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Sample records for mountain nevada usa

  1. Estimating recharge at yucca mountain, nevada, usa: comparison of methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flint, A. L.; Flint, L. E.; Kwicklis, E. M.; Fabryka-Martin, J. T.; Bodvarsson, G. S.

    2001-01-01

    Obtaining values of net infiltration, groundwater travel time, and recharge is necessary at the Yucca Mountain site, Nevada, USA, in order to evaluate the expected performance of a potential repository as a containment system for high-level radioactive waste. However, the geologic complexities of this site, its low precipitation and net infiltration, with numerous mechanisms operating simultaneously to move water through the system, provide many challenges for the estimation of the spatial distribution of recharge. A variety of methods appropriate for and environments has been applied, including water-balance techniques, calculations using Darcy's law in the unsaturated zone, a soil-physics method applied to neutron-hole water-content data, inverse modeling of thermal profiles in boreholes extending through the thick unsaturated zone, chloride mass balance, atmospheric radionuclides, and empirical approaches. These methods indicate that near-surface infiltration rates at Yucca Mountain are highly variable in time and space, with local (point) values ranging from zero to several hundred millimeters per year. Spatially distributed net-infiltration values average 5 mm/year, with the highest values approaching 20 nun/year near Yucca Crest. Site-scale recharge estimates range from less than I to about 12 mm/year. These results have been incorporated into a site-scale model that has been calibrated using these data sets that reflect infiltration processes acting on highly variable temporal and spatial scales. The modeling study predicts highly non-uniform recharge at the water table, distributed significantly differently from the non-uniform infiltration pattern at the surface. [References: 57

  2. Estimating recharge at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA: Comparison of methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, A.L.; Flint, L.E.; Kwicklis, E.M.; Fabryka-Martin, J. T.; Bodvarsson, G.S.

    2002-01-01

    Obtaining values of net infiltration, groundwater travel time, and recharge is necessary at the Yucca Mountain site, Nevada, USA, in order to evaluate the expected performance of a potential repository as a containment system for high-level radioactive waste. However, the geologic complexities of this site, its low precipitation and net infiltration, with numerous mechanisms operating simultaneously to move water through the system, provide many challenges for the estimation of the spatial distribution of recharge. A variety of methods appropriate for arid environments has been applied, including water-balance techniques, calculations using Darcy's law in the unsaturated zone, a soil-physics method applied to neutron-hole water-content data, inverse modeling of thermal profiles in boreholes extending through the thick unsaturated zone, chloride mass balance, atmospheric radionuclides, and empirical approaches. These methods indicate that near-surface infiltration rates at Yucca Mountain are highly variable in time and space, with local (point) values ranging from zero to several hundred millimeters per year. Spatially distributed net-infiltration values average 5 mm/year, with the highest values approaching 20 mm/year near Yucca Crest. Site-scale recharge estimates range from less than 1 to about 12 mm/year. These results have been incorporated into a site-scale model that has been calibrated using these data sets that reflect infiltration processes acting on highly variable temporal and spatial scales. The modeling study predicts highly non-uniform recharge at the water table, distributed significantly differently from the non-uniform infiltration pattern at the surface.

  3. Natural gels in the Yucca Mountain Area, Nevada, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Levy, S.S.

    1991-01-01

    Relict gels at Yucca Mountain include pore- and fracture-fillings of silica and zeolite related to diagenetic and hydrothermal alternation of vitric tuffs. Water-rich free gels in fractures at Rainier Mesa consist of smectite with or without silica-rich gel fragments. Gels are being studied for their potential role in transport of radionuclides from a nuclear-waste repository

  4. Quasi-linear analysis of water flow in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ross, B.

    1990-01-01

    Philip's method of quasi-linear approximation, applied to the fractured welded tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA, yields simple relations describing groundwater movement in the unsaturated zone. These relations suggest that water flux through the Topopah Spring welded tuff unit, in which a proposed high-level radioactive waste repository would be built, may be fixed at a value close to the saturated hydraulic conductivity of the unit's porous matrix by a capillary barrier at the unit's upper contact. Quasi-linear methods may also be useful for predicting whether free water will enter tunnels excavated in the tuff

  5. Modelling magma-drift interaction at the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Woods, Andrew W.; Sparks, Steve; Bokhove, Onno; Lejeune, Anne-Marie; Connor, Charles B.; Hill, Britain E.

    2002-01-01

    We examine the possible ascent of alkali basalt magma containing 2 wt percent water through a dike and into a horizontal subsurface drift as part of a risk assessment for the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA. On intersection of the dike with the

  6. Volcanic harzards studies tailored to future populations and facilities: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keating, Gordon N.; Perry, Frank V.; Harrington, Charles; Krier, Don; Valentine, Greg A.; Gaffney, Edward; Cline, Mike

    2004-01-01

    The evaluation of impacts of potential volcanic eruptions on populations and facilities far in the future may involve detailed volcanological studies that differ from traditional hazards analyses. The proximity of Quaternary volcanoes to a proposed repository for disposal of the USA's high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, has required in-depth study of probability and consequences of basaltic igneous activity. Because of the underground nature of the repository, evaluation of the potential effects of dike intrusion and interaction with the waste packages stored in underground tunnels (dnfts) as well as effects of eruption and ash dispersal have been important. These studies include analyses of dike propagation, dike-drift intersection, flow of magma into dnfts, heat and volcanic gas migration, atmospheric dispersal of tephra, and redistribution of waste-contaminated tephra by surficial processes. Unlike traditional volcanic hazards studies that focus on impacts on housing, transportation, communications, etc. (to name a small subset), the igneous consequences studies at Yucca Mountain have focused on evaluation of igneous impacts on nuclear waste packages and implications for enhanced radioactive dose on a hypothetical future ((le) 10000 yrs) local population. Potential exposure pathways include groundwater (affected by in-situ degradation of waste packages by igneous heat and corrosion) and inhalation, ingestion, and external exposure due to deposition and redistribution of waste-contaminated tephra

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Potential climatic refugia in semi-arid, temperate mountains: plant and arthropod assemblages associated with rock glaciers, talus slopes, and their forefield wetlands, Sierra Nevada, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Constance I. Millar; Robert D. Westfall; Angela Evenden; Jeffrey G. Holmquist; Jutta Schmidt-Gengenbach; Rebecca S. Franklin; Jan Nachlinger; Diane L. Delany

    2015-01-01

    Unique thermal and hydrologic regimes of rock-glacier and periglacial talus environments support little-studied mountain ecosystems. We report the first studies of vascular plant and arthropod diversity for these habitats in the central Sierra Nevada, California, USA. Surfaces of active rock glaciers develop scattered islands of soil that provide habitat for vegetation...

  10. Thermoluminescence dating of soils in a semi-arid environment, Yucca Mountain area, Southern Nevada, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mahan, S.A.; Paces, J.B.; Peterman, Z.E.

    1995-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is currently being investigated as a potential nuclear waste repository. Because radionuclides must be isolated over a ten to several hundred thousand year time span, an assessment of the performance depends in part on accurate reconstruction of the Quaternary geologic and hydrologic history of the mountain. Reliable geochronology in an oxidizing environment dominated by coarse-grained, clastic surficial deposits has become a central issue for several studies including paleoseismic reconstruction, determination of rates of erosion and deposition, and the history of regional water-table fluctuations documented by ground-water discharge deposits. Thermoluminescence (TL) dating of polymineralic silt fractions in a variety of surface deposits has become an important component of the Quaternary dating strategy, along with uranium-series disequilibrium dating of secondary carbonate and opaline silica, and to a lesser extent, radiocarbon dating of carbonate components. Although the complex mineralogy of these materials contributes to greater amounts of scatter in their TL response relative to typical quartzofeldspathic loess and dune deposits, the derived ages are reproducible, consistent with internal stratigraphy, and generally concordant with other available geochronology

  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. 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

  13. Thermal history of the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whelan, Joseph F.; Neymark, Leonid A.; Moscati, Richard J.; Marshall, Brian D.; Roedder, Edwin

    2008-01-01

    Secondary calcite, silica and minor amounts of fluorite deposited in fractures and cavities record the chemistry, temperatures, and timing of past fluid movement in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the proposed site of a high-level radioactive waste repository. The distribution and geochemistry of these deposits are consistent with low-temperature precipitation from meteoric waters that infiltrated at the surface and percolated down through the unsaturated zone. However, the discovery of fluid inclusions in calcite with homogenization temperatures (T h ) up to ∼80 deg. C was construed by some scientists as strong evidence for hydrothermal deposition. This paper reports the results of investigations to test the hypothesis of hydrothermal deposition and to determine the temperature and timing of secondary mineral deposition. Mineral precipitation temperatures in the unsaturated zone are estimated from calcite- and fluorite-hosted fluid inclusions and calcite δ 18 O values, and depositional timing is constrained by the 207 Pb/ 235 U ages of chalcedony or opal in the deposits. Fluid inclusion T h from 50 samples of calcite and four samples of fluorite range from ∼35 to ∼90 deg. C. Calcite δ 18 O values range from ∼0 to ∼22 per mille (SMOW) but most fall between 12 and 20 per mille . The highest T h and the lowest δ 18 O values are found in the older calcite. Calcite T h and δ 18 O values indicate that most calcite precipitated from water with δ 18 O values between -13 and -7 per mille , similar to modern meteoric waters. Twenty-two 207 Pb/ 235 U ages of chalcedony or opal that generally postdate elevated depositional temperatures range from ∼9.5 to 1.9 Ma. New and published 207 Pb/ 235 U and 230 Th/Uages coupled with the T h values and estimates of temperature from calcite δ 18 O values indicate that maximum unsaturated zone temperatures probably predate ∼10 Ma and that the unsaturated zone had cooled to near-present-day temperatures

  14. Thermal history of the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whelan, Joseph F. [U.S. Geological Survey, Box 25046, M.S. 963, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225 (United States)], E-mail: jfwhelan@usgs.gov; Neymark, Leonid A.; Moscati, Richard J.; Marshall, Brian D. [U.S. Geological Survey, Box 25046, M.S. 963, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225 (United States); Roedder, Edwin [Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2008-05-15

    Secondary calcite, silica and minor amounts of fluorite deposited in fractures and cavities record the chemistry, temperatures, and timing of past fluid movement in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the proposed site of a high-level radioactive waste repository. The distribution and geochemistry of these deposits are consistent with low-temperature precipitation from meteoric waters that infiltrated at the surface and percolated down through the unsaturated zone. However, the discovery of fluid inclusions in calcite with homogenization temperatures (T{sub h}) up to {approx}80 deg. C was construed by some scientists as strong evidence for hydrothermal deposition. This paper reports the results of investigations to test the hypothesis of hydrothermal deposition and to determine the temperature and timing of secondary mineral deposition. Mineral precipitation temperatures in the unsaturated zone are estimated from calcite- and fluorite-hosted fluid inclusions and calcite {delta}{sup 18}O values, and depositional timing is constrained by the {sup 207}Pb/{sup 235}U ages of chalcedony or opal in the deposits. Fluid inclusion T{sub h} from 50 samples of calcite and four samples of fluorite range from {approx}35 to {approx}90 deg. C. Calcite {delta}{sup 18}O values range from {approx}0 to {approx}22 per mille (SMOW) but most fall between 12 and 20 per mille . The highest T{sub h} and the lowest {delta}{sup 18}O values are found in the older calcite. Calcite T{sub h} and {delta}{sup 18}O values indicate that most calcite precipitated from water with {delta}{sup 18}O values between -13 and -7 per mille , similar to modern meteoric waters. Twenty-two {sup 207}Pb/{sup 235}U ages of chalcedony or opal that generally postdate elevated depositional temperatures range from {approx}9.5 to 1.9 Ma. New and published {sup 207}Pb/{sup 235}U and {sup 230}Th/Uages coupled with the T{sub h} values and estimates of temperature from calcite {delta}{sup 18}O values indicate

  15. Sequential evaluation of the potential geologic repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bjerstedt, T.W.

    1996-01-01

    This paper discusses the changes that are planned for the characterization program at Yucca Mountain due to budget changes. Yucca Mountain is the only site being studied in the US for a geologic repository. Funding for the site characterization program at Yucca Mountain program was cut by roughly one half from the 1994 projected budget to complete three major milestones. These project milestones included: (1) a time-phased determination of site suitability, and if a positive finding, (2) completion of an Environmental Impact Statement, and (3) preparation of a License Application to the US NRC to authorize repository construction. In reaction, Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project has shifted from parallel development of these milestones to a sequenced approach with the site suitability evaluation being replaced with a management assessment. Changes to the regulatory structure for the disposal program are under consideration by DOE and the NRC. The possibility for NRC and Doe to develop a site-specific regulatory structure follows from the National Energy Policy Act of 1992 that authorized the US EPA to develop a site specific environmental standard for Yucca Mountain

  16. 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

  17. Emplacement feasibility of a multi-tier, expanded capacity repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Apted, Michael; Kessler, John; Fairhurst, Charles

    2008-01-01

    A geological repository at Yucca Mountain has been proposed for the disposal of spent fuel from the US commercial reactors and other radioactive waste. A legislative capacity of 70,000 MTHM has been set by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, including 63,000 MTHM of commercial spent nuclear fuel (CSNF), the projected amount of CSNF that will be produced by about 2014. Policy issues remain as to how to handle waste that is generated beyond 2014 from a growing nuclear industry in the US. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is independently evaluating the technical, rather than legislative, limit of CSNF that could be safely disposed at Yucca Mountain. Geological, thermal management, safety and cost factors have been recently evaluated by EPRI (2006; 2007) for grouped emplacement drifts and/or a multi-tier repository. EPRI's evaluation of emplacement feasibility for a multi-tier concept is described here. Expanded capacity concepts as envisioned for Yucca Mountain (EPRI, 2006; 2007) assume excavation of one or two additional levels of drifts parallel to or above and/or below the original drift excavations. For the latter multi-tier concept each 'tier' or 'level' would essentially replicate the original layer with a 30-m separation between tiers. This arrangement essentially doubles or triples the capacity of the repository for a two- or three-tier design, respectively. The main issues that affect the feasibility of expanded capacity design are; (i) ventilation requirements; (ii) radiation hazards; (iii) thermal and thermo-mechanical constraints. (i)Ventilation: The repository design involves waste packages mounted in close proximity to each other in 600-m long drifts that remain open and actively ventilated for at least 50-100 years. Analyses,conservatively assuming that all three repository levels operate simultaneously, indicate no technological obstacles in meeting ventilation requirements for sustained simultaneous operation ba sed on current industrial

  18. Effects of structural heterogeneity on frictional heating from biomarker thermal maturity analysis of the Muddy Mountain thrust, Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coffey, G. L.; Savage, H. M.; Polissar, P. J.; Rowe, C. D.

    2017-12-01

    Faults are generally heterogeneous along-strike, with changes in thickness and structural complexity that should influence coseismic slip. However, observational limitations (e.g. limited outcrop or borehole samples) can obscure this complexity. Here we investigate the heterogeneity of frictional heating determined from biomarker thermal maturity and microstructural observations along a well-exposed fault to understand whether coseismic stress and frictional heating are related to structural complexity. We focus on the Muddy Mountain thrust, Nevada, a Sevier-age structure that has continuous exposure of its fault core and considerable structural variability for up to 50 m, to explore the distribution of earthquake slip and temperature rise along strike. We present new biomarker thermal maturity results that capture the heating history of fault rocks. Biomarkers are organic molecules produced by living organisms and preserved in the rock record. During heating, their structure is altered systematically with increasing time and temperature. Preliminary results show significant variability in thermal maturity along-strike at the Muddy Mountain thrust, suggesting differences in coseismic temperature rise on the meter- scale. Temperatures upwards of 500°C were generated in the principal slip zone at some locations, while in others, no significant temperature rise occurred. These results demonstrate that stress or slip heterogeneity occurred along the Muddy Mountain thrust at the meter-scale and considerable along-strike complexity existed, highlighting the importance of careful interpretation of whole-fault behavior from observations at a single point on a fault.

  19. Methods and Techniques Used to Convey Total System Performance Assessment Analyses and Results for Site Recommendation at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mattie, Patrick D.; McNeish, Jerry A.; Sevougian, S. David; Andrews, Robert W.

    2001-01-01

    Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) is used as a key decision-making tool for the potential geologic repository of high level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada USA. Because of the complexity and uncertainty involved in a post-closure performance assessment, an important goal is to produce a transparent document describing the assumptions, the intermediate steps, the results, and the conclusions of the analyses. An important objective for a TSPA analysis is to illustrate confidence in performance projections of the potential repository given a complex system of interconnected process models, data, and abstractions. The methods and techniques used for the recent TSPA analyses demonstrate an effective process to portray complex models and results with transparency and credibility

  20. Analysis simulation of tectonic earthquake impact to the lifetime of radioactive waste container and equivalent dose rate predication in Yucca Mountain geologic repository, Nevada test site, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ko, I.S.; Imardjoko, Y.U.; Karnawati, Dwikorita

    2003-01-01

    US policy not to recycle her spent nuclear fuels brings consequence to provide a nuclear waste repository site Yucca Mountain in Nevada, USA, considered the proper one. High-level radioactive waste to be placed into containers and then will be buried in three hundred meter underground tunnels. Tectonic earthquake is the main factor causing container's damage. Goldsim version 6.04.007 simulates mechanism of container's damage due to a great devastating impact load, the collapse of the tunnels. Radionuclide inventories included are U-234, C-14, Tc-99, I-129, Se-79, Pa-231, Np-237, Pu-242, and Pu-239. Simulation carried out in 100,000 years time span. The research goals are: 1). Estimating tunnels stan-up time, and 2). Predicting the equivalent dose rate contributed by the included radionuclides to the human due to radioactive polluted drinking water intake. (author)

  1. Occurrence patterns of Black-backed Woodpeckers in green forest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, USA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alissa M. Fogg

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Black-backed Woodpeckers (Picoides arcticus are a rare habitat specialist typically found in moderate and high severity burned forest throughout its range. It also inhabits green forest but little is known about occurrence and habitat use patterns outside of burned areas, especially in the Sierra Nevada of California, USA. We used point count and playback surveys to detect Black-backed Woodpeckers during 2011 - 2013 on 460 transects on 10 national forest units. We defined green forest as areas that had not burned at moderate or high severity since 1991 and were more than 2 km from areas burned at moderate or high severity within the previous eight years (n = 386 transects. We used occupancy models to examine green forest habitat associations and found positive relationships with elevation, latitude, northern aspects, number of snags, tree diameter, lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta forest, and a negative relationship with slope. Estimated occupancy in green forest was higher than previously understood (0.21. In addition site colonization and extinction probability in green forest were low (0.05 and 0.19, respectively and suggest that many of the individuals detected in green forest were not just actively dispersing across the landscape in search of burned areas, but were occupying relatively stable home ranges. The association with high elevation and lodgepole pine forest may increase their exposure to climate change as these elevation forest types are predicted to decrease in extent over the next century. Although density is high in burned forest, green forest covers significantly more area in the Sierra Nevada and should be considered in efforts to conserve this rare species.

  2. 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

  3. Using restored cross sections to evaluate magma emplacement, White Horse Mountains, Eastern Nevada, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marko, Wayne T.; Yoshinobu, Aaron S.

    2011-03-01

    New field observations and cross section restoration from the Jurassic White Horse pluton-host rock system, Goshute Range, eastern Nevada, USA, indicate a sequential variation of host rock rheology attending magma emplacement. The pluton intruded weakly to nondeformed Devonian-Mississippian limestone, argillite and quartzite at shallow crustal levels (ca. 7 km). The contact aureole is well exposed along the southern, eastern and northern margin of the intrusive body and is less than 1 km wide. Rocks outside of the aureole are sub-horizontal and do not contain a penetrative fabric or are gently folded (interlimb angles > 120°) about sub-vertical axial planes. Within the contact aureole, continuous and discontinuous spaced, axial planar foliations and harmonic to disharmonic, tight to isoclinal folds wrap around the eastern margin of the pluton. Folds verge toward and away from the pluton and rim anticlines, synclines, and monoclines with wavelength in excess of 250 m are preserved along the pluton margin. The spatial proximity of these ductile structures to the pluton and the apparent increase in intensity of structure development approaching the pluton is compatible with contraction within the aureole attending pluton emplacement. However, all of the above structures are truncated by the intrusive contact at various scales. Granodioritic dikes ranging in thickness from 1 m up to ˜ 10 m emanate from the intrusion and cut host rock structure at high angles and turn to propagate towards one another, parallel to the pluton margin and host rock anisotropy. Such features are interpreted to reflect the last stages of diking and brittle deformation that modified the pluton contact after emplacement-related folding of the carbonate rocks, but before final solidification of the pluton. Eight serial geologic cross sections were constructed and evaluated to place geometric constraints on the shape and growth of the White Horse intrusion. Based on line-length restoration of

  4. First report of the white pine blister rust fungus, Cronartium ribicola, infecting Pinus flexilis on Pine Mountain, Humboldt National Forest, Elko County, northeastern Nevada, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Detlev R. Vogler; Patricia E. Maloney; Tom Burt; Jacob W. Snelling

    2017-01-01

    In 2013, while surveying for five-needle white pine cone crops in northeastern Nevada, we observed white pine blister rust, caused by the rust pathogen Cronartium ribicola Fisch., infecting branches and stems of limber pines (Pinus flexilis James) on Pine Mountain (41.76975°N, 115.61622°W), Humboldt National Forest,...

  5. Cluster analyses of 20th century growth patterns in high elevation Great Basin bristlecone pine in the Snake Mountain Range, Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, T. J.; Bruening, J. M.; Bunn, A. G.; Salzer, M. W.; Weiss, S. B.

    2015-12-01

    Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva) is a useful climate proxy because of the species' long lifespan (up to 5000 years) and the climatic sensitivity of its annually-resolved rings. Past studies have shown that growth of individual trees can be limited by temperature, soil moisture, or a combination of the two depending on biophysical setting at the scale of tens of meters. We extend recent research suggesting that trees vary in their growth response depending on their position on the landscape to analyze how growth patterns vary over time. We used hierarchical cluster analysis to examine the growth of 52 bristlecone pine trees near the treeline of Mount Washington, Nevada, USA. We classified growth of individual trees over the instrumental climate record into one of two possible scenarios: trees belonging to a temperature-sensitive cluster and trees belonging to a precipitation-sensitive cluster. The number of trees in the precipitation-sensitive cluster outnumbered the number of trees in the temperature-sensitive cluster, with trees in colder locations belonging to the temperature-sensitive cluster. When we separated the temporal range into two sections (1895-1949 and 1950-2002) spanning the length of the instrumental climate record, we found that most of the 52 trees remained loyal to their cluster membership (e.g., trees in the temperature-sensitive cluster in 1895-1949 were also in the temperature sensitive cluster in 1950-2002), though not without exception. Of those trees that do not remain consistent in cluster membership, the majority changed from temperature-sensitive to precipitation-sensitive as time progressed. This could signal a switch from temperature limitation to water limitation with warming climate. We speculate that topographic complexity in high mountain environments like Mount Washington might allow for climate refugia where growth response could remain constant over the Holocene.

  6. 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

  7. Assessing Past Fracture Connectivity in Geothermal Reservoirs Using Clumped Isotopes: Proof of Concept in the Blue Mountain Geothermal Field, Nevada USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntington, K. W.; Sumner, K. K.; Camp, E. R.; Cladouhos, T. T.; Uddenberg, M.; Swyer, M.; Garrison, G. H.

    2015-12-01

    Subsurface fluid flow is strongly influenced by faults and fractures, yet the transmissivity of faults and fractures changes through time due to deformation and cement precipitation, making flow paths difficult to predict. Here we assess past fracture connectivity in an active hydrothermal system in the Basin and Range, Nevada, USA, using clumped isotope geochemistry and cold cathodoluminescence (CL) analysis of fracture filling cements from the Blue Mountain geothermal field. Calcite cements were sampled from drill cuttings and two cores at varying distances from faults. CL microscopy of some of the cements shows banding parallel to the fracture walls as well as brecciation, indicating that the cements record variations in the composition and source of fluids that moved through the fractures as they opened episodically. CL microscopy, δ13C and δ18O values were used to screen homogeneous samples for clumped isotope analysis. Clumped isotope thermometry of most samples indicates paleofluid temperatures of around 150°C, with several wells peaking at above 200°C. We suggest that the consistency of these temperatures is related to upwelling of fluids in the convective hydrothermal system, and interpret the similarity of the clumped isotope temperatures to modern geothermal fluid temperatures of ~160-180°C as evidence that average reservoir temperatures have changed little since precipitation of the calcite cements. In contrast, two samples, one of which was associated with fault gauge observed in drill logs, record significantly cooler temperatures of 19 and 73°C and anomalous δ13C and δ18Owater values, which point to fault-controlled pathways for downwelling meteoric fluid. Finally, we interpret correspondence of paleofluid temperatures and δ18Owater values constrained by clumped isotope thermometry of calcite from different wells to suggest past connectivity of fractures among wells within the geothermal field. Results show the ability of clumped isotope

  8. A gravity slide origin for the Mormon Peak detachment: Re-examining the evidence for extreme extension in the Mormon Mountains, southeastern Nevada, U.S.A

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Christopher David

    The Mormon Peak detachment is an enigmatic, low-angle surface that cuts almost all other structures in the Mormon Mountains of southeast Nevada. It has been described as both a large-magnitude offset, low-angle normal fault and as a rootless gravity slide. The two models have been tested, and the gravity slide model explains the geology exposed in the range better than the extreme extension model. Kinematic indicators on the detachment show down-dip motion. Structure contours delimit discrete domains. Exhumed structures reveal no large-magnitude offset between the Meadow Valley and Mormon Mountains. Thermochronological modeling indicates basin-wide exhumation beginning at ˜23--17 Ma. Field mapping documents a pervasive role for long-lived high-angle normal faults with spatially and temporally restricted detachment formation events, and measurements of the volume of rock contained in the hanging wall show it required only a small source area with respect to the size of the range. Regional crustal extension from the Meadow Valley Mountains to the Beaver Dam Mountains is approximately 25%, an order of magnitude less than previously interpreted. The conclusions from the Mormon Mountains were applied to several interpreted detachment faults elsewhere and a set of criteria developed to help future workers distinguish between rooted structures that accommodate crustal extension and rootless structures that do not.

  9. 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

  10. Ecology, distribution, and predictive occurrence modeling of Palmers chipmunk (Tamias palmeri): a high-elevation small mammal endemic to the Spring Mountains in southern Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowrey, Chris E.; Longshore, Kathleen M.; Riddle, Brett R.; Mantooth, Stacy

    2016-01-01

    Although montane sky islands surrounded by desert scrub and shrub steppe comprise a large part of the biological diversity of the Basin and Range Province of southwestern North America, comprehensive ecological and population demographic studies for high-elevation small mammals within these areas are rare. Here, we examine the ecology and population parameters of the Palmer’s chipmunk (Tamias palmeri) in the Spring Mountains of southern Nevada, and present a predictive GIS-based distribution and probability of occurrence model at both home range and geographic spatial scales. Logistic regression analyses and Akaike Information Criterion model selection found variables of forest type, slope, and distance to water sources as predictive of chipmunk occurrence at the geographic scale. At the home range scale, increasing population density, decreasing overstory canopy cover, and decreasing understory canopy cover contributed to increased survival rates.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. A lineament analysis of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perry, J.J.

    1988-01-01

    The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 was signed into law on January 7, 1983. It specifies procedures for the Department of Energy in the selection of a high level nuclear waste repository. Federal Environmental Protection Agency standards require adequate isolation of waste from the biosphere for 10,000 years. The law considers such geologic factors as tectonic stability, igneous activity, hydrologic conditions and natural resources to be of primary concern. Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada is one of three sites selected for further consideration in the site characterization process. The Nuclear Waste Project Office (NWPO) within the Agency for Nuclear Projects of the State of Nevada is conducting an independent scientific assessment of the proposed site. The remote sensing technical assessment is one of seven task groups conducting review and research into the suitability of Yucca Mountain. The study undertaken by the Remote Sensing Group was that of a lineament analysis with regard to the site's structural relationship within a regional tectonic framework. Lineaments mapped from synoptic imagery may prove to represent structural zones of weakness. These zones may provide pathways for the infiltration of groundwater, conduits for the extrusion of magma or be reactivated as stress conditions change. This paper describes the methodology for a lineament analysis of the Yucca Mountain area

  14. BIOSPHERE MODELING AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    NING LIU; JEFFERY, J.; TAPPEN, DE WU; CHAO-HSIUNG TUNG

    1998-01-01

    The objectives of the biosphere modeling efforts are to assess how radionuclides potentially released from the proposed repository could be transported through a variety of environmental media. The study of these transport mechanisms, referred to as pathways, is critical in calculating the potential radiation dose to man. Since most of the existing and pending regulations applicable to the Project are radiation dose based standards, the biosphere modeling effort will provide crucial technical input to support the Viability Assessment (VA), the Working Draft of License Application (WDLA), and the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). In 1982, the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) was enacted into law. This federal law, which was amended in 1987, addresses the national issue of geologic disposal of high-level nuclear waste generated by commercial nuclear power plants, as well as defense programs during the past few decades. As required by the law, the Department of Energy (DOE) is conducting a site characterization project at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, approximately 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada, to determine if the site is suitable for the nation's first high-level nuclear waste repository

  15. Use of thermal data to estimate infiltration, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    LeCain, Gary D.; Kurzmack, Mark

    2001-01-01

    Temperature and pressure monitoring in a vertical borehole in Pagany Wash, Yucca Mountain, Nevada, measured disruptions of the natural gradients associated with the February, 1998, El Nino precipitation events. The temperature and pressure disruptions indicated infiltration and percolation through the 12.1 m of Pagany Wash alluvium and deep percolation to greater than 35.2 m into the Yucca Mountain Tuff

  16. 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

  17. Characterize Eruptive Processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    G. Valentine

    2001-12-20

    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

  18. Stratigraphic and structural framework of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spengler, R.W.; Fox, K.F. Jr.

    1988-01-01

    Yucca Mountain is located within the southwestern Nevada volcanic field, ∼140 km northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada, and 50 km northeast of Death Valley, California. The mountain consist of a series of long, linear, north-trending volcanic ridges that approach an 1800-m maximum elevation near The Prow. The broad intermontane alluviated valleys of Crater Flat, the Amargosa Desert, and Jackass Flats, averaging 800 to 1100 m in elevation, form the western, southern, and eastern margins of Yucca Mountain, respectively. North of The Prow, Yucca Mountain merges with other volcanic highlands that flank the southern rim of the Timber Mountain-Oasis Valley caldera complex. The stratigraphy and structure of the area are discussed. Future geologic studies will attempt to determine if faults extend beneath Yucca Mountain, and, if present, their potential effects on the hydrologic and tectonic regimes

  19. Genetic sampling of Palmer's chipmunks in the Spring Mountains, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin S. McKelvey; Jennifer E. Ramirez; Kristine L. Pilgrim; Samuel A. Cushman; Michael K. Schwartz

    2013-01-01

    Palmer's chipmunk (Neotamias palmeri) is a medium-sized chipmunk whose range is limited to the higher-elevation areas of the Spring Mountain Range, Nevada. A second chipmunk species, the Panamint chipmunk (Neotamias panamintinus), is more broadly distributed and lives in lower-elevation, primarily pinyon-juniper (Pinus monophylla-Juniperus osteosperma) habitat...

  20. Nature and continuity of the Sundance Fault, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Potter, Christopher J.; Dickerson, Robert P.; Day, Warren C.

    2000-01-01

    This report describes the detailed geologic mapping (1:2,400 scale) that was performed in the northern part of the potential nuclear waste repository area at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, to determine the nature and extent of the Sundance Fault zone and to evaluate structural relations between the Sundance and other faults

  1. 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

  2. Slingram survey at Yucca Mountain on the Nevada Test Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flanigan, V.J.

    1981-01-01

    Electromagnetic (EM) data presented in this report is part of study by the US Geological Survey aimed at evaluating the Miocene and Pliocene Yucca Mountain Member of various units of the Paintbrush Tuff in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain as a possible repository for nuclear wastes. The survey area is located about 97 km northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada on the Nevada Test Site. Data contained in this report were taken along the eastern edge of Yucca Mountain. The specific purpose of this survey was to determine with EM methods, whether or not northwest-trending valleys in the Yucca Mountain area were fault controlled. Fault and fracture zones in the tuff units were expected to have a somewhat higher conductivity than the unfractured tuff. This is due to the greater porosity, clay and moisture content expected in the fault zones than in unfaulted rock. Depending upon a number of factors, such as the conductivity contrast between fault zones and unfaulted rock, and the depth and conductivity of the overburden, it may be possible to recognize fault zones from surface EM measurements. Several EM methods were tested to determine which one gave the best results in this environment. The methods tried included slingram, Turam and VLF (very low frequency). Slingram data proved to be most diagnostic in delineating a mapped fault on the east edge of Yucca Mountain, and hence was used in the survey traverses crossing the northwest valleys cutting into Yucca Mountain

  3. Nine-component vertical seismic profiling at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Balch, A.H.; Erdemir, C.; Spengler, R.W.; Hunter, W.C.

    1996-01-01

    Nine-component vertical seismic profiling has been conducted at the UE-25 UZ No. 16 borehole at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, in support of investigation of the hydrologic significance of fault and fracture systems. A large data set from multi-component sources and receivers allows state-of-the-art advances in processing using polarization filtering and reverse time migration, for enhanced interpretation of geologic features

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Environmental assessment overview, Yucca Mountain site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-05-01

    In February 1983, the US Department of Energy (DOE) identified the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada as one of nine potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The site is in the Great Basin, which is one of five distinct geohydrologic settings considered for the first repository. To determine their suitability, the Yucca Mountain site and the eight other potentially acceptable sites have been evaluated in accordance with the DOE's General Guidelines for the Recommendations of Sites for the Nuclear Waste Repositories. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this EA, the DOE has found that the Yucca Mountain site is not disqualified under the guidelines. On the basis of these findings, the DOE is nominating the Yucca Mountain site as one of five sites suitable for characterization. 3 figs

  9. Native American plant resources in the Yucca Mountain Area, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stoffle, R.W.; Evans, M.J.; Halmo, D.B.

    1989-11-01

    This report presents Native American interpretations of and concerns for plant resources on or near Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This one of three research reports regarding Native American cultural resources that may be affected by site characterization activities related to the Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste disposal facility. Representatives of the sixteen involved American Indian tribes identified and interpreted plant resources as part of a consultation relationship between themselves and the US Department of Energy (DOE). Participants in the ethnobotany studies included botanists who have conducted, and continue to conduct, botanical studies for the Yucca Mountain Project. This report is to be used to review research procedures and findings regarding the process of consulting with the sixteen tribes, interviews with tribal plant specialists and elders, and findings from the ethnobotanical visits with representatives of the sixteen tribes. An annual report will include a chapter that summarizes the key findings from this plant resources study. 23 refs., 75 figs., 39 tabs

  10. Native American plant resources in the Yucca Mountain Area, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stoffle, R.W.; Evans, M.J.; Halmo, D.B. [Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor, MI (USA). Inst. for Social Research; Niles, W.E.; O`Farrell, J.T. [EG and G Energy Measurements, Inc., Goleta, CA (USA)

    1989-11-01

    This report presents Native American interpretations of and concerns for plant resources on or near Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This one of three research reports regarding Native American cultural resources that may be affected by site characterization activities related to the Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste disposal facility. Representatives of the sixteen involved American Indian tribes identified and interpreted plant resources as part of a consultation relationship between themselves and the US Department of Energy (DOE). Participants in the ethnobotany studies included botanists who have conducted, and continue to conduct, botanical studies for the Yucca Mountain Project. This report is to be used to review research procedures and findings regarding the process of consulting with the sixteen tribes, interviews with tribal plant specialists and elders, and findings from the ethnobotanical visits with representatives of the sixteen tribes. An annual report will include a chapter that summarizes the key findings from this plant resources study. 23 refs., 75 figs., 39 tabs.

  11. Pyritic ash-flow tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Castor, S.B.; Tingley, J.V.; Bonham, H.F. Jr.

    1994-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain site is underlain by a 1,500-m-thick Miocene volcanic sequence that comprises part of the southwestern Nevada volcanic field. Rocks of this sequence, which consists mainly of ash-flow tuff sheets with minor flows and bedded tuff, host precious metal mineralization in several areas as near as 10 km from the site. In two such areas, the Bullfrog and Bare Mountain mining districts, production and reserves total over 60 t gold and 150 t silver. Evidence of similar precious metal mineralization at the Yucca Mountain site may lead to mining or exploratory drilling in the future, compromising the security of the repository. The authors believe that most of the pyrite encountered by drilling at Yucca Mountain was introduced as pyroclastic ejecta, rather than by in situ hydrothermal activity. Pyritic ejecta in ash-flow tuff are not reported in the literature, but there is no reason to believe that the Yucca Mountain occurrence is unique. The pyritic ejecta are considered by us to be part of a preexisting hydrothermal system that was partially or wholly destroyed during eruption of the tuff units. Because it was introduced as ejecta in tuff units that occur at depths of about 1,000 m, such pyrite does not constitute evidence of shallow mineralization at the proposed repository site; however, the pyrite may be evidence for mineralization deep beneath Yucca Mountain or as much as tens of kilometers from it

  12. Geodesy and contemporary strain in the Yucca Mountain region, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keefer, W.R.; Coe, J.A.; Pezzopane, S.K.; Hunter, W.C.

    1997-01-01

    Geodetic surveys provide important information for estimating recent ground movement in support of seismotectonic investigations of the potential nuclear-waste storage site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Resurveys of established level lines document up to 22 millimeters of local subsidence related to the 1992 Little Skull Mountain earthquake, which is consistent with seismic data that show normal-slip rupture and with data from a regional trilateration network. Comparison of more recent surveys with a level line first established in 1907 suggests 3 to 13 centimeters of subsidence in the Crater Flat-Yucca Mountain structural depression that coincides with the Bare Mountain fault; small uplifts also were recorded near normal faults at Yucca Mountain. No significant deformation was recorded by a trilateration network over a 10-year period, except for coseismic deformation associated with the Little Skull Mountain earthquake, but meaningful results are limited by the short temporal period of that data set and the small rate of movement. Very long baseline interferometry that is capable of measuring direction and rates of deformation is likewise limited by a short history of observation, but rates of deformation between 8 and 13 millimeters per year across the basin and Range province are indicated by the available data

  13. Magma Dynamics at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    D. Krier

    2005-01-01

    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

  14. 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.

  15. The occurrence and distribution of erionite at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1989-09-01

    We have conducted an investigation to determine the occurrence and distribution of erionite, a potential carcinogen, at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Using x-ray powder diffraction techniques yielding detection limits to below 0.05 wt %, we positively identified erionite in only 3 out of 76 bulk and 12 fracture samples investigated. The three erionite-bearing samples (J12-620/630, UE-25aNo.1-1296.2, and USW G4-1314) all occur above the static water level in clay/zeolite-rich horizons near the top of vitrophyres. Erionite occurs as trace amounts of less than 1 wt % in the whole rock, although it may occur locally in significant amounts as fracture fillings (e.g., UE-25aNo.1-1296.2 where it comprises approximately 45 wt % of the fracture filling material). All three occurrences appear to be extremely isolated cases since erionite was not detected in neighboring samples. Erionite at Yucca Mountain apparently formed only in localized microenvironments, possibly restricted to fractures. Since erionite occurs in trace amounts only in extremely isolated instances, it should pose little or no health hazard to workers in the potential repository at Yucca Mountain or to the public. The amounts of erionite liberated to the biosphere should be negligible, particularly when compared with the amounts of erionite occurring naturally at the surface in Nevada and surrounding states. 24 refs., 7 figs., 2 tabs

  16. Environmental exposures to agrochemicals in the Sierra Nevada mountain range

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeNoir, J.; Aston, L.; Data, S.; Fellers, G.; McConnell, L.; Sieber, J.

    2000-01-01

    The release of pesticides into the environment may impact human and environmental health. Despite the need for environmental exposure data, few studies quantify exposures in urban areas and even fewer determine exposures to wildlife in remote areas. Although it is expected that concentrations in remote regions will be low, recent studies suggest that even low concentrations may have deleterious effects on wildlife. Many pesticides are known to interfere with the endocrine systems of humans and wildlife, adversely affecting growth, development, and behavior. This chapter reviews the fate and transport of pesticides applied in the Central Valley of California and quantifies their subsequent deposition into the relatively pristine Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.

  17. Hydrogeologic influence on changes in snowmelt runoff with climate warming: Numerical experiments on a mid-elevation catchment in the Sierra Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    S.M. Jepsen; T.C. Harmon; M.W. Meadows; C.T. Hunsaker

    2016-01-01

    The role of hydrogeology in mediating long-term changes in mountain streamflow, resulting from reduced snowfall in a potentially warmer climate, is currently not well understood. We explore this by simulating changes in stream discharge and evapotranspiration from a mid-elevation, 1-km2 catchment in the southern Sierra Nevada of California (USA)...

  18. Development of the Performance Confirmation Program at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    G.D. LeCain; D. Barr; D. Weaver; R. Snell; S.W. Goodin; F.D. Hansen

    2006-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain Performance Confirmation program consists of tests, monitoring activities, experiments, and analyses to evaluate the adequacy of assumptions, data, and analyses that form the basis of the conceptual and numerical models of flow and transport associated with a proposed radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The Performance Confirmation program uses an eight-stage risk-informed, performance-based approach. Selection of the Performance Confirmation activities (a parameter and a test method) for inclusion in the Performance Confirmation program was done using a risk-informed performance-based decision analysis. The result of this analysis and review was a Performance Confirmation base portfolio that consists of 20 activities. The 20 Performance Confirmation activities include geologic, hydrologic, and construction/engineering testing. Several of the activities were initiated during site characterization and are ongoing. Others activities will commence during construction and/or post emplacement and will continue until repository closure

  19. CAPILLARY BARRIERS IN UNSATURATED FRACTURED ROCKS OF YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, Y.S.; Zhang, W.; Pan, L.; Hinds, J.; Bodvarsson, G.

    2000-01-01

    This work presents modeling studies investigating the effects of capillary barriers on fluid-flow and tracer-transport processes in the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, a potential site for storing high-level radioactive waste. These studies are designed to identify factors controlling the formation of capillary barriers and to estimate their effects on the extent of possible large-scale lateral flow in unsaturated fracture rocks. The modeling approach is based on a continuum formulation of coupled multiphase fluid and tracer transport through fractured porous rock. Flow processes in fractured porous rock are described using a dual-continuum concept. In addition, approximate analytical solutions are developed and used for assessing capillary-barrier effects in fractured rocks. This study indicates that under the current hydrogeologic conceptualization of Yucca Mountain, strong capillary-barrier effects exist for significantly diverting moisture flow

  20. Monitoring the vadose zone in fractured tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Montazer, P.; Weeks, E.P.; Thamir, F.; Yard, S.N.; Hofrichter, P.B.

    1985-01-01

    Unsaturated tuff beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is being evaluated by the US Department of Energy as a host rock for a potential repository for high-level radioactive waste. As part of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project of the US Department of Energy, the US Geological Survey has been conducting hydrologic, geologic, and geophysical investigations at Yucca Mountain and the surrounding region to provide data evaluation of the potential suitability of the site. Hydrologic investigations of the unsaturated zone at this site were started in 1982. A 17.5-inch- (44.5-centimeter-) diameter borehole (USW UZ-1) was drilled by the reverse-air vacuum-drilling technique to a depth of 1269 feet (387 meters). This borehole was instrumented at 33 depth levels. At 15 of the levels, 3 well screens were embedded in coarse-sand columns. The sand columns were isolated from each other by thin layers of bentonite, columns of silica flour, and isolation plugs consisting of expansive cement. Thermocouple psychrometers and pressure transducers were installed within the screens and connected to the data-acquisition system at the land surface through thermocouple and logging cables. Two of the screens at each level were equipped with access tubes to allow collection of pore-gas samples. In addition to these instruments, 18 heat-dissipation probes were installed within the columns of silica flour, some of which also had thermocouple psychrometers. 20 refs., 13 figs., 2 tabs

  1. 1983 biotic studies of Yucca Mountain, Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Farrell, T.P.; Collins, E.

    1984-04-01

    A 27.5-square-mile portion of Yucca Mountain on and adjacent to the US Department of Energy's Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada, is being considered as a potential location for a national high-level radioactive waste repository. Preliminary geologic and environmental characterization studies have been supported and more extensive studies are planned. Goals of the biotic surveys were to identify species of concern, describe major floral and faunal associations, and assess possible impacts of characterization and operational activities. Floral associations observed were characteristic of either the Mojave or Transition deserts that are widely distributed in southern Nevada. Diversity, in terms of total number of perennial species represented, was higher in Transition Desert associations than in Mojave Desert associations. Canopy coverage of associations fell within the range of reported values, but tended to be more homogeneous than expected. Annual vegetation was found to be diverse only where the frequency of Bromus rubens was low. Ground cover of winter annuals, especially annual grasses, was observed to be very dense in 1983. The threat of range fires on Yucca Mountain was high because of the increased amount of dead litter and the decreased amount of bare ground. Significant variability was observed in the distribution and relative abundance of several small mammal species between 1982 and 1983. Desert tortoise were found in low densities comparable with those observed in 1982. Evidence of recent activity, which included sighting of two live tortoises, was found in five areas on Yucca Mountain. Two of these areas have a high probability of sustaining significant impacts if a repository is constructed. Regeneration of aboveground shrub parts from root crowns was observed in areas damaged in 1982 by seismic testing with Vibroseis machines. These areas, which had been cleared to bare dirt by passage of the machines, also supported lush stands of winter annuals

  2. 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

  3. SNL Yucca Mountain Project data report: Density and porosity data for tuffs from the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schwartz, B.M.

    1990-02-01

    Yucca Mountain, located on and adjacent to the Nevada Test Site in southern Nevada, is being evaluated as a potential site for underground disposal of nuclear wastes. At present, the physical, thermal, and mechanical properties of tuffaceous rocks from Yucca Mountain are being determined as part of the Yucca Mountain Project. This report documents experiment data, which have been obtained by Sandia National Laboratories or its contractors, for the density and porosity of tuffaceous rocks that lie above the water table at Yucca Mountain. 7 refs., 2 figs., 3 tabs

  4. Using machine learning to predict snow water equivalent in the Sierra Nevada USA and Afghanistan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bair, N.; Rittger, K.; Dozier, J.

    2017-12-01

    In many mountain regions, snowmelt provides most of the runoff. Ranges such as the Sierra Nevada USA benefit from hundreds of manual and automated snow measurement stations as well as basin-wide snow water equavalent (SWE) estimates from new platforms like the Airborne Snow Observatory. Thus, we have been able to use the Sierra Nevada as a testbed to validate an approach called SWE reconstruction, where the snowpack is built-up in reverse using downscaled energy balance forcings. Our past work has shown that SWE reconstruction produces some of the most accurate basin-wide SWE estimates, comparable in accuracy to a snow pillow/course interpolation, but requires no in situ measurements, which is its main advantage. The disadvantages are that reconstruction cannot be used for a forecast and is only valid during the ablation period. To address these shortcomings, we have used machine learning trained on reconstructed SWE in the Sierra Nevada and Afghanistan, where there are no accessible snowpack measurements. Predictors are physiographic and remotely-sensed variables, including brightness temperatures from a new enhanced resolution passive microwave dataset. Two machine learning techniques—bagged regression trees and feed-forward neural networks—were used. Results show little bias on average and training period, i.e. the ablation period.

  5. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 9, Index

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-12-01

    This site characterization plan (SCP) has been developed for the candidate repository site at Yucca Mountain in the State of Nevada. The SCP includes a description of the Yucca Mountain site (Chapters 1-5), a conceptual design for the repository (Chapter 6), a description of the packaging to be used for the waste to be emplaced in the repository (Chapter 7), and a description of the planned site characterization activities (Chapter 8). The schedules and milestones presented in Sections 8.3 and 8.5 of the SCP were developed to be consistent with the June 1988 draft Amendment to the DOE`s Mission Plan for the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program. The five month delay in the scheduled start of exploratory shaft construction that was announced recently is not reflected in these schedules.

  6. Water levels in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, 1993

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tucci, P.; Goemaat, R.L.; Burkhardt, D.J.

    1996-01-01

    Water levels were monitored in 28 wells in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, during 1993. Seventeen wells were monitored periodically, generally on a monthly basis, and 11 wells representing 18 intervals were monitored hourly. All wells monitor water levels in Tertiary volcanic rocks, except one that monitors water levels in Paleozoic carbonate rocks. Water levels were measured using calibrated steel tapes and pressure transducers; steel-tape measurements were corrected for mechanical stretch, thermal expansion, and borehole deviation to obtain precise water-level altitudes. Water-level altitudes in the Tertiary volcanic rocks ranged from about 728 meters above sea level east of Yucca Mountain to about 1,034 meters above sea level north of Yucca Mountain. Water-level altitudes in the well monitoring the Paleozoic carbonate rocks varied between 752 and 753 meters above sea level during 1993. Water levels were an average of about 0.04 meter lower than 1992 water levels. All data were acquired in accordance with a quality-assurance program to support the reliability of the data

  7. Environmental assessment: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada; Volume 3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1986-05-01

    In February 1983, the US Department of Energy (DOE) identified the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada as one of nine potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The site is in the Great Basin, which is one of five distinct geohydrologic settings considered for the first repository. To determine their suitability, the Yucca Mountain 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 EAs. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this EA, the DOE has found that the Yucca Mountain site is not disqualified under the guidelines. The DOE has also found that it 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 Yucca Mountain site as one of five sites suitable for characterization.

  8. Environmental assessment: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada; Volume 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1986-05-01

    In February 1983, the US Department of Energy (DOE) identified the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada as one of nine potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high- level radioactive waste. The site is in the Great Basin, which is one of five distinct geohydrologic settings considered for the first repository. To determine their suitability, the Yucca Mountain site and the eight other potentially acceptable sites have been evaluated in accordance with the DOE`s General Guideline for the Recommendation of Sites for the Nuclear Waste Repositories. These evaluations were reported in draft environmental assessments (EA), which were issued for public review and comment. After considering the comments received on the draft EAs, the DOE prepared the final EAs. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this EA, the DOE found that the Yucca Mountain site is not disqualified under the guidelines. The DOE has also found that it 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 Yucca Mountain site as of five sites suitable for characterization.

  9. Environmental assessment: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada; Volume 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1986-05-01

    In February 1983, the US Department of Energy (DOE) identified the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada as one of nine potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The site is in the Great Basin, which is one of five distinct geohydrologic settings considered for the first repository. To determine their suitability, the Yucca Mountain 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 EAs. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this EA, the DOE has found that the Yucca Mountain site is not disqualified under the guidelines. The DOE has also found that is 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 Yucca Mountain site as one of five sites suitable for characterization.

  10. Environmental assessment: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-05-01

    In February 1983, the US Department of Energy (DOE) identified the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada as one of nine potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The site is in the Great Basin, which is one of five distinct geohydrologic settings considered for the first repository. To determine their suitability, the Yucca Mountain 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 EAs. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this EA, the DOE has found that the Yucca Mountain site is not disqualified under the guidelines. The DOE has also found that it 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 Yucca Mountain site as one of five sites suitable for characterization

  11. Environmental assessment: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-05-01

    In February 1983, the US Department of Energy (DOE) identified the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada as one of nine potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high- level radioactive waste. The site is in the Great Basin, which is one of five distinct geohydrologic settings considered for the first repository. To determine their suitability, the Yucca Mountain site and the eight other potentially acceptable sites have been evaluated in accordance with the DOE's General Guideline for the Recommendation of Sites for the Nuclear Waste Repositories. These evaluations were reported in draft environmental assessments (EA), which were issued for public review and comment. After considering the comments received on the draft EAs, the DOE prepared the final EAs. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this EA, the DOE found that the Yucca Mountain site is not disqualified under the guidelines. The DOE has also found that it 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 Yucca Mountain site as of five sites suitable for characterization

  12. Environmental assessment: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-05-01

    In February 1983, the US Department of Energy (DOE) identified the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada as one of nine potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The site is in the Great Basin, which is one of five distinct geohydrologic settings considered for the first repository. To determine their suitability, the Yucca Mountain 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 EAs. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this EA, the DOE has found that the Yucca Mountain site is not disqualified under the guidelines. The DOE has also found that is 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 Yucca Mountain site as one of five sites suitable for characterization

  13. Geophysical borehole logging in the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schimschal, U.; Nelson, P.H.

    1991-01-01

    Borehole geophysical logging for site characterization in the volcanic rocks at the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, requires data collection under rather unusual conditions. Logging tools must operate in rugose, dry holes above the water table in the unsaturated zone. Not all logging tools will operate in this environment, therefore; careful consideration must be given to selection and calibration. A sample suite of logs is presented that demonstrates correlation of geological formations from borehole to borehole, the definition of zones of altered mineralogy, and the quantitative estimates of rock properties. The authors show the results of an exploratory calculation of porosity and water saturation based upon density and epithermal neutron logs. Comparison of the results with a few core samples is encouraging, particularly because the logs can provide continuous data in boreholes where core samples are not available

  14. Infiltration at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, traced by 36Cl

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Norris, A.E.; Wolfsberg, K.; Gifford, S.K.; Bentley, H.W.; Elmore, D.

    1987-04-01

    Measurements of chloride and 36 Cl in soils from two locations near Yucca Mountain, Nevada, have been used to trace the infiltration of precipitation in this arid region. The results show that the 36 Cl fallout from nuclear weapons testing formed a well-defined peak at one location, with a maximum 0.5m below the surface. The structure of the 36 Cl bomb pulse at the other location was much more complex, and quantity of 36 Cl in the bomb pulse was 12 atoms 36 Cl/m 2 in the bomb pulse at the first location. The data indicate hydrologic activity subsequent to the 36 Cl bomb pulse fallout at one location, but none at the other location. 11 refs

  15. 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

  16. Topography, stresses, and stability at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swolfs, H.S.; Savage, W.Z.

    1985-01-01

    Plane-strain solutions are used to analyze the influence of topography on the state of stress at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada. The results are in good agreement with the measured stress components obtained in drill holes by the hydraulic-fracturing technique, particularly those measured directly beneath the crest of the ridge, and indicate that these stresses are gravitationally induced. A separate analysis takes advantage of the fact that a well-developed set of vertical faults and fractures, subparallel to the ridge trend, imparts a vertical transverse isotropy to the rock and that, as a consequence of gravitational loading, unequal horizontal stresses are induced in directions perpendicular and parallel to the anisotropy

  17. Preliminary postclosure risk assessment: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, candidate repository site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eslinger, P.W.; Elwood, D.M.; Freshley, M.D.; Reimus, P.W.; Tanner, J.E.; Doctor, P.G.; Engel, D.W.; Liebetrau, A.M.; Strenge, D.L.; Van Luik, A.E.

    1989-10-01

    A study was conducted by the Pacific Northwest Laboratory for the US Department of Energy, Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, to estimate the postclosure risk, in terms of population health effects, of a proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The risk estimates cover a time span of 1 million years following repository closure. Representative disruptive and intrusive events were selected and evaluated in addition to expected conditions. The estimates were generated assuming spent fuel as the waste form and included all important nuclides from inventory, half-life and dose perspectives. The base case results yield an estimate of 36 health effects over the first million years of repository operation. The doses attributed to the repository corresponds to about 0.1 percent of the doses received from natural background radiation. 16 refs., 1 fig

  18. Evaluation of habitat restoration needs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitchell, D.L.

    1984-04-01

    Adverse environmental impacts due to site characterization and repository development activities at Yucca Mountain, Nevada Test Site (NTS), Nye County, Nevada, must be minimized and mitigated according to provisions of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) of 1982 and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The natural Transition Desert ecosystem in the 27.5-sq-mi Yucca Mountain project area is now and will continue to be impacted by removal of native vegetation and topsoil and the destruction and/or displacement of faunal communities. Although it is not known at this time exactly how much land will be affected, it is estimated that about 300 to 400 acres will be disturbed by construction of facility sites, mining spoils piles, roadways, and drilling pads. Planned habitat restoration at Yucca Mountain will mitigate the effects of plant and animal habitat loss over time by increasing the rate of plant succession on disturbed sites. Restoration program elements should combine the appropriate use of native annual and perennial species, irrigation and/or water-harvesting techniques, and salvage and reuse of topsoil. Although general techniques are well-known, specific program details (i.e., which species to use, methods of site preparation with available equipment, methods of saving and applying topsoil, etc.) must be worked out empirically on a site-specific basis over the period of site characterization and any subsequent repository development. Large-scale demonstration areas set up during site characterization will benefit both present abandonments and, if the project is scaled up to include repository development, larger facilities areas including spoils piles. Site-specific demonstration studies will also provide information on the costs per acre associated with alternative restoration strategies

  19. 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

  20. Hydrological flow analysis at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    This final report, prepared by Hydro Geo Chem staff for Los Alamos National Laboratory, summarizes work conducted by the company under Subcontract 52OHHOOI 5-3G, which was terminated by LANL effective 7 February 1995 for practical reasons, in that responsibilities for all tasks in the Statement of Work had been transitioned to LANL employees. The ultimate objective of this work is to characterize the movement of subsurface water in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Data produced under this contract is to be used by the U.S. Department of Energy in its Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) to help determine hydrologic flows that may affect the performance of a potential nuclear waste,, repository. The data may be used in the licensing proceedings, and certain quality assurance procedures have thus been required. The work has focused on measuring the distribution of environmental tracers- chlorine-36, chlorine, and bromine-and on evaluating the depth to which these conservative solutes have percolated in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. The period of performance for the original Subcontract was I October 1994 to 31 December 1996. Obviously, we have not completed, nor are we expected to complete, all of the scope of work in the Subcontract. The following discussion summarizes progress made on the tasks outlined in the Statement of Work for this Subcontract Details of this work and all data acquired by Hydro Geo Chem for this Subcontract have, been systematically organized in logbooks and - laboratory notebooks (Appendices A and B). These documents have been structured to make it easy to trace the analytical history of a sample, from time of receipt to the final analytical results. The current status of this work and its relevance for the Yucca Mountain Project are described in a LANL report co-authored by Hydro Geo Chem staff

  1. Site characterization plan: Public Handbook, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain site in Nevada has been designated by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended, for detailed study as the candidate site for the first US geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The detailed study --- called ''site characterization'' --- will be conducted by the Department of Energy (DOE) to determine the suitability of the site for a repository and, if the site is suitable, to obtain from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission authorization to construct the repository. As part of the site characterization study, DOE has prepared a Site Characterization Plan (SCP) for the Yucca Mountain site. The Site Characterization Plan is a nine-volume document, approximately 6300 pages in length, which describes the activities that will be conducted to characterize the geologic, hydrologic, and other conditions relevant to the suitability of the site for a repository. Part 1 of this Handbook explains what site characterization is and how the Site Characterization Plan (Plan) relates to it. Part 2 tells how to locate subjects covered in the Plan. Another major purpose of this Handbook is to identify opportunities for public involement in the review of the Site Characterization Plan. DOE wants to be sure that the public has adequate opportunities to learn about the Plan and review the results of the subsequent technical studies. 14 refs

  2. US strategy for evaluating the Yucca Mountain, Nevada site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gertz, C.

    1988-01-01

    The principal role of a disposal system at Yucca Mountain, Nevada is to isolate waste for a long period into the future. Therefore, the general objective for the entire system is to limit any radionuclide releases to the accessible environment. This objective will be achieved by selecting a site that contains natural barriers against radionuclide releases and by providing an appropriate system of engineered barriers. To provide additional insurance that the system at Yucca Mountain will perform adequately, individual objectives have also been defined for the engineered and natural barriers to radionuclide release and for the design of the disposal system. The general objective for the engineered barriers is that they should limit the release of radionuclides to the natural barriers. The general objective for the natural barriers is that the time of radionuclide travel to the accessible environment through these barriers should be very long. In particular, since groundwater may transport radionuclides, the groundwater travel time should be very long. The general objectives for the design of the disposal system are that its operation should be safe and that its construction should not compromise its ability to meet the other general objectives

  3. Rock-Ice Feature Inventory for the Sierra Nevada, California, USA, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Sierra Nevada is a tectonic uplift mountain range with a gradual gain in elevation on the west side and a steep escarpment on the east. Most of the mapped...

  4. Water levels in the Yucca Mountain Area, Nevada, 1996

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Graves, R.P.

    1998-01-01

    Water levels were monitored in 24 wells in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, during 1996. Twenty-two wells representing 28 depth intervals were monitored periodically, generally on a monthly basis, and 2 wells representing 3 depth intervals were monitored both hourly and periodically. All wells monitor water levels in Tertiary volcanic rocks except one that monitors water levels in paleozoic carbonate rocks. Water levels were measured using either calibrated steel tapes or a pressure sensor. Mean water-level altitudes in the Tertiary volcanic rocks ranged from about 727.86 to about 1,034.58 meters above sea level during 1996. The mean water-level altitude in the well monitoring the Paleozoic carbonate rocks was about 752.57 meters above sea level during 1996. Mean water-level altitudes for 1996 were an average of about 0.06 meter lower than 1995 mean water-level altitudes and 0.03 meter lower than 1985--95 mean water-level altitudes. During 1996, water levels in the Yucca Mountain area could have been affected by long-term pumping at the C-hole complex that began on May 8, 1996. Through December 31, 1996, approximately 196 million liters were pumped from well UE-25 c number-sign 3 at the C-hole complex. Other ground-water pumpage in the Yucca Mountain area includes annual pumpage from water-supply wells UE-25 J-12 and UE-25 J-13 of approximately 163 and 105 million liters, respectively, and pumpage from well USW G-2 for hydraulic testing during February and April 1996 of approximately 6 million liters

  5. 1984 Biotic Studies of Yucca Mountain, Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Collins, E.; O'Farrell, T.P.

    1985-02-01

    A portion of Yucca Mountain on and adjacent to the US Department of Energy's Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada, is being considered as a possible location for a national high-level radioactive waste repository. The geologic and environmental characteristics of the site are being investigated to determine its suitability for further characterization. Goals of biotic studies were to identify species of concern, describe major floral and faunal associations, determine exposure levels of external background radiation, and assess possible impacts of characterization and operational activities. The species composition of dominant small mammals inhabiting major vegetation associations in 1984 varied little compared with results of similar surveys conducted in 1982 and 1983. Total captures were lower and reproduction was apparently curtailed. Merriam's kangaroo rat and the long tailed pocket mouse continued to be the most abundant species. Diversity of resident species did not differ significantly between the trapping lines. The composition and relative abundance of associated species was more variable. Western harvest mice were trapped for the first time, but pinyon mice, which were present in prior years, were not trapped. Five desert tortoises were observed during surveys of possible sites for repository surface facilities. 25 refs., 4 figs., 5 tabs

  6. A Method for Snow Reanalysis: The Sierra Nevada (USA) Example

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girotto, Manuela; Margulis, Steven; Cortes, Gonzalo; Durand, Michael

    2017-01-01

    This work presents a state-of-the art methodology for constructing snow water equivalent (SWE) reanalysis. The method is comprised of two main components: (1) a coupled land surface model and snow depletion curve model, which is used to generate an ensemble of predictions of SWE and snow cover area for a given set of (uncertain) inputs, and (2) a reanalysis step, which updates estimation variables to be consistent with the satellite observed depletion of the fractional snow cover time series. This method was applied over the Sierra Nevada (USA) based on the assimilation of remotely sensed fractional snow covered area data from the Landsat 5-8 record (1985-2016). The verified dataset (based on a comparison with over 9000 station years of in situ data) exhibited mean and root-mean-square errors less than 3 and 13 cm, respectively, and correlation greater than 0.95 compared with in situ SWE observations. The method (fully Bayesian), resolution (daily, 90-meter), temporal extent (31 years), and accuracy provide a unique dataset for investigating snow processes. This presentation illustrates how the reanalysis dataset was used to provide a basic accounting of the stored snowpack water in the Sierra Nevada over the last 31 years and ultimately improve real-time streamflow predictions.

  7. Potential Future Igneous Activity at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cline, M.; Perry, F.; Valentine, G.; Smistad, E.

    2005-01-01

    Location, timing, and volumes of post-Miocene volcanic activity, along with expert judgment, provide the basis for assessing the probability of future volcanism intersecting a proposed repository for nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Analog studies of eruptive centers in the region that may represent the style and extent of possible future igneous activity at Yucca Mountain have aided in defining the consequence scenarios for intrusion into and eruption through a proposed repository. Modeling of magmatic processes related to magma/proposed repository interactions has been used to assess the potential consequences of a future igneous event through a proposed repository at Yucca Mountain. Results of work to date indicate future igneous activity in the Yucca Mountain region has a very low probability of intersecting the proposed repository. Probability of a future event intersecting a proposed repository at Yucca Mountain is approximately 1.7 x 10 -8 per year. Since completion of the Probabilistic Volcanic Hazard Assessment (PVHA) in 1996, anomalies representing potential buried volcanic centers have been identified from aeromagnetic surveys. A re-assessment of the hazard is currently underway to evaluate the probability of intersection in light of new information and to estimate the probability of one or more volcanic conduits located in the proposed repository along a dike that intersects the proposed repository. US Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations for siting and licensing a proposed repository require that the consequences of a disruptive event (igneous event) with annual probability greater than 1 x 10 -8 be evaluated. Two consequence scenarios are considered: (1) igneous intrusion-poundwater transport case and (2) volcanic eruptive case. These scenarios equate to a dike or dike swarm intersecting repository drifts containing waste packages, formation of a conduit leading to a volcanic eruption through the repository that carries the contents of

  8. Characterization of hydrogeologic units using matrix properties, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, L.E.

    1998-01-01

    Determination of the suitability of Yucca Mountain, in southern Nevada, as a geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste requires the use of numerical flow and transport models. Input for these models includes parameters that describe hydrologic properties and the initial and boundary conditions for all rock materials within the unsaturated zone, as well as some of the upper rocks in the saturated zone. There are 30 hydrogeologic units in the unsaturated zone, and each unit is defined by limited ranges where a discrete volume of rock contains similar hydrogeologic properties. These hydrogeologic units can be easily located in space by using three-dimensional lithostratigraphic models based on relation- ships of the properties with the lithostratigraphy. Physical properties of bulk density, porosity, and particle density; flow properties of saturated hydraulic conductivity and moisture-retention characteristics; and the state variables (variables describing the current state of field conditions) of saturation and water potential were determined for each unit. Units were defined using (1) a data base developed from 4,892 rock samples collected from the coring of 23 shallow and 8 deep boreholes, (2) described lithostratigraphic boundaries and corresponding relations to porosity, (3) recognition of transition zones with pronounced changes in properties over short vertical distances, (4) characterization of the influence of mineral alteration on hydrologic properties such as permeability and moisture-retention characteristics, and (5) a statistical analysis to evaluate where boundaries should be adjusted to minimize the variance within layers. This study describes the correlation of hydrologic properties to porosity, a property that is well related to the lithostratigraphy and depositional and cooling history of the volcanic deposits and can, therefore, be modeled to be distributed laterally. Parameters of the hydrogeologic units developed in this study and the

  9. Impact of Quaternary Climate on Seepage at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    J.F. Whelan; J.B. Paces; L.A. Neymark; A.K. Schmitt; M. Grove

    2006-01-01

    Uranium-series ages, oxygen-isotopic compositions, and uranium contents were determined in outer growth layers of opal and calcite from 0.5- to 3-centimeter-thick mineral coatings hosted by lithophysal cavities in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the proposed site of a permanent repository for high-level radioactive waste. Micrometer-scale growth layering in the minerals was imaged using a cathodoluminescence detector on a scanning electron microscope. Determinations of the chemistry, ages, and delta oxygen-18 values of the growth layers were conducted by electron microprobe analysis and secondary ion mass spectrometry techniques at spatial resolutions of 1 to about 20 micrometers ((micro)m) and 25 to 40 micrometers, respectively. Growth rates for the last 300 thousand years (k.y.) calculated from about 300 new high-resolution uranium-series ages range from approximately 0.5 to 1.5 (micro)m/k.y. for 1- to 3-centimeter-thick coatings, whereas coatings less than about I-centimeter-thick have growth rates less than 0.5 (micro)m/k.y. At the depth of the proposed repository, correlations of uranium concentration and delta oxygen-18 values with regional climate records indicate that unsaturated zone percolation and seepage water chemistries have responded to changes in climate during the last several hundred thousand years

  10. 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

  11. Shallow infiltration processes in arid watersheds at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1994-01-01

    A conceptual model of shallow infiltration processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, was developed for use in hydrologic flow models to characterize net infiltration (the penetration of the wetting front below the zone influenced by evapotranspiration). The model categorizes the surface of the site into four infiltration zones. These zones were identified as ridgetops, sideslopes, terraces, and active channels on the basis of water-content changes with depth and time. The maximum depth of measured water-content change at a specific site is a function of surface storage capacity, the timing and magnitude of precipitation, evapotranspiration, and the degree of saturation of surficial materials overlying fractured bedrock. Measured water-content profiles for the four zones indicated that the potential for net infiltration is higher when evapotranspiration is low (i.e winter, cloudy periods), where surface concentration of water is likely to occur (i.e. depressions, channels), where surface storage capacity is low, and where fractured bedrock is close to the surface

  12. Water levels in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, 1995

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Graves, R.P.; Goemaat, R.L.

    1998-01-01

    Water levels were monitored in 28 wells in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, during 1995. Seventeen wells representing 18 depth intervals were monitored periodically, generally on a monthly basis, 2 wells representing 3 depth intervals were monitored hourly, and 9 wells representing 15 depth intervals were monitored both periodically and hourly. All wells monitor water levels in Tertiary volcanic rocks except one that monitors water levels in Paleozoic carbonate rocks. Water levels were measured using calibrated steel tapes, a multiconductor cable unit, and/or pressure transducers. Mean water-level altitudes in the Tertiary volcanic rocks ranged from about 728 to about 1,034 meters above sea level during 1995. The mean water-level altitude in the well monitoring the Paleozoic carbonate rocks was about 753 meters above sea level during 1995. Mean water level altitudes were only an average of about 0.01 meters higher than 1994 mean water level altitudes. A single-well aquifer test was conducted on well UE-25 WT number-sign 12 during August and September 1995. Well USW 0-2 was also pumped during October and November 1995, in preparation for single-well aquifer test at that well. All data were acquired in accordance with a quality-assurance program to support the reliability of the data

  13. Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noble, D.C.; Plouff, D.; Close, T.J.; Bergquist, J.R.; Neumann, T.R.

    1987-01-01

    The part of the High Rock Late Wilderness Study Area, requested for mineral surveys by the Bureau of Land Management, encompasses 14,000 acres in the northern part of the Calico Mountains, Northwest Nevada. No resources were identified in the study area; however, there is low potential throughout the study area for volcanic-hosted deposits of mercury, uranium, and disseminated gold. The northern part of the study area has low potential for geothermal energy

  14. Dataset of Phenology of Mediterranean high-mountain meadows flora (Sierra Nevada, Spain)

    OpenAIRE

    Antonio Jesús Pérez-Luque; Cristina Patricia Sánchez-Rojas; Regino Zamora; Ramón Pérez-Pérez; Francisco Javier Bonet

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Sierra Nevada mountain range (southern Spain) hosts a high number of endemic plant species, being one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in the Mediterranean basin. The high-mountain meadow ecosystems (borreguiles) harbour a large number of endemic and threatened plant species. In this data paper, we describe a dataset of the flora inhabiting this threatened ecosystem in this Mediterranean mountain. The dataset includes occurrence data for flora collected in those ecosystems...

  15. Evaluations of Yucca Mountain survey findings about the attitudes, opinions, and evaluations of nuclear waste disposal and Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flynn, J.H.; Slovic, P.; Mertz, C.K.; Toma, J.

    1990-09-01

    This report provides findings from three surveys conducted during the Fall 1989 as part of the socioeconomic research program sponsored by the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects. The US Congress passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) in 1982 and defined specific oversight responsibilities, including studies of socioeconomic effects and impacts, to the states in which potential high-level nuclear waste repositories might be located. The NWPA was amended in 1987 and Yucca Mountain, Nevada was designated as the only site to be characterized (studied in detail) as a location for the nation's first repository. These surveys were conducted so they could provide information to the state of Nevada in its evaluation of the Yucca Mountain project. This report presents information from these surveys on two major areas. First, respondent evaluations of environmental hazards, especially nuclear waste facilities are reported. Second, an analysis is made of the Nevada State Survey to examine the public response to the positions taken by the officials and institutions of Nevada in regard to the Yucca Mountain project. The survey data support a finding that the respondents from all three surveys are seriously concerned about the environmental effects of technological facilities and hazards. The evaluations of a nuclear waste repository especially is viewed as likely to produce adverse events and impacts in every aspect of its implementation, operation or long-term existence. When compared to other industrial or technological activities, a high-level nuclear waste repository is seen as the most feared and least acceptable. 36 tabs

  16. Modeling studies of mountain-scale radionuclide transport in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moridis, George J.; Seol, Yongkoo; Wu, Yu-Shu

    2003-01-01

    We investigate radionuclide transport from a high-level nuclear waste repository to be situated in the unsaturated zone (UZ) at Yucca Mountain (YM), Nevada. Several radioactive solutes (that cover the range of sorption behavior) and colloids of various sizes are studied. The results of the study indicate the importance of 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 effects of the climatic conditions, diffusion, and sorption (for solutes) or infiltration (for colloids) onto the matrix are discussed. The influence of the colloid size on transport is also investigated

  17. 1982 biotic survey of Yucca Mountain, Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Farrell, T.P.; Collins, E.

    1983-02-01

    In 1981 an extensive literature review was conducted to determine the current state of knowledge about the ecological characteristics of the Yucca Mountain study area and to identify what site-specific information was lacking. Based on the findings of the review a field study was initiated in 1982 to gather site-specific information on the ecological characteristics of the project area. The biota observed were representative of either the Mojave or Transition deserts that are widely distributed in southern Nevada and the arid Southwest. No unusual vegetation associations or assemblages of animals were observed. Based on observations of tracks and scats it was concluded that low numbers of both mule deer and feral burros used the area seasonally, and that neither species should be severely threatened by the proposed activities. The Mojave fishhook cactus and desert tortoise, both under consideration for federal protection as threatened species, were found to occur in the study area. The former was distributed in notable densities on the rocky ridgelines of Yucca Mountain in areas that should not be greatly disturbed by site characterization or future repository activities. Evidence of desert tortoise was observed throughout the project area to elevations of 5240 ft; however, relative densities were estimated to be low (less than 20 per square mile). Physical destruction of soils and native vegetation was determined to be the most significant negative effect associated with current and proposed characterization activities. Solution holes in exposed flat rock on ridgelines that served as passive collectors of precipitation and runoff were the only sources of free water observed. While these water supplies were not adequate to support riparian vegetation, there was evidence that they served as an important ephemeral source of water for wildlife

  18. Characterize Framework for Igneous Activity at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perry, F.; Youngs, B.

    2000-01-01

    The purpose of this Analysis/Model (AMR) report is twofold. (1) The first is to present a conceptual framework of igneous activity in the Yucca Mountain region (YMR) consistent with the volcanic and tectonic history of this region and the assessment of this history by experts who participated in the Probabilistic Volcanic Hazard Analysis (PVHA) (CRWMS M and O 1996). Conceptual models presented in the PVHA are summarized and extended in areas in which new information has been presented. Alternative conceptual models are discussed as well as their impact on probability models. The relationship between volcanic source zones defined in the PVHA and structural features of the YMR are described based on discussions in the PVHA and studies presented since the PVHA. (2) The second purpose of the AMR is to present probability calculations based on PVHA outputs. Probability distributions are presented for the length and orientation of volcanic dikes within the repository footprint and for the number of eruptive centers located within the repository footprint (conditional on the dike intersecting the repository). The probability of intersection of a basaltic dike within the repository footprint was calculated in the AMR ''Characterize Framework for Igneous Activity at Yucca Mountain, Nevada'' (CRWMS M and O 2000g) based on the repository footprint known as the Enhanced Design Alternative [EDA II, Design B (CRWMS M and O 1999a; Wilkins and Heath 1999)]. Then, the ''Site Recommendation Design Baseline'' (CRWMS M and O 2000a) initiated a change in the repository design, which is described in the ''Site Recommendation Subsurface Layout'' (CRWMS M and O 2000b). Consequently, the probability of intersection of a basaltic dike within the repository footprint has also been calculated for the current repository footprint, which is called the 70,000 Metric Tons of Uranium (MTU) No-Backfill Layout (CRWMS M and O 2000b). The calculations for both footprints are presented in this AMR. In

  19. Characterize Framework for Igneous Activity at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    F. Perry; B. Youngs

    2000-11-06

    The purpose of this Analysis/Model (AMR) report is twofold. (1) The first is to present a conceptual framework of igneous activity in the Yucca Mountain region (YMR) consistent with the volcanic and tectonic history of this region and the assessment of this history by experts who participated in the Probabilistic Volcanic Hazard Analysis (PVHA) (CRWMS M&O 1996). Conceptual models presented in the PVHA are summarized and extended in areas in which new information has been presented. Alternative conceptual models are discussed as well as their impact on probability models. The relationship between volcanic source zones defined in the PVHA and structural features of the YMR are described based on discussions in the PVHA and studies presented since the PVHA. (2) The second purpose of the AMR is to present probability calculations based on PVHA outputs. Probability distributions are presented for the length and orientation of volcanic dikes within the repository footprint and for the number of eruptive centers located within the repository footprint (conditional on the dike intersecting the repository). The probability of intersection of a basaltic dike within the repository footprint was calculated in the AMR ''Characterize Framework for Igneous Activity at Yucca Mountain, Nevada'' (CRWMS M&O 2000g) based on the repository footprint known as the Enhanced Design Alternative [EDA II, Design B (CRWMS M&O 1999a; Wilkins and Heath 1999)]. Then, the ''Site Recommendation Design Baseline'' (CRWMS M&O 2000a) initiated a change in the repository design, which is described in the ''Site Recommendation Subsurface Layout'' (CRWMS M&O 2000b). Consequently, the probability of intersection of a basaltic dike within the repository footprint has also been calculated for the current repository footprint, which is called the 70,000 Metric Tons of Uranium (MTU) No-Backfill Layout (CRWMS M&O 2000b). The calculations for both

  20. Characterization of hydrogeologic units using matrix properties, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flint, L.E.

    1998-01-01

    Determination of the suitability of Yucca Mountain, in southern Nevada, as a geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste requires the use of numerical flow and transport models. Input for these models includes parameters that describe hydrologic properties and the initial and boundary conditions for all rock materials within the unsaturated zone, as well as some of the upper rocks in the saturated zone. There are 30 hydrogeologic units in the unsaturated zone, and each unit is defined by limited ranges where a discrete volume of rock contains similar hydrogeologic properties. These hydrogeologic units can be easily located in space by using three-dimensional lithostratigraphic models based on relationships of the properties with the lithostratigraphy. Physical properties of bulk density, porosity, and particle density; flow properties of saturated hydraulic conductivity and moisture-retention characteristics; and the state variables (variables describing the current state of field conditions) of saturation and water potential were determined for each unit. Units were defined using (1) a data base developed from 4,892 rock samples collected from the coring of 23 shallow and 8 deep boreholes, (2) described lithostratigraphic boundaries and corresponding relations to porosity, (3) recognition of transition zones with pronounced changes in properties over short vertical distances, (4) characterization of the influence of mineral alteration on hydrologic properties such as permeability and moisture-retention characteristics, and (5) a statistical analysis to evaluate where boundaries should be adjusted to minimize the variance within layers. This study describes the correlation of hydrologic properties to porosity, a property that is well related to the lithostratigraphy and depositional and cooling history of the volcanic deposits and can, therefore, be modeled to be distributed laterally

  1. Significance of geochemical characterization to performance at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simmons, A.M.

    1993-01-01

    The U.S. concept for permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste resembles those of other countries in that it relies upon burial in a deep geologic medium. This concept relies upon multiple barriers to retard transport of radionuclides to the accessible environment; those barriers consist of the waste form, waste container, engineered barrier system (including possible backfill) and retardant properties of the host rock. Because mobilization of radionuclides is fundamentally a geochemical problem, an understanding of past, present, and future geochemical processes is a requisite part of site characterization studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Geochemical information is needed for evaluating three favorable conditions (the rates of geochemical processes, conditions that promote precipitation or sorption of radionuclides or prohibit formation of colloids, and stable mineral assemblages) and four potentially adverse conditions of the site (groundwater conditions that could increase the chemical reactivity of the engineered barried system or reduce sorption, potential for gaseous radionuclide movement, and oxidizing groundwaters) for key issues of radionuclide release, groundwater quality, and stability of the geochemical environment. Preliminary results of long-term heating experiments indicate that although zeolites can be modified by long-term, low temperature reactions, their beneficial sorptive properties will not be adversely affected. Mineral reactions will be controlled by the aqueous activity of silica in groundwater with which the minerals are in contact. Geochemical barriers alone may satisfy release requirements to the accessible environment for many radionuclides; however, additional site specific geochemical and mineralogical data are needed to test existing and future radionuclide transport models

  2. Estimates of spatial correlation in volcanic tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada: Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rautman, C.A.

    1991-02-01

    The spatial correlation structure of volcanic tuffs at and near the site of the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is estimated using samples obtained from surface outcrops and drill holes. Data are examined for four rock properties: porosity, air permeability, saturated hydraulic conductivity, and dry bulk density. Spatial continuity patterns are identified in both lateral and vertical (stratigraphic) dimensions. The data are examined for the Calico Hills tuff stratigraphic unit and also without regard for stratigraphy. Variogram models fitted to the sample data from the tuffs of Calico Hills indicate that porosity is correlated laterally over distances of up to 3000 feet. If air permeability and saturated conductivity values are viewed as semi-interchangeable for purposes of identifying spatial structure, the data suggest a maximum range of correlation of 300 to 500 feet without any obvious horizontal to vertical anisotropy. Continuity exists over vertical distances of roughly 200 feet. Similar variogram models fitted to sample data taken from vertical drill holes without regard for stratigraphy suggest that correlation exists over distances of 500 to 800 feet for each rock property examined. Spatial correlation of rock properties violates the sample-independence assumptions of classical statistics to a degree not usually acknowledged. In effect, the existence of spatial structure reduces the ''equivalent'' number of samples below the number of physical samples. This reduction in the effective sampling density has important implications for site characterization for the Yucca Mountain Project. 19 refs., 43 figs., 5 tabs

  3. Preliminary mapping of surficial geology of Midway Valley Yucca Mountain Project, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wesling, J.R.; Bullard, T.F.; Swan, F.H.; Perman, R.C.; Angell, M.M.; Gibson, J.D.

    1992-04-01

    The tectonics program for the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in southwestern Nevada must evaluate the potential for surface faulting beneath the prospective surface facilities. To help meet this goal, Quaternary surficial mapping studies and photolineament analyses were conducted to provide data for evaluating the location, recency, and style of faulting with Midway Valley at the eastern base of Yucca Mountain, the preferred location of these surface facilities. This interim report presents the preliminary results of this work

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Carbon and nutrient contents in soils from the Kings River Experimental Watersheds, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    D.W. Johnson; C.T. Hunsaker; D.W. Glass; B.M. Rau; B.A. Roath

    2011-01-01

    Soil C and nutrient contents were estimated for eight watersheds in two sites (one high elevation, Bull, and one low elevation, Providence) in the Kings River Experimental Watersheds in the western Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. Eighty-seven quantitative pits were dug to measure soil bulk density and total rock content, while three replicate surface samples...

  7. From Typology to Topography in Clarence King's "Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada."

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoekzema, Loren

    The book "Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada" by Clarence King, a late-ninteenth-century American geologist, writer, art critic, and romantic, is discussed in this paper. In the writing and revision of this book, King was attempting a metamorphosis of landscape description into popular reading as he moved from being a symbolic writer to…

  8. 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

  9. Greater sage-grouse nest predators in the Virginia Mountains of northwestern Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockyer, Zachary B.; Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Espinosa, Shawn; Delehanty, David J.

    2013-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus, hereafter sage-grouse, populations have declined across their range due to the loss, degradation, and fragmentation of habitat. Habitat alterations can lead not only to vegetative changes but also to shifts in animal behavior and predator composition that may influence population vital rates, such as nest success. For example, common ravens Corvus corax are sage-grouse nest predators, and common raven abundance is positively associated with human-caused habitat alterations. Because nest success is a central component to sage-grouse population persistence, research that identifies factors influencing nest success will better inform conservation efforts. We used videography to unequivocally identify sage-grouse nest predators within the Virginia Mountains of northwestern Nevada, USA, from 2009 to 2011 and used maximum likelihood to calculate daily probability of nest survival. In the Virginia Mountains, fires, energy exploration, and other anthropogenic activities have altered historic sage-grouse habitat. We monitored 71 sage-grouse nests during the study, placing video cameras at 39 nests. Cumulative nest survival for all nests was 22.4% (95% CI, 13.0–33.4%), a survival rate that was significantly lower than other published results for sage-grouse in the Great Basin. Depredation was the primary cause for nest failure in our study (82.5%), and common ravens were the most frequent sage-grouse nest predator, accounting for 46.7% of nest depredations. We also successfully documented a suite of mammalian and reptilian species depredating sage-grouse nests, including some predators never previously confirmed in the literature to be sage-grouse nest predators (i.e., bobcats Lynx rufus and long-tailed weasels Mephitis frenata). Within the high elevation, disturbed habitat of the Virginia Mountains, low sage-grouse nest success may be limiting sage-grouse population growth. These results suggest that management actions that

  10. Field trip report: Observations made at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada. Special report No. 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hill, C.A.

    1993-03-01

    A field trip was made to the Yucca Mountain area on December 5-9, 1992 by Jerry Frazier, Don Livingston, Christine Schluter, Russell Harmon, and Carol Hill. Forty-three separate stops were made and 275 lbs. of rocks were collected during the five days of the field trip. Key localities visited were the Bare Mountains, Yucca Mountain, Calico Hills, Busted Butte, Harper Valley, Red Cliff Gulch, Wahmonie Hills, Crater Flat, and Lathrop Wells Cone. This report only describes field observations made by Carol Hill. Drawings are used rather than photographs because cameras were not permitted on the Nevada Test Site during this trip

  11. Corrective Action Investigation Plan for Corrective Action Unit 99: Rainier Mesa/Shoshone Mountain, Nevada Test Site, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McCord, John

    2004-01-01

    This Corrective Action Investigation Plan (CAIP) was developed for Corrective Action Unit (CAU) 99, Rainier Mesa/Shoshone Mountain. The CAIP is a requirement of the ''Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order'' (FFACO) agreed to by the State of Nevada, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) (FFACO, 1996). The FFACO addresses environmental restoration activities at U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office (NNSA/NSO) facilities and sites including the underground testing area(s) of the Nevada Test Site (NTS). This CAIP describes the investigation activities currently planned for the Rainier Mesa/Shoshone Mountain CAU. These activities are consistent with the current Underground Test Area (UGTA) Project strategy described in Section 3.0 of Appendix VI, Revision No. 1 (December 7, 2000) of the FFACO (1996) and summarized in Section 2.1.2 of this plan. The Rainier Mesa/Shoshone Mountain CAU extends over several areas of the NTS (Figure 1-1) and includes former underground nuclear testing locations in Areas 12 and 16. The area referred to as ''Rainier Mesa'' includes the geographical area of Rainier Mesa proper and the contiguous Aqueduct Mesa. Figure 1-2 shows the locations of the tests (within tunnel complexes) conducted at Rainier Mesa. Shoshone Mountain is located approximately 20 kilometers (km) south of Rainier Mesa, but is included within the same CAU due to similarities in their geologic setting and in the nature and types of nuclear tests conducted. Figure 1-3 shows the locations of the tests conducted at Shoshone Mountain. The Rainier Mesa/Shoshone Mountain CAU falls within the larger-scale Rainier Mesa/Shoshone Mountain Investigation Area, which also includes the northwest section of the Yucca Flat CAU as shown in Figure 1-1. Rainier Mesa and Shoshone Mountain lie adjacent to the Timber Mountain Caldera Complex and are composed of volcanic rocks that erupted from the

  12. Major results of gravity and magnetic studies at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oliver, H.W.; Ponce, D.A.; Sikora, R.F.

    1991-01-01

    About 4000 gravity stations have been obtained at Yucca Mountain and vicinity since the beginning of radioactive-waste studies there in 1978. These data have been integrated with data from about 29,000 stations previously obtained in the surrounding region to produce a series of Bouguer and isostatic-residual-gravity maps of the Nevada Test Site and southeastern Nevada. Yucca Mountain is characterized by a WNW-dipping gravity gradient whereby residual values of -10 mGal along the east edge of Yucca Mountain decrease to about -38 mGal over Crater Flat. Using these gravity data, two-dimensional modeling predicted the depth to pre-Cenozoic rocks near the proposed repository to be about 1220 ± 150 m, an estimate that was subsequently confirmed by drilling to be 1244 m. Three-dimensional modeling of the gravity low over Crater Flat indicates the thickness of Cenozoic volcanic rocks and alluvial cover to be about 3000 m. Considerable aeromagnetic coverage of southwestern Nevada was obtained in 1978--1979 to help characterize Yucca Mountain and vicinity. One significant result is the discovery of a series of circular magnetic anomalies in Crater Flat and the northern Amargosa Desert that suggest the presence of buried volcanic centers there. Elongate magnetic highs and associated lows over Yucca Mountain correlate with mapped faults, some of which are only partially exposed. Thus, the data provide inforamtion on the extent and continuity of these faults. 31 refs., 3 figs

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. New species of scuttle flies (Diptera: Phoridae recorded from caves in Nevada, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Henry Disney

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Five new species of scuttle fly are reported from caves in Nevada, USA, namely Aenigmatias bakerae Disney, Megaselia excuniculus Disney, M. krejcae Disney, M. folliculorum Disney, M. necpleuralis Disney and a female Megaselia that can not be named until linked to its male.

  16. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 3, Part A: Chapters 6 and 7

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-12-01

    This site characterization plan (SCP) has been developed for the candidate repository site at Yucca Mountain in the State of Nevada. The SCP includes a description of the Yucca Mountain site (Chapters 1-5), a conceptual design for the repository (Chapter 6), a description of the packaging to be used for the waste to be emplaced in the repository (Chapter 7), and a description of the planned site characterization activities (Chapter 8). The schedules and milestones presented in Sections 8.3 and 8.5 of the SCP were developed to be consistent with the June 1988 draft Amendment to the DOE's Mission Plan for the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program. The five month delay in the scheduled start of exploratory shaft construction that was announced recently is not reflected in these schedules. 218 figs., 50 tabs

  17. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 1, Part A: Chapters 1 and 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-12-01

    This site characterization plan (SCP) has been developed for the candidate repository site at Yucca Mountain in the State of Nevada. The SCP includes a description of the Yucca Mountain site (Chapters 1-5), a conceptual design for the repository (Chapter 6), a description of the packaging to be used for the waste to be emplaced in the repository (Chapter 7), and a description of the planned site characterization activities (Chapter 8). The schedules and milestones presented in Sections 8.3 and 8.5 of the SCP were developed to be consistent with the June 1988 draft Amendment to the DOE's Mission Plan for the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program. The five month delay in the scheduled start of exploratory shaft construction that was announced recently is not reflected in these schedules. 750 refs., 123 figs., 42 tabs

  18. Site Characterization Plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 3, Part A: Chapters 6 and 7

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-12-01

    This site characterization plan (SCP) has been developed for the candidate repository site at Yucca Mountain in the State of Nevada. The SCP includes a description of the Yucca Mountain site (Chapters 1-5), a conceptual design for the repository (Chapter 6), a description of the packaging to be used for the waste to be emplaced in the repository (Chapter 7), and a description of the planned site characterization activities (Chapter 8). The schedules and milestones presented in Sections 8.3 and 8.5 of the SCP were developed to be consistent with the June 1988 draft Amendment to the DOE`s Mission Plan for the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program. The five month delay in the scheduled start of exploratory shaft construction that was announced recently is not reflected in these schedules. 218 figs., 50 tabs.

  19. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 1, Part A: Chapters 1 and 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-12-01

    This site characterization plan (SCP) has been developed for the candidate repository site at Yucca Mountain in the State of Nevada. The SCP includes a description of the Yucca Mountain site (Chapters 1-5), a conceptual design for the repository (Chapter 6), a description of the packaging to be used for the waste to be emplaced in the repository (Chapter 7), and a description of the planned site characterization activities (Chapter 8). The schedules and milestones presented in Sections 8.3 and 8.5 of the SCP were developed to be consistent with the June 1988 draft Amendment to the DOE`s Mission Plan for the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program. The five month delay in the scheduled start of exploratory shaft construction that was announced recently is not reflected in these schedules. 750 refs., 123 figs., 42 tabs.

  20. An ecologic study comparing distribution of Pasteurella trehalosi and Mannheimia haemolytica between Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, White Mountain bighorn sheep, and domestic sheep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomassini, Letizia; Gonzales, Ben; Weiser, Glen C; Sischo, William

    2009-10-01

    The prevalence and phenotypic variability of Pasteurella and Mannheimia isolates from Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis sierrae), White Mountain bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni), and domestic sheep (Ovis aries) from California, USA, were compared. The White Mountain bighorn sheep population had a recent history of pneumonia-associated mortality, whereas the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep population had no recent history of pneumonia-associated mortality. The domestic sheep flocks were pastured in areas geographically near both populations but were not known to have direct contact with either bighorn sheep population. Oropharyngeal swab samples were collected from healthy domestic and bighorn sheep and cultured to characterize bacterial species, hemolysis, biogroups, and biovariants. Pasteurella trehalosi and Mannheimia haemolytica were detected in all of the study populations, but the relative proportion of each bacterial species differed among sheep populations. Pasteurella trehalosi was more common than M. haemolytica in the bighorn sheep populations, whereas the opposite was true in domestic sheep. Mannheimia haemolytica was separated into 11 biogroups, and P. trehalosi was characterized into two biogroups. Biogroup distributions for M. haemolytica and P. trehalosi differed among the three populations; however, no difference was detected for the distribution of P. trehalosi biogroups between the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep and domestic sheep. The prevalence odds ratios (pOR) for the distribution of M. haemolytica biogroups suggested little difference between White Mountain bighorn sheep and domestic sheep compared with Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep and domestic sheep, although these comparisons had relatively large confidence intervals for the point estimates. Hemolytic activity of the isolates was not different among the sheep populations for M. haemolytica but was different for P. trehalosi. No clear evidence of association was found in the

  1. Dataset of Passerine bird communities in a Mediterranean high mountain (Sierra Nevada, Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Luque, Antonio Jesús; Barea-Azcón, José Miguel; Álvarez-Ruiz, Lola; Bonet-García, Francisco Javier; Zamora, Regino

    2016-01-01

    Abstract In this data paper, a dataset of passerine bird communities is described in Sierra Nevada, a Mediterranean high mountain located in southern Spain. The dataset includes occurrence data from bird surveys conducted in four representative ecosystem types of Sierra Nevada from 2008 to 2015. For each visit, bird species numbers as well as distance to the transect line were recorded. A total of 27847 occurrence records were compiled with accompanying measurements on distance to the transect and animal counts. All records are of species in the order Passeriformes. Records of 16 different families and 44 genera were collected. Some of the taxa in the dataset are included in the European Red List. This dataset belongs to the Sierra Nevada Global-Change Observatory (OBSNEV), a long-term research project designed to compile socio-ecological information on the major ecosystem types in order to identify the impacts of global change in this area. PMID:26865820

  2. Dataset of Passerine bird communities in a Mediterranean high mountain (Sierra Nevada, Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Luque, Antonio Jesús; Barea-Azcón, José Miguel; Álvarez-Ruiz, Lola; Bonet-García, Francisco Javier; Zamora, Regino

    2016-01-01

    In this data paper, a dataset of passerine bird communities is described in Sierra Nevada, a Mediterranean high mountain located in southern Spain. The dataset includes occurrence data from bird surveys conducted in four representative ecosystem types of Sierra Nevada from 2008 to 2015. For each visit, bird species numbers as well as distance to the transect line were recorded. A total of 27847 occurrence records were compiled with accompanying measurements on distance to the transect and animal counts. All records are of species in the order Passeriformes. Records of 16 different families and 44 genera were collected. Some of the taxa in the dataset are included in the European Red List. This dataset belongs to the Sierra Nevada Global-Change Observatory (OBSNEV), a long-term research project designed to compile socio-ecological information on the major ecosystem types in order to identify the impacts of global change in this area.

  3. Geologic reconnaissance of the Hot Springs Mountains, Churchill County, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voegtly, Nickolas E.

    1981-01-01

    A geologic reconnaissance of the Hot Springs Mountains and adjacent areas, which include parts of the Brady-Hazen and the Stillwater-Soda Lake Known Geothermal Resource Areas, during June-December 1975, resulted in a reinterpretation of the nature and location of some Basin and Range faults. In addition, the late Cenozoic stratigraphy has been modified, chiefly on the basis of radiometric dates of volcanic rocks by U.S. Geological Survey personnel and others. The Hot Springs Mountains are in the western part of the Basin and Range province, which is characterized by east-west crustal extension and associated normal faulting. In the surrounding Trinity, West Humboldt, Stillwater, and Desert Mountains, Cenozoic rocks overlie ' basement ' rocks of the Paleozoic and Mesozoic age. A similar relation is inferred in the Hot Springs Mountains. Folding and faulting have taken place from the late Tertiary to the present. (USGS)

  4. Thermally driven gas flow beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

    A coupled thermopneumatic model is developed for simulating heat transfer, rock-gas flow and carbon-14 travel time beneath Yucca Mountain, NV. The aim of this work is to understand the coupling of heat transfer and gas flow. Heat transfer in and near the potential repository region depends on several factors, including the geothermal gradient, climate, and local sources of heat such as radioactive wastes. Our numerical study shows that small temperature changes at the surface can change both the temperature field and the gas flow pattern beneath Yucca Mountain. A lateral temperature difference of 1 K is sufficient to create convection cells hundreds of meters in size. Differences in relative humidities between gas inside the mountain and air outside the mountain also significantly affect the gas flow field. 6 refs., 7 figs

  5. Draft environmental assessment: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada. Nuclear Waste Policy Act (Section 112)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1984-12-01

    In February 1983, the US Department of Energy (DOE) identified the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada as one of nine potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. To determine their suitability, the Yucca Mountain 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 Nuclear Waste Repositories. These evaluations are reported in this draft environmental assessment (EA), which is being issued for public review and comment. The DOE findings and determinations that are based on these evaluations are preliminary and subject to public review and comment. A final EA will be prepared after considering the comments received on the draft EA. The Yucca Mountain site is located in the Great Basin, one of five distinct geohydrologic settings that are being considered for the first repository. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this draft EA, the DOE has found that the Yucca Mountain site is not disqualified under the guidelines. The DOE has also found that it 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 proposing to nominate the Yucca Mountain site as one of five sites suitable for characterization. Furthermore, having performed a comparative evaluation of the five sites proposed for nomination, the DOE has determined that the Yucca Mountain site is one of three sites preferred for site characterization

  6. 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

  7. Ecology, ethics, and professional environmental practice: The Yucca Mountain, Nevada, project as a case study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Malone, C.R.

    1995-01-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is proposing to develop a geologic repository for disposing of high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. In this commentary, the ecology program for the DOE's Yucca Mountain Project is discussed from the perspective of state-of-the-art ecosystem analysis, environmental ethics, and standards of professional practice. Specifically at issue is the need by the Yucca Mountain ecology program to adopt an ecosystem approach that encompasses the current strategy based on population biology and community ecology alone. The premise here is that an ecosystem approach is essential for assessing the long-term potential environmental impacts at Yucca Mountain in light of the thermal effects expected to be associated with heat from radioactive decay

  8. 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

  9. Applications of in situ cosmogenic nuclides in the geologic site characterization of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gosse, J.C.; Harrington, C.D.

    1995-01-01

    The gradual buildup of rare isotopes from interactions between cosmic rays and atoms in an exposed rock provides a new method of directly determining the exposure age of rock surfaces. The cosmogenic nuclide method can also provide constraints on erosion rates and the length of time surface exposure was interrupted by burial. Numerous successful applications of the technique have been imperative to the complete surface geologic characterization of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, a potential high level nuclear waste repository. In this short paper, we summarize the cosmogenic nuclide method and describe with examples some the utility of the technique in geologic site characterization. We report preliminary results from our ongoing work at Yucca Mountain

  10. Yucca Mountain, Nevada - A Proposed Geologic Repository for High-Level Radioactive Waste (Volume 1) Introduction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    R.A. Levich; J.S. Stuckless

    2006-01-01

    Yucca Mountain in Nevada represents the proposed solution to what has been a lengthy national effort to dispose of high-level radioactive waste, waste which must be isolated from the biosphere for tens of thousands of years. This chapter reviews the background of that national effort and includes some discussion of international work in order to provide a more complete framework for the problem of waste disposal. Other chapters provide the regional geologic setting, the geology of the Yucca Mountain site, the tectonics, and climate (past, present, and future). These last two chapters are integral to prediction of long-term waste isolation

  11. Yucca Mountain, Nevada - A Proposed Geologic Repository for High-Level Radioactive Waste (Volume 1) Introduction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    R.A. Levich; J.S. Stuckless

    2006-09-25

    Yucca Mountain in Nevada represents the proposed solution to what has been a lengthy national effort to dispose of high-level radioactive waste, waste which must be isolated from the biosphere for tens of thousands of years. This chapter reviews the background of that national effort and includes some discussion of international work in order to provide a more complete framework for the problem of waste disposal. Other chapters provide the regional geologic setting, the geology of the Yucca Mountain site, the tectonics, and climate (past, present, and future). These last two chapters are integral to prediction of long-term waste isolation.

  12. Determination of Rock Mass Modulus Using the Plate Loading Method at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Finley, R.E.; George, J.T.; Riggins, M.

    1999-01-01

    A suite of plate loading tests has recently been conducted by Sandia National Laboratories at the Exploratory Studies Facility at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Fielding of these in situ tests as well as other approaches undertaken for the determination of rock mass modulus are described. The various methodologies are evaluated and their data compared. Calculation by existing empirical methods and numerical modeling are compared to each other as well as to field data

  13. Environmental program planning for the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1987-08-01

    This report was prepared to illustrate the policy and actions that the State of Nevada believe are required to assure that the quality of the environment is adequately considered during the course of the DOE work at the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. The report describes the DOE environmental program and the studies planned by NWPO to reflect the State's position toward environmental protection. 41 refs., 2 figs., 11 tabs

  14. Bedrock geologic map of the Yucca Mountain area, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Day, W.C.; Potter, C.J.; Sweetkind, D.S.; Fridrich, C.J.; Dickerson, R.P.; San Juan, C.A.; Drake, R.M. II

    1998-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada, has been identified as a potential site for underground storage of high-level radioactive nuclear waste. Detailed bedrock geologic maps form an integral part of the site characterization program by providing the fundamental framework for research into the geologic hazards and hydrologic behavior of the mountain. This bedrock geologic map provides the geologic framework and structural setting for the area in and adjacent to the site of the potential repository. The study area comprises the northern and central parts of Yucca Mountain, located on the southern flank of the Timber Mountain-Oasis Valley caldera complex, which was the source for many of the volcanic units in the area. The Timber Mountain-Oasis Valley caldera complex is part of the Miocene southwestern Nevada volcanic field, which is within the Walker Lane belt. This tectonic belt is a northwest-striking megastructure lying between the more active Inyo-Mono and Basin-and-Range subsections of the southwestern Great Basin

  15. Bedrock geologic map of the central block area, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Day, W.C.; Potter, C.J.; Sweetkind, D.S.; Dickerson, R.P.; San Juan, C.A.

    1998-01-01

    Bedrock geologic maps form the foundation for investigations that characterize and assess the viability of the potential high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This study was funded by the US Department of Energy Yucca Mountain Project to provide a detailed (1:6,000-scale) bedrock geologic map for the area within and adjacent to the potential repository area at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada. Prior to this study, the 1:12,000-scale map of Scott and Bon, (1984) was the primary source of bedrock geologic data for the Yucca Mountain Project. However, targeted detailed mapping within the central block at Yucca Mountain revealed structural complexities along some of the intrablock faults that were not evident at 1:12,000 (Scott and Bonk, 1984). As a result, this study was undertaken to define the character and extent of the dominant structural features in the vicinity of the potential repository. In addition to structural considerations, ongoing subsurface excavation and geologic mapping within the exploratory Studies Facility (ESF), development of a three-dimensional-framework geologic model, and borehole investigations required use of a constituent stratigraphic system to facilitate surface to underground comparisons. The map units depicted in this report correspond as closely as possible to the proposed stratigraphic nomenclature by Buesch and others (1996), as described here

  16. Bedrock geologic map of the Yucca Mountain area, Nye County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Day, W.C.; Potter, C.J.; Sweetkind, D.S.; Fridrich, C.J. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (US); Dickerson, R.P.; San Juan, C.A.; Drake, R.M. II [Pacific Western Technologies, Inc., Denver, CO (US)

    1998-11-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada, has been identified as a potential site for underground storage of high-level radioactive nuclear waste. Detailed bedrock geologic maps form an integral part of the site characterization program by providing the fundamental framework for research into the geologic hazards and hydrologic behavior of the mountain. This bedrock geologic map provides the geologic framework and structural setting for the area in and adjacent to the site of the potential repository. The study area comprises the northern and central parts of Yucca Mountain, located on the southern flank of the Timber Mountain-Oasis Valley caldera complex, which was the source for many of the volcanic units in the area. The Timber Mountain-Oasis Valley caldera complex is part of the Miocene southwestern Nevada volcanic field, which is within the Walker Lane belt. This tectonic belt is a northwest-striking megastructure lying between the more active Inyo-Mono and Basin-and-Range subsections o f the southwestern Great Basin.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Levy, S.S.

    1990-01-01

    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

  18. 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

  19. Major results of gravity and magnetic studies at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oliver, H.W.; Ponce, D.A.; Sikora, R.F.

    1991-01-01

    About 4,000 gravity stations have been obtained at Yucca Mountain and vicinity since the beginning of radioactive-waste studies there in 1978. These data have been integrated with data from about 29,000 stations previously obtained in the surrounding region to produce a series of Bouguer and isostatic-residual-gravity maps of the Nevada Test Site and southeastern Nevada. Yucca Mountain is characterized by a WNW-dipping gravity gradient whereby residual values of -10 mGal along the east edge of Yucca Mountain decrease to about -38 mGal over Crater Flat. Using these gravity data, two-dimensional modeling predicted the depth to pre-Cenozoic rocks near the proposed repository to be about 1,220±150 m, an estimate that was subsequently confirmed by drilling to be 1,244 m. Three-dimensional modeling of the gravity low over Crater Flat indicates the thickness of Cenozoic volcanic rocks and alluvial cover to be about 3,000 m. Gravity interpretations also identified the Silent Canyon caldera before geologic mapping of Pahute Mesa and provided an estimate of the thickness of the volcanic section there of nearly 5 km. Considerable aeromagnetic coverage of southwestern Nevada was obtained in 1978-79 to help characterize Yucca Mountain and vicinity. One significant result is the discovery of a series of circular magnetic anomalies in Crater Flat and the northern Amargosa Desert that suggest the presence of buried volcanic centers there. If this interpretation is confirmed by drilling, the magnetic data can be used to help estimate the total volume of buried volcanic rocks, which, along with radiometric dating, could help provide a better prediction of future volcanism. Elongate magnetic highs and associated lows over Yucca Mountain correlate with mapped faults, some of which are only partially exposed. Thus, the data provide information on the extent and continuity of these faults

  20. Earthquake-induced water-level fluctuations at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, June 1992

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Brien, G.M.

    1993-01-01

    This report presents earthquake-induced water-level and fluid-pressure data for wells in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, during June 1992. Three earthquakes occurred which caused significant water-level and fluid-pressure responses in wells. Wells USW H-5 and USW H-6 are continuously monitored to detect short-term responses caused by earthquakes. Two wells, monitored hourly, had significant, longer-term responses in water level following the earthquakes. On June 28, 1992, a 7.5-magnitude earthquake occurred near Landers, California causing an estimated maximum water-level change of 90 centimeters in well USW H-5. Three hours later a 6.6-magnitude earthquake occurred near Big Bear Lake, California; the maximum water-level fluctuation was 20 centimeters in well USW H-5. A 5.6-magnitude earthquake occurred at Little Skull Mountain, Nevada, on June 29, approximately 23 kilometers from Yucca Mountain. The maximum estimated short-term water-level fluctuation from the Little Skull Mountain earthquake was 40 centimeters in well USW H-5. The water level in well UE-25p number-sign 1, monitored hourly, decreased approximately 50 centimeters over 3 days following the Little Skull Mountain earthquake. The water level in UE-25p number-sign 1 returned to pre-earthquake levels in approximately 6 months. The water level in the lower interval of well USW H-3 increased 28 centimeters following the Little Skull Mountain earthquake. The Landers and Little Skull Mountain earthquakes caused responses in 17 intervals of 14 hourly monitored wells, however, most responses were small and of short duration. For several days following the major earthquakes, many smaller magnitude aftershocks occurred causing measurable responses in the continuously monitored wells

  1. Vertical Variability in Saturated Zone Hydrochemistry Near Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    G. Patterson; P. Striffler

    2007-01-01

    The differences in the saturated zone hydrochemistry with depth at borehole NC-EWDP-22PC reflect the addition of recharge along Fortymile Wash. The differences in water chemistry with depth at borehole NC-EWDP-19PB appear to indicate that other processes are involved. Water from the lower part of NC-EWDP-19PB possesses chemical characteristics that clearly indicate that it has undergone cation exchange that resulted in the removal of calcium and magnesium and the addition of sodium. This water is very similar to water from the Western Yucca Mountain facies that has previously been thought to flow west of NC-EWDP-19PB. Water from the lower zone in NC-EWDP-19PB also could represent water from the Eastern Yucca Mountain facies that has moved through clay-bearing or zeolitized aquifer material resulting in the altered chemistry. Water chemistry from the upper part of the saturated zone at NC-EWDP-19PB, both zones at NC-EWDP-22PC, and wells in the Fortymile Wash facies appears to be the result of recharge through the alluvium south of Yucca Mountain and within the Fortymile Wash channel

  2. Development of stochastic indicator models of lithology, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rautman, C.A.; Robey, T.H.

    1994-01-01

    Indicator geostatistical techniques have been used to produce a number of fully three-dimensional stochastic simulations of large-scale lithologic categories at the Yucca Mountain site. Each realization reproduces the available drill hole data used to condition the simulation. Information is propagated away from each point of observation in accordance with a mathematical model of spatial continuity inferred through soft data taken from published geologic cross sections. Variations among the simulated models collectively represent uncertainty in the lithology at unsampled locations. These stochastic models succeed in capturing many major features of welded-nonwelded lithologic framework of Yucca Mountain. However, contacts between welded and nonwelded rock types for individual simulations appear more complex than suggested by field observation, and a number of probable numerical artifacts exist in these models. Many of the apparent discrepancies between the simulated models and the general geology of Yucca Mountain represent characterization uncertainty, and can be traced to the sparse site data used to condition the simulations. Several vertical stratigraphic columns have been extracted from the three-dimensional stochastic models for use in simplified total-system performance assessment exercises. Simple, manual adjustments are required to eliminate the more obvious simulation artifacts and to impose a secondary set of deterministic geologic features on the overall stratigraphic framework provided by the indictor models

  3. Transportation of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High Level Waste to Yucca Mountain: The Next Step in Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sweeney, Robin L.; Lechel, David J.

    2003-01-01

    In the U.S. Department of Energy's ''Final Environmental Impact Statement for a Geologic Repository for the Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada,'' the Department states that certain broad transportation-related decisions can be made. These include the choice of a mode of transportation nationally (mostly legal-weight truck or mostly rail) and in Nevada (mostly rail, mostly legal-weight truck, or mostly heavy-haul truck with use of an associated intermodal transfer station), as well as the choice among alternative rail corridors or heavy-haul truck routes with use of an associated intermodal transfer station in Nevada. Although a rail line does not service the Yucca Mountain site, the Department has identified mostly rail as its preferred mode of transportation, both nationally and in the State of Nevada. If mostly rail is selected for Nevada, the Department would then identify a preference for one of the rail corridors in consultation with affected stakeholders, particularly the State of Nevada. DOE would then select the rail corridor and initiate a process to select a specific rail alignment within the corridor for the construction of a rail line. Five proposed rail corridors were analyzed in the Final Environmental Impact Statement. The assessment considered the impacts of constructing a branch rail line in the five 400-meter (0.25mile) wide corridors. Each corridor connects the Yucca Mountain site with an existing mainline railroad in Nevada

  4. Interpretive geophysical fault map across the central block of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ponce, D.A.

    1996-01-01

    Geophysical data collected along 29 traverses across the central block of Yucca Mountain in southwest Nevada reveal anomalies associated with known fault sand indicate a number of possible concealed faults beneath the eastern flank of Yucca Mountain. Geophysical interpretations indicate that Midway Valley is characterized by several known and previously unknown faults, that the existence of the Yucca Wash fault is equivocal, and that the central part of the eastern flank of Yucca Mountain is characterized by numerous low-amplitude anomalies that probably reflect numerous small-scale faults. Gravity and magnetic data also reveal several large-amplitude anomalies that reflect larger-scale faulting along the margins of the central block

  5. 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

  6. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, April 1, 1993--September 30, 1993, No. 9

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-02-01

    In accordance with requirements of Section 113(b)(3) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended, and 10 CFR 60.18(g), the U.S. Department of Energy has prepared this report on the progress of site characterization activities at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the period April 1, 1993, through September 30, 1993. This report is the ninth in a series issued at intervals of approximately six months during site characterization of Yucca Mountain as a possible site for a geologic repository for the permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Also included in this report are activities such as public outreach and international programs that are not formally part of the site characterization process. Information on these activities is provided to report on all aspects of the Yucca Mountain studies

  7. Simulating the Thermal History of the Unsaturated Zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    B.D. Marshal; J.F. Whelan

    2001-01-01

    Heat transfer within Earth's upper crust is primarily by conduction, and conductive thermal models adequately explain the cooling history of deep, batholith-scale intrusions and surrounding wall rocks, as confirmed by numerous thermochronometric studies. However, caldera magmatic systems require consideration of the small and localized component of hydrothermal convection and numerical models to simulate additional boundary conditions, irregular magma chamber shapes, and complex intrusive histories. At Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the site of a potential high-level nuclear waste repository, simulating the detailed thermal history at any location in the unsaturated zone requires knowledge of the shape of the magma chamber and its proximity to Yucca Mountain (the southern margin of the Timber Mountain caldera complex is approximately 8 km north of the potential repository site), the temporal and spatial extent of hydrothermal convection, the erosional history of the area, and past levels of the water table

  8. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, October 1, 1992--March 31, 1993, No. 8

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1993-08-01

    In accordance with requirements of Section 113(b)(3) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended, and 10 CFR 60.18(g), the US Department of Energy has prepared this report on the progress of site characterization activities at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the period October 1, 1992, through March 31, 1993. This report is the eighth in a series issued at intervals of approximately six months during site characterization of Yucca Mountain as a possible site for a geologic repository for the permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Also included in this report are activities such as public outreach and international programs that are not formally part of the site characterization process. Information on these activities is provided to report on all aspects of the Yucca Mountain studies.

  9. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, April 1, 1993--September 30, 1993, No. 9

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-02-01

    In accordance with requirements of Section 113(b)(3) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended, and 10 CFR 60.18(g), the U.S. Department of Energy has prepared this report on the progress of site characterization activities at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the period April 1, 1993, through September 30, 1993. This report is the ninth in a series issued at intervals of approximately six months during site characterization of Yucca Mountain as a possible site for a geologic repository for the permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Also included in this report are activities such as public outreach and international programs that are not formally part of the site characterization process. Information on these activities is provided to report on all aspects of the Yucca Mountain studies.

  10. Seismicity in the Vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the Period October 1, 2004 to September 30, 2006

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, Ken

    2007-01-01

    This report describes earthquake activity within approximately 65 km of Yucca Mountain site during the October 1, 2004 to September 30, 2006 time period (FY05-06). The FY05-06 earthquake activity will be compared with the historical and more recent period of seismic activity in the Yucca Mountain region. The relationship between the distribution of seismicity and active faults, historical patterns of activity, and rates of earthquakes (number of events and their magnitudes) are important components in the assessment of the seismic hazard for the Yucca Mountain site. Since October 1992 the University of Nevada has compiled a catalog of earthquakes in the Yucca Mountain area. Seismicity reports have identified notable earthquake activity, provided interpretations of the seismotectonics of the region, and documented changes in the character of earthquake activity based on nearly 30 years of site-characterization monitoring. Data from stations in the seismic network in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain is collected and managed at the Nevada Seismological Laboratory (NSL) at the University of Nevada Reno (UNR). Earthquake events are systematically identified and cataloged under Implementing Procedures developed in compliance with the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Quality Assurance Program. The earthquake catalog for FY05-06 in the Yucca Mountain region submitted to the Yucca Mountain Technical Data Management System (TDMS) forms the basis of this report

  11. Analysis of gaseous-phase stable and radioactive isotopes in the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, I.C.; Haas, H.H.; Weeks, E.P.; Thorstenson, D.C.

    1985-01-01

    The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project of the US Department of Energy provides that agency with data for evaluating volcanic tuff beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada, to determine its suitability for a potential repository of high-level radioactive waste. Thickness of the unsaturated zone, which consists of fractured, welded and nonwelded tuff, is about 1640 to 2460 feet (500 to 750 meters). One question to be resolved is an estimate of minimum ground-water traveltime from the disturbed zone of the potentail repository to the accessible environment. Another issue is the potential for diffusive or convective gaseous transport of radionuclides from an underground facility in the unsaturated zone to the accessible environment. Gas samples were collected at intervals to a depth of 1200 feet from the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Samples were analyzed for major atmospheric gases; carbon dioxide in the samples was analyzed for carbon-14 activity and for delta 13 C; water vapor in the samples was analyzed for deuterium and oxygen-18. These data could provide insight into the nature of unsaturated zone transport processes. 15 refs., 4 figs., 4 tabs

  12. Yucca Mountain socioeconomic project: An interim report on the State of Nevada socioeconomic studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-06-01

    The State of Nevada formally initiated a study of the socioeconomic impacts of a proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada in 1986 after the Nevada site had been chosen as a potential waste disposal site. The State and affected local governments that participated in the development of the study recognized that the effort would need to go well beyond what is traditionally considered adequate for socioeconomic impact assessment because of the unique nature of the repository project. This Interim Report is a report on work in progress and presents findings from the research to date on the potential consequences of a repository for the citizens of Nevada. The research and findings in the Report have been subjected to rigorous peer review as part of the state's effort to insure independent, objective analysis that meets the highest professional standards. The basic research effort will continue through June 1990 and will enable the state to refine and clarify the findings presented in this Interim Report

  13. Bedrock geologic Map of the Central Block Area, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    W.C. Day; C. Potter; D. Sweetkind; R.P. Dickerson; C.A. San Juan

    1998-01-01

    Bedrock geologic maps form the foundation for investigations that characterize and assess the viability of the potential high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. As such, this map focuses on the central block at Yucca Mountain, which contains the potential repository site. The central block is a structural block of Tertiary volcanic rocks bound on the west by the Solitario Canyon Fault, on the east by the Bow Ridge Fault, to the north by the northwest-striking Drill Hole Wash Fault, and on the south by Abandoned Wash. Earlier reconnaissance mapping by Lipman and McKay (1965) provided an overview of the structural setting of Yucca Mountain and formed the foundation for selecting Yucca Mountain as a site for further investigation. They delineated the main block-bounding faults and some of the intrablock faults and outlined the zoned compositional nature of the tuff units that underlie Yucca Mountain. Scott and Bonk (1984) provided a detailed reconnaissance geologic map of favorable area at Yucca Mountain in which to conduct further site-characterization studies. Of their many contributions, they presented a detailed stratigraphy for the volcanic units, defined several other block-bounding faults, and outlined numerous intrablock faults. This study was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Yucca Mountain Project to provide a detailed (1:6,000-scale) bedrock geologic map for the area within and adjacent to the potential repository area at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada. Prior to this study, the 1:12,000-scale map of Scott and Bonk (1984) was the primary source of bedrock geologic data for the Yucca Mountain Project. However, targeted detailed mapping within the central block at Yucca Mountain revealed structural complexities along some of the intrablock faults that were not evident at 1:12,000 (Scott and Bonk, 1984). As a result, this study was undertaken to define the character and extent of the dominant structural features in the

  14. ERMYN: Environmental Radiation Model for the Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, D.W.; Wasiolek, M.A.; Tappen, J.J.; Rautenstrauch, K.R.; Smith, A.J.

    2002-01-01

    This paper briefly describes a new biosphere model, ERMYN, that was developed to characterize biosphere processes for radionuclides released from the proposed high-level radioactive waste geologic repository at Yucca Mountain (YM). Biosphere modeling for YM is conducted independently for two radionuclide release modes and resulting exposure scenarios, groundwater release and volcanic release. This paper focuses on the model for groundwater release. The groundwater release exposure scenario addresses the case in which the geosphere-biosphere interface is well extraction of contaminated groundwater

  15. ERMYN: Environmental Radiation Model for the Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D.W. Wu; M.A. Wasiolek; J.J. Tappen; K.R. Rautenstrauch; A.J. Smith

    2002-11-18

    This paper briefly describes a new biosphere model, ERMYN, that was developed to characterize biosphere processes for radionuclides released from the proposed high-level radioactive waste geologic repository at Yucca Mountain (YM). Biosphere modeling for YM is conducted independently for two radionuclide release modes and resulting exposure scenarios, groundwater release and volcanic release. This paper focuses on the model for groundwater release. The groundwater release exposure scenario addresses the case in which the geosphere-biosphere interface is well extraction of contaminated groundwater.

  16. Anaerobic bacterial quantitation of Yucca Mountain, Nevada DOE site samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clarkson, W.W.; Krumholz, L.R.; Suflita, J.M.

    1996-01-01

    Anaerobic bacteria were studied from samples of excavated rock material as one phase of the overall Yucca Mountain site characterization effort. An indication of the abundance of important groups of anaerobic bacteria would enable inferences to be made regarding the natural history of the site and allow for more complete risk evaluation of the site as a nuclear repository. Six bacterial groups were investigated including anaerobic heterotrophs, acetogens, methanogens, sulfate-, nitrate-, and iron-reducing bacteria. The purpose of this portion of the study was to detect and quantify the aforementioned bacterial groups

  17. The treatment of conceptual model uncertainty for Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boak, J.M.; Flint, A.; Dockery, H.A.

    1995-01-01

    A reasonable risk assessment of radioactive waste disposals faces three main problems : 1) the ability of the conceptual model to account for the effective repository process ; 2) the boundary conditions ; 3) the parameters values that model the particular site. Yucca mountain Site Characterization Project deals with these problems through two major approaches that are described here : 1) the evolution of models for the recurrence rate of volcanism ; 2) the nominal hydrologic performance for the site. These two approaches are expected to lead to a reasonable demonstration of the suitability of the site. (D.L.). 13 refs., 2 figs

  18. Geologic and hydrologic investigations of a potential nuclear waste disposal site at Yucca Mountain, southern Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carr, M.D.; Yount, J.C. (eds.)

    1988-12-31

    Yucca Mountain in southern Nye County, Nevada, has been selected by the United States Department of Energy as one of three potential sites for the nation`s first high-level nuclear waste repository. Its deep water table, closed-basin ground-water flow, potentially favorable host rock, and sparse population have made the Yucca Mountain area a viable candidate during the search for a nuclear waste disposal site. Yucca Mountain, however, lies within the southern Great Basin, a region of known contemporary tectonism and young volcanic activity, and the characterization of tectonism and volcanism remains as a fundamental problem for the Yucca Mountain site. The United States Geological Survey has been conducting extensive studies to evaluate the geologic setting of Yucca Mountain, as well as the timing and rates of tectonic and volcanic activity in the region. A workshop was convened by the Geologic Survey in Denver, Colorado, on August 19, 20, and 21, 1985, to review the scientific progress and direction of these studies. Considerable debate resulted. This collection of papers represents the results of some of the studies presented at the workshop, but by no means covers all of the scientific results and viewpoints presented. Rather, the volume is meant to serve as a progress report on some of the studies within the Geological Survey`s continuing research program toward characterizing the tectonic framework of Yucca Mountain. Individual papers were processed separately for the data base.

  19. Geologic and hydrologic investigations of a potential nuclear waste disposal site at Yucca Mountain, southern Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carr, M.D.; Yount, J.C.

    1988-01-01

    Yucca Mountain in southern Nye County, Nevada, has been selected by the United States Department of Energy as one of three potential sites for the nation's first high-level nuclear waste repository. Its deep water table, closed-basin ground-water flow, potentially favorable host rock, and sparse population have made the Yucca Mountain area a viable candidate during the search for a nuclear waste disposal site. Yucca Mountain, however, lies within the southern Great Basin, a region of known contemporary tectonism and young volcanic activity, and the characterization of tectonism and volcanism remains as a fundamental problem for the Yucca Mountain site. The United States Geological Survey has been conducting extensive studies to evaluate the geologic setting of Yucca Mountain, as well as the timing and rates of tectonic and volcanic activity in the region. A workshop was convened by the Geologic Survey in Denver, Colorado, on August 19, 20, and 21, 1985, to review the scientific progress and direction of these studies. Considerable debate resulted. This collection of papers represents the results of some of the studies presented at the workshop, but by no means covers all of the scientific results and viewpoints presented. Rather, the volume is meant to serve as a progress report on some of the studies within the Geological Survey's continuing research program toward characterizing the tectonic framework of Yucca Mountain. Individual papers were processed separately for the data base

  20. Isotopic discontinuities in ground water beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stuckless, J.S.; Whelan, J.F.; Steinkampf, W.C.

    1991-01-01

    Analytical data for stable isotopes in ground water from beneath Yucca Mountain, when examined in map view, show areal patterns of heterogeneity that can be interpreted in terms of mixing of at least three end members. One end member must be isotopically heavy in terms of hydrogen and oxygen and have a young apparent 14 C age such as water found at the north end of Yucca Mountain beneath Fortymile Wash. A second end member must contain isotopically heavy carbon and have an old apparent 14 C age such as water from the Paleozoic aquifer. The third end member cannot be tightly defined. It must be isotopically lighter than the first with respect of hydrogen and oxygen and be intermediate to the first and second end members with respect to both apparent 14 C age and δ 13 C. The variable isotopic compositions of hydrogen and oxygen indicate that two of the end members are waters, but the variable carbon isotopic composition could represent either a third water end member or reaction of water with a carbon-bearing solids such as calcite. 15 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab

  1. 1989 vegetation studies at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1990-02-01

    The overall purpose of the 1989 vegetation ecology studies was to describe the existing vegetation and baseline ecological conditions of the Yucca Mountain study area, before further disturbances due to site characterization occur. Extensive disturbances have already occurred due to preliminary studies associated with the waste repository. If the site is determined to be unsuitable for a waste repository, then reclamation of disturbed sites will be required. Biotic conditions are described within both regional and local contexts because the intensity of local disturbances may result in impacts to outlying areas. The most detailed data collection was conducted in the Focused Baseline Study Area where site characterization activities will be concentrated. Less detailed information was obtained for adjacent areas in the Core Study Area and Cumulative Assessment Study Area. The major tasks of this study were as follows: describe and map the vegetation of the Yucca Mountain study area; identify important relationships between the biotic and physical elements of the ecosystem; identify unique or sensitive resources; preliminary assessment of the baseline ecological conditions of the area

  2. A floristic survey of Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Niles, W.E.; Leary, P.J.; Holland, J.S.; Landau, F.H.

    1995-12-01

    A survey of the vascular flora of Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nye County, Nevada, was conducted from March to June 1994, and from March to October 1995. An annotated checklist of recorded taxa was compiled. Voucher plant specimens were collected and accessioned into the Herbarium at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Collection data accompanying these specimens were entered into that herbarium's electronic data base. Combined results from this survey and the works of other investigators reveal the presence of a total of 375 specific and intraspecific taxa within the area these allocated to 179 genera and 54 families. No taxon currently listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act was encountered during this study. Several candidate species for listing under this Act were present, and distributional data for these were recorded. No change in the status of these candidate species is recommended as the result of this study

  3. A floristic survey of Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nye County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Niles, W.E.; Leary, P.J.; Holland, J.S.; Landau, F.H.

    1995-12-01

    A survey of the vascular flora of Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nye County, Nevada, was conducted from March to June 1994, and from March to October 1995. An annotated checklist of recorded taxa was compiled. Voucher plant specimens were collected and accessioned into the Herbarium at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Collection data accompanying these specimens were entered into that herbarium`s electronic data base. Combined results from this survey and the works of other investigators reveal the presence of a total of 375 specific and intraspecific taxa within the area these allocated to 179 genera and 54 families. No taxon currently listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act was encountered during this study. Several candidate species for listing under this Act were present, and distributional data for these were recorded. No change in the status of these candidate species is recommended as the result of this study.

  4. 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

    The following document comprises a critical evaluation of the DOE's Site Characterization Plan (SCP). The comments address a number of issues related to the scientific methods involved in the proposed procedures of site characterization, the suitability and integration of the methods, and the validity of the approach taken by the DOE in the context of the NRC regulations. The SCP contains many improvements of the Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) and the Environmental Assessment (EA), and fewer improvements of the SCP Consultation Draft. An obvious attempt has been made to address topics that were regarded in these previous reviews as deficiencies in the study program. For example, the activity and seismogenic potential of the Quaternary faults at Yucca Mountain are treated much more realistically than orignally proposed by the DOE, even though published data has not increased significantly since the DEA and EA were released. Water is now recognized as a resource, and faults and fault breccias are recognized as potential hosts for epithermal mineralization. There has, in addition, been considerable effort to incorporate a number of alternative conceptual models (involving both cross sections of Yucca Mountain and regional tectonic models) into the realm of tectonic hypotheses. There is a little doubt that the SCP proposes an exhaustive and wide-ranging scope of investigations for the purpose of site characterization, and that many of these investigations have been included by the DOE in response to critical reviews by external groups (such as the NRC and various State of Nevada agencies)

  5. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada: Consultation draft, Nuclear Waste Policy Act: Volume 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain site in Nevada is one of three candidate sites for the first geologic repository for radioactive waste. On May 28, 1986, it was recommended for detailed study in a program of site characterization. This site characterization plan (SCP) has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to summarize the information collected to date about the geologic conditions at the site; to describe the conceptual designs for the repository and the waste package and to present the plans for obtaining the geologic information necessary to demonstrate the suitability of the site for a repository, to design the repository and the waste package, to prepare an environmental impact statement, and to obtain from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) an authorization to construct the repository. Chapter 3 summarizes present knowledge of the regional and site hydrologic systems. The purpose of the information presented is to (1) describe the hydrology based on available literature and preliminary site-exploration activities that have been or are being performed and (2) provide information to be used to develop the hydrologic aspects of the planned site characterization program. Chapter 4 contains geochemical information about the Yucca Mountain site. The chapter references plan for continued collection of geochemical data as a part of the site characterization program. Chapter 4 describes and evaluates data on the existing climate and site meterology, and outlines the suggested procedures to be used in developing and validating methods to predict future climatic variation. 534 refs., 100 figs., 72 tabs.

  6. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada: Consultation draft, Nuclear Waste Policy Act: Volume 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain site in Nevada is one of three candidate sites for the first geologic repository for radioactive waste. On May 28, 1986, it was recommended for detailed study in a program of site characterization. This site characterization plan (SCP) has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to summarize the information collected to date about the geologic conditions at the site; to describe the conceptual designs for the repository and the waste package and to present the plans for obtaining the geologic information necessary to demonstrate the suitability of the site for a repository, to design the repository and the waste package, to prepare an environmental impact statement, and to obtain from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) an authorization to construct the repository. Chapter 3 summarizes present knowledge of the regional and site hydrologic systems. The purpose of the information presented is to (1) describe the hydrology based on available literature and preliminary site-exploration activities that have been or are being performed and (2) provide information to be used to develop the hydrologic aspects of the planned site characterization program. Chapter 4 contains geochemical information about the Yucca Mountain site. The chapter references plan for continued collection of geochemical data as a part of the site characterization program. Chapter 4 describes and evaluates data on the existing climate and site meterology, and outlines the suggested procedures to be used in developing and validating methods to predict future climatic variation. 534 refs., 100 figs., 72 tabs

  7. Dataset of Phenology of Mediterranean high-mountain meadows flora (Sierra Nevada, Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Luque, Antonio Jesús; Sánchez-Rojas, Cristina Patricia; Zamora, Regino; Pérez-Pérez, Ramón; Bonet, Francisco Javier

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Sierra Nevada mountain range (southern Spain) hosts a high number of endemic plant species, being one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in the Mediterranean basin. The high-mountain meadow ecosystems (borreguiles) harbour a large number of endemic and threatened plant species. In this data paper, we describe a dataset of the flora inhabiting this threatened ecosystem in this Mediterranean mountain. The dataset includes occurrence data for flora collected in those ecosystems in two periods: 1988–1990 and 2009–2013. A total of 11002 records of occurrences belonging to 19 orders, 28 families 52 genera were collected. 73 taxa were recorded with 29 threatened taxa. We also included data of cover-abundance and phenology attributes for the records. The dataset is included in the Sierra Nevada Global-Change Observatory (OBSNEV), a long-term research project designed to compile socio-ecological information on the major ecosystem types in order to identify the impacts of global change in this area. PMID:25878552

  8. Dataset of Phenology of Mediterranean high-mountain meadows flora (Sierra Nevada, Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Luque, Antonio Jesús; Sánchez-Rojas, Cristina Patricia; Zamora, Regino; Pérez-Pérez, Ramón; Bonet, Francisco Javier

    2015-01-01

    Sierra Nevada mountain range (southern Spain) hosts a high number of endemic plant species, being one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in the Mediterranean basin. The high-mountain meadow ecosystems (borreguiles) harbour a large number of endemic and threatened plant species. In this data paper, we describe a dataset of the flora inhabiting this threatened ecosystem in this Mediterranean mountain. The dataset includes occurrence data for flora collected in those ecosystems in two periods: 1988-1990 and 2009-2013. A total of 11002 records of occurrences belonging to 19 orders, 28 families 52 genera were collected. 73 taxa were recorded with 29 threatened taxa. We also included data of cover-abundance and phenology attributes for the records. The dataset is included in the Sierra Nevada Global-Change Observatory (OBSNEV), a long-term research project designed to compile socio-ecological information on the major ecosystem types in order to identify the impacts of global change in this area.

  9. Fumio Matsumura--accomplishments at the University of California, Davis, and in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seiber, James N

    2015-05-01

    Fumio Matsumura joined the University of California, Davis, faculty in 1987 where he served as founding director of the Center for Environmental Health Sciences, associate director of the U.C. Toxic Substances Research and Teaching Program, and chair of the Department of Environmental Toxicology. He was an active affiliate with the NIEHS-funded Superfund Basic Research Program and the NIH Comprehensive Cancer Center. He was in many instances a primary driver or otherwise involved in most activities related to environmental toxicology at Davis, including the education of students in environmental biochemistry and ecotoxicology. A significant part of his broad research program was focused on the long range transport of chemicals such as toxaphene, PCBs and related contaminants used or released in California to the Sierra Nevada mountains, downwind of the urban and agricultural regions of the state. He hypothesized that these chemical residues adversely affected fish and wildlife, and particularly the declining populations of amphibians in Sierra Nevada streams and lakes. Fumio and his students and colleagues found residues of toxaphene and PCBs at higher elevations, an apparent result of atmospheric drift and deposition in the mountains. Fumio and his wife Teruko had personal interests in, and a love of the mountains, as avid skiers, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. 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

  11. Correlations and Areal Distribution of the Table Mountain Formation, Stanislaus Group; Central Sierra Nevada, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torrez, G.; Carlson, C. W.; Putirka, K. D.; Pluhar, C. J.; Sharma, R. K.

    2011-12-01

    Late Cenozoic evolution of the western Cordillera is a matter of ongoing debate in geologic studies. Volcanic deposits within, and adjacent to the Sierra Nevada have played a significant role in many of these debates. With local faulting coincident with eruption of members of the Stanislaus Group at ca. 38°N, the composition and correlation of these volcanics can greatly aid our understanding of Sierra Nevada tectonics. At the crest of the central Sierra Nevada, 23 trachyandesite lava flows of the Table Mountain Formation, dated at ~10 Ma, cap Sonora Peak. These 23 flows compose the thickest and most complete known stratigraphic section of the Table Mountain Formation in the region. Located ~12 km east of Sonora Peak are 16 flows of trachyandesite at Grouse Meadow. We have collected a detailed set of geochemical and paleomagnetic data for flows of these two sections at Sonora Peak and Grouse Meadows in an attempt to correlate volcanic, paleomagnetic and structural events related to uplift and extension in the Sierra Nevada and the Walker Lane. Correlation of individual flows is possible based on: stratigraphic order, temporal gaps in deposition as determined by paleomagnetic remanence direction and nonconformities, and flow geochemistry. These correlations allow us to infer source localities, flow directions, and temporal changes in flow routes. The large number of flows present at Grouse Meadow provides an additional data set from which to correlate various localities in the region to those units not represented at Sonora Peak. Several flows which occur in the upper portions of the Sonora Peak and Grouse Meadow stratigraphic sections do not correlate between these localities. The causes of stratigraphic discontinuity potentially represent: tectonic isolation across the Sierran Crest, topographic isolation by the emplacement of younger flows, or the combination of the two. Additional to the correlation of individual flows at these localities, this study shows a

  12. Yucca Mountain Socioeconomic Project: The 1991 Nevada State telephone survey: Key findings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flynn, J.H.; Mertz, C.K.; Slovic, P.

    1991-05-01

    The 1991 Nevada State Telephone Survey was implemented by Decision Research on behalf of the State of Nevada, Agency for Nuclear Projects/Nuclear Waste Project Office (NWPO) as part of an ongoing socioeconomic impact assessment study. The scope of this survey was considerably smaller than a previous survey conducted in 1989 and focused more upon public evaluations of the Yucca Mountain repository program and the trust Nevadans currently addressing the siting issues. In order to provide place in key public officials who are Longitudinal data on the repository program, the 1991 questionnaire consisted of questions that were used in the 1989 NWPO survey which was conducted by Mountain West Research. As a result, the findings from this survey are compared with analogous items from the 1989 survey, and with the results from a survey commissioned by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and reported in their issue of October 21, 1990. The Review-Journal survey was conducted by Bruce Merri11 of the Arizona State University Media Research Center. A more complete comparison of the 1989 and 1991 surveys sponsored by NWPO is possible since the researchers at Decision Research had access to both these databases. The only source of information for the Review-Journal findings was the articles published in the Fall, 1990. The findings of the 1991 survey show that Nevadans oppose the federal government attempts to locate a high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain. They support a policy of opposition on the part of Nevada officials. They believe that Nevadans should have the final say in whether to accept the repository or not, and they reject the proposition that benefits from the repository program will outweigh the harms. These findings are very similar to survey results from 1989 and 1990 and once again demonstrate very widespread public opposition by Nevadans to the current federal repository program

  13. Effects of Faulted Stratigraphy on Saturated Zone Flow Beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cohen, Andrew J.B.; Oldenburg, Curtis M.

    1999-01-01

    The S 4 Z Model (''sub-site-scale saturated zone'') is a 3-D TOUGH2 model that was developed to study the saturated zone (SZ) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and to aid in the design and analysis of hydrologic tests. Yucca Mountain is the proposed site for a nuclear waste repository for the United States. The model covers an area of approximately 100 km 2 around Yucca Mountain, as shown in Figure 1. The proposed repository is located in the unsaturated zone, immediately above the area of equidimensional gridblocks east of Solitario Canyon fault, which defines the crest of Yucca Mountain. The finely discretized region near the center of the domain corresponds to the area near a cluster of boreholes used for hydraulic and tracer testing. This discretization facilitates simulation of tests conducted there. The hydrogeologic structure beneath the mountain is comprised of dipping geologic units of variable thickness which are offset by faults. One of the primary objectives of the S 4 Z modeling effort is to study the potential effects of the faulted structure on flow. Therefore, replication of the geologic structure in the model mesh is necessary. This paper summarizes (1) the mesh discretization used to capture the faulted geologic structure, and (2) a model simulation that illustrates the significance of the geologic structure on SZ flow and the resulting macrodispersion

  14. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, April 1, 1990--September 30, 1990, Number 3

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-03-01

    In accordance with the requirements of Section 113(b)(3) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA), as amended, the US Department of Energy has prepared this report on the progress of site characterization activities at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the period April 1 through September 30, 1990. This report is the third of a series of reports that are issued at intervals of approximately six months during site characterization. The report covers a number of new initiatives to improve the effectiveness of the site characterization program and covers continued efforts related to preparatory activities, study plans, and performance assessment. 85 refs., 2 figs., 3 tabs

  15. Data on snow chemistry of the Cascade-Sierra Nevada Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laird, L.B.; Taylor, Howard E.; Lombard, R.E.

    1986-01-01

    Snow chemistry data were measured for solutes found in snow core samples collected from the Cascade-Sierra Nevada Mountains from late February to mid-March 1983. The data are part of a study to assess geographic variations in atmospheric deposition in Washington, Oregon, and California. The constituents and properties include pH and concentrations of hydrogen ion, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, sulfate, nitrate, fluoride, phosphate, ammonium, iron, aluminum, manganese, copper, cadmium, lead, and dissolved organic carbon. Concentrations of arsenic and bromide were below the detection limit. (USGS)

  16. Simulated effects of potential withdrawals from wells near Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tucce, Patrick; Faunt, Claudia C.

    1999-01-01

    The effects of potential future withdrawals from wells J-12, J-13, and UE-25c number 3 on the ground-water flow system in the area surrounding Yucca Mountain, Nevada, were simulated by using an existing (1997) three-dimensional regional ground-water flow model. The 1997 regional model was modified only to include changes at the pumped wells. Two steady-state simulations (baseline and predictive) were conducted to estimate changes in water level and changes in ground-water outflow from Jackass Flats, where the pumped wells are located, south to the Amargosa Desert

  17. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, October 1, 1990--March 31, 1991

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-10-01

    In accordance with the requirements of Section 113 (b) (3) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended (NWPA), the US Department of Energy (DOE) has prepared this report on the progress of site characterization activities at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the period October 1, 1990, through March 31, 1991. This report is the fourth in a series of reports that are issued at intervals of approximately six months during site characterization. The report covers a number of initiatives to improve the effectiveness of the site characterization program, and covers continued efforts related to preparatory activities, Study Plans, and performance assessment

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Characterize Framework for Igneous Activity at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    F. Perry; R. Youngs

    2004-10-14

    The purpose of this scientific analysis report is threefold: (1) Present a conceptual framework of igneous activity in the Yucca Mountain region (YMR) consistent with the volcanic and tectonic history of this region and the assessment of this history by experts who participated in the probabilistic volcanic hazard analysis (PVHA) (CRWMS M&O 1996 [DIRS 100116]). Conceptual models presented in the PVHA are summarized and applied in areas in which new information has been presented. Alternative conceptual models are discussed, as well as their impact on probability models. The relationship between volcanic source zones defined in the PVHA and structural features of the YMR are described based on discussions in the PVHA and studies presented since the PVHA. (2) Present revised probability calculations based on PVHA outputs for a repository footprint proposed in 2003 (BSC 2003 [DIRS 162289]), rather than the footprint used at the time of the PVHA. This analysis report also calculates the probability of an eruptive center(s) forming within the repository footprint using information developed in the PVHA. Probability distributions are presented for the length and orientation of volcanic dikes located within the repository footprint and for the number of eruptive centers (conditional on a dike intersecting the repository) located within the repository footprint. (3) Document sensitivity studies that analyze how the presence of potentially buried basaltic volcanoes may affect the computed frequency of intersection of the repository footprint by a basaltic dike. These sensitivity studies are prompted by aeromagnetic data collected in 1999, indicating the possible presence of previously unrecognized buried volcanoes in the YMR (Blakely et al. 2000 [DIRS 151881]; O'Leary et al. 2002 [DIRS 158468]). The results of the sensitivity studies are for informational purposes only and are not to be used for purposes of assessing repository performance.

  1. Characterize Framework for Igneous Activity at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    F. Perry; R. Youngs

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of this scientific analysis report is threefold: (1) Present a conceptual framework of igneous activity in the Yucca Mountain region (YMR) consistent with the volcanic and tectonic history of this region and the assessment of this history by experts who participated in the probabilistic volcanic hazard analysis (PVHA) (CRWMS M and O 1996 [DIRS 100116]). Conceptual models presented in the PVHA are summarized and applied in areas in which new information has been presented. Alternative conceptual models are discussed, as well as their impact on probability models. The relationship between volcanic source zones defined in the PVHA and structural features of the YMR are described based on discussions in the PVHA and studies presented since the PVHA. (2) Present revised probability calculations based on PVHA outputs for a repository footprint proposed in 2003 (BSC 2003 [DIRS 162289]), rather than the footprint used at the time of the PVHA. This analysis report also calculates the probability of an eruptive center(s) forming within the repository footprint using information developed in the PVHA. Probability distributions are presented for the length and orientation of volcanic dikes located within the repository footprint and for the number of eruptive centers (conditional on a dike intersecting the repository) located within the repository footprint. (3) Document sensitivity studies that analyze how the presence of potentially buried basaltic volcanoes may affect the computed frequency of intersection of the repository footprint by a basaltic dike. These sensitivity studies are prompted by aeromagnetic data collected in 1999, indicating the possible presence of previously unrecognized buried volcanoes in the YMR (Blakely et al. 2000 [DIRS 151881]; O'Leary et al. 2002 [DIRS 158468]). The results of the sensitivity studies are for informational purposes only and are not to be used for purposes of assessing repository performance

  2. Secondary plant succession on disturbed sites at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Angerer, J.P.; Ostler, W.K.; Gabbert, W.D.; Schultz, B.W.

    1994-12-01

    This report presents the results of a study of secondary plant succession on disturbed sites created during initial site investigations in the late 1970s and early 1980s at Yucca Mountain, NV. Specific study objectives were to determine the rate and success of secondary plant succession, identify plant species found in disturbances that may be suitable for site-specific reclamation, and to identify environmental variables that influence succession on disturbed sites. During 1991 and 1992, fifty seven disturbed sites were located. Vegetation parameters, disturbance characteristics and environmental variables were measured at each site. Disturbed site vegetation parameters were compared to that of undisturbed sites to determine the status of disturbed site plant succession. Vegetation on disturbed sites, after an average of ten years, was different from undisturbed areas. Ambrosia dumosa, Chrysothamnus teretifolius, Hymenoclea salsola, Gutierrezia sarothrae, Atriplex confertifolia, Atriplex canescens, and Stephanomeria pauciflora were the most dominant species across all disturbed sites. With the exception of A. dumosa, these species were generally minor components of the undisturbed vegetation. Elevation, soil compaction, soil potassium, and amounts of sand and gravel in the soil were found to be significant environmental variables influencing the species composition and abundance of perennial plants on disturbed sites. The recovery rate for disturbed site secondary succession was estimated. Using a linear function (which would represent optimal conditions), the recovery rate for perennial plant cover, regardless of which species comprised the cover, was estimated to be 20 years. However, when a logarithmic function (which would represent probable conditions) was used, the recovery rate was estimated to be 845 years. Recommendations for future studies and site-specific reclamation of disturbances are presented

  3. Secondary plant succession on disturbed sites at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Angerer, J.P.; Ostler, W.K.; Gabbert, W.D.; Schultz, B.W.

    1994-12-01

    This report presents the results of a study of secondary plant succession on disturbed sites created during initial site investigations in the late 1970s and early 1980s at Yucca Mountain, NV. Specific study objectives were to determine the rate and success of secondary plant succession, identify plant species found in disturbances that may be suitable for site-specific reclamation, and to identify environmental variables that influence succession on disturbed sites. During 1991 and 1992, fifty seven disturbed sites were located. Vegetation parameters, disturbance characteristics and environmental variables were measured at each site. Disturbed site vegetation parameters were compared to that of undisturbed sites to determine the status of disturbed site plant succession. Vegetation on disturbed sites, after an average of ten years, was different from undisturbed areas. Ambrosia dumosa, Chrysothamnus teretifolius, Hymenoclea salsola, Gutierrezia sarothrae, Atriplex confertifolia, Atriplex canescens, and Stephanomeria pauciflora were the most dominant species across all disturbed sites. With the exception of A. dumosa, these species were generally minor components of the undisturbed vegetation. Elevation, soil compaction, soil potassium, and amounts of sand and gravel in the soil were found to be significant environmental variables influencing the species composition and abundance of perennial plants on disturbed sites. The recovery rate for disturbed site secondary succession was estimated. Using a linear function (which would represent optimal conditions), the recovery rate for perennial plant cover, regardless of which species comprised the cover, was estimated to be 20 years. However, when a logarithmic function (which would represent probable conditions) was used, the recovery rate was estimated to be 845 years. Recommendations for future studies and site-specific reclamation of disturbances are presented.

  4. Reactive Transport Modeling of the Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    G. Bodvarsson

    2004-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain site has a dry climate and deep water table, with the repository located in the middle of an unsaturated zone approximately 600 m thick. Radionuclide transport processes from the repository to the water table are sensitive to the unsaturated zone flow field, as well as to sorption, matrix diffusion, radioactive decay, and colloid transport mechanisms. The unsaturated zone flow and transport models are calibrated against both physical and chemical data, including pneumatic pressure, liquid saturation, water potential, temperature, chloride, and calcite. The transport model predictions are further compared with testing specific to unsaturated zone transport: at Alcove 1 in the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF), at Alcove 8 and Niche 3 of the ESF, and at the Busted Butte site. The models are applied to predict the breakthroughs at the water table for nonsorbing and sorbing radionuclides, with faults shown as the important paths for radionuclide transport. Daughter products of some important radionuclides, such as 239 Pu and 241 Am, have faster transport than the parents and must be considered in the unsaturated zone transport model. Colloid transport is significantly affected by colloid size, but only negligibly affected by lunetic declogging (reverse filtering) mechanisms. Unsaturated zone model uncertainties are discussed, including the sensitivity of breakthrough to the active fracture model parameter, as an example of uncertainties related to detailed flow characteristics and fracture-matrix interaction. It is expected that additional benefits from the unsaturated zone barrier for transport can be achieved by full implementation of the shadow zone concept immediately below the radionuclide release points in the waste emplacement drifts

  5. Parallel computing simulation of fluid flow in the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2001-01-01

    This paper presents the application of parallel computing techniques to large-scale modeling of fluid flow in the unsaturated zone (UZ) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. In this study, parallel computing techniques, as implemented into the TOUGH2 code, are applied in large-scale numerical simulations on a distributed-memory parallel computer. The modeling study has been conducted using an over-one-million-cell three-dimensional numerical model, which incorporates a wide variety of field data for the highly heterogeneous fractured formation at Yucca Mountain. The objective of this study is to analyze the impact of various surface infiltration scenarios (under current and possible future climates) on flow through the UZ system, using various hydrogeological conceptual models with refined grids. The results indicate that the one-million-cell models produce better resolution results and reveal some flow patterns that cannot be obtained using coarse-grid modeling models

  6. Three-dimensional hydrological and thermal property models of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rautman, C.A.; McKenna, S.A.

    1997-11-01

    This report describes the creation of three-dimensional numerical models of selected rock-matrix properties for the region of the potential high-level nuclear waste repository site at Yucca Mountain, which is located in southern Nevada. The models have been generated for a majority of the unsaturated and shallow saturated zone within an area referred to within the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization project as the site area. They comprise a number of material properties of importance both to detailed process-level modeling activities and to more summary-style performance assessment modeling. The material properties within these models are both spatially variable (heterogeneous) and spatially correlated, as the rocks are understood from data obtained from site-characterization drill holes widely scattered across the site area

  7. Fabrication and closure development of nuclear waste containers for storage at the Yucca Mountain, Nevada repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Russell, E.W.; Nelson, T.A.; Domian, H.A.; LaCount, D.F.; Robitz, E.S.; Stein, K.O.

    1989-04-01

    US Congress and the President have determined that the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada is to be characterized to determine its suitability for construction of the first US high-level nuclear waste repository. Work in connection with this site is carried out within the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP). Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has the responsibility for designing, developing, and projecting the performance of the waste package for the permanent storage of high-level nuclear waste. Babcock ampersand Wilcox (B ampersand W) is involved with the YMP as a subcontractor to LLNL. B ampersand W's role is to recommend and demonstrate a method for fabricating the metallic waste container and a method for performing the final closure of the container after it has been filled with waste. Various fabrication and closure methods are under consideration for the production of containers. This paper presents progress to date in identifying and evaluating the candidate manufacturing processes. 2 refs., 1 fig., 7 tabs

  8. Physical and chemical characteristics of topographically affected airflow in an open borehole at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thorstenson, D.C.; Woodward, J.C.; Weeks, E.P.; Haas, H.

    1989-01-01

    Borehole UZ6S, on the crest of Yucca Mountain, Nevada Test Site, has exhaled approximately 10 6 m 3 of gas annually during winter months for three successive years. The flow arises from thermal-topographic effects. The average composition of the exhausted gas is: N 2 = 78%, O 2 = 21%, Ar = 0.94%, CO 2 = 0.125%, and CH 4 = 0.2 ppMv. The CO 2 has the following isotopic signature: 14 C = 108.5 percent modern carbon (pmc), and δ 13 C = 17.1 permil. In the thirty-month observation period, there has been a net flux to the atmosphere of approximately 40 m 3 of liquid water and 1150 kg of carbon. The gas flowing from UZ6S appears to originate in the soil and/or shallow unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain crest. 25 refs., 6 figs., 4 tabs

  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. Borehole and geohydrologic data for test hole USW UZ-6, Yucca Mountain area, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whitfield, M.S. Jr.; Loskot, C.L.; Cope, C.M.

    1993-01-01

    Test hole USW UZ-6, located 1.8 kilometers west of the Nevada Test Site on a major north-trending ridge at Yucca Mountain, was dry drilled in Tertiary tuff to a depth of 575 meters. The area near this site is being considered by the US Department of Energy for potential construction of a high-level, radioactive-waste repository. Test hole USW UZ-6 is one of seven test holes completed in the unsaturated zone as part of the US Geological Survey's Yucca Mountain Project to characterize the potential repository site. Data pertaining to borehole drilling and construction, lithology of geologic units penetrated, and laboratory analyses for hydrologic characteristics of samples of drill-bit cuttings are included in this report

  11. Site characterization plan overview: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-12-01

    To help the public better understand both the SCP and the site characterization program, the DOE has prepared this overview and the SCP Public Handbook. The overview presents summaries of selected topics covered in the SCP; it is not a substitute for the SCP. The organization of the overview is similar to that of the SCP itself, with brief descriptions of the Yucca Mountain site, the repository, and the containers in which the waste would be packaged, followed by a discussion of the characterization program to be carried out at the Yucca Mountain site. This overview is intended primarily for those persons who want to understand the general scope and basis of the site-characterization program, the activities to be conducted, and the facilities to be constructed without spending the time necessary to become familiar with all of the technical details presented in the SCP. For the readers of the SCP, the overview will be useful as a general guide to the plan. The SCP Public Handbook is a short document that contains brief descriptions of the SCP process and the contents of the SCP. It also explains how the public can submit comments on the SCP and lists the libraries and reading rooms at which the SCP is available. 9 refs., 18 tabs.

  12. Site characterization plan overview: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada Reserch and Development Area, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-12-01

    To help the public better understand both the SCP and the site characterization program, the DOE has prepared this overview and the SCP Public Handbook. The overview presents summaries of selected topics covered in the SCP; it is not a substitute for the SCP. The organization of the overview is similar to that of the SCP itself, with brief descriptions of the Yucca Mountain site, the repository, and the containers in which the waste would be packaged, followed by a discussion of the characterization program to be carried out at the Yucca Mountain site. This overview is intended primarily for those persons who want to understand the general scope and basis of the site-characterization program, the activities to be conducted, and the facilities to be constructed without spending the time necessary to become familiar with all of the technical details presented in the SCP. For the readers of the SCP, the overview will be useful as a general guide to the plan. The SCP Public Handbook is a short document that contains brief descriptions of the SCP process and the contents of the SCP. It also explains how the public can submit comments on the SCP and lists the libraries and reading rooms at which the SCP is available. 9 refs., 18 tabs

  13. Independent management and financial review, Yucca Mountain Project, Nevada. Final report, Appendix

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (Public Law 97-425), as amended by Public Law 100-203, December 22, 1987, established the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) within the Department of Energy (DOE), and directed the Office to investigate a site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, to determine if this site is suitable for the construction of a repository for the disposal of high level nuclear waste. Work on site characterization has been under way for several years. Thus far, about $1.47 billion have been spent on Yucca Mountain programs. This work has been funded by Congressional appropriations from a Nuclear Waste Fund to which contributions have been made by electric utility ratepayers through electric utilities generating power from nuclear power stations. The Secretary of Energy and the Governor of the State of Nevada have appointed one person each to a panel to oversee an objective, independent financial and management evaluation of the Yucca Mountain Project. The Requirements for the work will include an analysis of (1) the Yucca Mountain financial and, contract management techniques and controls; (2) Project schedules and credibility of the proposed milestones; (3) Project organizational effectiveness and internal planning processes, and (4) adequacy of funding levels and funding priorities, including the cost of infrastructure and scientific studies. The recipient will provide monthly progress report and the following reports/documents will be presented as deliverables under the contract: (1) Financial and Contract Management Preliminary Report; (2) Project Scheduling Preliminary Report; (3)Project Organizational Effectiveness Preliminary Report; (4) Project Funding Levels and Funding Priorities Preliminary Report; and (5) Final Report

  14. Independent management and financial review, Yucca Mountain Project, Nevada. Final report, Appendix

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-07-15

    The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (Public Law 97-425), as amended by Public Law 100-203, December 22, 1987, established the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) within the Department of Energy (DOE), and directed the Office to investigate a site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, to determine if this site is suitable for the construction of a repository for the disposal of high level nuclear waste. Work on site characterization has been under way for several years. Thus far, about $1.47 billion have been spent on Yucca Mountain programs. This work has been funded by Congressional appropriations from a Nuclear Waste Fund to which contributions have been made by electric utility ratepayers through electric utilities generating power from nuclear power stations. The Secretary of Energy and the Governor of the State of Nevada have appointed one person each to a panel to oversee an objective, independent financial and management evaluation of the Yucca Mountain Project. The Requirements for the work will include an analysis of (1) the Yucca Mountain financial and, contract management techniques and controls; (2) Project schedules and credibility of the proposed milestones; (3) Project organizational effectiveness and internal planning processes, and (4) adequacy of funding levels and funding priorities, including the cost of infrastructure and scientific studies. The recipient will provide monthly progress report and the following reports/documents will be presented as deliverables under the contract: (1) Financial and Contract Management Preliminary Report; (2) Project Scheduling Preliminary Report; (3)Project Organizational Effectiveness Preliminary Report; (4) Project Funding Levels and Funding Priorities Preliminary Report; and (5) Final Report.

  15. Drilling and geohydrologic data for test hole USW UZ-1, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whitfield, M.S.; Thordarson, W.; Hammermeister, D.P.; Warner, J.B.

    1990-01-01

    This report presents data collected to determine the hydrologic characteristics of tuffaceous rocks penetrated in test hole USW UZ-1. The borehole is the first of two deep, large-diameter, unsaturated-zone test holes dry drilled using the vacuum/reverse-air-circulation method. This test hole was drilled in and near the southwestern part of the Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada, in a program conducted in cooperation with the US Department of Energy. These investigations are part of the Yucca Mountain Project (formerly the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations) to identify a potentially suitable site for the storage of high-level radioactive wastes. Data are presented for bit and casing configurations, coring methods, sample collection, drilling rate, borehole deviation, and out-of-gage borehole. Geologic data for this borehole include geophysical logs, a lithologic log of drill-bit cuttings, and strike and distribution of fractures. Hydrologic data include water-content and water-potential measurements of drill-bit cuttings, water-level measurements, and physical and chemical analyses of water. Laboratory measurements of moisture content and matric properties from the larger drill-bit cutting fragments were considered to be representative of in-situ conditions. 3 refs., 5 figs., 10 tabs

  16. Ground-water travel time calculations for the potential nuclear repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Younker, J.L.; Wilson, W.E.; Sinnock, S.

    1986-01-01

    In support of the US Department of Energy Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project, ground-water travel times were calculated for flow paths in both the saturated and unsaturated zones at Yucca Mountain, a potential site for a high-level radioactive waste repository in southern Nevada. The calculations were made through a combined effort by Science Applications International Corporation, Sandia National Laboratories, and the US Geological Survey. Travel times in the unsaturated zone were estimated by dividing the flow path length by the ground-water velocity, where velocities were obtained by dividing the vertical flux by the effective porosity of the rock types along assumed vertical flow paths. Saturated zone velocities were obtained by dividing the product of the bulk hydraulic conductivity and hydraulic gradient by the effective porosity. Total travel time over an EPA-established 5-km flow path was then calculated to be the sum of the travel times in the two parts of the flow path. Estimates of ground water fluxes and travel times are critical for evaluating the favorability of the Yucca Mountain site because they provide the basis for estimating the potential for radionuclides to reach the accessible environment within certain time limits

  17. Vertical Distribution of Ozone and Nitric Acid Vapor on the Mammoth Mountain, Eastern Sierra Nevada, California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrzej Bytnerowicz

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available In August and September 1999 and 2000, concentrations of ozone (O3 and nitric acid vapor (HNO3 were monitored at an elevation gradient (2184–3325 m on the Mammoth Mountain, eastern Sierra Nevada, California. Passive samplers were used for monitoring exposure to tropospheric O3 and HNO3 vapor. The 2-week average O3 concentrations ranged between 45 and 72 ppb, while HNO3 concentrations ranged between 0.06 and 0.52 μg/m3. Similar ranges of O3 and HNO3 were determined for 2 years of the study. No clear effects of elevation on concentrations of the two pollutants were detected. Concentrations of HNO3 were low and at the background levels expected for the eastern Sierra Nevada, while the measured concentrations of O3 were elevated. High concentrations of ozone in the study area were confirmed with an active UV absorption O3 monitor placed at the Mammoth Mountain Peak (September 5–14, 2000, average 24-h concentration of 56 ppb.

  18. Geoengineering properties of potential repository units at Yucca Mountain, southern Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tillerson, J.R.; Nimick, F.B.

    1984-12-01

    The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) Project is currently evaluating volcanic tuffs at the Yucca Mountain site, located on and adjacent to the Nevada Test Site, for possible use as a host rock for a radioactive waste repository. The behavior of tuff as an engineering material must be understood to design, license, construct, and operate a repository. Geoengineering evaluations and measurements are being made to develop confidence in both the analysis techniques for thermal, mechanical, and hydrothermal effects and the supporting data base of rock properties. The analysis techniques and the data base are currently used for repository design, waste package design, and performance assessment analyses. This report documents the data base of geoengineering properties used in the analyses that aided the selection of the waste emplacement horizon and in analyses synopsized in the Environmental Assessment Report prepared for the Yucca Mountain site. The strategy used for the development of the data base relies primarily on data obtained in laboratory tests that are then confirmed in field tests. Average thermal and mechanical properties (and their anticipated variations) are presented. Based upon these data, analyses completed to date, and previous excavation experience in tuff, it is anticipated that existing mining technology can be used to develop stable underground openings and that repository operations can be carried out safely

  19. Peak Ground Velocities for Seismic Events at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    K. Coppersmith; R. Quittmeyer

    2005-01-01

    This report describes a scientific analysis to bound credible horizontal peak ground velocities (PGV) for the repository waste emplacement level at Yucca Mountain. Results are presented as a probability distribution for horizontal PGV to represent uncertainties in the analysis. The analysis also combines the bound to horizontal PGV with results of ground motion site-response modeling (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170027]) to develop a composite hazard curve for horizontal PGV at the waste emplacement level. This result provides input to an abstraction of seismic consequences (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169183]). The seismic consequence abstraction, in turn, defines the input data and computational algorithms for the seismic scenario class of the total system performance assessment (TSPA). Planning for the analysis is documented in Technical Work Plan TWP-MGR-GS-000001 (BSC 2004 [DIRS 171850]). The bound on horizontal PGV at the repository waste emplacement level developed in this analysis complements ground motions developed on the basis of PSHA results. In the PSHA, ground motion experts characterized the epistemic uncertainty and aleatory variability in their ground motion interpretations. To characterize the aleatory variability they used unbounded lognormal distributions. As a consequence of these characterizations, as seismic hazard calculations are extended to lower and lower annual frequencies of being exceeded, the ground motion level increases without bound, eventually reaching levels that are not credible (Corradini 2003 [DIRS 171191]). To provide credible seismic inputs for TSPA, in accordance with 10 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 63.102(j) [DIRS 156605], this complementary analysis is carried out to determine reasonable bounding values of horizontal PGV at the waste emplacement level for annual frequencies of exceedance as low as 10 -8 . For each realization of the TSPA seismic scenario, the results of this analysis provide a constraint on the values sampled from the

  20. 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

  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. Equilibrium modeling of the formation of zeolites in fractures at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, in southern Nevada, is currently being investigated to determine its suitability to host the first US high-level nuclear waste repository. One of the reasons that Yucca Mountain was chosen for study is the presence of thick sequences of zeolite-rich horizons. In as much as fractures may serve as potential pathways for aqueous transport, the minerals that line fractures are of particular interest. Zeolites are common in fractures at Yucca Mountain and consist mainly of clinoptilolite/heulandite and mordenite although sporadic occurrences of chabazite, erionite, phillipsite, and stellrite have been identified using X-ray powder diffraction. To understand better the conditions under which the observed zeolite species were formed, thermodynamic data were estimated and calculations of log a((K + ) 2 /Ca ++ ) versus log a((Na + ) 2 /Ca ++ ) were conducted at various temperatures and silica activities. Using present-day Yucca Mountain water chemistries as a lower constraint on silica activity, clinoptilolite/heulandite and mordenite are still the zeolite species that would form under present conditions

  3. State of Nevada comments on the US Department of Energy site characterization plan, Yucca Mountain site, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-01-01

    We find the Site Characterization Plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area (DOE/RW-0160) seriously deficient, in terms of establishing an investigative program to confidently characterize hydrogeologic and closely-related aspects of the proposed repository, in the vadose zone at Yucca Mountain. Most hydrogeological licensing criteria indirectly measure waste isolation provided by the geologic environment during pre- and post-closure conditions. We believe the Site Characterization Plan (SCP) generally fails to establish scientifically sound and feasible programs of investigation that will, in a timely and confident manner, resolve most of the hydrogeologic and geochemical licensing issues that have been recognized since the vadose-zone repository was first proposed at this location in 1982. The SCP generally fails in its responsibility because it does not objectively set aside the DOE conceptual model of a ''dry'' repository environment with extremely slow flow of water confined to the rock matrix. In the SCP, the DOE fails to establish a scientifically sound investigative program that seriously tests for hydrogeologic conditions based on the range of existing data and general knowledge. Rather, the DOE builds a probabilistic program upon a preconceived conceptual model, without designing a field-data collection program with the power to test the validity of the conceptual model. This is unacceptable in that the DOE program, as described in the SCP, plans to build numerical model after numerical model upon untested conceptual models, in attempts to ''resolve'' the fundamental licensing issues of waste isolation by the geologic barrier. If executed as planned, these analyses will have only a series of assumptions of their foundation and, therefore, can not resolve licensing issues. 12 refs., 3 figs

  4. Nye County Nevada local perspective of the yucca mountain project (YMP)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swanson, D.

    2008-01-01

    Nye County, Nevada, is host of the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. The Department of Energy (DOE) Nevada Test Site (NTS) and the Department of Defense Nevada Test and Training Range occupy a large portion of Nye County. The NTS has been the site of numerous nuclear device detonations; hosts two low-level nuclear waste landfills; and was (and is) the site of various nuclear physics experiments and tests that have resulted in the distribution of radionuclides into the environment. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act Amendments of 1987 designated Yucca Mountain as the only site, of the three sites approved for characterisation, to be evaluated as a repository. The Act includes provisions for local involvement in program oversight. Nye County and each county surrounding Nye is designated an affected unit of local government (AULG). Nye, being the situs county, also is provided the opportunity to have an on-site representative. This function is a day-to-day opportunity to interact with DOE staff and be actively involved in the DOE decision-making process. DOE has recognised Nye County unique status and special needs and has provided additional funding for various studies via co-operative agreements. The most notable program is the County Independent Science Investigation Program (ISIP). This unique program allows Nye County to contract with subject matter experts, primarily hydrological and geotechnical experts, to conduct studies and advise the county regarding their results and the technical results of DOE investigations. Through the ISIP, Nye has developed a co-operative and credible relationship with numerous research facilities including the national laboratories, government agencies, and universities. Nye County has no viable means to reject the YMP. Hence, current County policy is of a pragmatic nature in that our objectives are to assure that public health, safety and the environment are adequately protected, that the YMP is a success in every way

  5. Calcite/opal deposits at Yucca Mountain, Nevada: Pedogenic or hypogene?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hill, C.A.; Schluter, C.M.; Harmon, R.S.

    1994-01-01

    This 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. The purpose of this paper is to consider all of the geological and geochemical data available for the calcite/opal deposits at Yucca Mountain and to ascertain whether this data favors a pedogenic or hyogene origin for these deposits. Far from being of esoteric concern, this subject is of paramount importance to the debate which rages around the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a high-level radioactive waste repository site. It is also the purpose of this paper to serve as a foundation for a lengthy feature article to be submitted for publication in 1994. In addition, a stand has been taken by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences against the upwelling-water model (a vote of 17 to 0 against), and this same panel report has concluded that open-quotes there is no compelling evidence for the repetitive flooding of the environment by expulsion of groundwaterclose quotes and that open-quotes instead, the evidence strongly supports the idea that the near-surface mineral deposits resulted from percolating rainwater, which carried soil minerals down into rock fracturesclose quotes. Based on such information the Department of Energy has stated that it open-quotes finds no basis to continue to study the origin of these specific depositsclose quotes. This study, based upon many different independent lines of evidence, reaches the opposite conclusion and instead favors a hypogene spring-travertine origin for the controversial calcite/opal deposits at Yucca Mountain. This study recognizes a pedogenic carbonate component at Yucca Mountain, but argues that this component is distinct from, and sometimes intermixed with, the calcite/opal deposits

  6. Independent management and financial review, Yucca Mountain Project, Nevada. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain Project is one part of the Department of Energy's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program (the Program) which was established by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, and as amended in 1987. The Program's goal is to site the nation's first geologic repository for the permanent disposal of high-level nuclear waste, in the form of spent fuel rod assemblies, generated by the nuclear power industry and a smaller quantity of Government radioactive waste. The Program, which also encompasses the transportation system and the multipurpose canister system was not the subject of this Report. The subject of this Review was only the Yucca Mountain Project in Nevada. While the Review was directed toward the Yucca Mountain Project rather than the Program as a whole, there are certain elements of the Project which cannot be addressed except through discussion of some Program issues. An example is the Total System Life Cycle Cost addressed in Section 7 of this report. Where Program issues are discussed in this Report, the reader is reminded of the scope limitations of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) contract to review only the Yucca Mountain Project. The primary scope of the Review was to respond to the specific criteria contained in the NARUC scope of work. In responding to these criteria, the Review Team understood that some interested parties have expressed concern over the requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act relative to the Yucca Mountain Project and the nature of activities currently being carried out by the Department of Energy at the Yucca Mountain Project site. The Review Team has attempted to analyze relevant portions of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act as Amended, but has not conducted a thorough analysis of this legislation that could lead to any specific legal conclusions about all aspects of it

  7. Independent management and financial review, Yucca Mountain Project, Nevada. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-07-15

    The Yucca Mountain Project is one part of the Department of Energy`s Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program (the Program) which was established by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, and as amended in 1987. The Program`s goal is to site the nation`s first geologic repository for the permanent disposal of high-level nuclear waste, in the form of spent fuel rod assemblies, generated by the nuclear power industry and a smaller quantity of Government radioactive waste. The Program, which also encompasses the transportation system and the multipurpose canister system was not the subject of this Report. The subject of this Review was only the Yucca Mountain Project in Nevada. While the Review was directed toward the Yucca Mountain Project rather than the Program as a whole, there are certain elements of the Project which cannot be addressed except through discussion of some Program issues. An example is the Total System Life Cycle Cost addressed in Section 7 of this report. Where Program issues are discussed in this Report, the reader is reminded of the scope limitations of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) contract to review only the Yucca Mountain Project. The primary scope of the Review was to respond to the specific criteria contained in the NARUC scope of work. In responding to these criteria, the Review Team understood that some interested parties have expressed concern over the requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act relative to the Yucca Mountain Project and the nature of activities currently being carried out by the Department of Energy at the Yucca Mountain Project site. The Review Team has attempted to analyze relevant portions of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act as Amended, but has not conducted a thorough analysis of this legislation that could lead to any specific legal conclusions about all aspects of it.

  8. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada: Consultation draft, Nuclear Waste Policy Act: Volume 4

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain site in Nevada is one of three candidate sites for the first geologic repository for radioactive waste. On May 28, 1986, it was recommended and approved by the President for detailed study in a program of site characterization. This site characterization plan (SCP) has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to summarize the information collected to date about the geologic conditions at the site; to describe the conceptual designs for the repository and the waste package; and to present the plans for obtaining the geologic information necessary to demonstate the suitability of the site for a repository, to desin the repository and the waste package, to prepare an environmental impact statement, and to obtain from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) an authorization to construct the repository. This introduction begins with a brief section on the process for siting and developing a repository, followed by a discussion of the pertinent legislation and regulations. A description of site characterization is presented next; it describes the facilities to be constructed for the site characterization program and explains the principal activities to be conducted during the program. Finally, the purpose, content, organizing principles, and organization of this site characterization plan are outlined, and compliance with applicable regulations is discussed

  9. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada: Consultation draft, Nuclear Waste Policy Act

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain site in Nevada is one of three candidate sites for the first geologic repository for radioactive waste. On May 28, 1986, it was recommended by the Secretary of Energy and approved by the President for detailed study in a program of site characterization. This site characterization plan (SCP) has been prepared by the US Department of Energy (DOE) in accordance with the requirements of the Nulcear Waste Policy Act to summarize the information collected to date about the geologic conditions at the site;to describe the conceptual designs for the repository and the waste package;and to present the plans for obtaining the geologic information necessary to demonstrate the suitability of the site for a repository, to design the repository and the waste package, to prepare an environmental impact statement, and to obtain from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) an authorization to construct the repository. This introduction begins with a brief section on the process for siting and developing a repository, followed by a discussion of the pertinent legislation and regulations. A description of site characterization is presented next;it describes the facilities to be constructed for the site characterization program and explains the principal activities to be conducted during the program. Finally, the purpose, content, organizing principles, and organization of the site characterization plan are oulined, and compliance with applicable regulations is discussed

  10. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada: Consultation draft, Nuclear Waste Policy Act: Volume 6

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain site in Nevada is one of three candidate sites for the first geologic repository for radioactive waste. On May 28, 1986, it was recommended for detailed study in a program of site characterization. This site characterization plan (SCP) has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to summarize the information collected to date about the geologic conditions at the site;to describe the conceptual designs for the repository and the waste package;and to present the plans for obtaining the geologic information necessary to demonstrate the suitability of the site for repository, to design the repository and the waste package, to prepare an environmental impact statement, and to obtain from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) an authorization to construct the repository. This introduction begins with a brief section on the process for siting and developing a repository, followed by a discussion of the pertinent legislation and regulations. A description of site characterization is presented next;it describes the facilities to be constructed for the site characterization program and explains the principal activities to be conducted during the program. Finally, the purpose, content, organizing principles, and organization of this site characterization plan are outlined, and compliance with applicable regulations is discussed.

  11. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada: Consultation draft, Nuclear Waste Policy Act: Volume 4

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain site in Nevada is one of three candidate sites for the first geologic repository for radioactive waste. On May 28, 1986, it was recommended and approved by the President for detailed study in a program of site characterization. This site characterization plan (SCP) has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to summarize the information collected to date about the geologic conditions at the site; to describe the conceptual designs for the repository and the waste package; and to present the plans for obtaining the geologic information necessary to demonstate the suitability of the site for a repository, to desin the repository and the waste package, to prepare an environmental impact statement, and to obtain from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) an authorization to construct the repository. This introduction begins with a brief section on the process for siting and developing a repository, followed by a discussion of the pertinent legislation and regulations. A description of site characterization is presented next; it describes the facilities to be constructed for the site characterization program and explains the principal activities to be conducted during the program. Finally, the purpose, content, organizing principles, and organization of this site characterization plan are outlined, and compliance with applicable regulations is discussed.

  12. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada: Consultation draft, Nuclear Waste Policy Act

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain site in Nevada is one of three candidate sites for the first geologic repository for radioactive waste. On May 28, 1986, it was recommended by the Secretary of Energy and approved by the President for detailed study in a program of site characterization. This site characterization plan (SCP) has been prepared by the US Department of Energy (DOE) in accordance with the requirements of the Nulcear Waste Policy Act to summarize the information collected to date about the geologic conditions at the site;to describe the conceptual designs for the repository and the waste package;and to present the plans for obtaining the geologic information necessary to demonstrate the suitability of the site for a repository, to design the repository and the waste package, to prepare an environmental impact statement, and to obtain from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) an authorization to construct the repository. This introduction begins with a brief section on the process for siting and developing a repository, followed by a discussion of the pertinent legislation and regulations. A description of site characterization is presented next;it describes the facilities to be constructed for the site characterization program and explains the principal activities to be conducted during the program. Finally, the purpose, content, organizing principles, and organization of the site characterization plan are oulined, and compliance with applicable regulations is discussed.

  13. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada: Consultation draft, Nuclear Waste Policy Act: Volume 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain site in Nevada is one of three candidate sites for the first geologic repository for radioactive waste. On May 28, 1986, it was recommended for detailed study in a program of site characterization. This site characterization plan (SCP) has been prepared in acordance with the requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to summarize the information collected to date about the geologic conditions at the site;to describe the conceptual designs for the repository and the waste package and to present the plans for obtaining the geologic information necessary to demonstrate the suitability of the site for a repository, to design the repository and the waste package, to prepare an environmental impact statement, and to obtain from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) an authorization to construct the repository. This introduction begins with a brief section on the process for siting and eveloping a repository, followed by a discussion of the pertinent legislation and regulations. A description of site characterization is presented next;it describes the facilities to be constructed for the site characterization program and explains the principal activities to be conducted during the program. Finally, the purpose, content, organizing prinicples, and organization of this site characterization plan are outlined, and compliance with applicable regulations is discussed. 880 refs., 130 figs., 25 tabs.

  14. Site characterization plan overview: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Consultation Draft

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-01-01

    The consultation draft of the site characterization plan is a lengthy document that describes in considerable detail the program that will be conducted to characterize the geologic, hydrologic, and other conditions relevant to the suitability of the site for a repository. The overview presented here consists of brief summaries of important topics covered in the consultation draft of the site-characterization plan; it is not a substitute for the site-characterization plan. The arrangement of the overview is similar to that of the plan itself, with brief descriptions of the disposal system -- the site, the repository, and the waste package -- preceding the discussion of the characterization program to be carried out at the Yucca Mountain site. It is intended primarily for the management staff of organizations involved in the DOE's repository program -- staff who might wish to understand the general scope of the site-characterization program, the activities to be conducted, and the facilities to be constructed rather than the technical details of site characterization. 22 figs., 1 tab

  15. Report of early site suitability evaluation of the potential repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Younker, J.L.; Andrews, W.B.; Fasano, G.A.; Herrington, C.C.; Mattson, S.R.; Murray, R.C. [Science Applications International Corp., Las Vegas, NV (United States); Ballou, L.B.; Revelli, M.A. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States); Ducharme, A.R.; Shephard, L.E. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Dudley, W.W.; Hoxie, D.T. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Herbst, R.J.; Patera, E.A. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States); Judd, B.R. [Decision Analysis Co., Portola Valley, CA (United States); Docka, J.A.; Rickertsen, L.D. [Weston Technical Associates, Washington, DC (United States)

    1992-01-01

    This study evaluated the technical suitability of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as a potential site for a mined geologic repository for the permanent disposal of radioactive waste. The evaluation was conducted primarily to determine early in the site characterization program if there are any features or conditions at the site that indicate it is unsuitable for repository development. A secondary purpose was to determine the status of knowledge in the major technical areas that affect the suitability of the site. This early site suitability evaluation (ESSE) was conducted by a team of technical personnel at the request of the Associate Director of the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Geologic Disposal, a unit within the DOE`s Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management. The Yucca Mountain site has been the subject of such evaluations for over a decade. In 1983, the site was evaluated as part of a screening process to identify potentially acceptable sites. The site was evaluated in greater detail and found suitable for site characterization as part of the Environmental Assessment (EA) (DOE, 1986) required by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA). Additional site data were compiled during the preparation of the Site Characterization Plan (SCP) (DOE, 1988a). This early site suitability evaluation has considered information that was used in preparing both-documents, along with recent information obtained since the EA and SCP were published. This body of information is referred to in this report as ``current information`` or ``available evidence.``

  16. 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

  17. REGIONAL ANALYSIS OF INORGANIC NITROGEN YIELD AND RETENTION IN HIGH-ELEVATION ECOSYSTEMS OF THE SIERRA NEVADA AND ROCKY MOUNTAINS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yields and retention of inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and nitrate concentrations in surface runoff are summarized for 28 high elevation watersheds in the Sierra Nevada, California and Rocky Mountains of Wyoming and Colorado. Catchments ranged in elevation from 2475 to 3603 m and from...

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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. Magnetic investigations along selected high-resolution seismic traverses in the central block of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ponce, D.A.; Sikora, R.F.; Roberts, C.W.; Morin, R.L.; Halvorson, P.F.

    1995-01-01

    Ground magnetic data collected along several traverses across the central block 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. Magnetic data and models along traverses across the central block of Yucca Mountain reveal anomalies associated with known faults and indicate 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 numerous small-amplitude anomalies that probably reflect small-scale faulting. Magnetic modeling of the terrain along the eastern flank of Yucca Mountain indicates that terrain induced magnetic anomalies of about 100 to 150 nT are present along some profiles where steep terrain exists above the magnetometer

  2. Preliminary results of gravity investigations at Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Southern Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Snyder, D.B.; Carr, W.J.

    1982-01-01

    Exploration for a high-level-nuclear-waste-repository site in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, resulted in the addition of 423 new gravity stations during the past 2 years to the 934 existing stations to form the data base of this study. About 100 surface-rock samples, three borehole gamma-gamma logs, and one borehole gravity study provide excellent density control. A linear increase in density of 0.26 g/cm 3 per km is indicated in the tuff sequences makes the density contrast across the basal contact of the tuff the only strong source of gravity fluctuations. Isostatic and 2.0g/cm 3 Bouguer corrections were applied to the observed gravity values to remove deep-crust-related regional gradients and topographic effects, respectively. The resulting residual-gravity plot shows significant gravity anomalies that correlate closely with the structures inferred from drill-hole and surface geologic studies. Gravity highs over the three Paleozoic rock outcrops within the study area - Bare Mountain, the Calico Hills, and the Striped Hills - served as reference points for the gravity models. At least 3000 m of tuff fills a large steep-sided depression in the prevolcanic rocks beneath Yucca Mountain and Crater Flat. The gravity low and thick tuff section probably lie within a large collapse area comprising the Crater Flat-Timber Mountain-Silent Canyon caldera complexes. Gravity lows in Crater Flat itself are thought to coincide with the source areas of the Prow Pass Member, the Bullfrog Member, and the unnamed member of the Crater Flat Tuff. Southward extension of the broad gravity low associated with Crater Flat into the Amargosa Desert is evidence for sector graben-type collapse segments related to the Timber Mountain caldera and superimposed on the other structures within Crater Flat. 13 figures, 4 tables

  3. Hydroclimate of the Spring Mountains and Sheep Range, Clark County, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreo, Michael T.; Senay, Gabriel B.; Flint, Alan L.; Damar, Nancy A.; Laczniak, Randell J.; Hurja, James

    2014-01-01

    Precipitation, potential evapotranspiration, and actual evapotranspiration often are used to characterize the hydroclimate of a region. Quantification of these parameters in mountainous terrains is difficult because limited access often hampers the collection of representative ground data. To fulfill a need to characterize ecological zones in the Spring Mountains and Sheep Range of southern Nevada, spatially and temporally explicit estimates of these hydroclimatic parameters are determined from remote-sensing and model-based methodologies. Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM) precipitation estimates for this area ranges from about 100 millimeters (mm) in the low elevations of the study area (700 meters [m]) to more than 700 mm in the high elevations of the Spring Mountains (> 2,800 m). The PRISM model underestimates precipitation by 7–15 percent based on a comparison with four high‑elevation precipitation gages having more than 20 years of record. Precipitation at 3,000-m elevation is 50 percent greater in the Spring Mountains than in the Sheep Range. The lesser amount of precipitation in the Sheep Range is attributed to partial moisture depletion by the Spring Mountains of eastward-moving, cool-season (October–April) storms. Cool-season storms account for 66–76 percent of annual precipitation. Potential evapotranspiration estimates by the Basin Characterization Model range from about 700 mm in the high elevations of the Spring Mountains to 1,600 mm in the low elevations of the study area. The model realistically simulates lower potential evapotranspiration on northeast-to-northwest facing slopes compared to adjacent southeast-to-southwest facing slopes. Actual evapotranspiration, estimated using a Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer based water-balance model, ranges from about 100 to 600 mm. The magnitude and spatial variation of simulated, actual evapotranspiration was validated by comparison to PRISM precipitation

  4. Shallow infiltration processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada: Neutron logging data 1984--1993

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1995-01-01

    To determine site suitability of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as a potential high-level radioactive waste repository, a study was devised to characterize net infiltration. This study involves a detailed data set produced from 99 neutron boreholes that consisted of volumetric water-content readings with depth from 1984 through 1993 at Yucca Mountain. Boreholes were drilled with minimal disturbance to the surrounding soil or rock in order to best represent field conditions. Boreholes were located in topographic positions representing infiltration zones identified as ridgetops, sideslopes, terraces, and active channels. Through careful field calibration, neutron moisture logs, collected on a monthly basis and representing most of the areal locations at Yucca Mountain, illustrated that the depth of penetration of seasonal moisture, important for escaping loss to evapotranspiration, was influenced by several factors. It was increased (1) by thin soil cover, especially in locations where thin soil is underlain by fractured bedrock; (2) on ridgetops; and (3) during the winter when evapotranspiration is low and runoff is less frequent. This data set helps to provide a seasonal and areal distribution of changes in volumetric water content with which to assess hydrologic processes contributing to net infiltration

  5. Shallow infiltration processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada - neutron logging data 1984-93

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1995-01-01

    To determine site suitability of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as a potential high-level radioactive waste repository, a study was devised to characterize net infiltration. This study involves a detailed data set produced from 99 neutron boreholes that consisted of volumetric water-content readings with depth from 1984 through 1993 at Yucca Mountain. Boreholes were drilled with minimal disturbance to the surrounding soil or rock in order to best represent field conditions. Boreholes were located in topographic positions representing infiltration zones identified as ridge-tops, sideslopes, terraces, and active channels. Through careful field calibration, neutron moisture logs, collected on a monthly basis and representing most of the areal locations at Yucca Mountain, illustrated that the depth of penetration of seasonal moisture, important for escaping loss to evapotranspiration, was influenced by several factors. It was increased (1) by thin soil cover, especially in locations where thin soil is underlain by fractured bedrock; (2) on ridgetops; and (3) during the winter when evapotranspiration is low and runoff is less frequent. This data set helps to provide a seasonal and areal distribution of changes in volumetric water content with which to assess hydrologic processes contributing to net infiltration

  6. 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

  7. Airborne Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner (TIMS) images over disseminated gold deposits, Osgood Mountains, Humboldt County, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krohn, M. Dennis

    1986-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) acquired airborne Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner (TIMS) images over several disseminated gold deposits in northern Nevada in 1983. The aerial surveys were flown to determine whether TIMS data could depict jasperoids (siliceous replacement bodies) associated with the gold deposits. The TIMS data were collected over the Pinson and Getchell Mines in the Osgood Mountains, the Carlin, Maggie Creek, Bootstrap, and other mines in the Tuscarora Mountains, and the Jerritt Canyon Mine in the Independence Mountains. The TIMS data seem to be a useful supplement to conventional geochemical exploration for disseminated gold deposits in the western United States. Siliceous outcrops are readily separable in the TIMS image from other types of host rocks. Different forms of silicification are not readily separable, yet, due to limitations of spatial resolution and spectral dynamic range. Features associated with the disseminated gold deposits, such as the large intrusive bodies and fault structures, are also resolvable on TIMS data. Inclusion of high-resolution thermal inertia data would be a useful supplement to the TIMS data.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Simulating 3-D radiative transfer effects over the Sierra Nevada Mountains using WRF

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Gu

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available A surface solar radiation parameterization based on deviations between 3-D and conventional plane-parallel radiative transfer models has been incorporated into the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF model to understand the solar insolation over mountain/snow areas and to investigate the impact of the spatial and temporal distribution and variation of surface solar fluxes on land-surface processes. Using the Sierra-Nevada in the western United States as a testbed, we show that mountain effect could produce up to −50 to + 50 W m−2 deviations in the surface solar fluxes over the mountain areas, resulting in a temperature increase of up to 1 °C on the sunny side. Upward surface sensible and latent heat fluxes are modulated accordingly to compensate for the change in surface solar fluxes. Snow water equivalent and surface albedo both show decreases on the sunny side of the mountains, indicating more snowmelt and hence reduced snow albedo associated with more solar insolation due to mountain effect. Soil moisture increases on the sunny side of the mountains due to enhanced snowmelt, while decreases on the shaded side. Substantial differences are found in the morning hours from 8–10 a.m. and in the afternoon around 3–5 p.m., while differences around noon and in the early morning and late afternoon are comparatively smaller. Variation in the surface energy balance can also affect atmospheric processes, such as cloud fields, through the modulation of vertical thermal structure. Negative changes of up to −40 g m−2 are found in the cloud water path, associated with reductions in the surface insolation over the cloud region. The day-averaged deviations in the surface solar flux are positive over the mountain areas and negative in the valleys, with a range between −12~12 W m−2. Changes in sensible and latent heat fluxes and surface skin temperature follow the solar insolation pattern. Differences in the

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Linear thermal expansion data for tuffs from the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1992-07-01

    Experiment results are presented for linear thermal expansion measurements on tuffaceous rocks from the unsaturated < one at 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

  14. Water levels in continuously monitored wells in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, 1985--88

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luckey, R.R.; Lobmeyer, D.H.; Burkhardt, D.J.

    1993-01-01

    Water levels have been monitored hourly in 15 wells completed in 23 depth intervals in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada. Water levels were monitored using pressure transducers and were recorded by data loggers. The pressure transducers were periodically calibrated by raising and lowering them in the wells. The water levels were normally measured at approximately the same time that the transducers were calibrated. Where the transducer output appeared reasonable, it was converted to water levels using the calibrations and manual water- level measurements. The amount of transducer output that was converted to water levels ranged from zero for several intervals to about 98 percent for one interval. Fourteen of the wells were completed in Tertiary volcanic rocks and one well was completed in Paleozoic carbonate rocks. Each well monitored from one to four depth intervals. Water-level fluctuation caused by barometric pressure changes and earth tides were observed

  15. Natural Analoges as a Check of Predicted Drift Stability at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    J. Stuckless

    2006-01-01

    Calculations made by the U.S. Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Project as part of the licensing of a proposed geologic repository (in southwestern Nevada) for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste, predict that emplacement tunnels will remain open with little collapse long after ground support has disintegrated. This conclusion includes the effects of anticipated seismic events. Natural analogues cannot provide a quantitative test of this conclusion, but they can provide a reasonableness test by examining the natural and anthropogenic examples of stability of subterranean openings. Available data from a variety of sources, combined with limited observations by the author, show that natural underground openings tend to resist collapse for millions of years and that anthropogenic subterranean openings have remained open from before recorded history through today. This stability is true even in seismically active areas. In fact, the archaeological record is heavily skewed toward preservation of underground structures relative to those found at the surface

  16. Water levels in wells J-11 and J-12, 1989-91, Yucca Mountain Area, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boucher, M.S.

    1994-01-01

    Water levels have been measured in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, since 1981 in order to gain a better understanding of the ground-water flow system in the area. Water levels in wells J-11 and J-12 have been periodically measured using calibrated reeled steel tapes since 1989, however, calculation of water-level altitude was not possible prior to 1993 due to missing reference elevations. These elevations were determined in 1993 by the U.S. Geological Survey. During 1989-91, water-level altitudes for well J-11 ranged from 732.09 to 732.40 meters and the mean water-level altitude was 732.19 meters. During 1989-91, water-level altitudes for well J-12 ranged from 727.84 to 728.03 meters, and the mean water-level altitude was 727.95 meters

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Geologic framework and Cenozoic evolution of the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fox, K.F. Jr.; Spengler, R.W.; Myers, W.B.

    1990-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, has been proposed as the site of a high-level nuclear waste repository. The purpose of this paper is to outline aspects of the geology and tectonics of the area which bear on its suitability as a waste repository. The repository is to be excavated from a non-lithophysal zone within the lower part of the Paintbrush Tuff. Revised estimates of the thickness of this zone indicate that the lower, down-dip extremity of the planned repository could be raised by as much as 130 m, thus reducing the grade within the repository and increasing the distance to the water table below. We note that because of the closely spaced fracturing and low in-situ stresses within the repository block, lateral support of fractured rock is likely to be poor. 30 refs., 5 figs

  20. 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

  1. Natural Analoges as a Check of Predicted Drift Stability at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Stuckless

    2006-03-10

    Calculations made by the U.S. Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Project as part of the licensing of a proposed geologic repository (in southwestern Nevada) for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste, predict that emplacement tunnels will remain open with little collapse long after ground support has disintegrated. This conclusion includes the effects of anticipated seismic events. Natural analogues cannot provide a quantitative test of this conclusion, but they can provide a reasonableness test by examining the natural and anthropogenic examples of stability of subterranean openings. Available data from a variety of sources, combined with limited observations by the author, show that natural underground openings tend to resist collapse for millions of years and that anthropogenic subterranean openings have remained open from before recorded history through today. This stability is true even in seismically active areas. In fact, the archaeological record is heavily skewed toward preservation of underground structures relative to those found at the surface.

  2. Assessment of geophysical logs from borehole USW G-2, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nelson, P.H.; Schimschal, U.

    1993-01-01

    Commercial logging contractors, Western Atlas, Schlumberger, and Edcon obtained borehole geophysical logs at the site of a potential high level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Drill hole USW-G2 was picked for this test of suitable logging tools and logging technology, both representing state-of-the-art technology by these commercial companies. Experience gained by analysis of existing core data and a variety of logs obtained earlier by Birdwell and Dresser Atlas served as a guide to a choice of logs to be obtained. Logs were obtained in water-filled borehole in zeolitized tuff (saturated zone) and in air-filled borehole largely in unaltered welded tuff (unsaturated zone)

  3. Filters and templates: stonefly (Plecoptera) richness in Ouachita Mountains streams, U.S.A

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew L. Sheldon; Melvin L. Warren

    2009-01-01

    1. We collected adult stoneflies periodically over a 1-year period at 38 sites in twoheadwater catchments in the Ouachita Mountains, Arkansas, U.S.A. The 43 speciescollected were a subset of the Ozark-Ouachita fauna and the much larger fauna of theeastern U.S.A. We estimated 78–91% species coverage in...

  4. A floristic survey of Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Niles, W.E.; Leary, P.J.; Holland, J.S.; Landau, F.H.

    1994-12-01

    A survey of the vascular flora of Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nye County, Nevada, was conducted from March to June 1994. An annotated checklist of recorded taxa was compiled. Voucher plant specimens were collected and accessioned into the Herbarium at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Collection data accompanying these specimens were entered into that herbarium's electronic data base. Combined results from this survey and the works of other investigators reveal the presence of a total of 325 specific and intraspecific taxa within the area, these allocated to 162 genera and 53 families. Owing to drought conditions prevalent throughout the area, the annual floristic component was largely absent during the period of study, and it is likely much under-represented in the tabulation of results. No taxon currently listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act was encountered during this study. Several candidate species for listing under this Act were present, and distributional data for these were recorded. No change in the status of these candidate species is recommended as the result of this survey

  5. A floristic survey of Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nye County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Niles, W.E.; Leary, P.J.; Holland, J.S.; Landau, F.H.

    1994-12-01

    A survey of the vascular flora of Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nye County, Nevada, was conducted from March to June 1994. An annotated checklist of recorded taxa was compiled. Voucher plant specimens were collected and accessioned into the Herbarium at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Collection data accompanying these specimens were entered into that herbarium`s electronic data base. Combined results from this survey and the works of other investigators reveal the presence of a total of 325 specific and intraspecific taxa within the area, these allocated to 162 genera and 53 families. Owing to drought conditions prevalent throughout the area, the annual floristic component was largely absent during the period of study, and it is likely much under-represented in the tabulation of results. No taxon currently listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act was encountered during this study. Several candidate species for listing under this Act were present, and distributional data for these were recorded. No change in the status of these candidate species is recommended as the result of this survey.

  6. Assessing the spatial variability of mountain precipitation in California's Sierra Nevada using the Airborne Snow Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, T.; Deems, J. S.; Painter, T. H.; Dozier, J.

    2016-12-01

    In California's Sierra Nevada, 10 or fewer winter storms are responsible for most of the annual precipitation, which falls mostly as snow. Presently, surface stations are used to measure the dynamics of mountain precipitation. However, even in places like the Sierra Nevada—one of the most gauged regions in the world—the paucity of surface stations can lead to large errors in precipitation thereby biasing both total water year and short-term streamflow forecasts. Remotely sensed snow depth and water equivalent, at a time scale that resolves storms, might provide a novel solution to the problems of: (1) quantifying the spatial variability of mountain precipitation; and (2) assessing gridded precipitation products that are mostly based on surface station interpolation. NASA's Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO), an imaging spectrometer and LiDAR system, has measured snow in the Tuolumne River Basin in California's Sierra Nevada for the past four years, 2013-2016; and, measurements will continue. Principally, ASO monitors the progression of melt for water supply forecasting, nonetheless, a number of flights bracketed storms allowing for estimates of snow accumulation. In this study we examine a few of the ASO recorded storms to determine both the basin and subbasin orographic effect as well as the spatial patterns in total precipitation. We then compare these results to a number of gridded climate products and weather models including: Daymet, the Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM), the North American Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS-2), and the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. Finally, to put each ASO recorded storm into context, we use a climatology produced from snow pillows and the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) for 2014-2016 to examine key accumulation events, and classify storms based on their integrated water vapor flux.

  7. Chemical variability of zeolites at a potential nuclear waste repository, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Broxton, D.E.

    1985-01-01

    The compositions of clinoptilolites and their host tuffs have been examined by electron microprobe and x-ray fluorescence, respectively, to determine their variability at a potential nuclear waste repository, Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Because of their sorptive properties, these zeolites could provide important geologic barriers to radionuclide migration. Variations in clinoptilolite composition can strongly affect the mineral's thermal and ion-exchange properties, thus influencing its behavior in the repository environment. Clinoptilolites and heulandites closest to the proposed repository have calcium-rich compositions (60 to 90 mol. % Ca) and silica-to-aluminum ratios that concentrate between 4.0 and 4.6. In contrast, clinoptilolites and their host tuffs deeper in the volcanic sequence have highly variable compositions that vary vertically and laterally. Deeper-occurring clinoptilolites in the eastern part of Yucca Mountain are characterized by calcic-potassic compositions and tend to become more calcium-rich with depth. Clinoptilolites at equivalent stratigraphic levels on the western side of Yucca Mountain have sodic-potassic compositions and tend to become more sodium-rich with depth. Despite their differences in exchangeable cation compositions these two deeper-occurring compositional suites have similar silica-to-aluminum ratios, concentrating between 4.4 and 5.0. The chemical variability of clinoptilolites and their host tuffs at Yucca Mountain suggest that their physical and chemical properties will also vary. Compositionally-dependent clinoptilolite properties important for repository performance assessment include expansion/contraction behavior, hydration/dehydration behavior, and ion-exchange properties

  8. Biological control reduces growth, and alters water relations of the saltcedar tree (Tamarix spp.) in western Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    R.R. Pattison; C.M. D' Antonio; T.L. Dudley

    2011-01-01

    We monitored the impacts of a biological control agent, the saltcedar leaf beetle (Diorhabda carinulata), on the saltcedar tree (Tamarix spp.) at two sites (Humboldt and Walker rivers) in Nevada, USA. At the Humboldt site trees that had experienced three to four defoliation events had more negative water potentials and lower...

  9. Aspects of igneous activity significant to a repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krier, D.J.; Perry, F.V.

    2004-01-01

    Location, timing, volume, and eruptive style of post-Miocene volcanoes have defined the volcanic hazard significant to a proposed high-level radioactive waste (HLW) and spent nuclear fuel (SNF) repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as a low-probability, high-consequence event. Examination of eruptive centers in the region that may be analogueues to possible future volcanic activity at Yucca Mountain have aided in defining and evaluating the consequence scenarios for intrusion into and eruption above a repository. The probability of a future event intersecting a repository at Yucca Mountain has a mean value of 1.7 x 10 -8 per year. This probability comes from the Probabilistic Volcanic Hazard Assessment (PVHA) completed in 1996 and updated to reflect change in repository layout. Since that time, magnetic anomalies representing potential buried volcanic centers have been identified fiom magnetic surveys; however these potential buried centers only slightly increase the probability of an event intersecting the repository. The proposed repository will be located in its central portion of Yucca Mountain at approximately 300m depth. The process for assessing performance of a repository at Yucca Mountain has identified two scenarios for igneous activity that, although having a very low probability of occurrence, could have a significant consequence should an igneous event occur. Either a dike swarm intersecting repository drifts containing waste packages, or a volcanic eruption through the repository could result in release of radioactive material to the accessible environment. Ongoing investigations are assessing the mechanisms and significance of the consequence scenarios. Lathrop Wells Cone (∼80,000 yrs), a key analogue for estimating potential future volcanic activity, is the youngest surface expression of apparent waning basaltic volcanism in the region. Cone internal structure, lavas, and ash-fall tephra have been examined to estimate eruptive volume, eruption

  10. 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

  11. Inventory of past DOE land disturbance, Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and estimated general reclamation costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-04-01

    Since 1976, DOE preliminary investigations for a high level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, have caused widespread disturbances of the landscape. This report addresses the areal extent of those disturbances that have accrued up to June 1988, and identifies expected associated reclamation costs. It was first necessary to identify disturbances, next to classify them for reclamation purposes, and, then, to assign general reclamation costs. The purposes of the analysis were: (1) to establish the amount of disturbance that already exists in the area of Yucca Mountain in order to identify alterations of the landscape that comprise the existing baseline conditions; (2) to identify estimated general reclamation costs for repair of the disturbances; (3) to provide information needed to establish disturbance models, and eventually environmental impact models, that can be applied to future DOE activities during Site Characterization and later phases of repository development, if they occur, and (4) to provide indicators of the needs for reclamation of future disturbances created by DOE's Site Characterization program. Disturbances were estimated using measurements from June 1988, large scale color aerial photography. Two reconnaissance site visits were also conducted. The identified disturbance totals by type are displayed in tabular form in the appendices. 84 refs., 2 figs., 9 tabs

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rousseau, J.P.; Kwicklis, E.M.; Gillies, D.C. [eds.

    1999-03-01

    Yucca Mountain, in southern Nevada, is being investigated by the US 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 US 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. Shallow infiltration is not discussed in detail in this report because the focus in on three major aspects of the deep unsaturated-zone system: geologic framework, the gaseous-phase system, and the aqueous-phase system. However, because the relation between shallow infiltration and deep percolation is important to an overall understanding of the unsaturated-zone flow system, a summary of infiltration studies conducted to date at Yucca Mountain is provided in the section titled Shallow Infiltration. This report describes results of several Site Characterization Plan studies that were ongoing at the time excavation of the ESF North Ramp began and that continued as excavation proceeded.

  13. 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

  14. A preliminary comparison of mineral deposits in faults near Yucca Mountain, Nevada, with possible analogs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1988-05-01

    Several faults near Yucca Mountain, Nevada, contain abundant calcite and opal-CT, with lesser amounts of opal-A and sepiolite or smectite. These secondary minerals are being studied to determine the directions, amounts, and timing of transport involved in their formation. Such information is important for evaluating the future performances of a potential high-level nuclear waste repository beneath Yucca Mountain. This report is a preliminary assessment of how those minerals were formed. Possible analog deposits from known hydrothermal veins, warm springs, cold springs or seeps, soils, and aeolian sands were studied by petrographic and x-ray diffraction methods for comparison with the minerals deposited in the faults; there are major mineralogic differences in all of these environments except in the aeolian sands and in some cold seeps. Preliminary conclusions are that the deposits in the faults and in the sand ramps are closely related, and that the process of deposition did not require upward transport from depth. 35 refs., 25 figs

  15. Report of early site suitability evaluation of the potential repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Younker, J.L.; Andrews, W.B.; Fasano, G.A.; Herrington, C.C.; Mattson, S.R.; Murray, R.C.; Ballou, L.B.; Revelli, M.A.; Ducharme, A.R.; Shephard, L.E.; Dudley, W.W.; Hoxie, D.T.; Herbst, R.J.; Patera, E.A.; Judd, B.R.; Docka, J.A.; Rickertsen, L.D.

    1992-01-01

    This study evaluated the technical suitability of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as a potential site for a mined geologic repository for the permanent disposal of radioactive waste. The evaluation was conducted primarily to determine early in the site characterization program if there are any features or conditions at the site that indicate it is unsuitable for repository development. A secondary purpose was to determine the status of knowledge in the major technical areas that affect the suitability of the site. This early site suitability evaluation (ESSE) was conducted by a team of technical personnel at the request of the Associate Director of the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Geologic Disposal, a unit within the DOE's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management. The Yucca Mountain site has been the subject of such evaluations for over a decade. In 1983, the site was evaluated as part of a screening process to identify potentially acceptable sites. The site was evaluated in greater detail and found suitable for site characterization as part of the Environmental Assessment (EA) (DOE, 1986) required by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA). Additional site data were compiled during the preparation of the Site Characterization Plan (SCP) (DOE, 1988a). This early site suitability evaluation has considered information that was used in preparing both-documents, along with recent information obtained since the EA and SCP were published. This body of information is referred to in this report as ''current information'' or ''available evidence.''

  16. Atmospheric Despersal and Disposition of Tephra From a Potential Volcanic Eruption at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    G. Keating; W.Statham

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of this model report is to provide documentation of the conceptual and mathematical model (ASHPLUME) for atmospheric dispersal and subsequent deposition of ash on the land surface from a potential volcanic eruption at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This report also documents the ash (tephra) redistribution conceptual model. The ASHPLUME conceptual model accounts for incorporation and entrainment of waste fuel particles associated with a hypothetical volcanic eruption through the Yucca Mountain repository and downwind transport of contaminated tephra. The ASHPLUME mathematical model describes the conceptual model in mathematical terms to allow for prediction of radioactive waste/ash deposition on the ground surface given that the hypothetical eruptive event occurs. This model report also describes the conceptual model for tephra redistribution from a basaltic cinder cone. Sensitivity analyses and model validation activities for the ash dispersal and redistribution models are also presented. Analyses documented in this model report will improve and clarify the previous documentation of the ASHPLUME mathematical model and its application to the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) for the License Application (TSPA-LA) igneous scenarios. This model report also documents the redistribution model product outputs based on analyses to support the conceptual model

  17. Quaternary allostratigraphy of surficial deposit map units at Yucca Mountain, Nevada: A progress report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lundstrom, S.C.; Wesling, J.R.; Swan, F.H.; Taylor, E.M.; Whitney, J.W.

    1993-01-01

    Surficial geologic mapping at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is relevant to site characterization studies of paleoclimate, tectonics, erosion, flood hazards, and water infiltration. Alluvial, colluvial, and eolian allostratigraphic map units are defined on the basis of age-related surface characteristics and soil development, as well as lithology and sedimentology indicative of provenance and depositional mode. In gravelly alluvial units, which include interbedded debris flows, the authors observe a useful qualitative correlation between surface and soil properties. Map units of estimated middle Pleistocene age typically have a well-developed, varnished desert pavement, and minimal erosional and preserved depositional microrelief, associated with a soil with a reddened Bt horizon and stage 3 carbonate and silica morphology. Older units have greater erosional relief, an eroded argillic horizon and stage 4 carbonate morphology, whereas younger units have greater preservation of depositional morphology, but lack well-developed pavements, rock varnish, and Bt and Kqm soil horizons. Trench and gully-wall exposures show that alluvial, colluvial and eolian dominated surface units are underlain by multiple buried soils separating sedimentologically similar deposits; this stratigraphy increases the potential for understanding the long-term Quaternary paleoenvironmental history of Yucca Mountain. Age estimates for allostratigraphic units, presently based on uranium-trend dating and regional correlation using soil development, will be further constrained by ongoing dating studies that include tephra identification, uranium-series disequilibrium, and thermoluminescence methods

  18. Geometric analysis of alternative models of faulting at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Young, S.R.; Stirewalt, G.L.; Morris, A.P.

    1993-01-01

    Realistic cross section tectonic models must be retrodeformable to geologically reasonable pre-deformation states. Furthermore, it must be shown that geologic structures depicted on cross section tectonic models can have formed by kinematically viable deformation mechanisms. Simple shear (i.e., listric fault models) is consistent with extensional geologic structures and fault patterns described at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Flexural slip models yield results similar to oblique simple shear mechanisms, although there is no strong geological evidence for flexural slip deformation. Slip-line deformation is shown to generate fault block geometrics that are a close approximation to observed fault block structures. However, slip-line deformation implies a degree of general ductility for which there is no direct geological evidence. Simple and hybrid 'domino' (i.e., planar fault) models do not adequately explain observed variations of fault block dip or the development of 'rollover' folds adjacent to major bounding faults. Overall tectonic extension may be underestimated because of syn-tectonic deposition (growth faulting) of the Tertiary pyroclastic rocks that comprise Yucca Mountain. A strong diagnostic test of the applicability of the domino model may be provided by improved knowledge of Tertiary volcanic stratigraphy

  19. A preliminary characterization of the spatial variability of precipitation at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hevesi, J.A.; Flint, A.L.; Ambos, D.S.

    1994-01-01

    Isohyetal maps of precipitation and numerical models for simulating precipitation are needed to help characterize natural infiltration at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. A geostatistical analysis of measured precipitation accumulated from storm periods. Precipitation was measured during a 3.8 year period from January 1990 to October, 1993 using a network of precipitation gages. A total of 34 winter-type storms and 12 summer-type storm, categorized using synoptic weather records, were analyzed using the 1st and 2nd statistical moments and sample variograms. Average standardized variograms indicated good spatial correlation for both storm types with only slight differences in the general spatial structure. Coefficients of variation and average relative variograms indicated that summer storms are characterized by greater variability as compared to winter storms. Models were fitted to the average summer and winter standarized variograms for each storm using the mean storm depth and the coefficient of variation as scaling parameters. Isohyetal maps of 4 representative storms were created using the standarized models. Results indicate that standarized models can be used to simulate the spatial distribution of precipitation depth, provided that the 1st and 2nd moments are known or can be estimated, and that identifiable deterministic trends can be included in the models. A single, fixed model representing the spatial variability of precipitation at Yucca Mountain is not recommended

  20. Atmospheric Dispersal and Dispostion of Tephra From a Potential Volcanic Eruption at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    G. Keating; W.Statham

    2004-02-12

    The purpose of this model report is to provide documentation of the conceptual and mathematical model (ASHPLUME) for atmospheric dispersal and subsequent deposition of ash on the land surface from a potential volcanic eruption at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This report also documents the ash (tephra) redistribution conceptual model. The ASHPLUME conceptual model accounts for incorporation and entrainment of waste fuel particles associated with a hypothetical volcanic eruption through the Yucca Mountain repository and downwind transport of contaminated tephra. The ASHPLUME mathematical model describes the conceptual model in mathematical terms to allow for prediction of radioactive waste/ash deposition on the ground surface given that the hypothetical eruptive event occurs. This model report also describes the conceptual model for tephra redistribution from a basaltic cinder cone. Sensitivity analyses and model validation activities for the ash dispersal and redistribution models are also presented. Analyses documented in this model report will improve and clarify the previous documentation of the ASHPLUME mathematical model and its application to the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) for the License Application (TSPA-LA) igneous scenarios. This model report also documents the redistribution model product outputs based on analyses to support the conceptual model.

  1. Native American interpretation of cultural resources in the area of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stoffle, R.W.; Evans, M.J.; Harshbarger, C.L.

    1989-03-01

    This report presents the location and interpretation of Native American cultural resources on or near Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This work builds on the archaeological reconnaissance and identifications of cultural resources by the Desert Research Institute (for a summary, see Pippin and Zerga, 1983; Pippin, 1984). Interpretations provided by Native American Indian people are not intended to refute other scientific studies, such as botanical, wildlife, and archaeological studies. Rather, they provide additional hypotheses for future studies, and they provide a more complete cultural understanding of the Yucca Mountain area. Representatives of sixteen American Indian tribes identified the cultural value of these resources as part of a consultation relationship with the US Department of Energy (DOE). This interim report is to be used to review research procedures and findings regarding initial consultation with the sixteen tribes, in-depth interviews with tribal elders, and findings from the first on-site visit with representatives of the sixteen tribes. As additional information is collected, it will be reviewed separately. An annual report will integrate all findings. 44 refs., 58 figs., 2 tabs

  2. ATMOSPHERIC DISPERSAL AND DEPOSITION OF TEPHRA FROM A POTENTIAL VOLCANIC ERUPTION AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    C. Harrington

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of this model report is to provide documentation of the conceptual and mathematical model (Ashplume) for atmospheric dispersal and subsequent deposition of ash on the land surface from a potential volcanic eruption at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This report also documents the ash (tephra) redistribution conceptual model. These aspects of volcanism-related dose calculation are described in the context of the entire igneous disruptive events conceptual model in ''Characterize Framework for Igneous Activity'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169989], Section 6.1.1). The Ashplume conceptual model accounts for incorporation and entrainment of waste fuel particles associated with a hypothetical volcanic eruption through the Yucca Mountain repository and downwind transport of contaminated tephra. The Ashplume mathematical model describes the conceptual model in mathematical terms to allow for prediction of radioactive waste/ash deposition on the ground surface given that the hypothetical eruptive event occurs. This model report also describes the conceptual model for tephra redistribution from a basaltic cinder cone. Sensitivity analyses and model validation activities for the ash dispersal and redistribution models are also presented. Analyses documented in this model report update the previous documentation of the Ashplume mathematical model and its application to the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) for the License Application (TSPA-LA) igneous scenarios. This model report also documents the redistribution model product outputs based on analyses to support the conceptual model. In this report, ''Ashplume'' is used when referring to the atmospheric dispersal model and ''ASHPLUME'' is used when referencing the code of that model. Two analysis and model reports provide direct inputs to this model report, namely ''Characterize Eruptive Processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada and Number of Waste Packages Hit by Igneous Intrusion''. This model report provides direct inputs to

  3. ATMOSPHERIC DISPERSAL AND DEPOSITION OF TEPHRA FROM A POTENTIAL VOLCANIC ERUPTION AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    C. Harrington

    2004-10-25

    The purpose of this model report is to provide documentation of the conceptual and mathematical model (Ashplume) for atmospheric dispersal and subsequent deposition of ash on the land surface from a potential volcanic eruption at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This report also documents the ash (tephra) redistribution conceptual model. These aspects of volcanism-related dose calculation are described in the context of the entire igneous disruptive events conceptual model in ''Characterize Framework for Igneous Activity'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169989], Section 6.1.1). The Ashplume conceptual model accounts for incorporation and entrainment of waste fuel particles associated with a hypothetical volcanic eruption through the Yucca Mountain repository and downwind transport of contaminated tephra. The Ashplume mathematical model describes the conceptual model in mathematical terms to allow for prediction of radioactive waste/ash deposition on the ground surface given that the hypothetical eruptive event occurs. This model report also describes the conceptual model for tephra redistribution from a basaltic cinder cone. Sensitivity analyses and model validation activities for the ash dispersal and redistribution models are also presented. Analyses documented in this model report update the previous documentation of the Ashplume mathematical model and its application to the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) for the License Application (TSPA-LA) igneous scenarios. This model report also documents the redistribution model product outputs based on analyses to support the conceptual model. In this report, ''Ashplume'' is used when referring to the atmospheric dispersal model and ''ASHPLUME'' is used when referencing the code of that model. Two analysis and model reports provide direct inputs to this model report, namely ''Characterize Eruptive Processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada and Number of Waste Packages Hit

  4. Experimental and numerical simulation of dissolution and precipitation: implications for fracture sealing at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobson, Patrick F.; Kneafsey, Timothy J.; Sonnenthal, Eric L.; Spycher, Nicolas; Apps, John A.

    2003-05-01

    Plugging of flow paths caused by mineral precipitation in fractures above the potential repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada could reduce the probability of water seeping into the repository. As part of an ongoing effort to evaluate thermal-hydrological-chemical (THC) effects on flow in fractured media, we performed a laboratory experiment and numerical simulations to investigate mineral dissolution and precipitation under anticipated temperature and pressure conditions in the repository. To replicate mineral dissolution by vapor condensate in fractured tuff, water was flowed through crushed Yucca Mountain tuff at 94 °C. The resulting steady-state fluid composition had a total dissolved solids content of about 140 mg/l; silica was the dominant dissolved constituent. A portion of the steady-state mineralized water was flowed into a vertically oriented planar fracture in a block of welded Topopah Spring Tuff that was maintained at 80 °C at the top and 130 °C at the bottom. The fracture began to seal with amorphous silica within 5 days. A 1-D plug-flow numerical model was used to simulate mineral dissolution, and a similar model was developed to simulate the flow of mineralized water through a planar fracture, where boiling conditions led to mineral precipitation. Predicted concentrations of the major dissolved constituents for the tuff dissolution were within a factor of 2 of the measured average steady-state compositions. The mineral precipitation simulations predicted the precipitation of amorphous silica at the base of the boiling front, leading to a greater than 50-fold decrease in fracture permeability in 5 days, consistent with the laboratory experiment. These results help validate the use of a numerical model to simulate THC processes at Yucca Mountain. The experiment and simulations indicated that boiling and concomitant precipitation of amorphous silica could cause significant reductions in fracture porosity and permeability on a local scale. However

  5. 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)

  6. One hundred and fifty years of Coulomb stress history along the California-Nevada border, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verdecchia, Alessandro; Carena, Sara

    2015-02-01

    The region north of the Garlock Fault between the Sierra Nevada and Death Valley has experienced at least eight Mw ≥ 6 earthquakes in historical times, beginning with the 1872, Mw 7.5, Owens Valley earthquake. Furthermore, since 1978, the Long Valley Caldera has been undergoing periods of unrest, with earthquake swarms and resurgence. Our goal is to determine whether the 1872 Owens Valley earthquake and the caldera unrest have influenced the evolution of seismicity in the area. We model the evolution of coseismic, postseismic, and interseismic Coulomb stress change (Coulomb failure stress (ΔCFS)) in the region due to both Mw ≥ 6 earthquakes and caldera inflation in the last 150 years. Our results show that the 1872 Owens Valley earthquake has an important influence on subsequent events, strongly encouraging faulting in northern Owens Valley while inhibiting it elsewhere. There is also a correlation between caldera inflation and seismicity in northern Owens Valley, evidenced by the west-to-east migration of earthquakes from the Long Valley Caldera toward the White Mountains immediately following the 1978 caldera inflation event. Finally, we show that a total ΔCFS increase of up to 30 bars in the last 150 years has occurred on part of the White Mountains fault, making it a possible candidate for the next major earthquake in this region.

  7. 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

  8. An evaluation of environmental effects of the DOE HLW repository siting and characterization program at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winsor, M.F.; Ulland, L.M.

    1989-01-01

    This paper presents highlights of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Project Office (NWPO) environmental investigations in progress on the environmental effects of past and proposed activities of the Department of Energy (DOE) at the Yucca Mountain repository. The environmental investigations refer to those studies specifically related to resource evaluation, impact assessment and mitigation planning for the repository program; it is defined to exclude consideration of technical suitability determinations, socioeconomics and transportation. This paper addresses the question of what are the disturbances created by past and proposed DOE activities related to repository siting and characterization at Yucca Mountain. It discusses considerations in linking disturbance to the potential for significant adverse environmental impacts

  9. Computed distributions of residual shaft drilling and construction water in the exploratory facilities at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eaton, R.R.; Peterson, A.C.

    1989-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain Project is studying the feasibility of constructing a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in southwest Nevada. One activity of site characterization is the construction of two exploratory shafts. This paper contains the results of engineering analytical calculations of the potential distribution of residual construction water in the exploratory shafts and drifts and numerical calculations of the movement of the residual water and how the movement is affected by drift ventilation. In all cases the increase in rock saturation resulting from the construction water was extremely small. 11 refs., 15 figs., 1 tab

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Hydraulic fracturing stress measurements at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and relationship to the regional stress field

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stock, J.M.; Healy, J.H.; Hickman, S.H.; Zoback, M.D.

    1985-01-01

    Hydraulic fracturing stress measurements and acoustic borehole televiewer logs were run in holes USW G-1 and USW G-2 at Yucca Mountain as part of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations for the U. S. Department of Energy. Eight tests in the saturated zone, at depths from 646 to 1288 m, yielded values of the least horizontal stress S/sub h/ that are considerably lower than the vertical principal stress S/sub v/. In tests for which the greatest horizontal principal stress S/sub H/ could be determined, it was found to be less than S/sub v/, indicating a normal faulting stress regime. The borehole televiewer logs showed the presence of long (in excess of 10 m), vertical, drilling-induced fractures in the first 300 m below the water table. These are believed to form by the propagation of small preexisting cracks under the excess downhole fluid pressures (up to 5.2 MPa) applied during drilling. The presence of these drilling-induced hydrofractures provides further confirmation of the low value of the least horizontal stresses. A least horizontal principal stress direction of N60 0 W--N65 0 W is indicated by the orientation of the drilling-induced hydrofractures (N25 0 E--N30 0 E), and the orientation of stress-induced well bore breakouts in the lower part of USW G-2 (N65 0 W). This direction is in good agreement with indicators of stress direction from elsewhere at the Nevada Test Site. The observed stress magnitudes and directions were examined for the possibility of slip on preexisting faults. Using these data, the Coulomb criterion for frictional sliding suggests that for coefficients of friction close to 0.6, movement on favorably oriented faults could be expected

  15. Geology of the ECRB Cross Drift-Exploratory Studies Facility, Yucca Mountain Project, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    DOE

    1999-01-01

    The Enhanced Characterization of the Repository Block Cross Drift (Cross Drift) excavated at Yucca Mountain is being studied to determine its suitability as a permanent high-level nuclear waste repository. This report presents a summary of data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) personnel on behalf of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for the Department of Energy in the Cross Drift from Sta. 00+00 to 26+64. This report includes descriptions of lithostratigraphic units, an analysis of data from full-periphery geologic maps (FPGM) and detailed line survey (DLS) data, a detailed description of the Solitario Canyon Fault zone (SCFZ), and an analysis of geotechnical and engineering characteristics. The Cross Drift is excavated entirely within the Topopah Spring Tuff formation of the Paintbrush Group. Units exposed in the crystal-poor member of the Topopah Spring Tuff, include the Topopah Spring crystal-poor upper lithophysal zone (Tptpul) (Sta. 0+00 to 10+15), the Topopah Spring crystal-poor middle nonlithophysal zone (Tptpmn) (Sta. 10+15 to 14+44), the Topopah Spring crystal-poor lower lithophysal zone (Tptpll) (Sta. 14+44 to 23+26), and the Topopah Spring crystal-poor lower nonlithophysal zone (Tptpln) (Sta. 23+26 to 25+85). The lower portion of the Topopah Spring crystal-rich lithophysal transition subzone (Tptrl1) is exposed on the west side of the Solitario Canyon fault from Sta. 26+57.5 to 26+64. Lithologically, the units exposed in the Cross Drift are similar in comparable stratigraphic intervals of the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF), particularly in terms of welding, secondary crystallization, fracturing, and type, size, color, and abundance of pumice and lithic clasts. The most notable difference is the lack of the intensely fractured zone (IFZ) in the Cross Drift. The as-built cross section and the pre-construction cross section compare favorably. Lithostratigraphic contacts and structures on the pre-construction cross section were

  16. Quantifying cambial activity of high-elevation conifers in the Great Basin, Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziaco, E.; Biondi, F.; Rossi, S.; Deslauriers, A.

    2013-12-01

    Understanding the physiological mechanisms that control the formation of tree rings provides the necessary biological basis for developing dendroclimatic reconstructions and dendroecological histories. Studies of wood formation in the Great Basin are now being conducted in connection with the Nevada Climate-ecohydrological Assessment Network (NevCAN), a recently established transect of valley-to-mountaintop instrumented stations in the Snake and Sheep Ranges of the Great Basin. Automated sensors record meteorological, soil, and vegetational variables at these sites, providing unique opportunities for ecosystem science, and are being used to investigate the ecological implications of xylogenesis. We present here an initial study based on microcores collected during summer 2013 from mountain and subalpine conifers (including Great Basin bristlecone pine, Pinus longaeva) growing on the west slope of Mt. Washington. Samples were taken from the mountain west (SM; 2810 m elevation) and the subalpine west (SS, 3355 m elevation) NevCAN sites on June 16th and 27th, 2013. The SS site was further subdivided in a high (SSH) and a low (SSL) group of trees, separated by about 10 m in elevation. Microscopic analyses showed the effect of elevation on cambial activity, as annual ring formation was more advanced at the lower (mountain) site compared to the higher (subalpine) one. At all sites cambium size showed little variations between the two sampling dates. The number of xylem cells in the radial enlargement phase decreased between the two sampling dates at the mountain site but increased at the subalpine site, confirming a delayed formation of wood at the higher elevations. Despite relatively high within-site variability, a general trend of increasing number of cells in the lignification phase was found at all sites. Mature cells were present only at the mountain site on June 27th. Spatial differences in the xylem formation process emerged at the species level and, within

  17. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 2, Part A: Chapters 3, 4, and 5

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-12-01

    This site characterization plan (SCP) has been developed for the candidate repository site at Yucca Mountain in the State of Nevada. The SCP includes a description of the Yucca Mountain site (Chapters 1--5), a conceptual design for the repository (Chapter 6), a description of the packaging to be used for the waste to be emplaced in the repository (Chapter 7), and a description of the planned site characterization activities (Chapter 8). The schedules and milestones presented in Sections 8.3 and 8.5 of the SCP were developed to be consistent with the June 1988 draft Amendment to the DOE`s Mission Plan for the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program. The five month delay in the scheduled start of exploratory shaft construction that was announced recently is not reflected in these schedules. 575 refs., 84 figs., 68 tabs.

  18. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 4, Part B: Chapter 8, Sections 8.0 through 8.3.1.4

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-12-01

    This site characterization plan (SCP) has been developed for the candidate repository site at Yucca Mountain in the State of Nevada. The SCP includes a description of the Yucca Mountain site (Chapters 1-5), a conceptual design for the repository (Chapter 6), a description of the packaging to be used for the waste to be emplaced in the repository (Chapter 7), and a description of the planned site characterization activities (Chapter 8). The schedules and milestones presented in Sections 8.3 and 8.5 of the SCP were developed to be consistent with the June 1988 draft Amendment to the DOE`s Mission Plan for the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program. The five month delay in the scheduled start of exploratory shaft construction that was announced recently is not reflected in these schedules. 74 figs., 32 tabs.

  19. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 2, Part A: Chapters 3, 4, and 5

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-12-01

    This site characterization plan (SCP) has been developed for the candidate repository site at Yucca Mountain in the State of Nevada. The SCP includes a description of the Yucca Mountain site (Chapters 1--5), a conceptual design for the repository (Chapter 6), a description of the packaging to be used for the waste to be emplaced in the repository (Chapter 7), and a description of the planned site characterization activities (Chapter 8). The schedules and milestones presented in Sections 8.3 and 8.5 of the SCP were developed to be consistent with the June 1988 draft Amendment to the DOE's Mission Plan for the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program. The five month delay in the scheduled start of exploratory shaft construction that was announced recently is not reflected in these schedules. 575 refs., 84 figs., 68 tabs

  20. Fire, fuels, and restoration of ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir forests in the Rocky Mountains, USA

    OpenAIRE

    Baker, W. L.; Veblen, T. T.; Sherriff, R. L.

    2007-01-01

    Forest restoration in ponderosa pine and mixed ponderosa pine–Douglas fir forests in the US Rocky Mountains has been highly influenced by a historical model of frequent, low-severity surface fires developed for the ponderosa pine forests of the Southwestern USA. A restoration model, based on this low-severity fire model, focuses on thinning and prescribed burning to restore historical forest structure. However, in the US Rocky Mountains, research on fire history and forest structure, and earl...

  1. 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

    Surface, unsaturated-zone, and saturated-zone hydrologic conditions at Yucca Mountain responded to past climate variations and are at least partly preserved by sediment, fossil, and mineral records. Characterizing past hydrologic conditions in surface and subsurface environments helps to constrain hydrologic responses expected under future climate conditions and improve predictions of repository performance. Furthermore, these records provide a better understanding of hydrologic processes that operate at time scales not readily measured by other means. Pleistocene climates in southern Nevada were predominantly wetter and colder than the current interglacial period. Cyclic episodes of aggradation and incision in Fortymile Wash, which drains the eastern slope of Yucca Mountain, are closely linked to Pleistocene climate cycles. Formation of pedogenic cement is favored under wetter Pleistocene climates, consistent with increased soil moisture and vegetation, higher chemical solubility, and greater evapotranspiration relative to Holocene soil conditions. The distribution and geochemistry of secondary minerals in subsurface fractures and cavities reflect unsaturated-zone hydrologic conditions and the response of the hydrogeologic system to changes in temperature and percolation flux over the last 12.8 m.y. Physical and fluid-inclusion evidence indicates that secondary calcite and opal formed in air-filled cavities from fluids percolating downward through connected fracture pathways in the unsaturated zone. Oxygen, strontium, and carbon isotope data from calcite are consistent with a descending meteoric water source but also indicate that water compositions and temperatures evolved through time. Geochronological data indicate that secondary mineral growth rates are less than 1–5 mm/m.y., and have remained approximately uniform over the last 10 m.y. or longer. These data are interpreted as evidence for hydrological stability despite large differences in surface moisture

  2. Characterizing the proposed geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada: hydrology and geochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuckless, John S.; Levich, Robert A.

    2012-01-01

    This hydrology and geochemistry volume is a companion volume to the 2007 Geological Society of America Memoir 199, The Geology and Climatology of Yucca Mountain and Vicinity, Southern Nevada and California, edited by Stuckless and Levich. The work in both volumes was originally reported in the U.S. Department of Energy regulatory document Yucca Mountain Site Description, for the site characterization study of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as the proposed U.S. geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. The selection of Yucca Mountain resulted from a nationwide search and numerous committee studies during a period of more than 40 yr. The waste, largely from commercial nuclear power reactors and the government's nuclear weapons programs, is characterized by intense penetrating radiation and high heat production, and, therefore, it must be isolated from the biosphere for tens of thousands of years. The extensive, unique, and often innovative geoscience investigations conducted at Yucca Mountain for more than 20 yr make it one of the most thoroughly studied geologic features on Earth. The results of these investigations contribute extensive knowledge to the hydrologic and geochemical aspects of radioactive waste disposal in the unsaturated zone. The science, analyses, and interpretations are important not only to Yucca Mountain, but also to the assessment of other sites or alternative processes that may be considered for waste disposal in the future. Groundwater conditions, processes, and geochemistry, especially in combination with the heat from radionuclide decay, are integral to the ability of a repository to isolate waste. Hydrology and geochemistry are discussed here in chapters on unsaturated zone hydrology, saturated zone hydrology, paleohydrology, hydrochemistry, radionuclide transport, and thermally driven coupled processes affecting long-term waste isolation. This introductory chapter reviews some of the reasons for choosing to study Yucca Mountain as a

  3. Characterizing the proposed geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada--hydrology and geochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuckless, John S.; Levich, Robert A.

    2012-01-01

    This hydrology and geochemistry volume is a companion volume to the 2007 Geological Society of America Memoir 199, The Geology and Climatology of Yucca Mountain and Vicinity, Southern Nevada and California, edited by Stuckless and Levich. The work in both volumes was originally reported in the U.S. Department of Energy regulatory document Yucca Mountain Site Description, for the site characterization study of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as the proposed U.S. geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. The selection of Yucca Mountain resulted from a nationwide search and numerous committee studies during a period of more than 40 yr. The waste, largely from commercial nuclear power reactors and the government's nuclear weapons programs, is characterized by intense penetrating radiation and high heat production, and, therefore, it must be isolated from the biosphere for tens of thousands of years. The extensive, unique, and often innovative geoscience investigations conducted at Yucca Mountain for more than 20 yr make it one of the most thoroughly studied geologic features on Earth. The results of these investigations contribute extensive knowledge to the hydrologic and geochemical aspects of radioactive waste disposal in the unsaturated zone. The science, analyses, and interpretations are important not only to Yucca Mountain, but also to the assessment of other sites or alternative processes that may be considered for waste disposal in the future. Groundwater conditions, processes, and geochemistry, especially in combination with the heat from radionuclide decay, are integral to the ability of a repository to isolate waste. Hydrology and geochemistry are discussed here in chapters on unsaturated zone hydrology, saturated zone hydrology, paleohydrology, hydrochemistry, radionuclide transport, and thermally driven coupled processes affecting long-term waste isolation. This introductory chapter reviews some of the reasons for choosing to study Yucca Mountain as a

  4. A compound power-law model for volcanic eruptions: Implications for risk assessment of volcanism at the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ho, Chih-Hsiang

    1994-01-01

    Much of the ongoing debate on the use of nuclear power plants in U.S.A. centers on the safe disposal of the radioactive waste. Congress, aware of the importance of the waste issue, passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, requiring the federal government to develop a geologic repository for the permanent disposal of high level radioactive wastes from civilian nuclear power plants. The Department of Energy (DOE) established the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) in 1983 to identify potential sites. When OCRWM had selected three potential sites to study, Congress enacted the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1987, which directed the DOE to characterize only one of those sites, Yucca Mountain, in southern Nevada. For a site to be acceptable, theses studies must demonstrate that the site could comply with regulations and guidelines established by the federal agencies that will be responsible for licensing, regulating, and managing the waste facility. 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. Recent volcanism in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain is readily recognized as an important factor in determining future public and environmental safety because of the possibility of direct disruption of a repository site by volcanism. In particular, basaltic volcanism is regarded as direct and unequivocal evidence of deep-seated geologic instability. In this paper, statistical analysis of volcanic hazard assessment at the Yucca Mountain site is discussed, taking into account some significant geological factors raised by experts. Three types of models are considered in the data analysis. The first model assumes that both past and future volcanic activities follow a homogeneous Poisson process (HPP)

  5. Selection of geohydrologic boundaries for ground-water flow models, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Downey, J.S.; Gutentag, E.D.; Kolm, K.E.

    1990-01-01

    The conceptual ground-water model of the southern Nevada/Death Valley, California region presented in this paper includes two aquifer systems: a shallow, intermontane, mostly unconfined aquifer composed of unconsolidated or poorly consolidated sediments and consolidated, layered volcanics, and a deep, regional multiple-layered, confined aquifer system composed of faulted and fractured carbonate and volcanic rocks. The potentiometric surfaces of both aquifer systems indicate that ground water leaks vertically from the deeper to the shallower geologic units, and that water in the shallower aquifer may not flow beyond the intermontane subbasin, whereas water in the deeper aquifer may indicate transbasinal flow to the playas in Death Valley. Most of the hydrologic boundaries of the regional aquifer systems in the Yucca Mountain region are geologically complex. Most of the existing numerical models simulating the ground-water flow system in the Yucca Mountain region are based on limited potentiometric-head data elevation and precipitation estimates, and simplified geology. These models are two-dimensional, and are not adequate. The alternative approach to estimating unknown boundary conditions for the regional ground-water flow system involves the following steps: (1) Incorporate known boundary-conditions data from the playas in Death Valley and the Ash Meadows spring line; (2) use estimated boundary data based on geological, pedological, geomorphological, botanical, and hydrological observations; (3) test these initial boundary conditions with three-dimensional models, both steady-state and transient; (4) back-calculate the boundary conditions for the northern, northwestern, northeastern and eastern flux boundaries; (5) compare these calculated values with known data during model calibration steps; and (6) adjust the model. 9 refs., 6 figs

  6. Geochemical homogeneity of tuffs at the potential repository level, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peterman, Zell E.; Cloke, Paul

    2001-01-01

    In a potential high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, radioactive waste and canisters, drip shields protecting the waste from seepage and from rock falls, the backfill and invert material of crushed rock, the host rock, and water and gases contained within pores and fractures in the host rock together would form a complex system commonly referred to as the near-field geochemical environment. Materials introduced into the rock mass with the waste that are designed to prolong containment collectively are referred to as the Engineered Barrier System, and the host rock and its contained water and gases compose the natural system. The interaction of these component parts under highly perturbed conditions including temperatures well above natural ambient temperatures will need to be understood to assess the performance of the potential repository for long-term containment of nuclear waste. The geochemistry and mineralogy of the rock mass hosting the emplacement drifts must be known in order to assess the role of the natural system in the near-field environment. Emplacement drifts in a potential repository at Yucca Mountain would be constructed in the phenocryst-poor member of the Topopah Spring Tuff which is composed of both lithophysal and nonlithophysal zones. The chemical composition of the phenocryst-poor member has been characterized by numerous chemical analyses of outcrop samples and of core samples obtained by surface-based drilling. Those analyses have shown that the phenocryst-poor member of the Topopah Spring Tuff is remarkably uniform in composition both vertically and laterally. To verify this geochemical uniformity and to provide rock analyses of samples obtained directly from the potential repository block, major and trace elements were analyzed in core samples obtained from drill holes in the cross drift, which was driven to provide direct access to the rock mass where emplacement drifts would be constructed

  7. 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

  8. Hydrochemical investigations in characterizing the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, I.C.; Rattray, G.W.; Ferarese, J.S.; Yu, P.; Ryan, J.N.

    1998-01-01

    Hydrochemical and isotopic investigations of ground water at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, site of a potential permanent national nuclear-waste repository, demonstrate that younger rocks are dominated by calcium-sulfate or calcium-chloride water and that older rocks contain sodium-carbonate or sodium-bicarbonate water. Furthermore, unsaturated-zone pore water has significantly larger concentrations of major ions and dissolved solids than does the saturated-zone water. Recharge of perched or saturated-zone water, therefore, requires rapid flow through fractures or permeable regions in the unsaturated zone to avoid mixing with the chemically concentrated water in the unsaturated zone. This conceptual model is consistent with observations of rapidly moved post-bomb (post-1954) tritium and chlorine-36 in the deep unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. Presence of post-bomb tritium in matrix water away from fracture zones further indicates that parts of the fast-flow water that moves through fractures have been diverted laterally into nonwelded units. Experimental data show that different lithologic units require specific water-extraction methods for stable-isotope analyses of hydrogen and oxygen to ensure accurate characterization. Vacuum-distillation and compression-extraction methods both can yield accurate data but must be used with specific lithologies. Column experiments demonstrate that percolating water can exchange with pore water of the core as well as water held in zeolite minerals in the core. Exchange rates range from days to months. Pore-water samples from core, therefore, reflect the most recently infiltrated water but do not reflect percolating water of the distant past

  9. Structural Discordance Between Neogene Detachments and Frontal Sevier Thrusts, Central Mormon Mountains, Southern Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wernicke, Brian; Walker, J. Douglas; Beaufait, Mark S.

    1985-02-01

    Detailed geologic mapping in the Mormon Mountains of southern Nevada provides significant insight into processes of extensional tectonics developed within older compressional orogens. A newly discovered, WSW-directed low-angle normal fault, the Mormon Peak detachment, juxtaposes the highest levels of the frontal most part of the east-vergent, Mesozoic Sevier thrust belt with autochthonous crystalline basement. Palinspastic analysis suggests that the detachment initially dipped 20-25° to the west and cut discordantly across thrust faults. Nearly complete lateral removal of the hanging wall from the area has exposed a 5 km thick longitudinal cross-section through the thrust belt in the footwall, while highly attenuated remnants of the hanging wall (nowhere more than a few hundred meters thick) structurally veneer the range. The present arched configuration of the detachment resulted in part from progressive "domino-style" rotation of a few degrees while it was active, but is largely due to rotation on younger, structurally lower, basement-penetrating normal faults that initiated at high-angle. The geometry and kinematics of normal faulting in the Mormon Mountains suggest that pre-existing thrust planes are not required for the initiation of low-angle normal faults, and even where closely overlapped by extensional tectonism, need not function as a primary control of detachment geometry. Caution must thus be exercised in interpreting low-angle normal faults of uncertain tectonic heritage such as those seen in the COCORP west-central Utah and BIRP's MOIST deep-reflection profiles. Although thrust fault reactivation has reasonably been shown to be the origin of a very few low-angle normal faults, our results indicate that it may not be as fundamental a component of orogenic architecture as it is now widely perceived to be. We conclude that while in many instances thrust fault reactivation may be both a plausible and attractive hypothesis, it may never be assumed.

  10. Computation of porosity and water content from geophysical logs, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nelson, P.H.

    1996-01-01

    Neutron and density logs acquired in boreholes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada are used to determine porosity and water content as a function of depth. Computation of porosity requires an estimate of grain density, which is provided by core data, mineralogical data, or is inferred from rock type where neither core nor mineralogy are available. The porosity estimate is merged with mineralogical data acquired by X-ray diffraction to compute the volumetric fractions of major mineral groups. The resulting depth-based portrayal of bulk rock composition is equivalent to a whole rock analysis of mineralogy and porosity. Water content is computed from epithermal and thermal neutron logs. In the unsaturated zone, the density log is required along with a neutron log. Water content can also be computed from dielectric logs, which were acquired in only a fraction of the boreholes, whereas neutron logs were acquired in all boreholes. Mineralogical data are used to compute a structural (or bound) water estimate, which is subtracted from the total water estimate from the neutron-density combination. Structural water can be subtracted only from intervals where mineralogical analyses are available; otherwise only total water can be reported. The algorithms and procedures are applied to logs acquired during 1979 to 1984 at Yucca Mountain. Examples illustrate the results. Comparison between computed porosity and core measurements shows systematic differences ranging from 0.005 to 0.04. These values are consistent with a sensitivity analysis using uncertainty parameters for good logging conditions. Water content from core measurements is available in only one borehole, yielding a difference between computed and core-based water content of 0.006

  11. 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)

  12. Pressurized Slot Testing to Determine Thermo-Mechanical Properties of Lithophysal Tuff at Yucca Mountain Nevada.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    George, James T.; Sobolik, Steven R.; Lee, Moo Y.; Park, Byoung; Costin, Laurence

    2018-05-01

    The study described in this report involves heated and unheated pressurized slot testing to determine thermo-mechanical properties of the Tptpll (Tertiary, Paintbrush, Topopah Spring Tuff Formation, crystal poor, lower lithophysal) and Tptpul (upper lithophysal) lithostratigraphic units at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. A large volume fraction of the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain may reside in the Tptpll lithostratigraphic unit. This unit is characterized by voids, or lithophysae, which range in size from centimeters to meters, making a field program an effective method of measuring bulk thermal-mechanical rock properties (thermal expansion, rock mass modulus, compressive strength, time-dependent deformation) over a range of temperature and rock conditions. The field tests outlined in this report provide data for the determination of thermo-mechanical properties of this unit. Rock-mass response data collected during this field test will reduce the uncertainty in key thermal-mechanical modeling parameters (rock-mass modulus, strength and thermal expansion) for the Tptpll lithostratigraphic unit, and provide a basis for understanding thermal-mechanical behavior of this unit. The measurements will be used to evaluate numerical models of the thermal-mechanical response of the repository. These numerical models are then used to predict pre- and post-closure repository response. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The authors would like to thank David Bronowski, Ronnie Taylor, Ray E. Finley, Cliff Howard, Michael Schuhen (all SNL) and Fred Homuth (LANL) for their work in the planning and implementation of the tests described in this report. This is a reprint of SAND2004-2703, which was originally printed in July 2004. At that time, it was printed for a restricted audience. It has now been approved for unlimited release.

  13. 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.

  14. Comparison of survey and photogrammetry methods to position gravity data, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ponce, D.A.; Wu, S.S.C.; Spielman, J.B.

    1985-01-01

    Locations of gravity stations at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, were determined by a survey using an electronic distance-measuring device and by a photogram-metric method. The data from both methods were compared to determine if horizontal and vertical coordinates developed from photogrammetry are sufficently accurate to position gravity data at the site. The results show that elevations from the photogrammetric data have a mean difference of 0.57 +- 0.70 m when compared with those of the surveyed data. Comparison of the horizontal control shows that the two methods agreed to within 0.01 minute. At a latitude of 45 0 , an error of 0.01 minute (18 m) corresponds to a gravity anomaly error of 0.015 mGal. Bouguer gravity anomalies are most sensitive to errors in elevation, thus elevation is the determining factor for use of photogrammetric or survey methods to position gravity data. Because gravity station positions are difficult to locate on aerial photographs, photogrammetric positions are not always exactly at the gravity station; therefore, large disagreements may appear when comparing electronic and photogrammetric measurements. A mean photogrammetric elevation error of 0.57 m corresponds to a gravity anomaly error of 0.11 mGal. Errors of 0.11 mGal are too large for high-precision or detailed gravity measurements but acceptable for regional work. 1 ref. 2 figs., 4 tabs

  15. Plans for characterization of the potential geologic repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dobson, D.C.; Blanchard, M.B.; Voegele, M.D.; Younker, J.L.

    1990-01-01

    Site investigations in the vicinity of the potential repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, have occurred for many years. Although information from previous site investigations was adequate to support preliminary evaluations by the US Department of Energy (DOE) in the Environmental Assessment and to develop conceptual repository and waste package designs, this information is insufficient to proceed to the advanced designs and performance assessments required for the license application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Therefore, intensive site characterization is planned, as described in the December 1988 Site Characterization Plan (SCP). The data acquisition activities described in the SCP are focused on obtaining information to allow evaluations of the natural and engineered barriers considered potentially relevant to repository performance. The site data base must be adequate to allow predictions of the range of expected variation in geologic conditions over the next 10,000 years, as well as predictions of the probabilities for catastrophic geologic events that could affect repository performance. 4 refs., 4 figs

  16. Triggered seismicity and deformation between the Landers, California, and Little Skull Mountain, Nevada, earthquakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodin, Paul; Gomberg, Joan

    1994-01-01

    This article presents evidence for the channeling of strain energy released by the Ms = 7.4 Landers, California, earthquake within the eastern California shear zone (ECSZ). We document an increase in seismicity levels during the 22-hr period starting with the Landers earthquake and culminating 22 hr later with the Ms = 5.4 Little Skull Mountain (LSM), Nevada, earthquake. We evaluate the completeness of regional seismicity catalogs during this period and find that the continuity of post-Landers strain release within the ECSZ is even more pronounced than is evident from the catalog data. We hypothesize that regional-scale connectivity of faults within the ECSZ and LSM region is a critical ingredient in the unprecedented scale and distribution of remotely triggered earthquakes and geodetically manifest strain changes that followed the Landers earthquake. The viability of static strain changes as triggering agents is tested using numerical models. Modeling results illustrate that regional-scale fault connectivity can increase the static strain changes by approximately an order of magnitude at distances of at least 280 km, the distance between the Landers and LSM epicenters. This is possible for models that include both a network of connected faults that slip “sympathetically” and realistic levels of tectonic prestrain. Alternatively, if dynamic strains are a more significant triggering agent than static strains, ECSZ structure may still be important in determining the distribution of triggered seismic and aseismic deformation.

  17. Evidence for an unsaturated-zone origin of secondary minerals in Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whelan, Joseph F.; Roedder, Edwin; Paces, James B.

    2001-01-01

    The unsaturated zone (UZ) in Miocene-age welded tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is under consideration as a potential site for the construction of a high-level radioactive waste repository. Secondary calcite and silica minerals deposited on fractures and in cavities in the UZ tuffs are texturally, isotopically, and geochemically consistent with UZ deposition from meteoric water infiltrating at the surface and percolating through the UZ along fractures. Nonetheless, two-phase fluid inclusions with small and consistent vapor to liquid (V:L) ratios that yield consistent temperatures within samples and which range from about 35 to about 80 C between samples have led some to attribute these deposits to formation from upwelling hydrothermal waters. Geochronologic studies have shown that calcite and silica minerals began forming at least 10 Ma and continued to form into the Holocene. If their deposition were really from upwelling water flooding the UZ, it would draw into question the suitability of the site as a waste repository

  18. 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

  19. Smectite dehydration and stability: Applications to radioactive waste isolation at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bish, D.L.

    1988-03-01

    Montmorillonite-beidellite smectites are present in amounts up to 50% in the rocks directly underlying the potential high-level radioactive waste repository horizon at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The thermal reactions of concern include reversible collapse/expansion of the smectite layers due to loss/gain of interlayer water;irreversible collapse due to loss of interlayer water and migration of interlayer cations into the 2:1 silicate layers;irreversible reduction of the osmotic swelling ability through reaction in a steam atmosphere;and inhomogeneous transformation of the smectite into an interstratified illite/smectite. Reversible collapse should be of minor importance because any thermally driven collapse will be reversed when water is introduced and temperatures go down. The amounts of smectite in the potential repository horizon itself are probably insufficient to give rise to rock strength problems due to reversible collapse. The irreversible reduction of somotic selling capacity in a steam environment may be significant in the rocks near the repository horizon. This effect on naturally occurring Na-rich smectites would probably increase permeabilitie shut would also provide for increased cation exchange by the smectite. 60 refs., 9 figs

  20. 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

  1. Sensitivity studies of unsaturated groundwater flow modeling for groundwater travel time calculations at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Altman, S.J.; Ho, C.K.; Arnold, B.W.; McKenna, S.A.

    1995-01-01

    Unsaturated flow has been modeled through four cross-sections at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the purpose of determining groundwater particle travel times from the potential repository to the water table. This work will be combined with the results of flow modeling in the saturated zone for the purpose of evaluating the suitability of the potential repository under the criteria of 10CFR960. One criterion states, in part, that the groundwater travel time (GWTT) from the repository to the accessible environment must exceed 1,000 years along the fastest path of likely and significant radionuclide travel. Sensitivity analyses have been conducted for one geostatistical realization of one cross-section for the purpose of (1) evaluating the importance of hydrological parameters having some uncertainty and (2) examining conceptual models of flow by altering the numerical implementation of the conceptual model (dual permeability (DK) and the equivalent continuum model (ECM). Results of comparisons of the ECM and DK model are also presented in Ho et al

  2. Geology of the USW SD-9 drill hole, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Engstrom, D.A.; Rautman, C.A.

    1996-10-01

    Drill hole USW SD-9 is one of several holes drilled under Site Characterization Plan Study as part of the characterization program at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, which has been proposed as the potential location of a repository for high-level nuclear waste. The SD-9 drill hole is located in the northern part of the potential repository area. Quantitative and semiquantitative data are included in this report for cover recovery, rock-quality designation (RQD), lithophysal cavity abundance, and fracturing. These data are spatially variable, both within and among the major formational-level stratigraphic units. Nonwelded intervals in general exhibit higher recoveries and more intact (higher) RQD values than welded intervals. The most intact, highest-RQD materials encountered within the Topopah Spring belong to the lower 33.3 ft of the middle nonlithophysal zone. This report includes quantitative data for the framework material properties of porosity, bulk and particle density, and saturated hydraulic conductivity. Graphical analysis of variations in these laboratory hydrologic properties indicates first-order control of material properties by the degree of welding and the presence of zeolite minerals. Many major lithostratigraphic contacts are not well expressed in the material-property profiles; contacts of material-property units are related more to changes in the intensity of welding. Approximate in-situ saturation data of samples preserved immediately upon recovery from the hole are included in the data tabulation

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roedder, E. [Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States); Whelan, J.F. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Vaniman, D.T. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)

    1994-12-31

    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 <100{degrees}C. The vapor-filled inclusions provide evidence that a separate vapor phase was present in the fluid during crystallization. Studies of these vapor-filled inclusions on the microscope crushing stage were interpreted in an earlier paper as indicating trapping of an air-water-CO{sub 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.

  4. Preliminary analysis of Greater Sage-grouse reproduction in the Virginia Mountains of northwestern Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Peter S.; Lockyer, Zachary B.; Farinha, Melissa A.; Sweeney, Joelle M.; Johnson, Valerie M.; Meshriy, Matthew G.; Espinosa, Shawn P.; Delehanty, David J.; Casazza, Michael L.

    2011-01-01

    Relationships between habitat selection and population vital rates of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; hereafter sage-grouse), recently designated as a candidate species under the Endangered Species Act, within the Great Basin are not well-understood. The growing development of renewable energy infrastructure within areas inhabited by sage-grouse is thought to influence predator and vegetation communities. For example, common ravens (Corvus corax), a synanthropic sage-grouse nest predator, are increasing range-wide and select transmission lines and other tall structures for nesting and perching. In the Virginia Mountains of northwestern Nevada, we collected preliminary information of space-use, habitat selection, and population vital rates during the nesting and brood-rearing period over two years on 56 sage-grouse. Additionally, videography at nest sites (n = 22) was used to identify sage-grouse nest predators. The study area is a potential site for renewable energy developments (i.e., wind and solar), and we plan to continue monitoring this population using a before-after-control-impact study design. The results reported here are preliminary and further data are required before conclusions can be drawn from this population of sage-grouse.

  5. 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

  6. Current plans to characterize the design basis ground motion at the Yucca Mountain, Nevada Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simecka, W.B.; Grant, T.A.; Voegele, M.D.; Cline, K.M.

    1992-01-01

    A site at Yucca Mountain Nevada is currently being studied to assess its suitability as a potential host site for the nation's first commercial high level waste repository. The DOE has proposed a new methodology for determining design-basis ground motions that uses both deterministic and probabilistic methods. The role of the deterministic approach is primary. It provides the level of detail needed by design engineers in the characterization of ground motions. The probabilistic approach provides a logical structured procedure for integrating the range of possible earthquakes that contribute to the ground motion hazard at the site. In addition, probabilistic methods will be used as needed to provide input for the assessment of long-term repository performance. This paper discusses the local tectonic environment, potential seismic sources and their associated displacements and ground motions. It also discusses the approach to assessing the design basis earthquake for the surface and underground facilities, as well as selected examples of the use of this type of information in design activities

  7. Disruption scenarios for a high-level waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ross, B.

    1986-01-01

    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, slow dissolution of the spent fuel itself, and slow movement of released contaminants in three different hydrogeologic units: 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 reviewed. Eighty-three different sequences were identified by which these processes and events could lead to failure of one or more barriers. Sequences which had similar consequences were grouped, yielding 17 categories. The repository system has considerable redundancy; most of the more likely disruptions affect only one or a few barriers. Occurrence of more than one disruption is needed before such disruptions would cause release of radioactivity. Future studies of repository performance must assess the likelihood and consequences of multiple-disruption scenarios to evaluate how well the repository meets performance standards

  8. Magnetism and magnetic mineralogy of ash flow tuffs from Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schlinger, C.M.; Veblen, D.R.; Rosenbaum, J.G.

    1991-01-01

    The magnetic susceptibility χ and remanent magnetization of an ash flow sheet are profoundly influenced by cooling history after emplacement. Maxima and minima in χ measured along profiles at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, identify persistent magnetic marker horizons within vitric portions of the Tiva Canyon and underlying Topopah Spring Members of the Paintbrush Tuff. The observed stratigraphic changes in magnetic properties reflect variations in amounts and mineralogy of Fe-Ti oxide phenocrysts, and the presence, shape, size, and mineralogy of magnetic Fe-oxide microcrystals that precipitated at high temperature after emplacement of each sheet. The size variations of the precipitated Fe-oxides, which were established using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and petrographic observation, are consistent both with variations in magnetic susceptibility measured at the outcrop and with variations in the intensity of remanent magnetization. Several interpretations of the shape anisotropy of the precipitated Fe-oxide are possible, including growth by a dislocation mechanism. Additionally, the observed elongation of precipitated microcrystals is consistent with theoretical predictions for growth in a uniaxial stress field. Susceptibility variations as established at the outcrop, as well as in the borehole, offer a potentially useful tool for stratigraphic correlation of ash flow sheets

  9. Geology of the USW SD-9 drill hole, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1996-10-01

    Drill hole USW SD-9 is one of several holes drilled under Site Characterization Plan Study as part of the characterization program at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, which has been proposed as the potential location of a repository for high-level nuclear waste. The SD-9 drill hole is located in the northern part of the potential repository area. Quantitative and semiquantitative data are included in this report for cover recovery, rock-quality designation (RQD), lithophysal cavity abundance, and fracturing. These data are spatially variable, both within and among the major formational-level stratigraphic units. Nonwelded intervals in general exhibit higher recoveries and more intact (higher) RQD values than welded intervals. The most intact, highest-RQD materials encountered within the Topopah Spring belong to the lower 33.3 ft of the middle nonlithophysal zone. This report includes quantitative data for the framework material properties of porosity, bulk and particle density, and saturated hydraulic conductivity. Graphical analysis of variations in these laboratory hydrologic properties indicates first-order control of material properties by the degree of welding and the presence of zeolite minerals. Many major lithostratigraphic contacts are not well expressed in the material-property profiles; contacts of material-property units are related more to changes in the intensity of welding. Approximate in-situ saturation data of samples preserved immediately upon recovery from the hole are included in the data tabulation.

  10. Fractal geometry of two-dimensional fracture networks at Yucca Mountain, southwestern Nevada: proceedings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barton, C.C.; Larsen, E.

    1985-01-01

    Fracture traces exposed on three 214- to 260-m 2 pavements in the same Miocene ash-flow tuff at Yucca Mountain, southwestern Nevada, have been mapped at a scale of 1:50. The maps are two-dimensional sections through the three-dimensional network of strata-bound fractures. All fractures with trace lengths greater than 0.20 m were mapped. The distribution of fracture-trace lengths is log-normal. The fractures do not exhibit well-defined sets based on orientation. Since fractal characterization of such complex fracture-trace networks may prove useful for modeling fracture flow and mechanical responses of fractured rock, an analysis of each of the three maps was done to test whether such networks are fractal. These networks proved to be fractal and the fractal dimensions (D) are tightly clustered (1.12, 1.14, 1.16) for three laterally separated pavements, even though visually the fracture networks appear quite different. The fractal analysis also indicates that the network patterns are scale independent over two orders of magnitude for trace lengths ranging from 0.20 to 25 m. 7 refs., 7 figs

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. EARTHQUAKE TRIGGERING AND SPATIAL-TEMPORAL RELATIONS IN THE VICINITY OF YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    na

    2001-02-08

    It is well accepted that the 1992 M 5.6 Little Skull Mountain earthquake, the largest historical event to have occurred within 25 km of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, was triggered by the M 7.2 Landers earthquake that occurred the day before. On the premise that earthquakes can be triggered by applied stresses, we have examined the earthquake catalog from the Southern Great Basin Digital Seismic Network (SGBDSN) for other evidence of triggering by external and internal stresses. This catalog now comprises over 12,000 events, encompassing five years of consistent monitoring, and has a low threshold of completeness, varying from M 0 in the center of the network to M 1 at the fringes. We examined the SGBDSN catalog response to external stresses such as large signals propagating from teleseismic and regional earthquakes, microseismic storms, and earth tides. Results are generally negative. We also examined the interplay of earthquakes within the SGBDSN. The number of ''foreshocks'', as judged by most criteria, is significantly higher than the background seismicity rate. In order to establish this, we first removed aftershocks from the catalog with widely used methodology. The existence of SGBDSN foreshocks is supported by comparing actual statistics to those of a simulated catalog with uniform-distributed locations and Poisson-distributed times of occurrence. The probabilities of a given SGBDSN earthquake being followed by one having a higher magnitude within a short time frame and within a close distance are at least as high as those found with regional catalogs. These catalogs have completeness thresholds two to three units higher in magnitude than the SGBDSN catalog used here. The largest earthquake in the SGBDSN catalog, the M 4.7 event in Frenchman Flat on 01/27/1999, was preceded by a definite foreshock sequence. The largest event within 75 km of Yucca Mountain in historical time, the M 5.7 Scotty's Junction event of 08/01/1999, was also

  15. EARTHQUAKE TRIGGERING AND SPATIAL-TEMPORAL RELATIONS IN THE VICINITY OF YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2001-01-01

    It is well accepted that the 1992 M 5.6 Little Skull Mountain earthquake, the largest historical event to have occurred within 25 km of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, was triggered by the M 7.2 Landers earthquake that occurred the day before. On the premise that earthquakes can be triggered by applied stresses, we have examined the earthquake catalog from the Southern Great Basin Digital Seismic Network (SGBDSN) for other evidence of triggering by external and internal stresses. This catalog now comprises over 12,000 events, encompassing five years of consistent monitoring, and has a low threshold of completeness, varying from M 0 in the center of the network to M 1 at the fringes. We examined the SGBDSN catalog response to external stresses such as large signals propagating from teleseismic and regional earthquakes, microseismic storms, and earth tides. Results are generally negative. We also examined the interplay of earthquakes within the SGBDSN. The number of ''foreshocks'', as judged by most criteria, is significantly higher than the background seismicity rate. In order to establish this, we first removed aftershocks from the catalog with widely used methodology. The existence of SGBDSN foreshocks is supported by comparing actual statistics to those of a simulated catalog with uniform-distributed locations and Poisson-distributed times of occurrence. The probabilities of a given SGBDSN earthquake being followed by one having a higher magnitude within a short time frame and within a close distance are at least as high as those found with regional catalogs. These catalogs have completeness thresholds two to three units higher in magnitude than the SGBDSN catalog used here. The largest earthquake in the SGBDSN catalog, the M 4.7 event in Frenchman Flat on 01/27/1999, was preceded by a definite foreshock sequence. The largest event within 75 km of Yucca Mountain in historical time, the M 5.7 Scotty's Junction event of 08/01/1999, was also preceded by foreshocks. The

  16. Distribution of Minor Elements in Calcite From the Unsaturated Zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, B. D.; Whelan, J. F.

    2001-12-01

    Sr concentrations in the late calcite may record lower deposition rates and decreased percolation fluxes due to the drier climate. 1 Wilson, N.S.F., Cline, J.S., and Lundberg, S.A.W., 2000, Paragenesis and chemical composition of secondary mineralization at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, Geol. Soc. Am. Abs. Prog., v. 32, p. A260.

  17. Geohydrologic reconnaissance of Lake Mead National Recreation Area; Las Vegas Wash to Opal Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laney, R.L.

    1981-01-01

    The study is a geohydrologic reconnaissance of about 170 square miles in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area from Las Vegas Wash to Opal Mountain, Nevada. The study is one of a series that describes the geohydrology of the recreation area and that indentifies areas where water supplies can be developed. Precipitation in this arid area is about 5 inches per year. Streamflow is seasonal and extremely variable except for that in the Colorado River, which adjoins the area. Pan evaporation is more than 20 times greater than precipitation; therefore, regional ground-water supplies are meager except near the Colorado River, Lake Mead, and Lake Mohave. Large ground-water supplies can be developed near the river and lakes, and much smaller supplies may be obtained in a few favorable locations farther from the river and lakes. Ground water in most of the areas probably contains more than 1,000 milligrams per liter of dissolved solids, but water that contains less than 1,000 milligrams per liter of dissolved solids can be obtained within about 1 mile of the lakes. Crystalline rocks of metamorphic, intrusive and volcanic origin crop out in the area. These rocks are overlain by conglomerate and mudstone of the Muddy Creek Formation, gravel and conglomerate of the older alluvium, and sand and gravel of the Chemehuevi Formation and younger alluvium. The crystalline rocks, where sufficiently fractured, yield water to springs and would yield small amounts of water to favorably located wells. The poorly cemented and more permeable beds of the older alluvium, Chemehuevi Formation, and younger alluvium are the better potential aquifers, particularly along the Colorado River and Lakes Mead and Mohave. Thermal springs in the gorge of the Colorado River south of Hoover Dam discharge at least 2,580 acre-feet per year of water from the volcanic rocks and metamorphic and plutonic rocks. The discharge is much greater than could be infiltrated in the drainage basin above the springs

  18. Forested communities of the pine mountain region, Georgia, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert Floyd; Robert Carter

    2013-01-01

    Seven landscape scale communities were identified in the Pine Mountain region having a mixture of Appalachian, Piedmont, and Coastal Plain species. The diagnostic environmental variables included elevation, B-horizon depth, A-horizon silt, topographic relative moisture index, and A-horizon potassium (K).

  19. 150 Years of Coulomb Stress History Along the California-Nevada Border, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carena, S.; Verdecchia, A.

    2014-12-01

    The temporal and spatial correlation among earthquakes in diffuse plate boundary zones is not well understood yet. The region north of the Garlock fault between the Sierra Nevada and Death Valley is part of a diffuse plate boundary zone, which absorbs a significant fraction of the plate motion between Pacific and North America. This area has experienced at least eight Mw ≥ 6 earthquakes in historical times, beginning with the 1872 Mw 7.5 Owens Valley earthquake. Furthermore, since 1978 Long Valley caldera has been undergoing periods of unrest, with earthquake swarms and resurgence. Our goal is to determine whether the 1872 Owens Valley earthquake has influenced the seismicity and volcanic activity in the area. We model the evolution of coseismic, interseismic and postseismic Coulomb stress (ΔCFS) in the region due to both earthquakes and caldera activity in the last 150 years. Our results show that the 1872 Owens Valley earthquake strongly encourages faulting in northern Owens Valley. In addition, there is a correlation among smaller events, in the form of a west-to-east migration of earthquakes from Long Valley caldera toward the White Mountains immediately following the 1978 caldera inflation event. The last event in this sequence, the 1986 Mw 6.3 Chalfant Valley earthquake, controls the location of over 80% of its own aftershocks, which occur in areas of positive ΔCFS and reach Mw 5.7. We also calculate the cumulative ΔCFS on several major active faults in the region. Stresses up to 30 bars and 10 bars respectively have accumulated on the White Mountains (Central section) and Deep Springs faults, comparable to the expected stress drop in an average earthquake. Because no surface ruptures more recent than 1.8 ka have been identified on these faults [dePolo, 1989; Lee et al., 2001], we consider them as likely candidates for the next major earthquake in the region.

  20. Large-scale thinning, ponderosa pine, and mountain pine beetle in the Black Hills, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jose F. Negron; Kurt K. Allen; Angie Ambourn; Blaine Cook; Kenneth Marchand

    2017-01-01

    Mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins) (MPB), can cause extensive ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex Laws.) mortality in the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming, USA. Lower tree densities have been associated with reduced MPB-caused tree mortality, but few studies have reported on large-scale thinning and most data come from small plots that...

  1. Denitrification potential in sediments of headwater streams in the southern appalachian mountains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara A. Martin; Patrick J. Mulholland; Jackson R. Webster; H. Maurice Vallett

    2001-01-01

    We investigated variations in resource availability (NOa-N and labile organic C [LOCJ] as determinants of potential denitrification in stream sediments in the southern Appalachian Mountains, USA. stream-water and sediments were sampled seasonally in 2 streams of contrasting NO3,-N availability, Noland Creek (high NO

  2. Occurrence of an exotic earthworm (Amynthas agrestis) in undisturbed soils of the southern Appalachian Mountains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mac. A. Callaham; Paul F. Hendrix; Ross J. Phillips

    2003-01-01

    This study documents the occurrence of an aggressive invasive earthworm species in undisturbed forest soils of the southern Appalachian Mountains of northern Georgia, USA. Earthworms were sorted from samples collected in pitfall traps that had been set in mature, mesic oak-hickory forests in remote, high elevation, locations across northern Georgia. Specimens were...

  3. Integration of remote sensing and geochemical data in the mineral evaluation of the Yucca Mountain Addition, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feldman, S.C.; Castor, S.B.; Tingley, J.V.

    1996-01-01

    In 1989 the U.S. Department of Energy filed an application with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for an administrative land withdrawal of about 4,300 acres bordering the western edge of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) and the southern edge of the Nellis Air Force Range. This area, which is referred to as the Yucca Mountain Addition, includes approximately 400 acres that are being considered as part of a potential repository for high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. A study of the geology and mineral deposits is required for a land withdrawal request under federal law. The Yucca Mountain Addition mineral evaluation was accomplished in late 1989 by field examination, sample collection, geochemical analysis, the analysis of satellite remote sensing data, and the collection of rock spectra in the field. Data from the Yucca Mountain Addition and from mining districts in the area were collected and analyzed, and the two data sets were then compared. The evaluation was limited to surficial data both at the Yucca Mountain Addition and in the mining districts. Evidence from both geochemical and remote sensing analyses indicate that the potential for mineral deposits is low in the Yucca Mountain Addition

  4. ABSTRACT: CONTAMINANT TRAVEL TIMES FROM THE NEVADA TEST SITE TO YUCCA MOUNTAIN: SENSITIVITY TO POROSITY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karl F. Pohlmann; Jianting Zhu; Jenny B. Chapman; Charles E. Russell; Rosemary W. H. Carroll; David S. Shafer

    2008-01-01

    Yucca Mountain (YM), Nevada, has been proposed by the U.S. Department of Energy as a geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. In this study, we investigate the potential for groundwater advective pathways from underground nuclear testing areas on the Nevada Test Site (NTS) to the YM area by estimating the timeframe for advective travel and its uncertainty resulting from porosity value uncertainty for hydrogeologic units (HGUs) in the region. We perform sensitivity analysis to determine the most influential HGUs on advective radionuclide travel times from the NTS to the YM area. Groundwater pathways and advective travel times are obtained using the particle tracking package MODPATH and flow results from the Death Valley Regional Flow System (DVRFS) model by the U.S. Geological Survey. Values and uncertainties of HGU porosities are quantified through evaluation of existing site porosity data and expert professional judgment and are incorporated through Monte Carlo simulations to estimate mean travel times and uncertainties. We base our simulations on two steady state flow scenarios for the purpose of long term prediction and monitoring. The first represents pre-pumping conditions prior to groundwater development in the area in 1912 (the initial stress period of the DVRFS model). The second simulates 1998 pumping (assuming steady state conditions resulting from pumping in the last stress period of the DVRFS model). Considering underground tests in a clustered region around Pahute Mesa on the NTS as initial particle positions, we track these particles forward using MODPATH to identify hydraulically downgradient groundwater discharge zones and to determine which flowpaths will intercept the YM area. Out of the 71 tests in the saturated zone, flowpaths of 23 intercept the YM area under the pre-pumping scenario. For the 1998 pumping scenario, flowpaths from 55 of the 71 tests intercept the YM area. The results illustrate that mean

  5. Wireless sensor networks to assess the impacts of global change in Sierra Nevada (Spain) mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Cano, Francisco M.; Bonet-García, Francisco J.; Pérez-Luque, Antonio J.; Suárez-Muñoz, María

    2017-04-01

    Sierra Nevada Global Change Observatory (southern Spain) aims to improve the ability of ecosystems to address the impacts of global change. To this end, a monitoring program has been implemented based on the collection of long time series on a multitude of biophysical variables. This initiative is part of the Long Term Ecological Research network and is connected to similar ones at national and international level. One of the specific objectives of this LTER site is to improve understanding of the relationships between abiotic factors and ecosystem functioning / structure. Wireless sensor networks are a key instrument for achieving this aim. This contribution describes the design and management of a sensor network that is intended to monitor several biophysical variables with high temporal and spatial resolution in Quercus pyrenaica forests located in this mountain region. The following solution has been adopted in order to obtain the observational data (physical and biological variables). The biological variables will be monitored by PAR sensors (photosynthetically active radiation), and the physical variables will be acquired by a meteorological station and a sensor network composed of temperature and soil moisture sensors, as well as air temperature and humidity ones. To complete the monitoring of the biological variables, a NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) camera will be deployed focusing to a Quercus pyrenaica forest from the opposite slope. It should be noted that all monitoring systems exposed will be powered by solar energy. The management of the sensor network covers the deployment of more than 100 sensors, guaranteeing both remote accessibility and reliability of the data. The chosen solution is provided by the company Adevice whose ONE-GO communication system ensures a consistent and efficient sending of those values read by the different sensors towards a central point, from where the information (RAW data) is accessible through WiFi/3G

  6. Complex layering of the Orange Mountain Basalt: New Jersey, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puffer, John H.; Block, Karin A.; Steiner, Jeffrey C.; Laskowich, Chris

    2018-06-01

    The Orange Mountain Basalt of New Jersey is a Mesozoic formation consisting of three units: a single lower inflated sheet lobe about 70 m thick (OMB1), a middle pillow basalt about 10 to 20 m thick (OMB2), and an upper compound pahoehoe flow about 20 to 40 m thick (OMB3). The Orange Mountain Basalt is part of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province. Quarry and road-cut exposures of OMB1 near Paterson, New Jersey, display some unusual layering that is the focus of this study. OMB1 exposures displays the typical upper crust, core, and basal crust layers of sheet lobes but throughout the Patterson area also display distinct light gray layers of microvesicular basalt mineralized with albite directly over the basal crust and under the upper crust. The lower microvesicular layer is associated with mega-vesicular diapirs. We propose that the upper and lower microvesicular layers were composed of viscous crust that was suddenly quenched before it could devolatilize immediately before the solidification of the core. During initial cooling, the bottom of the basal layer was mineralized with high concentrations of calcite and albite during a high-temperature hydrothermal event. Subsequent albitization, as well as zeolite, prehnite, and calcite precipitation events, occurred during burial and circulation of basin brine heated by recurring Palisades magmatism below the Orange Mountain Basalt. Some of the events experienced by the Orange Mountain Basalt are unusual and place constraints on the fluid dynamics of thick flood basalt flows in general. The late penetration of vesicular diapirs through the entire thickness of the flow interior constrains its viscosity and solidification history.

  7. 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

  8. Surface and Airborne Arsenic Concentrations in a Recreational Site near Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goossens, Dirk

    2015-01-01

    Elevated concentrations of arsenic, up to 7058 μg g-1 in topsoil and bedrock, and more than 0.03 μg m-3 in air on a 2-week basis, were measured in the Nellis Dunes Recreation Area (NDRA), a very popular off-road area near Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The elevated arsenic concentrations in the topsoil and bedrock are correlated to outcrops of yellow sandstone belonging to the Muddy Creek Formation (≈ 10 to 4 Ma) and to faults crossing the area. Mineralized fluids moved to the surface through the faults and deposited the arsenic. A technique was developed to calculate airborne arsenic concentrations from the arsenic content in the topsoil. The technique was tested by comparing calculated with measured concentrations at 34 locations in the NDRA, for 3 periods of 2 weeks each. We then applied it to calculate airborne arsenic concentrations for more than 500 locations all over the NDRA. The highest airborne arsenic concentrations occur over sand dunes and other zones with a surficial layer of aeolian sand. Ironically these areas show the lowest levels of arsenic in the topsoil. However, they are highly susceptible to wind erosion and emit very large amounts of sand and dust during episodes of strong winds, thereby also emitting much arsenic. Elsewhere in the NDRA, in areas not or only very slightly affected by wind erosion, airborne arsenic levels equal the background level for airborne arsenic in the USA, approximately 0.0004 μg m-3. The results of this study are important because the NDRA is visited by more than 300,000 people annually. PMID:25897667

  9. A tale of 10 plutons - Revisited: Age of granitic rocks in the White Mountains, California and Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, E.H.; Conrad, J.E.

    1996-01-01

    40Ar/39Ar incremental heating analysis and conventional K-Ar age determinations on plutonic rocks of the White Mountains define two stages of magmatic emplacement: Late Cretaceous, between ca. 90 Ma and 75 Ma, and Middle-Late Jurassic, between ca. 180 and 140 Ma. The Jurassic stage can be divided into two substages, 180-165 Ma and 150-140 Ma. Thermal effects of the younger plutons on the older granitoids partially to completely reset ages, making it difficult to determine the age of emplacement and cooling of several of the plutons even by 40Ar/39Ar incremental heating analyses. New data together with published ages and regional geochronological synthesis of the Sierra Nevada batholith indicate that regions within the batholith have coherent periods or episodes of magmatic activity. In the White Mountains and Sierra Nevada directly to the west there was little or no activity in Early Jurassic and Early Cretaceous time; magmatism took place during relatively short intervals of 15 m.y. or less in the Middle and Late Jurassic and Late Cretaceous periods. The new K-Ar and 40Ar/39Ar analyses of granitoids from the White Mountains help, but do not completely clarify the complex history of emplacement, cooling, and reheating of the batholith.

  10. Use of an analog site near Raymond, California, to develop equipment and methods for characterizing a potential high-level, nuclear waste repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Umari, A.M.J.; Geldon, A.; Patterson, G.; Gemmell, J.; Earle, J.; Darnell, J.

    1994-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, currently is being investigated by the U.S. Geological Survey as a potential site for a high-level nuclear waste repository. Planned hydraulic-stress and tracer tests in fractured, tuffaceous rocks below the water table at Yucca Mountain will require work at depths in excess of 1,300 feet. To facilitate prototype testing of equipment and methods to be used in aquifer tests at Yucca Mountain, an analog site was selected in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada near Raymond, California. Two of nine 250- to 300-feet deep wells drilled into fractured, granitic rocks at the Raymond site have been instrumented with packers, pressure transducers, and other equipment that will be used at Yucca Mountain. Aquifer tests conducted at the Raymond site to date have demonstrated a need to modify some of the equipment and methods conceived for use at Yucca Mountain

  11. Vertebrate paleontology, stratigraphy, and paleohydrology of Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, Nevada (USA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Springer, Kathleen; Pigati, Jeffery S.; Scott, Eric

    2017-01-01

    Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument (TUSK) preserves 22,650 acres of the upper Las Vegas Wash in the northern Las Vegas Valley (Nevada, USA). TUSK is home to extensive and stratigraphically complex groundwater discharge (GWD) deposits, called the Las Vegas Formation, which represent springs and desert wetlands that covered much of the valley during the late Quaternary. The GWD deposits record hydrologic changes that occurred here in a dynamic and temporally congruent response to abrupt climatic oscillations over the last ~300 ka (thousands of years). The deposits also entomb the Tule Springs Local Fauna (TSLF), one of the most significant late Pleistocene (Rancholabrean) vertebrate assemblages in the American Southwest. The TSLF is both prolific and diverse, and includes a large mammal assemblage dominated by Mammuthus columbi and Camelops hesternus. Two (and possibly three) distinct species of Equus, two species of Bison, Panthera atrox, Smilodon fatalis, Canis dirus, Megalonyx jeffersonii, and Nothrotheriops shastensis are also present, and newly recognized faunal components include micromammals, amphibians, snakes, and birds. Invertebrates, plant macrofossils, and pollen also occur in the deposits and provide important and complementary paleoenvironmental information. This field compendium highlights the faunal assemblage in the classic stratigraphic sequences of the Las Vegas Formation within TUSK, emphasizes the significant hydrologic changes that occurred in the area during the recent geologic past, and examines the subsequent and repeated effect of rapid climate change on the local desert wetland ecosystem.

  12. Paleomagnetism and Anisotropy of Magnetic Susceptibility study of the Miocene Jack Springs Tuff (Nevada, USA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, S.; Petronis, M. S.; Pluhar, C. J.; Gordon, L.

    2014-12-01

    flowed into a paleovalley off the Sierra Nevada Mountain front. Based on the new paleomagnetic data, we hypothesize that the JST experienced clockwise vertical axis rotation associated with transtensional faulting east of Mono Lake, CA. Our paleomagnetic data support this hypothesis and we argue that deformation likely occurred between ca. 9.5 Ma to as late as 3 Ma.

  13. 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

  14. Air-injection testing in vertical boreholes in welded and nonwelded Tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    LeCain, G.D.

    1997-12-31

    Air-injection tests, by use of straddle packers, were done in four vertical boreholes (UE-25 UZ-No.16, USW SD-12, USW NRG-6, and USW NRG-7a) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The geologic units tested were the Tiva Canyon Tuff, nonwelded tuffs of the Paintbrush Group, Topopah Spring Tuff, and Calico Hills Formation. Air-injection permeability values of the Tiva Canyon Tuff ranged from 0.3 x 10{sup -12} to 54.0 x 10{sup -12} m{sup 2}(square meter). Air-injection permeability values of the Paintbrush nonwelded tuff ranged from 0.12 x 10{sup -12} to 3.0 x 10{sup -12} m{sup 2}. Air-injection permeability values of the Topopah Spring Tuff ranged from 0.02 x 10{sup -12} to 33.0 x 10{sup -12} m{sup 2}. The air-injection permeability value of the only Calico Hills Formation interval tested was 0.025 x 10{sup -12} m{sup 2}. The shallow test intervals of the Tiva Canyon Tuff had the highest air-injection permeability values. Variograms of the air-injection permeability values of the Topopah Spring Tuff show a hole effect; an initial increase in the variogram values is followed by a decrease. The hole effect is due to the decrease in permeability with depth identified in several geologic zones. The hole effect indicates some structural control of the permeability distribution, possibly associated with the deposition and cooling of the tuff. Analysis of variance indicates that the air-injection permeability values of borehole NRG-7a of the Topopah Spring Tuff are different from the other boreholes; this indicates areal variation in permeability.

  15. GEOCHEMISTRY OF ROCK UNITS AT THE POTENTIAL REPOSITORY LEVEL, YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peterman, Z.E.; Cloke, P.L.

    2000-01-01

    The compositional variability of the phenocryst-poor member of the 12.8-million-year Topopah Spring Tuff at the potential repository level was assessed by duplicate analysis of 20 core samples from the cross drift at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Previous analyses of outcrop and core samples of the Topopah Spring Tuff showed that the phenocryst-poor rhyolite, which includes both lithophysal and nonlithophysal zones, is relatively uniform in composition. Analyses of rock samples from the cross drift, the first from the actual potential repository block, also indicate the chemical homogeneity of this unit excluding localized deposits of vapor-phase minerals and low-temperature calcite and opal in fractures, cavities, and faults, The possible influence of vapor-phase minerals and calcite and opal coatings on rock composition at a scale sufficiently large to incorporate these heterogeneously distributed deposits was evaluated and is considered to be relatively minor. Therefore, the composition of the phenocryst-poor member of the Topopah Spring Tuff is considered to be adequately represented by the analyses of samples from the cross drift. The mean composition as represented by the 10 most abundant oxides in weight percent or grams per hundred grams is: SiO 2 , 76.29; Al 2 O 3 , 12.55; FeO, 0.14; Fe 2 O 3 , 0.97; MgO, 0.13; CaO, 0.50; Na 2 O, 3.52; K 2 O, 4.83; TiO 2 , 0.11; and MnO, 0.07

  16. Spatiotemporal patterns of precipitation inferred from streamflow observations across the Sierra Nevada mountain range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henn, Brian; Clark, Martyn P.; Kavetski, Dmitri; Newman, Andrew J.; Hughes, Mimi; McGurk, Bruce; Lundquist, Jessica D.

    2018-01-01

    Given uncertainty in precipitation gauge-based gridded datasets over complex terrain, we use multiple streamflow observations as an additional source of information about precipitation, in order to identify spatial and temporal differences between a gridded precipitation dataset and precipitation inferred from streamflow. We test whether gridded datasets capture across-crest and regional spatial patterns of variability, as well as year-to-year variability and trends in precipitation, in comparison to precipitation inferred from streamflow. We use a Bayesian model calibration routine with multiple lumped hydrologic model structures to infer the most likely basin-mean, water-year total precipitation for 56 basins with long-term (>30 year) streamflow records in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California. We compare basin-mean precipitation derived from this approach with basin-mean precipitation from a precipitation gauge-based, 1/16° gridded dataset that has been used to simulate and evaluate trends in Western United States streamflow and snowpack over the 20th century. We find that the long-term average spatial patterns differ: in particular, there is less precipitation in the gridded dataset in higher-elevation basins whose aspect faces prevailing cool-season winds, as compared to precipitation inferred from streamflow. In a few years and basins, there is less gridded precipitation than there is observed streamflow. Lower-elevation, southern, and east-of-crest basins show better agreement between gridded and inferred precipitation. Implied actual evapotranspiration (calculated as precipitation minus streamflow) then also varies between the streamflow-based estimates and the gridded dataset. Absolute uncertainty in precipitation inferred from streamflow is substantial, but the signal of basin-to-basin and year-to-year differences are likely more robust. The findings suggest that considering streamflow when spatially distributing precipitation in complex terrain

  17. 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

  18. Influence of faults on groundwater flow and transport at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cohen, Andrew J.B.; Sitar, Nicholas

    1999-01-01

    Numerical simulations of groundwater flow at Yucca Mountain, Nevada are used to investigate how faults influence groundwater flow pathways and regional-scale macrodispersion. The 3-D model has a unique grid block discretization that facilitates the accurate representation of the complex geologic structure present in faulted formations. Each hydrogeologic layer is discretized into a single layer of irregular and dipping grid blocks, and faults are discretized such that they are laterally continuous and varied in displacement varies along strike. In addition, the presence of altered fault zones is explicitly modeled, as appropriate. Simulations show that upward head gradients can be readily explained by the geometry of hydrogeologic layers, the variability of layer permeabilities, and the presence of permeable fault zones or faults with displacement only, not necessarily by upwelling from a deep aquifer. Large-scale macrodispersion results from the vertical and lateral diversion of flow near the contact of high- and low-permeability layers at faults, and from upward flow within high-permeability fault zones. Conversely, large-scale channeling can occur as a result of groundwater flow into areas with minimal fault displacement. Contaminants originating at the water table can flow in a direction significantly different from that of the water table gradient, and isolated zones of contaminants can occur at the water table downgradient. By conducting both 2-D and 3-D simulations, we show that the 2-D cross-sectional models traditionally used to examine flow in faulted formations may not be appropriate. In addition, the influence of a particular type of fault cannot be generalized; depending on the location where contaminants enter the saturated zone, faults may either enhance or inhibit vertical dispersion

  19. Final report on feasibility of real-time geochemical analysis at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, using LIBS technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blacic, J.D.; Pettit, D.R.; Cremers, D.A.

    1996-12-01

    Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is an analytic method whereby an intense laser pulse is used to vaporize and excite a small volume of material into atomic emission. Calibrated spectral analysis of the laser spark light provides detection and quantification of the elemental composition of the target material. We performed laboratory and field tests to assess the feasibility of developing field-portable LIBS-based instruments for real-time analyses of Yucca Mountain rocks in conjunction with Yucca Mountain Project drilling, coring, sampling, and characterization tasks. We developed one prototype instrument designed to analyze air core drilling dust and another prototype instrument designed to analyze rock and fracture surfaces. In realistic field tests at the Exploratory Studies Facility at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, we demonstrated that the LIBS prototypes are capable of measuring major, minor, and some trace elements in real time. Laboratory LIBS analyses show that we can identify characteristic element ratios in a range of manganese oxide minerals present at Yucca Mountain as fracture surface coatings and matrix grains. Preliminary LIBS analyses also indicate that the U/Na ratio may distinguish tuffs containing the hazardous zeolite mineral erionite from non-erionite bearing tuffs, and that a LIBS-based instrument may be useful to detect in real time the probable presence of erionite encountered in core drilling and other operations at Yucca Mountain

  20. Evaluation of the geologic relations and seismotectonic stability of the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada Nuclear Waste Site Investigation (NNWSI)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-10-01

    This report provides a summary of progress for the project ''Evaluation of the Geologic Relations and Seismotectonic Stability of the Yucca Mountain Area, Nevada Nuclear Waste Site Investigation (NNWSI)'' for the eighteen month period of January 1, 1987 to June 10, 1988. This final report was preceded by the final report for the initial six month period, July 1, 1986 to December 31, 1986 (submitted on January 25, 1987, and revised in June 1987.) Quaternary Tectonics, Geochemical, Mineral Deposits, Vulcanic Geology, Seismology, Tectonics, Neotectonics, Remote Sensing, Geotechnical Assessments, Geotechnical Rock Mass Assessments, Basinal Studies, and Strong Ground Motion

  1. Evaluation of the geologic relations and seismotectonic stability of the Yucca Mountain Area Nevada Nuclear Waste Site Investigation (NNWSI)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    This report provides a summary of progress for the project open-quotes Evaluation of the Geologic Relations and Seismotectonic Stability of the Yucca Mountain Area, Nevada Nuclear Waste Site Investigation (NNWSI).close quotes A similar report was previously provided for the period of 1 October 1993 to 30 September 1994. The report initially covers the activities of the General Task and is followed by sections that describe the progress of the other ongoing Tasks which are listed below. Task 1: Quaternary Tectonics Task 3: Mineral Deposits, Volcanic Geology Task 4: Seismology Task 5: Tectonics Task 8: Basinal Studies

  2. Pre-waste-emplacement ground-water travel time sensitivity and uncertainty analyses for Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaplan, P.G.

    1993-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada is a potential site for a high-level radioactive-waste repository. Uncertainty and sensitivity analyses were performed to estimate critical factors in the performance of the site with respect to a criterion in terms of pre-waste-emplacement ground-water travel time. The degree of failure in the analytical model to meet the criterion is sensitive to the estimate of fracture porosity in the upper welded unit of the problem domain. Fracture porosity is derived from a number of more fundamental measurements including fracture frequency, fracture orientation, and the moisture-retention characteristic inferred for the fracture domain

  3. Corrective Action Investigation Plan for Corrective Action Unit 99: Rainier Mesa/Shoshone Mountain, Nevada Test Site, Nevada with Errata and ROTC 1, Rev. No. 0

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCord, John; Marutzky, Sam

    2004-12-01

    This Corrective Action Investigation Plan (CAIP) was developed for Corrective Action Unit (CAU) 99, Rainier Mesa/Shoshone Mountain. The CAIP is a requirement of the ''Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order'' (FFACO) agreed to by the State of Nevada, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) (FFACO, 1996). The FFACO addresses environmental restoration activities at U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office (NNSA/NSO) facilities and sites including the underground testing area(s) of the Nevada Test Site (NTS). This CAIP describes the investigation activities currently planned for the Rainier Mesa/Shoshone Mountain CAU. These activities are consistent with the current Underground Test Area (UGTA) Project strategy described in Section 3.0 of Appendix VI, Revision No. 1 (December 7, 2000) of the FFACO (1996) and summarized in Section 2.1.2 of this plan. The Rainier Mesa/Shoshone Mountain CAU extends over several areas of the NTS (Figure 1-1) and includes former underground nuclear testing locations in Areas 12 and 16. The area referred to as ''Rainier Mesa'' includes the geographical area of Rainier Mesa proper and the contiguous Aqueduct Mesa. Figure 1-2 shows the locations of the tests (within tunnel complexes) conducted at Rainier Mesa. Shoshone Mountain is located approximately 20 kilometers (km) south of Rainier Mesa, but is included within the same CAU due to similarities in their geologic setting and in the nature and types of nuclear tests conducted. Figure 1-3 shows the locations of the tests conducted at Shoshone Mountain. The Rainier Mesa/Shoshone Mountain CAU falls within the larger-scale Rainier Mesa/Shoshone Mountain Investigation Area, which also includes the northwest section of the Yucca Flat CAU as shown in Figure 1-1. Rainier Mesa and Shoshone Mountain lie adjacent to the Timber Mountain Caldera Complex and are composed of

  4. Chemistry of unsaturated zone gases sampled in open boreholes at the crest of Yucca Mountain, Nevada: Data and basic concepts of chemical and physical processes in the mountain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorstenson, Donald C.; Weeks, Edwin P.; Haas, Herbert; Busenberg, Eurybiades; Plummer, Niel; Peters, Charles A.

    1998-01-01

    Boreholes open to the unsaturated zone at the crest of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, were variously sampled for CO2 (including 13C and 14C), CH4, N2, O2, Ar, CFC-11, CFC-12, and CFC-113 from 1986 to 1993. Air enters the mountain in outcrops, principally on the eastern slope, is enriched in CO2by mixing with soil gas, and is advected to the mountain crest, where it returns to the atmosphere. The CFC data indicate that travel times of the advecting gas in the shallow Tiva Canyon hydrogeologic unit are ≤5 years. The 14C activities are postbomb to depths of 100 m, indicating little retardation of 14CO2 in the shallow flow systems. The 14C activities from 168 to 404 m in the Topopah Spring hydrogeologic unit are 85–90 pMC at borehole USW-UZ6. The CFC data show that the drilling of USW-UZ6 in 1984 has altered the natural system by providing a conduit through the Paintbrush Nonwelded unit, allowing flow from Topopah Spring outcrops in Solitario Canyon on the west to USW-UZ6, upward in the borehole through the Paintbrush, to the shallow Tiva Canyon flow systems, and out of the mountain.

  5. Major-element geochemistry of the Silent Canyon--Black Mountain peralkaline volcanic centers, northwestern Nevada Test Site: applications to an assessment of renewed volcanism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crowe, B.M.; Sargent, K.A.

    1979-01-01

    The Silent Canyon and Black Mountain volcanic centers are located in the northern part of the Nevada Test Site. The Silent Canyon volcanic center is a buried cauldron complex of Miocene age (13 to 15 m.y.). Black Mountain volcanic center is an elliptical-shaped cauldron complex of late Miocene age. The lavas and tuffs of the two centers comprise a subalkaline-peralkaline association. Rock types range from quartz normative subalkaline trachyte and rhyolite to peralkaline commendite. The Gold Flat Member of the Thirsty Canyon Tuff (Black Mountain) is a pantellerite. The major-element geochemistry of the Black Mountain--Silent Canyon volcanic centers differ in the total range and distribution of SiO 2 , contents, the degree of peralkalinity (molecular Na 2 O + K 2 O > Al 2 O 3 ) and in the values of total iron and alumina through the range of rock types. These differences indicate that the suites were unrelated and evolved from differing magma bodies. The Black Mountain volcanic cycle represents a renewed phase of volcanism following cessation of the Timber Mountain--Silent Canyon volcanic cycles. Consequently, there is a small but numerically incalculable probability of recurrence of Black Mountain-type volcanism within the Nevada Test Site region. This represents a potential risk with respect to deep geologic storage of high-level radioactive waste at the Nevada Test Site

  6. Three-dimensional modeling of unsaturated flow in the vicinity of proposed exploratory shaft facilities at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rockhold, M.L.; Sagar, B.; Connelly, M.P.

    1992-04-01

    This report describes the results of a study to investigate the influence of proposed exploratory shafts on the moisture distribution within unsaturated, fractured rock at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The long-term effects of exploratory shafts at Yucca Mountain are important in the estimation of potential waste migration and fate, while short-term effects may be important in the planning and interpretation of tests performed at the site. The PORFLO-3 computer code was used for simulation of moisture flow through the geologic units adjacent to the ESF. Rather than represent fractures as discrete elements, an equivalent continuum was stipulated, in which the fractured units were assigned equivalent or composite hydrologic properties. Explicit treatment of fractures is not feasible because of the extremely large number of fractures contained in the site-scale problem and the difficulties in characterizing and modeling the fracture geometries

  7. 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

  8. Letter Report Yucca Mountain Environmental Monitoring Systems Initiative - Air Quality Scoping Study for Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, Lincoln County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Engelbrecht, J.; Kavouras, I.; Campbell, D.; Campbell, S.; Kohl, S.; Shafer, D.

    2009-01-01

    The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is performing a scoping study as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Environmental Monitoring Systems Initiative (EMSI). The main objective is to obtain baseline air quality information for Yucca Mountain and an area surrounding the Nevada Test Site (NTS). Air quality and meteorological monitoring and sampling equipment housed in a mobile trailer (shelter) is collecting data at eight sites outside the NTS, including Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Pahranagat NWR, Beatty, Rachel, Caliente, Crater Flat, and Tonopah Airport, and at four sites on the NTS (Engelbrecht et al., 2007a-d). The trailer is stationed at any one site for approximately eight weeks at a time. This letter report provides a summary of air quality and meteorological data on completion of the site's sampling program

  9. Letter Report Yucca Mountain Environmental Monitoring Systems Initiative - Air Quality Scoping Study for Tonopah Airport, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Engelbrecht, J.; Kavouras, I.; Campbell, D.; Campbell, S.; Kohl, S.; Shafer, D.

    2009-01-01

    The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is performing a scoping study as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Environmental Monitoring Systems Initiative (EMSI). The main objective is to obtain baseline air quality information for Yucca Mountain and an area surrounding the Nevada Test Site (NTS). Air quality and meteorological monitoring and sampling equipment housed in a mobile trailer (shelter) is collecting data at eight sites outside the NTS, including Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Tonopah Airport, Beatty, Rachel, Caliente, Pahranagat NWR, Crater Flat, and the Tonopah Airport, and at four sites on the NTS (Engelbrecht et al., 2007a-d). The trailer is stationed at any one site for approximately eight weeks at a time. This letter report provides a summary of air quality and meteorological data, on completion of the site's sampling program

  10. Letter Report Yucca Mountain Environmental Monitoring Systems Initiative - Air Quality Scoping Study for Caliente, Lincoln County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Engelbrecht, J.; Kavouras, I.; Campbell, D.; Campbell, S.; Kohl, S.; Shafer, D.

    2009-01-01

    The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is performing a scoping study as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Environmental Monitoring Systems Initiative (EMSI). The main objective is to obtain baseline air quality information for Yucca Mountain and an area surrounding the Nevada Test Site (NTS). Air quality and meteorological monitoring and sampling equipment housed in a mobile trailer (shelter) is collecting data at eight sites outside the NTS, including Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Beatty, Sarcobatus Flats, Rachel, Caliente, Pahranagat NWR, Crater Flat, and Tonopah Airport, and at four sites on the NTS (Engelbrecht et al., 2007a-d). The trailer is stationed at any one site for approximately eight weeks at a time. This letter report provides a summary of air quality and meteorological data, on completion of the site's sampling program

  11. Geology and hydrogeology of the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada and the surrounding area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mattson, S.R.; Broxton, D.E.; Buono, A.; Crowe, B.M.; Orkild, P.P.

    1989-01-01

    In late 1987 Congress issued an amendment to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 which directed the characterization of Yucca Mountain, Nevada as the only remaining potential site for the Nation's first underground high-level radioactive waste repository. The evaluation of a potential underground repository is guided and regulated by policy established by the Department of Energy (DOE), Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Transportation (DOT), and the US Congress. The Yucca Mountain Project is the responsibility of the DOE. The purpose of this field trip is to introduce the present state of geologic and hydrologic knowledge concerning this site. This report describes the field trip. 108 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mower, T.E.; Higgins, J.D. [Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (USA). Dept. of Geology and Geological Engineering; Yang, I.C. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (USA). Water Resources Div.

    1989-12-31

    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.

  13. Fabrication and closure development of corrosion resistant containers for Nevada's Yucca Mountain high-level nuclear waste repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Russell, E.W.; Nelson, T.A.; Domian, H.A.; LaCount, D.F.; Robitz, E.S.; Stein, K.O.

    1989-11-01

    US Congress and the President have determined that the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada is to be characterized to determine its suitability for construction of the first US high-level nuclear waste repository. Work in connection with this site is carried out within the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP). Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has the responsibility for designing, developing, and projecting the performance of the waste package for the permanent storage of high-level nuclear waste. Babcock ampersand Wilcox (B ampersand W) is involved with the YMP as a subcontractor to LLNL. B ampersand W's role is to recommend and demonstrate a method for fabricating the metallic waste container and a method for performing the final closure of the container after it has been filled with waste. Various fabrication and closure methods are under consideration for the production of containers. This paper presents progress to date in identifying and evaluating the candidate manufacturing processes. 2 refs., 2 figs., 4 tabs

  14. Tsunami-generated sediment wave channels at Lake Tahoe, California-Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, James G.; Schweickert, Richard A.; Kitts, Christopher A.

    2014-01-01

    A gigantic ∼12 km3 landslide detached from the west wall of Lake Tahoe (California-Nevada, USA), and slid 15 km east across the lake. The splash, or tsunami, from this landslide eroded Tioga-age moraines dated as 21 ka. Lake-bottom short piston cores recovered sediment as old as 12 ka that did not reach landslide deposits, thereby constraining the landslide age as 21–12 ka.Movement of the landslide splashed copious water onto the countryside and lowered the lake level ∼10 m. The sheets of water that washed back into the lake dumped their sediment load at the lowered shoreline, producing deltas that merged into delta terraces. During rapid growth, these unstable delta terraces collapsed, disaggregated, and fed turbidity currents that generated 15 subaqueous sediment wave channel systems that ring the lake and descend to the lake floor at 500 m depth. Sheets of water commonly more than 2 km wide at the shoreline fed these systems. Channels of the systems contain sediment waves (giant ripple marks) with maximum wavelengths of 400 m. The lower depositional aprons of the system are surfaced by sediment waves with maximum wavelengths of 300 m.A remarkably similar, though smaller, contemporary sediment wave channel system operates at the mouth of the Squamish River in British Columbia. The system is generated by turbidity currents that are fed by repeated growth and collapse of the active river delta. The Tahoe splash-induced backwash was briefly equivalent to more than 15 Squamish Rivers in full flood and would have decimated life in low-lying areas of the Tahoe region.

  15. Assessing and adapting to climate change in the Blue Mountains, Oregon (USA: Overview, biogeography, and climate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica E. Halofsky

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The Blue Mountains Adaptation Partnership (BMAP was established to increase climate change awareness, assess vulnerability to climate change, and develop science-based adaptation strategies for national forest lands in the Blue Mountains region of northeast Oregon and southeast Washington (USA. The BMAP process included (1 development of a science-management partnership, (2 a vulnerability assessment of the effects of climate change on natural resources and infrastructure, (3 development of adaptation options that will help reduce negative effects of climate change and assist the transition of biological systems and management to a changing climate, and (4 ongoing dialogue and activities related to climate change in the Blue Mountains region. This special issue of Climate Services describes social context and climate change vulnerability assessments for water use and infrastructure, vegetation, and riparian ecosystems of the Blue Mountains region, as well as adaptation options for natural resource management. This manuscript introduces the special issue, describing the management, biogeographic, and climatic context for the Blue Mountains region; the climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation process used in BMAP; and the potential applications of the information described in the special issue. Although the institutional focus of information in the special issue is U.S. Forest Service lands (Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests, the broader social context and adaptation options should be applicable to other lands throughout this region and the Pacific Northwest. Keywords: Climate change adaptation, Pacific Northwest, Resource management, Vulnerability assessment, Blue Mountains

  16. Progress report on the scientific investigation program for the Nevada Yucca Mountain site, September 15, 1988--September 30, 1989

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1990-02-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) has prepared this report on the progress of site characterization activities at Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada. This report is the first of a series of reports that will hereafter be issued at intervals of approximately 6-months during site characterization. The DOE's plans for site characterization are described in the Site Characterization Plan (SCP) for the Yucca Mountain site. The SCP has been reviewed and commented on by the NRC, the State of Nevada, the affected units of local government, other interested parties, and the public. More detailed information on plans for site characterization is being presented in study plans for the various site characterization activities. This progress report presents short summaries of the status of site characterization activities and cites technical reports and research products that provide more detailed information on the activities. The report provides highlights of work started during the reporting period, work in progress, and work completed and documented during the reporting period. In addition, the report is the vehicle for discussing major changes, if any, to the DOE's site characterization program resulting from ongoing collection and evaluation of site information; the development of repository and waste-package designs; receipt of performance-assessment results; and changes, if any, that occur in response to external comments on the site characterization programs. 80 refs

  17. Fluid flows due to earthquakes with reference to Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Davies, J.B.

    1993-01-01

    Yucca Mountain geohydrology is dominated by a deep water table in volcanic tuffa beds which are cut by numerous faults. Certain zones in these tuffas and most of the fault apertures are filled with a fine-grained calcitic cement. Earthquakes have occured in this region with the most recent being of magnitude 5.6 and at a distance of about 20 km. Earthquakes in western U.S.A. have been observed to cause fluid flows through and out of the crust of the Earth. These flows are concentrated along the faults with normal faulting producing the largest flows. An earthquake produces rapid pressure changes at and below the ground surface, thereby forcing flows of gas, water, slurries and dissolved salts. In order to examine the properties of flows produced by earthquakes, we simulate the phenomena using computer-based modeling. We investigate the effects of adults and high permeability zones on the pattern of flows induced by the earthquake. We demonstrate that faults act as conduits to the surface and that the higher the permeability of a zone, the more the flows will concentrate there. Numerical estimates of flow rates from these simulations compare favorably with data from observed flows due to earthquakes. Simple volumetric arguments demonstrate the ease with which fluids from the deep water table can reach the surface along fault conduits

  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. 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

  20. Age-class differences in shoot photosynthesis and water relations of Fraser fir (Abies fraseri), southern Appalachian Mountains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keith Reinhardt; Daniel M. Johnson; William K. Smith

    2009-01-01

    Fraser fir (Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir.) is an endemic tree species found only in refugial mountain-top forests in the southern Appalachian Mountains, USA. Very few studies have investigated the ecophysiology of this species in its natural environment. We measured and compared photosynthetic gas exchange and water relations of understory germinant...

  1. State of Nevada comments on the US Department of Energy consultation draft site characterization plan, Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-09-01

    The comments presented here represent a review effort by the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects and its Technical Support Contractors and advisors. Part I presents an overview of the comments contained in the document. The overview takes the form of general concerns and comments organized by specific areas of concern. The overview does not follow the format of the CD-SCP. Part II contains specific comments of the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects. These comments respond to specifics of the CD-SCP and do so in relation to the organizational format employed in the CD-SCP. Because of the way it is organized, the CD-SCP encouraged a certain degree of redundancy in our response. Part III of this document contains verbatim comments received from the Agency's Technical Contractors and advisors. These comments address issues and contain information not contained in Parts I and II. As such, these comments should be viewed as important in their own right -- not as appendices to the State's comment document

  2. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada: Consultation draft, Nuclear Waste Policy Act

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-01-01

    Chapter six describes the basis for facility design, the completed facility conceptual design, the completed analytical work relating to the resolution of design issues, and future design-related work. The basis for design and the conceptual design information presented in this chapter meet the requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, for a conceptual repository design that takes into account site-specific requirements. This information is presented to permit a critical evaluation of planned site characterization activities. Chapter seven describes waste package components, emplacement environment, design, and status of research and development that support the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigation (NNWSI) Project. The site characterization plan (SCP) discussion of waste package components is contained entirely within this chapter. The discussion of emplacement environment in this chapter is limited to considerations of the environment that influence, or which may influence, if perturbed, the waste packages and their performance (particularly hydrogeology, geochemistry, and borehole stability). The basis for conceptual waste package design as well as a description of the design is included in this chapter. The complete design will be reported in the advanced conceptual design (ACD) report and is not duplicated in the SCP. 367 refs., 173 figs., 68 tabs.

  3. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada: Consultation draft, Nuclear Waste Policy Act

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-01-01

    Chapter six describes the basis for facility design, the completed facility conceptual design, the completed analytical work relating to the resolution of design issues, and future design-related work. The basis for design and the conceptual design information presented in this chapter meet the requiremenrs of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, for a conceptual repository design that takes into account site-specific requirements. This information is presented to permit a critical evaluation of planned site characterization activities. Chapter seven describes waste package components, emplacement environment, design, and status of research and development that support the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigation (NNWSI) Project. The site characterization plan (SCP) discussion of waste package components is contained entirely within this chapter. The discussion of emplacement environment in this chapter is limited to considerations of the environment that influence, or which may influence, if perturbed, the waste packages and their performance (particularly hydrogeology, geochemistry, and borehole stability). The basis for conceptual waste package design as well as a description of the design is included in this chapter. The complete design will be reported in the advanced conceptual design (ACD) report and is not duplicated in the SCP. 367 refs., 173 figs., 68 tabs

  4. Estimation of unsaturated zone traveltimes for Rainier Mesa and Shoshone Mountain, Nevada Test Site, Nevada, using a source-responsive preferential-flow model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brian A. Ebel; John R. Nimmo

    2009-09-11

    Traveltimes for contaminant transport by water from a point in the unsaturated zone to the saturated zone are a concern at Rainier Mesa and Shoshone Mountain in the Nevada Test Site, Nevada. Where nuclear tests were conducted in the unsaturated zone, contaminants must traverse hundreds of meters of variably saturated rock before they enter the saturated zone in the carbonate rock, where the regional groundwater system has the potential to carry them substantial distances to a location of concern. The unsaturated-zone portion of the contaminant transport path may cause a significant delay, in addition to the time required to travel within the saturated zone, and thus may be important in the overall evaluation of the potential hazard from contamination. Downward contaminant transport through the unsaturated zone occurs through various processes and pathways; this can lead to a broad distribution of contaminant traveltimes, including exceedingly slow and unexpectedly fast extremes. Though the bulk of mobile contaminant arrives between the time-scale end members, the fastest contaminant transport speed, in other words the speed determined by the combination of possible processes and pathways that would bring a measureable quantity of contaminant to the aquifer in the shortest time, carries particular regulatory significance because of its relevance in formulating the most conservative hazard-prevention scenarios. Unsaturated-zone flow is usually modeled as a diffusive process responding to gravity and pressure gradients as mediated by the unsaturated hydraulic properties of the materials traversed. The mathematical formulation of the diffuse-flow concept is known as Richards' equation, which when coupled to a solute transport equation, such as the advection-dispersion equation, provides a framework to simulate contaminant migration in the unsaturated zone. In recent decades awareness has increased that much fluid flow and contaminant transport within the

  5. Estimation of Unsaturated Zone Traveltimes for Rainier Mesa and Shoshone Mountain, Nevada Test Site, Nevada, Using a Source-Responsive Preferential-Flow Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebel, Brian A.; Nimmo, John R.

    2009-01-01

    Traveltimes for contaminant transport by water from a point in the unsaturated zone to the saturated zone are a concern at Rainier Mesa and Shoshone Mountain in the Nevada Test Site, Nevada. Where nuclear tests were conducted in the unsaturated zone, contaminants must traverse hundreds of meters of variably saturated rock before they enter the saturated zone in the carbonate rock, where the regional groundwater system has the potential to carry them substantial distances to a location of concern. The unsaturated-zone portion of the contaminant transport path may cause a significant delay, in addition to the time required to travel within the saturated zone, and thus may be important in the overall evaluation of the potential hazard from contamination. Downward contaminant transport through the unsaturated zone occurs through various processes and pathways; this can lead to a broad distribution of contaminant traveltimes, including exceedingly slow and unexpectedly fast extremes. Though the bulk of mobile contaminant arrives between the time-scale end members, the fastest contaminant transport speed, in other words the speed determined by the combination of possible processes and pathways that would bring a measureable quantity of contaminant to the aquifer in the shortest time, carries particular regulatory significance because of its relevance in formulating the most conservative hazard-prevention scenarios. Unsaturated-zone flow is usually modeled as a diffusive process responding to gravity and pressure gradients as mediated by the unsaturated hydraulic properties of the materials traversed. The mathematical formulation of the diffuse-flow concept is known as Richards' equation, which when coupled to a solute transport equation, such as the advection-dispersion equation, provides a framework to simulate contaminant migration in the unsaturated zone. In recent decades awareness has increased that much fluid flow and contaminant transport within the unsaturated

  6. Iron and manganese in oxide minerals and in glasses: preliminary consideration of Eh buffering potential at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Caporuscio, F.A.; Vaniman, D.T.

    1985-04-01

    The tuffs of Yucca Mountain at the Nevada Test Site are currently under investigation as a possible deep burial site for high-level radioactive waste disposal. One of the main concerns is the effect of oxidizing groundwater on the transport of radionuclides. Rock components that may affect the oxygen content of groundwater include Fe-Ti oxides, Mn oxides, and glasses that contain ferrous iron. Some phenocryst Fe-Ti oxides at Yucca Mountain are in reduced states, whereas groundmass Fe-Ti oxides have been oxidized to hematite, rutile, and pseudobrookite (Fe 3+ -bearing phases) exclusively. Estimates of Fe 2+ -bearing oxides indicate that less than 0.33 vol% phenocrysts is available to act as solid buffering agents of Eh. Of this percentage, significant amounts of Fe-Ti oxides are isolated from effective interaction with groundwater because they occur in densely welded, devitrified tuffs that have low interstitial permeability. Manganese oxides occur primarily along fractures in the ash-flow tuffs. Because the Mn oxides are concentrated along the same pathways (fractures) where transport has occurred in the past, these small volume percentages could act as buffers. However, the oxidation states of actual Mn-oxide phases are high (Mn 4+ ), and these minerals have virtually no potential for reducing groundwater Eh. Manganese oxides may even act as oxidizing agents. However, regardless of their poor capabilities as reducing agents, the Mn oxides could be important as sorbents of heavy metals at Yucca Mountain. The lack of accessible, pristine Fe-Ti oxides and the generally high oxidation states of Mn oxides seem to rule out these oxides as Eh buffers of the Yucca Mountain groundwater system. Reduction of ferrous iron within glassy tuffs may have some effect on Eh, but further study is needed. At present it is prudent to assume that minerals and glasses have little or no capacity for reducing oxygen-rich groundwater at Yucca Mountain. 25 refs., 3 figs., 12 tabs

  7. Investigation of the mineral potential of the Clipper Gap, Lone Mountain-Weepah, and Pipe Spring plutons, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tingley, J.V.; Maldonado, F.

    1983-01-01

    The Clipper Gap pluton, composed mostly of quartz monzonite with minor granite, granodiorite, and crosscutting alaskite dikes, intrudes Paleozoic western facies strata. A narrow zone of contact metamorphism is present at the intrusive-sediment contact. No mineral production has been recorded from Clipper Gap, but quartz veins containing gold-silver-copper mineral occurrences have been prospected there from the late 1800's to the present. Areas of the Lone Mountain-Weepah plutons that were studied are located in Esmeralda County about 14 km west of Tonopah, Nevada. At Lone Mountain, a Cretaceous intrusive cuts folded Precambrian and Cambrian sediments. Lead-zinc ores have been mined from small replacement ore bodies in the Alpine district, west of Lone Mountain. Copper and molybdenum occurrences have been found along the east flank of Lone Mountain, and altered areas were noted in intrusive outcrops around the south end of Lone Mountain. Mineral occurrences are widespread and varied with mining activity dating back to the 1860's. The Pipe Spring pluton study area is flanked by two important mining districts, Manhattan to the north and Belmont to the northeast. Mining activity at Belmont dates from 1865. Activity at Manhattan was mainly between 1907 and 1947, but the district is active at the present time (1979). Four smaller mining areas, Monarch, Spanish Springs, Baxter Spring, and Willow Springs, are within the general boundary of the area. The Pipe Spring pluton study area contains numerous prospects along the northern contact zone of the pluton. Tungsten-bearing veins occur within the pluton near Spanish Springs, with potential for gold-tungsten placer in the Ralston Valley. Nickel and associated metals occur at Willow Spring and Monarch Ranch, where prospects may be associated with the margin of the Big Ten Peak Caldera

  8. 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

  9. Precision and accuracy of manual water-level measurements taken in the Yucca Mountain area, Nye County, Nevada, 1988--1990

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boucher, M.S.

    1994-01-01

    Water-level measurements have been made in deep boreholes in the Yucca Mountain area, Nye County, Nevada, since 1983 in support of the US Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Project, which is an evaluation of the area to determine its suit-ability as a potential storage area for high-level nuclear waste. Water-level measurements were taken either manually, using various water-level measuring equipment such as steel tapes, or they were taken continuously, using automated data recorders and pressure transducers. This report presents precision range and accuracy data established for manual water-level measurements taken in the Yucca Mountain area, 1988--90

  10. Summary of ground motion prediction results for Nevada Test Site underground nuclear explosions related to the Yucca Mountain project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walck, M.C.

    1996-10-01

    This report summarizes available data on ground motions from underground nuclear explosions recorded on and near the Nevada Test Site, with emphasis on the ground motions recorded at stations on Yucca Mountain, the site of a potential high-level radioactive waste repository. Sandia National Laboratories, through the Weapons Test Seismic Investigations project, collected and analyzed ground motion data from NTS explosions over a 14-year period, from 1977 through 1990. By combining these data with available data from earlier, larger explosions, prediction equations for several ground motion parameters have been developed for the Test Site area for underground nuclear explosion sources. Also presented are available analyses of the relationship between surface and downhole motions and spectra and relevant crustal velocity structure information for Yucca Mountain derived from the explosion data. The data and associated analyses demonstrate that ground motions at Yucca Mountain from nuclear tests have been at levels lower than would be expected from moderate to large earthquakes in the region; thus nuclear explosions, while located relatively close, would not control seismic design criteria for the potential repository

  11. Summary of ground motion prediction results for Nevada Test Site underground nuclear explosions related to the Yucca Mountain project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walck, M.C.

    1996-10-01

    This report summarizes available data on ground motions from underground nuclear explosions recorded on and near the Nevada Test Site, with emphasis on the ground motions recorded at stations on Yucca Mountain, the site of a potential high-level radioactive waste repository. Sandia National Laboratories, through the Weapons Test Seismic Investigations project, collected and analyzed ground motion data from NTS explosions over a 14-year period, from 1977 through 1990. By combining these data with available data from earlier, larger explosions, prediction equations for several ground motion parameters have been developed for the Test Site area for underground nuclear explosion sources. Also presented are available analyses of the relationship between surface and downhole motions and spectra and relevant crustal velocity structure information for Yucca Mountain derived from the explosion data. The data and associated analyses demonstrate that ground motions at Yucca Mountain from nuclear tests have been at levels lower than would be expected from moderate to large earthquakes in the region; thus nuclear explosions, while located relatively close, would not control seismic design criteria for the potential repository.

  12. Selected hydrologic data from Fortymile Wash in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, water years 1993--94

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Savard, C.S.

    1996-09-01

    The Yucca Mountain area is being evaluated by the US Department of Energy for its suitability to store high-level nuclear waste in a mined, underground repository. Hydrologic data are being collected by the US Geological Survey throughout a 150 Km{sup 2} study area about 15- Km northwest of Las Vegas in southern Nevada for site characterization studies. Ongoing hydrologic studies are investigating atmospheric precipitation, stream-flow, movement of water through the unsaturated zone, movement of water through the saturated zone, and paleohydrology. This study at Fortymile Wash involves some components of each of these studies. Fortymile Wash is an ephemeral stream near Yucca Mountain with tributaries draining the east side of Yucca Mountain and then forming a distributary system in the Amargosa Desert. An objective of the study is to determine the amount of recharge from Fortymile Wash to the ground-water flow system that has been proposed. Understanding the ground-water flow system is important because it is a possible mechanism for radionuclide migration from the repository to the accessible environment. An adequate understanding of the ground-water flow system is necessary for an evaluation of the safety issues involved in siting the potential repository.

  13. 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

  14. 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

    In December 1988, the US Department of Energy issued a Site Characterization Plan (SCP) for the Yucca Mountain site, as required by Section 113 of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA). The purpose of site characterization is to develop sufficient information to support a determination of the suitability, or lack of suitability of the site to safely isolate high-level radioactive waste with reasonable certainty for thousands of years. The purpose of the Site Characterization Plan is to describe plans for obtaining sufficient information about the site, plans for mitigation of any adverse impacts occurring from site characterization activities, and plans for decontamination and decommissioning of the site if it is determined not to be suitable for a repository. Part I presents an overview of the State's comments. The overview takes the form of general concerns and comments organized by specific areas of concern. The overview does not follow the format of the SCP

  15. State of Nevada comments on the US Department of Energy consultation draft site characterization plan, Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-09-01

    The SCPCD has identified a number of key issues that need to be addressed for characterization of the Yucca Mountain site. A variety of complex experiments have been proposed in an attempt to address these issues. Although a lot of time, money and effort has been spent on characterizing the Yucca Mountain area to date, there are still many unresolved technical issues. Since many of the experiments proposed in the SCPCD have never been done in an unsaturated fractured media, it is impossible to tell if they will be successful. Results of these experiments may indicate that new test designs or data collection procedures are needed to address the issues. Our approach to reviewing the SCPCD has been to first identify key technical issues which have not been resolved and to make specific comments associated with the hydrologic experiments proposed

  16. Final base case community analysis: Indian Springs, Nevada for the Clark County socioeconomic impact assessment of the proposed high- level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1992-06-18

    This document provides a base case description of the rural Clark County community of Indian Springs in anticipation of change associated with the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. As the community closest to the proposed site, Indian Springs may be seen by site characterization workers, as well as workers associated with later repository phases, as a logical place to live. This report develops and updates information relating to a broad spectrum of socioeconomic variables, thereby providing a `snapshot` or `base case` look at Indian Springs in early 1992. With this as a background, future repository-related developments may be analytically separated from changes brought about by other factors, thus allowing for the assessment of the magnitude of local changes associated with the proposed repository. Given the size of the community, changes that may be considered small in an absolute sense may have relatively large impacts at the local level. Indian Springs is, in many respects, a unique community and a community of contrasts. An unincorporated town, it is a small yet important enclave of workers on large federal projects and home to employees of small- scale businesses and services. It is a rural community, but it is also close to the urbanized Las Vega Valley. It is a desert community, but has good water resources. It is on flat terrain, but it is located within 20 miles of the tallest mountains in Nevada. It is a town in which various interest groups diverge on issues of local importance, but in a sense of community remains an important feature of life. Finally, it has a sociodemographic history of both surface transience and underlying stability. If local land becomes available, Indian Springs has some room for growth but must first consider the historical effects of growth on the town and its desired direction for the future.

  17. Final base case community analysis: Indian Springs, Nevada for the Clark County socioeconomic impact assessment of the proposed high- level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-01-01

    This document provides a base case description of the rural Clark County community of Indian Springs in anticipation of change associated with the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. As the community closest to the proposed site, Indian Springs may be seen by site characterization workers, as well as workers associated with later repository phases, as a logical place to live. This report develops and updates information relating to a broad spectrum of socioeconomic variables, thereby providing a 'snapshot' or 'base case' look at Indian Springs in early 1992. With this as a background, future repository-related developments may be analytically separated from changes brought about by other factors, thus allowing for the assessment of the magnitude of local changes associated with the proposed repository. Given the size of the community, changes that may be considered small in an absolute sense may have relatively large impacts at the local level. Indian Springs is, in many respects, a unique community and a community of contrasts. An unincorporated town, it is a small yet important enclave of workers on large federal projects and home to employees of small- scale businesses and services. It is a rural community, but it is also close to the urbanized Las Vega Valley. It is a desert community, but has good water resources. It is on flat terrain, but it is located within 20 miles of the tallest mountains in Nevada. It is a town in which various interest groups diverge on issues of local importance, but in a sense of community remains an important feature of life. Finally, it has a sociodemographic history of both surface transience and underlying stability. If local land becomes available, Indian Springs has some room for growth but must first consider the historical effects of growth on the town and its desired direction for the future

  18. Magmatism, ash-flow tuffs, and calderas of the ignimbrite flareup in the western Nevada volcanic field, Great Basin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher D. Henry,; John, David A.

    2013-01-01

    Sierra Nevada, which was not a barrier to westward flow of ash flows at that time. At least three tuffs flowed eastward across a north-south paleodivide through central Nevada. That tuffs could flow significant distances apparently uphill raises questions about the absolute elevation of the region and the elevation, relief, and location of the paleodivide.Calderas are equant to slightly elongate, at least 12 km in diameter, and as much as 35 km in longest dimension. Exceptional exposure of two caldera complexes that resulted from extensional faulting and tilting show that calderas subsided as much as 5 km as large piston-like blocks; caldera walls were vertical to steeply inward dipping to depths ≥4–5 km, and topographic walls formed by slumping of wall rock into the caldera were only slightly outboard (≤1 km) of structural margins.Most calderas show abundant post-collapse magmatism expressed as resurgent intrusions, ring-fracture intrusions, or intracaldera lavas that are closely related temporally (∼0–0.5 Ma younger) to caldera formation. Granitoid intrusions, which were emplaced at paleodepths ranging from Mountain epithermal gold deposit, few known caldera-related hydrothermal systems are strongly mineralized. Major middle Cenozoic precious and base metal mineral deposits in and along the margins of the western Nevada volcanic field are mostly related to intrusive rocks that preceded caldera-forming eruptions.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Does localized recharge occur at a discharge area within the ground-water flow system of Yucca Mountain, Nevada?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Czarnecki, J.B.; Kroitoru, L.; Ronen, D.; Magaritz, M.

    1992-01-01

    Studies done in 1984, at a central site on Franklin Lake playa (also known as Alkali Flat, a major discharge area of the ground-water flow system that includes Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the potential site of a high-level nuclear-waste repository) yield limited hydraulic-head and hydrochemical data from a 3-piezometer nest which indicated a slightly downward hydraulic gradient (-0.02) and decreasing concentration of dissolved solids with increasing depth. Hydraulic-head measurements in June, 1989 made at the piezometer nest showed a substantially larger downward gradient (-0.10) and a 0. 83-meter higher water level in the shallowest piezometer (3.29 meters deep), indicating the possibility of localized recharge. during the period of September-November, 1989, a multilevel sampler was used to obtain detailed hydrochemical profiles of the uppermost 1. 5 m of the saturated zone

  2. Chemical composition of ground water and the locations of permeable zones in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benson, L.V.; Robison, J.H.; Blankennagel, R.K.; Ogard, A.E.

    1983-01-01

    Ten wells in the Yucca Mountain area of southern Nevada have been sampled for chemical analysis. Samples were obtained during pumping of water from the entire well bore (composite sample) and in one instance by pumping water from a single isolated interval in well UE-25b number 1. Sodium is the most abundant cation and bicarbonate the most abundant anion in all water samples. Although the general chemical compositions of individual samples are similar, there are significant differences in uncorrected carbon-14 age and in inorganic and stable-isotope composition. Flow surveys of seven wells performed using iodine-131 as a tracer indicate that ground-water production is usually from one or more discrete zones of permeability. 7 references, 12 figures, 1 table

  3. Preliminary report on the geology and geophysics of drill hole UE25a-1, Yucca Mountain, Nevada Test Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spengler, R.W.; Muller, D.C.; Livermore, R.B.

    1979-01-01

    A subsurface geologic study in connection with the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations has furnished detailed stratigraphic and structural information about tuffs underlying northeastern Yucca Mountain on the Nevada Test Site. Drill hole UE25a-1 penetrated thick sequences of nonwelded to densely welded ash-flow and bedded tuffs of Tertiary age. Stratigraphic units that were identified from the drill-hole data include the Tiva Canyon and Topopah Spring Members of the Paintbrush Tuff, tuffaceous beds of Calico Hills, and the Prow Pass and Bullfrog Members of the Crater Flat Tuff. Structural analysis of the core indicated densely welded zones to be highly fractured. Many fractures show near-vertical inclinations and are commonly coated with secondary silica, manganese and iron oxides, and calcite. Five falt zones were recognized, most of which occurred in the Topopah Spring Member. Shear fractures commonly show oblique-slip movement and some suggest a sizable component of lateral compression. Graphic logs are included that show the correlation of lithology, structural properties, and geophysical logs. Many rock units have characteristic log responses but highly fractured zones, occurring principally in the Tiva Canyon and Topopah Spring Members restricted log coverage to the lower half of the drill hole

  4. 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

  5. Subpixel Snow-covered Area Including Differentiated Grain Size from AVIRIS Data Over the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, R.; Calvin, W. M.; Harpold, A. A.

    2016-12-01

    Mountain snow storage is the dominant source of water for humans and ecosystems in western North America. Consequently, the spatial distribution of snow-covered area is fundamental to both hydrological, ecological, and climate models. Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) data were collected along the entire Sierra Nevada mountain range extending from north of Lake Tahoe to south of Mt. Whitney during the 2015 and 2016 snow-covered season. The AVIRIS dataset used in this experiment consists of 224 contiguous spectral channels with wavelengths ranging 400-2500 nanometers at a 15-meter spatial pixel size. Data from the Sierras were acquired on four days: 2/24/15 during a very low snow year, 3/24/16 near maximum snow accumulation, and 5/12/16 and 5/18/16 during snow ablation and snow loss. Previous retrieval of subpixel snow-covered area in alpine regions used multiple snow endmembers due to the sensitivity of snow spectral reflectance to grain size. We will present a model that analyzes multiple endmembers of varying snow grain size, vegetation, rock, and soil in segmented regions along the Sierra Nevada to determine snow-cover spatial extent, snow sub-pixel fraction and approximate grain size or melt state. The root mean squared error will provide a spectrum-wide assessment of the mixture model's goodness-of-fit. Analysis will compare snow-covered area and snow-cover depletion in the 2016 year, and annual variation from the 2015 year. Field data were also acquired on three days concurrent with the 2016 flights in the Sagehen Experimental Forest and will support ground validation of the airborne data set.

  6. Role of oaks in fisher habitat quality in the Sierra Nevada mountains at multiple spatial scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craig M. Thompson; Kathryn Purcell; Rebecca Green; Richard. Sweitzer

    2015-01-01

    Fishers (Pekania pennanti) occur in ponderosa pine, mixed conifer, and mixed hardwood conifer habitats in the southern Sierra Nevada at elevations from approximately 1400 to 2300 m. They are a candidate species for listing under both the Federal and California Endangered Species Acts. Since 2007, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (...

  7. Mapping critical loads of nitrogen deposition for aquatic ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nanus, Leora; Clow, David W.; Saros, Jasmine E.; Stephens, Verlin C.; Campbell, Donald H.

    2012-01-01

    Spatially explicit estimates of critical loads of nitrogen (N) deposition (CLNdep) for nutrient enrichment in aquatic ecosystems were developed for the Rocky Mountains, USA, using a geostatistical approach. The lowest CLNdep estimates (-1 yr-1) occurred in high-elevation basins with steep slopes, sparse vegetation, and abundance of exposed bedrock and talus. These areas often correspond with areas of high N deposition (>3 kg N ha-1 yr-1), resulting in CLNdep exceedances ≥1.5 ± 1 kg N ha-1 yr-1. CLNdep and CLNdep exceedances exhibit substantial spatial variability related to basin characteristics and are highly sensitive to the NO3- threshold at which ecological effects are thought to occur. Based on an NO3- threshold of 0.5 μmol L-1, N deposition exceeds CLNdep in 21 ± 8% of the study area; thus, broad areas of the Rocky Mountains may be impacted by excess N deposition, with greatest impacts at high elevations.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada: Consultation draft, Nuclear Waste Policy Act: Volume 7

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain site in Neavada is one of three candidate sites for the first geologic repository for radioactive waste. On May 28, 1986, it was recommended and approved for detailed study in a program of site characterization. This site characterization plan (SCP) has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to summarize the information collected to date about the geologic conditions at the site;to describe the conceptual designs for the repository and the waste package;and to present the plans for obtaining hte geologic information necessary to demonstrate the suitability of the site for a repository, to design the repository and the waste package, to prepare and environmental impact statement, and to obtain from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) an authorization to construct the repository. This introduction begins with a brief section on the process for siting and developing a repository, followed by a discussion of the pertinent legislation and regulations. A description of site characterization is presented next;it describes the facilities to be constructed for the site characterization program and explains the principal activities to be conducted during the program. Finally, the purpose, content, organizing principles, and organization of this site characterization plan are outlined, and compliance with applicable regulations is discussed

  11. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada: Consultation draft, Nuclear Waste Policy Act: Volume 7

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain site in Neavada is one of three candidate sites for the first geologic repository for radioactive waste. On May 28, 1986, it was recommended and approved for detailed study in a program of site characterization. This site characterization plan (SCP) has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to summarize the information collected to date about the geologic conditions at the site;to describe the conceptual designs for the repository and the waste package;and to present the plans for obtaining hte geologic information necessary to demonstrate the suitability of the site for a repository, to design the repository and the waste package, to prepare and environmental impact statement, and to obtain from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) an authorization to construct the repository. This introduction begins with a brief section on the process for siting and developing a repository, followed by a discussion of the pertinent legislation and regulations. A description of site characterization is presented next;it describes the facilities to be constructed for the site characterization program and explains the principal activities to be conducted during the program. Finally, the purpose, content, organizing principles, and organization of this site characterization plan are outlined, and compliance with applicable regulations is discussed.

  12. Surface motion of active rock glaciers in the Sierra Nevada, California, USA: inventory and a case study using InSAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    L. Liu; C.I. Millar; R.D. Westfall; H.A. Zebker

    2013-01-01

    Despite the abundance of rock glaciers in the Sierra Nevada of California, USA, few efforts have been made to measure their surface flow. Here we use the interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) technique to compile a~benchmark inventory describing the kinematic state of 59 active rock glaciers in this region. Statistically, these rock glaciers moved at...

  13. 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

  14. Geothermal resource assessment of the Yucca Mountain Area, Nye County, Nevada. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Flynn, T.; Buchanan, P.; Trexler, D. [Nevada Univ., Las Vegas, NV (United States). Harry Reid Center for Environmental Studies, Division of Earth Sciences; Shevenell, L., Garside, L. [Nevada Univ., Reno, NV (United States). Mackay School of Mines, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology

    1995-12-01

    An assessment of the geothermal resources within a fifty-mile radius of the Yucca Mountain Project area was conducted to determine the potential for commercial development. The assessment includes collection, evaluation, and quantification of existing geological, geochemical, hydrological, and geophysical data within the Yucca Mountain area as they pertain to geothermal phenomena. Selected geologic, geochemical, and geophysical data were reduced to a set of common-scale digital maps using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for systematic analysis and evaluation. Available data from the Yucca Mountain area were compared to similar data from developed and undeveloped geothermal areas in other parts of the Great Basin to assess the resource potential for future geothermal development at Yucca Mountain. This information will be used in the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project to determine the potential suitability of the site as a permanent underground repository for high-level nuclear waste.

  15. Geothermal resource assessment of the Yucca Mountain Area, Nye County, Nevada. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flynn, T.; Buchanan, P.; Trexler, D.

    1995-12-01

    An assessment of the geothermal resources within a fifty-mile radius of the Yucca Mountain Project area was conducted to determine the potential for commercial development. The assessment includes collection, evaluation, and quantification of existing geological, geochemical, hydrological, and geophysical data within the Yucca Mountain area as they pertain to geothermal phenomena. Selected geologic, geochemical, and geophysical data were reduced to a set of common-scale digital maps using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for systematic analysis and evaluation. Available data from the Yucca Mountain area were compared to similar data from developed and undeveloped geothermal areas in other parts of the Great Basin to assess the resource potential for future geothermal development at Yucca Mountain. This information will be used in the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project to determine the potential suitability of the site as a permanent underground repository for high-level nuclear waste

  16. 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

  17. Carbon isotope chemostratigraphy and precise dating of middle Frasnian (lower Upper Devonian) Alamo Breccia, Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrow, J.R.; Sandberg, C.A.; Malkowski, K.; Joachimski, M.M.

    2009-01-01

    At Hancock Summit West, Nevada, western USA, uppermost Givetian (upper Middle Devonian) and lower and middle Frasnian (lower Upper Devonian) rocks of the lower Guilmette Formation include, in stratigraphic sequence, carbonate-platform facies of the conodont falsiovalis, transitans, and punctata Zones; the type Alamo Breccia Member of the middle punctata Zone; and slope facies of the punctata and hassi Zones. The catastrophically deposited Alamo Breccia and related phenomena record the ~ 382??Ma Alamo event, produced by a km-scale bolide impact into a marine setting seaward of an extensive carbonate platform fringing western North America. Re-evaluation of conodonts from the lower Guilmette Formation and Alamo Breccia Member, together with regional sedimentologic and conodont biofacies comparisons, now firmly locates the onset of the Johnson et al. (1985) transgressive-regressive (T-R) cycle IIc, which occurred after the start of the punctata Zone, within a parautochthonous megablock low in the Alamo Breccia. Whole-rock carbon isotope analyses through the lower Guilmette Formation and Alamo Breccia Member reveal two positive ??13Ccarb excursions: (1) a small, 3??? excursion, which is possibly correlative with the falsiovalis Event previously identified from sections in Western Europe and Australia, occurs below the breccia in the Upper falsiovalis Zone to early part of the transitans Zone; and (2) a large, multi-part excursion, dominated by a 6??? positive shift, begins above the start of the punctata Zone and onset of T-R cycle IIc and continues above the Alamo Breccia, ending near the punctata- hassi zonal boundary. This large excursion correlates with the punctata Event, a major positive ??13C excursion previously recognized in eastern Laurussia and northern Gondwana. Consistent with previous studies, at Hancock Summit West the punctata Event is apparently not associated with any regional extinctions or ecosystem reorganizations. In the study area, onset of the

  18. Aeromagnetic surveys across Crater Flat and parts of Yucca Mountain, Nevada; TOPICAL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sikora, R.F.; Campbell, D.L.; Kucks, R.P.

    1995-01-01

    As part of a study to characterize a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, aeromagnetic surveys were conducted in April 1993 along the trace of a planned seismic profile across Crater Flat and parts of Yucca Mountain. This report includes a presentation and preliminary interpretation of the data. The profiles are at scales of 1:100,000. Also included are a gridded color contour map of the newly acquired data and a discussion of the likely applicability of very-low-frequency (VLF) electromagnetic surveys to Yucca Mountain investigations

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  20. A site-scale model for fluid and heat flow in the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yu-Shu; Haukwa, Charles; Bodvarsson, G. S.

    1999-05-01

    A three-dimensional unsaturated-zone numerical model has been developed to simulate flow and distribution of moisture, gas and heat at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, a potential repository site for high-level radioactive waste. The model takes into account the simultaneous flow dynamics of liquid water, vapor, air and heat in the highly heterogeneous, fractured porous rock in the unsaturated zone (UZ). This model is intended for use in the prediction of the current and future conditions in the UZ so as to aid in the assessment of the system performance of the proposed repository. The modeling approach is based on a mathematical formulation of coupled multiphase, multicomponent fluid and heat flow through porous and fractured rock. Fracture and matrix flow is treated using both dual-permeability and effective-continuum modeling approaches. The model domain covers a total area of approximately 43 km 2, and uses the land surface and the water table as its top and bottom boundaries. In addition, site-specific data, representative surface infiltration, and geothermal conditions are incorporated into the model. The reliability and accuracy of the model have been the subject of a comprehensive model calibration study, in which the model was calibrated against measured data, including liquid saturation, water potential and temperature. It has been found that the model is generally able to reproduce the overall system behavior at Yucca Mountain with respect to moisture profiles, pneumatic pressure variations in different geological units, and ambient geothermal conditions.

  1. Preliminary analysis of geophysical logs from drill hole UE-25p No. 1, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Muller, D.C.; Kibler, J.E.

    1984-01-01

    Geophysical logs from drill hole UE-25p No. 1 correlate well with logs through the same geologic units from other drill holes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The in-situ physical properties of the rocks as determined from well logs are consistent with laboratory-measured physical properties of core from other drill holes. The density, neutron and caliper logs are very spiky through most of the Topopah Spring Member. This spikiness occurs on the same logs in cored holes where the Topopah Spring Member is highly fractured and lithophysal. The uranium channel of the spectral gamma-ray log through the Topopah Spring Member correlates with uranium logs from cored holes where most of the fractures have not been healed or filled with materials that concentrate uranium. Therefore, fracture porosity and permeability of the Topopah Spring Member are expected to be high and consistent with fracture analysis from other drill holes on Yucca Mountain, and hydrologic tests from well J-13. The Paleozoic dolomites which underlie the Tertiary tuffs are intensely brecciated, and the uranium count rate is much higher than normal for dolomites because uranium has been concentrated in the recementing material. 19 references, 1 figure, 2 tables

  2. 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

  3. Compilation of radiometric age and trace-element geochemical data, Yucca Mountain and surrounding areas of southwestern Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weiss, S.I.; Noble, D.C.; Larson, L.T.

    1994-01-01

    This document is a compilation of available radiometric age and trace-element geochemical data for volcanic rocks and episodes of hydrothermal activity in Yucca Mountain and the surrounding region of southwestern Nevada. Only the age determinations considered to be geologically reasonable (consistent with stratigraphic relations) are listed below. A number of the potassium-argon (K-Ar) ages of volcanic rocks given by Kistler, Marvin et al., Noble et al., Weiss et al., and Noble et al. are not included as these ages have been shown to be incorrect or disturbed by hydrothermal alteration based on subsequent stratigraphic and/or petrographic data and the recognition of errors in K-Ar age determinations related to incomplete extraction of argon. In cases where absolute ages are tightly constrained by high precision 40 Ar/ 39 Ar ages and unequivocal stratigraphic relations, we have omitted the less precise K-Ar age data. Similarly, the more precise single-crystal laser-fusion 40 Ar/ 39 Ar age determinations of certain units are reported and less precise ages by multi-grain bulk-fusion 40 Ar/ 39 Ar methods are not included. This compilation does not include age data for basaltic rocks of Pliocene and Quaternary age in the Yucca Mountain region

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

  6. Three-dimensional model of reference thermal/mechanical and hydrological stratigraphy at Yucca Mountain, southern Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ortiz, T.S.; Williams, R.L.; Nimick, F.B.; Whittet, B.C.; South, D.L.

    1985-10-01

    The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) project is currently examining the feasibility of constructing a nuclear waste repository in the tuffs beneath Yucca Mountain. A three-dimensional model of the thermal/mechanical and hydrological reference stratigraphy at Yucca Mountain has been developed for use in performance assessment and repository design studies involving material properties data. The reference stratigraphy defines units with distinct thermal, physical, mechanical, and hydrological properties. The model is a collection of surface representations, each surface representing the base of a particular unit. The reliability of the model was evaluated by comparing the generated surfaces, existing geologic maps and cross sections, drill hole data, and geologic interpolation. Interpolation of surfaces between drill holes by the model closely matches the existing information. The top of a zone containing prevalent zeolite is defined and superimposed on the reference stratigraphy. Interpretation of the geometric relations between the zeolitic and thermal/mechanical and hydrological surfaces indicates that the zeolitic zone was established before the major portion of local fault displacement took place; however, faulting and zeolitization may have been partly concurrent. The thickness of the proposed repository host rock, the devitrified, relatively lithophysal-poor, moderately to densely welded portion of the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff, was evaluated and varies from 400 to 800 ft in the repository area. The distance from the repository to groundwater level was estimated to vary from 700 to 1400 ft. 13 figs., 1 tab

  7. 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

  8. Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis in performance assessment for the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Helton, Jon C.; Hansen, Clifford W.; Sallaberry, Cédric J.

    2012-01-01

    Extensive work has been carried out by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in the development of a proposed geologic repository at Yucca Mountain (YM), Nevada, for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste. As part of this development, a detailed performance assessment (PA) for the YM repository was completed in 2008 and supported a license application by the DOE to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for the construction of the YM repository. The following aspects of the 2008 YM PA are described in this presentation: (i) conceptual structure and computational organization, (ii) uncertainty and sensitivity analysis techniques in use, (iii) uncertainty and sensitivity analysis for physical processes, and (iv) uncertainty and sensitivity analysis for expected dose to the reasonably maximally exposed individual (RMEI) specified the NRC’s regulations for the YM repository. - Highlights: ► An overview of performance assessment for the proposed Yucca Mountain radioactive waste repository is presented. ► Conceptual structure and computational organization are described. ► Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis techniques are described. ► Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis results for physical processes are presented. ► Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis results for expected dose are presented.

  9. NRC staff site characterization analysis of the Department of Energy`s Site Characterization Plan, Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1989-08-01

    This Site Characterization Analysis (SCA) documents the NRC staff`s concerns resulting from its review of the US Department of Energy`s (DOE`s) Site Characterization Plan (SCP) for the Yucca Mountain site in southern Nevada, which is the candidate site selected for characterization as the nation`s first geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. DOE`s SCP explains how DOE plans to obtain the information necessary to determine the suitability of the Yucca Mountain site for a repository. NRC`s specific objections related to the SCP, and major comments and recommendations on the various parts of DOE`s program, are presented in SCA Section 2, Director`s Comments and Recommendations. Section 3 contains summaries of the NRC staff`s concerns for each specific program, and Section 4 contains NRC staff point papers which set forth in greater detail particular staff concerns regarding DOE`s program. Appendix A presents NRC staff evaluations of those NRC staff Consultation Draft SCP concerns that NRC considers resolved on the basis of the SCP. This SCA fulfills NRC`s responsibilities with respect to DOE`s SCP as specified by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) and 10 CFR 60.18. 192 refs., 2 tabs.

  10. 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

  11. NRC staff site characterization analysis of the Department of Energy's Site Characterization Plan, Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-08-01

    This Site Characterization Analysis (SCA) documents the NRC staff's concerns resulting from its review of the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) Site Characterization Plan (SCP) for the Yucca Mountain site in southern Nevada, which is the candidate site selected for characterization as the nation's first geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. DOE's SCP explains how DOE plans to obtain the information necessary to determine the suitability of the Yucca Mountain site for a repository. NRC's specific objections related to the SCP, and major comments and recommendations on the various parts of DOE's program, are presented in SCA Section 2, Director's Comments and Recommendations. Section 3 contains summaries of the NRC staff's concerns for each specific program, and Section 4 contains NRC staff point papers which set forth in greater detail particular staff concerns regarding DOE's program. Appendix A presents NRC staff evaluations of those NRC staff Consultation Draft SCP concerns that NRC considers resolved on the basis of the SCP. This SCA fulfills NRC's responsibilities with respect to DOE's SCP as specified by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) and 10 CFR 60.18. 192 refs., 2 tabs

  12. Sensitivity and uncertainty analyses of unsaturated flow travel time in the CHnz unit of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-10-01

    This report documents the results of sensitivity and uncertainty analyses conducted to improve understanding of unsaturated zone ground-water travel time distribution at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The US Department of Energy (DOE) is currently performing detailed studies at Yucca Mountain to determine its suitability as a host for a geologic repository for the containment of high-level nuclear wastes. As part of these studies, DOE is conducting a series of Performance Assessment Calculational Exercises, referred to as the PACE problems. The work documented in this report represents a part of the PACE-90 problems that addresses the effects of natural barriers of the site that will stop or impede the long-term movement of radionuclides from the potential repository to the accessible environment. In particular, analyses described in this report were designed to investigate the sensitivity of the ground-water travel time distribution to different input parameters and the impact of uncertainty associated with those input parameters. Five input parameters were investigated in this study: recharge rate, saturated hydraulic conductivity, matrix porosity, and two curve-fitting parameters used for the van Genuchten relations to quantify the unsaturated moisture-retention and hydraulic characteristics of the matrix. 23 refs., 20 figs., 10 tabs

  13. Geohydrologic data for test well USW H-5, Yucca Mountain area, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bentley, C.B.; Robison, J.H.; Spengler, R.W.

    1983-01-01

    This report presents data on drilling operations, lithology, borehold geophysics, water-level monitoring, core analysis, ground-water chemistry, pumping tests, and packer-injection tests for test well USW H-5. The well is one of a series of test wells drilled in and near the southwestern part of the Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada, in cooperation with the US Department of Energy. These test wells are part of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations to identify suitable sites for storage of high-level radioactive wastes. Test well USW H-5 was drilled to a total depth of 1219 meters through volcanic rocks consisting mostly of ash-flow tuff. Depth to water in the well ranged between 703.8 and 707.2 meters below land surface, at an approximate altitude of 704 meters above sea level. Drawdown in the well exceeded 6 meters after test pumping more than 3000 minutes at a rate of 10 liters per second. Borehole-flow surveys showed that about 90 percent of the water in the well is contributed by the zone between 707 and about 820 meters below land surface. Two composite water samples collected after well completion contained 206 and 220 milligrams per liter of dissolved solids. Sodium and bicarbonate were the predominant dissolved anion and cation. The concentration of dissolved silica was 48 milligrams per liter in both samples, which is a relatively large concentration for most natural waters. 6 references, 19 figures, 6 tables

  14. Geohydrologic data for test well USW G-4, Yucca Mountain area, Nye County, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentley, C.B.

    1984-01-01

    Data are presented on drilling operations, lithology, borehole geophysics, hydrologic monitoring, core analysis, water chemistry, pumping tests, and packer-injection tests for test well USW G-4. The well is one of a series of test wells drilled in and near the southwestern part of the Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy. These test wells are part of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations to identify suitable sites for underground storage of high-level radioactive wastes. Test well USW G-4 was drilled to a total depth of 915 meters through volcanic rocks, consisting mostly of ash-flow tuff. Depth of water in the well during and after drilling and testing ranged from 538 to 544 meters below land surface, at approximate altitude of 728 meters above sea level. Drawdown in the well was about 3 meters after test pumping more than 5,000 minutes at a rate of 16 liters per second. A borehold-flow survey indicated that almost all water withdrawn from the well was contributed by the zone between a depth of about 865 and 915 meters below land surface. Analysis of a composite water sample collected after well completion showed the water to contain 216 milligrams per liter of dissolved solids, with relatively large concentrations of silica, sodium, and bicarbonate. (USGS)

  15. Geohydrologic data for test well USW H-5, Yucca Mountain area, Nye County, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentley, C.B.; Robison, J.H.; Spengler, R.W.

    1983-01-01

    This report presents data on drilling operations, lithology, borehole geophysics, water-level monitoring, core analysis, ground-water chemistry, pumping tests, and packer-injection tests for test well USW H-5. The well is one of a series of test wells drilled in and near the southwestern part of the Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy. These test wells are part of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations to identify suitable sites for storage of high-level radioactive wastes. Test well USW H-5 was drilled to a total depth of 1,219 meters through volcanic rocks consisting mostly of ash-flow tuff. Depth to water in the well ranged between 703.8 and 707.2 meters below land surface, at an approximate altitude of 704 meters above sea level. Drawdown in the well exceeded 6 meters after test pumping more than 3,000 minutes at a rate of 10 liters per second. Borehole-flow surveys showed that about 90 percent of the water in the well is contributed by the zone between 707 and about 820 meters below land surface. Two composite water samples collected after well completion contained 206 and 220 milligrams per liter of dissolved solids. Sodium and bicarbonate were the predominant dissolved anion and cation. The concentration of dissolved silica was 48 milligrams per liter in both samples, which is a relatively large concentration for most natural waters.

  16. Draft Environmental Impact Statement for a Geologic Repository for the Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1999-01-01

    The Proposed Action addressed in this EIS is to construct, operate and monitor, and eventually close a geologic repository at Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste currently in storage at 72 commercial and 5 DOE sites across the United States. The EIS evaluates (1) projected impacts on the Yucca Mountain environment of the construction, operation and monitoring, and eventual closure of the geologic repository; (2) the potential long-term impacts of repository disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste; (3) the potential impacts of transporting these materials nationally and in the State of Nevada; and (4) the potential impacts of not proceeding with the Proposed Action

  17. Nevada Test Site flood inundation study: Part of US Geological Survey flood potential and debris hazard study, Yucca Mountain Site for USDOE, Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blanton, J.O. III.

    1992-01-01

    The Geological Survey (GS), as part of the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP), is conducting studies at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The purposes of these studies are to provide hydrologic and geologic information to evaluate the suitability of Yucca Mountain for development as a high-level nuclear waste repository, and to evaluate the ability of the mined geologic disposal system (MGDS) to isolate the waste in compliance with regulatory requirements. The Bureau of Reclamation was selected by the GS as a contractor to provide probable maximum flood (PMF) magnitudes and associated inundation maps for preliminary engineering design of the surface facilities at Yucca Mountain. These PMF peak flow estimates and associated inundation maps are necessary for successful waste repository design and construction. The standard step method for backwater computations, incorporating the Bernouli energy equation and the results of the PMF study were chosen as the basis for defining the areal extent of flooding

  18. 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

  19. Bibliography of publications related to Nevada-sponsored research of the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste repository site through 1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, M.

    1994-12-01

    Since 1985, the State of Nevada has sponsored academic/private sector research into various health, safety, and environmental issues identified with the Yucca Mountain site. This research has been documented in scientific peer-reviewed literature, conferences, and workshops, as well as numerous state-sponsored University thesis and dissertation programs. This document is a bibliography of the scientific articles, manuscripts, theses, dissertations, conference symposium abstracts, and meeting presentations produced as a result of state-sponsored research

  20. Rapid middle Miocene extension and unroofing of the southern Ruby Mountains, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colgan, Joseph P.; Howard, Keith A.; Fleck, Robert J.; Wooden, Joseph L.

    2010-01-01

    Paleozoic rocks in the northern Ruby Mountains were metamorphosed during Mesozoic crustal shortening and Cenozoic magmatism, but equivalent strata in the southern Ruby Mountains were never buried deeper than stratigraphic depths prior to exhumation in the footwall of a west dipping brittle normal fault. In the southern Ruby Mountains, Miocene sedimentary rocks in the hanging wall of this fault date from 15.2 to 11.6 Ma and contain abundant detritus from the Paleozoic section. Apatite fission track and (U-Th)/He samples of the Eocene Harrison Pass pluton record rapid cooling that peaked ca. 17–15 Ma, while apatite fission track data from Jurassic plutons east and west of the southern Ruby Mountains indicate near-surface temperatures (pluton to be partially reset rather than to directly record fault slip. Our new data, together with published data on the distribution and composition of Miocene basin fill, suggest that rapid middle Miocene slip took place on the west dipping brittle detachment that bounds the Ruby Mountains and East Humboldt Range for 150 km along strike. This fault was thus active during a period of rapid extension (ca. 17–15 to 12–10 Ma) documented widely across the northern Basin and Range Province.

  1. Regional groundwater modeling of the saturated zone in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahola, M.; Sagar, B.

    1992-10-01

    Results of groundwater modeling of the saturated zone in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain are presented. Both a regional (200 x 200 km) and subregional (50 x 50 km) model were used in the analyses. Simulations were conducted to determine the impact of various disruptive that might take place over the life span of a proposed Yucca Mountain geologic conditions repository on the groundwater flow field, as well as changes in the water-table elevations. These conditions included increases in precipitation and groundwater recharge within the regional model, changes in permeability of existing hydrogeologic barriers, a:nd the vertical intrusion of volcanic dikes at various orientations through the saturated zone. Based on the regional analysis, the rise in the water-table under Yucca Mountain due to various postulated conditions ranged from only a few meters to 275 meters. Results of the subregional model analysis, which was used to simulate intrusive dikes approximately 4 kilometers in length in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, showed water-table rises ranging from a few meters to as much as 103 meters. Dikes oriented approximately north-south beneath Yucca Mountain produced the highest water-table rises. The conclusions drawn from this analysis are likely to change as more site-specific data become available and as the assumptions in the model are improved

  2. Major results of geophysical investigations at Yucca Mountain and vicinity, southern Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oliver, H.W.; Ponce, D.A.; Hunter, W.C.

    1995-01-01

    In the consideration of Yucca Mountain as a possible site for storing high level nuclear waste, a number of geologic concerns have been suggested for study by the National Academy of Sciences which include: (1) natural geologic and geochemical barriers, (2) possible future fluctuations in the water table that might flood a mined underground repository, (3) tectonic stability, and (4) considerations of shaking such as might be caused by nearby earthquakes or possible volcanic eruptions. This volume represents the third part of an overall plan of geophysical investigation of Yucca Mountain, preceded by the Site Characterization Plan (SCP; dated 1988) and the report referred to as the Geophysical White Paper, Phase 1, entitled Status of Data, Major Results, and Plans for Geophysical Activities, Yucca Mountain Project (Oliver and others, 1990). The SCP necessarily contained uncertainty about applicability and accuracy of methods then untried in the Yucca Mountain volcano-tectonic setting, and the White Paper, Phase 1, focused on summarization of survey coverage, data quality, and applicability of results. For the most part, it did not present data or interpretation. The important distinction of the current volume lies in presentation of data, results, and interpretations of selected geophysical methods used in characterization activities at Yucca Mountain. Chapters are included on the following: gravity investigations; magnetic investigations; regional magnetotelluric investigations; seismic refraction investigations; seismic reflection investigations; teleseismic investigations; regional thermal setting; stress measurements; and integration of methods and conclusions. 8 refs., 60 figs., 2 tabs

  3. Preclosure seismic hazards and their impact on site suitability of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gibson, J.D.

    1992-01-01

    This paper presents an overview of the preclosure seismic hazards and the influence of these hazards on determining the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a national high-level nuclear-waste repository. Geologic data, engineering analyses, and regulatory guidelines must be examined collectively to assess this suitability. An environmental assessment for Yucca Mountain, written in 1986, compiled and evaluated the existing tectonic data and presented arguments to satisfy, in part, the regulatory requirements that must be met if the Yucca Mountain site is to become a national waste repository. Analyses have been performed in the past five years that better quantify the local seismic hazards and the possibility that these hazards could lead to release of radionuclides to the environment. The results from these analyses increase the confidence in the ability of Yucca Mountain and the facilities that may be built there to function satisfactorily in their role as a waste repository. Uncertainties remain, however, primarily in the input parameters and boundary conditions for the models that were used to complete the analyses. These models must be validated and uncertainties reduced before Yucca Mountain can qualify as a viable high-level nuclear waste repository

  4. Evaluation Of Groundwater Pathways And Travel Times From The Nevada Test Site To The Potential Yucca Mountain Repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    K.F. Pohlman; J. Zhu; M. Ye; J. Chapman; C. Russell; D.S. Shafer

    2006-01-01

    Yucca Mountain (YM), Nevada, has been recommended as a deep geological repository for the disposal of spent fuel and high-level radioactive waste. If YM is licensed as a repository by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, it will be important to identify the potential for radionuclides to migrate from underground nuclear testing areas located on the Nevada Test Site (NTS) to the hydraulically downgradient repository area to ensure that monitoring does not incorrectly attribute repository failure to radionuclides originating from other sources. In this study, we use the Death Valley Regional Flow System (DVRFS) model developed by the U.S. Geological Survey to investigate potential groundwater migration pathways and associated travel times from the NTS to the proposed YM repository area. Using results from the calibrated DVRFS model and the particle tracking post-processing package MODPATH, we modeled three-dimensional groundwater advective pathways in the NTS and YM region. Our study focuses on evaluating the potential for groundwater pathways between the NTS and YM withdrawal area and whether travel times for advective flow along these pathways coincide with the prospective monitoring timeframe at the proposed repository. We include uncertainty in effective porosity, as this is a critical variable in the determination of time for radionuclides to travel from the NTS region to the YM withdrawal area. Uncertainty in porosity is quantified through evaluation of existing site data and expert judgment and is incorporated in the model through Monte Carlo simulation. Since porosity information is limited for this region, the uncertainty is quite large and this is reflected in the results as a large range in simulated groundwater travel times

  5. Mapping critical loads of nitrogen deposition for aquatic ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nanus, Leora; Clow, David W.; Saros, Jasmine E.; Stephens, Verlin C.; Campbell, Donald H.

    2012-01-01

    Spatially explicit estimates of critical loads of nitrogen (N) deposition (CL Ndep ) for nutrient enrichment in aquatic ecosystems were developed for the Rocky Mountains, USA, using a geostatistical approach. The lowest CL Ndep estimates ( −1 yr −1 ) occurred in high-elevation basins with steep slopes, sparse vegetation, and abundance of exposed bedrock and talus. These areas often correspond with areas of high N deposition (>3 kg N ha −1 yr −1 ), resulting in CL Ndep exceedances ≥1.5 ± 1 kg N ha −1 yr −1 . CL Ndep and CL Ndep exceedances exhibit substantial spatial variability related to basin characteristics and are highly sensitive to the NO 3 − threshold at which ecological effects are thought to occur. Based on an NO 3 − threshold of 0.5 μmol L −1 , N deposition exceeds CL Ndep in 21 ± 8% of the study area; thus, broad areas of the Rocky Mountains may be impacted by excess N deposition, with greatest impacts at high elevations. - Highlights: ► Critical loads maps for nutrient enrichment effects of nitrogen deposition. ► Critical load estimates show spatial variability related to basin characteristics. ► Critical loads are sensitive to the nitrate threshold value for ecological effects. ► Broad areas of the Rocky Mountains may be impacted by excess nitrogen deposition. - Critical loads maps for nutrient enrichment effects of nitrogen deposition show that broad areas of the Rocky Mountains may be impacted by excess nitrogen deposition.

  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. Strontium isotope geochemistry of soil and playa deposits near Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marshall, B.D.; Mahan, S.A.

    1994-01-01

    The isotopic composition of strontium contained in the carbonate fractions of soils provides an excellent tracer which can be used to test models for their origin. This paper reports data on surface coatings and cements, eolian sediments, playas and alluvial fan soils which help to constrain a model for formation of the extensive calcretes and fault infillings in the Yucca Mountain region. The playas contain carbonate with a wide range of strontium compositions; further work will be required to fully understand their possible contributions to the pedogenic carbonate system. Soils from an alluvial fan to the west of Yucca Mountain show that only small amounts of strontium are derived from a fan draining a carbonate terrane have strontium component. Although much evidence points to an eolian source for at least some of the strontium in the pedogenic carbonates near Yucca Mountain, an additional component or past variation of strontium composition in the eolian source is required to model the pedogenic carbonate system

  8. 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.

  9. Secondary mineral evidence of large-scale water table fluctuations at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whelan, J.F.; Moscati, R.J.; Marshall, B.D

    1997-12-01

    At Yucca Mountain, currently under consideration as a potential permanent underground repository for high-level radioactive wastes, the present-day water table is 500 to 700 m deep. This thick unsaturated zone (UZ) is part of the natural barrier system and is regarded as a positive attribute of the potential site. The USGS has studied the stable isotopes and petrography of secondary calcite and silica minerals that coat open spaces in the UZ and form irregular veins and masses in the saturated zone (SZ). This paper reviews the findings from the several studies undertaken at Yucca Mountain on its mineralogy

  10. Site environmental report for calendar year 1996: Yucca Mountain site, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-11-01

    The environmental program established by the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Office (YMSCO) has been designed and implemented to protect, maintain, and restore environmental quality, minimize potential threats to the environment and the public, and comply with environmental policies and US Department of Energy (DOE) Orders. In accordance with DOE Order 5400.1, General Environmental Protection Program (DOE, 1990a), to be superseded by DOE Order 231.1 (under review), the status of the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) environmental program has been summarized in this annual Site Environmental Report (SER) to characterize performance, document compliance with environmental requirements, and highlight significant programs and efforts during calendar year 1996

  11. Modeling Temporal-Spatial Earthquake and Volcano Clustering at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    T. Parsons; G.A. Thompson; A.H. Cogbill

    2006-01-01

    The proposed national high-level nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain is close to Quaternary faults and cinder cones. The frequency of these events is low, with indications of spatial and temporal clustering, making probabilistic assessments difficult. In an effort to identify the most likely intrusion sites, we based a 3D finite element model on the expectation that faulting and basalt intrusions are primarily sensitive to the magnitude and orientation of the least principal stress in extensional terranes. We found that in the absence of fault slip, variation in overburden pressure caused a stress state that preferentially favored intrusions at Crater Flat. However, when we allowed central Yucca Mountain faults to slip in the model, we found that magmatic clustering was not favored at Crater Flat or in the central Yucca Mountain block. Instead, we calculated that the stress field was most encouraging to intrusions near fault terminations, consistent with the location of the most recent volcanism at Yucca Mountain, the Lathrop Wells cone. We found this linked fault and magmatic system to be mutually reinforcing in the model in that dike inflation favored renewed fault slip

  12. Air Quality at Devils Postpile National Monument, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joel D. Burley; Andrzej Bytnerowicz; Monica Buhler; Barbara Zielinska; Donald Schweizer; Ricardo Cisneros; Susan Schilling; Jennifer Chapman Varela; Mark McDaniel; Michelle Horn; Deanna Dulen

    2016-01-01

    Ambient concentrations of O3, PM2.5, NH3, NO, NO2, HNO3, SO2 and VOCs were measured at Devils Postpile National Monument (DEPO) during the summer seasons of 2013 and 2014. The measurements were impacted by the Aspen and Rim Fires in...

  13. Accumulation of pesticides in pacific chorus frogs (Pseudacris regilla) from California's Sierra Nevada Mountains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smalling, Kelly L.; Fellers, Gary M.; Kleeman, Patrick M.; Kuivila, Kathryn

    2013-01-01

    Pesticides are receiving increasing attention as potential causes of amphibian declines, acting singly or in combination with other stressors, but limited information is available on the accumulation of current-use pesticides in tissue. The authors examined potential exposure and accumulation of currently used pesticides in pond-breeding frogs (Pseudacris regilla) collected from 7 high elevations sites in northern California. All sites sampled are located downwind of California's highly agricultural Central Valley and receive inputs of pesticides through precipitation and/or dry deposition. Whole frog tissue, water, and sediment were analyzed for more than 90 current-use pesticides and pesticide degradates using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Two fungicides, pyraclostrobin and tebuconazole, and one herbicide, simazine, were the most frequently detected pesticides in tissue samples. Median pesticide concentration ranged from 13 µg/kg to 235 µg/kg wet weight. Tebuconazole and pyraclostrobin were the only 2 compounds observed frequently in frog tissue and sediment. Significant spatial differences in tissue concentration were observed, which corresponded to pesticide use in the upwind counties. Data generated indicated that amphibians residing in remote locations are exposed to and capable of accumulating current-use pesticides. A comparison of P. regilla tissue concentrations with water and sediment data indicated that the frogs are accumulating pesticides and are potentially a more reliable indicator of exposure to this group of pesticides than either water or sediment.

  14. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, April 1, 1992--September 30, 1992, Number 7

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-12-01

    In accordance with section 113(b)(3) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended (NWPA), the Department has prepared the seventh in a series of reports on the progress of site characterization at the Yucca Mountain candidate site. The Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program made significant progress during the reporting period at the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Several important advances were made in the surface-based testing program including: initiation of borehole drilling utilizing the new, state-of-the-art LM-300 drill rig which employs dry drilling and coring techniques; neutron access borehole drilling to evaluate infiltration processes; excavations to aid geologic mapping; and trenching in Midway Valley to study Quaternary faulting. A Floodplain Assessment and Statement of Findings was published in the Federal Register which concluded there would be no significant impact nor cumulative impacts on floodplains resulting from Exploratory Studies Facility activities. The National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council released its report entitled ''Ground Water at Yucca Mountain: How High Can It Rise?'' which concluded that none of the evidence cited as proof of groundwater upwelling in and around Yucca Mountain could be reasonably attributed to that process and that significant water table excursions to the repository design level are not shown by the geologic record. The June 29, 1992, earthquake near Yucca Mountain provided scientists with a wealth of information relevant to understanding the neotectonics of the area and the geometry of faults at depth. Early findings suggest that accelerations recorded were well within proposed design limits for the surface waste handling facilities

  15. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, April 1, 1992--September 30, 1992, Number 7

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1992-12-01

    In accordance with section 113(b)(3) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended (NWPA), the Department has prepared the seventh in a series of reports on the progress of site characterization at the Yucca Mountain candidate site. The Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program made significant progress during the reporting period at the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Several important advances were made in the surface-based testing program including: initiation of borehole drilling utilizing the new, state-of-the-art LM-300 drill rig which employs dry drilling and coring techniques; neutron access borehole drilling to evaluate infiltration processes; excavations to aid geologic mapping; and trenching in Midway Valley to study Quaternary faulting. A Floodplain Assessment and Statement of Findings was published in the Federal Register which concluded there would be no significant impact nor cumulative impacts on floodplains resulting from Exploratory Studies Facility activities. The National Academy of Sciences` National Research Council released its report entitled ``Ground Water at Yucca Mountain: How High Can It Rise?`` which concluded that none of the evidence cited as proof of groundwater upwelling in and around Yucca Mountain could be reasonably attributed to that process and that significant water table excursions to the repository design level are not shown by the geologic record. The June 29, 1992, earthquake near Yucca Mountain provided scientists with a wealth of information relevant to understanding the neotectonics of the area and the geometry of faults at depth. Early findings suggest that accelerations recorded were well within proposed design limits for the surface waste handling facilities.

  16. Conceptual hydrologic model of flow in the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Montazer, P.; Wilson, W.E.

    1984-01-01

    The purpose of this report is to propose a conceptual hydrologic model that reasonably describes the flow of fluids through the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, for use as a basis for preliminary site-performance assessment and as a guide to further investigations. Scott and others (1983) presented an initial conceptual hydrogeologic model for the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, based on detailed geologic, but very limited hydrologic, information. In this report, some of their concepts are examined and either supported or modified, and new concepts are developed. The model describes the manner in which flow probably occurs at Yucca Mountain and is based on: (1) current understanding of the hydrogeologic framework; (2) application of the principles of unsaturated flow; and (3) interpretation of some preliminary data from ongoing field and laboratory investigations. Included are extensive geologic information but relatively few hydrologic data that currently exist from the unsaturated zone in the Yucca Mountain area. Many uncertainties remain to be resolved concerning hydrologic conditions and processes. As a result, most of the concepts presented are intentionally descriptive and conjectural, with little quantitative basis provided. However, for the sake of directness and simplicity of expression, the model is presented as if it were a true expression of the facts. The authors recognize, and the reader should be aware, that the proposed model probably is not the only reasonable description that could be made at this point, and it certainly is subject to revision and quantification as more data become available. Although various alternative models probably could be developed, the one described in this report seems to fit current understanding of the unsaturated flow through a section of layered, fractured-rock formations with contrasting hydrologic properties, such as occurs at Yucca Mountain. 41 refs., 14 figs., 1 tab

  17. Potential environmental effects of pack stock on meadow ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostoja, Steven M.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Moore, Peggy E.; Berlow, Eric L.; Robert Blank,; Roche, Jim; Chase, Jennifer T.; Sylvia Haultain,

    2014-01-01

    Pack and saddle stock, including, but not limited to domesticated horses, mules, and burros, are used to support commercial, private and administrative activities in the Sierra Nevada. The use of pack stock has become a contentious and litigious issue for land management agencies in the region inter alia due to concerns over effects on the environment. The potential environmental effects of pack stock on Sierra Nevada meadow ecosystems are reviewed and it is concluded that the use of pack stock has the potential to influence the following: (1) water nutrient dynamics, sedimentation, temperature, and microbial pathogen content; (2) soil chemistry, nutrient cycling, soil compaction and hydrology; (3) plant individuals, populations and community dynamics, non-native invasive species, and encroachment of woody species; and (4) wildlife individuals, populations and communities. It is considered from currently available information that management objectives of pack stock should include the following: minimise bare ground, maximise plant cover, maintain species composition of native plants, minimise trampling, especially on wet soils and stream banks, and minimise direct urination and defecation by pack stock into water. However, incomplete documentation of patterns of pack stock use and limited past research limits current understanding of the effects of pack stock, especially their effects on water, soils and wildlife. To improve management of pack stock in this region, research is needed on linking measurable monitoring variables (e.g. plant cover) with environmental relevancy (e.g. soil erosion processes, wildlife habitat use), and identifying specific environmental thresholds of degradation along gradients of pack stock use in Sierra Nevada meadows.

  18. Simulating the effects of climate change on population connectivity of American marten (Martes americana) in the northern Rocky Mountains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    T. N. Wasserman; S. A. Cushman; A. S. Shirk; E. L. Landguth; J. S. Littell

    2012-01-01

    We utilize empirically derived estimates of landscape resistance to assess current landscape connectivity of American marten (Martes americana) in the northern Rocky Mountains, USA, and project how a warming climate may affect landscape resistance and population connectivity in the future. We evaluate the influences of five potential future temperature scenarios...

  19. Response of six non-native invasive plant species to wildfires in the northern Rocky Mountains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennis E. Ferguson; Christine L. Craig

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents early results on the response of six non-native invasive plant species to eight wildfires on six National Forests (NFs) in the northern Rocky Mountains, USA. Stratified random sampling was used to choose 224 stands based on burn severity, habitat type series, slope steepness, stand height, and stand density. Data for this report are from 219 stands...

  20. Responses of soil and water chemistry to mountain pine beetle induced tree mortality in Grand County, Colorado, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    David W. Clow; Charles C. Rhoades; Jennifer Briggs; Megan Caldwell; William M. Lewis

    2011-01-01

    Pine forest in northern Colorado and southern Wyoming, USA, are experiencing the most severe mountain pine beetle epidemic in recorded history, and possible degradation of drinking-water quality is a major concern. The objective of this study was to investigate possible changes in soil and water chemistry in Grand County, Colorado in response to the epidemic,...

  1. Use of chlorine-36 and other geochemical data to test a groundwater flow model for Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wolfsberg, A.V.; Fabryka-Martin, J.T.; Levy, S.S.

    1998-01-01

    Defining the spatial distribution and timing of subsurface fluid percolation is one of the most important factors determining long term performance of the potential high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The nonwelded interval of the Paintbrush Group (PTn), which overlies most of the potential repository, has high matrix porosities and permeabilities and is mostly unfractured. The Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) is a 8-km long, 7.6-m diameter, tunnel excavated beneath Yucca Mountain to the level of the potential repository horizon in order to provide access for characterization of these rocks. Several samples collected within the ESF have measured 36 Cl/Cl ratios that record anthropogenic 36 Cl (bomb-pulse 36 Cl), indicating that at least some fraction of the water has traversed the overlying PTn in 40 years or less and that flow is not confined to the matrix of that unit. The presence of a fast path transmitting bomb-pulse 36 Cl to depth appears to require the simultaneous presence of a structure (such as a fault) cutting the PTn and sufficiently high magnitude to surface infiltration to initiate and sustain at least a small component of fracture flow along the connected fracture path associated with the structure. The 36 Cl data have been simulated using the flow and transport model FEHM in order to establish bounds on infiltration rates at the site and to provide greater confidence in the understanding of unsaturated flow processes at the site by showing consistency between the observed and simulated data sets. An analogous effort simulating the distribution of porewater chloride concentrations is providing an independent means for confirming the conceptual model

  2. 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.

  3. Natural sorptive barriers in Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for long-term isolation of high-level waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bish, D.L.; Vaniman, D.T.; Rundberg, R.S.; Wolfsberg, K.; Daniels, W.R.; Broxton, D.E.

    1984-01-01

    There are several sorptive phases occurring naturally in the silicic tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, that can aid in the long-term isolation of high-level wastes. These phases include hydrated volcanic glasses, smectites and zeolites. Los Alamos has a continuing programme to investigate the mineralogy and stratigraphy of the tuffs at Yucca Mountain. In addition, extensive data have been obtained on the sorptive behaviour of technetium, strontium, caesium, barium, cerium, europium, uranium, neptunium, plutonium and americium on the minerals in tuffs. Sorption of elements by ion-exchange processes is high in tuffs containing smectite and the zeolites clinoptilolite-heulandite and mordenite. Moreover, sorption correlates with abundances of these minerals. Sorption is not as high for the zeolite analcime and for volcanic glass. Elements that may not sorb by ion exchange, e.g. plutonium, also tend to be sorbed when the zeolite abundance is high, but the correlations are less clearly defined. Because of the correlation between sorptive capacity and mineralogy, an accurate knowledge of mineral distribution and stratigraphy is essential. The distribution of hydrated glasses is stratigraphically controlled, and the glasses occur in narrow unaltered horizons as vitrophyres and as vitric tuff. Although glasses are of minor importance as sorptive phases, they are very reactive and can alter to other minerals if heated in the presence of water. Smectite clays are reversibly expandable and are widespread in tuffs, but their beneficial properties can be modified by prolonged exposure to elevated temperatures. The zeolites clinoptilolite-heulandite and mordenite occur in high concentrations in silicic tuffs, mostly as secondary alterations of non-welded and poorly welded tuffs; their distribution is therefore stratigraphically controlled

  4. Risk Assessment of Geologic Formation Sequestration in The Rocky Mountain Region, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Si-Yong; McPherson, Brian

    2013-08-01

    The purpose of this report is to describe the outcome of a targeted risk assessment of a candidate geologic sequestration site in the Rocky Mountain region of the USA. Specifically, a major goal of the probabilistic risk assessment was to quantify the possible spatiotemporal responses for Area of Review (AoR) and injection-induced pressure buildup associated with carbon dioxide (CO₂) injection into the subsurface. Because of the computational expense of a conventional Monte Carlo approach, especially given the likely uncertainties in model parameters, we applied a response surface method for probabilistic risk assessment of geologic CO₂ storage in the Permo-Penn Weber formation at a potential CCS site in Craig, Colorado. A site-specific aquifer model was built for the numerical simulation based on a regional geologic model.

  5. Geohydrology of test well USW H-1, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rush, F.E.; Thordarson, W.; Pyles, D.G.

    1984-01-01

    This report contains the results of hydraulic testing, hydrologic monitoring, and geophysical logging of test well USW H-1, one of several wells drilled in the southwestern part of the Nevada Test Site in cooperation with the US Department of Energy for investigations related to the isolation of high-level radioactive wastes. All rocks penetrated by the well to a total depth of 1829 meters were of volcanic origin and of Tertiary age. Hydraulic head in the zone 688 to 741 meters below land surface was 730 meters above sea level and at a depth of 572 meters below land surface. Deeper zones had hydraulic heads of 781 meters above sea level or higher, indicating an upward component of ground-water flow at the site. The most transmissive zone, with an apparent transmissivity of about 150 meters squared per day, is in the Prow Pass Member of the Crater Flat Tuff in the depth range from 572 to 688 meters below land surface. The remainder of the penetrated rocks in the saturated zone, 688 to 1829 meters, has an apparent transmissivity of about 1 meter squared per day. The most transmissive part of the lower depth range is in the Bullfrog Member of the Crater Flat Tuff in the depth interval from 736 to 741 meters. The apparent hydraulic conductivity of the rocks in this lower depth interval from 688 to 1829 meters commonly ranges between 10 -4 and 10 -7 meter per day. Water chemistry is typical of tuffaceous rocks of southern Nevada. The water is a sodium bicarbonate type and has an apparent age of 12,000 to 13,000 years before present, as determined by carbon-14 dating

  6. Review and critique of the US Department of Energy environmental program plan for site characterization for a high-level waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1992-12-31

    This report provides a review and critique of the US Department of Energy (DOE) environmental program plan for site characterization activities at Yucca Mountain which principally addresses compliance with federal and state environmental regulation and to a lesser extent monitoring and mitigation of significant adverse impacts and reclamation of disturbed areas. There are 15 documents which comprise the plan and focus on complying with the environmental requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, as amended, (NWPA) and with single-media environmental statutes and their regulations. All elements of the plan follow from the 1986 statutory environmental assessment (EA) required by NWPA which concluded that no significant adverse impacts would result from characterization of the Yucca Mountain site. The lack of appropriate environmental planning and review for site characterization at Yucca Mountain points to the need for an oversight function by the State of Nevada. It cannot be assumed that on its own DOE will properly comply with environmental requirements, especially the substantive requirements that comprise the intent of NEPA. Thus, procedures must be established to assure that the environmental interests of the State are addressed in the course of the Yucca Mountain Project. Accordingly, steps will be taken by the State of Nevada to review the soundness and efficacy of the DOE field surveys, monitoring and mitigation activities, reclamation actions, and ecological impact studies that follow from the DOE environmental program plans addressed by this review.

  7. Review and critique of the US Department of Energy environmental program plan for site characterization for a high-level waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-01-01

    This report provides a review and critique of the US Department of Energy (DOE) environmental program plan for site characterization activities at Yucca Mountain which principally addresses compliance with federal and state environmental regulation and to a lesser extent monitoring and mitigation of significant adverse impacts and reclamation of disturbed areas. There are 15 documents which comprise the plan and focus on complying with the environmental requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, as amended, (NWPA) and with single-media environmental statutes and their regulations. All elements of the plan follow from the 1986 statutory environmental assessment (EA) required by NWPA which concluded that no significant adverse impacts would result from characterization of the Yucca Mountain site. The lack of appropriate environmental planning and review for site characterization at Yucca Mountain points to the need for an oversight function by the State of Nevada. It cannot be assumed that on its own DOE will properly comply with environmental requirements, especially the substantive requirements that comprise the intent of NEPA. Thus, procedures must be established to assure that the environmental interests of the State are addressed in the course of the Yucca Mountain Project. Accordingly, steps will be taken by the State of Nevada to review the soundness and efficacy of the DOE field surveys, monitoring and mitigation activities, reclamation actions, and ecological impact studies that follow from the DOE environmental program plans addressed by this review

  8. Radionuclides in bats using a contaminated pond on the Nevada National Security Site, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Warren, Ronald W.; Hall, Derek B.; Greger, Paul D.

    2014-01-01

    Perched groundwater percolating through radionuclide contamination in the E Tunnel Complex on the Nevada National Security Site, formerly the Nevada Test Site, emerges and is stored in a series of ponds making it available to wildlife, including bats. Since many bat species using the ponds are considered sensitive or protected/regulated and little information is available on dose to bats from radioactive water sources, bats were sampled to determine if the dose they were receiving exceeded the United States Department of Energy dose limit of 1.0E-3 Gy/day. Radionuclide concentrations in water, sediment, and flying insects were also measured as input parameters to the dose rate model and to examine trophic level relationships. The RESRAD-Biota model was used to calculate dose rates to bats using different screening levels. Efficacy of RESRAD-Biota and suggested improvements are discussed. Dose to bats foraging and drinking at these ponds is well below the dose limit set to protect terrestrial biota populations. - Highlights: • Bats uptake radionuclides from a contaminated pond. • Tritium had highest concentrations but 137 Cs gave highest dose. • Tritium concentrations in bats are approximately one-twentieth of that in the pond. • Population level effects are not expected based on RESRAD-Biota dose estimates. • It may be more appropriate to model the bats as riparian animals in RESRAD-Biota

  9. Geologic map of the Hiller Mountain Quadrangle, Clark County, Nevada, and Mohave County, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Keith A.; Hook, Simon; Phelps, Geoffrey A.; Block, Debra L.

    2003-01-01

    Map Scale: 1:24,000 Map Type: colored geologic map The Hiller Mountains Quadrangle straddles Virgin Canyon in the eastern part of Lake Mead. Proterozoic gneisses and granitoid rocks underlie much of the quadrangle. They are overlain by upper Miocene basin-filling deposits of arkosic conglomerate, basalt, and the overlying Hualapai Limestone. Inception of the Colorado River followed deposition of the Hualapai Limestone and caused incision of the older rocks. Fluvial gravel deposits indicate various courses of the early river across passes through highlands of the Gold Butte-Hiller Mountains-White Hills structural block. Faults and tilted rocks in the quadrangle record tectonic extension that climaxed in middle Miocene time.

  10. Site characterization progress report, Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Number 19, April 1, 1998 - September 30, 1998

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1999-06-01

    The nineteenth semiannual report of the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) summarizes activities during the period from April 1, 1998, through September 30, 1998. Project activities are aimed at evaluating Yucca Mountain as a potential location for permanent geologic disposal of nuclear materials, as directed by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended (NWPA). The progress report documents activities this period that contribute to completing the Project's near-term programmatic and statutory objectives. These objectives include completing the Viability Assessment, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), a possible US Department of Energy (DOE) Secretarial Site Recommendation to the President, and, if the site is suitable, submittal of a license application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Project work this period continued to be concentrated in three integrated activities: site characterization, engineering design and construction, and performance assessment. Accomplishments this period and their relation to near-term objectives are briefly summarized

  11. Recent developments in the integrated approach toward characterization of radionuclide transport, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simmons, A.M.; Canepa, J.A.

    1992-01-01

    The radionuclide migration program for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) includes studies of radionuclide solubility, sorption, diffusion, and transport. The study plans incorporate all possible parameters of investigation; decision-making strategies for prioritizing the parameters and evaluating their significance were developed in conjunction with the study plans. After definition of explicit research goals for each study, YMP evaluated the applicability of existing data and formulated experimental approaches for obtaining additional data. This resulted in development of individual testing strategies that were integrated into an overall strategy for the radionuclide migration program designed to provide input to credible performance assessments. The strategies allow for decision points at various steps of data collection and testing. They provide a streamlined process toward a defensible level of understanding of chemical retardation and transport processes that will be used to predict the mountain's ability to isolate waste. (author)

  12. 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

  13. Environmental program planning for the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada: Volume 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1987-08-01

    Environmental protection during the course of siting and constructing a repository is mandated by NWPA in conjunction with various phases of repository siting and development. However, DOE has issued no comprehensive, integrated plan for environmental protection. Consequently, it is unclear how DOE will accomplish environmental assessment, monitoring, impact mitigation, and site reclamation. DOE should, therefore, defer further implementation of its current characterization program until a comprehensive environmental protection plan is available. To fulfill its oversight responsibilities the State of Nevada has proposed a comprehensive environmental program for the Yucca Mountain site that includes immediately undertaking studies to establish a 12-month baseline of environmental information at the site; adopting the DOE Site Characterization Plan (SCP) and the engineering design plans it will contain as the basis for defining the impact potential of site characterization activities; using the environmental baseline and the SCP to evaluate the efficacy of the preliminary impact analyses reported by DOE in the EA; using the SCP as the basis for discussions with federal, state, and local regulatory authorities to decide which environmental requirements apply and how they can be complied with; using the SCP, the EA impact review, and the compliance requirements to determine the scope of reclamation measures needed; and developing environmental monitoring and impact mitigation plans based on the EA impact review, compliance requirements, and anticipated reclamation needs

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Evaluation of the post-emplacement environment of high level radioactive waste packages at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Glassley, W.

    1989-01-01

    Evaluation of the post-emplacement environment around high-level radioactive waste containers is required by federal regulations. The information derived from this evaluation will be used to determine the service performance of the waste containers, the chemical and hydrological conditions that may influence radionuclide release and transport if containers are breached, and retrievability of the waste containers prior to closure of the repository. Laboratory studies, numerical simulations, and field experiments and tests are used to provide data necessary for this evaluation. Results obtained to date demonstrate that the post-emplacement environment in the welded tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada maintains relatively benign chemical features (i.e., near neutral pH, low concentrations of dissolved species) for most scenarios. The hydrological environment appears to be one of low flow volume and rates for the expected condition of an unsaturated medium. Emplacement borehole stability will be a function of fracture density and orientation, which may be influenced by microcrack development. Field studies and numerical simulations are in progress that will extend the results of laboratory studies to long time periods. The extent to which chemical, hydrological and mechanical processes can be adequately coupled through numerical simulations remains a matter of concern

  17. Precipitation data for water years 1992 and 1993 from a network of nonrecording gages at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ambos, D.S.; Flint, A.L.; Hevesi, J.A.

    1995-01-01

    This report presents precipitation data collected in a storage gage network at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, from October 1, 1991, to September 30, 1993. The measured values indicate total accumulated precipitation for specified time intervals approximately corresponding to separate storm events. Installation of a precipitation monitoring network was initiated in January 1990, and was continually expanded and upgraded throughout the period ending in September 1993. The final network included 3 different gage types for a total of 133 gages at 108 locations within the three drainages overlying the potential repository site. Measured precipitation indicated above average accumulations for water years 1992 and 1993 relative to the most recent estimate of 6.7 inches for long-term average annual precipitation over the area of the network. The total precipitation averaged over the network in 1992 was about 8.2 inches with a maximum of about 11.2 inches measured at borehole USW GA-1. The total precipitation averaged over the network in 1993 was about 10.3 inches with a maximum of about 12.1 inches at neutron-access borehole UE-25 UZN number-sign 4

  18. Evaluation of the geologic relations and seismotectonic stability of the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada Nuclear Waste Site Investigation (NNWSI)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-10-01

    This report provides a summary of progress for the project ''Evaluation of the Geologic Relations and Seismotectonic Stability of the Yucca Mountain Area, Nevada Nuclear Waste Site Investigation (NNWSI)'' for the eighteen month period of January 1, 1987 to June 10, 1988. This final report was preceded by the final report for the initial six month period, July 1, 1986 to December 31, 1986 (submitted on January 25, 1987, and revised in June 1987). The general Task continued to coordinate project activities to meet general deadlines and responsibilities. The central office provided general secretarial support. The activities that were started during the first project period included expansion of the central copying facilities, growth of the central reprint, map, aerial and photograph collections, and some expansion of personal computer capabilities. The research and review accomplishments are mainly under the following tasks: quaternary tectonics, geochemical, mineral deposits, volcanic geology, seismology, tectonics, neotectonics, remote sensing, geotechnical assessments, geotechnical rock mass assessment, basinal studies, and strong ground motion

  19. 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.

  20. Characterization of Spatial Variability of Hydrogeologic Properties for Unsaturated Flow in the Fractured Rocks at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhou, Quanlin; Bodvarsson, Gudmundur S.; Liu, Hui-Hai; Oldenburg, Curtis M.

    2002-01-01

    The spatial variability of layer-scale hydrogeologic properties of the unsaturated zone (UZ) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is investigated using inverse modeling. The thick UZ is grouped into five hydrostratigraphic units and further into 35 hydrogeologic layers. For each layer, lateral variability is represented by the variations in calibrated values of layer-scale properties at different individual deep boreholes. In the calibration model, matrix and fracture properties are calibrated for the one-dimensional vertical column at each individual borehole using the ITOUGH2 code. The objective function is the summation of the weighted misfits between the ambient unsaturated flow (represented by measured state variables: water saturation, water potential, and pneumatic pressure) and the simulated one in the one-dimensional flow system. The objective function also includes the weighted misfits between the calibrated properties and their prior information. Layer-scale state variables and prior rock properties are obtained from their core-scale measurements. Because of limited data, the lateral variability of three most sensitive properties (matrix permeability, matrix of the van Genuchten characterization, and fracture permeability) is calibrated, while all other properties are fixed at their calibrated layer-averaged values. Considerable lateral variability of hydrogeologic properties is obtained. For example, the lateral variability of is two to three orders of magnitude and that of and is one order of magnitude. The effect of lateral variability on site-scale flow and transport will be investigated in a future study

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Miscellaneous investigations series: Bedrock geologic map of the Lone Mountain pluton area, Esmeralda County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maldonado, F.

    1984-01-01

    The joint attitudes were measured in the field and plotted on aerial photos at a scale of 1:24,000. The pluton is intensely jointed, primarily as a result of cooling and movement of the magma within a northwest-trending stress field. Foliation, in general, is poorly developed, and quality varies from area to area, but it is best developed close to the contacts with the metasedimentary rocks. A prominent northwest foliation direction was observed that parallels the northwest elongation of the exposed pluton. Faults in the pluton are difficult to identify because of the homogeneity of the rock. Several faults were mapped in the northern part of the area where they have a northeast trend and intersect the northwest-trending lamprophyre dikes with little apparent displacement. A major fault that bounds the northern part of the pluton is downthrown to the north and strikes northeast. This fault offsets the alluvium, the metasedimentary rocks, and the pluton and forms fault scraps as high as 10 m. Aeromagnetic data (US Geological Survey, 1979) suggest the following: (1) the local magnetic highs in the central part of the Lone Mountain pluton are probably related to topographic highs (peaks) where the flight lines are closer to the pluton; (2) a magnetic low in the northeastern part of Lone Mountain coincides with the pluton-country rock contact, which may be very steep; (3) the contours for the southwestern part of the mapped area indicate that the pluton-country rock contact is not as steep as that in the northeastern part and that the pluton probably coalesces at depth with the Weepah pluton, a pluton exposed south of the mapped area; and (4) the contours for the area of the Lone Mountain pluton express a northwest-trending gradient that parallels the northwest elongation of the Lone Mountain pluton and the northwest-trending stress field. 10 refs

  5. Constraining local 3-D models of the saturated-zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barr, G.E.; Shannon, S.A.

    1994-01-01

    A qualitative three-dimensional analysis of the saturated zone flow system was performed for a 8 km x 8 km region including the potential Yucca Mountain repository site. Certain recognized geologic features of unknown hydraulic properties were introduced to assess the general response of the flow field to these features. Two of these features, the Solitario Canyon fault and the proposed fault in Drill Hole Wash, appear to constrain flow and allow calibration

  6. Development of the data base for tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada Test Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lappin, A.R.

    1981-11-01

    The purposes of the data-base development described here are: (1) to provide sufficient input for the modeling and analysis required to support a horizon-selection decision in December, 1982; and (2) to support follow-on detailed horizon evaluation. Initial data collection must, therefore, be complete by August, 1982. Data will include; (1) thermal conductivity; (2) thermal expansion; (3) matrix and fracture mechanical properties; (4) bulk properties; and (5) functional thermomechanical stratigraphy of the tuffs at Yucca Mountain

  7. Interpretation of chemical and isotopic data from boreholes in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, I.C.; Rattray, G.W.; Yu, P.

    1996-01-01

    Analyses of pore water from boreholes at Yucca Mountain indicate that unsaturated-zone pore water has significantly larger concentrations of chloride and dissolved solids than the saturated-zone water or perched-water bodies. Chemical compositions are of the calcium sulfate or calcium chloride types in the Paintbrush Group (Tiva Canyon, Yucca Mountain, Pah Canyon, and bedded tuffs), and sodium carbonate or bicarbonate type water in the Calico Hills Formation. Tritium profiles from boreholes at Yucca Mountain indicate tritium-concentration inversions (larger tritium concentrations are located below the smaller tritium concentration in a vertical profile) occur in many places. These inversions indicate preferential flow through fractures. Rock-gas compositions are similar to that of atmospheric air except that carbon dioxide concentrations are generally larger than those in the air. The delta carbon-13 values of gas are fairly constant from surface to 365.8 meters, indicating little interaction between the gas CO 2 and caliche in the soil. Model calculations indicate that the gas transport in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain agrees well with the gas-diffusion process. Tritium-modeling results indicate that the high tritium value of about 100 tritium units in the Calico Hills Formation of UZ-16 is within limits of a piston-flow model with a water residence time of 32 to 35 years. The large variations in tritium concentrations with narrow peaks imply piston flow or preferential fracture flow rather than matrix flow. In reality, the aqueous-phase flow in the unsaturated zone is between piston and well-mixed flows but is closer to a piston flow

  8. Evaluation of uncertainty in geological framework models at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bagtzoglou, A.C.; Stirewalt, G.L.; Henderson, D.B.; Seida, S.B.

    1995-01-01

    The first step towards determining compliance with the performance objectives for both the repository system and the geologic setting at Yucca Mountain requires the development of detailed geostratigraphic models. This paper proposes an approach for the evaluation of the degree of uncertainty inherent in geologic maps and associated three-dimensional geological models. Following this approach, an assessment of accuracy and completeness of the data and evaluation of conceptual uncertainties in the geological framework models can be performed

  9. Feline infectious peritonitis in a mountain lion (Puma concolor), California, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephenson, Nicole; Swift, Pamela; Moeller, Robert B; Worth, S Joy; Foley, Janet

    2013-04-01

    Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a fatal immune-mediated vasculitis of felids caused by a mutant form of a common feline enteric virus, feline enteric coronavirus. The virus can attack many organ systems and causes a broad range of signs, commonly including weight loss and fever. Regardless of presentation, FIP is ultimately fatal and often presents a diagnostic challenge. In May 2010, a malnourished young adult male mountain lion (Puma concolor) from Kern County, California, USA was euthanized because of concern for public safety, and a postmortem examination was performed. Gross necropsy and histopathologic examination revealed necrotizing, multifocal myocarditis; necrotizing, neutrophilic, and histiocytic myositis and vasculitis of the tunica muscularis layer of the small and large intestines; and embolic, multifocal, interstitial pneumonia. Feline coronavirus antigen was detected in both the heart and intestinal tissue by immunohistochemistry. A PCR for coronavirus performed on kidney tissue was positive, confirming a diagnosis of FIP. Although coronavirus infection has been documented in mountain lions by serology, this is the first confirmed report of FIP.

  10. 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

  11. Strontium isotope geochemistry of soil and playa a deposits near Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marshall, B.D.; Mahan, S.A.

    1994-01-01

    The isotopic composition of strontium contained in the carbonate fractions of soils provides an excellent tracer which can be used to test models for their origin. This paper reports data on surface coatings and cements, eolian sediments, playas and alluvial fan soils which help to constrain a model for formation of the extensive calcretes and fault infilling in the Yucca Mountain region. The playas contain carbonate with a wide range of strontium compositions; further work will be required to fully understand their possible contributions to the pedogenic carbonate system. Soils from an alluvial fan to the west of Yucca Mountain show that only small amounts of strontium are derived from weathering of silicate detritus. However, calcretes from a fan draining a carbonate terrane have strontium compositions dominated locally by the limestone strontium component. Although much evidence points to an eolian source for at least some of the strontium in the pedogenic carbonates near Yucca Mountain, an additional component or past variation of strontium composition in the eolian source is required to model the pedogenic carbonate system

  12. Mega-rings Surrounding Timber Mountain Nested Calderas, Geophysical Anomalies: Rethinking Structure and Volcanism Near Yucca Mountain (YM), Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tynan, M. C.; Smith, K. D.; Savino, J. M.; Vogt, T. J.

    2004-12-01

    Observed regional mega-rings define a zone ˜80-100 km in diameter centered on Timber Mountain (TM). The mega-rings encompass known smaller rhyolitic nested Miocene calderas ( ˜11-15 my, structural relationships. Mega-rings consist of arcuate faulted blocks with deformation (some remain active structures) patterns showing a genetic relationship to the TM volcanic system; they appear to be spatially associated and temporally correlated with Miocene volcanism and two geophysically identified crustal/upper mantle features. A 50+ km diameter pipe-like high velocity anomaly extends from crustal depth to over 200 km beneath TM (evidence for 400km depth to NE). The pipe is located between two ˜100 km sub-parallel N/S linear trends of small-magnitude earthquake activity, one extending through the central NV Test Site, and a second located near Beatty, NV. Neither the kinematics nor relational mechanism of 100km seismically active N/S linear zones, pipe, and mega-rings are understood. Interpreted mega-rings are: 1) Similar in size to larger terrestrial volcanic complexes (e.g., Yellowstone, Indonesia's Toba system); 2) Located in the region of structural transition from the Mohave block to the south, N/S Basin and Range features to the north, Walker Lane to the NW, and the Las Vegas Valley shear zone to the SE; 3) Associated with the two seismically active zones (similar to other caldera fault-bounded sags), the mantle high velocity feature, and possibly a regional bouguer gravity anomaly; 4) Nearly coincident with area hydrologic basins and sub-basins; 5) Similar to features described from terrestrial and planetary caldera-collapse studies, and as modeled in laboratory scaled investigations (ice melt, balloon/sand). Post Mid-Miocene basalts commonly occur within or adjacent to the older rhyolitic caldera moats; other basaltic material occurs marginal to both the outer rings of the interpreted mega-ring system and high velocity pipe. The YM repository may be situated in

  13. New Geologic Map and Structural Cross Sections of the Death Valley Extended Terrain (southern Sierra Nevada, California to Spring Mountains, Nevada): Toward 3D Kinematic Reconstructions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutz, B. M.; Axen, G. J.; Phillips, F. M.

    2017-12-01

    Tectonic reconstructions for the Death Valley extended terrain (S. Sierra Nevada to Spring Mountains) have evolved to include a growing number of offset markers for strike-slip fault systems but are mainly map view (2D) and do not incorporate a wealth of additional constraints. We present a new 1:300,000 digital geologic map and structural cross sections, which provide a geometric framework for stepwise 3D reconstructions of Late Cenozoic extension and transtension. 3D models will decipher complex relationships between strike-slip, normal, and detachment faults and their role in accommodating large magnitude extension/rigid block rotation. Fault coordination is key to understanding how extensional systems and transform margins evolve with changing boundary conditions. 3D geometric and kinematic analysis adds key strain compatibility unavailable in 2D reconstructions. The stratigraphic framework of Fridrich and Thompson (2011) is applied to rocks outside of Death Valley. Cenozoic basin deposits are grouped into 6 assemblages differentiated by age, provenance, and bounding unconformities, which reflect Pacific-North American plate boundary events. Pre-Cenozoic rocks are grouped for utility: for example, Cararra Formation equivalents are grouped because they form a Cordilleran thrust decollement zone. Offset markers are summarized in the associated tectonic map. Other constraints include fault geometries and slip rates, age, geometry and provenance of Cenozoic basins, gravity, cooling histories of footwalls, and limited seismic/well data. Cross sections were constructed parallel to net-transport directions of fault blocks. Surface fault geometries were compiled from previous mapping and projected to depth using seismic/gravity data. Cooling histories of footwalls guided geometric interpretation of uplifted detachment footwalls. Mesh surfaces will be generated from 2D section lines to create a framework for stepwise 3D reconstruction of extension and transtension in

  14. Pre-construction geologic section along the cross drift through the potential high-level radioactive waste repository, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Potter, C.J.; Day, W.C.; Sweetkind, D.S.; Juan, C.S.; Drake, R.M. II

    1998-01-01

    As part of the Site Characterization effort for the US Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Project, tunnels excavated by tunnel boring machines provide access to the volume of rock that is under consideration for possible underground storage of high-level nuclear waste beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The Exploratory Studies Facility, a 7.8-km-long, 7.6-m-diameter tunnel, has been excavated, and a 2.8-km-long, 5-m-diameter Cross Drift will be excavated in 1998 as part of the geologic, hydrologic and geotechnical evaluation of the potential repository. The southwest-trending Cross Drift branches off of the north ramp of the horseshoe-shaped Exploratory Studies Facility. This report summarizes an interpretive geologic section that was prepared for the Yucca Mountain Project as a tool for use in the design and construction of the Cross Drift

  15. Southern Nevada residents' views about the Yucca Mountain high-level nuclear waste repository and related issues: A comparative analysis of urban and rural survey data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krannich, R.S.; Little, R.L.; Mushkatel, A.; Pijawka, K.D.; Jones, P.

    1991-10-01

    Two separate surveys were undertaken in 1988 to ascertain southern Nevadans' views about the Yucca Mountain repository and related issues. The first of these studies focused on the attitudes and perceptions of residents in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The second study addressed similar issues, but focused on the views of residents in six rural communities in three counties adjacent to the Yucca Mountain site. However, parallel findings from the two data sets have not been jointly analyzed in order to identify ways in which the views and orientations of residents in the rural and urban study areas may be similar or different. The purpose of this report is to develop and present a comparative assessment of selected issues addressed in the rural and urban surveys. Because both urban and rural populations would potentially be impacted by the Yucca Mountain repository, such an analysis will provide important insights into possible repository impacts on the well-being of residents throughout southern Nevada

  16. Nature and origin of secondary mineral coatings on volcanic rocks of the Black Mountain, Stonewall Mountain, and Kane Springs Wash volcanic centers, southern, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taranik, James V.; Hsu, Liang C.; Spatz, David M.; Chenevey, Michael J.

    1989-01-01

    The following subject areas are covered: (1) genetic, spectral, and LANDSAT Thematic Mapper imagery relationship between desert varnis