WorldWideScience

Sample records for unsaturated fractured tuffs

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parsons, A.M.; Olague, N.E.; Gallegos, D.P. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (USA)

    1991-01-01

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

  3. Maximum likelihood Bayesian averaging of airflow models in unsaturated fractured tuff using Occam and variance windows

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morales-Casique, E.; Neuman, S.P.; Vesselinov, V.V.

    2010-01-01

    We use log permeability and porosity data obtained from single-hole pneumatic packer tests in six boreholes drilled into unsaturated fractured tuff near Superior, Arizona, to postulate, calibrate and compare five alternative variogram models (exponential, exponential with linear drift, power,

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Measuring and Modeling Flow in Welded Fractured Tuffs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  7. A performance assessment methodology for high-level radioactive waste disposal in unsaturated, fractured tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gallegos, D.P.

    1991-07-01

    Sandia National Laboratories, has developed a methodology for performance assessment of deep geologic disposal of high-level nuclear waste. The applicability of this performance assessment methodology has been demonstrated for disposal in bedded salt and basalt; it has since been modified for assessment of repositories in unsaturated, fractured tuff. Changes to the methodology are primarily in the form of new or modified ground water flow and radionuclide transport codes. A new computer code, DCM3D, has been developed to model three-dimensional ground-water flow in unsaturated, fractured rock using a dual-continuum approach. The NEFTRAN 2 code has been developed to efficiently model radionuclide transport in time-dependent velocity fields, has the ability to use externally calculated pore velocities and saturations, and includes the effect of saturation dependent retardation factors. In order to use these codes together in performance-assessment-type analyses, code-coupler programs were developed to translate DCM3D output into NEFTRAN 2 input. Other portions of the performance assessment methodology were evaluated as part of modifying the methodology for tuff. The scenario methodology developed under the bedded salt program has been applied to tuff. An investigation of the applicability of uncertainty and sensitivity analysis techniques to non-linear models indicate that Monte Carlo simulation remains the most robust technique for these analyses. No changes have been recommended for the dose and health effects models, nor the biosphere transport models. 52 refs., 1 fig

  8. Unsaturated flow and transport through fractured rock related to high-level waste repositories

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Evans, D.D.; Rasmussen, T.C.

    1991-01-01

    Research results are summarized for a US Nuclear Regulatory Commission contract with the University of Arizona focusing on field and laboratory methods for characterizing unsaturated fluid flow and solute transport related to high-level radioactive waste repositories. Characterization activities are presented for the Apache Leap Tuff field site. The field site is located in unsaturated, fractured tuff in central Arizona. Hydraulic, pneumatic, and thermal characteristics of the tuff are summarized, along with methodologies employed to monitor and sample hydrologic and geochemical processes at the field site. Thermohydrologic experiments are reported which provide laboratory and field data related to the effects conditions and flow and transport in unsaturated, fractured rock. 29 refs., 17 figs., 21 tabs

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Stable isotopes of authigenic minerals in variably-saturated fractured tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weber, D.S.; Evans, D.D.

    1988-11-01

    Identifying stable isotope variation and mineralogical changes in fractured rock may help establish the history of climatic and geomorphological processes that might affect the isolation properties of a waste repository site. This study examines the use of the stable isotope ratios of oxygen ( 18 O/ 16 O) and carbon ( 13 C/ 12 C) in authigenic minerals as hydrogeochemical tools tracing low-temperature rock-water interaction in variably-saturated fractured stuff. Isotopic compositions of fracture-filling and rock matrix minerals in the Apache Leap tuff, near Superior, Arizona were concordant with geothermal temperatures and in equilibrium with water isotopically similar to present-day meteoric water and groundwater. Oxygen and carbon isotope ratios of fracture-filling, in unsaturated fractured tuff, displayed an isotopic gradient believed to result from near-surface isotopic enrichment due to evaporation rather than the effects of rock-water interaction. Oxygen isotope ratios of rock matrix opal samples exhibited an isotopic gradient believed to result from, leaching and reprecipitation of silica at depth. Methods and results can be used to further define primary flowpaths and the movement of water in variably-saturated fractured rock. 71 refs., 23 figs., 3 tabs

  12. Stable isotopes of authigenic minerals in variably-saturated fractured tuff

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weber, D.S.; Evans, D.D.

    1988-11-01

    Identifying stable isotope variation and mineralogical changes in fractured rock may help establish the history of climatic and geomorphological processes that might affect the isolation properties of a waste repository site. This study examines the use of the stable isotope ratios of oxygen ({sup 18}O/{sup 16}O) and carbon ({sup 13}C/{sup 12}C) in authigenic minerals as hydrogeochemical tools tracing low-temperature rock-water interaction in variably-saturated fractured stuff. Isotopic compositions of fracture-filling and rock matrix minerals in the Apache Leap tuff, near Superior, Arizona were concordant with geothermal temperatures and in equilibrium with water isotopically similar to present-day meteoric water and groundwater. Oxygen and carbon isotope ratios of fracture-filling, in unsaturated fractured tuff, displayed an isotopic gradient believed to result from near-surface isotopic enrichment due to evaporation rather than the effects of rock-water interaction. Oxygen isotope ratios of rock matrix opal samples exhibited an isotopic gradient believed to result from, leaching and reprecipitation of silica at depth. Methods and results can be used to further define primary flowpaths and the movement of water in variably-saturated fractured rock. 71 refs., 23 figs., 3 tabs.

  13. Validation studies for assessing unsaturated flow and transport through fractured rock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bassett, R.L.; Neuman, S.P.; Rasmussen, T.C.; Guzman, A.; Davidson, G.R.; Lohrstorfer, C.F.

    1994-08-01

    *The objectives of this contract are to examine hypotheses and conceptual models concerning unsaturated flow and transport through heterogeneous fractured rock and to design and execute confirmatory field and laboratory experiments to test these hypotheses and conceptual models. Important new information is presented such as the application and evaluation of procedures for estimating hydraulic, pneumatic, and solute transport coefficients for a range of thermal regimes. A field heater experiment was designed that focused on identifying the suitability of existing monitoring equipment to obtain required data. A reliable method was developed for conducting and interpreting tests for air permeability using a straddle-packer arrangement. Detailed studies of fracture flow from Queen Creek into the Magina Copper Company ore haulage tunnel have been initiated. These studies will provide data on travel time for transport of water and solute in unsaturated tuff. The collection of rainfall runoff, and infiltration data at two small watersheds at the Apache Leap Tuff Site enabled us to evaluate the quantity and rate of water infiltrating into the subsurface via either fractures or matrix. Characterization methods for hydraulic parameters relevant to Weigh-level waste transport, including fracture apertures, transmissivity, matrix porosity, and fracture wetting front propagation velocities, were developed

  14. Validation studies for assessing unsaturated flow and transport through fractured rock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bassett, R.L.; Neuman, S.P.; Rasmussen, T.C.; Guzman, A.; Davidson, G.R.; Lohrstorfer, C.F. [Arizona Univ., Tucson, AZ (United States). Dept. of Hydrology and Water Resources

    1994-08-01

    *The objectives of this contract are to examine hypotheses and conceptual models concerning unsaturated flow and transport through heterogeneous fractured rock and to design and execute confirmatory field and laboratory experiments to test these hypotheses and conceptual models. Important new information is presented such as the application and evaluation of procedures for estimating hydraulic, pneumatic, and solute transport coefficients for a range of thermal regimes. A field heater experiment was designed that focused on identifying the suitability of existing monitoring equipment to obtain required data. A reliable method was developed for conducting and interpreting tests for air permeability using a straddle-packer arrangement. Detailed studies of fracture flow from Queen Creek into the Magina Copper Company ore haulage tunnel have been initiated. These studies will provide data on travel time for transport of water and solute in unsaturated tuff. The collection of rainfall runoff, and infiltration data at two small watersheds at the Apache Leap Tuff Site enabled us to evaluate the quantity and rate of water infiltrating into the subsurface via either fractures or matrix. Characterization methods for hydraulic parameters relevant to Weigh-level waste transport, including fracture apertures, transmissivity, matrix porosity, and fracture wetting front propagation velocities, were developed.

  15. Thermal effects on water exclusion from a cavity in unsaturated tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhou, W.; Chambre, P.L.; Pigford, T.H.; Lee, W.W.L.

    1992-01-01

    For an unsaturated, fractured porous medium subjected to uniform infiltration, we analyze thermal effects on water exclusion from cavities. This is of practical interest in a nuclear waste repository. A crucial question is: How much infiltration will lead to heated cavity-rock interface in tunnels and drifts being saturated so that water can enter a cavity. The combination of cavity size, dimensionless temperature difference, and infiltration rate that will lead to the critical condition at the cavity apex; this calculation considers the tuff matrix only. Here, the large projection area of the cavity intercepts large amounts of infiltration, requiring a lesser critical infiltration rate to saturate the cavity apex

  16. Continuum model for water movement in an unsaturated fractured rock mass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peters, R.R.; Klavetter, E.A.

    1988-01-01

    The movement of fluids in a fractured, porous medium has been the subject of considerable study. This paper presents a continuum model that may be used to evaluate the isothermal movement of water in an unsaturated, fractured, porous medium under slowly changing conditions. This continuum model was developed for use in evaluating the unsaturated zone at the Yucca Mountain site as a potential repository for high-level nuclear waste. Thus its development has been influenced by the conditions thought to be present at Yucca Mountain. A macroscopic approach and a microscopic approach are used to develop a continuum model to evaluate water movement in a fractured rock mass. Both approaches assume that the pressure head in the fractures and the matrix are identical in a plane perpendicular to flow. Both approaches lead to a single-flow equation for a fractured rock mass. The two approaches are used to calculate unsaturated hydrologic properties, i.e., relative permeability and saturation as a function of pressure head, for several types of tuff underlying Yucca Mountain, using the best available hydrologic data for the matrix and the fractures. Rock mass properties calculated by both approaches are similar

  17. On conditions and parameters important to model sensitivity for unsaturated flow through layered, fractured tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-10-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-11-01

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

  19. Analyzing Unsaturated Flow Patterns in Fractured Rock Using an Integrated Modeling Approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Y.S. Wu; G. Lu; K. Zhang; L. Pan; G.S. Bodvarsson

    2006-01-01

    Characterizing percolation patterns in unsaturated fractured rock has posed a greater challenge to modeling investigations than comparable saturated zone studies, because of the heterogeneous nature of unsaturated media and the great number of variables impacting unsaturated flow. This paper presents an integrated modeling methodology for quantitatively characterizing percolation patterns in the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, a proposed underground repository site for storing high-level radioactive waste. The modeling approach integrates a wide variety of moisture, pneumatic, thermal, and isotopic geochemical field data into a comprehensive three-dimensional numerical model for modeling analyses. It takes into account the coupled processes of fluid and heat flow and chemical isotopic transport in Yucca Mountain's highly heterogeneous, unsaturated fractured tuffs. Modeling results are examined against different types of field-measured data and then used to evaluate different hydrogeological conceptualizations and their results of flow patterns in the unsaturated zone. In particular, this model provides a much clearer understanding of percolation patterns and flow behavior through the unsaturated zone, both crucial issues in assessing repository performance. The integrated approach for quantifying Yucca Mountain's flow system is demonstrated to provide a practical modeling tool for characterizing flow and transport processes in complex subsurface systems

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mower, T.E.; Higgins, J.D.; Yang, In C.; Peters, C.A.

    1994-01-01

    The hydrologic system in the unsaturated tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is being evaluated for the US Department of Energy by the Yucca Mountain Project Branch of the US Geological Survey as a potential site for a high-level radioactive-waste repository. Part of this investigation includes a hydrochemical study that is being made to assess characteristics of the hydrologic system such as: traveltime, direction of flow, recharge and source relations, and types and magnitudes of chemical reactions in the unsaturated tuff. In addition, this hydrochemical information will be used in the study of the dispersive and corrosive effects of unsaturated-zone water on the radioactive-waste storage canisters. This report describes the design and validation of laboratory experimental procedures for extracting representative samples of uncontaminated pore water from welded and nonwelded, unsaturated tuffs from the Nevada Test Site

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1989-12-31

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

  2. Infiltration and Seepage Through Fractured Welded Tuff

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-06-20

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

  3. Infiltration and Seepage Through Fractured Welded Tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  4. Laboratory analysis of fluid flow and solute transport through a variably saturated fracture embedded in porous tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chuang, Y.; Haldeman, W.R.; Rasmussen, T.C.; Evans, D.D.

    1990-02-01

    Laboratory techniques are developed that allow concurrent measurement of unsaturated matrix hydraulic conductivity and fracture transmissivity of fractured rock blocks. Two Apache Leap tuff blocks with natural fractures were removed from near Superior, Arizona, shaped into rectangular prisms, and instrumented in the laboratory. Porous ceramic plates provided solution to block tops at regulated pressures. Infiltration tests were performed on both test blocks. Steady flow testing of the saturated first block provided estimates of matrix hydraulic conductivity and fracture transmissivity. Fifteen centimeters of suction applied to the second block top showed that fracture flow was minimal and matrix hydraulic conductivity was an order of magnitude less than the first block saturated matrix conductivity. Coated-wire ion-selective electrodes monitored aqueous chlorided breakthrough concentrations. Minute samples of tracer solution were collected with filter paper. The techniques worked well for studying transport behavior at near-saturated flow conditions and also appear to be promising for unsaturated conditions. Breakthrough curves in the fracture and matrix, and a concentration map of chloride concentrations within the fracture, suggest preferential flows paths in the fracture and substantial diffusion into the matrix. Average travel velocity, dispersion coefficient and longitudinal dispersivity in the fracture are obtained. 67 refs., 54 figs., 23 tabs

  5. A Record of Uranium-Series Transport in Fractured, Unsaturated Tuff at Nopal I, Sierra Peña Blanca, Chihuahua, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denton, J.; Goldstein, S. J.; Paviet, P.; Nunn, A. J.; Amato, R. S.; Hinrichs, K. A.

    2015-12-01

    In this study we utilize U-series disequilibria measurements to investigate mineral fluid interactions and the role fractures play in the geochemical evolution of an analogue for a high level nuclear waste repository, the Nopal I uranium ore deposit. Samples of fracture-fill materials have been collected from a vertical drill core and surface fractures. High uranium concentrations in these materials (12-7700 ppm) indicate U mobility and transport from the deposit in the past. U concentrations generally decrease with horizontal distance away from the ore deposit but show no trend with depth. Isotopic activity ratios indicate a complicated geochemical evolution in terms of the timing and extent of actinide mobility, possibly due to changing environmental (redox) conditions over the history of the deposit. 234U/238U activity ratios are generally distinct from secular equilibrium and indicate some degree of open system U behavior during the past 1.2 Ma. However, calculated closed system 238U-234U-230Th model ages are generally >313 ka and >183 ka for the surface fracture and drill core samples respectively, suggesting closed system behavior for U and Th over this most recent time period. Whole rock isochrons drawn for the drill core samples show that at two of three depths fractures have remained closed with respect to U and Th mobility for >200 ka. However, open system behavior for U in the last 350 ka is suggested at 67 m depth. 231Pa/235U activity ratios within error of unity suggest closed system behavior for U and Pa for at least the past 185 ka. 226Ra/230Th activity ratios are typically <1 (0.7-1.2), suggesting recent (<8 ka) radium loss and mobility due to ongoing fluid flow in the fractures. Overall, the mainly closed system behavior of U-Th-Pa over the past ~200 ka provides one indicator of the geochemical immobility of these actinides over long time-scales for potential nuclear waste repositories sited in fractured, unsaturated tuff.

  6. The one-dimensional compression method for extraction of pore water from unsaturated tuff and effects on pore-water chemistry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Higgins, J.D.; Burger, P.A. [Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States); Yang, L.C. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States)

    1997-12-31

    Study of the hydrologic system at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, requires extraction of pore-water samples from unsaturated tuff bedrock. Two generations of compression cells have been designed and tested for extracting representative, unaltered pore-water samples from unsaturated tuff cores. The one-dimensional compression cell has a maximum compressive stress rating of 552 MPa. Results from 86 tests show that the minimum degree of saturation for successful extraction of pore water was about 14% for non welded tuff and about 61% for densely welded tuff. The high-pressure, one-dimensional compression cell has a maximum compressive stress rating of 827 MPa. Results from 109 tests show that the minimum degree of saturation for successful extraction of pore water was about 7.5% for non welded tuff and about 34% for densely welded tuff. Geochemical analyses show that, in general, there is a decrease in ion concentration of pore waters as extraction pressures increase. Only small changes in pore-water composition occur during the one-dimensional extraction test.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  8. The international INTRAVAL project. Phase 2, working group 1 report. Flow and tracer experiments in unsaturated tuff and soil. Las Cruces trench and Apache Leap tuff studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nicholson, T.J.; Guzman-Guzman, A.; Hills, R.; Rasmussen, T.C.

    1997-01-01

    The Working Group 1 final report summaries two test case studies, the Las Cruces Trench (LCT), and Apache Leap Tuff Site (ALTS) experiments. The objectives of these two field studies were to evaluate models for water flow and contaminant transport in unsaturated, heterogeneous soils and fractured tuff. The LCT experiments were specifically designed to test various deterministic and stochastic models of water flow and solute transport in heterogeneous, unsaturated soils. Experimental data from the first tow LCT experiments, and detailed field characterisation studies provided information for developing and calibrating the models. Experimental results from the third experiment were held confidential from the modellers, and were used for model comparison. Comparative analyses included: point comparisons of water content; predicted mean behavior for water flow; point comparisons of solute concentrations; and predicted mean behavior for tritium transport. These analyses indicated that no model, whether uniform or heterogeneous, proved superior. Since the INTRAVAL study, however, a new method has been developed for conditioning the hydraulic properties used for flow and transport modelling based on the initial field-measured water content distributions and a set of scale-mean hydraulic parameters. Very good matches between the observed and simulated flow and transport behavior were obtained using the conditioning procedure, without model calibration. The ALTS experiments were designed to evaluate characterisation methods and their associated conceptual models for coupled matrix-fracture continua over a range of scales (i.e., 2.5 centimeter rock samples; 10 centimeter cores; 1 meter block; and 30 meter boreholes). Within these spatial scales, laboratory and field tests were conducted for estimating pneumatic, thermal, hydraulic, and transport property values for different conceptual models. The analyses included testing of current conceptual, mathematical and physical

  9. Numerical modeling of isothermal and nonisothermal flow in unsaturated fractured rock: A review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1986-01-01

    The tuff formations at and near the Nevada Test Site are comprised of fractured-porous material, with hydrologic properties quite different from those encountered in most previous unsaturated flow studies dealing with soils. In the vicinity of the waste packages, flow is driven by high temperatures (exceeding 100 0 C) and large temperature gradients. The approximations developed in soil science for weakly nonisothermal flow are not applicable to this situation, and a multiphase description of flow is required, similar to approaches used in modeling of geothermal reservoirs and thermally enhance oil recovery. The conventional approach to unsaturated flow is applicable, however, to a variety of problems relating to natural (undisturbed) and far-field flow conditions. This paper reviews recent work on numerical modeling of unsaturated flow undertaken in the context of nuclear waste isolation studies. Concepts and applications of broader interest are summarized, and important issues are identified that have not been adequately explored. 84 refs, 8 figs

  10. Fracture coatings in Topopah Spring Tuff along drill hole wash

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1994-01-01

    Fracture-lining minerals are being studied as part of site characterization to determine the suitability of Yucca Mountain, Nevada as a potential high level nuclear waste repository. Fracture coatings in the Paintbrush Group provide information on potential flow paths above the water table both toward and away from the potential repository and provide information on the distribution of fracture-lining minerals needed to model thermal effects of waste emplacement. Fracture coatings within the predominantly non-zeolitic Paintbrush Group vary both with depth and laterally across Yucca Mountain, whereas fracture coatings in tuffs below the Paintbrush Group are related to the mineralogy of the tuffs and follow a consistent pattern of distribution with predominantly quartz, calcite, and manganese oxides in the devitrified intervals and mordenite and clinoptilolite in the zeolitic intervals. The zeolites stellerite and heulandite are more abundant in fractures in the Topopah Spring Tuff in drill holes USW G-1 and UE-25 a number-sign l, located along Drill Hole Wash (at the northern end of Yucca Mountain) than in core from other parts of Yucca Mountain. Buesch et al. (2) present evidence for a complex fault system along Drill Hole Wash. To investigate the possibility that the abundant fracture-lining zeolites in USW G-1 and UE-25 a number-sign 1 are related to the Drill Hole Wash fault, the Topopah Spring Tuff was examined in drill cores from USW UZ-14, USW G-1, USW NRG-7/7a, and UE-25 a number-sign l

  11. Modeling of flow through fractured tuff at Fran Ridge

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eaton, R.R.; Ho, C.K.; Glass, R.J.; Nicholl, M.J.; Arnold, B.W.

    1996-01-01

    Numerical studies have modeled an infiltration experiment at Fran Ridge, using the TOUGH2 code, to aid in the selection of computational models for waste repository performance assessment. This study investigates the capabilities of TOUGH2 to simulate transient flows through highly fractured tuff, and provides a possible means of calibrating hydrologic parameters such as effective fracture aperture and fracture-matrix connectivity. Two distinctly different conceptual models were used in the TOUGH2 code, the dual permeability model and the equivalent continuum model. The field experiments involved the infiltration of dyed ponded water in highly fractured tuff. The infiltration observed in the experiment was subsequently modeled using Fran Ridge fracture frequencies, obtained during post-experiment site excavation. Comparison of the TOUGH2 results obtained using the two conceptual models gives insight into their relative strengths and weaknesses

  12. Unsaturated zone flow modeling for GWTT-95

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1995-01-01

    In accordance with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulation regarding groundwater travel times at geologic repositories, various models of unsaturated flow in fractured tuff have been developed and implemented to assess groundwater travel times at the potential repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Kaplan used one-dimensional models to describe the uncertainty and sensitivity of travel times to various processes at Yucca Mountain. Robey and Arnold et al. used a two-dimensional equivalent continuum model (ECM) with inter- and intra-unit heterogeneity in an attempt to assess fast-flow paths through the unsaturated, fractured tuff at Yucca Mountain (GWTT-94). However, significant flow through the fractures in previous models was not simulated due to the characteristics of the ECM, which requires the matrix to be nearly saturated before flow through the fractures is initiated. In the current study (GWTT-95), four two-dimensional cross-sections at Yucca Mountain are simulated using both the ECM and dual-permeability (DK) models. The properties of both the fracture and matrix domains are geostatistically simulated, yielding completely heterogeneous continua. Then, simulations of flow through the four cross-sections are performed using spatially nonuniform infiltration boundary conditions. Steady-state groundwater travel times from the potential repository to the water table are calculated

  13. An investigation of the mechanical and hydrologic behavior of tuff fractures under saturated conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Voss, C.F.; Shotwell, L.R.

    1990-04-01

    The mechanical and hydrologic behavior of natural fractures in a partially welded tuff rock were investigated. Tuff cores, each containing part of the same natural fracture oriented subparallel to the core axis, were subjected a range of stress and hydraulic gradients while simultaneously monitoring changes in the fracture aperture and volumetric flow rate. The fractures were tested in three configurations: intact, mated, and offset. Fracture deformation was nonlinear over the stress range tested with permanent deformation and hysteresis occurring with each loading cycle. The offset samples had larger permanent deformation and significantly reduced normal stiffness at lower stress levels. The cubic flow law appears to be valid for the relatively undisturbed tuff fractures at the scale tested. The cubic law did not explain the observed hydraulic behavior of the offset fractures. 6 refs., 10 figs., 2 tabs

  14. Fracture-lining minerals in the lower Topopah Spring Tuff at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

    Fracture-lining minerals in the lower Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, are being examined to characterize potential flow paths within and away from the candidate repository horizon. Fracture coatings within this interval can be divided into five categories based on rock matrix and type of fracture. Fracture coatings in the densely welded tuff above the basal vitrophyre, near the candidate repository horizon, include (1) those related to lithophysal cavities; (2) mordenite and manganese oxides on nearly planar fractures; (3) later fracture coatings consisting of zeolites, smectite, and calcite. Fracture-coating minerals in the vitrophyre are fine-grained and consist of smectite and a variety of zeolites. The non- to partially-welded vitric and/or zeolitic stuff below the vitrophyre contains fractures mostly lined by cristobalite and clinoptilolite. 13 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab

  15. Drift Scale Modeling: Study of Unsaturated Flow into a Drift Using a Stochastic Continuum Model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Birkholzer, J.T.; Tsang, C.F.; Tsang, Y.W.; Wang, J.S

    1996-01-01

    Unsaturated flow in heterogeneous fractured porous rock was simulated using a stochastic continuum model (SCM). In this model, both the more conductive fractures and the less permeable matrix are generated within the framework of a single continuum stochastic approach, based on non-parametric indicator statistics. High-permeable fracture zones are distinguished from low-permeable matrix zones in that they have assigned a long range correlation structure in prescribed directions. The SCM was applied to study small-scale flow in the vicinity of an access tunnel, which is currently being drilled in the unsaturated fractured tuff formations at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Extensive underground testing is underway in this tunnel to investigate the suitability of Yucca Mountain as an underground nuclear waste repository. Different flow scenarios were studied in the present paper, considering the flow conditions before and after the tunnel emplacement, and assuming steady-state net infiltration as well as episodic pulse infiltration. Although the capability of the stochastic continuum model has not yet been fully explored, it has been demonstrated that the SCM is a good alternative model feasible of describing heterogeneous flow processes in unsaturated fractured tuff at Yucca Mountain

  16. Laboratory testing of cement grouting of fractures in welded tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sharpe, C.J.; Daemen, J.J.

    1991-03-01

    Fractures in the rock mass surrounding a repository and its shafts, access drifts, emplacement rooms and holes, and exploratory or in-situ testing holes, may provide preferential flowpaths for the flow of groundwater or air, potentially containing radionuclides. Such cracks may have to be sealed. The likelihood that extensive or at least local grouting will be required as part of repository sealing has been noted in numerous publications addressing high level waste repository closing. The objective of this work is to determine the effectiveness of fracture sealing (grouting) in welded tuff. Experimental work includes measurement of intact and fracture permeability under various normal stresses and injection pressures. Grout is injected into the fractures. The effectiveness of grouting is evaluated in terms of grout penetration and permeability reduction, compared prior to and after grouting. Analysis of the results include the effect of normal stress, injection pressure, fracture roughness, grout rheology, grout bonding, and the radial extent of grout penetration. Laboratory experiments have been performed on seventeen tuff cylinders with three types of fractures: (1) tension induced cracks, (2) natural fractures, and (3) sawcuts. Prior to grouting, the hydraulic conductivity of the intact rock and of the fractures is measured under a range of normal stresses. The surface topography of the fracture is mapped, and the results are used to determine aperture distributions across the fractures. 72 refs., 76 figs., 25 tabs

  17. Effective media models for unsaturated fractured rock: A field experiment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nicholl, M.J.; Glass, R.J.

    1995-01-01

    A thick unsaturated rock mass at Yucca Mountain is currently under consideration as a potential repository site for disposal of high level radioactive waste. In accordance with standard industry and scientific practices, abstract numerical models will be used to evaluate the potential for radionuclide release through the groundwater system. At this time, currently available conceptual models used to develop effective media properties are based primarily on simplistic considerations. The work presented here is part of an integrated effort to develop effective media models at the intermediate block scale (approximately 8-125m) through a combination of physical observations, numerical simulations and theoretical considerations. A multi-purpose field experiment designed and conducted as part of this integrated effort is described. Specific goals of this experimental investigation were to: (1) obtain fracture network data from Topopah Spring Tuff for use in block scale simulations; (2) identity positions of the network conducting flow under three different boundary conditions; (3) visualize preferential flow paths and small-scale flow structures; (4) collect samples for subsequent hydraulic testing and use in block-scale simulations; and (5) demonstrate the ability of Electrical Resistance Tomography (ERT) to delineate fluid distribution within fractured rock

  18. Investigation of fracture-matrix interaction: Preliminary experiments in a simple system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Foltz, S.D.

    1992-01-01

    Paramount to the modeling of unsaturated flow and transport through fractured porous media is a clear understanding of the processes controlling fracture-matrix interaction. As a first step toward such an understanding, two preliminary experiments have been performed to investigate the influence of matrix imbibition on water percolation through unsaturated fractures in the plane normal to the fracture. Test systems consisted of thin slabs of either tuff or an analog material cut by a single vertical fracture into which a constant fluid flux was introduced. Transient moisture content and solute concentration fields were imaged by means of x-ray absorption. Flow fields associated with the two different media were significantly different owing to differences in material properties relative to the imposed flux. Richards' equation was found to be a valid means of modeling the imbibition of water into the tuff matrix from a saturated fracture for the current experiment

  19. Hydraulic characterization of hydrothermally altered Nopal tuff

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Green, R.T.; Meyer-James, K.A. [Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX (United States); Rice, G. [George Rice and Associates, San Antonio, TX (United States)

    1995-07-01

    Understanding the mechanics of variably saturated flow in fractured-porous media is of fundamental importance to evaluating the isolation performance of the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository for the Yucca Mountain site. Developing that understanding must be founded on the analysis and interpretation of laboratory and field data. This report presents an analysis of the unsaturated hydraulic properties of tuff cores from the Pena Blanca natural analog site in Mexico. The basic intent of the analysis was to examine possible trends and relationships between the hydraulic properties and the degree of hydrothermal alteration exhibited by the tuff samples. These data were used in flow simulations to evaluate the significance of a particular conceptual (composite) model and of distinct hydraulic properties on the rate and nature of water flow.

  20. Hydraulic characterization of hydrothermally altered Nopal tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Green, R.T.; Meyer-James, K.A.; Rice, G.

    1995-07-01

    Understanding the mechanics of variably saturated flow in fractured-porous media is of fundamental importance to evaluating the isolation performance of the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository for the Yucca Mountain site. Developing that understanding must be founded on the analysis and interpretation of laboratory and field data. This report presents an analysis of the unsaturated hydraulic properties of tuff cores from the Pena Blanca natural analog site in Mexico. The basic intent of the analysis was to examine possible trends and relationships between the hydraulic properties and the degree of hydrothermal alteration exhibited by the tuff samples. These data were used in flow simulations to evaluate the significance of a particular conceptual (composite) model and of distinct hydraulic properties on the rate and nature of water flow

  1. Measurement of unsaturated hydraulic conductivity and chemical transport in Yucca Mountain Tuff: Milestone Report 3044-WBS1.2.3.4.1.4.1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Conca, J.L.

    1993-12-01

    Hydraulic conductivities, K, were experimentally determined as a function of volumetric water content, θ, in tuff from the Yucca Mountain site. In addition, the retardation factor, R f , in Yucca Mountain tuff with respect to selenium, as the selenite species, was measured under unsaturated conditions. These data were used to determine the feasibility of applying a new unsaturated flow technology (UFA) to further hydrologic studies at Yucca Mountain. The UFA directly measures K(θ) rapidly in Yucca Mountain tuff and is shown to agree well with traditional methods. Hysteresis does not appear important during this testing. Hydraulic steady-state is achieved fastest during desaturation from a saturated state. Imbibition into dry tuff requires a long time for steady-state to occur because of slow filling of the diffusion porosity which can take a few weeks. The existing UFA is a prototype, and a new design of the next generation UFA is completed that eliminates some of the earlier problems. These preliminary investigations demonstrates that the UFA is a useful investigate technique that should be used to compliment existing techniques for hydrogeochemical characterization at Yucca Mountain and other arid sites

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1996-01-01

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

  3. Quantifying Preferential Flow and Seasonal Storage in an Unsaturated Fracture-Facial Domain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimmo, J. R.; Malek-Mohammadi, S.

    2012-12-01

    Preferential flow through deep unsaturated zones of fractured rock is hydrologically important to a variety of contaminant transport and water-resource issues. The unsaturated zone of the English Chalk Aquifer provides an important opportunity for a case study of unsaturated preferential flow in isolation from other flow modes. The chalk matrix has low hydraulic conductivity and stays saturated, owing to its fine uniform pores and the wet climate of the region. Therefore the substantial fluxes observed in the unsaturated chalk must be within fractures and interact minimally with matrix material. Price et al. [2000] showed that irregularities on fracture surfaces provide a significant storage capacity in the chalk unsaturated zone, likely accounting for volumes of water required to explain unexpected dry-season water-table stability during substantial continuing streamflow observed by Lewis et al. [1993] In this presentation we discuss and quantify the dynamics of replenishment and drainage of this unsaturated zone fracture-face storage domain using a modification of the source-responsive model of Nimmo [2010]. This model explains the processes in terms of two interacting flow regimes: a film or rivulet preferential flow regime on rough fracture faces, active on an individual-storm timescale, and a regime of adsorptive and surface-tension influences, resembling traditional diffuse formulations of unsaturated flow, effective mainly on a seasonal timescale. The modified model identifies hydraulic parameters for an unsaturated fracture-facial domain lining the fractures. Besides helping to quantify the unsaturated zone storage described by Price et al., these results highlight the importance of research on the topic of unsaturated-flow relations within a near-fracture-surface domain. This model can also facilitate understanding of mechanisms for reinitiation of preferential flow after temporary cessation, which is important in multi-year preferential flow through deep

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ross, B.

    1990-01-01

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

  5. Evolution of the unsaturated zone testing at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, J.S.Y.; Bodvarsson, G.S.

    2002-01-01

    The evaluation of the Yucca Mountain site has evolved from intensive surface based investigations in the early 1980s to current focus on testing in underground drifts. Different periods of site-characterization activities and prominent issues concerning the unsaturated zone are summarized. Data-collection activities have evolved from mapping of faults and fractures, to estimation of percolation through tuff layers, and to quantification of seepage into drifts. Evaluation of discrete flow paths in drifts has led to fracture-matrix interaction and matrix diffusion tests over different scales. The effects of tuff interfaces and local faults are evaluated in fractured-welded and porous-nonwelded units. Mobilization of matrix water and redistribution of moisture are measured in thermal tests. Lessons learned from underground tests are used to focus on processes needed for additional quantification. Migration through the drift shadow zone and liquid flow through faults are two important issues that have evolved from current knowledge

  6. Dissipative particle dynamics simulation of fluid motion through an unsaturated fracture and fracture junction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Moubin; Meakin, Paul; Huang Hai

    2007-01-01

    Multiphase fluid motion in unsaturated fractures and fracture networks involves complicated fluid dynamics, which is difficult to model using grid-based continuum methods. In this paper, the application of dissipative particle dynamics (DPD), a relatively new mesoscale method to simulate fluid motion in unsaturated fractures is described. Unlike the conventional DPD method that employs a purely repulsive conservative (non-dissipative) particle-particle interaction to simulate the behavior of gases, we used conservative particle-particle interactions that combine short-range repulsive and long-range attractive interactions. This new conservative particle-particle interaction allows the behavior of multiphase systems consisting of gases, liquids and solids to be simulated. Our simulation results demonstrate that, for a fracture with flat parallel walls, the DPD method with the new interaction potential function is able to reproduce the hydrodynamic behavior of fully saturated flow, and various unsaturated flow modes including thin film flow, wetting and non-wetting flow. During simulations of flow through a fracture junction, the fracture junction can be fully or partially saturated depending on the wetting property of the fluid, the injection rate and the geometry of the fracture junction. Flow mode switching from a fully saturated flow to a thin film flow can also be observed in the fracture junction

  7. AN ACTIVE FRACTURE MODEL FOR UNSATURATED FLOW AND TRANSPORT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    HUI-HAI LIU, GUDMUNDUR S. BODVARSSON AND CHRISTINE DOUGHTY

    1999-01-01

    Fracture/matrix (F/M) interaction is a key factor affecting flow and transport in unsaturated fractured rocks. In classic continuum approaches (Warren and Root, 1963), it is assumed that flow occurs through all the connected fractures and is uniformly distributed over the entire fracture area, which generally gives a relatively large F/M interaction. However, fractures seem to have limited interaction with the surrounding matrix at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as suggested by geochemical nonequilibrium between the perched water (resulting mainly from fracture flow) and pore water in the rock matrix. Because of the importance of the F/M interaction and related issues, there is a critical need to develop new approaches to accurately consider the interaction reduction inferred from field data at the Yucca Mountain site. Motivated by this consideration, they have developed an active fracture model based on the hypothesis that not all connected fractures actively conduct water in unsaturated fractured rocks

  8. Numerical studies of fluid and heat flow near high-level nuclear waste packages emplaced in partially saturated fractured tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1984-11-01

    We have performed modeling studies on the simultaneous transport of heat, liquid water, vapor, and air in partially saturated fractured porous rock. Formation parameters were chosen as representative of the potential repository horizon in the Topopah Spring Unit of the Yucca Mountain tuffs. The presence of fractures makes the transport problem very complex, both in terms of flow geometry and physics. The numerical simulator ''TOUGH'' used for our flow calculations takes into account most of the physical effects which are important in multi-phase fluid and heat flow. It has provisions for handling the extreme non-linearities which arise in phase transitions, component disappearances, and capillary discontinuities at fracture faces. We model a region around an infinite linear string of nuclear waste canisters, taking into account both the discrete fractures and the porous matrix. From an analysis of the results obtained with explicit fractures, we develop equivalent continuum models which can reproduce the temperature, saturation, and pressure variation, and gas and liquid flow rates of the discrete fracture-porous matrix calculations. The equivalent continuum approach makes use of a generalized relative permeability concept to take into account the fracture effects. This results in a substantial simplification of the flow problem which makes larger scale modeling of complicated unsaturated fractured porous systems feasible. Potential applications for regional scale simulations and limitations of the continuum approach are discussed. 35 refs., 14 figs., 4 tabs

  9. Estimation of Fracture Porosity in an Unsaturated Fractured Welded Tuff Using Gas Tracer Testing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    B.M. Freifeild

    2001-01-01

    Kinematic fracture porosity is an important hydrologic transport parameter for predicting the potential of rapid contaminant migration through fractured rock. The transport velocity of a solute moving within a fracture network is inversely related to the fracture porosity. Since fracture porosity is often one or two orders of magnitude smaller than matrix porosity, and fracture permeability is often orders of magnitude greater than matrix permeability, solutes may travel significantly faster in the fracture network than in the surrounding matrix. This dissertation introduces a new methodology for conducting gas tracer tests using a field portable mass spectrometer along with analytical tools for estimating fracture porosity using the measured tracer concentration breakthrough curves. Field experiments were conducted at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, consisting of air-permeability transient testing and gas-tracer-transport tests. The experiments were conducted from boreholes drilled within an underground tunnel as part of an investigation of rock mass hydrological behavior. Air-permeability pressure transients, recorded during constant mass flux injections, have been analyzed using a numerical inversion procedure to identify fracture permeability and porosity. Dipole gas tracer tests have also been conducted from the same boreholes used for air-permeability testing. Mass breakthrough data has been analyzed using a random walk particle-tracking model, with a dispersivity that is a function of the advective velocity. The estimated fracture porosity using the tracer test and air-injection test data ranges from .001 to .015. These values are an order of magnitude greater than the values estimated by others using hydraulically estimated fracture apertures. The estimates of porosity made using air-permeability test data are shown to be highly sensitive to formation heterogeneity. Uncertainty analyses performed on the gas tracer test results show high confidence in the parameter

  10. Estimation of Fracture Porosity in an Unsaturated Fractured Welded Tuff Using Gas Tracer Testing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    B.M. Freifeild

    2001-10-18

    Kinematic fracture porosity is an important hydrologic transport parameter for predicting the potential of rapid contaminant migration through fractured rock. The transport velocity of a solute moving within a fracture network is inversely related to the fracture porosity. Since fracture porosity is often one or two orders of magnitude smaller than matrix porosity, and fracture permeability is often orders of magnitude greater than matrix permeability, solutes may travel significantly faster in the fracture network than in the surrounding matrix. This dissertation introduces a new methodology for conducting gas tracer tests using a field portable mass spectrometer along with analytical tools for estimating fracture porosity using the measured tracer concentration breakthrough curves. Field experiments were conducted at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, consisting of air-permeability transient testing and gas-tracer-transport tests. The experiments were conducted from boreholes drilled within an underground tunnel as part of an investigation of rock mass hydrological behavior. Air-permeability pressure transients, recorded during constant mass flux injections, have been analyzed using a numerical inversion procedure to identify fracture permeability and porosity. Dipole gas tracer tests have also been conducted from the same boreholes used for air-permeability testing. Mass breakthrough data has been analyzed using a random walk particle-tracking model, with a dispersivity that is a function of the advective velocity. The estimated fracture porosity using the tracer test and air-injection test data ranges from .001 to .015. These values are an order of magnitude greater than the values estimated by others using hydraulically estimated fracture apertures. The estimates of porosity made using air-permeability test data are shown to be highly sensitive to formation heterogeneity. Uncertainty analyses performed on the gas tracer test results show high confidence in the parameter

  11. Estimation of fracture porosity in an unsaturated fractured welded tuff using gas tracer testing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Freifeld, Barry Mark [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    2001-12-01

    Kinematic fracture porosity is an important hydrologic transport parameter for predicting the potential of rapid contaminant migration through fractured rock. The transport velocity of a solute moving within a fracture network is inversely related to the fracture porosity. Since fracture porosity is often one or two orders of magnitude smaller than matrix porosity, and fracture permeability is often orders of magnitude greater than matrix permeability, solutes may travel significantly faster in the fracture network than in the surrounding matrix. This dissertation introduces a new methodology for conducting gas tracer tests using a field portable mass spectrometer along with analytical tools for estimating fracture porosity using the measured tracer concentration breakthrough curves. Field experiments were conducted at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, consisting of air-permeability transient testing and gas-tracer-transport tests. The experiments were conducted from boreholes drilled within an underground tunnel as part of an investigation of rock mass hydrological behavior. Air-permeability pressure transients, recorded during constant mass flux injections, have been analyzed using a numerical inversion procedure to identify fracture permeability and porosity. Dipole gas tracer tests have also been conducted from the same boreholes used for air-permeability testing. Mass breakthrough data has been analyzed using a random walk particle-tracking model, with a dispersivity that is a function of the advective velocity. The estimated fracture porosity using the tracer test and air-injection test data ranges from .001 to .015. These values are an order of magnitude greater than the values estimated by others using hydraulically estimated fracture apertures. The estimates of porosity made using air-permeability test data are shown to be highly sensitive to formation heterogeneity. Uncertainty analyses performed on the gas tracer test results show high confidence in the parameter

  12. 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.

  13. Semi-analytical treatment of fracture/matrix flow in a dual-porosity simulator for unsaturated fractured rock masses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zimmerman, R.W.; Bodvarsson, G.S.

    1992-04-01

    A semi-analytical dual-porosity simulator for unsaturated flow in fractured rock masses has been developed. Fluid flow between the fracture network and the matrix blocks is described by analytical expressions that have been derived from approximate solutions to the imbibition equation. These expressions have been programmed into the unsaturated flow simulator, TOUGH, as a source/sink term. Flow processes are then simulated using only fracture elements in the computational grid. The modified code is used to simulate flow along single fractures, and infiltration into pervasively fractured formations

  14. Improving estimates of subsurface gas transport in unsaturated fractured media using experimental Xe diffusion data and numerical methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz, J. P.; Ortega, A. D.; Harp, D. R.; Boukhalfa, H.; Stauffer, P. H.

    2017-12-01

    Gas transport in unsaturated fractured media plays an important role in a variety of applications, including detection of underground nuclear explosions, transport from volatile contaminant plumes, shallow CO2 leakage from carbon sequestration sites, and methane leaks from hydraulic fracturing operations. Gas breakthrough times are highly sensitive to uncertainties associated with a variety of hydrogeologic parameters, including: rock type, fracture aperture, matrix permeability, porosity, and saturation. Furthermore, a couple simplifying assumptions are typically employed when representing fracture flow and transport. Aqueous phase transport is typically considered insignificant compared to gas phase transport in unsaturated fracture flow regimes, and an assumption of instantaneous dissolution/volatilization of radionuclide gas is commonly used to reduce computational expense. We conduct this research using a twofold approach that combines laboratory gas experimentation and numerical modeling to verify and refine these simplifying assumptions in our current models of gas transport. Using a gas diffusion cell, we are able to measure air pressure transmission through fractured tuff core samples while also measuring Xe gas breakthrough measured using a mass spectrometer. We can thus create synthetic barometric fluctuations akin to those observed in field tests and measure the associated gas flow through the fracture and matrix pore space for varying degrees of fluid saturation. We then attempt to reproduce the experimental results using numerical models in PLFOTRAN and FEHM codes to better understand the importance of different parameters and assumptions on gas transport. Our numerical approaches represent both single-phase gas flow with immobile water, as well as full multi-phase transport in order to test the validity of assuming immobile pore water. Our approaches also include the ability to simulate the reaction equilibrium kinetics of dissolution

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kwicklis, E.M.; Healy, R.W.; Thamir, F.; Hampson, D.

    1998-01-01

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

  17. Characterization of crushed tuff for the evaluation of the fate of tracers in transport studies in the unsaturated zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Polzer, W.L.; Fuentes, H.R.; Raymond, R.; Bish, D.L.; Gladney, E.S.; Lopez, E.A.

    1987-03-01

    Results of field-scale (caisson) transport studies under unsaturated moisture and steady and nonsteady flow conditions indicate variability and a lack of conservation of mass in solute transport. The tuff materials used in that study were analyzed for the presence of tracers and of freshly precipitated material to help explain the variability and lack of conservation of mass. Selected tuff samples were characterized by neutron activation analysis for tracer identification, by x-ray diffraction for mineral identification, by petrographic analysis for identification of freshly precipitated material, and by x-ray fluorescence analysis for identification of major and trace elements. The results of these analyses indicate no obvious presence of freshly precipitated material that would retard tracer movement. The presence of the nonsorbing tracers (bromide and iodide) suggest the retention of these tracers in immobile water. The presence of the nonsorbing tracers (bromide and iodide) suggest the retention of these tracers in immobile water. The presence of sorbing and nonsorbing tracers on the tuff at some locations (even cesium at the 415-cm depth) and not at others suggests variability in transport. 15 refs., 14 figs., 9 tabs

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  19. Development of waste packages for tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rothman, A.J.

    1982-01-01

    The objective of this program is to develop nuclear waste packages that meet the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's requirements for a licensed repository in tuff at the Nevada Test Site. Selected accomplishments for FY82 are: (1) Selection, collection of rock, and characterization of suitable outcrops (for lab experiments); (2) Rock-water interactions (Bullfrog Tuff); (3) Corrosion tests of ferrous metals; (4) Thermal modeling of waste package in host rock; (5) Preliminary fabrication tests of alternate backfills (crushed tuff); (6) Reviewed Westinghouse conceptual waste package designs for tuff and began modification for unsaturated zone; and (7) Waste Package Codes (BARIER and WAPPA) now running on our computer. Brief discussions are presented for rock-water interactions, corrosion tests of ferrous metals, and thermal and radionuclide migration modelling

  20. Laboratory research program to aid in developing and testing the validity of conceptual models for flow and transport through unsaturated porous media

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Glass, R.J.

    1991-01-01

    As part of the Yucca Mountain Project, a laboratory research program is being developed at Sandia National Laboratories that will integrate fundamental physical experimentation with conceptual model formulation and mathematical modeling and aid in subsequent model validation for unsaturated zone water and contaminant transport. Experimental systems are being developed to explore flow and transport processes and assumptions of fundamental importance to various conceptual models. Experimentation will run concurrently in two types of systems: fractured and nonfractured tuffaceous systems; and analogue systems having specific characteristics of the tuff systems but designed to maximize experimental control and resolution of data measurement. Areas in which experimentation currently is directed include infiltration flow instability, water and solute movement in unsaturated fractures, fracture-matrix interaction, and scaling laws to define effective large-scale properties for heterogeneous, fractured media. 16 refs

  1. Laboratory research program to aid in developing and testing the validity of conceptual models for flow and transport through unsaturated porous media

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Glass, R.J.

    1990-01-01

    As part of the Yucca Mountain Project, a laboratory research program is being developed at Sandia National Laboratories that will integrate fundamental physical experimentation with conceptual formulation and mathematical modeling and aid in subsequent model validation for unsaturated zone water and contaminant transport. Experimental systems are being developed to explore flow and transport processes and assumptions of fundamental importance to various conceptual models. Experimentation will run concurrently in two types of systems: fractured and nonfractured tuffaceous systems; and analogue systems having specific characteristics of the tuff systems but designed to maximize experimental control and resolution of data measurement. Questions to which experimentation currently is directed include infiltration flow instability, water and solute movement in unsaturated fractures, fracture-matrix interaction, and the definition of effective large-scale properties for heterogeneous, fractured media. 16 refs

  2. An experimental program for testing the validity of flow and transport models in unsaturated tuff: The Yucca Mountain Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shephard, L.E.; Glass, R.J.; Siegel, M.D.; Tidwell, V.C.

    1990-01-01

    Groundwater flow and contaminant transport through the unsaturated zone are receiving increased attention as options for waste disposal in saturated media continue to be considered as a potential means for resolving the nation's waste management concerns. An experimental program is being developed to test the validity of conceptual flow and transport models that are being formulated to predict the long-term performance at Yucca Mountain. This program is in the developmental stage and will continue to evolve as information is acquired and knowledge is improved with reference to flow and transport in unsaturated fractured media. The general approach for directing the validation effort entails identifying those processes which may cause the site to fail relative to imposed regulatory requirements, evaluating the key assumptions underlying the conceptual models used or developed to describe these processes, and developing new conceptual models as needed. Emphasis is currently being placed in four general areas: flow and transport in unsaturated fractures; fracture-matrix interactions; infiltration flow instability; and evaluation of scale effects in heterogeneous fractured media. Preliminary results and plans or each of these areas for both the laboratory and field investigation components will be presented in the manuscript. 1 ref

  3. 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

  4. Summary of air permeability data from single-hole injection tests in unsaturated fractured tuffs at the Apache Leap Research Site: Results of steady-state test interpretation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guzman, A.G.; Geddis, A.M.; Henrich, M.J.; Lohrstorfer, C.F.; Neuman, S.P.

    1996-03-01

    This document summarizes air permeability estimates obtained from single hole pneumatic injection tests in unsaturated fractured tuffs at the Covered Borehole Site (CBS) within the larger apache Leap Research Site (ALRS). Only permeability estimates obtained from a steady state interpretation of relatively stable pressure and flow rate data are included. Tests were conducted in five boreholes inclined at 45 degree to the horizontal, and one vertical borehole. Over 180 borehole segments were tested by setting the packers 1 m apart. Additional tests were conducted in segments of lengths 0.5, 2.0, and 3.0 m in one borehole, and 2.0 m in another borehole, bringing the total number of tests to over 270. Tests were conducted by maintaining a constant injection rate until air pressure became relatively stable and remained so for some time. The injection rate was then incremented by a constant value and the procedure repeated. The air injection rate, pressure, temperature, and relative humidity were recorded. For each relatively stable period of injection rate and pressure, air permeability was estimated by treating the rock around each test interval as a uniform, isotropic porous medium within which air flows as a single phase under steady state, in a pressure field exhibiting prolate spheroidal symmetry. For each permeability estimate the authors list the corresponding injection rate, pressure, temperature and relative humidity. They also present selected graphs which show how the latter quantities vary with time; logarithmic plots of pressure versus time which demonstrate the importance of borehole storage effects during the early transient portion of each incremental test period; and semilogarithmic plots of pressure versus recovery time at the end of each test sequence

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  6. OBSERVATION AND ANALYSIS OF A PRONOUNCED PERMEABILITY AND POROSITY SCALE-EFFECT IN UNSATURATED FRACTURED TUFF

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    V. VESSELINOV; ET AL

    2001-01-01

    Over 270 single-hole (Guzman et al., 1996) and 44 cross-hole pneumatic injection tests (Illman et al., 1998; Illman, 1999) have been conducted at the Apache Leap Research Site (ALRS) near Superior, Arizona. They have shown that the pneumatic pressure behavior of fractured tuff at the site is amenable to analysis by methods which treat the rock as a continuum on scales ranging from meters to tens of meters, and that this continuum is representative primarily of interconnected fractures. Both the single-hole and cross-hole test results are free of skin effect. Single-hole tests have yielded estimates of air permeability at various locations throughout the tested rock volume, on a nominal support scale of about 1 m. The corresponding log permeability data exhibit spatial behavior characteristic of a random fractal and yield a kriged estimate of how these 1-m scale log permeabilities vary in three-dimensional space (Chen et al., 2000). Cross-hole tests have been analyzed by means of a three-dimensional inverse model (Vesselinov et al., 2000) in two ways: (a) by interpreting pressure records from individual borehole monitoring intervals, one at a time, while treating the rock as if it was spatially uniform; and (b) by using the inverse model to interpret pressure records from multiple tests and borehole monitoring intervals simultaneously, while treating the rock as a random fractal characterized by a power variogram. The first approach has yielded equivalent air permeabilities and air-filled porosities for a rock volume characterized by a length-scale of several tens of meters. Comparable results have been obtained by means of type-curves (Illman and Neuman, 2001). The second approach amounts to three-dimensional pneumatic tomography, or stochastic imaging, of the rock. It has yielded a high-resolution geostatistical estimate of how air permeability and air-filled porosity, defined over grid blocks having a length-scale of 1 m, vary throughout the modeled rock volume

  7. Groundwater recharge dynamics in unsaturated fractured chalk: a case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherubini, Claudia; Pastore, Nicola; Giasi, Concetta I.; Allegretti, Nicolaetta M.

    2016-04-01

    The heterogeneity of the unsaturated zone controls its hydraulic response to rainfall and the extent to which pollutants are delayed or attenuated before reaching groundwater. It plays therefore a very important role in the recharge of aquifers and the transfer of pollutants because of the presence of temporary storage zones and preferential flows. A better knowledge of the physical processes in the unsaturated zone would allow an improved assessment of the natural recharge in a heterogeneous aquifer and of its vulnerability to surface-applied pollution. The case study regards the role of the thick unsaturated zone of the Cretaceous chalk aquifer in Picardy (North of France) that controls the hydraulic response to rainfall. In the North Paris Basin, much of the recharge must pass through a regional chalk bed that is composed of a porous matrix with embedded fractures. Different types of conceptual models have been formulated to explain infiltration and recharge processes in the unsaturated fractured rock. The present study analyses the episodic recharge in fractured Chalk aquifer using the kinematic diffusion theory to predict water table fluctuation in response to rainfall. From an analysis of the data, there is the evidence of 1) a seasonal behavior characterized by a constant increase in the water level during the winter/spring period and a recession period, 2) a series of episodic behaviors during the summer/autumn. Kinematic diffusion models are useful for predict preferential fluxes and dynamic conditions. The presented approach conceptualizes the unsaturated flow as a combination of 1) diffusive flow refers to the idealized portion of the pore space of the medium within the flow rate is driven essentially by local gradient of potential; 2) preferential flow by which water moves across macroscopic distances through conduits of macropore length.

  8. 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

  9. Laboratory determined suction potential of Topopah Spring tuff at high temperatures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Daily, W.; Lin, Wunan.

    1991-01-01

    The purpose of this work is to experimentally determine the capillary suction potential of Topopah Spring tuff from Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada. This data can be used to help characterize the unsaturated hydraulic properties of the densely welded tuff at this site. 7 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab

  10. Three-dimensional modeling of flow through fractured tuff at Fran Ridge

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eaton, R.R.; Ho, C.K.; Glass, RJ.; Nicholl, M.J.; Arnold, B.W.

    1996-09-01

    Numerical studies have been made of an infiltration experiment at Fran Ridge using the TOUGH2 code to aid in the selection of computational models for performance assessment. The exercise investigates the capabilities of TOUGH2 to model transient flows through highly fractured tuff and provides a possible means of calibration. Two distinctly different conceptual models were used in the TOUGH2 code, the dual permeability model and the equivalent continuum model. The infiltration test modeled involved the infiltration of dyed ponded water for 36 minutes. The 205 gallon infiltration of water observed in the experiment was subsequently modeled using measured Fran Ridge fracture frequencies, and a specified fracture aperture of 285 microm. The dual permeability formulation predicted considerable infiltration along the fracture network, which was in agreement with the experimental observations. As expected, al fracture penetration of the infiltrating water was calculated using the equivalent continuum model, thus demonstrating that this model is not appropriate for modeling the highly transient experiment. It is therefore recommended that the dual permeability model be given priority when computing high-flux infiltration for use in performance assessment studies

  11. Three-dimensional modeling of flow through fractured tuff at Fran Ridge

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eaton, R.R.; Ho, C.K.; Glass, R.J.; Nicholl, M.J.; Arnold, B.W.

    1996-01-01

    Numerical studies have been made of an infiltration experiment at Fran Ridge using the TOUGH2 code to aid in the selection of computational models for performance assessment. The exercise investigates the capabilities of TOUGH2 to model transient flows through highly fractured tuff and provides a possible means of calibration. Two distinctly different conceptual models were used in the TOUGH2 code, the dual permeability model and the equivalent continuum model. The infiltration test modeled involved the infiltration of dyed ponded water for 36 minutes. The 205 gallon filtration of water observed in the experiment was subsequently modeled using measured Fran Ridge fracture frequencies, and a specified fracture aperture of 285 μm. The dual permeability formulation predicted considerable infiltration along the fracture network, which was in agreement with the experimental observations. As expected, minimal fracture penetration of the infiltrating water was calculated using the equivalent continuum model, thus demonstrating that this model is not appropriate for modeling the highly transient experiment. It is therefore recommended that the dual permeability model be given priority when computing high-flux infiltration for use in performance assessment studies

  12. Flow and transport in unsaturated fractured rock: Effects of multiscale heterogeneity of hydrogeologic properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhou, Quanlin; Liu, Hui-Hai; Bodvarsson, Gudmundur S.; Oldenburg, Curtis M.

    2002-01-01

    The heterogeneity of hydrogeologic properties at different scales may have different effects on flow and transport processes in a subsurface system. A model for the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is developed to represent complex heterogeneity at two different scales: (1) layer scale corresponding to geologic layering and (2) local scale. The layer-scale hydrogeologic properties are obtained using inverse modeling, based on the available measurements collected from the Yucca Mountain site. Calibration results show a significant lateral and vertical variability in matrix and fracture properties. Hydrogeologic property distributions in a two-dimensional, vertical cross section of the site are generated by combining the average layer-scale matrix and fracture properties with local-scale perturbations generated using a stochastic simulation method. The unsaturated water flow and conservative (nonsorbing) tracer transport through the cross section are simulated for different sets of matrix and fracture property fields. Comparison of simulation results indicates that the local-scale heterogeneity of matrix and fracture properties has a considerable effect on unsaturated flow processes, leading to fast flow paths in fractures and the matrix. These paths shorten the travel time of a conservative tracer from the source (repository) horizon in the unsaturated zone to the water table for small fractions of total released tracer mass. As a result, the local-scale heterogeneity also has a noticeable effect on global tracer transport processes, characterized by an average breakthrough curve at the water table, especially at the early arrival time of tracer mass. However, the effect is not significant at the later time after 20 percent tracer mass reaches the water table. The simulation results also verify that matrix diffusion plays an important role in overall solute transport processes in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

  14. Consideration of Nuclear Criticality When Directly Disposing Highly Enriched Spent Nuclear Fuel in Unsaturated Tuff - II: Geochemical Constraints

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rechard, Rob P.; Sanchez, Lawrence C.; Trellue, Holly R.

    2003-01-01

    This article presents several reasonable cases in which four mechanisms - dissolution, physical mixing, adsorption, and precipitation (either chemical change or evaporation) - might concentrate fissile material in and around a disposal container for radioactive waste at the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The possible masses, concentrations, and volume are then compared to criticality limits. The cases examined evaluate the geologic barrier role in preventing criticality since engineered options for preventing criticality (e.g., boron or gadolinium neutron absorber in the disposal container) are not considered. The solid concentrations able to form in the natural environment are insufficient for criticality to occur because (a) solutions of 235 U and 239 Pu are clearly not critical; (b) physical mixing of fissile material with the entire potential iron oxide (as goethite - FeOOH) in a waste package is not critical; (c) the adsorption of 239 Pu on consolidated iron oxide in a waste package is not critical; (d) the adsorption of 235 U on consolidated iron oxide in a waste package is not critical when accounting for reduced adsorption because of carbonates at high pH; (e) the filtration of iron oxide colloids, containing fissile material, by the thin invert material is not critical; (f) insufficient retention through precipitation of 235 U or 239 Pu occurs in the invert; (g) adsorption of 235 U and 239 Pu on devitrified or clinoptolite-rich tuff below the repository is not critical; (h) the average precipitation/adsorption of 235 U as uranyl silicates in the tuff is not critical by analogy with calcite deposition in lithophysae at Yucca Mountain; and (i) precipitation/adsorption (caused by cyclic drying) as uranyl silicates on fracture surfaces of the tuff is not critical by analogy with the oxidation of UO 2 , migration of U VI , and precipitation in fractures at the Nopal I ore deposit in Mexico

  15. Numerical experiments on the probability of seepage into underground openings in heterogeneous fractured rock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Birkholzer, J.; Li, G.; Tsang, C.F.; Tsang, Y.

    1998-01-01

    An important issue for the performance of underground nuclear waste repositories is the rate of seepage into the waste emplacement drifts. A prediction of this rate is particularly complicated for the potential repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, because it is located in thick, unsaturated, fractured tuff formations. Underground opening in unsaturated media might act as capillary barriers, diverting water around them. In the present work, they study the potential rate of seepage into drifts as a function of the percolation flux at Yucca Mountain, based on a stochastic model of the fractured rock mass in the drift vicinity. A variety of flow scenarios are considered, assuming present-day and possible future climate conditions. They show that the heterogeneity in the flow domain is a key factor controlling seepage rates, since it causes channelized flow and local ponding in the unsaturated flow field

  16. Estimation of hydrologic properties of an unsaturated, fractured rock mass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klavetter, E.A.; Peters, R.R.

    1986-07-01

    In this document, two distinctly different approaches are used to develop continuum models to evaluate water movement in a fractured rock mass. Both models provide methods for estimating rock-mass hydrologic properties. Comparisons made over a range of different tuff properties show good qualitative and quantitative agreement between estimates of rock-mass hydrologic properties made by the two models. This document presents a general discussion of: (1) the hydrology of Yucca Mountain, and the conceptual hydrological model currently being used for the Yucca Mountain site, (2) the development of two models that may be used to estimate the hydrologic properties of a fractured, porous rock mass, and (3) a comparison of the hydrologic properties estimated by these two models. Although the models were developed in response to hydrologic characterization requirements at Yucca Mountain, they can be applied to water movement in any fractured rock mass that satisfies the given assumptions

  17. Using chloride to trace water movement in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fabryka-Martin, J.T.; Winters, S.T.; Wolfsberg, A.V.; Wolfsberg, L.E.; Roach, J.L.

    1998-01-01

    The nonwelded Paintbrush Tuff (PTn) hydrogeologic unit is postulated as playing a critical role in the redistribution of moisture in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Fracture-dominated flow in the overlying low-permeability, highly fractured Tiva Canyon welded (TCw) unit is expected to transition to matrix-dominated flow in the high-permeability, comparatively unfractured PTn. The transition process from fracture to matrix flow in the PTn, as well as the transition from low to high matrix storage capacity, is expected to damp out most of the seasonal, decadal, and secular variability in surface infiltration. This process should also result in the homogenization of the variable geochemical and isotopic characteristics of pore water entering the top of the PTn. In contrast, fault zones that provide continuous fracture pathways through the PTn may damp climatic and geochemical variability only slightly and may provide fast paths from the surface to the sampled depths, whether within the PTn or in underlying welded tuffs. Chloride (Cl) content and other geochemical data obtained from PTn pore-water samples can be used to independently derive infiltration rates for comparison with surface infiltration estimates, to evaluate the role of structural features as fast paths, and to assess the prevalence and extent to which water may be laterally diverted in the PTn due to contrasting hydrologic properties of its subunits

  18. On the movement of a liquid front in an unsaturated, fractured porous medium, Part 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nitao, J.J.; Buscheck, T.A.

    1989-06-01

    The primary aim of this paper is to present approximate analytical solutions of the fracture flow which gives the position of the liquid fracture front as a function of time. These solutions demonstrate that the liquid movement in the fracture can be classified into distinctive time periods, or flow regimes. It is also shown that when plotted versus time using a log-log scale, the liquid fracture front position asymptotically approaches a series of line segments. Two-dimensional numerical simulations were run utilizing input data applicable to the densely welded, fractured tuff found at Yucca Mountain in order to confirm these observations. 19 refs., 15 figs., 8 tabs

  19. Research program to develop and validate conceptual models for flow and transport through unsaturated, fractured rock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Glass, R.J.; Tidwell, V.C.

    1991-01-01

    As part of the Yucca Mountain Project, our research program to develop and validate conceptual models for flow and transport through unsaturated fractured rock integrates fundamental physical experimentation with conceptual model formulation and mathematical modeling. Our research is directed toward developing and validating macroscopic, continuum-based models and supporting effective property models because of their widespread utility within the context of this project. Success relative to the development and validation of effective property models is predicated on a firm understanding of the basic physics governing flow through fractured media, specifically in the areas of unsaturated flow and transport in a single fracture and fracture-matrix interaction. 43 refs

  20. Research program to develop and validate conceptual models for flow and transport through unsaturated, fractured rock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Glass, R.J.; Tidwell, V.C.

    1991-09-01

    As part of the Yucca Mountain Project, our research program to develop and validate conceptual models for flow and transport through unsaturated fractured rock integrates fundamental physical experimentation with conceptual model formulation and mathematical modeling. Our research is directed toward developing and validating macroscopic, continuum-based models and supporting effective property models because of their widespread utility within the context of this project. Success relative to the development and validation of effective property models is predicted on a firm understanding of the basic physics governing flow through fractured media, specifically in the areas of unsaturated flow and transport in a single fracture and fracture-matrix interaction

  1. Research program to develop and validate conceptual models for flow and transport through unsaturated, fractured rock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Glass, R.J.; Tidwell, V.C.

    1991-01-01

    As part of the Yucca Mountain Project, our research program to develop and validate conceptual models for flow and transport through unsaturated fractured rock integrates fundamental physical experimentation with conceptual model formulation and mathematical modeling. Our research is directed toward developing and validating macroscopic, continuum-based models and supporting effective property models because of their widespread utility within the context of this project. Success relative to the development and validation of effective property models is predicted on a firm understanding of the basic physics governing flow through fractured media, specifically in the areas of unsaturated flow and transport in a single fracture and fracture-matrix interaction

  2. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1996-01-01

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

  4. Determination of Transport Properties From Flowing Fluid Temperature Logging In Unsaturated Fractured Rocks: Theory And Semi-Analytical Solution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mukhopadhyay, Sumit; Tsang, Yvonne W.

    2008-01-01

    Flowing fluid temperature logging (FFTL) has been recently proposed as a method to locate flowing fractures. We argue that FFTL, backed up by data from high-precision distributed temperature sensors, can be a useful tool in locating flowing fractures and in estimating the transport properties of unsaturated fractured rocks. We have developed the theoretical background needed to analyze data from FFTL. In this paper, we present a simplified conceptualization of FFTL in unsaturated fractured rock, and develop a semianalytical solution for spatial and temporal variations of pressure and temperature inside a borehole in response to an applied perturbation (pumping of air from the borehole). We compare the semi-analytical solution with predictions from the TOUGH2 numerical simulator. Based on the semi-analytical solution, we propose a method to estimate the permeability of the fracture continuum surrounding the borehole. Using this proposed method, we estimated the effective fracture continuum permeability of the unsaturated rock hosting the Drift Scale Test (DST) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Our estimate compares well with previous independent estimates for fracture permeability of the DST host rock. The conceptual model of FFTL presented in this paper is based on the assumptions of single-phase flow, convection-only heat transfer, and negligible change in system state of the rock formation. In a sequel paper (Mukhopadhyay et al., 2008), we extend the conceptual model to evaluate some of these assumptions. We also perform inverse modeling of FFTL data to estimate, in addition to permeability, other transport parameters (such as porosity and thermal conductivity) of unsaturated fractured rocks

  5. Triaxial-compression extraction of pore water from unsaturated tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, I.C.; Turner, A.K.; Sayre, T.M.; Montazer, P.

    1988-01-01

    The purpose of this experiment was to design and validate methods for extracting uncontaminated pore water from nonwelded parts of this tuff. Pore water is needed for chemical analysis to help characterize the local hydrologic system. A standard Hoek-Franklin triaxial cell was modified to create a chemically inert pore-water-extraction system. Experimentation was designed to determine the optimum stress and duration of triaxial compression for efficient extraction of uncontaminated pore water. Experimental stress paths consisted of a series of increasing stress levels. Trial axial stress levels ranged from 41 to 190 megapascals with lateral confining stresses of 34 to 69 megapascals. The duration of compression at any given stress level lasted from 10 minutes to 15 hours. A total of 40 experimental extraction trials were made. Tuff samples used in these tests were collected from drill-hole core from the Paintbrush nonwelded unit at Yucca Mountain. Pore water was extracted from tuff samples that had a water content greater than 13 percent by weight. Two stress paths have been determined to be applicable for future pore-water extraction from nonwelded tuff at Yucca Mountain. The initial water content of a sample affects the selection of an appropriate period of compression. 39 refs., 55 figs

  6. Hydrologic mechanisms governing fluid flow in partially saturated, fractured, porous tuff at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, J.S.Y.; Narasimhan, T.N.

    1984-10-01

    In contrast to the saturated zone where fluid moves rapidly along fractures, the fractures (with apertures large relative to the size of matrix pores) will desaturate first during drainage process and the bulk of fluid flow would be through interconnected pores in the matrix. Within a partially drained fracture, the presence of a relatively continuous air phase will produce practically an infinite resistance to liquid flow in the direction parallel to the fracture. The residual liquid will be held by capillary force in regions around fracture contact areas where the apertures are small. Normal to the fracture surfaces, the drained portion of the fractures will reduce the effective area for liquid flow from one matrix block to another matrix block. A general statistical theory is constructed for flow along the fracture and for flow between the matrix blocks to the fractures under partially saturated conditions. Results are obtained from an aperture distribution model for fracture saturation, hydraulic conductivity, and effective matrix-fracture flow areas as functions of pressure. Drainage from a fractured tuff column is simulated. The parameters for the simulations are deduced from fracture surface characteristics, spacings and orientations based on core analyses, and from matrix characteristics curve based on laboratory measurements. From the cases simulated for the fractured, porous column with discrete vertical and horizontal fractures and porous matrix blocks explicitly taken into account, it is observed that the highly transient changes from fully saturated conditions to partially saturated conditions are extremely sensitive to the fracture properties. However, the quasi-steady changes of the fluid flow of a partially saturated, fractured, porous system could be approximately simulated without taking the fractures into account. 22 references, 16 figures

  7. Relative Abundances of Calcite and Silica in Fracture Coatings as a Possible Indicator of Evaporation in a Thick Unsaturated Zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, B. D.; Moscati, R. J.

    2005-12-01

    Yucca Mountain, a ridge of shallowly dipping, Miocene-age volcanic rocks in southwest Nevada, is the proposed site for a nuclear waste repository to be constructed in the 500- to 700-m-thick unsaturated zone (UZ). At the proposed repository, the 300-m-thick Topopah Spring Tuff welded unit (TSw) is overlain by approximately 30 m of nonwelded tuffs (PTn); the Tiva Canyon Tuff welded unit (TCw) overlies the PTn with a range in thickness from 0 to approximately 130 m at the site. The amount of water percolation through the UZ is low and difficult to measure directly, but local seepage into mined tunnels has been observed in the TCw. Past water seepage in the welded tuffs is recorded by widespread, thin (0.3 cm) coatings of calcite and silica on fracture surfaces and within cavities. Abundances of calcite and silica in the coatings were determined by X-ray microfluorescence mapping and subsequent multispectral image analysis of over 200 samples. The images were classified into constituent phases including opal-chalcedony-quartz (secondary silica) and calcite. In the TCw samples, the median calcite/silica ratio is 8; in the TSw samples within 35 m below the PTn, median calcite/silica falls to 2, perhaps reflecting an increase in soluble silica from the presence of glass in the nonwelded tuffs. In the deeper parts of the TSw, median calcite/silica reaches 100 and many samples contain no detectable secondary silica phase. Evaporation and changing pCO2 control precipitation of calcite from water percolating downward in the UZ, but precipitation of opal requires only evaporation. Calcite/silica ratios, therefore, can constrain the relative importance of evaporation in the UZ. Although calcite/silica values scatter widely within the TSw, reflecting the spatial variability of gas and water flow, average calcite/silica ratios increase with stratigraphic depth, indicating less evaporation at the deeper levels of the UZ. Coupled with the much smaller calcite/silica ratios

  8. A numerical study of water percolation through an unsaturated variable aperture fracture under coupled thermomechanical effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tsang, C.F.; Noorishad, J.; Hale, F.V.

    1991-12-01

    In calculation of ground water travel times associated with performance assessment of a nuclear waste repository, the role of fractures may turn out to be very important. There are two aspects related to fracture flow that have not been fully resolved. The first is the effect of coupled thermomechanical impact on fracture apertures due to the thermal output of the nuclear waste repository. The second is the effect of the variable aperture nature of the fractures. The present paper is an exploratory study of the impact of these two effects on water percolation through unsaturated fractures. The paper is divided into two main sections. the first section describes a calculation of the thermomechanical behavior of the geologic formation around a waste repository. In this exploratory study we assume two major fractures, one vertical and one horizontal through the repository center. Temperatures and thermally induced stress fields are calculated. The second part of the paper considers the unsaturated case and describes a study of water infiltration from the land surface through the vertical fracture to the repository

  9. Migration of Water Pulse Through Fractured Porous Media

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Finsterle, S.; Fabryka-Martin, J. T.; Wang, J. S. Y.

    2001-01-01

    Contaminant transport from waste-disposal sites is strongly affected by the presence of fractures and the degree of fracture-matrix interaction. Characterization of potential contaminant plumes at such sites is difficult, both experimentally and numerically. Simulations of water flow through fractured rock were performed to examine the penetration depth of a large pulse of water entering such a system. Construction water traced with lithium bromide was released during the excavation of a tunnel at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, which is located in an unsaturated fractured tuff formation. Modeling of construction-water migration is qualitatively compared with bromide-to-chloride (Br/CI) ratio data for pore-water salts extracted from drillcores. The influences of local heterogeneities in the fracture network and variations in hydrogeologic parameters were examined by sensitivity analyses and Monte Carlo simulations. The simulation results are qualitatively consistent with the observed Br/CI signals, although these data may only indicate a minimum penetration depth, and water may have migrated further through the fracture network

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  11. Laboratory study of fracture healing in Topopah Spring tuff: Implications for near field hydrology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin, Wunan; Daily, W.D.

    1989-09-01

    Seven Topopah Spring tuff samples were studied to determine water permeability in this rock under pressure and temperature conditions similar to those expected in the near field of a nuclear waste package. Six of the seven samples were studied under isothermal condition; the other was subjected to a thermal gradient. Four of the six fractured samples contained a reopened, healed, natural fracture; one contained an induced tensile fracture and the other contained a saw-cut. The fracture surfaces were examined using scanning electron microscope (SEM) before and after the experiments and the water that flowed through the samples was sampled for chemical analysis. The experimental durations ranged from about 3 months to almost 6 months. Water permeability of the fractured samples was found to decrease by more than three orders of magnitude when the sample temperature increased to 150 degree C. The sharpest decrease in permeability occurred when the temperature was increased above 90 degree C. Permeability of the intact sample did not change significantly under the similar experimental conditions. When the temperature returned to room conditions, the water permeability did not recover. The mechanical strength of one healed sample was about half that of the intact rock. SEM studies of the fracture surfaces and water chemical analysis of the water suggested that both dissolution and deposition occurred on the fracture surfaces. Smoothing of fracture asperities because of dissolution and deposition was probably the main cause of the permeability decrease. Deposition of dissolved silica was probably the main cause of fracture healing. 12 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab

  12. Effect of boundary conditions on the strength and deformability of replicas of natural fractures in welded tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wibowo, J.; Amadei, B.; Sture, S.; Robertson, A.B.

    1993-09-01

    Four series of cyclic direct-shear experiments were conducted on several replicas of three natural fractures and a tensile fracture of welded tuff from Yucca Mountain. The objective of these tests was to examine the effect of cyclic loading on joint shear behavior under different boundary conditions. The shear tests were performed under either different levels of constant normal load ranging between 0.6 and 25.6 kips (2.7 and 113.9 kN) or constant normal stiffness ranging between 14.8 and 187.5 kips/in (25.9 and 328.1 kn/cm) . Bach test in the two categories consisted of five cycles of forward and reverse shear. Normal compression tests were also performed both before and after each shear experiment to measure changes in joint normal deformability. In order to quantify fracture surface damage during shear, fracture-surface fractal dimensions were obtained from measurements before and after shear

  13. Approaches to large scale unsaturated flow in heterogeneous, stratified, and fractured geologic media

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ababou, R.

    1991-08-01

    This report develops a broad review and assessment of quantitative modeling approaches and data requirements for large-scale subsurface flow in radioactive waste geologic repository. The data review includes discussions of controlled field experiments, existing contamination sites, and site-specific hydrogeologic conditions at Yucca Mountain. Local-scale constitutive models for the unsaturated hydrodynamic properties of geologic media are analyzed, with particular emphasis on the effect of structural characteristics of the medium. The report further reviews and analyzes large-scale hydrogeologic spatial variability from aquifer data, unsaturated soil data, and fracture network data gathered from the literature. Finally, various modeling strategies toward large-scale flow simulations are assessed, including direct high-resolution simulation, and coarse-scale simulation based on auxiliary hydrodynamic models such as single equivalent continuum and dual-porosity continuum. The roles of anisotropy, fracturing, and broad-band spatial variability are emphasized. 252 refs

  14. Laboratory studies of radionuclide migration in tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1989-01-01

    The movement of selected radionuclides has been observed in crushed tuff, intact tuff, and fractured tuff columns. Retardation factors and dispersivities were determined from the elution profiles. Retardation factors have been compared with those predicted on the basis of batch sorption studies. This comparison forms a basis for either validating distribution coefficients or providing evidence of speciation, including colloid formation. Dispersivities measured as a function of velocity provide a means of determining the effect of sorption kinetics or mass transfer on radionuclide migration. Dispersion is also being studied in the context of scaling symmetry to develop a basis for extrapolating from the laboratory scale to the field. 21 refs., 6 figs., 2 tabs

  15. Measuring and modeling water imbibition into tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peters, R.R.; Klavetter, E.A.; George, J.T.; Gauthier, J.H.

    1986-01-01

    Yucca Mountain (Nevada) is being investigated as a potential site for a high-level-radioactive-waste repository. The site combines a partially saturated hydrologic system and a stratigraphy of fractured, welded and nonwelded tuffs. The long time scale for site hydrologic phenomena makes their direct measurement prohibitive. Also, modeling is difficult because the tuffs exhibit widely varying, and often highly nonlinear hydrologic properties. To increase a basic understanding of both the hydrologic properties of tuffs and the modeling of flow in partially saturated regimes, the following tasks were performed, and the results are reported: (1) Laboratory Experiment: Water imbibition into a cylinder of tuff (taken from Yucca Mountain drill core) was measured by immersing one end of a dry sample in water and noting its weight at various times. The flow of water was approximately one-dimensional, filling the sample from bottom to top. (2) Computer Simulation: The experiment was modeled using TOSPAC (a one-dimensional, finite-difference computer program for simulating water flow in partially saturated, fractured, layered media) with data currently considered for use in site-scale modeling of a repository in Yucca Mountain. The measurements and the results of the modeling are compared. Conclusions are drawn with respect to the accuracy of modeling transient flow in a partially saturated, porous medium using a one-dimensional model and currently available hydrologic-property data

  16. 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

  17. Proposed sealing field tests for a potential high-level radioactive waste repository in unsaturated tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fernandez, J.A.; Case, J.B.; Tyburski, J.

    1992-01-01

    This paper contains a general description of the field tests proposed for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project repository sealing program. The tests are intended to resolve various performance and emplacement concerns associated with sealing components. Ten discrete tests are proposed to address these concerns. These tests are divided into two categories -- simple and complex tests. The simple tests are: the small-scale in situ tests: the intermediate-scale borehole seal tests; the fracture grouting tests; the surface backfill tests; and the grouted rock mass tests. The complex tests are the seepage control tests; in situ backfill tests; in situ bulkhead tests; large-scale shaft seal tests; and remote borehole seal tests. These tests are proposed to be performed in welded and nonwelded tuff environments. The final selection of sealing tests will depend on the nature of the geologic and hydrologic conditions encountered during the development of the exploratory studies facility. Some tests may be performed before license application and some after license application

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2003-01-01

    We investigate radionuclide transport from a high-level nuclear waste repository to be situated in the unsaturated zone (UZ) at Yucca Mountain (YM), Nevada. Several radioactive solutes (that cover the range of sorption behavior) and colloids of various sizes are studied. The results of the study indicate the importance of the subsurface geology and site hydrology, i.e., the presence of faults (they dominate and control transport), fractures (the main migration pathways), and the relative distribution of zeolitic and vitric tuffs. The effects of the climatic conditions, diffusion, and sorption (for solutes) or infiltration (for colloids) onto the matrix are discussed. The influence of the colloid size on transport is also investigated

  19. 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

  20. Vapor Transport Through Fractures and Other High-Permeability Paths: Its Role in the Drift Scale Test at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhopadhyay, S.; Tsang, Y. W.

    2001-12-01

    Heating unsaturated fractured tuff sets off a series of complicated thermal-hydrological (TH) processes, which result in large-scale redistribution of moisture in the host rock. Moisture redistribution arises from boiling of water near heat sources, transport of vapor away from those heat sources, condensation of that vapor in cooler rock, and subsequent gravity drainage of condensate through fractures. Vapor transport through high-permeability paths, which include both the fractures in the rock and other conduits, contributes to the evolution of these TH processes in two ways. First, the highly permeable natural fractures provide easy passage for vapor away from the heat sources. Second, these fractures and other highly permeable conduits allow vapor (and the associated energy) to escape the rock through open boundaries of the test domain. The overall impact of vapor transport on the evolution of the TH processes can be more easily understood in the context of the Drift Scale Test (DST), the largest ever in situ heater test in unsaturated fractured tuff. The DST, in which a large volume of rock has been heated for four years now, is located in the middle nonlithophysal (Tptpmn) stratigraphic unit of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The fractured tuff in Tptpmn contains many well-connected fractures. In the DST, heating is provided by nine cannister heaters placed in a five-meter-diameter Heated Drift (HD) and fifty wing heaters installed orthogonal to the axis of the HD. The test has many instrumentation boreholes, some of which are not sealed by packers or grout and may provide passage for vapor and energy. Of these conduits, the boreholes housing the wing heaters are most important for vapor transport because of their proximity to heat sources. While part of the vapor generated by heating moves away from the heat sources through the fractures and condenses elsewhere in the rock, the rest of the vapor, under gas-pressure difference, enters the HD by way of the high

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tidwell, V.C.

    1996-08-01

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

  2. An evaluation of the active fracture concept with modeling unsaturated flow and transport in a fractured meter-sized block of rock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seol, Yongkoo; Kneafsey, Timothy J.; Ito, Kazumasa

    2003-01-01

    Numerical simulation is an effective and economical tool for optimally designing laboratory experiments and deriving practical experimental conditions. We executed a detailed numerical simulation study to examine the active fracture concept (AFC, Liu et al., 1998) using a cubic meter-sized block model. The numerical simulations for this study were performed by applying various experimental conditions, including different bottom flow boundaries, varying injection rates, and different fracture-matrix interaction (by increasing absolute matrix permeability at the fracture matrix boundary) for a larger fracture interaction under transient or balanced-state flow regimes. Two conceptual block models were developed based on different numerical approaches: a two-dimensional discrete-fracture-network model (DFNM) and a one-dimensional dual continuum model (DCM). The DFNM was used as a surrogate for a natural block to produce synthetic breakthrough curves of water and tracer concentration under transient or balanced-state conditions. The DCM is the approach typically used for the Yucca Mountain Project because of its computational efficiency. The AFC was incorporated into the DCM to capture heterogeneous flow patterns that occur in unsaturated fractured rocks. The simulation results from the DCM were compared with the results from the DFNM to determine whether the DCM could predict the water flow and tracer transport observed in the DFNM at the scale of the experiment. It was found that implementing the AFC in the DCM improved the prediction of unsaturated flow and that the flow and transport experiments with low injection rates in the DFNM were compared better with the AFC implemented DCM at the meter scale. However, the estimated AFC parameter varied from 0.38 to 1.0 with different flow conditions, suggesting that the AFC parameter was not a sufficient to fully capture the complexity of the flow processes in a one meter sized discrete fracture network

  3. Inferences of paleoenvironment from petrographic, chemical and stable-isotope studies of calcretes and fracture calcites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1994-01-01

    Past research has indicated a genetic connection between calcite formed in calcretes at the surface of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and calcites deposited in underlying fractures of the unsaturated zone. This common genesis suggests that paleoenvironmental information, as well as the timing and pathways of past recharge episodes, might be obtained from studies of the deposits in both the calcretes and the unsaturated fractures. Chemical and isotopic modification of calcite-precipitating fluids appears to begin at the surface, largely under the influence of plant roots and their decay products. Chemical characteristics of the deeper calcites are either initiated or largely defined within the first few meters of fluid migration into the unsaturated tuffs beneath the calcretes. However, petrographic and isotopic data indicate a very unique low-δ 13 C microenvironment that is localized at the upper surfaces of the calcretes. These surfaces form an interface in the soil horizon where infiltration may pond above the underlying carbonate ''plug.'' In order to decipher the chemistry and petrology of past recharge events, it is important to first understand microenvironments such as this that contribute to mineral precipitation/dissolution events in the pedogenic environment

  4. Rectangular Schlumberger resistivity arrays for delineating vadose zone clay-lined fractures in shallow tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miele, M.; Laymon, D.; Gilkeson, R.; Michelotti, R.

    1996-01-01

    Rectangular Schlumberger arrays can be used for 2-dimensional lateral profiling of apparent resistivity at a unique current electrode separation, hence single depth of penetration. Numerous apparent resistivity measurements are collected moving the potential electrodes (fixed MN spacing) within a rectangle of defined dimensions. The method provides a fast, cost-effective means for the collection of dense resistivity data to provide high-resolution information on subsurface hydrogeologic conditions. Several rectangular Schlumberger resistivity arrays were employed at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) from 1989 through 1995 in an area adjacent to and downhill from an outfall pipe, septic tank, septic drainfield, and sump. Six rectangular arrays with 2 AB spacings were used to delineate lateral low resistivity anomalies that may be related to fractures that contain clay and/or vadose zone water. Duplicate arrays collected over a three year time period exhibited very good data repeatability. The properties of tritium make it an excellent groundwater tracer. Because tritium was present in discharged water from all of the anthropogenic sources in the vicinity it was used for this purpose. One major low resistivity anomaly correlates with relatively high tritium concentrations in the tuff. This was determined from borehole samples collected within and outside of the anomalous zone. The anomaly is interpreted to be due to fractures that contain clay from the soil profile. The clay was deposited in the fractures by aeolian processes and by surface water infiltration. The fractures likely served as a shallow vadose zone groundwater pathway

  5. Quantifying water flow and retention in an unsaturated fracture-facial domain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimmo, John R.; Malek-Mohammadi, Siamak

    2015-01-01

    Hydrologically significant flow and storage of water occur in macropores and fractures that are only partially filled. To accommodate such processes in flow models, we propose a three-domain framework. Two of the domains correspond to water flow and water storage in a fracture-facial region, in addition to the third domain of matrix water. The fracture-facial region, typically within a fraction of a millimeter of the fracture wall, includes a flowing phase whose fullness is determined by the availability and flux of preferentially flowing water, and a static storage portion whose fullness is determined by the local matric potential. The flow domain can be modeled with the source-responsive preferential flow model, and the roughness-storage domain can be modeled with capillary relations applied on the fracture-facial area. The matrix domain is treated using traditional unsaturated flow theory. We tested the model with application to the hydrology of the Chalk formation in southern England, coherently linking hydrologic information including recharge estimates, streamflow, water table fluctuation, imaging by electron microscopy, and surface roughness. The quantitative consistency of the three-domain matrix-microcavity-film model with this body of diverse data supports the hypothesized distinctions and active mechanisms of the three domains and establishes the usefulness of this framework.

  6. Nonlinear dynamics in flow through unsaturated fractured porous media: Status and perspectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Faybishenko, Boris

    2002-01-01

    The need has long been recognized to improve predictions of flow and transport in partially saturated heterogeneous soils and fractured rock of the vadose zone for many practical applications, such as remediation of contaminated sites, nuclear waste disposal in geological formations, and climate predictions. Until recently, flow and transport processes in heterogeneous subsurface media with oscillating irregularities were assumed to be random and were not analyzed using methods of nonlinear dynamics. The goals of this paper are to review the theoretical concepts, present the results, and provide perspectives on investigations of flow and transport in unsaturated heterogeneous soils and fractured rock, using the methods of nonlinear dynamics and deterministic chaos. The results of laboratory and field investigations indicate that the nonlinear dynamics of flow and transport processes in unsaturated soils and fractured rocks arise from the dynamic feedback and competition between various nonlinear physical processes along with complex geometry of flow paths. Although direct measurements of variables characterizing the individual flow processes are not technically feasible, their cumulative effect can be characterized by analyzing time series data using the models and methods of nonlinear dynamics and chaos. Identifying flow through soil or rock as a nonlinear dynamical system is important for developing appropriate short- and long-time predictive models, evaluating prediction uncertainty, assessing the spatial distribution of flow characteristics from time series data, and improving chemical transport simulations. Inferring the nature of flow processes through the methods of nonlinear dynamics could become widely used in different areas of the earth sciences

  7. Nonlinear dynamics in flow through unsaturated fractured-porous media: Status and perspectives

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Faybishenko, Boris

    2002-11-27

    The need has long been recognized to improve predictions of flow and transport in partially saturated heterogeneous soils and fractured rock of the vadose zone for many practical applications, such as remediation of contaminated sites, nuclear waste disposal in geological formations, and climate predictions. Until recently, flow and transport processes in heterogeneous subsurface media with oscillating irregularities were assumed to be random and were not analyzed using methods of nonlinear dynamics. The goals of this paper are to review the theoretical concepts, present the results, and provide perspectives on investigations of flow and transport in unsaturated heterogeneous soils and fractured rock, using the methods of nonlinear dynamics and deterministic chaos. The results of laboratory and field investigations indicate that the nonlinear dynamics of flow and transport processes in unsaturated soils and fractured rocks arise from the dynamic feedback and competition between various nonlinear physical processes along with complex geometry of flow paths. Although direct measurements of variables characterizing the individual flow processes are not technically feasible, their cumulative effect can be characterized by analyzing time series data using the models and methods of nonlinear dynamics and chaos. Identifying flow through soil or rock as a nonlinear dynamical system is important for developing appropriate short- and long-time predictive models, evaluating prediction uncertainty, assessing the spatial distribution of flow characteristics from time series data, and improving chemical transport simulations. Inferring the nature of flow processes through the methods of nonlinear dynamics could become widely used in different areas of the earth sciences.

  8. Performance assessment of the direct disposal in unsaturated tuff or spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste owned by USDOE: Volume 2, Methodology and results

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rechard, R.P. [ed.

    1995-03-01

    This assessment studied the performance of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel in a hypothetical repository in unsaturated tuff. The results of this 10-month study are intended to help guide the Office of Environment Management of the US Department of Energy (DOE) on how to prepare its wastes for eventual permanent disposal. The waste forms comprised spent fuel and high-level waste currently stored at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) and the Hanford reservations. About 700 metric tons heavy metal (MTHM) of the waste under study is stored at INEL, including graphite spent nuclear fuel, highly enriched uranium spent fuel, low enriched uranium spent fuel, and calcined high-level waste. About 2100 MTHM of weapons production fuel, currently stored on the Hanford reservation, was also included. The behavior of the waste was analyzed by waste form and also as a group of waste forms in the hypothetical tuff repository. When the waste forms were studied together, the repository was assumed also to contain about 9200 MTHM high-level waste in borosilicate glass from three DOE sites. The addition of the borosilicate glass, which has already been proposed as a final waste form, brought the total to about 12,000 MTHM.

  9. Performance assessment of the direct disposal in unsaturated tuff or spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste owned by USDOE: Volume 2, Methodology and results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rechard, R.P.

    1995-03-01

    This assessment studied the performance of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel in a hypothetical repository in unsaturated tuff. The results of this 10-month study are intended to help guide the Office of Environment Management of the US Department of Energy (DOE) on how to prepare its wastes for eventual permanent disposal. The waste forms comprised spent fuel and high-level waste currently stored at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) and the Hanford reservations. About 700 metric tons heavy metal (MTHM) of the waste under study is stored at INEL, including graphite spent nuclear fuel, highly enriched uranium spent fuel, low enriched uranium spent fuel, and calcined high-level waste. About 2100 MTHM of weapons production fuel, currently stored on the Hanford reservation, was also included. The behavior of the waste was analyzed by waste form and also as a group of waste forms in the hypothetical tuff repository. When the waste forms were studied together, the repository was assumed also to contain about 9200 MTHM high-level waste in borosilicate glass from three DOE sites. The addition of the borosilicate glass, which has already been proposed as a final waste form, brought the total to about 12,000 MTHM

  10. Fluid flow in 0.5-m scale blocks of Topopah Spring tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blair, S. C.; Carlson, S. R.; Constantino, M. S.

    1999-01-01

    A laboratory experiment was conducted on a 0.5-m scale block of Topopah Spring tuff, to measure fluid flow and mechanical deformation properties under conditions that approximate the near-field environment of a potential nuclear waste repository, and to provide an intermediate-scale test case for numerical model validation. The test specimen is a 0.25 x 0.25 x 0.50 m rectangular prism bisected by an artificial (saw-cut) fracture orthogonal to the tuff fabric. Water was supplied by a point source at the center of the fracture under various pressures of up to 0.04 MPa. Both fluid flow and mechanical properties were found to be anisotropic and strongly correlated with the ash flow fabric. Fluid mass-balance measurements revealed that only minor imbibition of water occurred through the fracture surfaces and that flow rates were independent of normal stress to 14.0 MPa and temperature to 140 C. Flow through the fracture occurred largely through uncorrelated porosity that intersected the fracture plane

  11. Proceedings of workshop 5: Flow and transport through unsaturated fractured rock -- related to high-level radioactive waste disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Evans, D.D.; Nicholson, T.J.

    1993-06-01

    The ''Workshop on Flow and Transport Through Unsaturated Fractured Rock Related to High-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal'' was cosponsored by the NRC, the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses, and the University of Arizona (UAZ) and was held in Tucson, Arizona, on January 7--10, 1991. The focus of this workshop, similar to the earlier four (the first being in 1982), related to hydrogeologic technical issues associated with possible disposal of commercial high-level nuclear waste (HLW) in a geologic repository within an unsaturated fractured rock system which coincides with the UAZ field studies on HLW disposal. The presentations and discussions centered on flow and transport processes and conditions, relevant parameters, as well as state-of-the-art measurement techniques, and modeling capabilities. The workshop consisted of: four half-day technical meetings, a one day field visit to the Apache Leap test site to review ongoing field studies that are examining site characterization techniques and developing data sets for model validation studies, and a final half-day session devoted to examining research needs related to modeling groundwater flow and radionuclide transport in unsaturated, fractured rock. These proceedings provide extended abstracts of the technical presentations and short summaries of the research group reports

  12. Challenging and improving conceptual models for isothermal flow in unsaturated, fractured rock through exploration of small-scale processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Glass, R.J.; Nicholl, M.J.; Tidwell, V.C.

    1996-01-01

    Over the past several years, the authors have performed experimental studies focused on understanding small-scale flow processes within discrete fractures and individual matrix blocks; much of the understanding gained in that time differs from that underlying the basic assumptions used in effective media representations. Here they synthesize the process level understanding gained from their laboratory studies to explore how such small-scale processes may influence the behavior of fluid flow in fracture networks and ensembles of matrix blocks at levels sufficient to impact the formulation of intermediate-scale effective media properties. They also explore, by means of a thought experiment, how these same small-scale processes could couple to produce a large-scale system response inconsistent with current conceptual models based on continuum representations of flow through unsaturated, fractured rock. Based on their findings, a number of modifications to existing dual permeability models are suggested that should allow them improved applicability; however, even with these modifications, it is likely that continuum representations of flow through unsaturated fractured rock will have limited validity and must therefore be applied with caution

  13. 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

  14. Uncertainties in sealing a nuclear waste repository in partially saturated tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tillerson, J.R.; Fernandez, J.A.; Hinkebein, T.E.

    1989-01-01

    Sealing a nuclear waste repository in partially saturated tuff presents unique challenges to assuring performance of sealing components. Design and performance of components for sealing shafts, ramps, drifts, and exploratory boreholes depend on specific features of both the repository design and the site; of particular importance is the hydrologic environment in the unsaturated zone, including the role of fracture flow. Repository design features important to sealing of a repository include the size and location of shaft and ramp accesses, excavation methods, and the underground layout features such as grade (drainage direction) and location relative to geologic structure. Uncertainties about seal components relate to the postclosure environment for the seals, the emplacement methods, the material properties, and the potential performance of the components. An approach has been developed to reduce uncertainties and to increase confidence in seal performance; it includes gathering extensive site characterization data, establishing conservative design requirements, testing seal components in laboratory and field environments, and refining designs of both the seals and the repository before seals are installed. 9 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs

  15. Busted Butte report on laboratory radionuclide migration experiments in non-welded tuff under unsaturated conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vandergraaf, T.T.; Drew, D.J.; Ticknor, K.V

    2002-11-01

    Three blocks of non-welded tuff, one nominally one cubic foot (trial block) and the other two, nominally one cubic metre (1 m{sup 3}), were excavated from the Busted Butte Test Facility on the Nevada Test Site and transported to the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited Whiteshell Laboratories in Pinawa, Manitoba. The trial block and one of the 1-m{sup 3} blocks were used for unsaturated flow experiments. The remaining 1-m{sup 3} block is being used for saturated flow experiments and will be reported on separately. After a vertical flow of synthetic transport solution was set up under unsaturated conditions, a suite of conservative and chemically reactive radionuclide tracers was injected at volumetric flow rates of 20 mL/hr in the trial block, and 10 mL/hr in the 1-m{sup 3} block. The duration of the migration experiment in the trial block was 87 days, while the migration experiment in the 1-m{sup 3} block was continuing after 600 days. Results obtained from the migration experiment in the trial block showed that transport of {sup 95m+99}Tc, injected as the pertechnetate (an)ion, was slightly faster than that of the transport solution, using tritiated water ({sup 3}H{sub 2}O) as a flow indicator. Retardation of {sup 237}Np was consistent with that predicted from results obtained in supporting static batch sorption studies. Post-migration analysis of the flow field in the trial block showed that the front of the {sup 22}Na had migrated about half the distance through the block, and that {sup 60}Co and {sup 137}Cs had been retained near the inlet. This observation agrees qualitatively with that predicted from the results from static batch sorption studies. In the larger scale experiment, the transport behavior of Tc is very similar to that of the transport solution at this point in time. None of the other radionuclide tracers have been detected in water collected from this block. This observation is consistent with the observations for the smaller block. (author)

  16. Unsaturated Zone and Saturated Zone Transport Properties (U0100)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Conca

    2000-12-20

    This Analysis/Model Report (AMR) summarizes transport properties for the lower unsaturated zone hydrogeologic units and the saturated zone at Yucca Mountain and provides a summary of data from the Busted Butte Unsaturated Zone Transport Test (UZTT). The purpose of this report is to summarize the sorption and transport knowledge relevant to flow and transport in the units below Yucca Mountain and to provide backup documentation for the sorption parameters decided upon for each rock type. Because of the complexity of processes such as sorption, and because of the lack of direct data for many conditions that may be relevant for Yucca Mountain, data from systems outside of Yucca Mountain are also included. The data reported in this AMR will be used in Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) calculations and as general scientific support for various Process Model Reports (PMRs) requiring knowledge of the transport properties of different materials. This report provides, but is not limited to, sorption coefficients and other relevant thermodynamic and transport properties for the radioisotopes of concern, especially neptunium (Np), plutonium (Pu), Uranium (U), technetium (Tc), iodine (I), and selenium (Se). The unsaturated-zone (UZ) transport properties in the vitric Calico Hills (CHv) are discussed, as are colloidal transport data based on the Busted Butte UZTT, the saturated tuff, and alluvium. These values were determined through expert elicitation, direct measurements, and data analysis. The transport parameters include information on interactions of the fractures and matrix. In addition, core matrix permeability data from the Busted Butte UZTT are summarized by both percent alteration and dispersion.

  17. Unsaturated Zone and Saturated Zone Transport Properties (U0100)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Conca, J.

    2000-01-01

    This Analysis/Model Report (AMR) summarizes transport properties for the lower unsaturated zone hydrogeologic units and the saturated zone at Yucca Mountain and provides a summary of data from the Busted Butte Unsaturated Zone Transport Test (UZTT). The purpose of this report is to summarize the sorption and transport knowledge relevant to flow and transport in the units below Yucca Mountain and to provide backup documentation for the sorption parameters decided upon for each rock type. Because of the complexity of processes such as sorption, and because of the lack of direct data for many conditions that may be relevant for Yucca Mountain, data from systems outside of Yucca Mountain are also included. The data reported in this AMR will be used in Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) calculations and as general scientific support for various Process Model Reports (PMRs) requiring knowledge of the transport properties of different materials. This report provides, but is not limited to, sorption coefficients and other relevant thermodynamic and transport properties for the radioisotopes of concern, especially neptunium (Np), plutonium (Pu), Uranium (U), technetium (Tc), iodine (I), and selenium (Se). The unsaturated-zone (UZ) transport properties in the vitric Calico Hills (CHv) are discussed, as are colloidal transport data based on the Busted Butte UZTT, the saturated tuff, and alluvium. These values were determined through expert elicitation, direct measurements, and data analysis. The transport parameters include information on interactions of the fractures and matrix. In addition, core matrix permeability data from the Busted Butte UZTT are summarized by both percent alteration and dispersion

  18. Interpretation of chemical and isotopic data from boreholes in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, I.C.; Rattray, G.W.; Yu, P.

    1996-01-01

    Analyses of pore water from boreholes at Yucca Mountain indicate that unsaturated-zone pore water has significantly larger concentrations of chloride and dissolved solids than the saturated-zone water or perched-water bodies. Chemical compositions are of the calcium sulfate or calcium chloride types in the Paintbrush Group (Tiva Canyon, Yucca Mountain, Pah Canyon, and bedded tuffs), and sodium carbonate or bicarbonate type water in the Calico Hills Formation. Tritium profiles from boreholes at Yucca Mountain indicate tritium-concentration inversions (larger tritium concentrations are located below the smaller tritium concentration in a vertical profile) occur in many places. These inversions indicate preferential flow through fractures. Rock-gas compositions are similar to that of atmospheric air except that carbon dioxide concentrations are generally larger than those in the air. The delta carbon-13 values of gas are fairly constant from surface to 365.8 meters, indicating little interaction between the gas CO 2 and caliche in the soil. Model calculations indicate that the gas transport in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain agrees well with the gas-diffusion process. Tritium-modeling results indicate that the high tritium value of about 100 tritium units in the Calico Hills Formation of UZ-16 is within limits of a piston-flow model with a water residence time of 32 to 35 years. The large variations in tritium concentrations with narrow peaks imply piston flow or preferential fracture flow rather than matrix flow. In reality, the aqueous-phase flow in the unsaturated zone is between piston and well-mixed flows but is closer to a piston flow

  19. Coupled hydrological-mechanical effects due to excavation of underground openings in unsaturated fractured rocks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Montazer, P.

    1985-01-01

    One of the effects of excavating an underground opening in fractured rocks is a modification of the state of the stress in the rock mass in the vicinity of the opening. This effect causes changes in the geometry of the cross sections of the fracture planes, which in turn results in modification of the hydrologic properties of the fractures of the rock mass. The significance of the orientation of the fractures and their stiffness on the extent of the modification of the hydrologic properties as a result of excavation of underground openings is demonstrated. A conceptual model is presented to illustrate the complexity of the coupled hydrological-mechanical phenomena in the unsaturated zone. This conceptual model is used to develop an investigative program to assess the extent of the effect at a proposed repository site for storing high-level nuclear wastes

  20. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1994-11-01

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

  2. Application of TOUGH to hydrologic problems related to the unsaturated zone site investigation at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kwicklis, E.M.; Healy, R.W. [Geological Survey, Lakewood, CO (United States); Bodvarsson, G.S. [Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, CA (United States)] [and others

    1995-03-01

    To date, TOUGH and TOUGH2 have been the principal codes used by the U.S. Geological Survey in their investigation of the hydrology of the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. Examples of some applications of the TOUGH and TOUGH2 codes to flow and transport problems related to the Yucca Mountain site investigation are presented, and the slight modifications made to the codes to implement them are discussed. These examples include: (1) The use of TOUGH in a simple fracture network model, with a discussion of an approach to calculate directional relative permeabilities at computational cells located at fracture intersections. These simulations illustrated that, under unsaturated conditions, the locations of dominant pathways for flow through fracture networks are sensitive to imposed boundary conditions; (2) The application of TOUGH to investigate the possible hydrothermal effects of waste-generated heat at Yucca Mountain using a dual-porosity, dual-permeability treatment to better characterize fracture-matrix interactions. Associated modifications to TOUGH for this application included implementation of a lookup table that can express relative permeabilities parallel and transverse to the fracture plane independently. These simulations support the continued use of an effective media approach in analyses of the hydrologic effects of waste-generated heat; and (3) An investigation of flow and tracer movement beneath a wash at Yucca Mountain in which a particle tracker was used as a post-processor. As part of this study, TOUGH2 was modified to calculate and output the x-,y- and z- sequence of tuffs overlying the potential repository site will result in the formation of capillary barriers that locally promote considerable lateral flow, thereby significantly decreasing the magnitude of fluxes form peak values at the ground surface and delaying the arrival of surface-derived moisture at the potential repository horizon.

  3. Alternative conceptual models and codes for unsaturated flow in fractured tuff: Preliminary assessments for GWTT-95

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1995-09-01

    Groundwater travel time (GWTT) calculations will play an important role in addressing site-suitability criteria for the potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain,Nevada. In support of these calculations, Preliminary assessments of the candidate codes and models are presented in this report. A series of benchmark studies have been designed to address important aspects of modeling flow through fractured media representative of flow at Yucca Mountain. Three codes (DUAL, FEHMN, and TOUGH 2) are compared in these benchmark studies. DUAL is a single-phase, isothermal, two-dimensional flow simulator based on the dual mixed finite element method. FEHMN is a nonisothermal, multiphase, multidimensional simulator based primarily on the finite element method. TOUGH2 is anon isothermal, multiphase, multidimensional simulator based on the integral finite difference method. Alternative conceptual models of fracture flow consisting of the equivalent continuum model (ECM) and the dual permeability (DK) model are used in the different codes

  4. 36Cl measurements of the unsaturated zone flux at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Norris, A.E.; Wolfsberg, K.; Gifford, S.K.

    1985-01-01

    Determining the unsaturated zone percolation rate, or flux, is an extremely important site characterization issue for the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. A new technique that measures the 36 Cl content of tuff from the Exploratory Shaft will be used to calculate flux through the unsaturated zone over longer times than could be measured by the more conventional 14 C method. Measurements of the 36 Cl ''bomb pulse'' in soil samples from Yucca Mountain have been used to confirm that infiltration is not an important recharge mechanism. 5 refs., 3 figs

  5. 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

  6. Specification of a test problem for HYDROCOIN [Hydrologic Code Intercomparison] Level 3 Case 2: Sensitivity analysis for deep disposal in partially saturated, fractured tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prindle, R.W.

    1987-08-01

    The international Hydrologic Code Intercomparison Project (HYDROCOIN) was formed to evaluate hydrogeologic models and computer codes and their use in performance assessment for high-level radioactive waste repositories. Three principal activities in the HYDROCOIN Project are Level 1, verification and benchmarking of hydrologic codes; Level 2, validation of hydrologic models; and Level 3, sensitivity and uncertainty analyses of the models and codes. This report presents a test case defined for the HYDROCOIN Level 3 activity to explore the feasibility of applying various sensitivity-analysis methodologies to a highly nonlinear model of isothermal, partially saturated flow through fractured tuff, and to develop modeling approaches to implement the methodologies for sensitivity analysis. These analyses involve an idealized representation of a repository sited above the water table in a layered sequence of welded and nonwelded, fractured, volcanic tuffs. The analyses suggested here include one-dimensional, steady flow; one-dimensional, nonsteady flow; and two-dimensional, steady flow. Performance measures to be used to evaluate model sensitivities are also defined; the measures are related to regulatory criteria for containment of high-level radioactive waste. 14 refs., 5 figs., 4 tabs

  7. Modeling heterogeneous unsaturated porous media flow at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robey, T.H.

    1994-01-01

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

  8. Consideration of Nuclear Criticality When Directly Disposing Highly Enriched Spent Nuclear Fuel in Unsaturated Tuff - I: Nuclear Criticality Constraints

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rechard, Rob P.; Sanchez, Lawrence C.; Trellue, Holly R.

    2003-01-01

    This paper presents the mass, concentration, and volume required for a critical event to occur in homogeneous mixtures of fissile material and various other geologic materials. The fissile material considered is primarily highly enriched uranium spent fuel; however, 239 Pu is considered in some cases. The non-fissile materials examined are those found in the proposed repository area at Yucca Mountain, Nevada: volcanic tuff, iron rust, concrete, and naturally occurring water. For 235 U, the minimum critical solid concentration for tuff was 5 kg/m 3 (similar to sandstone), and in goethite, 45 kg/m 3 . The critical mass of uranium was sensitive to a number of factors, such as moisture content and fissile enrichment, but had a minimum, assuming almost 100% saturation and >20% enrichment, of 18 kg in tuff as Soddyite (or 9.5 kg as UO 2 ) and 7 kg in goethite. For 239 Pu, the minimum critical solid concentration for tuff was 3 kg/m 3 (similar to sandstone); in goethite, 20 kg/m 3 . The critical mass of plutonium was also sensitive to a number of factors, but had a minimum, assuming 100% saturation and 80-90% enrichment, of 5 kg in tuff and 6 kg in goethite

  9. Zircaloy cladding corrosion degradation in a Tuff repository: initial experimental plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, H.D.

    1984-07-01

    The projected environmental history of a Tuff repository sited in an unsaturated hydrologic setting is evaluated to identify the potentially most severe corrosion conditions for Zircaloy spent fuel cladding. Three distinct corrosion periods are identified over the projected history. In two of those, liquid water may be present which is believed to produce the most severe corrosive environment for Zircaloy spent fuel cladding. In the time interval 100 to 1000 years after emplacement in the repository, the most severe condition is exposure to 170 0 C water at about 100 psi in an unbreached canister. This condition will be reproduced experimentally in an autoclave. For times after 1000 years, the most severe condition is exposure to 90 0 C water that is equilibrated with the tuff and invades breached canisters. This condition will be reproduced with a water bath system

  10. 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

  11. Three-Dimensional Radionuclide Transport Through the Unsaturated Zone of the Yucca Mountain Site 3 Colloids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    G. J. Moridis; Y. Seol

    2007-01-01

    The authors investigated colloid transport in the unsaturated fractured zone by means of three-dimensional site-scale numerical model under present-day climate infiltration, considering varying colloid diameters, kinetic declogging, and filtration. The radionuclide transport model was used to simulate continuous release of colloids into fractures throughout the proposed repository, in which any components of engineered barrier system such as waste package or drip shield were not considered. the results of the study indicate the importance of 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 simulations indicate that (1) colloid transport is not significantly affected by varying the filtration parameters, (2) travel time to the water table decreases with the colloid size, (3) larger colloids show little retardation whereas very small ones are retarded significantly, and (4) fracture filtration can have an impact on transport. Because of uncertainties in the fundamentals of colloid transport and an extremely conservative approach (based on an improbably adverse worst-case scenario), caution should be exercised in the analysis and interpretation of the 3-D simulation results. The results discussed here should be viewed as an attempt to identify and evaluate the mechanisms, processes, and geological features that control colloidal transport

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  13. Free-Surface flow dynamics and its effect on travel time distribution in unsaturated fractured zones - findings from analogue percolation experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noffz, Torsten; Kordilla, Jannes; Dentz, Marco; Sauter, Martin

    2017-04-01

    Flow in unsaturated fracture networks constitutes a high potential for rapid mass transport and can therefore possibly contributes to the vulnerability of aquifer systems. Numerical models are generally used to predict flow and transport and have to reproduce various complex effects of gravity-driven flow dynamics. However, many classical volume-effective modelling approaches often do not grasp the non-linear free surface flow dynamics and partitioning behaviour at fracture intersections in unsaturated fracture networks. Better process understanding can be obtained by laboratory experiments, that isolate single aspects of the mass partitioning process, which influence travel time distributions and allow possible cross-scale applications. We present a series of percolation experiments investigating partitioning dynamics of unsaturated multiphase flow at an individual horizontal fracture intersection. A high precision multichannel dispenser is used to establish gravity-driven free surface flow on a smooth and vertical PMMA (poly(methyl methacrylate)) surface at rates ranging from 1.5 to 4.5 mL/min to obtain various flow modes (droplets; rivulets). Cubes with dimensions 20 x 20 x 20 cm are used to create a set of simple geometries. A digital balance provides continuous real-time cumulative mass bypassing the network. The influence of variable flow rate, atmospheric pressure and temperature on the stability of flow modes is shown in single-inlet experiments. Droplet and rivulet flow are delineated and a transition zone exhibiting mixed flow modes can be determined. Furthermore, multi-inlet setups with constant total inflow rates are used to reduce variance and the effect of erratic free-surface flow dynamics. Investigated parameters include: variable aperture widths df, horizontal offsets dv of the vertical fracture surface and alternating injection methods for both droplet and rivulet flow. Repetitive structures with several horizontal fractures extend arrival times

  14. Numerical Simulation of Tuff Dissolution and Precipitation Experiments: Validation of Thermal-Hydrologic-Chemical (THC) Coupled-Process Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobson, P. F.; Kneafsey, T. J.

    2001-12-01

    As part of an ongoing effort to evaluate THC effects on flow in fractured media, we performed a laboratory experiment and numerical simulations to investigate mineral dissolution and precipitation. To replicate mineral dissolution by condensate in fractured tuff, deionized water equilibrated with carbon dioxide was flowed for 1,500 hours through crushed Yucca Mountain tuff at 94° C. The reacted water was collected and sampled for major dissolved species, total alkalinity, electrical conductivity, and pH. The resulting steady-state fluid composition had a total dissolved solids content of about 140 mg/L; silica was the dominant dissolved constituent. A portion of the steady-state reacted water was flowed at 10.8 mL/hr into a 31.7-cm tall, 16.2-cm wide vertically oriented planar fracture with a hydraulic aperture of 31 microns in a block of welded Topopah Spring tuff that was maintained at 80° C at the top and 130° C at the bottom. The fracture began to seal within five days. A 1-D plug-flow model using the TOUGHREACT code developed at Berkeley Lab was used to simulate mineral dissolution, and a 2-D model was developed to simulate the flow of mineralized water through a planar fracture, where boiling conditions led to mineral precipitation. Predicted concentrations of the major dissolved constituents for the tuff dissolution were within a factor of 2 of the measured average steady-state compositions. The fracture-plugging simulations result in the precipitation of amorphous silica at the base of the boiling front, leading to a hundred-fold decrease in fracture permeability in less than 6 days, consistent with the laboratory experiment. These results help validate the use of the TOUGHREACT code for THC modeling of the Yucca Mountain system. The experiment and simulations indicate that boiling and concomitant precipitation of amorphous silica could cause significant reductions in fracture porosity and permeability on a local scale. The TOUGHREACT code will be used

  15. Flow Mode Dependent Partitioning Processes of Preferential Flow Dynamics in Unsaturated Fractures - Findings From Analogue Percolation Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kordilla, J.; Noffz, T.; Dentz, M.; Sauter, M.

    2017-12-01

    To assess the vulnerability of an aquifer system it is of utmost importance to recognize the high potential for a rapid mass transport offered by ow through unsaturated fracture networks. Numerical models have to reproduce complex effects of gravity-driven flow dynamics to generate accurate predictions of flow and transport. However, the non-linear characteristics of free surface flow dynamics and partitioning behaviour at unsaturated fracture intersections often exceed the capacity of classical volume-effective modelling approaches. Laboratory experiments that manage to isolate single aspects of the mass partitioning process can enhance the understanding of underlying dynamics, which ultimately influence travel time distributions on multiple scales. Our analogue fracture network consists of synthetic cubes with dimensions of 20 x 20 x 20 cm creating simple geometries of a single or a cascade of consecutive horizontal fractures. Gravity-driven free surface flow (droplets; rivulets) is established via a high precision multichannel dispenser at flow rates ranging from 1.5 to 4.5 ml/min. Single-inlet experiments show the influence of variable flow rate, atmospheric pressure and temperature on the stability of flow modes and allow to delineate a droplet and rivulet regime. The transition between these regimes exhibits mixed flow characteristics. In addition, multi-inlet setups with constant total infow rates decrease the variance induced by erratic free-surface flow dynamics. We investigate the impacts of variable aperture widths, horizontal offsets of vertical fracture surfaces, and alternating injection methods for both flow regimes. Normalized fracture inflow rates allow to demonstrate and compare the effects of variable geometric features. Firstly, the fracture filling can be described by plug flow. At later stages it transitions into a Washburn-type flow, which we compare to an analytical solution for the case of rivulet flow. Observations show a considerably

  16. Drilling and coring methods that minimize the disturbance of cuttings, core, and rock formation in the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hammermeister, D.P.; Blout, D.O.; McDaniel, J.C.

    1985-01-01

    A drilling-and-casing method (Odex 115 system) utilizing air as a drilling fluid was used successfully to drill through various rock types within the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This paper describes this method and the equipment used to rapidly penetrate bouldery alluvial-colluvial deposits, poorly consolidated bedded and nonwelded tuff, and fractured, densely welded tuff to depths of about 130 meters. A comparison of water-content and water-potential data from drill cuttings with similar measurements on rock cores indicates that drill cuttings were only slightly disturbed for several of the rock types penetrated. Coring, sampling, and handling methods were devised to obtain minimally disturbed drive core from bouldery alluvial-colluvial deposits. Bulk-density values obtained from bulk samples dug from nearby trenches were compared to bulk-density values obtained from drive core to determine the effects of drive coring on the porosity of the core. Rotary coring methods utilizing a triple-tube core barrel and air as the drilling fluid were used to obtain core from welded and nonwelded tuff. Results indicate that the disturbance of the water content of the core was minimal. Water-content distributions in alluvium-colluvium were determined before drilling occurred by drive-core methods. After drilling, water-content distributions were determined by nuclear-logging methods. A comparison of the water-content distributions made before and after drilling indicates that Odex 115 drilling minimally disturbs the water content of the formation rock. 10 refs., 12 figs., 4 tabs

  17. Apache Leap Tuff INTRAVAL experiments - results and lessons learned

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rasmussen, T.C. [Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA (United States); Rhodes, S.C.; Guzman, A.; Neuman, S.P. [Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States). Dept. of Hydrology and Water Resources

    1996-03-01

    Data from laboratory and field experiments in unsaturated fractured rock are summarized and interpreted for the purpose of evaluating conceptual and numerical models of fluid, heat and solute transport. The experiments were conducted at four scales, in small cores (2.5-cm long by 6-cm across), a large core (12-cm long by 10-cm across), a small block containing a single fracture (20 x 21 x 93 cm), and at field scales in boreholes (30-m long by 10-cm across) at three scales (1/2-, 1- and 3-meters). The smallest scale in the laboratory provided isothermal hydraulic and thermal properties of unfractured rock. Nonisothermal heat, fluid and solute transport experiments were conducted using the large core. Isothermal gas and liquid flow experiments were conducted in the fractured block. Field-scale experiments using air were used to obtain in situ permeability estimates as a function of the measurement scale. Interpretation of experimental results provides guidance for resolving uncertainties related to radionuclide migration from high level waste repositories in unsaturated fractured rock.

  18. Apache Leap Tuff INTRAVAL experiments - results and lessons learned

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rasmussen, T.C.; Rhodes, S.C.; Guzman, A.; Neuman, S.P.

    1996-03-01

    Data from laboratory and field experiments in unsaturated fractured rock are summarized and interpreted for the purpose of evaluating conceptual and numerical models of fluid, heat and solute transport. The experiments were conducted at four scales, in small cores (2.5-cm long by 6-cm across), a large core (12-cm long by 10-cm across), a small block containing a single fracture (20 x 21 x 93 cm), and at field scales in boreholes (30-m long by 10-cm across) at three scales (1/2-, 1- and 3-meters). The smallest scale in the laboratory provided isothermal hydraulic and thermal properties of unfractured rock. Nonisothermal heat, fluid and solute transport experiments were conducted using the large core. Isothermal gas and liquid flow experiments were conducted in the fractured block. Field-scale experiments using air were used to obtain in situ permeability estimates as a function of the measurement scale. Interpretation of experimental results provides guidance for resolving uncertainties related to radionuclide migration from high level waste repositories in unsaturated fractured rock

  19. Radionuclide transport as vapor through unsaturated fractured rock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Green, R.T.

    1986-01-01

    The objective of this study is to identify and examine potential mechanisms of radionuclide transport as vapor at a high-level radioactive waste repository located in unsaturated fractured rock. Transport mechanisms and processes have been investigated near the repository and at larger distances. Transport mechanisms potentially important at larger distances include ordinary diffusion, viscous flow and free convection. Ordinary diffusion includes self and binary diffusion, Knudsen flow and surface diffusion. Pressure flow and slip flow comprise viscous flow. Free convective flow results from a gas density contrast. Transport mechanisms or processes dominant near the repository include ordinary diffusion, viscous flow plus several mechanisms whose driving forces arise from the non-isothermal, radioactive nature of high-level waste. The additional mechanisms include forced diffusion, aerosol transport, thermal diffusion and thermophoresis. Near a repository vapor transport mechanisms and processes can provide a significant means of transport from a failed canister to the geologic medium from which other processes can transport radionuclides to the accessible environment. These issues are believed to be important factors that must be addressed in the assessment of specific engineering designs and site selection of any proposed HLW repository

  20. Effect of boundary conditions on the strength and deformability of replicas of natural fractures in welded tuff: Data analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wibowo, J.; Amadei, B.; Sture, S.

    1994-04-01

    Assessing the shear behavior of intact rock ampersand rock fractures is an important issue in the design of a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain Nevada. Cyclic direct shear experiments were conducted on replicas of three natural fractures and a laboratory-developed tensile fracture of welded tuff. The tests were carried out under constant normal loads or constant normal stiffnesses with different initial normal load levels. Each test consisted of five cycles of forward and reverse shear motion. Based on the results of the shear tests conducted under constant normal load, the shear behavior of the joint replicas tested under constant normal stiffness was predicted by using the graphical analysis method of Saeb (1989), and Amadei and Saeb (1990). Comparison between the predictions and the actual constant stiffness direct shear experiment results can be found in a report by Wibowo et al. (1993b). Results of the constant normal load shear experiments are analyzed using several constitutive models proposed in the rock mechanics literature for joint shear strength, dilatancy, and joint surface damage. It is shown that some of the existing models have limitations. New constitutive models are proposed and are included in a mathematical analysis tool that can be used to predict joint behavior under various boundary conditions

  1. On the infiltration of a liquid front in an unsaturated, fractured porous medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nitao, J.; Buscheck, T.

    1989-08-01

    The unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is currently under scientific investigation as a proposed site for the permanent storage of high-level nuclear waste. A deeper understanding of fracture-matrix interaction needed for the prediction of water movement around an in the repository. We show that the liquid front movement can be classified into physically interpretable, distinctive flow regimes. Asymptotic solutions for the front movement are given for each flow period and comparisons with numerical solutions are made. In addition to applications in nuclear waste storage, the results of our study is relevant to hazardous waste disposal, petroleum recovery, and flow in soil macropores. 17 refs., 13 figs., 6 tabs

  2. Pena Blanca uranium deposits and ash-flow tuffs relationship

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Magonthier, M.

    1987-01-01

    The Pena Blanca uranium deposits (Chihuahua, Mexico) are associated with a Tertiary sequence of ash-flow tuffs. Stratigraphic control is dominant and uranium mineralization occurs in stratiform and fracture-controlled deposits within 44 My-old units: Nopal Rhyolite and Escuadra Rhyolite. These units consist of highly vapor-phase crystallized ash-flow tuffs. They contain sanidine, quartz and granophyric phenocrysts, and minor ferromagnesian silicates. Nopal and Escuadra units are high-silica alkali-rich rhyolites that have a primary potassic character. The trace-element chemistry shows high concentrations in U-Th-Rb-Cs and low contents in Ba-Sr-Eu. These chemical properties imply a genetic relationship between deposits and host-units. The petrochemical study show that the Nopal Rhyolite and Escuadra Rhyolite are the source of U and of hydrothermal solutions [fr

  3. Borehole stability in densely welded tuffs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1992-07-01

    The stability of boreholes, or more generally of underground openings (i.e. including shafts, ramps, drifts, tunnels, etc.) at locations where seals or plugs are to be placed is an important consideration in seal design for a repository (Juhlin and Sandstedt, 1989). Borehole instability or borehole breakouts induced by stress redistribution could negate the effectiveness of seals or plugs. Breakout fractures along the wall of repository excavations or exploratory holes could provide a preferential flowpath for groundwater or gaseous radionuclides to bypass the plugs. After plug installation, swelling pressures exerted by a plug could induce radial cracks or could open or widen preexisting cracks in the rock at the bottom of the breakouts where the tangential compressive stresses have been released by the breakout process. The purpose of the work reported here is to determine experimentally the stability of a circular hole in a welded tuff sample subjected to various external boundary loads. Triaxial and biaxial borehole stability tests have been performed on densely welded Apache Leap tuff samples and Topopah Spring tuff samples. The nominal diameter of the test hole is 13.3 or 14.4 mm for triaxial testing, and 25.4 mm for biaxial testing. The borehole axis is parallel to one of the principal stress axes. The boreholes are drilled through the samples prior to applying external boundary loads. The boundary loads are progressively increased until breakouts occur or until the maximum load capacity of the loading system has been reached. 74 refs

  4. Validation of the TRACR3D code for soil water flow under saturated/unsaturated conditions in three experiments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perkins, B.; Travis, B.; DePoorter, G.

    1985-01-01

    Validation of the TRACR3D code in a one-dimensional form was obtained for flow of soil water in three experiments. In the first experiment, a pulse of water entered a crushed-tuff soil and initially moved under conditions of saturated flow, quickly followed by unsaturated flow. In the second experiment, steady-state unsaturated flow took place. In the final experiment, two slugs of water entered crushed tuff under field conditions. In all three experiments, experimentally measured data for volumetric water content agreed, within experimental errors, with the volumetric water content predicted by the code simulations. The experiments and simulations indicated the need for accurate knowledge of boundary and initial conditions, amount and duration of moisture input, and relevant material properties as input into the computer code. During the validation experiments, limitations on monitoring of water movement in waste burial sites were also noted. 5 references, 34 figures, 9 tables

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walter, G.R.

    1982-10-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1995-06-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1995-06-01

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

  10. Estimates of the width of the wetting zone along a fracture subjected to an episodic infiltration event in variably saturated, densely welded tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buscheck, T.A.; Nitao, J.J.

    1988-01-01

    A central issue to be addressed within the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) is the role which fractures will play as the variably saturated, fractured rock mass surrounding the waste package responds to heating, cooling, and episodic infiltration events. Understanding the role of fractures during such events will, in part, depend on our ability to make geophysical measurements of perturbations in the moisture distribution in the vicinity of fractures. In this study we first examine the details of the perturbation in the moisture distribution in and around a fracture subjected to an episodic infiltration event, and then integrate that behavior over the scale at which moisture measurements are likely to be made during the Engineered Barrier Design Test of the NNWSI project. To model this system we use the TOUGH hydrothermal code and fracture and matrix properties considered relevant to the welded ash flow tuff found in the Topopah Spring member at Yucca Mountain as well as in the Grouse Canyon member within G-Tunnel at the Nevada Test Site. Our calculations provide insight into the anticipated spatial and temporal resolution obtainable through the use of the geophysical techniques being considered. These calculations should prove useful both in planning the implementation of these methods as well as in the interpretation of their results. 41 refs., 28 figs

  11. Preliminary evaluation of alterant geophysical tomography in welded tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramirez, A.L.; Daily, W.D.

    1985-01-01

    The ability of alterant geophysical tomography to delineate flow paths in a welded tuff rock mass has been preliminarily evaluated based on the results of a field experiment. Electromagnetic measurements were made before, during and after a water-based, dye tracer flowed through the rock mass. Alterant geophysical tomographs were generated and compared with independent evidence - borescope logs, neutron logs and dyed rock samples. Anomalies present in the tomograph match the location and orientation of fractures mapped with a borescope. The location of tracer-stained fractures coincides with the location of some image anomalies; other geophysical anomalies exist where tracer-stained fractures were not observed, perhaps due to poor core recovery. Additional drilling to locate stained flow paths and other experiments are planned so that the applicability of the technique can be further evaluated

  12. Performance assessment of the direct disposal in unsaturated tuff of spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste owned by U.S. Department of Energy. Volume 1: Executive summary

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rechard, R.P. [ed.] [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States). WIPP Performance Assessment Dept.

    1995-03-01

    This assessment studied the performance of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel in a hypothetical repository in unsaturated tuff. The results of this 10-month study are intended to help guide the Office of Environment Management of the US Department of Energy (DOE) on how to prepare its wastes for eventual permanent disposal. The waste forms comprised spent fuel and high-level waste currently stored at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) and the Hanford reservation. About 700 metric tons heavy metal (MTHM) of the waste under study is stored at INEL, including graphite spent nuclear fuel, highly enriched uranium spent fuel, low enriched uranium spent fuel, and calcined high-level waste. About 2,100 MTHM of weapons production fuel, currently stored on the Hanford reservation, was also included. The behavior of the waste was analyzed by waste form and also as a group of waste forms in the hypothetical tuff repository. When the waste forms were studied together, the repository was assumed also to contain about 9,200 MTHM high-level waste in borosilicate glass from three DOE sites. The addition of the borosilicate glass, which has already been proposed as a final waste form, brought the total to about 12,000 MTHM. A source term model was developed to study the wide variety of waste forms, which included radionuclides residing in 10 different matrices and up to 8 nested layers of material that might react with water. The possibility and consequences of critical conditions occurring in or near containers of highly enriched uranium spent nuclear fuel were also studied.

  13. Excavation effects on tuff - recent findings and plans for investigations at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blejwas, T.E.; Zimmerman, R.M.; Shephard, L.E.

    1989-01-01

    Plans for site-characterization testing and constructing an exploratory shaft facility (ESF) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, have been influenced by the construction and monitoring of stable openings in G-Tunnel on the Nevada Test Site. G-Tunnel provides access for testing in a thin bed of unsaturated welded tuff that is similar to that at Yucca Mountain. The data from the experiments in the ESF will be used to validate analytical methods for predicting the response of underground openings to the excavation process and to the heat generated by the waste

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Byers, F.M. Jr.

    1985-12-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  18. Geophysical tomography for imaging water movement in welded tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Daily, W.; Ramirez, A.

    1986-01-01

    Alterant tomography has been evaluated for its ability to delineate in-situ water flow paths in a fractured welded-tuff rock mass. The evaluation involved a field experiment in which tomographs of electromagnetic attenuation factor (or attenuation rate) at 300 MHZ were made before, during, and after the introduction to the rock of two different water-based tracers: a plain water and dye solution, and salt water and dye. Alterant tomographs were constructed by subtracting, cell by cell, the attenuation factors derived from measurements before each tracer was added to the rock mass from the attenuation factors derived after each tracer was added. The alterant tomographs were compared with other evidence of water movement in the rock: borescope logs of fractures, and postexperiment cores used to locate the dye tracer on the fractured surfaces. These comparisons indicate that alterant tomography is suitable for mapping water flow through fractures and that it may be useful in inferring which of the fractures are hydrologically connected in the image plane. The technique appears to be sensitive enough to delineate flow through a single fracture and to define fractures with a spatial resolution of about 10 cm on an imaging scale of a few meters. 9 refs., 3 figs

  19. Selection of candidate canister materials for high-level nuclear waste containment in a tuff repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McCright, R.D.; Weiss, H.; Juhas, M.C.; Logan, R.W.

    1983-11-01

    A repository located at Yucca Mountain at the Nevada Test Site is a potential site for permanent geological disposal of high-level nuclear waste. The repository can be located in a horizon in welded tuff, a volcanic rock, which is above the static water level at this site. The environmental conditions in this unsaturated zone are expected to be air and water vapor dominated for much of the containment period. Type 304L stainless steel is the reference material for fabricating canisters to contain the solid high-level wastes. Alternative stainless alloys are considered because of possible susceptibility of 304L to localized and stress forms of corrosion. For the reprocessed glass wastes, the canisters serve as the recipient for pouring the glass with the result that a sensitized microstructure may develop because of the times at elevated temperatures. Corrosion testing of the reference and alternative materials has begun in tuff-conditioned water and steam environments. 21 references, 8 figures, 8 tables

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1981-11-01

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

  1. Minerals in fractures of the saturated zone from drill core USW G-4, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carlos, B.A.

    1987-04-01

    The minerals in fractures in drill core USW G-4, from the static water level (SWL) at 1770 ft to the base of the hole at 3000 ft, were studied to determine their identity and depositional sequence and to compare them with those found above the SWL in the same drill hole. There is no change in mineralogy or mineral morphology across the SWL. The significant change in mineralogy and relationship to the host rock occurs at 1381 ft, well above the present water table. Below 1381 ft clinoptilolite appears in the fractures and rock matrix instead of heulandite, and the fracture mineralogy correlates with the host rock mineralogy. Throughout most of the saturated zone (below the SWL) in USW G-4, zeolites occur in fractures only in zeolitic tuff; however, zeolites persist in fracture below the base of the deepest zeolitic tuff interval. Nonzeolitic intervals of tuff have fewer fractures, and many of these have no coatings; a few have quartz and feldspar coatings. One interval in zeolitic tuff (2125-2140 ft) contains abundant crisobalite coatings in the fractures. Calcite occurs in fractures from 2575 to 2660 ft, usually with the manganese mineral hollandite, and from 2750 to 2765 ft, usually alone. Manganese minerals occur in several intervals. The spatial correlation of zeolites in fractures with zeolitic host rock suggests that both may have been zeolitized at the same time, possibly by water moving laterally through more permeable zones in the tuff. The continuation of zeolites in fractures below the lowest zeolitic interval in this hole suggests that vertical fracture flow may have been important in the deposition of these coatings. Core from deeper intervals in another hole will be examined to determine if that relationship continues. 17 refs., 19 figs

  2. Drill-back studies examine fractured, heated rock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wollenberg, H.A.; Flexser, S.; Myer, L.R.

    1990-01-01

    To investigate the effects of heating on the mineralogical, geochemical, and mechanical properties of rock by high-level radioactive waste, cores are being examined from holes penetrating locations where electric heaters simulated the presence of a waste canister, and from holes penetration natural hydrothermal systems. Results to date indicate the localized mobility and deposition of uranium in an open fracture in heated granitic rock, the mobility of U in a breccia zone in an active hydrothermal system in tuff, and the presence of U in relatively high concentration in fracture-lining material in tuff. Mechanical -- property studies indicate that differences in compressional- and shear-wave parameters between heated and less heated rock can be attributed to differences in the density of microcracks. Emphasis has shifted from initial studies of granitic rock at Stripa, Sweden to current investigations of welded tuff at the Nevada Test Site. 7 refs., 8 figs

  3. Busted Butte : final report on laboratory radionuclide migration experiments in non-welded tuff under unsaturated and saturated conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vandergraaf, T.T.; Drew, D.J.; Ticknor, K.V.; Hamon, C.J.

    2004-01-01

    Three blocks of non-welded tuff, one nominally one cubic foot (trial block) in volume and the other two, nominally one cubic meter (1 m 3 ) in volume, were excavated from the Busted Butte Test Facility on the Nevada Test Site in 1999 and transported to the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited Whiteshell Laboratories in Pinawa, Manitoba. The trial block and one of the 1-m 3 blocks were used for radionuclide migration experiments under unsaturated conditions; the remaining 1-m3 block was used for similar migration experiments under saturated conditions. After a vertical flow of synthetic transport solution was set up under unsaturated conditions, a suite of conservative and chemically reactive radionuclide tracers was injected at volumetric flow rates of 20 mL/hr in the trial block, and 10 mL/hr in two locations on the upper surface of the 1-m 3 block. These flow rates correspond to infiltration rates of about 120 cm/year and about 17 cm/year, respectively. The duration of the migration experiment in the trial block was 87 days, while the migration experiment in the 1-m3 block was performed for a period of 588 days. Results obtained from the migration experiment in the trial block showed that transport of 95m+99 Tc, injected as the pertechnetate (an)ion, was slightly faster than that of the transport solution, using tritiated water ( 3 H 2 0) as a flow indicator. Retardation of 237 Np was consistent with that predicted from results obtained in supporting static batch sorption studies. Post-migration analysis of the flow field in the trial block showed that the front of the 22 Na plume had migrated about half the distance through the block, and that 60 Co and 137 Cs had been retained near the inlet. This observation agrees qualitatively with that predicted from the results obtained in static batch sorption studies. In the larger-scale experiment, the transport behavior of Tc was also very similar to that of the transport solution. None of the other radionuclide tracers

  4. A strategy to seal exploratory boreholes in unsaturated tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1994-04-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1983-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1983-10-12

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-05-15

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

  8. Transport properties of Topopah Spring tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin, W.; Daily, W.

    1984-10-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Partitioning dynamics of unsaturated flows in fractured porous media: Laboratory studies and three-dimensional multi-scale smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations of gravity-driven flow in fractures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kordilla, J.; Bresinsky, L. T.; Shigorina, E.; Noffz, T.; Dentz, M.; Sauter, M.; Tartakovsky, A. M.

    2017-12-01

    Preferential flow dynamics in unsaturated fractures remain a challenging topic on various scales. On pore- and fracture-scales the highly erratic gravity-driven flow dynamics often provoke a strong deviation from classical volume-effective approaches. Against the common notion that flow in fractures (or macropores) can only occur under equilibrium conditions, i.e., if the surrounding porous matrix is fully saturated and capillary pressures are high enough to allow filling of the fracture void space, arrival times suggest the existence of rapid preferential flow along fractures, fracture networks, and fault zones, even if the matrix is not fully saturated. Modeling such flows requires efficient numerical techniques to cover various flow-relevant physics, such as surface tension, static and dynamic contact angles, free-surface (multi-phase) interface dynamics, and formation of singularities. Here we demonstrate the importance of such flow modes on the partitioning dynamics at simple fracture intersections, with a combination of laboratory experiments, analytical solutions and numerical simulations using our newly developed massively parallel smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) code. Flow modes heavily influence the "bypass" behavior of water flowing along a fracture junction. Flows favoring the formation of droplets exhibit a much stronger bypass capacity compared to rivulet flows, where nearly the whole fluid mass is initially stored within the horizontal fracture. This behavior is demonstrated for a multi-inlet laboratory setup where the inlet-specific flow rate is chosen so that either a droplet or rivulet flow persists. The effect of fluid buffering within the horizontal fracture is presented in terms of dimensionless fracture inflow so that characteristic scaling regimes can be recovered. For both cases (rivulets and droplets), flow within the horizontal fracture transitions into a Washburn regime until a critical threshold is reached and the bypass efficiency

  11. Geotechnical instrumentation requirements for atdepth testing and repository monitoring in tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zimmerman, R.M.

    1983-01-01

    This paper outlines geotechnical instrumentation requirements for the possible establishment of a nuclear waste repository in tuff on the Nevada Test Site (NTS). The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has specified a continuing program to confirm performance during the operational period of the repository, which could last 50 years. Minimum required geotechnical measurements for confirmation of performance include thermal and thermomechanical responses; changes in stress, strain, and displacements; and pore pressure and groundwater flow characteristics. Conditions expected in tuff are: maximum rock temperatures of less than 250 0 C, stresses less than 100 MPa, strains between + or -0.01 mm/mm, and pore pressures less than 35 KPa in the unsaturated zone where hydraulic head is not the primary contributor. The paper describes instrumentation needed to make the desired measurements. In general, the instrumentation and data system are required to be stable and reliable for tens of years. Designs must consider requirements for temperature stability, temperature expansion compensation, moisture resistance, and long-term durability in mining-type environments. Severe requirements such as these suggest consideration of techniques for in-situ replacement of instrumentation. State-of-the-art instrumentation is briefly described along with a discussion of needs for refinement, replacement/recalibration and instrumentation development

  12. 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

  13. The Unsaturated Hydromechanical Coupling Model of Rock Slope Considering Rainfall Infiltration Using DDA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xianshan Liu

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Water flow and hydromechanical coupling process in fractured rocks is more different from that in general porous media because of heterogeneous spatial fractures and possible fracture-dominated flow; a saturated-unsaturated hydromechanical coupling model using a discontinuous deformation analysis (DDA similar to FEM and DEM was employed to analyze water movement in saturated-unsaturated deformed rocks, in which the Van-Genuchten model differently treated the rock and fractures permeable properties to describe the constitutive relationships. The calibrating results for the dam foundation indicated the validation and feasibility of the proposed model and are also in good agreement with the calculations based on DEM still demonstrating its superiority. And then, the rainfall infiltration in a reservoir rock slope was detailedly investigated to describe the water pressure on the fault surface and inside the rocks, displacement, and stress distribution under hydromechanical coupling conditions and uncoupling conditions. It was observed that greater rainfall intensity and longer rainfall time resulted in lower stability of the rock slope, and larger difference was very obvious between the hydromechanical coupling condition and uncoupling condition, demonstrating that rainfall intensity, rainfall time, and hydromechanical coupling effect had great influence on the saturated-unsaturated water flow behavior and mechanical response of the fractured rock slopes.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1982-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  16. Monte Carlo simulation of radioactive contaminant transport in fractured geologic media: Disorder and long-range correlations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mukhopadhyay, S.; Cushman, J.H.

    1997-01-01

    The geologic media near Yucca mountain site consist of fractured welded tuffs along with less fractured unwelded tuff. Numerical simulation of flow and transport in such media poses a number of challenging problems, due mainly to the heterogeneities and disorder in the media. In addition, because of different dominant transport mechanisms in different regions of the media, investigations need to be carried out at different time-scales. Time-marching will pose a considerable problem in analyzing such multi-scale transient problems. The authors develop a field-scale network model of fractures and study transport of radionuclides through geologic media as a function of disorder and correlated fracture-permeabilities

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  18. Effect of boundary conditions on the strength and deformability of replicas of natural fractures in welded tuff: Comparison between predicted and observed shear behavior using a graphical method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wibowo, J.; Amadei, B.; Sture, S.; Robertson, A.B.

    1993-09-01

    Four series of cyclic direct-shear experiments were conducted on several replicas of three natural fractures and a laboratory-developed tensile fracture of welded tuff from Yucca Mountain to test the graphical load-displacement analysis method proposed by Saeb (1989) and Amadei and Saeb (1990). Based on the results of shear tests conducted on several joint replicas under different levels of constant normal load ranging between 0.6 and 25.6 kips (2.7 and 113.9 kN), the shear behavior of joint replicas under constant normal stiffness ranging between 14.8 and 187.5 kips/in. (25.9 and 328.1 kN/cm) was predicted by using the graphical method. The predictions were compared to the results of actual shear tests conducted for the same range of constant normal stiffness. In general, a good agreement was found between the predicted and the observed shear behavior

  19. 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

  20. Conceptual Model and Numerical Approaches for Unsaturated Zone Flow and Transport

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    H.H. Liu

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of this model report is to document the conceptual and numerical models used for modeling unsaturated zone (UZ) fluid (water and air) flow and solute transport processes. This work was planned in ''Technical Work Plan for: Unsaturated Zone Flow Model and Analysis Report Integration'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169654], Sections 1.2.5, 2.1.1, 2.1.2 and 2.2.1). The conceptual and numerical modeling approaches described in this report are mainly used for models of UZ flow and transport in fractured, unsaturated rock under ambient conditions. Developments of these models are documented in the following model reports: (1) UZ Flow Model and Submodels; (2) Radionuclide Transport Models under Ambient Conditions. Conceptual models for flow and transport in unsaturated, fractured media are discussed in terms of their applicability to the UZ at Yucca Mountain. The rationale for selecting the conceptual models used for modeling of UZ flow and transport is documented. Numerical approaches for incorporating these conceptual models are evaluated in terms of their representation of the selected conceptual models and computational efficiency; and the rationales for selecting the numerical approaches used for modeling of UZ flow and transport are discussed. This report also documents activities to validate the active fracture model (AFM) based on experimental observations and theoretical developments. The AFM is a conceptual model that describes the fracture-matrix interaction in the UZ of Yucca Mountain. These validation activities are documented in Section 7 of this report regarding use of an independent line of evidence to provide additional confidence in the use of the AFM in the UZ models. The AFM has been used in UZ flow and transport models under both ambient and thermally disturbed conditions. Developments of these models are documented

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marshall, Brian D.; Futa, Kiyoto

    2001-01-01

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

  2. Preliminary thermal expansion screening data for tuffs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lappin, A.R.

    1980-03-01

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

  3. Unsaturated flow modeling in performance assessments for the Yucca Mountain disposal system for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rechard, Rob P.; Birkholzer, Jens T.; Wu, Yu-Shu; Stein, Joshua S.; Houseworth, James E.

    2014-01-01

    This paper summarizes the progression of modeling efforts of infiltration, percolation, and seepage conducted between 1984 and 2008 to evaluate feasibility, viability, and assess compliance of a repository in the unsaturated zone for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Scientific understanding of infiltration in a desert environment, unsaturated percolation flux in fractures and matrix of the volcanic tuff, and seepage into an open drift in a thermally perturbed environment was initially lacking in 1984. As understanding of the Yucca Mountain disposal system increased through site characterization and in situ testing, modeling of infiltration, percolation, and seepage evolved from simple assumptions in a single model in 1984 to three modeling modules each based on several detailed process models in 2008. Uncertainty in percolation flux through Yucca Mountain was usually important in explaining the observed uncertainty in performance measures:cumulative release in assessments prior to 1995 and individual dose, thereafter. - Highlights: • Progression of modeling of infiltration, percolation, and seepage conducted is described for a geological repository at Yucca Mountain. • Progression from 1-D in single equivalent to 3-D model of percolation in dual permeability continuum is described. • Introduction of an infiltration boundary condition in 1998 and the refinement for evaluating uncertainty for the license application is described. • Introduction of a seepage module that included calibration to in-site measurements and separating uncertainty and variability is described

  4. Development of the data base for tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada Test Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lappin, A.R.

    1981-11-01

    The purposes of the data-base development described here are: (1) to provide sufficient input for the modeling and analysis required to support a horizon-selection decision in December, 1982; and (2) to support follow-on detailed horizon evaluation. Initial data collection must, therefore, be complete by August, 1982. Data will include; (1) thermal conductivity; (2) thermal expansion; (3) matrix and fracture mechanical properties; (4) bulk properties; and (5) functional thermomechanical stratigraphy of the tuffs at Yucca Mountain

  5. Wetting phase permeability in a partially saturated horizontal fracture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nicholl, M.J.; Glass, R.J.

    1994-01-01

    Fractures within geologic media can dominate the hydraulic properties of the system. Therefore, conceptual models used to assess the potential for radio-nuclide migration in unsaturated fractured rock such as that composing Yucca Mountain, Nevada, must be consistent with flow processes in individual fractures. A major obstacle to the understanding and simulation of unsaturated fracture flow is the paucity of physical data on both fracture aperture structure and relative permeability. An experimental procedure is developed for collecting detailed data on aperture and phase structure from a transparent analog fracture. To facilitate understanding of basic processes and provide a basis for development of effective property models, the simplest possible rough-walled fracture is used. Stable phase structures of varying complexity are created within the horizontal analog fracture. Wetting phase permeability is measured under steady-state conditions. A process based model for wetting phase relative permeability is then explored. Contributions of the following processes to reduced wetting phase permeability under unsaturated conditions are considered: reduction in cross-sectional flow area, increased path length, localized flow restriction, and preferential occupation of large apertures by the non-wetting phase

  6. Comparison of strongly heat-driven flow codes for unsaturated media

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Updegraff, C.D.

    1989-08-01

    Under the sponsorship of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) is developing a performance assessment methodology for the analysis of long-term disposal of high-level radioactive waste (HLW) in unsaturated welded tuff. As part of this effort, SNL evaluated existing strongly heat-driven flow computer codes for simulating ground-water flow in unsaturated media. The three codes tested, NORIA, PETROS, and TOUGH, were compared against a suite of problems for which analytical and numerical solutions or experimental results exist. The problems were selected to test the abilities of the codes to simulate situations ranging from simple, uncoupled processes, such as two-phase flow or heat transfer, to fully coupled processes, such as vaporization caused by high temperatures. In general, all three codes were found to be difficult to use because of (1) built-in time stepping criteria, (2) the treatment of boundary conditions, and (3) handling of evaporation/condensation problems. A drawback of the study was that adequate problems related to expected repository conditions were not available in the literature. Nevertheless, the results of this study suggest the need for thorough investigations of the impact of heat on the flow field in the vicinity of an unsaturated HLW repository. Recommendations are to develop a new flow code combining the best features of these three codes and eliminating the worst ones. 19 refs., 49 figs

  7. 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

  8. Review and selection of unsaturated flow models

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reeves, M.; Baker, N.A.; Duguid, J.O. [INTERA, Inc., Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    1994-04-04

    Since the 1960`s, ground-water flow models have been used for analysis of water resources problems. In the 1970`s, emphasis began to shift to analysis of waste management problems. This shift in emphasis was largely brought about by site selection activities for geologic repositories for disposal of high-level radioactive wastes. Model development during the 1970`s and well into the 1980`s focused primarily on saturated ground-water flow because geologic repositories in salt, basalt, granite, shale, and tuff were envisioned to be below the water table. Selection of the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for potential disposal of waste began to shift model development toward unsaturated flow models. Under the US Department of Energy (DOE), the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management System Management and Operating Contractor (CRWMS M&O) has the responsibility to review, evaluate, and document existing computer models; to conduct performance assessments; and to develop performance assessment models, where necessary. This document describes the CRWMS M&O approach to model review and evaluation (Chapter 2), and the requirements for unsaturated flow models which are the bases for selection from among the current models (Chapter 3). Chapter 4 identifies existing models, and their characteristics. Through a detailed examination of characteristics, Chapter 5 presents the selection of models for testing. Chapter 6 discusses the testing and verification of selected models. Chapters 7 and 8 give conclusions and make recommendations, respectively. Chapter 9 records the major references for each of the models reviewed. Appendix A, a collection of technical reviews for each model, contains a more complete list of references. Finally, Appendix B characterizes the problems used for model testing.

  9. Review and selection of unsaturated flow models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reeves, M.; Baker, N.A.; Duguid, J.O.

    1994-01-01

    Since the 1960's, ground-water flow models have been used for analysis of water resources problems. In the 1970's, emphasis began to shift to analysis of waste management problems. This shift in emphasis was largely brought about by site selection activities for geologic repositories for disposal of high-level radioactive wastes. Model development during the 1970's and well into the 1980's focused primarily on saturated ground-water flow because geologic repositories in salt, basalt, granite, shale, and tuff were envisioned to be below the water table. Selection of the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for potential disposal of waste began to shift model development toward unsaturated flow models. Under the US Department of Energy (DOE), the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management System Management and Operating Contractor (CRWMS M ampersand O) has the responsibility to review, evaluate, and document existing computer models; to conduct performance assessments; and to develop performance assessment models, where necessary. This document describes the CRWMS M ampersand O approach to model review and evaluation (Chapter 2), and the requirements for unsaturated flow models which are the bases for selection from among the current models (Chapter 3). Chapter 4 identifies existing models, and their characteristics. Through a detailed examination of characteristics, Chapter 5 presents the selection of models for testing. Chapter 6 discusses the testing and verification of selected models. Chapters 7 and 8 give conclusions and make recommendations, respectively. Chapter 9 records the major references for each of the models reviewed. Appendix A, a collection of technical reviews for each model, contains a more complete list of references. Finally, Appendix B characterizes the problems used for model testing

  10. Frictional properties of jointed welded tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teufel, L.W.

    1981-07-01

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

  11. Seepage into an Underground Opening Constructed in Unsaturated Fractured Rock Under Evaporative Conditions, RPR 29013(C)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trautz, R. C.; Wang, Joseph S. Y.

    2001-01-01

    Liquid-release tests, performed in boreholes above an underground opening constructed in unsaturated fractured rock, are used in this study to evaluate seepage into a waste emplacement drift. Evidence for the existence of a capillary barrier at the ceiling of the drift is presented, based on field observations (including spreading of the wetting front across the ceiling and water movement up fractures exposed in the ceiling before seepage begins). The capillary barrier mechanism has the potential to divert water around the opening, resulting in no seepage when the percolation flux is at or below the seepage threshold flux. Liquid-release tests are used to demonstrate that a seepage threshold exists and to measure the magnitude of the seepage threshold flux for three test zones that seeped. The seepage data are interpreted using analytical techniques to estimate the test-specific strength of the rock capillary forces (α -1 ) that prevent water from seeping into the drift. Evaporation increases the seepage threshold flux making it more difficult for water to seep into the drift and producing artificially inflated α -1 values. With adjustments for evaporation, the minimum test-specific threshold is 1,600 mm/yr with a corresponding α -1 of 0.027 m

  12. Mechanical excavator performance in Yucca Mountain tuffs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ozdemir, L.; Hansen, F.D.

    1991-01-01

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

  13. Mechanical excavator performance in Yucca Mountain tuffs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ozdemir, L.; Hansen, F.D.

    1991-01-01

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

  14. Review of the thermal stability and cation exchange properties of the zeolite minerals clinoptilolite, mordenite, and analcime; applications to radioactive waste isolation in silicic tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smyth, J.R.; Caporuscio, F.A.

    1981-06-01

    Silicic tuffs of the southern Great Basin and basalts of the Columbia River Plateau are under investigation as potential host rocks for high- and intermediate-level radioactive wastes. Nonwelded and partially welded tuffs may contain major amounts (> 50%) of the zeolite minerals clinoptilolite, mordenite, and analcime. Densely welded tuffs and some basalt flows may contain clinoptilolite as fracture filling that limits the permeability of these rocks. The cation exchange properties of these zeolite minerals allow them to pose a formidable natural barrier to the migration of cationic species of various radionuclides in aqueous solutions. However, these minerals are unstable at elevated temperatures and at low water-vapor pressures and may break down either by reversible dehydration or by irreversible mineralogical reactions. All the breakdown reactions occurring at increased temperature involve a net volume reduction and evolution of fluids. Thus, they may provide a pathway (shrinkage fractures) and a driving force (fluid pressure) for release of radionuclides to the biosphere. These reactions may be avoided by keeping zeolite-bearing horizons saturated with water and below about 85 0 C. This may restrict allowable gross thermal loadings in waste repositories in volcanic rocks

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  16. Natural language solution to a Tuff problem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  17. Coupled thermohydromechanical analysis of a heater test in unsaturated clay and fractured rock at Kamaishi Mine. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rutqvist, J.; Noorishad, J.; Tsang, C.F. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab., Berkeley, CA (United States). Earth Sciences Division

    1999-08-01

    The recent interest in coupled thermohydromechanical (THM) processes associated with geological disposal of spent nuclear fuel, and in particular the issue of resaturation of a clay buffer around a waste canister, has encouraged major development of the finite element computer program ROCMAS in the past three years. The main objective is to develop a tool for analysis of THM processes in practical field scale, including fractured rock masses and detailed behavior of the near-field, nonisothermal and unsaturated system composed of rock fractures and clay buffer. In this report, the ROCMAS code is presented and applied for modeling of coupled THM processes in small laboratory samples of bentonite clay as well as a large in situ THM experiment in fractured rocks, at Kamaishi Mine, Japan. The fundamental responses of a bentonite clay material were investigated in a number of laboratory tests, including suction tests, infiltration tests, thermal gradient tests, and swelling pressure tests. These laboratory tests are modeled with ROCMAS for determination of material properties and for validation of the newly implemented algorithms. The ROCMAS code is also applied for modeling of a 3-year in situ heater experiment conducted in fractured hard rock, which consists of a heater-clay buffer system and simulates a nuclear waste repository. The temperature of the heater was set to 100 deg C during 8.5 months followed by a 6-month cooling period. The bentonite and the rock surrounding the heater were extensively instrumented for monitoring of temperature, moisture content, fluid pressure, stress, strain, and displacements. An overall good agreement between the modeling and measured results, both against the laboratory experiments and the in situ heater test, indicates that the THM responses in fractured rock and bentonite are well represented by the coupled numerical model, ROCMAS. In addition, robustness and applicability of ROCMAS to practical scale problems is demonstrated

  18. Evaluation of tuff as a medium for a nucolear waste repository: interim status report on the properties of tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnstone, J.K.; Wolfsberg, K.

    1980-07-01

    This report is the second in a series of summary briefings to the National Academy of Science's (NAS) Committee on Radioactive Waste Management dealing with feasibility of disposal of heat-producing radioactive waste in silicic tuff. The interim status of studies of tuff properties determined on samples obtained from Yucca Mountain and Rainier Mesa (G-tunnel) located on the Nevada Test Site (NTS) are discussed. In particular, progress is described on resolving issues identified during the first briefing to the NAS which include behavior of water in tuff when heated, the effect of the presence or absence of water and joints on the thermal/physical properties of tuff and the detailed/complex sorptive properties of highly altered and unaltered tuff. Initial correlations of thermal/physical and sorptive properties with the highly variable porosity and mineralogy are described. Three in-situ, at-depth field experiments, one nearly completed and two just getting underway are described. In particular, the current status of mineralogy and petrology, geochemistry, thermal and mechanical, radiation effects and water behavior studies are described. The goals and initial results of a Mine Design Working Group are discussed. Regional factors such as seismicity, volcanism and hydrology are not discussed

  19. Repository sealing concepts for the Nevada nuclear waste storage Investigations Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fernandez, J.A.; Freshley, M.D.

    1984-08-01

    This report describes concepts for sealing a nuclear waste repository in an unsaturated tuff environment. The repository site under consideration is Yucca Mountain, which is on and adjacent to the Nevada Test Site. The hydrogeology of Yucca Mountain, preliminary repository concepts, functional requirements and performance criteria for sealing, federal and state regulations, and hydrological calculations are considered in developing the sealing concepts. Water flow through the unsaturated zone is expected to be small and generally vertically downward with some potential to occur through discrete fault and fracture zones. These assumptions are used in developing sealing concepts for shafts, ramps, and boreholes. Sealing of discrete, water-producing faults and fracture zones encountered in horizontal emplacement holes and in access and emplacement drifts is also described. 49 references, 21 figures, 6 tables

  20. Geochemical and Pb, Sr, and O isotopic study of the Tiva Canyon Tuff and Topopah Spring Tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Neymark, L.A.; Marshall, B.D.; Kwak, L.M.; Futa, Kiyoto; Mahan, S.A.

    1995-01-01

    Yucca Mountain is currently being studied as a potential site for an underground repository for high-level radioactive waste. One aspect of the site characterization studies is an evaluation o the resource potential at Yucca Mountain. Geochemical and isotopic signatures of past alteration of the welded tuffs that underlie Yucca Mountain provide a means of assessing the probability of hydrothermal ore deposits being present within Yucca Mountain. In this preliminary report, geochemical and isotopic measurements of altered Tiva Canyon Tuff and Topopah Spring Tuff collected from fault zones exposed on the east flank of Yucca Mountain and from one drill core are compared to their unaltered equivalents sampled both in outcrop and drill core. The geochemistry and isotopic compositions of unaltered Tiva Canyon Tuff and Topopah Spring Tuff (high-silica rhyolite portions) are fairly uniform; these data provide a good baseline for comparisons with the altered samples. Geochemical analyses indicate that the brecciated tuffs are characterized by addition of calcium carbonate and opaline silica; this resulted in additions of calcium and strontium,increases in oxygen-18 content, and some redistribution of trace elements. After leaching the samples to remove authigenic carbonate, no differences in strontium or lead isotope compositions between altered and unaltered sections were observed. These data show that although localized alteration of the tuffs has occurred and affected their geochemistry, there is no indication of additions of exotic components. The lack of evidence for exotic strontium and lead in the most severely altered tuff samples at Yucca Mountain strongly implies a similar lack of exotic base or precious metals

  1. 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

  2. Mineralogy, geochemistry and low grade metamorphism of green tuffs of Karaj formation in Hesarbon area (south west Firoozkooh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiva Bahrami

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Green tuffs of middle Eocene age in Hesarbon area, south west of Firoozkuh (East of Central Alborz consist of a thick sequence of lithic-, crystal-,vitric-and calcareous-tuffs. Microscopic and x-ray diffraction studies show plagioclase (albite and oligoclase, alkali feldspar (sanidine, quartz, cristobalite, biotite and hornblende are the major minerals in the rocks studied. Secondary minerals such as analcime, chlorite, prehnite and clay minerals are mainly present in the groundmass of the rocks. Extensive tectonic activities have created a variety of structural features including numerous folds and faults and therefore, have caused the green tuffs to be crushed and converted to breccia tuffs in many parts. Veins and cavities are filled by considerable amounts of zeolitic minerals including heulandite group, clinoptilolite and natrolite along with calcite and secondary quartz. Based on geochemical data, they lie on the dacite and rhyodacite field showing a calc-alkaline nature in the corresponding diagrams. According to the chondrite and primitive mantle normalized diagrams of trace elements, negative anomalies of Eu, Nb, Ti, P and depletion of HFSE together with their position in the petrogenesis discrimination diagrams, it is most likely that these rocks are formed in the active continental margin of a subduction zone. The existence of analcime and prehnite in the groundmass demonstrate that these rocks have undergone some degrees of low-grade metamorphism due to the overburden of the layers in the temperature range 200-300 °C. The present study shows that zeolite minerals filling the fractures and cavities of tuffs are precipitated by hydrothermal fluids with a neutral pH to acidic

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-05-01

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

  4. FORMATION OF CALCITE AND SILICA FROM PERCOLATION IN A HYDROLOGICALLY UNSATURATED SETTING, YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2000-01-01

    Geological, mineralogical, chemical, and isotopic evidence from coatings of calcite and silica on open fractures and lithophysal cavities within welded tuffs at Yucca Mountain indicate an origin from meteoric water percolating through a thick (500 to 700 m) unsaturated zone (UZ) rather than from pulses of ascending ground water. Geologic evidence for a UZ setting includes the presence of coatings in only a small percentage of cavities, the restriction of coatings to fracture footwalls and cavity floors, and an absence of mineral high-water marks indicative of water ponding. Systematic mineral sequences (early calcite, followed by chalcedony with minor quartz and fluorite, and finally calcite with intercalated opal forming the bulk of the coatings) indicate progressive changes in UZ conditions through time, rather than repeated saturation by flooding. Percolation under the influence of gravity also results in mineral textures that vary between steeply dipping sites (thinner coatings of blocky calcite) and shallowly dipping sites (thicker coatings of coarse, commonly bladed calcite, with globules and sheets of opal). Micrometer-scale growth banding in both calcite and opal reflects slow average growth rates (scale of mm/m.y.) over millions of years rather than only a few rapidly deposited growth episodes. Isotopic compositions of C, O, Sr, and U from calcite and opal indicate a percolation-modified meteoric water source, and collectively refute a deeper ground-water source. Chemical and isotopic variations in coatings also indicate long-term evolution of water compositions. Although some compositional changes are related to shifts in climate, growth rates in the deeper UZ are buffered from large changes in meteoric input. Coatings most likely formed from films of water flowing down connected fracture pathways. Mineral precipitation is consistent with water vapor and carbon dioxide loss from films at very slow rates. Data collectively indicate that mineral coatings

  5. Effect of moisture on tuff stone degradation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lubelli, B.A.; Nijland, T.G.

    2016-01-01

    Tuff stone elements with a large length/width ratio often suffer damage in the form of cracks parallel to the surface and spalling of the outer layer. The response of tuff to moisture might be a reason for this behaviour. This research aimed at verifying if differential dilation between parts with

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1992-07-01

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

  7. Initial field testing definition of subsurface sealing and backfilling tests in unsaturated tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fernandez, J.A.; Case, J.B.; Tyburski, J.R.

    1993-05-01

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

  8. Mechanical characterization of densely welded Apache Leap tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-06-01

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

  9. Geotechnical instrumentation requirements for at-depth testing and repository monitoring in tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zimmerman, R.M.

    1982-01-01

    Minimum required geotechnical measurements for confirmation of repository performance include thermal and thermomechanical responses; changes in stress, strain, and displacements; and pore pressure and groundwater flow characteristics. Conditions expected in tuff are: maximum rock temperatures of less than 250 0 C, stresses less than 100 MPa, strains between +-0.01 mm/mm, and pore pressures less than 35 KPa in the unsaturated zone where hydraulic head is not the primary contributor. The paper describes instrumentation needed to make the desired measurements. In general, the instrumentation and data system are required to be stable and reliable for tens of years. Designs must consider requirements for temperature stability, temperature expansion compensation, moisture resistance, and long-term durability in mining-type environments. Severe requirements such as these suggest consideration of techniques for in-situ replacement of instrumentation. State-of-the-art instrumentation is briefly described along with a discussion of needs for refinement, replacement/recalibration and instrumentation development

  10. Wetting front instability in an initially wet unsaturated fracture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nicholl, M.J.; Glass, R.J.; Nguyen, H.A.

    1992-01-01

    Experimental results exploring gravity-driven wetting front instability in a pre-wetted, rough-walled analog fracture are presented. Initial conditions considered include a uniform moisture field wetted to field capacity of the analog fracture and the structured moisture field created by unstable infiltration into an initially dry fracture. As in previous studies performed under dry initial conditions, instability was found to result both at the cessation of stable infiltration and at flux lower than the fracture capacity under gravitational driving force. Individual fingers were faster, narrower, longer, and more numerous than observed under dry initial conditions. Wetting fronts were found to follow existing wetted structure, providing a mechanism for rapid recharge and transport

  11. Wetting front instability in an initially wet unsaturated fracture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nicholl, M.J.; Glass, R.J.; Nguyen, H.A.

    1993-01-01

    Experimental results exploring gravity-driven wetting from instability in a pre-wetted, rough-walled analog fractures such as those at Yucca Mountain are presented. Initial conditions considered include a uniform moisture field wetted to field capacity of the analog fracture and the structured moisture field created by unstable infiltration into an initially dry fracture. As in previous studies performed under dry initial conditions, instability was found to result both at the cessation of stable infiltration and at flux lower than the fracture capacity under gravitational driving force. Individual fingers were faster, narrower, longer, and more numerous than observed under dry initial conditions. Wetting fronts were found to follow existing wetted structure, providing a mechanism for rapid recharge and transport

  12. 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)

  13. Effect of percolation rate on water-travel time in deep, partially saturated zones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peters, R.R.; Gauthier, J.H.; Dudley, A.L.

    1986-02-01

    The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) project is investigating Yucca Mountain, Nye county, Nevada, as a prospective site for a radioactive-waste repository. The Yucca Mountain site is unique among those currently being investigated by the US Department of Energy (DOE) in that the prospective repository location is in the unsaturated zone, approximately 300 m above the water table. The rock units at Yucca Mountain can be grouped into three types: (1) vitric tuffs with high matrix conductivity and few fractures; (2) zeolitized tuffs with low matrix conductivity and few fractures; and (3) densely welded tuffs with low matrix conductivities and many fractures. The prospective repository zone is in densely welded tuff; the units between it and the water table are of types 1 and 2. Current percolation rates through Yucca Mountain, and those that are currently postulated under future climatic conditions, are thought to be of the order of the saturated matrix conductivity of some of the units. Although it is probable that there is now little or no water movement in fracture, it is necessary to investigate the potential for fracture flow, especially that which could be initiated under future climatic conditions. Significant fracture flow, if present, could reduce the water travel time between the repository and the water table. A composite-porosity, continuum model was developed to model flow in a fractured, porous medium. Simulations using data from the Yucca Mountain site and this model in the one-dimensional code TOSPAC indicate that current estimates of the percolation rate result in water movement confined to the matrix and that the water-travel time from the repository to the water table is on the order of hundreds of thousands of years. this result is sensitive to the percolation rate; an increase in percolation rate of a factor of 10 many initiate water movement in the fractures, reducing the travel time significantly

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  15. Temporal Damping Effect of the Yucca Mountain Fractured Saturated Rock on Transient Infiltration Pulses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    K. Zhang; Y.S. Wu; L. Pan

    2006-01-01

    Performance assessment of the Yucca Mountain unsaturated zone (UZ) as the site for an underground repository of high-level radioactive waste relies on the crucial assumption that water percolation processes in the unsaturated zone can be approximated as a steady-state condition. Justification of such an assumption is based on temporal damping effects of several geological units within the unsaturated tuff formation. In particular, the nonwelded tuff of the Paintbrush Group (PTn unit) at Yucca Mountain, because of its highly porous nature, has been conceptualized to have a significant capacity for temporally damping transient percolation fluxes. The objective of this study is to investigate these damping effects, using a three-dimensional (3-D) mountain-scale model as well as several one-dimensional (1-D) models. The 3-D model incorporates a wide variety of the updated field data for the highly heterogeneous unsaturated formation at Yucca Mountain. The model is first run to steady state and calibrated using field-measured data and then transient pulse infiltrations are applied to the model top boundary. Subsequent changes in percolation fluxes at the bottom of and within the PTn unit are examined under episodic infiltration boundary conditions. The 1-D model is used to examine the long-term response of the flow system to higher infiltration pulses, while the damping effect is also investigated through modeling tracer transport in the UZ under episodic infiltration condition. Simulation results show the existence of damping effects within the PTn unit and also indicate that the assumption of steady-state flow conditions below the PTn unit is reasonable. However, the study also finds that some fast flow paths along faults exist, causing vertical-flux quick responses at the PTn bottom to the episodic infiltration at the top boundary

  16. MODELING COUPLED PROCESSES OF MULTIPHASE FLOW AND HEAT TRANSFER IN UNSATURATED FRACTURED ROCK

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Y. Wu; S. Mukhopadhyay; K. Zhang; G.S. Bodvarsson

    2006-01-01

    A mountain-scale, thermal-hydrologic (TH) numerical model is developed for investigating unsaturated flow behavior in response to decay heat from the radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA. The TH model, consisting of three-dimensional (3-D) representations of the unsaturated zone, is based on the current repository design, drift layout, and thermal loading scenario under estimated current and future climate conditions. More specifically, the TH model implements the current geological framework and hydrogeological conceptual models, and incorporates the most updated, best-estimated input parameters. This mountain-scale TH model simulates the coupled TH processes related to mountain-scale multiphase fluid flow, and evaluates the impact of radioactive waste heat on the hydrogeological system, including thermally perturbed liquid saturation, gas- and liquid-phase fluxes, and water and rock temperature elevations, as well as the changes in water flux driven by evaporation/condensation processes and drainage between drifts. For a better description of the ambient geothermal condition of the unsaturated zone system, the TH model is first calibrated against measured borehole temperature data. The ambient temperature calibration provides the necessary surface and water table boundary as well as initial conditions. Then, the TH model is used to obtain scientific understanding of TH processes in the Yucca Mountain unsaturated zone under the designed schedule of repository thermal load

  17. Synopsis of some preliminary computational studies related to unsaturated zone transport at Area G

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vold, E.

    1998-03-01

    Computational transport models are described with applications in three problem areas related to unsaturated zone moisture movement beneath Area G. These studies may be used to support the ongoing maintenance of the site Performance Assessment. The three areas include: a 1-D transient analysis with average tuff hydraulic properties in the near surface region with computed results compared to field data; the influence on near surface transient moisture percolation due to realistic distributions in hydraulic properties derived statistically from the observed variance in the field data; and the west to east moisture flow in a 2-D steady geometry approximation of the Pajarito Plateau. Results indicate that a simple transient model for transport of moisture volume fraction fits field data well compared to a moisture pulse observed in the active disposal unit, pit 37. Using realistic infiltration boundary conditions for summer showers and for spring snow melt conditions, the computed moisture pulses show significant propagation to less than 10-ft depth. Next, the hydraulic properties were varied on a 2-D grid using statistical distributions based on the field data means and variances for the hydraulic parameters. Near surface transient percolation in these conditions shows a qualitatively realistic percolation with a spatially variable wave front moving into the tuff; however, the flow does not channel into preferred paths and suggests there is no formation of fast paths which could enhance transportation of contaminants. Finally, moisture transport is modeled through an unsaturated 2-D slice representing the upper stratigraphic layers beneath Area G and a west-to-east cut of several miles to examine possible lateral movement from the west where percolation is assumed to be greater than at Area G. Results show some west-to-east moisture flux consistent with the assumed profile for the percolation boundary conditions

  18. THE PENA BLANCA NATURAL ANALOGUE PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT MODEL

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    G. Saulnier and W. Statham

    2006-04-16

    The Nopal I uranium mine in the Sierra Pena Blanca, Chihuahua, Mexico serves as a natural analogue to the Yucca Mountain repository. The Pena Blanca Natural Analogue Performance Assessment Model simulates the mobilization and transport of radionuclides that are released from the mine and transported to the saturated zone. The Pena Blanca Natural Analogue Performance Assessment Model uses probabilistic simulations of hydrogeologic processes that are analogous to the processes that occur at the Yucca Mountain site. The Nopal I uranium deposit lies in fractured, welded, and altered rhyolitic ash-flow tuffs that overlie carbonate rocks, a setting analogous to the geologic formations at the Yucca Mountain site. The Nopal I mine site has the following analogous characteristics as compared to the Yucca Mountain repository site: (1) Analogous source--UO{sub 2} uranium ore deposit = spent nuclear fuel in the repository; (2) Analogous geology--(i.e. fractured, welded, and altered rhyolitic ash-flow tuffs); (3) Analogous climate--Semiarid to arid; (4) Analogous setting--Volcanic tuffs overlie carbonate rocks; and (5) Analogous geochemistry--Oxidizing conditions Analogous hydrogeology: The ore deposit lies in the unsaturated zone above the water table.

  19. THE PENA BLANCA NATURAL ANALOGUE PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT MODEL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    G. Saulnier; W. Statham

    2006-01-01

    The Nopal I uranium mine in the Sierra Pena Blanca, Chihuahua, Mexico serves as a natural analogue to the Yucca Mountain repository. The Pena Blanca Natural Analogue Performance Assessment Model simulates the mobilization and transport of radionuclides that are released from the mine and transported to the saturated zone. The Pena Blanca Natural Analogue Performance Assessment Model uses probabilistic simulations of hydrogeologic processes that are analogous to the processes that occur at the Yucca Mountain site. The Nopal I uranium deposit lies in fractured, welded, and altered rhyolitic ash-flow tuffs that overlie carbonate rocks, a setting analogous to the geologic formations at the Yucca Mountain site. The Nopal I mine site has the following analogous characteristics as compared to the Yucca Mountain repository site: (1) Analogous source--UO 2 uranium ore deposit = spent nuclear fuel in the repository; (2) Analogous geology--(i.e. fractured, welded, and altered rhyolitic ash-flow tuffs); (3) Analogous climate--Semiarid to arid; (4) Analogous setting--Volcanic tuffs overlie carbonate rocks; and (5) Analogous geochemistry--Oxidizing conditions Analogous hydrogeology: The ore deposit lies in the unsaturated zone above the water table

  20. Pretest thermal analysis of the Tuff Water Migration/In-Situ Heater Experiment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bulmer, B.M.

    1980-02-01

    This report describes the pretest thermal analysis for the Tuff Water Migration/In-Situ Heater Experiment to be conducted in welded tuff in G-tunnel, Nevada Test Site. The parametric thermal modeling considers variable boiling temperature, tuff thermal conductivity, tuff emissivity, and heater operating power. For nominal tuff properties, some near field boiling is predicted for realistic operating power. However, the extent of boiling will be strongly determined by the ambient (100% water saturated) rock thermal conductivity. In addition, the thermal response of the heater and of the tuff within the dry-out zone (i.e., bounded by boiling isotherm) is dependent on the temperature variation of rock conductivity as well as the extent of induced boiling

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1979-01-01

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

  2. In situ changes in the moisture content of heated, welded tuff based on thermal neutron measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramirez, A.L.; Carlson, R.C.; Buscheck, T.A.

    1991-07-01

    Thermal neutron logs were collected to monitor changes in moisture content within a welded tuff rock mass heated from a borehole containing an electrical heater which remained energized for 195 days. Thermal neutron measurements were made in sampling boreholes before, during and after heating. The results generally corroborated our conceptual understanding of hydrothermal flow as well as most of the numerical modeling conducting for this study. Conceptual models have been developed in conjunction with the numerical model calculations to explain differences in the drying and re-wetting behavior above and below the heater. Numerical modeling indicated that the re-wetting of the dried-out zone was dominated by the binary diffusion of water vapor through fractures. Saturation gradients in the rock matrix resulted in relative humidity gradients which drove water vapor (primarily along fractures) back to the dried-out zone where it condensed along the fracture walls and was imbibed by the matrix. 4 refs., 28 figs

  3. First phase of small diameter heater experiments in tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zimmerman, R.M.

    1983-01-01

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

  4. Spatial variability of damage around faults in the Joe Lott Tuff Member of the Mount Belknap Volcanics, southwestern Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okubo, C. H.

    2012-12-01

    In order to yield new insight into the process of faulting in fine-grained, poorly indurated volcanic ash, the distribution of strain around faults in the Miocene-aged Joe Lott Tuff Member of the Mount Belknap Volcanics, Utah, is investigated. Several distinct styles of inelastic strain are identified. Deformation bands are observed in tuff that is porous and granular in nature, or is inferred to have been so at the time of deformation. Where silicic alteration is pervasive, fractures are the dominant form of localized strain. Non-localized strain within the host rock is manifest as pore space compaction, including crushing of pumice clasts. Distinct differences in fault zone architecture are observed at different magnitudes of normal fault displacement, in the mode II orientation. A fault with cm-scale displacements is manifest as a single well-defined surface. Off-fault damage occurs as pore space compaction near the fault tips and formation of deformation band damage zones that are roughly symmetric about the fault. At a fault with larger meter-scale displacements, a fault core is present. A recognizable fault-related deformation band damage zone is not observed here, even though large areas of the host rock remain porous and granular and deformation bands had formed prior to faulting. The host rock is instead fractured in areas of pervasive alteration and shows possible textural evidence of fault pulverization. The zones of localized and distributed strain have notably different spatial extents around the causative fault. The region of distributed deformation, as indicated by changes in gas permeability of the macroscopically intact rock, extends up to four times farther from the fault than the highest densities of localized deformation (i.e., fractures and deformation bands). This study identifies a set of fault-related processes that are pertinent to understanding the evolution of fault systems in poorly indurated tuff. Not surprisingly, the type of

  5. Uncertainty analyses of unsaturated zone travel time at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

    Uncertainty analysis method can be applied to numerical models of ground-water flow to estimate the relative importance of physical and hydrologic input variables with respect to ground-water travel time. Monte Carlo numerical simulations of unsaturated flow in the Calico Hills nonwelded zeolitic (CHnz) layer at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, indicate that variability in recharge, and to a lesser extent in matrix porosity, explains most of the variability in predictions of water travel time through the unsaturated zone. Variations in saturated hydraulic conductivity and unsaturated curve-fitting parameters were not statistically significant in explaining variability in water travel time through the unsaturated CHnz unit. The results of this study suggest that the large uncertainty associated with recharge rate estimates for the Yucca Mountain site is of concern because the performance of the potential repository would be more sensitive to uncertainty in recharge than to any other parameter evaluated. These results are not exhaustive because of the limited site characterization data available and because of the preliminary nature of this study, which is limited to a single stratigraphic unit, one dimension, and does not account for fracture flow or other potential fast pathways at Yucca Mountain

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  7. The effect of saturation of the mechanical properties of tuff at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karakouzian, M.; Hudyma, N.

    1996-01-01

    This study investigates the effect of saturation on the mechanical properties, namely compressive strength and Young's Modulus, of Tiva Canyon welded tuff and Topopah Spring welded tuff from the Nevada Test Site. Unconfined compression tests on air dried and saturated specimens show that saturation lowers both the average compressive strength and the average Young's Modulus of Topopah Spring and Tiva Canyon tuff specimens. Saturation increases the variability of the mechanical properties of Topopah Spring tuff and the variability of the compressive strength of Tiva Canyon tuff

  8. Reactivity of a tuff-bearing concrete: CL-40 CON-14

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scheetz, B.E.; Roy, D.M.

    1989-04-01

    Samples of a tuff-bearing concrete have been altered in J-13 groundwater and in the vapor phase over deionized water at 200/degree/C. Crushed and intact discs of the concrete have been studied. The glassy tuff component of the tuff was more extensively reacted than the welded devitrified tuff. The original concrete was formulated to be expansive on curing through the formation of the calcium alumino-sulfate hydrate phase, ettringite. An x-ray diffraction examination of the altered crushed samples shows that the ettringite is no longer present. The original, poorly crystalline calcium-silicate-hydrate has recrystallized to tobermorite. In the rocking autoclave experiments with crushed material, which are the experiments expected to have the fastest reaction rates, the tobermorite has been replaced by a mineral of the gyrolite-truscottite group at the longer reaction times. The disc experiments in J-13 groundwater are characterized by prominent dissolution of the tuff aggregate. Alteration in the vapor phase experiments is primarily in the form of overgrowths on the discs. 10 refs., 27 figs., 12 tabs

  9. Characterization of infiltration into fractured, welded tuff using small borehole data collection technique: State of Nevada, agency for nuclear projects/nuclear waste project office

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Linderfelt, W.

    1986-10-01

    Knowledge of all aspects of the hydrologic cycle is required for consideration of Yucca mountain as a high level radioactive waste site. Surface processes are especially important in controlling the quantity and quality of water infiltrating into the unsaturated zone, available for recharging the aquifer. The investigation reported herein uses small bore drill holes to access the near surface fractured rock environment. The study was conducted in northern Nevada at the north end of the Pah Rah range, east of Pyramid Lake as an analog to Yucca Mountain. The results of this study will be used to better understand the chemistry and flow of the near surface flow regime of Yucca Mountain and to evaluate proposed techniques for use in future investigations. 7 refs., 6 figs., 3 tabs

  10. Estimation of hydraulic conductivities of Yucca Mountain tuffs from sorptivity and water retention measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zimmerman, R.W.; Bodvarsson, G.S.

    1995-06-01

    The hydraulic conductivity functions of the matrix rocks at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, are among the most important data needed as input for the site-scale hydrological model of the unsaturated zone. The difficult and time-consuming nature of hydraulic conductivity measurements renders it infeasible to directly measure this property on large numbers of cores. Water retention and sorptivity measurements, however, can be made relatively rapidly. The sorptivity is, in principle, a unique functional of the conductivity and water retention functions. It therefore should be possible to invert sorptivity and water retention measurements in order to estimate the conductivity; the porosity is the only other parameter that is required for this inversion. In this report two methods of carrying out this inversion are presented, and are tested against a limited data set that has been collected by Flint et al. at the USGS on a set of Yucca Mountain tuffs. The absolute permeability is usually predicted by both methods to within an average error of about 0.5 - 1.0 orders of magnitude. The discrepancy appears to be due to the fact that the water retention curves have only been measured during drainage, whereas the imbibition water retention curve is the one that is relevant to sorptivity measurements. Although the inversion methods also yield predictions of the relative permeability function, there are yet no unsaturated hydraulic conductivity data against which to test these predictions

  11. Role of the unsaturated zone in radioactive and hazardous waste disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mercer, J.W.; Marine, I.W.; Rao, P.S.C.

    1983-01-01

    The problems of hazardous and low-level radioactive waste disposal caused by the physical and chemical processes active in the unsaturated zone are explored in this book. The focus is on the use of laboratory analyses, field observations, and numerical and analytical calculations to create a clear picture of both problems and potential solutions. Topics include policy modeling, statistical techniques, liners, and field applications. Contents include: Modeling of Moisture Movement through Layered Trench Covers; Role of Partially Saturated Soil in Liner Design for Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites; Field Experiments to Determine Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity in the Vadose Zone; Role of Desaturation on Transport through Fractured Rock; Nuclear Waste Isolation in the Unsaturated Zone of Arid Regions

  12. 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

  13. Anisotropy of the Topopah Spring Member Tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1992-07-01

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

  14. Transport of neptunium through Yucca Mountain tuffs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

    Neptunium has a high solubility in groundwaters from Yucca Mountain [1]. Uranium in nuclear reactors produces 237 Np which has a half-life of 2.1 4 x 10 6 years. Consequently, the transport of 237 Np through tuffs is of major importance in assessing the performance of a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. The objective of this work is to determine the amount of Np retardation that is provided by the minerals in Yucca Mountain tuffs as a function of groundwater chemistry

  15. Mechanical tunnel excavation in welded tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sperry, P.E.

    1991-01-01

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

  16. A Modeling Study of Flow Diversion and Focusing in unsaturated Fractured Rocks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pan, Lehua; Wu, Yu-Shu; Zhang, Keni

    2002-01-01

    This study presents a systematic approach to analyze the flow diversion and flow focusing caused by the natural flow-barrier system in the unsaturated zone (UZ) of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, under ambient steady-state flow conditions. An existing analytical solution for analyzing capillary barrier in porous media has been extended to apply to the fractured porous rock. The new analytical solutions are used to identify the critical layers and to provide the guidance for generation of a proper three-dimensional (3-D), site-scale numerical grid. A large-scale 3-D numerical model (with more than a million grid blocks) has been developed with site-specific data to analyze the major flow patterns in the mountain. Our analyses show that large-scale lateral flow could take place in the UZ under ambient conditions, as a result of capillary barriers formed at the contacts of heterogeneous rock layers. This lateral flow runs generally toward the east (in the southern part) or southeast (in the northern part), which is consistent with the dip of the layer contacts. About 90 percent of the total lateral flow is found to be conducted by only a few critical rock layers. Faults that penetrate these rock layers act as vertical capillary barriers that stop the lateral flow. The combined effect of horizontal and vertical capillary barriers resulted in reduced percolation flow through repository horizon in general but focused downward flow along those penetrating faults. The model results were found to be consistent with the field water saturation. The findings of this study are consistent with a previously published two-dimensional (2-D) analysis and recent published modeling results using field-observed Cl-data

  17. Stratigraphy of the Bandelier Tuff in the Pajarito Plateau. Applications to waste management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crowe, B.M.; Linn, G.W.; Heiken, G.; Bevier, M.L.

    1978-04-01

    The Bandelier Tuff within the Pajarito Plateau consists of a lower sequence of air-fall and ash-flow deposits (Otowi Member) disconformably overlain by an upper sequence of air-fall and ash-flow deposits (Tshirege Member). The ash-flow sequence of the Tshirege Member consists of three cooling units throughout much of the Pajarito Plateau. The lower cooling unit is formed by three to as many as six pyroclastic flow units; the middle and upper cooling units each consist of at least three pyroclastic flow units. The contact between the lower and middle cooling unit coincides with a pyroclastic flow unit contact. This horizon is a prominent stratigraphic marker within distal sections of the Tshirege Member. Major and trace element analyses of unaltered and altered samples of the Bandelier Tuff were determined by neutron activation and delayed neutron activation and delayed neutron activation techniques. Petrographic, granulometric and morphologic characteristics of the Bandelier Tuff were determined to provide background information on the suitability of the Tuff as a medium for radioactive waste disposal. The hydrologic characteristics of the Bandelier Tuff are controlled primarily by secondary features of the Tuff (cooling zones). These features vary with emplacement temperature and transport distance of the Tuff. Primary depositional features provide second order control on transport pathways in distal sections of the Tuff

  18. A new lumped-parameter approach to simulating flow processes in unsaturated dual-porosity media

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zimmerman, R.W.; Hadgu, T.; Bodvarsson, G.S. [Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, CA (United States)

    1995-03-01

    We have developed a new lumped-parameter dual-porosity approach to simulating unsaturated flow processes in fractured rocks. Fluid flow between the fracture network and the matrix blocks is described by a nonlinear equation that relates the imbibition rate to the local difference in liquid-phase pressure between the fractures and the matrix blocks. This equation is a generalization of the Warren-Root equation, but unlike the Warren-Root equation, is accurate in both the early and late time regimes. The fracture/matrix interflow equation has been incorporated into a computational module, compatible with the TOUGH simulator, to serve as a source/sink term for fracture elements. The new approach achieves accuracy comparable to simulations in which the matrix blocks are discretized, but typically requires an order of magnitude less computational time.

  19. Parametric analysis of a TOUGH2 model for the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xiang, Y.; Mishra, S.; Dunlap, B. [CRWMS M& O/INTERA, Inc., Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    1995-03-01

    Yucca Mountain in Nevada is currently being investigated for suitability as a potential site for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. As the most important natural barrier against radionuclide migration to the accessible environment, the unsaturated zone at Yucca mountain is a key constituent in assessing the ambient geohydrology. A three-dimensional site-scale TOUGH2 model of the unsaturated zone is currently under development by Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) consists of six hydrogeologic units - TCw (Tiva Canyon welded), PTn (Paintbrush nonwelded), TSw (Topopah Spring welded), TSv (Topopah Spring welded-vitrophyre), CHnz (Calico Hills nonwelded-vitric), and CHnz (Calico Hills nonwelded-zeolitic), which are further subdivided into seventeen layers to represent additional lithologic detail. Based on the work of Klavetter and Peters, the fractured units TCw and TSw are treated as equivalent continua with specified threshold saturation for triggering fracture flow.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-04-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    LeCain, G.D.

    1997-12-31

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

  2. Modelling flow through unsaturated zones: Sensitivity to unsaturated ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    M. Senthilkumar (Newgen Imaging) 1461 1996 Oct 15 13:05:22

    soil properties are studied by varying the unsaturated parameters α and n over a wide range. ... Keywords. Unsaturated zone; capillary fringe; finite element method. ... and radioactive wastes. Several .... The length (L) of the soil sample is 1 m.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-04-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnstone, J.K.

    1980-08-01

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

  5. Fission-track dating of pumice from the KBS Tuff, East Rudolf, Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurford, A.J.; Gleadow, A.J.W.; Naeser, C.W.

    1976-01-01

    Fission-track dating of zircon separated from two pumice samples from the KBS Tuff in the Koobi Fora Formation, in Area 131, East Rudolf, Kenya, gives an age of 2.44??0.08 Myr for the eruption of the pumice. This result is compatible with the previously published K-Ar and 40Ar/ 39Ar age spectrum estimate of 2.61??0.26 Myr for the KBS Tuff in Area 105, but differs from the more recently published K-Ar date of 1.82??0.04 Myr for the KBS Tuff in Area 131. This study does not support the suggestion that pumice cobbles of different ages occur in the KBS Tuff. ?? 1976 Nature Publishing Group.

  6. Felsic tuff from Rutland Island – A pyroclastic flow deposit in ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    : • white massive tuff with ill-defined bedding contacts (facies-A) and. • dominantly green tuff exhibiting well-developed turbidite sequence with up-section change from a massive unit to plane laminated units to ripple drift lamination (facies-B).

  7. Hydraulic fracturing of rock-fill dam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun-Jie WANG

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The condition in which hydraulic fracturing in core of earth-rock fill dam maybe induced, the mechanism by which the reason of hydraulic fracturing canbe explained, and the failure criterion by which the occurrence of hydraulicfracturing can be determined, were investigated. The condition dependson material properties such as, cracks in the core and low permeability ofcore soil, and “water wedging” action in cracks. An unsaturated core soiland fast impounding are the prerequisites for the formation of “waterwedging” action. The mechanism of hydraulic fracturing can be explainedby fracture mechanics. The crack propagation induced by water pressuremay follow any of mode I, mode II and mixed mode I-II. Based on testingresults of a core soil, a new criterion for hydraulic fracturing was suggested,from which mechanisms of hydraulic fracturing in the core of rock-fill damwere discussed. The results indicated that factors such as angle betweencrack surface and direction of principal stress, local stress state at thecrack, and fracture toughness KIC of core soil may largely affect theinduction of hydraulic fracturing and the mode of the propagation of thecrack.The condition in which hydraulic fracturing in core of earth-rock fill dam maybe induced, the mechanism by which the reason of hydraulic fracturing canbe explained, and the failure criterion by which the occurrence of hydraulicfracturing can be determined, were investigated. The condition dependson material properties such as, cracks in the core and low permeability ofcore soil, and “water wedging” action in cracks. An unsaturated core soiland fast impounding are the prerequisites for the formation of “waterwedging” action. The mechanism of hydraulic fracturing can be explainedby fracture mechanics. The crack propagation induced by water pressuremay follow any of mode I, mode II and mixed mode I-II. Based on testingresults of a core soil, a new criterion for hydraulic fracturing

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher D. Henry,; John, David A.

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Tensile Properties of Unsaturated Polyester and Epoxy Resin Reinforced with Recycled Carbon-Fiber-Reinforced Plastic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okayasu, Mitsuhiro; Kondo, Yuta

    2018-06-01

    To better understand the mechanical properties of recycled carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (rCFRP), CFRP crushed into small pieces was mixed randomly in different proportions (0-30 wt%) with two different resins: unsaturated polyester and epoxy resin. Two different sizes of crushed CFRP were used: 0.1 mm × 0.007 mm (milled CFRP) and 30 mm × 2 mm (chopped CFRP). The tensile strength of rCFRP was found to depend on both the proportion and the size of the CFRP pieces. It increased with increasing proportion of chopped CFRP, but decreased with increasing proportion of milled CFRP. There was no clear dependence of the tensile strength on the resin that was used. A low fracture strain was found for rCFRP samples made with chopped CFRP, in contrast to those made with milled CFRP. The fracture strain was found to increase with increasing content of milled CFRP up to 20 wt%, at which point, coalescence of existing microvoids occurred. However, there was a reduction in fracture strain for rCFRP with 30 wt% of milled CFRP, owing to the formation of defects (blow holes). Overall, the fracture strain was higher for rCFRPs based on epoxy resin than for those based on unsaturated polyester with the same CFRP content, because of the high ductility of the epoxy resin. The different tensile properties reflected different failure characteristics, with the use of chopped CFRP leading to a complicated rough fracture surface and with milled CFRP causing ductile failure through the presence of tiny dimple-like fractures. However, for a high content of milled CFRP (30 wt%), large blow holes were observed, leading to low ductility.

  10. Field research program for unsaturated flow and transport experimentation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tidwell, V.C.; Rautman, C.A.; Glass, R.J.

    1992-01-01

    As part of the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project, a field research program has been developed to refine and validate models for flow and transport through unsaturated fractured rock. Validation of these models within the range of their application for performance assessment requires a more sophisticated understanding of the processes that govern flow and transport within fractured porous media than currently exists. In particular, our research is prioritized according to understanding and modeling processes that, if not accurately incorporated into performance assessment models, would adversely impact the project's ability to evaluate repository performance. For this reason, we have oriented our field program toward enhancing our understanding of scaling processes as they relate to effective media property modeling, as well as to the conceptual modeling of complex flow and transport phenomena

  11. Issues related to field testing in tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zimmerman, R.M.

    1982-01-01

    This paper has brought out the unique properties of tuffs and related them to needs associated with their use as a host rock for a high level nuclear waste repository. Major issues of temperature, pore water, joints, and depositional patterns have been identified and related responses and impacts outlined in Table 1. Planned experiments have been outlined and their relationships to the rock mechanics issues summarized in Table 2. The conclusions from this paper are: (1) tuff is a complex rock and basic phenomenological understanding is incomplete; and (2) available field test facilities will be used for a series of experiments designed to improve phenomenological understanding and support repository design efforts

  12. Water infiltration into exposed fractured rock surfaces

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rasmussen, T.C.; Evans, D.D.

    1993-01-01

    Fractured rock media are present at many existing and potential waste disposal sites, yet characterization data and physical relationships are not well developed for such media. This study focused on water infiltration characteristics of an exposed fractured rock as an approach for defining the upper boundary condition for unsaturated-zone water percolation and contaminant transport modeling. Two adjacent watersheds of 0.24 and 1.73 ha with slopes up to 45% were instrumented for measuring rainfall and runoff. Fracture density was measured from readily observable fracture traces on the surface. Three methods were employed to evaluate the rainfall-runoff relationship. The first method used the annual totals and indicated that only 22.5% of rainfall occurred as runoff for the 1990-1991 water year, which demonstrates a high water intake rate by the exposed fracture system. The second method employed total rainfall and runoff for individual storms in conjunction with the commonly used USDA Soil Conservation Service curve number method developed for wide ranges of soils and vegetation. Curve numbers between 75 and 85 were observed for summer and winter storms with dry antecedent runoff conditions, while values exceeded 90 for wet conditions. The third method used a mass-balance approach for four major storms, which indicated that water intake rates ranged from 2.0 to 7.3 mm h -1 , yielding fracture intake velocities ranging from 122 to 293 m h -1 . The three analyses show the complexity of the infiltration process for fractured rock. However, they contribute to a better understanding of the upper boundary condition for predicting contaminant transport through an unsaturated fractured rock medium. 17 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab

  13. Nutrient patterns and risk of fracture in older subjects: results from the Three-City Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samieri, C; Ginder Coupez, V; Lorrain, S; Letenneur, L; Allès, B; Féart, C; Paineau, D; Barberger-Gateau, P

    2013-04-01

    We investigated the association between nutrient patterns and risk of fractures in 1,482 older subjects. Patterns associated with higher intakes of Ca, P, vitamin B12, proteins and unsaturated fats, and moderate alcohol intake, provided by diets rich in dairies and charcuteries, were related to a lower risk of wrist and hip fractures. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between patterns of nutrient intake and the risk of fractures in older subjects. Among 1,482 participants from the Bordeaux sample of the Three-City (3C) Study who completed a 24-h dietary recall and a food frequency questionnaire, we examined the association between patterns of nutrient intake derived from principal component analysis and 8-year incidence of self-reported fractures of the hip, the wrist, and the vertebrae. A "nutrient-dense" pattern rich in Ca and P, iron, vitamins B including B12, vitamins C and E, alcohol, proteins, and unsaturated fats, and characterized by a higher consumption of fruits and vegetables, meats and fish, cheese and milk, charcuteries, cereals, rice, pasta, and potatoes, was associated with a 19% (95% CI 2-34%, P=0.03) lower risk of wrist fractures. The same pattern was associated with a 14% (95% CI 2-25%) lower risk of fractures at any site. A "south-western French" pattern rich in Ca, P, vitamins D and B12, retinol, alcohol, proteins, and fats-including unsaturated fats; poor in vitamins C, E, and K, carotenes, folates, and fibers; and related to a higher consumption of cheese, milk, and charcuterie and a lower consumption of fruits and vegetables was related to a 33% lower risk of hip fractures (95% CI 3-39%, P=0.03). Higher intakes of Ca, P, vitamin B12, proteins, and unsaturated fats and moderate alcohol, provided by dietary patterns rich in cheese, milk, and charcuteries, were related to a lower risk of wrist and hip fractures in our cohort.

  14. Test plan for reactions between spent fuel and J-13 well water under unsaturated conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Finn, P.A.; Wronkiewicz, D.J.; Hoh, J.C.; Emery, J.W.; Hafenrichter, L.D.; Bates, J.K.

    1993-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project is evaluating the long-term performance of a high-level nuclear waste form, spent fuel from commercial reactors. Permanent disposal of the spent fuel is possible in a potential repository to be located in the volcanic tuff beds near Yucca Mountain, Nevada. During the post-containment period the spent fuel could be exposed to water condensation since of the cladding is assumed to fail during this time. Spent fuel leach (SFL) tests are designed to simulate and monitor the release of radionuclides from the spent fuel under this condition. This Test Plan addresses the anticipated conditions whereby spent fuel is contacted by small amounts of water that trickle through the spent fuel container. Two complentary test plans are presented, one to examine the reaction of spent fuel and J-13 well water under unsaturated conditions and the second to examine the reaction of unirradiated UO 2 pellets and J-13 well water under unsaturated conditions. The former test plan examines the importance of the water content, the oxygen content as affected by radiolysis, the fuel burnup, fuel surface area, and temperature. The latter test plant examines the effect of the non-presence of Teflon in the test vessel

  15. Data collection and field experiments at the Apache Leap research site. Annual report, May 1995--1996

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Woodhouse, E.G.; Bassett, R.L.; Neuman, S.P.; Chen, G.

    1997-08-01

    This report documents the research performed during the period May 1995-May 1996 for a project of the U.S. Regulatory Commission (sponsored contract NRC-04-090-051) by the University of Arizona. The project manager for this research in Thomas J. Nicholson, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research. The objectives of this research were to examine hypotheses and test alternative conceptual models concerning unsaturated flow and transport through fractured rock, and to design and execute confirmatory field and laboratory experiments to test these hypotheses and conceptual models at the Apache Leap Research Site near Superior, Arizona. Each chapter in this report summarizes research related to a specific set of objectives and can be read and interpreted as a separate entity. Topics include: crosshole pneumatic and gaseous tracer field and modeling experiments designed to help validate the applicability of contiuum geostatistical and stochastic concepts, theories, models, and scaling relations relevant to unsaturated flow and transport in fractured porous tuffs; use of geochemistry and aquifer testing to evaluate fracture flow and perching mechanisms; investigations of 234 U/ 238 U fractionation to evaluate leaching selectivity; and transport and modeling of both conservative and non-conservative tracers

  16. Magnetic properties and emplacement of the Bishop tuff, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, H.C.; MacDonald, W.D.; Gromme, C.S.; Ellwood, B.B.

    1996-01-01

    Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) and characteristic remanence were measured for 45 sites in the 0.76 Ma Bishop tuff, eastern California. Thirty-three sites were sampled in three stratigraphic sections, two in Owens gorge south of Long Valley caldera, and the third in the Adobe lobe north of Long Valley. The remaining 12 sites are widely distributed, but of limited stratigraphic extent. Weakly indurated, highly porous to dense, welded ash-flow tuffs were sampled. Saturation magnetization vs temperature experiments indicate two principal iron oxide phases: low Ti magnetites with 525-570 ??C Curie temperatures, and maghemite with 610??-640??C Curie temperatures. AF demagnetization spectra of isothermal remanent magnetizations are indicative of magnetite/maghemite predominantly in the multidomain to pseudo-single domain size ranges. Remeasurement of AMS after application of saturating direct fields indicates that randomly oriented single-domain grains are also present. The degree of anisotropy is only a few percent, typical of tuffs. The AMS ellipsoids are oblate with Kmin axes normal to subhorizontal foliation and Kmax axes regionally aligned with published source vents. For 12 of 16 locality means, Kmax axes plunge sourceward, confirming previous observations regarding flow sense. Topographic control on flow emplacement is indicated by the distribution of tuff deposits and by flow directions inferred from Kmax axes. Deposition east of the Benton range occurred by flow around the south end of the range and through two gaps (Benton notch and Chidago gap). Flow down Mammoth pass of the Sierra Nevada is also evident. At least some of the Adobe lobe in the northeast flowed around the west end of Glass mountain. Eastward flow directions in the upper Owens gorge and southeast directions in the lower Owens gorge are parallel to the present canyon, suggesting that the present drainage has been established along the pre-Bishop paleodrainage. Characteristic remanence

  17. Effects of sorption and temperature on solute transport in unsaturated steady flow

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1986-01-01

    It is known that temperature affects physical and chemical processes and that these processes may alter the transport of solutes in the environment. Laboratory column studies were performed in unsaturated flow conditions with a composite pulse containing iodide, cobalt, cesium and strontium each at 10 -3 M. The experiments were performed with Bandelier Tuff and produced breakthrough curves that indicate significant changes in transport due to a temperature change from 25 0 C to 5 0 C for nonconservative solutes. Also, the interpretation of the temperature and sorption data suggest that the differences in transport between 5 0 C and 25 0 C for nonconservative solutes may be predicted in a qualitative manner from batch equilibrium and nonequilibrium sorption data and the theory of sorption used in deriving the modified Freundlich isotherm equation. These effects should be of concern in modeling and management of spills and waste disposal within this range of environmental temperatures

  18. Spatial distribution of damage around faults in the Joe Lott Tuff Member of the Mount Belknap Volcanics, Utah: A mechanical analog for faulting in pyroclastic deposits on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okubo, Chris H.

    2012-01-01

    Volcanic ash is thought to comprise a large fraction of the Martian equatorial layered deposits and much new insight into the process of faulting and related fluid flow in these deposits can be gained through the study of analogous terrestrial tuffs. This study identifies a set of fault-related processes that are pertinent to understanding the evolution of fault systems in fine-grained, poorly indurated volcanic ash by investigating exposures of faults in the Miocene-aged Joe Lott Tuff Member of the Mount Belknap Volcanics, Utah. The porosity and granularity of the host rock are found to control the style of localized strain that occurs prior to and contemporaneous with faulting. Deformation bands occur in tuff that was porous and granular at the time of deformation, while fractures formed where the tuff lost its porous and granular nature due to silicic alteration. Non-localized deformation of the host rock is also prominent and occurs through compaction of void space, including crushing of pumice clasts. Significant off-fault damage of the host rock, resembling fault pulverization, is recognized adjacent to one analog fault and may reflect the strain rate dependence of the resulting fault zone architecture. These findings provide important new guidelines for future structural analyses and numerical modeling of faulting and subsurface fluid flow through volcanic ash deposits on Mars.

  19. Heat-pipe effect on the transport of gaseous radionuclides released from a nuclear waste container

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhou, W.; Chambre, P.L.; Pigford, T.H.; Lee, W.W.L.

    1990-11-01

    When an unsaturated porous medium is subjected to a temperature gradient and the temperature is sufficiently high, vadose water is heated and vaporizes. Vapor flows under its pressure gradient towards colder regions where it condenses. Vaporization and condensation produce a liquid saturation gradient, creating a capillary pressure gradient inside the porous medium. Condensate flows towards the hot end under the influence of a capillary pressure gradient. This is a heat pipe in an unsaturated porous medium. We study analytically the transport of gaseous species released from a spent-fuel waste package, as affected by a time-dependent heat pipe in an unsaturated rock. For parameter values typical of a potential repository in partially saturated fractured tuff at Yucca Mountain, we found that a heat pipe develops shortly after waste is buried, and the heat-pipe's spatial extent is time-dependent. Water vapor movements produced by the heat pipe can significantly affect the migration of gaseous radionuclides. 12 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab

  20. 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

  1. Flow and contaminant transport in fractured rocks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bear, J.; Tsang, C.F.; Marsily, G. de

    1993-01-01

    This book is a compilation of nine articles dealing with various aspect of flow in fractured media. Articles range from radionuclide waste to multiphase flow in petroleum reservoirs to practical field test methods. Each chapter contains copious figures to aid the reader, but is also a detailed in-depth analysis of some major flow problem. The subjects covered are as follows: an introduction to flow and transport models; solute transport in fractured rock with application to radioactive waste repositories; solute transport models through fractured networks; theoretical view of stochastic models of fracture systems; numerical models of tracers; multiphase flow models in fractured systems and petroleum reservoirs; unsaturated flow modeling; comparative analysis of various flow modeling techniques in fractured media; and, a summary of field methods for measuring transfers of mass, heat, contaminant, momentum, and electrical charge in fractured media

  2. Mineralogy, geochemistry and petrogenesis of volcanic tuffs from Ataraws, Jordan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al-Fugha, H.

    1997-01-01

    Magistracy are common in tuff and paralytic's materials of Pleistocene age in western Jordan. The dominant phases are olivine, augite, plagioclase, magnetite and ilmenite. Chemical analysis of the whole rocks samples indicate alkali olivine magma origin. Low concentration of Li and Rb in Tuff samples are used as an argument against the contamination of the basaltic magma during its journey to the surface. The Mg O and mg- values (Mg/Mg+Fe 2+ ) in samples from volcano exhibit different degrees of fractionation, which are indicated by the varying concentrations of incompatible trace elements (Ba, Rb, Sr). The thermometric evacuation of tuff formation by using pyroxenes thermometers revealed a temperature range between 1022-1083 deg. and pressure of 5-10 K bars. The low Mg-ratio (Mg/Mg+Fe 2+ ) is due to fractional crystallization of olivine and pyroxene in tuff samples. The variation of incompatible elements imply derivation from a peridotite source in the upper mantle with low degree of melting (<20%).The volcanic activity took place in phases corresponding to rifting sinistral displacement along the Jordan Rift. (author). 11 refs., 6 tabs, 6 figs

  3. Saturated Zone Colloid-Facilitated Transport

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wolfsberg, A.; Reimus, P.

    2001-01-01

    The purpose of the Saturated Zone Colloid-Facilitated Transport Analysis and Modeling Report (AMR), as outlined in its Work Direction and Planning Document (CRWMS MandO 1999a), is to provide retardation factors for colloids with irreversibly-attached radionuclides, such as plutonium, in the saturated zone (SZ) between their point of entrance from the unsaturated zone (UZ) and downgradient compliance points. Although it is not exclusive to any particular radionuclide release scenario, this AMR especially addresses those scenarios pertaining to evidence from waste degradation experiments, which indicate that plutonium and perhaps other radionuclides may be irreversibly attached to colloids. This report establishes the requirements and elements of the design of a methodology for calculating colloid transport in the saturated zone at Yucca Mountain. In previous Total Systems Performance Assessment (TSPA) analyses, radionuclide-bearing colloids were assumed to be unretarded in their migration. Field experiments in fractured tuff at Yucca Mountain and in porous media at other sites indicate that colloids may, in fact, experience retardation relative to the mean pore-water velocity, suggesting that contaminants associated with colloids should also experience some retardation. Therefore, this analysis incorporates field data where available and a theoretical framework when site-specific data are not available for estimating plausible ranges of retardation factors in both saturated fractured tuff and saturated alluvium. The distribution of retardation factors for tuff and alluvium are developed in a form consistent with the Performance Assessment (PA) analysis framework for simulating radionuclide transport in the saturated zone. To improve on the work performed so far for the saturated-zone flow and transport modeling, concerted effort has been made in quantifying colloid retardation factors in both fractured tuff and alluvium. The fractured tuff analysis used recent data

  4. G-Tunnel welded tuff mining experiment data summary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-03-01

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

  5. Unsaturated-zone fast-path flow calculations for Yucca Mountain groundwater travel time analyses (GWTT-94)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arnold, B.W.; Altman, S.J.; Robey, T.H.

    1995-08-01

    Evaluation of groundwater travel time (GWTT) is required as part of the investigation of the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a potential high-level nuclear-waste repository site. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's GWTT regulation is considered to be a measure of the intrinsic ability of the site to contain radionuclide releases from the repository. The work reported here is the first step in a program to provide an estimate of GWTT at the Yucca Mountain site in support of the DOE's Technical Site Suitability and as a component of a license application. Preliminary estimation of the GWTT distribution in the unsaturated zone was accomplished using a numerical model of the physical processes of groundwater flow in the fractured, porous medium of the bedrock. Based on prior investigations of groundwater flow at the site, fractures are thought to provide the fastest paths for groundwater flow; conditions that lead to flow in fractures were investigated and simulated. Uncertainty in the geologic interpretation of Yucca Mountain was incorporated through the use of geostatistical simulations, while variability of hydrogeologic parameters within each unit was accounted for by the random sampling of parameter probability density functions. The composite-porosity formulation of groundwater flow was employed to simulate flow in both the matrix and fracture domains. In this conceptualization, the occurrence of locally saturated conditions within the unsaturated zone is responsible for the initiation of fast-path flow through fractures. The results of the GWTT-94 study show that heterogeneity in the hydraulic properties of the model domain is an important factor in simulating local regions of high groundwater saturation. Capillary-pressure conditions at the surface boundary influence the extent of the local saturation simulated

  6. Busted Butte Unsaturated Zone Transport Test: Fiscal Year 1998 Status Report Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Program Deliverable SPU85M4

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bussod, G.Y.; Turin, H.J.; Lowry, W.E.

    1999-01-01

    This report describes the status of the Busted Butte Unsaturated Zone Transport Test (UZTT) and documents the progress of construction activities and site and laboratory characterization activities undertaken in fiscal year 1998. Also presented are predictive flow-and-transport simulations for Test Phases 1 and 2 of testing and the preliminary results and status of these test phases. Future anticipated results obtained from unsaturated-zone (UZ) transport testing in the Calico Hills Formation at Busted Butte are also discussed in view of their importance to performance assessment (PA) needs to build confidence in and reduce the uncertainty of site-scale flow-and-transport models and their abstractions for performance for license application. The principal objectives of the test are to address uncertainties associated with flow and transport in the UZ site-process models for Yucca Mountain, as identified by the PA working group in February 1997. These include but are not restricted to: (1) The effect of heterogeneities on flow and transport in unsaturated and partially saturated conditions in the Calico Hills Formation. In particular, the test aims to address issues relevant to fracture-matrix interactions and permeability contrast boundaries; (2) The migration behavior of colloids in fractured and unfractured Calico Hills rocks; (3) The validation through field testing of laboratory sorption experiments in unsaturated Calico Hills rocks; (4) The evaluation of the 3-D site-scale flow-and-transport process model (i.e., equivalent-continuum/dual-permeability/discrete-fracture-fault representations of flow and transport) used in the PA abstractions for license application; and (5) The effect of scaling from lab scale to field scale and site scale

  7. Chemistry and mineralogy of some Plio-Pleistocene tuffs from the Shungura Formation, southwest Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martz, A. M.; Brown, F. H.

    1981-09-01

    The Shungura Formation of southwestern Ethiopia has yielded many tens of thousands of vertebrate fossils including hominids and microvertebrates, and in addition has also yielded fossil wood, pollen, and invertebrates. Widespread tuffs have made subdivision and detailed mapping of the formation possible, have provided material for potassium-argon dating, and have allowed direct lithostratigraphic correlation with the Koobi Fora Formation in northern Kenya. The basis for correlation between the two formations is the distinctive chemistry of the tuffs, but systematic chemical variation within some tuffs invalidates some statistical correlation techniques. Here chemical analysis of glass separates and minerals from tuffs of the Shungura and Usno Formations are presented which may allow further ties to be established when data become available on other tuffs of the Koobi Fora Formation. The tuffs consist primarily of glass, but also contain phenocrysts of anorthoclase, hedenbergitic pyroxene, sodic amphibole, ilmenite, titanomagnetite, chevkinite, quartz, zircon, and rarely orthopyroxene and plagioclase. The glasses show evidence of alkali loss during hydration, and are not now peralkaline, although it is likely that they were initially. The source volcanoes were most likely situated within the Ethiopian rift valley, or on its margins.

  8. Thermal conductivity of silicic tuffs: predictive formalism and comparison with preliminary experimental results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lappin, A. R.

    1980-07-01

    Performance of both near- and far-field thermomechanical calculations to assess the feasibility of waste disposal in silicic tuffs requires a formalism for predicting thermal conductivity of a broad range of tuffs. This report summarizes the available thermal conductivity data for silicate phases that occur in tuffs and describes several grain-density and conductivity trends which may be expected to result from post-emplacement alteration. A bounding curve is drawn that predicts the minimum theoretical matrix (zero-porosity) conductivity for most tuffs as a function of grain density. Comparison of experimental results with this curve shows that experimental conductivities are consistently lower at any given grain density. Use of the lowered bounding curve and an effective gas conductivity of 0.12 W/m 0 C allows conservative prediction of conductivity for a broad range of tuff types. For the samples measured here, use of the predictive curve allows estimation of conductivity to within 15% or better, with one exception. Application and possible improvement of the formalism are also discussed

  9. The effect of offset on fracture permeability of rocks from the Southern Andes Volcanic Zone, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Flores, P.; Wang, G.; Mitchell, T. M.; Meredith, P. G.; Nara, Y.; Sarkar, V.; Cembrano, J.

    2017-11-01

    The Southern Andes Volcanic Zone (SVZ) represents one of the largest undeveloped geothermal provinces in the world. Development of the geothermal potential requires a detailed understanding of fluid transport properties of its main lithologies. The permeability of SVZ rocks is altered by the presence of fracture damage zones produced by the Liquiñe-Ofqui Fault System (LOFS) and the Andean Transverse Faults (ATF). We have therefore measured the permeability of four representative lithologies from the volcanic basement in this area: crystalline tuff, andesitic dike, altered andesite and granodiorite. For comparative purposes, we have also measured the permeability of samples of Seljadalur basalt, an Icelandic rock with widely studied and reported hydraulic properties. Specifically, we present the results of a systematic study of the effect of fractures and fracture offsets on permeability as a function of increasing effective pressure. Baseline measurements on intact samples of SVZ rocks show that the granodiorite has a permeability (10-18 m2), two orders of magnitude higher than that of the volcanic rocks (10-20 m2). The presence of throughgoing mated macro-fractures increases permeability by between four and six orders of magnitude, with the highest permeability recorded for the crystalline tuff. Increasing fracture offset to produce unmated fractures results in large increases in permeability up to some characteristic value of offset, beyond which permeability changes only marginally. The increase in permeability with offset appears to depend on fracture roughness and aperture, and these are different for each lithology. Overall, fractured SVZ rocks with finite offsets record permeability values consistent with those commonly found in geothermal reservoirs (>10-16 m2), which potentially allow convective/advective flow to develop. Hence, our results demonstrate that the fracture damage zones developed within the SVZ produce permeable regions, especially within the

  10. State of Nevada comments on the US Department of Energy Site Characterization Plan, Yucca Mountain site, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-09-01

    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

  11. 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

  12. Upscaling of Constitutive Relations In Unsaturated Heterogeneous Porous Media

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, H. H.; Bodvarsson, G. S.

    2001-01-01

    When numerical model are used for modeling field scale flow and transport processes in the subsurface, the problem of ''upscaling'' arises. Typical scales, corresponding to spatial resolutions of subsurface heterogeneity in numerical models, are generally much larger than the measurement scale of the parameters and physical processes involved. The upscaling problems is, then, one of assigning parameters to gridblock scale based on parameter values measured on small scales. The focus of this study is to develop an approach to determine large-scale (upscaled) constitutive relations (relationships among relative permeability, capillary pressure and saturation) from small-scale measurements for porous media for a range of air entry values that are typical for the tuff matrix in the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain. For porous media with large air entry values, capillary forces play a key role in determining spatial water distribution at large-scales. Therefore, a relatively uniform capillary pressure approximately exists even for a large gridblock scale under steady state flow conditions. Based on these reasoning, we developed formulations that relate upscaled constitutive relations to ones measured at core-scale. Numerical experiments with stochastically generated heterogeneous porous media were used to evaluate the upscaling formulations

  13. Actinide transport in Topopah Spring Tuff: Pore size, particle size, and diffusion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buchholtz ten Brink, M.; Phinney, D.L.; Smith, D.K.

    1991-04-01

    Diffusive transport rates for aqueous species in a porous medium are a function of sorption, molecular diffusion, and sample tortuosity. With heterogeneous natural samples, an understanding of the effect of multiple transport paths and sorption mechanisms is particularly important since a small amount of radioisotope traveling via a faster-than-anticipated transport path may invalidate the predictions of transport codes which assume average behavior. Static-diffusion experiments using aqueous 238 U tracer in tuff indicated that U transport was faster in regions of greater porosity and that apparent diffusion coefficients depended on the scale (m or μm) over which concentration gradients were measured in Topopah Spring Tuff. If a significant fraction of actinides in high-level waste are released to the environment in forms that do not sorb to the matrix, they may be similarly transported along fast paths in porous regions of the tuff. To test this, aqueous diffusion rates in tuff were measured for 238 U and 239 Pu leached from doped glass. Measured transport rates and patterns were consistent in both systems with a dual-porosity transported moeld. In addition, filtration or channelling of actinides associated with colloidal particles may significantly affect the radionuclide transport rate in Topopah Spring tuff. 9 refs., 7 figs

  14. Preliminary survey of tuff distribution in Esmeralda, Nye, and Lincoln Counties, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, G.V.; Pink, T.S.; Lawrence, J.R.; Woodward, L.A.; Keil, K.; Lappin, A.R.

    1981-02-01

    This report inventories the surface distribution of silicic tuffs in Nye, Esmeralda, and Lincoln Counties, NV, based on a review of available literature. The inventory was taken to provide a data base in evaluating tuff sites for the disposal of high-level nuclear waste. Silicic ash-flow tuffs that are about 11 to 34 million years (my) old are widespread in these counties. These rocks are locally deformed by right-lateral movement along Walker Lane and the Las Vegas Shear Zone, and left-lateral movement along a zone from near the Nevada Test Site (NTS) to the Utah border, and are commonly offset by steeply dipping normal faults. The normal faults that bound horsts, grabens, and tilted-fault blocks of the Basin-and-Range Province began to form 30 my ago; some are still active. Tuff distribution is discussed on a regional basis. Tuff thicknesses and alterations, structural complexity, and proximity to recent faulting, recent volcanism, and mineral resources are discussed for each area. Although the literature on which it is based is often incomplete and sketchy, this report is intended to serve as a basis for future, more detailed work that includes initial field inspection, detailed field and laboratory studies, and extrapolations to the subsurface

  15. Assessing alternative conceptual models of fracture flow

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ho, C.K.

    1995-01-01

    The numerical code TOUGH2 was used to assess alternative conceptual models of fracture flow. The models that were considered included the equivalent continuum model (ECM) and the dual permeability (DK) model. A one-dimensional, layered, unsaturated domain was studied with a saturated bottom boundary and a constant infiltration at the top boundary. Two different infiltration rates were used in the studies. In addition, the connection areas between the fracture and matrix elements in the dual permeability model were varied. Results showed that the two conceptual models of fracture flow produced different saturation and velocity profiles-even under steady-state conditions. The magnitudes of the discrepancies were sensitive to two parameters that affected the flux between the fractures and matrix in the dual permeability model: (1) the fracture-matrix connection areas and (2) the capillary pressure gradients between the fracture and matrix elements

  16. Development of models for fast fluid pathways through unsaturated heterogeneous porous media

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robey, T.H.

    1994-11-01

    The pre-waste-emplacement ground water travel time requirement is a regulatory criterion that specifies ground water travel time to the accessible environment shall be greater than 1,000 years. Satisfying the ground water travel time criterion for the potential repository at Yucca Mountain requires the study of fast travel path formation in the unsaturated zone and development of models that simulate the formation of fast paths. Conceptual models for unsaturated flow that have been used for total-systems performance assessment generally fall into the categories of composite-porosity or fracture models. The actual hydrologic conditions at Yucca Mountain are thought to lie somewhere between the extremes of these two types of models. The current study considers the effects of heterogeneities on composite-porosity models and seeks to develop numerical methods (and models) that can produce locally saturated zones where fracture flow can occur. The credibility of the model and numerical methods is investigated by using test data from the INTRAVAL project (Swedish Nuclear Inspectorate, 1992) to attempt to predict in-situ volumetric water content at specific locations in Yucca Mountain. Work based on the numerical methods presented in this study is eventually intended to allow the calculation of ground water travel times in heterogeneous media. 60 refs

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1995-05-01

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

  18. Measurement of unsaturated hydraulic properties and evaluation of property-transfer models for deep sedimentary interbeds, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkins, Kimberlie; Johnson, Brittany D.; Mirus, Benjamin B.

    2014-01-01

    Operations at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) have the potential to contaminate the underlying Eastern Snake River Plain (ESRP) aquifer. Methods to quantitatively characterize unsaturated flow and recharge to the ESRP aquifer are needed to inform water-resources management decisions at INL. In particular, hydraulic properties are needed to parameterize distributed hydrologic models of unsaturated flow and transport at INL, but these properties are often difficult and costly to obtain for large areas. The unsaturated zone overlying the ESRP aquifer consists of alternating sequences of thick fractured volcanic rocks that can rapidly transmit water flow and thinner sedimentary interbeds that transmit water much more slowly. Consequently, the sedimentary interbeds are of considerable interest because they primarily restrict the vertical movement of water through the unsaturated zone. Previous efforts by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have included extensive laboratory characterization of the sedimentary interbeds and regression analyses to develop property-transfer models, which relate readily available physical properties of the sedimentary interbeds (bulk density, median particle diameter, and uniformity coefficient) to water retention and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity curves.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ross, B.

    1986-01-01

    A high-level waste repository located in unsaturated welded tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, would rely on six different, although not entirely independent, barriers to prevent escape of radioactivity. These barriers are the waste canister, fuel cladding, slow dissolution of the spent fuel itself, and slow movement of released contaminants in three different hydrogeologic units: the unsaturated Topopah Spring welded tuff unit, the unsaturated Calico Hills nonwelded tuff unit, and the saturated tuff aquifer. Fifty-eight processes and events that might affect such a repository were reviewed. Eighty-three different sequences were identified by which these processes and events could lead to failure of one or more barriers. Sequences which had similar consequences were grouped, yielding 17 categories. The repository system has considerable redundancy; most of the more likely disruptions affect only one or a few barriers. Occurrence of more than one disruption is needed before such disruptions would cause release of radioactivity. Future studies of repository performance must assess the likelihood and consequences of multiple-disruption scenarios to evaluate how well the repository meets performance standards

  20. TBM performance prediction in Yucca Mountain welded tuff from linear cutter tests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gertsch, R.; Ozdemir, L.; Gertsch, L.

    1992-01-01

    This paper discusses performance prediction which were developed for tunnel boring machines operating in welded tuff for the construction of the experimental study facility and the potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. The predictions were based on test data obtained from an extensive series of linear cutting tests performed on samples of Topopah String welded tuff from the Yucca Mountain Project site. Using the cutter force, spacing, and penetration data from the experimental program, the thrust, torque, power, and rate of penetration were estimated for a 25 ft diameter tunnel boring machine (TBM) operating in welded tuff. The result show that the Topopah Spring welded tuff (TSw2) can be excavated at relatively high rates of advance with state-of-the-art TBMs. The result also show, however, that the TBM torque and power requirements will be higher than estimated based on rock physical properties and past tunneling experience in rock formations of similar strength

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1995-07-01

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

  3. 40Ar/39Ar age spectra from the KBS Tuff, Koobi Fora Formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McDougall, I.

    1981-01-01

    40 Ar/ 39 Ar age spectra on anorthoclase phenocrysts from three pumice clasts in the KBS Tuff yield nearly ideal flat patterns, providing good evidence that the samples have remained undisturbed since crystallization. The ages are concordant at 1.88 = 0.02 Myr, and confirm that the KBS Tuff, a key marker bed in the Koobi Fora Formation, northern Kenya, is now very well dated. These results resolve the conflict between earlier 40 Ar/ 39 Ar and conventional K-Ar dating measurements on the KBS Tuff. (author)

  4. 40Ar/39Ar age spectra from the KBS Tuff, Koobi Fora Formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDougall, Ian

    1981-11-12

    40 Ar/ 39 Ar age spectra on anorthoclase phenocrysts from three pumice clasts in the KBS Tuff yield nearly ideal flat patterns, providing good evidence that the samples have remained undisturbed since crystallization. The ages are concordant at 1.88±0.02 Myr, and confirm that the KBS Tuff, a key marker bed in the Koobi Fora Formation, northern Kenya, is now very well dated. These results resolve the conflict between earlier 40 Ar/ 39 Ar and conventional K-Ar dating measurements on the KBS Tuff.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1992-04-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Low temperature spent fuel oxidation under tuff repository conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barton, C.C.; Larsen, E.

    1985-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Connolly, J.R.

    1991-12-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Effects of elevated temperature and pore pressure on the mechanical behavior of Bullfrog tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Olsson, W.A.

    1982-02-01

    Samples of the Bullfrog Member of the Crater Flat Tuff from the depth interval 758.9 to 759.2 m in hole USW-G1 on the Nevada Test Site were tested in triaxial compression. Test conditions were: (1) effective confining pressure to 20 MPa; (2) temperature of 200 0 C; (3) both dry and with pore water pressures from 3.4 to 5 MPa; and (4) a strain-rate of 10 -4 /s. The results suggest that the presence of water causes the strength to decrease. In addition, the brittle-ductile transition pressure for this rock was found to be about 15 MPa, regardless of saturation. Below this pressure deformation is characterized by unstable stress drops and the development of a single fracture, and above this pressure deformation is stable and distributed more uniformly throughout the sample

  13. TRM performance prediction in Yucca Mountain welded tuff from linear cutter tests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gertsch, R.; Ozdemir, L.; Gertsch, L.

    1992-01-01

    Performance predictions were developed for tunnel boring machines operating in welded tuff for the construction of the experimental study facility and the potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. The predictions were based on test data obtained from an extensive series of linear cutting tests performed on samples of Topopah Spring welded tuff from the Yucca Mountain Project site. Using the cutter force, spacing, and penetration data from the experimental program, the thrust, torque, power, and rate of penetration were estimated for a 25 ft diameter tunnel boring machine (TBM) operating in welded tuff. Guidelines were developed for the optimal design of the TBM cutterhead to achieve high production rates at the lowest possible excavation costs. The results show that the Topopah Spring welded tuff (TSw2) can be excavated at relatively high rates of advance with state-of-the-art TBMs. The results also show, however, that the TBM torque and power requirements will be higher than estimated based on rock physical properties and past tunneling experience in rock formations of similar strength

  14. A stratified percolation model for saturated and unsaturated flow through natural fractures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pyrak-Nolte, L.J.

    1990-01-01

    The geometry of the asperities of contact between the two surfaces of a fracture and of the adjacent void spaces determines fluid flow through a fracture and the mechanical deformation across a fracture. Heuristically we have developed a stratified continuum percolation model to describe this geometry based on a fractal construction that includes scale invariance and correlation of void apertures. Deformation under stress is analyzed using conservation of rock volume to correct for asperity interpenetration. Single phase flow is analyzed using a critical path along which the principal resistance is a result of laminar flow across the critical neck in this path. Results show that flow decreases with apparent aperture raised to a variable power greater than cubic, as is observed in flow experiments on natural fractures. For two phases, flow of the non-wetting phase is likewise governed by the critical neck along the critical path of largest aperture but flow of the wetting phase is governed by tortuosity. 17 refs., 10 figs

  15. Technical Work Plan for: Fracture and Lithophysal Studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2006-01-01

    The primary objective of the work scope described in this technical work plan (TWP) is to enhance the descriptions of fracture and lithophysal parameters for the repository host horizon (RHH) over the repository footprint utilizing a predictive model. This work is planned to address U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) additional information needs (AINs) associated with the Structural Deformation and Seismicity (SDS) Key Technical Issues (KTI) agreement SDS 3.03 (Schlueter 2000 [DIRS 166615]). The results of the planned work are expected to enhance the technical basis and confirm the results of the fracture analyses presented in ''Drift Degradation Analysis'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 166107], Section 6.1.6). This model is not intended to provide an alternative for the unsaturated zone and saturated zone flow and transport models currently used by the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP). Nor are the outputs of this model intended to address the SDS 3.03 AINs related to the unsaturated zone and saturated zone flow and transport models

  16. Technical Work Plan for: Fracture and Lithophysal Studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    n

    2006-09-11

    The primary objective of the work scope described in this technical work plan (TWP) is to enhance the descriptions of fracture and lithophysal parameters for the repository host horizon (RHH) over the repository footprint utilizing a predictive model. This work is planned to address U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) additional information needs (AINs) associated with the Structural Deformation and Seismicity (SDS) Key Technical Issues (KTI) agreement SDS 3.03 (Schlueter 2000 [DIRS 166615]). The results of the planned work are expected to enhance the technical basis and confirm the results of the fracture analyses presented in ''Drift Degradation Analysis'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 166107], Section 6.1.6). This model is not intended to provide an alternative for the unsaturated zone and saturated zone flow and transport models currently used by the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP). Nor are the outputs of this model intended to address the SDS 3.03 AINs related to the unsaturated zone and saturated zone flow and transport models.

  17. 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

  18. The impact of episodic nonequilibrium fracture-matrix flow on geological repository performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buscheck, T.A.; Nitao, J.J.; Chestnut, D.A.

    1991-01-01

    Adequate representation of fracture-matrix interaction during episodic infiltration events is crucial in making valid hydrological predictions of repository performance at Yucca Mountain. Various approximations have been applied to represent fracture-matrix flow interaction, including the Equivalent Continuum Model (ECM), which assumes capillary equilibrium between fractures and matrix, and the Fracture-Matrix Model (FMM), which accounts for nonequilibrium fracture-matrix flow. We analyze the relative impact of matrix imbibition on episodic nonequilibrium fracture-matrix flow for the eight major hydrostratigraphic units in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. Comparisons are made between ECM and FMM predictions to determine the applicability of the ECM. The implications of nonequilibrium fracture-matrix flow on radionuclide transport are also discussed

  19. Chloride Diffusion and Acid Resistance of Concrete Containing Zeolite and Tuff as Partial Replacements of Cement and Sand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohseni, Ehsan; Tang, Waiching; Cui, Hongzhi

    2017-03-31

    In this paper, the properties of concrete containing zeolite and tuff as partial replacements of cement and sand were studied. The compressive strength, water absorption, chloride ion diffusion and resistance to acid environments of concretes made with zeolite at proportions of 10% and 15% of binder and tuff at ratios of 5%, 10% and 15% of fine aggregate were investigated. The results showed that the compressive strength of samples with zeolite and tuff increased considerably. In general, the concrete strength increased with increasing tuff content, and the strength was further improved when cement was replaced by zeolite. According to the water absorption results, specimens with zeolite showed the lowest water absorption values. With the incorporation of tuff and zeolite, the chloride resistance of specimens was enhanced significantly. In terms of the water absorption and chloride diffusion results, the most favorable replacement of cement and sand was 10% zeolite and 15% tuff, respectively. However, the resistance to acid attack reduced due to the absorbing characteristic and calcareous nature of the tuff.

  20. Distribution of rubidium, strontium, and zirconium in tuff from two deep coreholes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spengler, R.W.; Peterman, Z.E.

    1991-01-01

    Variations in concentrations of trace elements Rb, Sr, and Zr within the sequence of high-silica tuff and dacitic lava beneath Yucca Mountain reflect both primary composition and secondary alteration. Rb and K concentrations have parallel trends. Rb concentrations are significantly lower within intervals containing zeolitic nonwelded to partially welded and bedded tuffs and are higher in thick moderately to densely welded zones. Sr concentrations increase with depth from about 30 parts per million (ppM) in the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff to almost 300 ppM in the older tuffs. Zr concentrations are about 100 ppM in the Topopah Spring Member and also increase with depth to about 150 ppM in the Lithic Ridge Tuff and upper part of the older tuffs. Conspicuous local high concentrations of Sr in the lower part of the Tram Member, in the dacite lava, and in unit c of the older tuffs in USW G-1, and in the densely welded zone of the Bullfrog Member in USW GU-3/G-3 closely correlate with high concentrations of less-mobile Zr and may reflect either primary composition or elemental redistribution resulting largely from smectitic alteration. Initial 87 Sr/ 86 Sr values from composite samples increase upward in units above the Bullfrog Member of the Crater Flat Tuff. The progressive tenfold increase in Sr with depth coupled with the similarity of initial 87 Sr/ 86 Sr values within the Bullfrog Member and older units to those of Paleozoic marine carbonates are consistent with a massive influx or Sr from water derived from a Paleozoic carbonate aquifer. 23 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab

  1. Homogeneously catalysed hydrogenation of unsaturated fatty acids to unsaturated fatty alcohols

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stouthamer, B.; Vlugter, J.C.

    1965-01-01

    The use of copper and cadmium oxides or soaps as catalysts for the hydrogenation of unsaturated fatty acids to unsaturated fatty alcohols has been investigated. It is shown that copper soaps homogeneously activate hydrogen. When copper and cadmium oxides are used as catalysts, they react with the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1984-01-01

    Rhyolitic rocks were erupted from vents in and adjacent to the Owyhee Mountains and Owyhee Plateau of southwestern Idaho from 16 m.y. ago to about 10 m.y. ago. They were deposited on a highly irregular surface developed on a variety of basement rocks that include granitic rocks of Cretaceous age, quartz latite and rhyodacite tuffs and lava flows of Eocene age, andesitic and basaltic lava flows of Oligocene age, and latitic and basaltic lava flows of early Miocene age. The rhyolitic rocks are principally welded tuffs that, regardless of their source, have one feature in common-namely internal characteristics indicating en-masse, viscous lavalike flowage. The flowage features commonly include considerable thicknesses of flow breccia at the bases of various cooling units. On the basis of the tabular nature of the rhyolitic deposits, their broad areal extents, and the local preservation of pyroclastic textures at the bases, tops, and distal ends of some of the deposits, we have concluded that the rocks were emplaced as ash flows at extremely high temperatures and that they coalesced to liquids before final emplacement and cooling. Temperatures of l090?C and higher are indicated by iron-titanium oxide compositions. Rhyolites that are about 16 m.y. old are preserved mostly in the downdropped eastern and western flanks of the Silver City Range and they are inferred to have been erupted from the Silver City Range. They rarely contain more than about 2 percent phenocrysts that consist of quartz and subequal amounts of plagioclase and alkali feldspar; commonly, they contain biotite, and they are the only rhyolitic rocks in the area to do so. The several rhyolitic units that are 14 m.y. to about 10 m.y. old contain only pyroxene-principally ferriferous and intermediate pigeonites-as mafic constituents. The rhyolites of the Silver City Range comprise many cooling units, none of which can be traced for great distances. Rocks erupted from the Owyhee Plateau include two sequences

  3. Version I of the users manual for the Tuff Data Base Interface

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Langkopf, B.S.; Satter, B.J.; Welch, E.P.

    1985-04-01

    The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) project, managed by the Nevada Operations Office of the US Department of Energy, is investigating the feasibility of locating a repository at Yucca Mountain on and adjacent to the Nevada Test Site (NTS) in southern Nevada. A part of this investigation includes obtaining physical properties from laboratory tests on samples from Yucca Mountain and field tests of the in situ tuffs at Yucca Mountain. A computerized data base has been developed to store this data in a centralized location. The data base is stored on the Cyber 170/855 computer at Sandia using the System 2000 Data Base Management software. A user-friendly interface, the Tuff Data Base Interface, is being developed to allow NNWSI participants to retrieve information from the Tuff Data Base directly. The Interface gives NNWSI users a great deal of flexibility in retrieving portions of the Data Base. This report is an interim users manual for the Tuff Data Base Interface, as of August 1984. It gives basic instructions on accessing the Sandia computing system and explains the Interface on a question-by-question basis

  4. Conceptual hydrologic model of flow in the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Montazer, P.; Wilson, W.E.

    1984-01-01

    The purpose of this report is to propose a conceptual hydrologic model that reasonably describes the flow of fluids through the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, for use as a basis for preliminary site-performance assessment and as a guide to further investigations. Scott and others (1983) presented an initial conceptual hydrogeologic model for the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, based on detailed geologic, but very limited hydrologic, information. In this report, some of their concepts are examined and either supported or modified, and new concepts are developed. The model describes the manner in which flow probably occurs at Yucca Mountain and is based on: (1) current understanding of the hydrogeologic framework; (2) application of the principles of unsaturated flow; and (3) interpretation of some preliminary data from ongoing field and laboratory investigations. Included are extensive geologic information but relatively few hydrologic data that currently exist from the unsaturated zone in the Yucca Mountain area. Many uncertainties remain to be resolved concerning hydrologic conditions and processes. As a result, most of the concepts presented are intentionally descriptive and conjectural, with little quantitative basis provided. However, for the sake of directness and simplicity of expression, the model is presented as if it were a true expression of the facts. The authors recognize, and the reader should be aware, that the proposed model probably is not the only reasonable description that could be made at this point, and it certainly is subject to revision and quantification as more data become available. Although various alternative models probably could be developed, the one described in this report seems to fit current understanding of the unsaturated flow through a section of layered, fractured-rock formations with contrasting hydrologic properties, such as occurs at Yucca Mountain. 41 refs., 14 figs., 1 tab

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peterman, Zell E.; Cloke, Paul

    2001-01-01

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

  6. Physical processes that control droplet transport in rock fracture systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hay, Katrina Moran

    Aquifer recharge is generally driven by fluids that move from the Earths surface to groundwater through the unsaturated zone, also known as the vadose zone. When the vadose zone is fractured, fluids, which may include contaminants, can move through the fracture network as well as the porous matrix. Such a network of fractures can provide a more rapid path, thereby reducing contact time between the fluid and the matrix. Contact time allows for exchange of solutes between the fluid and the porous matrix, thus being able to quantify contact time is important. In addition, the behavior of fluids within a fracture network has been found to be very complex; large-scale models are yet not able to predict transport paths or flux rates. Because, small-scale flow phenomena can strongly influence the large-scale behavior of fluid movement through systems of fractures, it is important that small-scale dynamics be properly understood in order to improve our predictive capabilities in these complex systems. Relevant flow dynamics includes the impact of boundary conditions, fluid modes that evolve in time and space and transitions between modes. This thesis presents three investigations aimed at understanding the physical processes governing fluid movement in unsaturated fractures, with the ultimate goal of improving predictive relationships for fluid transport in rock fracture systems. These investigations include a theoretical analysis of the wetting of a rough surface, an experimental study of the dynamics of fluid droplets (or liquid bridges) moving in a single fracture and a theoretical analysis of the movement of a fluid droplet encountering a fracture intersection. Each investigation is motivated by environmental applications. Development of an analytical equation for the wetting of a rough surface is based on a balance between capillary forces and frictional resistive forces. The resulting equation predicts movement of the liquid invasion front driven solely by the

  7. NaturAnalogs for the Unsaturated Zone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    A. Simmons; A. Unger; M. Murrell

    2000-03-08

    The purpose of this Analysis/Model Report (AMR) is to document natural and anthropogenic (human-induced) analog sites and processes that are applicable to flow and transport processes expected to occur at the potential Yucca Mountain repository in order to build increased confidence in modeling processes of Unsaturated Zone (UZ) flow and transport. This AMR was prepared in accordance with ''AMR Development Plan for U0135, Natural Analogs for the UZ'' (CRWMS 1999a). Knowledge from analog sites and processes is used as corroborating information to test and build confidence in flow and transport models of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This AMR supports the Unsaturated Zone (UZ) Flow and Transport Process Model Report (PMR) and the Yucca Mountain Site Description. The objectives of this AMR are to test and build confidence in the representation of UZ processes in numerical models utilized in the UZ Flow and Transport Model. This is accomplished by: (1) applying data from Boxy Canyon, Idaho in simulations of UZ flow using the same methodologies incorporated in the Yucca Mountain UZ Flow and Transport Model to assess the fracture-matrix interaction conceptual model; (2) Providing a preliminary basis for analysis of radionuclide transport at Pena Blanca, Mexico as an analog of radionuclide transport at Yucca Mountain; and (3) Synthesizing existing information from natural analog studies to provide corroborating evidence for representation of ambient and thermally coupled UZ flow and transport processes in the UZ Model.

  8. Natural Analogs for the Unsaturated Zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simmons, A.; Unger, A.; Murrell, M.

    2000-01-01

    The purpose of this Analysis/Model Report (AMR) is to document natural and anthropogenic (human-induced) analog sites and processes that are applicable to flow and transport processes expected to occur at the potential Yucca Mountain repository in order to build increased confidence in modeling processes of Unsaturated Zone (UZ) flow and transport. This AMR was prepared in accordance with ''AMR Development Plan for U0135, Natural Analogs for the UZ'' (CRWMS 1999a). Knowledge from analog sites and processes is used as corroborating information to test and build confidence in flow and transport models of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This AMR supports the Unsaturated Zone (UZ) Flow and Transport Process Model Report (PMR) and the Yucca Mountain Site Description. The objectives of this AMR are to test and build confidence in the representation of UZ processes in numerical models utilized in the UZ Flow and Transport Model. This is accomplished by: (1) applying data from Boxy Canyon, Idaho in simulations of UZ flow using the same methodologies incorporated in the Yucca Mountain UZ Flow and Transport Model to assess the fracture-matrix interaction conceptual model; (2) Providing a preliminary basis for analysis of radionuclide transport at Pena Blanca, Mexico as an analog of radionuclide transport at Yucca Mountain; and (3) Synthesizing existing information from natural analog studies to provide corroborating evidence for representation of ambient and thermally coupled UZ flow and transport processes in the UZ Model

  9. Enhancing in situ bioremediation with pneumatic fracturing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anderson, D.B.; Peyton, B.M.; Liskowitz, J.L.; Fitzgerald, C.; Schuring, J.R.

    1994-04-01

    A major technical obstacle affecting the application of in situ bioremediation is the effective distribution of nutrients to the subsurface media. Pneumatic fracturing can increase the permeability of subsurface formations through the injection of high pressure air to create horizontal fracture planes, thus enhancing macro-scale mass-transfer processes. Pneumatic fracturing technology was demonstrated at two field sites at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Tests were performed to increase the permeability for more effective bioventing, and evaluated the potential to increase permeability and recovery of free product in low permeability soils consisting of fine grain silts, clays, and sedimentary rock. Pneumatic fracturing significantly improved formation permeability by enhancing secondary permeability and by promoting removal of excess soil moisture from the unsaturated zone. Postfracture airflows were 500% to 1,700% higher than prefracture airflows for specific fractured intervals in the formation. This corresponds to an average prefracturing permeability of 0.017 Darcy, increasing to an average of 0.32 Darcy after fracturing. Pneumatic fracturing also increased free-product recovery rates of number 2 fuel from an average of 587 L (155 gal) per month before fracturing to 1,647 L (435 gal) per month after fracturing

  10. The behavior of biogenic silica-rich rocks and volcanic tuffs as pozzolanic additives in cement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fragoulis, Dimitris; Stamatakis, Michael; Anastasatou, Marianthi

    2015-04-01

    Cements currently produced, include a variety of pozzolanic materials, aiming for lower clinker addition and utilization of vast deposits of certain raw materials and/or mining wastes and byproducts. The major naturally occurring pozzolanic materials include glassy tuffs, zeolitic tuffs, diatomites and volcanic lavas rich in glassy phase, such as perlites. Therefore, based on the available raw materials in different locations, the cement composition might vary according to the accessibility of efficient pozzolanic materials. In the present investigation, the behavior of pozzolanic cements produced with representative samples of the aforementioned materials was studied, following the characterization of the implemented pozzolanas with respect to their chemical and mineralogical characteristics. Laboratory cements were produced by co-grinding 75% clinker, 5% gypsum and 20% pozzolana, for the same period of time (45 min). Regarding pozzolanic materials, four different types of pozzolanas were utilized namely, diatomite, perlite, zeolite tuff and glassy tuff. More specifically, two diatomite samples originated from Australia and Greece, with high and low reactive silica content respectively, two perlite samples originated from Turkey and from Milos Island, Greece, with different reactive silica contents, a zeolite tuff sample originated from Turkey and a glassy tuff sample originated from Milos Island, Greece. The above pozzolana samples, which were ground in the laboratory ball mill for cement production performed differently during grinding and that was reflected upon the specific surface area (cm2/gr) values. The perlites and the glassy tuff were the hardest to grind, whereas, the zeolite tuff and the Australian diatomite were the easiest ones. However, the exceedingly high specific surface area of the Australian diatomite renders cement difficult to transport and tricky to use for concrete manufacturing, due to the high water demand of the cement mixture. Regarding

  11. Uranium-series constraints on radionuclide transport and groundwater flow at the Nopal I uranium deposit, Sierra Pena Blanca, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, Steven J; Abdel-Fattah, Amr I; Murrell, Michael T; Dobson, Patrick F; Norman, Deborah E; Amato, Ronald S; Nunn, Andrew J

    2010-03-01

    Uranium-series data for groundwater samples from the Nopal I uranium ore deposit were obtained to place constraints on radionuclide transport and hydrologic processes for a nuclear waste repository located in fractured, unsaturated volcanic tuff. Decreasing uranium concentrations for wells drilled in 2003 are consistent with a simple physical mixing model that indicates that groundwater velocities are low ( approximately 10 m/y). Uranium isotopic constraints, well productivities, and radon systematics also suggest limited groundwater mixing and slow flow in the saturated zone. Uranium isotopic systematics for seepage water collected in the mine adit show a spatial dependence which is consistent with longer water-rock interaction times and higher uranium dissolution inputs at the front adit where the deposit is located. Uranium-series disequilibria measurements for mostly unsaturated zone samples indicate that (230)Th/(238)U activity ratios range from 0.005 to 0.48 and (226)Ra/(238)U activity ratios range from 0.006 to 113. (239)Pu/(238)U mass ratios for the saturated zone are 1000 times lower than the U mobility. Saturated zone mobility decreases in the order (238)U approximately (226)Ra > (230)Th approximately (239)Pu. Radium and thorium appear to have higher mobility in the unsaturated zone based on U-series data from fractures and seepage water near the deposit.

  12. Uranium-series constraints on radionuclide transport and groundwater flow at the Nopal I uranium deposit, Sierra Pena Blanca, Mexico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goldstein, S.J.; Abdel-Fattah, A.I.; Murrell, M.T.; Dobson, P.F.; Norman, D.E.; Amato, R.S.; Nunn, A.J.

    2009-01-01

    Uranium-series data for groundwater samples from the Nopal I uranium ore deposit were obtained to place constraints on radionuclide transport and hydrologic processes for a nuclear waste repository located in fractured, unsaturated volcanic tuff. Decreasing uranium concentrations for wells drilled in 2003 are consistent with a simple physical mixing model that indicates that groundwater velocities are low (∼10 m/y). Uranium isotopic constraints, well productivities, and radon systematics also suggest limited groundwater mixing and slow flow in the saturated zone. Uranium isotopic systematics for seepage water collected in the mine adit show a spatial dependence which is consistent with longer water-rock interaction times and higher uranium dissolution inputs at the front adit where the deposit is located. Uranium-series disequilibria measurements for mostly unsaturated zone samples indicate that 230 Th/ 238 U activity ratios range from 0.005-0.48 and 226 Ra/ 238 U activity ratios range from 0.006-113. 239 Pu/ 238 U mass ratios for the saturated zone are -14 , and Pu mobility in the saturated zone is >1000 times lower than the U mobility. Saturated zone mobility decreases in the order 238 U∼ 226 Ra > 230 Th∼ 239 Pu. Radium and thorium appear to have higher mobility in the unsaturated zone based on U-series data from fractures and seepage water near the deposit.

  13. Nonisothermal hydrologic transport experimental plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rasmussen, T.C.; Evans, D.D.

    1992-09-01

    A field heater experimental plan is presented for investigating hydrologic transport processes in unsaturated fractured rock related to the disposal of high-level radioactive waste (HLW) in an underground repository. The experimental plan provides a methodology for obtaining data required for evaluating conceptual and computer models related to HLW isolation in an environment where significant heat energy is produced. Coupled-process models are currently limited by the lack of validation data appropriate for field scales that incorporate relevant transport processes. Presented in this document is a discussion of previous nonisothermal experiments. Processes expected to dominate heat-driven liquid, vapor, gas, and solute flow during the experiment are explained, and the conceptual model for nonisothermal flow and transport in unsaturated, fractured rock is described. Of particular concern is the ability to confirm the hypothesized conceptual model specifically, the establishment of higher water saturation zones within the host rock around the heat source, and the establishment of countercurrent flow conditions within the host rock near the heat source. Field experimental plans are presented using the Apache Leap Tuff Site to illustrate the implementation of the proposed methodology. Both small-scale preliminary experiments and a long-term experiment are described

  14. K-Ar age estimate for the KBS Tuff, East Turkana, Kenya

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McDougall, I.; Maier, R.; Sutherland-Hawkes, P.; Gleadow, A.J.W.

    1980-01-01

    Stone tools and numerous vertebrate fossils including hominids, have been found in close stratigraphic proximity to the KBS Tuff, whose age has been the subject of much debate. Concordant K-Ar ages, averaging 1.89 +- 0.01 Myr, are reported on anorthoclase phenocrysts from 13 pumice clasts collected from within the KBS Tuff or its correlatives. It is believed that this age is the best estimate currently available for the time of formation of this important marker horizon within the East Turkana Basin. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Steven I.; Noble, Donald C.

    1989-05-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1993-05-01

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

  17. Wetted-region structure in horizontal unsaturated fractures: Water entry through the surrounding porous matrix

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Glass, R.J.; Norton, D.L.

    1991-01-01

    Small-scale processes that influence wetted structure within the plane of a horizontal fracture as the fracture wets or drains through the matrix are investigated. Our approach integrates both aperture-scale modeling and physical experimentation. Several types of aperture-scale models have been defined and implemented. A series of physical experimental systems that allow us to measure wetted-region structure as a function of system parameters and water pressure head in analogue fractures also have been designed. In our preliminary proof-of-concept experiment, hysteresis is clearly evident in the measured saturation/pressure relation, as is the process of air entrapment, which causes a reduction in the connected areas between blocks and the wetted region available for flow in the plane of the fracture. A percolation threshold where the system is quickly spanned, allowing fluid conduction in the fracture plane, is observed which is analogous to that found in the aperture-scale models. A fractal wetted and entrapped-region structure is suggested by both experiment and modeling. This structure implies that flow tortuosity for both flow in the fracture and for inter-block fluid transfer is a scale-dependent function of pressure head

  18. Biogas cleaning and upgrading with natural zeolites from tuffs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paolini, Valerio; Petracchini, Francesco; Guerriero, Ettore; Bencini, Alessandro; Drigo, Serena

    2016-01-01

    CO2 adsorption on synthetic zeolites has become a consolidated approach for biogas upgrading to biomethane. As an alternative to synthetic zeolites, tuff waste from building industry was investigated in this study: indeed, this material is available at a low price and contains a high fraction of natural zeolites. A selective adsorption of CO2 and H2S towards CH4 was confirmed, allowing to obtain a high-purity biomethane (CO2 biogas samples were used, and no significant effects due to biogas impurities (e.g. humidity, dust, moisture, etc.) were observed. Thermal and vacuum regenerations were also optimized and confirmed to be possible, without significant variations in efficiency. Hence, natural zeolites from tuffs may successfully be used in a pressure/vacuum swing adsorption process.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1994-11-01

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

  20. Evaporative water loss from welded tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hadley, G.R.; Turner, J.R. Jr.

    1980-04-01

    Welded tuff is one of the many candidate rocks presently being considered as a host medium for the disposal of radioactive waste. In the case where the disposal site lies above the water table, the host rock will in general be only partially saturated. This condition leads to a number of mass transfer processes of interest, including evaporative drying, two-phase water flow due to pressure gradients, capillary movement, plus others. Although these processes have all been known about for decades, it is not clear at this time what the relative importance of each is with regard to geologic media in a waste disposal environment. In particular, there seems to be no data available for tuff that would allow an investigator to sort out mechanisms. This work is intended to be a start in that direction. This paper reports the measurement of water loss rate for welded tuff at various temperatures due to the action of evaporative drying. The initial saturation was unknown, but the average initial water content was found to be 7% by weight. The resulting data show that the water loss rate declines monotonically with time at a given temperature and increases with increasing temperature as expected. Somewhat surprising, however, is the fact that over 90% of the water from a sample was lost by evaporation at room temperature within 72 hours. All the water loss data, including that taken at temperatures as high as 150 0 C, are explained to within a factor of two by a simple evaporation front model. The latter assumes the water is lost by the molecular diffusion of water vapor from a receding evaporation front. The motion of the evaporation front seems to depend on mass balance rather than energy balance. Capillary forces and the resulting liquid diffusion are evidently not strong enough to wash out the evaporation front, since the front model seems to fit the data well

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2005-10-07

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

  2. The movement of groundwater flow in unsaturated fractured porous medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Jinxuan

    1995-01-01

    The author analyses the fundamental processes governing infiltration in fractured porous rock. Asymptotic solutions for the front movement are given for each flow period and comparisons with numerical solutions are made. The result of the study is relevant to nuclear waste storage, hazardous waste disposal and petroleum recovery

  3. Evenly-spaced columns in the Bishop Tuff as relicts of hydrothermal convection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randolph-Flagg, N. G.; Breen, S. J.; Hernandez, A.; Self, S.; Manga, M.

    2015-12-01

    A few square km of the Bishop Tuff in eastern California, USA have evenly spaced erosional columns. These columns are more resistant to erosion due to the precipitation of the low-temperature zeolite (120-200 ºC), mordenite, which is not found in the surrounding tuff. Similar features observed in the Bandelier Tuff were hypothesized to form when cold water from above infiltrated into the still-hot tuff interior. This water would become gravitationally unstable and produced convection with steam upwellings and liquid water downwellings. These downwellings became cemented with mordenite while the upwellings were too dry for chemical reactions. We use two methods to quantitatively assess this hypothesis. First, scaling that ignores the effects of latent heat and mineral precipitation suggests the Rayleigh number (Ra, a measure of convective vigor) for this system is ~103 well above the critical Ra of 4π2. Second, to account for the effect of multiphase flow and latent heat, we use two-dimensional numerical models in the finite difference code HYDROTHERM. We find that the geometry of flow is consistent with field observations and confirm that geometry is sensitive to permeability and topography. These tests suggest a few things about low-pressure hydrothermal systems. 1) The geometry of at least some convection appears to be broadly captured by linear stability theory that ignores reactive transport, heterogeneity of host rock, and the effects of latent heat. 2) Topographic flow sets the wavelength of convection meaning that these columns formed somewhere without topography—probably a lake. Finally, these observations imply a wet paleoclimate in the Eastern Sierra namely that, in the aftermath of the Long Valley eruption, either rain or snow was able to pool in the caldera before the tuff cooled on the order of a hundred years after the eruption.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gertsch, R.; Ozdemir, L.

    1992-09-01

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

  5. Performance testing of waste forms in a tuff environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oversby, V.M.

    1983-11-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Bench-scale experimental determination of the thermal diffusivity of crushed tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ryder, E.E.; Finley, R.E.; George, J.T.; Ho, C.K.; Longenbaugh, R.S.; Connolly, J.R.

    1996-06-01

    A bench-scale experiment was designed and constructed to determine the effective thermal diffusivity of crushed tuff. Crushed tuff particles ranging from 12.5 mm to 37.5 mm (0.5 in. to 1.5 in.) were used to fill a cylindrical volume of 1.58 m 3 at an effective porosity of 0.48. Two iterations of the experiment were completed; the first spanning approximately 502 hours and the second 237 hours. Temperatures near the axial heater reached 700 degrees C, with a significant volume of the test bed exceeding 100 degrees C. Three post-test analysis techniques were used to estimate the thermal diffusivity of the crushed tuff. The first approach used nonlinear parameter estimation linked to a one dimensional radial conduction model to estimate thermal diffusivity from the first 6 hours of test data. The second method used the multiphase TOUGH2 code in conjunction with the first 20 hours of test data not only to estimate the crushed tuffs thermal diffusivity, but also to explore convective behavior within the test bed. Finally, the nonlinear conduction code COYOTE-II was used to determine thermal properties based on 111 hours of cool-down data. The post-test thermal diffusivity estimates of 5.0 x 10-7 m 2 /s to 6.6 x 10-7 m 2 /s were converted to effective thermal conductivities and compared to estimates obtained from published porosity-based relationships. No obvious match between the experimental data and published relationships was found to exist; however, additional data for other particle sizes and porosities are needed

  8. 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

  9. Mo and Ni Removal from Drinking Water Using Zeolitic Tuff from Jordan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khalil M. Ibrahim

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Mo and Ni metals could be hazardous in natural waters. The initial Mo and Ni concentration in the sampled domestic drinking water of north Jordan is 550 and 110 μg/L, respectively. The efficiency of using natural faujasite–phillipsite and phillipsite–chabazite tuffs in removing Mo and Ni from contaminated drinking water was tested. Batch experiments using different weights of the adsorbent were conducted at different contact times to determine the optimum conditions. The maximal uptake capacity of Mo from drinking water was equivalent to 440–420 μg/g adsorbent. The maximum removal efficiency of Mo by faujasite–phillipsite, phillipsite–chabazite, and the modified surfactant phillipsite–chabazite tuffs were 80%, 76%, and 78%, respectively. The proportional relationship between contact time and removal efficiency of Ni from water samples was observed. The maximum removal efficiency of Ni by the zeolitic tuffs is up to 90% compared to the original groundwater sample.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  11. Laboratory testing on infiltration in single synthetic fractures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherubini, Claudia; Pastore, Nicola; Li, Jiawei; Giasi, Concetta I.; Li, Ling

    2017-04-01

    An understanding of infiltration phenomena in unsaturated rock fractures is extremely important in many branches of engineering for numerous reasons. Sectors such as the oil, gas and water industries are regularly interacting with water seepage through rock fractures, yet the understanding of the mechanics and behaviour associated with this sort of flow is still incomplete. An apparatus has been set up to test infiltration in single synthetic fractures in both dry and wet conditions. To simulate the two fracture planes, concrete fractures have been moulded from 3D printed fractures with varying geometrical configurations, in order to analyse the influence of aperture and roughness on infiltration. Water flows through the single fractures by means of a hydraulic system composed by an upstream and a downstream reservoir, the latter being subdivided into five equal sections in order to measure the flow rate in each part to detect zones of preferential flow. The fractures have been set at various angles of inclination to investigate the effect of this parameter on infiltration dynamics. The results obtained identified that altering certain fracture parameters and conditions produces relevant effects on the infiltration process through the fractures. The main variables influencing the formation of preferential flow are: the inclination angle of the fracture, the saturation level of the fracture and the mismatch wavelength of the fracture.

  12. Environmental effects on corrosion in the Tuff repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beavers, J.A.; Thompson, N.G.

    1990-02-01

    Cortest Columbus is investigating the long-term performance of container materials used for high-level waste packages as part of the information needed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to assess the Department of Energy's application to construct a geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. The scope of work consists of employing short-term techniques, to examine a wide range of possible failure modes. Long-term tests are being used to verify and further examine specific failure modes identified as important by the short-term studies. The original focus of the program was on the salt repository but the emphasis was shifted to the Tuff repository. This report summarizes the results of a literature survey performed under Task 1 of the program. The survey focuses on the influence of environmental variables on the corrosion behavior of candidate container materials for the Tuff repository. Environmental variables considered include: radiation, thermal and microbial effects. 80 refs., 44 figs., 44 tabs

  13. Unsaturated flow and transport research questions and priorities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chery, D.L.

    1993-01-01

    A little over two years ago, a similar meeting (Workshop IV - Flow and Transport through Unsaturated Fractured Rock; Related to High-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal) was held her in Tucson, Arizona, to discuss the same issues discussed here the past 4 days. This presentation revisits what was said 2 years ago, reviews research needs that have been articulated by the licensing staff of the Division of High-Level Waste Management, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and presents some of the thoughts on research needs resulting from the deliberations of a special committee of the National Research Council. After considering these aspects the questions of what has been accomplished in the past 2 years and where attention and energies should be focused in the coming few years, can be asked. 3 refs

  14. Corrosion testing of type 304L stainless steel in tuff groundwater environments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Westerman, R.E.; Pitman, S.G.; Haberman, J.H.

    1987-11-01

    The stress-corrosion cracking (SCC) resistance of Type 304L stainless steel (SS) to elevated temperatures in tuff rock and tuff groundwater environments was determined under irradiated and nonirradiated conditions using U-bend specimens and slow-strain-rate tests. The steel was tested both in the solution-annealed condition and after sensitization heat treatments. The material was found to be susceptible to SCC in both the solution-annealed and solution-annealed-and-sensitized conditions when exposed to an irradiated crushed tuff rock environment containing air and water vapor at 90 0 C. A similar exposure at 50 0 C did not result in failure after a 25-month test duration. Specimens of sensitized 304 SS conditioned with a variety of sensitization heat treatments resisted failure during a test of 1-year duration in which a nonirradiated environment of tuff rock and groundwater held at 200 0 C was allowed to boil to dryness on a cyclical basis. All specimens of sensitized 304 SS exposed to this environment failed. Slow-strain-rate studies were performed on 304L, 304, and 316L SS specimens. The 304L SS was tested in J-13 well water at 150 0 C, and the 316L SS at 95 0 C. Neither material showed evidence of SCC in these tests. Sensitized 304 SS did exhibit SCC in J-13 well water in tests conducted at 150 0 C. 12 refs., 27 figs., 13 tabs

  15. Laboratory experiments on heat-drive two-phase flows in natural and artificial rock fractures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kneafsey, Timothy J.; Pruess, Karsten

    1998-01-01

    Water flow in partially saturated fractures under thermal drive may lead to fast flow along preferential localized pathways and heat pipe conditions. At the potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, water flowing in fast pathways may ultimately contact waste packages and transport radionuclides to the accessible environment. Sixteen experiments were conducted to visualize heat-driven liquid flow in fracture models that included (1) assemblies of roughened glass plates, (2) epoxy replicas of rock fractures, and (3) a fractured specimen of Topopah Spring tuff. Continuous rivulet flow was observed for high liquid flow rates, intermittent rivulet flow and drop flow for intermediate flow rates, and film flow for lower flow rates and wide apertures. Heat pipe conditions (vapor-liquid counterflow with phase change) were identified in five of the seven experiments in which spatially resolved thermal monitoring was performed but not when vapor-liquid counterflow was hindered by very narrow apertures and when an inadequate working fluid volume was used

  16. Slug flow model for infiltration into fractured porous media

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martinez, M.J.

    1999-01-01

    A model for transient infiltration into a periodically fractured porous layer is presented. The fracture is treated as a permeable-walled slot and the moisture distribution is in the form of a slug being an advancing meniscus. The wicking of moisture from the fracture to the unsaturated porous matrix is a nonlinear diffusion process and is approximately by self-similar solutions. The resulting model is a nonlinear Volterra integral equation with a weakly singular kernel. Numerical analysis provides solutions over a wide range of the parameter space and reveals the asymptotic forms of the penetration of this slug in terms of dimensionless variables arising in the model. The numerical solutions corroborate asymptotic results given earlier by Nitao and Buscheck (1991), and by Martinez (1988). Some implications for the transport of liquid in fractured rock are discussed

  17. Methodology for determining time-dependent mechanical properties of tuff subjected to near-field repository conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blacic, J.D.; Andersen, R.

    1983-01-01

    We have established a methodology to determine the time dependence of strength and transport properties of tuff under conditions appropriate to a nuclear waste repository. Exploratory tests to determine the approximate magnitudes of thermomechanical property changes are nearly complete. In this report we describe the capabilities of an apparatus designed to precisely measure the time-dependent deformation and permeability of tuff at simulated repository conditions. Preliminary tests with this new apparatus indicate that microclastic creep failure of tuff occurs over a narrow strain range with little precursory Tertiary creep behavior. In one test, deformation under conditions of slowly decreasing effective pressure resulted in failure, whereas some strain indicators showed a decreasing rate of strain

  18. Methodology for determining time-dependent mechanical properties of tuff subjected to near-field repository conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blacic, J.D.; Andersen, R.

    1983-01-01

    We have established a methodology to determine the time dependence of strength and transport properties of tuff under conditions appropriate to a nuclear waste repository. Exploratory tests to determine the approximate magnitudes of thermomechanical property changes are nearly complete. In this report we describe the capabilities of an apparatus designed to precisely measure the time-dependent deformation and permeability of tuff at simulated repository conditions. Preliminary tests with this new apparatus indicate that microclastic creep failure of tuff occurs over a narrow strain range with little precursory Tertiary creep behavior. In one test, deformation under conditions of slowly decreasing effective pressure resulted in failure, whereas some strain indicators showed a decreasing rate of strain.

  19. Stress corrosion cracking tests on high-level-waste container materials in simulated tuff repository environments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abraham, T.; Jain, H.; Soo, P.

    1986-06-01

    Types 304L, 316L, and 321 austenitic stainless steel and Incoloy 825 are being considered as candidate container materials for emplacing high-level waste in a tuff repository. The stress corrosion cracking susceptibility of these materials under simulated tuff repository conditions was evaluated by using the notched C-ring method. The tests were conducted in boiling synthetic groundwater as well as in the steam/air phase above the boiling solutions. All specimens were in contact with crushed Topopah Spring tuff. The investigation showed that microcracks are frequently observed after testing as a result of stress corrosion cracking or intergranular attack. Results showing changes in water chemistry during test are also presented

  20. Uranium-series constraints on radionuclide transport and groundwater flow at the Nopal I uranium deposit, Sierra Pena Blanca, Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goldstein, S.J.; Abdel-Fattah, A.I.; Murrell, M.T.; Dobson, P.F.; Norman, D.E.; Amato, R.S.; Nunn, A. J.

    2009-10-01

    Uranium-series data for groundwater samples from the Nopal I uranium ore deposit were obtained to place constraints on radionuclide transport and hydrologic processes for a nuclear waste repository located in fractured, unsaturated volcanic tuff. Decreasing uranium concentrations for wells drilled in 2003 are consistent with a simple physical mixing model that indicates that groundwater velocities are low ({approx}10 m/y). Uranium isotopic constraints, well productivities, and radon systematics also suggest limited groundwater mixing and slow flow in the saturated zone. Uranium isotopic systematics for seepage water collected in the mine adit show a spatial dependence which is consistent with longer water-rock interaction times and higher uranium dissolution inputs at the front adit where the deposit is located. Uranium-series disequilibria measurements for mostly unsaturated zone samples indicate that {sup 230}Th/{sup 238}U activity ratios range from 0.005-0.48 and {sup 226}Ra/{sup 238}U activity ratios range from 0.006-113. {sup 239}Pu/{sup 238}U mass ratios for the saturated zone are <2 x 10{sup -14}, and Pu mobility in the saturated zone is >1000 times lower than the U mobility. Saturated zone mobility decreases in the order {sup 238}U{approx}{sup 226}Ra > {sup 230}Th{approx}{sup 239}Pu. Radium and thorium appear to have higher mobility in the unsaturated zone based on U-series data from fractures and seepage water near the deposit.

  1. Sorption and desorption of remazol yellow by a Fe-zeolitic tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Solache R, M. J.; Villalva C, R.; Diaz N, M. C.

    2010-01-01

    The adsorption of remazol yellow from aqueous solution was evaluated using a Fe-zeolitic tuff. The adsorbent was characterized by scanning electron microscopy, IR spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. Sorption kinetic and isotherms were determined and the adsorption behavior was analyzed. Kinetic pseudo-second order and Langmuir-Freundlich models were successfully applied to the experimental results, indicating chemisorption on a heterogeneous material. The regeneration of the material was best accomplished by using a H 2 O 2 solution. The sorption capacity of the Fe-zeolitic tuff increased when the saturated samples were treated with a H 2O2 or FeCl 3 solution. (Author)

  2. Sorption and desorption of remazol yellow by a Fe-zeolitic tuff

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Solache R, M. J. [ININ, Departamento de Quimica, Carretera Mexico-Toluca s/n, 52750 Ocoyoacac, Estado de Mexico (Mexico); Villalva C, R.; Diaz N, M. C., E-mail: marcos.solache@inin.gob.m [Instituto Tecnologico de Toluca, Division de Estudios del Posgrado, Av. Tecnologico s/n, Ex-Rancho La Virgen, 52140 Metepec, Estado de Mexico (Mexico)

    2010-07-01

    The adsorption of remazol yellow from aqueous solution was evaluated using a Fe-zeolitic tuff. The adsorbent was characterized by scanning electron microscopy, IR spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. Sorption kinetic and isotherms were determined and the adsorption behavior was analyzed. Kinetic pseudo-second order and Langmuir-Freundlich models were successfully applied to the experimental results, indicating chemisorption on a heterogeneous material. The regeneration of the material was best accomplished by using a H{sub 2}O{sub 2} solution. The sorption capacity of the Fe-zeolitic tuff increased when the saturated samples were treated with a H{sub 2O2} or FeCl{sub 3} solution. (Author)

  3. Modeling Raw Sewage Leakage and Transport in the Unsaturated Zone of Carbonate Aquifer Using Carbamazepine as an Indicator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yakirevich, A.; Kuznetsov, M.; Livshitz, Y.; Gasser, G.; Pankratov, I.; Lev, O.; Adar, E.; Dvory, N. Z.

    2016-12-01

    Fast contamination of groundwater in karstic aquifers can be caused due to leaky sewers, for example, or overflow from sewer networks. When flowing through a karst system, wastewater has the potential to reach the aquifer in a relatively short time. The Western Mountain Aquifer (Yarkon-Taninim) of Israel is one of the country's major water resources. During late winter 2013, maintenance actions were performed on a central sewage pipe that caused raw sewage to leak into the creek located in the study area. The subsequent infiltration of sewage through the thick ( 100 m) fractured/karst unsaturated zone led to a sharp increase in contaminant concentrations in the groundwater, which was monitored in a well located 29 meters from the center of the creek. Carbamazepine (CBZ) was used as an indicator for the presence of untreated raw sewage and its quantification in groundwater. The ultimate research goal was to develop a mathematical model for quantifying flow and contaminant transport processes in the fractured-porous unsaturated zone and karstified groundwater system. A quasi-3D dual permeability numerical model, representing the 'vadose zone - aquifer' system, was developed by a series of 1D equations solved in variably-saturated zone and by 3D-saturated flow and transport equation in groundwater. The 1D and 3D equations were coupled at the moving phreatic surface. The model was calibrated and applied to a simulated water flow scenario and CBZ transport during and after the observed sewage leakage event. The results of simulation showed that after the leakage stopped, significant amounts of CBZ were retained in the porous matrix of the unsaturated zone below the creek. Water redistribution and slow recharge during the dry summer season contributed to elevated CBZ concentrations in the groundwater in the vicinity of the creek and tens of meters downstream. The resumption of autumn rains enhanced flushing of CBZ from the unsaturated zone and led to an increase in

  4. Multiple tracing experiments in unsaturated fractured clayey till

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mortensen, Annette Pia; Jensen, Karsten Høgh; Nilsson, B.

    2004-01-01

    control of the water balance in the block. Experiments at three different steady-state flow rates were performed. Multiple tracers with different diffusion coefficients were applied in each experiment to evaluate the influence of diffusive exchange between fractures and the matrix. The tracers included...... a fast peak was followed by a long tailing period. At flow rates, two of the applied tracers revealed a double peak breakthrough curve, whereas the tracer with the lowest molecular diffusion coefficient showed only one peak. The separation of the tracers was hypothesized to be influenced by extensive...... two halogen anions ( Cl- and Br-), two fluorobenzoic acids (FBA) ( 2,3-DFBA and 2,6-DFBA), two fluorescent dyes (uranine and sulforhodamine B), and one colloidal tracer (0.5-mum mlatex particles). At high flow rates, the obtained tracer breakthrough showed a traditional asymmetrical behavior where...

  5. Juvenile fragment studies on lapilli tuffs of the Messel maar-diatreme-volcano, Germany: implications for rockmagnetic properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitzsche, T.; de Wall, H.; Rolf, C.; Schuessler, U.

    2006-12-01

    In 2001 the 433 m deep Messel 2001 bore hole was drilled in the centre of the Messel Pit, 25 km south of Frankfurt (Germany). Interdisciplinary, geoscientific results obtained from this drilling proved the origin of the circular-shaped basin as a maar-diatreme-structure beneath the surface. Recovered deposits consist of sedimentary rocks (0-240 m) and volcaniclastic rocks such as lapilli tuffs (240-373 m) as well as rocks of the underlying diatreme breccia (373-433 m). The lapilli tuffs, as matter of interest here, show little differentiation on a macro- and microscopic scale and appear as unsorted volcaniclastics with dominating juvenile lapilli and accidental clasts in the range of (sub)millimetres to centimetres in diameter. Decimeter-sized blocks of the crystalline basement occur at certain depths, but are comparatively scarce and inconspicuous, concerning the total thickness of the tuffs. Rock magnetic properties measured on core samples of the lapilli tuffs explain the origin of detected downhole magnetic anomalies performed during the drilling project 2001. Thereby, the juvenile fragments as main carrier of ferrimagnetic minerals (titano-magnetites) specify the rock magnetic character of the volcanic material and account for downhole logging data of the magnetic susceptibility (MS) and the natural remanent magnetisation (NRM). Besides similar remanence acquisition properties throughout the lapilli tuffs, differences in the magnetic stability behaviour are realised for the upper and lower half of the tuffs. Thermal magnetic experiments prove the magnetic differences and the acquisition of (partial) thermal remanent magnetisation (pTRM), respectively, and allow estimations of emplacement temperatures 300 ° C for the lower half of the lapilli tuffs. This study deals with image analytical and geochemical investigations on juvenile fragments as implication for the rock magnetic results and provides insights into the heat and magma source of the Messel maar

  6. Computational and Experimental Investigation of Contaminant Plume Response to DNAPL Source Zone Architecture and Depletion in Porous and Fractured Media

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-01

    sandstone blocks in various configurations across 1000 μm, smooth-walled fractures. We hypothesize that a second mechanism for fracture cross flow is...content (as the sand is made of nearly pure quartz sandstone , it has been assumed that the organic carbon content is zero).The second column (C3) consisted...large diameter cylindrical sample of unsaturated fractured sandstone in the laboratory. The three-dimensional reconstructions of the high diffusivity

  7. Radiation chemical effects in experiments to study the reaction of glass in an environment of gamma-irradiated air, groundwater, and tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Konynenburg, R.A.

    1986-01-01

    The results of experiments performed by John K. Bates et al. on the reaction of nuclear waste glass with a gamma-irradiated 90 0 C aqueous solution were analyzed using theory developed from past research in radiation chemistry. The aqueous solution they used is similar to what would be expected in a water-saturated environment in a nuclear waste repository in tuff. The purpose of our study was to develop an understanding of the radiation-chemical processes that occurred in the Bates et al. experiments so the results could be applied to the design and performance analysis of a proposed repository in unsaturated tuff in Nevada. For the Bates et al. experiments at the highest dose (269 Mrad), which originally contained about 16 ml of ''equilibrated'' water taken from Nevada Test Site Well J-13 and 5.4 ml of air, we predicted that water decomposition to H 2 and O 2 would produce a pressure increase of at least 1.0 MPa at 20 0 C. We also predicted that nitrogen fixation from the air would occur, producing an increase of 1.6 x 10 -4 M in total fixed nitrogen concentration in solution. In addition, an equimolar production of H + would occur, which would be buffered by the HCO 3 - in the water. The fixed nitrogen in solution was predicted to be present as NO 2 - and NO 3 - with the ratio influenced by the presence of materials catalytic to the decomposition of H 2 O 2 . We found reasonable agreement between our predictions and the observations of Bates et al., where comparisons were possible. We apply the results to the proposed Nevada repository to the degree possible, given the different expected conditions

  8. Stratigraphy, sedimentology and eruptive mechanisms in the tuff cone of El Golfo (Lanzarote, Canary Islands)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedrazzi, Dario; Martí, Joan; Geyer, Adelina

    2013-07-01

    The tuff cone of El Golfo on the western coast of Lanzarote (Canary Islands) is a typical hydrovolcanic edifice. Along with other edifices of the same age, it was constructed along a fracture oriented NEE-SWW that coincides with the main structural trend of recent volcanism in this part of the island. We conducted a detailed stratigraphic study of the succession of deposits present in this tuff cone and here interpret them in light of the depositional processes and eruptive dynamics that we were able to infer. The eruptive sequence is represented by a succession of pyroclastic deposits, most of which were emplaced by flow, plus a number of air-fall deposits and ballistic blocks and bombs. We distinguished five different eruptive/depositional stages on the basis of differences in inferred current flow regimes and fragmentation efficiencies represented by the resulting deposits; the different stages may be related to variations in the explosive energy. Eight lithofacies were identified based on sedimentary discontinuities, grain size, components, variations in primary laminations and bedforms. The volcanic edifice was constructed very rapidly around the vent, and this is inferred to have controlled the amount of water that was able to enter the eruption conduit. The sedimentological characteristics of the deposits and the nature and distribution of palagonitic alteration suggest that most of the pyroclastic succession in El Golfo was deposited in a subaerial environment. This type of hydrovolcanic explosive activity is common in the coastal zones of Lanzarote and the other Canary Islands and is one of the main potential hazards that could threaten the human population of this archipelago. Detailed studies of these hydrovolcanic eruptions such as the one we present here can help volcanologists understand the hazards that this type of eruption can generate and provide essential information for undertaking risk assessment in similar volcanic environments.

  9. Colloid-Facilitated Transport of Cations in an Unsaturated Fractured Soil Under Transient Conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ryan, Joseph [Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)

    2015-01-31

    Rainfall experiments were conducted using intact soil cores and an instrumented soil pedon to examine the effect of physical heterogeneity and rainfall characteristics on the mobilization of colloids, organic matter, cesium, and strontium in a fractured soil. To measure the spatial variability of infiltration of colloids and contaminants, samples were collected through a 19-port grid placed below the soil core in laboratory study and in 27 samplers at multiple depths in the soil pedon in the field study. Cesium and strontium were applied to the soil cores and the soil pedon prior to mobilization experiments. Rainwater solutions of multiple ionic strengths and organic matter concentrations were applied to the soil cores and soil pedon to mobilize in situ colloids, cesium, and strontium. The mobilization of colloids and metal cations occurred through preferential flow paths in the soil cores. Compared to steady rainfall, greater amounts of colloids were mobilized during rainfall interrupted by pauses, which indicates that the supply of colloids to be mobilized was replenished during the pauses. A maximum in the amount of mobilized colloids were mobilized during a rainfall following a pause of 2.5 d. Pauses of shorter or longer duration resulted in less colloid mobilization. Freeze-thaw cycles, a transient condition in winter, enhanced colloid mobilization and colloid-facilitated transport of cesium and strontium in the soil cores. The exchange of solutes between the soil matrix and macropores caused a hysteretic mobilization of colloids, cesium, and strontium during changes in ionic strength. Colloid-facilitated mobilization of cesium and strontium was important at low ionic strength in fractures where slow flow allowed greater exchange of flow between the fractures and the surrounding matrix. The release of cesium and strontium by cation exchange occurred at high ionic strength in fractures where there is a little exchange of pore water with the surrounding matrix

  10. Volcaniclastic dykes tell on fracturing, explosive eruption and lateral collapse at Stromboli volcano (Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vezzoli, Luigina; Corazzato, Claudia

    2016-05-01

    In the upper part of the Stromboli volcano, in the Le Croci and Bastimento areas, two dyke-like bodies of volcanic breccia up to two-metre thick crosscut and intrude the products of Vancori and Neostromboli volcanoes. We describe the lithofacies association of these unusual volcaniclastic dykes, interpret the setting of dyke-forming fractures and the emplacement mechanism of internal deposits, and discuss their probable relationships with the explosive eruption and major lateral collapse events that occurred at the end of the Neostromboli period. The dyke volcaniclastic deposits contain juvenile magmatic fragments (pyroclasts) suggesting a primary volcanic origin. Their petrographic characteristics are coincident with the Neostromboli products. The architecture of the infilling deposits comprises symmetrically-nested volcaniclastic units, separated by sub-vertical boundaries, which are parallel to the dyke margins. The volcanic units are composed of distinctive lithofacies. The more external facies is composed of fine and coarse ash showing sub-vertical laminations, parallel to the contact wall. The central facies comprises stratified, lithic-rich breccia and lapilli-tuff, whose stratification is sub-horizontal and convolute, discordant to the dyke margins. Only at Le Croci dyke, the final unit shows a massive tuff-breccia facies. The volcaniclastic dykes experienced a polyphasic geological evolution comprising three stages. The first phase consisted in fracturing, explosive intrusion related to magma rising and upward injection of magmatic fluids and pyroclasts. The second phase recorded the dilation of fractures and their role as pyroclastic conduits in an explosive eruption possibly coeval with the lateral collapse of the Neostromboli lava cone. Finally, in the third phase, the immediately post-eruption mass-flow remobilization of pyroclastic deposits took place on the volcano slopes.

  11. Research on the calculation method of shale and tuff content: taking tuffaceous reservoirs of X depression in the Hailar–Tamtsag Basin as an example

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Sihui; Huang, Buzhou; Pan, Baozhi; Guo, Yuhang; Fang, Chunhui; Wang, Guiping; Sun, Fengxian; Qiu, Haibo; Jiang, Bici

    2015-01-01

    Shale content is known in reservoir evaluation as an important parameter in well logging. However, the log response characteristics are simultaneously affected by shale and tuff existing in tuffaceous sandstone reservoirs. Due to the fact that tuff content exerts an influence on the calculation of shale content, the former is equally important as the latter. Owing to the differences in the source and composition between shale and tuff, the calculation of tuff content using the same methods for shale content cannot meet the accuracy requirements of logging evaluation. The present study takes the tuffaceous reservoirs in the X depression of the Hailar–Tamtsag Basin as an example. The differences in the log response characteristics between shale and tuff are theoretically analyzed and verified using core analysis data. The tuff is then divided into fine- and coarse-grained fractions, according to the differences in the distribution of the radioactive elements, uranium, thorium and potassium. Next, a volume model suitable for tuffaceous sandstone reservoirs is established to include a sandstone matrix, shale, fine-grained tuff, coarse-grained tuff and pore. A comparison of three optimization algorithms shows that the particle swarm optimization (PSO) yields better calculation results with small mean errors. The resistivity differences among shale, fine-grained tuff and coarse-grained tuff are considered in the calculation of saturation. The water saturation of tuffaceous reservoirs is computed using the improved Poupon’s equation, which is suitable for tuffaceous sandstone reservoirs with low water salinity. The method is used in well Y, and is shown to have a good application effect. (paper)

  12. Preferential flow occurs in unsaturated conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimmo, John R.

    2012-01-01

    Because it commonly generates high-speed, high-volume flow with minimal exposure to solid earth materials, preferential flow in the unsaturated zone is a dominant influence in many problems of infiltration, recharge, contaminant transport, and ecohydrology. By definition, preferential flow occurs in a portion of a medium – that is, a preferred part, whether a pathway, pore, or macroscopic subvolume. There are many possible classification schemes, but usual consideration of preferential flow includes macropore or fracture flow, funneled flow determined by macroscale heterogeneities, and fingered flow determined by hydraulic instability rather than intrinsic heterogeneity. That preferential flow is spatially concentrated associates it with other characteristics that are typical, although not defining: it tends to be unusually fast, to transport high fluxes, and to occur with hydraulic disequilibrium within the medium. It also has a tendency to occur in association with large conduits and high water content, although these are less universal than is commonly assumed. Predictive unsaturated-zone flow models in common use employ several different criteria for when and where preferential flow occurs, almost always requiring a nearly saturated medium. A threshold to be exceeded may be specified in terms of the following (i) water content; (ii) matric potential, typically a value high enough to cause capillary filling in a macropore of minimum size; (iii) infiltration capacity or other indication of incipient surface ponding; or (iv) other conditions related to total filling of certain pores. Yet preferential flow does occur without meeting these criteria. My purpose in this commentary is to point out important exceptions and implications of ignoring them. Some of these pertain mainly to macropore flow, others to fingered or funneled flow, and others to combined or undifferentiated flow modes.

  13. Contrasting perspectives on the Lava Creek Tuff eruption, Yellowstone, from new U-Pb and 40Ar/39Ar age determinations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Colin J. N.; Stelten, Mark E.; Lowenstern, Jacob B.

    2018-06-01

    The youngest major caldera-forming event at Yellowstone was the 630-ka eruption of the Lava Creek Tuff. The tuff as mapped consists of two major ignimbrite packages (members A and B), linked to widespread coeval fall deposits and formation of the Yellowstone Caldera. Subsequent activity included emplacement of numerous rhyolite flows and domes, and development of two structurally resurgent domes (Mallard Lake and Sour Creek) that accommodate strain due to continual uplift/subsidence cycles. Uplifted lithologies previously mapped on and adjacent to Sour Creek dome were thought to include the 2.08-Ma Huckleberry Ridge Tuff, cropping out beneath Lava Creek Tuff members A and B. Mapped outcrops of this Huckleberry Ridge Tuff material were sampled as welded ignimbrite (sample YR345) on Sour Creek dome, and at nearby Bog Creek as welded ignimbrite (YR311) underlain by an indurated lithic lag breccia containing blocks of another welded ignimbrite (YR324). Zircon near-rim U-Pb analyses from these samples yield weighted mean ages of 661 ± 13 ka (YR345: 95% confidence), 655 ± 11 ka (YR311), and 664 ± 15 ka (YR324) (combined weighted mean of 658.8 ± 6.6 ka). We also studied two samples of ignimbrite previously mapped as Huckleberry Ridge Tuff on the northeastern perimeter of the Yellowstone Caldera, 12 km ENE of Sour Creek dome. Sanidines from these samples yield 40Ar/39Ar age estimates of 634.5 ± 6.8 ka (8YC-358) and 630.9 ± 4.1 ka (8YC-359). These age data show that all these units represent previously unrecognized parts of the Lava Creek Tuff and do not have any relationship to the Huckleberry Ridge Tuff. Our observations and data imply that the Lava Creek eruption was more complex than is currently assumed, incorporating two tuff units additional to those currently mapped, and which themselves are separated by a time break sufficient for cooling and some reworking. The presence of a lag breccia suggests that a source vent lay nearby (Caldera boundary in this area

  14. Contrasting perspectives on the Lava Creek Tuff eruption, Yellowstone, from new U–Pb and 40Ar/39Ar age determinations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Colin J. N.; Stelten, Mark; Lowenstern, Jacob B.

    2018-01-01

    The youngest major caldera-forming event at Yellowstone was the ~ 630-ka eruption of the Lava Creek Tuff. The tuff as mapped consists of two major ignimbrite packages (members A and B), linked to widespread coeval fall deposits and formation of the Yellowstone Caldera. Subsequent activity included emplacement of numerous rhyolite flows and domes, and development of two structurally resurgent domes (Mallard Lake and Sour Creek) that accommodate strain due to continual uplift/subsidence cycles. Uplifted lithologies previously mapped on and adjacent to Sour Creek dome were thought to include the ~ 2.08-Ma Huckleberry Ridge Tuff, cropping out beneath Lava Creek Tuff members A and B. Mapped outcrops of this Huckleberry Ridge Tuff material were sampled as welded ignimbrite (sample YR345) on Sour Creek dome, and at nearby Bog Creek as welded ignimbrite (YR311) underlain by an indurated lithic lag breccia containing blocks of another welded ignimbrite (YR324). Zircon near-rim U–Pb analyses from these samples yield weighted mean ages of 661 ± 13 ka (YR345: 95% confidence), 655 ± 11 ka (YR311), and 664 ± 15 ka (YR324) (combined weighted mean of 658.8 ± 6.6 ka). We also studied two samples of ignimbrite previously mapped as Huckleberry Ridge Tuff on the northeastern perimeter of the Yellowstone Caldera, ~ 12 km ENE of Sour Creek dome. Sanidines from these samples yield 40Ar/39Ar age estimates of 634.5 ± 6.8 ka (8YC-358) and 630.9 ± 4.1 ka (8YC-359). These age data show that all these units represent previously unrecognized parts of the Lava Creek Tuff and do not have any relationship to the Huckleberry Ridge Tuff. Our observations and data imply that the Lava Creek eruption was more complex than is currently assumed, incorporating two tuff units additional to those currently mapped, and which themselves are separated by a time break sufficient for cooling and some reworking. The presence of a lag breccia suggests that a source

  15. The unsaturated bistable stochastic resonance system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Wenli; Wang, Juan; Wang, Linze

    2013-09-01

    We investigated the characteristics of the output saturation of the classical continuous bistable system (saturation bistable system) and its impact on stochastic resonance (SR). We further proposed a piecewise bistable SR system (unsaturated bistable system) and developed the expression of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) using the adiabatic approximation theory. Compared with the saturation bistable system, the SNR is significantly improved in our unsaturated bistable SR system. The numerical simulation showed that the unsaturated bistable system performed better in extracting weak signals from strong background noise than the saturation bistable system.

  16. An astronomical age for the Bishop Tuff and concordance with radioisotopic dates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rivera, Tiffany; Zeeden, Christian; Storey, Michael

    2014-01-01

    The Bishop Tuff forms a key stratigraphic horizon for synchronization of Quaternary sedimentary records in North America. The unit stratigraphically overlies the Matuyama-Brunhes geomagnetic polarity reversal by several thousand years; high-precision dating of this tuff may be valuable for regional...... and global correlation of records. The Quaternary time scale is anchored by 40Ar/39Ar ages on lava flows and ash layers where available, with stage boundaries and geomagnetic reversals including astronomically tuned records. However, astronomical dating has not yet validated the high-precision 238U/206Pb...... ages, including new single crystal 40Ar/39Ar sanidine fusion analyses presented here, which demonstrates that concordance through multiple dating techniques is achievable within the Quaternary...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanchez, R.G.; Myers, W.; Stratton, W.

    1996-01-01

    The major objective of this study has been to examine the possibility of a nuclear explosion should 50 to 100 kg of plutonium be mixed with SiO 2 , vitrified, placed within a heavy steel container, and buried in the material known as Nevada tuff. To accomplish this objective, the authors have created a survey of critical states or configurations of mixtures of plutonium, SiO 2 , tuff, and water and examined these data to determine those configurations that might be unstable or autocatalytic. They have identified regions of criticality instability with the possibility of autocatalytic power behavior. Autocatalytic behavior is possible but improbable, for a very limited range of wet systems

  18. Bond strength of cementitious borehole plugs in welded tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akgun, H.; Daemen, J.J.K.

    1991-02-01

    Axial loads on plugs or seals in an underground repository due to gas, water pressures and temperature changes induced subsequent to waste and plug emplacement lead to shear stresses at the plug/rock contact. Therefore, the bond between the plug and rock is a critical element for the design and effectiveness of plugs in boreholes, shafts or tunnels. This study includes a systematic investigation of the bond strength of cementitious borehole plugs in welded tuff. Analytical and numerical analysis of borehole plug-rock stress transfer mechanics is performed. The interface strength and deformation are studied as a function of Young's modulus ratio of plug and rock, plug length and rock cylinder outside-to-inside radius ratio. The tensile stresses in and near an axially loaded plug are analyzed. The frictional interface strength of an axially loaded borehole plug, the effect of axial stress and lateral external stress, and thermal effects are also analyzed. Implications for plug design are discussed. The main conclusion is a strong recommendation to design friction plugs in shafts, drifts, tunnels or boreholes with a minimum length to diameter ratio of four. Such a geometrical design will reduce tensile stresses in the plug and in the host rock to a level which should minimize the risk of long-term deterioration caused by excessive tensile stresses. Push-out tests have been used to determine the bond strength by applying an axial load to cement plugs emplaced in boreholes in welded tuff cylinders. A total of 130 push-out tests have been performed as a function of borehole size, plug length, temperature, and degree of saturation of the host tuff. The use of four different borehole radii enables evaluation of size effects. 119 refs., 42 figs., 20 tabs

  19. Intracrystalline diffusion in clinoptilolite: Implications for radionuclide isolation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roberts, S.K.; Viani, B.E.; Phinney, D.

    1995-01-01

    Experiments have been performed to measure the rate of exchange diffusion in the zeolite clinoptilolite (CL) for elements important to radionuclide isolation at Yucca Mountain, NV. Clinoptilolite is one of the major sorptive minerals in the tuffs at Yucca Mountain, and occurs both as a major component in zeolitized units (Calico Hills), and in fractures in non-zeolitized tuffs (Topopah Spring). Field evidence and numerical modeling suggests that the movement of fluids through the tuff rocks adjacent to the potential repository may occur via episodic flow through fractures. Under conditions of rapid fracture flow the effective sorptive capacity of fracture-lining clinoptilolite may be controlled by exchange diffusion rather than exchange equilibrium

  20. Radionuclide sorption in Yucca Mountain tuffs with J-13 well water: Neptunium, uranium, and plutonium. Yucca Mountain site characterization program milestone 3338

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Triay, I.R.; Cotter, C.R.; Kraus, S.M.; Huddleston, M.H.

    1996-08-01

    We studied the retardation of actinides (neptunium, uranium, and plutonium) by sorption as a function of radionuclide concentration in water from Well J-13 and of tuffs from Yucca Mountain. Three major tuff types were examined: devitrified, vitric, and zeolitic. To identify the sorbing minerals in the tuffs, we conducted batch sorption experiments with pure mineral separates. These experiments were performed with water from Well J-13 (a sodium bicarbonate groundwater) under oxidizing conditions in the pH range from 7 to 8.5. The results indicate that all actinides studied sorb strongly to synthetic hematite and also that Np(V) and U(VI) do not sorb appreciably to devitrified or vitric tuffs, albite, or quartz. The sorption of neptunium onto clinoptilolite-rich tuffs and pure clinoptilolite can be fitted with a sorption distribution coefficient in the concentration range from 1 X 10 -7 to 3 X 10 -5 M. The sorption of uranium onto clinoptilolite-rich tuffs and pure clinoptilolite is not linear in the concentration range from 8 X 10 -8 to 1 X 10 -4 M, and it can be fitted with nonlinear isotherm models (such as the Langmuir or the Freundlich Isotherms). The sorption of neptunium and uranium onto clinoptilolite in J-13 well water increases with decreasing pH in the range from 7 to 8.5. The sorption of plutonium (initially in the Pu(V) oxidation state) onto tuffs and pure mineral separates in J-13 well water at pH 7 is significant. Plutonium sorption decreases as a function of tuff type in the order: zeolitic > vitric > devitrified; and as a function of mineralogy in the order: hematite > clinoptilolite > albite > quartz

  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. Predictions of tracer transport in interwell tracer tests at the C-Hole complex. Yucca Mountain site characterization project report milestone 4077

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reimus, P.W.

    1996-09-01

    This report presents predictions of tracer transport in interwell tracer tests that are to be conducted at the C-Hole complex at the Nevada Test Site on behalf of the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The predictions are used to make specific recommendations about the manner in which the tracer test should be conducted to best satisfy the needs of the Project. The objective of he tracer tests is to study flow and species transport under saturated conditions in the fractured tuffs near Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the site of a potential high-level nuclear waste repository. The potential repository will be located in the unsaturated zone within Yucca Mountain. The saturated zone beneath and around the mountain represents the final barrier to transport to the accessible environment that radionuclides will encounter if they breach the engineered barriers within the repository and the barriers to flow and transport provided by the unsaturated zone. Background information on the C-Holes is provided in Section 1.1, and the planned tracer testing program is discussed in Section 1.2

  4. Effects of tuff waste package components on release from 76-68 simulated waste glass: Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McVay, G.L.; Robinson, G.R.

    1984-04-01

    An experimental matrix has been conducted that will allow evaluation of the effects of waste package constituents on the waste form release behavior in a tuff repository environment. Tuff rock and groundwater were used along with 304L, 316, and 1020M ferrous metals to evaluate release from uranium-doped MCC 76-68 simulated waste glass. One of the major findings was that in the absence of 1020M mild steel, tuff rock powder dominates the system. However, when 1020M mild steel is present, it appears to dominate the system. The rock-dominated system results in suppressed glass-water reaction and leaching while the 1020M-dominated system results in enhanced leaching - but the metal effectively scavenges uranium from solution. The 300-series stainless steels play no significant role in affecting glass leaching characteristics. 6 refs., 28 figs., 5 tabs

  5. Uniaxial compression test series on Bullfrog Tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Price, R.H.; Jones, A.K.; Nimick, K.G.

    1982-04-01

    Nineteen uniaxial compressive experiments were performed on samples of the Bullfrog Member of the Crater Flat Tuff, obtained from drillhole USW-G1 at Yucca Mountain on the Nevada Test Site. The water saturated samples were deformed at a nominal strain rate of 10 -5 sec -1 , atmospheric pressure and room temperature. Resultant unconfined compressive strengths, axial strains to failure, Young's moduli and Poisson's ratios ranged from 4.63 to 153. MPa, .0028 to .0058, 2.03 to 28.9 GPa and .08 to .16, respectively

  6. Evaluating sensitivity of unsaturated soil properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abdel-Rahman, R.O.; El-Kamash, A.M.; Nagy, M.E.; Khalill, M.Y.

    2005-01-01

    The assessment of near surface disposal performance relay on numerical models of groundwater flow and contaminant transport. These models use the unsaturated soil properties as input parameters, which are subject to uncertainty due to measurements errors and the spatial variability in the subsurface environment. To ascertain how much the output of the model will depend on the unsaturated soil properties the parametric sensitivity analysis is used. In this paper, a parametric sensitivity analysis of the Van Genuchten moisture retention characteristic (VGMRC) model will be presented and conducted to evaluate the relative importance of the unsaturated soil properties under different pressure head values that represent various dry and wet conditions. (author)

  7. 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

  8. Geohydrology of Bandelier Tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1981-10-01

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

  9. CAPTURING UNCERTAINTY IN UNSATURATED-ZONE FLOW USING DIFFERENT CONCEPTUAL MODELS OF FRACTURE-MATRIX INTERACTION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    SUSAN J. ALTMAN, MICHAEL L. WILSON, GUMUNDUR S. BODVARSSON

    1998-01-01

    Preliminary calculations show that the two different conceptual models of fracture-matrix interaction presented here yield different results pertinent to the performance of the potential repository at Yucca Mountain. Namely, each model produces different ranges of flow in the fractures, where radionuclide transport is thought to be most important. This method of using different flow models to capture both conceptual model and parameter uncertainty ensures that flow fields used in TSPA calculations will be reasonably calibrated to the available data while still capturing this uncertainty. This method also allows for the use of three-dimensional flow fields for the TSPA-VA calculations

  10. G-Tunnel Welded Tuff Mining experiment evaluations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1988-12-01

    Designers and analysts of radioactive waste repositories must be able to predict the mechanical behavior of the host rock. Sandia National Laboratories elected to conduct a mine-by in welded tuff so that predictive-type information could be obtained regarding the response of the rock to a drill and blast excavation process, where smooth blasting techniques were used. This report describes the results of the mining processes and presents and discusses the rock mass responses to the mining and ground support activities. 37 refs., 20 figs., 7 tabs

  11. Predicting flow through low-permeability, partially saturated, fractured rock: A review of modeling and experimental efforts at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eaton, R.R.; Bixler, N.E.; Glass, R.J.

    1989-01-01

    Current interest in storing high-level nuclear waste in underground repositories has resulted in an increased effort to understand the physics of water flow through low-permeability rock. The US Department of Energy is investigating a prospective repository site located in volcanic ash (tuff) hundreds of meters above the water table at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Consequently, mathematical models and experimental procedures are being developed to provide a better understanding of the hydrology of this low-permeability, partially saturated, fractured rock. Modeling water flow in the vadose zone in soils and in relatively permeable rocks such as sandstone has received considerable attention for many years. The treatment of flow (including nonisothermal conditions) through materials such as the Yucca Mountain tuffs, however, has not received the same level of attention, primarily because it is outside the domain of agricultural and petroleum technology. This paper reviews the status of modeling and experimentation currently being used to understand and predict water flow at the proposed repository site. Several areas of research needs emphasized by the review are outlined. The extremely nonlinear hydraulic properties of these tuffs in combination with their heterogeneous nature makes it a challenging and unique problem from a computational and experimental view point. 101 refs., 14 figs., 1 tab

  12. Development and experimental evaluation of models for low capillary number two-phase flows in rough walled fractures relevant to natural gradient conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Glass, R.J.; Yarrington, L.; Nicholl, M.J.

    1997-09-01

    The major results from SNL's Conceptual Model Development and Validation Task (WBS 1.2.5.4.6) as developed through exploration of small scale processes were synthesized in Glass et al. to give guidance to Performance Assessment on improving conceptual models for isothermal flow in unsaturated, fractured rock. There, pressure saturation and relative permeability curves for single fractures were proposed to be a function of both fracture orientation within the gravity field and initial conditions. We refer the reader to Glass et al. for a discussion of the implications of this behavior for Performance Assessment. The scientific research we report here substantiates this proposed behavior. We address the modeling of phase structure within fractures under natural gradient conditions relevant to unsaturated flow through fractures. This phase structure underlies the calculation of effective properties for individual fractures and hence fracture networks as required for Performance Assessment. Standard Percolation (SP) and Invasion Percolation (IP) approaches have been recently proposed to model the underlying phase saturation structures within the individual fractures during conditions of two-phase flow. Subsequent analysis of these structures yields effective two-phase pressure-saturation and relative permeability relations for the fracture. However, both of these approaches yield structures that are at odds with physical reality as we see in experiments and thus effective properties calculated from these structures are in error. Here we develop and evaluate a Modified Invasion Percolation (MIP) approach to better model quasi-static immiscible displacement in fractures. The effects of gravity, contact angle, local aperature field geometry, and local in-plane interfacial curvature between phases are included in the calculation of invasion pressure for individual sites in a discretized aperture field

  13. The Tala Tuff, La Primavera caldera Mexico. Pre-eruptive conditions and magma processes before eruption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosa-Ceballos, G.

    2015-12-01

    La Primavera caldera, Jalisco Mexico, is a Pleistocenic volcanic structure formed by dome complexes and multiple pyroclastic flows and fall deposits. It is located at the intersection of the Chapala, Colima, and Tepic grabens in western Mexico. The first volcanic activity associated to La Primavera started ~0.1 Ma with the emission of pre-caldera lavas. The caldera collapse occurred 95 ka and is associated to the eruption of ~20 km3of pumice flows known as the Tala tuff (Mahood 1980). The border of the caldera was replaced by a series of domes dated in 75-30 ky, which partially filled the inner depression of the caldera with pyroclastic flows and falls. For more than a decade the Federal Commission of Electricity in Mexico (CFE) has prospected and evaluated the geothermal potential of the Cerritos Colorados project at La Primavera caldera. In order to better understand the plumbing system that tapped the Tala tuff and to investigate its relation with the potential geothermal field at La Primavera we performed a series of hydrothermal experiments and studied melt inclusions hosted in quartz phenocrysts by Fourier Infra red stectroscopy (FTIR). Although some post caldera products at La Primavera contain fayalite and quartz (suggesting QFM conditions) the Tala tuff does not contain fayalite and we ran experiments under NNO conditions. The absence of titanomagnetite does not allowed us to calculate pre-eruptive temperature. However, the stability of quartz and plagioclase, which are natural phases, suggest that temperature should be less than 750 °C at a pressure of 200 MPa. The analyses of H2O and CO2 dissolved in melt inclusions yielded concentrations of 2-5 wt.% and 50-100 ppm respectively. This data confirm that the pre-eruptive pressure of the Tala tuff is ~200 MPa and in addition to major elements compositions suggest that the Tala tuff is either, compositionally zoned or mixed with other magma just prior to eruption.

  14. VSP [Vertical Seismic Profiling] and cross hole tomographic imaging for fracture characterization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Majer, E.L.; Peterson, J.E.; Myer, L.R.; Karasaki, K.; Daley, T.M.; Long, J.C.S.

    1989-09-01

    For the past several years LBL has been carrying out experiments at various fractured rock sites to determine the fundamental nature of the propagation of seismic waves in fractured media. These experiments have been utilizing high frequency (1000 to 10000 Hz.) signals in a cross-hole configuration at scales of several tens of meters. Three component sources and receivers are used to map fracture density, and orientation. The goal of the experiments has been to relate the seismological parameters to the hydrological parameters, if possible, in order to provide a more accurate description of a starting model for hydrological characterization. The work is ultimately aimed at the characterization and monitoring of the Yucca Mountain site for the storage of nuclear waste. In addition to these controlled experiments multicomponent VSP work has been carried out at several sites to determine fracture characteristics. The results to date indicate that both P-wave and S-wave can be used to map the location of fractures. In addition, fractures that are open and conductive are much more visible to seismic waves that non-conductive fractures. The results of these tests indicate direct use in an unsaturated environment. 12 refs., 10 figs

  15. Fracture mechanics of polymer mortar made with recycled raw materials

    OpenAIRE

    Jurumenha,Marco Antonio Godoy; Reis,João Marciano Laredo dos

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this work is to show that industrial residues could be used in construction applications so that production costs as well as environmental protection can be improved. The fracture properties of polymer mortar manufactured with recycled materials are investigated to evaluate the materials behaviour to crack propagation. The residues used in this work were spent sand from foundry industry as aggregate, unsaturated polyester resin from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) as matrix and po...

  16. Modeling studies of unsaturated flow with long-term permeability change at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Chengyuan; Liu Xiaoyan; Liu Quansheng

    2008-01-01

    The amount of water seeping into the waste emplacement drifts is crucial for the performance of underground nuclear waste repository, since it controls the corrosion rates of waste packages and the mobilization rate of radionuclides. It is limited by water flow through drift vicinity. In the present work we study the potential rates of water flow around drifts as a function of predicted long-term change of permeability at Yucca Mountain, based on a dual-continuum model of the unsaturated flow in fractured rock mass. For stage of DECOVALEX Ⅳ, we used a simplified practical model on unsaturated flow in Yucca Mountain case simulation. These models contain main physical processes that should be considered, including thermal expansion, thermal radiation, water-rock coupling and stress-induced change of permeability. Comparative study with other DECOVALEX team's results shows that they are both good enough and flexible enough to include more physical processes. We can draw the conclusion that it is necessary to model stress-induced changes in permeability and relative processes in future studies, because there are obvious differences (in water saturation and water flux) between simulation cases with and without variable permeability, especially in areas very close to the drift. (authors)

  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. Decay of Rhenish Tuffs in Dutch Monuments. Part 2 : Laboratory Experiments as a Basis for the Choice of Restoration Stone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Hees, R.P.J.; Brendle, S.; Nijland, T.G.; De Haas, G.J.L.M.; Tolboom, H.J.

    2003-01-01

    Rhenish tuffs (Eifel, Germany), have been used as building material in the Netherlands since Roman times. They were the most important natural building stone in the Netherlands in early medieval times. In addition, tuff was used as raw material for production of trass, that served as a pozzolanic

  19. Decay of Rhenish Tuff in Dutch monuments. Part 2 : Laboratory experiments as a basis for the choice of restoration stone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hees, R.P.J. van; Brendle, S.; Nijland, T.G.; Haas, G.J.L.M. de; Tolboom, H.J.

    2003-01-01

    Rhenish tuffs (Eifel, Getmany), have been used as building material in the Netherlands since Roman times. They were the most important natural building stone in the Netherlands in early medieval times. In addition, tuff was used as raw material for production of trass, that served as a pozzolanic

  20. Thermal analyses for a nuclear-waste repository in tuff using USW-G1 borehole data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, R.L.

    1982-10-01

    Thermal calculations using properties of tuffs obtained from the USW-G1 borehole, located near the SW margin of the Nevada Test Site (NTS), have been completed for a nuclear waste repository sited in welded tuff below the water table. The analyses considered two wasteforms, high level waste and spent fuel, emplaced at two different, gross thermal loadings, 50 and 75 kW/Acre (20.24 and 30.36 kW/ha). Calculations were made assuming that no boiling of the groundwater occurs; i.e., that the hydrostatic head potential was reestablished soon after waste emplacement. 23 figures, 2 tables

  1. Mineralogy, origin and commercial value of the zeolite-rich tuffs in the Petrota-Pentalofos area, Evros County, Greece

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walsh, J. N.

    1998-04-01

    Full Text Available The zeolite-rich tuffs of the Petrota-Pentalofos area were deposited in the Arrestees Basin during the Eocene. They are up to 100 m thick and extend more than 15 Km in a long axis. Most of the outcrops consist of frequent alternations of very fine grained tuff with pumice and lapel tuffs, the latter containing detrital fragments of the Mesozoic substrate of the basin. X-ray Diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy and light microscopy analysis on quarry and borehole samples has shown that the tuffs are composed mainly of clinoptilolite and minor cristobalite, with a small proportion of detrital constituents (quartz, mica-schist and pyrogenic crystals (feldspars, quartz, biotite. Minor amounts of mordenite randomly occur in some of the northern outcrops, closer to the occurrences of lava. ICP-AES chemical analysis of the tuffs gives evidence that the original magmas were of quartz-latite composition. The tuffs rest on pre-Cenozoic metamorphic basement and pass gradationally upwards into sandstone and limestone. Evidence is given for deposition of the tuffs in a supra to infra-littoral environment. The zeolitic tuffs originated as epiclastic volcanic sediments, transported by water from the source of the eruption. The transformation of the volcanic glass of the tuffs to zeolite and cristobalite has taken place by meteoric waters in an open hydrological system existed during the Tertiary. The zeolitic rocks are currently being exploited as an animal feed supplement.Las tobas ricas en cebollitas del área de Petrota-Pentalofos se depositaron en la cuenca de Orejitas durante el Doceno. Alcanzan 100 m de potencia y superan los 15 km de extensión longitudinal. La mayoría de los afloramientos consisten en alternancias de toba de grano muy fino y toba de pómez y lapilli con fragmentos detritos del sustrato Mesozoico de la cuenca. Análisis por difamación de rayos X, microscopía electrónica de barrido y microscopía óptica en muestras de mano y de

  2. THE INFLUENCE OF REPOSITORY THERMAL LOAD ON MULTIPHASE FLOW AND HEAT TRANSFER IN THE UNSATURATED ZONE OF YUCCA MOUNTAIN

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu-Shu Wu; Sumit Mukhopadhyay; Keni Zhang; G.S. Bodvarsson

    2006-01-01

    This paper investigates the impact of proposed repository thermal-loading on mountain-scale flow and heat transfer in the unsaturated fractured rock of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. In this context, a model has been developed to study the coupled thermal-hydrological (TH) processes at the scale of the entire Yucca Mountain. This mountain-scale TH model implements the current geological framework and hydrogeological conceptual models, and incorporates the latest rock thermal and hydrological properties. The TH model consists of a two-dimensional north-south vertical cross section across the entire unsaturated zone model domain and uses refined meshes near and around the proposed repository block, based on the current repository design, drift layout, thermal loading scenario, and estimated current and future climatic conditions. The model simulations provide insights into thermally affected liquid saturation, gas- and liquid-phase fluxes, and elevated water and rock temperature, which in turn allow modelers to predict the changes in water flux driven by evaporation/condensation processes, and drainage between drifts

  3. The use of TOUGH2/iTOUGH2 in support of the Yucca Mountain Project: Successes and limitations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bodvarsson, G.S.; Birkholzer, J.T.; Finsterle, S.; Liu, H.H.; Rutqvist, J.; Wu, Y.S.

    2003-01-01

    The TOUGH2/iTOUGH2 family of codes is being used to analyze various processes and phenomena in the unsaturated zone at the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Various models have been developed that help quantify properties of the volcanic tuffs, water flow, seepage into drifts, and thermally driven coupled processes arising from the heat emitted by radioactive waste. These models are based on various assumptions and approximations that are generally accepted in the literature, but can give rise to different degrees of uncertainty. Some of the key approaches utilized include the continuum approximation, the van Genuchten formulation, the active fracture model, and homogeneous sublayers. These and other approximations are presented separately for the five different models considered, and the resulting levels of uncertainty are discussed

  4. Lattice Boltzmann simulation of CO2 reactive transport in network fractured media

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Zhiwei; Wang, Junye

    2017-08-01

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) geological sequestration plays an important role in mitigating CO2 emissions for climate change. Understanding interactions of the injected CO2 with network fractures and hydrocarbons is key for optimizing and controlling CO2 geological sequestration and evaluating its risks to ground water. However, there is a well-known, difficult process in simulating the dynamic interaction of fracture-matrix, such as dynamic change of matrix porosity, unsaturated processes in rock matrix, and effect of rock mineral properties. In this paper, we develop an explicit model of the fracture-matrix interactions using multilayer bounce-back treatment as a first attempt to simulate CO2 reactive transport in network fractured media through coupling the Dardis's LBM porous model for a new interface treatment. Two kinds of typical fracture networks in porous media are simulated: straight cross network fractures and interleaving network fractures. The reaction rate and porosity distribution are illustrated and well-matched patterns are found. The species concentration distribution and evolution with time steps are also analyzed and compared with different transport properties. The results demonstrate the capability of this model to investigate the complex processes of CO2 geological injection and reactive transport in network fractured media, such as dynamic change of matrix porosity.

  5. Neogene fallout tuffs from the Yellowstone hotspot in the Columbia Plateau region, Oregon, Washington and Idaho, USA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara P Nash

    Full Text Available Sedimentary sequences in the Columbia Plateau region of the Pacific Northwest ranging in age from 16-4 Ma contain fallout tuffs whose origins lie in volcanic centers of the Yellowstone hotspot in northwestern Nevada, eastern Oregon and the Snake River Plain in Idaho. Silicic volcanism began in the region contemporaneously with early eruptions of the Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG, and the abundance of widespread fallout tuffs provides the opportunity to establish a tephrostratigrahic framework for the region. Sedimentary basins with volcaniclastic deposits also contain diverse assemblages of fauna and flora that were preserved during the Mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum, including Sucker Creek, Mascall, Latah, Virgin Valley and Trout Creek. Correlation of ashfall units establish that the lower Bully Creek Formation in eastern Oregon is contemporaneous with the Virgin Valley Formation, the Sucker Creek Formation, Oregon and Idaho, Trout Creek Formation, Oregon, and the Latah Formation in the Clearwater Embayment in Washington and Idaho. In addition, it can be established that the Trout Creek flora are younger than the Mascall and Latah flora. A tentative correlation of a fallout tuff from the Clarkia fossil beds, Idaho, with a pumice bed in the Bully Creek Formation places the remarkably well preserved Clarkia flora assemblage between the Mascall and Trout Creek flora. Large-volume supereruptions that originated between 11.8 and 10.1 Ma from the Bruneau-Jarbidge and Twin Falls volcanic centers of the Yellowstone hotspot in the central Snake River Plain deposited voluminous fallout tuffs in the Ellensberg Formation which forms sedimentary interbeds in the CRBG. These occurrences extend the known distribution of these fallout tuffs 500 km to the northwest of their source in the Snake River Plain. Heretofore, the distal products of these large eruptions had only been recognized to the east of their sources in the High Plains of Nebraska and Kansas.

  6. 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

  7. G-tunnel welded tuff mining experiment preparations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

    Designers and analysts of radioactive waste repositories must be able to predict the mechanical behavior of the host rock. Sandia National Laboratories elected to conduct a mine-by in welded tuff so that predictive-type information could be obtained regarding the response of the rock to a drill and blast excavation process, where smooth blasting techniques were used. Included in the study were evaluations of and recommendations for various measurement systems that might be used in future mine-by efforts. This report summarizes the preparations leading to the recording of data. 17 refs., 27 figs., 5 tabs

  8. Simultaneous transport of synthetic colloids and a nonsorbing solute through single saturated natural fractures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reimus, P.W.; Robinson, B.A.; Nuttall, H.E.; Kale, R.

    1994-01-01

    Tracer transport experiments involving colloids that showed little tendency to attach to rock surfaces and a nonsorbing solute (iodide) -were conducted in three different well-characterized natural fractures in tuff. The colloids always arrived earlier in the effluent than the iodide, which we believe is evidence of (1) hydrodynamic chromatography and/or (2) the fact that the colloids experience a smaller effective volume in the fracture because they diffuse too slowly to enter low-velocity regions (dead zones) along the rough fracture walls. The iodide also approached the inlet concentration in the effluent more slowly than the colloids, with the concentration at a given elution volume being greater at higher flow rates. By contrast, the rate of approach of the colloid concentration to the inlet concentration did not vary with flow rate. We attribute this behavior to matrix diffusion of the iodide, with the colloids being too large/nondiffusive to experience this phenomenon. Dispersion of all tracers was greatest in the fracture of widest average aperture and least in the fracture of narrowest aperture, which is consistent with Taylor dispersion theory. The tracer experiments were modeled/interpreted using a three-step approach that involved (1) estimating the aperture distribution in each fracture using surface profiling techniques, (2) predicting the flow field in the fractures using a localized parallel-plate approximation, and (3) predicting tracer transport in the fractures using particle-tracking techniques. Although considered preliminary at this time, the model results were in qualitative agreement with the experiments

  9. Influence of Carbon Nano Tubes on the Thermo-Mechanical Properties of Unsaturated Polyester Nanocomposite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alam, A K M Moshiul; Beg, M D H; Yunus, Rosli Mohd

    2015-01-01

    To date nano fillers are renowned reinforcing agent for polymer materials. In this work, unsaturated polyester (UPR) nanocomposites were fabricated by 0.1, 0.3 and 0.5 wt% multi walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) through solution dispersion and casting method. The influence of MWCNT content was investigated by thermo-mechanical properties. Dispersion of nanotubes was observed by fracture morphology. The strength of nanocomposites rose with raising the CNT content. Moreover, DSC thermograms of nanocomposites represent noticeable improvement of glass transition temperature (T g ), melting temperature (T m ) and enthalpy (ΔH m ). Micro-crystallinity of nanocomposites increased with increasing the CNT content. Moreover, the stiffness increased with increasing the CNT content. (paper)

  10. Balancing practicality and hydrologic realism: a parsimonious approach for simulating rapid groundwater recharge via unsaturated-zone preferential flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirus, Benjamin B.; Nimmo, J.R.

    2013-01-01

    The impact of preferential flow on recharge and contaminant transport poses a considerable challenge to water-resources management. Typical hydrologic models require extensive site characterization, but can underestimate fluxes when preferential flow is significant. A recently developed source-responsive model incorporates film-flow theory with conservation of mass to estimate unsaturated-zone preferential fluxes with readily available data. The term source-responsive describes the sensitivity of preferential flow in response to water availability at the source of input. We present the first rigorous tests of a parsimonious formulation for simulating water table fluctuations using two case studies, both in arid regions with thick unsaturated zones of fractured volcanic rock. Diffuse flow theory cannot adequately capture the observed water table responses at both sites; the source-responsive model is a viable alternative. We treat the active area fraction of preferential flow paths as a scaled function of water inputs at the land surface then calibrate the macropore density to fit observed water table rises. Unlike previous applications, we allow the characteristic film-flow velocity to vary, reflecting the lag time between source and deep water table responses. Analysis of model performance and parameter sensitivity for the two case studies underscores the importance of identifying thresholds for initiation of film flow in unsaturated rocks, and suggests that this parsimonious approach is potentially of great practical value.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1989-11-01

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

  12. Unsaturated fatty acids in the diet of inpatients

    OpenAIRE

    KONHEFROVÁ, Veronika

    2015-01-01

    The thesis with the name "Unsaturated fatty acids in the diet of inpatients" is divided into a theoretical and a research parts. The theoretical part is focused on sorting out lipids and the recommended daily dosing. Next there are described the chemical structure of fatty acids and basic differences between saturated (SFA) and unsaturated (trans and cis) fatty acids. The biggest part of the theory is formed by the unsaturated fatty acids, their characteristics, food source and their effect o...

  13. Scaling behavior of gas permeability measurements in volcanic tuffs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tidwell, V.C.

    1994-01-01

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

  14. Mineralogic studies of tuff for high-level waste disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vaniman, D.; Bish, D.; Broxton, D.; Byers, F.; Carlos, B.; Levy, S.

    1986-01-01

    The volcanic rocks at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, consist predominantly of tuff that originated 12 to 14 million years ago as flows and airfalls of hot volcanic particulates. On cooling these units formed two major rock types: crystallized zones formed mostly of feldspar and silica minerals, and zones of glass. Alteration of glass to zeolite minerals occurred largely during structural tilting of Yucca Mountain in the ∼1-3 million years following the major eruptions. The compositions of zeolites formed from glasses strongly indicate open-system chemical exchange. Superimposed on this general alteration of glasses are areas of local high-temperature alteration. High-temperature alteration ended by 11 million years ago. Zeolites such as clinoptilolite persisted during high-temperature alteration at temperatures up to 100 degree C, suggesting that clinoptilolite at Yucca Mountain close to the thermally disturbed zone around a repository may also survive heating to temperatures at least this high. The mineralogic data from tuff at Yucca Mountain will ultimately be used by the Department of Energy Nevada Nuclear Waste storage Investigations for (1) defining the mineralogic component in estimating waste element travel times away from the repository and (2) determining the past history of alteration and the anticipated stability of minerals near the repository

  15. Transport of gaseous C-14 from a repository in unsaturated rock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Light, W.B.; Chambre, P.L.; Lee, W. L.; Pigford, T.H.; California Univ., Berkeley, CA

    1990-09-01

    The authors predict the transport of gaseous 14 CO 2 from a nuclear waste repository in unsaturated rock using a porous-medium model. This model is justified if the appropriate modified Peclet number, which indicates equilibrium between gas in fractures and liquid in rock pores, is much less than unity. Numerical illustrations are given which are applicable to the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain which is 350 m underground. Maximum predicted concentrations of 14 CO 2 near the ground surface are comparable to the USNRC limit for unrestricted areas. Maximum predicted dose rates above ground are less than 1% of background. Travel times are predicted to be hundreds to thousands of years. For some cases, it is shown that the release rate from the source has negligible effect on concentrations at the ground surface. 15 refs., 10 figs., 1 tab

  16. Permeability and fluid chemistry studies of the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff, Nevada Test Site: Part II

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moore, D.E.; Morrow, C.A.; Byerlee, J.D.

    1985-03-01

    The Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff is being considered as a possible emplacement horizon for the disposal of nuclear waste. The permeability and pore-fluid chemistry of the Topopah Spring Member have been investigated experimentally. The work reported here represents a continuation of previous permeability studies on the Topopah Spring Member. Three experiments were run, to test the effect of pore pressure, sample orientation, and flow direction on permeability and pore fluid chemistry. In the experiments, water flowed either up or down a temperature gradient established across the tuff sample in response to a small pore pressure gradient. The maximum temperature of the gradient was 150 0 C, and the minimum was 43 to 45 0 C. The confining pressure was 100 bars, corresponding to a disposal depth of 400 meters. J13 water was the starting pore fluid. The heated tuff samples showed few changes in permeability from their initial, room-temperature values. In addition, the fluids discharged from both the low and high-temperature sides of the tuff samples were dilute, nearly neutral solutions whose compositions did not differ greatly from the starting J13 compositions. 16 refs., 14 figs., 4 tabs

  17. Studies of the mobility of uranium and thorium in Nevada Test Site tuff

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wollenberg, H.A.; Flexser, S.; Smith, A.R. [Lawrence Berkeley Lab., CA (United States)

    1991-06-01

    Hydro-geochemical processes must be understood if the movement of radionuclides away from a breached radioactive waste canister is to be modeled and predicted. In this respect, occurrences of uranium and thorium in hydrothermal systems are under investigation in tuff and in rhyolitic tuff that was heated to simulate the effects of introduction of radioactive waste. In these studies, high-resolution gamma spectrometry and fission-track radiography are coupled with observations of alteration mineralogy and thermal history to deduce the evidence of, or potential for movement of, U and Th in response to the thermal environment. Observations to date suggest that U was mobile in the vicinity of the heater but that localized reducing environments provided by Fe-Ti-Mn-oxide minerals concentrated U and thus attenuated its migration.

  18. Petrology and geochemistry of the Grouse Canyon Member of the Belted Range Tuff, Rock-Mechanics Drift, U12g Tunnel, Nevada Test Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Connolly, J.R.; Mansker, W.L.; Hicks, R.; Allen, C.C.; Husler, J.; Keil, K.; Lappin, A.R.

    1983-04-01

    G-Tunnel at Nevada Test Site (NTS) is the site of thermal and thermomechanical experiments examining the feasibility of emplacing heat-producing nuclear wastes in silicic tuffs. This report describes the general stratigraphy, mineralogy, and bulk chemistry of welded portions of the Grouse Canyon Member of the Belted Range Tuff, the unit in which most of these experiments will be performed. The geologic characteristics of the Grouse Canyon Member are compared with those of the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff, presently the preferred horizon for an actual waste repository at Yucca Mountain, near the southwest boundary of Nevada Test Site. This comparison suggests that test results obtained in welded tuff from G-Tunnel are applicable, with limitations, to evaluation of the Topopah Spring Member at Yucca Mountain

  19. Synthesis of porphyryl boronates with (un)saturated side-chains

    OpenAIRE

    SENGE, MATHIAS; SERGEEVA, NATALIA

    2008-01-01

    PUBLISHED Porphyrins with (un)saturated side?chains containing boron residues were developed as synthons for porphyrin functionalization. Porphyrins with mono and bis-substituted unsaturated boronyl residues were prepared in good yields (52?66 %) using a cross?metathesis approach in the presence of Grubbs I-generation catalysts. In all cases complete E?stereoselectivity (100 %) was observed. Furthermore, formal cross?metathesis products with ?,??unsaturated chains smoothly underwent additi...

  20. The Influence of Proposed Repository Thermal Load on Multiphase Flow and Heat Transfer in the Unsaturated Zone of Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, Y.-S.; Mukhopadhyay, Sumit; Zhang, Keni; Bodvarsson, G.S.

    2006-01-01

    This paper investigates the impact of proposed repository thermal-loading on mountain-scale flow and heat transfer in the unsaturated fractured rock of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. In this context, a model has been developed to study the coupled thermal-hydrological (TH)processes at the scale of the entire Yucca Mountain. This mountain-scale TH model implements the current geological framework and hydrogeological conceptual models, and incorporates the latest rock thermal and hydrological properties. The TH model consists of a two-dimensional north-south vertical cross section across the entire unsaturated zone model domain and uses refined meshes near and around the proposed repository block, based on the current repository design, drift layout, thermal loading scenario, and estimated current and future climatic conditions. The model simulations provide insights into thermally affected liquid saturation, gas- and liquid-phase fluxes, and elevated water and rock temperature, which in turn allow modelers to predict the changes in water flux driven by evaporation/condensation processes, and drainage between drifts

  1. The International intraval project. Phase 1 test cases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-01-01

    This report contains a description of the test cases adopted in Phase 1 of the international cooperation project INTRAVAL. Seventeen test cases based on bench-scale experiments in laboratory, field tests and natural analogue studies, have been included in the study. The test cases are described in terms of experimental design and types of available data. In addition, some quantitative examples of available data are given as well as references to more extensive documentation of the experiments on which the test cases are based. Fithteen test cases examples are given: 1 Mass transfer through clay by diffusion and advection. 2 Uranium migration in crystalline bore cores, small scale pressure infiltration experiments. 3 Radionuclide migration in single natural fractures in granite. 4 Tracer tests in a deep basalt flow top. 5 Flow and tracer experiment in crystalline rock based on the Stripa 3-D experiment. 6 Tracer experiment in a fracture zone at the Finnsjon research area. 7 Synthetic data base, based on single fracture migration experiments in Grimsel rock laboratory. 8 Natural analogue studies at Pocos de Caldas, Minais Gerais, Brazil. Redox-front and radionuclide movement in an open pit uranium mine. 9 Natural analogue studies at the Koongarra site in the Alligator Rivers area of the Northern Territory, Australia. 10 Large block migration experiments in a block of crystalline rock. 11 Unsaturated flow and transport experiments performed at Las Cruces, New Mexico. 12 Flow and transport experiment in unsaturated fractured rock performed at the Apache Leap Tuff site, Arizona. 13 Experiments in partially saturated tuffaceous rocks performed in the G-tunnel underground facility at the Nevada Test site, USA. 14 Experimental study of brine transport in porous media. 15 Groundwater flow in the vicinity of the Gorleben Salt Dome, Federal Republic of Germany

  2. The Parabolic Variational Inequalities for Variably Saturated Water Flow in Heterogeneous Fracture Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zuyang Ye

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Fractures are ubiquitous in geological formations and have a substantial influence on water seepage flow in unsaturated fractured rocks. While the matrix permeability is small enough to be ignored during the partially saturated flow process, water seepage in heterogeneous fracture systems may occur in a non-volume-average manner as distinguished from a macroscale continuum model. This paper presents a systematic numerical method which aims to provide a better understanding of the effect of fracture distribution on the water seepage behavior in such media. Based on the partial differential equation (PDE formulations with a Signorini-type complementary condition on the variably saturated water flow in heterogeneous fracture networks, the equivalent parabolic variational inequality (PVI formulations are proposed and the related numerical algorithm in the context of the finite element scheme is established. With the application to the continuum porous media, the results of the numerical simulation for one-dimensional infiltration fracture are compared to the analytical solutions and good agreements are obtained. From the application to intricate fracture systems, it is found that water seepage flow can move rapidly along preferential pathways in a nonuniform fashion and the variably saturated seepage behavior is intimately related to the geometrical characteristics orientation of fractures.

  3. Modeling unsaturated-zone flow at Rainier Mesa as a possible analog for a future Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gauthier, J.H.

    1998-01-01

    Rainier Mesa is structurally similar to Yucca Mountain, and receives precipitation similar to the estimated long-term average for Yucca Mountain. Tunnels through the unsaturated zone at Rainier Mesa have encountered perched water and, after the perched water was drained, flow in fractures and faults. Although flow observations have been primarily qualitative, Rainier Mesa hydrology is a potential analog for Yucca Mountain hydrology in a wetter climate. In this paper, a groundwater flow model that has been used in the performance assessment of Yucca Mountain--the weeps model--is applied to Rainier Mesa. The intent is to gain insight in both Rainier Mesa and the weeps flow model

  4. Fully Coupled Geomechanics and Discrete Flow Network Modeling of Hydraulic Fracturing for Geothermal Applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fu, P; Johnson, S M; Hao, Y; Carrigan, C R

    2011-01-18

    The primary objective of our current research is to develop a computational test bed for evaluating borehole techniques to enhance fluid flow and heat transfer in enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). Simulating processes resulting in hydraulic fracturing and/or the remobilization of existing fractures, especially the interaction between propagating fractures and existing fractures, represents a critical goal of our project. To this end, we are continuing to develop a hydraulic fracturing simulation capability within the Livermore Distinct Element Code (LDEC), a combined FEM/DEM analysis code with explicit solid-fluid mechanics coupling. LDEC simulations start from an initial fracture distribution which can be stochastically generated or upscaled from the statistics of an actual fracture distribution. During the hydraulic stimulation process, LDEC tracks the propagation of fractures and other modifications to the fracture system. The output is transferred to the Non-isothermal Unsaturated Flow and Transport (NUFT) code to capture heat transfer and flow at the reservoir scale. This approach is intended to offer flexibility in the types of analyses we can perform, including evaluating the effects of different system heterogeneities on the heat extraction rate as well as seismicity associated with geothermal operations. This paper details the basic methodology of our approach. Two numerical examples showing the capability and effectiveness of our simulator are also presented.

  5. The reaction of glass during gamma irradiation in a saturated tuff environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ebert, W.L.; Bates, J.K.; Gerding, T.J.

    1990-05-01

    The reaction between tuffaceous groundwater and actinide-doped SRL 165 and PNL 76-68 type glasses in a gamma radiation field has been studied at 90 degree C for periods up to 278 days. The primary effect of the radiation field was the acidification of the leachate through the production of nitrogen acids. Acidification of the leachate was limited by bicarbonate in the groundwater, for all exposures tested. Nonirradiated experiments were performed to represent the lowest limit of radiation exposure. Both irradiated and nonirradiated experiments were performed with and without a tuff monolith present in the reaction vessel. Neither irradiation nor the presence of tuff had a major effect on the extent of glass reaction as measured by the leachate concentrations of various glass species or analysis of the reacted glass surfaces. This report discusses the results of leaching experiments performed in a gamma radiation field and in the absence of a radiation field. 28 refs., 47 figs., 11 tabs

  6. Version II of the users manual for the Tuff Data Base Interface

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Welch, E.P.; Satter, B.J.; Langkopf, B.S.; Zeuch, D.H.

    1987-05-01

    The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) Project, managed by the Nevada Operations Office of the US Department of Energy, is investigating the feasibility of locating a repository at Yucca Mountain on and adjacent to the Nevada Test Site (NTS) in southern Nevada. A part of this investigation includes obtaining physical properties from laboratory tests on samples from Yucca Mountain and from field tests at Yucca Mountain. A computerized data base has been developed to store this data in a centralized location. The data base is stored on the Cyber 170/855 computer at Sandia using the System 2000 Data Base Management software. A user-friendly interface, the Tuff Data Base Interface (the Interface), allows NNWSI participants to retrieve data from the Tuff Data Base. The Interface gives users flexibility to retrieve portions of the Data Base related to their interests. This report gives basic instructions on accessing the Sandia computing system and explains how to use the Interface. 18 figs., 5 tabs

  7. Analysis of Rainfall Infiltration Law in Unsaturated Soil Slope

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Gui-rong; Qian, Ya-jun; Wang, Zhang-chun; Zhao, Bo

    2014-01-01

    In the study of unsaturated soil slope stability under rainfall infiltration, it is worth continuing to explore how much rainfall infiltrates into the slope in a rain process, and the amount of rainfall infiltrating into slope is the important factor influencing the stability. Therefore, rainfall infiltration capacity is an important issue of unsaturated seepage analysis for slope. On the basis of previous studies, rainfall infiltration law of unsaturated soil slope is analyzed. Considering t...

  8. Modeling of strongly heat-driven flow in partially saturated fractured porous media

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1985-01-01

    The authors have performed modeling studies on the simultaneous transport of heat, liquid water, vapor, and air in partially saturated fractured porous media, with particular emphasis on strongly heat-driven flow. The presence of fractures makes the transport problem very complex, both in terms of flow geometry and physics. The numerical simulator used for their flow calculations takes into account most of the physical effects which are important in multi-phase fluid and heat flow. It has provisions to handle the extreme non-linearities which arise in phase transitions, component disappearances, and capillary discontinuities at fracture faces. They model a region around an infinite linear string of nuclear waste canisters, taking into account both the discrete fractures and the porous matrix. From an analysis of the results obtained with explicit fractures, they develop equivalent continuum models which can reproduce the temperature, saturation, and pressure variation, and gas and liquid flow rates of the discrete fracture-porous matrix calculations. The equivalent continuum approach makes use of a generalized relative permeability concept to take into account the fracture effects. This results in a substantial simplification of the flow problem which makes larger scale modeling of complicated unsaturated fractured porous systems feasible. Potential applications for regional scale simulations and limitations of the continuum approach are discussed. 27 references, 13 figures, 2 tables

  9. Modeling of strongly heat-driven flow in partially saturated fractured porous media

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1984-10-01

    We have performed modeling studies on the simultaneous transport of heat, liquid water, vapor, and air in partially saturated fractured porous media, with particular emphasis on strongly heat-driven flow. The presence of fractures makes the transport problem very complex, both in terms of flow geometry and physics. The numerical simulator used for our flow calculations takes into account most of the physical effects which are important in multi-phase fluid and heat flow. It has provisions to handle the extreme non-linearities which arise in phase transitions, component disappearances, and capillary discontinuities at fracture faces. We model a region around an infinite linear string of nuclear waste canisters, taking into account both the discrete fractures and the porous matrix. From an analysis of the results obtained with explicit fractures, we develop equivalent continuum models which can reproduce the temperature, saturation, and pressure variation, and gas and liquid flow rates of the discrete fracture-porous matrix calculations. The equivalent continuum approach makes use of a generalized relative permeability concept to take into account for fracture effects. This results in a substantial simplification of the flow problem which makes larger scale modeling of complicated unsaturated fractured porous systems feasible. Potential applications for regional scale simulations and limitations of the continuum approach are discussed. 27 references, 13 figures, 2 tables

  10. An integrated methodology for characterizing flow and transport processes in fractured rock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, Yu-Shu

    2007-01-01

    To investigate the coupled processes involved in fluid and heat flow and chemical transport in the highly heterogeneous, unsaturated-zone (UZ) fractured rock of Yucca Mountain, we present an integrated modeling methodology. This approach integrates a wide variety of moisture, pneumatic, thermal, and geochemical isotopic field data into a comprehensive three-dimensional numerical model for modeling analyses. The results of field applications of the methodology show that moisture data, such as water potential and liquid saturation, are not sufficient to determine in situ percolation flux, whereas temperature and geochemical isotopic data provide better constraints to net infiltration rates and flow patterns. In addition, pneumatic data are found to be extremely valuable in estimating large-scale fracture permeability. The integration of hydrologic, pneumatic, temperature, and geochemical data into modeling analyses is thereby demonstrated to provide a practical modeling approach for characterizing flow and transport processes in complex fractured formations

  11. Vaporizing Flow in Hot Fractures: Observations from Laboratory Experiments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kneafsey, T.; Pruess, K.

    1998-01-01

    Understanding water seepage in hot fractured rock is important in a number of fields including geothermal energy recovery and nuclear waste disposal. Heat-generating high-level nuclear waste packages which will be emplaced in the partially saturated fractured tuffs at the potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, if it becomes a high-level nuclear waste repository, will cause significant impacts on moisture distribution and migration. Liquid water, which occupies anywhere from 30 to 100% of the porespace, will be vaporized as the temperature reaches the boiling temperature. Flowing primarily in fractures, the vapor will condense where it encounters cooler rock, generating mobile water. This water will flow under gravitational and capillary forces and may flow back to the vicinity of the emplaced waste where it may partially escape vaporization. Water flowing down (sub-) vertical fractures may migrate considerable distances through fractured rock that is at above-boiling temperatures; thus, flowing condensate may contact waste packages, and provide a pathway for the transport of water-soluble radionuclides downward to the saturated zone. Thermally-driven flow processes induced by repository heat may be as important or even more important for repository performance than natural infiltration. For a nominal thermal loading of 57 kW/acre, vaporization may generate an average equivalent percolation flux from condensate of 23.1 mm/yr over 1,000 years, and 5.2 mm/yr over 10,000 years. These numbers are comparable to or larger than current estimates of net infiltration at Yucca Mountain. This condensate, which is generated in the immediate vicinity (meters) of the waste packages, will likely have a larger impact on waste package and repository performance than a similar amount of water introduced at the land surface

  12. Pumping Test Determination of Unsaturated Aquifer Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, P. K.; Neuman, S. P.

    2008-12-01

    Tartakovsky and Neuman [2007] presented a new analytical solution for flow to a partially penetrating well pumping at a constant rate from a compressible unconfined aquifer considering the unsaturated zone. In their solution three-dimensional, axially symmetric unsaturated flow is described by a linearized version of Richards' equation in which both hydraulic conductivity and water content vary exponentially with incremental capillary pressure head relative to its air entry value, the latter defining the interface between the saturated and unsaturated zones. Both exponential functions are characterized by a common exponent k having the dimension of inverse length, or equivalently a dimensionless exponent kd=kb where b is initial saturated thickness. The authors used their solution to analyze drawdown data from a pumping test conducted by Moench et al. [2001] in a Glacial Outwash Deposit at Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Their analysis yielded estimates of horizontal and vertical saturated hydraulic conductivities, specific storage, specific yield and k . Recognizing that hydraulic conductivity and water content seldom vary identically with incremental capillary pressure head, as assumed by Tartakovsky and Neuman [2007], we note that k is at best an effective rather than a directly measurable soil parameter. We therefore ask to what extent does interpretation of a pumping test based on the Tartakovsky-Neuman solution allow estimating aquifer unsaturated parameters as described by more common constitutive water retention and relative hydraulic conductivity models such as those of Brooks and Corey [1964] or van Genuchten [1980] and Mualem [1976a]? We address this question by showing how may be used to estimate the capillary air entry pressure head k and the parameters of such constitutive models directly, without a need for inverse unsaturated numerical simulations of the kind described by Moench [2003]. To assess the validity of such direct estimates we use maximum

  13. Deuterium labelling studies with unsaturated acids and nitriles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Desai, U.V.; Mane, R.B.

    1986-01-01

    α-Deuteriated α,β-unsaturated acids have been prepared by Knoevenagel condensation of aldehydes with deuteriated malonic acid. The decarboxylation of α,β-unsaturated cyano acid with pyridine/D 2 O yields α- and γ-labelled nitriles. The deuterium incorporation is studied by pmr spectroscopy. (author). 8 refs

  14. Hydrological and thermal issues concerning a nuclear waste repository in fractured rocks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, J.S.Y.

    1991-12-01

    The characterization of the ambient conditions of a potential site and the assessment of the perturbations induced by a nuclear waste repository require hydrological and thermal investigations of the geological formations at different spatial and temporal scales. For high-level wastes, the near-field impacts depend on the heat power of waste packages and the far-field long-term perturbations depend on the cumulative heat released by the emplaced wastes. Surface interim storage of wastes for several decades could lower the near-field impacts but would have relatively small long-term effects if spent fuels were the waste forms for the repository. One major uncertainty in the assessment of repository impacts is from the variation of hydrological properties in heterogeneous media, including the effects of fractures as high-permeability flow paths for containment migration. Under stress, a natural fracture cannot be represented by the parallel plate model. The rock surface roughness, the contact area, and the saturation state in the rock matrix could significantly change the fracture flow. In recent years, the concern of fast flow through fractures in saturated media has extended to the unsaturated zones. The interactions at different scales between fractures and matrix, between fractured matrix unites and porous units, and between formations and faults are discussed

  15. Unsaturated Groundwater Flow Beneath Upper Mortandad Canyon, Los Alamos, New Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dander, David Carl [Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States)

    1998-10-15

    Mortandad Canyon is a discharge site for treated industrial effluents containing radionuclides and other chemicals at Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico. This study was conducted to develop an understanding of the unsaturated hydrologic behavior below the canyon floor. The main goal of this study was to evaluate the hypothetical performance of the vadose zone above the water table. Numerical simulations of unsaturated groundwater flow at the site were conducted using the Finite Element Heat and Mass Transfer (FEHM) code. A two-dimensional cross-section along the canyon's axis was used to model flow between an alluvial groundwater system and the regional aquifer approximately 300 m below. Using recharge estimated from a water budget developed in 1967, the simulations showed waters from the perched water table reaching the regional aquifer in 13.8 years, much faster than previously thought. Additionally, simulations indicate that saturation is occurring in the Guaje pumice bed an d that the Tshirege Unit 1B is near saturation. Lithologic boundaries between the eight materials play an important role in flow and solute transport within the system. Horizontal flow is shown to occur in three thin zones above capillary barriers; however, vertical flow dominates the system. Other simulations were conducted to examine the effects of changing system parameters such as varying recharge inputs, varying the distribution of recharge, and bypassing fast-path fractured basalt of uncertain extent and properties. System sensitivity was also explored by changing model parameters with respect to size and types of grids and domains, and the presence of dipping stratigraphy.

  16. Vertical hydrochemical profiles in the unsaturated zone of louga ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Solutions chemistry of the rainwater and the unsaturated zone interstitial water of Louga (Northern Senegal) local aquifer provide valuable ... together with chemical analysis of the interstitial water carried out through the entire unsaturated ...

  17. Electrokinetic extraction of chromate from unsaturated soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mattson, E.D.; Lindgren, E.R.

    1993-01-01

    Heavy-metal contamination of soil and groundwater is a widespread problem in industrial nations. Remediation by excavation of such sites may not be cost effective or politically acceptable. Electrokinetic remediation is one possible remediation technique for in situ removal of such contaminants from unsaturated soils. Previous papers discussing the work performed by researchers at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) and Sat-Unsat, Inc. (SUI) (Lindgren et al., 1991, 1992, 1993) focused on the transport of contaminants and dyes by electrokinetics in unsaturated soils. These experiments were conducted with graphite electrodes with no extraction system. As the contaminants migrated through the soil, they increased in concentration at the electrode creating a diffusion flux in the opposite direction. This paper discusses a technique to remove the contaminants from unsaturated soils once they have reached an electrode

  18. Electrokinetic extraction of chromate from unsaturated soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mattson, E.D. [SAT-UNSAT, Inc., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Lindgren, E.R. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1993-11-01

    Heavy-metal contamination of soil and groundwater is a widespread problem in industrial nations. Remediation by excavation of such sites may not be cost effective or politically acceptable. Electrokinetic remediation is one possible remediation technique for in situ removal of such contaminants from unsaturated soils. Previous papers discussing the work performed by researchers at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) and Sat-Unsat, Inc. (SUI) (Lindgren et al., 1991, 1992, 1993) focused on the transport of contaminants and dyes by electrokinetics in unsaturated soils. These experiments were conducted with graphite electrodes with no extraction system. As the contaminants migrated through the soil, they increased in concentration at the electrode creating a diffusion flux in the opposite direction. This paper discusses a technique to remove the contaminants from unsaturated soils once they have reached an electrode.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Movement of radionuclides through unsaturated soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    de Sousa, F.N.C.

    1985-01-01

    The advantages of the disposal of low-level radioactive wastes in the unsaturated zone above the fluctuations of the water table have been recognized for some time. However, most the numerical models used to simulate the environmental impact of a shallow land burial site assume that the soils surrounding the waste forms are saturated; this assumption may lead, in many cases, to unrealistic large leach and water flow rates. The main purpose of this study was the development of a procedure which could give a reliable prediction on the movement of radionuclides from shallow land burial sites located in the unsaturated zone. In order to accomplish this objective three different soils having different sand, silt, and clay fractions were selected and characterized. These soils were then used to fill a number of flow columns that were used in tests designed to provide input data for the flow and transport models. A one-dimensional finite element model was developed in order to simulate the water flow and radionuclide transport through unsaturated soils. The results obtained showed that the model accurately described the transport of radionuclides through saturated-unsaturated soils. Simulations were done, for all three soils, involving different degrees of soil saturation, and the results showed that assuming the soils are always saturated may lead to nuclide transport times which are orders of magnitude larger than the real ones, depending on the clay percentage present in the soil

  1. Preliminary modeling of moisture movement in the tuff beneath Mortandad Canyon, Los Alamos National Laboratory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geddis, A.M.

    1992-01-01

    An area of upper/middle Mortandad Canyon on the Los Alamos National Laboratory is modeled in cross-section. UNSAT2, a finite element model (FEM) is used to predict moisture movement. Hydraulic characteristics of the tuff are described by van Genuchten parameters determined from laboratory tests on cores taken from a borehole within the cross-section. Material properties are distributed horizontal planar in space to cover the solution domain with required initial conditions. An estimate of seepage flux from a thin perched alluvial aquifer into the upper surface of the tuff is taken from a lumped parameter model. Moisture redistribution for a ponded boundary condition and a larger flux is investigated. A composite simulation using material properties from two separate coreholes is also evaluated

  2. Seismic response of earth dams considering dynamic properties of unsaturated zone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariyan M.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available It is conventionally assumed in the analysis and design of earth dams that the soil located above the phreatic line, i.e. the uppermost seepage flow line, is completely dry. However, there is often an unsaturated flow of water through an unsaturated zone above this borderline and variation in moisture content in this zone results in variation of matric suction throughout this region. Variation of matric suction, in turn, results in variation of effective stresses in this zone. In this research, the seismic response of earth dams in terms of the displacement and acceleration at the crown of the dam as well as the stress distribution in the dam body is investigated. Taking into account the effect of unsaturated zone, a comparison is made to investigate the effect of conventional simplification in ignoring the dynamic characteristics of the unsaturated zone above the phreatic line and the more complicated analysis which includes the unsaturated zone. A function for the soil-water retention curve (SWRC was assigned to the soil in the unsaturated zone to determine the variation of matric suction in this zone and analyses were made using finite difference software (FLAC. Results are then compared to the conventional method for homogeneous dams. In these analyzes the soil shear modulus was assumed to vary with the mean effective stress both for saturated and unsaturated zones. Among various results, it was notable that the history of crest x-displacement, and acceleration show higher values in models accounting for the unsaturated region. It was attributed to the considerably lower values of damping ratio in the crest region in the unsaturated models.

  3. Infiltration in Unsaturated Soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ghotbi, Abdoul R.; Omidvar, M.; Barari, Amin

    2011-01-01

    An approximate analytical solution has been established for the well known Richards’ equation for unsaturated flow of transports in soils. Despite the importance of Richards’ equation in geotechnical and geoenvironmental applications, most solutions to the problem are generally based on numerical...

  4. Characterization of unsaturated hydraulic conductivity at the Hanford Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rockhold, M.L.; Fayler, M.J.; Gee, G.W.

    1988-07-01

    This report details some recent field measurements and compares predicted and measured values of hydraulic conductivities for three locations at the Hanford Site. Measurements from small (6-cm-dia) /open quotes/point/close quotes/ and large (2-m by 2-m) /open quotes/plot/close quotes/ areas utilized inflitration and drainage techniques to obtain in situ data for field-saturated and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity. The Guelph permeameter was used for point sampling, and the unsteady drainage-flux method was used on plots for field-saturated and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity measurements. Steady-state techniques were used to measure unsaturated hydraulic conductivities in small columns in the laboratory for one of the three soils tested to provide a comparison with data obtained from the field. Measured unsaturated hydraulic conductivities and those predicted from particle-size distribution and bulk density data agree within one-half to one and one-half orders of magnitude, depending on soil type. To use a particle-size distribution to estimate water retention characteristics and, subsequently, to predict unsaturated hydraulic conductivities, measurements of water-retention characteristics are necessary to determine a parameter value used in one of the models. No single method for measuring or calculating unsaturated hydraulic conductivities was found appropriate for all Hanford Site soils. Ideally, several methods should be used to take advantage of the strengths of each method, considering the data needs and resources available. 45 refs., 24 figs., 19 tabs.

  5. Characterization of unsaturated hydraulic conductivity at the Hanford Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rockhold, M.L.; Fayler, M.J.; Gee, G.W.

    1988-07-01

    This report details some recent field measurements and compares predicted and measured values of hydraulic conductivities for three locations at the Hanford Site. Measurements from small (6-cm-dia) /open quotes/point/close quotes/ and large (2-m by 2-m) /open quotes/plot/close quotes/ areas utilized inflitration and drainage techniques to obtain in situ data for field-saturated and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity. The Guelph permeameter was used for point sampling, and the unsteady drainage-flux method was used on plots for field-saturated and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity measurements. Steady-state techniques were used to measure unsaturated hydraulic conductivities in small columns in the laboratory for one of the three soils tested to provide a comparison with data obtained from the field. Measured unsaturated hydraulic conductivities and those predicted from particle-size distribution and bulk density data agree within one-half to one and one-half orders of magnitude, depending on soil type. To use a particle-size distribution to estimate water retention characteristics and, subsequently, to predict unsaturated hydraulic conductivities, measurements of water-retention characteristics are necessary to determine a parameter value used in one of the models. No single method for measuring or calculating unsaturated hydraulic conductivities was found appropriate for all Hanford Site soils. Ideally, several methods should be used to take advantage of the strengths of each method, considering the data needs and resources available. 45 refs., 24 figs., 19 tabs

  6. Analysis of rainfall infiltration law in unsaturated soil slope.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Gui-rong; Qian, Ya-jun; Wang, Zhang-chun; Zhao, Bo

    2014-01-01

    In the study of unsaturated soil slope stability under rainfall infiltration, it is worth continuing to explore how much rainfall infiltrates into the slope in a rain process, and the amount of rainfall infiltrating into slope is the important factor influencing the stability. Therefore, rainfall infiltration capacity is an important issue of unsaturated seepage analysis for slope. On the basis of previous studies, rainfall infiltration law of unsaturated soil slope is analyzed. Considering the characteristics of slope and rainfall, the key factors affecting rainfall infiltration of slope, including hydraulic properties, water storage capacity (θs - θr), soil types, rainfall intensities, and antecedent and subsequent infiltration rates on unsaturated soil slope, are discussed by using theory analysis and numerical simulation technology. Based on critical factors changing, this paper presents three calculation models of rainfall infiltrability for unsaturated slope, including (1) infiltration model considering rainfall intensity; (2) effective rainfall model considering antecedent rainfall; (3) infiltration model considering comprehensive factors. Based on the technology of system response, the relationship of rainfall and infiltration is described, and the prototype of regression model of rainfall infiltration is given, in order to determine the amount of rain penetration during a rain process.

  7. Abstracts of the symposium on unsaturated flow and transport modeling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1982-03-01

    Abstract titles are: Recent developments in modeling variably saturated flow and transport; Unsaturated flow modeling as applied to field problems; Coupled heat and moisture transport in unsaturated soils; Influence of climatic parameters on movement of radionuclides in a multilayered saturated-unsaturated media; Modeling water and solute transport in soil containing roots; Simulation of consolidation in partially saturated soil materials; modeling of water and solute transport in unsaturated heterogeneous fields; Fluid dynamics and mass transfer in variably-saturated porous media; Solute transport through soils; One-dimensional analytical transport modeling; Convective transport of ideal tracers in unsaturated soils; Chemical transport in macropore-mesopore media under partially saturated conditions; Influence of the tension-saturated zone on contaminant migration in shallow water regimes; Influence of the spatial distribution of velocities in porous media on the form of solute transport; Stochastic vs deterministic models for solute movement in the field; and Stochastic analysis of flow and solute transport

  8. Approach to resolution of geologic uncertainty in the licensing of a high-level-waste repository in tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Neal, J.T.

    1983-01-01

    Resolution of uncertainty in geological information is an essential element in the licensing process for a geologic repository. Evaluation of these uncertainties within the licensing framework established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is required. The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI), in focusing its site characterization program on unsaturated tuff, has developed a logic hierarchy of technical issues, including key issues, issues, and information needs. Key issues are statements of major requirements whose lack could be disqualifying. An example of a key issue is the demonstration of radionuclide containment and isolation within the required release limits and transport time set by the EPA and NRC. Key issues are broken down into issues, such as the groundwater flow time to the accessible environment. Resolving uncertainty ultimately comes back to satisfying individual information needs that collectively form issues. Hydraulic conductivity is an example of an information need required to determine groundwater flow rate. Sources of uncertainty often arise in either amount, quality, or other limitations in geological data. The hierarchical structuring of geological information needs provides a perspective that allows proportionate attention to be placed on various site characterization activities, and to view them within the whole range of licensing issues that must be satisfied to ensure public health and safety. However, it may not prevent an issue from being contentious, as some geological questions are known to be emotion-laden. The mitigation of uncertainty in geological information ultimately will depend on the validity and credibility of the information presented during the licensing process

  9. Stress-corrosion-cracking studies on candidate container alloys for the Tuff Repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beavers, J.A.; Durr, C.L.

    1992-05-01

    Cortest Columbus Technologies, Inc. (CC Technologies) investigated the long-term performance of container materials used for high-level waste package as part of the information needed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to assess the Department of Energy's application to construct to geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. At the direction of the NRC, the program focused on the Tuff Repository. This report summarizes the results of Stress-Corrosion-Cracking (SCC) studies performed in Tasks 3, 5, and 7 of the program. Two test techniques were used; U-bend exposures and Slow-Strain-Rate (SSR) tests. The testing was performed on two copper-base alloys (Alloy CDA 102 and Alloy CDA 175) and two Fe-Cr-Ni alloys (Alloy 304L and Alloy 825) in simulated J-13 groundwater and other simulated solutions for the Tuff Repository. These solutions were designed to simulate the effects of concentration and irradiation on the groundwater composition. All SCC testing on the Fe-Cr-Ni Alloys was performed on solution-annealed specimens and thus issues such as the effect of sensitization on SCC were not addressed

  10. THE PENA BLANCA NATURAL ANALOGUE PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT MODEL

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    G.J. Saulnier Jr; W. Statham

    2006-03-10

    The Nopal I uranium mine in the Sierra Pena Blanca, Chihuahua, Mexico serves as a natural analogue to the Yucca Mountain repository. The Pena Blanca Natural Analogue Performance Assessment Model simulates the mobilization and transport of radionuclides that are released from the mine and transported to the saturated zone. the Pena Blanca Natural Analogue Model uses probabilistic simulations of hydrogeologic processes that are analogous to the processes that occur at the Yucca Mountain site. The Nopal I uranium deposit lies in fractured, welded, and altered rhyolitic ash flow tuffs that overlie carbonate rocks, a setting analogous to the geologic formations at the Yucca Mountain site. The Nopal I mine site has the following characteristics as compared to the Yucca Mountain repository site. (1) Analogous source: UO{sub 2} uranium ore deposit = spent nuclear fuel in the repository; (2) Analogous geologic setting: fractured, welded, and altered rhyolitic ash flow tuffs overlying carbonate rocks; (3) Analogous climate: Semiarid to arid; (4) Analogous geochemistry: Oxidizing conditions; and (5) Analogous hydrogeology: The ore deposit lies in the unsaturated zone above the water table. The Nopal I deposit is approximately 8 {+-} 0.5 million years old and has been exposed to oxidizing conditions during the last 3.2 to 3.4 million years. The Pena Blanca Natural Analogue Model considers that the uranium oxide and uranium silicates in the ore deposit were originally analogous to uranium-oxide spent nuclear fuel. The Pena Blanca site has been characterized using field and laboratory investigations of its fault and fracture distribution, mineralogy, fracture fillings, seepage into the mine adits, regional hydrology, and mineralization that shows the extent of radionuclide migration. Three boreholes were drilled at the Nopal I mine site in 2003 and these boreholes have provided samples for lithologic characterization, water-level measurements, and water samples for laboratory

  11. THE PENA BLANCA NATURAL ANALOGUE PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT MODEL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    G.J. Saulnier Jr; W. Statham

    2006-01-01

    The Nopal I uranium mine in the Sierra Pena Blanca, Chihuahua, Mexico serves as a natural analogue to the Yucca Mountain repository. The Pena Blanca Natural Analogue Performance Assessment Model simulates the mobilization and transport of radionuclides that are released from the mine and transported to the saturated zone. the Pena Blanca Natural Analogue Model uses probabilistic simulations of hydrogeologic processes that are analogous to the processes that occur at the Yucca Mountain site. The Nopal I uranium deposit lies in fractured, welded, and altered rhyolitic ash flow tuffs that overlie carbonate rocks, a setting analogous to the geologic formations at the Yucca Mountain site. The Nopal I mine site has the following characteristics as compared to the Yucca Mountain repository site. (1) Analogous source: UO 2 uranium ore deposit = spent nuclear fuel in the repository; (2) Analogous geologic setting: fractured, welded, and altered rhyolitic ash flow tuffs overlying carbonate rocks; (3) Analogous climate: Semiarid to arid; (4) Analogous geochemistry: Oxidizing conditions; and (5) Analogous hydrogeology: The ore deposit lies in the unsaturated zone above the water table. The Nopal I deposit is approximately 8 ± 0.5 million years old and has been exposed to oxidizing conditions during the last 3.2 to 3.4 million years. The Pena Blanca Natural Analogue Model considers that the uranium oxide and uranium silicates in the ore deposit were originally analogous to uranium-oxide spent nuclear fuel. The Pena Blanca site has been characterized using field and laboratory investigations of its fault and fracture distribution, mineralogy, fracture fillings, seepage into the mine adits, regional hydrology, and mineralization that shows the extent of radionuclide migration. Three boreholes were drilled at the Nopal I mine site in 2003 and these boreholes have provided samples for lithologic characterization, water-level measurements, and water samples for laboratory analysis

  12. Studies of ancient concrete as analogs of cementitious sealing materials for a repository in tuff

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roy, D.M.; Langton, C.A.

    1989-03-01

    The durability of ancient cementitious materials has been investigated to provide data applicable to determining the resistance to weathering of concrete materials for sealing a repository for storage of high-level radioactive waste. Because tuff and volcanic ash are used in the concretes in the vicinity of Rome, the results are especially applicable to a waste repository in tuff. Ancient mortars, plasters, and concretes collected from Rome, Ostia, and Cosa dating to the third century BC show remarkable durability. The aggregates used in the mortars, plasters, and concretes included basic volcanic and pyroclastic rocks (including tuff), terra-cotta, carbonates, sands, and volcanic ash. The matrices of ancient cementitious materials have been characterized and classified into four categories: (1) hydraulic hydrated lime and hydrated lime cements, (2) hydraulic aluminous and ferruginous hydrated lime cements ({plus_minus} siliceous components), (3) pozzolana/hydrated lime cements, and (4) gypsum cements. Most of the materials investigated are in category (3). The materials were characterized to elucidate aspects of the technology that produced them and their response to the environmental exposure throughout their centuries of existence. Their remarkable properties are the result of a combination of chemical, mineralogical, and microstructural factors. Their durability was found to be affected by the matrix mineralogy, particle size, and porosity; aggregate type, grading and proportioning; and the methodology of placement. 30 refs.

  13. Estimation of deep infiltration in unsaturated limestone environments using cave lidar and drip count data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahmud, K.; Mariethoz, G.; Baker, A.; Treble, P. C.; Markowska, M.; McGuire, E.

    2016-01-01

    Limestone aeolianites constitute karstic aquifers covering much of the western and southern Australian coastal fringe. They are a key groundwater resource for a range of industries such as winery and tourism, and provide important ecosystem services such as habitat for stygofauna. Moreover, recharge estimation is important for understanding the water cycle, for contaminant transport, for water management, and for stalagmite-based paleoclimate reconstructions. Caves offer a natural inception point to observe both the long-term groundwater recharge and the preferential movement of water through the unsaturated zone of such limestone. With the availability of automated drip rate logging systems and remote sensing techniques, it is now possible to deploy the combination of these methods for larger-scale studies of infiltration processes within a cave. In this study, we utilize a spatial survey of automated cave drip monitoring in two large chambers of Golgotha Cave, south-western Western Australia (SWWA), with the aim of better understanding infiltration water movement and the relationship between infiltration, stalactite morphology, and unsaturated zone recharge. By applying morphological analysis of ceiling features from Terrestrial LiDAR (T-LiDAR) data, coupled with drip time series and climate data from 2012 to 2014, we demonstrate the nature of the relationships between infiltration through fractures in the limestone and unsaturated zone recharge. Similarities between drip rate time series are interpreted in terms of flow patterns, cave chamber morphology, and lithology. Moreover, we develop a new technique to estimate recharge in large-scale caves, engaging flow classification to determine the cave ceiling area covered by each flow category and drip data for the entire observation period, to calculate the total volume of cave discharge. This new technique can be applied to other cave sites to identify highly focussed areas of recharge and can help to better

  14. Principles of Physical Modelling of Unsaturated Soils

    OpenAIRE

    CAICEDO, Bernardo; THOREL, Luc

    2014-01-01

    Centrifuge modelling has been widely used to simulate the performance of a variety of geotechnical works, most of them focusing on saturated clays or dry sands. On the other hand, the performance of some geotechnical works depends on the behaviour of shallow layers in the soil deposit where it is frequently unsaturated. Centrifuge modelling could be a powerful tool to study the performance of shallow geotechnical works. However all the experimental complexities related to unsaturated soils, w...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1979-01-01

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

  16. Virus movement in soil during saturated and unsaturated flow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lance, J C; Gerba, C P

    1984-02-01

    Virus movement in soil during saturated and unsaturated flow was compared by adding poliovirus to sewage water and applying the water at different rates to a 250-cm-long soil column equipped with ceramic samplers at different depths. Movement of viruses during unsaturated flow of sewage through soil columns was much less than during saturated flow. Viruses did not move below the 40-cm level when sewage water was applied at less than the maximum infiltration rate; virus penetration in columns flooded with sewage was at least 160 cm. Therefore, virus movement in soils irrigated with sewage should be less than in flooded groundwater recharge basins or in saturated soil columns. Management of land treatment systems to provide unsaturated flow through the soil should minimize the depth of virus penetration. Differences in virus movement during saturated and unsaturated flow must be considered in the development of any model used to simulate virus movement in soils.

  17. The influence of water on the strength of Neapolitan Yellow Tuff, the most widely used building stone in Naples (Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heap, Michael J.; Farquharson, Jamie I.; Kushnir, Alexandra R. L.; Lavallée, Yan; Baud, Patrick; Gilg, H. Albert; Reuschlé, Thierry

    2018-06-01

    Neapolitan Yellow Tuff (NYT) has been used in construction in Naples (Italy) since the Greeks founded the city—then called Neapolis—in the sixth century BCE. We investigate here whether this popular building stone is weaker when saturated with water, an issue important for assessments of weathering damage and monument preservation. To this end, we performed 28 uniaxial compressive strength measurements on dry and water-saturated samples cored from a block of the lithified Upper Member of the NYT. Our experiments show that the strength of the zeolite-rich NYT is systematically reduced when saturated with water (the ratio of wet to dry strength is 0.63). Complementary experiments show that two other common Neapolitan building stones—Piperno Tuff and the grey Campanian Ignimbrite (both facies of the Campanian Ignimbrite deposit devoid of zeolites)—do not weaken when wet. From these data, and previously published data for tuffs around the globe, we conclude that the water-weakening in NYT is a consequence of the presence of abundant zeolites (the block tested herein contains 46 wt.% of zeolites). These data may help explain weathering damage in NYT building stones (due to rainfall, rising damp, and proximity to the sea or water table) and the observed link between rainfall and landslides, rock falls, and sinkhole formation in Naples, and the weathering of other buildings built from zeolite-rich tuffs worldwide.

  18. A high-pyrite semianthracite of Late Permian age in the Songzao Coalfield, southwestern China: Mineralogical and geochemical relations with underlying mafic tuffs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, S.; Wang, X.; Chen, W.; Li, D.; Chou, C.-L.; Zhou, Y.; Zhu, Chen; Li, H.; Zhu, Xudong; Xing, Y.; Zhang, W.; Zou, J.

    2010-01-01

    The No. 12 Coal (Late Permian) in the Songzao Coalfield, Chongqing, southwestern China, is characteristically high in pyrite and some trace elements. It is uniquely deposited directly above mafic tuff beds. Samples of coal and tuffs have been studied for their mineralogy and geochemistry using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry, X-ray fluorescence, plasma low-temperature ashing plus powder X-ray diffraction, and scanning electron microscopy equipped with energy-dispersive X-ray analysis.The results show that the minerals of the No. 12 Coal are mainly composed of pyrite, clay minerals (kaolinite, chamosite, and illite), ankerite, calcite, and trace amounts of quartz and boehmite. Kaolinite and boehmite were mainly derived from sediment source region of mafic tuffs. Chamosite was formed by the reaction of kaolinite with Fe-Mg-rich fluids during early diagenesis. The high pyrite (Sp,d=8.83%) in the coal was related to marine transgression over peat deposits and abundant Fe derived from the underlying mafic tuff bed. Ankerite and calcite were precipitated from epigenetic fluids.Chemical compositions of incompatible elements indicate that the tuffs were derived from enriched mantle and the source magmas had an alkali-basalt character. Compared to other coals from the Songzao Coalfield and common Chinese coals, the No. 12 Coal has a lower SiO2/Al2O3 (1.13) but a higher Al2O3/Na2O (80.1) value and is significantly enriched in trace elements including Sc (13.5??g/g), V (121??g/g), Cr (33.6??g/g), Co (27.2??g/g), Ni (83.5??g/g), Cu (48.5??g/g), Ga (17.3??g/g), Y (68.3??g/g), Zr (444??g/g), Nb (23.8??g/g), and REE (392??g/g on average). Above mineralogical compositions, as well as similar ratios of selected elements (e.g., SiO2/Al2O3 and Al2O3/Na2O) and similar distribution patterns of incompatible elements (e.g., the mantle-normalized diagram for incompatible elements and chondrite-normalized diagram for rare earth elements) of coal and tuff, indicated that

  19. A high-pyrite semianthracite of Late Permian age in the Songzao Coalfield, southwestern China: Mineralogical and geochemical relations with underlying mafic tuffs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dai, Shifeng; Wang, Xibo; Chen, Wenmei [State Key Laboratory of Coal Resources and Safe Mining, China University of Mining and Technology, Beijing 100083, (China); Li, Dahua [Research Center of State Key Laboratory of Coal Resources and Safe Mining, Chongqing 400042, (China); Chou, Chen-Lin [Illinois State Geological Survey (Emeritus), 615 East Peabody Drive, Champaign, IL 61820, (United States); Zhou, Yiping [Yunnan Institute of Coal Geology Prospection, Kunming 650218, (China); Zhu, Changsheng; Li, Hang [Research Center of State Key Laboratory of Coal Resources and Safe Mining, Chongqing 400042, (China); Zhu, Xingwei; Xing, Yunwei; Zhang, Weiguo; Zou, Jianhua [State Key Laboratory of Coal Resources and Safe Mining, China University of Mining and Technology, Beijing 100083, (China)

    2010-09-01

    The No. 12 Coal (Late Permian) in the Songzao Coalfield, Chongqing, southwestern China, is characteristically high in pyrite and some trace elements. It is uniquely deposited directly above mafic tuff beds. Samples of coal and tuffs have been studied for their mineralogy and geochemistry using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry, X-ray fluorescence, plasma low-temperature ashing plus powder X-ray diffraction, and scanning electron microscopy equipped with energy-dispersive X-ray analysis. The results show that the minerals of the No. 12 Coal are mainly composed of pyrite, clay minerals (kaolinite, chamosite, and illite), ankerite, calcite, and trace amounts of quartz and boehmite. Kaolinite and boehmite were mainly derived from sediment source region of mafic tuffs. Chamosite was formed by the reaction of kaolinite with Fe-Mg-rich fluids during early diagenesis. The high pyrite (S{sub p,d} 8.83%) in the coal was related to marine transgression over peat deposits and abundant Fe derived from the underlying mafic tuff bed. Ankerite and calcite were precipitated from epigenetic fluids. Chemical compositions of incompatible elements indicate that the tuffs were derived from enriched mantle and the source magmas had an alkali-basalt character. Compared to other coals from the Songzao Coalfield and common Chinese coals, the No. 12 Coal has a lower SiO{sub 2}/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} (1.13) but a higher Al{sub 2}O{sub 3}/Na{sub 2}O (80.1) value and is significantly enriched in trace elements including Sc (13.5 {mu}g/g), V (121 {mu}g/g), Cr (33.6 {mu}g/g), Co (27.2 {mu}g/g), Ni (83.5 {mu}g/g), Cu (48.5 {mu}g/g), Ga (17.3 {mu}g/g), Y (68.3 {mu}g/g), Zr (444 {mu}g/g), Nb (23.8 {mu}g/g), and REE (392 {mu}g/g on average). Above mineralogical compositions, as well as similar ratios of selected elements (e.g., SiO{sub 2}/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} and Al{sub 2}O{sub 3}/Na{sub 2}O) and similar distribution patterns of incompatible elements (e.g., the mantle-normalized diagram for

  20. Use of Rhenish tuff and trass in the Netherlands in the past two millenia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

    Occasionally, a profound but distant connection between volcanos and culture exists. This is the case for the volcanic Eifel region in Germany and historic construction in the Netherlands, with the river Rhine as physical and enabling connection. Volcanic tuff from the Eifel comprises a significant

  1. Nuclear-waste-package program for high-level isolation in Nevada tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rothman, A.J.

    1982-01-01

    The objective of the waste package program is to insure that a package is designed suitable for a repository in tuff that meets performance requirements of the NRC. In brief, the current (draft) regulation requires that the radionuclides be contained in the engineered system for 1000 years, and that, thereafter, no more than one part in 10 5 of the nuclides per year leave the boundary of the system. Studies completed as of this writing are thermal modeling of waste packages in a tuff repository and analysis of sodium bentonite as a potential backfill material. Both studies will be presented. Thermal calculations coupled with analysis of the geochemical literature on bentonite indicate that extensive chemical and physical alteration of bentonite would result at the high power densities proposed (ca. 2 kW/package and an area density of 25 W/m 2 ), in part due to compacted bentonite's relatively low thermal conductivity when dehydrated (approx. 0.6 +- 0.2 W/m 0 C). Because our groundwater contains K + , an upper hydrothermal temperature limit appears to be 120 to 150 0 C. At much lower power densities (less than 1 kW per package and an areal density of 12 W/m 2 ), bentonite may be suitable

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Study on the effect of Shahin-Dezh green Tuff on the mechanical characteristics of roller compact concrete

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sadegh Dardaei

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Due to the growing popularity of concrete structure and increasing use of them, especially Roller compacted concrete, applying Pozzolan and replacing cement with Pozzolan is very important. Nowadays, the use of the additive for cement replacement is common in RCC mix design due to its technical advantages and economic benefits as there is large quantity of Pozzolan mineral resources in Iran. In this paper the impact of produced concrete has been fully considered as well as the effect of this Pozzolan on the compressive strength, tensile strength and permeability by using green Tuff obtained from available Pozzolan in western Azarbaijan. The due results prove that Shahin-Dezh green Tuff improves concretes quality.

  5. Waste migration in shallow burial sites under unsaturated flow conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eicholz, G.G.; Whang, J.

    1987-01-01

    Unsaturated conditions prevail in many shallow-land burial sites, both in arid and humid regions. Unless a burial site is allowed to flood and possibly overflow, a realistic assessment of any migration scenario must take into account the conditions of unsaturated flow. These are more difficult to observe and to model, but introduce significant changes into projected rates of waste leaching and waste migration. Column tests have been performed using soils from the Southeastern coastal plain to observe the effects of varying degrees of ''unsaturation'' on the movement of radioactive tracers. The moisture content in the columns was controlled by maintaining various levels of hydrostatic suction on soil columns whose hydrodynamic characteristics had been determined carefully. Tracer tests, employing Cs-137, I-131 and Ba-133 were used to determine migration profiles and to follow their movement down the column for different suction values. A calculational model has been developed for unsaturated flow and seems to match the observations fairly well. It is evident that a full description of migration processes must take into account the reduced migration rates under unsaturated conditions and the hysteresis effects associated with wetting-drying cycles

  6. PHYSIOLOGICAL REACTION OF THE SPECIES BRASSICA JUNCEA (L. CZERN. ON SALINIZED SOILS AMELIORATED WITH ZEOLITIC TUFF, PEAT AND PERLITE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Cătălina PASTIA

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The physiological reaction of saline stress which Brassica juncea (L. Czern. plants undergo shows a greater growth and fresh substance gain process on previously cultivated soils that were fined with 20% zeolitic tuff and 5.09 g of neutral peat than the ones that had a substrate which hasn’t been cultivated on before that was fined with 5% zeolitic tuff and 1.39 g of perlite. The dry substance values obtained present a positive correlation with the values of fresh substance. Analysis of stomatal conductance enhances the hydric stress of plants which respond to saline stress with osmotic adjustment, accumulating high quantities of water comparing to the witness plant, which induces lower values of stomatal conductance and implicitly values are decreasing for photosynthesis, determining a low productivity. Higher values of stomatal conductance are reached at plants grown on previously cultivated soils fined with 20% zeolitic tuff and peat, and also at the ones grown on uncultivated soils fined with peat (29.45, respectively 30.05 mmol/m2/s.

  7. New fission-track ages of mio-pliocene tuffs in the Sierras Pampeanas and Precordillera of Argentina

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tabbutt, K.; Naeser, C.W.; Jordan, T.E.; Cerveny, P.F.

    1989-01-01

    Fission-track dates were determined for 18 volcanic tuff horizons located in nine Neogene foreland basin sequences distributed throughout the Precordillera and Sierras Pampeanas of Northwestern Argentina, an area of nearly horizontal subduction. These and other data indicate that a lower age limit for the sedimentary sequences studied is approximately 17 Ma. Therefore these fission-track dates constrain both the history of volcanic activity and the time of deposition in several foreland basins from the middle Miocene to Recent. Although the dates range from 3.6±0.8 Ma to 17.0±1.9 Ma, there is a marked increase in the number of ashes younger than 9 Ma. This implies that two distinct episodes of volcanic activity affected the region. The source of some of these tuffs is unknown but they are probably limited to the 'flat-slab' region between 27 deg and 32 deg S. Tuffs at Rio Blanco and Santa Florentina that are spatially associated with the Mogotes dacite domes of the Famatina Range represented magmatism bracketed from about 7 to 4 Ma in the region underlain by the flat-subducted plate. The stratigraphic relations in the basins show that the faulting that uplifted Sierra de Famatina was contemporaneous with the volcanism which reached the surface along the bounding faults. (Author) [es

  8. Estimation of possibilities of making euro pallets from reclaimed polyolefin’s with tuff

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Kuciel

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Possibilities of reusing and developing of waste plastics are one of the main problems of waste management for municipal governmentespecially in the context of adapting Polish law to standards of EC [1]. During the last 10 years total amount of plastics waste increasedtwice, especially in communal agglomerations. Among communal waste plastics make up 7 to 14% of whole their mass and 30% of theirvolume [1,2]. Plastic products have been recycled to be used in a number of different products often different from their original use.Reclaimed plastics can’t be used as products which have contact with food or as high demands esthetic and hygienic products, they alsoshouldn’t be applied as short-time used products because they quickly come back to plastics store-place. Reclaimed plastics have lowerproperties than virgin plastics – mainly the strength falls with the simultaneous fall of modules and increase fragile especially for PP, PE,PS and PET [1]. One of the possibilities of reinforcement of polyolefines is adding diverse fillers like glass or carbon fibers (but they arerather expensive and natural fillers like mineral, wood and others [3]. It’s especially important for wasted of low density polyethylenewhich has low modulus. For the tests it was used waste polyethylene (LDPE and HDPE from industrial with 15% mineral fillers – tuff.For the tests it was prepared two kinds of composites materials with 15% of tuff powder. Besides for comparison it was tested recycledpolyethylene (HDPE and LDPE and next was tested specimens cut out from produced europallets (with 15% of tuff. It was testedmechanical properties all prepared composite materials like tensile strength, stress and bending e-modulus and processing properties likemelt flow, Vicat point and photos on SEM microscope.

  9. Radionuclide transfer onto ground surface in surface water flow. 2. Undisturbed tuff rock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mukai, Masayuki; Takebe, Shinichi; Komiya, Tomokazu

    1994-09-01

    Radionuclide migration with ground surface water flow is considered to be one of path ways in the scenario for environmental migration of the radionuclide leaked from LLRW depository. To study the radionuclide migration demonstratively, a ground surface radionuclide migration test was carried out by simulating radioactive solution flowing on the sloped tuff rock surface. Tuff rock sample of 240 cm in length taken from the Shimokita district was used to test the transfer of 60 Co, 85 Sr and 137 Cs onto the sample surface from the flowing radioactive solution under restricted infiltration condition at flow rates of 25, 80, 160ml/min and duration of 56h. The concentration change of the radionuclides in effluent was nearly constant as a function of elapsed time during the experimental period, but decreased with lower flow rates. Among the three radionuclides, 137 Cs was greatly decreased its concentration to 30% of the inflow. Adsorbed distribution of the radionuclides concentration on the ground surface decreased gradually with the distance from the inlet, and showed greater gradient at lower flow rate. Analyzing the result by the migration model, where a vertical advection distribution and two-dimensional diffusion in surface water are adopted with a first order adsorption reaction, value of migration parameters was obtained relating to the radionuclide adsorption and the surface water flow, and the measured distribution could be well simulated by adopting the value to the model. By comparing the values with the case of loamy soil layer, all values of the migration parameters showed not so great difference between two samples for 60 Co and 85 Sr. For 137 Cs, reflecting a few larger value of adsorption to the tuff rock, larger ability to reduce the concentration of flowing radioactive solution could be indicated than that to the loamy soil surface by estimation for long flowed distance. (author)

  10. Fracture Propagation, Fluid Flow, and Geomechanics of Water-Based Hydraulic Fracturing in Shale Gas Systems and Electromagnetic Geophysical Monitoring of Fluid Migration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Jihoon; Um, Evan; Moridis, George

    2014-12-01

    -geomechanical simulator and are transformed via a rock-physics model into electrical conductivity models. It is shown that anomalous conductivity distribution in the resulting models is closely related to injected water saturation, but not closely related to newly created unsaturated fractures. Our numerical modeling experiments demonstrate that the crosswell EM method can be highly sensitive to conductivity changes that directly indicate the migration pathways of the injected fluid. Accordingly, the EM method can serve as an effective monitoring tool for distribution of injected fluids (i.e., migration pathways) during hydraulic fracturing operations

  11. Construction of the North Head (Maungauika) tuff cone: a product of Surtseyan volcanism, rare in the Auckland Volcanic Field, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agustín-Flores, Javier; Németh, Károly; Cronin, Shane J.; Lindsay, Jan M.; Kereszturi, Gábor

    2015-02-01

    The Auckland Volcanic Field (AVF) comprises at least 52 monogenetic eruption centres dispersed over ˜360 km2. Eruptions have occurred sporadically since 250 ka, predominantly when glacio-eustatic sea levels were lower than today. Now that around 35 % of the field is covered by shallow water (up to 30 m depth), any eruption occurring in the present or near future within this area may display Surtseyan dynamics. The North Head tuff cone evidences eruptive dynamics caused by magma interaction with seawater. The first stages of the eruption comprise a phreatomagmatic phase that built a 48-m-high tuff cone. North Head tuff deposits contain few lithic fragments (Auckland area was at least 10-12 m above the pre-eruptive surface. The hazards associated with this type of eruption pose a risk to the densely populated coastal residential zones and the activities of one of the busiest harbours in New Zealand.

  12. Removal and recovery of p-phenylenediamines developing compounds from photofinishing lab-washwater using clinoptilolite tuffs from Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlessidis, A G; Triantafillidis, C S; Evmiridis, N P

    2001-04-01

    Clinoptilolite tuffs from areas in Thrace region of Greece are compared with synthetic zeolites NaY and NH4Y for the uptake of N4-ethyl-N4-(2-methansulphonamidoethyl)-2-methyl-1,4-phenylenediamin (sesquisulphate, monohydrate) with the trade name CD-3 for the purpose to be used for clean-up and recycling photo-finishing and photo-developing washwaters. The cation-exchange capacity is found to be 6.15-11.1 mg/g for zeoliferous tuffs at equilibrium concentration of 50 ppm CD-3 in aqueous solution compared to 65.0 mg/g of NaY and 48.2 mg/g for NH4Y synthetic zeolites corresponding to the removal of CD-3 from 120 to 2001 of 50 ppm aqueous solution per kg of natural zeoliferous tuff; this capacity is only 6-10 times lower than type-Y synthetic zeolite. Initial rates of uptake are 20.8 mg/l/min for natural and 38.5 mg/l/min for synthetic zeolites. Regeneration levels of 55, 23, 35, and 33% are obtained for MCH, SF, NaY, and NH4Y, respectively. The rapid and almost complete uptake of CD-3 from its aqueous solutions at low CD-3 concentrations by the natural zeolites is promising for such an application.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1982-12-01

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

  14. Measurement of field-saturated hydraulic conductivity on fractured rock outcrops near Altamura (Southern Italy) with an adjustable large ring infiltrometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caputo, Maria C.; de Carlo, L.; Masciopinto, C.; Nimmo, J.R.

    2010-01-01

    Up to now, field studies set up to measure field-saturated hydraulic conductivity to evaluate contamination risks, have employed small cylinders that may not be representative of the scale of measurements in heterogeneous media. In this study, a large adjustable ring infiltrometer was designed to be installed on-site directly on rock to measure its field-saturated hydraulic conductivity. The proposed device is inexpensive and simple to implement, yet also very versatile, due to its large adjustable diameter that can be fixed on-site. It thus allows an improved representation of the natural system's heterogeneity, while also taking into consideration irregularities in the soil/rock surface. The new apparatus was tested on an outcrop of karstic fractured limestone overlying the deep Murge aquifer in the South of Italy, which has recently been affected by untreated sludge disposal, derived from municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants. The quasi-steady vertical flow into the unsaturated fractures was investigated by measuring water levels during infiltrometer tests. Simultaneously, subsurface electrical resistivity measurements were used to visualize the infiltration of water in the subsoil, due to unsaturated water flow in the fractures. The proposed experimental apparatus works well on rock outcrops, and allows the repetition of infiltration tests at many locations in order to reduce model uncertainties in heterogeneous media. ?? 2009 Springer-Verlag.

  15. Initial specifications for nuclear waste package external dimensions and materials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gregg, D.W.; O'Neal, W.C.

    1983-09-01

    Initial specifications of external dimensions and materials for waste package conceptual designs are given for Defense High Level Waste (DHLW), Commercial High Level Waste (CHLW) and Spent Fuel (SF). The designs have been developed for use in a high-level waste repository sited in a tuff media in the unsaturated zone. Drawings for reference and alternative package conceptual designs are presented for each waste form for both vertical and horizontal emplacement configurations. Four metal alloys: 304L SS, 321 SS, 316L SS and Incoloy 825 are considered for the canister or overpack; 1020 carbon steel was selected for horizontal borehole liners, and a preliminary packing material selection is either compressed tuff or compressed tuff containing iron bearing smectite clay as a binder

  16. A framework for the behaviour of unsaturated expansive clays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gens, A.; Alonso, E.E.

    1992-01-01

    The paper presents a framework for describing the mechanical behaviour of unsaturated expansive clays. It is an extension of an existing formulation developed for unsaturated soils of low activity. The extended framework is based on the distinction within the material of a microstructural level where the basic swelling of the active minerals takes place, and a macrostructural level responsible for major structural rearrangements. Bu adopting simple assumptions concerning the coupling between the two levels, it is possible to reproduce major features of the behaviour of unsaturated expansive clays. Some selected qualitative comparisons between model predictions and experimental results reported in the literature are presented. Despite the simplified hypotheses made, a very encouraging agreement is obtained

  17. Radionuclide transport and retardation in tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vine, E.N.; Bayhurst, B.P.; Daniels, W.R.; DeVilliers, S.J.; Erdal, B.R.; Lawrence, F.O.; Wolfsberg, K.

    1980-01-01

    Batch measurements provide an understanding of which experimental variables are important. For example, sorption ratios vary little with particle size (and surface area); however, groundwater composition and rock composition are quite important. A general correlation has been identified between mineralogy (major phases) and degree of sorption for strontium, cesium, and barium. Although these are approximate, a more detailed analysis may be possible as more samples are studied and the data base increased. Data from crushed tuff columns indicate that, except in simple cases where sorption coefficients are relatively low, and ion-exchange equilibria not only exist but are the dominant mechanism for removal of radioisotopes from solution, the simple relation between the sorption ratio R/sub d/ (or K/sub d/) and the relative velocity of radionuclides with respect to groundwater velocity may be insufficient to permit accurate modeling of the retardation of radionuclides. Additional work on whole core columns and larger blocks of intact material is required to better understand radionuclide sorption and transport through rock

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1981-05-01

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

  19. Effect of Unsaturated Flow on Delayed Response of Unconfined Aquifiers to Pumping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tartakovsky, G.; Neuman, S. P.

    2005-12-01

    A new analytical solution is presented for the delayed response process characterizing flow to a partially penetrating well in an unconfined aquifer. The new solution generalizes that of Neuman [1972, 1974] by accounting for unsaturated flow above the water table. Axially symmetric three-dimensional flow in the unsaturated zone is described by a linearized version of Richards' equation in which hydraulic conductivity and water content vary exponentially with incremental capillary pressure head relative to its air entry value (defining the interface between the saturated and unsaturated zones). Unsaturated soil properties are characterized by an exponent κ having the dimension of inverse length and a dimensionless exponent κD = κb where b is initial saturated thickness. Our treatment of the unsaturated zone is similar to that of Kroszynski and Dagan [1975] who however have ignored internal (artesian) aquifer storage. It has been suggested by Boulton [1954, 1963, 1970] and Neuman [1972, 1974], and is confirmed by our solution, that internal storage is required to reproduce the early increase in drawdown characterizing delayed response to pumping in typical aquifers. According to our new solution such aquifers are characterized by relatively large κ_ D values, typically 10 or larger; in the limit as κD tends to infinity (the soil unsaturated water retention capacity becomes insignificant and/or aquifer thickness become large), unsaturated flow becomes unimportant and our solution reduces to that of Neuman. In typical cases corresponding to κD larger than or equal to 10, unsaturated flow is found to have little impact on early and late dimensionless time behaviors of drawdown measured wholly or in part at some distance below the water table; unsaturated flow causes drawdown to increase slightly at intermediate dimensionless time values that represent transition from an early artesian dominated to a late water-table dominated flow regime. The increase in drawdown

  20. Stochastic analysis of radionuclide migration in saturated-unsaturated soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kawanishi, Moto

    1988-01-01

    In Japan, LLRW (low level radioactive wastes) generated from nuclear power plants shall be started to store concentrically in the Shimokita site from 1990, and those could be transformed into land disposal if the positive safety is confirmed. Therefore, it is hoped that the safety assessment method shall be successed for the land disposal of LLRW. In this study, a stochastic model to analyze the radionuclide migration in saturated-unsaturated soils was constructed. The principal results are summarized as follows. 1) We presented a generalized idea for the modeling of the radionuclide migration in saturated-unsaturated soils as an advective-dispersion phenomena followed by the decay of radionuclides and those adsorption/desorption in soils. 2) Based on the radionuclide migration model mentioned above, we developed a stochastic analysis model on radionuclide migration in saturated-unsaturated soils. 3) From the comparison between the simulated results and the exact solution on a few simple one-dimensional advective-dispersion problems of radionuclides, the good validity of this model was confirmed. 4) From the comparison between the simulated results by this model and the experimental results of radionuclide migration in a one-dimensional unsaturated soil column with rainfall, the good applicability was shown. 5) As the stochastic model such as this has several advantages that it is easily able to represent the image of physical phenomena and has basically no numerical dissipation, this model should be more applicable to the analysis of the complicated radionuclide migration in saturated-unsaturated soils. (author)

  1. Occurrence of rhyolytic tuffs at deep sea drilling project site 219 on the Laccadive Ridge

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Siddiquie, H.N.; Sukheswala, R.N.

    A study of thin sections from the lower and middle parts of Unit 5 (Paleocene) from Site 219 shows that these largely consist of acidic or rhyolitic tuffs. The overlying limestones in Unit 5 (Paleocene) and Unit 4 (Lower Eocene) also contain...

  2. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rautman, C.A.

    1991-02-01

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