flow, and the possible future transport and release of radionuclides to the accessible environment. Secondary calcite and opal have been deposited in the UZ by meteoric waters that infiltrated through overlying soils and percolated through the tuffs. The oxygen isotopic composition (δ 18 O values) of these minerals reflect contemporaneous meteoric waters and the δ 13 C values reflect soil organic matter, and hence the resident plant community, at the time of infiltration. Recent U/Pb age determinations of opal in these occurrences, coupled with the δ 13 C values of associated calcite, allow broadbrush reconstructions of climate patterns during the past 9 M.y

  10. Structure in continuously cored, deep drill holes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, with notes on calcite occurrence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carr, W.J.

    1992-12-01

    A study of more than 22,000 feet of core from five deep drill holes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, provided data on the attitude and vertical distribution of faults and fractures, the sense of fault displacement, and the occurrence of calcite. The study was done mainly to look for evidence of fault flattening at depth, but no consistent downward decrease in dip of faults was found, and no increase in strata rotation was evident with increasing depth. In the two drill holes located near prominent faults that dip toward the holes (USW G-3 and G-2), an apparent increase in the frequency of faults occurs below the tuffs and lavas of Calico Hills. Some of this increase occurs in brittle lavas and flow breccias in the lower part of the volcanic section. In the two holes presumed to be relatively removed from the influence of important faults at depth, the vertical distribution of faults is relatively uniform. Calcite occurs mainly in two general zones, voids in welded portions of the Paintbrush Tuff, and in a deeper zone, mostly below 3,500 feet. Calcite is least abundant in USW G-4, which may reflect the fewer faults and fractures encountered in that drill hole

  11. Uranium-Series Constraints on Subrepository Water Flow at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    L.A. Neymark; J.B. Paces; S.J. Chipera; D.T. Vaniman

    2006-01-01

    Mineral abundances and whole-rock chemical and uranium-series isotopic compositions were measured in unfractured and rubble core samples from borehole USWSD-9 in the same layers of variably zeolitized tuffs that underlie the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Uranium concentrations and isotopic compositions also were measured in pore water from core samples from the same rock units and rock leachates representing loosely bound U adsorbed on mineral surfaces or contained in readily soluble secondary minerals. The chemical and isotopic data were used to evaluate differences in water-rock interaction between fractured and unfractured rock and between fracture surfaces and rock matrix. Samples of unfractured and rubble fragments (about 1 centimeter) core and material from fracture surfaces show similar amounts of uranium-series disequilibrium, recording a complex history of sorption and loss of uranium over the past 1 million years. The data indicate that fractures in zeolitized tuffs may not have had greater amounts of water-rock interaction than the rock matrix. The data also show that rock matrix from subrepository units is capable of scavenging uranium with elevated uranium-234/uranium-238 from percolating water and that retardation of radionuclides and dose reduction may be greater than currently credited to this aspect of the natural barrier. Uranium concentrations of pore water and the rock leachates are used to estimate long-term in situ uranium partition coefficient values greater than 7 milliliters per gram

  12. Design of a three-dimensional site-scale model for the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wittwer, C.S.; Bodvarsson, G.S.; Chornack, M.P.; Flint, A.L.; Lewis, B.D.; Spengler, R.W.; Flint, L.E.; Rautman, C.A.

    1992-01-01

    A three-dimensional model of moisture flow within the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain is being developed. This site-scale model covers an area of about 30 km 2 and is bounded by major faults to the east and west. A detailed numerical grid has been developed based on location of boreholes, different infiltration zones, hydrogeological units and their outcrops, major faults, and water level data. Different maps, such as contour maps and isopachs maps, are presented for the different infiltration zones, and for the base of the Tiva Canyon, the Paintbrush, and the Topopah Spring hydrogeological units

  13. Hydrologic inferences from strontium isotopes in pore water from the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marshall, B.D.; Futa, K.; Peterman, Z.E.

    1997-01-01

    Calcite is ubiquitous at Yucca Mountain, occurring in the soils and as fracture and cavity coatings within the volcanic tuff section. Strontium is a trace element in calcite, generally at the tens to hundreds of ppm level. Because calcite contains very little rubidium and the half-life of the 87 Rb parent is billions of years, the 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratios of the calcite record the ratio in the water from which the calcite precipitated. Dissolution and reprecipitation does not alter these compositions so that, in the absence of other sources of strontium, one would expect the strontium ratios along a flow path to preserve variations inherited from strontium in the soil zone. Strontium isotope compositions of calcites from various settings in the Yucca Mountain region have contributed to the understanding of the unsaturated zone (UZ), especially in distinguishing unsaturated zone calcite from saturated zone calcite. Different populations of calcite have been compared, either to group them together or distinguish them from each other in terms of their strontium isotope compositions. Ground water and perched water have also been analyzed; this paper presents strontium isotope data obtained on pore water

  14. Yucca Mountain Project far-field sorption studies and data needs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meijer, A.

    1990-09-01

    Batch sorption experiments in which radionuclides dissolved in groundwaters from Yucca Mountain were sorbed onto samples of crushed tuff have resulted in a substantial database of sorption coefficients for radionuclides of interest to the repository program. Although this database has been useful in preliminary evaluations of Yucca Mountain as a potential site for a nuclear waste repository, the database has limitations that must be addressed before it can be used for performance assessment calculations in support of a license application for a waste repository. The purpose of this paper is to: review the applicability of simple (constant) sorption coefficients in transport calculations; review and evaluate alternative methods for the derivation of sorption coefficients; summarize and evaluate the present YMP sorption database to identify areas of data sufficiency and significant data gaps; summarize our current understanding of pertinent sorption mechanisms and associated kinetic parameters; evaluate the significance to the YMP of potential problems in the experimental determination and field application of sorption coefficients as enumerated by the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 1987) in its technical position paper on sorption; formulate and evaluate strategies for the resolution of NRC concerns regarding experimental problems; and formulate a position on the sorption coefficient database and the level of understanding of sorption mechanisms likely to be required in the licensing application. 75 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs

  15. Chlorine-36 validation Study at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    J. Paces

    2006-01-01

    The amount, spatial distribution, and velocity of water percolating through the unsaturated zone (UZ) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, are important issues for assessing the performance of the proposed deep geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. To help characterize the nature and history of UZ flow, isotopic studies were initiated in 1995, using rock samples collected from the Miocene ash-flow tuffs in the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF), an 8-km-long tunnel constructed along the north-south extent of the repository block, and the Enhanced Characterization of the Repository Block (ECRB) Cross Drift, a 2.5-km-long tunnel constructed across the repository block (Figure 1-1, Sources: Modified from DOE 2002 [Figure 1-14] and USBR 1996). Scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) analyzed for chlorine-36 ( 36 Cl) in salts leached from whole-rock samples collected from tunnel walls and subsurface boreholes, and scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) analyzed for isotopes of oxygen, carbon, uranium, lead, thorium, and strontium in secondary minerals collected from subsurface fractures and lithophysal cavities. Elevated values for ratios of 36 Cl to total chloride ( 36 Cl/CL) at the level of the proposed repository indicated that small amounts of water carrying bomb-pulse 36 Cl (i.e., 36 Cl/Cl ratios greater than 1250 x 10 -15 resulting from 36 Cl produced by atmospheric testing of nuclear devices during the 1950s and early 1960s) had percolated through welded and nonwelded tuffs to depths of 200 to 300 meters (m) beneath the land surface over the past 50 years. Because of the implications of short travel times to the performance of the proposed repository, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)/Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM), Office of Repository Development (ORD), decided to verify the 36 Cl/Cl data with an independent validation study. DOE asked the USGS to design and implement a validation

  16. Chlorine-36 alidation Study at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Paces

    2006-08-28

    The amount, spatial distribution, and velocity of water percolating through the unsaturated zone (UZ) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, are important issues for assessing the performance of the proposed deep geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. To help characterize the nature and history of UZ flow, isotopic studies were initiated in 1995, using rock samples collected from the Miocene ash-flow tuffs in the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF), an 8-km-long tunnel constructed along the north-south extent of the repository block, and the Enhanced Characterization of the Repository Block (ECRB) Cross Drift, a 2.5-km-long tunnel constructed across the repository block (Figure 1-1, Sources: Modified from DOE 2002 [Figure 1-14] and USBR 1996). Scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) analyzed for chlorine-36 ({sup 36}Cl) in salts leached from whole-rock samples collected from tunnel walls and subsurface boreholes, and scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) analyzed for isotopes of oxygen, carbon, uranium, lead, thorium, and strontium in secondary minerals collected from subsurface fractures and lithophysal cavities. Elevated values for ratios of {sup 36}Cl to total chloride ({sup 36}Cl/CL) at the level of the proposed repository indicated that small amounts of water carrying bomb-pulse {sup 36}Cl (i.e., {sup 36}Cl/Cl ratios greater than 1250 x 10{sup -15} resulting from {sup 36}Cl produced by atmospheric testing of nuclear devices during the 1950s and early 1960s) had percolated through welded and nonwelded tuffs to depths of 200 to 300 meters (m) beneath the land surface over the past 50 years. Because of the implications of short travel times to the performance of the proposed repository, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)/Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM), Office of Repository Development (ORD), decided to verify the {sup 36}Cl/Cl data with an independent validation study. DOE asked the USGS

  17. Nuclear Waste Disposal: Alternatives to Yucca Mountain

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Holt, Mark

    2009-01-01

    Congress designated Yucca Mountain, NV, as the nation's sole candidate site for a permanent high-level nuclear waste repository in 1987, following years of controversy over the site-selection process...

  18. Nuclear chief condemned over Yucca closure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gwynne, Peter

    2011-08-01

    The head of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has been attacked by Republicans in Congress over his actions in the mothballing of the proposed 10bn Yucca Mountain nuclear-waste repository in Nevada.

  19. Nuclear Waste Disposal: Alternatives to Yucca Mountain

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Holt, Mark

    2009-01-01

    .... Over the strenuous objections of the State of Nevada, the Department of Energy (DOE) submitted a license application for the proposed Yucca Mountain repository in June 2008 to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC...

  20. Mineral resources of the Desolation Canyon, Turtle Canyon, and Floy Canyon Wilderness Study Areas, Carbon Emery, and Grand counties, Utah

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cashion, W.B.; Kilburn, J.E.; Barton, H.N.; Kelley, K.D.; Kulik, D.M.; McDonnell, J.R.

    1990-09-01

    This paper reports on the Desolation Canyon, Turtle Canyon, and Floy Canyon Wilderness Study Areas which include 242,000 acres, 33,690 acres, and 23,140 acres. Coal deposits underlie all three study areas. Coal zones in the Blackhawk and Nelsen formations have identified bituminous coal resources of 22 million short tons in the Desolation Canyon Study Area, 6.3 million short tons in the Turtle Canyon Study Area, and 45 million short tons in the Floy Canyon Study Area. In-place inferred oil shale resources are estimated to contain 60 million barrels in the northern part of the Desolation Canyon area. Minor occurrences of uranium have been found in the southeastern part of the Desolation Canyon area and in the western part of the Floy Canyon area. Mineral resource potential for the study areas is estimated to be for coal, high for all areas, for oil and gas, high for the northern tract of the Desolation Canyon area and moderate for all other tracts, for bituminous sandstone, high for the northern part of the Desolation Canyon area, and low for all other tracts, for oil shale, low in all areas, for uranium, moderate for the Floy Canyon area and the southeastern part of the Desolation Canyon area and low for the remainder of the areas, for metals other than uranium, bentonite, zeolites, and geothermal energy, low in all areas, and for coal-bed methane unknown in all three areas

  1. Formative flow in bedrock canyons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venditti, J. G.; Kwoll, E.; Rennie, C. D.; Church, M. A.

    2017-12-01

    In alluvial channels, it is widely accepted that river channel configuration is set by a formative flow that represents a balance between the magnitude and frequency of flood flows. The formative flow is often considered to be one that is just capable of filling a river channel to the top of its banks. Flows much above this formative flow are thought to cause substantial sediment transport and rearrange the channel morphology to accommodate the larger flow. This idea has recently been extended to semi-alluvial channels where it has been shown that even with bedrock exposed, the flows rarely exceed that required to entrain the local sediment cover. What constitutes a formative flow in a bedrock canyon is not clear. By definition, canyons have rock walls and are typically incised vertically, removing the possibility of the walls being overtopped, as can occur in an alluvial channel at high flows. Canyons are laterally constrained, have deep scour pools and often have width to maximum depth ratios approaching 1, an order of magnitude lower than alluvial channels. In many canyons, there are a sequence of irregularly spaced scour pools. The bed may have intermittent or seasonal sediment cover, but during flood flows the sediment bed is entrained leaving a bare bedrock channel. It has been suggested that canyons cut into weak, well-jointed rock may adjust their morphology to the threshold for block plucking because the rock bed is labile during exceptionally large magnitude flows. However, this hypothesis does not apply to canyons cut into massive crystalline rock where abrasion is the dominant erosion process. Here, we argue that bedrock canyon morphology is adjusted to a characteristic flow structure developed in bedrock canyons. We show that the deeply scoured canyon floor is adjusted to a velocity inversion that is present at low flows, but gets stronger at high flows. The effect is to increase boundary shear stresses along the scour pool that forms in constricted

  2. Rapid pre-eruptive thermal rejuvenation in a large silicic magma body: the case of the Masonic Park Tuff, Southern Rocky Mountain volcanic field, CO, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sliwinski, J. T.; Bachmann, O.; Dungan, M. A.; Huber, C.; Deering, C. D.; Lipman, P. W.; Martin, L. H. J.; Liebske, C.

    2017-05-01

    Determining the mechanisms involved in generating large-volume eruptions (>100 km3) of silicic magma with crystallinities approaching rheological lock-up ( 50 vol% crystals) remains a challenge for volcanologists. The Cenozoic Southern Rocky Mountain volcanic field, in Colorado and northernmost New Mexico, USA, produced ten such crystal-rich ignimbrites within 3 m.y. This work focuses on the 28.7 Ma Masonic Park Tuff, a dacitic ( 62-65 wt% SiO2) ignimbrite with an estimated erupted volume of 500 km3 and an average of 45 vol% crystals. Near-absence of quartz, titanite, and sanidine, pronounced An-rich spikes near the rims of plagioclase, and reverse zoning in clinopyroxene record the reheating (from 750 to >800 °C) of an upper crustal mush in response to hotter recharge from below. Zircon U-Pb ages suggest prolonged magmatic residence, while Yb/Dy vs temperature trends indicate co-crystallization with titanite which was later resorbed. High Sr, Ba, and Ti concentrations in plagioclase microlites and phenocryst rims require in-situ feldspar melting and concurrent, but limited, mass addition provided by the recharge, likely in the form of a melt-gas mixture. The larger Fish Canyon Tuff, which erupted from the same location 0.7 m.y. later, also underwent pre-eruptive reheating and partial melting of quartz, titanite, and feldspars in a long-lived upper crustal mush following the underplating of hotter magma. The Fish Canyon Tuff, however, records cooler pre-eruptive temperatures ( 710-760 °C) and a mineral assemblage indicative of higher magmatic water contents (abundant resorbed sanidine and quartz, euhedral amphibole and titanite, and absence of pyroxene). These similar pre-eruptive mush-reactivation histories, despite differing mineral assemblages and pre-eruptive temperatures, indicate that thermal rejuvenation is a key step in the eruption of crystal-rich silicic volcanics over a wide range of conditions.

  3. Forty million years of mutualism: Evidence for Eocene origin of the yucca-yucca moth association

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellmyr, Olle; Leebens-Mack, James

    1999-01-01

    The obligate mutualism between yuccas and yucca moths is a major model system for the study of coevolving species interactions. Exploration of the processes that have generated current diversity and associations within this mutualism requires robust phylogenies and timelines for both moths and yuccas. Here we establish a molecular clock for the moths based on mtDNA and use it to estimate the time of major life history events within the yucca moths. Colonization of yuccas had occurred by 41.5 ± 9.8 million years ago (Mya), with rapid life history diversification and the emergence of pollinators within 0–6 My after yucca colonization. A subsequent burst of diversification 3.2 ± 1.8 Mya coincided with evolution of arid habitats in western North America. Derived nonpollinating cheater yucca moths evolved 1.26 ± 0.96 Mya. The estimated age of the moths far predates the host fossil record, but is consistent with suggested host age based on paleobotanical, climatological, biogeographical, and geological data, and a tentative estimation from an rbcL-based molecular clock for yuccas. The moth data are used to establish three alternative scenarios of how the moths and plants have coevolved. They yield specific predictions that can be tested once a robust plant phylogeny becomes available. PMID:10430916

  4. Diablo Canyon ECCS enhancements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin, A.; Lee, T.P.; Walter, L.E.

    2004-01-01

    Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP) operated by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG and E) is a Westinghouse designed four loop plant. In recent years, several issues were identified regarding the compliance of the Emergency Core Cooling System (ECCS) surveillance tests to the ECCS analyses assumptions. These concerns are related mostly to the High Head Safety Injection (HHSI) and the Intermediate Head Safety Injection (IHSI) systems where the injection line throttle valves are adjusted during outage surveillance testing to ensure compliance with the Technical Specifications (TS). To resolve all of the identified issues PG and E performed an ECCS reanalysis and upgraded the ECCS surveillance test program and also had Westinghouse perform a containment reanalysis using their latest model. As a result of these plant specific enhancement efforts, DCPP widened the operating window for TS surveillance testing, lowered the ECCS pumps' acceptance performance curves, and re-gained Peak Clad Temperature (PCT) and containment peak pressure margins. These enhancements are generically applicable to other plants and are addressed in this paper. (author)

  5. Site descriptions: Cypress Creek, Davis Canyon, Deaf Smith, Hanford Reference, Lavender Canyon, Richton Dome, Swisher, Vacherie Dome, Yucca Mountain. Revision

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-04-01

    The following information is given about the various sites: location (state and county), terrain, climate, weather, endangered plants and animals; nearest town, population, nearest railway, nearest interstate highway, economy, density within 50 miles, owners, and historical sites. (LM)

  6. Calcite Fluid Inclusion, Paragenetic, and Oxygen Isotopic Records of Thermal Event(s) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peterman, B.; Moscati, R.

    2000-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is under consideration as a potential high-level radioactive waste repository situated above the water table in 12.7 Ma tuffs. A wealth of textural and geochemical evidence from low-temperature deposits of calcite and silica, indicates that their genesis is related to unsaturated zone (UZ) percolation and that the level of the potential repository has never been saturated. Nonetheless, some scientists contend that thermal waters have periodically risen to the surface depositing calcite and opal in the tuffs and at the surface. This hypothesis received some support in 1996 when two-phase fluid inclusions (FIs) with homogenization temperatures (Th) between 35 and 75 C were reported from UZ calcite. Calcite deposition likely followed closely on the cooling of the tuffs and continues into the present. The paragenetic sequence of calcite and silica in the UZ is early stage calcite followed by chalcedony and quartz, then calcite with local opal during middle and late stages. Four types of FIs are found in calcite assemblages: (1) all-liquid (L); (2) all-vapor (V); (3) 2-phase with large and variable V:L ratios; and (4) a few 2-phase with small and consistent V:L ratios. Late calcite contains no FI assemblages indicating elevated depositional temperatures. In early calcite, the Th of type 4 FIs ranges from ∼ 40 to ∼ 85 C. Such temperatures (sub-boiling) and the assemblage of FIs are consistent with deposition in the UZ. Some delta 18O values < 10 permil in early calcite support such temperatures. Type 4 FIs, however, seem to be restricted to the early calcite stage, during which either cooling of the tuffs or regional volcanism were possible heat sources. Nonetheless, at present there is no compelling evidence of upwelling water as a source for the calcite/opal deposits

  7. Scalar properties of transversely isotropic tuff from images of orthogonal cross sections

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Berge, P.A.; Berryman, J.G.; Blair, S.C.; Pena, C.

    1997-01-01

    Image processing methods have been used very effectively to estimate physical properties of isotropic porous earth materials such as sandstones. Anisotropic materials can also be analyzed in order to estimate their physical properties, but additional care and a larger number of well-chosen images of cross sections are required to obtain correct results. Although low-symmetry anisotropic media present difficulties for two-dimensional image processing methods, geologic materials are often transversely isotropic. Scalar properties of porous materials such as porosity and specific surface area can be determined with only minor changes in the analysis when the medium is transversely isotropic rather than isotropic. For example, in a rock that is transitively isotropic due to thin layers or beds, the overall porosity may be obtained by analyzing images of cross sections taken orthogonal to the bedding planes, whereas cross sections lying within the bedding planes will determine only the local porosity of the bed itself. It is known for translationally invariant anisotropic media that the overall specific surface area can be obtained from radial averages of the two-point correlation function in the full three-dimensional volume. Layered materials are not translationally invariant in the direction of the layering, but we show nevertheless how averages of cross sections may be used to obtain the specific surface area for a transversely isotropic rock. We report values of specific surface area obtained for thin sections of Topopah Spring Tuff from Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This formation is being evaluated as a potential host rock for geologic disposal of nuclear waste. Although the present work has made use of thin sections of tuff for the images, the same methods of analysis could also be used to simplify quantitative analysis of three-dimensional volumes of pore structure data obtained by means of x-ray microtomography or other methods, using only a few representative cross

  8. Scalar properties of transversely isotropic tuff from images of orthogonal cross sections

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berge, P.A.; Berryman, J.G.; Blair, S.C.; Pena, C.

    1997-01-01

    Image processing methods have been used very effectively to estimate physical properties of isotropic porous earth materials such as sandstones. Anisotropic materials can also be analyzed in order to estimate their physical properties, but additional care and a larger number of well-chosen images of cross sections are required to obtain correct results. Although low-symmetry anisotropic media present difficulties for two-dimensional image processing methods, geologic materials are often transversely isotropic. Scalar properties of porous materials such as porosity and specific surface area can be determined with only minor changes in the analysis when the medium is transversely isotropic rather than isotropic. For example, in a rock that is transitively isotropic due to thin layers or beds, the overall porosity may be obtained by analyzing images of cross sections taken orthogonal to the bedding planes, whereas cross sections lying within the bedding planes will determine only the local porosity of the bed itself. It is known for translationally invariant anisotropic media that the overall specific surface area can be obtained from radial averages of the two-point correlation function in the full three-dimensional volume. Layered materials are not translationally invariant in the direction of the layering, but we show nevertheless how averages of cross sections may be used to obtain the specific surface area for a transversely isotropic rock. We report values of specific surface area obtained for thin sections of Topopah Spring Tuff from Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This formation is being evaluated as a potential host rock for geologic disposal of nuclear waste. Although the present work has made use of thin sections of tuff for the images, the same methods of analysis could also be used to simplify quantitative analysis of three-dimensional volumes of pore structure data obtained by means of x-ray microtomography or other methods, using only a few representative cross

  9. Two-dimensional velocity models for paths from Pahute Mesa and Yucca Flat to Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walck, M.C.; Phillips, J.S.

    1990-11-01

    Vertical acceleration recordings of 21 underground nuclear explosions recorded at stations at Yucca Mountain provide the data for development of three two-dimensional crystal velocity profiles for portions of the Nevada Test Site. Paths from Area 19, Area 20 (both Pahute Mesa), and Yucca Flat to Yucca Mountain have been modeled using asymptotic ray theory travel time and synthetic seismogram techniques. Significant travel time differences exist between the Yucca Flat and Pahute Mesa source areas; relative amplitude patterns at Yucca Mountain also shift with changing source azimuth. The three models, UNEPM1, UNEPM2, and UNEYF1, successfully predict the travel time and amplitude data for all three paths. 24 refs., 34 figs., 8 tabs

  10. Influence of Lithophysal Geometry on the Uniaxial Compression of Tuff-Like Rock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rigby, Douglas B.

    2007-01-01

    A large portion of the rock of the high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain contains lithophysae or voids. These voids have a significant detrimental effect on the engineering properties of the rock mass and its performance. The lithophysae were formed at the time of volcanic deposition by pockets of gas trapped within the compressing and cooling pyroclastic flow material. Lithophysae vary by size, shape, and spatial frequency of occurrence. Due to the difficulties of testing actual lithophysal rock, the current mechanical property data set is limited and the numerical models of lithophysal rock are not well validated. The purpose of this task was to experimentally quantify the effect of void geometry in the mechanical compression of cubes of analog lithophysal-like rock. In this research the mechanical properties of the analog rock were systematically studied by examining various patterns of voids based on variables consisting of hole shape, size, and geometrical distribution. Each specified hole pattern was cast into 6 by 6 by 6-in. Hydro-StoneTB(reg s ign) specimens (produced in triplicate) and then tested under uniaxial compression. Solid Hydro-StoneTB(reg s ign) specimens exhibited similar mechanical properties to those estimated for rock mass solid specimens of Topopah Spring tuff. The results indicated that the compressive strength and Young's Modulus values decrease with increasing specimen void porosity. The modulus and strength with void porosity relationships are essentially linear over the 5 to 20 percent void porosity range. When zero void porosity (solid specimen) results are added, exponential functions do not provide a good fit to the data due to a significant sensitivity of strength and modulus to the presence of macro-sized voids. From solid specimens there is roughly a 60 percent drop in strength with about 7 percent void porosity, increasing to an 80 percent drop at about 20 percent void porosity. The percent change in modulus from

  11. Physical limits on ground motion at Yucca Mountain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, D.J.; Hanks, T.C.; Whitney, J.W.

    2007-01-01

    Physical limits on possible maximum ground motion at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the designated site of a high-level radioactive waste repository, are set by the shear stress available in the seismogenic depth of the crust and by limits on stress change that can propagate through the medium. We find in dynamic deterministic 2D calculations that maximum possible horizontal peak ground velocity (PGV) at the underground repository site is 3.6 m/sec, which is smaller than the mean PGV predicted by the probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA) at annual exceedance probabilities less than 10-6 per year. The physical limit on vertical PGV, 5.7 m/sec, arises from supershear rupture and is larger than that from the PSHA down to 10-8 per year. In addition to these physical limits, we also calculate the maximum ground motion subject to the constraint of known fault slip at the surface, as inferred from paleoseismic studies. Using a published probabilistic fault displacement hazard curve, these calculations provide a probabilistic hazard curve for horizontal PGV that is lower than that from the PSHA. In all cases the maximum ground motion at the repository site is found by maximizing constructive interference of signals from the rupture front, for physically realizable rupture velocity, from all parts of the fault. Vertical PGV is maximized for ruptures propagating near the P-wave speed, and horizontal PGV is maximized for ruptures propagating near the Rayleigh-wave speed. Yielding in shear with a Mohr-Coulomb yield condition reduces ground motion only a modest amount in events with supershear rupture velocity, because ground motion consists primarily of P waves in that case. The possibility of compaction of the porous unsaturated tuffs at the higher ground-motion levels is another attenuating mechanism that needs to be investigated.

  12. Deepwater Canyons 2013: Pathways to the Abyss

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Leg I focused on biological objectives in Norfolk Canyon, with some sampling in Baltimore Canyon. Leg II focused on archaeological targets in and around the Norfolk...

  13. Petrology of tuff units from the J-13 drill site, Jackass Flats, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heiken, G.H.; Bevier, M.L.

    1979-01-01

    The J-13 drill hole, located in Jackass Flats, Nevada Test Site, has penetrated 125 m of alluvium and 932 m of tuff. Most of the tuff deposits consist of welded tuffs; glass phases in the tuffs have been replaced by authigenic minerals, mainly K-feldspar, silica, and zeolites. The zonation of authigenic minerals, with depth, indictes that alteration of glass phases and filling of vugs occurred during welding and compaction of tuff units soon after deposition and by interaction with groundwater. Zonation of authigenic minerals in tuff deposits at Jackass Flats is similar to mineral zonation in tuffs elsewhere at the Nevada Test Site and in tuff deposits of west Texas. All appear to have been developed by leaching of glass phases and deposition of authigenic minerals in open hydrologic systems. 10 figures, 38 tables

  14. G-Tunnel welded tuff mining experiment data summary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zimmerman, R.M.; Bellman, R.A. Jr.; Mann, K.L.; Zerga, D.P.; Fowler, M.

    1990-03-01

    Designers and analysts of radioactive waste repositories must be ably to predict the mechanical behavior of the host rock. Sandia National Laboratories elected to conduct a mine-by in welded tuff so that predictive-type information could be obtained regarding the response of the rock to a drill and blast excavation process, where smooth blasting techniques were used. Included in the study were evaluations of and recommendations for various measurement systems that might be used in future mine by efforts. This report summarizes all of the data obtained in the welded tuff mining experiment. 6 refs., 29 figs., 12 tabs

  15. Deformation and velocity measurements at elevated temperature in a fractured 0.5 M block of tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blair, S.C.; Berge, P.A.

    1996-01-01

    This paper presents preliminary results of laboratory tests conducted on small block samples of Topopah Spring tuff, in support of the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The overall objective of these tests is to investigate the thermal-mechanical, thermal-hydrological, and thermal-chemical response of the rock to conditions similar to the near-field environment (NFE) of a potential nuclear waste repository. We present preliminary results of deformation and elastic wave velocity measurements on a 0.5-m-scale block of Topopah Spring tuff tested in uniaxial compression to 8.5 MPa and at temperatures to 85 degree C. The Young's modulus was found to be about 7 to 31 GPa for vertical measurements parallel to the stress direction across parts of the block containing no fractures or a few fractures, and 0.5 to 0.9 GPA for measurements across individual fractures, at ambient temperature and 8.5 MPa maximum stress. During stress cycles between 5 and 8.5 MPa, the deformation modulus values for the matrix with fractures were near 15-20 GPa at ambient temperature but dropped to about 10 GPa at 85 degree C. Compressional wave velocities were found to be about 3.6 to 4.7 km/s at ambient temperature and stress. After the stress was cycled, velocities dropped to values as low as 2.6 km/s in the south end of the block where vertical cracks developed. Heating the block to about 85 degree C raised velocities to as much as 5.6 km/s in the upper third of the block

  16. Air-injection field tests to determine the effect of a heat cycle on the permeability of welded tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, K.H.; Ueng, Tzou-Shin.

    1991-01-01

    As part of a series of prototype tests conducted in preparation for site characterization of the potential nuclear-waste repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, air-injection tests were conducted in the welded tuffs in G-Tunnel at the Nevada Test Site. The objectives were to characterize the permeability of the highly fractured tuff around a horizontal heater emplacement borehole, and to determine the effect of a heating and cooling cycle on the rock-mass permeability. Air was injected into packed-off intervals along the heater borehole. The bulk permeability of the rock adjacent to the test interval and the aperture of fractures intersecting the interval were computed from the air-flow rate, temperature, and pressure at steady state. The bulk permeability of intervals along with borehole varied from a minimum of 0.08 D to a maximum of over 144 D and the equivalent parallel-plate apertures of fractures intersecting the borehole varied from 70 to 589 μm. Higher permeabilities seemed to correlate spatially with the mapped fractures. The rock was then heated for a period of 6.5 months with an electrical-resistive heater installed in the borehole. After heating, the rock was allowed to cool down to the ambient temperature. The highest borehole wall temperature measured was 242 degree C. Air injection tests were repeated following the heating and cooling cycle, and the results showed significant increases in bulk permeability ranging from 10 to 1830% along the borehole. 8 ref., 6 figs., 3 tabs

  17. Theoretical and experimental determination of matrix diffusion and related solute transport properties of fractured tuffs from the Nevada Test Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walter, G.R.

    1982-10-01

    Theoretical and experimental studies of the chemical and physical factors which affect molecular diffusion of dissolved substances from fractures into a tuffaceous rock matrix have been made on rocks from G-Tunnel and Yucca Mountain at the Nevada Test Site (NTS). A variety of groundwater tracers, which may be useful in field tests at the NTS, have also been developed and tested. Although a number of physical/chemical processes may cause nonconvective transport of dissolved species from fractures into the tuff matrix, molecular diffusion seems to be the most important process. Molecular diffusion in these rocks is controlled by the composition of the groundwater through multicomponent effects and several rock properties. The porosities of the samples studied ranged from about 0.1 to 0.4. The constrictivity-tortuosity parameter ranged from 0.1 and 0.3 and effective matrix-diffusion coefficients were measured to be between 2 to 17. x 10 -7 c, 2 /s for sodium halides and sodium pentafluorobenzoate. Total porosity was found to be the principle factor accounting for the variation in effective diffusion coefficients. The constrictivity-tortuosity factor was found to have a fair correlation (r = 0.75) with the median pore diameters measured by mercury intrusion. Measurements of bulk-rock electrical impedance changes with frequency indicate that the constrictivity factor has a maximum value of 0.8 to 1, but may be smaller. If the larger values are correct, then the diffusion paths in tuff are more tortuous than in granular media. Computation of the full diffusion-coefficient matrix for various tracers in J-13 well water from the NTS indicates coupling of the diffusion fluxes of all ionic species. These effects are being incorporated into a numerical model of multicomponent-matrix diffusion

  18. Seepage into drifts in unsaturated fractured rock at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Birkholzer, Jens; Li, Guomin; Tsang, Chin-Fu; Tsang, Yvonne

    1998-01-01

    An important issue for the long-term performance of underground nuclear waste repository is the rate of seepage into the waste emplacement drifts. A prediction of the future seepage rate is particularly complicated for the potential repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as it is located in thick, partially saturated, fractured tuff formations. The long-term situation in the drifts several thousand years after waste emplacement will be characterized by a relative humidity level close to or equal to 100%, as the drifts will be sealed and unventilated, and the waste packages will have cooled. The underground tunnels will then act as capillary barriers for the unsaturated flow, ideally diverting water around them, if the capillary forces are stronger than gravity and viscous forces. Seepage into the drifts will only be possible if the hydraulic pressure in the rock close to the drift walls increases to positive values; i.e., the flow field becomes locally saturated. In the present work, they have developed and applied a methodology to study the potential rate of seepage into underground cavities embedded in a variably saturated, heterogeneous fractured rock formation. The fractured rock mass is represented as a stochastic continuum where the fracture permeabilities vary by several orders of magnitude. Three different realizations of random fracture permeability fields are generated, with the random permeability structure based on extensive fracture mapping, borehole video analysis, and in-situ air permeability testing. A 3-D numerical model is used to simulate the heterogeneous steady-state flow field around the drift, with the drift geometry explicitly represented within the numerical discretization grid. A variety of flow scenarios are considered assuming present-day and future climate conditions at Yucca Mountain. The numerical study is complemented by theoretical evaluations of the drift seepage problem, using stochastic perturbation theory to develop a better

  19. Interpretation of hole-to-surface resistivity measurements at Yucca Mountain, Nevada Test Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Daniels, J.J.; Scott, J.H.

    1981-01-01

    Hole-to-surface resistivity measurements at Yucca Mountain indicate the presence of many near-surface geologic inhomogeneities, with no definite indication of deep structural features. A resistive anomaly near drill hole UE25a-6 is interpreted as a thin, vertical, resistive body that nearly intersects the surface, and may be caused by a silicified, or calcified, fracture zone. A resistive anomaly near hole UE25a-7 is probably caused by a near surface, horizontal, lens-shaped body that may represent a devitrified zone in the Tiva Canyon Member. Many conductive anomalies were detected to the southwest of hole UE25a-4. However, these anomalies are interpreted to be caused by variations in the thickness of the surface alluvium

  20. Approaches to Quantify Potential Contaminant Transport in the Lower Carbonate Aquifer from Underground Nuclear Testing at Yucca Flat, Nevada National Security Site, Nye County, Nevada - 12434

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andrews, Robert W.; Birdie, Tiraz [Navarro-INTERA LLC, Las Vegas, Nevada 89030 (United States); Wilborn, Bill; Mukhopadhyay, Bimal [National Nuclear Security Administration/Nevada Site Office, Las Vegas, Nevada 89030 (United States)

    2012-07-01

    Quantitative modeling of the potential for contaminant transport from sources associated with underground nuclear testing at Yucca Flat is an important part of the strategy to develop closure plans for the residual contamination. At Yucca Flat, the most significant groundwater resource that could potentially be impacted is the Lower Carbonate Aquifer (LCA), a regionally extensive aquifer that supplies a significant portion of the water demand at the Nevada National Security Site, formerly the Nevada Test Site. Developing and testing reasonable models of groundwater flow in this aquifer is an important precursor to performing subsequent contaminant transport modeling used to forecast contaminant boundaries at Yucca Flat that are used to identify potential use restriction and regulatory boundaries. A model of groundwater flow in the LCA at Yucca Flat has been developed. Uncertainty in this model, as well as other transport and source uncertainties, is being evaluated as part of the Underground Testing Area closure process. Several alternative flow models of the LCA in the Yucca Flat/Climax Mine CAU have been developed. These flow models are used in conjunction with contaminant transport models and source term models and models of contaminant transport from underground nuclear tests conducted in the overlying unsaturated and saturated alluvial and volcanic tuff rocks to evaluate possible contaminant migration in the LCA for the next 1,000 years. Assuming the flow and transport models are found adequate by NNSA/NSO and NDEP, the models will undergo a peer review. If the model is approved by NNSA/NSO and NDEP, it will be used to identify use restriction and regulatory boundaries at the start of the Corrective Action Decision Document Corrective Action Plan (CADD/CAP) phase of the Corrective Action Strategy. These initial boundaries may be revised at the time of the Closure Report phase of the Corrective Action Strategy. (authors)

  1. Durable terrestrial bedrock predicts submarine canyon formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Elliot; Finnegan, Noah J.; Mueller, Erich R.; Best, Rebecca J.

    2017-01-01

    Though submarine canyons are first-order topographic features of Earth, the processes responsible for their occurrence remain poorly understood. Potentially analogous studies of terrestrial rivers show that the flux and caliber of transported bedload are significant controls on bedrock incision. Here we hypothesize that coarse sediment load could exert a similar role in the formation of submarine canyons. We conducted a comprehensive empirical analysis of canyon occurrence along the West Coast of the contiguous United States which indicates that submarine canyon occurrence is best predicted by the occurrence of durable crystalline bedrock in adjacent terrestrial catchments. Canyon occurrence is also predicted by the flux of bed sediment to shore from terrestrial streams. Surprisingly, no significant correlation was observed between canyon occurrence and the slope or width of the continental shelf. These findings suggest that canyon incision is promoted by greater yields of durable terrestrial clasts to the shore.

  2. Durable Terrestrial Bedrock Predicts Submarine Canyon Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, M. Elliot; Finnegan, Noah J.; Mueller, Erich R.; Best, Rebecca J.

    2017-10-01

    Though submarine canyons are first-order topographic features of Earth, the processes responsible for their occurrence remain poorly understood. Potentially analogous studies of terrestrial rivers show that the flux and caliber of transported bedload are significant controls on bedrock incision. Here we hypothesize that coarse sediment load could exert a similar role in the formation of submarine canyons. We conducted a comprehensive empirical analysis of canyon occurrence along the West Coast of the contiguous United States which indicates that submarine canyon occurrence is best predicted by the occurrence of durable crystalline bedrock in adjacent terrestrial catchments. Canyon occurrence is also predicted by the flux of bed sediment to shore from terrestrial streams. Surprisingly, no significant correlation was observed between canyon occurrence and the slope or width of the continental shelf. These findings suggest that canyon incision is promoted by greater yields of durable terrestrial clasts to the shore.

  3. Submarine canyons off Madras Coast

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Setty, M.G.A.P.

    Submarine canyons off the coast of Madras, Tamil Nadu, India were studied during cruise of @iINS Kistna@@ as part of the IIOE programme They consist of hill-like projections and V-shaped valleys Their other features are also reported...

  4. Yucca Mountain Biological Resources Monitoring Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-01-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is required by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (as amended in 1987) to study and characterize Yucca Mountain as a possible site for a geologic repository for high-level nuclear waste. During site characterization, the DOE will conduct a variety of geotechnical, geochemical, geological, and hydrological studies to determine the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a repository. To ensure that site characterization activities (SCA) do not adversely affect the Yucca Mountain area, an environmental program has been implemented to monitor and mitigate potential impacts and to ensure that activities comply with applicable environmental regulations. This report describes the activities and accomplishments during fiscal year 1991 (FY91) for six program areas within the Terrestrial Ecosystem component of the YMP environmental program. The six program areas are Site Characterization Activities Effects, Desert Tortoises, Habitat Reclamation, Monitoring and Mitigation, Radiological Monitoring, and Biological Support

  5. Yucca Mountain Biological resources monitoring program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-01-01

    The US Department of Energy (US DOE) is required by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (as amended in 1987) to study and characterize Yucca Mountain as a possible site for a geological repository for high-level radioactive waste. To ensure site characterization activities do not adversely affect the Yucca Mountain area, an environmental program, the Yucca Mountain Biological Resources Monitoring Program, has been implemented monitor and mitigate environmental impacts and to ensure activities comply with applicable environmental laws. Potential impacts to vegetation, small mammals, and the desert tortoise (an indigenous threatened species) are addressed, as are habitat reclamation, radiological monitoring, and compilation of baseline data. This report describes the program in Fiscal Years 1989 and 1990. 12 refs., 4 figs., 17 tabs

  6. Yucca Mountain biological resources monitoring program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-02-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is required by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (as amended in 1987) to study and characterize Yucca Mountain as a potential site for a geologic repository for high-level nuclear waste. During site characterization, the DOE will conduct a variety of geotechnical, geochemical, geological, and hydrological studies to determine the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a potential repository. To ensure that site characterization activities (SCA) do not adversely affect the environment at Yucca Mountain, an environmental program has been implemented to monitor and mitigate potential impacts and ensure activities comply with applicable environmental regulations. This report describes the activities and accomplishments of EG ampersand G Energy Measurements, Inc. (EG ampersand G/EM) during fiscal year 1992 (FY92) for six program areas within the Terrestrial Ecosystem component of the YMP environmental program. The six program areas are Site Characterization Effects, Desert Tortoises, Habitat Reclamation, Monitoring and Mitigation, Radiological Monitoring, and Biological Support

  7. Numerical simulation of gas flow through unsaturated fractured rock at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cooper, C.A. [Nevada Univ., Las Vegas, NV (United States). Water Resources Center

    1990-01-01

    Numerical analysis is used to identify the physical phenomena associated with barometrically driven gas (air and water vapor) flow through unsaturated fractured rock at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Results from simple finite difference simulations indicate that for a fractured rock scenario, the maximum velocity of air out of an uncased 10 cm borehole is 0.002 m s{sub {minus}1}. An equivalent porous medium (EPM) model was incorporated into a multiphase, multicomponent simulator to test more complex conceptual models. Results indicate that for a typical June day, a diurnal pressure wave propagates about 160 m into the surrounding Tiva Canyon hydrogeologic unit. Dry air that enters the formation evaporates water around the borehole which reduces capillary pressure. Multiphase countercurrent flow develops in the vicinity of the hole; the gas phase flows into the formation while the liquid phase flows toward the borehole. The effect occurs within 0.5 m of the borehole. The amount of water vapor leaving the formation during 1 day is 900 cm{sup 3}. This is less than 0.1% of the total recharge into the formation, suggesting that the barometric effect may be insignificant in drying the unsaturated zone. However, gas phase velocities out of the borehole (3 m s{sup {minus}1}), indicating that observed flow rates from wells along the east flank of Yucca Mountain were able to be simulated with a barometric model.

  8. Numerical simulation of gas flow through unsaturated fractured rock at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cooper, C.A.

    1990-01-01

    Numerical analysis is used to identify the physical phenomena associated with barometrically driven gas (air and water vapor) flow through unsaturated fractured rock at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Results from simple finite difference simulations indicate that for a fractured rock scenario, the maximum velocity of air out of an uncased 10 cm borehole is 0.002 m s -1 . An equivalent porous medium (EPM) model was incorporated into a multiphase, multicomponent simulator to test more complex conceptual models. Results indicate that for a typical June day, a diurnal pressure wave propagates about 160 m into the surrounding Tiva Canyon hydrogeologic unit. Dry air that enters the formation evaporates water around the borehole which reduces capillary pressure. Multiphase countercurrent flow develops in the vicinity of the hole; the gas phase flows into the formation while the liquid phase flows toward the borehole. The effect occurs within 0.5 m of the borehole. The amount of water vapor leaving the formation during 1 day is 900 cm 3 . This is less than 0.1% of the total recharge into the formation, suggesting that the barometric effect may be insignificant in drying the unsaturated zone. However, gas phase velocities out of the borehole (3 m s -1 ), indicating that observed flow rates from wells along the east flank of Yucca Mountain were able to be simulated with a barometric model

  9. Geotechnical characterization of the North Ramp of the Exploratory Studies Facility: Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Volume 1, Data summary

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brechtel, C.E.; Lin, Ming; Martin, E. [Agapito Associates, Inc., Grand Junction, CO (United States); Kessel, D.S. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1995-05-01

    This report presents the results of geological and geotechnical characterization of the Miocene volcanic tuff rocks of the Timber Mountain and Paintbrush groups that the tunnel boring machine will encounter during excavation of the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) North Ramp. The is being constructed by the DOE as part of the Yucca Mountain Project site characterization activities. The purpose of these activities is to evaluate the feasibility of locating a potential high-level nuclear waste repository on lands adjacent to the Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada. This report was prepared as part of the Soil and Rock Properties Studies in accordance with the 8.3.1.14.2 Study Plan. This report is volume 1 of the data summary.

  10. The use of TOUGH2/iTOUGH2 in support of the Yucca Mountain Project: Successes and limitations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bodvarsson, G.S.; Birkholzer, J.T.; Finsterle, S.; Liu, H.H.; Rutqvist, J.; Wu, Y.S.

    2003-01-01

    The TOUGH2/iTOUGH2 family of codes is being used to analyze various processes and phenomena in the unsaturated zone at the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Various models have been developed that help quantify properties of the volcanic tuffs, water flow, seepage into drifts, and thermally driven coupled processes arising from the heat emitted by radioactive waste. These models are based on various assumptions and approximations that are generally accepted in the literature, but can give rise to different degrees of uncertainty. Some of the key approaches utilized include the continuum approximation, the van Genuchten formulation, the active fracture model, and homogeneous sublayers. These and other approximations are presented separately for the five different models considered, and the resulting levels of uncertainty are discussed

  11. Geotechnical characterization of the North Ramp of the Exploratory Studies Facility: Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Volume 1, Data summary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brechtel, C.E.; Lin, Ming; Martin, E.; Kessel, D.S.

    1995-05-01

    This report presents the results of geological and geotechnical characterization of the Miocene volcanic tuff rocks of the Timber Mountain and Paintbrush groups that the tunnel boring machine will encounter during excavation of the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) North Ramp. The is being constructed by the DOE as part of the Yucca Mountain Project site characterization activities. The purpose of these activities is to evaluate the feasibility of locating a potential high-level nuclear waste repository on lands adjacent to the Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada. This report was prepared as part of the Soil and Rock Properties Studies in accordance with the 8.3.1.14.2 Study Plan. This report is volume 1 of the data summary

  12. The behaviour of consolidated volcanic tuffs: weathering mechanisms under simulated laboratory conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stück, H.; Forgó, L. Z.; Rüdrich, J.; Siegesmund, S.; Török, Á.

    2008-12-01

    Five volcanic tuffs ranging from dacitic tuffs of Hungary to rhyolite, phonolite and basaltic tuffs of Germany were consolidated under laboratory conditions. Prior to consolidation an anti-hygro, a hydrous consolidant, which reduces the swelling ability of clay minerals, was applied. The three consolidants, a silicic acid ester (SAE), an elastic silicic acid ester (eSAE) and an acrylate resin (PMMA) were applied on test specimens under vacuum. Petrographic characterisation (polarizing microscopy, XRD, SEM) provided data for fabric analyses and the mineral composition of the tuffs. Changes in fabric, effective porosity, density, tensile strength, ultrasonic wave velocity were evaluated after the treatment. Weathering simulation tests such as hygric dilatation and thermal dilatation aimed to prove the effectiveness of consolidation and the durability of consolidated tuff samples. More than 500 samples were analysed. The tests showed that SAE caused the highest increase in indirect tensile strength. The water absorption and the pore size distribution of the tuffs were modified by consolidation. The PMMA reduced the water absorption the most, whereas SAE modified it the least. All the tested consolidants increased the thermal dilatation of the tuffs. The changes in hygric dilatation were not uniform: for most tuffs SAE increased and PMMA decreased the hygric dilatation, although the clay-rich Habichtswald tuff showed the opposite trend. The changes in hygric and thermal behaviour of consolidated tuff require special care when specific consolidants are chosen. These products modify the physical properties of consolidated tuffs and change the behaviour of weathering.

  13. Effects of mineralogy on the sorption of strontium and cesium onto Calico Hills tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meyer, R.E.; Arnold, W.D.; Case, F.I.; O'Kelley, G.D.; Land, J.F.

    1990-01-01

    Sorption and desorption measurements were made of strontium and cesium onto clinoptilolite and Calico Hills Tuff. The object was to see whether there was a correlation between sorption of strontium and cesium onto Calico Hills Tuff and the clinoptilolite based on the content of clinoptilolite in the Calico Hills Tuff. If sorption onto Calico Hills Tuff is solely due to the presence of clinoptilolite, then the ratios of the sorption ratios on tuff to those on clinoptilolite at similar conditions should be the weight fraction of the clinoptilolite in the tuff. The experimental evidence showed that the ratios were generally near 0.5 for both cesium and strontium sorption and that ion-exchange processes were operative for the clinoptilolite and the tuff. However, the ratios differed to a small extent for different conditions, and there were indications that other sorption processes were also involved. 7 refs., 7 figs., 2 tabs

  14. Miocene Slănic Tuff, Eastern Carpathians, Romania, in the Context of Badenian Salinity Crisis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana-Voica Bojar

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available New geochronological investigations for the Slănic Formation, correlated with previous bio- and lithostratigaphical information, allow for a better succession of events for the Middle Miocene, including the absolute age of the Badenian salinity crisis in the bend sector of the Eastern Carpathians. Within the green Slănic Tuff, white tuff layers were in evidence. The main element distribution of the white and green tuffs indicates a dacitic composition, with higher SiO2 content for the white tuff. The white tuff has a distinct mineralogical composition with quartz, plagioclase, biotite and clinoptilolite. From such a tuff layer a biotite concentrate gives a 40Ar/39Ar age of 13.7 ± 0.2 Ma. As above these tuff layers discrete levels of gypsum occur, the age documents the beginning of the restrictive circulation and formation of evaporites in this sector of Carpathians during Badenian times.

  15. The use of TOUGH2 for the LBL/USGS 3-dimensional site-scale model of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bodvarsson, G.; Chen, G.; Haukwa, C.; Kwicklis, E.

    1995-01-01

    The three-dimensional site-scale numerical model o the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain is under continuous development and calibration through a collaborative effort between Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The site-scale model covers an area of about 30 km 2 and is bounded by major fault zones to the west (Solitario Canyon Fault), east (Bow Ridge Fault) and perhaps to the north by an unconfirmed fault (Yucca Wash Fault). The model consists of about 5,000 grid blocks (elements) with nearly 20,000 connections between them; the grid was designed to represent the most prevalent geological and hydro-geological features of the site including major faults, and layering and bedding of the hydro-geological units. Submodels are used to investigate specific hypotheses and their importance before incorporation into the three-dimensional site-scale model. The primary objectives of the three-dimensional site-scale model are to: (1) quantify moisture, gas and heat flows in the ambient conditions at Yucca Mountain, (2) help in guiding the site-characterization effort (primarily by USGS) in terms of additional data needs and to identify regions of the mountain where sufficient data have been collected, and (3) provide a reliable model of Yucca Mountain that is validated by repeated predictions of conditions in new boreboles and the ESF and has therefore the confidence of the public and scientific community. The computer code TOUGH2 developed by K. Pruess at LBL was used along with the three-dimensional site-scale model to generate these results. In this paper, we also describe the three-dimensional site-scale model emphasizing the numerical grid development, and then show some results in terms of moisture, gas and heat flow

  16. Fluid geochemistry of Yucca Mountain and vicinity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Brian D.; Moscati, Richard J.; Patterson, Gary L.; Stuckless, John S.

    2012-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, a site in southwest Nevada, has been proposed for a deep underground radioactive waste repository. An extensive database of geochemical and isotopic characteristics has been established for pore waters and gases from the unsaturated zone, perched water, and saturated zone waters in the Yucca Mountain area. The development of this database has been driven by diverse needs of the Yucca Mountain Project, especially those aspects of the project involving process modeling and performance assessment. Water and gas chemistries influence the sorption behavior of radionuclides and the solubility of the radionuclide compounds that form. The chemistry of waters that may infiltrate the proposed repository will be determined in part by that of water present in the unsaturated zone above the proposed repository horizon, whereas pore-water compositions beneath the repository horizon will influence the sorption behavior of the radionuclides transported toward the water table. However, more relevant to the discussion in this chapter, development and testing of conceptual flow and transport models for the Yucca Mountain hydrologic system are strengthened through the incorporation of natural environmental tracer data into the process. Chemical and isotopic data are used to establish bounds on key hydrologic parameters and to provide corroborative evidence for model assumptions and predictions. Examples of specific issues addressed by these data include spatial and temporal variability in net fluxes, the role of faults in controlling flow paths, fracture-matrix interactions, the age and origin of perched water, and the distribution of water traveltimes.

  17. Review breathes life into Yucca site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gwynne, Peter

    2014-12-01

    A review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on the long-term safety of the Yucca Mountain repository for nuclear waste in Nevada has improved the chances that it may go ahead, despite being mothballed by the administration of US president Barack Obama back in 2010.

  18. Characterize Eruptive Processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    D. Krier

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of this scientific analysis report, ''Characterize Eruptive Processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada'', is to present information about natural volcanic systems and the parameters that can be used to model their behavior. This information is used to develop parameter-value distributions appropriate for analysis of the consequences of volcanic eruptions through a repository at Yucca Mountain. This scientific analysis report provides information to four other reports: ''Number of Waste Packages Hit by Igneous Intrusion'', (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170001]); ''Atmospheric Dispersal and Deposition of Tephra from Potential Volcanic Eruption at Yucca Mountain, Nevada'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170026]); ''Dike/Drift Interactions'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170028]); ''Development of Earthquake Ground Motion Input for Preclosure Seismic Design and Postclosure Performance Assessment of a Geologic Repository at Yucca Mountain, NV'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170027], Section 6.5). This report is organized into seven major sections. This section addresses the purpose of this document. Section 2 addresses quality assurance, Section 3 the use of software, Section 4 identifies the requirements that constrain this work, and Section 5 lists assumptions and their rationale. Section 6 presents the details of the scientific analysis and Section 7 summarizes the conclusions reached

  19. Characterize Eruptive Processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D. Krier

    2004-10-04

    The purpose of this scientific analysis report, ''Characterize Eruptive Processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada'', is to present information about natural volcanic systems and the parameters that can be used to model their behavior. This information is used to develop parameter-value distributions appropriate for analysis of the consequences of volcanic eruptions through a repository at Yucca Mountain. This scientific analysis report provides information to four other reports: ''Number of Waste Packages Hit by Igneous Intrusion'', (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170001]); ''Atmospheric Dispersal and Deposition of Tephra from Potential Volcanic Eruption at Yucca Mountain, Nevada'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170026]); ''Dike/Drift Interactions'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170028]); ''Development of Earthquake Ground Motion Input for Preclosure Seismic Design and Postclosure Performance Assessment of a Geologic Repository at Yucca Mountain, NV'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170027], Section 6.5). This report is organized into seven major sections. This section addresses the purpose of this document. Section 2 addresses quality assurance, Section 3 the use of software, Section 4 identifies the requirements that constrain this work, and Section 5 lists assumptions and their rationale. Section 6 presents the details of the scientific analysis and Section 7 summarizes the conclusions reached.

  20. Pena Blanca uranium deposits and ash-flow tuffs relationship

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Magonthier, M.

    1987-01-01

    The Pena Blanca uranium deposits (Chihuahua, Mexico) are associated with a Tertiary sequence of ash-flow tuffs. Stratigraphic control is dominant and uranium mineralization occurs in stratiform and fracture-controlled deposits within 44 My-old units: Nopal Rhyolite and Escuadra Rhyolite. These units consist of highly vapor-phase crystallized ash-flow tuffs. They contain sanidine, quartz and granophyric phenocrysts, and minor ferromagnesian silicates. Nopal and Escuadra units are high-silica alkali-rich rhyolites that have a primary potassic character. The trace-element chemistry shows high concentrations in U-Th-Rb-Cs and low contents in Ba-Sr-Eu. These chemical properties imply a genetic relationship between deposits and host-units. The petrochemical study show that the Nopal Rhyolite and Escuadra Rhyolite are the source of U and of hydrothermal solutions [fr

  1. Interstratified arkosic and volcanic rocks of the Miocene Spanish Canyon Formation, Alvord Mountain area, California: descriptions and interpretations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buesch, David C.

    2014-01-01

    The Spanish Canyon Foundation in the Alvord Mountain area, California, varies from about 50 to 120 m thick and records the interstratification of arkosic sandstone and conglomerate with tuffaceous deposits and lava flows. In the lower third of the formation, arkosic sandstone and conglomerate are interstratified with tuffaceous deposits. Some tuffs might have been deposited as primary, nonwelded to partially welded ignimbrites or fallout tephra. Many of the tuffaceous deposits represent redeposited material that formed tuffaceous sandstone, and many of these deposits contain arkosic grains that represent mixing of different source matieral. Arkosic sandstone, and especially conglomerate (some with maximum clast lengths up to 1 m), represent intermittent incursions of coarser plutoniclastic fan deposits into other finer grained and mostly volcaniclastic basin deposits. After deposition of the 18.78 Ma Peach Spring Tuff, the amount of tuffaceous material decreased. The upper two-thirds of the formation has arkosic sandstone and conglomerate interstratified with two olivine basalt lave flows. locally, conglomerate clasts in this part of the section have maximum lengths up to 1 m. Many tuffaceous and arkosic sandstone beds of the Spanish Canyon Formation have tabular to broad (low-relief) lenticular geometry, and locally, some arkosic conglomerate fills channels as much as 1.5 m deep. These bedforms are consistent with deposition in medial to distal alluvial-fan or fluvial environments; some finer-grained deposits might have formed in lacustrine environments.

  2. Specific surface area of a crushed welded tuff before and after aqueous dissolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, M.M.; Claassen, H.C.

    1994-01-01

    Specific surface areas were measured for several reference minerals (anorthoclase, labradorite and augite), welded tuff and stream sediments from Snowshoe Mountain, near Creede, Colorado. Crushed and sieved tuff had an unexpectedly small variation in specific surface area over a range of size fractions. Replicate surface area measurements of the largest and smallest tuff particle size fractions examined (1-0.3 mm and <0.212 mm) were 2.3 ?? 0.2 m2/g for each size fraction. Reference minerals prepared in the same way as the tuff had smaller specific surface areas than that of the tuff of the same size fraction. Higher than expected tuff specific surface areas appear to be due to porous matrix. Tuff, reacted in solutions with pH values from 2 to 6, had little change in specific surface area in comparison with unreacted tuff. Tuff, reacted with solutions having high acid concentrations (0.1 M hydrochloric acid or sulfuric-hydrofluoric acid), exhibited a marked increase in specific surface area compared to unreacted tuff. ?? 1994.

  3. Hydrogeologic studies at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA. An interpretation of results for radioactive waste disposal site characterization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dudley, W.W.

    1984-02-01

    Of nine potential nuclear-waste repository sites being investigated in the United States, Yucca Mountain is the only one for which disposal above the water table is proposed. The host rock is a fractured, permeable welded tuff more than 300 m beneath the surface. The principal factors contributing to the isolation of waste include: a small recharge flux, estimated to be about 5 mm/yr; free drainage in the host rock and little opportunity for contact of water with the waste; near-neutral water of low ionic and organic content; unsaturated-zone and saturated-zone flowpaths through altered tuffs that are rich in sorptive zeolites and clays; and very deep regional ground-water flow that terminates in a closed basin. Hydraulic testing of the saturated zone has demonstrated that fractures cause the observed high transmissivity, and seepage velocities in major fracture zones may be as high as 0.01 to 0.1 km/yr. Diffusion of radionuclides from water in fractures to that in the porous rock matrix, however, would attenuate their migration and allow sorptive processes to operate if a release from the repository were to occur. Psychrometers, heat-dissipation probes, pressure transducers, and sampling tubes that were recently installed in a 380-m drill hole are still undergoing stabilization. Data from this hole and other planned experiments will allow definition of recharge flux, frequency, and flowpaths for statistical treatment in models

  4. Applications of isotope geochemistry to the reconstruction of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, paleohydrology -- Status of investigations: June 1996

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whelan, J.F.; Moscati, R.J.; Allerton, S.B.M.; Marshall, B.D.

    1998-01-01

    Tunneling of the Exploratory Studies Facility has offered the opportunity to sample and examine occurrences of secondary mineralization found in the unsaturated-zone tuffs of Yucca Mountain, nevada. Petrographic and paragenetic analyses, calcite and silica-phase stable isotopic analyses, and preliminary strontium tracer isotope and radiocarbon age analyses of these samples indicate that (1) an early stage of secondary mineralization consisting largely of chalcedony and quartz, but possibly with or slightly preceded by calcite, probably formed at warmer than ambient temperatures; (2) later secondary mineralization consisting of calcite and opal appears completely consistent with formation from percolation of surface infiltration whose solute load and carbon isotopic compositions reflect passage through the overlying soils; (3) based on textural studies, all unsaturated-zone secondary mineral occurrences exposed within the Exploratory Studies Facility tunnel, with the exception of the vapor-phase assemblages that formed at high temperatures during cooling of the tuffs, probably formed in unsaturated settings; and (4) calcite radiocarbon ages, based on preliminary results, have not been compromised by post-depositional exchange with carbon-bearing water and gases in the unsaturated zone

  5. Applications of isotope geochemistry to the reconstruction of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, paleohydrology -- Status of investigations: June 1996

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whelan, J.F.; Moscati, R.J.; Allerton, S.B.M.; Marshall, B.D.

    1998-11-01

    Tunneling of the Exploratory Studies Facility has offered the opportunity to sample and examine occurrences of secondary mineralization found in the unsaturated-zone tuffs of Yucca Mountain, nevada. Petrographic and paragenetic analyses, calcite and silica-phase stable isotopic analyses, and preliminary strontium tracer isotope and radiocarbon age analyses of these samples indicate that (1) an early stage of secondary mineralization consisting largely of chalcedony and quartz, but possibly with or slightly preceded by calcite, probably formed at warmer than ambient temperatures; (2) later secondary mineralization consisting of calcite and opal appears completely consistent with formation from percolation of surface infiltration whose solute load and carbon isotopic compositions reflect passage through the overlying soils; (3) based on textural studies, all unsaturated-zone secondary mineral occurrences exposed within the Exploratory Studies Facility tunnel, with the exception of the vapor-phase assemblages that formed at high temperatures during cooling of the tuffs, probably formed in unsaturated settings; and (4) calcite radiocarbon ages, based on preliminary results, have not been compromised by post-depositional exchange with carbon-bearing water and gases in the unsaturated zone.

  6. G-Tunnel Welded Tuff Mining Experiment instrumentation evaluations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zimmerman, R.M.; Bellman, R.A. Jr.; Mann, K.L.; Thompson, T.W.

    1992-04-01

    Designers and analysts of radioactive waste repositories must be able to predict the mechanical behavior of the host rock. Sandia National Laboratory has conducted a mine-by experiment in welded tuff so that information could be obtained regarding the response of the rock to a drill and blast excavation process, where smooth-blasting techniques were used. This report describes the results of the evaluations of nine different instrument or measurement systems used in conjunction with these mining activities

  7. Fourmile Canyon: Living with wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannah Brenkert-Smith; Patricia A. Champ

    2011-01-01

    The most devastating wildfire in Colorado's history in terms of property loss began on Labor Day, September 6, 2010. The Fourmile Canyon Fire was located just 5 miles west of downtown Boulder, CO, in a wildland-urban interface (WUI) zone with homes located on steep slopes and in dense ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir forest. The fire, fueled by high winds, burned 6,...

  8. Marble Canyon spring sampling investigation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McCulley, B.

    1985-10-01

    The Mississippian Leadville Limestone is the most permeable formation in the lower hydrostratigraphic unit underlying the salt beds of the Paradox Formation in Gibson Dome, Paradox Basin, Utah, which is being considered as a potential nuclear waste repository site. The closest downgradient outcrop of the Mississippian limestone is along the Colorado River in Marble Canyon, Arizona. This report describes the sampling and interpretation of springs in that area to assess the relative contribution of Gibson Dome-type Leadville Limestone ground water to that spring discharge. The high-volume (hundreds of liters per second or thousands of gallons per minute) springs discharging from fault zones in Marble Canyon are mixtures of water recharged west of the Colorado River on the Kaibab Plateau and east of the river in the Kaiparowits basin. No component of Gibson Dome-type Leadville Limestone ground water is evident in major and trace element chemistry or isotopic composition of the Marble Canyon Springs. A low-volume (0.3 liters per second or 5 gallons per minute) spring with some chemical and isotopic characteristics of Gibson Dome-type Leadville Limestone water diluted by Kaiparowits basin-type water issues from a travertine mound in the Bright Angel Shale on the Little Colorado River. However, the stable isotopic composition and bromide levels of that spring discharge, in addition to probable ground-water flow paths, contradict the dilution hypothesis

  9. The spatial distribution and chemical heterogeneity of clinoptilolite at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada: Evidence for polygenetic hypogene alteration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Livingston, D.E.; Szymanski, J.S.

    1994-01-01

    This part of TRAC's Annual Report for 1993 summarizes the finding of previous reports on the major element geochemistry of zeolitic alteration of the tuffs at Yucca Mountain and updates the status of work. In this report we examine the spatial distribution of zeolites by stratigraphic units and boreholes and the various types of chemical alteration of clinoptilolite indicated by the data reported in Broxton et al. and Bish and Chipera. The purpose is to evaluate the extent of the metasomatic alteration and to test the hypogene hypothesis of Szymanski. In this regard, it is of prime importance to evaluate whether the metasomatic alteration at Yucca Mountain is due to supergene or hypogene processes. In this report, the term open-quotes supergeneclose quotes denotes alteration and mineralization produced by fluids derived directly from atmospheric precipitation and infiltration through the vadose zone, and the term open-quotes hypogeneclose quotes denotes alteration and mineralization produced by fluids from the phreatic zone regardless of their former location or residence time in the Earth's crust. This report begins with a review of previous work on the genesis of zeolites of the Nevada Test Site

  10. Examination of the use of continuum versus discontinuum models for design and performance assessment for the Yucca Mountain site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Board, M.

    1989-08-01

    This report examines the use of continuum and discontinuum numerical methods for analysis of the thermomechanical response of the rock mass at Yucca Mountain. Continuum numerical methods consider the rock to be a solid, unfractured body, whereas the discontinuum method is formulated specifically to account for the effects of discrete fractures. The fractures within the rock introduce overall non-linear material response due to slip and separation of rock blocks. Continuum models attempt to simulate this response through the use of non-linear constitutive laws. Discontinuum methods attempt to simulate the true response of the rock mass by correctly modeling the behavior of the joints as well as the deformability of the intact rock blocks. It is shown that, as the joint spacing, s, becomes small with respect to the size of the excavations, the behavior of the jointed rock approaches that of a solid with a form of elasto-plastic constitutive behavior. It is concluded that a continuum model with a form of ''ubiquitous'' or ''compliant joint'' plasticity law is probably sufficient for analysis of the thermomechanical response of excavations in welded tuff. However, one of the questions concerning Yucca Mountain which remains is the effect of fault structures on the stability performance of the repository, particularly under thermal and dynamic loads. Here, a true discontinuum approach seems necessary. 45 refs., 42 figs., 4 tabs

  11. State of Nevada comments on the US Department of Energy Site Characterization Plan, Yucca Mountain site, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-09-01

    One of the most important systems to understand is the hydrologic system at Yucca Mountain. This system probably contains the most likely pathways for radionuclide escape from the repository to the accessible environment. The hydrology of the unsaturated highly-fractured tuffs, in which the proposed repository would be constructed, is poorly understood because very little scientific study of this type of hydrogeologic system had been made prior to the selection of Yucca Mountain as a potential repository. The major concerns are of: (1) the time limitations for conducting the necessary investigations; (2) the great uncertainty regarding the hydrologic processes, especially fracture flow, in the unsaturated zone; (3) the inadequate consideration of various hydrogeologic and hydrologic factors, including coupled flow processes, recharge and discharge, and perched water zones; (4) the inadequate conceptual and numerical models of the saturated and unsaturated zones, and development of scenarios; (5) the flaws in the design and monitoring of observation wells; (6) the uncertainties in estimating infiltration, ground water travel time, the extent of the disturbed zone, and waste package integrity; and (7) the overall biased approach of the SCP. This report consists of a summary of these concerns, followed by specific comments on portions of Chapters 3 and 8 of the SCP

  12. Mineralogy of drill holes J-13, UE-25A No. 1, and USW G-1 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bish, D.L.; Chipera, S.J.

    1986-09-01

    The mineralogy of drill holes J-13, UE-25A No. 1, and USW G-1 was previously determined using qualitative and semiquantitative techniques, and most of the available data were neither complete nor accurate. New quantitative x-ray diffraction data were obtained for rocks from all three of these drill holes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. These quantitative analyses employed both external and internal standard x-ray powder diffraction methods and permitted the precise determination of all phases commonly found in the tuffs at Yucca Mountain, including glass and opal-CT. These new data supplant previous analyses and include numerous additional phases. New findings of particular importance include better constraints on the distribution of the more soluble silica polymorphs, cristobalite and opal-CT. Opal-CT was associated solely with clinoptilolite-bearing horizons, and cristobalite disappearance coincided with the appearance of analcime in USW G-1. Unlike previous analyses, we identified significant amounts of smectite in drill hole J-13. We found no evidence to support previous reports of the occurrence of erionite or phillipsite in these drill holes

  13. Hydrologic investigations to evaluate a potential site for a nuclear-waste repository, Yucca Mountain, Nevada Test Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, W.E.

    1985-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada Test Site, is being evaluated by the U.S. Department of Energy for its suitability as a site for a mined geologic respository for high-level nuclear wastes. The repository facility would be constructed in densely welded tuffs in the unsaturated zone. In support of the evaluation, the U.S. Geological Survey is conducting hydrologic investigations of both the saturated and unsaturated zones, as well as paleohydrologic studies. Investigation in saturated-zone hydrology will help define one component of ground-water flow paths and travel times to the accessible environment. A two-dimensional, steady-state, finite-element model was developed to describe the regional hydrogeologic framework. The unsaturated zone is 450 to 700 meters thick at Yucca Mountain; precipitation averages about 150 millimeters per year. A conceptual hydrologic model of the unsaturated zone incorporates the following features: minimal net infiltration, variable distribution of flux, lateral flow, potential for perched-water zones, fracture and matrix flow, and flow along faults. The conceptual model is being tested primarily by specialized test drilling; plans also are being developed for in-situ testing in a proposed exploratory shaft. Quaternary climatic and hydrologic conditions are being evaluated to develop estimates of the hydrologic effects of potential climatic changes during the next 10,000 years. Evaluation approaches include analysis of plant macrofossils in packrat middens, evaluation of lake and playa sediments, infiltration tests, and modeling effects of potential increased recharge on the potentiometric surface

  14. Fran Ridge horizontal coring summary report hole UE-25h No. 1, Yucca Mountain Area, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Norris, A.E.; Byers, F.M. Jr.; Merson, T.J.

    1986-10-01

    Hole UE-25h No. 1 was core drilled during December 1982 and January 1983 within several degrees of due west, 400 ft horizontally into the southeast slope of Fran Ridge at an altitude of 3409 ft. The purpose of the hole was to obtain data pertinent for radionuclide transport studies in the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff. This unit had been selected previously as the host rock for the potential underground nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, adjacent to the southwestern part of the Nevada Test Site. The hole was core drilled first with air, then with air mist, and finally with air, soap, and water. Many problems were encountered, including sloughing of tuff into the uncased hole, vibration of the drill rods, high rates of bit wear, and lost circulation of drilling fluids. On the basis of experience gained in drilling this hole, ways to improve horizontal coring with air are suggested in this report. All of the recovered core, except those pieces that were wrapped and waxed, were examined for lithophysal content, for fractures, and for fracture-fill mineralization. The results of this examination are given in this report. Core recovery greater than 80% at between 209 and 388 ft permitted a fracture frequency analysis. The results are similar to the fracture frequencies observed in densely welded nonlithophysal tuff from holes USW GU-3 and USW G-4. The fractures in core from UE-25h No. 1 were found to be smooth and nonmineralized or coated with calcite, silica, or manganese oxide. Open fractures with caliche (porous, nonsparry calcite) were not observed beyond 83.5 ft, which corresponds to an overburden depth of 30 ft

  15. Stratigraphy and structure of volcanic rocks in drill hole USW-G1, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spengler, R.W.; Byers, F.M. Jr.; Warner, J.B.

    1981-01-01

    Detailed subsurface studies in connection with the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations program are being conducted to investigate the stratigraphic and structural features of volcanic rocks underlying Yucca Mountain, a volcanic highland situated along the western boundary of the Nevada Test Site in southern Nevada. As part of this continuing effort, drill hole USW-G1 was cored from 292 ft to a depth of 6000 ft from March to August 1980. The stratigraphic section is composed of thick sequences of ash-flow tuff and volcanic breccia interbedded with subordinate amounts of fine- to coarse-grained volcaniclastic rocks. All rocks are of Tertiary age and vary in composition from rhyolite to dacite. The 3005-ft level in the drill hole represents a significant demarcation between unaltered and altered volcanic rocks. For the most part, tuff units above 3005 ft appear devitrified and show little secondary alteration except within tuffaceous beds of Calico Hills, where the rock contains 60 to 80% zeolites. Below 3005 ft, most rocks show intermittent to pervasive alteration to clay minerals and zeolites. Examination of core for structural features revealed the presence of 61 shear fractures, 528 joints, and 4 conspicuous fault zones. Shear fractures mainly occurred in the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff, flow breccia, and near fault zones. Nearly 88% of shear and joint surfaces show evidence of coatings. Approximately 40% of the fractures were categorized as completely healed. Rock quality characteristics as defined by the core index indicate that greater amounts of broken and lost core are commonly associated with (1) the densely welded zone of the Topopah Spring, (2) highly silicified zones, and (3) fault zones

  16. Uncertainty and variability of infiltration at Yucca Mountain: Part 2. Model results and corroboration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stothoff, Stuart A.

    2013-06-01

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission actively investigated climate and infiltration at Yucca Mountain for two decades to (i) understand important controls and uncertainties influencing percolation through the unsaturated zone on multimillennial time scales and (ii) provide flux boundary conditions for up to 1 million years in performance assessment models of the proposed Yucca Mountain repository. This second part of a two-part series describes site-scale model results for present and potential future conditions and confirmatory analyses for present-day conditions. At both the grid-cell and site-average scale, the calculated uncertainty distribution for net infiltration is approximately lognormal, and the coefficient of variation decreases with increasing net infiltration. Smaller relative but larger absolute responses to climate change occur where net infiltration is large. Comparisons of distributed model estimates with temperature and geochemical observations from the unsaturated zone suggest that average estimates are generally consistent but exhibit significant variability. An observed seepage event in the South Ramp of the Exploratory Studies Facility, combined with related subsurface observations across the site, suggests that subsurface spreading from zones of high infiltration to zones of low infiltration may occur in stratabound fractures, laterally extensive discontinuities, or at transitions between welded and nonwelded tuff units. Two conceptual models for unsaturated-zone flow each explain the subsurface observations, collectively providing bounding estimates for net infiltration. Model-predicted uncertainty distribution for decadal-average site-scale net infiltration is generally consistent with estimated percolation fluxes using the bounding hypotheses, suggesting that the model-calculated uncertainty is reasonably consistent with the uncertainty in interpreting site observations.

  17. A Refined Astronomically Calibrated 40Ar/39Ar Age for Fish Canyon Sanidine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rivera, Tiffany; Storey, Michael; Zeeden, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Intercalibration between the astronomical and radio-isotopic dating methods provides a means to improving accuracy and reducing uncertainty of an integrated, multi-chronometer geologic timescale. Here we report a high-precision 40Ar/39Ar age for the Fish Canyon sanidine (FCs) neutron fluence...... monitor, by multi-collector noble gas mass spectrometry, through cross-calibration with A1 tephra sanidines (A1Ts) of the direct astronomically tuned Faneromeni section (Crete). The astronomically intercalibrated 40Ar/39Ar age of FCs of 28.172±0.028 Ma (2σ, external errors) is within the uncertainty of......, but more precise (±0.10%) than, the previous 40Ar/39Ar age determined by intercalibration with astronomically tuned tephras from the Melilla Basin (Morocco). Using this proposed age for FCs, combined with measurements using the A1Ts as the neutron fluence monitor, a weighted mean Bishop Tuff 40Ar/39Ar...

  18. YUCCA auxin biosynthetic genes are required for Arabidopsis shade avoidance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Müller-Moulé

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Plants respond to neighbor shade by increasing stem and petiole elongation. Shade, sensed by phytochrome photoreceptors, causes stabilization of PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR proteins and subsequent induction of YUCCA auxin biosynthetic genes. To investigate the role of YUCCA genes in phytochrome-mediated elongation, we examined auxin signaling kinetics after an end-of-day far-red (EOD-FR light treatment, and found that an auxin responsive reporter is rapidly induced within 2 hours of far-red exposure. YUCCA2, 5, 8, and 9 are all induced with similar kinetics suggesting that they could act redundantly to control shade-mediated elongation. To test this hypothesis we constructed a yucca2, 5, 8, 9 quadruple mutant and found that the hypocotyl and petiole EOD-FR and shade avoidance responses are completely disrupted. This work shows that YUCCA auxin biosynthetic genes are essential for detectable shade avoidance and that YUCCA genes are important for petiole shade avoidance.

  19. Pretest thermal analysis of the Tuff Water Migration/In-Situ Heater Experiment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bulmer, B.M.

    1980-02-01

    This report describes the pretest thermal analysis for the Tuff Water Migration/In-Situ Heater Experiment to be conducted in welded tuff in G-tunnel, Nevada Test Site. The parametric thermal modeling considers variable boiling temperature, tuff thermal conductivity, tuff emissivity, and heater operating power. For nominal tuff properties, some near field boiling is predicted for realistic operating power. However, the extent of boiling will be strongly determined by the ambient (100% water saturated) rock thermal conductivity. In addition, the thermal response of the heater and of the tuff within the dry-out zone (i.e., bounded by boiling isotherm) is dependent on the temperature variation of rock conductivity as well as the extent of induced boiling

  20. Summary and evaluation of existing geological and geophysical data near prospective surface facilities in Midway Valley, Yucca Mountain Project, Nye County, Nevada; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gibson, J.D. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Swan, F.H.; Wesling, J.R.; Bullard, T.F.; Perman, R.C.; Angell, M.M.; DiSilvestro, L.A. [Geomatrix Consultants, Inc., San Francisco, CA (United States)

    1992-01-01

    Midway Valley, located at the eastern base of the Yucca Mountain in southwestern Nevada, is the preferred location of the surface facilities for the potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. One goal in siting these surface facilities is to avoid faults that could produce relative displacements in excess of 5 cm in the foundations of the waste-handling buildings. This study reviews existing geologic and geophysical data that can be used to assess the potential for surface fault rupture within Midway Valley. Dominant tectonic features in Midway Valley are north-trending, westward-dipping normal faults along the margins of the valley: the Bow Ridge fault to the west and the Paintbrush Canyon fault to the east. Published estimates of average Quaternary slip rates for these faults are very low but the age of most recent displacement and the amount of displacement per event are largely unknown. Surface mapping and interpretive cross sections, based on limited drillhole and geophysical data, suggest that additional normal faults, including the postulated Midway Valley fault, may exist beneath the Quaternary/Tertiary fill within the valley. Existing data, however, are inadequate to determine the location, recency, and geometry of this faulting. To confidently assess the potential for significant Quaternary faulting in Midway Valley, additional data are needed that define the stratigraphy and structure of the strata beneath the valley, characterize the Quaternary soils and surfaces, and establish the age of faulting. The use of new and improved geophysical techniques, combined with a drilling program, offers the greatest potential for resolving subsurface structure in the valley. Mapping of surficial geologic units and logging of soil pits and trenches within these units must be completed, using accepted state-of-the-art practices supported by multiple quantitative numerical and relative age-dating techniques.

  1. Preliminary report on the geology and hydrology of Mortandad Canyon near Los Alamos, New Mexico, with reference to disposal of liquid low-level radioactive waste

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baltz, E.H.; Abrahams, J.H.; Purtyman, W.D.

    1963-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, selected the upper part of Mortandad Canyon near Los Alamos, New Mexico for a site for disposal of treated liquid low-level radioactive waste. This report summarizes the part of a study of the geology and hydrology that was done from October 1960 through June 1961. Additional work is being continued. Mortandad Canyon is a narrow east-southeast-trending canyon about 9? miles long that heads on the central part of the Pajarito Plateau at an altitude of about 7,340 feet. The canyon is tributary to the Rio Grande. The drainage area of the part of Mortandad Canyon that was investigated is about 2 square miles, and the total drainage area is about 4.9 square miles. The Pajarito Plateau is capped by the Bandelier Tuff of Pleistocene age. Mortandad Canyon is cut in the Bandelier, and alluvium covers the floor of the canyon to depths ranging from less than 1 foot to as much as 100 feet. The Bandelier is underlain by silt, sand, conglomerate, and interbedded basalt of the Santa Fe Group of Miocene, Pliocene, and Pleistocene(?) age. Some ground water is perched in the alluvium in the canyon; however, the top of the main aquifer is in the Santa Fe Group at a depth of about 990 feet below the canyon floor. Joints in the Bandelier Tuff probably were caused by shrinkage of the tuff during cooling. The joints range in width from hairline cracks to fissures several inches wide. Water can infiltrate along the open joints where the Bandelier is at the surface; however, soil, alluvial fill, and autochthonous clay inhibit infiltration on the tops of mesas and probably in the alluvium-floored canyons also. Thirty-three test holes, each less than 100 feet deep, were drilled in 10 lies across Mortandad Canyon from the western margin of the study area to just west of the Los Alamos-Santa Fe County line. Ten of the holes were cased for observation wells to measure

  2. Yucca Mountain Site characterization project bibliography, January--June 1991

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-06-01

    Following a reorganization of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management in 1990, the Yucca Mountain Project was renamed Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The title of this bibliography was also changed to Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Bibliography. Prior to August 5, 1988, this project was called the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations. This bibliography contains information on this ongoing project that was added to the Department of Energy's Science and Technology Database from January 1, 1990, through December 31, 1991

  3. 206Pb-230Th-234U-238U and 207Pb-235U geochronology of Quaternary opal, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neymark, Leonid A.; Amelin, Yuri V.; Paces, James B.

    2000-01-01

    U–Th–Pb isotopic systems have been studied in submillimeter-thick outermost layers of Quaternary opal occurring in calcite–silica fracture and cavity coatings within Tertiary tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA. These coatings preserve a record of paleohydrologic conditions at this site, which is being evaluated as a potential high-level nuclear waste repository. The opal precipitated from groundwater is variably enriched in 234U (measured 234U/238U activity ratio 1.124–6.179) and has high U (30–313 ppm), low Th (0.008–3.7 ppm), and low common Pb concentrations (measured 206Pb/204Pb up to 11,370). It has been demonstrated that the laboratory acid treatment used in this study to clean sample surfaces and to remove adherent calcite, did not disturb U–Th–Pb isotopic systems in opal. The opal ages calculated from 206Pb∗/238U and 207Pb∗/235U ratios display strong reverse discordance because of excess radiogenic 206Pb∗ derived from the elevated initial 234U. The data are best interpreted using projections of a new four-dimensional concordia diagram defined by 206Pb∗/238U, 207Pb∗/235U, 234U/238Uactivity, and 230Th/238Uactivity. Ages and initial 234U/238U activity ratios have been calculated using different projections of this diagram and tested for concordance. The data are discordant, that is observed 207Pb∗/235U ages of 170 ± 32 (2σ) to 1772 ± 40 ka are systematically older than 230Th/U ages of 34.1 ± 0.6 to 452 ± 32 ka. The age discordance is not a result of migration of uranium and its decay products under the open system conditions, but a consequence of noninstantaneous growth of opal. Combined U–Pb and 230Th/U ages support the model of slow mineral deposition at the rates of millimeters per million years resulting in layering on a scale too fine for mechanical sampling. In this case, U–Pb ages provide more accurate estimates of the average age for mixed multiage samples than 230Th/U ages, because ages based on shorter

  4. Extreme ground motions and Yucca Mountain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanks, Thomas C.; Abrahamson, Norman A.; Baker, Jack W.; Boore, David M.; Board, Mark; Brune, James N.; Cornell, C. Allin; Whitney, John W.

    2013-01-01

    Yucca Mountain is the designated site of the underground repository for the United States' high-level radioactive waste (HLW), consisting of commercial and military spent nuclear fuel, HLW derived from reprocessing of uranium and plutonium, surplus plutonium, and other nuclear-weapons materials. Yucca Mountain straddles the western boundary of the Nevada Test Site, where the United States has tested nuclear devices since the 1950s, and is situated in an arid, remote, and thinly populated region of Nevada, ~100 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Yucca Mountain was originally considered as a potential underground repository of HLW because of its thick units of unsaturated rocks, with the repository horizon being not only ~300 m above the water table but also ~300 m below the Yucca Mountain crest. The fundamental rationale for a geologic (underground) repository for HLW is to securely isolate these materials from the environment and its inhabitants to the greatest extent possible and for very long periods of time. Given the present climate conditions and what is known about the current hydrologic system and conditions around and in the mountain itself, one would anticipate that the rates of infiltration, corrosion, and transport would be very low—except for the possibility that repository integrity might be compromised by low-probability disruptive events, which include earthquakes, strong ground motion, and (or) a repository-piercing volcanic intrusion/eruption. Extreme ground motions (ExGM), as we use the phrase in this report, refer to the extremely large amplitudes of earthquake ground motion that arise at extremely low probabilities of exceedance (hazard). They first came to our attention when the 1998 probabilistic seismic hazard analysis for Yucca Mountain was extended to a hazard level of 10-8/yr (a 10-4/yr probability for a 104-year repository “lifetime”). The primary purpose of this report is to summarize the principal results of the ExGM research program

  5. Gravity and magnetic data across the Ghost Dance Fault in WT-2 Wash, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oliver, H.W.; Sikora, R.F.

    1994-01-01

    Detailed gravity and ground magnetic data were obtained in September 1993 along a 4,650 ft-long profile across the Ghost Dance Fault system in WT-2 Wash. Gravity stations were established every 150 feet along the profile. Total-field magnetic measurements made initially every 50 ft along the profile, then remade every 20 ft through the fault zone. These new data are part of a geologic and geophysical study of the Ghost Dance Fault (GDF) which includes detailed geologic mapping, seismic reflection, and some drilling including geologic and geophysical logging. The Ghost Dance Fault is the only through-going fault that has been identified within the potential repository for high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Preliminary gravity results show a distinct decrease of 0.1 to 0.2 mGal over a 600-ft-wide zone to the east of and including the mapped fault. The gravity decrease probably marks a zone of brecciation. Another fault-offset located about 2,000 ft to the east of the GDF was detected by seismic reflection data and is also marked by a distinct gravity low. The ground magnetic data show a 200-ft-wide magnetic low of about 400 nT centered about 100 ft east of the Ghost Dance Fault. The magnetic low probably marks a zone of brecciation within the normally polarized Topopah Spring Tuff, the top of which is about 170 ft below the surface, and which is known from drilling to extend to a depth of about 1,700 ft. Three-component magnetometer logging in drill hole WT-2 located about 2,700 ft east of the Ghost Dance Fault shows that the Topopah Spring Tuff is strongly polarized magnetically in this area, so that fault brecciation of a vertical zone within the Tuff could provide an average negative magnetic contrast of the 4 Am -1 needed to produce the 400 nT low observed at the surface

  6. Using seismic reflection to locate a tracer testing complex south of Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kryder, Levi

    Tracer testing in the fractured volcanic aquifer near Yucca Mountain, and in the alluvial aquifer south of Yucca Mountain, Nevada has been conducted in the past to determine the flow and transport properties of groundwater in those geologic units. However, no tracer testing has been conducted across the alluvium/volcanic interface. This thesis documents the investigative process and subsequent analysis and interpretations used to identify a location suitable for installation of a tracer testing complex, near existing Nye County wells south of Yucca Mountain. The work involved evaluation of existing geologic data, collection of wellbore seismic data, and a detailed surface seismic reflection survey. Borehole seismic data yielded useful information on alluvial P-wave velocities. Seismic reflection data were collected over a line of 4.5-km length, with a 10-m receiver and shot spacing. Reflection data were extensively processed to image the alluvium/volcanic interface. A location for installation of an alluvial/volcanic tracer testing complex was identified based on one of the reflectors imaged in the reflection survey; this site is located between existing Nye County monitoring wells, near an outcrop of Paintbrush Tuff. Noise in the reflection data (due to some combination of seismic source signal attenuation, poor receiver-to-ground coupling, and anthropogenic sources) were sources of error that affected the final processed data set. In addition, in some areas low impedance contrast between geologic units caused an absence of reflections in the data, complicating the processing and interpretation. Forward seismic modeling was conducted using Seismic Un*x; however, geometry considerations prevented direct comparison of the modeled and processed data sets. Recommendations for additional work to address uncertainties identified during the course of this thesis work include: drilling additional boreholes to collect borehole seismic and geologic data; reprocessing a

  7. A preliminary study of older hot spring alteration in Sevenmile Hole, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone Caldera, Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Peter B.; Phillips, Allison; John, David A.; Cosca, Michael A.; Pritchard, Chad; Andersen, Allen; Manion, Jennifer

    2009-01-01

    Erosion in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone Caldera (640 ka), Wyoming, has exposed a cross section of older hydrothermal alteration in the canyon walls. The altered outcrops of the post-collapse tuff of Sulphur Creek (480 ka) extend from the canyon rim to more than 300 m beneath it. The hydrothermal minerals are zoned, with an advanced argillic alteration consisting of an association of quartz (opal) + kaolinite ± alunite ± dickite, and an argillic or potassic alteration association with quartz + illite ± adularia. Disseminated fine-grained pyrite or marcasite is ubiquitous in both alteration types. These alteration associations are characteristic products of shallow volcanic epithermal environments. The contact between the two alteration types is about 100 m beneath the rim. By analogy to other active geothermal systems including active hydrothermal springs in the Yellowstone Caldera, the transition from kaolinite to illite occurred at temperatures in the range 150 to 170 °C. An 40Ar/39Ar age on alunite of 154,000 ± 16,000 years suggests that hydrothermal activity has been ongoing since at least that time. A northwest-trending linear array of extinct and active hot spring centers in the Sevenmile Hole area implies a deeper structural control for the upflowing hydrothermal fluids. We interpret this deeper structure to be the Yellowstone Caldera ring fault that is covered by the younger tuff of Sulphur Creek. The Sevenmile Hole altered area lies at the eastern end of a band of hydrothermal centers that may mark the buried extension of the Yellowstone Caldera ring fault across the northern part of the Caldera.

  8. Preliminary calibration of fission-track zeta constant for NBS SRM 962a using fish canyon tuff apatite age standard

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ng Inn Khuan; Gui Ah Auu

    1991-01-01

    The Zeta method for the calibration of fission-track dating against other radiometric dating techniques has been described by Hurford and Green (1983). In this paper, the data for the Zeta calibration were obtained using 4π -Conversion Procedure (Suzuki et. al., 1984). The preliminary Zeta value determined from this work was found to be 224.52 ± 38.73, showing significant difference from values obtained by workers elsewhere using equivalent standard glass dosimeter. Factors that might have contributed to such discrepancy are discussed. From this study and work done by other fission-track workers, it is obvious that a wide range of Zeta values are in common use. However consistency in track-counting remains the prime factor for getting reliable ages for unknown samples

  9. 76 FR 56430 - Boulder Canyon Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-13

    ... DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Western Area Power Administration Boulder Canyon Project AGENCY: Western Area... Project (BCP) electric service provided by the Western Area Power Administration (Western). The Rates will... by the Boulder Canyon Project Act (45 Stat. 1057, December 21, 1928), sits on the Colorado River...

  10. Environmental assessment: Davis Canyon site, Utah

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-05-01

    In February 1983, the US Department of Energy (DOE) identified the Davis Canyon site in Utah as one of the nine potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high- level radioactive waste. To determine their suitability, the Davis Canyon site and the eight other potentially acceptable sites have been evaluated in accordance with the DOE's General Guidelines for the Recommendation of Sites for the Nuclear Waste Repositories. These evaluations were reported in draft environmental assessments (EAs), which were issued for public review and comment. After considering the comments received on the draft EAs, the DOE prepared the final EA. The Davis Canyon site is in the Paradox Basin, which is one of five distinct geohydrologic settings considered for the first repository. This setting contains one other potentially acceptable site -- the Lavender Canyon site. Although the Lavender Canyon site is suitable for site characterization, the DOE has concluded that the Davis Canyon site is the preferred site in the Paradox Basin. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this EA, the DOE has found that the Davis Canyon site is not disqualified under the guidelines. Furthermore, the DOE has found that the site is suitable for site characterization because the evidence does not support a conclusion that the site will not be able to meet each of the qualifying conditions specified in the guidelines. On the basis of these findings, the DOE is nominating the Davis Canyon site as one of the five sites suitable for characterization

  11. Environmental assessment: Davis Canyon site, Utah

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    none,

    1986-05-01

    In February 1983, the US Department of Energy (DOE) identified the Davis Canyon site in Utah as one of the nine potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high- level radioactive waste. To determine their suitability, the Davis Canyon site and the eight other potentially acceptable sites have been evaluated in accordance with the DOE's General Guidelines for the Recommendation of Sites for the Nuclear Waste Repositories. These evaluations were reported in draft environmental assessments (EAs), which were issued for public review and comment. After considering the comments received on the draft EAs, the DOE prepared the final EA. The Davis Canyon site is in the Paradox Basin, which is one of five distinct geohydrologic settings considered for the first repository. This setting contains one other potentially acceptable site -- the Lavender Canyon site. Although the Lavender Canyon site is suitable for site characterization, the DOE has concluded that the Davis Canyon site is the preferred site in the Paradox Basin. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this EA, the DOE has found that the Davis Canyon site is not disqualified under the guidelines. Furthermore, the DOE has found that the site is suitable for site characterization because the evidence does not support a conclusion that the site will not be able to meet each of the qualifying conditions specified in the guidelines. On the basis of these findings, the DOE is nominating the Davis Canyon site as one of the five sites suitable for characterization.

  12. Environmental assessment: Davis Canyon site, Utah

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-05-01

    In February 1983, the US Department of Energy (DOE) identified the Davis Canyon site in Utah as one of the nine potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. To determine their suitability, the Davis Canyon site and the eight other potentially acceptable sites have been evaluated in accordance with the DOE's General Guidelines for the Recommendation of Sites for the Nuclear Waste Repositories. These evaluations were reported in draft environmental assessments (EAs), which were issued for public review and comment. After considering the comments received on the draft EAs, the DOE prepared the final EA. The Davis Canyon site is in the Paradox Basin, which is one of five distinct geohydrologic settings considering for the first repository. This setting contains one other potentially acceptable site -- the Lavender Canyon site. Although the Lavender Canyon site is suitable for site characterization, the DOE has concluded that the Davis Canyon site is the preferred site in the Paradox Basin. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this EA, the DOE has found that the Davis Canyon site is not disqualified under the guidelines. Furthermore, the DOE has found that the site is suitable for site characterization because the evidence does not support a conclusion that the site will not be able to meet each of the qualifying conditions specified in the guidelines. On the basis of these findings, the DOE is nominating the Davis Canyon site as one of five sites suitable for characterization

  13. Environmental assessment: Davis Canyon site, Utah

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    none,

    1986-05-01

    In February 1983, the US Department of Energy (DOE) identified the Davis Canyon site in Utah as one of the nine potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. To determine their suitability, the Davis Canyon site and the eight other potentially acceptable sites have been evaluated in accordance with the DOE's General Guidelines for the Recommendation of Sites for the Nuclear Waste Repositories. These evaluations were reported in draft environmental assessments (EAs), which were issued for public review and comment. After considering the comments received on the draft EAs, the DOE prepared the final EA. The Davis Canyon site is in the Paradox Basin, which is one of five distinct geohydrologic settings considering for the first repository. This setting contains one other potentially acceptable site -- the Lavender Canyon site. Although the Lavender Canyon site is suitable for site characterization, the DOE has concluded that the Davis Canyon site is the preferred site in the Paradox Basin. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this EA, the DOE has found that the Davis Canyon site is not disqualified under the guidelines. Furthermore, the DOE has found that the site is suitable for site characterization because the evidence does not support a conclusion that the site will not be able to meet each of the qualifying conditions specified in the guidelines. On the basis of these findings, the DOE is nominating the Davis Canyon site as one of five sites suitable for characterization.

  14. Urban street canyons: Coupling dynamics, chemistry and within-canyon chemical processing of emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bright, Vivien Bianca; Bloss, William James; Cai, Xiaoming

    2013-04-01

    Street canyons, formed by rows of buildings in urban environments, are associated with high levels of atmospheric pollutants emitted primarily from vehicles, and substantial human exposure. The street canyon forms a semi-enclosed environment, within which emissions may be entrained in a re-circulatory system; chemical processing of emitted compounds alters the composition of the air vented to the overlying boundary layer, compared with the primary emissions. As the prevailing atmospheric chemistry is highly non-linear, and the canyon mixing and predominant chemical reaction timescales are comparable, the combined impacts of dynamics and chemistry must be considered to quantify these effects. Here we report a model study of the coupled impacts of dynamical and chemical processing upon the atmospheric composition in a street canyon environment, to assess the impacts upon air pollutant levels within the canyon, and to quantify the extent to which within-canyon chemical processing alters the composition of canyon outflow, in comparison to the primary emissions within the canyon. A new model for the simulation of street canyon atmospheric chemical processing has been developed, by integrating an existing Large-Eddy Simulation (LES) dynamical model of canyon atmospheric motion with a detailed chemical reaction mechanism, a Reduced Chemical Scheme (RCS) comprising 51 chemical species and 136 reactions, based upon a subset of the Master Chemical Mechanism (MCM). The combined LES-RCS model is used to investigate the combined effects of mixing and chemical processing upon air quality within an idealised street canyon. The effect of the combination of dynamical (segregation) and chemical effects is determined by comparing the outputs of the full LES-RCS canyon model with those obtained when representing the canyon as a zero-dimensional box model (i.e. assuming mixing is complete and instantaneous). The LES-RCS approach predicts lower (canyon-averaged) levels of NOx, OH and HO

  15. Rail Access to Yucca Mountain: Critical Issues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Halstead, R. J.; Dilger, F.; Moore, R. C.

    2003-02-25

    The proposed Yucca Mountain repository site currently lacks rail access. The nearest mainline railroad is almost 100 miles away. Absence of rail access could result in many thousands of truck shipments of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Direct rail access to the repository could significantly reduce the number of truck shipments and total shipments. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) identified five potential rail access corridors, ranging in length from 98 miles to 323 miles, in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for Yucca Mountain. The FEIS also considers an alternative to rail spur construction, heavy-haul truck (HHT) delivery of rail casks from one of three potential intermodal transfer stations. The authors examine the feasibility and cost of the five rail corridors, and DOE's alternative proposal for HHT transport. The authors also address the potential for rail shipments through the Las Vegas metropolitan area.

  16. Rail Access to Yucca Mountain: Critical Issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Halstead, R. J.; Dilger, F.; Moore, R. C.

    2003-01-01

    The proposed Yucca Mountain repository site currently lacks rail access. The nearest mainline railroad is almost 100 miles away. Absence of rail access could result in many thousands of truck shipments of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Direct rail access to the repository could significantly reduce the number of truck shipments and total shipments. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) identified five potential rail access corridors, ranging in length from 98 miles to 323 miles, in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for Yucca Mountain. The FEIS also considers an alternative to rail spur construction, heavy-haul truck (HHT) delivery of rail casks from one of three potential intermodal transfer stations. The authors examine the feasibility and cost of the five rail corridors, and DOE's alternative proposal for HHT transport. The authors also address the potential for rail shipments through the Las Vegas metropolitan area

  17. TBM tunneling on the Yucca Mountain Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morris, J.P.; Hansmire, W.H.

    1995-01-01

    The US Department of Energy's (DOE) Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) is a scientific endeavor to determine the suitability of Yucca Mountain for the first long-term, high-level nuclear waste repository in the United States. The current status of this long-term project from the construction perspective is described. A key element is construction of the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) Tunnel, which is being excavated with a 7.6 m (25 ft) diameter tunnel boring machine (TBM). Development of the ESF may include the excavation of over 15 km (9.3 mi) of tunnel varying in size from 3.0 to 7.6 m (10 to 25 ft). Prior to construction, extensive constructability reviews were an interactive part of the final design. The intent was to establish a constructable design that met the long-term stability requirements for radiological safety of a future repository, while maintaining flexibility for the scientific investigations and acceptable tunneling productivity

  18. ROV Tiburon Investigation of Hawaiian Submarine Canyons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paull, C. K.; Greene, H. G.; Caress, D. W.; Clague, D. A.; Ussler, W.; Maher, N. M.

    2001-12-01

    MBARI conducted ROV dives around the Hawaiian Islands during an expedition of the R/V Western Flyer and Tiburon in the spring of 2001. Eight ROV dives were made to investigate five major submarine canyons offshore of Oahu, Molokai, and Hawaii in up to 3,434 m water depths. Four of these canyons are located off the windward (northern) side of these islands where onshore canyons are also well developed. Those canyons located offshore of Molokai and Oahu incise the head scars of the giant Nuuanu and Wailai submarine landslides. ROV observations and sediment and rock outcrop sampling were made in these canyons to determine their origin and present-day activity. The fifth canyon investigated is located on the leeward (southern) side of Molokai. The canyons along the windward side expose extensive stratigraphic sections that reveal the history of the islands' formation. In composite, these sections contain marine pillow basalt overlain by a substantial sequence of alternating subaerial lava flows, rounded boulder conglomerates, shallow water carbonates, and hyaloclastites that indicate coastal and marine deposition. These sequences illustrate the accretion and subsequent subsidence of the islands' flanks. These canyons also have morphologically distinct upper and lower sections. The upper reaches of the canyons are incised into the shallow water marine facies and contain broad axial channels through which active sediment transport is occurring. In contrast, the morphology of the lower canyons are strongly influenced by the giant landslides that massively altered the northern flanks of the Hawaiian chain. The lower canyons contain plunge pools and steep headwall scarps that are generally comprised of mechanically competent subaerial lava flows. The presence of multiple plunge pools with differentially eroded head scarps suggests retrogressive erosion (bottom-up process) with headward advancement of the various heads. Undercutting of the headwalls also produce periodic

  19. H-Canyon Recovery Crawler

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kriikku, E. M. [Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL); Hera, K. R. [Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL); Marzolf, A. D. [Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL); Phillips, M. H. [Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL)

    2015-08-01

    The Nuclear Material Disposition Project group asked the Savannah River National Lab (SRNL) Research and Development Engineering (R&DE) department to help procure, test, and deploy a remote crawler to recover the 2014 Inspection Crawler (IC) that tipped over in the H-Canyon Air Exhaust Tunnel. R&DE wrote a Procurement Specification for a Recovery Crawler (RC) and SRNS Procurement Department awarded the contract to Power Equipment Manufacturing Inc. (PEM). The PEM RC was based on their standard sewer inspection crawler with custom arms and forks added to the front. The arms and forks would be used to upright the 2014 Inspection Crawler. PEM delivered the RC and associated cable reel, 2014 Inspection Crawler mockup, and manuals in late April 2015. R&DE and the team tested the crawler in May of 2015 and made modifications based on test results and Savannah River Site (SRS) requirements. R&DE delivered the RC to H-Area at the end of May. The team deployed the RC on June 9, 10, and 11, 2015 in the H-Canyon Air Exhaust Tunnel. The RC struggled with some obstacles in the tunnel, but eventually made it to the IC. The team spent approximately five hours working to upright the IC and eventually got it on its wheels. The IC travelled approximately 20 feet and struggled to drive over debris on the air tunnel floor. Unfortunately the IC tripped over trying to pass this obstacle. The team decided to leave the IC in this location and inspect the tunnel with the RC. The RC passed the IC and inspected the tunnel as it travelled toward H-Canyon. The team turned the RC around when it was about 20 feet from the H-Canyon crossover tunnel. From that point, the team drove the RC past the manway towards the new sand filter and stopped approximately 20 feet from the new sand filter. The team removed the RC from the tunnel, decontaminated the RC, and stored it the manway building, 294-2H. The RC deployment confirmed the IC was not in a condition to perform useful tunnel inspections and

  20. Nuclear Waste Disposal: Alternatives to Yucca Mountain

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-02-06

    judgment fund, rather than the Nuclear Waste Fund, and require no congressional appropriations. DOE calculates that its nuclear waste liabilities to...in existing light and heavy water reactors, and subsequent recycling in high- burnup gas-cooled reactors, reactors fueled by thorium and plutonium...level nuclear waste repository was a calculated risk that the site could be developed successfully. There is no backup plan in place. Yucca Mountain

  1. Predicting the Future at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, J. R.

    1999-01-01

    This paper summarizes a climate-prediction model funded by the DOE for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. Several articles in the open literature attest to the effects of the Global Ocean Conveyor upon paleoclimate, specifically entrance and exit from the ice age. The data shows that these millennial-scale effects are duplicated on the microscale of years to decades. This work also identifies how man may have influenced the Conveyor, affecting global cooling and warming for 2,000 years

  2. The Yucca Mountain Project Prototype Testing Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-10-01

    The Yucca Mountain Project is conducting a Prototype Testing Program to ensure that the Exploratory Shaft Facility (ESF) tests can be completed in the time available and to develop instruments, equipment, and procedures so the ESF tests can collect reliable and representative site characterization data. This report summarizes the prototype tests and their status and location and emphasizes prototype ESF and surface tests, which are required in the early stages of the ESF site characterization tests. 14 figs

  3. Predicting the Future at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. R. Wilson

    1999-07-01

    This paper summarizes a climate-prediction model funded by the DOE for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. Several articles in the open literature attest to the effects of the Global Ocean Conveyor upon paleoclimate, specifically entrance and exit from the ice age. The data shows that these millennial-scale effects are duplicated on the microscale of years to decades. This work also identifies how man may have influenced the Conveyor, affecting global cooling and warming for 2,000 years.

  4. Environmental assessment overview, Davis Canyon site, Utah

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-05-01

    In February 1983, the US Department of Energy (DOE) identified the Davis Canyon site in Utah as one of the nine potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. To determine their suitability, the Davis Canyon site and the eight other potentially acceptable sites have been evaluated in accordance with the DOE's General Guidelines for the Recommendation of Sites for the Nuclear Waste Repositories. The Davis Canyon site is in the Paradox Basin, which is one of five distinct geohydrologic settings considered for the first repository. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this EA, the DOE has found that the Davis Canyon site is not disqualified under the guidelines. On the basis of these findings, the DOE is nominating the Davis Canyon site as one of five sites suitable for characterization. 3 figs

  5. Phylogeographic structure in the bogus yucca moth Prodoxus quinquepunctellus (Prodoxidae): comparisons with coexisting pollinator yucca moths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Althoff, D M; Groman, J D; Segraves, K A; Pellmyr, O

    2001-10-01

    The pollination mutualism between yucca moths and yuccas highlights the potential importance of host plant specificity in insect diversification. Historically, one pollinator moth species, Tegeticula yuccasella, was believed to pollinate most yuccas. Recent phylogenetic studies have revealed that it is a complex of at least 13 distinct species, eight of which are specific to one yucca species. Moths in the closely related genus Prodoxus also specialize on yuccas, but they do not pollinate and their larvae feed on different plant parts. Previous research demonstrated that the geographically widespread Prodoxus quinquepunctellus can rapidly specialize to its host plants and may harbor hidden species diversity. We examined the phylogeographic structure of P. quinquepunctellus across its range to compare patterns of diversification with six coexisting pollinator yucca moth species. Morphometric and mtDNA cytochrome oxidase I sequence data indicated that P. quinquepunctellus as currently described contains two species. There was a deep division between moth populations in the eastern and the western United States, with limited sympatry in central Texas; these clades are considered separate species and are redescribed as P. decipiens and P. quinquepunctellus (sensu stricto), respectively. Sequence data also showed a lesser division within P. quinquepunctellus s.s. between the western populations on the Colorado Plateau and those elsewhere. The divergence among the three emerging lineages corresponded with major biogeographic provinces, whereas AMOVA indicated that host plant specialization has been relatively unimportant in diversification. In comparison, the six pollinator species comprise three lineages, one eastern and two western. A pollinator species endemic to the Colorado Plateau has evolved in both of the western lineages. The east-west division and the separate evolution of two Colorado Plateau pollinator species suggest that similar biogeographic factors have

  6. Yucca Mountain Project bibliography, 1988--1989

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lorenz, J.J.

    1990-11-01

    This bibliography contains information on the Yucca Mountain Project that was added to the Department of Energy's Energy Data Base from January 1988 through December 1989. This supplement also includes a new section which provides information about publications on the Energy Data Base that were not sponsored by the project but have some relevance to it. The bibliography is categorized by principal project participating organization. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, papers, and articles are included in the sponsoring organization's list. Indexes are provided for Corporate Author, Personal Author, Subject, Contract Number, Report Number, Order Number Correlation, and Key Word in Context. All entries in the Yucca Mountain Project bibliographies are searchable online on the NNW database file. This file can be accessed through the Integrated Technical Information System (ITIS) of the US Department of Energy (DOE). Technical reports on the Yucca Mountain Project are on display in special open files at participating Nevada Libraries and in the Public Document Room of the US Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office, in Las Vegas

  7. Bond strength of cementitious borehole plugs in welded tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akgun, H.; Daemen, J.J.K.

    1991-02-01

    Axial loads on plugs or seals in an underground repository due to gas, water pressures and temperature changes induced subsequent to waste and plug emplacement lead to shear stresses at the plug/rock contact. Therefore, the bond between the plug and rock is a critical element for the design and effectiveness of plugs in boreholes, shafts or tunnels. This study includes a systematic investigation of the bond strength of cementitious borehole plugs in welded tuff. Analytical and numerical analysis of borehole plug-rock stress transfer mechanics is performed. The interface strength and deformation are studied as a function of Young's modulus ratio of plug and rock, plug length and rock cylinder outside-to-inside radius ratio. The tensile stresses in and near an axially loaded plug are analyzed. The frictional interface strength of an axially loaded borehole plug, the effect of axial stress and lateral external stress, and thermal effects are also analyzed. Implications for plug design are discussed. The main conclusion is a strong recommendation to design friction plugs in shafts, drifts, tunnels or boreholes with a minimum length to diameter ratio of four. Such a geometrical design will reduce tensile stresses in the plug and in the host rock to a level which should minimize the risk of long-term deterioration caused by excessive tensile stresses. Push-out tests have been used to determine the bond strength by applying an axial load to cement plugs emplaced in boreholes in welded tuff cylinders. A total of 130 push-out tests have been performed as a function of borehole size, plug length, temperature, and degree of saturation of the host tuff. The use of four different borehole radii enables evaluation of size effects. 119 refs., 42 figs., 20 tabs

  8. G-tunnel welded tuff mining experiment preparations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zimmerman, R.M.; Bellman, R.A. Jr.; Mann, K.L.; Zerga, D.P.

    1991-01-01

    Designers and analysts of radioactive waste repositories must be able to predict the mechanical behavior of the host rock. Sandia National Laboratories elected to conduct a mine-by in welded tuff so that predictive-type information could be obtained regarding the response of the rock to a drill and blast excavation process, where smooth blasting techniques were used. Included in the study were evaluations of and recommendations for various measurement systems that might be used in future mine-by efforts. This report summarizes the preparations leading to the recording of data. 17 refs., 27 figs., 5 tabs

  9. Chlorine-36 investigations of groundwater infiltration in the Exploratory Studies Facility at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Levy, S.S.; Fabryka-Martin, J.T.; Dixon, P.R.; Liu, B.; Turin, H.J.; Wolfsberg, A.V.

    1997-01-01

    Chlorine-36, including the natural cosmogenic component and the component produced during atmospheric nuclear testing in the 1950's and 1960's (bomb pulse), is being used as an isotopic tracer for groundwater infiltration studies at Yucca Mountain, a potential nuclear waste repository. Rock samples have been collected systematically in the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF), and samples were also collected from fractures, faults, and breccia zones. Isotopic ratios indicative of bomb-pulse components in the water ( 36 Cl/Cl values > 1,250 x 10 -15 ), signifying less than 40-yr travel times from the surface, have been detected at a few locations within the Topopah Spring Tuff, the candidate host rock for the repository. The specific features associated with the high 36 Cl/Cl values are predominantly cooling joints and syngenetic breccias, but most of the sites are in the general vicinity of faults. The non-bomb pulse samples have 36 Cl/Cl values interpreted to indicate groundwater travel times of at least a few thousand to possibly several hundred thousand years. Preliminary numerical solute-travel experiments using the FEHM (Finite Element Heat and Mass transfer) code demonstrate consistency between these interpreted ages and the observed 36 Cl/Cl values but do not validate the interpretations

  10. Conceptual evaluation of the potential role of fractures in unsaturated processes at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hinds, Jennifer J.; Bodvarsson, Gudmundur S.; Nieder-Westermann, Gerald H.

    2002-04-04

    A wide array of field observations, in situ testing, and rock and water sampling (and subsequent analyses) within the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain demonstrate the importance of fractures to flow and transport in the welded tuffs. The abundance of fractures and the spatial variability in their hydraulic properties, along with the heterogeneity within lithologic formations, make evaluation of unsaturated processes occurring within the potential repository horizon complex. Fracture mapping and field testing show that fractures are well connected, yet considerable variation is seen within and between units comprising the potential repository horizon with regard to fracture trace length, spacing, permeability, and capillarity. These variations have important implications for the distribution and movement of water and solutes through the unsaturated zone. Numerical models designed to assess such phenomena as unsaturated flow, transport, and coupled thermal-hydrological processes each require their own conceptual model for fracture networks, in order to identify the subset of all fractures that is relevant to the particular study. We evaluate several process-dependent conceptual models for fractures and identify the relevant fracture subsets related to these processes.

  11. A performance assessment review tool for the proposed radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohanty, Sitakanta; Codell, Richard

    2000-01-01

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), with the assistance of the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses, has developed a Total-system Performance Assessment (TPA) Code to assist in evaluating the performance of the Yucca Mountain (YM) High-Level Waste Repository in Nevada, proposed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The proposed YM repository would be built in a thick sequence of partially saturated volcanic tuff above the water table. Among the unique challenges of this environment are (1) the transport of radionuclides would take place partially through highly heterogeneous unsaturated rock; (2) the waste packages (WPs) would be generally exposed to oxidizing conditions, and (3) water either infiltrating from the surface or recirculating because of decay heat may drip onto the WPs. Tools such as the TPA code and embedded techniques for evaluating YM performance are aimed at (1) determining the parameters and key parts of the repository system that have the most influence on repository performance; (2) performing alternative conceptual models studies, especially with bounding models; (3) estimating the relative importance of the physical phenomena that lead to human exposure to radionuclides; and (4) improving NRC staff capabilities in performance assessment and associated license application reviews. This paper presents an overview of the NRC conceptual framework, approach to conducting system-level sensitivity analyses for determining influential parameters, and alternative conceptual model studies to investigate the effect of model uncertainties. (author)

  12. Electrical resistivity monitoring of the thermomechanical heater test in Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramirez, A.; Daily, W.; Buettner, M.; LaBrecque, L

    1996-01-01

    A test is being conducted in the densely welded Topopah Springs tuff within Yucca Mountain, Nevada to study the thermomechanical and hydrological behavior of this horizon when it is heated. A single 4 kW heater, placed in a horizontal borehole, was turned on August, 1996 and will continue to heat the rockmass until April 1997. Of the several thermal, mechanical and hydrological measurements being used to monitor the rockmass response, electrical resistance tomography (ERT) is being used to monitor the movement of liquid water with a special interest in the movement of condensate out of the system. Four boreholes, containing a total of 30 ERT electrodes, were drilled to form the sides of a 30 foot square with the heater at the center and perpendicular to the plane. Images of resistivity change were calculated using data collected before and during the heating episode. The changes recovered show a region of decreasing resistivity approximately centered around the heater. The size this region grows with time and -the resistivity decreases become stronger. The changes in resistivity are caused by both temperature and saturation changes. The observed resistivity changes suggest that the rock adjacent to the heater dries as heating progresses. This dry region is surrounded by a region of increased saturation where steam recondenses and imbibes into the rock

  13. Electrical resistivity monitoring of the thermomechanical heater test in Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramirez, A.; Daily, W.; Buettner, M.

    1997-01-01

    A test is being conducted in the densely welded Topopah Springs tuff within Yucca Mountain, Nevada to study the thermomechanical and hydrological behavior of this horizon when it is headed. A single 4 kW heater, placed in a horizontal borehole, was turned on August, 1996 and will continue to heat the rockmass until April 1997. Of the several thermal, mechanical and hydrological measurements being used to monitor the rockmass response, electrical resistance tomography (ERT) is being used to monitor the movement of liquid water with a special interest in the movement of condensate out of the system. Four boreholes, containing a total of 30 ERT electrodes, were drilled to form the sides of a 30 foot square with the heater at the center and perpendicular to the plane. Images of resistivity change were calculated using data collected before and during the heating episode. The changes recovered show a region of decreasing resistivity approximately centered around the heater. The size this region grows with time and the resistivity decreases become stronger. The changes in resistivity are caused by both temperature and saturation changes. The observed resistivity changes suggest that the rock adjacent to the heater dries as heating progresses. This dry region is surrounded by a region of increased saturation where steam recondenses and imbibes into the rock

  14. Prehistoric deforestation at Chaco Canyon?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wills, W H; Drake, Brandon L; Dorshow, Wetherbee B

    2014-08-12

    Ancient societies are often used to illustrate the potential problems stemming from unsustainable land-use practices because the past seems rife with examples of sociopolitical "collapse" associated with the exhaustion of finite resources. Just as frequently, and typically in response to such presentations, archaeologists and other specialists caution against seeking simple cause-and effect-relationships in the complex data that comprise the archaeological record. In this study we examine the famous case of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, during the Bonito Phase (ca. AD 860-1140), which has become a prominent popular illustration of ecological and social catastrophe attributed to deforestation. We conclude that there is no substantive evidence for deforestation at Chaco and no obvious indications that the depopulation of the canyon in the 13th century was caused by any specific cultural practices or natural events. Clearly there was a reason why these farming people eventually moved elsewhere, but the archaeological record has not yet produced compelling empirical evidence for what that reason might have been. Until such evidence appears, the legacy of Ancestral Pueblo society in Chaco should not be used as a cautionary story about socioeconomic failures in the modern world.

  15. Yucca aloifolia (Asparagaceae) opts out of an obligate pollination mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rentsch, Jeremy D; Leebens-Mack, Jim

    2014-12-01

    • According to Cope's 'law of the unspecialized' highly dependent species interactions are 'evolutionary dead ends,' prone to extinction because reversion to more generalist interactions is thought to be unlikely. Cases of extreme specialization, such as those seen between obligate mutualists, are cast as evolutionarily inescapable, inevitably leading to extinction rather than diversification of participating species. The pollination mutualism between Yucca plants and yucca moths (Tegeticula and Parategeticula) would seem to be locked into such an obligate mutualism. Yucca aloifolia populations, however, can produce large numbers of fruit lacking moth oviposition scars. Here, we investigate the pollination ecology of Y. aloifolia, in search of the non-moth pollination of a Yucca species.• We perform pollinator exclusion studies on Yucca aloifolia and a sympatric yucca species, Y. filamentosa. We then perform postvisit exclusion treatments, an analysis of dissected fruits, and a fluorescent dye transfer experiment.• As expected, Yucca filamentosa plants set fruit only when inflorescences were exposed to crepuscular and nocturnal pollinating yucca moths. In contrast, good fruit set was observed when pollinators were excluded from Y. aloifolia inflorescences from dusk to dawn, and no fruit set was observed when pollinators were excluded during the day. Follow up experiments indicated that European honeybees (Apis mellifera) were passively yet effectively pollinating Y. aloifolia flowers.• These results indicate that even highly specialized mutualisms may not be entirely obligate interactions or evolutionary dead ends. © 2014 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  16. Directional floral orientation in Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steve Warren; L. Scott Baggett; Heather Warren

    2016-01-01

    Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia Engelm.) is a large, arborescent member of the yucca genus. It is an endemic and visually dominant plant in portions of the Mojave Desert, USA. We document the unique and heretofore unreported directional orientation of its flower panicles. The flower panicles grow primarily at the tips of branches that are oriented to the south....

  17. Hydrologeologic characteristics of faults at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dickerson, Robert P.

    2001-01-01

    Yucca Mountain is under study as a potential site for underground storage of high-level radioactive waste, with the principle goal being the safe isolation of the waste from the accessible environment. This paper addresses the hydrogeologic characteristics of the fault zones at Yucca Mountain, focusing primarily on the central part of the mountain where the potential repository block is located

  18. Potentiometric-surface map, 1993, Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tucci, P.; Burkhardt, D.J.

    1995-01-01

    The revised potentiometric surface map here, using mainly 1993 average water levels, updates earlier maps of this area. Water levels are contoured with 20-m intervals, with additional 0.5-m contours in the small-gradient area SE of Yucca Mountain. Water levels range from 728 m above sea level SE of Yucca to 1,034 m above sea level north of Yucca. Potentiometric levels in the deeper parts of the volcanic rock aquifer range from 730 to 785 m above sea level. The potentiometric surface can be divided into 3 regions: A small gradient area E and SE of Yucca, a moderate-gradient area on the west side of Yucca, and a large-gradient area to the N-NE of Yucca. Water levels from wells at Yucca were examined for yearly trends (1986-93) using linear least-squares regression. Of the 22 wells, three had significant positive trends. The trend in well UE-25 WT-3 may be influenced by monitoring equipment problems. Tends in USW WT-7 and USW WTS-10 are similar; both are located near a fault west of Yucca; however another well near that fault exhibited no significant trend

  19. Ages and Origins of Calcite and Opal in the Exploratory Studies Facility Tunnel, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paces, James B.; Neymark, Leonid A.; Marshall, Brian D.; Whelan, Joseph F.; Peterman, Zell E.

    2001-01-01

    Deposits of calcite and opal are present as coatings on open fractures and lithophysal cavities in unsaturated-zone tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, site of a potential high-level radioactive waste repository. Outermost layers of calcite and opal have radiocarbon ages of 16,000 to 44,000 years before present and thorium-230/uranium ages of 28,000 to more than 500,000 years before present. These ages are young relative to the 13-million-year age of the host rocks. Multiple subsamples from the same outer layer typically show a range of ages with youngest ages from the thinnest subsamples. Initial uranium-234/uranium-238 activity ratios between 1 and 9.5 show a distinct negative correlation with thorium-230/uranium age and are greater than 4 for all but one sample younger than 100,000 years before present. These data, along with micrometer-scale layering and distinctive crystal morphologies, are interpreted to indicate that deposits formed very slowly from water films migrating through open cavities. Exchanges of carbon dioxide and water vapor probably took place between downward-migrating liquids and upward-migrating gases at low rates, resulting in oversaturation of mineral constituents at crystal extremities and more or less continuous deposition of very thin layers. Therefore, subsamples represent mixtures of older and younger layers on a scale finer than sampling techniques can resolve. Slow, long-term rates of deposition (less than about 5 millimeters of mineral per million years) are inferred from subsamples of outermost calcite and opal. These growth rates are similar to those calculated assuming that total coating thicknesses of 10 to 40 millimeters accumulated over 12 million years. Calcite has a wide range of delta carbon-13 values from about -8.2 to 8.5 per mil and delta oxygen-18 values from about 10 to 21 per mil. Systematic microsampling across individual mineral coatings indicates basal (older) calcite tends to have the largest delta carbon-13 values

  20. Felsic tuff from Rutland Island – A pyroclastic flow deposit in ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    : • white massive tuff with ill-defined bedding contacts (facies-A) and. • dominantly green tuff exhibiting well-developed turbidite sequence with up-section change from a massive unit to plane laminated units to ripple drift lamination (facies-B).

  1. Felsic tuff from Rutland Island–A pyroclastic flow deposit in Miocene ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    : white massive tuff with ill-defined bedding contacts (facies-A) and; dominantly green tuff exhibiting well-developed turbidite sequence with up-section change from a massive unit to plane laminated units to ripple drift lamination (facies-B).

  2. The effects of confining pressure on the strength and elastic properties of the Paintbrush tuff recovered from boreholes USW NRG-6 and USW NRG-7/7A: Data report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, R.J.; Noel, J.S.; Boyd, P.J.

    1997-09-01

    Experimental results are presented for bulk and mechanical properties measurements on specimens of the Paintbrush tuff recovered from the USW NRG-6 and USW NRG-7/7A borehole at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Measurements have been performed on five thermal/mechanical units: TCw, PTn, TSw2, and TSw3. The following bulk properties are reported for each specimen: dry bulk density, saturated bulk density, average grain density and porosity. Confined compression to failure tests were performed on selected specimens recovered from the boreholes at confining pressures of 5 and 10 MPa. In addition, compressional and shear wave velocities were measured on the specimens prior to testing. Measurements were conducted under drained conditions at room temperature on nominally water saturated specimens. The nominal strain rate for the experiments was 10 -5 s -1

  3. Flow dynamics around downwelling submarine canyons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. M. Spurgin

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Flow dynamics around a downwelling submarine canyon were analysed with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model. Blanes Canyon (northwestern Mediterranean was used for topographic and initial forcing conditions. Fourteen scenarios were modelled with varying forcing conditions. Rossby and Burger numbers were used to determine the significance of Coriolis acceleration and stratification (respectively and their impacts on flow dynamics. A new non-dimensional parameter (χ was introduced to determine the significance of vertical variations in stratification. Some simulations do see brief periods of upwards displacement of water during the 10-day model period; however, the presence of the submarine canyon is found to enhance downwards advection of density in all model scenarios. High Burger numbers lead to negative vorticity and a trapped anticyclonic eddy within the canyon, as well as an increased density anomaly. Low Burger numbers lead to positive vorticity, cyclonic circulation, and weaker density anomalies. Vertical variations in stratification affect zonal jet placement. Under the same forcing conditions, the zonal jet is pushed offshore in more uniformly stratified domains. The offshore jet location generates upwards density advection away from the canyon, while onshore jets generate downwards density advection everywhere within the model domain. Increasing Rossby values across the canyon axis, as well as decreasing Burger values, increase negative vertical flux at shelf break depth (150 m. Increasing Rossby numbers lead to stronger downwards advection of a passive tracer (nitrate, as well as stronger vorticity within the canyon. Results from previous studies are explained within this new dynamic framework.

  4. Sorption phenomena of modification of clinoptilolite tuffs by surfactant cations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozić, M; Ivanec Sipusić, D; Sekovanić, L; Miljanić, S; Curković, L; Hrenović, J

    2009-03-15

    The sorption of cationic surfactant hexadecyltrimethylammonium (HDTMA) onto the solid/liquid interfaces of different clinoptilolite rich tuffs (CT) is examined. Examined were CT from Serbia with 75% clinoptilolite, CT from Turkey with 70% clinoptilolite, and CT from Croatia with 60% clinoptilolite. The sorption of HDTMA cations increased in the following order: CT from Serbia>CT from Turkey>CT from Croatia. The maximum amounts of sorbed HDTMA cations, normalized with regard to external cation exchange capacities of tuffs, were 1.79, 1.70, and 1.14 for Serbian, Turkish, and Croatian CT. FTIR analysis of samples with the maximum amount of sorbed HDTMA cations showed that HDTMA chains on Serbian CT adopt mainly a stretched all-trans conformation, while at the surfaces of CT from Turkey and Croatia the amount of gauche conformations increased. The zeta potentials of CT samples with the maximum amount of sorbed HDTMA cations and the sorption of benzoate anions on these samples increased in the following order: CT from Turkey>CT from Serbia>CT from Croatia. It can be assumed that on the surface of CT from Turkey iron (hydr)oxide clusters or nanoparticles with positive surface sites are present, due to which the isoelectric point is sifted toward lower and the zeta potential toward higher values. Therefore, the sorption of benzoate anions on modified CT from Turkey is also higher.

  5. Environmental effects on corrosion in the Tuff repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beavers, J.A.; Thompson, N.G.

    1990-02-01

    Cortest Columbus is investigating the long-term performance of container materials used for high-level waste packages as part of the information needed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to assess the Department of Energy's application to construct a geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. The scope of work consists of employing short-term techniques, to examine a wide range of possible failure modes. Long-term tests are being used to verify and further examine specific failure modes identified as important by the short-term studies. The original focus of the program was on the salt repository but the emphasis was shifted to the Tuff repository. This report summarizes the results of a literature survey performed under Task 1 of the program. The survey focuses on the influence of environmental variables on the corrosion behavior of candidate container materials for the Tuff repository. Environmental variables considered include: radiation, thermal and microbial effects. 80 refs., 44 figs., 44 tabs

  6. Colloid Facilitated Transport of Plutonium in Fractured Volcanic Tuff

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kersting, A. B.; Zhao, P.; Walensky, J. R.; Roberts, S. K.; Johnson, M. R.; Zavarin, M.; Ramon, E. C.

    2004-12-01

    The transport of low-solubility radionuclides in a colloidal- or colloidal bound state is frequently suspected or observed. Groundwater contaminated with radionuclides associated with underground nuclear tests was collected from several different well locations at the Nevada Test Site (NTS). In each case, the low-levels of plutonium detected in the groundwater were overwhelmingly (>95percent) associated with the colloidal and not the dissolved fraction of the groundwater. The colloidal fractions consisted of secondary minerals such as clays and zeolites. To better understand the mechanisms controlling the potential colloidal transport of plutonium, colloid-facilitated fracture flow laboratory experiments are being conducted. Pseudocolloids consisting of Pu(IV) sorbed to clinoptilolite were combined with a radionuclide solution cocktail consisting of Np, U, Cs, Sr, Sm and 3H and Re (analog to Tc) tracers in NTS-type synthetic groundwater (4.5mM NaHCO3-). The cocktail was injected into a smooth fracture in a volcanic tuff rock core from the NTS and the effluent analyzed. Autoradiography and secondary ion mass spectrometry will be used to understand the mineral -colloid-radionuclide interactions in the fracture volcanic tuff.

  7. Paleohydrologic investigations in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain: Late Quaternary paleobotanical and polynological records

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spaulding, W.G.

    1994-01-01

    The primary objective of this research in the vicinity of the proposed Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository is the detection of episodes of increased runoff and groundwater discharge in this presently arid area. Ancient, inactive spring deposits in nearby valley bottoms (Haynes, 1967; Quade, 1986; Quade and Pratt, 1989), evidence for perennial water in presently dry canyons (Spaulding, 1992), and recent claims for extraordinary increases in precipitation during the last glacial age (Forester, 1994), provide good reason to further investigate both lowland spring-discharge habitats, and upland drainages. The ultimate purpose is to assess the long-term variability of the hydrologic system in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain in response to naturally occurring climatic changes. The data generated in the course of this study are derived from radiocarbon dated packrat (Neotoma) middens. This report presents the results of an initial assessment of the hydrologic stability of the candidate area based on a limited suite of middens from localities that, on geomorphic and hydrologic grounds, could have been close to ancient stream-side or spring environments. Paleoclimatic reconstructions are another means of studying the long-term climatic hydrologic stability of the Candidate Area include, and are also generated from packrat midden data. A different flora characterized the Candidate Area during the last glacial age in response to a cooler and wetter climate, and the plant species that comprised this flora can be used to reconstruct specific components of past climatic regimes. Thus, a secondary objective of this study is to compare the plant macrofossil data generated in this study to other records from the Candidate Area (Spaulding, 1985; Wigand, 1990) to determine if these new data are consistent with prior reconstructions. 66 refs., 4 figs., 13 tabs

  8. Paleohydrologic investigations in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain: Late Quaternary paleobotanical and polynological records

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Spaulding, W.G.

    1994-10-05

    The primary objective of this research in the vicinity of the proposed Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository is the detection of episodes of increased runoff and groundwater discharge in this presently arid area. Ancient, inactive spring deposits in nearby valley bottoms (Haynes, 1967; Quade, 1986; Quade and Pratt, 1989), evidence for perennial water in presently dry canyons (Spaulding, 1992), and recent claims for extraordinary increases in precipitation during the last glacial age (Forester, 1994), provide good reason to further investigate both lowland spring-discharge habitats, and upland drainages. The ultimate purpose is to assess the long-term variability of the hydrologic system in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain in response to naturally occurring climatic changes. The data generated in the course of this study are derived from radiocarbon dated packrat (Neotoma) middens. This report presents the results of an initial assessment of the hydrologic stability of the candidate area based on a limited suite of middens from localities that, on geomorphic and hydrologic grounds, could have been close to ancient stream-side or spring environments. Paleoclimatic reconstructions are another means of studying the long-term climatic hydrologic stability of the Candidate Area include, and are also generated from packrat midden data. A different flora characterized the Candidate Area during the last glacial age in response to a cooler and wetter climate, and the plant species that comprised this flora can be used to reconstruct specific components of past climatic regimes. Thus, a secondary objective of this study is to compare the plant macrofossil data generated in this study to other records from the Candidate Area (Spaulding, 1985; Wigand, 1990) to determine if these new data are consistent with prior reconstructions. 66 refs., 4 figs., 13 tabs.

  9. Geotechnical characterization of the North Ramp of the Exploratory Studies Facility: Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Volume 2, NRG corehole data appendices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brechtel, C.E.; Lin, Ming; Martin, E. [Agapito Associates, Inc., Grand Junction, CO (United States); Kessel, D.S. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1995-05-01

    This report presents the results of the geological and geotechnical characterization of the Miocene volcanic tuff rocks of the Timber Mountain and Paintbrush groups that the tunnel boring machine will encounter during excavations of the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) North Ramp. The information in this report was developed to support the design of the ESF North Ramp. The ESF is being constructed by the DOE as part of the Yucca Mountain Project site characterization activities. The purpose of these activities is to evaluate the potential to locate the national high-level nuclear waste repository on land within and adjacent to the Nevada Test Site (NTS), Nye County, Nevada. This report was prepared as part of the Soil and Rock Properties Studies in accordance with the 8.3.1.14.2 Study Plan to Provide Soil and Rock Properties. This is volume 2 which contains NRG Corehole Data for each of the NRG Holes.

  10. Geotechnical characterization of the North Ramp of the Exploratory Studies Facility: Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Volume 2, NRG corehole data appendices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brechtel, C.E.; Lin, Ming; Martin, E.; Kessel, D.S.

    1995-05-01

    This report presents the results of the geological and geotechnical characterization of the Miocene volcanic tuff rocks of the Timber Mountain and Paintbrush groups that the tunnel boring machine will encounter during excavations of the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) North Ramp. The information in this report was developed to support the design of the ESF North Ramp. The ESF is being constructed by the DOE as part of the Yucca Mountain Project site characterization activities. The purpose of these activities is to evaluate the potential to locate the national high-level nuclear waste repository on land within and adjacent to the Nevada Test Site (NTS), Nye County, Nevada. This report was prepared as part of the Soil and Rock Properties Studies in accordance with the 8.3.1.14.2 Study Plan to Provide Soil and Rock Properties. This is volume 2 which contains NRG Corehole Data for each of the NRG Holes

  11. Overview of the Yucca Mountain Licensing Process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    M. Wisenburg

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents an overview of the licensing process for a Yucca Mountain repository for high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. The paper discusses the steps in the licensing proceeding, the roles of the participants, the licensing and hearing requirements contained in the Code of Federal Regulations. A description of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff acceptance and compliance reviews of the Department of Energy (DOE) application for a construction authorization and a license to receive and possess high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel is provided. The paper also includes a detailed description of the hearing process

  12. Tunneling progress on the Yucca Mountain Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hansmire, W.H.; Munzer, R.J.

    1996-01-01

    The current status of tunneling progress on the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) is presented in this paper. The Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF), a key part of the YMP, has been long in development and construction is ongoing. This is a progress report on the tunneling aspects of the ESF as of January 1, 1996. For purposes of discussion in this summary, the tunneling has progressed in four general phases. The paper describes: tunneling in jointed rock under low stress; tunneling through the Bow Ridge Fault and soft rock; tunneling through the Imbricate Fault Zone; and Tunneling into the candidate repository formation

  13. Archaeological program for the Yucca Mountain Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pippin, L.C.; Rhode, D.

    1991-01-01

    Archaeological surveys, limited surface collections and selected test excavations in the Yucca Mountain Project Area have revealed four distinct aboriginal hunting and gathering adaptive strategies and a separate historic Euroamerican occupation. The four aboriginal adaptations are marked by gradual shifts in settlement locations that reflect changing resource procurement strategies. Whereas the earliest hunters and gatherers focused their activities around the exploitation of toolstone along ephemeral drainages and the hunting of game animals in the uplands, the latest aboriginal settlements reflect intensive procurement of early spring plant resources in specific upland environments. The final Euroamerican occupation in the area is marked by limited prospecting activities and travel through the area by early immigrants

  14. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Plan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gertz, C.P.; Bartlett, J.

    1992-01-01

    The purpose of this document is to describe the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) and establish an approved YMP baseline against which overall YMP progress and management effectiveness shall be measured. For the sake of brevity, this document will be referred to as the Project Plan throughout this document. This Project Plan only addresses activities up to the submittal of the repository license application (LA) to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). A new Project Plan will be submitted to establish the technical, cost, and schedule baselines for the final design and construction phase of development extending through the start of repository operations, assuming that the site is determined to be suitable.

  15. Arsenogoyazite in Cenozoic volcanic tuff at Tabalaopa Basin, Chihuahua, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, M.; Rodriguez, A.; Goodell, P.

    2012-12-01

    Arsenogoyazite has been identified in Cenozoic volcanic tuff at Tabalaopa Basin, Chihuahua, Mexico. Tabalaopa Basin contains volcanic strata and the unconsolidated Quaternary deposit. Cenozoic volcanic tuff forms the low hill terrene in this area. It is a major reservoir for the City of Chihuahua groundwater. Arsenic anomaly (more than 20 ppb) has been observed at El Mimbre, northeast of the city. The exposed reddish color volcanic rocks are felsic welded tuff and rhyolite. Sanidine, quartz, and biotite phenocrysts show linear distribution within the fine grain matrix. The rocks contain large amount of vesicles which are lineated with the welding bends. White and colorless microsize crystals formed on the well of the cavities and the majority of them are K-feldspar. Quartz, Ti-magnetite, and arsenogoyazite are coexisting with feldspars. The sizes of the crystals in the cavities are 10 to several 10s of micrometers. The arsenic x-ray maps have been collected for the rock sections to locate the arsenic minerals. The crystals in cavities show euhedral shape. Most arsenic containing crystals have a near cubic form with triangle surfaces at some corners. The high resolution field-emission SEM images have been collected to study the symmetry of the crystals. EDS spectra for the high arsenic phases show three major elements As-Al-Sr and also minor amount of P-S-REE-Ca-Fe-Si. Since the arsenic minerals are growing on the wall of the vesicle, it is difficult to perform good electron microprobe analysis. Some primary microprobe data give following results in weight percent: SrO 11.8-13.1, CaO 0.2-0.3, FeO 0.3-0.5, Al2O3 28.6-30.9, La2O3 2.4-2.5, Ce2O3 2.3-.24, SiO2 1.1-3.6, As2O5 32.4-35.2, P2O5 1.7-1.9, SO3 0.8-1.4. This chemistry is similar to the reported arsenogoyazite chemical data. So this high arsenic phase is identified as arsenogoyazite. The arsenic anomaly in groundwater at El Mimbre, Chihuahua should be contributed from this arsenic mineral phase in the strata.

  16. Environmental assessment: Davis Canyon site, Utah

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-05-01

    In February 1983, the US Department of Energy (DOE) identified the Davis Canyon site in Utah as one of the nine potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. To determine their suitability, the Davis Canyon site and the eight other potentially acceptable sites have been evaluated in accordance with the DOE's General Guidelines for the Recommendation of Sites for the Nuclear Waste Repositories. These evaluations were reported in draft environmental assessments (EAs), which were issued for public review and comment. After considering the comments received on the draft EAs, the DOE prepared the final EA. The Davis Canyon site is in the Paradox Basin, which is one of five distinct geohydrologic settings considered for the first repository. This setting contains one other potentially acceptable site -- the Lavender Canyon site. Although the Lavender Canyon site is suitable for site characterization, the DOE has concluded that the Davis Canyon site is the preferred site in the Paradox Basin. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this EA, the DOE has found that the Davis Canyon site is not disqualified under the guidelines. Furthermore, the DOE has fond that the site is suitable for site characterization because the evidence does not support a conclusion that the site will not be able to meet each of the qualifying conditions specified in the guidelines. On the basis of these findings, the DOE is nominating the Davis Canyon site as one of five sites suitable for characterization. 181 figs., 175 tabs

  17. Environmental assessment: Davis Canyon site, Utah

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    none,

    1986-05-01

    In February 1983, the US Department of Energy (DOE) identified the Davis Canyon site in Utah as one of the nine potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. To determine their suitability, the Davis Canyon site and the eight other potentially acceptable sites have been evaluated in accordance with the DOE's General Guidelines for the Recommendation of Sites for the Nuclear Waste Repositories. These evaluations were reported in draft environmental assessments (EAs), which were issued for public review and comment. After considering the comments received on the draft EAs, the DOE prepared the final EA. The Davis Canyon site is in the Paradox Basin, which is one of five distinct geohydrologic settings considered for the first repository. This setting contains one other potentially acceptable site -- the Lavender Canyon site. Although the Lavender Canyon site is suitable for site characterization, the DOE has concluded that the Davis Canyon site is the preferred site in the Paradox Basin. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this EA, the DOE has found that the Davis Canyon site is not disqualified under the guidelines. Furthermore, the DOE has fond that the site is suitable for site characterization because the evidence does not support a conclusion that the site will not be able to meet each of the qualifying conditions specified in the guidelines. On the basis of these findings, the DOE is nominating the Davis Canyon site as one of five sites suitable for characterization. 181 figs., 175 tabs.

  18. Hydrothermal interaction of solid wafers of Topopah Spring Tuff with J-13 water and distilled water at 90, 150, and 250{sup 0}C, using Dickson-type, gold-bag rocking autoclaves

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Knauss, K.G.; Beiriger, W.J.; Peifer, D.W.; Piwinskii, A.J.

    1985-09-01

    The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project has conducted experiments to study the hydrothermal interaction of rock and water representative of a potential high-level waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The results of these experiments help define the near-field repository environment during and shortly after the thermal period that results from the emplacement of nuclear waste. When considered in conjunction with results contained in companion reports, these results can be used to assess our ability to accelerate tests using the surface area/volume parameter and/or temperature. These rock-water interaction experiments were conducted with solid polished wafers cut from both drillcore and outcrop samples of Topopah tuff, using both a natural ground water and distilled water as the reacting fluid. Pre- and post-test characterization of the reacting materials was extensive. Post-test identification and chemical analysis of secondary phases resulting from the hydrothermal interactions were aided by using monoliths of tuff rather than crushed material. All experiments were run in Dickson-type, gold-bag rocking autoclaves that were periodically sampled at in situ conditions. A total of nine short-term (up to 66-day) experiments were run in this series; these experiments covered the range from 90 to 250{sup 0}C and from 50 to 100 bar. The results obtained from the experiments have been used to evaluate the modeled results produced by calculations using the geochemical reaction process code EQ3/6. 31 refs., 37 figs., 7 tabs.

  19. Hydrothermal interaction of solid wafers of Topopah Spring Tuff with J-13 water and distilled water at 90, 150, and 2500C, using Dickson-type, gold-bag rocking autoclaves

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Knauss, K.G.; Beiriger, W.J.; Peifer, D.W.; Piwinskii, A.J.

    1985-09-01

    The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project has conducted experiments to study the hydrothermal interaction of rock and water representative of a potential high-level waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The results of these experiments help define the near-field repository environment during and shortly after the thermal period that results from the emplacement of nuclear waste. When considered in conjunction with results contained in companion reports, these results can be used to assess our ability to accelerate tests using the surface area/volume parameter and/or temperature. These rock-water interaction experiments were conducted with solid polished wafers cut from both drillcore and outcrop samples of Topopah tuff, using both a natural ground water and distilled water as the reacting fluid. Pre- and post-test characterization of the reacting materials was extensive. Post-test identification and chemical analysis of secondary phases resulting from the hydrothermal interactions were aided by using monoliths of tuff rather than crushed material. All experiments were run in Dickson-type, gold-bag rocking autoclaves that were periodically sampled at in situ conditions. A total of nine short-term (up to 66-day) experiments were run in this series; these experiments covered the range from 90 to 250 0 C and from 50 to 100 bar. The results obtained from the experiments have been used to evaluate the modeled results produced by calculations using the geochemical reaction process code EQ3/6. 31 refs., 37 figs., 7 tabs

  20. Preliminary results of paleoseismic investigations of Quaternary faults on eastern Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Menges, C.M.; Oswald, J.A.; Coe, J.A.

    1995-01-01

    Site characterization of the potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, requires detailed knowledge of the displacement histories of nearby Quaternary faults. Ongoing paleoseismic studies provide data on the amount and rates of Quaternary activity on the Paintbrush Canyon, Bow Ridge, and Stagecoach Road faults along the eastern margin of the mountain over varying time spans of 0-700 ka to perhaps 0-30 ka, depending on the site. Preliminary stratigraphic interpretations of deposits and deformation at many logged trenches and natural exposures indicate that each of these faults have experienced from 3 to 8 surface-rupturing earthquakes associated with variable dip-slip displacements per event ranging from 5 to 115 cm, and commonly in the range of 20 to 85 cm. Cumulative dip-slip offsets of units with broadly assigned ages of 100-200 ka are typically less than 200 cm, although accounting for the effects of possible left normal-oblique slip could increase these displacements by factors of 1.1 to 1.7. Current age constraints indicate recurrence intervals of 10 4 to 10 5 years (commonly between 30 and 80 k.y.) and slip rates of 0.001 to 0.08 mm/yr (typically 0.01-0.02 mm/yr). Based on available timing data, the ages of the most recent ruptures varies among the faults; they appear younger on the Stagecoach Road Fault (∼5-20 ka) relative to the southern Paintbrush Canyon and Bow Ridge faults (∼30-100 ka)

  1. Nuclear waste package design for the Vadose zone in tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Neal, W.C.; Ballou, L.B.; Gregg, D.W.; Russell, E.W.

    1984-02-01

    This report presents an overview of the selection and analysis of conceptual waste package designs that will be used by the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) project for disposal of high-level nuclear waste (HLW) at the proposed Yucca Mountain, Nevada Site. The design requirements that the waste packages are required to meet are listed. Concept drawings for the reference designs and one alternative package design are shown. Four metal alloys; 304L SS, 321 SS, 316L SS and Incoloy 825 have been selected for candidate canister/overpack materials, and 1020 carbon steel has been selected as the reference metal for the borehole liners. A summary of the results of technical and economic analysis supporting the selection of the conceptual waste package designs is included. Post-closure containment and release rates are not discussed in this paper. 17 references, 2 figures, 2 tables

  2. Micropropagation and field performance of Yucca valida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arce-Montoya, Mario; Rodríguez-Alvarez, Margarito; Hernández-González, Julio A; Robert, Manuel L

    2006-08-01

    Yucca valida is an important potential source of steroidal saponins closely related to Yucca schidigera, the species that is commercially exploited from the wild as a source of steroidal extracts. Neither of the species has been domesticated mainly because of their slow growth and long life span before harvesting. Here, we report a micropropagation method to generate isogenic or clonal lines for plantation purposes. Seventeen clonal lines were propagated and evaluated over a period of 26 months in an experimental plantation and compared with the performance of plants from seeds. The large variability found between the plants derived from seeds is manifested in the differences observed between the different clonal lines; however, these present a much smaller internal coefficient of variation than the one observed in the population of plants derived from seeds. Some clonal lines perform in a superior manner indicating that a process of selection and cloning can generate lines of fast growing individuals for plantations that can satisfy the demand for these materials without putting a natural resource at risk.

  3. Magma Dynamics at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D. Krier

    2005-08-29

    Small-volume basaltic volcanic activity at Yucca Mountain has been identified as one of the potential events that could lead to release of radioactive material from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) designated nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Release of material could occur indirectly as a result of magmatic dike intrusion into the repository (with no associated surface eruption) by changing groundwater flow paths, or as a result of an eruption (dike intrusion of the repository drifts, followed by surface eruption of contaminated ash) or volcanic ejection of material onto the Earth's surface and the redistribution of contaminated volcanic tephra. Either release method includes interaction between emplacement drifts and a magmatic dike or conduit, and natural (geologic) processes that might interrupt or halt igneous activity. This analysis provides summary information on two approaches to evaluate effects of disruption at the repository by basaltic igneous activity: (1) descriptions of the physical geometry of ascending basaltic dikes and their interaction with silicic host rocks similar in composition to the repository host rocks; and (2) a summary of calculations developed to quantify the response of emplacement drifts that have been flooded with magma and repressurized following blockage of an eruptive conduit. The purpose of these analyses is to explore the potential consequences that could occur during the full duration of an igneous event.

  4. Using science soundly: The Yucca Mountain standard

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fri, R.W.

    1995-01-01

    Using sound science to shape government regulation is one of the most hotly argued topics in the ongoing debate about regulatory reform. Even though no one advaocates using unsound science, the belief that even the best science will sweep away regulatory controversy is equally foolish. As chair of a National Research Council (NRC) committee that studied the scientific basis for regulating high-level nuclear waste disposal, the author learned that science alone could resolve few of the key regulatory questions. Developing a standard that specifies a socially acceptable limit on the human health effects of nuclear waste releases involves many decisions. As the NRC committee learned in evaluating the scientific basis for the Yucca Mountain standard, a scientifically best decision rarely exists. More often, science can only offer a useful framework and starting point for policy debates. And sometimes, science's most helpful contribution is to admit that it has nothing to say. The Yucca mountain study clearly illustrates that excessive faith in the power of science is more likely to produce messy frustration than crisp decisions. A better goal for regulatory reform is the sound use of science to clarify and contain the inevitable policy controversy

  5. Yucca Mountain Climate Technical Support Representative

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sharpe, Saxon E

    2007-01-01

    The primary objective of Project Activity ORD-FY04-012, 'Yucca Mountain Climate Technical Support Representative', was to provide the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) with expertise on past, present, and future climate scenarios and to support the technical elements of the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) climate program. The Climate Technical Support Representative was to explain, defend, and interpret the YMP climate program to the various audiences during Site Recommendation and License Application. This technical support representative was to support DOE management in the preparation and review of documents, and to participate in comment response for the Final Environmental Impact Statement, the Site Recommendation Hearings, the NRC Sufficiency Comments, and other forums as designated by DOE management. Because the activity was terminated 12 months early and experience a 27% reduction in budget, it was not possible to complete all components of the tasks as originally envisioned. Activities not completed include the qualification of climate datasets and the production of a qualified technical report. The following final report is an unqualified summary of the activities that were completed given the reduced time and funding

  6. Yucca Mountain drift scale test progress report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Apps, J.; Birkholzer, J.T.; Peterson,J.E.; Sonnenthal, E.; Spycher, N.; Tsang, Y.W.; Williams, K.H.

    1999-01-01

    The Drift Scale Test (DST) is part of the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) Thermal Test being conducted underground at the potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The purpose of the ESF Thermal Test is to acquire a more in-depth understanding of the coupled thermal, mechanical, hydrological, and chemical processes likely to be encountered in the rock mass surrounding the potential geological repository at Yucca Mountain. These processes are monitored by a multitude of sensors to measure the temperature, humidity, gas pressure, and mechanical displacement, of the rock formation in response to the heat generated by the heaters. In addition to collecting passive monitoring data, active hydrological and geophysical testing is also being carried out periodically in the DST. These active tests are intended to monitor changes in the moisture redistribution in the rock mass, to collect water and gas samples for chemical and isotopic analysis, and to detect microfiacturing due to heating. On December 3, 1998, the heaters in the DST were activated. The planned heating phase of the DST is 4 years, and the cooling phase following the power shutoff will be of similar duration. The present report summarizes interpretation and analysis of thermal, hydrological, chemical, and geophysical data for the first 6 months; it is the first of many progress reports to be prepared during the DST.

  7. Restructured site characterization program at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dyer, J.R.; Vawter, R.G.

    1995-01-01

    During 1994 and the early part of 1995, the US Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Office (YMSCO) and its parent organization, the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) underwent a significant restructuring. Senior Department officials provided the leadership to reorient the management, technical, programmatic, and public interaction approach to the US High Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Program. The restructuring involved reorganizing the federal staff, conducting meaningful strategic planning, improving the management system, rationalizing contractor responsibilities, focusing upon major products, and increasing stakeholder involvement. The restructured program has prioritized technical and scientific activities toward meeting major regulatory milestones in a timely and cost-effective manner. This approach has raised concern among elements of technical, scientific, and oversight bodies that suitability and licensing decisions could be made without obtaining sufficient technical information for this first-of-its-kind endeavor. Other organizations, such as congressional committees, industrial groups, and rate payers believe characterization goals can be met in a timely manner and within the limitation of available funds. To balance these contrasting views in its decision making process, OCRWM management has made a special effort to communicate its strategy to oversight bodies, the scientific community and other stakeholders and to use external independent peer review as a key means of demonstrating scientific credibility. Site characterization of Yucca Mountain in Nevada is one of the key elements of the restructured program

  8. Testing the 14C ages and conservative behavior of dissolved 14C in a carbonate aquifer in Yucca Flat, Nevada (USA), using 36Cl from groundwater and packrat middens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwicklis, Edward; Farnham, Irene

    2014-09-01

    Corrected groundwater 14C ages from the carbonate aquifer in Yucca Flat at the former Nevada Test Site (now the Nevada National Security Site), USA, were evaluated by comparing temporal variations of groundwater 36Cl/Cl estimated with these 14C ages with published records of meteoric 36Cl/Cl variations preserved in packrat middens (piles of plant fragments, fecal matter and urine). Good agreement between these records indicates that the groundwater 14C ages are reasonable and that 14C is moving with chloride without sorbing to the carbonate rock matrix or fracture coatings, despite opposing evidence from laboratory experiments. The groundwater 14C ages are consistent with other hydrologic evidence that indicates significant basin infiltration ceased 8,000 to 10,000 years ago, and that recharge to the carbonate aquifer is from paleowater draining through overlying tuff confining units along major faults. This interpretation is supported by the relative age differences as well as hydraulic head differences between the alluvial and volcanic aquifers and the carbonate aquifer. The carbonate aquifer 14C ages suggest that groundwater velocities throughout much of Yucca Flat are about 2 m/yr, consistent with the long-held conceptual model that blocking ridges of low-permeability rock hydrologically isolate the carbonate aquifer in Yucca Flat from the outlying regional carbonate flow system.

  9. The Whittard Canyon – a case study of submarine canyon processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Amaro, T.; Huvenne, V.A.I.; Allcock, A.L.; Aslam, T.; Davies, J.S.; Danovaro, R.; de Stigter, H.C.; Duineveld, G.C.A.; Gambi, C.; Gooday, A.J.; Gunton, L.M.; Hall, R.; Howell, K.L.; Ingels, J.; Kiriakoulakis, K.; Kershaw, C.E.; Lavaleye, M.; Robert, K.; Stewart, H.; Van Rooij, D.; White, M.; Wilson, A.M.

    2016-01-01

    Submarine canyons are large geomorphological features that incise continental shelves and slopes around the world. They are often suggested to be biodiversity and biomass hotspots, although there is no consensus about this in the literature. Nevertheless, many canyons do host diverse faunal

  10. 40Ar/39Ar age spectra from the KBS Tuff, Koobi Fora Formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McDougall, I.

    1981-01-01

    40 Ar/ 39 Ar age spectra on anorthoclase phenocrysts from three pumice clasts in the KBS Tuff yield nearly ideal flat patterns, providing good evidence that the samples have remained undisturbed since crystallization. The ages are concordant at 1.88 = 0.02 Myr, and confirm that the KBS Tuff, a key marker bed in the Koobi Fora Formation, northern Kenya, is now very well dated. These results resolve the conflict between earlier 40 Ar/ 39 Ar and conventional K-Ar dating measurements on the KBS Tuff. (author)

  11. 40Ar/39Ar age spectra from the KBS Tuff, Koobi Fora Formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDougall, Ian

    1981-11-12

    40 Ar/ 39 Ar age spectra on anorthoclase phenocrysts from three pumice clasts in the KBS Tuff yield nearly ideal flat patterns, providing good evidence that the samples have remained undisturbed since crystallization. The ages are concordant at 1.88±0.02 Myr, and confirm that the KBS Tuff, a key marker bed in the Koobi Fora Formation, northern Kenya, is now very well dated. These results resolve the conflict between earlier 40 Ar/ 39 Ar and conventional K-Ar dating measurements on the KBS Tuff.

  12. The Separation and the Concentration of Minerals from the Zeolitic Volcanic Tuffs. Analytical Composition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dumitru Bulgariu

    2002-04-01

    Full Text Available The separation and concetration of minerals from zeolitic volcanic tuffs represent one of the problems for which the literature not offer, to much practically solutions. The experimental strategy used by as, for the separation minerals from zeolitic volcanic tuffs to comprise the following methods: heavy liquids separation; magnetic separation and electrophoresis separation. For zeolites, silica polymorphs, feldspars and other minerals separated from zeolitic volcanic tuffs, the work eighth conditions and the proper experimental strategy efficiency has been estabilish. The purity for mineral fractions can be separated has been between 95.0 – 99.6 %.

  13. Analysis of Ground-Water Levels and Associated Trends in Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada, 1951-2003

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J.M. Fenelon

    2005-10-05

    Almost 4,000 water-level measurements in 216 wells in the Yucca Flat area from 1951 to 2003 were quality assured and analyzed. An interpretative database was developed that describes water-level conditions for each water level measured in Yucca Flat. Multiple attributes were assigned to each water-level measurement in the database to describe the hydrologic conditions at the time of measurement. General quality, temporal variability, regional significance, and hydrologic conditions are attributed for each water-level measurement. The database also includes narratives that discuss the water-level history of each well. Water levels in 34 wells were analyzed for variability and for statistically significant trends. An attempt was made to identify the cause of many of the water-level fluctuations or trends. Potential causes include equilibration following well construction or development, pumping in the monitoring well, withdrawals from a nearby supply well, recharge from precipitation, earthquakes, underground nuclear tests, land subsidence, barometric pressure, and Earth tides. Some of the naturally occurring fluctuations in water levels may result from variations in recharge. The magnitude of the overall water-level change for these fluctuations generally is less than 2 feet. Long-term steady-state hydrographs for most of the wells open to carbonate rock have a very similar pattern. Carbonate-rock wells without the characteristic pattern are directly west of the Yucca and Topgallant faults in the southwestern part of Yucca Flat. Long-term steady-state hydrographs from wells open to volcanic tuffs or the Eleana confining unit have a distinctly different pattern from the general water-level pattern of the carbonate-rock aquifers. Anthropogenic water-level fluctuations were caused primarily by water withdrawals and nuclear testing. Nuclear tests affected water levels in many wells. Trends in these wells are attributed to test-cavity infilling or the effects of

  14. Use of Thermal Data to Estimate Infiltration in Pagany Wash Associated with the winter of 1997-1998 El Nino Precipitation, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    LeCain, G.D.; Lu, N.; Kurzmack, M.

    2000-01-01

    Temperature and air-pressure monitoring in a vertical borehole located in Pagany Wash, a normally dry stream-carved channel northeast of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, indicated that the annual temperature wave was measurable to a depth of 11.1 m. Temperature depressions were measured at depths of 3.1, 6.1, 9.2, and 11.1 m below ground surface. The temperature depressions were interpreted to be the result of infiltration associated with the 1997-1998 El Nino precipitation. A pressure differential, of approximately 2 kiloPascals, between stations located 11.1 and 24.5 m below ground surface was interpreted to be the result of compressed air ahead of the wetting front. The pressure differences between stations indicated that the wetting front migrated deeper than 35.2 m and that the Yucca Mountain Tuff retarded the downward movement of the wetting front. An analytical method indicated that the infiltration flux through the Pagany Wash alluvium due to the 1997-1998 El Nino precipitation was approximately 940 mm. A one-dimensional numerical model indicated that the infiltration flux was approximately 1000 mm. Sensitivity analysis indicated that the potential temperature decrease due to conduction was minimal and that cooler surface temperatures could not account for the measured subsurface temperature depressions

  15. Analogues to features and processes of a high-level radioactive waste repository proposed for Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, Ardyth M.; Stuckless, John S.; with a Foreword by Abraham Van Luik, U.S. Department of Energy

    2010-01-01

    Natural analogues are defined for this report as naturally occurring or anthropogenic systems in which processes similar to those expected to occur in a nuclear waste repository are thought to have taken place over time periods of decades to millennia and on spatial scales as much as tens of kilometers. Analogues provide an important temporal and spatial dimension that cannot be tested by laboratory or field-scale experiments. Analogues provide one of the multiple lines of evidence intended to increase confidence in the safe geologic disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Although the work in this report was completed specifically for Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as the proposed geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste under the U.S. Nuclear Waste Policy Act, the applicability of the science, analyses, and interpretations is not limited to a specific site. Natural and anthropogenic analogues have provided and can continue to provide value in understanding features and processes of importance across a wide variety of topics in addressing the challenges of geologic isolation of radioactive waste and also as a contribution to scientific investigations unrelated to waste disposal. Isolation of radioactive waste at a mined geologic repository would be through a combination of natural features and engineered barriers. In this report we examine analogues to many of the various components of the Yucca Mountain system, including the preservation of materials in unsaturated environments, flow of water through unsaturated volcanic tuff, seepage into repository drifts, repository drift stability, stability and alteration of waste forms and components of the engineered barrier system, and transport of radionuclides through unsaturated and saturated rock zones.

  16. Preliminary study of lead isotopes in the carbonate-silica veins of Trench 14, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zartman, R.E.; Kwak, L.M.

    1993-01-01

    The sub-vertical carbonate-silica veins filling the Bow Ridge Fault, where exposed in Trench 14 on the east side of Yucca Mountain, carry a lead isotopic signature that can be explained in terms of local sources. Two isotopically distinguishable--silicate and carbonate--fractions of lead are recognized within the vein system as well as in overlying surficial calcrete deposits. The acid-insoluble silicate fraction is contributed largely from the decomposing Miocene volcanic tuff, which forms the wall rock of the fault zone and is a ubiquitous component of the overlying soil. Lead contained in the silicate fraction approaches in isotopic composition that of the Miocene volcanic rocks of Yucca Mountain, but diverges from it in some samples by being more enriched in uranogenic isotopes. The carbonate fraction of lead in both vein and calcrete samples resides dominantly in the HCl- and CH 3 COOH-soluble calcite. HCl evidently also attacks and removes lead from silicate phases, but the milder CH 3 COOH dissolution procedure oftentimes identifies a significantly more radiogenic lead in the calcite. Wind-blown particulate matter brought to the area from Paleozoic and Late Proterozoic limestones in surrounding mountains may be the ultimate source of the calcite. Isotopically more uniform samples suggest that locally the basaltic ash and other volcanic rock have contributed most of the lead to both fractions of the vein system. An important finding of this study is that the data does not require the more exotic mechanisms or origins that have been proposed for the veins. Instead, the remarkably similar lead isotopic properties of the veins to those of the soil calcretes support their interpretation as a surficial, pedogenic phenomenon

  17. The Enhanced Plan for Features, Events, and Processes (FEPs) at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    G. Freeze

    2002-01-01

    A performance assessment is required to demonstrate compliance with the post-closure performance objectives for the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP), as stated in 10 CFR Part 63.1 13 (66 FR 55732, p. 55807). A performance assessment is defined in 10 CFR 63.2 (66 FR 55732, p. 55794) as an analysis that: (1) identifies the features, events, and processes (FEPs) that might affect the potential geologic repository; (2) examines the effects of those FEPs upon the performance of the potential geologic repository; and (3) estimates the expected dose incurred by a specified reasonably maximally exposed individual as a result of releases caused by significant FEPs. The performance assessment must also provide the technical basis for inclusion or exclusion of specific FEPs in the performance assessment as stated in 10 CFR 63.114 (66 FR 55732, p. 55807). An initial approach for FEP development, in support of the Total System Performance Assessment for the Site Recommendation (TSPA-SR) (CRWMS M and O 2000e), was documented in Freeze et al. (2001). The development of a comprehensive list of FEPs potentially relevant to the post-closure performance of the potential Yucca Mountain repository is an ongoing, iterative process based on site-specific information, design, and regulations. Although comprehensiveness of the FEPs list cannot be proven with absolute certainty, confidence can be gained through a combination of formal and systematic reviews (both top-down and bottom-up), audits, and comparisons with other FEP lists and through the application of more than one classification scheme. To support TSPA-SR, DOE used a multi-step approach for demonstrating comprehensiveness of the initial list of FEPs. Input was obtained from other international radioactive waste disposal programs as compiled by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to establish a general list of FEPs. The list was subsequently refined to include YMP

  18. The Enhanced Plan for Features, Events, and Processes (FEPS) at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    G. Freeze

    2002-03-25

    A performance assessment is required to demonstrate compliance with the post-closure performance objectives for the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP), as stated in 10 CFR Part 63.1 13 (66 FR 55732, p. 55807). A performance assessment is defined in 10 CFR 63.2 (66 FR 55732, p. 55794) as an analysis that: (1) identifies the features, events, and processes (FEPs) that might affect the potential geologic repository; (2) examines the effects of those FEPs upon the performance of the potential geologic repository; and (3) estimates the expected dose incurred by a specified reasonably maximally exposed individual as a result of releases caused by significant FEPs. The performance assessment must also provide the technical basis for inclusion or exclusion of specific FEPs in the performance assessment as stated in 10 CFR 63.114 (66 FR 55732, p. 55807). An initial approach for FEP development, in support of the Total System Performance Assessment for the Site Recommendation (TSPA-SR) (CRWMS M&O 2000e), was documented in Freeze et al. (2001). The development of a comprehensive list of FEPs potentially relevant to the post-closure performance of the potential Yucca Mountain repository is an ongoing, iterative process based on site-specific information, design, and regulations. Although comprehensiveness of the FEPs list cannot be proven with absolute certainty, confidence can be gained through a combination of formal and systematic reviews (both top-down and bottom-up), audits, and comparisons with other FEP lists and through the application of more than one classification scheme. To support TSPA-SR, DOE used a multi-step approach for demonstrating comprehensiveness of the initial list of FEPs. Input was obtained from other international radioactive waste disposal programs as compiled by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to establish a general list of FEPs. The list was subsequently refined to include YMP

  19. The Pahrump Valley Museum Yucca Mountain History Exhibit - 12389

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Voegele, Michael; McCracken, Robert [Consultant, Nye County Nuclear Waste Repository Project Office (United States); Herrera, Troy [Sambooka Group, Reno, NV. (United States)

    2012-07-01

    As part of its management of the Yucca Mountain project, the Department of Energy maintained several information centers to provide public access to information about the status of the Yucca Mountain project. Those information centers contained numerous displays, historical information, and served as the location for the Department's outreach activities. As the Department of Energy dealt with reduced budgets in 2009 following the Obama Administration's intent to terminate the program, it shut down its information centers. Nye County considered it important to maintain a public information center where people would be able to find information about what was happening with the Yucca Mountain project. Initially the Nye County assumed responsibility for the information center in Pahrump; eventually the County made a decision to move that information center into an expansion of the existing Pahrump Valley Museum. Nye County undertook an effort to update the information about the Yucca Mountain project and modernize the displays. A parallel effort to create a source of historical information where people could find out about the Yucca Mountain project was undertaken. To accompany the Yucca Mountain exhibits in the Pahrump Valley Museum, Nye County also sponsored a series of interviews to document, through oral histories, as much information about the Yucca Mountain project as could be found in these interviews. The paper presents an overview of the Yucca Mountain exhibits in the Pahrump Valley Museum, and the accompanying oral histories. An important conclusion that can be drawn from the interviews is that construction of a repository in Nevada should have been conceptualized as but the first step in transforming the economy of central Nevada by turning part of the Nevada National Security Site and adjoining area into a world-class energy production and energy research center. (authors)

  20. Ear trauma caused by a yucca plant leaf spine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talmi, Yoav P; Wolf, Michael; Migirov, Lela; Kronenberg, Jona

    2009-06-01

    Three uncommon cases of ear trauma caused by a yucca plant leaf spine are presented. One patient presented with tympanic perforation and the second with mixed hearing loss after spontaneous closure. The third patient probably had a perilymphatic fistula with subsequent labyrinthitis and hearing loss. Although the yucca is a ubiquitous plant, to the best of our knowledge, such incidents have not been previously reported.

  1. A radiological disadvantage for siting a repository at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spiegler, P.

    1996-01-01

    At Yucca mountain, the disposal of large amounts of U-238, U-234, and Pu-238 will result in a long term build-up of Rn-222. In time, because of erosion, the repository horizon will move closer to the surface and large amounts of Rn-222 gas will be able to leak into the atmosphere. The area surrounding Yucca Mountain will become a site of high radioactive background. Sullivan and Pescatore have brought the issue to the attention of the DOE

  2. Fission-track dating of pumice from the KBS Tuff, East Rudolf, Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurford, A.J.; Gleadow, A.J.W.; Naeser, C.W.

    1976-01-01

    Fission-track dating of zircon separated from two pumice samples from the KBS Tuff in the Koobi Fora Formation, in Area 131, East Rudolf, Kenya, gives an age of 2.44??0.08 Myr for the eruption of the pumice. This result is compatible with the previously published K-Ar and 40Ar/ 39Ar age spectrum estimate of 2.61??0.26 Myr for the KBS Tuff in Area 105, but differs from the more recently published K-Ar date of 1.82??0.04 Myr for the KBS Tuff in Area 131. This study does not support the suggestion that pumice cobbles of different ages occur in the KBS Tuff. ?? 1976 Nature Publishing Group.

  3. Modelling Aerosol Dispersion in Urban Street Canyons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tay, B. K.; Jones, D. P.; Gallagher, M. W.; McFiggans, G. B.; Watkins, A. P.

    2009-04-01

    Flow patterns within an urban street canyon are influenced by various micrometeorological factors. It also represents an environment where pollutants such as aerosols accumulate to high levels due to high volumes of traffic. As adverse health effects are being attributed to exposure to aerosols, an investigation of the dispersion of aerosols within such environments is of growing importance. In particular, one is concerned with the vertical structure of the aerosol concentration, the ventilation characteristics of the street canyon and the influence of aerosol microphysical processes. Due to the inherent heterogeneity of the aerosol concentrations within the street canyon and the lack of spatial resolution of measurement campaigns, these issues are an on-going debate. Therefore, a modelling tool is required to represent aerosol dispersion patterns to provide insights to results of past measurement campaigns. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models are able to predict detailed airflow patterns within urban geometries. This capability may be further extended to include aerosol dispersion, by an Euler-Euler multiphase approach. To facilitate the investigation, a two-dimensional, multiphase CFD tool coupled with the k-epsilon turbulence model and with the capability of modelling mixed convection flow regimes arising from both wind driven flows and buoyancy effects from heated walls was developed. Assuming wind blowing perpendicularly to the canyon axis and treating aerosols as a passive scalar, an attempt will be made to assess the sensitivities of aerosol vertical structure and ventilation characteristics to the various flow conditions. Numerical studies were performed using an idealized 10m by 10m canyon to represent a regular canyon and 10m by 5m to represent a deep one. An aerosol emission source was assigned on the centerline of the canyon to represent exhaust emissions. The vertical structure of the aerosols would inform future directives regarding the

  4. Contemporary sediment-transport processes in submarine canyons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puig, Pere; Palanques, Albert; Martín, Jacobo

    2014-01-01

    Submarine canyons are morphological incisions into continental margins that act as major conduits of sediment from shallow- to deep-sea regions. However, the exact mechanisms involved in sediment transfer within submarine canyons are still a subject of investigation. Several studies have provided direct information about contemporary sedimentary processes in submarine canyons that suggests different modes of transport and various triggering mechanisms. Storm-induced turbidity currents and enhanced off-shelf advection, hyperpycnal flows and failures of recently deposited fluvial sediments, dense shelf-water cascading, canyon-flank failures, and trawling-induced resuspension largely dominate present-day sediment transfer through canyons. Additionally, internal waves periodically resuspend ephemeral deposits within canyons and contribute to dispersing particles or retaining and accumulating them in specific regions. These transport processes commonly deposit sediments in the upper- and middle-canyon reaches for decades or centuries before being completely or partially flushed farther down-canyon by large sediment failures.

  5. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area Transportation Feasibility Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-31

    Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is a popular Bureau of Land Management natural area located near Las Vegas, Nevada. Red Rock Canyon experiences heavy congestion on its Scenic Drive and associated parking areas, due to high volumes of visit...

  6. Strontium Isotopes in Pore Water as an Indicator of Water Flux at the Proposed High-Level Radioactive Waste Repository, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marshall, B.; Futa, K.

    2004-01-01

    The proposed high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, would be constructed in the high-silica rhyolite (Tptp) member of the Miocene-age Topopah Spring Tuff, a mostly welded ash-flow tuff in the ∼500-m-thick unsaturated zone. Strontium isotope compositions have been measured in pore water centrifuged from preserved core samples and in leachates of pore-water salts from dried core samples, both from boreholes in the Tptp. Strontium isotope ratios ( 87 Sr/ 86 Sr) vary systematically with depth in the surface-based boreholes. Ratios in pore water near the surface (0.7114 to 0.7124) reflect the range of ratios in soil carbonate (0.7112 to 0.7125) collected near the boreholes, but ratios in the Tptp (0.7122 to 0.7127) at depths of 150 to 370 m have a narrower range and are more radiogenic due to interaction with the volcanic rocks (primarily non-welded tuffs) above the Tptp. An advection-reaction model relates the rate of strontium dissolution from the rocks with flow velocity. The model results agree with the low transport velocity (∼2 cm per year) calculated from carbon-14 data by I.C. Yang (2002, App. Geochem., v. 17, no. 6, p. 807-817). Strontium isotope ratios in pore water from Tptp samples from horizontal boreholes collared in tunnels at the proposed repository horizon have a similar range (0.7121 to 0.7127), also indicating a low transport velocity. Strontium isotope compositions of pore water below the proposed repository in core samples from boreholes drilled vertically downward from tunnel floors are more varied, ranging from 0.7112 to 0.7127. The lower ratios ( 87 Sr/ 86 Sr of 0.7115. Ratios lower than 0.7115 likely reflect interaction of construction water with concrete in the tunnel inverts, which had an 87 Sr/ 86 Sr < 0.709. These low Sr ratios indicate penetration of construction water to depths of ∼20 m below the tunnels within three years after construction, a transport velocity of ∼7 m per year. These studies show that

  7. Chemistry and mineralogy of some Plio-Pleistocene tuffs from the Shungura Formation, southwest Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martz, A. M.; Brown, F. H.

    1981-09-01

    The Shungura Formation of southwestern Ethiopia has yielded many tens of thousands of vertebrate fossils including hominids and microvertebrates, and in addition has also yielded fossil wood, pollen, and invertebrates. Widespread tuffs have made subdivision and detailed mapping of the formation possible, have provided material for potassium-argon dating, and have allowed direct lithostratigraphic correlation with the Koobi Fora Formation in northern Kenya. The basis for correlation between the two formations is the distinctive chemistry of the tuffs, but systematic chemical variation within some tuffs invalidates some statistical correlation techniques. Here chemical analysis of glass separates and minerals from tuffs of the Shungura and Usno Formations are presented which may allow further ties to be established when data become available on other tuffs of the Koobi Fora Formation. The tuffs consist primarily of glass, but also contain phenocrysts of anorthoclase, hedenbergitic pyroxene, sodic amphibole, ilmenite, titanomagnetite, chevkinite, quartz, zircon, and rarely orthopyroxene and plagioclase. The glasses show evidence of alkali loss during hydration, and are not now peralkaline, although it is likely that they were initially. The source volcanoes were most likely situated within the Ethiopian rift valley, or on its margins.

  8. Preparing the Yucca Mountain Multimedia Presentation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Larkin, Y.; Hartley, J.; Scott, J.

    2002-01-01

    In July 2002, the U.S. Congress approved Yucca Mountain in Nevada for development as a geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. This major milestone for the country's high-level radioactive waste disposal program comes after more than 20 years of scientific study and intense public interaction and outreach. The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) public involvement activities were driven by two federal regulations-the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) of 1982, as amended. The NEPA required that DOE hold public hearings at key points in the development of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the NWPA required the agency to conduct public hearings in the vicinity of the site prior to making a recommendation regarding the site's suitability. The NWPA also provided a roadmap for how DOE would interact with affected units of government, which include the state of Nevada and the counties surrounding the site. As the Project moves into the next phase--applying for a license to construct a repository-the challenge of public interaction and outreach remains. It has become increasingly important to provide tools to communicate to the public the importance of the Yucca Mountain Project. Sharing the science and engineering research with the general public, as well as teachers, students, and industry professionals, is one of the project's most important activities. Discovering ways to translate project information and communicate this information to local governments, agencies, citizens' groups, schools, the news media, and other stakeholders is critical. With these facts in mind, the authors set out to create a presentation that would bring the ''mountain'' to the public

  9. Characterize Eruptive Processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Valentine, G.

    2001-01-01

    This Analysis/Model Report (AMR), ''Characterize Eruptive Processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada'', presents information about natural volcanic systems and the parameters that can be used to model their behavior. This information is used to develop parameter-value distributions appropriate for analysis of the consequences of volcanic eruptions through a potential repository at Yucca Mountain. Many aspects of this work are aimed at resolution of the Igneous Activity Key Technical Issue (KTI) as identified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC 1998, p. 3), Subissues 1 and 2, which address the probability and consequence of igneous activity at the proposed repository site, respectively. Within the framework of the Disruptive Events Process Model Report (PMR), this AMR provides information for the calculations in two other AMRs ; parameters described herein are directly used in calculations in these reports and will be used in Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA). Compilation of this AMR was conducted as defined in the Development Plan, except as noted. The report begins with considerations of the geometry of volcanic feeder systems, which are of primary importance in predicting how much of a potential repository would be affected by an eruption. This discussion is followed by one of the physical and chemical properties of the magmas, which influences both eruptive styles and mechanisms for interaction with radioactive waste packages. Eruptive processes including the ascent velocity of magma at depth, the onset of bubble nucleation and growth in the rising magmas, magma fragmentation, and velocity of the resulting gas-particle mixture are then discussed. The duration of eruptions, their power output, and mass discharge rates are also described. The next section summarizes geologic constraints regarding the interaction between magma and waste packages. Finally, they discuss bulk grain size produced by relevant explosive eruptions and grain shapes

  10. 27 CFR 9.152 - Malibu-Newton Canyon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 27 Alcohol, Tobacco Products and Firearms 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Malibu-Newton Canyon. 9... Malibu-Newton Canyon. (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this petition is “Malibu-Newton Canyon.” (b) Approved maps. The appropriate map for determining the boundary of the Malibu-Newton...

  11. 77 FR 22801 - Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-17

    ... Bureau of Reclamation Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group AGENCY: Bureau of Reclamation... Management Work Group (AMWG) makes recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior concerning Glen Canyon... AMP includes a Federal advisory committee, the AMWG, a technical work group, a Grand Canyon Monitoring...

  12. 77 FR 9265 - Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-16

    ... Bureau of Reclamation Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group AGENCY: Bureau of Reclamation, Interior. ACTION: Notice of public meeting. SUMMARY: The Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group... Federal advisory committee, the AMWG, a technical work group (TWG), a Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research...

  13. 78 FR 21415 - Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-10

    ... Bureau of Reclamation Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group AGENCY: Bureau of Reclamation, Interior. ACTION: Notice of public meeting. SUMMARY: The Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group..., the AMWG, a technical work group, a Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center, and independent...

  14. Crossing fitness canyons by a finite population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saakian, David B; Bratus, Alexander S; Hu, Chin-Kun

    2017-06-01

    We consider the Wright-Fisher model of the finite population evolution on a fitness landscape defined in the sequence space by a path of nearly neutral mutations. We study a specific structure of the fitness landscape: One of the intermediate mutations on the mutation path results in either a large fitness value (climbing up a fitness hill) or a low fitness value (crossing a fitness canyon), the rest of the mutations besides the last one are neutral, and the last sequence has much higher fitness than any intermediate sequence. We derive analytical formulas for the first arrival time of the mutant with two point mutations. For the first arrival problem for the further mutants in the case of canyon crossing, we analytically deduce how the mean first arrival time scales with the population size and fitness difference. The location of the canyon on the path of sequences has a crucial role. If the canyon is at the beginning of the path, then it significantly prolongs the first arrival time; otherwise it just slightly changes it. Furthermore, the fitness hill at the beginning of the path strongly prolongs the arrival time period; however, the hill located near the end of the path shortens it. We optimize the first arrival time by applying a nonzero selection to the intermediate sequences. We extend our results and provide a scaling for the valley crossing time via the depth of the canyon and population size in the case of a fitness canyon at the first position. Our approach is useful for understanding some complex evolution systems, e.g., the evolution of cancer.

  15. FORMATION OF CALCITE AND SILICA FROM PERCOLATION IN A HYDROLOGICALLY UNSATURATED SETTING, YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paces, J.B.; Whelan, J.F.; Peterman, Z.E.; Marshall, B.D.

    2000-01-01

    Geological, mineralogical, chemical, and isotopic evidence from coatings of calcite and silica on open fractures and lithophysal cavities within welded tuffs at Yucca Mountain indicate an origin from meteoric water percolating through a thick (500 to 700 m) unsaturated zone (UZ) rather than from pulses of ascending ground water. Geologic evidence for a UZ setting includes the presence of coatings in only a small percentage of cavities, the restriction of coatings to fracture footwalls and cavity floors, and an absence of mineral high-water marks indicative of water ponding. Systematic mineral sequences (early calcite, followed by chalcedony with minor quartz and fluorite, and finally calcite with intercalated opal forming the bulk of the coatings) indicate progressive changes in UZ conditions through time, rather than repeated saturation by flooding. Percolation under the influence of gravity also results in mineral textures that vary between steeply dipping sites (thinner coatings of blocky calcite) and shallowly dipping sites (thicker coatings of coarse, commonly bladed calcite, with globules and sheets of opal). Micrometer-scale growth banding in both calcite and opal reflects slow average growth rates (scale of mm/m.y.) over millions of years rather than only a few rapidly deposited growth episodes. Isotopic compositions of C, O, Sr, and U from calcite and opal indicate a percolation-modified meteoric water source, and collectively refute a deeper ground-water source. Chemical and isotopic variations in coatings also indicate long-term evolution of water compositions. Although some compositional changes are related to shifts in climate, growth rates in the deeper UZ are buffered from large changes in meteoric input. Coatings most likely formed from films of water flowing down connected fracture pathways. Mineral precipitation is consistent with water vapor and carbon dioxide loss from films at very slow rates. Data collectively indicate that mineral coatings

  16. Geophysical tomography for imaging water movement in welded tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Daily, W.D.; Ramirez, A.L.

    1986-09-01

    Alterant tomography has been evaluated for its ability to delineate in-situ water flow paths in a fractured welded-tuff rock mass. The evaluation involved a field experiment in which tomographs of electromagnetic attenuation factor (or attenuation rate) at 300 MHz were made before, during, and after the introduction to the rock of two different water-based tracers: a plain water and dye solution, and salt water and dye. Alterant tomographs were constructed by subtracting, cell by cell, the attenuation factors derived from measurements before each tracer was added to the rock mass from the attenuation factors derived after each tracer was added. The alterant tomographs were compared with other evidence of water movement in the rock: borescope logs of fractures, and post experiment cores used to locate the dye tracer on the fractured surfaces. These comparisons indicate that alterant tomography is suitable for mapping water flow through fractures and that it may be useful in inferring which of the fractures are hydrologically connected in the image plane. The technique appears to be sensitive enough to delineate flow through a single fracture and to define fractures with a spatial resolution of about 10 cm on an imaging scale of a few meters. 9 refs., 3 figs

  17. Immersion studies on candidate container alloys for the Tuff Repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beavers, J.A.; Durr, C.L.

    1991-05-01

    Cortest Columbus Technologies (CC Technologies) is investigating the long-term performance of container materials used for high-level radioactive waste packages. This information is being developed for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to aid in their assessment of the Department of Energy's application to construct a geologic repository for disposal of high-level radioactive waste. This report summarizes the results of exposure studies performed on two copper-base and two Fe-Cr-Ni alloys in simulated Tuff Repository conditions. Testing was performed at 90 degrees C in three environments; simulated J-13 well water, and two environments that simulated the chemical effects resulting from boiling and irradiation of the groundwater. Creviced specimens and U-bends were exposed to liquid, to vapor above the condensed phase, and to alternate immersion. A rod specimen was used to monitor corrosion at the vapor-liquid interface. The specimens were evaluated by electrochemical, gravimetric, and metallographic techniques following approximately 2000 hours of exposure. Results of the exposure tests indicated that all four alloys exhibited acceptable general corrosion rates in simulated J-13 well water. These rates decreased with time. Incipient pitting was observed under deposits on Alloy 825 and pitting was observed on both Alloy CDA 102 and Alloy CDA 715 in the simulated J-13 well water. No SCC was observed in U-bend specimens of any of the alloys in simulated J-13 well water. 33 refs., 48 figs., 23 tabs

  18. The behavior of biogenic silica-rich rocks and volcanic tuffs as pozzolanic additives in cement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fragoulis, Dimitris; Stamatakis, Michael; Anastasatou, Marianthi

    2015-04-01

    Cements currently produced, include a variety of pozzolanic materials, aiming for lower clinker addition and utilization of vast deposits of certain raw materials and/or mining wastes and byproducts. The major naturally occurring pozzolanic materials include glassy tuffs, zeolitic tuffs, diatomites and volcanic lavas rich in glassy phase, such as perlites. Therefore, based on the available raw materials in different locations, the cement composition might vary according to the accessibility of efficient pozzolanic materials. In the present investigation, the behavior of pozzolanic cements produced with representative samples of the aforementioned materials was studied, following the characterization of the implemented pozzolanas with respect to their chemical and mineralogical characteristics. Laboratory cements were produced by co-grinding 75% clinker, 5% gypsum and 20% pozzolana, for the same period of time (45 min). Regarding pozzolanic materials, four different types of pozzolanas were utilized namely, diatomite, perlite, zeolite tuff and glassy tuff. More specifically, two diatomite samples originated from Australia and Greece, with high and low reactive silica content respectively, two perlite samples originated from Turkey and from Milos Island, Greece, with different reactive silica contents, a zeolite tuff sample originated from Turkey and a glassy tuff sample originated from Milos Island, Greece. The above pozzolana samples, which were ground in the laboratory ball mill for cement production performed differently during grinding and that was reflected upon the specific surface area (cm2/gr) values. The perlites and the glassy tuff were the hardest to grind, whereas, the zeolite tuff and the Australian diatomite were the easiest ones. However, the exceedingly high specific surface area of the Australian diatomite renders cement difficult to transport and tricky to use for concrete manufacturing, due to the high water demand of the cement mixture. Regarding

  19. Summary of Geophysical Field Investigations to Constrain the Geologic Structure and Hydrologic Characteristics of Fortymile Wash Essential for Assessing the Performance of the Proposed High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrell, D. A.; La Femina, P.; Winterle, J.; Hill, M.; Sims, D.; Smith, M.; Green, R.; Illman, W.; Sandberg, S.; Rogers, N.

    2001-12-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is currently evaluating Yucca Mountain, located in southwestern Nevada, as a possible geologic high-level nuclear waste repository with a performance period of 10,000 years. Groundwater flow and possible radionuclide transport from Yucca Mountain within the saturated zone will be influenced by the geologic structure and the hydrogeologic characteristics of the subsurface in the vicinity of the site. An understanding of these characteristics is essential to evaluating the performance of the repository. South of Yucca Mountain, along the anticipated radionuclide transport pathway, uncertainties in structural geology, hydrogeologic models, and supporting data (for example, the location of the watertable transition from tuff to valley-fill, and the architecture of the basin) impact site performance assessment calculations. Some of these uncertainties will be reduced by the point information provided by the well drilling program currently being carried out by Nye County, Nevada. However, geologic and hydrologic uncertainties remain within inter-well regions which extend over several tens of square kilometers. In recognition of the uncertainties inherent in analyses based upon relatively sparse point data available for Fortymile Wash, the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission have developed a surface geophysics program that targets the inter-well regions utilizing gravity, magnetic, electrical resistivity, and electromagnetic measurements to support confirmatory analyses and performance assessment calculations. This presentation describes various aspects of these surveys and their results. In particular, the presentation presents new models for the structure of the Fortymile Wash (including an improved mapping of the tuff valley-fill interface) based on the integrated geophysical approach and provides an independent basis for the watertable configuration over the region. By combining the

  20. Time scales for dissolution of calcite fracture fillings and implications for saturated zone radionuclide transport at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winterle, J.R.; Murphy, W.M.

    1999-01-01

    An analysis was performed to estimate time scales for dissolution of calcite fracture fillings in the fractured tuff aquifer that underlies Yucca Mountain (YM), Nevada, where groundwater is chemically undersaturated with respect to calcite. The impetus for this analysis originates from speculation that undissolved calcite in the saturated zone is evidence for limited diffusive exchange between fracture and matrix waters. Assuming that matrix diffusion is the rate-limiting process, the time scale for dissolution of calcite fracture fillings depends on the amount of calcite initially deposited, the distance between flowing fractures, the degree of chemical disequilibrium, and the rate of diffusion. Assuming geochemistry of J-13 well water in free-flowing fractures, estimated time scales for complete dissolution of matrix-entrapped calcite range from about 10 4 yr for a 2 mm-thick deposit located 1 m from a flowing fracture, to over 10 7 yr for a 2 cm-thick deposit located 100 m from a flowing fracture. The authors conclude that, given the geochemical and hydrologic characteristics observed at YM, the persistence of calcite minerals over geologic time scales in aquifers where flowing water is under-saturated with calcite does not necessarily preclude matrix diffusion as a dilution mechanism. However, the model suggests that the effective spacing between flowing fractures may be large enough to diminish the overall benefit of matrix diffusion to proposed high-level waste repository performance

  1. Ecological Functioning in Two Mid-Atlantic Bight Submarine Canyons: Macrofauna Community Trends and the Role of Canyon Specific Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, C.; Bourque, J. R.; Davies, A. J.; Duineveld, G.; Mienis, F.; Brooke, S.; Ross, S. W.; Demopoulos, A. W.

    2016-02-01

    Submarine canyons are complex systems, acting as major conduits of organic matter along continental shelves and promoting gradients in food resources, turbidity flows, habitat heterogeneity, and areas of sediment resuspension and deposition. In the western North Atlantic, a large multidisciplinary program was conducted in two major Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB) canyons (Baltimore and Norfolk canyons). This Atlantic Deepwater Canyons project was funded by BOEM, NOAA, and USGS. Here we investigate the `canyon effect' on benthic ecosystem ecology and functioning of two canyon systems by defining canyon specific processes influencing MAB shelf benthic community trends. Sediment cores were collected in 2012 and 2013 with a NIOZ box corer along the main axes ( 180-1200m) of Baltimore and Norfolk Canyon and at comparable depths on the adjacent continental slope. Whole community macrofaunal (>300 μm) abundance and biomass data provided insight into community trends across depth and biogeochemical gradients by coupling diversity metrics and biological trait analyses with sediment biogeochemistry and hydrodynamic data. The canyons exhibited clear differences in sediment profiles, hydrodynamic regimes and enrichment depocenters as well as significantly distinct infauna communities. Interestingly, both canyons showed bimodal distributions in abundances and diversity of infauna and a shallowing of species maxima which was not present on adjacent slopes. We hypothesize that physical canyon processes are important regulators in the depth of observed species maxima and community functioning on the MAB shelf, on local and regional scales. Unique sediment dynamics, organic enrichment, and hydrographic conditions were significant factors in structuring benthic community differences in MAB canyons The study provides a complete benthic infaunal appraisal of two canyon systems in the western Atlantic, incorporating biogeochemistry and oceanography to increase our understanding of canyon

  2. New data on the Volcanic Tuff from Petrestii de Jos (Cluj District

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bedelean Horea

    2001-04-01

    Full Text Available The present study was carried out on the cineritic interlayers from Petreştii de Jos (closed quarry from Indolului Valley, in order to present their detailed mineralogical-petrographical features. Previous work already noticed the similarity of this tuff level with Dej Tuff Complex in other areas. The studied outcrop consists of a compact volcanic tuff interlayered with marls and tuffaceous clays. The analytical investigations: chemical analyses, X-ray diffraction, IR spectroscopy and electron microscopy reveal the nature of the diagenetic transformations dominated by zeolitization. Besides clinoptilolite, which is the typical zeolite for Dej Tuff from the Transylvanian Depression, our investigation evidenced also the presence of phillipsite. The process was stepwise: during the primary, syngenetic stage K-clinoptilolite formed, while during the late epigenetic stage Ca-phillipsite crystallized; on behalf of the latter one, Ca-clinoptilolite was also generated. It is worth to mention that the highest amounts of zeolites are to be found in the basal horizon, while this amount decreases in the interlayers associated with the marly-clayey levels. From genetic point of view, the lower horizon in the outcrop represents a primary fall-out tuff. The thin interlayers within the upper horizons are resedimented tuffs. The tuff from Petreştii de Jos represents a cheap raw material located in the neighborhood of the industrial area of Turda town. For using it, only a more detailed research and the removal of the vegetal and soil layer on the top would be necessary.

  3. Transportation cask decontamination and maintenance at the potential Yucca Mountain repository; Yucca Mountain Site characterization project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hartman, D.J.; Miller, D.D. [Bechtel National, Inc., San Francisco, CA (United States); Hill, R.R. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1992-04-01

    This study investigates spent fuel cask handling experience at existing nuclear facilities to determine appropriate cask decontamination and maintenance operations at the potential Yucca Mountain repository. These operations are categorized as either routine or nonroutine. Routine cask decontamination and maintenance tasks are performed in the cask preparation area at the repository. Casks are taken offline to a separate cask maintenance area for major nonroutine tasks. The study develops conceptual designs of the cask preparation area and cask maintenance area. The functions, layouts, and major features of these areas are also described.

  4. Recreational impacts on Colorado River beaches in Glen Canyon, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carothers, Steven W.; Johnson, Robert A.; Dolan, Robert

    1984-07-01

    Recreational impact was measured on eight beaches in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and 15 beaches in Grand Canyon National Park using permanently located transects and plots. Recreational impact indices included densities of human trash and charcoal and a measure of sand discoloration due to charcoal. Significant increases in the indices occurred on several Glen Canyon beaches over a seven-month period. Sand discoloration became significantly higher over all Glen Canyon beaches during the same time period. All indices were significantly higher in Glen Canyon than on similar Grand Canyon beaches. These differences are probably due to differences in: (a) level of impacts tolerated by the respective management regimes and, (b) in the number of user days among the two National Park Service administrative units. Management alternatives are presented for reversing the present trends of recreational impact on Glen Canyon beaches.

  5. Turbulent ventilation of a street canyon

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Morten

    2000-01-01

    A selection of turbulence data corresponding to 185 days of field measurements has een analysed. The non-ideal building geometry influenced the circulation patterns in the street canyon and the largest average vertical velocities were observed in the wake of an unbroken line of buildings. The sta...

  6. ACUMEN 2012: Atlantic Canyons Undersea Mapping Expeditions

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Between February and August 2012, a team of NOAA and external partners will conduct a mapping ‘blitz’ focused on deepwater canyons off the northeastern...

  7. Submarine canyons off the Coromandel coast

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Varadachari, V.V.R.; Nair, R.R.; Murty, P.S.N.

    During the 26th Cruise of I.N.S. `KISTNA', a bathymetric survey was carried out in some detail off the Pondicherry coast. This survey has revealed the existence of three sets of distinctly separate canyons between Cuddalore and Palar River...

  8. ROCK RIVER CANYON WILDERNESS STUDY AREA, MICHIGAN.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitlow, Jesse W.; Morey, Peter C.

    1984-01-01

    A mineral survey of the Rock River Canyon Wilderness study area, Alger County, Michigan, concluded that there is little promise for the occurrence of metallic mineral resources in the study area. High silica sand and crushed rock from quartzose sandstone that is bedrock for much of the area occur but are available in more accessible areas outside of the wilderness.

  9. Ruminal metabolism in sheep of saponins from Yucca schidigera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flåøyen, A; Wilkins, A L; Sandvik, M

    2002-02-01

    Fifty-five mg per kg live weight of crystallized Yucca schidigera saponins, corresponding to 26 mg/kg live weight of sapogenins, was given daily intraruminally to two lambs for 11 consecutive days. Neither of the lambs showed any sign of toxicity throughout the experimental period. One lamb was killed 5 h after the last dose and GC-MS analysis of the free and conjugated sapogenin content samples of liver, and of the contents of the rumen, omasum, abomasum, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, colon and rectum, of faecal samples collected before dosing started, and of parts of the administered Yucca saponin were performed. The Yucca material contained mainly sarsasapogenin and smilagenin saponins. Ingested saponins were quickly hydrolysed in the rumen to free sapogenins and, in part, epimerized at C-3 to afford episapogenins. The absorption of free sapogenins appeared to occur in the jejunum. The metabolism of Yucca saponins was identical to that of Narthecium ossifragum saponins, and it is suggested that Yucca saponins could replace N. ossifragum saponins for toxicity studies on the latter plant.

  10. Managing the nation's nuclear waste. Site descriptions: Cypress Creek, Davis Canyon, Deaf Smith, Hanford Reference, Lavender Canyon, Richton Dome, Swisher, Vacherie Dome, and Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1985-01-01

    In 1982, the Congress enacted the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (Public Law 97-425), which established a comprehensive national program directed toward siting, constructing, and operating geologic repositories for the permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste. In February 1983, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) identified the nine referenced repository locations as potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository. These sites have been evaluated in accordance with the DOE's General Guidelines for the Recommendation of Sites for Nuclear Waste Repositories. The DOE findings and determinations are based on the evaluations contained in the draft Environmental Assessments (EA). A final EA will be prepared after considering the comments received on the draft EA. The purpose of this document is to provide the public with specific site information on each potential repository location

  11. Preliminary survey of tuff distribution in Esmeralda, Nye, and Lincoln Counties, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, G.V.; Pink, T.S.; Lawrence, J.R.; Woodward, L.A.; Keil, K.; Lappin, A.R.

    1981-02-01

    This report inventories the surface distribution of silicic tuffs in Nye, Esmeralda, and Lincoln Counties, NV, based on a review of available literature. The inventory was taken to provide a data base in evaluating tuff sites for the disposal of high-level nuclear waste. Silicic ash-flow tuffs that are about 11 to 34 million years (my) old are widespread in these counties. These rocks are locally deformed by right-lateral movement along Walker Lane and the Las Vegas Shear Zone, and left-lateral movement along a zone from near the Nevada Test Site (NTS) to the Utah border, and are commonly offset by steeply dipping normal faults. The normal faults that bound horsts, grabens, and tilted-fault blocks of the Basin-and-Range Province began to form 30 my ago; some are still active. Tuff distribution is discussed on a regional basis. Tuff thicknesses and alterations, structural complexity, and proximity to recent faulting, recent volcanism, and mineral resources are discussed for each area. Although the literature on which it is based is often incomplete and sketchy, this report is intended to serve as a basis for future, more detailed work that includes initial field inspection, detailed field and laboratory studies, and extrapolations to the subsurface

  12. Actinide transport in Topopah Spring Tuff: Pore size, particle size, and diffusion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buchholtz ten Brink, M.; Phinney, D.L.; Smith, D.K.

    1991-04-01

    Diffusive transport rates for aqueous species in a porous medium are a function of sorption, molecular diffusion, and sample tortuosity. With heterogeneous natural samples, an understanding of the effect of multiple transport paths and sorption mechanisms is particularly important since a small amount of radioisotope traveling via a faster-than-anticipated transport path may invalidate the predictions of transport codes which assume average behavior. Static-diffusion experiments using aqueous 238 U tracer in tuff indicated that U transport was faster in regions of greater porosity and that apparent diffusion coefficients depended on the scale (m or μm) over which concentration gradients were measured in Topopah Spring Tuff. If a significant fraction of actinides in high-level waste are released to the environment in forms that do not sorb to the matrix, they may be similarly transported along fast paths in porous regions of the tuff. To test this, aqueous diffusion rates in tuff were measured for 238 U and 239 Pu leached from doped glass. Measured transport rates and patte