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  1. 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.

  2. Practical post-calibration uncertainty analysis: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, S. C.; Doherty, J.; Eddebbarh, A.

    2009-12-01

    The values of parameters in a groundwater flow model govern the precision of predictions of future system behavior. Predictive precision, thus, typically depends on an ability to infer values of system properties from historical measurements through calibration. When such data are scarce, or when their information content with respect to parameters that are most relevant to predictions of interest is weak, predictive uncertainty may be high, even if the model is “calibrated.” Recent advances help recognize this condition, quantitatively evaluate predictive uncertainty, and suggest a path toward improved predictive accuracy by identifying sources of predictive uncertainty and by determining what observations will most effectively reduce this uncertainty. We demonstrate linear and nonlinear predictive error/uncertainty analyses as applied to a groundwater flow model of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the US’s proposed site for disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Both of these types uncertainty analysis are readily implemented as an adjunct to model calibration with medium to high parameterization density. Linear analysis yields contributions made by each parameter to a prediction’s uncertainty and the worth of different observations, both existing and yet-to-be-gathered, toward reducing this uncertainty. Nonlinear analysis provides more accurate characterization of the uncertainty of model predictions while yielding their (approximate) probability distribution functions. This paper applies the above methods to a prediction of specific discharge and confirms the uncertainty bounds on specific discharge supplied in the Yucca Mountain Project License Application. Furthermore, Monte Carlo simulations confirm that hydrogeologic units thought to be flow barriers have probability distributions skewed toward lower permeabilities.

  3. Blue Mountain, Humboldt County, Nevada, U.S.A

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ted Fitzpatrick, Brian D. Fairbank

    2005-04-01

    The report documents the drilling of well Deep Blue No.2, the second deep geothermal test hole at the Blue Mountain Geothermal Area, Humboldt County, Nevada. The well was drilled by Noramex Corp, a Nevada company, with funding support from the US Department of Energy, under the DOE’s GRED II Program. Deep Blue No.2 was drilled as a ‘step-out’ hole from Deep Blue No.1, to further evaluate the commercial potential of the geothermal resource. Deep Blue No.2 was designed as a vertical, slim observation test hole to a nominal target depth of 1000 meters (nominal 3400 feet). The well tests an area of projected high temperatures at depth, from temperature gradients measured in a group of shallow drill holes located approximately one kilometer to the northeast of observation hole Deep Blue No.1. The well is not intended for, or designed as, a commercial well or a production well. Deep Blue No.2 was spudded on March 25, 2004 and completed to a total depth of 1127.76m (3700 ft) on April 28, 2004. The well was drilled using conventional rotary drilling techniques to a depth of 201.17 m (660 ft), and continuously cored from 201.17m (660 ft) to 1127.76m (3700 ft). A brief rig-on flow-test was conducted at completion to determine basic reservoir parameters and obtain fluid samples. A permeable fracture zone with measured temperatures of 150 to 167°C (302 to 333°F) occurs between 500 to 750m (1640 to 2461ft). The well was left un-lined in anticipation of the Phase III - Flow and Injection Testing. A further Kuster temperature survey was attempted after the well had been shut in for almost 3 weeks. The well appears to have bridged off at 439m (1440ft) as the Kuster tool was unable to descend past this point. Several attempts to dislodge the obstruction using tube jars were unsuccessful. Deep Blue No.2 encountered variably fractured and veined, fine-grained rocks of the Singas Formation, and intruded by minor strongly altered fine-grained felsic dikes, and less altered

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Organosulfates and Carboxylic Acids in Secondary Organic Aerosols in Coniferous Forests in Rocky Mountains (USA), Sierra Nevada Mountains (USA) and Northern Europe (Finland and Denmark)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glasius, M.; Hansen, A. M. K.; Kristensen, K.; Kristensen, T. B.; Mccubbin, I. B.; Hallar, A. G.; Petäjä, T.; Surratt, J. D.; Worton, D. R.; Bilde, M.; Kulmala, M. T.; Goldstein, A. H.

    2014-12-01

    Levels and chemical composition of secondary organic aerosols affect their climate effects and properties. Organosulfates (OS) are formed through heterogeneous reactions involving oxidized sulfur compounds, primarily originating from anthropogenic sources. Availability of authentic standards have until now been an obstacle to quantitative investigations of OS in atmospheric aerosols. We have developed a new, facile method for synthesis and purification of OS standards. Here we have used 7 standards to quantify OS and nitrooxy organosulfates (NOS) observed in aerosols collected at four sites in coniferous forests in USA and Europe during spring or summer. The two American sites were Storm Peak Laboratory, Colorado (Rocky Mountains, elevation 3220 m a.s.l) and Sierra Nevada Mountains, California (as part of BEARPEX 2007 and 2009). The European sites were Hyytiälä Forest Station, Finland (in the boreal zone) and Silkeborg, Denmark (temperate forest). Aerosol filter samples were extracted and analyzed using a high performance liquid chromatograph coupled through an electrospray inlet to a quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer (HPLC-QTOF-MS). We identified 11 carboxylic acids using authentic standards, while 16 different OS and 8 NOS were identified based on their molecular mass and MS fragmentation patterns, as well as comparison with available standards. OS were ubiquitous in the atmospheric aerosol samples, even at the high elevation mountain station. Levels of carboxylic acids from oxidation of monoterpenes were 8-25 ng m-3 at Silkeborg and Storm Peak Laboratory, while concentrations at the sites with strong regional monoterpene emissions (Sierra Nevada Mountains and Hyytiälä) were much higher (10-200 ng m-3). At all sites, the dominant group of OS were derived from isoprene (IEPOX) and related compounds, while OS of monoterpenes showed lower concentrations, except at Hyytiälä during periods of north-westerly winds when monoterpene OS were at similar or

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bredehoeft, John; King, Michael

    2010-05-01

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

  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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1997-12-31

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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)

  20. Application of an extreme winter storm scenario to identify vulnerabilities, mitigation options, and science needs in the Sierra Nevada mountains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albano, Christine M.; Dettinger, Michael; McCarthy, Maureen; Schaller, Kevin D.; Wellborn, Toby; Cox, Dale A.

    2016-01-01

    In the Sierra Nevada mountains (USA), and geographically similar areas across the globe where human development is expanding, extreme winter storm and flood risks are expected to increase with changing climate, heightening the need for communities to assess risks and better prepare for such events. In this case study, we demonstrate a novel approach to examining extreme winter storm and flood risks. We incorporated high-resolution atmospheric–hydrologic modeling of the ARkStorm extreme winter storm scenario with multiple modes of engagement with practitioners, including a series of facilitated discussions and a tabletop emergency management exercise, to develop a regional assessment of extreme storm vulnerabilities, mitigation options, and science needs in the greater Lake Tahoe region of Northern Nevada and California, USA. Through this process, practitioners discussed issues of concern across all phases of the emergency management life cycle, including preparation, response, recovery, and mitigation. Interruption of transportation, communications, and interagency coordination were among the most pressing concerns, and specific approaches for addressing these issues were identified, including prepositioning resources, diversifying communications systems, and improving coordination among state, tribal, and public utility practitioners. Science needs included expanding real-time monitoring capabilities to improve the precision of meteorological models and enhance situational awareness, assessing vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure, and conducting cost–benefit analyses to assess opportunities to improve both natural and human-made infrastructure to better withstand extreme storms. Our approach and results can be used to support both land use and emergency planning activities aimed toward increasing community resilience to extreme winter storm hazards in mountainous regions.

  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. Hazard area and recurrence rate time series for determining the probability of volcanic disruption of the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Chih-Hsiang

    2010-03-01

    The post-12-Ma volcanism at Yucca Mountain (YM), Nevada, a potential site for an underground geologic repository of high-level radioactive waste in the USA, is assumed to follow a Poisson process and is characterized by a sequence of empirical recurrence rate time series. The last ten time series are used as a prediction set to check the predictive ability of the candidate model produced by a training sample using autoregressive integrated moving average modeling techniques. The model is used to forecast future recurrence rates that, in turn, are used to develop a continuous mean function of the volcanic process, which is not only required to evaluate the probability of site disruption by volcanic activity but accommodates a long period of compliance. At the model validation stage, our candidate model forecasts a mean number of 6.196 eruptions for the prediction set which accounts for seven volcanic events of the 33 post-12-Ma eruptions at the YM site. For a full-scaled forecasting, our fitted model predicts a waning volcanism producing only 3.296 new eruptions in the next million years. We then present the site disruption probability as the chance that a new eruption will occur in the “hazard area” based on a model developed for licensing commercial space launch and reentry operations in the space transportation industry. The results of the site disruption probability and sensitivity analysis are summarized with a numerical table generated from a simple equation sufficient for practical use. We also produce three-dimensional plots to visualize the nonlinearity of the intensity function associated with the underlying model of a nonhomogeneous Poisson process and emphasize that the interpretation of site disruption probability should always be accompanied by a compliance period.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. The Effect of Local Lacustrine Conditions on the Expression of Regional Holocene Climate in the Ruby Mountains, Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starratt, S.; Kusler, J. E.; Addison, J. A.; Wahl, D.

    2013-12-01

    Climate of the north-central Great Basin currently exhibits a bimodal precipitation pattern, dominated by winter (NDJF) precipitation from the eastern Pacific Ocean, augmented by late spring (MJ) convectional precipitation. Reconstruction of past moisture variability has proven difficult due to limited paleoclimate records in this region and the effect of lake-specific and local watershed characteristics. In order to better understand the Holocene climate record a series of cores were collected in Favre Lake (2902 masl, 8 ha, 12 m deep) using a modified Livingstone piston corer. The presence of the Mazama ash in the basal sediment (~4 m below the sediment/water interface) indicates the record extends to ~7700 cal yr B.P. The pollen record is dominated by Pinus and Artemisia, followed by subordinate levels of Poaceae, Asteraceae, Amaranthaceae, and Sarcobatus. Small fragilarioid diatoms (Pseudostaurosira, Staurosira, and Staurosirella) comprise as much as 80% of the assemblage. The remainder of the assemblage is dominated by benthic taxa. Planktonic species account for about 10% of the assemblage. Biogenic silica values vary between 20 and 30 wt %. These proxies suggest that the lake was small between 7,700 and 5,500 cal yr BP; for most of the remainder of the record, the lake covered a shallow (~1 m deep) shelf, resulting in the dominance of small fragilarioid diatoms. Planktonic species increase in abundance in the last 200 years, indicating the establishment of modern conditions. In order to evaluate the role of local conditions on the climate record, surface sediments were collected from tarns in the northern Ruby Mountains (Lamoille Lake, 2976 masl, 6 ha; Upper Dollar Lake, 2942 masl, ~1 ha, 2 m deep; Lower Dollar Lake, 2937 masl, ~1 ha, 2 m deep; Liberty Lake, 3064 masl, 9 ha, 33 m deep; Castle Lake, 2980 masl, 6 ha, 4.6 m deep; Favre Lake), and East Humboldt Range (Angel Lake, 2553 masl, 5 ha, 9 m deep). Slope aspects above the lakes are north (Lamoille

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Cryoseston in the Sierra Nevada Mountains (Spain)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Cepák, Vladislav; Lukavský, Jaromír

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 94, č. 1-2 (2012), s. 163-173 ISSN 0029-5035 R&D Projects: GA MŠk 1M0571 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : cryoseston * Sierra Nevada Mountains * Spain Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 0.809, year: 2012

  12. 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.

  13. The River Mountains Volcanic Section - Wilson Ridge Pluton, a Long Lived Multiphase Mid- Tertiary Igneous System in Southern Nevada and Northwestern Arizona, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honn, D. K.; Simon, A. C.; Smith, E. I.; Spell, T. L.

    2007-12-01

    206Pb/238U zircon dates (LA-ICPMS) from 106-40 μm spots on 49 zircons suggest the Wilson Ridge Pluton in northwestern Arizona and its corresponding volcanic cover in the River Mountains of southern Nevada represent a complex multiphase igneous system active for 4.2 million years (based on a zircon core-rim pair) to a maximum of 7.2 million years (from two zircon rim dates 18.9 ± 0.8 to 13.1 ± 0.6 Ma). This period of activity is significantly longer than the 500 thousand year interval (12.99 ± 0.02 to 13.45 ± 0.02) determined by 40Ar/39Ar sanidine, biotite, hornblende, and whole rock dates. The 40Ar/39Ar dates only reflect the time when the igneous system cooled to mineral closure temperatures during emplacement in the upper crust. Zircon xenocrysts identified in cathodoluminescence images range in age from 1517.5 ± 11.2 Ma to 21.3 ± 0.8 Ma. Inherited zircon cores are as much as 8.9 million years older than their rims. Zircon dates correspond to pluton stratigraphy with late stage dikes at 15.3 Ma (mean age based on 9 dates), quartz monzonite intermediate in composition and age (mean age 15.5 Ma based on 20 dates), and the oldest unit, the Horsethief Canyon diorite (mean age 17.5 Ma based on 6 dates). Although the mean ages correspond to stratigraphy, the spread of ages for each unit overlaps, therefore these correlations are preliminary. The River Mountains volcanic section lies 20 km to the west of the pluton and may have been separated from it by west directed motion along the Saddle Island detachment fault. The River Mountains volcanic section and the Wilson Ridge Pluton are considered a single igneous system as demonstrated by major and trace element geochemistry, whole rock isotopic analyses (Sr and Nd), previous 40Ar/39Ar and K-Ar dates, mafic enclave chemistry, extensive magnesio-riebeckite alteration unique to both the River Mountains volcanic and Wilson Ridge Plutonic sections, and the location of the Saddle Island fault. Preliminary zircon dates

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moscati, Richard J.; Johnson, Craig A.

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 234U/238U evidence for local recharge and patterns of groundwater flow in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paces, J.B.; Ludwig, K. R.; Peterman, Z.E.; Neymark, L.A.

    2002-01-01

    Uranium concentrations and 234U/238U ratios in saturated-zone and perched ground water were used to investigate hydrologic flow and downgradient dilution and dispersion in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, a potential high-level radioactive waste disposal site. The U data were obtained by thermal ionization mass spectrometry on more than 280 samples from the Death Valley regional flow system. Large variations in both U concentrations (commonly 0.6-10 ??g 1-1) and 234U/238U activity ratios (commonly 1.5-6) are present on both local and regional scales; however, ground water with 234U/238U activity ratios from 7 up to 8.06 is restricted largely to samples from Yucca Mountain. Data from ground water in the Tertiary volcanic and Quaternary alluvial aquifers at and adjacent to Yucca Mountain plot in 3 distinct fields of reciprocal U concentration versus 234U/238U activity ratio correlated to different geographic areas. Ground water to the west of Yucca Mountain has large U concentrations and moderate 234U/238U whereas ground water to the east in the Fortymile flow system has similar 234U/238U, but distinctly smaller U concentrations. Ground water beneath the central part of Yucca Mountain has intermediate U concentrations but distinctive 234U/238U activity ratios of about 7-8. Perched water from the lower part of the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain has similarly large values of 234U/238U. These U data imply that the Tertiary volcanic aquifer beneath the central part of Yucca Mountain is isolated from north-south regional flow. The similarity of 234U/238U in both saturated- and unsaturated-zone ground water at Yucca Mountain further indicates that saturated-zone ground water beneath Yucca Mountain is dominated by local recharge rather than regional flow. The distinctive 234U/238U signatures also provide a natural tracer of downgradient flow. Elevated 234U/238U in ground water from two water-supply wells east of Yucca Mountain are interpreted as the result of induced

  19. 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

  20. Evidence for a hypogene paleohydrogeological event at the prospective nuclear waste disposal site Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA, revealed by the isotope composition of fluid-inclusion water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dublyansky, Yuri V.; Spötl, Christoph

    2010-01-01

    Secondary calcite residing in open cavities in the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain has long been interpreted as the result of downward infiltration of meteoric water through open fractures. In order to obtain information on the isotopic composition (δD and δ 18O) of the mineral-forming water we studied fluid inclusions from this calcite. Water was extracted from inclusions by heated crushing and the δD values were measured using a continuous-flow isotope-ratio mass spectrometry method. The δ 18O values were calculated from the δ 18O values of the host calcite assuming isotopic equilibrium at the temperature of formation determined by fluid-inclusion microthermometry. The δD values measured in all samples range between - 110 and - 90‰, similar to Holocene meteoric water. Coupled δ 18O-δD values plot significantly, 2 to 8‰, to the right of the meteoric water line. Among the various processes operating at the topographic surface and/or in the unsaturated zone only two processes, evaporation and water-rock exchange, could alter the isotope composition of percolating water. Our analysis indicates, however, that none of these processes could produce the observed large positive δ 18O-shifts. The latter require isotopic interaction between mineral-forming fluid and host rock at elevated temperature (>100 °C), which is only possible in the deep-seated hydrothermal environment. The stable isotope data are difficult to reconcile with a meteoric origin of the water from which the secondary minerals at Yucca Mountain precipitated; instead they point to the deep-seated provenance of the mineral-forming waters and their introduction into the unsaturated zone from below, i.e. a hypogene origin.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Ammonia at Blodgett Forest, Sierra Nevada, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fischer, Marc L.; Littlejohn, David

    2007-11-06

    Ammonia is a reactive trace gas that is emitted in large quantities by animal agriculture and other sources in California, which subsequently forms aerosol particulate matter, potentially affecting visibility, climate, and human health. We performed initial measurements of NH{sub 3} at the Blodgett Forest Research Station (BFRS) during a two week study in June, 2006. The site is used for ongoing air quality research and is a relatively low-background site in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Measured NH{sub 3} mixing ratios were quite low (< 1 to {approx} 2 ppb), contrasting with typical conditions in many parts of the Central Valley. Eddy covariance measurements showed NH{sub 3} fluxes that scaled with measured NH{sub 3} mixing ratio and calculated aerodynamic deposition velocity, suggesting dry deposition is a significant loss mechanism for atmospheric NH{sub 3} at BFRS. A simple model of NH{sub 3} transport to the site supports the hypothesis that NH{sub 3} is transported from the Valley to BFRS, but deposits on vegetation during the summer. Further work is necessary to determine whether the results obtained in this study can be generalized to other seasons.

  13. 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.

  14. Evidence for Ground-Water Stratification Near Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

    Major- and trace-element concentrations and strontium isotope ratios (strontium-87/strontium-86) in samples of ground water potentially can be useful in delineating flow paths in the complex ground-water system in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Water samples were collected from boreholes to characterize the lateral and vertical variability in the composition of water in the saturated zone. Discrete sampling of water-producing intervals in the saturated zone includes isolating borehole sections with packers and extracting pore water from core obtained by sonic drilling. Chemical and isotopic stratification was identified in the saturated zone beneath southern Fortymile Wash

  15. 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)...

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoxie, D.T.

    1991-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Montazer, P.; Wilson, W.E.

    1985-12-31

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

  10. 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

  11. 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 < 100 mm RMSE. For both areas, daily SWE climatology and fractional snow-covered area were the most important predictors. As expected, the passive microwave brigthness temperatures showed some predictive power in Afghanistan, with its almost nonexistent tree cover, but no predictive power in the Sierra Nevada, with its extensive canopy-covered snowpack. In the Sierra, we also explored how our machine learning approach performed outside of the training period, i.e. the ablation period.

  12. Mountain Meadows and their contribution to Sierra Nevada Water Resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornwell, K.; Brown, K.; Monohan, C.

    2007-12-01

    Human alterations of California's waterscape have exploited rivers, wetlands and meadows of the Sierra Nevada. A century of intensive logging, mining, railroad building, development, fire suppression, and grazing by sheep and cattle has left only 25 percent "intact" natural habitat in the Sierra Nevada (SNEP 1995). Much of this intact habitat occurs at higher elevations, often in non-forested alpine or in less productive forests and woodlands where mountain meadows exist. Mountain meadows serve many ecological functions including habitat for threatened and endangered terrestrial and aquatic species, and are considered to be essential physical components to watershed function and hydrology with significant water storage, filtration and flood attenuation properties. This study evaluates the physical characteristics and hydrologic function of Clarks Meadow located in northern Sierra Nevada, Plumas County, California. In 2001, Clarks Meadow received significant restoration work in the upstream half of the meadow which diverted the stream from an incised channel to a shallow remnant channel, creating a stable channel and reconnecting the groundwater table to the stream. No restoration work was done in the lower half of Clarks Meadow where the stream still flows through an incised channel. Clarks Meadow offers a unique opportunity to study both a restored, hydrologically functional meadow and an incised, hydrologically disconnected stretch of the same stream and meadow. The physical characteristics of Clarks Meadows that were measured include surface area, subsurface thickness, porosity and permeability of subsurface materials, potential water storage volume, and surface infiltration rates. The goal of this study is to refine hydrologic characterization methods, quantify water storage potential of a healthy, non-incised meadow and assess its role in attenuating flood flows during high discharge times. Initial results suggest that significant subsurface storage volume is

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. Meteoric precipitation at Yucca Mountain, Nevada: Chemical and stable isotope analyses, 2006-09

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moscati, Richard J.; Scofield, Kevin M.

    2011-01-01

    Meteoric precipitation samples collected in 2006-09 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, were analyzed for chemistry and stable isotope composition. Precipitation is the major source of infiltration to the unsaturated zone and of recharge to the saturated zone at Yucca Mountain.

  18. Environmental Impact Analysis Process, Groom Mountain Range, Lincoln County, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-11-01

    Building Red Rock Chapter Carson City, Nevada 89710 P. 0. Box 42944 Las Vegas, Nevada 89116 Suzzane D. Bucy 811 Denver Center Building Garland ...Sandra Dulgar Citizen Alert Lincoln County Admin Assist Attn: Ms. Judy Treichel P. 0. Box 329 4555 Balsam Street Pioche, Nevada 89043 Las Vegas

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramirez, A.

    2000-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Mountain lions: preliminary findings on home-range use and density, central Sierra Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donald L. Neal; George N. Steger; Ronald C. Bertram

    1987-01-01

    Between August 1983 and December 1985, 19 mountain lions were captured, radio equipped, and monitored daily within a portion of the North Kings deer herd range on the west slope of the central Sierra Nevada in California. The density of adult mountain lions was estimated to be one per 33.3 km²; that of adults and kittens together was estimated to be one per 20...

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. Fuel deposition rates of montane and subalpine conifers in the central Sierra Nevada, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Wagtendonk, J.W.; Moore, P.E.

    2010-01-01

    Fire managers and researchers need information on fuel deposition rates to estimate future changes in fuel bed characteristics, determine when forests transition to another fire behavior fuel model, estimate future changes in fuel bed characteristics, and parameterize and validate ecosystem process models. This information is lacking for many ecosystems including the Sierra Nevada in California, USA. We investigated fuel deposition rates and stand characteristics of seven montane and four subalpine conifers in the Sierra Nevada. We collected foliage, miscellaneous bark and crown fragments, cones, and woody fuel classes from four replicate plots each in four stem diameter size classes for each species, for a total of 176 sampling sites. We used these data to develop predictive equations for each fuel class and diameter size class of each species based on stem and crown characteristics. There were consistent species and diameter class differences in the annual amount of foliage and fragments deposited. Foliage deposition rates ranged from just over 50 g m-2 year-1 in small diameter mountain hemlock stands to ???300 g m-2 year-1 for the three largest diameter classes of giant sequoia. The deposition rate for most woody fuel classes increased from the smallest diameter class stands to the largest diameter class stands. Woody fuel deposition rates varied among species as well. The rates for the smallest woody fuels ranged from 0.8 g m-2 year-1 for small diameter stands of Jeffrey pine to 126.9 g m-2 year-1 for very large diameter stands of mountain hemlock. Crown height and live crown ratio were the best predictors of fuel deposition rates for most fuel classes and species. Both characteristics reflect the amount of crown biomass including foliage and woody fuels. Relationships established in this study allow predictions of fuel loads to be made on a stand basis for each of these species under current and possible future conditions. These predictions can be used to

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  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. 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

  9. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-12-01

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

  11. Yucca Mountain, Nevada - A proposed geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levich, R.A.; Stuckless, J.S.

    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. ?? 2007 Geological Society of America. All rights reserved.

  12. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1999-08-02

    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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  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. Cyanide and migratory birds at gold mines in Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henny, C.J.; Hallock, R.J.; Hill, E.F.

    1994-01-01

    Since the mid-1980s, cyanide in heap leach solutions and mill tailings ponds at gold mines in Nevada has killed a large but incompletely documented number of wildlife ( gt 9,500 individuals, primarily migratory birds). This field investigation documents the availability of cyanide at a variety of 'typical' Nevada gold mines during 1990 and 1991, describes wildlife reactions to cyanide solutions, and discusses procedures for eliminating wildlife loss from cyanide poisoning. Substantial progress has been made to reduce wildlife loss. About half of the mill tailings ponds (some up to 150 ha) in Nevada have been chemically treated to reduce cyanide concentrations (the number needing treatment is uncertain) and many of the smaller heap leach solution ponds and channels are now covered with netting to exclude birds and most mammals. The discovery of a cyanide gradient in mill tailings ponds (concentration usually 2-3 times higher at the inflow point than at reclaim point) provides new insight into wildlife responses (mortality) observed in different portions of the ponds. Finding dead birds on the tops of ore heaps and associated with solution puddling is a new problem, but management procedures for eliminating this source of mortality are available. A safe threshold concentration of cyanide to eliminate wildlife loss could not be determined from the field data and initial laboratory studies. New analytical methods may be required to assess further the wildlife hazard of cyanide in mining solutions.

  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. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  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. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1986-10-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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)

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Jesús Pérez-Luque

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeCain, Gary D.; Stuckless, John S.

    2012-01-01

    The unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain was investigated as a possible site for the nation's first high-level nuclear waste repository. Scientific investigations included infiltration studies, matrix properties testing, borehole testing and monitoring, underground excavation and testing, and the development of conceptual and numerical models of the hydrologic processes at Yucca Mountain. Infiltration estimates by empirical and geochemical methods range from 0.2 to 1.4 mm/yr and 0.2–6.0 mm/yr, respectively. Infiltration estimates from numerical models range from 4.5 mm/yr to 17.6 mm/yr. Rock matrix properties vary vertically and laterally as the result of depositional processes and subsequent postdepositional alteration. Laboratory tests indicate that the average matrix porosity and hydraulic conductivity values for the main level of the proposed repository (Topopah Spring Tuff middle nonlithophysal zone) are 0.08 and 4.7 × 10−12 m/s, respectively. In situ fracture hydraulic conductivity values are 3–6 orders of magnitude greater. The permeability of fault zones is approximately an order of magnitude greater than that of the surrounding rock unit. Water samples from the fault zones have tritium concentrations that indicate some component of postnuclear testing. Gas and water vapor movement through the unsaturated zone is driven by changes in barometric pressure, temperature-induced density differences, and wind effects. The subsurface pressure response to surface barometric changes is controlled by the distribution and interconnectedness of fractures, the presence of faults and their ability to conduct gas and vapor, and the moisture content and matrix permeability of the rock units. In situ water potential values are generally less than −0.2 MPa (−2 bar), and the water potential gradients in the Topopah Spring Tuff units are very small. Perched-water zones at Yucca Mountain are associated with the basal vitrophyre of the Topopah Spring Tuff or the Calico

  7. 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

  8. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, October 1, 1990--March 31, 1991; Number 4

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1984-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1995-02-01

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

  13. Movement of shaft and drift construction water in Yucca Mountain, Nevada: An extended study; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sobolik, S.R.; Fewell, M.E.; Eaton, R.R.

    1991-12-01

    The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project is studying Yucca Mountain in southwestern Nevada as a potential site for a high-level nuclear waste repository. Site characterization includes surface-based and underground testing. Analyses have been performed to design site characterization activities with minimal impact on the ability of the site to isolate waste, and on tests performed as part of the characterization process. One activity of site characterization is the construction of an Exploratory Studies Facility, for which many design options are being considered, including shafts, drifts, and ramps. The information in this report pertains to: (1) engineering calculations of the potential distribution of residual water from constructing the shafts and drifts; (2) numerical calculations predicting the movement of residual construction water from the shaft and drift walls into the rock; and (3) numerical calculations of the movement of residual water and how the movement is affected by ventilation. This document contains information that has been used in preparing Appendix 1 of the Exploratory Studies Facility Design Requirements document for the Yucca Mountain Project.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rautman, C.A.; McKenna, S.A. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States). Geohydrology Dept.

    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-07-01

    Experiment results are presented for linear thermal expansion measurements on tuffaceous rocks from the unsaturated 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.

  8. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    K. Coppersmith; R. Quittmeyer

    2005-02-16

    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{sup -8}. For each realization of the TSPA seismic scenario, the results of this analysis provide a constraint on the values sampled from the

  10. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoxie, D.T.

    1995-04-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Holocene tephra stratigraphy in four lakes in southeastern Oregon and northwestern Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foit, Franklin F.; Mehringer, Peter J.

    2016-03-01

    To better understand the regional tephra stratigraphy and chronology of northern Nevada and southern Oregon, tephras in archived cores, taken as part of the Steens Mountain Prehistory Project from four lakes, Diamond Pond, Fish and Wildhorse lakes in southeastern Oregon and Blue Lake in northwestern Nevada, were reexamined using more advanced electron microprobe analytical technology. The best preserved and most complete core from Fish Lake along with Wildhorse Lake hosted two tephras from Mt. Mazama (Llao Rock and the Climactic Mazama), a mid-Holocene basaltic tephra from Diamond Craters, Oregon, two Medicine Lake tephras and an unexpected late Holocene Chaos Crags (Mt. Lassen volcanic center) tephra which was also found in the other lakes. Blue Lake was the only lake that hosted a Devils Hill tephra from the Three Sisters volcano in west central Oregon. Another tephra from the Three Sisters Volcano previously reported in sediments of Twin Lakes in NE Oregon, has now been confirmed as Rock Mesa tephra. The Chaos Crags, Devils Hill and Rock Mesa tephras are important late Holocene stratigraphic markers for central and eastern Oregon and northwestern Nevada.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    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.

  6. 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.``

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Geochemical and C, O, Sr, and U-series isotopic evidence for the meteoric origin of calcrete at Solitario Wash, Crater Flat, Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neymark, L. A.; Paces, J. B.; Marshall, B. D.; Peterman, Z. E.; Whelan, J. F.

    2005-08-01

    Calcite-rich soils (calcrete) in alluvium and colluvium at Solitario Wash, Crater Flat, Nevada, USA, contain pedogenic calcite and opaline silica similar to soils present elsewhere in the semi-arid southwestern United States. Nevertheless, a ground-water discharge origin for the Solitario Wash soil deposits was proposed in a series of publications proposing elevation-dependent variations of carbon and oxygen isotopes in calcrete samples. Discharge of ground water in the past would raise the possibility of future flooding in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, site of a proposed high-level nuclear waste repository. New geochemical and carbon, oxygen, strontium, and uranium-series isotopic data disprove the presence of systematic elevation-isotopic composition relations, which are the main justification given for a proposed ground-water discharge origin of the calcrete deposits at Solitario Wash. Values of δ13C (-4.1 to -7.8 per mil [‰]), δ18O (23.8-17.2‰), 87Sr/86Sr (0.71270-0.71146), and initial 234U/238U activity ratios of about 1.6 in the new calcrete samples are within ranges previously observed in pedogenic carbonate deposits at Yucca Mountain and are incompatible with a ground-water origin for the calcrete. Variations in carbon and oxygen isotopes in Solitario Wash calcrete likely are caused by pedogenic deposition from meteoric water under varying Quaternary climatic conditions over hundreds of thousands of years.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1995-05-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  1. Petrophysical properties, mineralogy, fractures, and flow tests in 25 deep boreholes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Philip H.; Kibler, Joyce E.

    2014-01-01

    As part of a site investigation for the disposal of radioactive waste, numerous boreholes were drilled into a sequence of Miocene pyroclastic flows and related deposits at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This report contains displays of data from 25 boreholes drilled during 1979–1984, relatively early in the site investigation program. Geophysical logs and hydrological tests were conducted in the boreholes; core and cuttings analyses yielded data on mineralogy, fractures, and physical properties; and geologic descriptions provided lithology boundaries and the degree of welding of the rock units. Porosity and water content were computed from the geophysical logs, and porosity results were combined with mineralogy from x-ray diffraction to provide whole-rock volume fractions. These data were composited on plates and used by project personnel during the 1990s. Improvements in scanning and computer technology now make it possible to publish these displays.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Snow Coverage Analysis Using ASTER over the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, B.

    2017-12-01

    Snow has strong impacts on human behavior, state and local activities, and the economy. The Sierra Nevada snowpack is California's most important natural reservoir of water. Such snow is melting sooner and faster. A recent California drought study showed that there was a deficit of 1.5 million acre-feet of water in 2014 due to the fast melting rates. Scientists have been using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) which is available at the spatial resolution of 500-meter, to analyze the changes in snow coverage. While such analysis provides us with the valuable information, it would be more beneficial to employ the imageries at a higher spatial resolution for snow studies. Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflectance Radiometer (ASTER), which acquires the high-resolution imageries ranging from 15-meter to 90-meter, has recently become freely available to the public. Our study utilized two scenes obtained from ASTER to investigate the changes in snow extent over the Sierra Nevada's mountain area for an 8-year period. These two scenes were collected on April 11, 2007 and April 16, 2015 covering the same geographic region. Normalized Difference Snow Index (NDSI) was adopted to delineate the snow coverage in each scene. Our study shows a substantial decrease of snow coverage in the studied geographic region by pixel count.

  9. Atmospheric transport of organophosphate pesticides from California's Central Valley to the Sierra Nevada Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zabik, John M.; Seiber, James N.

    1993-01-01

    Atmospheric transport of organophosphate pesticides from California's Central Valley to the Sierra Nevada mountains was assessed by collecting air- and wet-deposition samples during December, January, February, and March, 1990 to 1991. Large-scale spraying of these pesticides occurs during December and January to control insect infestations in valley orchards. Sampling sites were placed at 114- (base of the foothills), 533-, and 1920-m elevations. Samples acquired at these sites contained chlorpyrifos [phosphorothioic acid; 0,0-diethyl 0-(3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinyl) ester], parathion [phosphorothioic acid, 0-0-diethylo-(4-nitrophenyl) ester], diazinon {phosphorothioic acid, 0,0-diethyl 0-[6-methyl-2-(1-methylethyl)-4-pyrimidinyl] ester} diazinonoxon {phosphoric acid, 0,0-diethyl 0-[6-methyl-2-(1-methylethyl)-4-pyrimidinyl] ester}, and paraoxon [phosphoric acid, 0,0-diethyl 0-(4-nitrophenyl) ester] in both air and wet deposition samples. Air concentrations of chloropyrifos, diazinon and parathion ranged from 13 to 13 000 pg/m3 at the base of the foothills. At 533-m air concentrations were below the limit of quantification (1.4 pg/m3) to 83 pg/m3 and at 1920 m concentrations were below the limit of quantification. Concentrations in wet deposition varied with distance and elevation from the Central Valley. Rainwater concentrations at the base of the foot hills ranged from 16 to 7600 pg/mL. At 533-m rain and snow water concentrations ranged from below the limit of quantification (1.3 pg/mL) to 140 pg/mL and at 1920 m concentrations ranged from below the limit of quantification to 48 pg/mL. These findings indicate that atmospheric transport of pesticides applied in the valley to the Sierra Nevada mountains is occurring, but the levels decrease as distance and elevation increase from the valley floor.

  10. 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...

  11. Antiparasitic and antimicrobial indolizidines from the leaves of Prosopis glandulosa var glandulosa from Nevada and Texas USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    A new indolizidine alkaloid, named (Delta) 1,6-juliprosopine (1), together with previously known indolizidine analogs (2-6), was isolated from the leaves of Prosopis glandulosa var. glandulosa, collected from Nevada, USA; while two other known indolizidines juliprosopine (6) and juliprosine (7) were...

  12. 206Pb-230Th-234U-238U and 207Pb-235U geochronology of Quaternary opal, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neymark, Leonid A.; Amelin, Yuri V.; Paces, James B.

    2000-01-01

    U–Th–Pb isotopic systems have been studied in submillimeter-thick outermost layers of Quaternary opal occurring in calcite–silica fracture and cavity coatings within Tertiary tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA. These coatings preserve a record of paleohydrologic conditions at this site, which is being evaluated as a potential high-level nuclear waste repository. The opal precipitated from groundwater is variably enriched in 234U (measured 234U/238U activity ratio 1.124–6.179) and has high U (30–313 ppm), low Th (0.008–3.7 ppm), and low common Pb concentrations (measured 206Pb/204Pb up to 11,370). It has been demonstrated that the laboratory acid treatment used in this study to clean sample surfaces and to remove adherent calcite, did not disturb U–Th–Pb isotopic systems in opal. The opal ages calculated from 206Pb∗/238U and 207Pb∗/235U ratios display strong reverse discordance because of excess radiogenic 206Pb∗ derived from the elevated initial 234U. The data are best interpreted using projections of a new four-dimensional concordia diagram defined by 206Pb∗/238U, 207Pb∗/235U, 234U/238Uactivity, and 230Th/238Uactivity. Ages and initial 234U/238U activity ratios have been calculated using different projections of this diagram and tested for concordance. The data are discordant, that is observed 207Pb∗/235U ages of 170 ± 32 (2σ) to 1772 ± 40 ka are systematically older than 230Th/U ages of 34.1 ± 0.6 to 452 ± 32 ka. The age discordance is not a result of migration of uranium and its decay products under the open system conditions, but a consequence of noninstantaneous growth of opal. Combined U–Pb and 230Th/U ages support the model of slow mineral deposition at the rates of millimeters per million years resulting in layering on a scale too fine for mechanical sampling. In this case, U–Pb ages provide more accurate estimates of the average age for mixed multiage samples than 230Th/U ages, because ages based on shorter

  13. Influence of climate change predictions on snow in Sierra Nevada Mountains (Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    José Pérez-Palazón, María; Pimentel, Rafael; Herrero, Javier; María Perales, José; José Polo, María

    2015-04-01

    Snow is a basic component in Earth's surface energy balance. Its importance is greater in mountainous areas and therefore, its study is crucial to obtain conclusion about water resources over these areas. Moreover these regions are more vulnerable to climate variations. Sierra Nevada National Park (Southern Spain), with altitudes range from 2000 to 3500 m.a.s.l., is part of the global climate change observatories network and a clear example of snow regions in a semiarid environment. This work estimates the impact of climate change on snow dynamics and its influence on mountain hydrology in this area. Precipitation and temperature datasets from three different scenarios (A1B, A2, B1) proposed by the Fifth Assessment Report of IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) were used as forcing meteorological sequences to simulate selected snow variables (snow water equivalent, daily snow cover area, annual number of days with snow and annual snowmelt and evaporation volumes). The associated results were compared for each scenario, and the snow behavior and evolution over the 2046-2100 periods were assessed. The results point to a higher decrease on snow cover extension, than those estimated for other snow variables. As expected, this variation is greater from the worst of the scenarios analyzed (A2). Furthermore, the comparison of the driving meteorological datasets throughout the reference period (1960-2000) with the real observations has allowed the introduction of another term of uncertainty in the estimations, not considered in a simple scenario analysis.

  14. 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

  15. 9 M.y. record of southern Nevada climate from Yucca Mountain secondary minerals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Evaluation of the US DOE's conceptual model of hydrothermal activity at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dublyansky, Y. V.

    2014-08-01

    A unique conceptual model describing the conductive heating of rocks in the thick unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain, Nevada by a silicic pluton emplaced several kilometers away is accepted by the US Department of Energy (DOE) as an explanation of the elevated depositional temperatures measured in fluid inclusions in secondary fluorite and calcite. Acceptance of this model allowed the DOE to keep from considering hydrothermal activity in the performance assessment of the proposed high-level nuclear waste disposal facility. The evaluation presented in this paper shows that no computational modeling results have yet produced a satisfactory match with the empirical benchmark data, specifically with age and fluid inclusion data that indicate high temperatures (up to ca. 80 °C) in the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain. Auxiliary sub-models complementing the DOE model, as well as observations at a natural analog site, have also been evaluated. Summarily, the model cannot be considered as validated. Due to the lack of validation, the reliance on this model must be discontinued and the appropriateness of decisions which rely on this model must be re-evaluated.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.''

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Performance assessment model development and analysis of radionuclide transport in the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Bruce A.; Li, Chunhong; Ho, Clifford K.

    2003-05-01

    This paper describes the development and use of a particle-tracking model to perform radionuclide-transport simulations in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The goal of the effort was to produce a computational model that can be coupled to the project's calibrated 3D site-scale flow model so that the results of that effort could be incorporated directly into the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) analyses. The transport model simulates multiple species (typically 20 or more) with complex time-varying and spatially varying releases from the potential repository. Water-table rise, climate-change scenarios, and decay chains are additional features of the model. A cell-based particle-tracking method was employed that includes a dual-permeability formulation, advection, longitudinal dispersion, matrix diffusion, and colloid-facilitated transport. This paper examines the transport behavior of several key radionuclides through the unsaturated zone using the calibrated 3D unsaturated flow fields. Computational results illustrate the relative importance of fracture flow, matrix diffusion, and lateral diversion on the distribution of travel times from the simulated repository to the water table for various climatic conditions. Results also indicate rapid transport through fractures for a portion of the released mass. Further refinement of the model will address several issues, including conservatism in the transport model, the assignment of parameters in the flow and transport models, and the underlying assumptions used to support the conceptual models of flow and transport in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thomas, K.W.

    1987-12-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Livingston, D.E. [ed.

    1994-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Spatial and seasonal patterns of particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricardo Cisneros; Don Schweizer; Haiganoush Preisler; Deborah H. Bennett; Glenn Shaw; Andrzej Bytnerowicz

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents particulate matter data collected in the California southern Sierra Nevada Mountains (SNM) during 2002 to 2009 from the Central Valley (elevation 91 m) into the SNM (elevation 2,598 m). Annual average concentrations of particles smaller than 2.5 µm in diameter (PM2.5) for all sites during this study ranged from 3.1 to 22.2 µg...

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Nocturnal movements of desert bighorn sheep in the Muddy Mountains, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longshore, Kathleen M.; Lowrey, Chris E.; Jeffress, Matthew; Thompson, Daniel B.

    2009-01-01

    Adequate management of a species requires complete knowledge of its ecology, including both nocturnal and diurnal behavior. Knowledge of the movement behavior of bighorn sheep can provide insight for understanding spatial population processes as the combined result of individual behavior, physiological constraints, and fine-scale environmental influences. However, because of past difficulties in tracking radio-collared animals in the dark, little is known about nocturnal movements of many ungulates, including desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni). The use of GPS collars that supply sequential location records over a 24-hour period has provided new opportunities for recording movements of animals. We report findings from a preliminary analysis of data on nocturnal movements of desert bighorn sheep wearing GPS collars in the Muddy Mountains, Nevada. The study is part of a larger research project on movement patterns aimed at assessing the connectivity of bighorn sheep populations that comprise the metapopulation in southern Nevada. We recorded nighttime locations at 2100 and 0400 PST and calculated a total of 8,758 nocturnal movement distances for 12 ewes and 16 rams. Nocturnal movements were characteristic of all individuals. Bighorn sheep varied in the magnitude of movement from night to night and there were significant differences among individuals in the mean distance moved. Females had a greater proportion of short movement distances when compared to males; males had the greatest proportion of long distance movements. Movement distances were affected by sex, season, and percent of the moon’s surface illumination. Mean movement distances of males were greater than those of females. For both males and females, mean movement distances were shortest during the late spring months (April-June) and greatest during summer (July–September). Mean movement distances were greatest when the moon was brightest for all seasons except late spring, when movement

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Evolution of the conceptual model of unsaturated zone hydrology at yucca mountain, nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2001-01-01

    , particularly fracture flow deep in the unsaturated zone. This paper presents the history of the evolution of conceptual models of hydrology and numerical models of unsaturated zone flow at Yucca Mountain, Nevada (Flint, A.L., Flint, L.E., Kwicklis, E.M., Bodvarsson, G.S., Fabryka-Martin, J.M., 2001. Hydrology of Yucca Mountain. Reviews of Geophysics in press). This retrospective is the basis for recommendations for optimizing the efficiency with which a viable and robust conceptual model can be developed for a complex site. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. [References: 87

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-12-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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)

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, I.C.; Rattray, G.W.; Ferarese, J.S. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Yu, P. [Taipower Co., Taipei (Taiwan, Province of China); Ryan, J.N. [Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Dept. of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering

    1998-11-01

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nelson, P.H.

    1996-12-31

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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)

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Limited hydrologic response to Pleistocene climate change in deep vadose zones - Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paces, J.B.; Neymark, L.A.; Whelan, J.F.; Wooden, J.L.; Lund, S.P.; Marshall, B.D.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding the movement of water through thick vadose zones, especially on time scales encompassing long-term climate change, is increasingly important as societies utilize semi-arid environments for both water resources and sites viewed as favorable for long-term disposal or storage of hazardous waste. Hydrologic responses to Pleistocene climate change within a deep vadose zone in the eastern Mojave Desert at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, were evaluated by uranium-series dating of finely layered hyalitic opal using secondary ion mass spectrometry. Opal is present within cm-thick secondary hydrogenic mineral crusts coating floors of lithophysal cavities in fractured volcanic rocks at depths of 200 to 300 m below land surface. Uranium concentrations in opal fluctuate systematically between 5 and 550 μg/g. Age-calibrated profiles of uranium concentration correlate with regional climate records over the last 300,000 years and produce time-series spectral peaks that have distinct periodicities of 100- and 41-ka, consistent with planetary orbital parameters. These results indicate that the chemical compositions of percolating solutions varied in response to near-surface, climate-driven processes. However, slow (micrometers per thousand years), relatively uniform growth rates of secondary opal and calcite deposition spanning several glacial–interglacial climate cycles imply that water fluxes in the deep vadose zone remained low and generally buffered from the large fluctuations in available surface moisture during different climates.

  2. Limited hydrologic response to Pleistocene climate change in deep vadose zones — Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paces, James B.; Neymark, Leonid A.; Whelan, Joseph F.; Wooden, Joseph L.; Lund, Steven P.; Marshall, Brian D.

    2010-12-01

    Understanding the movement of water through thick vadose zones, especially on time scales encompassing long-term climate change, is increasingly important as societies utilize semi-arid environments for both water resources and sites viewed as favorable for long-term disposal or storage of hazardous waste. Hydrologic responses to Pleistocene climate change within a deep vadose zone in the eastern Mojave Desert at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, were evaluated by uranium-series dating of finely layered hyalitic opal using secondary ion mass spectrometry. Opal is present within cm-thick secondary hydrogenic mineral crusts coating floors of lithophysal cavities in fractured volcanic rocks at depths of 200 to 300 m below land surface. Uranium concentrations in opal fluctuate systematically between 5 and 550 μg/g. Age-calibrated profiles of uranium concentration correlate with regional climate records over the last 300,000 years and produce time-series spectral peaks that have distinct periodicities of 100- and 41-ka, consistent with planetary orbital parameters. These results indicate that the chemical compositions of percolating solutions varied in response to near-surface, climate-driven processes. However, slow (micrometers per thousand years), relatively uniform growth rates of secondary opal and calcite deposition spanning several glacial-interglacial climate cycles imply that water fluxes in the deep vadose zone remained low and generally buffered from the large fluctuations in available surface moisture during different climates.

  3. Effect of viscoelastic postseismic relaxation on estimates of interseismic crustal strain accumulation at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammond, William C.; Kreemer, Corné; Blewitt, Geoffrey; Plag, Hans-Peter

    2010-03-01

    We estimate the long-term crustal strain rate at Yucca Mountain (YM), Nevada from GPS velocities taking into account viscoelastic relaxation following recent earthquakes to remove bias associated with transient deformation. The YM data reveal postseismic relaxation in time series non-linearity and geographic variation of the transient signal. From the data we estimate best-fitting lower crust and upper mantle viscosities of 1019.5 Pa s and 1018.5 Pa s, respectively. Once the relaxation model predictions are subtracted from the data, the long-term shear strain accumulation rate is between 16.3 and 25.1 nanostrains/year (ns/yr) to 99% confidence, a range much larger than the formal uncertainties from GPS measurement. We conclude that 1) a Maxwell viscoelastic model cannot explain all the deformation observed at YM, 2) uncertainty in viscosities dominates uncertainty in YM strain rates, and 3) the effects of large, recent earthquakes must be accounted for in seismic hazard studies using GPS.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1996-11-01

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

  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. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Using seismic reflection to locate a tracer testing complex south of Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kryder, Levi

    Tracer testing in the fractured volcanic aquifer near Yucca Mountain, and in the alluvial aquifer south of Yucca Mountain, Nevada has been conducted in the past to determine the flow and transport properties of groundwater in those geologic units. However, no tracer testing has been conducted across the alluvium/volcanic interface. This thesis documents the investigative process and subsequent analysis and interpretations used to identify a location suitable for installation of a tracer testing complex, near existing Nye County wells south of Yucca Mountain. The work involved evaluation of existing geologic data, collection of wellbore seismic data, and a detailed surface seismic reflection survey. Borehole seismic data yielded useful information on alluvial P-wave velocities. Seismic reflection data were collected over a line of 4.5-km length, with a 10-m receiver and shot spacing. Reflection data were extensively processed to image the alluvium/volcanic interface. A location for installation of an alluvial/volcanic tracer testing complex was identified based on one of the reflectors imaged in the reflection survey; this site is located between existing Nye County monitoring wells, near an outcrop of Paintbrush Tuff. Noise in the reflection data (due to some combination of seismic source signal attenuation, poor receiver-to-ground coupling, and anthropogenic sources) were sources of error that affected the final processed data set. In addition, in some areas low impedance contrast between geologic units caused an absence of reflections in the data, complicating the processing and interpretation. Forward seismic modeling was conducted using Seismic Un*x; however, geometry considerations prevented direct comparison of the modeled and processed data sets. Recommendations for additional work to address uncertainties identified during the course of this thesis work include: drilling additional boreholes to collect borehole seismic and geologic data; reprocessing a

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1996-09-01

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

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patiman, A.; Bowles, J.

    2014-12-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Projecting 21st century snowpack trends in western USA mountains using variable-resolution CESM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhoades, Alan M.; Ullrich, Paul A.; Zarzycki, Colin M.

    2018-01-01

    Climate change will impact western USA water supplies by shifting precipitation from snow to rain and driving snowmelt earlier in the season. However, changes at the regional-to-mountain scale is still a major topic of interest. This study addresses the impacts of climate change on mountain snowpack by assessing historical and projected variable-resolution (VR) climate simulations in the community earth system model (VR-CESM) forced by prescribed sea-surface temperatures along with widely used regional downscaling techniques, the coupled model intercomparison projects phase 5 bias corrected and statistically downscaled (CMIP5-BCSD) and the North American regional climate change assessment program (NARCCAP). The multi-model RCP8.5 scenario analysis of winter season SWE for western USA mountains indicates by 2040-2065 mean SWE could decrease -19% (NARCCAP) to -38% (VR-CESM), with an ensemble median change of -27%. Contrary to CMIP5-BCSD and NARCCAP, VR-CESM highlights a more pessimistic outcome for western USA mountain snowpack in latter-parts of the 21st century. This is related to temperature changes altering the snow-albedo feedback, snowpack storage, and precipitation phase, but may indicate that VR-CESM resolves more physically consistent elevational effects lacking in statistically downscaled datasets and teleconnections that are not captured in limited area models. Overall, VR-CESM projects by 2075-2100 that average western USA mountain snowfall decreases by -30%, snow cover by -44%, SWE by -69%, and average surface temperature increase of +5.0°C. This places pressure on western USA states to preemptively invest in climate adaptation measures such as alternative water storage, water use efficiency, and reassess reservoir storage operations.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  1. Three-Dimensional Geologic Characterization of Geothermal Systems: Astor Pass, Nevada, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Siler, Drew L [Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, University of Nevada, Reno; Mayhew, Brett [Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, University of Nevada, Reno; Faulds, James E [Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, University of Nevada, Reno

    2012-09-30

    Geothermal systems in the Great Basin, USA, are controlled by a variety of fault intersection and fault interaction areas. Understanding the specific geometry of the structures most conducive to geothermal circulation is crucial in order to both mitigate the costs of geothermal exploration (especially drilling) and to identify blind geothermal systems (no surface expression). Astor Pass, Nevada, one such blind geothermal system, lies near the boundary between two distinct structural domains, the Walker Lane and the Basin and Range, and exhibits characteristics of each setting. Both northwest-striking, left-stepping dextral faults of the Walker Lane and kinematically linked northerly striking normal faults associated with the Basin and Range are present at Astor Pass. Previous studies identified a blind geothermal system controlled by the intersection of northwest-striking dextral and north-northwest-striking normal faults. Wells drilled into the southwestern quadrant of the fault intersection yielded 94°C fluids, with geothermometers suggesting significantly higher maximum temperatures. Additional data, including reprocessed 2D seismic data and petrologic analysis of well cuttings, were integrated with existing and reinterpreted geologic maps and cross-sections to aid construction of a 3D geologic model. This comprehensive 3D integration of multiple data sets allows characterization of the structural setting of the Astor Pass blind geothermal system at a level of detail beyond what independent data interpretation can provide. Our analysis indicates that the blind geothermal system is controlled by two north- to northwest-plunging fault intersections.

  2. 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.

  3. Volumetric analysis and hydrologic characterization of a modern debris flow near Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coe, J.A.; Glancy, P.A.; Whitney, J.W.

    1997-01-01

    On July 21 or 22, 1984, debris flows triggered by rainfall occurred on the southern hillslope of Jake Ridge, about 6 km east of the crest of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Rain gages near Jake Ridge recorded 65 mm and 69 mm on July 21, and 20 mm and 17 mm on July 22. Rates of rainfall intensity ranged up to 73 mm/h on the twenty-first, and 15 mm/h on the twenty-second. Digital elevation models with 2.0 m grid-node spacing, measured from pre-storm and post-storm aerial stereo-photographs, were used to map hillslope erosion and the downslope distribution of debris. Volumetric calculations indicate that about 7040 m3 of debris was redistributed on the 49,132 m2 hillslope study area during the two-day storm period. About 4580 m3 (65%) of the eroded sediment was deposited within the study area and the remaining 35% was deposited outside the study area in a short tributary to Fortymile Wash and in the wash itself. The maximum and mean depths of erosion in the study area were about 1.8 m and 5 cm, respectively. The mean depths of erosion on the upper and middle hillslope were 27 cm and 4 cm, respectively. The mean depth of deposition on the lower hillslope was 16 cm. Analysis of the values of cumulative precipitation in the context of the precipitation-frequency atlas of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration indicates that precipitation from the main storm on July 21 was more than double that expected, on average, once during a 100-year period. The relations of precipitation intensity/duration, developed from data recorded at a nearby precipitation gage, indicate a storm interval of 500 years or greater. The amount of erosion caused by such a storm is primarily dependent on three variables: storm intensity, development of the drainage network on the hillslope, and the amount of available colluvium. Additionally, the erosive ability of successive storms of equal intensity will decrease because such storms would tend to progressively isolate and reduce the amount of

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thamir, F.; McBride, C.M.

    1985-01-01

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

  5. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-03-20

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Estimation of the limitations for surficial water addition above a potential high level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fewell, M.E.; Sobolik, S.R.; Gauthier, J.H.

    1992-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project is studying Yucca Mountain in southwestern Nevada as a potential site for a high-level nuclear waste repository. Site characterization includes surface-based and underground testing. Analyses have been performed to design site characterization activities with minimal impact on the ability of the site to isolate waste, and on tests performed as part of the characterization process. One activity of site characterization is the construction of an Exploratory Studies Facility, consisting of underground shafts, drifts, and ramps, and the accompanying surface pad facility and roads. The information in this report addresses the following topics: (1) a discussion of the potential effects of surface construction water on repository-performance, and on surface and underground experiments; (2) one-dimensional numerical calculations predicting the maximum allowable amount of water that may infiltrate the surface of the mountain without affecting repository performance; and (3) two-dimensional numerical calculations of the movement of that amount of surface water and how the water may affect repository performance and experiments. The results contained herein should be used with other site data and scientific/engineering judgement in determining controls on water usage at Yucca Mountain. This document contains information that has been used in preparing Appendix I of the Exploratory Studies Facility Design Requirements document for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

  13. Geology and mineral resources of the Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex (Oregon and Nevada), the Southeastern Oregon and North-Central Nevada, and the Southern Idaho and Northern Nevada (and Utah) Sagebrush Focal Areas: Chapter B in Mineral resources of the Sagebrush Focal Areas of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vikre, Peter G.; Benson, Mary Ellen; Bleiwas, Donald I.; Colgan, Joseph P.; Cossette, Pamela M.; DeAngelo, Jacob; Dicken, Connie L.; Drake, Ronald M.; du Bray, Edward A.; Fernette, Gregory L.; Glen, Jonathan M.G.; Haacke, Jon E.; Hall, Susan M.; Hofstra, Albert H.; John, David A.; Ludington, Stephen; Mihalasky, Mark J.; Rytuba, James J.; Shaffer, Brian N.; Stillings, Lisa L.; Wallis, John C.; Williams, Colin F.; Yager, Douglas B.; Zürcher, Lukas

    2016-10-04

    SummaryThe U.S. Department of the Interior has proposed to withdraw approximately 10 million acres of Federal lands from mineral entry (subject to valid existing rights) from 12 million acres of lands defined as Sagebrush Focal Areas (SFAs) in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming (for further discussion on the lands involved see Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5089–A). The purpose of the proposed action is to protect the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and its habitat from potential adverse effects of locatable mineral exploration and mining. The U.S. Geological Survey Sagebrush Mineral-Resource Assessment (SaMiRA) project was initiated in November 2015 and supported by the Bureau of Land Management to (1) assess locatable mineral-resource potential and (2) to describe leasable and salable mineral resources for the seven SFAs and Nevada additions.This chapter summarizes the current status of locatable, leasable, and salable mineral commodities and assesses the potential of selected locatable minerals in lands proposed for withdrawal that span the Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, and Utah borders. In this report, the four study areas evaluated were (1) the Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex SFA in Washoe County, Nevada, and Harney and Lake Counties, Oregon; (2) the Southeastern Oregon and North-Central Nevada SFA in Humboldt County, Nevada, and Harney and Malheur Counties, Oregon; (3) the Southern Idaho and Northern Nevada SFA in Cassia, Owyhee, and Twin Falls Counties, Idaho, Elko County, Nevada, and Box Elder County, Utah; and (4) the Nevada additions in Humboldt and Elko Counties, Nevada.

  14. 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

  15. Distribution and Climatic Relationships of the American Pika (Ochotona princeps) in the Sierra Nevada and Western Great Basin, U.S.A.; Periglacial Landforms as Refugia in Warming Climates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Constance I. Millar; Robert D. Westfall

    2010-01-01

    We used a rapid assessment to survey American pika (Ochotona princeps) populations and documented 420 pika site occurrences in southwestern U.S.A. These included 329 sites from the Sierra Nevada (SN), California; 67 from six southwestern Great Basin (swGB) ranges, California and Nevada; 16 from three central Great Basin ranges, Nevada; and 8 from...

  16. A preliminary investigation of the structure of southern Yucca Flat, Massachusetts Mountain, and CP basin, Nevada Test Site, Nevada, based on geophysical modeling.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Geoffrey A. Phelps; Leigh Justet; Barry C. Moring, and Carter W. Roberts

    2006-03-17

    New gravity and magnetic data collected in the vicinity of Massachusetts Mountain and CP basin (Nevada Test Site, NV) provides a more complex view of the structural relationships present in the vicinity of CP basin than previous geologic models, helps define the position and extent of structures in southern Yucca Flat and CP basin, and better constrains the configuration of the basement structure separating CP basin and Frenchman Flat. The density and gravity modeling indicates that CP basin is a shallow, oval-shaped basin which trends north-northeast and contains ~800 m of basin-filling rocks and sediment at its deepest point in the northeast. CP basin is separated from the deeper Frenchman Flat basin by a subsurface ridge that may represent a Tertiary erosion surface at the top of the Paleozoic strata. The magnetic modeling indicates that the Cane Spring fault appears to merge with faults in northwest Massachusetts Mountain, rather than cut through to Yucca Flat basin and that the basin is downed-dropped relative to Massachusetts Mountain. The magnetic modeling indicates volcanic units within Yucca Flat basin are down-dropped on the west and supports the interpretations of Phelps and KcKee (1999). The magnetic data indicate that the only faults that appear to be through-going from Yucca Flat into either Frenchman Flat or CP basin are the faults that bound the CP hogback. In general, the north-trending faults present along the length of Yucca Flat bend, merge, and disappear before reaching CP hogback and Massachusetts Mountain or French Peak.

  17. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1989-07-01

    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.

  19. Post-Nevadan deformation along the Bear Mountains fault zone: Implications for the Foothills terrane, central Sierra Nevada, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paterson, Scott R.; Tobisch, Othmar T.; Radloff, Judith K.

    1987-06-01

    Southern parts of the Foothills terrane, Sierra Nevada, California, consist of western and eastern sequences of volcanic rocks and overlying slate-gray wacke units separated by a multiply deformed and lithologically chaotic central belt. Structural and strain studies suggest that the intensity of regional ductile deformation decreased from greater than 50% shortening in the western belt to less than 30% shortening in the eastern belt and that much of this ductile deformation is younger than the timing usually assumed for the Nevadan orogeny. These structures are in turn deformed by a large ductile shear zone representing the southern continuation of the Bear Mountains fault zone. This shear zone separates the western and central belts, has an oblique east-over-west sense of movement, and deforms the western margin of the Guadalupe igneous complex. These observations suggest that the eastern and western volcanic sequences are pieces of arcs amalgamated along the Bear Mountains fault zone during and after Nevadan deformation.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Englebrecht; I. Kavouras; D. Campbell; S. Campbell; S. Kohl; D. Shafer

    2008-08-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. Ages and Origins of Calcite and Opal in the Exploratory Studies Facility Tunnel, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paces, James B.; Neymark, Leonid A.; Marshall, Brian D.; Whelan, Joseph F.; Peterman, Zell E.

    2001-01-01

    Deposits of calcite and opal are present as coatings on open fractures and lithophysal cavities in unsaturated-zone tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, site of a potential high-level radioactive waste repository. Outermost layers of calcite and opal have radiocarbon ages of 16,000 to 44,000 years before present and thorium-230/uranium ages of 28,000 to more than 500,000 years before present. These ages are young relative to the 13-million-year age of the host rocks. Multiple subsamples from the same outer layer typically show a range of ages with youngest ages from the thinnest subsamples. Initial uranium-234/uranium-238 activity ratios between 1 and 9.5 show a distinct negative correlation with thorium-230/uranium age and are greater than 4 for all but one sample younger than 100,000 years before present. These data, along with micrometer-scale layering and distinctive crystal morphologies, are interpreted to indicate that deposits formed very slowly from water films migrating through open cavities. Exchanges of carbon dioxide and water vapor probably took place between downward-migrating liquids and upward-migrating gases at low rates, resulting in oversaturation of mineral constituents at crystal extremities and more or less continuous deposition of very thin layers. Therefore, subsamples represent mixtures of older and younger layers on a scale finer than sampling techniques can resolve. Slow, long-term rates of deposition (less than about 5 millimeters of mineral per million years) are inferred from subsamples of outermost calcite and opal. These growth rates are similar to those calculated assuming that total coating thicknesses of 10 to 40 millimeters accumulated over 12 million years. Calcite has a wide range of delta carbon-13 values from about -8.2 to 8.5 per mil and delta oxygen-18 values from about 10 to 21 per mil. Systematic microsampling across individual mineral coatings indicates basal (older) calcite tends to have the largest delta carbon-13 values

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Distrubution of the Endocrine Disruptor Nonylphenol and the Effects of Topographical Sheilding in an Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountain Drainage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, R. A.; Van de Bittner, K.; Morgan Jones, S.

    2013-12-01

    Nonylphenol is a biodegradation product of nonylphenol polyethoxylates, a pervasive compound used in many industrial processes and notably in pesticides as a surfactant. Nonylphenol has been shown to act as an endocrine disruptor at low concentrations. It causes hermaphrodism, birth defects, and high mortality in fish, frogs and other amphibians. The Sierra Nevada Mountains separate the Central Valley in the west from the high desert of Mono Country on the east side of the state of California. The Central Valley represents some of the most heavily cultivated agricultural land in the United States. San Joaquin County alone had an annual pesticide use of over 8 million pounds in 2009 according to the Pesticide Action Network, compared with 4800 pounds in Mono County the same year. Fragile alpine ecosystems in the Sierra Nevadas may be highly susceptible to the effects of endocrine disruptors like nonylphenol. The distribution of nonylphenol is affected by localized topography in a steep walled montane canyon in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, Convict Creek canyon. The concentration of nonylphenol in snow and surface water increases as the elevation in Convict Creek canyon decreases in an easterly direction from not detectable at the highest elevations to as much as .01mg/L in water and 1.8 mg/L in snow at the lowest elevations. The steep head wall of Convict Creek canyon, facing southeast, provides shielding to the higher elevation lakes from deposition of compounds and particulate matter. As a canyon becomes less steep and broader, more nonylphenol is deposited. Identifying these deposition patterns may assist in determining amphibian and fish populations that are at higher risk of negative impact from these compounds.

  7. InSAR and GPS time series analysis: Crustal deformation in the Yucca Mountain, Nevada region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Z.; Hammond, W. C.; Blewitt, G.; Kreemer, C. W.; Plag, H.

    2010-12-01

    Several previous studies have successfully demonstrated that long time series (e.g. >5 years) of GPS measurements can be employed to detect tectonic signals with a vertical rate greater than 0.3 mm/yr (e.g. Hill and Blewitt, 2006; Bennett et al. 2009). However, GPS stations are often sparse, with spacing from a few kilometres to a few hundred kilometres. Interferometric SAR (InSAR) can complement GPS by providing high horizontal spatial resolution (e.g. meters to tens-of metres) over large regions (e.g. 100 km × 100 km). A major source of error for repeat-pass InSAR is the phase delay in radio signal propagation through the atmosphere. The portion of this attributable to tropospheric water vapour causes errors as large as 10-20 cm in deformation retrievals. InSAR Time Series analysis with Atmospheric Estimation Models (InSAR TS + AEM), developed at the University of Glasgow, is a robust time series analysis approach, which mainly uses interferograms with small geometric baselines to minimise the effects of decorrelation and inaccuracies in topographic data. In addition, InSAR TS + AEM can be used to separate deformation signals from atmospheric water vapour effects in order to map surface deformation as it evolves in time. The principal purposes of this study are to assess: (1) how consistent InSAR-derived deformation time series are with GPS; and (2) how precise InSAR-derived atmospheric path delays can be. The Yucca Mountain, Nevada region is chosen as the study site because of its excellent GPS network and extensive radar archives (>10 years of dense and high-quality GPS stations, and >17 years of ERS and ENVISAT radar acquisitions), and because of its arid environment. The latter results in coherence that is generally high, even for long periods that span the existing C-band radar archives of ERS and ENVISAT. Preliminary results show that our InSAR LOS deformation map agrees with GPS measurements to within 0.35 mm/yr RMS misfit at the stations which is the

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1993-05-01

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

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Magma Emplacement Rates and Porphyry Copper Deposits: Thermal Modelling of the Yerington Batholith, Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schöpa, Anne; Annen, Catherine; Dilles, John H.; Sparks, R. Stephen J.; Blundy, Jon D.

    2017-04-01

    Many porphyry copper deposits are associated with granitoid plutons. Their genesis is attributed to the degassing of pluton-forming intermediate to silicic magma chambers. These plutons are commonly envisioned as resulting from the slow cooling and crystallization of large magma chambers. Most of the models combine the formation of ore deposits and the cooling of a magma chamber. However, they do not consider neither how typically hundreds of cubic kilometres of magma were emplaced into the upper crust, nor the prolonged growth of plutons involving simultaneous cooling and crystallization together with the release of exsolved volatiles, which may contribute to ore formation. We use numerical simulations of thermal evolution due to pluton growth to investigate the links between pluton construction, magma accumulation, solidification, volatile exsolution, volatile release and porphyry copper formation. The Jurassic Yerington batholith in western Nevada, USA, is used as a case study because it is associated with economic porphyry copper deposits, it shows an exceptional exposure revealing the geometry of the intrusion, and petrological and geochronological analysis have shed light on its emplacement style and duration. Our conductive heat flow model simulates the growth of the ˜1000 km3 batholith emplaced at 2-8 km crustal depth by step-wise intrusions of vertically stacked sills. Different emplacement rates and repose times of no melt injection between the three main Yerington intrusions were tested. Our numerical simulations show that to comply with the conceptual model linking porphyry copper deposits with the presence of large, highly molten magma chambers, magmas must be emplaced at a high rate of several cm/yr. In plutonic records, such high rates are uncommon. It follows that either the current conceptual model is incorrect or that porphyry copper deposits are only produced by the rare, rapidly emplaced plutons. The fact that many granitoid plutons are barren

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-02-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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 alkali-chloride and acid or low-pH magmatic-hydrothermal) may reflect proximity to (depth of) large resurgent intrusions. With the exception of the giant Round 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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 groundwater production is usually from one or more discrete zones of permeability. (Author 's abstract)

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ross, B.

    1987-12-01

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

  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. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Erosion rates as a potential bottom-up control of forest structural characteristics in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milodowski, David T; Mudd, Simon M; Mitchard, Edward T A

    2015-01-01

    The physical characteristics of landscapes place fundamental constraints on vegetation growth and ecosystem function. In actively eroding landscapes, many of these characteristics are controlled by long-term erosion rates: increased erosion rates generate steeper topography and reduce the depth and extent of weathering, limiting moisture storage capacity and impacting nutrient availability. Despite the potentially important bottom-up control that erosion rates place on substrate characteristics, the relationship between the two is largely unexplored. We investigate spatial variations in aboveground biomass (AGB) across a structurally diverse mixed coniferous/deciduous forest with an order of magnitude erosion-rate gradient in the Northern Californian Sierra Nevada, USA, using high resolution LiDAR data and field plots. Mean basin slope, a proxy for erosion rate, accounts for 32% of variance in AGB within our field area (P erosion rate as a potentially important, but hitherto unappreciated, control on AGB and forest structure.

  3. 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

  4. Late Tertiary Petrified Wood from Nevada, USA: Evidence of Multiple Silicification Pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George E. Mustoe

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Late Tertiary fossil woods from the state of Nevada provide an opportunity for observing the mineralization sequences that cause buried wood to become permineralized. Oligocene and Miocene caldera basins contain abundant petrified wood that ranges in composition from incipient silicification to complete permineralization. Examination of specimens from 21 localities reveals that the petrifaction sequence can follow multiple pathways. Fossil wood specimens from a single stratum may have different mineralization; silicification may vary even within a single specimen. Despite these variations, several trends are evident. Features in Nevada specimens suggest that two fundamental processes are involved: early mineralization of cell walls, and later silica deposition in lumina, vessels, and rot pockets from groundwater that permeated these open spaces. The process of open-space filling may be analogous to the genesis of geodes and veins, where multiple episodes of hydrothermal precipitation may produce opal, chalcedony, and quartz as deposits within a single cavity. Silica polymorphs may coexist as primary precipitates, or they may originate from solid-state transformation of a single parent material. Relic lepisphere textures observed in some chalcedony wood specimens are evidence of opal→chalcedony transition. In Nevada, specimens that contain crystalline quartz, this mineral appears to have been formed by direct precipitation in open spaces, not from recrystallization of chalcedony. Opal-A has seldom been reported in fossil wood, but this amorphous material is fairly common in Nevada specimens.

  5. 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

  6. A Novel Reanalysis Dataset for Improving Seasonal Snowpack Characterization: Application to the Sierra Nevada (USA) Over the Landsat 5 Record (1985-2011)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margulis, S. A.; Cortés, G.; Girotto, M.; Durand, M. T.

    2015-12-01

    Highly variable spatial and temporal patterns in snow properties are the norm in complex terrain, yet most mountain regions remain significantly under-sampled with respect to in situ data. We argue that significant strides in our understanding of snow processes in montane regions can be made using a regional reanalysis approach that merges information from uncertain model estimates and globally available remote sensing measurements. While many large-scale reanalysis datasets (e.g. NARR, NCEP/NCAR, MERRA, etc.) exist, their coarse spatial resolution and modeling/assimilation approaches are generally insufficient and/or inaccurate for direct application to analysis of snow processes in remote complex mountainous terrain. The newly developed state-of-the-art snow water equivalent (SWE) reanalysis approach presented in this paper is focused on snow and is based on the leveraging of long-term Landsat fractional snow-covered area (fSCA) datasets together with existing meteorological reanalysis products and snow modeling, merging all information streams within a data assimilation framework. The method is applied over the Sierra Nevada (USA) for the Landsat 5 record (1985-2011). The resolution (daily, 90-meter), temporal extent (27 years), and accuracy (mean and root-mean-squared errors less than 3 and 14 cm respectively and correlation greater than 0.94 compared with in situ SWE observations) provide a unique dataset for investigating snow processes. Preliminary analysis has focused on the peak SWE climatology over the reanalysis period. The pixel-wise peak SWE volume over the domain was found to be 19.9 km3 on average with a range of 9.8-35.8 km3. The 27-year climatology for range-wide peak SWE was found to be 16.4 km3 and occurred on 28 March. The results show that the assumption that 01 April SWE is representative of the peak range-wide SWE can lead to significant underestimation both on average (16%) and on an inter-annual basis (up to 47%). The reanalysis is being

  7. 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.

  8. 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)

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1983-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Finite-element simulation of ground-water flow in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada-California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czarnecki, J.B.; Waddell, R.K.

    1984-01-01

    A finite-element model of the groundwater flow system in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain at the Nevada Test Site was developed using parameter estimation techniques. The model simulated steady-state ground-water flow occurring in tuffaceous, volcanic , and carbonate rocks, and alluvial aquifers. Hydraulic gradients in the modeled area range from 0.00001 for carbonate aquifers to 0.19 for barriers in tuffaceous rocks. Three model parameters were used in estimating transmissivity in six zones. Simulated hydraulic-head values range from about 1,200 m near Timber Mountain to about 300 m near Furnace Creek Ranch. Model residuals for simulated versus measured hydraulic heads range from -28.6 to 21.4 m; most are less than +/-7 m, indicating an acceptable representation of the hydrologic system by the model. Sensitivity analyses of the model 's flux boundary condition variables were performed to assess the effect of varying boundary fluxes on the calculation of estimated model transmissivities. Varying the flux variables representing discharge at Franklin Lake and Furnace Creek Ranch has greater effect than varying other flux variables. (Author 's abstract)

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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)

  20. 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.

  1. 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 (period of rapid extension (ca. 17–15 to 12–10 Ma) documented widely across the northern Basin and Range Province.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Bibliography of publications related to Nevada-sponsored research of the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste repository site through 1994

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  6. Summary and evaluation of existing geological and geophysical data near prospective surface facilities in Midway Valley, Yucca Mountain Project, Nye County, Nevada; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gibson, J.D. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Swan, F.H.; Wesling, J.R.; Bullard, T.F.; Perman, R.C.; Angell, M.M.; DiSilvestro, L.A. [Geomatrix Consultants, Inc., San Francisco, CA (United States)

    1992-01-01

    Midway Valley, located at the eastern base of the Yucca Mountain in southwestern Nevada, is the preferred location of the surface facilities for the potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. One goal in siting these surface facilities is to avoid faults that could produce relative displacements in excess of 5 cm in the foundations of the waste-handling buildings. This study reviews existing geologic and geophysical data that can be used to assess the potential for surface fault rupture within Midway Valley. Dominant tectonic features in Midway Valley are north-trending, westward-dipping normal faults along the margins of the valley: the Bow Ridge fault to the west and the Paintbrush Canyon fault to the east. Published estimates of average Quaternary slip rates for these faults are very low but the age of most recent displacement and the amount of displacement per event are largely unknown. Surface mapping and interpretive cross sections, based on limited drillhole and geophysical data, suggest that additional normal faults, including the postulated Midway Valley fault, may exist beneath the Quaternary/Tertiary fill within the valley. Existing data, however, are inadequate to determine the location, recency, and geometry of this faulting. To confidently assess the potential for significant Quaternary faulting in Midway Valley, additional data are needed that define the stratigraphy and structure of the strata beneath the valley, characterize the Quaternary soils and surfaces, and establish the age of faulting. The use of new and improved geophysical techniques, combined with a drilling program, offers the greatest potential for resolving subsurface structure in the valley. Mapping of surficial geologic units and logging of soil pits and trenches within these units must be completed, using accepted state-of-the-art practices supported by multiple quantitative numerical and relative age-dating techniques.

  7. 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

  8. Major results of geophysical investigations at Yucca Mountain and vicinity, southern Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oliver, H.W.; Ponce, D.A. [eds.] [Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA (United States); Hunter, W.C. [ed.] [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States). Yucca Mountain Project Branch

    1995-12-31

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Nature and origin of 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

    1988-01-01

    Comparative lab spectra and Thematic Mapper imagery investigations at 3 Tertiary calderas in southern Nevada indicate that desert varnish is absorbant relative to underlying host rocks below about 0.7 to 1.3 microns, depending on mafic affinity of the sample, but less absorbant than mafic host rocks at higher wavelengths. Desert varnish occurs chiefly as thin impregnating films. Distribution of significant varnish accumulations is sparse and localized, occurring chiefly in surface recesses. These relationships result in the longer wavelength bands and high 5/2 values over felsic units with extensive desert varnish coatings. These lithologic, petrochemical, and desert varnish controlled spectral responses lead to characteristic TM band relationships which tend to correlate with conventionally mappable geologic formations. The concept of a Rock-Varnish Index (RVI) is introduced to help distinguish rocks with a potentially detectable varnish. Felsic rocks have a high RVI, and those with extensive desert varnish behave differently, spectrally, from those without extensive varnish. The spectrally distinctive volcanic formations at Stonewall Mountain provide excellent statistical class segregation on supervised classification images. A binary decision rule flow-diagram is presented to aid TM imagery analysis over volcanic terrane in semi-arid environments.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Site environmental report for calendar year 1996: Yucca Mountain site, Nye County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1987-02-01

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

  6. Late Holocene geomorphic record of fire in ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests, Kendrick Mountain, northern Arizona, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sara E. Jenkins; Carolyn Hull Sieg; Diana E. Anderson; Darrell S. Kaufman; Philip A. Pearthree

    2011-01-01

    Long-term fire history reconstructions enhance our understanding of fire behaviour and associated geomorphic hazards in forested ecosystems. We used 14C ages on charcoal from fire-induced debris-flow deposits to date prehistoric fires on Kendrick Mountain, northern Arizona, USA. Fire-related debris-flow sedimentation dominates Holocene fan deposition in the study area...

  7. 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,...

  8. Estimating detection probability for Canada lynx Lynx canadensis using snow-track surveys in the northern Rocky Mountains, Montana, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    John R. Squires; Lucretia E. Olson; David L. Turner; Nicholas J. DeCesare; Jay A. Kolbe

    2012-01-01

    We used snow-tracking surveys to determine the probability of detecting Canada lynx Lynx canadensis in known areas of lynx presence in the northern Rocky Mountains, Montana, USA during the winters of 2006 and 2007. We used this information to determine the minimum number of survey replicates necessary to infer the presence and absence of lynx in areas of similar lynx...

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Geohydrology of test well USW H-3, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thordarson, William; Rush, F.E.; Waddell, S.J.

    1985-01-01

    Test well USW H-3 is one of several wells drilled in the southwestern part of the Nevada Test Site for hydraulic testing, hydrologic monitoring, and geophysical logging. The work was performed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy. The rocks penetrated by the well to a total depth of 1,219 meters were volcanic tuffs of Tertiary age. The most transmissive zone in this well is in the upper part of the Tram Member of the Crater Flat Tuff that was penetrated at a depth from 809 to 841 meters; transmissivity is about 7 x 10 -1 meter squared per day. The remainder of the rocks penetrated between the depths of 841 to 1,219 meters have a transmissivity of about 4 x 10 -1 meter squared per day and are predominatly in the Tram Member of the Crater Flat Tuff and the Lithic Ridge Tuff in the depths from 841 to 1,219 meters. (USGS)

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Surface water quality along the Central John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevada Mountains: coliforms and algae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ursem, Carling; Evans, C Scott; Ger, Kemal Ali; Richards, John R; Derlet, Robert W

    2009-01-01

    The John Muir Trail (JMT) in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California is one of the most popular alpine wilderness trails in the United States, where backpackers depend on trailside water sources for more than 335 km (208 miles). This study addressed the risk of acquiring waterborne disease by analyzing prevalence and changes in coliform bacteria and Escherichia coli (E. coli) in lakes and streams adjacent to the central JMT. Chlorophyll-a levels were also measured as an indicator of high elevation eutrophication. Categories of environmental land use which might affect water quality were defined as: Pristine areas rarely traversed by humans; Backpack off-trail areas not traversed by pack or stock animals; and Multiuse areas with backpacker and animal use. We analyzed surface water at 36 different sites three separate times over an eight week period in the summer of 2008. Chlorophyll-a concentration increased significantly in Backpack and Multiuse sites over the summer months, but not in Pristine sites. Similar results were obtained for coliforms, with prevalence also increasing significantly over the summer months in Backpack and Multiuse sites. There was a much higher prevalence of E. coli in Multiuse sites compared to Pristine and Backpack sites. Our study provides evidence pack and stock animals serve as a source of microbial contamination of water along this section of trail.

  19. 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.

  20. Time scales for dissolution of calcite fracture fillings and implications for saturated zone radionuclide transport at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winterle, J.R.; Murphy, W.M.

    1999-01-01

    An analysis was performed to estimate time scales for dissolution of calcite fracture fillings in the fractured tuff aquifer that underlies Yucca Mountain (YM), Nevada, where groundwater is chemically undersaturated with respect to calcite. The impetus for this analysis originates from speculation that undissolved calcite in the saturated zone is evidence for limited diffusive exchange between fracture and matrix waters. Assuming that matrix diffusion is the rate-limiting process, the time scale for dissolution of calcite fracture fillings depends on the amount of calcite initially deposited, the distance between flowing fractures, the degree of chemical disequilibrium, and the rate of diffusion. Assuming geochemistry of J-13 well water in free-flowing fractures, estimated time scales for complete dissolution of matrix-entrapped calcite range from about 10 4 yr for a 2 mm-thick deposit located 1 m from a flowing fracture, to over 10 7 yr for a 2 cm-thick deposit located 100 m from a flowing fracture. The authors conclude that, given the geochemical and hydrologic characteristics observed at YM, the persistence of calcite minerals over geologic time scales in aquifers where flowing water is under-saturated with calcite does not necessarily preclude matrix diffusion as a dilution mechanism. However, the model suggests that the effective spacing between flowing fractures may be large enough to diminish the overall benefit of matrix diffusion to proposed high-level waste repository performance

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1996-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1996-01-01

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

  5. 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)

  6. 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

  7. Site characterization progress report, Yucca Mountain, Nevada: Number 19, April 1, 1998--September 30, 1998

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Paleoseismic investigations of Stagecoach Road fault, southeastern Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Menges, C.M.; Oswald, J.A.; Coe, J.A.; Lundstrom, S.C.; Paces, J.B.; Mahan, S.A.; Widmann, B.; Murray, M.

    1998-04-01

    This report summarizes the results of paleoseismic investigations at two trenches (SCR-T1 and SCR-T3) excavated across the Stagecoach Road (SCR) fault at the southeastern margin of Yucca Mountain. The results of these studies are based on detailed mapping or logging of geologic and structural relationships exposed in trench walls, combined with descriptions of lithologic units, associated soils, and fault-related deformation. The ages of trench deposits are determined directly from geochronologic dating of selected units and soils, supplemented by stratigraphic and soil correlations with other surficial deposits in the Yucca Mountain area. The time boundaries used in this report for subdivision of the Quaternary period are listed in a table. These data and interpretations are used to identify the number, amounts, timing, and approximately lengths of late to middle Quaternary (less than 200 ka) surface-faulting events associated with paleoearthquakes at the trench sites. This displacement history forms the basis for calculating paleoearthquake recurrence intervals and fault-slip rates for the Stagecoach Road fault and allows comparison with fault behavior on other Quaternary faults at or near Yucca Mountain.

  12. 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

  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. 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.

    1989-10-01

    The following subject areas are covered: (1) genetic, spectral, and LANDSAT Thematic Mapper imagery relationship between desert varnish and tertiary volcanic host rocks, southern Nevada; (2) reconnaissance geologic mapping of the Kane Springs Wash Volcanic Center, Lincoln County, Nevada, using multispectral thermal infrared imagery; (3) interregional comparisons of desert varnish; and (4) airborne scanner (GERIS) imagery of the Kane Springs Wash Volcanic Center, Lincoln County, Nevada.

  15. 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 varnish and tertiary volcanic host rocks, southern Nevada; (2) reconnaissance geologic mapping of the Kane Springs Wash Volcanic Center, Lincoln County, Nevada, using multispectral thermal infrared imagery; (3) interregional comparisons of desert varnish; and (4) airborne scanner (GERIS) imagery of the Kane Springs Wash Volcanic Center, Lincoln County, Nevada.

  16. 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

  17. 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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krannich, R.S.; Little, R.L. [Utah State Univ., Logan, UT (United States); Mushkatel, A.; Pijawka, K.D.; Jones, P. [Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States)

    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.

  18. 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

  19. Evolution of the persistence of snow over Sierra Nevada Mountain (southern, Spain) in the last 55 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pimentel, Rafael; José Pérez-Palazón, María; Herrero, Javier; José Polo, María

    2016-04-01

    Snow plays a crucial role in mountainous areas, not only as water resources for human supply, irrigation and energy production, but also for the ecosystem, flora and fauna, over these areas. Sierra Nevada Mountains, southern Spain, constitutes a rich reservoir of endemic wildlife species, and it is considered the most important center of biodiversity in the wester Mediterranean region. The highest regions of the range were declared UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Natural and National Parks. Climate trends over the last decades put a lot of pressure on both snowfall occurrence and snow persistence; this poses a risk for biodiversity and has led to its inclusion in the Global Change Observatory Network. This work quantifies the evolution of the persistence of snow over the Sierra Nevada area during the last fifty-five years (1960-2015) as a basis to assess the vulnerability of its ecosystem services. For this, the spatial distribution of the annual number of days with snow, SDS, was analyzed over a study area of 4583 km2 (140-3479 m.a.s.l.), which comprises the head of the five basins in these mountains. The following indicator variables were studied over the whole area and each one of the five head regions identified: 1) the trend of SDS; 2) the annual area where SDS exceeded selected percentiles in its distribution; and 3) the annual minimum altitude where SDS exceeded those percentiles. SDS was obtained during the study period by means of the snow module in WiMMed (Watershed Integrated Model in Mediterranean Environment), a physically-based hydrological model developed, calibrated and validated in the area; the model is based on an energy-mass balance over the snowpack that is spatially distributed through the use of depletion curves, and is operational at hourly and daily scales. A general decreasing trend of SDS (0.25 days year-1) was found over the whole study area for the study period. This value is higher in the more humid basins (0.45 and 0.41 days year-1) than in

  20. Analysis of magnetotelluric profile data from the Ruby Mountains metamorphic core complex and southern Carlin Trend region, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wannamaker, Philip E.; Doerner, William M.; Stodt, John A.; Sodergen, Timothy L.; Rodriguez, Brian D.

    2002-01-01

    We have collected about 150 magnetotelluric (MT) soundings in northeastern Nevada in the region of the Ruby Mountains metamorphic core complex uplift and southern Carlin mineral trend, in an effort to illuminate controls on core complex evolution and deposition of world-class gold deposits. The region has experienced a broad range of tectonic events including several periods of compressional and extensional deformation, which have contributed to the total expression of electrical resistivity. Most of the soundings are in three east-west profiles across increasing degrees of core uplift to the north (Bald Mountain, Harrison Pass and Secret Pass latitudes). Two shorter lines cross a prominent east-west structure to the north of the northern profile. MT impedance tensor and vertical magnetic field rotations imply a N-NNE average regional geoelectric strike, similar to surface geologic trends. Model resistivity cross sections were derived using a 2-D inversion algorithm, which damps departures of model parameters from an a priori structure, emphasizing the transverse magnetic (TM) mode and vertical magnetic field data. Geological interpretation of the resistivity combines previous seismic, potential field and isotope models, structural and petrological models for regional compression and extension, and detailed structural/stratigraphic interpretations incorporating drilling for petroleum and mineral exploration. To first order, the resistivity structure is one of a moderately conductive, Phanerozoic sedimentary section fundamentally disrupted by intrusion and uplift of resistive crystalline rocks. Late Devonian and early Mississippian shales of the Pilot and Chainman Formations together form an important conductive marker sequence in the stratigraphy and show pronounced increases in conductance (conductivity-thickness product) from east to west. These increases in conductance are attributed to graphitization caused by Elko-Sevier era compressional shear deformation and

  1. Origins of secondary silica within Yucca Mountain, Nye County, southwestern Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1996-01-01

    The accuracy of predictions of the hydrologic response of Yucca Mountain to future climate depends largely on how well relations between past climate and hydrology can be resolved. To advance this reconstruction, secondary minerals in and near Yucca Mountain, deposited by ground waters that originated both as surficial recharge at Yucca Mountain and from regional aquifers, are being studied to determine past ground-water sources and chemistries. Preliminary data on stable oxygen isotopes indicate that, although silica (opal, quartz, and chalcedony) and calcite and have formed in similar settings and from somewhat similar fluids, the authors have found no compelling evidence of coprecipitation or formation from identical fluids. If verified by further analyses, this precludes the use of silica-calcite mineral pairs for precise geothermometry. The preliminary data also indicate that opal and calcite occurrences in pedogenic and unsaturated-zone settings are invariably compatible with formation under modern ambient surface or subsurface temperatures. Silica and calcite stable-isotope studies are being integrated with soil geochemical modeling. This modeling will define the soil geochemical condition (climate) leading to opal or calcite deposition and to the transfer functions that may apply at the meteorologic soil unsaturated-zone interfaces. Additional study of pedogenic and unsaturated-zone silica is needed to support these models. The hypothesis that the transformation of vapor-phase tridymite to quartz requires saturated conditions is being tested through stable oxygen-isotope studies of lithophysal tridymite/quartz mixtures. Should this hypothesis be verified, mineralogic analysis by X-ray diffraction theoretically would permit reconstruction of past maximum water-table elevations

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  3. Site environmental report for calendar year 1994, Yucca Mountain Site, Nye County, Nevada.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-06-01

    The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization office has established an environmental program to ensure that facilities are operated in order to protect, maintain, and restore environmental quality, minimize potential threats to the environment and the public, and comply with environmental policies and US DOE orders. The status of the environmental program has been summarized in this annual report to characterize performance, confirm compliance with environmental requirements, and highlight significant programs and efforts during CY 1994. Monitoring, archaeology, groundwater, ecosystems, tortoise conservation, waste minimization, etc., are covered.

  4. Site characterization progress report, April 1, 1994--September 30, 1994: Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Volume 11

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-03-01

    The Civil Radioactive Waste Management Program was restructured to provide a new approach to the evaluation of the site for development as a repository and to its licensing. Funding was increased for FY 95, with most of the increase going to the Yucca Mountain site characterization project. During this period, significant progress was made in surface-based testing, advanced conceptual design, performance assessment, planning, licensing support system development activities, and construction of the Exploratory Studies Facility. The report is divided into the following sections: introduction, programmatic activities, site programs, repository design, waste package, performance assessment, and exploratory studies facility design/construction

  5. Site environmental report for calendar year 1994, Yucca Mountain Site, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-06-01

    The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization office has established an environmental program to ensure that facilities are operated in order to protect, maintain, and restore environmental quality, minimize potential threats to the environment and the public, and comply with environmental policies and US DOE orders. The status of the environmental program has been summarized in this annual report to characterize performance, confirm compliance with environmental requirements, and highlight significant programs and efforts during CY 1994. Monitoring, archaeology, groundwater, ecosystems, tortoise conservation, waste minimization, etc., are covered

  6. Site environmental report for calendar year 1997, Yucca Mountain Site, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-10-01

    This document is the seventh annual Site Environmental Report (SER) submitted by the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Office (YMSCO) to describe the environmental program implemented by the US Department of Energy (DOE) at Yucca Mountain. As prescribed by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA, 1982), this program ensures that site characterization activities are conducted in a manner that minimizes any significant adverse impacts to the environment and complies with all applicable laws and regulations. The most recent guidelines for the preparation of the SER place major emphasis on liquid and gaseous emissions of radionuclides, pollutants or hazardous substances; human exposure to radionuclides; and trends observed by comparing data collected over a period of years. To date, the YMP has not been the source of any radioactive emissions or been responsible for any human exposure to radionuclides. Minuscule amounts of radioactivity detected at the site are derived from natural sources or from dust previously contaminated by nuclear tests conducted in the past at the NTS. Because data for only a few years exist for the site, identification of long-term trends is not yet possible. Despite the lack of the aforementioned categories of information requested for the SER, the YMP has collected considerable material relevant to this report. An extensive environmental monitoring and mitigation program is currently in place and is described herein. Also, as requested by the SER guidelines, an account of YMP compliance with appropriate environmental legislation is provided

  7. Physical and hydrologic properties of rock outcrop samples at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1996-01-01

    Studies are underway at Yucca Mountain to characterize physical and hydrologic conditions for a potential high-level radioactive waste repository. Site characterization requires the development of three- dimensional models describing hydrogeologic units in terms of inputs for numerical models. It is also important to understand the spatial distribution of these properties, vertical and horizontally, in order to estimate values at unmeasured points. Deterministic processes of volcanism caused the initial formation of the rock units, and it is useful to be able to correlate rock properties with the more qualitative descriptions of rock lithology that occur on a larger scale. Preliminary data were collected to develop methods and evaluate spatial relations to determine sampling frequency. In addition, a data base was developed to provide some of the parameters needed for preliminary flow-modeling exercises. Surface transects of rock outcrops facilitated rapid collection of closely spaced samples of all units exposed at and around Yucca Mountain. This report presents the data collected, descriptive statistics for various units, preliminary hydrogeologic units, and analyses of porosity compared with flow properties

  8. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Number 15, April 1--September 30, 1996

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-04-01

    During the second half of fiscal year 1996, activities at the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (Project) supported the objectives of the revised Program Plan released this period by the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management of the US Department of Energy (Department). Outlined in the revised plan is a focused, integrated program of site characterization, design, engineering, environmental, and performance assessment activities that will achieve key Program and statutory objectives. The plan will result in the development of a license application for repository construction at Yucca Mountain, if the site is found suitable. Activities this period focused on two of the three near-term objectives of the revised plan: updating in 1997 the regulatory framework for determining the suitability of the site for the proposed repository concept and providing information for a 1998 viability assessment of continuing toward the licensing of a repository. The Project has also developed a new design approach that uses the advanced conceptual design published during the last reporting period as a base for developing a design that will support the viability assessment. The initial construction phase of the Thermal Testing Facility was completed and the first phase of the in situ heater tests began on schedule. In addition, phase-one construction was completed for the first of two alcoves that will provide access to the Ghost Dance fault.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  10. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, October 1, 1993--March 31, 1994

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-10-01

    This report is the tenth 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 spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Also included in this report are descriptions of 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. The Executive Summary is intended to provide a summary of major decisions, activities, accomplishments, and issues of interest during the reporting period. Chapter 1, Introduction, provides background information to assist the reader in understanding the current status of the program. Chapter 2 provides specific detailed discussions of activities conducted during the current reporting period and has two major divisions. Section 2.1, Preparatory Activities, provides information on select preparatory activities necessary to conduct site characterization and design activities. Sections 2.2 through 2.8 provide specific details on studies and activities conducted during the reporting period and follow the original structure of the Department`s 1988 Site Characterization Plan. Chapter 3 contains the current summary schedule, while Chapter 4 provides a description of the program outreach, including activities during the reporting period, in both the international program and public outreach. Chapter 5 presents an epilogue of significant events that occurred after the end of the reporting period.

  11. Evaluation of the Corrosivity of Dust Deposited on Waste Packages at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    C. Bryan; R. Jarek; T. Wolery; D. Shields; M. Sutton; E. Hardin; D. Barr

    2005-01-01

    Small amounts of dust will be deposited on the surfaces of waste packages in drifts at Yucca Mountain during the operational and the preclosure ventilation periods. Salts present in the dust will deliquesce as the waste packages cool and relative humidity in the drifts increases. In this paper, we evaluate the potential for brines formed by dust deliquescence to initiate and sustain localized corrosion that results in failure of the waste package outer barrier and early failure of the waste package. These arguments have been used to show that dust deliquescence-induced localized or crevice corrosion of the waste package outer barrier (Alloy 22) is of low consequence with respect to repository performance. Measured atmospheric and underground dust compositions are the basis of thermodynamic modeling and experimental studies to evaluate the likelihood of brine formation and persistence, the volume of brines that may form, and the relative corrosivity of the initial deliquescent brines and of brines modified by processes on the waste package surface. In addition, we evaluate several mechanisms that could inhibit or stifle localized corrosion should it initiate. The dust compositions considered include both tunnel dust samples from Yucca Mountain, National Airfall Deposition Program rainout data, and collected windblown dust samples. Also considered is sublimation of ammonium salts, a process that could affect dust composition prior to deliquescence. Ammonium chlorides, nitrates, and even sulfates sublimate readily into ammonia and acid gases, and will be lost from the surface of the waste package prior to deliquescence

  12. Modeling studies of gas movement and moisture migration at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tsang, Y.W.; Pruess, K. [Lawrence Berkeley Lab., CA (United States)

    1991-06-01

    Modeling studies on moisture redistribution processes that are mediated by gas phase flow and diffusion have been carried out. The problem addressed is the effect of a lowered humidity of the soil gas at the land surface on moisture removal from Yucca Mountain, the potential site for a high-level nuclear waste repository. At the land surface, humid formation gas contacts much drier atmospheric air. Near this contact, the humidity of the soil gas may be considerably lower than at greater depth, where the authors expect equilibrium with the liquid phase and close to 100% humidity. The lower relative humidity of the soil gas may be modeled by imposing, at the land surface, an additional negative capillary suction corresponding to vapor pressure lowering according to Kelvin`s Equation, thus providing a driving force for the upward movement of moisture in both the vapor and liquid phases. Sensitivity studies show that moisture removal from Yucca Mountain arising from the lowered-relative-humidity boundary condition is controlled by vapor diffusion. There is much experimental evidence in the soil literature that diffusion of vapor is enhanced due to pore-level phase change effects by a few orders of magnitude. Modeling results presented here will account for this enhancement in vapor diffusion.

  13. Diet of desert tortoises at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and implications for habitat reclamation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rakestraw, D.L.; Holt, E.A.; Rautenstrauch, K.R.

    1995-12-01

    The diet of desert tortoises at Yucca Mountain was assessed during 1992 to 1995 using a combination of feeding observations and scat analysis. Feeding observation data (1993 through 1995) showed that tortoises fed on a wide variety of items. The most frequently eaten items were forbs and annual grasses. These two forage groups comprised more than 90% of all bites taken. Analysis of scat (1992 and 1993) also showed that grasses and forbs were the most common groups, making up more than 80% of the composition of scat. Yearly differences between proportions of species in the diet were observed and were most likely attributable to differences in plant productivity, which is linked to rainfall patterns. Non-native species were an important component of the diet in all years, accounting for 13 to 50% of all bites observed and 6 to 24% of scat contents. A list of all items encountered in the diet is provided. To facilitate reclamation of desert tortoise habitat disturbed by the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project, native forage species that should be included in reclamation seed mixes, when feasible, were identified. Although shrubs make up only a small proportion of the diet, they should also be included in reclamation efforts because they provide habitat structure. Tortoise cover sites, and microhabitats amenable to seed germination and seedling establishment. In addition, non-native species should not be planted on reclaimed sites and, if necessary, sites should be recontoured and soil compaction reduced prior to planting

  14. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Number 15, April 1--September 30, 1996

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-04-01

    During the second half of fiscal year 1996, activities at the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (Project) supported the objectives of the revised Program Plan released this period by the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management of the US Department of Energy (Department). Outlined in the revised plan is a focused, integrated program of site characterization, design, engineering, environmental, and performance assessment activities that will achieve key Program and statutory objectives. The plan will result in the development of a license application for repository construction at Yucca Mountain, if the site is found suitable. Activities this period focused on two of the three near-term objectives of the revised plan: updating in 1997 the regulatory framework for determining the suitability of the site for the proposed repository concept and providing information for a 1998 viability assessment of continuing toward the licensing of a repository. The Project has also developed a new design approach that uses the advanced conceptual design published during the last reporting period as a base for developing a design that will support the viability assessment. The initial construction phase of the Thermal Testing Facility was completed and the first phase of the in situ heater tests began on schedule. In addition, phase-one construction was completed for the first of two alcoves that will provide access to the Ghost Dance fault

  15. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, October 1, 1993--March 31, 1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-10-01

    This report is the tenth 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 spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Also included in this report are descriptions of 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. The Executive Summary is intended to provide a summary of major decisions, activities, accomplishments, and issues of interest during the reporting period. Chapter 1, Introduction, provides background information to assist the reader in understanding the current status of the program. Chapter 2 provides specific detailed discussions of activities conducted during the current reporting period and has two major divisions. Section 2.1, Preparatory Activities, provides information on select preparatory activities necessary to conduct site characterization and design activities. Sections 2.2 through 2.8 provide specific details on studies and activities conducted during the reporting period and follow the original structure of the Department's 1988 Site Characterization Plan. Chapter 3 contains the current summary schedule, while Chapter 4 provides a description of the program outreach, including activities during the reporting period, in both the international program and public outreach. Chapter 5 presents an epilogue of significant events that occurred after the end of the reporting period

  16. Site environmental report for calendar year 1997, Yucca Mountain Site, Nye County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1998-10-01

    This document is the seventh annual Site Environmental Report (SER) submitted by the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Office (YMSCO) to describe the environmental program implemented by the US Department of Energy (DOE) at Yucca Mountain. As prescribed by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA, 1982), this program ensures that site characterization activities are conducted in a manner that minimizes any significant adverse impacts to the environment and complies with all applicable laws and regulations. The most recent guidelines for the preparation of the SER place major emphasis on liquid and gaseous emissions of radionuclides, pollutants or hazardous substances; human exposure to radionuclides; and trends observed by comparing data collected over a period of years. To date, the YMP has not been the source of any radioactive emissions or been responsible for any human exposure to radionuclides. Minuscule amounts of radioactivity detected at the site are derived from natural sources or from dust previously contaminated by nuclear tests conducted in the past at the NTS. Because data for only a few years exist for the site, identification of long-term trends is not yet possible. Despite the lack of the aforementioned categories of information requested for the SER, the YMP has collected considerable material relevant to this report. An extensive environmental monitoring and mitigation program is currently in place and is described herein. Also, as requested by the SER guidelines, an account of YMP compliance with appropriate environmental legislation is provided.

  17. Status of aeromagnetic survey coverage of Yucca Mountain and vicinity to a radius of about 140 kilometers, southwestern Nevada and southeastern California, 1992

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1993-12-31

    Fifty aeromagnetic surveys in the southwestern part of Nevada and the southeastern part of California have been evaluated to assess the quality and coverage of aeromagnetic data within 140 kilometers (km) of a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The compilation shows that all the study area is covered by aeromagnetic surveys, but in some areas, particularly in the Death Valley region, new surveys flown with closer flight line spacing and lower elevations than the existing coverage are needed. In addition, the California part of the study area needs to be analytically continued downward to 305 meters (m) above ground level to provide a consistent data set for interpretation of subsurface geologic structures.

  18. Status of aeromagnetic survey coverage of Yucca Mountain and vicinity to a radius of about 140 kilometers, southwestern Nevada and southeastern California, 1992

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

    Fifty aeromagnetic surveys in the southwestern part of Nevada and the southeastern part of California have been evaluated to assess the quality and coverage of aeromagnetic data within 140 kilometers (km) of a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The compilation shows that all the study area is covered by aeromagnetic surveys, but in some areas, particularly in the Death Valley region, new surveys flown with closer flight line spacing and lower elevations than the existing coverage are needed. In addition, the California part of the study area needs to be analytically continued downward to 305 meters (m) above ground level to provide a consistent data set for interpretation of subsurface geologic structures

  19. Short-term vegetation response following mechanical control of saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) on the Virgin River, Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostoja, Steven M.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Dudley, Tom; Lee, Steven R.

    2014-01-01

    Tamarisk (a.k.a. saltcedar, Tamarix spp.) is an invasive plant species that occurs throughout western riparian and wetland ecosystems. It is implicated in alterations of ecosystem structure and function and is the subject of many local control projects, including removal using heavy equipment. We evaluated short-term vegetation responses to mechanical Tamarix spp. removal at sites ranging from 2 to 5 yr post-treatment along the Virgin River in Nevada, USA. Treatments resulted in lower density and cover (but not eradication) of Tamarix spp., increased cover of the native shrub Pluchea sericia (arrow weed), decreased density and cover of all woody species combined, increased density of both native annual forbs and the nonnative annual Salsola tragus (prickly Russian-thistle), and lower density of nonnative annual grasses. The treated plots had lower mean woody species richness, but greater herbaceous species richness and diversity. Among herbaceous species, native taxa increased in richness whereas nonnative species increased in both species richness and diversity. Thus, efforts to remove Tamarix,/i> spp. at the Virgin River reduced vegetative cover contributing to fuel loads and probability of fire, and resulted in positive effects for native plant diversity, with mixed effects on other nonnative species. However, absolute abundances of native species

  20. Compound maar crater and co-eruptive scoria cone in the Lunar Crater Volcanic Field (Nevada, USA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amin, Jamal; Valentine, Greg A.

    2017-06-01

    Bea's Crater (Lunar Crater Volcanic Field, Nevada, USA) consists of two coalesced maar craters with diameters of 440 m and 1050 m, combined with a co-eruptive scoria cone that straddles the northeast rim of the larger crater. The two craters and the cone form an alignment that parallels many local and regional structures such as normal faults, and is interpreted to represent the orientation of the feeder dyke near the surface. The maar formed among a dense cluster of scoria cones; the cone-cluster topography resulted in crater rim that has a variable elevation. These older cones are composed of variably welded agglomerate and scoria with differing competence that subsequently affected the shape of Bea's Crater. Tephra ring deposits associated with phreatomagmatic maar-forming eruptions are rich in basaltic lithics derived from clasts, consistent with ejection from relatively shallow explosions although a diatreme might extend to deeper levels beneath the maar. Interbedding of deposits on the northeastern cone and in the tephra ring record variations in the magmatic volatile driven and phreatomagmatic eruption styles in both space and time along a feeder dike.

  1. Application of Wildfire Risk Assessment Results to Wildfire Response Planning in the Southern Sierra Nevada, California, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew P. Thompson

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available How wildfires are managed is a key determinant of long-term socioecological resiliency and the ability to live with fire. Safe and effective response to fire requires effective pre-fire planning, which is the main focus of this paper. We review general principles of effective federal fire management planning in the U.S., and introduce a framework for incident response planning consistent with these principles. We contextualize this framework in relation to a wildland fire management continuum based on federal fire management policy in the U.S. The framework leverages recent advancements in spatial wildfire risk assessment—notably the joint concepts of in situ risk and source risk—and integrates assessment results with additional geospatial information to develop and map strategic response zones. We operationalize this framework in a geographic information system (GIS environment based on landscape attributes relevant to fire operations, and define Potential wildland fire Operational Delineations (PODs as the spatial unit of analysis for strategic response. Using results from a recent risk assessment performed on several National Forests in the Southern Sierra Nevada area of California, USA, we illustrate how POD-level summaries of risk metrics can reduce uncertainty surrounding potential losses and benefits given large fire occurrence, and lend themselves naturally to design of fire and fuel management strategies. To conclude we identify gaps, limitations, and uncertainties, and prioritize future work to support safe and effective incident response.

  2. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 6, Part B: Chapter 8, Sections 8.3.2 through 8.3.4.4

    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. 35 figs., 70 tabs

  3. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 8, Part B: Chapter 8, Sections 8.3.5 through 8.3.5.20

    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. 68 figs., 102 tabs

  4. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 5, Part B: Chapter 8, Sections 8.3.1.5 through 8.3.1.17

    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 SOE'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

  5. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 5, Part B: Chapter 8, Sections 8.3.1.5 through 8.3.1.17

    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 SOE`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. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 8, Part B: Chapter 8, Sections 8.4 through 8.7; Glossary and Acronyms

    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 Section 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. 88 figs., 42 tabs

  7. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 8, Part B: Chapter 8, Sections 8.4 through 8.7; Glossary and Acronyms

    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 Section 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. 88 figs., 42 tabs.

  8. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 8, Part B: Chapter 8, Sections 8.3.5 through 8.3.5.20

    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. 68 figs., 102 tabs.

  9. Origin, development, and impact of mountain laurel thickets on the mixed-oak forests of the central Appalachian Mountains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patrick H. Brose

    2016-01-01

    Throughout forests of the northern hemisphere, some species of ericaceous shrubs can form persistent understories that interfere with forest regeneration processes. In the Appalachian Mountains of eastern North America, mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) may interfere in the regeneration of mixed-oak (Quercus spp.) forests. To...

  10. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, April 1, 1991--September 30, 1991, Number 5

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-06-01

    The Site Characterization Progress Report of Yucca Mountain (PR) presents brief summaries of the status of site characterization activities and cites the 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 the discussion of changes to the DOE's site characterization program resulting from ongoing collection and evaluation of site information; the development of repository and waste-package designs; the results of performance assessments; and any changes that occur in response to external comments. Information covered includes geochemistry, hydrology, geology, climate, and radiation dose estimate calculations

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Savard, C.S.

    1994-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1981-01-01

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

  13. Hydrogeochemical and stream sediment special reconnaissance report for the Deep Creek Mountains, Nevada and Utah

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Qualheim, B.

    1979-04-01

    This report represents the results of the reconnaissance sampling of the Deep Creek Mountains of western Utah. The Deep Creek range is located in the northwest corner of the Delta NTMS 1:250,000 and the southwestern corner of the Tooele NTMS 1:250,000 sheets and covers an area of 1750 km/sup 2/. Samples collected in this study include dry and wet stream sediments and water from available streams, wells, and springs. The samples were analyzed for uranium, as well as 15 to 20 trace elements, using neutron activation techniques. In addition, field and laboratory measurements were made on the water samples. Analytical data and field measurements are presented in tabular hard copy and fiche format. Water-sample site locations, water-sample uranium concentrations, sediment-sample site locations, and sediment-sample uranium concentrations are shown on separate overlays.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ebinger, M.H.

    1992-01-01

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

  15. Combined analysis of surface reflection imaging and vertical seismic profiling at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Daley, T.M.; Majer, E.L.; Karageorgi, E.

    1994-08-01

    This report presents results from surface and borehole seismic profiling performed by the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL) on Yucca Mountain. This work was performed as part of the site characterization effort for the potential high-level nuclear waste repository. Their objective was to provide seismic imaging from the near surface (200 to 300 ft. depth) to the repository horizon and below, if possible. Among the issues addressed by this seismic imaging work are location and depth of fracturing and faulting, geologic identification of reflecting horizons, and spatial continuity of reflecting horizons. The authors believe their results are generally positive, with tome specific successes. This was the first attempt at this scale using modem seismic imaging techniques to determine geologic features on Yucca Mountain. The principle purpose of this report is to present the interpretation of the seismic reflection section in a geologic context. Three surface reflection profiles were acquired and processed as part of this study. Because of environmental concerns, all three lines were on preexisting roads. Line 1 crossed the mapped surface trace of the Ghost Dance fault and it was intended to study the dip and depth extent of the fault system. Line 2 was acquired along Drill Hole wash and was intended to help the ESF north ramp design activities. Line 3 was acquired along Yucca Crest and was designed to image geologic horizons which were thought to be less faulted along the ridge. Unfortunately, line 3 proved to have poor data quality, in part because of winds, poor field conditions and limited time. Their processing and interpretation efforts were focused on lines 1 and 2 and their associated VSP studies

  16. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada. October 1, 1996--March 31, 1997

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-10-01

    The report is the sixteenth in a series issued approximately every six months to report progress and results of site characterization activities being conducted to evaluate Yucca Mountain as a possible geologic repository for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. This report highlights work started, in progress, and completed during the reporting period. In addition, this report documents and discusses changes to the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) Site Characterization Program (Program) resulting from the ongoing collection and evaluation of site information, systems analyses, development of repository and waste package designs, and results of performance assessment activities. Details on the activities summarized can be found in the numerous technical reports cited throughout the progress report. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (Project) activities this period focused on implementing the near-term objectives of the revised Program Plan issued last period. Near-term objectives of the revised Program Plan include updating the US Department of Energy`s (DOE) repository siting guidelines to be consistent with a more focused performance-driven program; supporting an assessment in 1998 of the viability of continuing with actions leading to the licensing of a repository; and if the site is suitable, submittal of a Secretarial site recommendation to the President in 2001 and license application the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in 2002. During this reporting period, the Project developed and baselined its long-range plan in December 1996. That revision reflected the detailed fiscal year (FY) 1997 work scope and funding plan previously baselined at the end of FY 1996. Site characterization activities have been focused to answer the major open technical issues and to support the viability assessment.

  17. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada. October 1, 1996--March 31, 1997

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-10-01

    The report is the sixteenth in a series issued approximately every six months to report progress and results of site characterization activities being conducted to evaluate Yucca Mountain as a possible geologic repository for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. This report highlights work started, in progress, and completed during the reporting period. In addition, this report documents and discusses changes to the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) Site Characterization Program (Program) resulting from the ongoing collection and evaluation of site information, systems analyses, development of repository and waste package designs, and results of performance assessment activities. Details on the activities summarized can be found in the numerous technical reports cited throughout the progress report. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (Project) activities this period focused on implementing the near-term objectives of the revised Program Plan issued last period. Near-term objectives of the revised Program Plan include updating the US Department of Energy's (DOE) repository siting guidelines to be consistent with a more focused performance-driven program; supporting an assessment in 1998 of the viability of continuing with actions leading to the licensing of a repository; and if the site is suitable, submittal of a Secretarial site recommendation to the President in 2001 and license application the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in 2002. During this reporting period, the Project developed and baselined its long-range plan in December 1996. That revision reflected the detailed fiscal year (FY) 1997 work scope and funding plan previously baselined at the end of FY 1996. Site characterization activities have been focused to answer the major open technical issues and to support the viability assessment

  18. Characteristics of Natural Colloids in the Saturated Alluvium South of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kung, S.; Chipera, S. J.; Reimus, P. W.

    2001-12-01

    Over the past 3 years, the Nye County Early Warning Drilling Program (EWDP) has installed several wells in the saturated alluvium south of the potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, NV. Los Alamos National Laboratory has collected groundwater samples from these wells and analyzed the waters for natural colloid concentrations, size distributions, and colloid mineralogy. These efforts are helping the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project assess the potential for colloid-facilitated transport of radionuclides in the saturated alluvium that lies down-gradient of the potential repository. To date, colloid samples have been collected from 12 different wells at 9 different locations, including one well in which samples were collected from 4 different depth intervals screened in the alluvium. Colloid concentrations have varied over three orders of magnitude (1E6 to 1E9/mL), with the concentrations tending to be inversely correlated with divalent cation concentrations in the waters. This result is generally consistent with colloid stability theory. Colloid-facilitated transport of strongly-sorbing radionuclides could be a significant radionuclide transport mechanism at the upper end of the measured colloid concentration range. Colloid size distributions (between 50 and 1000 nm diameter) varied somewhat from location to location, but they consistently tended to be skewed toward the lower end of the size range, with the mode of the distributions occurring at less than 100 nm diameter. Using a field filtration apparatus, a sufficiently large mass of colloids was collected at one location that the mineralogy of the colloids could be analyzed by XRD. The colloids consisted of 95 percent smectite clay and 4 percent zeolite, both of which tend to have relatively high sorption capacities for sorbing radionuclides. Transmission electron micrographs of the colloids indicated that they had a predominantly crystalline morphology. Future plans include

  19. Hourly mass and snow energy balance measurements from Mammoth Mountain, CA USA, 2011-2017

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bair, Edward H.; Davis, Robert E.; Dozier, Jeff

    2018-03-01

    The mass and energy balance of the snowpack govern its evolution. Direct measurement of these fluxes is essential for modeling the snowpack, yet there are few sites where all the relevant measurements are taken. Mammoth Mountain, CA USA, is home to the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory and University of California - Santa Barbara Energy Site (CUES), one of five energy balance monitoring sites in the western US. There is a ski patrol study site on Mammoth Mountain, called the Sesame Street Snow Study Plot, with automated snow and meteorological instruments where new snow is hand-weighed to measure its water content. There is also a site at Mammoth Pass with automated precipitation instruments. For this dataset, we present a clean and continuous hourly record of selected measurements from the three sites covering the 2011-2017 water years. Then, we model the snow mass balance at CUES and compare model runs to snow pillow measurements. The 2011-2017 period was marked by exceptional variability in precipitation, even for an area that has high year-to-year variability. The driest year on record, and one of the wettest years, occurred during this time period, making it ideal for studying climatic extremes. This dataset complements a previously published dataset from CUES containing a smaller subset of daily measurements. In addition to the hand-weighed SWE, novel measurements include hourly broadband snow albedo corrected for terrain and other measurement biases. This dataset is available with a digital object identifier: https://doi.org/10.21424/R4159Q" target="_blank">https://doi.org/10.21424/R4159Q.

  20. Uncertainties in coupled thermal-hydrological processes associated with the drift scale test at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mukhopadhyay, Sumitra; Tsang, Y.W.

    2002-01-01

    Understanding thermally driven coupled hydrological, mechanical, and chemical processes in unsaturated fractured tuff is essential for evaluating the performance of the potential radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The Drift Scale Test (DST), intended for acquiring such an understanding of these processes, has generated a huge volume of temperature and moisture redistribution data. Sophisticated thermal hydrological (TH) conceptual models have yielded a good fit between simulation results and those measured data. However, some uncertainties in understanding the TH processes associated with the DST still exist. This paper evaluates these uncertainties and provides quantitative estimates of the range of these uncertainties. Of particular interest for the DST are the uncertainties resulting from the unmonitored loss of vapor through an open bulkhead of the test. There was concern that the outcome from the test might have been significantly altered by these losses. Using alternative conceptual models, we illustrate that predicted mean temperatures from the DST are within 1 degree C of the measured mean temperatures through the first two years of heating. The simulated spatial and temporal evolution of drying and condensation fronts is found to be qualitatively consistent with measured saturation data. Energy and mass balance computation shows that no more than 13 percent of the input energy is lost because of vapor leaving the test domain through the bulkhead. The change in average saturation in fractures is also relatively small. For a hypothetical situation in which no vapor is allowed to exit through the bulkhead, the simulated average fracture saturation is not qualitatively different enough to be discerned by measured moisture redistribution data. This leads us to conclude that the DST, despite the uncertainties associated with open field testing, has provided an excellent understanding of the TH processes

  1. Fran Ridge horizontal coring summary report hole UE-25h No. 1, Yucca Mountain Area, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Norris, A.E.; Byers, F.M. Jr.; Merson, T.J.

    1986-10-01

    Hole UE-25h No. 1 was core drilled during December 1982 and January 1983 within several degrees of due west, 400 ft horizontally into the southeast slope of Fran Ridge at an altitude of 3409 ft. The purpose of the hole was to obtain data pertinent for radionuclide transport studies in the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff. This unit had been selected previously as the host rock for the potential underground nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, adjacent to the southwestern part of the Nevada Test Site. The hole was core drilled first with air, then with air mist, and finally with air, soap, and water. Many problems were encountered, including sloughing of tuff into the uncased hole, vibration of the drill rods, high rates of bit wear, and lost circulation of drilling fluids. On the basis of experience gained in drilling this hole, ways to improve horizontal coring with air are suggested in this report. All of the recovered core, except those pieces that were wrapped and waxed, were examined for lithophysal content, for fractures, and for fracture-fill mineralization. The results of this examination are given in this report. Core recovery greater than 80% at between 209 and 388 ft permitted a fracture frequency analysis. The results are similar to the fracture frequencies observed in densely welded nonlithophysal tuff from holes USW GU-3 and USW G-4. The fractures in core from UE-25h No. 1 were found to be smooth and nonmineralized or coated with calcite, silica, or manganese oxide. Open fractures with caliche (porous, nonsparry calcite) were not observed beyond 83.5 ft, which corresponds to an overburden depth of 30 ft

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peterman, B.; Moscati, R.

    2000-01-01

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

  3. Evaluation of SNODAS snow depth and snow water equivalent estimates for the Colorado Rocky Mountains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clow, David W.; Nanus, Leora; Verdin, Kristine L.; Schmidt, Jeffrey

    2012-01-01

    The National Weather Service's Snow Data Assimilation (SNODAS) program provides daily, gridded estimates of snow depth, snow water equivalent (SWE), and related snow parameters at a 1-km2 resolution for the conterminous USA. In this study, SNODAS snow depth and SWE estimates were compared with independent, ground-based snow survey data in the Colorado Rocky Mountains to assess SNODAS accuracy at the 1-km2 scale. Accuracy also was evaluated at the basin scale by comparing SNODAS model output to snowmelt runoff in 31 headwater basins with US Geological Survey stream gauges. Results from the snow surveys indicated that SNODAS performed well in forested areas, explaining 72% of the variance in snow depths and 77% of the variance in SWE. However, SNODAS showed poor agreement with measurements in alpine areas, explaining 16% of the variance in snow depth and 30% of the variance in SWE. At the basin scale, snowmelt runoff was moderately correlated (R2 = 0.52) with SNODAS model estimates. A simple method for adjusting SNODAS SWE estimates in alpine areas was developed that uses relations between prevailing wind direction, terrain, and vegetation to account for wind redistribution of snow in alpine terrain. The adjustments substantially improved agreement between measurements and SNODAS estimates, with the R2 of measured SWE values against SNODAS SWE estimates increasing from 0.42 to 0.63 and the root mean square error decreasing from 12 to 6 cm. Results from this study indicate that SNODAS can provide reliable data for input to moderate-scale to large-scale hydrologic models, which are essential for creating accurate runoff forecasts. Refinement of SNODAS SWE estimates for alpine areas to account for wind redistribution of snow could further improve model performance. Published 2011. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  4. Aerosol Light Absorption and Scattering at Four Sites in and Near Mexico City: Comparison with Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnott, W. P.; Miranda, G. P.; Gaffney, J. S.; Marley, N. A.

    2007-05-01

    Four photoacoustic spectrometers (PAS) for aerosol light scattering and absorption measurements were deployed in and near Mexico City in March 2006 as part of the Megacity Impacts on Regional and Global Environments (MIRAGE). The four sites included: an urban site at Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo (Mexican Oil Institute, denoted by IMP); a suburban site at the Technological University of Tecamac; a rural site at "La Biznaga" ranch; and a site at the Paseo de Cortes (altitude 3,810 meters ASL) in the rural area above Amecameca in the State of Mexico, on the saddle between the volcanoes Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl. A similar campaign was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA in January-February, 2003. The IMP site gave in-situ characterization of the Mexico City plume under favorable wind conditions while the other sites provided characterization of the plume, mixed in with any local sources. The second and third sites are north of Mexico City, and the fourth site is south. The PAS used at IMP operates at 532 nm, and conveniently allowed for characterization of gaseous absorption at this wavelength as well. Instruments at the second and third sites operate at 870 nm, and the one at the fourth site at 780 nm. Light scattering measurements are accomplished within the PAS by the reciprocal nephelometery method. In the urban site the aerosol absorption coefficient typically varies between 20 and 180 Mm-1 during the course of the day and significant diurnal variation of the aerosol single scattering albedo was observed probably as a consequence of secondary aerosol formation. Comparisons with TSI nephelometer scattering at the T0 site will be presented. We will present the diurnal variation of the scattering and absorption as well as the single scattering albedo and fraction of absorption due to gases at the IMP site and compare with Las Vegas diurnal variation. Mexico City 'breaths' more during the course of the day than Las Vegas, Nevada in part because the latitude of

  5. Use of Irrigation to Extend the Seeding Window for Final Reclamation at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    TRW Environmental Safety

    2000-08-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy has implemented a program to investigate the feasibility of various techniques for reclaiming lands disturbed during site characterization at Yucca Mountain. As part of this program, two studies were conducted in 1997 to assess the effects of combinations of seeding date (date that seeds are planted) and supplemental irrigation on densities of native plant species at Yucca Mountain. Study objectives were to (1) determine whether the traditional seeding window (October-December) could be extended through combinations of seeding date and irrigation date, (2) determine which combination of seeding date and irrigation was most successful, and (3) assess the effects of irrigation versus natural precipitation on seedling establishment. In the first study, a multi-species seed mix of 16 native species was sown into plots on four dates (12/96, 2/97, 3/97, and 4/97). Irrigation treatments were control (no irrigation) or addition of 80 mm of supplemental water applied over a one month period. Plant densities were sampled in August and again in October, 1997. In the second study, Larrea tridentata and Lycium andersonii, two species that are common at Yucca Mountain, but difficult to establish from seed, were sown together into plots in January and August, 1997. Half the plots were irrigated with approximately 250 mm of water between August 18 and September 11, while the remaining plots received no irrigation (control). Plant densities were sampled in October, 1997. The August census for the multi-species mix study showed irrigated plots that were sown in February, March and April had higher plant densities and more species than plots that were not irrigated. Irrigation had no effect on plant densities on plots that were seeded in December. Plots were used again in October following 18 mm of precipitation in September. Densities of three species, Ambrosia dumosa, Hymenoclea salsola, and L. tridentata, (warm-season species) were lower on irrigated

  6. Characterization, propagation and analysis of aleatory and epistemic uncertainty in the 2008 performance assessment for the proposed repository for radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Helton, Jon Craig; Sallaberry, Cedric M.; Hansen, Clifford W.

    2010-01-01

    The 2008 performance assessment (PA) for the proposed repository for high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain (YM), Nevada, illustrates the conceptual structure of risk assessments for complex systems. The 2008 YM PA is based on the following three conceptual entities: a probability space that characterizes aleatory uncertainty; a function that predicts consequences for individual elements of the sample space for aleatory uncertainty; and a probability space that characterizes epistemic uncertainty. These entities and their use in the characterization, propagation and analysis of aleatory and epistemic uncertainty are described and illustrated with results from the 2008 YM PA.

  7. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, April 1, 1990--September 30, 1990, Number 3; Nuclear Waste Policy Act (Section 113)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    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.