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Sample records for zone tuff yucca

  1. Methods for pore water extraction from unsaturated zone tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Scofield, K.M.

    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 collected 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. Pore water samples collected from the intermediate pressure ranges should prevent the influence of re-dissolved, evaporative salts and the addition of ion-deficient water from clays and zeolites. Chemistry of pore water splits from welded and nonwelded tuffs using ultracentrifugation indicates that there is no substantial fractionation of solutes.

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

    SciT

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

    1986-10-01

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

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

    SciT

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

    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 ofmore » Yucca Mountain tuffs, uniaxial compression is the most efficient method of pore-water extraction. 12 refs., 7 figs., 2 tabs.« less

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

    Spengler, Richard W.; Peterman, Zell 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 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 87Sr/86Sr 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 87Sr/86Sr values within the Bullfrog Member and older units to those of Paleozoic marine carbonates are consistent with a massive influx of Sr from water derived from a Paleozoic carbonate aquifer.

  5. Petrographic and geochemical characteristics of a section through the Tiva Canyon Tuff at Antler Ridge, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciT

    Singer, F.R.; Widmann, B.L.; Dickerson, R.P.

    1994-12-31

    The Tiva Canyon Tuff of the Paintbrush Group of Miocene age caps much of Yucca Mountain, Nevada and is a compositionally zoned, compound cooling, pyroclastic flow that ranges from a dominantly high-silica rhyolitic base to a quartz-latitic caprock. Petrographic and geochemical studies have focused on rigorously defining the internal stratigraphy of this unit to support the detailed mapping of the Ghost Dance fault and other structures in the central fault block of Yucca Mountain. This study shows that devitrification textures and vapor phase mineralogy, in addition to other physical attributes such as pumice variability (flattening) and crystal content, can bemore » used as distinguishing criteria to better define lithologic zones within the Tiva Canyon Tuff. In addition, the study also shows that the petrographic textures and chemistry of the groundmass vary systematically within recognizable lithologic zones and may be used to characterize and vertically divide litho-stratigraphic zones within the Tiva Canyon Tuff.« less

  6. Lithostratigraphy and shear-wave velocity in the crystallized Topopah Spring Tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Buesch, D.C.; Stokoe, K.H.; Won, K.C.; Seong, Y.J.; Jung, J.L.; Schuhen, M.D.

    2006-01-01

    Evaluation of the potential future response to seismic events 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 (Vs), 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 Vs values compared to samples from lithophysal zones. Some samples have Vs values that are outside 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 Vs data from small-scale samples (typical and "flawed" core) to larger scale transects in the tunnels provide a basis for merging our understanding of the distributions of lithostratigraphic features (and zones) with a method to scale seismic properties.

  7. Batch sorption results for neptunium transport through Yucca Mountain tuffs. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Program milestone 3349

    SciT

    Triay, I.R.; Cotter, C.R.; Huddleston, M.H.

    1996-09-01

    We studied the sorption of neptunium onto tuffs characteristic of the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The neptunium was in the Np(V) oxidation state under oxidizing conditions in groundwaters from two wells located close to the repository site (J-13 and UE-25 p No.1). We used devitrified, vitric, zeolitic (with emphasis on clinoptilolite-rich samples), and calcite-rich tuffs characteristic of the geology of the site. Neptunium sorbed well onto calcite and calcite-rich tuffs, indicating that a significant amount of neptunium retardation can be expected under fractured-flow scenarios because of calcite coating of the fractures. Neptunium sorption onto clinoptilolite-rich zeoliticmore » tuffs in J-13 well water (pH from 7 to 8.5) was moderate, increased with decreasing pH, and correlated to surface area and amount of clinoptilolite. Neptunium sorbed poorly onto zeolitic tuffs from UE-25 p No.1 groundwater (pH from 7 to 9) and onto devitrified and vitric tuffs from J-13 and UE-25 p No.1 waters (pH from 7 to 9). Iron oxides appeared to be passivated in tuffs, not seeming to contribute to the observed neptunium sorption, even though neptunium sorption onto synthetic iron oxide is significant.« less

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patiman, A.; Bowles, J.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    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.

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

    Sweetkind, Donald S.; Drake II, Ronald M.

    2007-01-01

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

  11. Compositional zoning of the bishop tuff

    Hildreth, W.; Wilson, C.J.N.

    2007-01-01

    Compositional data for >400 pumice clasts, organized according to eruptive sequence, crystal content, and texture, provide new perspectives on eruption and pre-eruptive evolution of the >4600 km3 of zoned rhyolitic magma ejected as the BishopTuff during formation of Long Valley caldera. Proportions and compositions of different pumice types are given for each ignimbrite package and for the intercalated plinian pumice-fall layers that erupted synchronously. Although withdrawal of the zoned magma was less systematic than previously realized, the overall sequence displays trends toward greater proportions of less evolved pumice, more crystals (0-5 24 wt %), and higher FeTi-oxide temperatures (714-818??C). No significant hiatus took place during the 6 day eruption of the BishopTuff, nearly all of which issued from an integrated, zoned, unitary reservoir. Shortly before eruption, however, the zoned melt-dominant portion of the chamber was invaded by batches of disparate lower-silica rhyolite magma, poorer in crystals than most of the resident magma but slightly hotter and richer in Ba, Sr, andTi. Interaction with resident magma at the deepest levels tapped promoted growth ofTi-rich rims on quartz, Ba-rich rims on sanidine, and entrapment of near-rim melt inclusions relatively enriched in Ba and CO2.Varied amounts of mingling, even in higher parts of the chamber, led to the dark gray and swirly crystal-poor pumices sparsely present in all ashflow packages. As shown by FeTi-oxide geothermometry, the zoned rhyolitic chamber was hottest where crystal-richest, rendering any model of solidification fronts at the walls or roof unlikely.The main compositional gradient (75-195 ppm Rb; 0.8-2.2 ppm Ta; 71-154 ppm Zr; 0.40-1.73% FeO*) existed in the melt, prior to crystallization of the phenocryst suite observed, which included zircon as much as 100 kyr older than the eruption.The compositions of crystals, though themselves largely unzoned, generally reflect magma temperature and

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

    Lecain, Gary D.; Stuckless, John S.

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Evidence of Rapid Localized Groundwater Transport in Volcanic Tuffs Beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freifeld, B.; Walker, J.; Doughty, C.; Kryder, L.; Gilmore, K.; Finsterle, S.; Sampson, J.

    2006-12-01

    At Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the proposed location for a national high-level nuclear waste repository radionuclides, if released from breached waste storage canisters, could make their way down through the unsaturated zone (where the repository would be located) into the underlying groundwater and eventually back to the biosphere (i.e., where they could adversely affect human health). The compliance boundary, 18 km south of the proposed repository, is defined as the location where a human being using groundwater would be maximally exposed to radionuclides outside of an exclusion zone set around the repository. It is thus important to predict how these radionuclides would be transported by the groundwater flow, and to predict both the concentration of and the rate at which any leaked radionuclides would arrive at the compliance boundary. We recently conducted a study of groundwater flux in the saturated zone through the Crater Flat Group, in a wellbore 15 km south of the proposed repository. The Crater Flat Group, a sequence of ash-flow tuff formations, is laterally extensive beneath the footprint of the proposed repository. Because of its intense fracturing and high permeabilities, the Bullfrog tuff is the primary unit within the Crater Flat Group through which radionuclides would be transported, as indicated by groundwater models. In a new wellbore, NC-EWDP- 24PB, we conducted flowing electrical conductivity logging (FEC), an open-wellbore logging technique, to identify flowing fractures prior to wellbore completion. While the FEC logs have identified transmissive zones, quantitative interpretation of the FEC results was difficult because differences in hydraulic heads in different flowing intervals created significant intraborehole fluid flow. The well was subsequently backfilled and completed with a distributed thermal perturbation sensor (DTPS), which introduces a thermal pulse to the wellbore and uses the thermal transient to estimate groundwater flux

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

    SciT

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

    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 sealsmore » 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.« less

  15. Hydraulic characterization of overpressured tuffs in central Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada

    Halford, Keith J.; Laczniak, Randell J.; Galloway, Devin L.

    2005-01-01

    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.

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

    Moscati, Richard J.; Johnson, Craig A.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciT

    Karasaki, K.; Galloway, D.

    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 ismore » 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.« less

  18. 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

    SciT

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

    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 bothmore » 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.« less

  19. Radionuclide sorption in Yucca Mountain tuffs with J-13 well water: Neptunium, uranium, and plutonium. Yucca Mountain site characterization program milestone 3338

    SciT

    Triay, I.R.; Cotter, C.R.; Kraus, S.M.

    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 notmore » 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{sup -7} to 3 X 10{sup -5} M. The sorption of uranium onto clinoptilolite-rich tuffs and pure clinoptilolite is not linear in the concentration range from 8 X 10{sup -8} to 1 X 10{sup -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.« less

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

    SciT

    George, James T.; Sobolik, Steven R.; Lee, Moo Y.

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

  1. Thermohydrologic modeling of the large-block test in partially saturated fractured tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, K.; Buscheck, T. A.; Glascoe, L. G.; Gansemer, J.; Sun, Y.

    2002-12-01

    In support of the characterization of Yucca Mountain as a potential site for as a geologic repository for high-level nuclear waste, the US Department of Energy conducted the Large Block Test (LBT) at nearby Fran Ridge. The LBT was conducted in an excavated 3x 3x 4.5m block of partially saturated, fractured nonlithophysal Topopah Spring tuff, which is one of the host-rock units for the potential repository at Yucca Mountain. The LBT was one of a series of field-scale thermohydrologic tests conducted in the repository host-rock units. The LBT was heated by line heaters installed in five boreholes lying in a horizontal plane 2.75 m below the upper surface of the block. The field-scale thermal tests were designed to help investigators better understand the coupled thermohydrologic-mechanical-chemical processes that would occur in the host rock in response to the radioactive heat of decay from emplaced waste packages. The tests also provide data for the calibration and validation of numerical models used to analyze the thermohydrologic response of the near-field host rock and Engineered Barrier System (EBS). Using the NUFT code and the dual-permeability approach to representing fracture-matrix interaction, we simulated the thermohydrologic response of the block to a heating and cooling cycle. The primary goals of the analysis were to study the heat-flow mechanisms and water redistribution patterns in the boiling and sub-boiling zones, and to compare model results with measured temperature and liquid saturation data, and thereby evaluate two rock property data sets available for modeling thermohydrologic behavior in the rock. Model results were also used for model calibration and validation. We obtained a good to excellent match between model and observed temperatures, and found that the distinct dryout and condensation zones modeled above and below the heater level agreed fairly well with the liquid-saturation measurements. We identified the best-fit data set by using a

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

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

    1984-01-01

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

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

    SciT

    Thamir, F.; McBride, C.M.

    1985-12-31

    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 inabilitymore » 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.« less

  4. Uranium-series disequilibrium in tuffs from Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as evidence of pore-fluid flow over the last million years

    Gascoyne, M.; Miller, N.H.; Neymark, L.A.

    2002-01-01

    Samples of tuff from boreholes drilled into fault zones in the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) and relatively unfractured rock of the Cross Drift tunnels, at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, have been analysed by U-series methods. This work is part of a project to verify the finding of fast flow-paths through the tuff to ESF level, indicated by the presence of 'bomb' 36Cl in pore fluids. Secular radioactive equilibrium in the U decay series, (i.e. when the radioactivity ratios 234U/238U, 230Th/234U and 226Ra/230Th all equal 1.00) might be expected if the tuff samples have not experienced radionuclide loss due to rock-water interaction occurring within the last million years. However, most fractured and unfractured samples were found to have a small deficiency of 234U (weighted mean 234U/238U=0.95??0.01) and a small excess of 230Th (weighted mean 230Th/234U 1.10??0.02). The 226Ra/230Th ratios are close to secular equilibrium (weighted mean = 0.94??0.07). These data indicate that 234U has been removed from the rock samples in the last ???350 ka, probably by pore fluids. Within the precision of the measurement, it would appear that 226Ra has not been mobilized and removed from the tuff, although there may be some localised 226Ra redistribution as suggested by a few ratio values that are significantly different from 1.0. Because both fractured and unfractured tuffs show approximately the same deficiency of 234U, this indicates that pore fluids are moving equally through fractured and unfractured rock, More importantly, fractured rock appears not to be a dominant pathway for groundwater flow (otherwise the ratio would be more strongly affected and the Th and Ra isotopic ratios would likely also show disequilibrium). Application of a simple mass-balance model suggests that surface infiltration rate is over an order of magnitude greater than the rate indicated by other infiltration models and that residence time of pore fluids at ESF level is about 400 a. Processes of U

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

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

    1995-01-01

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

  6. Flow-path textures and mineralogy in tuffs of the unsaturated zone

    Levy, Schön; Chipera, Steve; WoldeGabriel, Giday; Fabryka-Martin, June; Roach, Jeffrey; Sweetkind, Donald S.; Haneberg, William C.; Mozley, Peter S.; Moore, J. Casey; Goodwin, Laurel B.

    1999-01-01

    The high concentration of chlorine-36 (36Cl) produced by above-ground nuclear tests (bomb-pulse) provides a fortuitous tracer for infiltration during the last 50 years, and is used to detect fast flow in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, a thick deposit of welded and nonwelded tuffs. Evidence of fast flow as much as 300 m into the mountain has been found in several zones in a 7.7-km tunnel. Many zones are associated with faults that provide continuous fracture flow paths from the surface. In the Sundance fault zone, water with the bomb-pulse signature has moved into subsidiary fractures and breccia zones. We found no highly distinctive mineralogic associations of fault and fracture samples containing bomb-pulse 36Cl. Bomb-pulse sites are slightly more likely to have calcite deposits than are non-bomb-pulse sites. Most other mineralogic and textural associations of fast-flow paths reflect the structural processes leading to locally enhanced permeability rather than the effects of ground-water percolation. Water movement through the rock was investigated by isotopic analysis of paired samples representing breccia zones and fractured wall rock bounding the breccia zones. Where bomb-pulse 36Cl is present, the waters in bounding fractures and intergranular pores of the fast pathways are not in equilibrium with respect to the isotopic signal. In structural domains that have experienced extensional deformation, fluid flow within a breccia is equivalent to matrix flow in a particulate rock, whereas true fracture flow occurs along the boundaries of a breccia zone. Where shearing predominated over extension, the boundary between wall rock and breccia is rough and irregular with a tight wallrock/breccia contact. The absence of a gap between the breccia and the wall rock helps maintain fluid flow within the breccia instead of along the wallrock/breccia boundary, leading to higher 36Cl/Cl values in the breccia than in the wall rock.

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Estimation of past seepage volumes from calcite distribution in the Topopah Spring Tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Marshall, B.D.; Neymark, L.A.; Peterman, Z.E.

    2003-01-01

    Low-temperature calcite and opal record the past seepage of water into open fractures and lithophysal cavities in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, site of a proposed high-level radioactive waste repository. Systematic measurements of calcite and opal coatings in the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) tunnel at the proposed repository horizon are used to estimate the volume of calcite at each site of calcite and/or opal deposition. By estimating the volume of water required to precipitate the measured volumes of calcite in the unsaturated zone, seepage rates of 0.005 to 5 liters/year (l/year) are calculated at the median and 95th percentile of the measured volumes, respectively. These seepage rates are at the low end of the range of seepage rates from recent performance assessment (PA) calculations, confirming the conservative nature of the performance assessment. However, the distribution of the calcite and opal coatings indicate that a much larger fraction of the potential waste packages would be contacted by this seepage than is calculated in the performance assessment.

  9. Vertical variability in saturated zone hydrochemistry near Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Patterson, G.L.; Striffler, P.S.

    2006-01-01

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

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

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

    1993-01-01

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

  11. Yucca Mountain Area Saturated Zone Dissolved Organic Carbon Isotopic Data

    SciT

    Thomas, James; Decker, David; Patterson, Gary

    2007-06-25

    groundwater ages. The DIC calculated groundwater ages were compared with DOC calculated groundwater ages and both of these ages were compared to travel times developed in ground-water flow and transport models. If nuclear waste is stored in Yucca Mountain, the saturated zone is the final barrier against the release of radionuclides to the environment. The most recent rendition of the TSPA takes little credit for the presence of the saturated zone and is a testament to the inadequate understanding of this important barrier. If radionuclides reach the saturated zone beneath Yucca Mountain, then there is a travel time before they would leave the Yucca Mountain area and flow down gradient to the Amargosa Valley area. Knowing how long it takes groundwater in the saturated zone to flow from beneath Yucca Mountain to down gradient areas is critical information for potential radionuclide transport. Radionuclide transport in groundwater may be the quickest pathway for radionuclides in the proposed Yucca Mountain repository to reach land surface by way of groundwater pumped in Amargosa Valley. An alternative approach to ground-water flow and transport models to determine the travel time of radionuclides from beneath Yucca Mountain to down gradient areas in the saturated zone is by carbon-14 dating of both inorganic and organic carbon dissolved in the groundwater. A standard method of determining ground-water ages is to measure the carbon-13 and carbon-14 of DIC in the groundwater and then correct the measured carbon-14 along a flow path for geochemical reactions that involve carbon containing phases. These geochemical reactions are constrained by carbon-13 and isotopic fractionations. Without correcting for geochemical reactions, the ground-water ages calculated from only the differences in carbon-14 measured along a flow path (assuming the decrease in carbon-14 is due strictly to radioactive decay) could be tens of thousands of years too old. The computer program NETPATH, developed by

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

    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

  13. Chlorine-36 data at Yucca Mountain: Statistical tests of conceptual models for unsaturated-zone flow

    Campbell, K.; Wolfsberg, A.; Fabryka-Martin, J.; Sweetkind, D.

    2003-01-01

    An extensive set of chlorine-36 (36Cl) data has been collected in the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF), an 8-km-long tunnel at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the purpose of developing and testing conceptual models of flow and transport in the unsaturated zone (UZ) at this site. At several locations, the measured values of 36Cl/Cl ratios for salts leached from rock samples are high enough to provide strong evidence that at least a small component of bomb-pulse 36Cl, fallout from atmospheric testing of nuclear devices in the 1950s and 1960s, was measured, implying that some fraction of the water traveled from the ground surface through 200-300 m of unsaturated rock to the level of the ESF during the last 50 years. These data are analyzed here using a formal statistical approach based on log-linear models to evaluate alternative conceptual models for the distribution of such fast flow paths. The most significant determinant of the presence of bomb-pulse 36Cl in a sample from the welded Topopah Spring unit (TSw) is the structural setting from which the sample was collected. Our analysis generally supports the conceptual model that a fault that cuts through the nonwelded Paintbrush tuff unit (PTn) that overlies the TSw is required in order for bomb-pulse 36Cl to be transmitted to the sample depth in less than 50 years. Away from PTn-cutting faults, the ages of water samples at the ESF appear to be a strong function of the thickness of the nonwelded tuff between the ground surface and the ESF, due to slow matrix flow in that unit. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Geology of the Yucca Mountain region

    Stuckless, J.S.; O'Leary, Dennis W.

    2006-01-01

    Yucca Mountain has been proposed as the site for the nation's first geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. This chapter provides the geologic framework for the Yucca Mountain region. The regional geologic units range in age from late Precambrian through Holocene, and these are described briefly. Yucca Mountain is composed dominantly of pyroclastic units that range in age from 11.4 to 15.2 Ma. The proposed repository would be constructed within the Topopah Spring Tuff, which is the lower of two major zoned and welded ash-flow tuffs within the Paintbrush Group. The two welded tuffs are separated by the partly to nonwelded Pah Canyon Tuff and Yucca Mountain Tuff, which together figure prominently in the hydrology of the unsaturated zone. The Quaternary deposits are primarily alluvial sediments with minor basaltic cinder cones and flows. Both have been studied extensively because of their importance in predicting the long-term performance of the proposed repository. Basaltic volcanism began ca. 10 Ma and continued as recently as ca. 80 ka with the eruption of cones and flows at Lathrop Wells, ???10 km south-southwest of Yucca Mountain. Geologic structure in the Yucca Mountain region is complex. During the latest Paleozoic and Mesozoic, strong compressional forces caused tight folding and thrust faulting. The present regional setting is one of extension, and normal faulting has been active from the Miocene through to the present. There are three major local tectonic domains: (1) Basin and Range, (2) Walker Lane, and (3) Inyo-Mono. Each domain has an effect on the stability of Yucca Mountain. ?? 2007 Geological Society of America. All rights reserved.

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

    Whelan, J.F.; Neymark, L.A.; Moscati, R.J.; Marshall, B.D.; Roedder, E.

    2008-01-01

    of elevated temperatures persisting in ash flow tuffs adjacent to parent calderas for as much as ???8 Ma is a new finding, but consistent with thermal modeling. Simulations using the HEAT code demonstrate that prolonged cooling of the unsaturated zone is consistent with magmatic heat inputs and deep-seated (sub-water table) hydrothermal activity generated by the large magma body ???8 km to the north that produced the 15-11 Ma ash flows and ash falls that make up Yucca Mountain. The evidence discussed in this and preceding papers strongly supports unsaturated zone deposition of the secondary minerals from descending meteoric waters. Although depositional temperatures reflect conductive (and possibly vapor-phase convective) heating of the unsaturated zone related to regional magmatic sources until perhaps 6 Ma, depositional conditions similar to the present-day unsaturated zone have prevailed for at least the past 2-4 Ma.

  16. U-Pb ages of secondary silica at Yucca Mountain, Nevada: Implications for the paleohydrology of the unsaturated zone

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

    2002-01-01

    Uranium, Th and Pb isotopes were analyzed in layers of opal and chalcedony from individual mm- to cm-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 206Pb/204Pb (up to 53,806), thus making them suitable for U-Pb age determinations. Interpretations of U-Pb isotope systems in opal samples at Yucca Mountain are complicated by the incorporation of excess 234U at the time of mineral formation, resulting in reverse discordance of U-Pb ages. However, the 207PB/235U 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, 207Pb/235U 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. 234U and 230Th in most silica layers deeper in the coatings are in secular equilibrium with 238U, which is consistent with their old age and closed system behavior during the past -0.5 Ma. The 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 growth rates of 1 to 5 mm/Ma. These data imply that the deeper parts of the UZ at Yucca Mountain maintained long-term hydrologic stability

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

    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

  18. Hydrology of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

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

    2001-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, located in southern Nevada in the Mojave Desert, is being considered as a geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. Although the site is arid, previous studies indicate net infiltration rates of 5-10 mm yr-1 under current climate conditions. Unsaturated flow of water through the mountain generally is vertical and rapid through the fractures of the welded tuffs and slow through the matrix of the nonwelded tuffs. The vitric-zeolitic boundary of the nonwelded tuffs below the potential repository, where it exists, causes perching and substantial lateral flow that eventually flows through faults near the eastern edge of the potential repository and recharges the underlying groundwater system. Fast pathways are located where water flows relatively quickly through the unsaturated zone to the water table. For the bulk of the water a large part of the travel time from land surface to the potential repository horizon (~300 m below land surface) is through the interlayered, low fracture density, nonwelded tuff where flow is predominately through the matrix. The unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain is being modeled using a three-dimensional, dual-continuum numerical model to predict the results of measurements and observations in new boreholes and excavations. The interaction between experimentalists and modelers is providing confidence in the conceptual model and the numerical model and is providing researchers with the ability to plan further testing and to evaluate the usefulness or necessity of further data collection.

  19. Physical and stable-isotope evidence for formation of secondary calcite and silica in the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

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

    2002-01-01

    Calcite and silica form coatings on fracture footwalls and cavity floors in the welded tuffs at Yucca Mountain, the potential site of a high-level radioactive waste repository. These secondary mineral deposits are heterogeneously distributed in the unsaturated zone (UZ) with fewer than 10% of possible depositional sites mineralized. The paragenetic sequence, compiled from deposits throughout the UZ, consists of an early-stage assemblage of calcite??fluorite??zeolites that is frequently capped by chalcedony??quartz. Intermediate- and late-stage deposits consist largely of calcite, commonly with opal on buried growth layers or outermost crystal faces of the calcite. Coatings on steep-dipping fractures usually are thin (??? 3 mm) with low-relief outer surfaces whereas shallow-dipping fractures and lithophysal cavities typically contain thicker, more coarsely crystalline deposits characterized by unusual thin, tabular calcite blades up to several cms in length. These blades may be capped with knobby or corniced overgrowths of late-stage calcite intergrown with opal. The observed textures in the fracture and cavity deposits are consistent with deposition from films of water fingering down fracture footwalls or drawn up faces of growing crystals by surface tension and evaporated at the crystal tips. Fluid inclusion studies have shown that most early-stage and some intermediate-stage calcite formed at temperatures of 35 to 85??C. Calcite deposition during the past several million years appears to have been at temperatures < 30??C. The elevated temperatures indicated by the fluid inclusions are consistent with temperatures estimated from calcite ??18O values. Although others have interpreted the elevated temperatures as evidence of hydrothermal activity and flooding of the tuffs of the potential repository, the authors conclude that the temperatures and fluid-inclusion assemblages are consistent with deposition in a UZ environment that experienced prolonged heat input from

  20. Multiple episodes of zeolite deposition in fractured silicic tuff

    SciT

    Carlos, B.A.; Chipera, S.J.; Snow, M.G.

    Fractures in silicic tuffs above the water table at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA contain two morphologies of heulandite with different compositions. Tabular heulandite is zoned, with Sr-rich cores and Mg-rich rims. Later prismatic heulandite is nearly the same composition as the more magnesian rims. Heulandite and stellerite may occur between layers of calcite, and calcite occurs locally between generations of heulandite. Thermodynamic modeling, using estimated thermodynamic data and observed chemical compositions for heulandite and stellerite, shows that stellerite is the favored zeolite unless Ca concentrations are reduced or Mg and/or Sr concentrations are significantly elevated above current Yucca Mountain waters.

  1. Preliminary evaluation of hydrologic properties of cores of unsaturated tuff, test well USW H-1, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Weeks, E.P.; Wilson, W.E.

    1984-01-01

    Analyses were made on 19 core samples of unsaturated tuff from test well USW H-1. Moisture-characteristic curves relating saturation and moisture tension were developed from results of mercury-injection tests. Ambient moisture tension estimated from these curves generally was 1 to 2 bars. Values of relative permeability ranging from about 0.002 to 0.1 were determined by fitting an analytical expression to eight of the moisture-characteristic curves, and then integrating to solve for relative permeability. These values of relative permeability were applied to values of saturated hydraulic conductivity of core from a nearby test well to obtain effective hydraulic conductivities of about 8 x 10 to the minus twelfth power to 7 x 10 to the minus tenth power centimeter per second. If a unit hydraulic-head gradient is assumed, these values convert to a vertial matrix flux of 0.003 to 0.2 millimeter per year. The validity of this assumption was not verified due to the sparseness of data and uncertainties in their reliability. Consequently, the results of this study are preliminary and need to be used principally as a guide for future studies. (USGS)

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  3. Reactive transport simulations of alternative flow pathways in the ambient unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Browning, L.; Murphy, W.; Manepally, C.; Fedors, R.

    2003-04-01

    Uncertainties in simulated ambient system unsaturated zone flow could have a significant impact on performance evaluations of the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. In addition to determining variations in the quantity of water available to corrode engineered materials and transport radionuclides, model assumptions regarding flow pathways may significantly affect estimates of groundwater chemistry. The manner and extent to which groundwater compositions evolve along a flow pathway are determined mainly by thermohydrologic conditions, the types of reactive materials encountered, and the interaction times with those materials. Simulated groundwater compositions can thus vary significantly depending on whether or not the flow model includes lateral diversion of infiltrating waters, or preferential flow pathways in variably-saturated materials. To assist a regulatory review of a potential license application for a geologic repository for high-level waste, we developed a reactive transport model for the ambient hydrogeochemical system at Yucca Mountain. The model simulates two phase, nonisothermal, advective and diffusive flow and transport through a one dimensional, matrix and fracture continua (dual permeability) containing ten kinetically reactive hydrostatigraphic layers in the vicinity of the SD-9 borehole at Yucca Mountain. In this presentation, we describe how the model was used to evaluate alternative ambient unsaturated zone flow pathways proposed by the U.S. Department of Energy. This abstract is an independent product of the CNWRA and does not necessarily reflect the views or regulatory position of the NRC.

  4. Long-Term Mechanical Behavior of Yucca Mountain Tuff and its Variability, Final Technical Report for Task ORD-FY04-021

    SciT

    Daemen, Jaak J.K.; Ma, Lumin; Zhao, Guohua

    The study of the long term mechanical behavior of Yucca Mountain tuffs is important for several reasons. Long term stability of excavations will affect accessibility (e.g. for inspection purposes), and retrievability. Long term instabilities may induce loading of drip shields and/or emplaced waste, thus affecting drip shield and/or waste package corrosion. Failure of excavations will affect airflow, may affect water flow, and may affect temperature distributions. The long term mechanical behavior of rocks remains an elusive topic, loaded with uncertainties. A variety of approaches have been used to improve the understanding of this complex subject, but it is doubtful thatmore » it has reached a stage where firm predictions can be considered feasible. The long term mechanical behavior of "soft" rocks, especially evaporites, and in particular rock salt, has been the subject of numerous investigations (e.g. Cristescu and Hunsche, 1998, Cristescu et al, 2002), and basic approaches towards engineering taking into account the long term behavior of such materials have long been well established (e.g. Dreyer, 1972, 1982). The same is certainly not true of "hard" rocks. While it long has been recognized that the long term strength of ?hard? rocks almost certainly is significantly less than that measured during "short", i.e. standard (ASTM D 2938), ISRM suggested (Bieniawski et al, 1978) and conventionally used test procedures (e.g. Bieniawski, 1970, Wawersik, 1972, Hoek and Brown, 1980, p. 150), what limited approaches have been taken to develop strategies toward determining the long term mechanical behavior of "hard" rock remain in the early research and investigation stage, at best. One early model developed specifically for time dependent analysis of underground "hard" rock structures is the phenomenological model by Kaiser and Morgenstern (1981). Brady and Brown (1985, p. 93) state that over a wide range of strain rates, from 10^-8 to 10^2/s the difference in strength

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

    SciT

    Lappin, A.R.; VanBuskirk, R.G.; Enniss, D.O.

    1982-03-01

    Thermal-conductivity and bulk-property measurements were made on welded and nonwelded silicic tuffs from the upper portion of Hole USW-G1, located near the southwestern margin of the Nevada Test Site. Bulk-property measurements were made by standard techniques. Thermal conductivities were measured at temperatures as high as 280{sup 0}C, confining pressures to 10 MPa, and pore pressures to 1.5 MPa. Extrapolation of measured saturated conductivities to zero porosity suggests that matrix conductivity of both zeolitized and devitrified tuffs is independent of stratigraphic position, depth, and probably location. This fact allows development of a thermal-conductivity stratigraphy for the upper portion of Hole G1.more » 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.« less

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

    SciT

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

    1994-07-01

    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 watermore » 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.« less

  7. Kinematic Model for the Sierra Nevada Frontal Fault Zone, California: Paleomagnetism of the Eureka Valley Tuff

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rood, D. H.; Burbank, D. W.; Luyendyk, B. P.

    2005-12-01

    region may be an accommodation zone between two linking faults, possibly an active fold that accommodates N-S shortening at a large-scale left step in the range front fault system. We collected ~200 paleomagnetic samples from the Late Miocene Eureka Valley Tuff of the Stanislaus Group at 21 sites over a 125-km-long, E-W transect (from the Sierra Nevada foothills to east of Mono Basin). Stepwise AF demagnetization reveals a stable characteristic remnant magnetization. Our preliminary data suggest 20-40 degrees of clockwise rotation adjacent to faults of the SNFFZ. An expanded dataset aims to identify specific structural domains, quantify differential vertical axis block rotations, and test geometric models of transrotation (i.e. block-specific versus gradational) during transtensional lithospheric deformation.

  8. Evolution of the conceptual model of unsaturated zone hydrology at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flint, Alan L.; Flint, Lorraine E.; Bodvarsson, Gudmundur S.; Kwicklis, Edward M.; Fabryka-Martin, June

    2001-06-01

    Yucca Mountain is an arid site proposed for consideration as the United States' first underground high-level radioactive waste repository. Low rainfall (approximately 170 mm/yr) and a thick unsaturated zone (500-1000 m) are important physical attributes of the site because the quantity of water likely to reach the waste and the paths and rates of movement of the water to the saturated zone under future climates would be major factors in controlling the concentrations and times of arrival of radionuclides at the surrounding accessible environment. The framework for understanding the hydrologic processes that occur at this site and that control how quickly water will penetrate through the unsaturated zone to the water table has evolved during the past 15 yr. Early conceptual models assumed that very small volumes of water infiltrated into the bedrock (0.5-4.5 mm/yr, or 2-3 percent of rainfall), that much of the infiltrated water flowed laterally within the upper nonwelded units because of capillary barrier effects, and that the remaining water flowed down faults with a small amount flowing through the matrix of the lower welded, fractured rocks. It was believed that the matrix had to be saturated for fractures to flow. However, accumulating evidence indicated that infiltration rates were higher than initially estimated, such as infiltration modeling based on neutron borehole data, bomb-pulse isotopes deep in the mountain, perched water analyses and thermal analyses. Mechanisms supporting lateral diversion did not apply at these higher fluxes, and the flux calculated in the lower welded unit exceeded the conductivity of the matrix, implying vertical flow of water in the high permeability fractures of the potential repository host rock, and disequilibrium between matrix and fracture water potentials. The development of numerical modeling methods and parameter values evolved concurrently with the conceptual model in order to account for the observed field data

  9. Evolution of the conceptual model of unsaturated zone hydrology at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Flint, Alan L.; Flint, Lorraine E.; Bodvarsson, Gudmundur S.; Kwicklis, Edward M.; Fabryka-Martin, June

    2001-01-01

    Yucca Mountain is an arid site proposed for consideration as the United States’ first underground high-level radioactive waste repository. Low rainfall (approximately 170 mm/yr) and a thick unsaturated zone (500–1000 m) are important physical attributes of the site because the quantity of water likely to reach the waste and the paths and rates of movement of the water to the saturated zone under future climates would be major factors in controlling the concentrations and times of arrival of radionuclides at the surrounding accessible environment. The framework for understanding the hydrologic processes that occur at this site and that control how quickly water will penetrate through the unsaturated zone to the water table has evolved during the past 15 yr. Early conceptual models assumed that very small volumes of water infiltrated into the bedrock (0.5–4.5 mm/yr, or 2–3 percent of rainfall), that much of the infiltrated water flowed laterally within the upper nonwelded units because of capillary barrier effects, and that the remaining water flowed down faults with a small amount flowing through the matrix of the lower welded, fractured rocks. It was believed that the matrix had to be saturated for fractures to flow. However, accumulating evidence indicated that infiltration rates were higher than initially estimated, such as infiltration modeling based on neutron borehole data, bomb-pulse isotopes deep in the mountain, perched water analyses and thermal analyses. Mechanisms supporting lateral diversion did not apply at these higher fluxes, and the flux calculated in the lower welded unit exceeded the conductivity of the matrix, implying vertical flow of water in the high permeability fractures of the potential repository host rock, and disequilibrium between matrix and fracture water potentials. The development of numerical modeling methods and parameter values evolved concurrently with the conceptual model in order to account for the observed field data

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-12-01

    Calcite is sporadically distributed in fractures and cavities in the volcanic rocks that form the 500- to 700-m-thick unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. Previous work has shown that the calcite precipitated from water moving downward through the unsaturated zone since the volcanic rocks were emplaced approximately 13 Ma. Calcite thus serves as a proxy for the chemistry and amounts of past percolation, two parameters that are important in predictions of the future behavior of the potential radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Latest calcite, which began forming between approximately 5 and 2 Ma, typically displays fine-scale growth zoning defined by distributions of Mn (inferred from cathodoluminescence), Mg, and Sr. Electron microprobe (EPMA) mapping of outermost calcite reveals Mg growth zoning1 and higher overall concentrations of Mg in late calcite than in older calcite. Micro X-ray fluorescence (micro-XRF) maps were obtained by slow rastering of the samples over a 100-watt X-ray source collimated through a final aperture of 100 μ m. Although the spatial resolution of the micro-XRF mapping is much less than that of EPMA, this technique reveals distributions of some elements to which EPMA is less sensitive. Micro-XRF maps show that Sr is spatially correlated with Mg; Sr concentrations range to 500 μ g/g at the resolution of the 100-μ m collimator. Because both Mg and Sr have similar calcite-water distribution coefficients much less than one, the Mg/Sr in calcite reflects the Mg/Sr of the water that precipitated the calcite. The distribution coefficient for Mn is greater than one and variations in Mn are not correlated with Mg and Sr. Covariation of Mg and Sr in the percolating water may be explained by reactions that affect the rate of uptake of chemical constituents from the overlying rock and soil, and/or evaporation. Late calcite has lower δ 13C values, probably due to a regional change from wetter to drier climate conditions. The higher Mg and

  11. The Site-Scale Saturated Zone Flow Model for Yucca Mountain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Aziz, E.; James, S. C.; Arnold, B. W.; Zyvoloski, G. A.

    2006-12-01

    This presentation provides a reinterpreted conceptual model of the Yucca Mountain site-scale flow system subject to all quality assurance procedures. The results are based on a numerical model of site-scale saturated zone beneath Yucca Mountain, which is used for performance assessment predictions of radionuclide transport and to guide future data collection and modeling activities. This effort started from the ground up with a revised and updated hydrogeologic framework model, which incorporates the latest lithology data, and increased grid resolution that better resolves the hydrogeologic framework, which was updated throughout the model domain. In addition, faults are much better represented using the 250× 250- m2 spacing (compared to the previous model's 500× 500-m2 spacing). Data collected since the previous model calibration effort have been included and they comprise all Nye County water-level data through Phase IV of their Early Warning Drilling Program. Target boundary fluxes are derived from the newest (2004) Death Valley Regional Flow System model from the US Geologic Survey. A consistent weighting scheme assigns importance to each measured water-level datum and boundary flux extracted from the regional model. The numerical model is calibrated by matching these weighted water level measurements and boundary fluxes using parameter estimation techniques, along with more informal comparisons of the model to hydrologic and geochemical information. The model software (hydrologic simulation code FEHM~v2.24 and parameter estimation software PEST~v5.5) and model setup facilitates efficient calibration of multiple conceptual models. Analyses evaluate the impact of these updates and additional data on the modeled potentiometric surface and the flowpaths emanating from below the repository. After examining the heads and permeabilities obtained from the calibrated models, we present particle pathways from the proposed repository and compare them to those from the

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

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    SciT

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

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

  14. Tritium and 36Cl as constraints on fast fracture flow and percolation flux in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain.

    PubMed

    Guerin, M

    2001-10-01

    An analysis of tritium and 36Cl data collected at Yucca Mountain, Nevada suggests that fracture flow may occur at high velocities through the thick unsaturated zone. The mechanisms and extent of this "fast flow" in fractures at Yucca Mountain are investigated with data analysis, mixing models and several one-dimensional modeling scenarios. The model results and data analysis provide evidence substantiating the weeps model [Gauthier, J.H., Wilson, M.L., Lauffer, F.C., 1992. Proceedings of the Third Annual International High-level Radioactive Waste Management Conference, vol. 1, Las Vegas, NV. American Nuclear Society, La Grange Park, IL, pp. 891-989] and suggest that fast flow in fractures with minimal fracture-matrix interaction may comprise a substantial proportion of the total infiltration through Yucca Mountain. Mixing calculations suggest that bomb-pulse tritium measurements, in general, represent the tail end of travel times for thermonuclear-test-era (bomb-pulse) infiltration. The data analysis shows that bomb-pulse tritium and 36Cl measurements are correlated with discrete features such as horizontal fractures and areas where lateral flow may occur. The results presented here imply that fast flow in fractures may be ubiquitous at Yucca Mountain, occurring when transient infiltration (storms) generates flow in the connected fracture network.

  15. Tritium and 36Cl as constraints on fast fracture flow and percolation flux in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guerin, Marianne

    2001-10-01

    An analysis of tritium and 36Cl data collected at Yucca Mountain, Nevada suggests that fracture flow may occur at high velocities through the thick unsaturated zone. The mechanisms and extent of this "fast flow" in fractures at Yucca Mountain are investigated with data analysis, mixing models and several one-dimensional modeling scenarios. The model results and data analysis provide evidence substantiating the weeps model [Gauthier, J.H., Wilson, M.L., Lauffer, F.C., 1992. Proceedings of the Third Annual International High-level Radioactive Waste Management Conference, vol. 1, Las Vegas, NV. American Nuclear Society, La Grange Park, IL, pp. 891-989] and suggest that fast flow in fractures with minimal fracture-matrix interaction may comprise a substantial proportion of the total infiltration through Yucca Mountain. Mixing calculations suggest that bomb-pulse tritium measurements, in general, represent the tail end of travel times for thermonuclear-test-era (bomb-pulse) infiltration. The data analysis shows that bomb-pulse tritium and 36Cl measurements are correlated with discrete features such as horizontal fractures and areas where lateral flow may occur. The results presented here imply that fast flow in fractures may be ubiquitous at Yucca Mountain, occurring when transient infiltration (storms) generates flow in the connected fracture network.

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

    Maldonado, Florian; Koether, S.L.

    1983-01-01

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

  17. Titanium zoning and diffusion chronometry reveal dynamic and late-stage quartz growth in the Youngest Toba Tuff, Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tierney, C. R.; Reid, M. R.; Burns, D. H.; Costa Rodriguez, F.; Chesner, C. A.

    2017-12-01

    The enormous 74 ka Youngest Toba Tuff (YTT) ejected 2800 km3 of compositionally zoned (68-77 wt.% SiO2) ignimbrite and co-ignimbrite ash. Titanium zoning within YTT quartz records a dynamic growth history, and sometimes concludes with a final growth stage under different conditions. We investigated the timescales of quartz growth using diffusion chronometry, and determined whether the last stage of crystallization was the result of a discrete and chamber-wide magmatic event. This work offers insight into the dynamics and timescales of storage and remobilization of voluminous silicic magmas - an important consideration for hazards assessment. High-resolution (1 µm steps) hyperspectral CL was mapped from 5-20 quartz crystals from each of five pumices spanning the YTT compositional spectrum. CL intensity was calibrated to Ti concentration via EPMA, and numerically modeled time-dependent diffusional relaxation curves where fit to concentration profiles across zone boundaries. CL-bright/high-Ti rims are found in quartz from all samples, but become less common and have lower Ti concentrations with increasing host pumice silica content (e.g., 70 ppm vs 50 ppm). Some large crystals contain distinct CL-bright interior zones with similar Ti concentration to the rims. Onset of growth of CL-bright rims commenced between 15 and 100 years before eruption, and interior bands between 30 and 1500 years. Neither rim nor interior ages correlate significantly with host pumice silica. Rim growth on quartz evidently occurred closer to eruption than a previous estimate of several decades to centuries for quartz from a single YTT pumice (Matthews et al., 2012). The similar timing for the onset of high-Ti quartz rim growth across all samples suggests a marked and temporally discrete magmatic event in the years to decades prior to eruption and may be recording the chamber-wide influence of magmatic recharge or remobilization. High-Ti interior zones likely record older recharge events that

  18. Fracture and matrix hydrologic characteristics of tuffaceous materials from Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    SciT

    Peters, R.R.; Klavetter, E.A.; Hall, I.J.

    1984-12-01

    The geological formations in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, on and adjacent to the Nevada Test Site (NTS), are currently being studied for consideration as the host for a radioactive-waste repository; the US Department of Energy is carrying out these studies through the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations project. The formations are composed of tuffaceous (tuff) materials that must be evaluated to estimate the rate at which radionuclides would migrate to the accessible environment. According to the available evidence, the flux of water in the unsaturated zone beneath the Yucca Mountain site is low; quantifying such low flow ratesmore » through direct measurements is difficult. To help provide data that can be used to assess unsaturated flow, Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL), under contract to Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), performed hydrologic tests on tuffaceous samples from 48 different locations in Yucca Mountain. This report contains the entire set of psychrometer measurements of desaturation curves for tuffs from Yucca Mountain as well as a substantial number of saturated conductivity measurements. 19 references, 132 figures, 23 tables.« less

  19. Deep installations of monitoring instrumentation in unsaturated welded tuff

    SciT

    Tyler, S.

    1985-12-31

    The major goal of this research is to develop low cost techniques to measure matric potential, moisture content, and to sample liquid and vapor for chemical analysis in the deep unsaturated zones of the arid areas of Nevada. This work has been prompted by the high level waste repository proposed in the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain. The work presented focuses on two deep (250 meter) boreholes planned for completion at the southern end of Yucca Mountain in fractured tuff. One borehole will be drilled without water and cased to slightly below the zone of saturation in order to measuremore » the depth to saturation and to collect water samples for analysis. This hole will also be used for routine quarterly neutron logging. Between loggings, vapor liquid water samplers will be suspended in the borehole and packed off at selective screened intervals to collect water vapor for isotopic analysis. The second borehole will be drilled to slightly above the water table and serve as a multiple interval psychrometer installation. Thermocouple psychrometers will be placed in isolated screened intervals within the casing. These boreholes will be used for instrument testing, interference and permeability testing, and to monitor short term fluctuations of soil and rock moisture due to precipitation and recharge.« less

  20. Geoengineering characterization of welded tuffs from laboratory and field investigations

    SciT

    Zimmerman, R.M.; Nimick, F.B.; Board, M.P.

    1984-12-31

    Welded tuff beneath Yucca Mountain adjacent to the Nevada Test Site (NTS) is being considered for development as a high-level radioactive waste repository by the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) Project. Because access into Yucca Mountain has been limited to borehole explorations, early geoengineering materials characterizations have been derived from laboratory tests on cores from Yucca Mountain and from laboratory and field tests on welded tuffs located in G-Tunnel on the NTS. G-Tunnel contains welded tuffs that have similar properties and stress states to those at Yucca Mountain and has been the location for in situ rock mechanics testing.more » The purpose of this paper is to summarize the geoengineering material property data obtained to date and to compare appropriate laboratory and field data from G-Tunnel to findings from Yucca Mountain. Geomechanical and thermal data are provided and are augmented by limited geological and hydrological data. A comparison of results of laboratory measurements on tuffs from Yucca Mountain and G-Tunnel indicates good agreement between the bulk densities, saturations, moduli of elasticity, Poisson`s ratios, and P-wave velocities. The G-Tunnel tuff has slightly lower thermal conductivity, tensile strength, compressive strength and slightly higher matrix permeability than does the welded tuff near the proposed repository horizon at Yucca Mountain. From a laboratory-to-field scaling perspective, the modulus of deformation shows the most sensitivity to field conditions because of the presence of the joints found in the field. 14 references, 1 table.« less

  1. Geoengineering characterization of welded tuffs from laboratory and field investigations

    SciT

    Zimmerman, R.M.; Nimick, F.B.; Board, M.P.

    1984-12-31

    Welded tuff beneath Yucca Mountain adjacent to the Nevada Test Site (NTS) is being considered for development as a high-level radioactive waste repository by the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) Project. Because access into Yucca Mountain has been limited to borehole explorations, early geoengineering materials characterizations have been derived from laboratory tests on cores from Yucca Mountain and from laboratory and field tests on welded tuffs located in G-Tunnel on the NTS. G-Tunnel contains welded tuffs that have similar properties and stress states to those at Yucca Mountain and has been the location for in situ rock mechanics testing.more » The purpose of this paper is to summarize the geoengineering material property data obtained to date and to compare appropriate laboratory and field data from G-Tunnel to findings from Yucca Mountain. Geomechanical and thermal data are provided and are augmented by limited geological and hydrological data. A comparison of results of laboratory measurements on tuffs from Yucca Mountain and G-Tunnel indicates good agreement between the bulk densities, saturations, moduli of elasticity, Poisson`s ratios, and P-wave velocities. The G-Tunnel tuff has slightly lower thermal conductivity, tensile strength, compressive strength and slightly higher matrix permeability than does the welded tuff near the proposed repository horizon at Yucca Mountain. From a laboratory-to-field scaling perspective, the modulus of deformation shows the most sensitivity to field conditions because of the presence of joints found in the field. 14 refs., 1 tab.« less

  2. The geohydrologic setting of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Stuckless, J.S.; Dudley, W.W.

    2002-01-01

    This paper provides a geologic and hydrologic framework of the Yucca Mountain region for the geochemical papers in this volume. The regional geologic units, which range in age from late Precambrian through Holocene, are briefly described. Yucca Mountain is composed of dominantly pyroclastic units that range in age from 11.4 to 15.2 Ma. The principal focus of study has been on the Paintbrush Group, which includes two major zoned and welded ash-flow tuffs separated by an important hydrogeologic unit referred to as the Paintbrush non-welded (PTn). The regional structural setting is currently one of extension, and the major local tectonic domains are presented together with a tectonic model that is consistent with the known structures at Yucca Mountain. Streamflow in this arid to semi-arid region occurs principally in intermittent or ephemeral channels. Near Yucca Mountain, the channels of Fortymile Wash and Amargosa River collect infrequent runoff from tributary basins, ultimately draining to Death Valley. Beneath the surface, large-scale interbasin flow of groundwater from one valley to another occurs commonly in the region. Regional groundwater flow beneath Yucca Mountain originates in the high mesas to the north and returns to the surface either in southern Amargosa Desert or in Death Valley, where it is consumed by evapotranspiration. The water table is very deep beneath the upland areas such as Yucca Mountain, where it is 500-750 m below the land surface, providing a large thickness of unsaturated rocks that are potentially suitable to host a nuclear-waste repository. The nature of unsaturated flow processes, which are important for assessing radionuclide migration, are inferred mainly from hydrochemical or isotopic evidence, from pneumatic tests of the fracture systems, and from the results of in situ experiments. Water seeping down through the unsaturated zone flows rapidly through fractures and more slowly through the pores of the rock matrix. Although

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

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

    1984-01-01

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

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

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

    1983-01-01

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

  5. Yucca L.: yucca

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

    2008-01-01

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

  6. Numerical modeling of perched water under Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Hinds, J.J.; Ge, S.; Fridrich, C.J.

    1999-01-01

    The presence of perched water near the potential high-level nuclear waste repository area at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, has important implications for waste isolation. Perched water occurs because of sharp contrasts in rock properties, in particular between the strongly fractured repository host rock (the Topopah Spring welded tuff) and the immediately underlying vitrophyric (glassy) subunit, in which fractures are sealed by clays that were formed by alteration of the volcanic glass. The vitrophyre acts as a vertical barrier to unsaturated flow throughout much of the potential repository area. Geochemical analyses (Yang et al. 1996) indicate that perched water is relatively young, perhaps younger than 10,000 years. Given the low permeability of the rock matrix, fractures and perhaps fault zones must play a crucial role in unsaturated flow. The geologic setting of the major perched water bodies under Yucca Mountain suggests that faults commonly form barriers to lateral flow at the level of the repository horizon, but may also form important pathways for vertical infiltration from the repository horizon down to the water table. Using the numerical code UNSAT2, two factors believed to influence the perched water system at Yucca Mountain, climate and fault-zone permeability, are explored. The two-dimensional model predicts that the volume of water held within the perched water system may greatly increase under wetter climatic conditions, and that perched water bodies may drain to the water table along fault zones. Modeling results also show fault flow to be significantly attenuated in the Paintbrush Tuff non-welded hydrogeologic unit.

  7. Preliminary hydrogeologic assessment of boreholes UE-25c #1, UE-25c #2, and UE-25c #3, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Geldon, A.L.

    1993-01-01

    Boreholes UE-25c #1, UE-25c #2, and UE-25c #3 (collectively called the C-holes) each were drilled to a depth of 914.4 meters at Yucca Mountain, on the Nevada Test Site, in 1983 and 1984 for the purpose of conducting aquifer and tracer tests. Each of the boreholes penetrated the Paintbrush Tuff and the tuffs and lavas of Calico Hills and bottomed in the Crater Flat Tuff. The geologic units penetrated consist of devitrified to vitrophyric, nonwelded to densely welded, ash-flow tuff, tuff breccia, ash-fall tuff, and bedded tuff. Below the water table, which is at an average depth of 401.6 meters below land surface, the rocks are argillic and zeolitic. The geologic units at the C-hole complex strike N. 2p W. and dip 15p to 21p NE. They are cut by several faults, including the Paintbrush Canyon Fault, a prominent normal fault oriented S. 9p W., 52.2p NW. The rocks at the C-hole complex are fractured extensively, with most fractures oriented approximately perpendicular to the direction of regional least horizontal principal stress. In the Crater Flat Tuff and the tuffs and lavas of Calico Hills, fractures strike predominantly between S. 20p E. and S. 20p W. and secondarily between S. 20p E. and S. 60p E. In the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff, however, southeasterly striking fractures predominate. Most fractures are steeply dipping, although shallowly dipping fractures occur in nonwelded and reworked tuff intervals of the Crater Flat Tuff. Mineral-filled fractures are common in the tuff breccia zone of the Tram Member of the Crater Flat Tuff, and, also, in the welded tuff zone of the Bullfrog Member of the Crater Flat Tuff. The fracture density of geologic units in the C-holes was estimated to range from 1.3 to 7.6 fractures per cubic meter. Most of these estimates appear to be the correct order of magnitude when compared to transect measurements and core data from other boreholes 1.3 orders of magnitude too low. Geophysical data and laboratory analyses were

  8. Geologic map of the Yucca Mountain region, Nye County, Nevada

    Potter, Christopher J.; Dickerson, Robert P.; Sweetkind, Donald S.; Drake II, Ronald M.; Taylor, Emily M.; Fridrich, Christopher J.; San Juan, Carma A.; Day, Warren C.

    2002-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nev., has been identified as a potential site for underground storage of high-level radioactive waste. This geologic map compilation, including all of Yucca Mountain and Crater Flat, most of the Calico Hills, western Jackass Flats, Little Skull Mountain, the Striped Hills, the Skeleton Hills, and the northeastern Amargosa Desert, portrays the geologic framework for a saturated-zone hydrologic flow model of the Yucca Mountain site. Key geologic features shown on the geologic map and accompanying cross sections include: (1) exposures of Proterozoic through Devonian strata inferred to have been deformed by regional thrust faulting and folding, in the Skeleton Hills, Striped Hills, and Amargosa Desert near Big Dune; (2) folded and thrust-faulted Devonian and Mississippian strata, unconformably overlain by Miocene tuffs and lavas and cut by complex Neogene fault patterns, in the Calico Hills; (3) the Claim Canyon caldera, a segment of which is exposed north of Yucca Mountain and Crater Flat; (4) thick densely welded to nonwelded ash-flow sheets of the Miocene southwest Nevada volcanic field exposed in normal-fault-bounded blocks at Yucca Mountain; (5) upper Tertiary and Quaternary basaltic cinder cones and lava flows in Crater Flat and at southernmost Yucca Mountain; and (6) broad basins covered by Quaternary and upper Tertiary surficial deposits in Jackass Flats, Crater Flat, and the northeastern Amargosa Desert, beneath which Neogene normal and strike-slip faults are inferred to be present on the basis of geophysical data and geologic map patterns. A regional thrust belt of late Paleozoic or Mesozoic age affected all pre-Tertiary rocks in the region; main thrust faults, not exposed in the map area, are interpreted to underlie the map area in an arcuate pattern, striking north, northeast, and east. The predominant vergence of thrust faults exposed elsewhere in the region, including the Belted Range and Specter Range thrusts, was to the east

  9. Percolation flux and Transport velocity in the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Yang, I.C.

    2002-01-01

    The percolation flux for borehole USW UZ-14 was calculated from 14C residence times of pore water and water content of cores measured in the laboratory. Transport velocity is calculated from the depth interval between two points divided by the difference in 14C residence times. Two methods were used to calculate the flux and velocity. The first method uses the 14C data and cumulative water content data directly in the incremental intervals in the Paintbrush nonwelded unit and the Topopah Spring welded unit. The second method uses the regression relation for 14C data and cumulative water content data for the entire Paintbrush nonwelded unit and the Topopah Spring Tuff/Topopah Spring welded unit. Using the first method, for the Paintbrush nonwelded unit in boreholeUSW UZ-14 percolation flux ranges from 2.3 to 41.0 mm/a. Transport velocity ranges from 1.2 to 40.6 cm/a. For the Topopah Spring welded unit percolation flux ranges from 0.9 to 5.8 mm/a in the 8 incremental intervals calculated. Transport velocity ranges from 1.4 to 7.3 cm/a in the 8 incremental intervals. Using the second method, average percolation flux in the Paintbrush nonwelded unit for 6 boreholes ranges from 0.9 to 4.0 mm/a at the 95% confidence level. Average transport velocity ranges from 0.6 to 2.6 cm/a. For the Topopah Spring welded unit and Topopah Spring Tuff, average percolation flux in 5 boreholes ranges from 1.3 to 3.2 mm/a. Average transport velocity ranges from 1.6 to 4.0 cm/a. Both the average percolation flux and average transport velocity in the PTn are smaller than in the TS/TSw. However, the average minimum and average maximum values for the percolation flux in the TS/TSw are within the PTn average range. Therefore, differences in the percolation flux in the two units are not significant. On the other hand, average, average minimum, and average maximum transport velocities in the TS/TSw unit are all larger than the PTn values, implying a larger transport velocity for the TS

  10. The saturated zone at Yucca Mountain: An overview of the characterization and assessment of the saturated zone as a barrier to potential radionuclide migration

    Eddebbarh, A.-A.; Zyvoloski, G.A.; Robinson, B.A.; Kwicklis, E.M.; Reimus, P.W.; Arnold, B.W.; Corbet, T.; Kuzio, S.P.; Faunt, C.

    2003-01-01

    The US Department of Energy is pursuing Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the development of a geologic repository for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste, if the repository is able to meet applicable radiation protection standards established by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Effective performance of such a repository would rely on a number of natural and engineered barriers to isolate radioactive waste from the accessible environment. Groundwater beneath Yucca Mountain is the primary medium through which most radionuclides might move away from the potential repository. The saturated zone (SZ) system is expected to act as a natural barrier to this possible movement of radionuclides both by delaying their transport and by reducing their concentration before they reach the accessible environment. Information obtained from Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project activities is used to estimate groundwater flow rates through the site-scale SZ flow and transport model area and to constrain general conceptual models of groundwater flow in the site-scale area. The site-scale conceptual model is a synthesis of what is known about flow and transport processes at the scale required for total system performance assessment of the site. This knowledge builds on and is consistent with knowledge that has accumulated at the regional scale but is more detailed because more data are available at the site-scale level. The mathematical basis of the site-scale model and the associated numerical approaches are designed to assist in quantifying the uncertainty in the permeability of rocks in the geologic framework model and to represent accurately the flow and transport processes included in the site-scale conceptual model. Confidence in the results of the mathematical model was obtained by comparing calculated to observed hydraulic heads, estimated to measured permeabilities, and lateral flow rates

  11. YUCCA MOUNTAIN SITE DESCRIPTION

    SciT

    A.M. Simmons

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

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

    Spengler, Richard 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 fault 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.

  13. The site-scale saturated zone flow model for Yucca Mountain: Calibration of different conceptual models and their impact on flow paths

    Zyvoloski, G.; Kwicklis, E.; Eddebbarh, A.-A.; Arnold, B.; Faunt, C.; Robinson, B.A.

    2003-01-01

    This paper presents several different conceptual models of the Large Hydraulic Gradient (LHG) region north of Yucca Mountain and describes the impact of those models on groundwater flow near the potential high-level repository site. The results are based on a numerical model of site-scale saturated zone beneath Yucca Mountain. This model is used for performance assessment predictions of radionuclide transport and to guide future data collection and modeling activities. The numerical model is calibrated by matching available water level measurements using parameter estimation techniques, along with more informal comparisons of the model to hydrologic and geochemical information. The model software (hydrologic simulation code FEHM and parameter estimation software PEST) and model setup allows for efficient calibration of multiple conceptual models. Until now, the Large Hydraulic Gradient has been simulated using a low-permeability, east-west oriented feature, even though direct evidence for this feature is lacking. In addition to this model, we investigate and calibrate three additional conceptual models of the Large Hydraulic Gradient, all of which are based on a presumed zone of hydrothermal chemical alteration north of Yucca Mountain. After examining the heads and permeabilities obtained from the calibrated models, we present particle pathways from the potential repository that record differences in the predicted groundwater flow regime. The results show that Large Hydraulic Gradient can be represented with the alternate conceptual models that include the hydrothermally altered zone. The predicted pathways are mildly sensitive to the choice of the conceptual model and more sensitive to the quality of calibration in the vicinity on the repository. These differences are most likely due to different degrees of fit of model to data, and do not represent important differences in hydrologic conditions for the different conceptual models. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B

  14. Convective fractionation: A mechanism to provide cryptic zoning (macrosegregation), layering, crescumulates, banded tuffs and explosive volcanism in igneous processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rice, Alan

    1981-01-01

    A large array of igneous and volcanic features has characteristics that are recognized in other disciplines as conclusive and direct evidence of convvection in stratified and/or solidifying melts; e.g., macroscopic segregation (cryptic variation, zoning in magma chambers), mineral layering (in mafic intrusives), crescumulates (fingering) in the vertical and horizontal, banding (in pyroclastics), 'rollover' with attendant flashing of volatiles (explosive volcanism), etc. Some quantitative and qualitative aspect of convection in solidifying and or stratified melts (e.g., mineral layer widths such as are observed inl the Skaergaards) are examined to show consistency with field evidence. Convective fractionation does not possess the physical implausibilities of gravitational segregation (crystal settling). Neither is the field evidence as ambiguous if interpreted in terms of convective fractionation (which can explain amongst other things heavier material overlying lighter). Convective fractionation may operate on larger scales in the interior of planets.

  15. Stratigraphic and volcano-tectonic relations of Crater Flat Tuff and some older volcanic units, Nye County, Nevada

    Carr, W.J.; Byers, F.M.; Orkild, Paul P.

    1984-01-01

    The Crater Flat Tuff is herein revised to include a newly recognized lowest unit, the Tram Member, exposed at scattered localities in the southwest Nevada Test Site region, and in several drill holes in the Yucca Mountain area. The overlying Bullfrog and Prow Pass Members are well exposed at the type locality of the formation near the southeast edge of Crater Flat, just north of U.S. Highway 95. In previous work, the Tram Member was thought to be the Bullfrog Member, and therefore was shown as Bullfrog or as undifferentiated Crater Flat Tuff on published maps. The revised Crater Flat Tuff is stratigraphically below the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff and above the Grouse Canyon Member of the Belted Range Tuff, and is approximately 13.6 m.y. old. Drill holes on Yucca Mountain and near Fortymile Wash penetrate all three members of the Crater Flat as well as an underlying quartz-poor unit, which is herein defined as the Lithic Ridge Tuff from exposures on Lithic Ridge near the head of Topopah Wash. In outcrops between Calico Hills and Yucca Flat, the Lithic Ridge Tuff overlies a Bullfrog-like unit of reverse magnetic polarity that probably correlates with a widespread unit around and under Yucca Flat, referred to previously as Crater Flat Tuff. This unit is here informally designated as the tuff of Yucca Flat. Although older, it may be genetically related to the Crater Flat Tuff. Although the rocks are poorly exposed, geophysical and geologic evidence to date suggests that (1) the source of the Crater Flat Tuff is a caldera complex in the Crater Flat area between Yucca Mountain and Bare Mountain, and (2) there are at least two cauldrons within this complex--one probably associated with eruption of the Tram, the other with the Bullfrog and Prow Pass Members. The complex is named the Crater Flat-Prospector Pass caldera complex. The northern part of the Yucca Mountain area is suggested as the general location of the source of pre-Crater Flat tuffs, but a

  16. Experimental determination of phase relationships of a chemically-zoned peralkaline silicic reservoir: the example of Green Tuff eruption at Pantelleria (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romano, Pierangelo; Andujar, Joan; Scaillet, Bruno; Rotolo, Silvio

    2017-04-01

    Phase equilibrium experiments are recognized as an excellent method to determine the pre-eruptive conditions of magmas inasmuch they are extremely sensitive to small variation in major elements composition in the studied rocks. Trachytes and peralkaline rhyolites (i.e pantellerite and comendite) usually represent the felsic end-member in continental rift systems and oceanic island settings. Pantelleria island, almost entirely made up of trachyte and pantellerite, is well known in the petrological literature as being the type locality of pantellerites. In this study we present the results of phase equilibrium experiments performed on representative peralkaline rhyolite (pantellerite) and metaluminous trachytes of the Green Tuff eruptions of Pantelleria, the sole known compositionally zoned ignimbrite at this volcanic location, which varies from a crystal-poor pantellerite at the base towards a crystal-rich trachyte at the top of the eruptive sequence. Crystallization experiments were performed in the temperature range 750-950°C, pressure 1-1.5 kbar, fluid saturation conditions with XH2O (=H2O/H2O+CO2) between 0 and 1 and redox conditions fixed around the FMQ (Fayalite-Magnetite- Quartz) buffer. Results show that at 900 °C pantelleritic starting compositions are well above their liquidus, regardless their water content. At T < 800°C clinopyroxene is the liquidus phase followed by amphibole and alkali feldspar. Aenigmatite and quartz crystallize at 750°C and XH2O lower than 0.8. In contrast, the trachytic composition at 800°C is highly crystallized regardless its water content. The liquidus phase is clinopyroxene crystallizing at 950°C and XH2O<0.8 followed by iron-rich olivine and alkali feldspar. Iron-bearing minerals record the effect of both H2O and fO2, showing progressive iron enrichment when XH2O decreases. Alkali feldspar becomes the most abundant mineral phase for XH2O<0.8 at 900°C or XH2O<1 at 850°C both at 1 and 1.5 kbar. Experiments reproduced the

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

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

    2007-01-01

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

  18. Secondary Mineral Deposits and Evidence of Past Seismicity and Heating of the Proposed Repository Horizon at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Whelan, Josheph F.

    2004-01-01

    The Drift Degradation Analysis (DDA) (BSC, 2003) for the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, describes model simulations of the effects of pre- and post-closure seismicity and waste-induced heating on emplacement drifts. Based on probabilistic seismic hazard analyses of the intensity and frequency of future seismic events in the region (CRWMS M&O, 1998), the DDA concludes that future seismicity will lead to substantial damage to emplacement drifts, particularly those in the lithophysal tuffs, where some simulations predict complete collapse of the drift walls. Secondary mineral studies conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey since 1995 indicate that secondary calcite and silica have been deposited in some fractures and lithophysal cavities in the unsaturated zone (UZ) at Yucca Mountain during at least the past 10 million years (m.y.), and probably since the tuffs cooled to less than 100?C. Tuff fragments, likely generated by past seismic activity, have commonly been incorporated into the secondary mineral depositional sequences. Preliminary observations indicate that seismic activity has generated few, if any, tuff fragments during the last 2 to 4 m.y., which may be inconsistent with the predictions of drift-wall collapse described in the DDA. Whether or not seismicity-induced tuff fragmentation occurring at centimeter to decimeter scales in the fracture and cavity openings relates directly to failure of tuff walls in the 5.5-m-diameter waste emplacement drifts, the deposits do provide a potential record of the spatial and temporal distribution of tuff fragments in the UZ. In addition, the preservation of weakly attached coatings and (or) delicate, upright blades of calcite in the secondary mineral deposits provides an upper limit for ground motion during the late stage of deposition that might be used as input to future DDA simulations. Finally, bleaching and alteration at a few of the secondary mineral sites indicate that

  19. Geologic map of south-central Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Dickerson, Robert P.; Drake II, Ronald M.

    2004-01-01

    New 1:6,000-scale geologic mapping in a 20-square-kilometer area near the south end of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, which is the proposed site of an underground repository for the storage of high-level radioactive wastes, substantially supplements the stratigraphic and structural data obtained from earlier, 1:24,000-scale mapping. Principal observations and interpretations resulting from the larger scale, more detailed nature of the recent investigation include: (1) the thickness of the Miocene Tiva Canyon Tuff decreases from north to south within the map area, and the lithophysal zones within the formation have a greater lateral variability than in areas farther north; and (2) fault relations are far more complex than shown on previous maps, with both major (block-bounding) and minor (intrablock) faults showing much lateral variation in (a) the number of splays and (b) the amount, distribution, and width of anastomosing breccia and fracture zones.

  20. Slanic Tuff and associated Miocene evaporite deposits, Eastern Carpathians, Romania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bojar, Ana-Voica; Halas, Stanislaw; Barbu, Victor; Bojar, Hans-Peter; Wojtowicz, Artur; Duliu, Octavian

    2017-04-01

    Miocene tuffs of calcalkaline composition are widespread in the Carpathians, Pannonian and Eastern Alpine realm. Their occurrences are described in outcrops as well as in the subsurface. The presence of such tuffs may offer important criteria for stratigraphic correlations and help to establish the absolute age of deposits and associated climatic and environmental changes. The Green Stone Hill (Muntele Piatra Verde) is situated to the north of Slanic-Prahova salt mine, in the bend region of the Eastern Carpathians, Romania. From bottom to top the section is composed of: marls with Globigerina followed by the so called Slanic tuff, gypsum and salt breccia and, on the top, radiolarian bearing shales. The stratigraphic age of the section is Middle to Upper Badenian (nannoplankton zones NN5 to NN6). XRD investigations of the green Slanic tuff show that the main mineralogical component is clinoptilolite (zeolite) followed by quartz and plagioclase. For this type of tuff there is no crystalline phase, which may be used for radiometric dating. In the middle part of the green tuff interval, we found discrete layers of a much coarser white tuff, with mineralogy consisting of quartz, plagioclase, biotite and clinoptilolite. The white tuff forming distinct layers within the green tuff, has an andesitic composition. 40Ar/39Ar dating of biotite concentrates from the white tuff gives an age of 13.6±0.2Ma, the dated layer being situated below the gypsum and salt breccia. We consider that the age is well constraining the time when the green tuffs were formed at the border of the basin. From this level upwards discrete gypsum layers occurs within the green tuffs, the age may be considered as indicating the base of the evaporitic sequence. To the south-east, from this level upwards evaporites, mainly salt formed. The age suggests that evaporitic deposits formed after the Mid Badenian climatic optimum, evaporitic formation being related to restricted circulation due the drop of sea

  1. Petrology and geochemistry of samples from bed-contact zones in Tunnel Bed 5, U12g-Tunnel, Nevada Test Site

    SciT

    Connolly, J.R.; Keil, K.; Mansker, W.L.

    1984-10-01

    This report summarizes the detailed geologic characterization of samples of bed-contact zones and surrounding nonwelded bedded tuffs, both within Tunnel Bed 5, that are exposed in the G-Tunnel complex beneath Rainier Mesa on the Nevada Test Site (NTS). Original planning studies treated the bed-contact zones in Tunnel Bed 5 as simple planar surfaces of relatively high permeability. Detailed characterization, however, indicates that these zones have a finite thickness, are depositional in origin, vary considerably over short vertical and horizontal distances, and are internally complex. Fluid flow in a sequence of nonwelded zeolitized ash-flow or bedded tuffs and thin intervening reworkedmore » zones appears to be a porous-medium phenomenon, regardless of the presence of layering. There are no consistent differences in either bulk composition or detailed mineralogy between bedded tuffs and bed-contact zones in Tunnel Bed 5. Although the original bulk composition of Tunnel Bed 5 was probably peralkaline, extensive zeolitization has resulted in a present peraluminous bulk composition of both bedded tuffs and bed-contact zones. The major zeolite present, clinoptilolite, is intermediate (Ca:K:Na = 26:35:39) and effectively uniform in composition. This composition is similar to that of clinoptilolite from the tuffaceous beds of Calico Hills above the static water level in hole USW G-1, but somewhat different from that reported for zeolites from below the static water level in USW G-2. Tunnel Bed 5 also contains abundant hydrous manganese oxides. The similarity in composition of the clinoptilolites from Tunnel Bed 5 and those above the static water level at Yucca Mountain indicates that many of the results of nuclide-migration experiments in Tunnel Bed 5 would be transferrable to zeolitized nonwelded tuffs above the static water level at Yucca Mountain.« less

  2. In Situ Measurement of Permeability in the Vicinity of Faulted Nonwelded Bishop Tuff, Bishop, CA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinwiddie, C. L.; Fedors, R. W.; Ferrill, D. A.; Bradbury, K. K.

    2002-12-01

    The nonwelded Bishop Tuff includes matrix-supported massive ignimbrites and clast-supported bedded deposits. Fluid flow through such faulted nonwelded tuff is likely to be influenced by a combination of host rock properties and the presence of deformation features, such as open fractures, mineralized fractures, and fault zones that exhibit comminuted fault rock and clays. Lithologic contacts between fine- and coarse-grained sub-units of nonwelded tuff may induce formation of capillary and/or permeability barriers within the unsaturated zone, potentially leading to down-dip lateral diversion of otherwise vertically flowing fluid. However, discontinuities (e.g., fractures and faults) may lead to preferential sub-vertical fast flow paths in the event of episodic infiltration rates, thus disrupting the potential for both (1) large-scale capillary and/or permeability barriers to form and for (2) redirection of water flow over great lateral distances. This study focuses on an innovative technique for measuring changes in matrix permeability near faults in situ--changes that may lead to enhancement of vertical fluid flow and disruption of lateral fluid flow. A small-drillhole minipermeameter probe provides a means to eliminate extraction of fragile nonwelded tuffs as a necessity for permeability measurement. Advantages of this approach include (1) a reduction of weathering-effects on measured permeability, and (2) provision of a superior sealing mechanism around the gas injection zone. In order to evaluate the effect of faults and fault zone deformation on nonwelded tuff matrix permeability, as well as to address the potential for disruption of lithologic barrier-induced lateral diversion of flow, data were collected from two fault systems and from unfaulted host rock. Two hundred and sixty-seven gas-permeability measurements were made at 89 locations; i.e. permeability measurements were made in triplicate at each location with three flow rates. Data were collected at the

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

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

    1998-01-01

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

  4. Testing the concept of drift shadow at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

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

    2006-01-01

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

  5. Energy Dissipation in Calico Hills Tuff due to Pore Collapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lockner, D. A.; Morrow, C. A.

    2008-12-01

    Laboratory tests indicate that the weakest portions of the Calico Hills tuff formation are at or near yield stress under in situ conditions and that the energy expended during incremental loading can be more than 90 percent irrecoverable. The Calico Hills tuff underlies the Yucca Mountain waste repository site at a depth of 400 to 500 m within the unsaturated zone. The formation is highly variable in the degree of both vitrification and zeolitization. Since 1980, a number of boreholes penetrated this formation to provide site characterization for the YM repository. In the past, standard strength measurements were conducted on core samples from the drillholes. However, a significant sampling bias occurred in that tests were preferentially conducted on highly vitrified, higher-strength samples. In fact, the most recent holes were drilled with a dry coring technique that would pulverize the weakest layers, leaving none of this material for testing. We have re-examined Calico Hills samples preserved at the YM Core Facility and selected the least vitrified examples (some cores exceeded 50 percent porosity) for mechanical testing. Three basic tests were performed: (i) hydrostatic crushing tests (to 350 MPa), (ii) standard triaxial deformation tests at constant effective confining pressure (to 70 MPa), and (iii) plane strain tests with initial conditions similar to in situ stresses. In all cases, constant pore pressure of 10 MPa was maintained using argon gas as a pore fluid and pore volume loss was monitored during deformation. The strongest samples typically failed along discrete fractures in agreement with standard Mohr-Coulomb failure. The weaker, high porosity samples, however, would fail by pure pore collapse or by a combined shear-induced compaction mechanism similar to failure mechanisms described for porous sandstones and carbonates. In the plane-strain experiments, energy dissipation due to pore collapse was determined for eventual input into dynamic wave

  6. Yucca Mountain Project Subsurface Facilities Design

    SciT

    A. Linden; R.S. Saunders; R.J. Boutin

    2002-11-19

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

  7. Degraded dryland rehabilitation: boosting seedling survival using zeolitic tuff

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alhamad, Mohammad Noor; Alrbabah, Mohammad; Athamneh, Hana

    2016-04-01

    More than 90% of Jordan is broadly defined as rangelands. Most rangelands are located within the arid zone of the country. Extensive grazing occurs across much of the natural pastures resulting in serious environmental degradation of natural resources in these rangelands. Several programs were carried out for rangeland conservation and rehabilitation in the country. However, these programs face a major challenge of the low survival rate of transplanted shrub seedlings. Seeking innovative approaches to assure healthy establishment of seedling is a big challenge to achieve successful rehabilitation programs. Drought is considered one of the major problems in rehabilitation. Promoting survival and growth, using zeolitic tuff added to planting holes is suggested to be a possible solution. The experiment was conducted on a factorial arrangement within RCBD design. Two shrub species (Atriplex halimus, Atriplex nummularia) were transplanted into holes prepared with three levels of tuff treatments (mulching, mixing and control) under rainfed condition. The result showed insignificant effect of tuff on seedling survival percentage, when mixing tuff with plantation soil or adding tuff as mulch. Also, the two species showed similar survival percentages over two measured dates. However, mixing tuff with soil during hole preparation significantly enhanced seedling heights. Furthers, The Australian atriplex (Atriplex nummularia) species significantly grow higher than Atriplex halimus. The study results suggested that mixing zeoltic tuff with soil during transplantation of seedling is promising in improving the success of rangeland rehabilitation in dry areas in Jordan.

  8. Influence of long term climate change on net infiltration at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Flint, Alan I.; Flint, Lorraine E.; Hevesi, Joseph A.

    1993-01-01

    Net infiltration and recharge at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, a potential site for a high level nuclear waste repository, are determined both by the rock properties and past and future changes in climate. A 1-dimensional model was constructed to represent a borehole being drilled through the unsaturated zone. The rock properties were matched to the lithologies expected to be encountered in the borehole. As current paleoclimate theory assumes that 18O increases with wetter and cooler global climates, a past climate scenario, built on depletion of 18O from ocean sediments was used as a basis for climate change over the past 700,000 years. The climate change was simulated by assigning net infiltration values as a linear function of 8O. Assuming the rock properties, lithologies and climate scenarios are correct, simulations indicated that Yucca Mountain is not in steady state equilibrium at the surface (250 meters. Based on the cyclic climate inputs, the near surface is currently in a long term drying trend (for the last 3,000 years) yet recharge into the water table is continuing to occur at an average rate equivalent to the average input rate of the climate model, indicating that conditions at depth are damped out over very long time periods. The Paintbrush Tuff nonwelded units, positioned between the Tiva Canyon and Topopah Spring welded Tuff Members, do not appear to act as capillary barrier and therefore would not perch water. The low porosity vitric caprock and basal vitrophyre of the Topopah Spring Member, however, act as restrictive layers. The higher porosity rock directly above the caprock reduces the potential for the caprock to perch water leaving the basal vitrophyre as the most likely location for perched water to develop.

  9. Petrology and geochemistry of the Grouse Canyon Member of the Belted Range Tuff, Rock-Mechanics Drift, U12g Tunnel, Nevada Test Site

    SciT

    Connolly, J.R.; Mansker, W.L.; Hicks, 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.more » 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.« less

  10. Geochemistry of rock units at the potential repository level, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

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

    2002-01-01

    The compositional variability of the phenocryst-poor member of the 12.8 Ma Topopah Spring Tuff at the potential repository level was assessed by duplicate analysis of 20 core samples from the cross drift at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Previous analyses of outcrop and core samples of the Topopah Spring Tuff showed that the phenocryst-poor rhyolite, which includes both lithophysal and nonlithophysal zones, is relatively uniform in composition. Analyses of rock samples from the cross drift, the first from the actual potential repository block, also indicate the chemical homogeneity of this unit excluding localized deposits of vapor-phase minerals and low-temperature calcite and opal in fractures, cavities, and faults. The possible influence of vapor-phase minerals and calcite and opal coatings on rock composition at a scale sufficiently large to incorporate these heterogeneously distributed deposits was evaluated and is considered to be relatively minor. Therefore, the composition of the phenocryst-poor member of the Topopah Spring Tuff is considered to be adequately represented by the analyses of samples from the cross drift. The mean composition as represented by the 10 most abundant oxides in wt. % or g/100 g is: SiO2, 76.29; Al2O3, 12.55; FeO, 0.14; Fe2O3, 0.97; MgO, 0.13; CaO, 0.50; Na2O, 3.52; K2O, 4.83; TiO2, 0.11; and MnO, 0.07. ?? 2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.

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

    SciT

    Bulmer, B.M.

    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 temperaturemore » variation of rock conductivity as well as the extent of induced boiling.« less

  12. Experimental investigation of time dependent behavior of welded Topopah Spring Tuff

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Lumin

    Four types of laboratory tests have been performed. Specimens were attained from four lithophysal zones of the welded Topopah Spring Tuff unit at Yucca Mountain, Nevada: upper lithophysal, middle nonlithophysal, lower lithophysal and lower nonlithophysal zones. Two types of tests are conducted to study time-dependent behavior: constant strain rate and creep tests. Sixty-five specimens from the middle nonlithophysal zone were tested at six strain rates: 10-2, 10-4, 10-5, 10-6, 10-7, and 10-8 s-1. Test durations range from 2 seconds to 7 days. Fourteen specimens from middle nonlithophysal, lower lithophysal and lower nonlithophysal zones are creep tested by incremental stepwise loading. All the tests are conducted under uniaxial compression at room temperature and humidity. Specimens exhibit extremely brittle fracture and fail by axial splitting, and show very little dilatancy if any. It is assumed that microfracturing dominates the inelastic deformation and failure of the tuff. Nonlinear regression is applied to the results of the constant strain rate tests to estimate the relations between peak strength, peak axial strain, secant modulus and strain rate. All three these parameters decrease with a decrease of strain rate and follow power functions: sigmapeak = 271.37 3˙0.0212 0.0212, epsilonpeak = 0.006 3˙0.0083 , ES = 41985.4 3˙0.015 . Secant modulus is introduced mainly as a tool to analyze strain rate dependent axial strain. Two threshold stresses define creep behavior. Below about 50% of peak strength, a specimen does not creep. Above about 94% of peak strength, a specimen creeps at an accelerating rate. Between the two threshold stresses, a power law relates strain rate and stress. One hundred fifty-eight Brazilian (Indirect tensile splitting) tests have been performed at six different constant strain rates. Nineteen lithophysal specimens were tested in uniaxial compression to study their fracture pattern. These specimens have a far less brittle failure mode

  13. Gravity and magnetic data across the Ghost Dance Fault in WT-2 Wash, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciT

    Oliver, H.W.; Sikora, R.F.

    1994-12-31

    Detailed gravity and ground magnetic data were obtained in September 1993 along a 4,650 ft-long profile across the Ghost Dance Fault system in WT-2 Wash. Gravity stations were established every 150 feet along the profile. Total-field magnetic measurements made initially every 50 ft along the profile, then remade every 20 ft through the fault zone. These new data are part of a geologic and geophysical study of the Ghost Dance Fault (GDF) which includes detailed geologic mapping, seismic reflection, and some drilling including geologic and geophysical logging. The Ghost Dance Fault is the only through-going fault that has been identifiedmore » within the potential repository for high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Preliminary gravity results show a distinct decrease of 0.1 to 0.2 mGal over a 600-ft-wide zone to the east of and including the mapped fault. The gravity decrease probably marks a zone of brecciation. Another fault-offset located about 2,000 ft to the east of the GDF was detected by seismic reflection data and is also marked by a distinct gravity low. The ground magnetic data show a 200-ft-wide magnetic low of about 400 nT centered about 100 ft east of the Ghost Dance Fault. The magnetic low probably marks a zone of brecciation within the normally polarized Topopah Spring Tuff, the top of which is about 170 ft below the surface, and which is known from drilling to extend to a depth of about 1,700 ft. Three-component magnetometer logging in drill hole WT-2 located about 2,700 ft east of the Ghost Dance Fault shows that the Topopah Spring Tuff is strongly polarized magnetically in this area, so that fault brecciation of a vertical zone within the Tuff could provide an average negative magnetic contrast of the 4 Am{sup {minus}1} needed to produce the 400 nT low observed at the surface.« less

  14. Comparison of Two Methods for Determination of Strontium Isotopes in Pore Water at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall, B. D.; Futa, K.; Scofield, K. M.

    2002-12-01

    The proposed radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada would be constructed in the high-silica rhyolite member of the Topopah Spring Tuff, an ash-flow tuff within the ~500-m-thick unsaturated zone. Dry-drilled rock cores from this unit have been packaged to preserve their water content. Two methods have been used to extract the strontium contained in the pore water for isotopic measurements. In the first method, samples of dried core were crushed, and the 0.25 to 2.4 mm size fractions were leached with ultra-pure water for about 1 hour to dissolve the salts left behind by the evaporated pore water. Concentrations of strontium in the pore water were calculated from determinations of porosity and saturation on adjacent core and the measured strontium concentration in the leachate. In the second method, pore water was extracted from sealed core using an ultracentrifuge, minimizing evaporation of water from the core at all steps in the process. The centrifugation of 150 to 200 g of welded tuff at 15,000 rpm for 6 hours typically results in the recovery of as much as 3 ml of pore water for analysis. Strontium isotope compositions were determined by thermal ionization mass spectrometry; 87Sr /86Sr ratios have a reproducibility of 0.00005. The ranges of 87Sr/86Sr ratios determined by the two methods are identical: 0.71215 to 0.71267 in the leachates (n = 35) and 0.71214 to 0.71266 in the extracted pore waters (n = 21). However, the calculated strontium concentrations in the leachates average 300 μg/L, whereas those in the extracted pore water average 1440 μg/L, indicating that a substantial portion of the pore-water salts remain in the crushed rock after leaching. The strontium data determined on extracted pore water shows that the leaching of pore-water salts results in accurate 87Sr/86Sr, but that a substantial correction to the strontium concentration is required due to the inefficiency of the leaching procedure and the small pore sizes in the welded

  15. Natural radionuclide mobility and its influence on U-Th-Pb dating of secondary minerals from the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Neymark, L.A.; Amelin, Y.V.

    2008-01-01

    Extreme U and Pb isotope variations produced by disequilibrium in decay chains of 238U and 232Th are found in calcite, opal/chalcedony, and Mn-oxides occurring as secondary mineral coatings in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. These very slowly growing minerals (mm my-1) contain excess 206Pb and 208Pb formed from excesses of intermediate daughter isotopes and cannot be used as reliable 206Pb/238U geochronometers. The presence of excess intermediate daughter isotopes does not appreciably affect 207Pb/235U ages of U-enriched opal/chalcedony, which are interpreted as mineral formation ages. Opal and calcite from outer (younger) portions of coatings have 230Th/U ages from 94.6 ?? 3.7 to 361.3 ?? 9.8 ka and initial 234U/238U activity ratios (AR) from 4.351 ?? 0.070 to 7.02 ?? 0.12, which indicate 234U enrichment from percolating water. Present-day 234U/238U AR is ???1 in opal/chalcedony from older portions of the coatings. The 207Pb/235U ages of opal/chalcedony samples range from 0.1329 ?? 0.0080 to 9.10 ?? 0.21 Ma, increase with microstratigraphic depth, and define slow long-term average growth rates of about 1.2-2.0 mm my-1, in good agreement with previous results. Measured 234U/238U AR in Mn-oxides, which pre-date the oldest calcite and opal/chalcedony, range from 0.939 ?? 0.006 to 2.091 ?? 0.006 and are >1 in most samples. The range of 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.71156-0.71280) in Mn-oxides overlaps that in the late calcite. These data indicate that Mn-oxides exchange U and Sr with percolating water and cannot be used as a reliable dating tool. In the U-poor calcite samples, measured 206Pb/207Pb ratios have a wide range, do not correlate with Ba concentration as would be expected if excess Ra was present, and reach a value of about 1400, the highest ever reported for natural Pb. Calcite intergrown with opal contains excesses of both 206Pb and 207Pb derived from Rn diffusion and from direct ??-recoil from U-rich opal. Calcite from coatings devoid of opal

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

    SciT

    B. Faybishenko

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

  17. Fluid geochemistry of Yucca Mountain and vicinity

    Marshall, Brian D.; Moscati, Richard J.; Patterson, Gary L.; Stuckless, John S.

    2012-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, a site in southwest Nevada, has been proposed for a deep underground radioactive waste repository. An extensive database of geochemical and isotopic characteristics has been established for pore waters and gases from the unsaturated zone, perched water, and saturated zone waters in the Yucca Mountain area. The development of this database has been driven by diverse needs of the Yucca Mountain Project, especially those aspects of the project involving process modeling and performance assessment. Water and gas chemistries influence the sorption behavior of radionuclides and the solubility of the radionuclide compounds that form. The chemistry of waters that may infiltrate the proposed repository will be determined in part by that of water present in the unsaturated zone above the proposed repository horizon, whereas pore-water compositions beneath the repository horizon will influence the sorption behavior of the radionuclides transported toward the water table. However, more relevant to the discussion in this chapter, development and testing of conceptual flow and transport models for the Yucca Mountain hydrologic system are strengthened through the incorporation of natural environmental tracer data into the process. Chemical and isotopic data are used to establish bounds on key hydrologic parameters and to provide corroborative evidence for model assumptions and predictions. Examples of specific issues addressed by these data include spatial and temporal variability in net fluxes, the role of faults in controlling flow paths, fracture-matrix interactions, the age and origin of perched water, and the distribution of water traveltimes.

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

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

    1998-01-01

    Seismic reflection and gravity profiles collected across Yucca Mountain, Nevada, together with geologic data, provide evidence against proposed active detachment faults at shallow depth along the pre-Tertiary-Tertiary contact beneath this potential repository for high-level nuclear waste. The new geophysical data show that the inferred pre-Tertiary-Tertiary contact is offset by moderate- to high-angle faults beneath Crater Flat and Yucca Mountain, and thus this shallow surface cannot represent an active detachment surface. Deeper, low-angle detachment surface(s) within Proterozoic-Paleozoic bedrock cannot be ruled out by our geophysical data, but are inconsistent with other geologic and geophysical observations in this vicinity. Beneath Crater Flat, the base of the seismogenic crust at 12 km depth is close to the top of the reflective (ductile) lower crust at 14 to 15 km depth, where brittle fault motions in the upper crust may be converted to pure shear in the ductile lower crust. Thus, our preferred interpretation of these geophysical data is that moderate- to high-angle faults extend to 12-15-km depth beneath Yucca Mountain and Crater Flat, with only modest changes in dip. The reflection lines reveal that the Amargosa Desert rift zone is an asymmetric half-graben having a maximum depth of about 4 km and a width of about 25 km. The east-dipping Bare Mountain fault that bounds this graben to the west can be traced by seismic reflection data to a depth of at least 3.5 km and possibly as deep as 6 km, with a constant dip of 64????5??. Within Crater Flat, east-dipping high-angle normal faults offset the pre-Tertiary-Tertiary contact as well as a reflector within the Miocene tuff sequence, tilting both to the west. The diffuse eastern boundary of the Amargosa Desert rift zone is formed by a broad series of high-angle down-to-the-west normal faults extending eastward across Yucca Mountain. Along our profile the transition from east- to west-dipping faults occurs at or

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

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Day, Warren C.; Dickerson, Robert P.; Potter, Christopher J.; Sweetkind, Donald S.; San Juan, Carma A.; Drake, Ronald M.; Fridrich, Christopher J.

    1998-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada, has been identified as a potential site for underground storage of high-level radioactive nuclear waste. Detailed bedrock geologic maps form an integral part of the site characterization program by providing the fundamental framework for research into the geologic hazards and hydrologic behavior of the mountain. This bedrock geologic map provides the geologic framework and structural setting for the area in and adjacent to the site of the potential repository. The study area comprises the northern and central parts of Yucca Mountain, located on the southern flank of the Timber Mountain-Oasis Valley caldera complex, which was the source for many of the volcanic units in the area. The Timber Mountain-Oasis Valley caldera complex is part of the Miocene southwestern Nevada volcanic field, which is within the Walker Lane belt. This tectonic belt is a northwest-striking megastructure lying between the more active Inyo-Mono and Basin-and-Range subsections of the southwestern Great Basin.Excluding Quaternary surficial deposits, the map area is underlain by Miocene volcanic rocks, principally ash-flow tuffs with lesser amounts of lava flows. These volcanic units include the Crater Flat Group, the Calico Hills Formation, the Paintbrush Group, and the Timber Mountain Group, as well as minor basaltic dikes. The tuffs and lava flows are predominantly rhyolite with lesser amounts of latite and range in age from 13.4 to 11.6 Ma. The 10-Ma basaltic dikes intruded along a few fault traces in the north-central part of the study area. Fault types in the area can be classified as block bounding, relay structures, strike slip, and intrablock. The block-bounding faults separate the 1- to 4-km-wide, east-dipping structural blocks and exhibit hundreds of meters of displacement. The relay structures are northwest-striking normal fault zones that kinematically link the block-bounding faults. The strike-slip faults are steep, northwest-striking dextral

  1. Results from Geothermal Logging, Air and Core-Water Chemistry Sampling, Air Injection Testing and Tracer Testing in the Northern Ghost Dance Fault, YUCCA Mountain, Nevada, November 1996 to August 1998

    SciT

    Lecain, G.D.; Anna, L.O.; Fahy, M.F.

    1998-08-01

    Geothermal logging, air and core-water chemistry sampling, air-injection testing, and tracer testing were done in the northern Ghost Dance Fault at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, from November 1996 to August 1998. The study was done by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy. The fault-testing drill room and test boreholes were located in the crystal-poor, middle nonlithophysal zone of the Topopah Spring Tuff, a tuff deposit of Miocene age. The drill room is located off the Yucca Mountain underground Exploratory Studies Facility at about 230 meters below ground surface. Borehole geothermal logging identified a temperature decreasemore » of 0.1 degree Celsius near the Ghost Dance Fault. The temperature decrease could indicate movement of cooler air or water, or both, down the fault, or it may be due to drilling-induced evaporative or adiabatic cooling. In-situ pneumatic pressure monitoring indicated that barometric pressure changes were transmitted from the ground surface to depth through the Ghost Dance Fault. Values of carbon dioxide and delta carbon-13 from gas samples indicated that air from the underground drill room had penetrated the tuff, supporting the concept of a well-developed fracture system. Uncorrected carbon-14-age estimates from gas samples ranged from 2,400 to 4,500 years. Tritium levels in borehole core water indicated that the fault may have been a conduit for the transport of water from the ground surface to depth during the last 100 years.« less

  2. Perched Ground Water in Zeolitized-Bedded Tuff, Rainier Mesa and Vicinity, Nevada Test Site, Nevada

    Thordarson, William

    1965-01-01

    Rainier Mesa--site of the first series of underground nuclear detonations--is the highest of a group of ridges and mesas within the Nevada Test Site. The mesa is about 9.5 square miles in area and reaches a maximum altitude of 7,679 feet. The mesa is underlain by welded tuff, friable-bedded tuff, and zeolitized-bedded tuff of the Piapi Canyon Group and the Indian Trail Formation of Tertiary age. The tuff--2,000 to 9,000 feet thick--rests unconformably upon thrust-faulted miogeosynclinal rocks of Paleozoic age. Zeolitic-bedded tuff at the base of the tuff sequence controls the recharge rate of ground water to the underlying and more permeable Paleozoic aquifers. The zeolitic tuff--600 to 800 feet thick--is a fractured aquitard with high interstitial porosity, but with very low interstitial permeability and fracture transmissibility. The interstitial porosity ranges from 29 to 38 percent, the interstitial permeability is generally less than 0.009 gpd/ft3, and the fracture transmissibility ranges from 10 to 100 gpd/ft for 900 feet of saturated rock. The tuff is generally fully saturated interstitially hundreds of feet above the regional water table, yet no appreciable volume of water moves through the interstices because of the very low permeability. The only freely moving water observed in miles of underground workings occurred in fractures, usually fault zones.

  3. 206Pb-230Th-234U-238U and 207Pb-235U geochronology of Quaternary opal, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

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

    2000-01-01

    -lived isotopes are nonlinearly biased by younger mineral additions. Use of the combined U–Th–Pb technique to date Yucca Mountain Quaternary opals significantly extends the age range beyond that of the 230Th/U dating method and shows that selected fracture pathways in the unsaturated zone felsic tuffs of Yucca Mountain have been active throughout the Quaternary.

  4. Geohydrologic data from test hole USW UZ-7, Yucca Mountain area, Nye County, Nevada

    Kume, Jack; Hammermeister, D.P.

    1990-01-01

    This report contains a description of the methods used in drilling and coring of the test-hole USW UZ-7, a description of the methods used in collecting, handling, and testing of test-hole samples; Lithologic information from the test hole; and water-content, water-potential, bulk-density, grain-density, porosity, and tritium data for the test hole. Test-hole USW UZ-7 was drilled and cored to a total depth of 62.94 m. The drilling was done using air as a drilling fluid to minimize disturbance to the water content of cores, drill-bit cuttings, and borehole wall-rock. Beginning at the land surface, the unsaturated-zone rock that was penetrated consisted of alluvium; welded and partially to nonwelded ash-flow tuff; bedded and reworked ash-fall tuff; nonwelded ash-flow tuff; and welded ash-flow tuff. Values of gravimetric water content and water potential of alluvium were intermediate between the extreme values in welded and nonwelded units of tuff. Gravimetric water content was largest in bedded and nonwelded ash-fall tuffs and was smallest in welded ash-flow tuff. Values of water potential were more negative in densely welded ash-flow tuffs and were less negative in bedded and nonwelded ash-fall tuffs. Bulk density was largest in densely welded ash-flow tuffs and smallest in nonwelded and bedded ash-fall tuffs. Grain density was uniform but was slightly larger in nonwelded and bedded ash-fall tuffs than in welded ash-flow tuffs. Porosity trends were opposite to bulk-density trends. Tritium content in alluvium was smallest near the alluvium-bedrock contact, markedly increased in the middle of the deposit, and decreased in the near-surface zone of the deposit. (Author 's abstract)

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

    PubMed

    Ding, M; Kelkar, S; Meijer, A

    2014-10-01

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

  6. Electrical imaging at the large block test—Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramirez, A.; Daily, W.

    2001-02-01

    A monolithic block of densely welded tuff was excavated from a site on Fran Ridge near Yucca Mountain, Nevada so that coupled thermohydrological processes could be studied in a controlled, in situ experiment. A series of heaters were placed in a horizontal plane about 3 m from the top of the 3 m×3 m×4.5-m high block. Temperatures were measured at many points within and on the block surface and a suite of other measurements were taken to define the thermal and hydrologic response. Electrical resistance tomography (ERT) was used to map two-dimensional images of moisture content changes along four planes in the block. The ERT images clearly delineate the drying and wetting of the rockmass during the 13 months of heating and subsequent 6 months of cool down. The main feature is a prominent dry zone that forms around the heaters then gradually disappears as the rock cools down. Other features include linear anomalies of decreasing moisture content, which are fractures dehydrating as the block heats up. There are also examples of compact anomalies of wetting. Some of these appear to be water accumulation in fractures, which are draining condensate from the block. Others may be rainwater entering a fracture at the top of the block. During cool-down, a general rewetting is observed although this is less certain because of poor data quality during this stage of the experiment.

  7. Chlorine-36 investigations of groundwater infiltration in the Exploratory Studies Facility at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciT

    Levy, S.S.; Fabryka-Martin, J.T.; Dixon, P.R.

    1997-12-01

    Chlorine-36, including the natural cosmogenic component and the component produced during atmospheric nuclear testing in the 1950`s and 1960`s (bomb pulse), is being used as an isotopic tracer for groundwater infiltration studies at Yucca Mountain, a potential nuclear waste repository. Rock samples have been collected systematically in the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF), and samples were also collected from fractures, faults, and breccia zones. Isotopic ratios indicative of bomb-pulse components in the water ({sup 36}Cl/Cl values > 1,250 x 10{sup {minus}15}), signifying less than 40-yr travel times from the surface, have been detected at a few locations within the Topopah Springmore » Tuff, the candidate host rock for the repository. The specific features associated with the high {sup 36}Cl/Cl values are predominantly cooling joints and syngenetic breccias, but most of the sites are in the general vicinity of faults. The non-bomb pulse samples have {sup 36}Cl/Cl values interpreted to indicate groundwater travel times of at least a few thousand to possibly several hundred thousand years. Preliminary numerical solute-travel experiments using the FEHM (Finite Element Heat and Mass transfer) code demonstrate consistency between these interpreted ages and the observed {sup 36}Cl/Cl values but do not validate the interpretations.« less

  8. Correlation of ash-flow tuffs.

    Hildreth, W.; Mahood, G.

    1985-01-01

    Discrimination and correlation of ash-flow sheets is important in structurally complex, long-lived volcanic fields where such sheets provide the best keys to the regional stratigraphic framework. Three-dimensional complexities resulting from pulsatory eruptions, sectorial emplacement, mechanical sorting during outflow, thermal and compositional zoning of magmas, the physical zoning of cooling units, and structural and erosional disruption can make such correlation and discrimination difficult. When lithologic, magnetic, petrographic, chemical, and isotopic criteria for correlating ash-flow sheets are critically evaluated, many problems and pitfalls can be identified. Distinctive phenocrysts, pumice clasts, and lithic fragments are among the more reliable criteria, as are high-precision K-Ar ages and thermal remanent magnetization (TRM) directions in unaltered welded tuff. Chemical correlation methods should rely principally upon welded or nonwelded pumice blocks, not upon the ash-flow matrix, which is subject to fractionation, mixing, and contamination during emplacement. Compositional zoning of most large sheets requires that many samples be analyzed before phenocryst, glass or whole-rock chemical trends can be used confidently as correlation criteria.-Authors

  9. HIGH EXPLOSIVE CRATER STUDIES: TUFF

    SciT

    Murphey, B.F.

    1961-04-01

    Spherical charges of TNT, each weighing 256 pounds, were exploded at various depths in tuff to determine apparent crater dimensions in a soft rock. No craters were obtained for depths of burst equal to or greater than 13.3 feet. It was deduced that rock fragments were sufficiently large that charges of greater magnitude should be employed for crater experiments intended as models of nuclear explosions. (auth)

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

    SciT

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

    1994-12-01

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

  11. DOE's Yucca Mountain Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Department of Energy, Washington, DC.

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

  12. Analogues to features and processes of a high-level radioactive waste repository proposed for Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Simmons, Ardyth M.; Stuckless, John S.; with a Foreword by Abraham Van Luik, U.S. Department of Energy

    2010-01-01

    Natural analogues are defined for this report as naturally occurring or anthropogenic systems in which processes similar to those expected to occur in a nuclear waste repository are thought to have taken place over time periods of decades to millennia and on spatial scales as much as tens of kilometers. Analogues provide an important temporal and spatial dimension that cannot be tested by laboratory or field-scale experiments. Analogues provide one of the multiple lines of evidence intended to increase confidence in the safe geologic disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Although the work in this report was completed specifically for Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as the proposed geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste under the U.S. Nuclear Waste Policy Act, the applicability of the science, analyses, and interpretations is not limited to a specific site. Natural and anthropogenic analogues have provided and can continue to provide value in understanding features and processes of importance across a wide variety of topics in addressing the challenges of geologic isolation of radioactive waste and also as a contribution to scientific investigations unrelated to waste disposal. Isolation of radioactive waste at a mined geologic repository would be through a combination of natural features and engineered barriers. In this report we examine analogues to many of the various components of the Yucca Mountain system, including the preservation of materials in unsaturated environments, flow of water through unsaturated volcanic tuff, seepage into repository drifts, repository drift stability, stability and alteration of waste forms and components of the engineered barrier system, and transport of radionuclides through unsaturated and saturated rock zones.

  13. Remote geologic structural analysis of Yucca Flat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foley, M. G.; Heasler, P. G.; Hoover, K. A.; Rynes, N. J.; Thiessen, R. L.; Alfaro, J. L.

    1991-12-01

    The Remote Geologic Analysis (RGA) system was developed by Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) to identify crustal structures that may affect seismic wave propagation from nuclear tests. Using automated methods, the RGA system identifies all valleys in a digital elevation model (DEM), fits three-dimensional vectors to valley bottoms, and catalogs all potential fracture or fault planes defined by coplanar pairs of valley vectors. The system generates a cluster hierarchy of planar features having greater-than-random density that may represent areas of anomalous topography manifesting structural control of erosional drainage development. Because RGA uses computer methods to identify zones of hypothesized control of topography, ground truth using a well-characterized test site was critical in our evaluation of RGA's characterization of inaccessible test sites for seismic verification studies. Therefore, we applied RGA to a study area centered on Yucca Flat at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) and compared our results with both mapped geology and geologic structures and with seismic yield-magnitude models. This is the final report of PNL's RGA development project for peer review within the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Arms Control (OAC) seismic-verification community. In this report, we discuss the Yucca Flat study area, the analytical basis of the RGA system and its application to Yucca Flat, the results of the analysis, and the relation of the analytical results to known topography, geology, and geologic structures.

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

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    SciT

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

    1984-12-01

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

  17. YUCCA MOUNTAIN PROJECT - A BRIEFING --

    SciT

    NA

    2003-08-05

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

  18. Simulation of ventilation efficiency, and pre-closure temperatures in emplacement drifts at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, using Monte Carlo and composite thermal-pulse methods

    Case, J.B.; Buesch, D.C.

    2004-01-01

    Predictions of waste canister and repository driftwall temperatures as functions of space and time are important to evaluate pre-closure performance of the proposed repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Variations in the lithostratigraphic features in densely welded and crystallized rocks of the 12.8-million-year-old Topopah Spring Tuff, especially the porosity resulting from lithophysal cavities, affect thermal properties. A simulated emplacement drift is based on projecting lithophysal cavity porosity values 50 to 800 m from the Enhanced Characterization of the Repository Block cross drift. Lithophysal cavity porosity varies from 0.00 to 0.05 cm3/cm3 in the middle nonlithophysal zone and from 0.03 to 0.28 cm3/cm3 in the lower lithophysal zone. A ventilation model and computer program titled "Monte Carlo Simulation of Ventilation" (MCSIMVENT), which is based on a composite thermal-pulse calculation, simulates statistical variability and uncertainty of rock-mass thermal properties and ventilation performance along a simulated emplacement drift for a pre-closure period of 50 years. Although ventilation efficiency is relatively insensitive to thermal properties, variations in lithophysal porosity along the drift can result in a range of peak driftwall temperatures can range from 40 to 85??C for the preclosure period. Copyright ?? 2004 by ASME.

  19. On the physics of unstable infiltration, seepage, and gravity drainage in partially saturated tuffs

    SciT

    Faybishenko, B.; Bodvarsson, G.S.; Salve, R.

    2002-04-01

    To improve understanding of the physics of dynamic instabilities in unsaturated flow processes within the Paintbrush nonwelded unit (PTn) and the middle nonlithophysal portion of the Tonopah Spring welded tuff unit (TSw) of Yucca Mountain, we analyzed data from a series of infiltration tests carried out at two sites (Alcove 4 and Alcove 6) in the Exploratory Studies Facility, using analytical and empirical functions. The analysis of infiltration rates measured at both sites showed three temporal scales of infiltration rate: (1) a macro-scale trend of overall decreasing flow, (2) a meso-scale trend of fast and slow motion exhibiting three-stage variationsmore » of the flow rate (decreasing, increasing, and [again] decreasing flow rate, as observed in soils in the presence of entrapped air), and (3) micro-scale (high frequency) fluctuations. Infiltration tests in the nonwelded unit at Alcove 4 indicate that this unit may effectively dampen episodic fast infiltration events; however, well-known Kostyakov, Horton, and Philip equations do not satisfactorily describe the observed trends of the infiltration rate. Instead, a Weibull distribution model can most accurately describe experimentally determined time trends of the infiltration rate. Infiltration tests in highly permeable, fractured, welded tuff at Alcove 6 indicate that the infiltration rate exhibits pulsation, which may have been caused by multiple threshold effects and water-air redistribution between fractures and matrix. The empirical relationships between the extrinsic seepage from fractures, matrix imbibition, and gravity drainage versus the infiltration rate, as well as scaling and self-similarity for the leading edge of the water front are the hallmark of the nonlinear dynamic processes in water flow under episodic infiltration through fractured tuff. Based on the analysis of experimental data, we propose a conceptual model of a dynamic fracture flow and fracture-matrix interaction in fractured tuff

  20. An investigation of volcanic depressions. Part 3: Maars, tuff-rings, tuff-cones, and diatremes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lorenz, V.; Mcbirney, A. R.; Williams, H.

    1970-01-01

    A classification of maars, tuff-rings, tuff-cones, and diatremes is given along with a summary of their lithologic and structural characteristics at the surface and at depth, and their probable manner of formation. Particular emphasis is placed on the roles of fluidization and groundwater.

  1. Improved spatial resolution for U-series dating of opal at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA, using ion-microprobe and microdigestion methods

    Paces, J.B.; Neymark, L.A.; Wooden, J.L.; Persing, H.M.

    2004-01-01

    Two novel methods of in situ isotope analysis, ion microprobe and microdigestion, were used for 230Th/U and 234U/238U dating of finely laminated opal hemispheres formed in unsaturated felsic tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, proposed site for a high-level radioactive waste repository. Both methods allow analysis of layers as many as several orders of magnitude thinner than standard methods using total hemisphere digestion that were reported previously. Average growth rates calculated from data at this improved spatial resolution verified that opal grew at extremely slow rates over the last million years. Growth rates of 0.58 and 0.69 mm/m.y. were obtained for the outer 305 and 740 ??m of two opal hemispheres analyzed by ion microprobe, and 0.68 mm/m.y. for the outer 22 ??m of one of these same hemispheres analyzed by sequential microdigestion. These Pleistocene growth rates are 2 to 10 times slower than those calculated for older secondary calcite and silica mineral coatings deposited over the last 5 to 10 m.y. dated by the U-Pb method and may reflect differences between Miocene and Pleistocene seepage flux. The microdigestion data also imply that opal growth rates may have varied over the last 40 k.y. These data are the first indication that growth rates and associated seepage in the proposed repository horizon may correlate with changes in late Pleistocene climate, involving faster growth during wetter, cooler climates (glacial maximum), slower growth during transition climates, and no growth during the most arid climate (modern). Data collected at this refined spatial scale may lead to a better understanding of the hydrologic variability expected within the thick unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain over the time scale of interest for radioactive waste isolation. ?? 2004 Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Titanite petrochronology in the Fish Canyon Tuff

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitz, M. D.; Crowley, J. L.

    2014-12-01

    The petrologic complexity of the archtypical 'monotonous intermediate' Fish Canyon Tuff (FCT) has been previously established by a variety of mineralogical and geochemical proxies [1-2], and the unusual storage and eruptive dynamics of the FCT have been delineated by several geochronological studies [3-5]. Titanite is an apparent equilibrium phase in the penultimate FCT magma, and can be linked petrographically to hornblende crystals that preserve up-temperature core-to-rim zoning profiles. As a reactive, trace element-rich phase, we hypothesized that titanite may record an intracrystalline record of magma chamber dynamics. Titanite crystals from the same separate analyzed in [4] were oriented and doubly-polished to yield characteristic wedge-shaped cross-sectional wafers approximately 300 µm in thickness. BSE imaging guided LA-ICPMS analyses of a full suite of trace elements using a 25 µm beam diameter and crater depth on multiple locations across both sides of the wafer. Most titanite crystals are characterized by large variations in trace elements, including at least two generations of REE-enriched, actinide-poor, low Sr, large Eu anomaly cores overgrown by REE-depleted, actinide-rich, high Sr domains with small Eu anomalies and distinctive concave-up middle to heavy REE patterns. Trace element contents and patterns correlate strongly with Eu anomaly; intermediate compositions are abundant and spatially correlated to reaction zones between core and rim domains. Within the context of the batholithic rejuvenation model for the FCT magma [1-2], these trace element variations are interpreted to record the partial melting of a differentiated crystalline FCT precursor and its hybridization with a more 'mafic' flux. ID-TIMS dating of end-member titanites confirm older ages (ca 28.4 to 29.0 Ma) for cores and define a younger age for rejuvenation of ca 28.2 Ma, consistent with recent U-Pb zircon and 40Ar/39Ar studies [5-7]. [1] Bachmann & Dungan (2002) Am Mineral 87

  3. Water table in rocks of Cenozoic and Paleozoic age, 1980, Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, Nevada

    Doty, G.C.; Thordarson, William

    1983-01-01

    The water table at Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, Nevada, occurs in rocks of Paleozoic age and in tuffs and alluvium of Cenozoic age and ranges in altitude from about 2,425 feet to about 3,500 feet. The configuration of the water table is depicted by contours with intervals of 25 to 500 feet. Control for the map consists of water-level information from 61 drill holes, whose locations and age of geologic units penetrated are shown by symbols on the map. (USGS)

  4. Explosive shaped charge penetration into tuff rock

    SciT

    Vigil, M.G.

    1988-10-01

    Analysis and data for the use of Explosive Shaped Charges (ESC) to generate holes in tuff rock formation is presented. The ESCs evaluated include Conical Shaped Charges (CSC) and Explosive Formed Projectiles (EFP). The CSCs vary in size from 0.158 to 9.1 inches inside cone diameter. The EFPs were 5.0 inches in diameter. Data for projectile impact angles of 30 and 90 degrees are presented. Analytically predicted depth of penetration data generally compared favorably with experimental data. Predicted depth of penetration versus ESC standoff data and hole profile dimensions in tuff are also presented. 24 refs., 45 figs., 6 tabs.

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

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

    1985-01-01

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

  6. Volcanism Studies: Final Report for the Yucca Mountain Project

    SciT

    Bruce M. Crowe; Frank V. Perry; Greg A. Valentine

    1998-12-01

    This report synthesizes the results of volcanism studies conducted by scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and collaborating institutions on behalf of the Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Project. An assessment of the risk of future volcanic activity is one of many site characterization studies that must be completed to evaluate the Yucca Mountain site for potential long-term storage of high-level radioactive waste. The presence of several basaltic volcanic centers in the Yucca Mountain region of Pliocene and Quaternary age indicates that there is a finite risk of a future volcanic event occurring during the 10,000-year isolation period ofmore » a potential repository. Chapter 1 introduces the volcanism issue for the Yucca Mountain site and provides the reader with an overview of the organization, content, and significant conclusions of this report. The risk of future basaltic volcanism is the primary topic of concern including both events that intersect a potential repository and events that occur near or within the waste isolation system of a repository. Future volcanic events cannot be predicted with certainty but instead are estimated using formal methods of probabilistic volcanic hazard assessment (PVHA). Chapter 2 describes the volcanic history of the Yucca Mountain region (YMR) and emphasizes the Pliocene and Quaternary volcanic record, the interval of primary concern for volcanic risk assessment. The distribution, eruptive history, and geochronology of Plio-Quaternary basalt centers are described by individual center emphasizing the younger postcaldera basalt (<5 Ma). The Lathrop Wells volcanic center is described in detail because it is the youngest basalt center in the YMR. The age of the Lathrop Wells center is now confidently determined to be about 75 thousand years old. Chapter 3 describes the tectonic setting of the YMR and presents and assesses the significance of multiple alternative tectonic models. The Crater Flat volcanic zone

  7. Tuff of Bridge Spring: A mid-Miocene ash-flow tuff, northern Colorado River extensional corridor, Nevada and Arizona

    SciT

    Smith, E.I.; Morikawa, S.A.; Martin, M.W.

    1993-04-01

    The Tuff of Bridge Spring (TBS) (15.19[+-]0.02 Ma; Gans, 1991) is a compositionally variable dacite to rhyolite ash-flow tuff that crops out over 1800 sq. km in the northern Colorado River extensional corridor. The TBS varies in composition from 59.5 to 74 wt. % SiO[sub 2] and typically contains phenocrysts of sanidine, plagioclase, biotite, clinopyroxene, [+-] sphene, [+-] apatite, [+-] zircon, and [+-] hornblende. The TBS is thickest and displays its greatest compositional range in the center of its area of exposure. The McCullough Range section contains at least three chemically distinct flow units that vary in composition from dacitemore » to rhyolite. The basal and uppermost units are normally zoned and the middle unit is reversely zoned. The complex chemical zonation and zoning reversals in the TBS indicate that it erupted from a magma chamber that was periodically injected by both mafic and felsic magmas. Sections at the edge of the exposure area are thin, contain only one or two chemically definable flow units and have a limited compositional range. To the west at Sheep Mountain, TBS is 2.9 m thick and ranges from 70.2--71.7 wt % SiO[sub 2]. To the east in the White Hills, TBS is 14 m thick and ranges from 59.5--65.3 wt % SiO[sub 2]. This chemical and field data indicate that although the TBS is regionally extensive, individual flow units are not. Isotopic data and chemistry suggest that all sections of the TBS are cogenetic. Comparisons of chemical, geochronological and isotopic data between the TBS and nearby coeval plutons indicate that the Aztec Wash (Eldorado Mts., Nevada) and Mt. Perkins (Black Mountain, Arizona) plutons are possible source for the TBS. Both plutons exhibit ample evidence of magma mixing and commingling, processes that may produce compositional zonation such as that observed in the TBS.« less

  8. Physical and Thermal Structure of the Bishop Tuff, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, C. J.; Hildreth, W.

    2001-12-01

    The 0.76 Ma Bishop Tuff, California, includes an ignimbrite constructed from a series of overlapping packages of material erupted sequentially and simultaneously from multiple sources around the ring fracture of Long Valley caldera (Wilson, C.J.N., Hildreth, W., 1997, Journal of Geology 105, 407-439). Exceptionally good continuous exposures of the ignimbrite in the walls of Owens Gorge to the east of Long Valley provide a cross-section through the east-side packages (Ig1E and Ig2E). We have measured 10 sections up the gorge walls to draw up a cross section of the ignimbrite down Owens Gorge, using lithic abundances and lithologies to define the physical eruptive packages and their subdivisions, and measurements of tuff bulk density (as an easily measured proxy for welding intensity) to define the thermal eruptive packages. The physically emplaced bodies of ignimbrite represent an overlapping, shingling suite of material such that successively later ignimbrite occurs most prominently farther away from source. Two major and two lesser zones of maximum density (welding) are present, the lower two (in Ig1Ea and lower Ig1Eb) in upper Owens Gorge, and the two most prominent (upper Ig1Eb and Ig2Eb) in middle and lower parts of the gorge. Welding fluctuations are controlled by bulk temperatures of individual batches of hotter and cooler material, but the intensity of the welding also depends on deposit thickness (i.e. load stress). Physically defined contacts between ignimbrite packages show that time breaks inferred to be of hours may not result in formation of any visible parting or flow unit boundary. Furthermore, positions of density (welding) minima between zones of higher density tuff do not coincide with horizons of stratigraphic significance. These observations lead to two conclusions. (1) The absence of clear partings or flow unit boundaries in an ignimbrite sequence is not diagnostic either of the material representing a single flow unit, or of the material being

  9. Influence of transitional volcanic strata on lateral diversion at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Flint, Lorraine E.; Flint, Alan L.; Selker, John S.

    2003-01-01

    Natural hydraulic barriers exist at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, a potential high‐level nuclear waste repository, that have been identified as possible lateral diversions for reducing deep percolation through the waste storage area. Historical development of the conceptual model of lateral diversion has been limited by available field data, but numerical investigations presented the possibility of significant lateral diversion due to the presence of a thin, porous rock layer, the Paintbrush nonwelded tuffs. Analytical analyses of the influence of transitional changes in properties suggest that minimal lateral diversion is likely at Yucca Mountain. Numerical models, to this point, have not accounted for the gradual transition of properties or the existence of multiple layers that could inadvertently influence the simulation of lateral diversion as an artifact of numerical model discretization. Analyses were made of subsurface matric potential measurements, and comparisons were made of surface infiltration estimates with deeper percolation flux calculations using chloride‐mass‐balance calculations and simulations of measured temperature profiles. These analyses suggest that insignificant lateral diversion has occurred above the repository horizon and that water generally moves vertically through the Paintbrush nonwelded tuffs.

  10. Yearly report, Yucca Mountain project

    SciT

    Brune, J.N.

    1992-09-30

    We proposed to (1) Develop our data logging and analysis equipment and techniques for analyzing seismic data from the Southern Great Basin Seismic Network (SGBSN), (2) Investigate the SGBSN data for evidence of seismicity patterns, depth distribution patterns, and correlations with geologic features (3) Repair and maintain our three broad band downhole digital seismograph stations at Nelson, nevada, Troy Canyon, Nevada, and Deep Springs, California (4) Install, operate, and log data from a super sensitive microearthquake array at Yucca Mountain (5) Analyze data from micro-earthquakes relative to seismic hazard at Yucca Mountain.

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

    SciT

    Van Konynenburg, R.A.; Kundig, K.J.A.; Lyman, W.S.

    1990-06-01

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

  12. The Tala Tuff, La Primavera caldera Mexico. Pre-eruptive conditions and magma processes before eruption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

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

    2008-01-01

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

  14. The effects of Yucca shidigera extract on the reduction of ammonia concentration in Lake Koumoundourou

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dimitriou, Elias; Markogianni, Vassiliki; Yu, Xiaoxi

    2013-04-01

    Increasing concentrations of nutrients in Lakes is a common problem worldwide, nowadays and has significant impacts on their trophic status and thus on the ecosystem's health. Koumoundourou Lake is a shallow, semi-saline Lake, located in the industrial zone of Attica, Greece. The particular water body receives significant pressures from the nearby industries, from uncontrolled disposal of urban waste and from large number of birds that find a shelter there during the winter time (due to the extinction of most of the rest of Attica wetlands). This study investigates the efficiency of a particular restoration measure for the reduction of ammonia by using a plant extract. Particularly, Yucca shidigera has been proved effective in reducing ammonia in aquaculture and therefore, this study aims to investigate if the effects of Yucca extract could be similar in Lake Koumoundourou and determine the appropriate amount of Yucca extract, necessary to restore the water quality at the desirable levels. Six treatments (two replications per treatment) for 180 hours were conducted, in which three different levels of Ammonium chloride (varying between 0 and 6mg/l) and five different concentrations of Yucca (varying between 0 and 2 mg/l) were added in the lake water (in experimental tanks). As far as the effects of Yucca extract on water quality are concerned, it is initially considered that it stimulates the reduction of dissolved oxygen (DO) since its concentration dropped faster in the treatments with added Yucca than the treatments with no Yucca at all, despite the amount of the added Ammonia. Concentration of ammonia-nitrogen kept dropping until hour 48 from the beginning of the experiment, indicating that the efficacy of Yucca extract removing ammonia last for about 48 hours, irrespectively of the amount of yucca extract added. Additionally, the relationship between the added Yucca extract and the removed ammonia concentration is proportional. Thus, it is concluded that the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  16. Current Seismicity in the Vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, K.; von Seggern, D.; dePolo, D.

    2001-12-01

    The 1992 to 2000 earthquakes in the Southern Great Basin have been relocated in order to better recognize the active tectonic processes in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain. During this time period seismic monitoring in the Southern Great Basin transitioned from a primarily single-component analog network to a 3-component digital network. Through the transition analog and digital networks were run in tandem. The station density over this period is as great as any prior recording period. The analog and digital networks were administered separately during the transition, and we have merged the phase data from the two operations. We performed relocations starting in October 1992, thus creating a hypocentral list for FY1993-FY2000. Aftershocks of the June 1992 M 5.6 Little Skull Mountain earthquake, located approximately 20 km southeast of Yucca Mountain, dominate the seismicity in the Southern Great Basin from 1992-2000. After the Little Skull Mountain earthquake, there was a general increase in earthquake activity in southern NTS, principally associated with the Rock Valley fault zone. There was no corresponding increase in seismicity west of Little Skull Mountain near the potential repository site. The distribution of high-quality earthquake locations generally reflects trends in Miocene tectonism. In particular, a general north-south trending gravity low, interpreted by Carr (1984) as the Kawich-Greenwater Rift, is highlighted by the microseismicity in many areas. Locally small magnitude earthquakes tend to outline the 8-10 Ma Timber Mountain caldera in northern and central NTS. Although these structures do not generally correlate with Quaternary faults, the micro-earthquake activity may reflect zones of weakness within these older structures. A 100 km long, conspicuous, north-south trending seismic zone, which shows no correlation with know Quaternary features, aligns along the steep gravity gradient bordering the western side of the Kawich-Greenwater gravity

  17. Tracer Transport Along a Vertical Fault Located in Welded Tuffs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salve, R.; Liu, H.; Hu, Q.

    2002-12-01

    A near-vertical fault that intercepts the fractured welled tuff formation in the underground Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, has provided a unique opportunity to evaluate important hydrological parameters associated with faults (e.g., flow velocity, matrix diffusion, fault-fracture-matrix interactions). Alcove 8, which intersects the fault is located in the cross drift of the ESF, has been excavated for liquid releases through this fault and a network of fractures. Located 25 m below Alcove 8 in the main drift of the ESF, Niche 3 which also intercepts the fault, serves as the site for monitoring the wetting front and for collecting seepage following liquid releases in Alcove 8. To investigate the importance of matrix diffusion and the extent of area subject to fracture-matrix interactions, we released a mix of conservative tracers (pentafluorobenzoic acid [PFBA] and lithium bromide [LiBr]) along the fault. The ceiling of Niche 3 was blanketed with an array of trays to capture seepage, and seepage rates were continuously monitored by a water collection system connected to the trays. Additionally, a water sampling device, the passive-discreet water sampler (PDWS), was connected to three of the collections trays in Niche 3 into which water was seeping. The PDWS, designed to isolate continuous seepage from each tray into discreet samples for chemical analysis, remained connected to the trays over a period of three months. During this time, all water that seeped into the three trays was captured sequentially into sampling bottles and analyzed for concentrations of PFBA and LiBr. Water released along the fault initially traveled the 25 m vertical distance over a period of 36 days (at a velocity ~0.7 m/day). The seepage recovered in Niche 3 was less than 10% of the injected water with significant spatial and temporal fluctuations in seepage rates. Along a fast flow path, the benzoic tracer (PFBA) and LiBr were first detected ~12 days after

  18. Structural geology of the proposed site area for a high-level radioactive waste repository, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

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

    2004-01-01

    Geologic mapping and fracture studies have documented the fundamental patterns of joints and faults in the thick sequence of rhyolite tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the proposed site of an underground repository for high-level radioactive waste. The largest structures are north-striking, block-bounding normal faults (with a subordinate left-lateral component) that divide the mountain into numerous 1-4-km-wide panels of gently east-dipping strata. Block-bounding faults, which underwent Quaternary movement as well as earlier Neogene movement, are linked by dominantly northwest-striking relay faults, especially in the more extended southern part of Yucca Mountain. Intrablock faults are commonly short and discontinuous, except those on the more intensely deformed margins of the blocks. Lithologic properties of the local tuff stratigraphy strongly control the mesoscale fracture network, and locally the fracture network has a strong influence on the nature of intrablock faulting. The least faulted part of Yucca Mountain is the north-central part, the site of the proposed repository. Although bounded by complex normal-fault systems, the 4-km-wide central block contains only sparse intrablock faults. Locally intense jointing appears to be strata-bound. The complexity of deformation and the magnitude of extension increase in all directions away from the proposed repository volume, especially in the southern part of the mountain where the intensity of deformation and the amount of vertical-axis rotation increase markedly. Block-bounding faults were active at Yucca Mountain during and after eruption of the 12.8-12.7 Ma Paintbrush Group, and significant motion on these faults postdated the 11.6 Ma Rainier Mesa Tuff. Diminished fault activity continued into Quaternary time. Roughly half of the stratal tilting in the site area occurred after 11.6 Ma, probably synchronous with the main pulse of vertical-axis rotation, which occurred between 11.6 and 11.45 Ma. Studies of

  19. Possible Tuff Cones In Isidis Planitia, Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seabrook, A. M.; Rothery, D. A.; Bridges, J. C.; Wright, I. P.

    The Beagle 2 lander of the ESA Mars Express mission will touch down on the martian surface in December 2003 to conduct a primarily exobiological mission. The landing site will be within Isidis Planitia, an 1100 km diameter impact basin. Isidis contains many sub-kilometre-sized cones. These can be found singly, in clusters, and in straight or arcuate chains extending many kilometres. In some areas of the basin these cones can occupy over 10% of the surface, with the most densely populated areas being in the older western half of the basin. There are few cones around the basin rim. There is also variation in the erosional state of the cones both across the basin, and within smaller areas, implying a range in time of formation for the cones. We currently favour a tuff cone origin as an explanation for these features. Tuff cones on Earth are rooted volcanic features formed at vents by the interaction between magma or magmatic heat and surface or near-surface water. Lava flows likely to be associated with at least some of the cones if they had a cinder cone (rooted eruptions at vents in a dry environment) origin are absent. This suggests the involvement of suffi- cient volatiles both to explosively fragment the erupting magma, and to cool the ejecta enough to prevent the formation of clastogenic flows. If our tuff cone interpretation is correct, this has implications for the presence, abundance and long-term persistence of sub-surface volatiles (water or carbon dioxide) on Mars. An understanding of the mechanism of formation of the Isidis cones will assist the characterisation of the basin in preparation for the landing of Beagle 2, by providing information about the history of volatiles and volcanism in the basin, and the processes that resulted in the surface we see today.

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

    Ellis, William L.; Swolfs, Henri S.

    1983-01-01

    Observations made during drilling and subsequent testing of the USW G-1 drill hole, Yucca Mountain, Nevada, provide qualitative insights into the in- situ geomechanical characteristics of the layered tuff units penetrated by the hole. Substantial drilling-fluid losses, and the occurrence of drilling-induced fracturing, are understandable in terms of the low, minimum horizontal stress magnitudes interpreted from six hydraulic-fracturing stress measurements conducted between hole depths of 640 and 1,300 meters. Although not confirmed directly by the hydraulic-fracturing data, other observations suggest that the minimum stress magnitudes in the more densely welded and brittle tuff layers may be even smaller than in the less welded and more ductile rocks. Stress-induced borehole ellipticity observed along most of the length of USW G-1 indicates that the horizontal stress components are not equal, and that the concentration of these stresses around the hole is sufficient to locally exceed the yield strength of the rock. The low, minimum horizontal stress magnitudes, perhaps variable with lithology, and the indications from borehole ellipticity of a high in-situ stress/strength ratio, indicate the need for further studies to characterize the structural and geomechanical properties of the rocks at depth in Yucca Mountain.

  1. Reconnaissance Seismic Refraction Studies at Calico Hills, Wahmonie, and Yucca Mountain, Southwest Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada

    Pankratz, L.W.

    1982-01-01

    Reconnaissance refraction surveys consisting off a total of 5 spreads were conducted in the Calico Hills, Wahmonie and Yucca Mountain areas, southwestern Nevada Test Site (NTS). Data from Calico Hills and Wahmonie are generally high in quality; data from Yucca Mountain are for the most part low in quality. At Calico Hills and Wahmonie, special attention was focused on the possible occurrence of a major intrusive body at depth. At Calico Hills this occurrence is supported by an inferred dome-shaped velocity interface. possibly associated with the roof of an altered phase of argillite. However, if an intrusive body is present, its top must be buried deeper than 3 km or it must be so pervasively altered that its velocity is similar to that of the calcareous argillite encountered at the bottom of drill hole DE 25a-3. At Wahmonie, the seismic data suggest the occurrence of a massive lenticular unit within 60 m of the ground surface, probably consisting of argillite but possibly consisting of intensively altered intrusive rock. At Yucca Mountain, preliminary interpretations of the most reliable data suggest the occurrence of a major, steeply inclined velocity interface 500 m from the southwest end of the Yucca C spread. This interface may represent a major fault or erosional feature separating the Topopah Spring and Tiva Canyon Members with Paintbrush Tuff at depth. This interface is 800 m east of a previously mapped fault. On the basis of poor-quality data obtained at Yucca Mountain, the subsurface velocity distribution appears to be complex. For example, one spread near drill hole UE25 a-I suggests not only a much thicker section of Tiva but also that this material is down thrown in the valley. This may suggest faulting with throws exceeding 100 meters or an equivalent erosional feature.

  2. The oligocene Lund Tuff, Great Basin, USA: A very large volume monotonous intermediate

    Maughan, L.L.; Christiansen, E.H.; Best, M.G.; Gromme, C.S.; Deino, A.L.; Tingey, D.G.

    2002-01-01

    Unusual monotonous intermediate ignimbrites consist of phenocryst-rich dacite that occurs as very large volume (> 1000 km3) deposits that lack systematic compositional zonation, comagmatic rhyolite precursors, and underlying plinian beds. They are distinct from countless, usually smaller volume, zoned rhyolite-dacite-andesite deposits that are conventionally believed to have erupted from magma chambers in which thermal and compositional gradients were established because of sidewall crystallization and associated convective fractionation. Despite their great volume, or because of it, monotonous intermediates have received little attention. Documentation of the stratigraphy, composition, and geologic setting of the Lund Tuff - one of four monotonous intermediate tuffs in the middle-Tertiary Great Basin ignimbrite province - provides insight into its unusual origin and, by implication, the origin of other similar monotonous intermediates. The Lund Tuff is a single cooling unit with normal magnetic polarity whose volume likely exceeded 3000 km3. It was emplaced 29.02 ?? 0.04 Ma in and around the coeval White Rock caldera which has an unextended north-south diameter of about 50 km. The tuff is monotonous in that its phenocryst assemblage is virtually uniform throughout the deposit: plagioclase > quartz ??? hornblende > biotite > Fe-Ti oxides ??? sanidine > titanite, zircon, and apatite. However, ratios of phenocrysts vary by as much as an order of magnitude in a manner consistent with progressive crystallization in the pre-eruption chamber. A significant range in whole-rock chemical composition (e.g., 63-71 wt% SiO2) is poorly correlated with phenocryst abundance. These compositional attributes cannot have been caused wholly by winnowing of glass from phenocrysts during eruption, as has been suggested for the monotonous intermediate Fish Canyon Tuff. Pumice fragments are also crystal-rich, and chemically and mineralogically indistinguishable from bulk tuff. We

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

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Stuckless, John S.; Levich, Robert A.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Stuckless, John S.; Levich, Robert A.

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Transient calcite fracture fillings in a welded tuff, Snowshoe Mountain, Colorado

    Hoch, A.R.; Reddy, M.M.; Heymans, M.J.

    2000-01-01

    The core from two boreholes (13.1 and 19.2 m depth) drilled 500 m apart in the fractured, welded tuff near the summit of the Snowshoe Mountain, Colorado (47??30'N, 106??55'W) had unique petrographic and hydrodynamic properties. Borehole SM-4 had highly variable annual water levels, in contrast to SM-1a, whose water level remained near the land surface. Core samples from both boreholes (n = 10 and 11) were examined petrographically in thin sections impregnated with epoxy containing rhodamine to mark the pore system features, and were analyzed for matrix porosity and permeability. Core from the borehole sampling the vadose zone was characterized by open fractures with enhanced porosity around phenocrysts due to chemical weathering. Fractures within the borehole sampling the phreatic zone were mineralized with calcite and had porosity characteristics similar to Unweathered and unfractured rock. At the top of the phreatic zone petrography indicates that calcite is dissolving, thereby changing the hydrogeochemical character of the rock (i.e. permeability, porosity, reactive surface area, and mineralogy). Radiocarbon ages and C and O stable isotopes indicate that calcite mineralization occurred about 30 to 40 ka ago and that there was more than one mineralization event. Results of this study also provide some relationships between primary porosity development from 3 types of fracture in a welded tuff. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

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

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Fractures in outcrops in the vicinity of drill hole USW G-4. Yucca Mountain, Nevada; data analysis and compilation

    Barton, Christopher C.; Page, William R.; Morgan, Terrance L.

    1989-01-01

    Fractures on outcrops in the vicinity of drill hole USW G-4, Yucca Mountain, Nevada, were studied in order to contribute to characterization of fractures for hydrologjc, geomechanical, and tectonic modeling of the Yucca Mountain block and to characterize fractures prior to the excavation of a proposed exploratory shaft located near USW G-4. Yucca Mountain is a prospective site for the construction of an underground repository for high-level nuclear waste.Measurements were taken and recorded on 5,000 fractures at 50 outcrop stations primarily in the upper lithophysal unit of the Tiva Canyon Member of the Miocene Paintbrush Tuff. Fracture orientation and surface roughness were recorded for each fracture. Additionally, notes were taken on fracture abutting, crossing, and offsetting relations, swarming, curvature, brecciation, slickensides, and fracture fillings. Frequency distributions of orientation and roughness were plotted and analyzed. Fractures with low roughness coefficients (0-4) group tightly into two sets based on orientation. We conclude that such fractures are cooling joints and that all other fractures are tectonic. The development of small-scale fractures adjacent, subparallel, and possibly related to the Ghost Dance fault has been addressed in a preliminary way based on data collected in this study. Such sympathetic fractures are abundant in the upper cliff unit but not in the upper lithophysal unit.

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

    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 < 1) siliceous 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

  10. Simulation of gas phase transport of carbon-14 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    Lu, N.; Ross, B.

    1994-01-01

    We have simulated gas phase transport of Carbon-14 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Three models were established to calculate travel time of Carbon-14 from the potential repository to the mountain surface: a geochemical model for retardation factors, a coupled gas-flow and heat transfer model for temperature and gas flow fields, and a particle tracker for travel time calculation. The simulations used three parallel, east-west cross-sections that were taken from the Sandia National Laboratories Interactive Graphics Information System (IGIS). Assuming that the repository is filled with 30- year-old waste at an initial areal power density of 57 kw/acre, we found that repository temperatures remain above 60??C for more than 10,000 years. For a tuff permeability of 10-7 cm2, Carbon-14 travel times to the surface are mostly less than 1,000 years, for particles starting at any time within the first 10,000 years. If the tuff permeability is 10-8 cm2, however, Carbon- 14 travel times to the surface range from 3,000 to 12,000 years, for particle starting within the 10,000 years.

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

    Flint, L.E.

    1998-01-01

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

  12. Getting Beyond Yucca Mountain - 12305

    SciT

    Halstead, Robert J.; Williams, James M.

    2012-07-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy has terminated the Yucca Mountain repository project. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has indefinitely suspended the Yucca Mountain licensing proceeding. The presidentially-appointed Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC) on America's Nuclear Future is preparing a report, due in January 2012, to the Secretary of Energy on recommendations for a new national nuclear waste management and disposal program. The BRC Draft Report published in July 2011 provides a compelling critique of the past three decades failed efforts in the United States to site storage and disposal facilities for spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level radioactive waste (HLW). However,more » the BRC Draft Report fails to provide detailed guidance on how to implement an alternative, successful approach to facility site selection. The comments submitted to the BRC by the State of Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects provide useful details on how the US national nuclear waste program can get beyond the failed Yucca Mountain repository project. A detailed siting process, consisting of legislative elements, procedural elements, and 'rules' for volunteer sites, could meet the objectives of the BRC and the Western Governors Association (WGA), while promoting and protecting the interests of potential host states. The recent termination of the proposed Yucca Mountain repository provides both an opportunity and a need to re-examine the United States' nuclear waste management program. The BRC Draft Report published in July 2011 provides a compelling critique of the past three decades failed efforts in the United States to site storage and disposal facilities for SNF and HLW. It is anticipated that the BRC Final report in January 2012 will recommend a new general course of action, but there will likely continue to be a need for detailed guidance on how to implement an alternative, successful approach to facility site selection. Getting the nation's nuclear waste program back on track

  13. 234U/238U evidence for local recharge and patterns of groundwater flow in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

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

    2002-01-01

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

  14. Physical limits on ground motion at Yucca Mountain

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

    2007-01-01

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

  15. Spatial variability of damage around faults in the Joe Lott Tuff Member of the Mount Belknap Volcanics, southwestern Utah: An analog to faulting in tuff on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okubo, C. H.

    2011-12-01

    The equatorial layered deposits on Mars exhibit abundant evidence for the sustained presence of groundwater, and therefore insight into past water-related processes may be gained through the study of these deposits. Pyroclastic and evaporitic sediments are two broad lithologies that are known or inferred to comprise these deposits. Investigations into the effects of faulting on fluid flow potential through such Mars analog lithologies have been limited. Thus a study into the effects of faulting on fluid flow pathways through fine-grained pyroclastic sediments has been undertaken, and the results of this study are presented here. Faults and their damage zones can influence the trapping and migration of fluids by acting as either conduits or barriers to fluid flow. In clastic sedimentary rocks, the conductivity of fault damage zones is primarily a function of the microstructure of the host rock, stress history, phyllosilicate content, and cementation. The chemical composition of the host rock influences the mechanical strength of the grains, the susceptibility of the grains to alteration, and the availability of authigenic cements. The spatial distribution of fault-related damage is investigated within the Joe Lott Tuff Member of the Mount Belknap Volcanics, Utah. Damage is characterized by measuring fracture densities along the fault, and by mapping the gas permeability of the surrounding rock. The Joe Lott Tuff is a partially welded, crystal-poor, rhyolite ash-flow tuff of Miocene age. While the rhyolitic chemical composition of the Joe Lott Tuff is not analogous to the basaltic compositions expected for Mars, the mechanical behavior of a poorly indurated mixture of fine-grained glass and pumice is pertinent to understanding the fundamental mechanics of faulting in Martian pyroclastic sediments. Results of mapping around two faults are presented here. The first fault is entirely exposed in cross-section and has a down-dip height of ~10 m. The second fault is

  16. Trondhjemite and metamorphosed quartz keratophyre tuff of the Ammonoosuc volcanics (Ordovician), western New Hampshire and adjacent Vermont and Massachusetts.

    Leo, G.W.

    1985-01-01

    These volcanic rocks consist of a lower, mainly mafic unit of hornblende-plagioclase amphibolite and an upper, mainly felsic metamorphosed quartz keratophyre tuff. They are intruded by sills, dykes and plugs of trondhjemite; which is highly silicic (SiO2, 73-81%), low in Al2O3 (11.3-13.5%) and generally contains <1% K2O. Both trondhjemite and volcanics are calc-alkaline. The major- and minor-element geochemistry of the trondhjemites is closely similar to that of the quartz keratophyre tuff. These rocks were probably produced by partial melting of basaltic source rocks, rather than by fractional crystallization, in view of the virtually bimodal nature of the Ammonoosuc assemblage. The generation of the felsic rocks occurred at deeper levels along a subduction zone dipping eastward.-L.C.H.

  17. Two-phase unsaturated flow at Yucca Mountain, Nevada: A report on current understanding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pruess, Karsten

    Thick unsaturated zones in semi-arid regions have some unique attributes that are favorable for long-term isolation of hazardous wastes. The disposal concept at Yucca Mountain takes advantage of low ambient water fluxes. Evaluation of site suitability must be based on an understanding of two-phase (liquid-gas) fluid flow and heat transfer processes in a heterogeneous, fractured rock mass. A large body of relevant knowledge has been accumulated in various fields, including petroleum and geothermal reservoir engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, and soil science. Complications at Yucca Mountain arise from the partly episodic and localized nature of water seepage in fracture networks. This limits the applicability of spatial and temporal averaging, and poses great challenges for numerical modeling. Significant flow and heat transfer effects may occur in the gas phase. Observations of natural and man-made chemical tracers as well as controlled field experiments have provided much useful information on mass transport at Yucca Mountain, including the occurrence of fast preferential flow. It is now clear that fracture-matrix interactions are considerably weaker than would be expected from a concept of water flowing in fractures as areally extensive sheets. The Yucca Mountain system is expected to be quite robust in coping with larger seepage rates, as may occur under future more pluvial climatic conditions.

  18. Geophysical expression of the Ghost Dance Fault, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciT

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

    1995-12-01

    Gravity and ground magnetic data collected along surveyed traverses across Antler and Live Yucca Ridges, on the eastern flank of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, reveal small-scale faulting associated with the Ghost Dance and possibly other faults. These studies are part of an effort to evaluate faulting in the vicinity of a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.

  19. Geophysical expression of the Ghost Dance fault, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

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

    1995-01-01

    Gravity and ground magnetic data collected along surveyed traverses across Antler and Live Yucca Ridges, on the eastern flank of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, reveal small-scale faulting associated with the Ghost Dance and possibly other faults. These studies are part of an effort to evaluate faulting in the vicinity of a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.

  20. Geohydrology of Test Well USW H-3, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    SciT

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

    Test well USW H-3 is one of several test wells drilled in the southwestern part of the Nevada Test Site in cooperation with the US Department of Energy for investigations related to the isolation of high-level radioactive wastes. All rocks penetrated by the well to a total depth of 1219 meters are volcanic tuff of Tertiary age. The composite hydraulic head in the zone 751 to 1219 meters was 733 meters above sea level, and at a depth below land surface of 751 meters. Below a depth of 1190 meters, the hydraulic head was 754 meters above sea level ormore » higher, suggesting an upward component of groundwater flow at the site. The most transmissive part of the saturated zone is in the upper part of the Tram Member of the Crater Flat Tuff in the depth interval from 809 to 841 meters, with an apparent transmissivity of about 7 x 10{sup -1} meter squared per day. The remainder of the penetrated rocks in the saturated zone, 841 to 1219 meters, has an apparent transmissivity of about 4 x 10{sup -1} meter squared per day. The most transmissive part of the lower depth interval is in the bedded tuff and Lithic Ridge Tuff, in the depth interval from 1108 to 1120 meters. The apparent hydraulic conductivity of the rocks in the lower depth interval from 841 to 1219 meters commonly ranges from about 10{sup -1} to 10{sup -4} meter per day. 32 references, 20 figures, 4 tables.« less

  1. Tectonic models for Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    O'Leary, Dennis W.

    2006-01-01

    Performance of a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain hinges partly on long-term structural stability of the mountain, its susceptibility to tectonic disruption that includes fault displacement, seismic ground motion, and igneous intrusion. Because of the uncertainty involved with long-term (10,000 yr minimum) prediction of tectonic events (e.g., earthquakes) and the incomplete understanding of the history of strain and its mechanisms in the Yucca Mountain region, a tectonic model is needed. A tectonic model should represent the structural assemblage of the mountain in its tectonic setting and account for that assemblage through a history of deformation in which all of the observed deformation features are linked in time and space. Four major types of tectonic models have been proposed for Yucca Mountain: a caldera model; simple shear (detachment fault) models; pure shear (planar fault) models; and lateral shear models. Most of the models seek to explain local features in the context of well-accepted regional deformation mechanisms. Evaluation of the models in light of site characterization shows that none of them completely accounts for all the known tectonic features of Yucca Mountain or is fully compatible with the deformation history. The Yucca Mountain project does not endorse a preferred tectonic model. However, most experts involved in the probabilistic volcanic hazards analysis and the probabilistic seismic hazards analysis preferred a planar fault type model. ?? 2007 Geological Society of America. All rights reserved.

  2. Future Volcanism at Yucca Mountain - Statistical Insights from the Non-Detection of Basalt Intrusions in the Potential Repository

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coleman, N.; Abramson, L.

    2004-05-01

    Yucca Mt. (YM) is a potential repository site for high-level radioactive waste and spent fuel. One issue is the potential for future igneous activity to intersect the repository. If the event probability is <1E-8/yr, it need not be considered in licensing. Plio-Quaternary volcanos and older basalts occur near YM. Connor et al (JGR, 2000) estimate a probability of 1E-8/yr to 1E-7/yr for a basaltic dike to intersect the potential repository. Based on aeromagnetic data, Hill and Stamatakos (CNWRA, 2002) propose that additional volcanos may lie buried in nearby basins. They suggest if these volcanos are part of temporal-clustered volcanic activity, the probability of an intrusion may be as high as 1E-6/yr. We examine whether recurrence probabilities >2E-7/yr are realistic given that no dikes have been found in or above the 1.3E7 yr-old potential repository block. For 2E-7/yr (or 1E-6/yr), the expected number of penetrating dikes is 2.6 (respectively, 13), and the probability of at least one penetration is 0.93 (0.999). These results are not consistent with the exploration evidence. YM is one of the most intensively studied places on Earth. Over 20 yrs of studies have included surface and subsurface mapping, geophysical surveys, construction of 10+ km of tunnels in the mountain, drilling of many boreholes, and construction of many pits (DOE, Site Recommendation, 2002). It seems unlikely that multiple dikes could exist within the proposed repository footprint and escape detection. A dike complex dated 11.7 Ma (Smith et al, UNLV, 1997) or 10 Ma (Carr and Parrish, 1985) does exist NW of YM and west of the main Solitario Canyon Fault. These basalts intruded the Tiva Canyon Tuff (12.7 Ma) in an epoch of caldera-forming pyroclastic eruptions that ended millions of yrs ago. We would conclude that basaltic volcanism related to Miocene silicic volcanism may also have ended. Given the nondetection of dikes in the potential repository, we can use a Poisson model to estimate an

  3. Geology and Geochemistry of the 25.0 Ma Underdown Caldera Tuffs and tuff of Clipper Gap, Western Nevada Volcanic Field caldera belt, north-central Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cousens, B.; Klausen, K. B.; Henry, C.

    2016-12-01

    The 25.0 Ma Underdown Caldera of the Shoshone Mountains near Austin, Nevada, is part of the Ignimbrite Flare-up suite of calderas in north-central Nevada. Our goal is to characterize the geochemistry and geochronology of the tuffs, determine magma sources, and contrast Underdown with nearby contemporaneous caldera suites. The caldera is contained within a single, mildly west-tilted fault block (Bonham, 1970). The basement rocks are altered intermediate volcanic rocks, rarely intruded by rhyolite veins. The lowermost caldera unit, exposed only on the east side of the fault block, is the sparsely qtz-feld-phyric Underdown Tuff, a high-silica rhyolite (Bonham, 1970) that is columnar-jointed, densely welded, commonly includes aphyric pumice, but locally includes porphyritic pumice. Stretched pumice, flow folds, and foliations that reach nearly vertical demonstrate significant rheomorphism. A densely-welded porphyritic tuff is also present along the southeast side of the exposed caldera, and may be either blocks of an older tuff or a porphyritic phase of the Underdown Tuff. Correlative outflow, the tuff of Clipper Gap, emplaced east of the caldera, is petrographically similar with the same two pumice types. Overlying the Underdown Tuff is the Bonita Canyon Formation, which is moderately welded, commonly lithic- and pumice-rich with minor biotite, quartz and feldspar crystals, and contains reworked lenses; megabreccia of intermediate volcanic rocks and abundantly porphyritic tuff are common. This formation may be an upper part of the Underdown Tuff. On the west side of the Shoshone Mountains, the Bonita Canyon units are overlain by a more porphyritic, variably pumiceous, commonly vitrophyric, and densely welded tuff. At 24.7 Ma, this tuff is petrographically similar to and may be a younger part of the 25.2 Ma tuff of Arc Dome exposed to the east in the Toiyabe Range. Ongoing dating and geochemical analyses will constrain the timing and relationships between the tuffs.

  4. Ash-flow tuffs of the Galiuro Volcanics in the northern Galiuro Mountains, Pinal County, Arizona

    Krieger, Medora Louise Hooper

    1979-01-01

    The upper Oligocene and lower Miocene Galiuro Volcanics in the northern part of the Galiuro Mountains contains two distinctive major ash-flow tuff sheets, the Holy Joe and Aravaipa Members. These major ash-flows illustrate many features of ash-flow geology not generally exposed so completely. The Holy Joe Member, composed of a series of densely welded flows of quartz latite composition that make up a simple cooling unit. is a rare example of a cooling unit that has a vitrophyre at the top as well as at the base. The upper vitrophyre does not represent a cooling break. The Aravaipa Member. a rhyolite, is completely exposed in Aravaipa and other canyons and on Table Mountain. Remarkable exposures along Whitewash Canyon exhibit the complete change from a typical stacked-up interior zonation of an ash flow to a non welded distal margin. Vertical and horizontal changes in welding, crystallization, specific gravity, and lithology are exposed. The ash flow can be divided into six lithologic zones. The Holy Joe and Aravaipa Members of the Galiuro Volcanics are so well exposed and so clearly show characteristic features of ash-flow tuffs that they could be a valuable teaching aid and a source of theses for geology students.

  5. Hydrologic and geologic characteristics of the Yucca Mountain site relevant to the performance of a potential repository

    Levich, R.A.; Linden, R.M.; Patterson, R.L.; Stuckless, J.S.

    2000-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, located ~100 mi northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada, has been designated by Congress as a site to be characterized for a potential mined geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. This field trip will examine the regional geologic and hydrologic setting for Yucca Mountain, as well as specific results of the site characterization program. The first day focuses on the regional setting with emphasis on current and paleo hydrology, which are both of critical concern for predicting future performance of a potential repository. Morning stops will be southern Nevada and afternoon stops will be in Death Valley. The second day will be spent at Yucca Mountain. The field trip will visit the underground testing sites in the "Exploratory Studies Facility" and the "Busted Butte Unsaturated Zone Transport Field Test" plus several surface-based testing sites. Much of the work at the site has concentrated on studies of the unsaturated zone, an element of the hydrologic system that historically has received little attention. Discussions during the second day will compromise selected topics of Yucca Mountain geology, hydrology and geochemistry and will include the probabilistic volcanic hazard analysis and the seismicity and seismic hazard in the Yucca Mountain area. Evening discussions will address modeling of regional groundwater flow, the results of recent hydrologic studies by the Nye County Nuclear Waste Program Office, and the relationship of the geology and hydrology of Yucca Mountain to the performance of a potential repository. Day 3 will examine the geologic framework and hydrology of the Pahute Mesa-Oasis Valley Groundwater Basin and then will continue to Reno via Hawthorne, Nevada and the Walker Lake area.

  6. Spectroscopic examinations of hydro- and glaciovolcanic basaltic tuffs: Modes of alteration and relevance for Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farrand, W. H.; Wright, S. P.; Glotch, T. D.; Schröder, C.; Sklute, E. C.; Dyar, M. D.

    2018-07-01

    Hydro- and glaciovolcanism are processes that have taken place on both Earth and Mars. The amount of materials produced by these processes that are present in the martian surface layer is unknown, but may be substantial. We have used Mars rover analogue analysis techniques to examine altered tuff samples collected from multiple hydrovolcanic features, tuff rings and tuff cones, in the American west and from glaciovolcanic hyaloclastite ridges in Washington state and in Iceland. Analysis methods include VNIR-SWIR reflectance, MWIR thermal emissivity, thin section petrography, XRD, XRF, and Mössbauer spectroscopy. We distinguish three main types of tuff that differ prominently in petrography and VNIR-SWIR reflectance: minimally altered sideromelane tuff, gray to brown colored smectite-bearing tuff, and highly palagonitized tuff. Differences are also observed between the tuffs associated with hydrovolcanic tuff rings and tuff cones and those forming glaciovolcanic hyaloclastite ridges. For the locations sampled, hydrovolcanic palagonite tuffs are more smectite and zeolite rich while the palagonitized hyaloclastites from the sampled glaciovolcanic sites are largely devoid of zeolites and relatively lacking in smectites as well. The gray to brown colored tuffs are only observed in the hydrovolcanic deposits and appear to represent a distinct alteration pathway, with formation of smectites without associated palagonite formation. This is attributed to lower temperatures and possibly longer time scale alteration. Altered hydro- or glaciovolcanic materials might be recognized on the surface of Mars with rover-based instrumentation based on the results of this study.

  7. Nuclear waste disposal: Gambling on Yucca Mountain

    SciT

    Ginsburg, S.

    1995-05-01

    This document describes the historical aspects of nuclear energy ,nuclear weapons usage, and development of the nuclear bureaucracy in the United States, and discusses the selection and siting of Yucca Mountain, Nevada for a federal nuclear waste repository. Litigation regarding the site selection and resulting battles in the political arena and in the Nevada State Legislature are also presented. Alternative radioactive waste disposal options, risk assessments of the Yucca Mountain site, and logistics regarding the transportation and storage of nuclear waste are also presented. This document also contains an extensive bibliography.

  8. Revised ages for tuffs of the Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field: Assignment of the Huckleberry Ridge Tuff to a new geomagnetic polarity event

    Lanphere, M.A.; Champion, D.E.; Christiansen, R.L.; Izett, G.A.; Obradovich, J.D.

    2002-01-01

    40Ar/39Ar ages were determined on the three major ash-flow tuffs of the Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field in the region of Yellowstone National Park in order to improve the precision of previously determined ages. Total-fusion and incremental-heating ages of sanidine yielded the following mean ages: Huckleberry Ridge Tuff-2.059 ?? 0.004 Ma; Mesa Falls Tuff-1.285 ?? 0.004 Ma; and Lava Creek Tuff-0.639 ?? 0.002 Ma. The Huckleberry Ridge Tuff has a transitional magnetic direction and has previously been related to the Reunion Normal-Polarity Subchron. Dating of the Reunion event has been reviewed and its ages have been normalized to a common value for mineral standards. The age of the Huckleberry Ridge Tuff is significantly younger than lava flows of the Reunion event on Re??union Island, supporting other evidence for a normal-polarity event younger than the Reunion event.

  9. Eruptive history, petrology, and petrogenesis of the Joe Lott Tuff Member of the Mount Belknap Volcanics, Marysvale volcanic field, west-central Utah

    Budding, Karin E.

    1982-01-01

    The Joe Lott Tuff Member of the Mount Belknap Volcanics is the largest rhyolitic ash-flow tuff sheet in the Marysvale volcanic field. It was erupted 19 m.y. ago, shortly after the changeover from intermediate-composition calc-alkalic volcanism to bimodal basalt-rhyolite volcanism. Eruption of the tuff resulted in the formation of the Mount Belknap Caldera whose pyroclastic intracaldera stratigraphy parallels that in the outflow facies. The Joe Loft Tuff Member is a composite ash-flow sheet that changes laterally from a simple cooling unit near the source to four distinct cooling units toward the distal end. The lowest of these units is the largest and most widespread; it is 64 m thick and contains a basal vitrophyre. Eruption of the lower unit led to the initial collapse of the caldera. The lower unit is followed upward by a 43 m middle unit, a 26 m pink-colored unit which is separated by a prominent air- fall layer, and a 31 m upper unit. The Joe Loft Tuff Member is an alkali rhyolite with 75.85-77.31 wt. % silica and 8.06-9.32 wt. % K2O+Na2O; the agpaitic index (Na2O+ K2O/Al2O3) is .77-.98. The tuff contains about I% phenocrysts of quartz, sanidine, oligoclase, augite, apatite, zircon, sphene, biotite, and oxidized Fe-Ti oxides. The basal vitrophyre contains accessory allanite, chevkinite, and magnesiohastingsite. The main cooling units are chemically and mineralogically zoned indicating that the magma chamber restratified prior to each major eruption. Within each of the two thickest cooling units, the mineralogy changes systematically upwards; the Or content and relative volume of sanidine decreases and An content of plagioclase increases. The basal vitrophyre of the lower unit has a bulk composition that lies in the thermal trough near the minima of Or-Ab-Q at 1 kb PH2O. Microprobe analyses of feldspar and chemical modeling on experimental systems indicate that pre-eruption temperatures were near 750?C and that the temperature increased during the eruption of

  10. The Yucca Mountain Project drift scale test

    SciT

    Finley, R.E.; Blair, S.C.; Boyle, W.J.

    The Yucca Mountain Project is currently evaluating the coupled thermal-mechanical-hydrological-chemical (TMHC) response of the potential repository host rock through an in situ thermal testing program. A drift scale test (DST) was constructed during 1997 and heaters were turned on in December 1997. The DST includes nine canister-sized containers with thirty operating heaters each located within the heated drift (HD) and fifty wing heaters located in boreholes in both ribs with a total power output of nominally 210kW. A total of 147 boreholes (combined length of 3.3 km) houses most of the over 3700 TMHC sensors connected with 201 km ofmore » cabling to a central data acquisition system. The DST is located in the Exploratory Studies Facility in a 5-m diameter drift approximately 50 m in length. Heating will last up to four years and cooling will last another four years. The rock mass surrounding the DST will experience a harsh thermal environment with rock surface temperatures expected to reach a maximum of about 200 C. This paper describes the process of designing the DST. The first 38 m of the 50-m long Heated Drift (HD) is dedicated to collection of data that will lead to a better understanding of the complex coupled TMHC processes in the host rock of the proposed repository. The final 12 m is dedicated to evaluating the interactions between the heated rock mass and cast-in-place (CIP) concrete ground support systems at elevated temperatures. In addition to a description of the DST design, data from site characterization, and a general description of the analyses and analysis approach used to design the test and make pretest predictions are presented. Test-scoping and pretest numerical predictions of one way thermal-hydrologic, thermal-mechanical, and thermal-chemical behaviors have been completed (TRW, 1997a). These analyses suggest that a dry-out zone will be created around the DST and a 10,000 m{sup 3} volume of rock will experience temperatures above 100 C

  11. Paleomagnetism of the Oligocene Kalamazoo Tuff: implications for middle Tertiary extension in east central Nevada

    Hagstrum, J.T.; Gans, P.B.

    1989-01-01

    The Oligocene Kalamazoo Tuff (???35 Ma) was sampled for paleomagnetic analysis across a 100-km-wide zone of highly extended crust in east central Nevada to estimate between-site vertical axis rotations and thus the relative importance of strike-slip faulting to the mechanism of extension. The tilt-corrected data, with sources of error reduced or eliminated, exhibit a 28?? ?? 12?? clockwise rotation of the Schell Creek Range relative to the Kern Mountains region. This rotation implies differential extension accommodated by strike-slip faulting or N-S shortening. The paleomagnetic results also suggest that large changes in strike of layered units near faults with presumed strike-slip movement need not be the result of oroclinal bending, but could result from superimposed sets of orthogonal normal faults. -from Authors

  12. Characterize Eruptive Processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciT

    D. Krier

    2004-10-04

    The purpose of this scientific analysis report, ''Characterize Eruptive Processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada'', is to present information about natural volcanic systems and the parameters that can be used to model their behavior. This information is used to develop parameter-value distributions appropriate for analysis of the consequences of volcanic eruptions through a repository at Yucca Mountain. This scientific analysis report provides information to four other reports: ''Number of Waste Packages Hit by Igneous Intrusion'', (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170001]); ''Atmospheric Dispersal and Deposition of Tephra from Potential Volcanic Eruption at Yucca Mountain, Nevada'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170026]); ''Dike/Drift Interactions'' (BSC 2004more » [DIRS 170028]); ''Development of Earthquake Ground Motion Input for Preclosure Seismic Design and Postclosure Performance Assessment of a Geologic Repository at Yucca Mountain, NV'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170027], Section 6.5). This report is organized into seven major sections. This section addresses the purpose of this document. Section 2 addresses quality assurance, Section 3 the use of software, Section 4 identifies the requirements that constrain this work, and Section 5 lists assumptions and their rationale. Section 6 presents the details of the scientific analysis and Section 7 summarizes the conclusions reached.« less

  13. Review breathes life into Yucca site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gwynne, Peter

    2014-12-01

    A review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on the long-term safety of the Yucca Mountain repository for nuclear waste in Nevada has improved the chances that it may go ahead, despite being mothballed by the administration of US president Barack Obama back in 2010.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  15. SYSTHESIS OF VOLCANISM STUDIES FOR THE YUCCA MOUNTAIN SITE CHARACTERIZATION PROJECT

    SciT

    Perry, F. V.; Crowe, G. A.; Valentine, G. A.

    1997-09-23

    This report synthesizes the results of volcanism studies conducted by scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and collaborating institutions on behalf of the Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Project. Chapter 1 introduces the volcanism issue for the Yucca Mountain site and provides the reader with an overview of the organization, content, and significant conclusions of this report. The hazard of future basaltic volcanism is the primary topic of concern including both events that intersect a potential repository and events that occur near or within the waste isolation system of a repository. Future volcanic events cannot be predicted with certaintymore » but instead are estimated using formal methods of probabilistic volcanic hazard assessment (PVHA). Chapter 2 describes the volcanic history of the Yucca Mountain region (YMR) and emphasizes the Pliocene and Quaternary volcanic record, the interval of primary concern for volcanic risk assessment. The distribution, eruptive history, and geochronology of Plio-Quaternary basalt centers are described by individual center emphasizing the younger postcaldera basalt (<5 Ma). The Lathrop Wells volcanic center is described in detail because it is the youngest basalt center in the YMR. The age of the Lathrop Wells center is now confidently determined to be about 75 thousand years old. Chapter 3 describes the tectonic setting of the YMR and presents and assesses the significance of multiple alternative tectonic models. The distribution of Pliocene and Quaternary basaltic volcanic centers is evaluated with respect to tectonic models for detachment, caldera, regional and local rifting, and the Walker Lane structural zone. Geophysical data are described for the YMR and are used as an aid to understand the distribution of past basaltic volcanic centers and possible future magmatic processes. Chapter 4 discusses the petrologic and geochemical features of basaltic volcanism in the YMR, the southern Great Basin and the

  16. Paleomagnetism and tectonic rotation of the lower Miocene Peach Springs Tuff: Colorado Plateau, Arizona, to Barstow, California

    Wells, Ray E.; Hillhouse, John W.

    1989-01-01

    We have determined remanent magnetization directions of the lower Miocene Peach Springs Tuff at 41 localities in western Arizona and southeastern California. An unusual northeast and shallow magnetization direction confirms the proposed geologic correlation of isolated outcrops of the tuff from the Colorado Plateau to Barstow, California, a distance of 350 km. The Peach Springs Tuff was apparently emplaced as a single cooling unit about 18 or 19 Ma and is now exposed in 4 tectonic provinces west of the Plateau, including the Transition Zone, Basin and Range, Colorado River extensional corridor, and central Mojave Desert strike-slip zone. As such, the tuff is an ideal stratigraphic and structural marker for paleomagnetic assessment of regional variations in tectonic rotations about vertical axes. From 4 sites on the stable Colorado Plateau, we have determined a reference direction of remanent magnetization (I = 36.4°, D = 33.0°, α95 = 3.4°) that we interpret as a representation of the ambient magnetic field at the time of eruption. A steeper direction of magnetization (I = 54.8°, D = 22.5°, α95 = 2.3°) was observed at Kingman where the tuff is more than 100 m thick, and similar directions were determined at 7 other thick exposures of the Peach Springs Tuff. The steeper component is presumably a later-stage magnetization acquired after prolonged cooling of the ignimbrite. When compared to the Plateau reference direction, tilt-corrected directions from 3 of 6 sites in the central Mojave strike-slip zone show localized rotations up to 13° in the vicinity of strike-slip faults. The other three sites show no significant rotations with respect to the Colorado Plateau. Both clockwise and counterclockwise rotations were measured, and no systematic regional pattern is evident. Our results do not support kinematic models which require consistent rotation of large regions to accommodate the cumulative displacement of major post-middle Miocene strike-slip faults in

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

    SciT

    Carr, M.D.; Waddell, S.J.; Vick, G.S.

    1986-12-31

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

  18. NaturAnalogs for the Unsaturated Zone

    SciT

    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 Unsaturatedmore » 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.« less

  19. 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

    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.

  20. Closure development for high-level nuclear waste containers for the tuff repository; Phase 1, Final report

    SciT

    Robitz, E.S. Jr.; McAninch, M.D. Jr.; Edmonds, D.P.

    1990-09-01

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

  1. Hydrological and Geological Features Contributing to a Seepage Event at Yucca Mountain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fedors, R. W.; Smart, K. J.; Parrott, J. D.

    2006-05-01

    The occurrence of an unusual seepage event in the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) tunnel at Yucca Mountain (YM) in 2005 provides an opportunity to further understand the hydrological system associated with flow in fractured rocks and seepage into tunnels. Understanding the contributing factors for this seepage occurrence in the ventilated tunnel will assist U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in its assessment of Department of Energy flow models. The seepage event begin in the later portion of an El Nino winter (February 2005) predominantly along a 40-m [130-ft] section of the south ramp of the ESF tunnel. The stratigraphic section at this location is comprised of a portion of the Tiva Canyon Tuff, which is a rhyolitic ignimbrite. The effect of El Nino conditions in the semi-arid climate of southern Nevada near YM is greatly increased winter precipitation. Based on the ~50 years of record at a nearby meteorological station, the winter of 2004-2005 was the wettest winter on record. The previous largest winter precipitation amounts were recorded in the El Nino years of 1992-1993 and 1997-1998. During the 1997 El Nino year, a monitored set of boreholes in nearby Pagany Wash indicated that a saturated front traversed the entire Tiva Canyon Tuff section during a single event (Le Cain and Kurmack, 2002, USGS Water Resources Investigations Report 02-4035). It is unclear if the fracture system in the south ramp location was saturated in the February 2005 event; no data were available to estimate the saturated state of the fracture system. With heavy precipitation occurring throughout the winter, however, the matrix and fracture systems were likely primed (i.e., saturation levels were likely significantly higher than normal) for a significant percolation event. Ponding caused by focusing of runoff at the ground surface above seepage location in the south ramp of the ESF tunnel likely did not occur based on topographical and catchment considerations (no significant

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

    Christopher D. Henry,; John, David A.

    2013-01-01

    The western Nevada volcanic field is the western third of a belt of calderas through Nevada and western Utah. Twenty-three calderas and their caldera-forming tuffs are reasonably well identified in the western Nevada volcanic field, and the presence of at least another 14 areally extensive, apparently voluminous ash-flow tuffs whose sources are unknown suggests a similar number of undiscovered calderas. Eruption and caldera collapse occurred between at least 34.4 and 23.3 Ma and clustered into five ∼0.5–2.7-Ma-long episodes separated by quiescent periods of ∼1.4 Ma. One eruption and caldera collapse occurred at 19.5 Ma. Intermediate to silicic lavas or shallow intrusions commonly preceded caldera-forming eruptions by 1–6 Ma in any specific area. Caldera-related as well as other magmatism migrated from northeast Nevada to the southwest through time, probably resulting from rollback of the formerly shallow-dipping Farallon slab. Calderas are restricted to the area northeast of what was to become the Walker Lane, although intermediate and effusive magmatism continued to migrate to the southwest across the future Walker Lane.Most ash-flow tuffs in the western Nevada volcanic field are rhyolites, with approximately equal numbers of sparsely porphyritic (≤15% phenocrysts) and abundantly porphyritic (∼20–50% phenocrysts) tuffs. Both sparsely and abundantly porphyritic rhyolites commonly show compositional or petrographic evidence of zoning to trachydacites or dacites. At least four tuffs have volumes greater than 1000 km3, with one possibly as much as ∼3000 km3. However, the volumes of most tuffs are difficult to estimate, because many tuffs primarily filled their source calderas and/or flowed and were deposited in paleovalleys, and thus are irregularly distributed.Channelization and westward flow of most tuffs in paleovalleys allowed them to travel great distances, many as much as ∼250 km (original distance) to what is now the western foothills of the

  3. Are there Tuffs from Toba Supereruptions in Singapore?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergal-Kuvikas, O.; Bouvet de Maisonneuve, C.; Vazquez, J. A.

    2016-12-01

    Singapore is a dense transportation hub and the most highly populated area of SE Asia. In order to assess volcanic hazards for Singapore, we compiled a database of Quaternary eruptions from neighboring volcanoes and we investigated samples from 20 boreholes collected across 11 reservoirs and several natural outcrops in the NW parts of the city. We identified a deposit of white to slightly yellow clay with a visible thickness of 6-8 meters in the western part of Singapore. This deposit of very fine ash is silicic (SiO2 72-75 wt.%) and calk-alkaline (K2O 3.7-4.5 wt.%). The ash layer is clearly weathered as the LOI is around 5 wt.% and SEM images show the presence of clay minerals almost exclusively. Geochemical mapping shows that quartz crystals are characterized by textures similar to volcanic deposits. N-MORB normalized spiderdiagrams of whole-rocks show minimums in Nb and Ti, enrichments in LREE, and depletions of HREE. This suggests a subduction origin. One possible source for this voluminous weathered ash layer is the Toba caldera, which produced several super eruptions in the Quaternary (the Young Toba Tuff at 0.074 Ma, Middle Toba Tuff at 0.5 Ma, Old Toba Tuff at 0.84 Ma, and Haranggoal Dacite Tuff at 1.2 Ma). Recognizing distal Toba tuffs is problematic because most deposits are underwater. Most of the analyzed samples have geochemical compositions that are statistically similar to the Toba tuffs and characterized by high contents of HREE elements (e.g. Y, Er, Yb) and some REE (e.g. Eu, Ba, La, Th). Preliminary dating shows the presence of Triassic zircons, possibly due to geologic contamination. Additional dating is needed to ascertain the source and age of this ash. Our new geochemical data of likely distal Toba deposits will be an important component for tephrochronological and paleoenvironmental studies in addition to being of importance for hazards assessments in Singapore.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1996-09-01

    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

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

    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

  6. Detailed Geophysical Fault Characterization in Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, Nevada

    Asch, Theodore H.; Sweetkind, Donald S.; Burton, Bethany L.; Wallin, Erin L.

    2009-01-01

    Yucca Flat is a topographic and structural basin in the northeastern part of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) in Nye County, Nevada. Between the years 1951 and 1992, 659 underground nuclear tests took place in Yucca Flat; most were conducted in large, vertical excavations that penetrated alluvium and the underlying Cenozoic volcanic rocks. Radioactive and other potential chemical contaminants at the NTS are the subject of a long-term program of investigation and remediation by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Nuclear Security Administration, Nevada Site Office, under its Environmental Restoration Program. As part of the program, the DOE seeks to assess the extent of contamination and to evaluate the potential risks to humans and the environment from byproducts of weapons testing. To accomplish this objective, the DOE Environmental Restoration Program is constructing and calibrating a ground-water flow model to predict hydrologic flow in Yucca Flat as part of an effort to quantify the subsurface hydrology of the Nevada Test Site. A necessary part of calibrating and evaluating a model of the flow system is an understanding of the location and characteristics of faults that may influence ground-water flow. In addition, knowledge of fault-zone architecture and physical properties is a fundamental component of the containment of the contamination from underground nuclear tests, should such testing ever resume at the Nevada Test Site. The goal of the present investigation is to develop a detailed understanding of the geometry and physical properties of fault zones in Yucca Flat. This study was designed to investigate faults in greater detail and to characterize fault geometry, the presence of fault splays, and the fault-zone width. Integrated geological and geophysical studies have been designed and implemented to work toward this goal. This report describes the geophysical surveys conducted near two drill holes in Yucca Flat, the data analyses performed, and the

  7. Extreme ground motions and Yucca Mountain

    Hanks, Thomas C.; Abrahamson, Norman A.; Baker, Jack W.; Boore, David M.; Board, Mark; Brune, James N.; Cornell, C. Allin; Whitney, John W.

    2013-01-01

    Yucca Mountain is the designated site of the underground repository for the United States' high-level radioactive waste (HLW), consisting of commercial and military spent nuclear fuel, HLW derived from reprocessing of uranium and plutonium, surplus plutonium, and other nuclear-weapons materials. Yucca Mountain straddles the western boundary of the Nevada Test Site, where the United States has tested nuclear devices since the 1950s, and is situated in an arid, remote, and thinly populated region of Nevada, ~100 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Yucca Mountain was originally considered as a potential underground repository of HLW because of its thick units of unsaturated rocks, with the repository horizon being not only ~300 m above the water table but also ~300 m below the Yucca Mountain crest. The fundamental rationale for a geologic (underground) repository for HLW is to securely isolate these materials from the environment and its inhabitants to the greatest extent possible and for very long periods of time. Given the present climate conditions and what is known about the current hydrologic system and conditions around and in the mountain itself, one would anticipate that the rates of infiltration, corrosion, and transport would be very low—except for the possibility that repository integrity might be compromised by low-probability disruptive events, which include earthquakes, strong ground motion, and (or) a repository-piercing volcanic intrusion/eruption. Extreme ground motions (ExGM), as we use the phrase in this report, refer to the extremely large amplitudes of earthquake ground motion that arise at extremely low probabilities of exceedance (hazard). They first came to our attention when the 1998 probabilistic seismic hazard analysis for Yucca Mountain was extended to a hazard level of 10-8/yr (a 10-4/yr probability for a 104-year repository “lifetime”). The primary purpose of this report is to summarize the principal results of the ExGM research program

  8. 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

    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

  9. Mid-tertiary ash flow tuff cauldrons, southwestern New Mexico

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elston, W. E.

    1984-01-01

    Characteristics of 28 known or suspected mid-Tertiary ash-flow tuff cauldrons in New Mexico are described. The largest region is 40 km in diameter, and erosional and block faulting processes have exposed levels as far down as the plutonic roots. The study supports a five-stage process: precursor, caldera collapse, early post-collapse, volcanism, major ring-fracture volcanism, and hydrothermal activity. The stages can repeat or the process can stop at any stage. Post-collapse lavas fell into two categories: cauldron lavas, derived from shallow defluidized residues of caldera-forming ash flow tuff eruption, and framework lavas, evolved from a siliceous pluton below the cauldron complex. The youngest caldera was shallow and formed from asymmetric subsidence and collapse of the caldera walls.

  10. Specific surface area of a crushed welded tuff before and after aqueous dissolution

    Reddy, M.M.; Claassen, H.C.

    1994-01-01

    Specific surface areas were measured for several reference minerals (anorthoclase, labradorite and augite), welded tuff and stream sediments from Snowshoe Mountain, near Creede, Colorado. Crushed and sieved tuff had an unexpectedly small variation in specific surface area over a range of size fractions. Replicate surface area measurements of the largest and smallest tuff particle size fractions examined (1-0.3 mm and <0.212 mm) were 2.3 ?? 0.2 m2/g for each size fraction. Reference minerals prepared in the same way as the tuff had smaller specific surface areas than that of the tuff of the same size fraction. Higher than expected tuff specific surface areas appear to be due to porous matrix. Tuff, reacted in solutions with pH values from 2 to 6, had little change in specific surface area in comparison with unreacted tuff. Tuff, reacted with solutions having high acid concentrations (0.1 M hydrochloric acid or sulfuric-hydrofluoric acid), exhibited a marked increase in specific surface area compared to unreacted tuff. ?? 1994.

  11. Post-middle Miocene Tuffs of Bodie Hills and Mono Basin, California: Paleomagnetic Reference Directions and Vertical Axis Rotation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindeman, J. R.; Pluhar, C. J.; Farner, M. J.

    2013-12-01

    The relative motions of the Pacific and North American plates about the Sierra Nevada-North American Euler pole is accommodated by dextral slip along the San Andreas Fault System (~75%) and the Walker Lane-Eastern California Shear Zone system of faults, east of the Sierra Nevada microplate (~25%). The Bodie Hills and Mono Basin regions lie within the Walker Lane and partially accommodate deformation by vertical axis rotation of up to 60o rotation since ~9.4 Ma. This region experienced recurrent eruptive events from mid to late Miocene, including John et al.'s (2012) ~12.05 Ma Tuff of Jack Springs (TJS) and Gilbert's (1968) 11.1 - 11.9 Ma 'latite ignimbrite' east of Mono Lake. Both tuffs can be identified by phenocrysts of sanidine and biotite in hand specimens, with TJS composed of a light-grey matrix and the latite ignimbrite composed of a grey-black matrix. Our paleomagnetic results show these units to both be normal polarity, with the latite ignimbrite exhibiting a shallow inclination. TJS's normal polarity is consistent with emplacement during subchron C5 An. 1n (12.014 - 12.116 Ma). The X-ray fluorescence analyses of fiamme from TJS in Bodie Hills and the latite ignimbrite located east of Mono Lake reveal them both to be rhyolites with the latite ignimbrite sharing elevated K composition seen in the slightly younger Stanislaus Group (9.0 - 10.2 Ma). We establish a paleomagnetic reference direction of D = 352.8o I = 42.7o α95 = 7.7o n = 5 sites (42 samples) for TJS in the Bodie Hills in a region hypothesized by Carlson (2012) to have experienced low rotation. Our reference for Gilbert's latite ignimbrite (at Cowtrack Mountain) is D = 352.9o I = 32.1o α95 = 4.7o. This reference locality is found on basement highland likely to have experienced less deformation then the nearby Mono Basin since ignimbrite emplacement. Paleomagnetic results from this latite ignimbrite suggests ~98.2o × 5.5o of clockwise vertical axis rotation of parts of eastern Mono Basin since

  12. Removal of ammonium from aqueous solutions with volcanic tuff.

    PubMed

    Marañón, E; Ulmanu, M; Fernández, Y; Anger, I; Castrillón, L

    2006-10-11

    This paper presents kinetic and equilibrium data concerning ammonium ion uptake from aqueous solutions using Romanian volcanic tuff. The influence of contact time, pH, ammonium concentration, presence of other cations and anion species is discussed. Equilibrium isotherms adequately fit the Langmuir and Freundlich models. The results showed a contact time of 3h to be sufficient to reach equilibrium and pH of 7 to be the optimum value. Adsorption capacities of 19 mg NH(4)(+)/g were obtained in multicomponent solutions (containing NH(4)(+), Zn(2+), Cd(2+), Ca(2+), Na(2+)). The presence of Zn and Cd at low concentrations did not decrease the ammonium adsorption capacity. Comparison of Romanian volcanic tuff with synthetic zeolites used for ammonium removal (5A, 13X and ZSM-5) was carried out. The removal efficiciency of ammonium by volcanic tuff were similar to those of zeolites 5A and 13X at low initial ammonium concentration, and much higher than those of zeolite ZSM-5.

  13. Impact of quaternary climate on seepage at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

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

    2006-01-01

    Uranium-series ages, oxygen-isotopic compositions, and uranium contents were determined in outer growth layers of opal and calcitefrom 0.5- to 3-centimeter-thick mineral coatings hosted by lithophysal cavities in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the proposed site of a permanent repository for high-level radioactive waste. Micrometer-scale growth layering in the minerals was imaged using a cathodoluminescence detector on a scanning electron microscope. Determinations of the chemistry, ages, and delta oxygen-18 (??18O) values of the growth layers were conducted by electron microprobe analysis and secondary ion mass spectrometry techniques at spatial resolutions of 2 to about 20 micrometers (??m) and 25 to 40 ??m, respectively. Growth rates for the last 300 thousand years (k.y.) calculated from about 300 new high-resolution uranium-series ages range from approximately 0.5 to 1.5 ??m/k.y. for 1- to 3-centimeter-thick coatings, whereas coatings less than about 1-centimeter-thick have growth rates less than 0.5 ??m/k.y. At the depth of the proposed repository, correlations of uranium concentration and ??18O values with regional climate records indicate that unsaturated zone percolation and seepage water chemistries have responded to changes in climate during the last several hundred thousand years.

  14. Multidisciplinary hydrologic investigations at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Dudley, William W.

    1990-01-01

    Future climatic conditions and tectonic processes have the potential to cause significant changes of the hydrologic system in the southern Great Basin, where a nuclear-waste repository is proposed for construction above the water table at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Geothermal anomalies in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain probably result from the local and regional transport of heat by ground-water flow. Regionally and locally irregular patterns of hydraulic potential, local marsh and pond deposits, and calcite veins in faults and fractures probably are related principally to climatically imposed hydrologic conditions within the geologic and topographic framework. However, tectonic effects on the hydrologic system have also been proposed as the causes of these features, and existing data limitations preclude a full evaluation of these competing hypotheses. A broad program that integrates many disciplines of earth science is required in order to understand the relation of hydrology to past, present and future climates and tectonism.

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

    Flint, Lorraine E.; Flint, Alan L.

    1995-01-01

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

  16. Physical properties of Campi Flegrei tuff from variable depths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vinciguerra, Sergio; Del Gaudio, Pierdomenico; Iarocci, Alessandro; Mollo, Silvio; Scarlato, Piergiorgio; Freda, Carmela

    2010-05-01

    A number of measurements on physical properties of volcanic tuff from different volcanic Italian districts (Campi Flegrei, Colli Albani, Lago di Vico) has been performed in the recent years. Petrophysical investigations carried out at increasing/decreasing effective pressure (Vinciguerra et al., 2005; 2008) revealed how, within the same lithology, the different degree of lithification and presence of clasts can affect significantly physical property values. Microstructural analyses revealed that the pressurization and depressurization cycles generate inelastic crack damage/pore collapse and permanent reduction of voids space. When cores from boreholes were investigated, significant variations of physical properties have been found even within the same tuff lithologies (Vinciguerra et al., 2008), which significantly influence the modelling of the overall physics and mechanics, as well as the input parameters for ground deformation and seismicity modelling. In this study we analysed the physical properties of Campi Flegrei tuff (12ka) cores from depths down to 100m, which is the most abundant and widely distributed lithology in the caldera (Rosi and Sbrana, 1987). CF tuff is a strongly heterogeneous pyroclastic flow material, which include cavities, pumice and crystals of sanidine, pyroxene and biotite (Vanorio et al., 2002; Vinciguerra et al., 2005). Total porosity was measured, after drying samples at 80°C for 24 hours, throughout a helium pycnometer (AccuPyc II 1340, Micromeritics Company) with ±0.01% accuracy. Initial total porosity of 52% was found for cores coming from 30m of depth. Total porosity decreases to 46% , when cores from 100m depth are considered. Bench measurements of P-wave and S-wave velocities carried out in dry conditions are of 1.8 and 1.2 km/s respectively for the 30m depth cores and increase up to 2.1 km/s and 1.35 km/s at depth of 100m. Taken together, the measurements of porosity and seismic velocities of P and S wave velocities revealed

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  18. Fitful and protracted magma assembly leading to a giant eruption, Youngest Toba Tuff, Indonesia

    Reid, Mary R; Vazquez, Jorge A.

    2017-01-01

    The paroxysmal eruption of the 74 ka Youngest Toba Tuff (YTT) of northern Sumatra produced an extraordinary 2800 km3 of non-welded to densely welded ignimbrite and co-ignimbrite ash-fall. We report insights into the duration of YTT magma assembly obtained from ion microprobe U-Th and U-Pb dates, including continuous age spectra over >50% of final zircon growth, for pumices and a welded tuff spanning the compositional range of the YTT. A relatively large subpopulation of zircon crystals nucleated before the penultimate caldera-related eruption at 501 ka, but most zircons yielded interior dates 100-300 ka thereafter. Zircon nucleation and growth was likely episodic and from diverse conditions over protracted time intervals of >100 to >500 ka. Final zircon growth is evident as thin rim plateaus that are in Th/U chemical equilibrium with hosts, and that give crystallization ages within tens of ka of eruption. The longevity and chemical characteristics of the YTT zircons, as well as evidence for intermittent zircon isolation and remobilization associated with magma recharge, is especially favored at the cool and wet eutectoid conditions that characterize at least half of the YTT, wherein heat fluxes could dissolve major phases but have only a minor effect on larger zircon crystals. Repeated magma recharge may have contributed to the development of compositional zoning in the YTT but, considered together with limited allanite, quartz, and other mineral dating and geospeedometry, regular perturbations to the magma reservoir over >400 ka did not lead to eruption until 74 ka ago.

  19. Hydrologic and geologic characteristics of the Yucca Mountain site relevant to the performance of a potential repository: Day 1, Las Vegas, Nevada to Pahrump, Nevada: Stop 6A. Keane Wonder Spring and regional groundwater flow in the Death Valley region

    Steinkampf, W.C.

    2000-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, located ~100 mi northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada, has been designated by Congress as a site to be characterized for a potential mined geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. This field trip will examine the regional geologic and hydrologic setting for Yucca Mountain, as well as specific results of the site characterization program, The first day focuses on the regional seeing with emphasis on current and paleo hydrology, which are both of critical concern for predicting future performance of a potential repository. Morning stops will be in southern Nevada and afternoon stops will be in Death Valley. The second day will be spent at Yucca Mountain. The filed trip will visit the underground testing sites in the "Exploratory Studies Facility" and the "Busted Butte Unsaturated Zone Transport Field Test" plus several surface-based testing sites. Much of the work at the site has concentrated on studies of the unsaturated zone, and element of the hydrologic system that historically has received little attention. Discussions during the second day will comprise selected topics of Yucca Mountain geology, mic hazard in the Yucca Mountain area. Evening discussions will address modeling of regional groundwater flow, the geology and hydrology of Yucca Mountain to the performance of a potential repository. Day 3 will examine the geologic framework and hydrology of the Pahute Mesa-Oasis Valley Groundwater Basin and then will continue to Reno via Hawthorne, Nevada and the Walker Lake area.

  20. Relict colluvial boulder deposits as paleoclimatic indicators in the Yucca Mountain region, southern Nevada

    Whitney, J.W.; Harrington, C.D.

    1993-01-01

    Early to middle Pleistocene boulder deposits are common features on southern Nevada hillslopes. These darkly varnished, ancient colluvial deposits stand out in stark contrast to the underlying light-colored bedrock of volcanic tuffs, and they serve as minor divides between drainage channels on modern hillslopes. To demonstrate the antiquity of these stable hillslope features, six colluvial boulder deposits from Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada, were dated by cation-ratio dating of rock varnish accreted on boulder surfaces. Estimated minimum ages of these boulder deposits range from 760 to 170 ka. Five additional older deposits on nearby Skull and Little Skull Mountains and Buckboard Mesa yielded cation-ratio minimum-age estimates of 1.38 Ma to 800 ka. An independent cosmogenic chlorine-36 surface exposure date was obtained on one deposit, which confirms an estimated early to middle Quaternary age. These deposits have provided the oldest age estimates for unconsolidated hillslope deposits in the southwestern United States. We suggest that the colluvial boulder deposits were produced during early and middle Pleistocene glacial/pluvial episodes and were stabilized during the transition to drier interglacial climates. The preservation of old, thin hillslope deposits and the less-than-2-m incision by hillslope runoff adjacent to these deposits, indicate that extremely low denudation rates have occurred on resistant volcanic hillslopes in the southern Great Basin during Quaternary time. -from Authors

  1. Directional floral orientation in Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia)

    Steve Warren; L. Scott Baggett; Heather Warren

    2016-01-01

    Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia Engelm.) is a large, arborescent member of the yucca genus. It is an endemic and visually dominant plant in portions of the Mojave Desert, USA. We document the unique and heretofore unreported directional orientation of its flower panicles. The flower panicles grow primarily at the tips of branches that are oriented to the south....

  2. Yucca aloifolia (Asparagaceae) opts out of an obligate pollination mutualism.

    PubMed

    Rentsch, Jeremy D; Leebens-Mack, Jim

    2014-12-01

    • According to Cope's 'law of the unspecialized' highly dependent species interactions are 'evolutionary dead ends,' prone to extinction because reversion to more generalist interactions is thought to be unlikely. Cases of extreme specialization, such as those seen between obligate mutualists, are cast as evolutionarily inescapable, inevitably leading to extinction rather than diversification of participating species. The pollination mutualism between Yucca plants and yucca moths (Tegeticula and Parategeticula) would seem to be locked into such an obligate mutualism. Yucca aloifolia populations, however, can produce large numbers of fruit lacking moth oviposition scars. Here, we investigate the pollination ecology of Y. aloifolia, in search of the non-moth pollination of a Yucca species.• We perform pollinator exclusion studies on Yucca aloifolia and a sympatric yucca species, Y. filamentosa. We then perform postvisit exclusion treatments, an analysis of dissected fruits, and a fluorescent dye transfer experiment.• As expected, Yucca filamentosa plants set fruit only when inflorescences were exposed to crepuscular and nocturnal pollinating yucca moths. In contrast, good fruit set was observed when pollinators were excluded from Y. aloifolia inflorescences from dusk to dawn, and no fruit set was observed when pollinators were excluded during the day. Follow up experiments indicated that European honeybees (Apis mellifera) were passively yet effectively pollinating Y. aloifolia flowers.• These results indicate that even highly specialized mutualisms may not be entirely obligate interactions or evolutionary dead ends. © 2014 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  3. Carbon isotopic data from test hole USW UZ-1, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Yang, In C.; Peters, C.A.; Thorstenson, D.C.

    1993-01-01

    Rock-CO2-gas analyses in test hole USW UZ-1 at Yucca Mountain indicate that gas movement in the unsaturated zone is likely through a dry-fracture system with little porewater or caliche-calcite interaction. This is because near-surface ??13C values are of biogenic origin and have changed little throughout the total depth. Post-bomb 14C activity is observed to the depth of about 12 m. An abrupt change in plotted 14C/depth slope is seen at 61 m. The less steep upper segment corresponds to the zone with greater porosity and moisture content, and consequently more tortuosity, with an estimated traveltime of 1.27 cm/yr; the steeper sloped zone corresponding to the lower segment has smaller porosity and moisture content but larger fracture density for gas transport, with an estimated traveltime of 3.26 cm/yr.

  4. Identification of mineral composition and weathering product of tuff using reflectance spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hyun, C.; Park, H.

    2009-12-01

    Tuff is intricately composed of various types of rock blocks and ash matrixes during volcanic formation processes. Qualitative identification and quantitative assessment of mineral composition of tuff usually have been done using manual inspection with naked-eyes and various chemical analyses. Those conventional methods are destructive to objects, time consuming and sometimes carry out biased results from subjective decision making. To overcome limits from conventional methods, assessment technique using reflectance spectroscopy was applied to tuff specimens. Reflectance spectroscopy measures electromagnetic reflectance on rock surface and can extract diagnostic absorption features originated from chemical composition and crystal structure of constituents in the reflectance curve so mineral species can be discriminated qualitatively. The intrinsic absorption feature from particular mineral can be converted to absorption depth representing relative coverage of the mineral in the measurement area by removing delineated convex hull from raw reflectance curve. The spectral measurements were performed with field spectrometer FieldSpec®3 of ASD Inc. and the wavelength range of measurement was form 350nm to 2500nm. Three types of tuff blocks, ash tuff, green lapilli tuff and red lapilli tuff, were sampled from Hwasun County in Korea and the types of tuffs. The differences between green tuff and red tuff are from the color of their matrixes. Ash tuff consists of feldspars and quartz and small amount of chalcedony, calcite, dolomite, epidote and basalt fragments. Green lapilli tuff consists of feldspar, quartz and muscovite and small amount of calcite, chalcedony, sericite, chlorite, quartzite and basalt fragments. Red lapilli tuff consists of feldspar, quartz and muscovite and small amount of calcite, chalcedony, limonite, zircon, chlorite, quartzite and basalt fragments. The tuff rocks were coarsely crushed and blocks and matrixes were separated to measure standard

  5. Yucca blowup theory bombs, says study

    SciT

    Taubes, G.

    The theory was explosive, but in its biggest test yet, it has fizzled. Last year, an unpublished paper circulated at the Los Alamos National Laboratory raised the possibility that the planned nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, might erupt in massive nuclear explosions. The scenario, which held that leaking waste could concentrate in the surrounding rock to form a {open_quotes}supercritical mass,{close_quotes} received heavy publicity. But a review released last week by the nuclear engineering department at the University of California, Berkeley, says it is not credible.

  6. Geotechnical characterization of the North Ramp of the Exploratory Studies Facility: Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Volume 2, NRG corehole data appendices

    SciT

    Brechtel, C.E.; Lin, Ming; Martin, E.

    1995-05-01

    This report presents the results of the geological and geotechnical characterization of the Miocene volcanic tuff rocks of the Timber Mountain and Paintbrush groups that the tunnel boring machine will encounter during excavations of the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) North Ramp. The information in this report was developed to support the design of the ESF North Ramp. The ESF is being constructed by the DOE as part of the Yucca Mountain Project site characterization activities. The purpose of these activities is to evaluate the potential to locate the national high-level nuclear waste repository on land within and adjacent to themore » Nevada Test Site (NTS), Nye County, Nevada. This report was prepared as part of the Soil and Rock Properties Studies in accordance with the 8.3.1.14.2 Study Plan to Provide Soil and Rock Properties. This is volume 2 which contains NRG Corehole Data for each of the NRG Holes.« less

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

    PubMed

    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 <2 g m(-3), i.e. 0.1%; H2S <1.5 mg m(-3)), suitable for injection in national grids or as vehicle fuel. The loading capacity was found to be 45 g kg(-1) and 40 mg kg(-1), for CO2 and H2S, respectively. Synthetic gas mixtures and real 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.

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

    SciT

    F. Perry; B. Youngs

    2000-11-06

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

  9. SIMS analyses of minor and trace element distributions in fracture calcite from Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denniston, Rhawn F.; Shearer, Charles K.; Layne, Graham D.; Vaniman, David T.

    1997-05-01

    Fracture-lining calcite samples from Yucca Mountain, Nevada, obtained as part of the extensive vertical sampling in studies of this site as a potential high-level waste repository, have been characterized according to microbeam-scale (25-30 μm) trace and minor element chemistry, and cathodoluminescent zonation patterns. As bulk chemical analyses are limited in spatial resolution and are subject to contamination by intergrown phases, a technique for analysis by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) of minor (Mn, Fe, Sr) and trace (REE) elements in calcite was developed and applied to eighteen calcite samples from four boreholes and one trench. SIMS analyses of REE in calcite and dolomite have been shown to be quantitative to abundances < 1 × chondrite. Although the low secondary ion yields associated with carbonates forced higher counting times than is necessary in most silicates, Mn, Fe, Sr, and REE analyses were obtained with sub-ppm detection limits and 2-15% analytical precision. Bulk chemical signatures noted by Vaniman (1994) allowed correlation of minor and trace element signatures in Yucca Mountain calcite with location of calcite precipitation (saturated vs. unsaturated zone). For example, upper unsaturated zone calcite exhibits pronounced negative Ce and Eu anomalies not observed in calcite collected below in the deep unsaturated zone. These chemical distinctions served as fingerprints which were applied to growth zones in order to examine temporal changes in calcite crystallization histories; analyses of such fine-scale zonal variations are unattainable using bulk analytical techniques. In addition, LREE (particularly Ce) scavenging of calcite-precipitating solutions by manganese oxide phases is discussed as the mechanism for Ce-depletion in unsaturated zone calcite.

  10. Using science soundly: The Yucca Mountain standard

    SciT

    Fri, R.W.

    1995-09-01

    Using sound science to shape government regulation is one of the most hotly argued topics in the ongoing debate about regulatory reform. Even though no one advaocates using unsound science, the belief that even the best science will sweep away regulatory controversy is equally foolish. As chair of a National Research Council (NRC) committee that studied the scientific basis for regulating high-level nuclear waste disposal, the author learned that science alone could resolve few of the key regulatory questions. Developing a standard that specifies a socially acceptable limit on the human health effects of nuclear waste releases involves many decisions.more » As the NRC committee learned in evaluating the scientific basis for the Yucca Mountain standard, a scientifically best decision rarely exists. More often, science can only offer a useful framework and starting point for policy debates. And sometimes, science`s most helpful contribution is to admit that it has nothing to say. The Yucca mountain study clearly illustrates that excessive faith in the power of science is more likely to produce messy frustration than crisp decisions. A better goal for regulatory reform is the sound use of science to clarify and contain the inevitable policy controversy.« less

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dublyansky, Y. V.

    2014-08-01

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

  12. Construction of the North Head (Maungauika) tuff cone: a product of Surtseyan volcanism, rare in the Auckland Volcanic Field, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 (<10 vol%) and are characterized by deposits from collapsing tephra jets and fall from relatively wet tephra columns. The conditions needed for this eruption existed between 128 and 116 ka, when the sea level in the 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.

  13. Geohydrology of test well USW H-1, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    SciT

    Rush, F.E.; Thordarson, W.; Pyles, D.G.

    This report contains the results of hydraulic testing, hydrologic monitoring, and geophysical logging of test well USW H-1, one of several wells drilled in the southwestern part of the Nevada Test Site in cooperation with the US Department of Energy for investigations related to the isolation of high-level radioactive wastes. All rocks penetrated by the well to a total depth of 1829 meters were of volcanic origin and of Tertiary age. Hydraulic head in the zone 688 to 741 meters below land surface was 730 meters above sea level and at a depth of 572 meters below land surface. Deepermore » zones had hydraulic heads of 781 meters above sea level or higher, indicating an upward component of ground-water flow at the site. The most transmissive zone, with an apparent transmissivity of about 150 meters squared per day, is in the Prow Pass Member of the Crater Flat Tuff in the depth range from 572 to 688 meters below land surface. The remainder of the penetrated rocks in the saturated zone, 688 to 1829 meters, has an apparent transmissivity of about 1 meter squared per day. The most transmissive part of the lower depth range is in the Bullfrog Member of the Crater Flat Tuff in the depth interval from 736 to 741 meters. The apparent hydraulic conductivity of the rocks in this lower depth interval from 688 to 1829 meters commonly ranges between 10{sup -4} and 10{sup -7} meter per day. Water chemistry is typical of tuffaceous rocks of southern Nevada. The water is a sodium bicarbonate type and has an apparent age of 12,000 to 13,000 years before present, as determined by carbon-14 dating.« less

  14. Physical and hydraulic properties of volcanic rocks from Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Flint, Lorraine E.

    2003-01-01

    A database of physical and hydraulic properties was developed for rocks in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, a site under consideration as a geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. The 5320 core samples were collected from 23 shallow (<100 m) and 10 deep (500-1000 m) vertical boreholes. Hydrogeologic units have been characterized in the unsaturated zone [Flint, 1998] that represent rocks with ranges of welding, lithophysae, and high and low temperature alteration (as a result of the depositional, cooling, and alterational history of the lithostratigraphic layers). Lithostratigraphy, the hydrogeologic unit, and the corresponding properties are described. In addition, the physical properties of bulk density, porosity, and particle density; the hydraulic properties of saturated hydraulic conductivity and moisture retention characteristics; and the field water content were measured and compiled for each core sample.

  15. Analysis of Ground-Water Levels and Associated Trends in Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada, 1951-2003

    SciT

    J.M. Fenelon

    2005-10-05

    Almost 4,000 water-level measurements in 216 wells in the Yucca Flat area from 1951 to 2003 were quality assured and analyzed. An interpretative database was developed that describes water-level conditions for each water level measured in Yucca Flat. Multiple attributes were assigned to each water-level measurement in the database to describe the hydrologic conditions at the time of measurement. General quality, temporal variability, regional significance, and hydrologic conditions are attributed for each water-level measurement. The database also includes narratives that discuss the water-level history of each well. Water levels in 34 wells were analyzed for variability and for statistically significantmore » trends. An attempt was made to identify the cause of many of the water-level fluctuations or trends. Potential causes include equilibration following well construction or development, pumping in the monitoring well, withdrawals from a nearby supply well, recharge from precipitation, earthquakes, underground nuclear tests, land subsidence, barometric pressure, and Earth tides. Some of the naturally occurring fluctuations in water levels may result from variations in recharge. The magnitude of the overall water-level change for these fluctuations generally is less than 2 feet. Long-term steady-state hydrographs for most of the wells open to carbonate rock have a very similar pattern. Carbonate-rock wells without the characteristic pattern are directly west of the Yucca and Topgallant faults in the southwestern part of Yucca Flat. Long-term steady-state hydrographs from wells open to volcanic tuffs or the Eleana confining unit have a distinctly different pattern from the general water-level pattern of the carbonate-rock aquifers. Anthropogenic water-level fluctuations were caused primarily by water withdrawals and nuclear testing. Nuclear tests affected water levels in many wells. Trends in these wells are attributed to test-cavity infilling or the effects of

  16. Analysis of ground-water levels and associated trends in Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada, 1951-2003

    Fenelon, Joseph M.

    2005-01-01

    Almost 4,000 water-level measurements in 216 wells in the Yucca Flat area from 1951 to 2003 were quality assured and analyzed. An interpretative database was developed that describes water-level conditions for each water level measured in Yucca Flat. Multiple attributes were assigned to each water-level measurement in the database to describe the hydrologic conditions at the time of measurement. General quality, temporal variability, regional significance, and hydrologic conditions are attributed for each water-level measurement. The database also includes narratives that discuss the water-level history of each well. Water levels in 34 wells were analyzed for variability and for statistically significant trends. An attempt was made to identify the cause of many of the water-level fluctuations or trends. Potential causes include equilibration following well construction or development, pumping in the monitoring well, withdrawals from a nearby supply well, recharge from precipitation, earthquakes, underground nuclear tests, land subsidence, barometric pressure, and Earth tides. Some of the naturally occurring fluctuations in water levels may result from variations in recharge. The magnitude of the overall water-level change for these fluctuations generally is less than 2 feet. Long-term steady-state hydrographs for most of the wells open to carbonate rock have a very similar pattern. Carbonate-rock wells without the characteristic pattern are directly west of the Yucca and Topgallant faults in the southwestern part of Yucca Flat. Long-term steady-state hydrographs from wells open to volcanic tuffs or the Eleana confining unit have a distinctly different pattern from the general water-level pattern of the carbonate-rock aquifers. Anthropogenic water-level fluctuations were caused primarily by water withdrawals and nuclear testing. Nuclear tests affected water levels in many wells. Trends in these wells are attributed to test-cavity infilling or the effects of

  17. Use of Thermal Data to Estimate Infiltration in Pagany Wash Associated with the winter of 1997-1998 El Nino Precipitation, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciT

    G.D. LeCain; N. lu; M. Kurzmack

    Temperature and air-pressure monitoring in a vertical borehole located in Pagany Wash, a normally dry stream-carved channel northeast of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, indicated that the annual temperature wave was measurable to a depth of 11.1 m. Temperature depressions were measured at depths of 3.1, 6.1, 9.2, and 11.1 m below ground surface. The temperature depressions were interpreted to be the result of infiltration associated with the 1997-1998 El Nino precipitation. A pressure differential, of approximately 2 kiloPascals, between stations located 11.1 and 24.5 m below ground surface was interpreted to be the result of compressed air ahead of the wettingmore » front. The pressure differences between stations indicated that the wetting front migrated deeper than 35.2 m and that the Yucca Mountain Tuff retarded the downward movement of the wetting front. An analytical method indicated that the infiltration flux through the Pagany Wash alluvium due to the 1997-1998 El Nino precipitation was approximately 940 mm. A one-dimensional numerical model indicated that the infiltration flux was approximately 1000 mm. Sensitivity analysis indicated that the potential temperature decrease due to conduction was minimal and that cooler surface temperatures could not account for the measured subsurface temperature depressions.« less

  18. Deformation of the Wineglass Welded Tuff and the timing of caldera collapse at Crater Lake, Oregon

    Kamata, H.; Suzuki-Kamata, K.; Bacon, C.R.

    1993-01-01

    Four types of deformation occur in the Wineglass Welded Tuff on the northeast caldera rim of Crater Lake: (a) vertical tension fractures; (b) ooze-outs of fiamme: (c) squeeze-outs of fiamme; and (d) horizontal pull-apart structures. The three types of plastic deformation (b-d) developed in the lower part of the Wineglass Welded Tuff where degree of welding and density are maximum. Deformation originated from concentric normal faulting and landsliding as the caldera collapsed. The degree of deformation of the Wineglass Welded Tuff increases toward the northeast part of the caldera, where plastic deformation occurred more easily because of a higher emplacement temperature probably due to proximity to the vent. The probable glass transition temperature of the Wineglass Welded Tuff suggests that its emplacement temperature was ???750??C where the tuff is densely welded. Calculation of the conductive cooling history of the Wineglass Welded Tuff and the preclimactic Cleetwood (lava) flow under assumptions of a initially isothermal sheet and uniform properties suggests that (a) caldera collapse occurred a maximum of 9 days after emplacement of the Wineglass Welded Tuff, and that (b) the period between effusion of the Cleetwood (lava) flow and onset of the climactic eruption was <100 years. If cooling is controlled more by precipitation during quiescent periods than by conduction, these intervals must be shorter than the calculated times. ?? 1993.

  19. The Pahrump Valley Museum Yucca Mountain History Exhibit - 12389

    SciT

    Voegele, Michael; McCracken, Robert; Herrera, Troy

    As part of its management of the Yucca Mountain project, the Department of Energy maintained several information centers to provide public access to information about the status of the Yucca Mountain project. Those information centers contained numerous displays, historical information, and served as the location for the Department's outreach activities. As the Department of Energy dealt with reduced budgets in 2009 following the Obama Administration's intent to terminate the program, it shut down its information centers. Nye County considered it important to maintain a public information center where people would be able to find information about what was happening withmore » the Yucca Mountain project. Initially the Nye County assumed responsibility for the information center in Pahrump; eventually the County made a decision to move that information center into an expansion of the existing Pahrump Valley Museum. Nye County undertook an effort to update the information about the Yucca Mountain project and modernize the displays. A parallel effort to create a source of historical information where people could find out about the Yucca Mountain project was undertaken. To accompany the Yucca Mountain exhibits in the Pahrump Valley Museum, Nye County also sponsored a series of interviews to document, through oral histories, as much information about the Yucca Mountain project as could be found in these interviews. The paper presents an overview of the Yucca Mountain exhibits in the Pahrump Valley Museum, and the accompanying oral histories. An important conclusion that can be drawn from the interviews is that construction of a repository in Nevada should have been conceptualized as but the first step in transforming the economy of central Nevada by turning part of the Nevada National Security Site and adjoining area into a world-class energy production and energy research center. (authors)« less

  20. Re-collection of Fish Canyon Tuff for fission-track standardization

    Naeser, C.W.; Cebula, G.T.

    1984-01-01

    The PURPOSE of this note is to announce the availability of apatite and zircon from a third collection of the Oligocene Fish Canyon Tuff (FC-3). Apatite and zircon separated from the Fish Canyon Tuff have prove to be a useful standard for fission-track dating, both for interlaboratory comparisons and for checking procedures within a laboratory. In May 1981, about 540 kg of Fish Canyon Tuff were collected for mineral separation. Approximately 7. 5 g of apatite, 6. 5 g of zircon, and 89 g of sphene were recovered from this collection. This new material is now ready for distribution.

  1. Characterize Eruptive Processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciT

    G. Valentine

    2001-12-20

    This Analysis/Model Report (AMR), ''Characterize Eruptive Processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada'', presents information about natural volcanic systems and the parameters that can be used to model their behavior. This information is used to develop parameter-value distributions appropriate for analysis of the consequences of volcanic eruptions through a potential repository at Yucca Mountain. Many aspects of this work are aimed at resolution of the Igneous Activity Key Technical Issue (KTI) as identified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC 1998, p. 3), Subissues 1 and 2, which address the probability and consequence of igneous activity at the proposed repository site, respectively. Withinmore » the framework of the Disruptive Events Process Model Report (PMR), this AMR provides information for the calculations in two other AMRs ; parameters described herein are directly used in calculations in these reports and will be used in Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA). Compilation of this AMR was conducted as defined in the Development Plan, except as noted. The report begins with considerations of the geometry of volcanic feeder systems, which are of primary importance in predicting how much of a potential repository would be affected by an eruption. This discussion is followed by one of the physical and chemical properties of the magmas, which influences both eruptive styles and mechanisms for interaction with radioactive waste packages. Eruptive processes including the ascent velocity of magma at depth, the onset of bubble nucleation and growth in the rising magmas, magma fragmentation, and velocity of the resulting gas-particle mixture are then discussed. The duration of eruptions, their power output, and mass discharge rates are also described. The next section summarizes geologic constraints regarding the interaction between magma and waste packages. Finally, they discuss bulk grain size produced by relevant explosive eruptions and grain shapes.« less

  2. Geohydrology of rocks penetrated by test well USW H-4, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Whitfield, M.S.; Eshom, E.P.; Thordarson, William; Schaefer, D.H.

    1985-01-01

    Test well USW H-4 is one of several wells drilled in the southwestern part of the Nevada Test Site for hydraulic testing, hydrologic monitoring, and geophysical logging. The work was performed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy. The rocks penetrated by the well to a total depth of 1,219 m were volcanic tuffs of Tertiary age. Hydraulic coefficients calculated from pumping test data indicate that transmissivity ranged from 200 to 790 sq m/day. A radioactive tracer, borehole flow survey indicated that the two most productive zones during this borehole flow survey occurred in the upper part of the Bullfrog Member of the Crater Flat Tuff, depth interval from 721 to 731.5m, and in the underlying part of the Tram Member, depth interval from 864 to 920m. The water is predominantly a sodium biocarbonate type with small concentrations of calcium, magnesium, and sulfate. The apparent age of this composite water sample was determined by carbon-14 date of 17,200 years before present. (USGS)

  3. Multiscale Model Simulations of Temperature and Relative Humidity for the License Application of the Proposed Yucca Mountain Repository

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buscheck, T.; Glascoe, L.; Sun, Y.; Gansemer, J.; Lee, K.

    2003-12-01

    For the proposed Yucca Mountain geologic repository for high-level nuclear waste, the planned method of disposal involves the emplacement of cylindrical packages containing the waste inside horizontal tunnels, called emplacement drifts, bored several hundred meters below the ground surface. The emplacement drifts reside in highly fractured, partially saturated volcanic tuff. An important phenomenological consideration for the licensing of the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain is the generation of decay heat by the emplaced waste and the consequences of this decay heat. Changes in temperature will affect the hydrologic and chemical environment at Yucca Mountain. A thermohydrologic-modeling tool is necessary to support the performance assessment of the Engineered Barrier System (EBS) of the proposed repository. This modeling tool must simultaneously account for processes occurring at a scale of a few tens of centimeters around individual waste packages, for processes occurring around the emplacement drifts themselves, and for processes occurring at the multi-kilometer scale of the mountain. Additionally, many other features must be considered including non-isothermal, multiphase-flow in fractured porous rock of variable liquid-phase saturation and thermal radiation and convection in open cavities. The Multiscale Thermohydrologic Model (MSTHM) calculates the following thermohydrologic (TH) variables: temperature, relative humidity, liquid-phase saturation, evaporation rate, air-mass fraction, gas-phase pressure, capillary pressure, and liquid- and gas-phase fluxes. The TH variables are determined as a function of position along each of the emplacement drifts in the repository and as a function of waste-package (WP) type. These variables are determined at various generic locations within the emplacement drifts, including the waste package and drip-shield surfaces and in the invert; they are also determined at various generic locations in the adjoining host rock

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

    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.

  5. Welded tuff porosity characterization using mercury intrusion, nitrogen and ethylene glycol monoethyl ether sorption and epifluorescence microscopy

    Reddy, M.M.; Claassen, H.C.; Rutherford, D.W.; Chiou, C.T.

    1994-01-01

    Porosity of welded tuff from Snowshoe Mountain, Colorado, was characterized by mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP), nitrogen sorption porosimetry, ethylene glycol monoethyl ether (EGME) gas phase sorption and epifluorescence optical microscopy. Crushed tuff of two particle-size fractions (1-0.3 mm and less than 0.212 mm), sawed sections of whole rock and crushed tuff that had been reacted with 0.1 N hydrochloric acid were examined. Average MIP pore diameter values were in the range of 0.01-0.02??m. Intrusion volume was greatest for tuff reacted with 0.1 N hydrochloric acid and least for sawed tuff. Cut rock had the smallest porosity (4.72%) and crushed tuff reacted in hydrochloric acid had the largest porosity (6.56%). Mean pore diameters from nitrogen sorption measurements were 0.0075-0.0187 ??m. Nitrogen adsorption pore volumes (from 0.005 to 0.013 cm3/g) and porosity values (from 1.34 to 3.21%) were less than the corresponding values obtained by MIP. More than half of the total tuff pore volume was associated with pore diameters < 0.05??m. Vapor sorption of EGME demonstrated that tuff pores contain a clay-like material. Epifluorescence microscopy indicated that connected porosity is heterogeneously distributed within the tuff matix; mineral grains had little porosity. Tuff porosity may have important consequences for contaminant disposal in this host rock. ?? 1994.

  6. Influences of Sedimentary Environments and Volcanic Sources on Diagenetic Alteration of Volcanic Tuffs in South China.

    PubMed

    Gong, Nina; Hong, Hanlie; Huff, Warren D; Fang, Qian; Bae, Christopher J; Wang, Chaowen; Yin, Ke; Chen, Shuling

    2018-05-16

    Permian-Triassic (P-Tr) altered volcanic ashes (tuffs) are widely distributed within the P-Tr boundary successions in South China. Volcanic altered ashes from terrestrial section-Chahe (CH) and marine section-Shangsi (SS) are selected to further understand the influence of sedimentary environments and volcanic sources on diagenetic alterarion on volcanic tuffs. The zircon 206 Pb/ 238 U ages of the corresponding beds between two sections are almost synchronous. Sedimentary environment of the altered tuffs was characterized by a low pH and did not experience a hydrothermal process. The dominant clay minerals of all the tuff beds are illite-smectite (I-S) minerals, with minor chlorite and kaolinite. I-S minerals of CH (R3) are more ordered than SS (R1), suggesting that CH also shows a higher diagenetic grade and more intensive chemical weathering. Besides, the nature of the volcanism of the tuff beds studied is derived from different magma sources. The clay mineral compositions of tuffs have little relation with the types of source volcanism and the depositional environments. Instead, the degree of the mixed-layer clay minerals and the REE distribution are mainly dependent upon the sedimentary environments. Thus, the mixed-layer clay minerals ratio and their geochemical index can be used as the paleoenvironmental indicator.

  7. Neutron and gamma (density) logging in welded tuff

    SciT

    Lin, W

    This Technical Implementation Procedure (TIP) describes the field operation, and the management of data records pertaining to neutron logging and density logging in welded tuff. This procedure applies to all borehole surveys performed in support of Engineered Barrier System Field Tests (EBSFT), including the Earge Block Tests (LBT) and Initial Engineered Barrier System Field Tests (IEBSFT) - WBS 1.2.3.12.4. The purpose of this TIP is to provide guidelines so that other equally trained and qualified personnel can understand how the work is performed or how to repeat the work if needed. The work will be documented by the use ofmore » Scientific Notebooks (SNs) as discussed in 033-YMP-QP 3.4. The TIP will provide a set of guidelines which the scientists will take into account in conducting the mea- surements. The use of this TIP does not imply that this is repetitive work that does not require profes- sional judgment.« less

  8. Patchy distribution of magma that fed the Bishop Tuff supereruption: Evidence from matrix glass major and trace-element compositions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gualda, G. A. R.; Ghiorso, M. S.; Hurst, A. A.; Allen, M. C.; Bradshaw, R. W.

    2017-12-01

    For more than 40 years, the Bishop Tuff has been the archetypical example of a singular, zoned magma body that fed a supereruption. Early-erupted material is pyroxene-free and crystal poor (<20 wt. %), presumably erupted from the upper parts of the magma body; late-erupted material is orthopyroxene and clinopyroxene-bearing, commonly more crystal rich (up to 30 wt. % crystals), and presumably tapped magma from the lower portions of the magma body. Fe-Ti oxide compositions suggest higher crystallization temperatures for late-erupted magmas (as high as 820 °C) than for early-erupted magmas (as low as 700 °C). Pressures and temperatures derived from major element compositions of glass inclusions led Gualda & Ghiorso (2013, CMP) to suggest an alternative model of lateral juxtaposition of two main magma bodies - each one feeding early-erupted and late-erupted units. Chamberlain et al. (2015, JPet) and Evans et al. (2016, AmMin) recently disputed this interpretation. We present a large dataset of matrix glass compositions for 161 pumice clasts that span the stratigraphy of the deposit. We calculate crystallization pressures based on major-element glass compositions using rhyolite-MELTS geobarometry, and crystallization temperatures based on Zr in glass using zircon saturation geothermometry. We apply the same methods to 1538 major-element and 615 trace-element analyses from Chamberlain et al. The results overwhelmingly demonstrate that there is no difference in crystallization temperature or pressure between early and late-erupted magmas. Crystallization pressures and temperatures are unimodal, with modes of 150 MPa and 730 °C (calibration of Watson & Harrison). Our results strongly support lateral juxtaposition of two main magma bodies. Smaller units recognized by Chamberlain et al. crystallized at the same pressures as the main bodies - this suggests the coexistence of larger and smaller magma bodies at the time of the Bishop Tuff supereruption. We compare our

  9. Evaluation of Pleistocene groundwater flow through fractured tuffs using a U-series disequilibrium approach, Pahute Mesa, Nevada, USA

    Paces, James B.; Nichols, Paul J.; Neymark, Leonid A.; Rajaram, Harihar

    2013-01-01

    Groundwater flow through fractured felsic tuffs and lavas at the Nevada National Security Site represents the most likely mechanism for transport of radionuclides away from underground nuclear tests at Pahute Mesa. To help evaluate fracture flow and matrix–water exchange, we have determined U-series isotopic compositions on more than 40 drill core samples from 5 boreholes that represent discrete fracture surfaces, breccia zones, and interiors of unfractured core. The U-series approach relies on the disruption of radioactive secular equilibrium between isotopes in the uranium-series decay chain due to preferential mobilization of 234U relative to 238U, and U relative to Th. Samples from discrete fractures were obtained by milling fracture surfaces containing thin secondary mineral coatings of clays, silica, Fe–Mn oxyhydroxides, and zeolite. Intact core interiors and breccia fragments were sampled in bulk. In addition, profiles of rock matrix extending 15 to 44 mm away from several fractures that show evidence of recent flow were analyzed to investigate the extent of fracture/matrix water exchange. Samples of rock matrix have 234U/238U and 230Th/238U activity ratios (AR) closest to radioactive secular equilibrium indicating only small amounts of groundwater penetrated unfractured matrix. Greater U mobility was observed in welded-tuff matrix with elevated porosity and in zeolitized bedded tuff. Samples of brecciated core were also in secular equilibrium implying a lack of long-range hydraulic connectivity in these cases. Samples of discrete fracture surfaces typically, but not always, were in radioactive disequilibrium. Many fractures had isotopic compositions plotting near the 230Th-234U 1:1 line indicating a steady-state balance between U input and removal along with radioactive decay. Numerical simulations of U-series isotope evolution indicate that 0.5 to 1 million years are required to reach steady-state compositions. Once attained, disequilibrium 234U/238U

  10. Preliminary conceptual model for mineral evolution in Yucca Mountain

    SciT

    Duffy, C.J.

    1993-12-01

    A model is presented for mineral alteration in Yucca Mountain, Nevada, that suggests that the mineral transformations observed there are primarily controlled by the activity of aqueous silica. The rate of these reactions is related to the rate of evolution of the metastable silica polymorphs opal-CT and cristobalite assuming that a{sub SiO{sub 2(aq)}} is fixed at the equilibrium solubility of the most soluble silica polymorph present. The rate equations accurately predict the present depths of disappearance of opal-CT and cristobalite. The rate equations have also been used to predict the extent of future mineral alteration that may result from emplacementmore » of a high-level nuclear waste repository in Yucca Mountain. Relatively small changes in mineralogy are predicted, but these predictions are based on the assumption that emplacement of a repository would not increase the pH of water in Yucca Mountain nor increase its carbonate content. Such changes may significantly increase mineral alteration. Some of the reactions currently occurring in Yucca Mountain consume H{sup +} and CO{sub 3}{sup 2{minus}}. Combining reaction rate models for these reactions with water chemistry data may make it possible to estimate water flux through the basal vitrophyre of the Topopah Spring Member and to help confirm the direction and rate of flow of groundwater in Yucca Mountain.« less

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  12. Use of porosity to estimate hydraulic properties of volcanic tuffs

    Flint, L.E.; Selker, J.S.

    2003-01-01

    Correlations of hydraulic properties with easily measured physical properties are useful for purposes of site characterization in heterogeneous sites. Approximately 600 samples of volcanic rocks from Yucca Mountain, Nevada, representing lithologies with a large range of hydraulic properties, were analyzed to develop correlations of effective porosity with saturated hydraulic conductivity and moisture-retention curve-fit parameters that relate to lithologies of varying depositional history and alteration processes. Effective porosity, ??e, defined as the porosity calculated using drying at a relative humidity of -70 MPa, is used in a generalized Kozeny-Carman equation to predict saturated hydraulic conductivity, Ks = b??en, where b and n are constants. The entire dataset has an R2 of 0.36. When samples are grouped according to general lithology, correlations result in an R2 of 0.71 for the crystallized/vitric samples, 0.24 for samples with mineral alteration, and 0.34 for samples with microfractures, thus increasing the predictive capability over that of the total dataset. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.

  13. Fault evolution in volcanic tuffs and quartz-rich eolian sandstone as mechanical analogs for faulting in Martian pyroclastic deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okubo, C. H.

    2014-12-01

    In order to establish a foundation for studies of faulting in Martian rocks and soils in volcanic terrain, the distribution of brittle strain around faults within the North Menan Butte Tuff in the eastern Snake River Plain, Idaho and the Joe Lott Tuff Member of the Mount Belknap Volcanics, Utah, has been recently described. These studies employed a combination of macroscopic and microscopic observations, including measurements of in situ permeability as a proxy for non-localized brittle deformation of the host rock. In areas where the tuff retained its primary granular nature at the time of deformation, initial plastic yielding in both tuffs occurred along deformation bands. Both compactional and dilational types of deformation bands were observed, and faulting occurred along clusters of deformation bands. Where secondary alteration processes imparted a massive texture to the tuff, brittle deformation was accommodated along fractures. Host-rock permeability exhibits little variation from non-deformed values in the North Menan Butte Tuff, whereas host rock permeability is reduced by roughly an order of magnitude through compaction alone (no alteration) in the Joe Lott Tuff. To create a bridge between these observations in tuff and the more substantial body of work centered on deformation band formation and faulting in quartz-rich sandstones, the same techniques employed in the North Menan Butte Tuff and the Joe Lott Tuff have also been applied to a kilometer-scale fault in the Jurassic Navajo Sandstone in the Waterpocket Fold, Utah. These observations demonstrate that the manifestation of strain and evolution of faulting in the Mars-analog tuffs are comparable to that in quartz-rich sandstones. Therefore, current understanding of brittle deformation in quartz-rich sandstones can be used to inform investigations into fault growth within porous tuffs on Mars. A discussion of these observations, practical limitations, and directions for future work are presented here.

  14. Zircon crystallization and recycling in the magma chamber of the rhyolitic Kos Plateau Tuff (Aegean arc)

    Bachman, O.; Charlier, B.L.A.; Lowenstern, J. B.

    2007-01-01

    In contrast to most large-volume silicic magmas in continental arcs, which are thought to evolve as open systems with significant assimilation of preexisting crust, the Kos Plateau Tuff magma formed dominantly by crystal fractionation of mafic parents. Deposits from this ~60 km3 pyroclastic eruption (the largest known in the Aegean arc) lack xenocrystic zircons [secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) U-Pb ages on zircon cores never older than 500 ka] and display Sr-Nd whole-rock isotopic ratios within the range of European mantle in an area with exposed Paleozoic and Tertiary continental crust; this evidence implies a nearly closed-system chemical differentiation. Consequently, the age range provided by zircon SIMS U-Th-Pb dating is a reliable indicator of the duration of assembly and longevity of the silicic magma body above its solidus. The age distribution from 160 ka (age of eruption by sanidine 40Ar/39Ar dating; Smith et al., 1996) to ca. 500 ka combined with textural characteristics (high crystal content, corrosion of most anhydrous phenocrysts, but stability of hydrous phases) suggest (1) a protracted residence in the crust as a crystal mush and (2) rejuvenation (reduced crystallization and even partial resorption of minerals) prior to eruption probably induced by new influx of heat (and volatiles). This extended evolution chemically isolated from the surrounding crust is a likely consequence of the regional geodynamics because the thinned Aegean microplate acts as a refractory container for magmas in the dying Aegean subduction zone (continent-continent subduction).

  15. Yucca Mountain Biological Resources Monitoring Program; Annual report, FY91

    SciT

    NONE

    1992-01-01

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

  16. Structure, stratigraphy, and eruption chronology of the Hanauma Bay Tuff Ring, Oahu, Hawaii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rottas, K. M.; Houghton, B. F.

    2010-12-01

    The Hanauma Bay-Koko Head Complex is one of several volcanic landforms along the Koko fissure, in southeastern Oahu, that formed during rejuvenated volcanism. The Hanauma Bay region of the complex is comprised of two nested tuff rings. The internal structure of the inner tuff ring is well exposed due to subsequent breaching and wave erosion and is described in detail here for the first time. The inner tuff ring is currently believed to have formed during a single eruption episode. However, field observations, detailed photography, structural mapping in both the vertical and horizontal planes, extensive measurements of bedding attitudes, and stratigraphic analysis suggest that there were a minimum of five distinct intervals of deposition, which also blanketed the deposits of the outer tuff ring with ejecta. These intervals of sedimentation were separated by significant collapses, generating major unconformities that cross the inner wall of the inner ring. The planes of failure are marked by smaller steep-walled channels and gullies, eroded by rainfall-induced runoff and suggesting the failures were each followed by short time breaks with erosion. Within each pyroclastic sequence there are also smaller slump scars and local unconformities. The inner tuff ring was predominately formed by pyroclastic surges, although the beds of Phase 3 are primarily fall deposits. From ballistic trajectories and bedding features, it is apparent that the eruption locus shifted a minimum of two times during tuff ring growth. Ballistic blocks in the final Phase 5 indicate that the Hanauma Bay eruption was contemporaneous with a separate eruption to the north, most likely that of the Kahauloa tuff ring 880 meters away.

  17. Petrogenesis and U-Pb zircon chronology of felsic tuffs interbedded with turbidites (Eastern Pontides Orogenic Belt, NE Turkey): Implications for Mesozoic geodynamic evolution of the eastern Mediterranean region and accumulation rates of turbidite sequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eyuboglu, Yener

    2015-01-01

    The Meso-Cenozoic geodynamic evolution of the Eastern Pontides Orogenic Belt, which is one of the key areas of the Alpine-Himalayan system, is still controversial due to lack of systematic geological, geophysical, geochemical and chronological data. The prevailing interpretation is that this belt represents the southern margin of Eurasia during the Mesozoic and its geodynamic evolution is related to northward subduction of oceanic lithosphere. This paper reports the first detailed geological, geochemical and chronological data from felsic tuffs interbedded with late Cretaceous turbidites in the Southern Zone of the Eastern Pontides Orogenic Belt. Individual tuff layers are thin, mostly < 2 m in thickness, implying that these are dominantly air-fall tuffs. Petrographic data indicate that the felsic tuffs, which exhibit various degrees of alteration, can be classified as crystal-rich and crystal-poor tuffs. The crystal-poor tuffs consist mainly of 45-65% devitrified glass shards and 10-20% broken quartz crystals, whereas the crystal-rich tuffs consist of > 50% crystals. The zircon U-Pb data show three statistically distinct ages at 84, 81 and 77 Ma, with uncertainties of about 1 Ma, suggesting that tuff-forming late Cretaceous magmatism started about 84 Ma ago and was episodically active over a minimum of 7 Ma. The age data also indicate that the average accumulation rate of the turbiditic sequence that hosts the felsic tuffs remained constant between 36 and 40 cm/10 ky. Their enrichment in LIL and LRE elements relative to HFS and HRE elements, and also strongly negative Nb, Ta and Ti anomalies, are consistent with those of magmas generated by subduction-related processes. The tuffs have relatively low initial ratios of 143Nd/144Nd (0.512296-0.512484; εNd: - 2.1 and - 7.2) and 87Sr/86Sr (0.704896-0.706159). Their initial Pb isotopic compositions range from 18.604 to 18.646 for 206Pb/204Pb, from 15.644 to 15.654 for 207Pb/206Pb and from 38.712 to 38.763 for 208Pb/204

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  19. Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository prompts heated congressional hearing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2011-11-01

    Although the final report of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future is not expected until January 2012, the tentative conclusions of the commission's draft report were dissected during a recent joint hearing by two subcommittees of the House of Representatives' Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Among the more heated issues debated at the hearing was the fate of the stalled Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada. The Blue Ribbon Commission's (BRC) draft report includes recommendations for managing nuclear waste and for developing one or more permanent deep geological repositories and interim storage facilities, but the report does not address the future of Yucca Mountain. The BRC charter indicates that the commission is to "conduct a comprehensive review of policies for managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle." However, the draft report states that the commission was not asked to consider, and therefore did not address, several key issues. "We have not rendered an opinion on the suitability of the Yucca Mountain site or on the request to withdraw the license application for Yucca Mountain," the draft report states.

  20. The bishop tuff: New insights from eruptive stratigraphy

    Wilson, C.J.N.; Hildreth, W.

    1997-01-01

    The 0.76 Ma Bishop Tuff, from Long Valley caldera in eastern California, consists of a widespread fall deposit and voluminous partly welded ignimbrite. The fall deposit (F), exposed over an easterly sector below and adjacent to the ignimbrite, is divided into nine units (F1-F9), with no significant time breaks, except possibly between F8 and F9. Maximum clast sizes are compared with other deposits where accumulation rates are known or inferred to estimate an accumulation time for F1-F8 as ca. 90 hrs. The ignimbrite (Ig) is divided into chronologically and/or geographically distinct packages of material. Earlier packages (Ig1) were emplaced mostly eastward, are wholly intraplinian (coeval with fall units F2-F8), lack phenocrystic pyroxenes, and contain few or no Glass Mountain-derived rhyolite lithic fragments. Later packages (Ig2) were erupted mostly to the north and east, are at least partly intraplinian (interbedded with fall unit F9 to the east), contain pyroxenes, and have lithic fractions rich in Glass Mountain-derived rhyolite or other lithologies exposed on the northern caldera rim. Recognition of the intraplinian nature of Ig1 east of the caldera and use of the fall deposit chronometry yields accumulation estimates of ca. 25 hrs for an earlier, less-welded subpackage and ca. 36 hrs for a later, mostly welded subpackage. Average accumulation rates range up to ???1 mm/s of densewelded massive ignimbrite, equivalent to ???2.5 mm/s of non-welded material. Comparisons of internal stratification in Ig1 and northern Ig2 lobes suggest the thickest northern ignimbrite accumulated in ???35 hrs. Identifiable vent positions migrated from an initial site previously proposed in the south-central part of the caldera (F1-8, Ig1) in complex fashion; one vent set (for eastern Ig2) migrated east and north toward Glass Mountain, while another set (for northern Ig2) opened from west to east across the northern caldera margin. Vent locations for Ig1 and Ig2 southwest of the

  1. Carbonatite tuffs in the Laetolil Beds of Tanzania and the Kaiserstuhl in Germany

    Hay, R.L.; O'Neil, J.R.

    1983-01-01

    Carbonatite lava and tephra are now well known. The only modern eruptive carbonatites, from Oldoinyo Lengai, Tanzania, are of alkali carbonatite, whereas all of the pre-modern examples are of calcite or dolomite. Chemical and stable isotope analyses were made of separate phases of Pliocene carbonatite tuffs of the Laetolil Beds in Tanzania and of Miocene carbonatite tuffs of the Kaiserstuhl in Germany in order to understand the reasons for this major difference. The Laetolil Beds contain numerous carbonatite and melilitite-carbonatite tuffs. It is proposed that the carbonatite ash was originally of alkali carbonate composition and that the alkali component was dissolved, leaving a residuum of calcium carbonate. The least recrystallized melilitite-carbonatite tuff contains early-deposited calcite cement and calcite pseudomorphs after nyerereite (?) that have contents of strontium and barium and ??18O and ??13C values suggestive of incomplete chemical and isotopic exchange during alteration and replacement of alkali carbonatite ash. Carbonatite tuffs of the Kaiserstuhl contain globules composed of calcite phenocrysts and microphenocrysts in a groundmass of calcite with a small amount of clay, apatite, and magnetite. The SrO contents of phenocrysts, microphenocrysts, and groundmass calcite average 0.90, 1.42, and 0.59 percent, respectively. The average ??18O and ??13C values of globules (+14.3 and -9.0, respectively) fall between those of coarse-grained intrusive Kaiserstuhl carbonatite (avg. +6.6, -5.8) and those of low-temperature calcite cement in the carbonatite tuffs (+21.8, -14.9). The phenocrysts and microphenocrysts are primary magmatic calcite, but several features indicate that the groundmass has been recrystallized and altered in contact with meteoric water, resulting in weathering of silicate to clay, leaching of strontium, and isotopic exchange. The weight of evidence favors an original high content of alkali carbonatite in the groundmass, with

  2. Minerals produced during cooling and hydrothermal alteration of ash flow tuff from Yellowstone drill hole Y-5

    Keith, T.E.C.; Muffler, L.J.P.

    1978-01-01

    A rhyolitic ash-flow tuff in a hydrothermally active area within the Yellowstone caldera was drilled in 1967, and cores were studied to determine the nature and distribution of primary and secondary mineral phases. The rocks have undergone a complex history of crystallization and hydrothermal alteration since their emplacement 600,000 years ago. During cooling from magmatic temperatures, the glassy groundmass underwent either devitrification to alkali feldspar + ??-cristobalite ?? tridymite or granophyric crystallization to alkali feldspar + quartz. Associated with the zones of granophyric crystallization are prismatic quartz crystals in cavities similar to those termed miarolitic in plutonic rocks. Vapor-phase alkali feldspar, tridymite, magnetite, and sporadic ??-cristobalite were deposited in cavities and in void spaces of pumice fragments. Subsequently, some of the vapor-phase alkali feldspar crystals were replaced by microcrystalline quartz, and the vapor-phase minerals were frosted by a coating of saccharoidal quartz. Hydrothermal minerals occur primarily as linings and fillings of cavities and fractures and as altered mafic phenocrysts. Chalcedony is the dominant mineral related to the present hydrothermal regime and occurs as microcrystalline material mixed with various amounts of hematite and goethite. The chalcedony displays intricate layering and was apparently deposited as opal from silica-rich water. Hematite and goethite also replace both mafic phenocrysts and vapor-phase magnetite. Other conspicuous hydrothermal minerals include montmorillonite, pyrite, mordenite, calcite, and fluorite. Clinoptilolite, erionite, illite, kaolinite, and manganese oxides are sporadic. The hydrothermal minerals show little correlation with temperature, but bladed calcite is restricted to a zone of boiling in the tuff and clearly was deposited when CO2 was lost during boiling. Fractures and breccias filled with chalcedony are common throughout Y-5 and may have been

  3. Magnetotelluric Data, Central Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, Nevada

    SciT

    J.M. Williams; B.D. Rodriguez, and T.H. Asch

    2005-11-23

    Nuclear weapons are integral to the defense of the United States. The U.S. Department of Energy, as the steward of these devices, must continue to gauge the efficacy of the individual weapons. This could be accomplished by occasional testing at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) in Nevada, northwest of Las Vegas. Yucca Flat Basin is one of the testing areas at the NTS. One issue of concern is the nature of the somewhat poorly constrained pre-Tertiary geology and its effects on ground-water flow in the area subsequent to a nuclear test. Ground-water modelers would like to know more about themore » hydrostratigraphy and geologic structure to support a hydrostratigraphic framework model that is under development for the Yucca Flat Corrective Action Unit (CAU). During 2003, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collected and processed Magnetotelluric (MT) and Audio-magnetotelluric (AMT) data at the Nevada Test Site in and near Yucca Flat to help characterize this pre-Tertiary geology. That work will help to define the character, thickness, and lateral extent of pre-Tertiary confining units. In particular, a major goal has been to define the upper clastic confining unit (UCCU) in the Yucca Flat area. Interpretation will include a three-dimensional (3-D) character analysis and two-dimensional (2-D) resistivity model. The purpose of this report is to release the MT sounding data for Central Yucca Flat, Profile 1, as shown in figure 1. No interpretation of the data is included here.« less

  4. Magnetotelluric Data, North Central Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, Nevada

    SciT

    J.M. Williams; B.D. Rodriguez, and T.H. Asch

    2005-11-23

    Nuclear weapons are integral to the defense of the United States. The U.S. Department of Energy, as the steward of these devices, must continue to gauge the efficacy of the individual weapons. This could be accomplished by occasional testing at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) in Nevada, northwest of Las Vegas. Yucca Flat Basin is one of the testing areas at the NTS. One issue of concern is the nature of the somewhat poorly constrained pre-Tertiary geology and its effects on ground-water flow in the area subsequent to a nuclear test. Ground-water modelers would like to know more about themore » hydrostratigraphy and geologic structure to support a hydrostratigraphic framework model that is under development for the Yucca Flat Corrective Action Unit (CAU). During 2003, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collected and processed Magnetotelluric (MT) and Audio-magnetotelluric (AMT) data at the Nevada Test Site in and near Yucca Flat to help characterize this pre-Tertiary geology. That work will help to define the character, thickness, and lateral extent of pre-Tertiary confining units. In particular, a major goal has been to define the upper clastic confining unit (UCCU) in the Yucca Flat area. Interpretation will include a three-dimensional (3-D) character analysis and two-dimensional (2-D) resistivity model. The purpose of this report is to release the MT sounding data for north central Yucca Flat, Profile 7, as shown in Figure 1. No interpretation of the data is included here.« less

  5. Magnetotelluric Data, Southern Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, Nevada

    SciT

    J.M. Williams; B.D. Rodriguez, and T.H. Asch

    2005-11-23

    Nuclear weapons are integral to the defense of the United States. The U.S. Department of Energy, as the steward of these devices, must continue to gauge the efficacy of the individual weapons. This could be accomplished by occasional testing at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) in Nevada, northwest of Las Vegas. Yucca Flat Basin is one of the testing areas at the NTS. One issue of concern is the nature of the somewhat poorly constrained pre-Tertiary geology and its effects on ground-water flow in the area subsequent to a nuclear test. Ground-water modelers would like to know more about themore » hydrostratigraphy and geologic structure to support a hydrostratigraphic framework model that is under development for the Yucca Flat Corrective Action Unit (CAU). During 2003, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collected and processed Magnetotelluric (MT) and Audio-magnetotelluric (AMT) data at the Nevada Test Site in and near Yucca Flat to help characterize this pre-Tertiary geology. That work will help to define the character, thickness, and lateral extent of pre-Tertiary confining units. In particular, a major goal has been to define the upper clastic confining unit (UCCU) in the Yucca Flat area. Interpretation will include a three-dimensional (3-D) character analysis and two-dimensional (2-D) resistivity model. The purpose of this report is to release the MT sounding data for Southern Yucca Flat, Profile 4, as shown in Figure 1. No interpretation of the data is included here.« less

  6. Magnetotelluric Data, Northern Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, Nevada

    SciT

    J.M. Williams; B.D. Rodriguez, and T.H. Asch

    2005-11-23

    Nuclear weapons are integral to the defense of the United States. The U.S. Department of Energy, as the steward of these devices, must continue to gauge the efficacy of the individual weapons. This could be accomplished by occasional testing at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) in Nevada, northwest of Las Vegas. Yucca Flat Basin is one of the testing areas at the NTS. One issue of concern is the nature of the somewhat poorly constrained pre-Tertiary geology and its effects on ground-water flow in the area subsequent to a nuclear test. Ground-water modelers would like to know more about themore » hydrostratigraphy and geologic structure to support a hydrostratigraphic framework model that is under development for the Yucca Flat Corrective Action Unit (CAU). During 2003, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collected and processed Magnetotelluric (MT) and Audio-magnetotelluric (AMT) data at the Nevada Test Site in and near Yucca Flat to help characterize this pre-Tertiary geology. That work will help to define the character, thickness, and lateral extent of pre-Tertiary confining units. In particular, a major goal has been to define the upper clastic confining unit (UCCU) in the Yucca Flat area. Interpretation will include a three-dimensional (3-D) character analysis and two-dimensional (2-D) resistivity model. The purpose of this report is to release the MT sounding data for Profile 2, (fig. 1), located in the northern Yucca Flat area. No interpretation of the data is included here.« less

  7. Hydrothermal convection and mordenite precipitation in the cooling Bishop Tuff, California, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    We present field observations of erosional columns in the Bishop Tuff and then use laboratory results and numerical models to argue that these columns are evidence of relict convection in a cooling ignimbrite. Many square kilometers of the Bishop Tuff have evenly-spaced, vertical to semi-vertical erosional columns, a result of hydrothermal alteration. These altered regions are more competent than the surrounding tuff, are 0.1-0.7 m in diameter, are separated by ~ 1 m, and in some cases are more than 8 m in height. JE Bailey (U. of Hawaii, dissertation, 2005) suggested that similar columns in the Bandelier Tuff were formed when slumping allowed water to pool at the surface of the still-cooling ignimbrite. As water percolated downward it boiled generating evenly spaced convection cells similar to heat pipes. We quantify this conceptual model and apply it the Bishop Tuff to understand the physics within ignimbrite-borne hydrothermal systems. We use thin sections to measure changing porosity and use scanning electron microscope (SEM) and x-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses to show that pore spaces in the columns are cemented by the mineral mordenite, a low temperature zeolite that precipitates between 120-200 oC (Bish et al., 1982), also found in the Bandelier Tuff example. We then use scaling to show 1) that water percolating into the cooling Bishop Tuff would convect and 2) that the geometry and spacing of the columns is predicted by the ignimbrite temperature and permeability. We use the computer program HYDROTHERM (Hayba and Ingebritsen, 1994; Kipp et al., 2008) to model 2-phase convection in the Bishop Tuff. By systematically changing permeability, initial temperature, and topography we can identify the pattern of flows that develop when the ignimbrite is cooled by water from above. Hydrothermally altered columns in ignimbrite are the natural product of coupled heat, mass, and chemical transport and have similarities to other geothermal systems, economic ore deposits

  8. Geohydrology of rocks penetrated by test well USW H-4, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    SciT

    Whitfield, M.S. Jr.; Eshom, E.P.; Thordarson, W.

    This report presents the results of hydraulic testing of rocks penetrated by USW H-4, one of several test wells drilled in the southwestern part of the Nevada Test Site, in cooperation with the US Department of Energy, for investigations related to the isolation of high-level radioactive wastes in volcanic tuffs of Tertiary age. All rocks penetrated by the test well to its total depth of 1219 meters were volcanic. Static water level was at a depth of 519 meters below land surface. Hydraulic-head measurements made at successively lower depths during drilling in this test hole indicate no noticeable head change.more » A radioactive-tracer, borehole-flow survey indicated that the two most productive zones in this borehole occurred in the upper part of the Bullfrog Member, depth interval from 721 to 731.5 meters, and in the underlying upper part of the Tram Member, depth interval from 864 to 920 meters, both in the Crater Flat Tuff. Hydraulic coefficients calculated from pumping-test data indicate that transmissivity ranged from 200 to 790 meters squared per day. The hydraulic conductivity ranged from 0.29 to 1.1 meters per day. Chemical analysis of water pumped from the saturated part of the borehole (composite sample) indicates that the water is typical of water produced from tuffaceous rocks in southern Nevada. The water is predominantly a sodium bicarbonate type with small concentrations of calcium, magnesium, and sulfate. The apparent age of this composite water sample was determined by a carbon-14 date to be 17,200 years before present. 24 refs., 10 figs., 8 tabs.« less

  9. The timing and origin of pre- and post-caldera volcanism associated with the Mesa Falls Tuff, Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stelten, Mark E.; Champion, Duane E.; Kuntz, Mel A.

    2018-01-01

    We present new sanidine 40Ar/39Ar ages and paleomagnetic data for pre- and post-caldera rhyolites from the second volcanic cycle of the Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field, which culminated in the caldera-forming eruption of the Mesa Falls Tuff at ca. 1.3 Ma. These data allow for a detailed reconstruction of the eruptive history of the second volcanic cycle and provide new insights into the petrogenesis of rhyolite domes and flows erupted during this time period. 40Ar/39Ar age data for the biotite-bearing Bishop Mountain flow demonstrate that it erupted approximately 150 kyr prior to the Mesa Falls Tuff. Integrating 40Ar/39Ar ages and paleomagnetic data for the post-caldera Island Park rhyolite domes suggests that these five crystal-rich rhyolites erupted over a centuries-long time interval at 1.2905 ± 0.0020 Ma (2σ). The biotite-bearing Moonshine Mountain rhyolite dome was originally thought to be the downfaulted vent dome for the pre-caldera Bishop Mountain flow due to their similar petrographic and oxygen isotope characteristics, but new 40Ar/39Ar dating suggest that it erupted near contemporaneously with the Island Park rhyolite domes at 1.2931 ± 0.0018 Ma (2σ) and is a post-caldera eruption. Despite their similar eruption ages, the Island Park rhyolite domes and the Moonshine Mountain dome are chemically and petrographically distinct and are not derived from the same source. Integrating these new data with field relations and existing geochemical data, we present a petrogenetic model for the formation of the post-Mesa Falls Tuff rhyolites. Renewed influx of basaltic and/or silicic recharge magma into the crust at 1.2905 ± 0.0020 Ma led to [1] the formation of the Island Park rhyolite domes from the source region that earlier produced the Mesa Falls Tuff and [2] the formation of Moonshine Mountain dome from the source region that earlier produced the biotite-bearing Bishop Mountain flow. These magmas were stored in the crust for less than a few thousand

  10. On thermohydrologic conditions near high-level nuclear wastes emplaced in partially saturated fractured tuff: 1. Simulation studies with explicit consideration of fracture effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1990-06-01

    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 nuclear waste repository site 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 used for our flow calculations takes into account most of the physical effects believed to be important in multiphase fluid and heat flow. It has provisions for handling the extreme nonlinearities that 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. Thermohydrologic conditions in the vicinity of the waste packages are found to depend strongly on relative permeability and capillary pressure characteristics of the fractures, which are unknown at the present time. If liquid held on the rough walls of drained fractures is assumed to be mobile, strong heat pipe effects are predicted. Under these conditions the host rock will remain in two-phase conditions right up to the emplacement hole, and formation temperatures will peak near 100°C. If it is assumed that liquid cannot move along drained fractures, the region surrounding the waste packages is predicted to dry up, and formation temperatures will rise beyond 200°C. A substantial fraction of waste heat can be removed if emplacement holes are left open and ventilated, as opposed to backfilled and sealed emplacement conditions. Comparing our model predictions with observations from in situ heater experiments reported by Zimmerman and coworkers, some intriguing similarities are noted. However, for a quantitative evaluation, additional carefully controlled laboratory and field experiments

  11. The road to Yucca Mountain—Evolution of nuclear waste disposal in the United States

    Stuckless, John S.; Levich, Robert A.

    2016-01-01

    The generation of electricity by nuclear power and the manufacturing of atomic weapons have created a large amount of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. There is a world-wide consensus that the best way to protect mankind and the environment is to dispose of this waste in a deep geologic repository. Initial efforts focused on salt as the best medium for disposal, but the heat generated by the radioactive waste led many earth scientists to examine other rock types. In 1976, the director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) wrote to the U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA), predecessor agency of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), suggesting that there were several favorable environments at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), and that the USGS already had extensive background information on the NTS. Later, in a series of communications and one publication, the USGS espoused the favorability of the thick unsaturated zone. After the passage of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (1982), the DOE compiled a list of nine favorable sites and settled on three to be characterized. In 1987, as the costs of characterizing three sites ballooned, Congress amended the Nuclear Waste Policy Act directing the DOE to focus only on Yucca Mountain in Nevada, with the proviso that if anything unfavorable was discovered, work would stop immediately. The U.S. DOE, the U.S. DOE national laboratories, and the USGS developed more than 100 detailed plans to study various earth-science aspects of Yucca Mountain and the surrounding area, as well as materials studies and engineering projects needed for a mined geologic repository. The work, which cost more than 10 billion dollars and required hundreds of man-years of work, culminated in a license application submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in 2008.

  12. Consequences of slow growth for 230Th/U dating of Quaternary opals, Yucca Mountain, NV, USA

    Neymark, L.A.; Paces, J.B.

    2000-01-01

    Thermal ionization mass-spectrometry 234U/238U and 230Th/238U data are reported for uranium-rich opals coating fractures and cavities within the silicic tuffs forming Yucca Mountain, NV, the potential site of a high-level radioactive waste repository. High uranium concentrations (up to 207 ppm) and extremely high 230Th/232Th activity ratios (up to about 106) make microsamples of these opals suitable for precise 230Th/U dating. Conventional 230Th/U ages range from 40 to greater than 600 ka, and initial 234U/238U activity ratios between 1.03 and 8.2. Isotopic evidence indicates that the opals have not experienced uranium mobility; however, wide variations in apparent ages and initial 234U/238U ratios for separate subsamples of the same outermost mineral surfaces, positive correlation between ages and sample weights, and negative correlation between 230Th/U ages and calculated initial 234U/238U are inconsistent with the assumption that all minerals in a given subsample was deposited instantaneously. The data are more consistent with a conceptual model of continuous deposition where secondary mineral growth has occurred at a constant, slow rate up to the present. This model assumes that individual subsamples represent mixtures of older and younger material, and that calculations using the resulting isotope ratios reflect an average age. Ages calculated using the continuous-deposition model for opals imply average mineral growth rates of less than 5 mm/m.y. The model of continuous deposition also predicts discordance between ages obtained using different radiometric methods for the same subsample. Differences in half-lives will result in younger apparent ages for the shorter-lived isotope due to the greater influence of younger materials continuously added to mineral surfaces. Discordant 14C, 230Th/U and U-Pb ages obtained from outermost mineral surfaces at Yucca Mountain support this model. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Mechanics of brittle deformation and slope failure at the North Menan Butte tuff cone, Eastern Snake River Plain, Idaho

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okubo, C. H.

    2013-12-01

    The Menan Volcanic Complex consists of phreatomagmatic tuff cones that were emplaced as part of the regional volcanic activity in the Snake River Plain during the late Pleistocene. These tuff cones, the ';Menan Buttes', resulted from the eruption of basaltic magma through water-saturated alluvium and older basalts along the Snake River. The tuffs are composed primarily of basaltic glass with occasional plagioclase and olivine phenocrysts. The tuff is hydrothermally altered to a massive palagonitic tuff at depth but is otherwise poorly welded. Mass movements along the flanks of the cones were contemporaneous with tuff deposition. These slope failures are manifest as cm- to meter-scale pure folds, faults and fault-related folds, as well as larger slumps that are tens to a few hundred meters wide. Previous investigations classified the structural discontinuities at North Menan Butte based on orientation and sense of displacement, and all were recognized as opening-mode or shear fractures (Russell and Brisbin, 1990). This earlier work also used a generalized model of static (i.e., aseismic) gravity-driven shear failure within cohesionless soils to infer a possible origin for these fractures through slope failure. Recent work at North Menan Butte has provided novel insight into the styles of brittle deformation present, the effect of this deformation on the circulation of subsurface fluids within the tuff cone, as well as the mechanisms of the observed slope failures. Field observations reveal that the brittle deformation, previously classified as fractures, is manifest as deformation bands within the non-altered, poorly welded portions of the tuff. Both dilational and compactional bands, with shear, are observed. Slumps are bounded by normal faults, which are found to have developed within clusters of deformation bands. Deformation bands along the down-slope ends of these failure surfaces are predominantly compactional in nature. These bands have a ~3800 millidarcy

  14. Recurrent eruption and subsidence at the Platoro caldera complex, southeastern San Juan volcanic field, Colorado: New tales from old tuffs

    Lipman, P.W.; Dungan, M.A.; Brown, L.L.; Deino, A.

    1996-01-01

    Reinterpretation of a voluminous regional ash-flow sheet (Masonic Park Tuff) as two separate tuff sheets of similar phenocryst-rich dacite erupted from separate source calderas has important implications for evolution of the multicyclic Platoro caldera complex and for caldera-forming processes generally. Masonic Park Tuff in central parts of the San Juan field, including the type area, was erupted from a concealed source at 28.6 Ma, but widespread tuff previously mapped as Masonic Park Tuff in the southeastern San Juan Mountains is the product of the youngest large-volume eruption of the Platoro caldera complex at 28.4 Ma. This large unit, newly named the "Chiquito Peak Tuff," is the last-erupted tuff of the Treasure Mountain Group, which consists of at least 20 separate ash-flow sheets of dacite to low-silica rhyolite erupted from the Platoro complex during a 1 m.y. interval (29.5-28.4 Ma). Two Treasure Mountain tuff sheets have volumes in excess of 1000 km3 each, and five more have volumes of 50-150 km3. The total volume of ash-flow tuff exceeds 2500 km3, and caldera-related lavas of dominantly andesitic composition make up 250-500 km3 more. A much greater volume of intermediate-composition magma must have solidified in subcaldera magma chambers. Most preserved features of the Platoro complex - including postcollapse asymmetrical trap-door resurgent uplift of the ponded intracaldera tuff and concurrent infilling by andesitic lava flows - postdate eruption of the Chiquito Peak Tuff. The numerous large-volume pre-Chiquito Peak ash-flow tuffs document multiple eruptions accompanied by recurrent subsidence; early-formed caldera walls nearly coincide with margins of the later Chiquito Peak collapse. Repeated syneruptive collapse at the Platoro complex requires cumulative subsidence of at least 10 km. The rapid regeneration of silicic magmas requires the sustained presence of an andesitic subcaldera magma reservoir, or its rapid replenishment, during the 1 m.y. life

  15. Cerro Xalapaxco: An Unusual Tuff Cone with Multiple Explosion Craters, in Central Mexico (Puebla)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abrams, M. J.; Siebe, C.

    1994-01-01

    The Xalapaxco tuff cone is located on the northeast flank of La Malinche stratovolcano in central Mexico. An unusually large number (10) of explosion craters, concentrated on the central and on the uphill side of the cone, expose alternating beds of stratified surge deposits and massive fall deposits.

  16. Experimental study on the Neapolitan Yellow Tuff: Salt weathering and consolidation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    La Russa, Mauro Francesco; Ruffolo, Silvestro Antonio; Alvarez de Buergo, Monica; Ricca, Michela; Belfiore, Cristina Maria; Pezzino, Antonino; Mirocle Crisci, Gino

    2016-04-01

    Salt crystallization is one of the major weathering agents in porous building materials due to the crystallization pressure exerted by salt crystals growing in confined pores. The consolidation of such degraded stone materials is a crucial issue in the field of Cultural Heritage restoration. This contribution deals with laboratory experimentation carried out on the Neapolitan Tuff, a pyroclastic rock largely used in the Campanian architecture. Several specimens, collected from a historical quarry nearby the city of Naples, were treated with two different consolidating products: a suspension of nanosilica in water (Syton X30®) and ethyl silicate (Estel 1000®) dispersed in organic solvent (TEOS). Then, in order to assess the effectiveness of consolidation treatments, both treated and untreated samples underwent accelerated degradation through salt crystallization tests. A multi-analytical approach, including mercury intrusion porosimetry, peeling tests and point load test, was employed to evaluate the correlation between the salt crystallization and the micro-structural features of the examined tuff specimens. In addition, the calculation of the crystallization pressures was also performed in order to make a correlation between the porous structure of the tuff and its susceptivity to salt crystallization. Obtained results show that both the tested products increase the resistance of tuff to salt crystallization, although inducing an increase of crystallization pressure. Ethyl silicate, however, shows a better behaviour in terms of superficial cohesion, even after several degradation cycles.

  17. A field method for making a quantitative estimate of altered tuff in sandstone

    Cadigan, R.A.

    1954-01-01

    The use of benzidine to identify altered tuff in sandstone is practical for field or field laboratory studies associated with stratigraphic correlations, mineral deposit investigations, or paleogeographic interpretations. The method is based on the ability of saturated benzidine (C12H12N2) solution to produce a blue stain on montmorillonite-bearing tuff grains. The method is substantiated by the results of microscopic, X-ray spectrometer, and spectrographic tests which lead to the conclusion that: (1) the benzidine stain test differentiates grains of different composition, (2) the white or gray grains which are stained a uniform blue color are fragments of altered tuff, and (3) white or gray grains which stain in a few small spots are probably silicified tuff. The amount of sand grains taken from a hand specimen or an outcrop which will be held by a penny is spread out on a nonabsorbent white surface and soaked with benzidine for 5 minutes. The approximate number blue grains and the average grain size are used in a chart to determine a reference number which measures relative order of abundance. The chart, based on a volume relationship, corrects for the variation in the number of grains in the sample as the grain size varies. Practical use of the method depends on a knowledge of several precautionary measures as well as an understanding of the limitations of benzidine staining tests.

  18. The effect of dilatancy on the unloading behavior of Mt. Helen tuff

    SciT

    Attia, A.V.; Rubin, M.B.

    1993-11-01

    In order to understand the role of rock dilatancy in modeling the response of partially saturated rock formations to underground nuclear explosions, we have developed a thermodynamically consistent model for a porous material, partially saturated with fluid. This model gives good predictions of the unloading behavior of dry, partially saturated, and fully saturated Mt. Helen tuff, as measured by Heard.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    The mid-Miocene Jack Springs Tuff (JST) outcrops across the western Mina Deflection accommodation zone, west-central Nevada and into eastern California. Previously, the source location for the JST was unknown, yet recent studies northwest of Mono Lake, CA have identified a relatively un-rotated structural block in which to reference the paleomagnetic data. Although new studies have indicated that this block may be rotated up to 13º, we argue that the probable source area is located near the Bodie Hills, CA. At this site, the paleomagnetic reference direction is D = 353°, I = 43°, α95 = 7.7° (Carlson et al, 2013). Based on these data, the JST can be used to measure absolute vertical-axis rotation as well as enable reconstruction of the paleo-topography using the corrected anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) data. A total of 19 sites were sampled to constrain Cenozoic to recent vertical axis rotation within the region and AMS experiments were conducted to determine the flow direction of the JST. Curie point estimates indicate that the JST ranges in titanium concentration from 0.042 to 1.10, indicating a low to moderate titanomagnetite phase (Akimoto, 1962). Demagnetization experiments reveal mean destructive fields of the NRM ranging between 15mT and 40mT suggesting that both multi-domain to pseudo-single domain grains are the dominant ferromagnetic phases that carry the remanence and AMS fabric. Preliminary paleomagnetic data yield stable single component demagnetization behavior for most sites that, after structural correction, indicate clockwise vertical axis rotation ranging from +20°± 10° to +60°± 11° between multiple fault blocks. The uncorrected AMS data yield oblate magnetic fabrics that can be used to infer the transport direction, source region, and paleovalley geometry of the JST. These data are tentatively interpreted to indicate west to east transport of the JST across the Mono Basin region into the Mina Deflection that was erupted and

  20. The role of tephra studies in African paleoanthropology as exemplified by the Sidi Hakoma Tuff

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    WoldeGabriel, Giday; Endale, Tamrat; White, Tim D.; Thouveny, Nicolas; Hart, William K.; Renne, Paul R.; Asfaw, Berhane

    2013-01-01

    Beginning in the 1960s, geological and paleoanthropological exploration of the Ethiopian rift system's basins have led to the discovery and assembly of the most comprehensive record of human biological and technological change during the last 6 million years. The hominid fossils, including partial skeletons, were primarily discovered in the Afar Rift, the Main Ethiopian Rift, and in the Omo Basin of the broadly rifted zone of SW Ethiopia. The paleoanthropological research areas within the SW Afar Rift that have yielded many diverse hominid species and the oldest stone tools are, from north to south, Woranso-Mille (aff. Ardipithecus and Au. afarensis), Hadar (Au. afarensis, Homo sp.), Dikika (Au. afarensis), Gona (Ar. kadabba, Ar. ramidus, H. erectus, and oldest stone tools), Middle Awash (Ar. kadabba, Ar. ramidus, Au. anamensis, Au. afarensis, Au. garhi, H. erectus, H. rhodesiensis, H. sapiens idaltu, and the oldest paleo-butchery locality), and Galili (Au. afarensis). Additional hominid remains were discovered at Melka Kunture on the banks of the Awash River near its source along the western margin of the central part of the Main Ethiopian Rift (H. erectus), at Konso (H. erectus and A. boisei), and at the southern end of the MER, and in the Omo Basin (Au. anamensis, Au. afarensis, Au. aethiopicus, Au. boisei, H. habilis, and H. erectus). Distal and sometimes proximal tephra units interbedded within fossilifeous sedimentary deposits have become key elements in this work by providing chronological and correlative control and depositional contexts. Several regional tephra markers have been identified within the northern half of the eastern African rift valley in Ethiopia and Kenya, and in marine sediments of the Gulf of Aden Rift and the NW Indian Ocean. Out of the many regional tephra stratigraphic markers that range in age from the early Pliocene (3.97 Ma) to the late Pleistocene (0.16 Ma), the Sidi Hakoma Tuff (SHT) has been more widely identified and thoroughly

  1. Gravitational slope-deformation of a resurgent caldera: New insights from the mechanical behaviour of Mt. Nuovo tuffs (Ischia Island, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marmoni, G. M.; Martino, S.; Heap, M. J.; Reuschlé, T.

    2017-10-01

    Ischia Island (Italy) is an impressive example of the rare phenomenon of caldera resurgence. The emplacement and replenishment of magmas at shallow depth resulted in a vertical uplift of about 900 m, concentrated in the western portion of Mt. Epomeo (789 m a.s.l.). As a consequence of this uplift, the island has experienced several slope instabilities at different scales since the Holocene, from shallow mass movements to large rock and debris avalanches. These mass wasting events, which mobilised large volumes of greenish alkali-trachytic tuff (the Mt. Epomeo Green Tuff, MEGT), were strictly related to volcano-tectonic activity and the interaction between the volcanic slopes and the hydrothermal system beneath the island. Deep-Seated Gravitational Slope Deformation (DSGSD) at Mt. Nuovo, located adjacent to densely populated coastal villages, is an ongoing process that covers an area of 1.6 km2. The Mt. Nuovo DSGSD involves a rock mass volume of 190 Mm3 and is accommodated by a main shear zone and a series of sub-vertical fault zones associated with high-angle joint sets. To improve our understanding of this gravity-induced process, we performed a physical (porosity and permeability) and mechanical (uniaxial and triaxial deformation experiments) characterisation of two ignimbrite deposits - both from the MEGT - that form a significant component of the NW sector of Mt. Epomeo. The main conclusions drawn from our experiments are twofold. First, the presence of water dramatically reduces the strength of the tuffs, suggesting that the movement of fluids within the hydrothermal system could greatly impact slope stability. Second, the transition from brittle (dilatant) to ductile (compactant) behaviour in the tuffs of the MEGT occurs at a very low effective pressure, analogous to a depth of a couple of hundred metres, and that this transition is likely moved closer to the surface in the presence of water. We hypothesise that compactant (porosity decreasing) behaviour at

  2. Paleoflow of the Tuff of San Felipe on Isla Angel de la Guarda

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skinner, S. M.; Stock, J. M.; Martin Barajas, A.

    2013-05-01

    The Tuff of San Felipe is a widespread 12.5 Ma ignimbrite in northwestern Mexico that has a proven potential in reconstructing the rifting history of the Gulf of California. Previous studies have used the Tuff of San Felipe to correlate Isla Tiburon to the Sierra San Felipe on the Baja California Peninsula, and to correlate central Isla Angel de la Guarda to Baja California in the region of Cataviña. However, because only scattered outcrops are preserved in this latter region, paleoflow directions are an important additional constraint for reconstructing its past position relative to Isla Angel de la Guarda. We have confirmed the presence of the Tuff of San Felipe on Isla Angel de la Guarda and collected rocks from 44 sites for paleomagnetic and AMS analysis. Our work on the Tuff of San Felipe has revealed discrepancies in the magnetic fabric, and resulting flow direction, on the scale of hundreds of meters. The lack of a uniform flow direction from a single mesa impairs our ability to correlate offset channelized flows over large distances. To investigate the robustness of the AMS fabric we have performed a spatially dense sampling of the unit. Rigorous rock magnetic experiments will be used to investigate any correlation between changes in the magnetic mineralogy of the samples and any irregularities or constancies in the measured fabrics and flow directions. With this study we aim to characterize the variability of the AMS ellipsoid in natural volcanic samples and the scale at which AMS can be used as a meaningful indicator of paleoflow in the Tuff of San Felipe.

  3. Paleoflow of the Tuff of San Felipe on Isla Angel de la Guarda

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skinner, S. M.; Stock, J. M.; Martin, A.

    2013-12-01

    The Tuff of San Felipe is a widespread 12.5 Ma ignimbrite in northwestern Mexico that has a proven potential in reconstructing the rifting history of the Gulf of California. Previous studies have used the Tuff of San Felipe to correlate Isla Tiburon to the Sierra San Felipe on the Baja California Peninsula, and to correlate central Isla Angel de la Guarda to Baja California in the region of Cataviña. However, because only scattered outcrops are preserved in this latter region, paleoflow directions are an important additional constraint for reconstructing its past position relative to Isla Angel de la Guarda. We have confirmed the presence of the Tuff of San Felipe on Isla Angel de la Guarda and collected rocks from 44 sites for paleomagnetic and AMS analysis. Our work on the Tuff of San Felipe has revealed discrepancies in the magnetic fabric, and resulting flow direction. The azimuth of flow directions observed at 27 sites over 1.5 square kilometers ranges from 8° to 355° with a mean direction of 195° and an α95 of 27°. The lack of a uniform flow direction from a single mesa impairs our ability to correlate offset channelized flows over large distances. To investigate the robustness of the AMS fabric we have performed a spatially dense sampling of the unit. Rigorous rock magnetic experiments will be used to investigate any correlation between changes in the magnetic mineralogy of the samples and any irregularities or constancies in the measured fabrics and flow directions. With this study we aim to characterize the variability of the AMS ellipsoid in natural volcanic samples and the scale at which AMS can be used as a meaningful indicator of paleoflow in the Tuff of San Felipe.

  4. Eruption and deposition of the Fisher Tuff (Alaska)--Evidence for the evolution of pyroclastic flows

    Burgisser, Alain; Gardner, J.E.; Stelling, P.

    2007-01-01

    Recognition that the Fisher Tuff (Unimak Island, Alaska) was deposited on the leeside of an ∼500–700‐m‐high mountain range (Tugamak Range) more than 10 km away from its source played a major role in defining pyroclastic flows as momentum‐driven currents. We reexamined the Fisher Tuff to evaluate whether deposition from expanded turbulent clouds can better explain its depositional features. We studied the tuff at 89 sites and sieved bulk samples from 27 of those sites. We find that the tuff consists of a complex sequence of deposits that record the evolution of the eruption from a buoyant plume (22 km) that deposited ∼0.2 km3 of dacite magma as a pyroclastic fall layer to erupting ∼10–100 km3 of andesitic magma as Scoria‐rich pyroclastic falls and flows that were mainly deposited to the north and northwest of the caldera, including those in valleys within the Tugamak Range. The distribution of the flow deposits and their welding, internal stratification, and the occurrence of lithic breccia all suggest that the pyroclastic flows were fed from a fountaining column that vented from an inclined conduit, the first time such a conduit has been recognized during a large‐volume caldera eruption. Pyroclastic flow deposits before and after the mountain range and thin veneer deposits high in the range are best explained by a flow that was stratified into a dense undercurrent and an overriding dilute turbulent cloud, from which deposition before the range was mainly from the undercurrent. When the flow ran into the mountain range, however, the undercurrent was blocked, but the turbulent cloud continued on. As the flow continued north, it restratified, forming another undercurrent. The Fisher Tuff thus records the passing of a flow that was significantly higher (800–1100 m thick) than the mountain range and thus did not require excessive momentum.

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

    PubMed Central

    Mohseni, Ehsan; Tang, Waiching; Cui, Hongzhi

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28772737

  6. Development of the performance confirmation program at YUCCA mountain, nevada

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

    2006-01-01

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

  7. Digestive parameters in young turkeys fed yucca saponin

    SciT

    Dziuk, H.E.; Duke, G.E.; Buck, R.J.

    1985-06-01

    Yucca saponin fed in a concentration of 63 ppm to turkey poults at 6 to 14 weeks of age did not significantly improve weight gains, feed conversion, or digestive coefficients. Compared with nonstressed control groups, saponin-fed poults did not have significantly greater average weight gains or feed intakes when stressed by crowding (3 poults per cage) or by adding ammonia to the atmosphere (30 to 35 ppm).

  8. Tectonic and neotectonic framework of the Yucca Mountain Region

    SciT

    Schweickert, R.A.

    1992-09-30

    Highlights of major research accomplishments concerned with the tectonics and neotectonics of the Yucca Mountain Region include: structural studies in Grapevine Mountains, Bullfrog Hills, and Bare Mountain; recognition of significance of pre-Middle Miocene normal and strike-slip faulting at Bare Mountain; compilation of map of quaternary faulting in Southern Amargosa Valley; and preliminary paleomagnetic analysis of Paleozoic and Cenozoic units at Bare Mountain.

  9. 7. SEGMENT OF LATERAL WITH YUCCA ALONG BANKS, SOUTH OF ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    7. SEGMENT OF LATERAL WITH YUCCA ALONG BANKS, SOUTH OF 6TH AVENUE (SECTION 10). - Highline Canal, Sand Creek Lateral, Beginning at intersection of Peoria Street & Highline Canal in Arapahoe County (City of Aurora), Sand Creek lateral Extends 15 miles Northerly through Araphoe County, City & County of Denver, & Adams County to its end point, approximately 1/4 mile Southest of intersectioin of D Street & Ninth Avenue in Adams County (Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Commerce City Vicinity), Commerce City, Adams County, CO

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

    SciT

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

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

  11. Yucca Mountain biological resources monitoring program; Annual report FY92

    SciT

    NONE

    1993-02-01

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

  12. Correlation of the Miocene Peach Spring Tuff with the geomagnetic polarity time scale and new constraints on tectonic rotations in the Mojave Desert, California

    Hillhouse, John W.; Miller, David M.; Turrin, Brent D.

    2010-01-01

    We report new paleomagnetic results and 40Ar/39Ar ages from the Peach Spring Tuff (PST), a key marker bed that occurs in the desert region between Barstow, California, and Peach Springs, Arizona. The 40Ar/39Ar ages were determined using individual hand-picked sanidine crystals from ash-flow specimens used in previous paleomagnetic studies at eight sites correlated by mineralogy, stratigraphic position, and magnetic inclination. Site-mean ages, which range from 18.43 Ma to 18.78 Ma with analytical precision (1 s.d.) typically 0.04 Ma, were obtained from areas near Fort Rock, AZ; McCullough Mts, NV; Cima Dome, Parker Dam, Danby, Ludlow, Kane Wash, and Stoddard Wash, CA. The regional mean age determination is 18.71 ± 0.13 Ma, after the data were selected for sanidine crystals that yielded greater than 90% radiogenic argon (N = 40). This age determination is compatible with previous 40Ar/39Ar dating of the PST after taking various neutron-flux monitor calibrations into account. We report paleomagnetic results from eight new sites that bear on reconstructions of the Miocene basins associated with the Hector Formation, Barstow Formation, and similar fine-grained sedimentary deposits in the Barstow region. Key findings of the new paleomagnetic study pertain to age control of the Hector Formation and clockwise rotation of the Northeast Mojave Domain. Our study of a rhyolitic ash flow at Baxter Wash, northern Cady Mountains, confirms the correlation of the PST within the Hector Formation and prompts reinterpretation of the previously determined magnetostratigraphy. Our model correlates the PST to the normal-polarity zone just below the C6–C5E boundary (18.748 Ma) of the astronomically tuned Geomagnetic Polarity Time Scale. After emplacement of the Peach Spring Tuff at Alvord Mountain and the Cady Mountains, the southern part of the Northeast Mojave Domain (between Cady and Coyote Lake faults) underwent clockwise rotation of 30°–55°. Clockwise rotations increase with

  13. Correlation of the Miocene Peach Spring Tuff with the geomagnetic polarity time scale and new constraints on tectonic rotations in the Mojave Desert, California

    Hillhouse, John W.; Miller, David M.; Turrin, Brent D.; Reynolds, Robert E.; Miller, David M.

    2010-01-01

    We report new paleomagnetic results and 40Ar/39Ar ages from the Peach Spring Tuff (PST), a key marker bed that occurs in the desert region between Barstow, California, and Peach Springs, Arizona. The 40Ar/39Ar ages were determined using individual hand-picked sanidine crystals from ash-flow specimens used in previous paleomagnetic studies at eight sites correlated by mineralogy, stratigraphic position, and magnetic inclination. Site-mean ages, which range from 18.43 Ma to 18.78 Ma with analytical precision (1 s.d.) typically 0.04 Ma, were obtained from areas near Fort Rock, AZ; McCullough Mts, NV; Cima Dome, Parker Dam, Danby, Ludlow, Kane Walsh, and Stoddard Wash, CA. The regional mean age determination is 18.71 ± 0.13 Ma, after the data were selected for sanidine crystals that yielded greater than 90% radiogenic argon (N=40). This age determination is compatible with previous 40Ar/39Ar dating of the PST after taking various neutron-flux monitor calibrations into account. We report paleomagnetic results from eight new sites that bear on reconstructions of the Miocene basins associated with the Hector Formation, Barstow Formation, and similar fine-grained sedimentary deposits in the Barstow region. Key findings of the new paleomagnetic study pertain to age control of the Hector Formation and clockwise rotation of the Northeast Mojave Domain. Our study of a rhyolitic ash flow at Baxter Wash, northern Cady Mountains, confirms the correlation of the PST within the Hector Formation and prompts reinterpretation of the previously determined magnetostratigraphy. Our model correlates the PST to the normal-polarity zone just below the C6-C5E boundary (18.748 Ma) of the astronomically tuned Geomagnetic Polarity Time Scale. After emplacement of the Peach Spring Tuff at Alvord Mountain and the Cady Mountains, the southern part of the Northeast Mojave Domain (between Cady and Coyote Lake faults) underwent clockwise rotation of 30°–55°. Clockwise rotations increase with

  14. Deep resistivity structure of Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, Nevada

    Asch, Theodore H.; Rodriguez, Brian D.; Sampson, Jay A.; Wallin, Erin L.; Williams, Jackie M.

    2006-01-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) at their Nevada Site Office are addressing groundwater contamination resulting from historical underground nuclear testing through the Environmental Management program and, in particular, the Underground Test Area project. One issue of concern is the nature of the somewhat poorly constrained pre Tertiary geology and its effects on ground-water flow in the area adjacent to a nuclear test. Ground water modelers would like to know more about the hydrostratigraphy and geologic structure to support a hydrostratigraphic framework model that is under development for the Yucca Flat Corrective Action Unit (CAU). During 2003, the U.S. Geological Survey, supported by the DOE and NNSA-NSO, collected and processed data from 51 magnetotelluric (MT) and audio-magnetotelluric (AMT) stations at the Nevada Test Site in and near Yucca Flat to assist in characterizing the pre-Tertiary geology in that area. The primary purpose was to refine the character, thickness, and lateral extent of pre Tertiary confining units. In particular, a major goal has been to define the upper clastic confining unit (late Devonian - Mississippian-age siliciclastic rocks assigned to the Eleana Formation and Chainman Shale) in the Yucca Flat area. The MT and AMT data have been released in separate USGS Open File Reports. The Nevada Test Site magnetotelluric data interpretation presented in this report includes the results of detailed two-dimensional (2 D) resistivity modeling for each profile (including alternative interpretations) and gross inferences on the three dimensional (3 D) character of the geology beneath each station. The character, thickness, and lateral extent of the Chainman Shale and Eleana Formation that comprise the Upper Clastic Confining Unit are generally well determined in the upper 5 km. Inferences can be made regarding the presence of the Lower Clastic Confining Unit at depths below 5 km. Large fault

  15. Bomb-Pulse Chlorine-36 at the Proposed Yucca Mountain Repository Horizon: An Investigation of Previous Conflicting Results and Collection of New Data

    SciT

    Cizdziel, James

    2006-07-31

    Previous studies Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) found elevated ratios of chlorine-36 to total chloride (36Cl/Cl) in samples of rock collected from the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) at Yucca Mountain (YM). The data were interpreted as an indication that fluids containing “bomb-pulse” 36Cl reached the repository horizon in the ~50 years since the peak period of above-ground nuclear testing. Due to the significance of 36Cl data to conceptual models of unsaturated zone flow, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) implemented a study to validate the LANL findings. The USGS drilled new boreholes at select locations across zones where bomb-pulse ratiosmore » had previously been identified. The drill cores were analyzed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Because consensus was not reached between the USGS/LLNL and LANL on several fundamental points including the presence or absence of bomb-pulse 36Cl, an evaluation by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), was initiated. The overall objectives of the UNLV study were to investigate the source of the validation study’s conflicting results, and to obtain additional data on bomb-pulse isotopes at the repository horizon. UNLV engaged in discussions with previous investigators, reviewed reports, and analyzed archived samples. UNLV also collected new samples of rock from the ESF, soil profiles from the surface of YM, and samples of seep water from inside the ESF. Samples were analyzed for 36Cl/Cl ratios, and 99Tc and 129I in select samples. A column experiment was conducted mimicking the passage of bomb-pulse 36Cl through YM tuff. The work faced several obstacles including an extended shutdown of the tunnel. Only one sample yielded a background corrected 36Cl/Cl ratio that was higher than the accepted bomb-pulse threshold (1250 x 10-15). Specimen 01034214 obtained from the Drill Hole Wash fault (19+33) had a ratio of 1590 ± 80 (1σ) x10-15, whereas the other separate sample from this

  16. Potential Future Igneous Activity at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  17. Safety Zones

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    These are established primarily to reduce the accidental spread of hazardous substances by workers or equipment from contaminated areas to clean areas. They include the exclusion (hot) zone, contamination reduction (warm) zone, and support (cold) zone.

  18. Oligocene lacustrine tuff facies, Abu Treifeya, Cairo-Suez Road, Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdel-Motelib, Ali; Kabesh, Mona; El Manawi, Abdel Hamid; Said, Amir

    2015-02-01

    Field investigations in the Abu Treifeya area, Cairo-Suez District, revealed the presence of Oligocene lacustrine volcaniclastic deposits of lacustrine sequences associated with an Oligocene rift regime. The present study represents a new record of lacustrine zeolite deposits associated with saponite clay minerals contained within reworked clastic vitric tuffs. The different lithofacies associations of these clastic sequences are identified and described: volcaniclastic sedimentary facies represent episodic volcaniclastic reworking, redistribution and redeposition in a lacustrine environment and these deposits are subdivided into proximal and medial facies. Zeolite and smectite minerals are mainly found as authigenic crystals formed in vugs or crusts due to the reaction of volcanic glasses with saline-alkaline water or as alteration products of feldspars. The presence of abundant smectite (saponite) may be attributed to a warm climate, with alternating humid and dry conditions characterised by the existence of kaolinite. Reddish iron-rich paleosols record periods of non-deposition intercalated with the volcaniclastic tuff sequence.

  19. Studies of the mobility of uranium and thorium in Nevada Test Site tuff

    SciT

    Wollenberg, H.A.; Flexser, S.; Smith, A.R.

    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 wasmore » 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.« less

  20. Sub-crop geologic map of pre-Tertiary rocks in the Yucca Flat and northern Frenchman Flat areas, Nevada Test Site, southern Nevada

    Cole, James C.; Harris, Anita G.; Wahl, Ronald R.

    1997-01-01

    for ground water flow through pre-Tertiary rocks beneath the Yucca Flat and northern Frenchman Flat areas, and has consequences for ground water modeling and model validation. Our data indicate that the Mississippian Chainman Shale is not a laterally extensive confining unit in the western part of the basin because it is folded back onto itself by the convergent structures of the Belted Range and CP thrust systems. Early and Middle Paleozoic limestone and dolomite are present beneath most of both basins and, regardless of structural complications, are interpreted to form a laterally continuous and extensive carbonate aquifer. Structural culmination that marks the French Peak accommodation zone along the topographic divide between the two basins provides a lateral pathway through highly fractured rock between the volcanic aquifers of Yucca Flat and the regional carbonate aquifer. This pathway may accelerate the migration of ground-water contaminants introduced by underground nuclear testing toward discharge areas beyond the Nevada Test Site boundaries. Predictive three-dimensional models of hydrostratigraphic units and ground-water flow in the pre-Tertiary rocks of subsurface Yucca Flat are likely to be unrealistic due to the extreme structural complexities. The interpretation of hydrologic and geochemical data obtained from monitoring wells will be difficult to extrapolate through the flow system until more is known about the continuity of hydrostratigraphic units.

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

    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

  2. Green-tuff landslide areas are beneficial for rice nutrition in Japan.

    PubMed

    Tazaki, Kazue

    2006-12-01

    Japanese Islands are covered with weathered volcanic rocks and soils. Terraced rice field are located in green-tuff areas which are very fertile but where landslides occur associated to strong earthquakes. The Xray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence analyses of the soils in landslide area identified predominant smectite and Mg, Al, Si, K, Ti, Mn and Fe are main components. The rice leaf showed that S, Cl, K and Ca play important roles for nutrients in the area. Drainpipe systems have set up in the green- tuff areas to reduce the risks of landslides. Reddish brown microbial mats inhabited bacteria and diatom in the drainpipe outlets. The microbial mats are rich in Fe and PO4(3-). The iron bacteria in the ground water have a high metabolic rate suggesting that the weathering materials were produced by not only physical and chemical influence but also by microorganism. Many microorganisms attach to mineral surfaces and show their high impact in the water mineral chemistry in the landslide area. Bacteria in the green-tuff over landslide area play important roles for sustainable agriculture including rice nutrition.

  3. Sonication Enables Effective Iron Leaching from Green Tuff at Low Temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Takashi; Okawa, Hirokazu; Kawamura, Youhei; Sugawara, Katsuyasu

    2011-07-01

    Ultrasound irradiation (28 and 200 kHz) was applied to iron leaching from green tuff into a low temperature solution (20 °C) using oxalic acid. Ultrasound irradiation increased the amount of iron leached from the green tuff and was greater than that leached by stirring. It is thought that the jet flow caused by the collapse of cavities during ultrasound irradiation prevents and strips the deposits of iron oxalate from the green tuff particles. The extraction of iron at 28 kHz displayed better performance than that at 200 kHz for three reasons. The first is that the jet flow generated by cavitation bubble collapse at 28 kHz is thought to be stronger than that at 200 kHz. The second is that the crushing action of ultrasound irradiation at 28 kHz is greater than that at 200 kHz. The third is that 200 kHz irradiation generates OH radicals, which prevents the generation of FeH(C2O4)+ and oxidizes FeH(C2O4)+ to Fe(C2O4), creating a cover layer on the surface of the stone. Thus, to leach iron from the ore, it is effective to use ultrasound irradiation at 28 kHz, which prevents the creation of radicals and breaks down the grain size.

  4. Two examples of subaqueously welded ash-flow tuffs: the Visean of southern Vosges (France) and the Upper Cretaceous of northern Anatolia (Turkey)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, Jean-Luc; Fourquin, Claude; Paicheler, Jean-Claude

    1992-02-01

    Pyroclastic deposits interpreted as subaqueous ash-flow tuff have been recognized within Archean to Recent marine and lacustrine sequences. Several authors proposed a high-temperature emplacement for some of these tuffs. However, the subaqueous welding of pyroclastic deposits remains controversial. The Visean marine volcaniclastic formations of southern Vosges (France) contain several layers of rhyolitic and rhyodacitic ash-flow tuff. These deposits include, from proximal to distal settings, breccia, lapilli and fine-ash tuff. The breccia and lapilli tuff are partly welded, as indicated by the presence of fiamme, fluidal and axiolitic structures. The lapilli tuff form idealized sections with a lower, coarse and welded unit and an upper, bedded and unwelded fine-ash tuff. Sedimentary structures suggest that the fine-ash tuff units were deposited by turbidity currents. Welded breccias, interbedded in a thick submarine volcanic complex, indicate the close proximity of the volcanic source. The lapilli and fine-ash tuff are interbedded in a thick marine sequence composed of alternating sandstones and shales. Presence of a marine stenohaline fauna and sedimentary structures attest to a marine depositional environment below storm-wave base. In northern Anatolia, thick massive sequences of rhyodacitic crystal tuff are interbedded with the Upper Cretaceous marine turbidites of the Mudurnu basin. Some of these tuffs are welded. As in southern Vosges, partial welding is attested by the presence of fiamme and fluidal structures. The latter are frequent in the fresh vitric matrix. These tuff units contain a high proportion of vitroclasis, and were emplaced by ash flows. Welded tuff units are associated with non-welded crystal tuff, and contain abundant bioclasts which indicate mixing with water during flowage. At the base, basaltic breccia beds are associated with micritic beds containing a marine fauna. The welded and non-welded tuff sequences are interbedded in an alternation

  5. Selection of Batteries and Fuel Cells for Yucca Mountain Robots

    SciT

    Upadhye, R S

    2003-12-08

    The Performance Confirmation program of the Yucca Mountain Repository Development Project needs to employ remotely operated robots to work inside the emplacement drifts which will have an environment unsuitable for humans (radiation environment of up to 200 rad/hour (mostly gamma rays, some neutrons)) and maximum temperatures of 180 C. The robots will be required to operate inside the drifts for up to 8 hours per mission. Based on available functional requirements, we have developed the following specifications for the power needed by the robots:

  6. A Remotely Sensed and Paleomagnetic Perspective on the Bonelli Tuff of NW AZ and SE CA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomez, C. D.

    2015-12-01

    The southern Black and Cerbat Mountains of NW AZ and the Sacramento Mountains of SE CA preserve ignimbrites associated with multiple episodes of volcanic activity that span at least a million years. Unraveling the stratrigraphy of these deposits, as well as their eruptive centers, is critical for constraining the volcanic history of this ignimbrite, the 18.8 Ma Peach Spring Tuff, is the recently identified 17.7 Ma Tuff of Bonelli House (TB) (Ferguson & Cook 2015) and may also occur in the southern Black and Sacramento Mountains. To help determine the extent and possible source of the TB, we have performed a combined remote sensing and paleomagnetic study of this unit, including possible correlatives. Paleomagnetic work involved Remanence and anisotropic magnetic susceptibility methods. Drill samples were collected and processed at Scripps Institute of Oceanography & Pomona College. An AC current was run to obtain the Paleomag current, as opposed to the traditional of heating up the cores at specific intervals. Sacramento Mountains samples produced an average direction of 200.9 / -26.4, which contrasts the Peach Spring Tuff paleodirection of 036.4/33 (Wells & Hillhouse, 1989). An AMS direction was determined using a MFK1 Kappabridge instrument and consistently showed similar flow direction to that of the PST. In compiling our data on a map, we took into account the Whipple Detachment Fault, ~40 km westward (Lister & Davis, 1989). We were able to identify a spectral signature and remnant paleomagnetic direction for the TB and identify potential additional outcrops in the southern Black mountains. AMS showed us that the ignimbrites originated from a source in the Silver Creek Caldera, which may indicate the PST at TB were produced from a similar source. The remnant paleomagnetic direction allows us to closely correlate these tuff units as occurring within a similar timeframe. The contrasting paleodirection of the TB and the PST allows us to confidently say that the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faybishenko, B.

    2005-12-01

    Net infiltration is a key hydrologic parameter that, throughout the unsaturated zone, controls the rate of deep percolation, the groundwater recharge, radionuclide transport, and seepage into underground tunnels. Because net infiltration is largely affected by climatic conditions, future changes in climatic conditions will potentially alter net infiltration. The objectives of this presentation are to: (1) Present a conceptual model and a semi-empirical approach for regional climatic forecasting of net infiltration, based on precipitation and temperature data from analogue meteorological stations; and (2) Demonstrate the results of forecasting net infiltration for future climates - interglacial, monsoon and glacial - over the Yucca Mountain region for a period of 500,000 years. Calculations of net infiltration were performed using a modified Budyko's water-balance model, and potential evapotranspiration was evaluated from the temperature-based Thornthwaite formula. (Both Budyko's and Thornthwaite's formulae have been used broadly in hydrological studies.) The results of these calculations were used for ranking net infiltration, along with aridity and precipitation-effectiveness (P-E) indices, for future climatic scenarios. Using this approach, we determined a general trend of increasing net infiltration from the present-day (interglacial) climate to the monsoon, intermediate (glacial transition) climate, a trend that continued into the glacial climate time frame. The ranking of aridity and P-E indices is practically the same as that for net infiltration. Validation of the computed net infiltration rates yielded a good match with other field and modeling study results related to groundwater recharge and net infiltration evaluation.

  8. Zircon-scale insights into the history of a Supervolcano, Bishop Tuff, Long Valley, California, with implications for the Ti-in-zircon geothermometer

    Reid, M.R.; Vazquez, J.A.; Schmitt, A.K.

    2011-01-01

    Zircon has the outstanding capacity to record chronological, thermal, and chemical information, including the storage history of zoned silicic magma reservoirs like the one responsible for the Bishop Tuff of eastern California, USA. Our novel ion microprobe approach reveals that Bishop zircon rims with diverse chemical characteristics surround intermediate domains with broadly similar compositions. The highest Y, REE, U, and Th concentrations tend to accompany the largest excesses in Y + REE3+:P beyond what can be explained by xenotime substitution in zircon. Apparent Ti-in-zircon temperatures of <720??C for zircon rims are distinctly lower than most of the range in eruption temperatures, as estimated from FeTi-oxide equilibria and zircon solubility at quench. While permissive of crystallization of zircon at near-solidus conditions, the low Ti-in-zircon temperatures are probably better explained by sources of inaccuracy in the temperature estimates. After apparently nucleating from different melts, zircons from across the Bishop Tuff compositional spectrum may have evolved to broadly similar chemical and thermal conditions and therefore it is possible that there was no significant thermal gradient in the magma reservoir at some stage in its evolution. There is also no compelling evidence for punctuated heat ?? chemical influxes during the intermediate stages of zircon growth. Judging by the zircon record, the main volume of the erupted magma evolved normally by secular cooling but the latest erupted portion is characterized by a reversal in chemistry that appears to indicate perfusion of the magma reservoir by-or zircon entrainment in-a less evolved melt from the one in which the zircons had previously resided. ?? 2010 Springer-Verlag.

  9. Nd, Sr, and O isotopic variations in metaluminous ash-flow tuffs and related volcanic rocks at the Timber Mountain/Oasis Valley Caldera, Complex, SW Nevada: implications for the origin and evolution of large-volume silicic magma bodies

    Farmer, G.L.; Broxton, D.E.; Warren, R.G.; Pickthorn, W.

    1991-01-01

    Nd, Sr and O isotopic data were obtained from silicic ash-flow tuffs and lavas at the Tertiary age (16-9 Ma) Timber (Mountain/Oasis Valley volcanic center (TMOV) in southern Nevada, to assess models for the origin and evolution of the large-volume silicic magma bodies generated in this region. The large-volume (>900 km3), chemically-zoned, Topopah Spring (TS) and Tiva Canyon (TC) members of the Paintbrush Tuff, and the Rainier Mesa (RM) and Ammonia Tanks (AT) members of the younger Timber Mountain Tuff all have internal Nd and Sr isotopic zonations. In each tuff, high-silica rhyolites have lower initial e{open}Nd values (???1 e{open}Nd unit), higher87Sr/86Sr, and lower Nd and Sr contents, than cocrupted trachytes. The TS, TC, and RM members have similar e{open}Nd values for high-silica rhyolites (-11.7 to -11.2) and trachytes (-10.5 to -10.7), but the younger AT member has a higher e{open}Nd for both compositional types (-10.3 and -9.4). Oxygen isotope data confirm that the TC and AT members were derived from low e{open}Nd magmas. The internal Sr and Nd isotopic variations in each tuff are interpreted to be the result of the incorporation of 20-40% (by mass) wall-rock into magmas that were injected into the upper crust. The low e{open}Nd magmas most likely formed via the incorporation of low ??18O, hydrothermally-altered, wall-rock. Small-volume rhyolite lavas and ash-flow tuffs have similar isotopic characteristics to the large-volume ash-flow tuffs, but lavas erupted from extracaldera vents may have interacted with higher ??18O crustal rocks peripheral to the main magma chamber(s). Andesitic lavas from the 13-14 Ma Wahmonie/Salyer volcanic center southeast of the TMOV have low e{open}Nd (-13.2 to -13.8) and are considered on the basis of textural evidence to be mixtures of basaltic composition magmas and large proportions (70-80%) of anatectic crustal melts. A similar process may have occurred early in the magmatic history of the TMOV. The large-volume rhyolites

  10. Radioelements and their occurrence with secondary minerals in heated and unheated tuff at the Nevada Test Site

    SciT

    Flexser, S.; Wollenberg, H.A.

    1992-06-01

    Samples of devitrified welded tuff near and away from the site of a heater test in Rainier Mesa were examined with regard to whole-rock radioelement abundances, microscopic distribution of U, and oxygen isotope ratios. Wholerock U averages between 4 and 5 ppM, and U is concentrated at higher levels secondary opaque minerals as well as in accessory grains. U in primary and secondary sites is most commonly associated with Mn phases, which average {approximately}30 ppM U in more uraniferous occurrences. This average is consistent and apparently unaffected by proximity to the heater. The Mn phases differ compositionally from Mn mineralsmore » in other NTS tuffs, usually containing abundant Fe, Ti, and sometimes Ce, and are often poorly crystalline. Oxygen isotope ratios show some depletion in {delta}{sup 18}O in tuff samples very close to the heater; this depletion is consistent with isotopic exchange between the tuff and interstitial water, but it may also reflect original heterogeneity in isotopic ratios of the tuff unrelated to the heater test. Seismic properties of several tuff samples were measured. Significant differences correlating with distance from the heater occur in P- and S-wave amplitudes; these may be due to loss of bound water. Seismic velocities are nearly constant and indicate a lack of significant microcracking. The absence of clearer signs of heater-induced U mobilization or isotopic variations may be due to the short duration of the heater test, and to insufficient definition of pre-heater-test heterogeneities in the tuff.« less

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  12. Geochronologic and paleomagnetic evidence defining the relationship between the Miocene Hiko and Racer Canyon tuffs, eccentric outflow lobes from the Caliente caldera complex, southeastern Great Basin, USA

    Gromme, S.; Deino, A.M.; Best, M.G.; Hudson, M.R.

    1997-01-01

    Outflow sheets of the Hiko tuff and the Racer Canyon tuff, which together extend over approximately 16000 km2 around the Caliente caldera complex in southeastern Nevada, have long been considered to be products of simultaneous or near-simultaneous eruptions from inset calderas in the west and east ends, respectively, of the caldera complex. New high-precision 40Ar/39Ar geochronology and paleomagnetic data demonstrate that emplacement of the uppermost part of the Racer Canyon tuff at 18.33??0.03 Ma was nearly synchronous with emplacement of the single outflow cooling unit of the much larger overlying Hiko tuff at 18.32??0.04 Ma. Based on comparison with the geomagnetic polarity time scale derived from the sea-floor spreading record, we conclude that emplacement of the first of several outflow cooling units of the Racer Canyon tuff commenced approximately 0.5 m.y. earlier. Only one paleomagnetic polarity is found in the Hiko tuff, but at least two paleomagnetic reversals have been found in the Racer Canyon tuff. The two formations overlap in only one place, at and near Panaca Summit northeast of the center of the Caliente caldera complex; here the Hiko tuff is stratigraphically above the Racer Canyon tuff. This study demonstrates the power of combining 40Ar/39Ar and paleomagnetic data in conjunction with phenocryst compositional modes to resolve problematic stratigraphic correlations in complex ash-flow sequences where use of one method alone might not eliminate ambiguities.

  13. Hammering Yucca Flat, Part One: P-Wave Velocity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, D. G.; Abbott, R. E.; Preston, L. A.; Hampshire, J. B., II

    2015-12-01

    Explosion-source phenomenology is best studied when competing signals (such as instrument, site, and propagation effects), are well understood. The second phase of the Source Physics Experiments (SPE), is moving from granite geology to alluvium geology at Yucca Flat, Nevada National Security Site. To improve subsurface characterization of Yucca Flat (and therefore better understand propagation and site effects), an active-source seismic survey was conducted using a novel 13,000-kg impulsive hammer source. The source points, spaced 200 m apart, covered a N-S transect spanning 18 km. Three component, 2-Hz geophones were used to record useable signals out to 10 km. We inverted for P-wave velocity by computing travel times using a finite-difference 3D eikonal solver, and then compared that to the picked travel times using a linearized iterative inversion scheme. Preliminary results from traditional reflection processing methods are also presented. Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.

  14. Reconnaissance geochronology of tuffs in the Miocene Barstow Formation: implications for basin evolution and tectonics in the central Mojave Desert

    Miller, David M.; Leslie, Shannon R.; Hillhouse, John W.; Wooden, Joseph L.; Vazquez, Jorge A.; Reynolds, R.E.

    2010-01-01

    Early to middle Miocene lacustrine strata of the Barstow Formation are well dated in just a few places, limiting our ability to infer basin evolution and regional tectonics. At the type section in the Mud Hills, previous studies have shown that the lacustrine interval of the Barstow Formation is between ~16.3 Ma and ~13.4 Ma. Elsewhere, lake beds of the Barstow Formation have yielded vertebrate fossils showing the Hemingfordian/Barstovian transition at ~16 Ma but are otherwise poorly dated. In an attempt to clarify the age and depositional environments of the lake deposits, we are mapping the Barstow Formation and dating zircons from interbedded tuffs, as well as testing ash-flow tuffs for the distinctive remanent magnetization direction of the widespread Peach Spring Tuff. Thus far, our new U-Pb zircon ages indicate that the Barstow lake beds contain tuff beds as old as 19.1 Ma and as young as 15.3 Ma. At Harvard Hill, Barstow lake beds contain a thick tuff dated at 18.7 Ma. On the basis of zircon ages, mineralogy, zircon chemistry, and paleomagnetic results, we consider the thick tuff to be a lacustrine facies of the Peach Spring Tuff. We have identified the Peach Spring Tuff by similar methods at eight localities over a broad area, providing a timeline for several fluvial and lacustrine sections. The new dates indicate that long-lived lacustrine systems originated before 19 Ma and persisted to at least 15 Ma. The onset of lacustrine conditions predates the Peach Spring Tuff in most Barstow Formation sections and may be older than 19.5 Ma in some places. The new data indicate that the central Mojave Desert contained narrow to broad lake basins during and after extension, and that Barstow lacustrine deposits did not exclusively postdate extensional tectonics. At present, it is unclear whether several separate, small lake basins coexisted during the early to middle Miocene, or if instead several small early Miocene basins gradually coalesced over about 6 million

  15. Reconnaissance geochronology of tuffs in the Miocene Barstow Formation: implications for basin evolution and tectonics in the central Mojave Desert

    Miller, D.M.; Leslie, S.R.; Hillhouse, J.W.; Wooden, J.L.; Vazquez, J.A.; Reynolds, R.E.

    2010-01-01

    Early to middle Miocene lacustrine strata of the Barstow Formation are well dated in just a few places, limiting our ability to infer basin evolution and regional tectonics. At the type section in the Mud Hills, previous studies have shown that the lacustrine interval of the Barstow Formation is between ~16.3 Ma and ~13.4 Ma. Elsewhere, lake beds of the Barstow Formation have yielded vertebrate fossils showing the Hemingfordian/Bartovian transition at ~16 Ma but are otherwise poorly dated. In an attempt to clarify the age and depositional environments of the lake deposits, we are mapping the Barstow Formation and dating zircons from interbedded tuffs, as well as testing ash-flow tuffs for the distinctive remanent magnetization direction of the widespread Peach Spring Tuff. Thus far, our new U-Pb zircon ages inficate that the Barstow lake beds contain tuff beds as old as 19.1 Ma and as young as 15.3 Ma. At Harvard Hill, Barstow lake beds contain a thick tuff dated at 18.7 Ma. On the basis of zircon ages, mineralogy, zircon chemistry, and paleomagnetic results, we consider the thick tuff to be a lacustrine facies of the Peach Spring Tuff. We have identified the Peach Spring Tuff by similar methods at eight localities over a broad area, providing a timeline for several fluvial and lacustrine sections. The new dates indicate that long-lived lacustrine systems originated before 19 Ma and persisted to at least 15 Ma. The onset of lacustrine conditions predates the Peach Spring Tuff in most Barstow Formation sections and may be older than 19.5 Ma in some places. The new data indicate that the central Mojave Desert contained narrow to broad lake basins during and after extension, and that Barstow lacustrine deposits did not exclusively postdate extensional tectonics. At present, it is unclear whether several separate, small lake basins coexisted during the early to middle Miocene, or if instead several small early Miocene basins gradually coalesced over about 6 millions

  16. Brittle deformation and slope failure at the North Menan Butte tuff cone, Eastern Snake River Plain, Idaho

    Okubo, Chris H.

    2014-01-01

    The manifestation of brittle deformation within inactive slumps along the North Menan Butte, a basaltic tuff cone in the Eastern Snake River Plain, is investigated through field and laboratory studies. Microstructural observations indicate that brittle strain is localized along deformation bands, a class of structural discontinuity that is predominant within moderate to high-porosity, clastic sedimentary rocks. Various subtypes of deformation bands are recognized in the study area based on the sense of strain they accommodate. These include dilation bands (no shear displacement), dilational shear bands, compactional shear bands and simple shear bands (no volume change). Measurements of the host rock permeability between the deformation bands indicate that the amount of brittle strain distributed throughout this part of the rock is negligible, and thus deformation bands are the primary means by which brittle strain is manifest within this tuff. Structural discontinuities that are similar in appearance to deformation bands are observed in other basaltic tuffs. Therefore deformation bands may represent a common structural feature of basaltic tuffs that have been widely misclassified as fractures. Slumping and collapse along the flanks of active volcanoes strongly influence their eruptive behavior and structural evolution. Therefore characterizing the process of deformation band and fault growth within basaltic tuff is key to achieving a more complete understanding of the evolution of basaltic volcanoes and their associated hazards.

  17. Zone lines

    Kevin T. Smith

    2001-01-01

    Zone lines are narrow, usually dark markings formed in decaying wood. Zone lines are found most frequently in advanced white rot of hardwoods, although they occasionally are associated both with brown rot and with softwoods.

  18. Diatreme evolution during the phreatomagmatic eruption of the Songaksan tuff ring, Jeju Island, Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Go, S. Y.; Kim, G. B.; Jeong, J. O.; Sohn, Y. K.

    2017-03-01

    The Songaksan tuff ring, Jeju Island, Korea, which erupted ca. 3.7 ka BP in a coastal setting, provides an unusual opportunity to study the processes of phreatomagmatic eruption and the formation of a diatreme because of the exceptionally well-preserved ejecta beds and well-known subsurface geology. The tuff sequence can be divided into four units (A to D), which have distinctly different accidental componentry (quartz-rich vs. quartz-poor), grain surface features (abraded and ash-coated vs. unabraded and uncoated), and chemical compositions of juvenile particles. The basal tephra bed of unit A, which probably erupted after the removal of the relatively hard shallow-level (<120 m deep) substrate by initial cratering, comprises only unabraded and uncoated grains and contains abundant relatively deep-derived (>120 m deep) accidental grains, suggesting that the early erupted tephra had not yet experienced recycling and pre-eruption mixing in the diatreme. On the other hand, the overlying tephra beds of units A, B, and D contain an abundance of abraded and ash-coated juvenile/accidental grains, suggesting that the tephra comprised significant proportions of "recycled" or "premixed" materials from previous eruptions or subsurface explosions, which participated in the explosion-driven mixing in the diatreme before eventual ejection from the diatreme. Unit C is unusual in that it comprises extremely rare accidental grains and ash-coated juvenile/accidental grains. We interpret that the supply of solid materials, either accidental or juvenile, to the diatreme was greatly reduced because of temporary stabilization of the diatreme and the reduction in magma flux to the diatreme. The diatreme is therefore envisaged to have been filled with a water-saturated slurry, in which particle abrasion and adhesion were inhibited. We also infer that the diatreme fill was temporarily removed by a powerful explosion before eruption of unit C on the basis of the near absence of the tephra

  19. Hydrothermal Rock-Fluid Interactions in 15-year-old Submarine Basaltic Tuff at Surtsey Volcano, Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, M. D.; Couper, S.; Li, Y.; Stan, C. V.; Tamura, N.; Stefansson, A.; Moore, J. G.; Wenk, H. R.

    2016-12-01

    Basaltic tephra at Surtsey volcano, produced by 1963-1967 eruptions in the offshore SE Icelandic rift zone, record the complex interplay of factors that determine rates of palagonitization and crystallization of authigenic minerals in seafloor basalts worldwide. We investigate how formation of nanocrystalline clay mineral in fresh sideromelane glass influenced crystallization of mineral cements in submarine tuff from a 181 m core drilled in 1979. Synchrotron-based microdiffraction and microfluorescence maps (2x5 µm X-ray beam spot size) at beamline 12.3.2, Advanced Light Source, SEM-EDS compositional analyses, and fluid geochemical models compare processes in lapilli-sized glass fragments, vitric cementing matrix, and fine ash accretions. In lapilli at 137.9 m (100°C), nanocrystalline clay mineral in gel-palagonite has asymetric 14.9-12.6 Å (001) reflections, with Fe and Ti enrichment relative to Si, Al and Ca, compared with adjacent sideromelane. Neighboring fibro-palagonite has symmetric (001) and greater Fe and Ti enrichment. Al-tobermorite, a rare calcium-silicate-hydrate, crystallized in nearby vesicles. The 11.30-11.49 Å (002) interlayer and Ca/(Si+Al) ratio of 0.9-1.0 record release of Si, Al, and Ca in a chemical system relatively isolated from submarine hydrothermal fluid flow. In vitric matrix relatively open to fluid flow, however, phillipsite zeolite cement predominates. Al-tobermorite formed at 88.45 m (130°C) and 102.6 m (140°C), but is associated with fibro-palagonite and analcite, reflecting more rapid palagonitization, and changing cation solubility and pH at higher temperature. Tubular palagonite microstructures show nanocrystalline clay mineral with (001) preferred orientations that wrap around relict microchannels, produced perhaps through biogenic activity. Nanocrystalline clay mineral d-spacings suggest similarities with nontronite, but zeolite in palagonite diffraction patterns and 6-9 wt% MgO suggest a polycrystalline composite with

  20. Graphite in the Bishop Tuff and its effect on postcaldera oxygen fugacity

    Hildreth, Edward; Ryan-Davis, Juliet; Harlow, Benjamin

    2017-01-01

    Several cubic kilometers of Paleozoic graphite-bearing argillitic country rocks are present as lithic fragments in Bishop Tuff ignimbrite and fallout. The lithics were entrained by the 650 km3 of rhyolite magma that vented during the 5- to 6-day-long, caldera-forming eruption at Long Valley, California. The caldera is floored by a 350 km2 roof plate that collapsed during the eruption and consists in large part of the Paleozoic strata that provided the abundant hornfelsed metapelitic lithic clasts in the tuff. Graphite has been identified by Raman spectroscopy, electron-dispersive spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction as an irregularly dispersed component in the small fraction of Bishop Tuff pumice that is dark-colored. Carbon concentration has been determined in pumice, lithics, and wall rocks. Values of δ13C range from –21‰ to –29‰ Vienna Peedee Belemnite (VPDB) for pumice, lithics, and argillitic wall rocks, reflecting the biogenic origin of the reduced carbon in oxygen-limited black Paleozoic marine mudrocks. Carbonate contents, measured separately, are negligible in fresh pumice and lithics. Microprobe analyses of titanomagnetite-ilmenite pairs show that oxygen-fugacity values of numerous batches of postcaldera Early Rhyolite (750–640 ka; ~100 km3) are up to one log unit more reduced than those of the temperature–oxygen fugacity (T-fO2) array of the Bishop Tuff (767 ka), despite similar major-element compositions and Fe-Ti–oxide temperature ranges. All of the many batches of Early Rhyolite, which erupted episodically over an interval of ~125,000 years, yield the reduced fO2 values, indicating that reaction with graphite lowered magmatic fO2 after the caldera-forming eruption but before the first eruption of Early Rhyolite. It is inferred that reaction of postcaldera rhyolite magma with the reduced carbon in a great mass of subsided roof rocks lowered its fO2. It is suggested that comparable effects could have attended caldera collapse of other

  1. Paleomagnetism and Lithostratigraphy of the Miocene Tuff of Huntoon Creek Type Section

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, S.; Pluhar, C. J.; Lindeman, J. R.

    2014-12-01

    Here we define the Tuff of Huntoon Creek (THC), previously identified and mapped in Mono Basin, CA by Gilbert et al. (1968) as "latite ignimbrite" (K-Ar date of 11.1-11.9 Ma). Formally defining this formation and its paleomagnetic characteristics, can help reveal the spatial and temporal relationships of the Walker Lane and Mina Deflection structural features, including distribution of vertical axis rotation. THC is composed of four tuffs with an intercalated volcaniclastic sandstone giving a total stratigraphic thickness of ~300 m. We define THC in a gorge of Huntoon Creek, where the stratigraphic section is capped by Pliocene basalt. The lowest and most extensive stratigraphic unit, the Huntoon Valley member of THC, is ~243 m thick and can be distinguished from other units by the presence of sanidine and biotite phenocrysts and normal polarity. A 7-meter-thick volcaniclastic sandstone overlies the Huntoon Valley member, straddling a magnetic polarity reversal within the section. The 3 overlying members of THC are reversed-polarity, biotite-bearing, sanidine-free tuffs of variable degrees of welding. Their paleomagnetic directions are each statistically distinguishable from the others, indicating that the deposition of each tuff is separated by a significant amount of time and can be used as a geologically instantaneous measure of Earth's magnetic field for purposes of averaging out secular variation. The capping Pliocene olivine basalt was emplaced over an erosional unconformity of significant relief, as evidenced by the complete absence at some locations of the uppermost biotite-bearing THC member. The tilt corrected mean paleomagnetic direction for the 4 members of THC indicate a clockwise rotation magnitude of 77.5°±40.3°. The absolute rotation results of this locality are statistically indistinguishable from the relative rotation results of this locality compared to Cowtrack Mountain (Lindeman et al. 2013). The corroboration of these data suggests that

  2. Experimental Analyses of Yellow Tuff Spandrels of Post-medieval Buildings in the Naples Area

    SciT

    Calderoni, B.; Cordasco, E. A.; Lenza, P.

    2008-07-08

    Experimental analyses have been carried out on tuff masonry specimens in order to investigate the structural behaviour of historical buildings in the Naples area (Southern Italy). Spandrels of post-medieval buildings (late XVI to early XX century) have been analysed, with emphasis on morphological characteristics according to chronological indicators. Results of the experimentation on scaled models (1:10) are discussed and the better behaviour of historical masonry typologies on respect to the modern one is highlighted. Comparison with theoretical formulations of ultimate shear resistance are provided too.

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

    SciT

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

    1995-12-31

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

  4. Word images as policy instruments: Lessons from the Yucca Mountain Controversey

    SciT

    Conary, J.S.; Soden, D.L.; Carns, D.E.

    A study is described which explores word images which have developed about nuclear issues by Nevadans. The study is based on results of a survey conducted regarding issues related to the Yucca Mountain repository.

  5. Surface-Wave Tomography of Yucca Flat, Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toney, L. D.; Abbott, R. E.; Knox, H. A.; Preston, L. A.; Hoots, C. R.

    2016-12-01

    In 2015, Sandia National Laboratories conducted an active-source seismic survey of Yucca Flat, Nevada, on the Nevada National Security Site. The Yucca Flat basin hosted over 900 nuclear tests between 1951 and 1992. Data from this survey will help characterize seismic propagation effects of the area, informing models for the next phase of the Source Physics Experiments. The survey source was a 13,000-kg weight-drop at 91 locations along a 19-km N-S transect and 56 locations along an 11-km E-W transect. Over 350 three-component 2-Hz geophones were variably spaced at 10, 20, and 100 m along each line. We employed roll-along survey geometry to ensure 10-m receiver spacing within 2 km of the source. Phase velocity surface-wave analysis via the refraction-microtremor (ReMi) method was previously performed on this data in order to obtain an S-wave velocity model of the subsurface. However, the results of this approach were significantly impacted in areas where ray paths were proximate to underground nuclear tests, resulting in a spatially incomplete model. We have processed the same data utilizing group velocities and the multiple filter technique (MFT), with the hope that the propagation of wave groups is less impacted by the disrupted media surrounding former tests. We created a set of 30 Gaussian band-pass filters with scaled relative passbands and central frequencies ranging from 1 to 50 Hz. We picked fundamental Rayleigh wave arrivals from the filtered data; these picks were then inverted for 2D S-wave velocity along the transects. The new S-wave velocity model will be integrated with previous P-wave tomographic results to yield a more complete model of the subsurface structure of Yucca Flat. Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.

  6. Completion Report for Well ER-2-2 Corrective Action Unit 97: Yucca Flat/Climax Mine, Revision 1

    SciT

    Wurtz, Jeffrey

    Well ER-2-2 was drilled for the U.S. Department of Energy, Nevada National Security Administration Nevada Field Office in support of the Underground Test Area (UGTA) Activity. The well was drilled from January 17 to February 8, 2016, as part of the Corrective Action Investigation Plan (CAIP) for Corrective Action Unit 97: Yucca Flat/Climax Mine, Nevada Test Site, Nevada. The primary purpose of the well was to collect hydrogeologic data to evaluate uncertainty in the flow and transport conceptual model and its contamination boundary forecasts, and to detect radionuclides in groundwater from the CALABASH (U2av) underground test. Well ER-2-2 was notmore » completed as planned due to borehole stability problems. As completed, the well includes a piezometer (p1) to 582 meters (m) (1,909 feet [ft]) below ground surface (bgs) installed in the Timber Mountain lower vitric-tuff aquifer (TMLVTA) and a 12.25-inch (in.) diameter open borehole to 836 m (2,743 ft) bgs in the Lower tuff confining unit (LTCU). A 13.375-in. diameter carbon-steel casing is installed from the surface to a depth of 607 m (1,990 ft) bgs. Data collected during borehole construction include composite drill cutting samples collected every 3.0 m (10 ft), geophysical logs to a depth of 672.4 m (2,206 ft) bgs, water-quality measurements (including tritium), water-level measurements, and slug test data. The well penetrated 384.05 m (1,260 ft) of Quaternary alluvium, 541.93 m (1,778 ft) of Tertiary Volcanics (Tv) rocks, and 127.71 m (419 ft) of Paleozoic carbonates. The stratigraphy and lithology were generally as expected. However, several of the stratigraphic units were significantly thicker then predicted—principally, the Tunnel formation (Tn), which had been predicted to be 30 m (100 ft) thick; the actual thickness of this unit was 268.22 m (880 ft). Fluid depths were measured in the borehole during drilling as follows: (1) in the piezometer (p1) at 552.15 m (1,811.53 ft) bgs and (2) in the main casing

  7. The distribution and mobility of uranium in glassy and zeolitized tuff, Keg Mountain area, Utah, U.S.A.

    Zielinski, R.A.; Lindsey, D.A.; Rosholt, J.N.

    1980-01-01

    The distribution and mobility of uranium in a diagenetically altered, 8 Ma old tuff in the Keg Mountain area, Utah, are modelled in this study. The modelling represents an improvement over similar earlier studies in that it: (1) considers a large number of samples (76) collected with good geologic control and exhibiting a wide range of alteration; (2) includes radiometric data for Th, K and RaeU (radium equivalent uranium) as well as U; (3) considers mineralogic and trace-element data for the same samples; and (4) analyzes the mineral and chemical covariation by multivariate statistical methods. The variation of U in the tuff is controlled mainly by its primary abundance in glass and by the relative abundance of non-uraniferous detritus and uraniferous accessory minerals. Alteration of glass to zeolite, even though extensive, caused no large or systematic change in the bulk concentration of U in the tuff. Some redistribution of U during diagenesis is indicated by association of U with minor alteration products such as opal and hydrous Fe-Mn oxide minerals. Isotopic studies indicate that the zeolitized tuff has been open to migration of U decay products during the last 0.8 Ma. The tuff of Keg Mountain has not lost a statistically detectable fraction of its original U, even though it has a high (??? 9 ppm) trace U content and has been extensively altered to zeolite. Similar studies in a variety of geological environments are required in order to identify the particular combination of conditions most favorable for liberation and migration of U from tuffs. ?? 1980.

  8. Gas exchange and leaf anatomy of a C3-CAM hybrid, Yucca gloriosa (Asparagaceae).

    PubMed

    Heyduk, Karolina; Burrell, Nia; Lalani, Falak; Leebens-Mack, Jim

    2016-03-01

    While the majority of plants use the typical C3 carbon metabolic pathway, ~6% of angiosperms have adapted to carbon limitation as a result of water stress by employing a modified form of photosynthesis known as Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM). CAM plants concentrate carbon in the cells by temporally separating atmospheric carbon acquisition from fixation into carbohydrates. CAM has been studied for decades, but the evolutionary progression from C3 to CAM remains obscure. In order to better understand the morphological and physiological characteristics associated with CAM photosynthesis, phenotypic variation was assessed in Yucca aloifolia, a CAM species, Yucca filamentosa, a C3 species, and Yucca gloriosa, a hybrid species derived from these two yuccas exhibiting intermediate C3-CAM characteristics. Gas exchange, titratable leaf acidity, and leaf anatomical traits of all three species were assayed in a common garden under well-watered and drought-stressed conditions. Yucca gloriosa showed intermediate phenotypes for nearly all traits measured, including the ability to acquire carbon at night. Using the variation found among individuals of all three species, correlations between traits were assessed to better understand how leaf anatomy and CAM physiology are related. Yucca gloriosa may be constrained by a number of traits which prevent it from using CAM to as high a degree as Y. aloifolia. The intermediate nature of Y. gloriosa makes it a promising system in which to study the evolution of CAM. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  9. TOPOGRAPHY, STRESSES, AND STABILITY AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA.

    Wolfs, Henri; Savage, William Z.

    1985-01-01

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

  10. Aeromagnetic Expression of Buried Basaltic Volcanoes Near Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    O'Leary, Dennis W.; Mankinen, E.A.; Blakely, R.J.; Langenheim, V.E.; Ponce, D.A.

    2002-01-01

    A high-resolution aeromagnetic survey has defined a number of small dipolar anomalies indicating the presence of magnetic bodies buried beneath the surface of Crater Flat and the Amargosa Desert. Results of potential-field modeling indicate that isolated, small-volume, highly magnetic bodies embedded within the alluvial deposits of both areas produce the anomalies. Their physical characteristics and the fact that they tend to be aligned along major structural trends provide strong support for the hypothesis that the anomalies reflect buried basaltic volcanic centers. Other, similar anomalies are identified as possible targets for further investigation. High-resolution gravity and ground-magnetic surveys, perhaps along with drilling sources of selected anomalies and radiometric age determinations, can provide valuable constraints in estimating potential volcanic hazard to the potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.

  11. Passive Seismic Monitoring for Rockfall at Yucca Mountain: Concept Tests

    SciT

    Cheng, J; Twilley, K; Murvosh, H

    2003-03-03

    For the purpose of proof-testing a system intended to remotely monitor rockfall inside a potential radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, a system of seismic sub-arrays will be deployed and tested on the surface of the mountain. The goal is to identify and locate rockfall events remotely using automated data collecting and processing techniques. We install seismometers on the ground surface, generate seismic energy to simulate rockfall in underground space beneath the array, and interpret the surface response to discriminate and locate the event. Data will be analyzed using matched-field processing, a generalized beam forming method for localizing discrete signals.more » Software is being developed to facilitate the processing. To date, a three-component sub-array has been installed and successfully tested.« less

  12. Dialogs on the Yucca Mountain controversy. Special report No. 5

    SciT

    Archambeau, C.B.; Szymanski, J.S.

    1993-03-01

    The recent, 1992, report prepared by the Panel on Coupled Hydrologic/Tectonic/Hydrothermal Systems at Yucca Mountain for the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, entitled Ground Water at Yucca Mountain: How High Can It Rise? has generated critical reviews by Somerville et al. (1992) and by Archambeau (1992). These reviews were submitted as reports to the Nuclear Waste Project Office, State of Nevada by Technology and Resource Assessment Corporation under Contract No. 92/94.0004. A copy of the review report by C. B. Archambeau was also sent to Dr. Frank Press, President of the National Academy of Sciences, alongmore » with a cover letter from Dr. Archambeau expressing his concerns with the NRC report and his suggestion that the Academy President consider a re-evaluation of the issues covered by the NRC report. Dr. Press responded in a letter to Dr. Archambeau in February of this year which stated that, based on his staff recommendations and a review report by Dr. J. F. Evernden of the United States Geological Survey, he declined to initiate any further investigations and that, in his view, the NRC report was a valid scientific evaluation which was corroborated by Evernden`s report. He also enclosed, with his letter, a copy of the report he received from his staff. In March of this year Dr. Archambeau replied to the letter and NRC staff report sent by Dr. Press with a detailed point-by-point rebuttal of the NRC staff report to Press. Also, in March, a critical review of Dr. Evernden`s report by M. Somerville was submitted to the Nuclear Waste Project Office of the State of Nevada and this report, along with the earlier review of the NRC report by Somerville et al., was included as attachments to the letter sent to Dr. Press.« less

  13. Basaltic Dike Propagation at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaffney, E. S.; Damjanac, B.; Warpinski, N. R.

    2004-12-01

    We describe simulations of the propagation of basaltic dikes using a 2-dimensional, incompressible hydrofracture code including the effects of the free surface with specific application to potential interactions of rising magma with a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. As the leading edge of the dike approaches the free surface, confinement at the crack tip is reduced and the tip accelerates relative to the magma front. In the absence of either excess confining stress or excess gas pressure in the tip cavity, this leads to an increase of crack-tip velocity by more than an order of magnitude. By casting the results in nondimensional form, they can be applied to a wide variety of intrusive situations. When applied to an alkali basalt intrusion at the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, the results provide for a description of the subsurface phenomena. For magma rising at 1 m/s and dikes wider than about 0.5 m, the tip of the fissure would already have breached the surface by the time magma arrived at the nominal 300-m repository depth. An approximation of the effect of magma expansion on dike propagation is used to show that removing the restriction of an incompressible magma would result in even greater crack-tip acceleration as the dike approached the surface. A second analysis with a distinct element code indicates that a dike could penetrate the repository even during the first 2000 years after closure during which time heating from radioactive decay of waste would raise the minimum horizontal compressive stress above the vertical stress for about 80 m above and below the repository horizon. Rather than sill formation, the analysis indicates that increased pressure and dike width below the repository cause the crack tip to penetrate the horizon, but much more slowly than under in situ stress conditions. The analysis did not address the effects of either anisotropic joints or heat loss on this result.

  14. Eruption and emplacement of a laterally extensive, crystal-rich, and pumice-free ignimbrite (the Cretaceous Kusandong Tuff, Korea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sohn, Y. K.; Son, M.; Jeong, J. O.; Jeon, Y. M.

    2009-10-01

    The Cretaceous Kusandong Tuff, Korea, is a thin (1-5 m thick) but laterally extensive (~ 200 km) silicic ignimbrite emplaced in a fluviolacustrine basin adjacent to a continental volcanic arc. The tuff has been used as an excellent key bed because of its great lateral continuity and unique lithology, characterized by the virtual absence of juvenile clasts and an abundance of quartz and feldspar crystals (up to 55-73 vol.%). The tuff is mostly massive and ungraded and locally shows crude internal layering, basal inverse grading and near-top normal grading of crystals, either erosional or non-erosional lower surfaces, and flat-lying to imbricated grain fabrics. Fragile intraformational clasts of mudstone and tuff are also included. These features provide only ambiguous information on the properties of the responsible pyroclastic density currents: i.e. whether they were dense and laminar or dilute and turbulent. The overall lateral continuity and sheet-like geometry of the tuff suggests, however, that the transport system of the currents was highly expanded, dilute, and turbulent. A plug-flow or slab-flow model cannot explain the origin of crude internal layering, imbricated grain fabrics, and the high crystal content, which is most likely the result of vigorous sorting processes within a dilute and turbulent current. Features indicative of deposition from a dense and laminar transporting medium are locally present, suggesting that a dense and laminar depositional system could develop locally at the base of the dilute and turbulent transport system. The virtual absence of juvenile clasts in the tuff is interpreted to be due to rapid ascent, sudden decompression, and full fragmentation of silicic magma into fine glass shards and crystals. Scarcity of basement-derived accidental components together with the absence of pumiceous fallout deposits beneath the tuff is interpreted to be due to shallow-level fragmentation of magma followed by immediate generation of

  15. In-Situ Tuff Water Migration/Heater Experiment: posttest thermal analysis

    SciT

    Eaton, R.R.; Johnstone, J.K.; Nunziato, J.W.

    This report describes posttest laboratory experiments and thermal computations for the In-Situ Tuff Water Migration/Heater Experiment that was conducted in Grouse Canyon Welded Tuff in G-Tunnel, Nevada Test Site. Posttest laboratory experiments were designed to determine the accuracy of the temperatures measured by the rockwall thermocouples during the in-situ test. The posttest laboratory experiments showed that the measured in-situ rockwall temperatures were 10 to 20{sup 0}C higher than the true rockwall temperatures. The posttest computational results, obtained with the thermal conduction code COYOTE, were compared with the experimentally obtained data and with calculated pretest results. Daily heater output power fluctuationsmore » (+-4%) caused by input power line variations and the sensitivity of temperature to heater output power required care in selecting the average heater output power values used in the code. The posttest calculated results compare reasonably well with the experimental data. 10 references, 14 figures, 5 tables.« less

  16. Wireline-rotary air coring of the Bandelier Tuff, Los Alamos, New Mexico

    Teasdale, W.E.; Pemberton, R.R.

    1984-01-01

    This paper describes experiments using wireline-rotary air-coring techniques conducted in the Bandelier Tuff using a modified standard wireline core-barrel system. The modified equipment was used to collect uncontaminated cores of unconsolidated ash and indurated tuff at Los Alamos, New Mexico. Core recovery obtained from the 210-foot deep test hole was about 92 percent. A standard HQ-size, triple-tube wireline core barrel (designed for the passage of liquid drilling fluids) was modified for air coring as follows: (1) Air passages were milled in the latch body part of the head assembly; (2) the inside dimension of the outer core barrel tube was machined and honed to provide greater clearance between the inner and outer barrels; (3) oversized reaming devices were added to the outer core barrel and the coring bit to allow more clearance for air and cuttings return; (4) the eight discharge ports in the coring bit were enlarged. To control airborne-dust pollution, a dust-and-cuttings discharge subassembly, designed and built by project personnel, was used. (USGS)

  17. Slope stability and rockfall assessment of volcanic tuffs using RPAS with 2-D FEM slope modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Török, Ákos; Barsi, Árpád; Bögöly, Gyula; Lovas, Tamás; Somogyi, Árpád; Görög, Péter

    2018-02-01

    Steep, hardly accessible cliffs of rhyolite tuff in NE Hungary are prone to rockfalls, endangering visitors of a castle. Remote sensing techniques were employed to obtain data on terrain morphology and to provide slope geometry for assessing the stability of these rock walls. A RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft System) was used to collect images which were processed by Pix4D mapper (structure from motion technology) to generate a point cloud and mesh. The georeferencing was made by Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) with the use of seven ground control points. The obtained digital surface model (DSM) was processed (vegetation removal) and the derived digital terrain model (DTM) allowed cross sections to be drawn and a joint system to be detected. Joint and discontinuity system was also verified by field measurements. On-site tests as well as laboratory tests provided additional engineering geological data for slope modelling. Stability of cliffs was assessed by 2-D FEM (finite element method). Global analyses of cross sections show that weak intercalating tuff layers may serve as potential slip surfaces. However, at present the greatest hazard is related to planar failure along ENE-WSW joints and to wedge failure. The paper demonstrates that RPAS is a rapid and useful tool for generating a reliable terrain model of hardly accessible cliff faces. It also emphasizes the efficiency of RPAS in rockfall hazard assessment in comparison with other remote sensing techniques such as terrestrial laser scanning (TLS).

  18. Preliminary development of the LBL/USGS three-dimensional site-scale model of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    1995-01-01

    A three-dimensional model of moisture flow within the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain is being developed at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL) in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). This site-scale model covers and area of about 34 km2 and is bounded by major faults to the north, east and west. The model geometry is defined (1) to represent the variations of hydrogeological units between the ground surface and the water table; (2) to be able to reproduce the effect of abrupt changes in hydrogeological parameters at the boundaries between hyrdogeological units; and (3) to include the influence of major faults. A detailed numerical grid has been developed based on the locations of boreholes, different infiltration zones, hydrogeological units and their outcrops, major faults, and water level data. Contour maps and isopatch maps are presented defining different types of infiltration zones, and the spatial distribution of Tiva Canyon, Paintbrush, and Topopah Spring hydrogeological units. The grid geometry consists of seventeen non-uniform layers which represent the lithological variations within the four main welded and non-welded hydrogeological units. Matrix flow is approximated using the van Genuchten model, and the equivalent continuum approximation is used to account for fracture flow in the welded units. The fault zones are explicitly modeled as porous medium using various assumptions regarding their permeabilities and characteristic curves. One-, two-, and three-dimensional simulations are conducted using the TOUGH2 computer program. Steady-state simulations are performed with various uniform and non-uniform infiltration rates. The results are interpreted in terms of the effect of fault characteristics on the moisture flow distribution, and on location and formation of preferential pathways.

  19. Water-level data from wells and test holes through 1991 and potentiometric contours as of 1991 for Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada

    SciT

    Hale, G.S.; Trudeau, D.A.; Savard, C.S.

    The underground nuclear testing program of the US Department of Energy (USDOE) takes place at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), about 65 mi north-west of Las Vegas, Nevada. Underground nuclear tests at Yucca Flat, one of the USDOE test areas at NTS, have affected hydrologic conditions, including groundwater levels. The purpose of this map report, prepared in cooperation with USDOE, is to present selected water-level data collected from wells and test holes through December 1991, and to show potentiometric contours representing 1991 water-table conditions in the Yucca Flat area. The more generic term, potentiometric contours, is used herein rather thanmore » ``water-table contours`` because the hydrologic units contributing water to wells and test holes may not accurately represent the water table. The water table is that surface in an unconfined water body at which the pressure is atmospheric. It is defined by the altitude at which non- perched ground water is first found in wells and test holes. Perched ground water is defined as unconfined ground water separated from an underlying body of ground water by an unsaturated zone. This map report updates information on water levels in some wells and test holes and the resulting water-table contours in rocks of Cenozoic and Paleozoic age shown by Doty and Thordarson for 1980 conditions.« less

  20. The influence of water on the strength of Neapolitan Yellow Tuff, the most widely used building stone in Naples (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  1. Structure, stratigraphy, and eruption dynamics of a young tuff ring: Hanauma Bay, O'ahu, Hawai'i

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rottas, K. M.; Houghton, B. F.

    2012-09-01

    The Hanauma Bay-Koko Head complex is one of several young volcanic landforms along the Koko fissure, in southeastern O'ahu. The Hanauma Bay region of the complex comprises two nested tuff rings, inner and outer Hanauma Bay, and multiple smaller vents. The internal structure of the inner tuff ring, well exposed due to subsequent breaching by the ocean and wave erosion, indicates that it formed during a minimum of five distinct phases of deposition that produced five mappable units. Significant inward collapses generated major unconformities that separate the units exposed in the inner wall. The planes of failure are cut by narrow steep-walled, locally overhung channels and gullies, suggesting that the collapse events were each followed by short time breaks during which the deposits were eroded by rainfall runoff. Within each pyroclastic unit, there are many local slump scars and unconformities, suggesting that minor instability of the inner wall was a near-constant feature. From bedding sags and surge bed forms, it is apparent that the vent shifted at least twice during tuff ring growth. Ballistic blocks in the youngest unit indicate that the eruption overlapped in time with a separate eruption to the north, most likely to be that of the Kahauloa tuff ring 880 m away.

  2. Neogene Fallout Tuffs from the Yellowstone Hotspot in the Columbia Plateau Region, Oregon, Washington and Idaho, USA

    PubMed Central

    Nash, Barbara P.; Perkins, Michael E.

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:23071494

  3. Stratigraphy, correlation, depositional setting, and geophysical characteristics of the Oligocene Snowshoe Mountain Tuff and Creede Formation in two cored boreholes

    Larsen, Daniel; Nelson, Philip H.

    2000-01-01

    Core descriptions and geophysical logs from two boreholes (CCM-1 and CCM-2) in the Oligocene Snowshoe Mountain Tuff and Creede Formation, south-central Colorado, are used to interpret sedimentary and volcanic facies associations and their physical properties. The seven facies association include a mixed sequence of intracaldera ash-flow tuffs and breccias, alluvial and lake margin deposits, and tuffaceous lake beds. These deposits represent volcanic units related to caldera collapse and emplacement of the Snowshoe Mountain Tuff, and sediments and pyroclastic material deposited in the newly formed caldera basin, Early sedimentation is interpreted to have been rapid, and to have occurred in volcaniclastic fan environments at CCM-1 and in a variery of volcaniclastic fan, braided stream shallow lacustrine, and mudflat environments at CCM-2. After an initial period of lake-level rise, suspension settling, turbidite, and debris-flow sedimentation occurred in lacustrine slope and basin environments below wave base. Carbonate sedimentation was initially sporadic, but more continuous in the latter part of the recorded lake history (after the H fallout tuff). Sublacustrine-fan deposition occurred at CCM-1 after a pronounced lake-level fall and subsequent rise that preceded the H tuff. Variations in density, neutron, gamma-ray, sonic, and electrical properties of deposits penetrated oin the two holes reflect variations in lithology, porosity, and alteration. Trends in the geophysical properties of the lacustrine strata are linked to downhole changes in authigenic mineralology and a decrease in porosity interpreted to have resulted primarily from diagenesis. Lithological and geophysical characteristics provide a basis for correlation of the cores; however, mineralogical methods of correlation are hampered by the degree of diagenesis and alteration.

  4. Neogene fallout tuffs from the Yellowstone hotspot in the Columbia Plateau region, Oregon, Washington and Idaho, USA.

    PubMed

    Nash, Barbara P; Perkins, Michael E

    2012-01-01

    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.

  5. Modeling Potential Tephra Dispersal at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hooper, D.; Franklin, N.; Adams, N.; Basu, D.

    2006-12-01

    Quaternary basaltic volcanoes exist within 20 km [12 mi] of the potential radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and future basaltic volcanism at the repository is considered a low-probability, potentially high-consequence event. If radioactive waste was entrained in the conduit of a future volcanic event, tephra and waste could be transported in the resulting eruption plume. During an eruption, basaltic tephra would be dispersed primarily according to the height of the eruption column, particle-size distribution, and structure of the winds aloft. Following an eruption, contaminated tephra-fall deposits would be affected by surface redistribution processes. The Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses developed the computer code TEPHRA to calculate atmospheric dispersion and subsequent deposition of tephra and spent nuclear fuel from a potential eruption at Yucca Mountain and to help prepare the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to review a potential U.S. Department of Energy license application. The TEPHRA transport code uses the Suzuki model to simulate the thermo-fluid dynamics of atmospheric tephra dispersion. TEPHRA models the transport of airborne pyroclasts based on particle diffusion from an eruption column, horizontal diffusion of particles by atmospheric and plume turbulence, horizontal advection by atmospheric circulation, and particle settling by gravity. More recently, TEPHRA was modified to calculate potential tephra deposit distributions using stratified wind fields based on upper atmosphere data from the Nevada Test Site. Wind data are binned into 1-km [0.62-mi]-high intervals with coupled distributions of wind speed and direction produced for each interval. Using this stratified wind field and discretization with respect to height, TEPHRA calculates particle fall and lateral displacement for each interval. This implementation permits modeling of split wind fields. We use a parallel version of the code to calculate expected

  6. Nye County Nevada Perspectives on the State of the Yucca Mountain Project - 12388

    SciT

    Lacy, Darrell; Voegele, Michael; Jaszczak, Casmier

    2012-07-01

    Responding to the Department of Energy decision to try to withdraw the Yucca Mountain license application and the Administration actions to close down the Yucca Mountain project, Nye County undertook a number of activities to articulate its support for continuing the Yucca Mountain project. The activities included responding to inquiries from federal agencies, including investigations undertaken by the Government Accountability Office addressing other potential uses for the Yucca Mountain site, responding to a Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the possible use of Yucca Mountain for disposal of Greater than Class C wastes, testifying in hearings, and interacting with the President'smore » Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future. The paper summarizes Nye County's position on the Yucca Mountain repository, Nye County's perspectives on the various activities that were developed and considered by the Government Accountability Office, Nye County's concerns with the use of the Nevada National Security Site for Disposal of Greater than Class C Low-Level Radioactive Wastes, testimony of Nye County officials expressing local community support for the Yucca Mountain project, and Nye County's perspectives on recommendations provided by the Blue Ribbon Commission to move the nation's high-level radioactive waste disposal programs forward without consideration of the role Yucca Mountain could have served in those recommendations. Nye County believes that every effort should be made to, at a minimum, fund the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to complete the license application review. Then, if Congress does decide to change the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, there will be valuable information available to support new policy development. This administration contends that Congressional language associated with the FY2010 and FY2011 appropriations and authorization process is sufficient evidence of its intent to terminate the Yucca Mountain repository program. The

  7. Contrasting types of surtseyan tuff cones on Marion and Prince Edward islands, southwest Indian Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verwoerd, W. J.; Chevallier, L.

    1987-02-01

    Ten surtseyan tuff cones on Marion island (46° 54' S, 37° 46' E) and seven on Prince Edward island (46° 38' S, 37° 57' E) were erupted on shallow submerged coastal plains related to normal faulting. They range from Pleistocene to Holocene in age and exhibit a variable degree of erosion by the sea. Fundamental differences, irrespective of age, exist between two types: Type I cones have diameters of 1 1.5 km, rim heights of about 200 m and steep (27°) outer slopes. Deposits are plastered against nearby cliffs. Beds are thin, including layers of accretionary lapilli and less than 10 % lithic clasts. Numerous bomb sags, soft sediment deformation structures and gravity slides occur. On one of these cones mudflows formed small tunnels which resemble lava tubes, associated with channels sometimes having oversteepened walls. These cones reflect comparatively low energy conditions and probably resulted from extremely wet surges interspersed with mudflows and ballistic falls. Type II cones have smaller diameters (˜0.5 km) but widespread fallout/surge aprons. Rim heights are about 100 m and average slope angles are 18°. Bedding is massive with variable lapilli/matrix ratio and more than 10 % lithic clasts without bomb sags. These cones formed under drier, perhaps hotter and more violently explosive conditions than Type I, though not as energetic as the phreatomagmatic eruptions of terrestrial tuff rings. The two types of surtseyan eruptions are explained by invoking not only different water/magma ratios in the conduit but also different mechanisms of water/magma interaction. The slurry model of Kokelaar is favoured for Type I and a fuel-coolant model for Type II. The decisive factor is considered to be rate of effusion, with rim closure and exclusion of sea water playing a secondary role.

  8. Pneumatic testing in 45-degree-inclined boreholes in ash-flow tuff near Superior, Arizona

    LeCain, G.D.

    1995-01-01

    Matrix permeability values determined by single-hole pneumatic testing in nonfractured ash-flow tuff ranged from 5.1 to 20.3 * 1046 m2 (meters squared), depending on the gas-injection rate and analysis method used. Results from the single-hole tests showed several significant correlations between permeability and injection rate and between permeability and test order. Fracture permeability values determined by cross-hole pneumatic testing in fractured ash-flow tuff ranged from 0.81 to 3.49 * 1044 m2, depending on injection rate and analysis method used. Results from the cross-hole tests monitor intervals showed no significant correlation between permeability and injection rate; however, results from the injection interval showed a significant correlation between injection rate and permeability. Porosity estimates from the 'cross-hole testing range from 0.8 to 2.0 percent. The maximum temperature change associated with the pneumatic testing was 1.2'(2 measured in the injection interval during cross-hole testing. The maximum temperature change in the guard and monitor intervals was O.Ip C. The maximum error introduced into the permeability values due to temperature fluctuations is approximately 4 percent. Data from temperature monitoring in the borehole indicated a positive correlation between the temperature decrease in the injection interval during recovery testing and the gas-injection rate. The thermocouple psychrometers indicated that water vapor was condensing in the boreholes during testing. The psychrometers in the guard and monitor intervals detected the drier injected gas as an increase in the dry bulb reading. The relative humidity in the test intervals was always higher than the upper measurement limit of the psychrometers. Although the installation of the packer system may have altered the water balance of the borehole, the gas-injection testing resulted in minimal or no changes in the borehole relative humidity.

  9. A seismic study of Yucca Mountain and vicinity, southern Nevada; data report and preliminary results

    Hoffman, L.R.; Mooney, W.D.

    1983-01-01

    From 1980 to 1982, the U.S. Geological Survey conducted seismic refraction studies at the Nevada Test Site to aid in an investigation of the regional crustal structure at a possible nuclear waste repository site near Yucca Mountain. Two regionally distributed deployments and one north-south deployment recorded nuclear events. First arrival times from these deployments were plotted on a location map and contoured to determine traveltime delays. The results indicate delays as large as 0.5 s in the Yucca Mountain and Crater Flat areas relative to the Jackass Flats area. A fourth east-west deployment recorded a chemical explosion and was interpreted using a two-dimensional computer raytracing technique. Delays as high as 0.7 s were observed over Crater Flat and Yucca Mountain. The crustal model derived from this profile indicates that Paleozoic rocks, which outcrop to the east at Skull Mountain and the Calico Hills, and to the west at Bare Mountain, lie at a minimum depth of 3 km beneath part of Yucca Mountain. These results confirm earlier estimates based on the modeling of detailed gravity data. A mid-crustal boundary at 15 ? 2 km beneath Yucca Mountain is evidenced by a prominent reflection recorded beyond 43 km range at 1.5 s reduced time. Other mid-crustal boundaries have been identified at 24 and 30 km and the total crustal thickness is 35 km.

  10. Chemical correlation of some late Cenozoic tuffs of Northern and Central California by neutron activation analysis of glass and comparison with X-ray fluorescence analysis

    Sarna-Wojcicki, Andrei M.; Bowman, Harry W.; Russell, Paul C.

    1979-01-01

    Glasses separated from several dacitic and rhyolitic late Cenozoic tuffs of northern and central California were analyzed by neutron activation for more than 43 elemental abundances. Eighteen elements--scandiurn, manganese, iron, zinc, rubidium, cesium, barium, lanthanum, cerium, samarium, europium, terbiurn, dysprosiurn, ytterbiurn, hafniurn, tantalurn, thorium and uranium--were selected as most suitable for purposes of chemical correlation on the basis of their natural variability in silicic tuffs and the precision obtainable in analysis. Stratigraphic relations between tuffs and replicate chemical analyses on individual tuffs make it possib1e to calibrate a quantitative parameter, the similarity coefficient, which indicates the degree of correlation for the tuffs studied. The highest similarity coefficient (0.99) was obtained for analyses of two tuffs (potassium-argon dated at about' 6.0 m.y.) exposed in the Merced(?) and Petaluma Formations of Sonoma County, which represent different paleoenvironments, shallow-water marine and fresh water or brackish marine, respectively. Corre1ation of these formations on the basis of criteria other than tephrochronoloqy would be difficult. Results of neutron activation analysis in general confirm earlier correlations made on the basis of analysis by X-ray fluorescence but also make it possible to resolve small compositional differences between chemically simi1ar tuffs in stratigraphic proximity. The Lawlor Tuff (potassium-argon dated at about 4.0 m.y.) is identified at two new localities: in a core sample obtained from a bore hole east of Suisun Bay, and from the Kettleman Hills of western San Joaquin Valley. This identification permits correlation of the uppermost part of the marine Etchegoin Formation in the San Joaquin Valley with the continental Livermore Gravels of Clark, the Tassajara Formation, and the upper part of the Sonoma Volcanics in the cel1tral Coast Ranges of California. A younger tuff near the top of the

  11. Seed dispersal and seed fate in Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia)

    Waitman, B.A.; Vander Wall, S.B.; Esque, Todd

    2012-01-01

    Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) is a charismatic symbol of the Mojave Desert. Despite its familiarity, we know little about the reproduction of this species, including mechanisms of seed dispersal. Here we examine mechanisms of seed dispersal and resulting seed fate. We experimentally tracked fruit and seed removal and followed the fates of Joshua tree seeds using radioactive tracers. The majority of Joshua tree fruits monitored were taken directly from the tree canopy by white-tailed antelope squirrels, and seeds and fruits on the soil surface were quickly removed by animals. Rodents given seeds labeled with scandium-46 cached them between 0.1 cm and 4.1 cm deep. Seedling emergence was most common for seeds planted 1 cm deep, whereas seeds placed on the soil surface seldom germinated. Wind dispersal is unlikely because fruits and seeds lack adaptations for wind dispersal; wind speeds required to move Joshua tree seeds and fruits across the soil surface were higher than those typically found in the Mojave Desert. Further, rodents removed most seeds before abiotic burial was possible. We conclude that most Joshua tree seeds are dispersed by scatter hoarding by rodents, and that caches made by rodents are suitable sites for seedling emergence.

  12. Workshop on development of radionuclide getters for the Yucca Mountain waste repository: proceedings.

    SciT

    Moore, Robert Charles; Lukens, Wayne W.

    The proposed Yucca Mountain repository, located in southern Nevada, is to be the first facility for permanent disposal of spent reactor fuel and high-level radioactive waste in the United States. Total Systems Performance Assessment (TSPA) analysis has indicated that among the major radionuclides contributing to dose are technetium, iodine, and neptunium, all of which are highly mobile in the environment. Containment of these radionuclides within the repository is a priority for the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP). These proceedings review current research and technology efforts for sequestration of the radionuclides with a focus on technetium, iodine, and neptunium. This workshop alsomore » covered issues concerning the Yucca Mountain environment and getter characteristics required for potential placement into the repository.« less

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

    SciT

    Malone, C.R.

    1995-09-01

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

  14. Yucca Mountain site characteriztion project bibliography. Progress Report, 1994--1995

    SciT

    NONE

    1996-08-01

    Following a reorganization of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management in 1990, the Yucca Mountain Project was renamed Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The title of this bibliography was also changed to Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Bibliography. Prior to August 5, 1988, this project was called the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations. This bibliography contains information on this ongoing project which was added to the Department of Energy`s Energy Science and Technology Database from January 1, 1994, through December 31, 1995. The bibliography is categorized by principal project participating organization. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, papers, and articles are includedmore » in the sponsoring organization`s list. Another section contains information about publications on the Energy Science and Technology database which were not sponsored by the project but have some relevance to it.« less

  15. Ages and stable-isotope compositions of secondary calcite and opal in drill cores from Tertiary volcanic rocks of the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada

    Szabo, B. J.; Kyser, T.K.

    1990-01-01

    Stable-isotope compositions of fracture- and cavity-filling calcite from the unsaturated zone of three drill cores at Yucca Mountain Tertiary volcanic complex indicate that the water from which the minerals precipitated was probably meteoric in origin. A decrease in 18O in the calcite with depth is interpreted as being due to the increase in temperature in drill holes corresponding to an estimated average geothermal gradient of 34?? per kilometer. A few of the calcite samples and all of the opal samples yielded uranium-series ages older than 400 000 yr, although most of the calcite samples yielded ages between 26 000 and 310 000 yr. The stable-isotope and uranium-series dates from precipitated calcite and opal of this reconnaissance study suggest a complex history of fluid movement through the volcanic pile, and episodes of fracture filling predominantly from meteoric water during at least the past 400 000 yr. -Authors

  16. TSPA 1991: An initial total-system performance assessment for Yucca Mountain; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    SciT

    Barnard, R.W.; Wilson, M.L.; Dockery, H.A.

    1992-07-01

    This report describes an assessment of the long-term performance of a repository system that contains deeply buried highly radioactive waste; the system is assumed to be located at the potential site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The study includes an identification of features, events, and processes that might affect the potential repository, a construction of scenarios based on this identification, a selection of models describing these scenarios (including abstraction of appropriate models from detailed models), a selection of probability distributions for the parameters in the models, a stochastic calculation of radionuclide releases for the scenarios, and a derivation of complementary cumulativemore » distribution functions (CCDFs) for the releases. Releases and CCDFs are calculated for four categories of scenarios: aqueous flow (modeling primarily the existing conditions at the site, with allowances for climate change), gaseous flow, basaltic igneous activity, and human intrusion. The study shows that models of complex processes can be abstracted into more simplified representations that preserve the understanding of the processes and produce results consistent with those of more complex models.« less

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

    SciT

    Hill, C.A.

    1993-03-01

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

  18. Influence of seasonal climatic variability on shallow infiltration at Yucca Mountain

    Hevesi, Joseph A.; Flint, Alan L.

    1993-01-01

    To analyze infiltration and the redistribution of moisture in alluvial deposits at Yucca Mountain, water content profiles at a 13.5 m deep borehole were measured at monthly intervals using a neutron moisture probe. Increases in water content to a maximum depth of 1.8 m in response to winter season precipitation were noted. Below a depth of 1.8 m, a gradual drying trend was indicated. A simulation study showed that, although small amounts of water may be percolating through the deep nonwetted ones of the profile, the influence of climatic variability on infiltration through thick alluvial deposits at Yucca Mountain is greatly mitigated by evapotranspiration.

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

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

    2006-01-01

    Yucca Mountain in Nevada represents the proposed solution to what has been a lengthy national effort to dispose of high-level radioactive waste, waste which must be isolated from the biosphere for tens of thousands of years. This chapter reviews the background of that national effort and includes some discussion of international work in order to provide a more complete framework for the problem of waste disposal. Other chapters provide the regional geologic setting, the geology of the Yucca Mountain site, the tectonics, and climate (past, present, and future). These last two chapters are integral to prediction of long-term waste isolation. ?? 2007 Geological Society of America. All rights reserved.

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

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

    1984-01-01

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

  1. Confort 15 model of conduit dynamics: applications to Pantelleria Green Tuff and Etna 122 BC eruptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campagnola, S.; Romano, C.; Mastin, L. G.; Vona, A.

    2016-06-01

    Numerical simulations are useful tools to illustrate how flow parameters and physical processes may affect eruption dynamics of volcanoes. In this paper, we present an updated version of the Conflow model, an open-source numerical model for flow in eruptive conduits during steady-state pyroclastic eruptions (Mastin and Ghiorso in A numerical program for steady-state flow of magma-gas mixtures through vertical eruptive conduits. U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 00-209, 2000). In the modified version, called Confort 15, the rheological constraints are improved, incorporating the most recent constitutive equations of both the liquid viscosity and crystal-bearing rheology. This allows all natural magma compositions, including the peralkaline melts excluded in the original version, to be investigated. The crystal-bearing rheology is improved by computing the effect of strain rate and crystal shape on the rheology of natural magmatic suspensions and expanding the crystal content range in which rheology can be modeled compared to the original version ( Conflow is applicable to magmatic mixtures with up to 30 vol% crystal content). Moreover, volcanological studies of the juvenile products (crystal and vesicle size distribution) of the investigated eruption are directly incorporated into the modeling procedure. Vesicle number densities derived from textural analyses are used to calculate, through Toramaru equations, maximum decompression rates experienced during ascent. Finally, both degassing under equilibrium and disequilibrium conditions are considered. This allows considerations on the effect of different fragmentation criteria on the conduit flow analyses, the maximum volume fraction criterion ("porosity criterion"), the brittle fragmentation criterion and the overpressure fragmentation criterion. Simulations of the pantelleritic and trachytic phases of the Green Tuff (Pantelleria) and of the Plinian Etna 122 BC eruptions are performed to test the upgrades in

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

    SciT

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

    1994-12-01

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

  3. Influence of temperature on the adsorption of α-tocopherol from ethanol solutions on acid-activated clinoptilolite tuff

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotova, D. L.; Vasilyeva, S. Yu.; Krysanova, T. A.

    2014-08-01

    Patterns in the adsorption of α-tocopherol on acid-activated clinoptilolite tuff at 283, 295, 305, and 333 K are established and explained. It is found that the selectivity of the sorbent toward the vitamin rises as the temperature of the process falls. The adsorption of α-tocopherol from dilute solutions is described in terms of the Langmuir adsorption theory. It is shown that the fixing of vitamin E monolayers in the structural matrix of clinoptilolite tuff is due to the formation of hydrogen bonds between isolated silanol groups of the adsorbent and oxygen atoms of the chromane ring and the phenol residue of α-tocopherol. The thermodynamic functions of monolayer adsorption of the vitamin are estimated. It is concluded that the formation of polymolecular layers in the form of associates is due to hydrophobic interactions between side substituents of α-tocopherol.

  4. Permian plate margin volcanism and tuffs in adjacent basins of west Gondwana: Age constraints and common characteristics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-Gamundí, Oscar

    2006-12-01

    Increasing evidence of Permian volcanic activity along the South American portion of the Gondwana proto-Pacific margin has directed attention to its potential presence in the stratigraphic record of adjacent basins. In recent years, tuffaceous horizons have been identified in late Early Permian-through Middle Permian (280-260 Ma) sections of the Paraná Basin (Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay). Farther south and closer to the magmatic tract developed along the continental margin, in the San Rafael and Sauce Grande basins of Argentina, tuffs are present in the Early to Middle Permian section. This tuff-rich interval can be correlated with the appearance of widespread tuffs in the Karoo Basin. Although magmatic activity along the proto-Pacific plate margin was continuous during the Late Paleozoic, Choiyoi silicic volcanism along the Andean Cordillera and its equivalent in Patagonia peaked between the late Early Permian and Middle Permian, when extensive rhyolitic ignimbrites and consanguineous airborne tuffaceous material erupted in the northern Patagonian region. The San Rafael orogenic phase (SROP) interrupted sedimentation along the southwestern segment of the Gondwana margin (i.e., Frontal Cordillera, San Rafael Basin), induced cratonward thrusting (i.e., Ventana and Cape foldbelts), and triggered accelerated subsidence in the adjacent basins (Sauce Grande and Karoo) located inboard of the deformation front. This accelerated subsidence favored the preservation of tuffaceous horizons in the syntectonic successions. The age constraints and similarities in composition between the volcanics along the continental margin and the tuffaceous horizons in the San Rafael, Sauce Grande, Paraná, and Karoo basins strongly suggest a genetic linkage between the two episodes. Radiometric ages from tuffs in the San Rafael, Paraná, and Karoo basins indicate an intensely tuffaceous interval between 280 and 260 Ma.

  5. Paleogeographic insights based on new U-Pb dates for altered tuffs in the Miocene Barstow Formation, California

    Miller, David; Rosario, Jose E.; Leslie, Shannon R.; Vazquez, Jorge A.

    2013-01-01

    The type section of the Barstow Formation in the Mud Hills, north of Barstow, is a reference section for early to middle Miocene paleontology, magnetostratigraphy, and dated volcanic episodes. Thanks to this robust chronologic framework, much of the interpretation of the paleogeography of the region from about 18 Ma to 13 Ma is based on study of the rocks in the Mud Hills. Eastward from the type section, the Barstow Formation typically is altered and structurally complex, and therefore it is hard to fit into the patterns inferred for sedimentation at the type section. We have studied ten tuff beds in five locations, extracting zircons that are partly eruptive components of the volcanic ash and partly detrital. Ion microprobe dating of the zircons associated with the ashes allows us to improve stratigraphic correlations. Dated tuffs range from 19.3 Ma to ~14.8 Ma. In several of the sections, we dated tuffs in the range 16.2-16.5 Ma, about the same age as the ~16.3 Ma Rak Tuff in the type section. The beginning of lacustrine limestone, shale, and siltstone deposition varies significantly, from ~16.3 Ma in the type section to ~18.5 Ma in hills to the east and the Calico Mountains, and greater than 19.3 Ma at Harvard Hill. At ~16.3 Ma, the sedimentary rocks ranged (west to east) from silty sandstone and limestone, to mudstone with gypsum, to massive mudstone, and then to sandstone. If the sections have not been greatly shuffled by subsequent faulting, the picture that emerges is one of a broad basin whose center near the Yermo Hills was occupied by a lake that was much longer lived and deeper than to the east and west.

  6. Stochastic Model of Fracture Frequency Heterogeneity in a Welded Tuff EGS reservoir, Snake River Plain, Idaho, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moody, A.; Fairley, J. P., Jr.

    2014-12-01

    In light of recent advancements in reservoir enhancement and injection tests at active geothermal fields, there is interest in investigating the geothermal potential of widespread subsurface welded tuffs related to caldera collapse on the Snake River Plain (SRP). Before considering stimulation strategies, simulating heat extraction from the reservoir under in-situ fracture geometries will give a first-order estimation of extractable heat. With only limited deep boreholes drilled on the SRP, few analyses of the bulk hydrologic properties of the tuffs exist. Acknowledging the importance of the spatial heterogeneity of fractures to the permeability and injectivity of reservoirs hosted in impermeable volcanic units, we present fracture distributions from ICDP hole 5036-2A drilled as a part of Project HOTSPOT. The core documents more than 1200 m of largely homogeneous densely welded tuff hosting an isothermal warm-water reservoir at ~60˚ C. Multiple realizations of a hypothetical reservoir are created using sequential indicator algorithms that honor the observed vertical fracture frequency statistics. Results help form criteria for producing geothermal energy from the SRP.

  7. Removal and recovery of p-phenylenediamines developing compounds from photofinishing lab-washwater using clinoptilolite tuffs from Greece.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. Conceptualization of the predevelopment groundwater flow system and transient water-level responses in Yucca Flat, Nevada National Security Site, Nevada

    Fenelon, Joseph M.; Sweetkind, Donald S.; Elliott, Peggy E.; Laczniak, Randell J.

    2012-01-01

    aquifer. Flow directions in the alluvial-volcanic aquifer are variable and are controlled by localized areas where small amounts of water can drain into the regional carbonate aquifer. These areas commonly are controlled by geologic structures, such as Yucca fault. Flow in the regional carbonate aquifer generally drains to the center of the basin; from there flow is to the south-southeast out of the study area toward downgradient discharge areas. Southward flow in the regional carbonate aquifer occurs in a prominent potentiometric trough that results from a faulted zone of enhanced permeability centered about Yucca fault. Vertical hydraulic gradients between the aquifer systems are downward throughout the study area; however, flow from the alluvial-volcanic aquifer into the underlying carbonate aquifer is believed to be minor because of the intervening confining unit. Transient water levels were identified and analyzed to understand hydraulic responses to stresses in Yucca Flat. Transient responses have only a minimal influence on the general predevelopment flow directions in the aquifers. The two primary anthropogenic stresses on the groundwater system since about 1950 are nuclear testing and pumping. Most of the potentiometric response in the aquifers to pumping or past nuclear testing is interim and localized. Persistent, long-lasting changes in hydraulic head caused by nuclear testing occur only in confining units where groundwater fluxes are negligible. A third stress on the groundwater system is natural recharge, which can cause minor, short- and long-term changes in water levels. Long-term hydrographs affected by natural recharge, grouped by similar trend, cluster in distinct areas of Yucca Flat and are controlled primarily by spatial differences in local recharge patterns.

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

    SciT

    NONE

    1986-05-01

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

  10. Earthquake and volcano clustering via stress transfer at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Parsons, T.; Thompson, G.A.; Cogbill, A.H.

    2006-01-01

    The proposed national high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain is close to Quaternary cinder cones and faults with Quaternary slip. Volcano eruption and earthquake frequencies are low, with indications of spatial and temporal clustering, making probabilistic assessments difficult. In an effort to identify the most likely intrusion sites, we based a three-dimensional finite-element model on the expectation that faulting and basalt intrusions are sensitive to the magnitude and orientation of the least principal stress in extensional terranes. We found that in the absence of fault slip, variation in overburden pressure caused a stress state that preferentially favored intrusions at Crater Flat. However, when we allowed central Yucca Mountain faults to slip in the model, we found that magmatic clustering was not favored at Crater Flat or in the central Yucca Mountain block. Instead, we calculated that the stress field was most encouraging to intrusions near fault terminations, consistent with the location of the most recent volcanism at Yucca Mountain, the Lathrop Wells cone. We found this linked fault and magmatic system to be mutually reinforcing in the model in that Lathrop Wells feeder dike inflation favored renewed fault slip. ?? 2006 Geological Society of America.

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

    SciT

    NONE

    1986-05-01

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

  12. Yucca Mountain Biological Resources Monitoring Program. Progress report, January 1994--December 1994

    SciT

    NONE

    1995-07-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is required by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (as amended in 1987) to study and characterize the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a potential geological repository for high-level nuclear waste. During site characterization, the DOE will conduct a variety of geotechnical, geochemical, geological, and hydrological studies to determine the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a potential repository. To ensure that site characterization activities do not adversely affect the environment at Yucca Mountain, a program has been implemented to monitor and mitigate potential impacts and ensure activities comply with applicable environmental regulations. Thismore » report describes the activities and accomplishments of EG and G Energy Measurements, Inc. (EG and G/EM) from January 1994 through December 1994 for six program areas within the Terrestrial Ecosystem component of the environmental program for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP): Site Characterization Effects, Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii), Habitat Reclamation, Monitoring and Mitigation, Radiological Monitoring, and Biological Support.« less

  13. Incremental heating of Bishop Tuff sanidine reveals preeruptive radiogenic Ar and rapid remobilization from cold storage.

    PubMed

    Andersen, Nathan L; Jicha, Brian R; Singer, Brad S; Hildreth, Wes

    2017-11-21

    Accurate and precise ages of large silicic eruptions are critical to calibrating the geologic timescale and gauging the tempo of changes in climate, biologic evolution, and magmatic processes throughout Earth history. The conventional approach to dating these eruptive products using the 40 Ar/ 39 Ar method is to fuse dozens of individual feldspar crystals. However, dispersion of fusion dates is common and interpretation is complicated by increasingly precise data obtained via multicollector mass spectrometry. Incremental heating of 49 individual Bishop Tuff (BT) sanidine crystals produces 40 Ar/ 39 Ar dates with reduced dispersion, yet we find a 16-ky range of plateau dates that is not attributable to excess Ar. We interpret this dispersion to reflect cooling of the magma reservoir margins below ∼475 °C, accumulation of radiogenic Ar, and rapid preeruption remobilization. Accordingly, these data elucidate the recycling of subsolidus material into voluminous rhyolite magma reservoirs and the effect of preeruptive magmatic processes on the 40 Ar/ 39 Ar system. The youngest sanidine dates, likely the most representative of the BT eruption age, yield a weighted mean of 764.8 ± 0.3/0.6 ka (2σ analytical/full uncertainty) indicating eruption only ∼7 ky following the Matuyama-Brunhes magnetic polarity reversal. Single-crystal incremental heating provides leverage with which to interpret complex populations of 40 Ar/ 39 Ar sanidine and U-Pb zircon dates and a substantially improved capability to resolve the timing and causal relationship of events in the geologic record.

  14. Incremental heating of Bishop Tuff sanidine reveals preeruptive radiogenic Ar and rapid remobilization from cold storage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersen, Nathan L.; Jicha, Brian R.; Singer, Brad S.; Hildreth, Wes

    2017-11-01

    Accurate and precise ages of large silicic eruptions are critical to calibrating the geologic timescale and gauging the tempo of changes in climate, biologic evolution, and magmatic processes throughout Earth history. The conventional approach to dating these eruptive products using the 40Ar/39Ar method is to fuse dozens of individual feldspar crystals. However, dispersion of fusion dates is common and interpretation is complicated by increasingly precise data obtained via multicollector mass spectrometry. Incremental heating of 49 individual Bishop Tuff (BT) sanidine crystals produces 40Ar/39Ar dates with reduced dispersion, yet we find a 16-ky range of plateau dates that is not attributable to excess Ar. We interpret this dispersion to reflect cooling of the magma reservoir margins below ˜475 °C, accumulation of radiogenic Ar, and rapid preeruption remobilization. Accordingly, these data elucidate the recycling of subsolidus material into voluminous rhyolite magma reservoirs and the effect of preeruptive magmatic processes on the 40Ar/39Ar system. The youngest sanidine dates, likely the most representative of the BT eruption age, yield a weighted mean of 764.8 ± 0.3/0.6 ka (2σ analytical/full uncertainty) indicating eruption only ˜7 ky following the Matuyama‑Brunhes magnetic polarity reversal. Single-crystal incremental heating provides leverage with which to interpret complex populations of 40Ar/39Ar sanidine and U-Pb zircon dates and a substantially improved capability to resolve the timing and causal relationship of events in the geologic record.

  15. Properties of Vulcanized Polyisoprene Rubber Composites Filled with Opalized White Tuff and Precipitated Silica

    PubMed Central

    Zeković, Ivana; Marinović-Cincović, Milena

    2014-01-01

    Opalized white tuff (OWT) with 40 μm average particle size and 39.3 m2/g specific surface area has been introduced into polyisoprene rubber (NR). Their reinforcing effects were evaluated by comparisons with those from precipitated silica (PSi). The cure characteristic, apparent activation energy of cross-link (E ac) and reversion (E ar), and mechanical properties of a variety of composites based on these rubbers were studied. This was done using vulcanization techniques, mechanical testing, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results showed that OWT can greatly improve the vulcanizing process by shortening the time of optimum cure (t c90) and the scorch time (t s2) of cross-linked rubber composites, which improves production efficiency and operational security. The rubber composites filled with 50 phr of OWT were found to have good mechanical and elastomeric properties. The tensile strengths of the NR/OWT composites are close to those of NR/PSi composites, but the tear strength and modulus are not as good as the corresponding properties of those containing precipitated silica. Morphology results revealed that the OWT is poorly dispersed in the rubber matrix. According to that, the lower interactions between OWT and polyisoprene rubber macromolecules are obtained, but similar mechanical properties of NR/OWT (100/50) rubber composites compared with NR/PSi (100/50) rubber composites are resulted. PMID:24672391

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

    SciT

    Eaton, R.R.; Ho, C.K.; Glass, RJ.

    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 Ridgemore » fracture frequencies, and a specified fracture aperture of 285 {micro}m. 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.« less

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

    SciT

    Eaton, R.R.; Ho, C.K.; Glass, R.J.

    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 Ridgemore » fracture frequencies, and a specified fracture aperture of 285 {mu}m. 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.« less

  18. Correlation of the oldest Toba Tuff to sediments in the central Indian Ocean Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pattan, J. N.; Shyam Prasad, M.; Babu, E. V. S. S. K.

    2010-08-01

    We have identified an ash layer in association with Australasian microtektites of ˜0.77 Ma old in two sediment cores which are ˜450 km apart in the central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB). Morphology and chemical composition of glass shards and associated microtektites have been used to trace their provenance. In ODP site 758 from Ninetyeast Ridge, ash layer-D (13 cm thick, 0.73-0.75 Ma) and layer-E (5 cm thick, 0.77-0.78 Ma) were previously correlated to the oldest Toba Tuff (OTT) eruptions of the Toba caldera, Sumatra. In this investigation, we found tephra ˜3100 km to the southwest of Toba caldera that is chemically identical to layer D of ODP site 758 and ash in the South China Sea correlated to the OTT. Layer E is not present in the CIOB or other ocean basins. The occurrence of tephra correlating to layer D suggests a widespread distribution of OTT tephra (˜3.6 × 107 km2), an ash volume of at least ˜1800 km3, a total OTT volume of 2300 km3, and classification of the OTT eruption as a super-eruption.

  19. Permeameter studies of water flow through cement and clay borehole seals in granite, basalt and tuff

    SciT

    South, D.L.; Daemen, J.J.K.

    1986-10-01

    Boreholes near a repository must be sealed to prevent rapid migration of radionuclide-contaminated water to the accessible environment. The objective of this research is to assess the performance of borehole seals under laboratory conditions, particularly with regard to varying stress fields. Flow through a sealed borehole is compared with flow through intact rock. Cement or bentonite seals have been tested in granite, basalt, and welded tuff. The main conclusion is that under laboratory conditions, existing commercial materials can form high quality seals. Triaxial stress changes about a borehole do not significantly affect seal performance if the rock is stiffer thanmore » the seal. Temperature but especially moisture variations (drying) significantly degrade the quality of cement seals. Performance partially recovers upon resaturation. A skillfully sealed borehole may be as impermeable as the host rock. Analysis of the influence of relative seal-rock permeabilities shows that a plug with permeability one order of magnitude greater than that of the rock results in a flow increase through the hole and surrounding rock of only 1-1/2 times compared to the undisturbed rock. Since a borehole is only a small part of the total rock mass, the total effect is even less pronounced. The simplest and most effective way to decrease flow through a rock-seal system is to increase the seal length, assuming it can be guaranteed that no dominant by-pass flowpath through the rock exists.« less

  20. Experimental and textural investigation of welding: effects of compaction, sintering, and vapor-phase crystallization in the rhyolitic Rattlesnake Tuff

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grunder, Anita L.; Laporte, Didier; Druitt, Tim H.

    2005-04-01

    The abrupt changes in character of variably welded pyroclastic deposits have invited decades of investigation and classification. We conducted two series of experiments using ash from the nonwelded base of the rhyolitic Rattlesnake Tuff of Oregon, USA, to examine conditions of welding. One series of experiments was conducted at atmospheric pressure (1 At) in a muffle furnace with variable run times and temperature and another series was conducted at 5 MPa and 600 °C in a cold seal apparatus with variable run times and water contents. We compared the results to a suite of incipiently to densely welded, natural samples of the Rattlesnake Tuff. Experiments at 1 At required a temperature above 900 °C to produce welding, which is in excess of the estimated pre-eruptive magmatic temperature of the tuff. The experiments also yielded globular clast textures unlike the natural tuff. During the cold-seal experiments, the gold sample capsules collapsed in response to sample densification. Textures and densities that closely mimic the natural suite were produced at 5 MPa, 600 °C and 0.4 wt.% H 2O, over run durations of hours to 2 days. Clast deformation and development of foliation in 2-week runs were greater than in natural samples. Both more and less water reduced the degree of welding at otherwise constant run conditions. For 5 MPa experiments, changes in the degree of foliation of shards and of axial ratios of bubble shards and non-bubble (mainly platy) shards, are consistent with early densification related to compaction and partial rotation of shards into a foliation. Subsequent densification was associated with viscous deformation as indicated by more sintered contacts and deformation of shards. Sintering (local fusion of shard-shard contacts) was increasingly important with longer run times, higher temperatures, and greater pressures. During runs with high water concentrations, sintering was rare and adhesion between clasts was dominated by precipitation of

  1. Rockfall hazard assessment of nearly vertical rhyolite tuff cliff faces by using terrestrial laser scanner, UAV and FEM analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Török, Ákos; Barsi, Árpád; Görög, Péter; Lovas, Tamás; Bögöly, Gyula; Czinder, Balázs; Vásárhelyi, Balázs; Molnár, Bence; József Somogyi, Árpád

    2017-04-01

    Nearly vertical rhyolite tuff cliff faces are located in NE-Hungary representing rock fall hazard in the touristic region of Sirok. Larger blocks of the cliff have fallen in recent years menacing tourists and human lives. The rhyolite tuff, that forms the Castle Hill was formed during Miocene volcanism and comprises of brecciated lapilli tuffs and tuffs with intercalating ignimbritic horizons. The paper focuses on the 3D mapping of cliff faces and modeling of rock fall hazard. The topography and 3D model of the cliff was obtained by using GNSS supported terrestrial laser scanner and UAV. With imaging techniques of UAV a Triangulated Irregular Network (TIN) model was developed that contained triangles with 5-10 cm side lengths. GNSS supported terrestrial laser scanning allowed the observation with a resolution 1-5 cm of point spacing. The point clouds were further processed and with the combination of laser scanner and UAV data a 3D model of the studied cliff faces were obtained. Geological parameters for rock fall analyses included both field observations and laboratory tests. The lithotypes were identified on the field and were sampled for rock mechanical laboratory analyses. Joint- and fault system was mapped and visualized by using Rocscience Dip. EN test methods were used to obtain the density properties of various lithotypes of rhyolite tuff. Other standardized EN tests included ultrasonic pulse velocity, water absorption, indirect tensile strength (Brasilian), uniaxial compressive strength and modulus of elasticity of air dry and of water saturated samples. GSI values were denoted based on filed observations and rock mass properties. The stability analyses of cliff faces were made by using 2D FEM software (Phase 2). Cross sections were evaluated and global factor of safety was also calculated. The modeled displacements were in the order of few centimeters; however several locations were pinpointed where wedge failure and planar slip surfaces were identified

  2. Trace and rare-earth element characteristics of acidic tuffs from southern Peru and northern Bolivia and a fission-track age for the sillar of Arequipa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vatin-Perignon, N.; Poupeau, G.; Oliver, R. A.; La Venu, A.; Labrin, F.; Keller, F.; Bellot-Gurlet, L.

    1996-03-01

    Trace-element and REE data of glass and pumices of acidic tuffs and related fall deposits erupted in southern Peru and northern Bolivia between 20 and 0.36 Ma display typical characteristics of subduction related continental arc magmatism of the CVZ with strong LILE/HFSE enrichment and non enrichment of HREE and Y. Geochemical variations of these tuffs are linked to subduction processes and controlled by changes in tectonic regimes which occured with each Quechua tectonic pulse and affected the astenospheric wedge and both the dowgoing and the overriding lithospheres. During Neogene — Pleistocene times, tuffs erupted in northern Bolivia are typically enriched in Zr, Hf, Th, Ba, LREEs and other incompatible elements and incompatible /Yb ratios are much higher relative to those erupted from southern Peru, at a given SiO 2 content (65-67 wt. for dacites, 72-73 wt.% for rhyolites). {Zr}/{Hf} ratios increase eastward from 27 to 30 and {Ce}/{Yb N} ratios from 11 to 19 reflecting the variation of degree of wedge contribution. Fractionation of the LREE over the HREE and fractionation of incompatible elements may be due to their heterogeneous distribution in the magma source. More highly fractionated REE patterns of Bolivian tuffs than Peruvian tuffs are attributed to variable amounts of contamination of magmas by lower crust. After the Quechua compressional event at 7 Ma, {Sr}/{Y} ratios of tuffs of the same age, erupted at 150-250 km or 250-400 km from the Peru-Chile trench, increase from southern Peru to northern Bolivia. These differences may be attributed to the subduction of a swarm oceanic lithosphere under the Bolivian Alti-plano, leading to partial melting of the sudbucted lithosphere. New FT dating of obsidian fragments of the sillar of Arequipa at 2.42 ± 0.11 Ma. This tuff dates the last Quechua compressional upper Pliocene phase ( 2.5 Ma) and confirms that the sillar is not contemporaneous with the Toba 76 tuff or the Perez ignimbrite of northern Bolivia

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

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 (< 3 km) for some of the tuffs

  5. Unsaturated flow and transport through a fault embedded in fractured welded tuff

    Salve, Rohit; Liu, Hui‐Hai; Cook, Paul; Czarnomski, Atlantis; Hu, Qinhong; Hudson, David

    2004-01-01

    To evaluate the importance of matrix diffusion as a mechanism for retarding radionuclide transport in the vicinity of a fault located in unsaturated fractured rock, we carried out an in situ field experiment in the Exploratory Studies Facility at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This experiment involved the release of ∼82,000 L of water over a period of 17 months directly into a near‐vertical fault under both constant positive head (at ∼0.04 m) and decreasing fluxes. A mix of conservative tracers (pentafluorobenzoic acid (PFBA) and bromide (applied in the form of lithium bromide)) was released along the fault over a period of 9 days, 7 months after the start of water release along the fault. As water was released into the fault, seepage rates were monitored in a large cavity excavated below the test bed. After the release of tracers, seepage water was continuously collected from three locations and analyzed for the injected tracers. Observations of bromide concentrations in seepage water during the early stages of the experiment and bromide and PFBA concentrations in the seepage water indicate the significant effects of matrix diffusion on transport through a fault embedded in fractured, welded rock.

  6. The role of magma mixing/mingling and cumulate melting in the Neapolitan Yellow Tuff caldera-forming eruption (Campi Flegrei, Southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forni, Francesca; Petricca, Eleonora; Bachmann, Olivier; Mollo, Silvio; De Astis, Gianfilippo; Piochi, Monica

    2018-06-01

    Understanding the mechanisms responsible for the generation of chemical gradients in high-volume ignimbrites is key to retrieve information on the processes that control the maturation and eruption of large silicic magmatic reservoirs. Over the last 60 ky, two large ignimbrites showing remarkable zoning were emplaced during caldera-forming eruptions at Campi Flegrei (i.e., Campanian Ignimbrite, CI, 39 ka and Neapolitan Yellow Tuff, NYT, 15 ka). While the CI displays linear compositional, thermal and crystallinity gradients, the NYT is a more complex ignimbrite characterized by crystal-poor magmas ranging in composition from trachy-andesites to phonolites. By combining major and trace element compositions of matrix glasses and mineral phases from juvenile clasts located at different stratigraphic heights along the NYT pyroclastic sequence, we interpret such compositional gradients as the result of mixing/mingling between three different magmas: (1) a resident evolved magma showing geochemical characteristics of a melt extracted from a cumulate mush dominated by clinopyroxene, plagioclase and oxides with minor sanidine and biotite; (2) a hotter and more mafic magma from recharge providing high-An plagioclase and high-Mg clinopyroxene crystals and (3) a compositionally intermediate magma derived from remelting of low temperature mineral phases (i.e., sanidine and biotite) within the cumulate crystal mush. We suggest that the presence of a refractory crystal mush, as documented by the occurrence of abundant crystal clots containing clinopyroxene, plagioclase and oxides, is the main reason for the lack of erupted crystal-rich material in the NYT. A comparison between the NYT and the CI, characterized by both crystal-poor extracted melts and crystal-rich magmas representing remobilized portions of a "mature" (i.e., sanidine dominated) cumulate residue, allows evaluation of the capability of crystal mushes of becoming eruptible upon recharge.

  7. Geologic and geophysical characterization studies of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, a potential high-level radioactive-waste repository

    Whitney, J.W.; Keefer, W.R.

    2000-01-01

    In recognition of a critical national need for permanent radioactive-waste storage, Yucca Mountain in southwestern Nevada has been investigated by Federal agencies since the 1970's, as a potential geologic disposal site. In 1987, Congress selected Yucca Mountain for an expanded and more detailed site characterization effort. As an integral part of this program, the U.S. Geological Survey began a series of detailed geologic, geophysical, and related investigations designed to characterize the tectonic setting, fault behavior, and seismicity of the Yucca Mountain area. This document presents the results of 13 studies of the tectonic environment of Yucca Mountain, in support of a broad goal to assess the effects of future seismic and fault activity in the area on design, long-term performance, and safe operation of the potential surface and subsurface repository facilities.

  8. Thermocouple psychrometer measurements of in situ water potential changes in heated welded tuff

    SciT

    Mao, Nai-hsien; Wang, H.F.

    1991-05-01

    Ten thermocouple psychrometers (TCPs) to measure water potential (WP) were installed in three holes in G-Tunnel at the Nevada Test Site as part of the Prototype Engineered Barrier System Field Tests. These integrated tests measured several parameters as a function of location and time within a few meters of a heater emplaced in welded tuff. The primary goal of the TCP experiment was to find out whether the combination of laboratory calibration and field use of the TCP can provide useful data for determining the change of moisture condition in the field. We calibrated the TCPs in NaCl solutions upmore » to 80{degree}C(176{degree}F) in the laboratory. In two holes, we used rubber sleeves and packers to house TCPs, and in the third hole, we used foam. All three holes were grouted behind the TCP assemblages. Field results of the heater test showed that small temperature gradients were present for all measurements. Nevertheless, the WP calibration made the necessary correction for the nonisothermal condition. A drying and re-wetting cycle peaked at about day 140 with a WP of -65 bar in borehole P3, located below the heater. A similar cycle but reduced in scale was found at about day 175 with a WP of -45 bar in borehole P2, above the heater. This difference in drying behavior above and below the heater was also observed from neutron data and was explained as a gravity effect. As temperatures increased, the evaporation rate of pore water increased, In unfractured rock, the gas-phase flow was primarily outward. Water condensed above the heater would drain back to keep the boiling region wet, but water condensed below the heater would drain away from the boiling region. This conceptual model explained both the time and magnitude differences for data from holes above and below the heater. 7 refs., 14 figs., 2 tabs.« less

  9. Palaeomagnetism of lower cretaceous tuffs from Yukon-Kuskokwim delta region, western Alaska

    Globerman, B.R.; Coe, R.S.; Hoare, J.M.; Decker, J.

    1983-01-01

    During the past decade, the prescient arguments1-3 for the allochthoneity of large portions of southern Alaska have been corroborated by detailed geological and palaeomagnetic studies in south-central Alaska 4-9 the Alaska Peninsula10, Kodiak Island11,12 and the Prince William Sound area13 (Fig. 1). These investigations have demonstrated sizeable northward displacements for rocks of late Palaeozoic, Mesozoic, and early Tertiary age in those regions, with northward motion at times culminating in collision of the allochthonous terranes against the backstop of 'nuclear' Alaska14,15. A fundamental question is which parts of Alaska underwent significantly less latitudinal translation relative to the 'stable' North American continent, thereby serving as the 'accretionary nucleus' into which the displaced 'microplates'16 were eventually incorporated17,18? Here we present new palaeomagnetic results from tuffs and associated volcaniclastic rocks of early Cretaceous age from the Yukon-Kuskokwin delta region in western Alaska. These rocks were probably overprinted during the Cretaceous long normal polarity interval, although a remagnetization event as recent as Palaeocene cannot be ruled out. This overprint direction is not appreciably discordant from the expected late Cretaceous direction for cratonal North America. The implied absence of appreciable northward displacement for this region is consistent with the general late Mesozoic-early Tertiary tectonic pattern for Alaska, based on more definitive studies: little to no poleward displacement for central Alaska, though substantially more northward drift for the 'southern Alaska terranes' (comprising Alaska Peninsula, Kodiak Island, Prince William Sound area, and Matunuska Valley) since late Cretaceous to Palaeocene time. ?? 1983 Nature Publishing Group.

  10. Eruptive style and construction of shallow marine mafic tuff cones in the Narakay Volcanic Complex (Proterozoic, Hornby Bay Group, Northwest Territories, Canada)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, Gerald M.

    1986-03-01

    The Early Proterozoic (1663 Ma) Narakay Volcanic Complex, exposed in Great Bear Lake (Northwest Territories, Canada), is a bimodal suite of basalt and rhyolite erupted in a continental setting and consisting largely of pyroclastic rocks interlayered with shallow marine sedimentary rocks of the Hornby Bay Group. Mafic pyroclastic rocks consist of lapilli tuff, tuff, tuff breccia and agglomerate that represent the remnants of small subaerial tuff cones (0.5 to 2 km in diameter) that in most cases have subsided into the volcanic conduit. Stratification styles, sedimentary structures and grain morphologies in pyroclastic rocks reflect variations in the water:magma ratio during eruptions and have been used to help elucidate eruptive mechanisms and reconstruct volcanic edifices. Basaltic pyroclasts are commonly bounded by fracture surfaces and are morphologically similar to modern pyroclasts produced by thermal quench fragmentation or steam-blast disruption of magma. Most fragments have low vesicularity and scoria is only locally abundant which indicates that eruptive energy was supplied mostly by water—melt interaction rather than exsolution of magmatic gases. Cored bombs and lapilli, fusiform bombs, and pyroclasts similar in texture to those of Strombolian cinder and agglutinate spatter, are uncommon but are stratigraphically widespread and imply the occurrence of Strombolian eruptions, presumably when water access to the vent was impeded. Massive bedding is typical of the tuffs and, in addition to the poorly sorted ash-rich nature of the tuffs, implies deposition from water- and/or steam-rich hydrovolcanic eruption clouds and cypressoid jets by airfall and dense pyroclastic flows. Uncommon well-stratified and sorted ash and lapilli tuff record airfall and pyroclastic flow(?) deposition from eruption clouds rich in magmatic gases. Base surge deposits are uncommon and occur only in the subaerial portion of a sequence of tuffs inferred to record the progradation of a

  11. Freeze-Thaw Cycle Test on Basalt, Diorite and Tuff Specimens with the Simulated Ground Temperature of Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, J.; Hyun, C.; Cho, H.; Park, H.

    2010-12-01

    Physical weathering caused by freeze-thaw action in cold regions was simulated with artificial weathering simulator in laboratory. Physical weathering of rock in cold regions usually depends on the temperature, rock type and moisture content. Then these three variables were considered in this study. The laboratory freeze-thaw tests were conducted on the three types of rocks, e.g. diorite, basalt and tuff, which are the major rock types around Sejong Station, King George Island, Antarctica. Nine core samples composed of three samples from each rock type were prepared in NX core, and 50 cycles of freeze-thaw test was carried out under dried and saturated water conditions. In this study, the physical weathering of rocks was investigated after each 10 cycles by measuring P-wave velocity, bulk density, effective porosity, Schmidt hardness and uniaxial compression strength(UCS). The experimental result of the diorite and the tuff specimens showed that P-wave velocity, bulk density, effective porosity, Schmidt hardness and UCS were gradually decreased as weathering progresses, but the result of the basalt specimens did not show typical trends due to the characteristics of irregular pore distribution and various pore sizes. Scanning electron microscopy(SEM) photographs of diorite, basalt and tuff specimens weathered in dried and saturated conditions were also acquired to investigate the role of water during physical weathering processes. The number and size of microcracks were increased as weathering progresses. This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea(NRF) Grant(NRF-2010-0027753).

  12. The Menengai Tuff: A 36 ka widespread tephra and its chronological relevance to Late Pleistocene human evolution in East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blegen, Nick; Brown, Francis H.; Jicha, Brian R.; Binetti, Katie M.; Faith, J. Tyler; Ferraro, Joseph V.; Gathogo, Patrick N.; Richardson, Jonathan L.; Tryon, Christian A.

    2016-11-01

    The East African Rift preserves the world's richest Middle and Late Pleistocene (∼780-12 ka) geological, archaeological and paleontological archives relevant to the emergence of Homo sapiens. This region also provides unparalleled chronological control for many important sites through tephrochronology, the dating and correlation of volcanic ashes as widespread isochronous markers in the geological record. There are many well-characterized Pliocene-Early Pleistocene tephras that are widespread across East Africa. A comparable framework is lacking for the Middle and Late Pleistocene; a period characterized by spatially and temporally complex patterns of climate change, as well as the emergence of modern Homo sapiens and the dispersal of this species across and out of Africa. Unraveling relationships among these spatial and temporally complex phenomena requires a precise chronology. To this end we report the Menengai Tuff, a widespread volcanic ash produced by the large-scale caldera-forming eruption in Kenya and 40Ar/39Ar dated to 35.62 ± 0.26 ka. Geochemical characterization of 565 glass shards from 36 samples by wavelength-dispersive electron probe microanalysis show the Menengai Tuff was deposited over >115,000 km2 and is found in the Baringo, Chalbi, Elmenteita, Nakuru, Olorgesailie, Turkana, and Victoria basins, all of which preserve rich Late Pleistocene paleoenvironmental and archaeological archives. Correlation and dating of the Menengai Tuff demonstrate that it is the most widespread tephra and largest eruption currently known from the Late Pleistocene of East Africa. As such, it is a valuable marker in establishing a Late Pleistocene chronology for paleoclimatic, archeological, and paleontological records relevant to the study of human evolution.

  13. Structural character of the Ghost Dance fault, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Spengler, R.W.; Braun, C.A.; Linden, R.M.; Martin, L.G.; Ross-Brown, D. M.; Blackburn, R.L.

    1993-01-01

    Detailed structural mapping of an area that straddles the southern part of the Ghost Dance Fault has revealed the presence of several additional subparallel to anastomosing faults. These faults, mapped at a scale of 1:240, are: 1) dominantly north trending, 2) present on both the upthrown and downthrown sides of the surface trace of the Ghost Dance fault, 3) near-vertical features that commonly offset strata down to the west by 3 to 6 m (10 to 20 ft), and 4) commonly spaced 15 to 46 m (50 to 150 ft) apart. The zone also exhibits a structural fabric, containing an abundance of northwest-trending fractures. The width of the zone appears to be at least 213 m (700 ft) near the southernmost boundary of the study area but remains unknown near the northern extent of the study area, where the width of the study area is only 183 m (600 ft).

  14. The Lake Forest Tuff Ring, Lake Tahoe, CA: Age and Geochemistry of a Post-arc Phreatomagmatic Eruption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cousens, B. L.; Henry, C. D.; Pauly, B. D.

    2007-12-01

    The Lake Tahoe region of the northern Sierra Nevada consists of Mesozoic plutonic rocks blanketed by Mio- Pliocene arc volcanic rocks and locally overlain by < 2.5 Ma post-arc lavas. Several volcanic features along the Lake Tahoe shoreline indicate that magmas commonly erupted into shallow regions of the lake during the last 2.5 Ma, including the Eagle Rock vent (Kortemeier and Schweickert 2007), Tahoe City pillow lavas and palagonite layers, and the Lake Forest tuff ring (Sylvester et al., 2007). Here we report on the age and composition of the rocks at Lake Forest, aiming to identify the source of the volcanic rocks compared to arc and post-arc lavas in the area. The low-relief Lake Forest tuff ring, located on the lakeshore west of Dollar Point, consists of radially outward-dipping layers composed primarily of loosely-cemented angular, microvesicular lava fragments with minor basaltic bombs and a scoria pile at the east end of the exposed ring. Most fragments are poorly phyric, and two samples are andesites similar to post-arc lavas sampled at higher elevations. The bombs are vesicular, poorly olivine/plagioclase-phyric basaltic andesites with chilled margins and glassy matrices. Scoria in the scoria pile, which we tentatively interpret as a slump, are similar texturally to the bombs but are more silica-rich. Chemically, the fragments, bombs and scoria are more primitive (higher Mg number) than local post-arc and arc lavas, and have trace element ratios and normalized incompatible element patterns similar to, but not identical to, local post-arc lava flows. Thus the Lake Forest tuff ring was the product of a shoreline eruptive event and did not form from lavas flowing downslope into the water. The fragments, bombs and scoria each have different radiogenic isotopic compositions and incompatible element ratios, indicating that primary magma compositions varied during the eruption(s) that produced the tuff ring. Our ongoing geochronological analyses will help

  15. Geochronology, stratigraphy and geochemistry of Cindery Tuff in Pliocene hominid-bearing sediments of the Middle Awash, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Hall, C M; Walter, R C; Westgate, J A; York, D

    Cindery Tuff is a subalkaline, rhyolitic air-fall deposit that was probably produced by a mixed-magma eruption. It is a distinctive, datable, regional isochronous marker bed within the Pliocene sediments of the Middle Awash district, and is stratigraphically situated between two new fossil hominid discoveries. Based on 40Ar/39Ar analyses of plagioclase, rhyolitic glass and basaltic glass, as well as fission-track analyses of zircons, we estimate its age to be 3.8-4.0 Myr. This implies that associated hominid skull fragments are at least 3.9 Myr old.

  16. Sorption Kinetics Of Selected Heavy Metals Adsorption To Natural And Fe(III) Modified Zeolite Tuff Containing Clinoptilolite Mineral

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sirotiak, Maroš; Lipovský, Marek; Bartošová, Alica

    2015-06-01

    In the research described in this paper, studied was sorption capacity of natural and ferric modification of zeolite tuff containing mineral clinoptilolite from the Nižný Hrabovec deposit to remove potentially toxic metals (ionic forms of chromium, nickel, copper and aluminium) from their water solutions. We reported that the Fe (III) zeolite has an enhanced ability to sorption of Cu (II), and a slight improvement occurs in the case of Cr (VI) and Ni (II). On the other hand, the deterioration was observed in the case of Al (III) adsorption.

  17. Radionuclide solubility and speciation studies for the Yucca Mountain site characterization project

    SciT

    Nitsche, H.; Roberts, K.; Prussin, T.

    1992-12-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA, is being investigated for its suitability as a potential site for a geologic nuclear waste repository. As part of the site characterization studies, actinide solubilities and speciations were studied at pH 6, 7, and 8.5 at 25{degrees}C in two different groundwaters from the vicinity of Yucca Mountain. The groundwaters differ substantially in total dissolved carbonate concentration, and to a lesser extent in ionic strength. In the waters with higher carbonate content, the solubilities of neptunium(V) decreased, whereas those americium(III) increased at 25{degrees}KC and decreased at 60{degrees}C. The solids formed were sodium neptunium carbonates and americium hydroxycarbonates.more » Plutonium solubilities did not significantly change with changing water composition because the solubility-controlling solids were mostly amorphous Pu(IV) polymers that contained only small amounts of carbonate.« less

  18. Radionuclide solubility and speciation studies for the Yucca Mountain site characterization project

    SciT

    Nitsche, H.; Roberts, K.; Prussin, T.

    1993-12-31

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, U.S.A., is being investigated for its suitability as a potential site for a geologic nuclear waste repository. As part of the site characterization studies, actinide solubilities and speciations were studied at pH 6, 7, and 8.5 at 25{degrees} and 60{degrees}C in two different groundwaters from the vicinity of Yucca Mountain. The groundwaters differ substantially in total dissolved carbonate concentration, and to a lesser extent in ionic strength. In the waters with higher carbonate content, the solubilities of neptunium(V) decreased, whereas those of americium (III) increased at 25{degrees}C and decreased at 60{degrees}C. The solids formed were sodium neptuniummore » carbonates and americium hydroxycarbonates. Plutonium solubilities did not significantly change with changing water composition because the solubility-controlling solids were mostly amorphous Pu(IV) polymers that contained only small amounts of carbonate.« less

  19. Hypocholesterolemic property of Yucca schidigera and Quillaja saponaria extracts in human body.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sang-Woo; Park, Sang-Kyu; Kang, Sung-Il; Kang, Han-Chul; Oh, Han-Jin; Bae, Chul-Young; Bae, Dong-Ho

    2003-12-01

    This study was undertaken to observe the effects of the blend of partially purified Yucca schidigera and Quillaja saponaria extracts on cholesterol levels in the human's blood and gastrointestinal functions, and to determine if a new cholesterol-lowering drug can be developed by the further purification of the extracts. Ultrafiltration and sequential diafiltration increased the amounts of steroidal saponin in aqueous yucca extract and terpenoid saponin in aqueous quillaja extract from 9.3% and 21.4% to 17.2% and 61.8%, respectively. Taking 0.9 mg of the blend (6:4, v:v) of the resulting filtrates a day for 4 weeks resulted in the decreases in total and LDL cholesterol levels in blood plasma of hyper-cholesterolemic patients with enhancement in gastrointestinal symptoms of patients.

  20. Local Transcriptional Control of YUCCA Regulates Auxin Promoted Root-Growth Inhibition in Response to Aluminium Stress in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Guangchao; Gao, Shan; Tian, Huiyu; Wu, Wenwen; Robert, Hélène S; Ding, Zhaojun

    2016-10-01

    Auxin is necessary for the inhibition of root growth induced by aluminium (Al) stress, however the molecular mechanism controlling this is largely unknown. Here, we report that YUCCA (YUC), which encodes flavin monooxygenase-like proteins, regulates local auxin biosynthesis in the root apex transition zone (TZ) in response to Al stress. Al stress up-regulates YUC3/5/7/8/9 in the root-apex TZ, which we show results in the accumulation of auxin in the root-apex TZ and root-growth inhibition during the Al stress response. These Al-dependent changes in the regulation of YUCs in the root-apex TZ and YUC-regulated root growth inhibition are dependent on ethylene signalling. Increasing or disruption of ethylene signalling caused either enhanced or reduced up-regulation, respectively, of YUCs in root-apex TZ in response to Al stress. In addition, ethylene enhanced root growth inhibition under Al stress was strongly alleviated in yuc mutants or by co-treatment with yucasin, an inhibitor of YUC activity, suggesting a downstream role of YUCs in this process. Moreover, ethylene-insensitive 3 (EIN3) is involved into the direct regulation of YUC9 transcription in this process. Furthermore, we demonstrated that PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR4 (PIF4) functions as a transcriptional activator for YUC5/8/9. PIF4 promotes Al-inhibited primary root growth by regulating the local expression of YUCs and auxin signal in the root-apex TZ. The Al-induced expression of PIF4 in root TZ acts downstream of ethylene signalling. Taken together, our results highlight a regulatory cascade for YUCs-regulated local auxin biosynthesis in the root-apex TZ mediating root growth inhibition in response to Al stress.

  1. Hydrovolcanic and Hydrothermal Biomediated Mineral Growth in Basaltic Tuff, Surtsey Volcano, Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, M. D.; Couper, S.; Ivarsson, M.; Stan, C. V.; Tamura, N.; Miyagi, L. M.; Moore, J. G.

    2017-12-01

    Fine-scale analyses of hydroclasts in 1979 Surtsey basaltic tuff drill core provide new methods for examining hydrovolcanic and hydrothermal magma-rock influences on biomediated alteration in palagonitized submarine tephra. Synchrotron source X-ray microdiffraction and microfluorescence studies from Advanced Light Source beamline 12.3.2, epifluorescent UVA illumination microscopy, S/TEM EDX compositional analyses, and Raman spectroscopy define diverse nanocrystalline clay mineral structures at 137.9 m depth (93.8 °C (1980)) and 102.6 m depth (141.3 °C (1980)). At 137.9 m, olivine contains endolithic microborings; vermicular microstructures in altered glass contain nontronite exhibiting crystallographic preferred orientation; and 75-150 µm sub-circular microstructures in altered glass contain Al-tobermorite, a calcium-silicate-hydrate with 11.3 Å interlayer spacing, zeolite, and epifluorescent, thread-like structures. At 102.6 m depth, concentrically-layered microstructures occur in altered glass and altered olivine. These have nontronite crystallographic preferred orientations that rotate around a longitudinal axis commonly occupied by a 10-80 µm long, epifluorescent thread-like structure. Pronounced carbon concentrations detected by S/TEM EDX trace layer boundaries. First-order Raman bands at 1370 cm-1 (disorder-related) and at 1580 cm-1 (order-related), and second-order bands at 2500-3300 cm-1 (overtone scattering) detect degraded organic carbonaceous matter, a strong indication of biological origin. Sub-circular nanostructures in altered glass at 137.9 m depth show similar spectra. Borehole fluid temperatures at 102.6 m, 141.3 °C in 1980, exceeded 130 °C, the assumed limit for growth of microorganisms, however. Previous analyses suggest an early low temperature episode in submarine deposits, prior to development of a hydrothermal system driven by 1964-1967 magmatic intrusions. The abundant traces of biomediated nanocrystalline clay mineral growth validate

  2. Analysis of Hydrogen Isotopic Exchange: Lava Creek Tuff Ash and Isotopically Labeled Water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, A. M.; Seligman, A. N.; Bindeman, I. N.; Nolan, G. S.

    2015-12-01

    Nolan and Bindeman (2013) placed secondarily hydrated ash from the 7.7 ka eruption of Mt. Mazama (δD=-149‰, 2.3wt% H2Ot) in isotopically labeled water (+650 ‰ δD, +56 ‰ δ18O) and observed that the H2Ot and δ18O values remained constant, but the δD values of ash increased with the surrounding water at 20, 40 and 70 °C. We expand on this work by conducting a similar experiment with ash from the 640 ka Lava Creek Tuff (LCT, δD of -128 ‰; 2.1 wt.% H2Ot) eruption of Yellowstone to see if significantly older glass (with a hypothesized gel layer on the surface shielding the interior from alteration) produces the same results. We have experiments running at 70, 24, and 5 °C, and periodically remove ~1.5 mg of glass to measure the δD (‰) and H2Ot (wt.%) of water extracted from the glass on a TC/EA MAT 253 continuous flow system. After 600 hours, the δD of the samples left at 5 and 24 °C remains at -128 ‰, but increased 8‰ for the 70 °C run series. However, there is no measurable change in wt.% of H2Ot, indicating that hydrogen exchange is not dictated by the addition of water. We are measuring and will report further progress of isotope exchange. We also plan to analyze the water in the LCT glass for δ18O (‰) to see if, as is the case for the Mt. Mazama glass, the δ18O (‰) remains constant. We also analyzed Mt. Mazama glass from the Nolan and Bindeman (2013) experiments that have now been sitting in isotopically labeled water at room temperature for ~5 years. The water concentration is still unchanged (2.3 wt.% H2Ot), and the δD of the water in the glass is now -111 ‰, causing an increase of 38 ‰. Our preliminary results show that exchange of hydrogen isotopes of hydrated glass is not limited by the age of the glass, and that the testing of hydrogen isotopes of secondarily hydrated glass, regardless of age, may not be a reliable paleoclimate indicator.

  3. Hemolytic and antimicrobial activities differ among saponin-rich extracts from guar, quillaja, yucca, and soybean.

    PubMed

    Hassan, Sherif M; Byrd, James A; Cartwright, Aubry L; Bailey, Chris A

    2010-10-01

    Hemolytic and antibacterial activities of eight serial concentrations ranged from 5-666 microg/mL of saponin-rich extracts from guar meal (GM), quillaja, yucca, and soybean were tested in 96-well plates and read by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay plate-well as 650 nm. Hemolytic assay used a 1% suspension of chicken red blood cells with water and phosphate buffered saline as positive and negative controls, respectively. Antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhimurium, and Escherichia coli were evaluated using ampicillin and bacteria without saponin-rich extract as positive and negative controls, respectively. The 100% MeOH GM and commercial quillaja saponin-rich extracts were significantly the highest in both hemolytic and antibacterial activities against all bacteria at the same concentration tested. Soybean saponin-rich extract had no antibacterial activity against any of the bacteria at the concentrations tested while yucca saponin-rich extract had no antibacterial activity against the gram-negative bacteria at the concentrations tested. GM and quillaja saponin-rich extracts were hemolytic, while yucca and soybean saponin-rich extracts were not hemolytic at the concentrations tested. No saponin-rich extract source had antibacterial activity against S. typhimurium or E. coli at the concentrations tested. Both GM and quillaja saponin-rich extracts exhibited antibacterial activity against S. aureus. Saponin-rich extracts from different plant sources have different hemolytic and antibacterial activities.

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

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

    1991-01-01

    About 4,000 gravity stations have been obtained at Yucca Mountain and vicinity since the beginning of radioactive-waste studies there in 1978. These data have been integrated with data from about 29,000 stations previously obtained in the surrounding region to produce a series of Bouguer and isostatic-residual-gravity maps of the Nevada Test Site and southeastern Nevada. Yucca Mountain is characterized by a WNW-dipping gravity gradient whereby residual values of -10 mGal along the east edge of Yucca Mountain decrease to about -38 mGal over Crater Flat. Using these gravity data, two-dimensional modeling predicted the depth to pre-Cenozoic rocks near the proposed repository to be about 1,220??150 m, an estimate that was subsequently confirmed by drilling to be 1,244 m. Three-dimensional modeling of the gravity low over Crater Flat indicates the thickness of Cenozoic volcanic rocks and alluvial cover to be about 3,000 m. Gravity interpretations also identified the Silent Canyon caldera before geologic mapping of Pahute Mesa and provided an estimate of the thickness of the volcanic section there of nearly 5 km.

  5. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project bibliography, 1992--1994. Supplement 4

    SciT

    NONE

    Following a reorganization of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management in 1990, the Yucca Mountain Project was renamed Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The title of this bibliography was also changed to Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Bibliography. Prior to August 5, 1988, this project was called the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations. This bibliography contains information on this ongoing project that was added to the Department of Energy`s Energy Science and Technology Database from January 1, 1992, through December 31, 1993. The bibliography is categorized by principal project participating organization. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, papers, and articles are includedmore » in the sponsoring organization`s list. Another section contains information about publications on the Energy Science and Technology Database that were not sponsored by the project but have some relevance to it. Earlier information on this project can be found in the first bibliography DOE/TIC-3406, which covers 1977--1985, and its three supplements DOE/OSTI-3406(Suppl.1), DOE/OSTI-3406(Suppl.2), and DOE/OSTI-3406(Suppl.3), which cover information obtained during 1986--1987, 1988--1989, and 1990--1991, respectively. All entries in the bibliographies are searchable online on the NNW database file. This file can be accessed through the Integrated Technical Information System (ITIS) of the US Department of Energy (DOE).« less

  6. The palaeogeographic setting and the local environmental impact of the 130 ka Falconiera tuff-cone eruption (Ustica island, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Vita, Sandro; Foresta Martin, Franco

    2017-04-01

    This research focuses on the effects of the last eruption at Ustica (Suthern Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy), which formed the Falconiera tuff-cone at around 130 ka BP in the north-eastern tip of the island. This eruption was mainly explosive and phreatomagmatic, and emplaced a series of pyroclastic surge beds that formed an asymmetric tuff cone. This is the most easily recognizable volcanic edifice on Ustica, although its north-eastern sector has been partially eroded. A section of the feeding conduit is exposed northward, and is composed of lavas that fed the last stages of the eruption characterized by an intracrateric lava lake and a Strombolian scoria-fallout deposit. The eruption occurred during Upper Pleistocene Marine Isotopic Substage 5.5, a warm period characterized by a high sea-level stand (6±3 m above the present sea level in stable areas) and the diffusion of subtropical flora and fauna across the Mediterranean sea. This eruption slightly modified the morphology of Ustica, but impacted both marine and terrestrial environments, burying beach deposits rich in mollusk shells (i.e. Strombus bubonius, Conus testudinarius, Brachidontes puniceus), colonies of corals (Cladocora caespitosa) and subaerial plants (Chamaerops humilis). These organisms, found in some cases in their life position, along with other lines of evidence, provide information on the palaeogeography of this sector of the island at the time of the eruption, and on the local impact of this event on the environment.

  7. Magnetic properties in an ash flow tuff with continuous grain size variation: a natural reference for magnetic particle granulometry

    Till, J.L.; Jackson, M.J.; Rosenbaum, J.G.; Solheid, P.

    2011-01-01

    The Tiva Canyon Tuff contains dispersed nanoscale Fe-Ti-oxide grains with a narrow magnetic grain size distribution, making it an ideal material in which to identify and study grain-size-sensitive magnetic behavior in rocks. A detailed magnetic characterization was performed on samples from the basal 5 m of the tuff. The magnetic materials in this basal section consist primarily of (low-impurity) magnetite in the form of elongated submicron grains exsolved from volcanic glass. Magnetic properties studied include bulk magnetic susceptibility, frequency-dependent and temperature-dependent magnetic susceptibility, anhysteretic remanence acquisition, and hysteresis properties. The combined data constitute a distinct magnetic signature at each stratigraphic level in the section corresponding to different grain size distributions. The inferred magnetic domain state changes progressively upward from superparamagnetic grains near the base to particles with pseudo-single-domain or metastable single-domain characteristics near the top of the sampled section. Direct observations of magnetic grain size confirm that distinct transitions in room temperature magnetic susceptibility and remanence probably denote the limits of stable single-domain behavior in the section. These results provide a unique example of grain-size-dependent magnetic properties in noninteracting particle assemblages over three decades of grain size, including close approximations of ideal Stoner-Wohlfarth assemblages, and may be considered a useful reference for future rock magnetic studies involving grain-size-sensitive properties.

  8. Structural character of the Ghost Dance Fault, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciT

    Spengler, R.W.; Braun, C.A.; Linden, R.M.

    1993-12-31

    Detailed structural mapping of an area that straddles the southern part of the Ghost Dance Fault has revealed the presence of several additional subparallel to anastomosing faults. These faults, mapped at a scale of 1:240, are: (1) dominantly north-trending, (2) present on both the upthrown and downthrown sides of the surface trace of the Ghost Dance fault, (3) near-vertical features that commonly offset strata down to the west by 3 to 6 m (10 to 20 ft), and (4) commonly spaced 15 to 46 m (50 to 150 ft) apart. The zone also exhibits a structural fabric, containing an abundancemore » of northwest-trending fractures. The width of the zone appears to be at least 213 m (700 ft) near the southernmost boundary of the study area but remains unknown near the northern extent of the study area, where the width of the study area is only 183 m (600 ft).« less

  9. Bomb-Pulse Chlorine-36 At The Proposed Yucca Mountain Repository Horizon: An Investigation Of Previous Conflicting Results And Collection Of New Data

    SciT

    J. Cizdziel

    2006-07-28

    Previous studies by scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) found elevated ratios of chlorine-36 to total chloride ({sup 36}Cl/Cl) in samples of rock collected from the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) and the Enhanced Characterization of the Repository Block (ECRB) at Yucca Mountain as the tunnels were excavated. The data were interpreted as an indication that fluids containing 'bomb-pulse' {sup 36}Cl reached the repository horizon in the {approx}50 years since the peak period of above-ground nuclear testing. Moreover, the data support the concept that so-called fast pathways for infiltration not only exist but are active, possibly through a combination ofmore » porous media, faults and/or other geologic features. Due to the significance of {sup 36}Cl data to conceptual models of unsaturated zone flow and transport, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) was requested by the Department of Energy (DOE) to design and implement a study to validate the LANL findings. The USGS chose to drill new boreholes at select locations across zones where bomb-pulse ratios had previously been identified. The drill cores were analyzed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) for {sup 36}Cl/Cl using both active and passive leaches, with the USGS/LLNL concluding that the active leach extracted too much rock-Cl and the passive leach did not show bomb-pulse ratios. Because consensus was not reached between the USGS/LLNL and LANL on several fundamental points, including the conceptual strategy for sampling, interpretation and use of tritium ({sup 3}H) data, and the importance and interpretation of blanks, in addition to the presence or absence of bomb-pulse {sup 36}Cl, an evaluation by an independent entity, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), using new samples was initiated. This report is the result of that study. The overall objectives of the UNLV study were to investigate the source or sources of the conflicting results from the previous

  10. Review of Microbial Responses to Abiotic Environmental Factors in the Context of the Proposed Yucca Mountain Repository

    SciT

    Meike, A.; Stroes-Gascoyne, S.

    2000-08-01

    A workshop on Microbial Activities at Yucca Mountain (May 1995, Lafayette, CA) was held with the intention to compile information on all pertinent aspects of microbial activity for application to a potential repository at Yucca Mountain. The findings of this workshop set off a number of efforts intended to eventually incorporate the impacts of microbial behavior into performance assessment models. One effort was to expand an existing modeling approach to include the distinctive characteristics of a repository at Yucca Mountain (e.g., unsaturated conditions and a significant thermal load). At the same time, a number of experimental studies were initiated asmore » well as a compilation of relevant literature to more thoroughly study the physical, chemical and biological parameters that would affect microbial activity under Yucca Mountain-like conditions. This literature search (completed in 1996) is the subject of the present document. The collected literature can be divided into four categories: (1) abiotic factors, (2) community dynamics and in-situ considerations, (3) nutrient considerations and (4) transport of radionuclides. The complete bibliography represents a considerable resource, but is too large to be discussed in one document. Therefore, the present report focuses on the first category, abiotic factors, and a discussion of these factors in order to facilitate the development of a model for Yucca Mountain.« less

  11. Scoria Cone and Tuff Ring Stratigraphy Interpreted from Ground Penetrating Radar, Rattlesnake Crater, Arizona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kruse, S. E.; McNiff, C. M.; Marshall, A. M.; Courtland, L. M.; Connor, C.; Charbonnier, S. J.; Abdollahzadeh, M.; Connor, L.; Farrell, A. K.; Harburger, A.; Kiflu, H. G.; Malservisi, R.; Njoroge, M.; Nushart, N.; Richardson, J. A.; Rookey, K.

    2013-12-01

    Numerous recent studies have demonstrated that detailed investigation of scoria cone and maar morphology can reveal rich details the eruptive and erosion histories of these volcanoes. A suite of geophysical surveys were conducted to images Rattlesnake Crater in the San Francisco Volcanic Field, AZ, US. We report here the results of ~3.4 km of ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveys that target the processes of deposition and erosion on the pair of cinder cones that overprint the southeast edge of Rattlesnake crater and on the tuff ring that forms the crater rim. Data were collected with 500, 250, 100, and 50 MHz antennas. The profiles were run in a radial direction down the northeast flanks of the cones (~1 km diameter, ~120 meters height) , and on the inner and outer margins of the oblong maar rim (~20-80 meters height). A maximum depth of penetration of GPR signal of ~15m was achieved high on the flanks of scoria cones. A minimum depth of essentially zero penetration occurred in the central crater. We speculate that maximum penetration occurs near the peaks of the cones and crater rim because ongoing erosion limits new soil formation. Soil formation would tend to increase surface conductivity and hence decrease GPR penetration. Soil is probably better developed within the crater, precluding significant radar penetration there. On the northeast side of the gently flattened rim of the easternmost scoria cone, the GPR profile shows internal layering that dips ~20 degrees northeast relative to the current ground surface. This clearly indicates that the current gently dipping surface is not a stratigraphic horizon, but reflects instead an erosive surface into cone strata that formed close to the angle of repose. Along much of the cone flanks GPR profiles show strata dipping ~4-5 degrees more steeply than the current surface, suggesting erosion has occurred over most of the height of the cone. An abrupt change in strata attitude is observed at the gradual slope

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

    SciT

    Umari, A.M.J.; Geldon, A.; Patterson, G.

    1994-12-31

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

  13. Zone separator for multiple zone vessels

    DOEpatents

    Jones, John B.

    1983-02-01

    A solids-gas contact vessel, having two vertically disposed distinct reaction zones, includes a dynamic seal passing solids from an upper to a lower zone and maintaining a gas seal against the transfer of the separate treating gases from one zone to the other, and including a stream of sealing fluid at the seal.

  14. Correlation of the KHS Tuff of the Kibish Formation to volcanic ash layers at other sites, and the age of early Homo sapiens (Omo I and Omo II).

    PubMed

    Brown, Francis H; McDougall, Ian; Fleagle, John G

    2012-10-01

    Hominin specimens Omo I and Omo II from Member I of the Kibish Formation, Ethiopia are attributed to early Homo sapiens, and an age near 196 ka has been suggested for them. The KHS Tuff, within Member II of the Kibish Formation has not been directly dated at the site, but it is believed to have been deposited at or near the time of formation of sapropel S6 in the Mediterranean Sea. Electron microprobe analyses suggest that the KHS Tuff correlates with the WAVT (Waidedo Vitric Tuff) at Herto, Gona, and Konso (sample TA-55), and with Unit D at Kulkuletti in the Ethiopian Rift Valley. Konso sample TA-55 is older than 154 ka, and Unit D at Kulkuletti is dated at 183 ka. These correlations and ages provide strong support for the age originally suggested for the hominin remains Omo I and Omo II, and for correlation of times of deposition in the Kibish region with formation of sapropels in the Mediterranean Sea. The Aliyo Tuff in Member III of the Kibish Formation is dated at 104 ka, and correlates with Gademotta Unit 15 in the Ethiopian Rift Valley. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. The Blacktail Creek Tuff: an analytical and experimental study of rhyolites from the Heise volcanic field, Yellowstone hotspot system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolte, Torsten; Holtz, Francois; Almeev, Renat; Nash, Barbara

    2015-02-01

    The magma storage conditions of the 6.62 Ma Blacktail Creek Tuff eruption, belonging to the Heise volcanic field (6.62-4.45 Ma old) of the Yellowstone hotspot system, have been investigated by combining thermobarometric and experimental approaches. The results from different geothermometers (e.g., Fe-Ti oxides, feldspar pairs, apatite and zircon solubility, and Ti in quartz) indicate a pre-eruptive temperature in the range 825-875 °C. The temperature estimated using two-pyroxene pairs varies in a range of 810-950 °C, but the pyroxenes are probably not in equilibrium with each other, and the analytical results of melt inclusion in pyroxenes indicate a complex history for clinopyroxene, which hosts two compositionally different inclusion types. One natural Blacktail Creek Tuff rock sample has been used to determine experimentally the equilibrium phase assemblages in the pressure range 100-500 MPa and a water activity range 0.1-1.0. The experiments have been performed at fluid-present conditions, with a fluid phase composed of H2O and CO2, as well as at fluid-absent conditions. The stability of the quartzo-feldspathic phases is similar in both types of experiments, but the presence of mafic minerals such as biotite and clinopyroxene is strongly dependent on the experimental approach. Possible explanations are given for this discrepancy which may have strong impacts on the choice of appropriate experimental approaches for the determination of magma storage conditions. The comparison of the composition of natural phases and of experimentally synthesized phases confirms magma storage temperatures of 845-875 °C. Melt water contents of 1.5-2.5 wt% H2O are required to reproduce the natural Blacktail Creek Tuff mineral assemblage at these temperatures. Using the Ti-in-quartz barometer and the Qz-Ab-Or proportions of natural matrix glasses, coexisting with quartz, plagioclase and sanidine, the depth of magma storage is estimated to be in a pressure range between 130 and

  16. A high-pyrite semianthracite of Late Permian age in the Songzao Coalfield, southwestern China: Mineralogical and geochemical relations with underlying mafic tuffs

    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

  17. A refined characterization of the alluvial geology of yucca flat and its effect on bulk hydraulic conductivity

    Phelps, G.A.; Halford, K.J.

    2011-01-01

    In Yucca Flat, on the Nevada National Security Site in southern Nevada, the migration of radionuclides from tests located in the alluvial deposits into the Paleozoic carbonate aquifer involves passage through a thick, heterogeneous section of late Tertiary and Quaternary alluvial sediments. An understanding of the lateral and vertical changes in the material properties of the alluvial sediments will aid in the further development of the hydrogeologic framework and the delineation of hydrostratigraphic units and hydraulic properties required for simulating groundwater flow in the Yucca Flat area. Previously published geologic models for the alluvial sediments within Yucca Flat are based on extensive examination and categorization of drill-hole data, combined with a simple, data-driven interpolation scheme. The U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with Stanford University, is researching improvements to the modeling of the alluvial section, incorporating prior knowledge of geologic structure into the interpolation method and estimating the uncertainty of the modeled hydrogeologic units.

  18. Vegetation during UMBI and deposition of Tuff IF at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania (ca. 1.8 Ma) based on phytoliths and plant remains.

    PubMed

    Albert, Rosa Maria; Bamford, Marion K

    2012-08-01

    As part of ongoing research at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, to determine the detailed paleoenvironmental setting during Bed I and Bed II times and occupation of the basin by early hominins, we present the results of phytolith analyses of Tuff IF which is the uppermost unit of Bed I. Phytoliths were identified in most of the levels and localities on the eastern paleolake margin, but there are not always sufficient numbers of identifiable morphologies to infer the specific type of vegetation due to dissolution. Some surge surfaces and reworked tuff surfaces were vegetated between successive ash falls, as indicated by root-markings and the presence of a variety of phytolith morphotypes. Dicotyledonous wood/bark types were dominant except at the FLK N site just above Tuff IF when monocots are dominant and for the palm-dominated sample from the reworked channel cutting down into Tuff IF at FLK N. The area between the two fault scarps bounding the HWK Compartment, approximately 1 km wide, was vegetated at various time intervals between some of the surges and during the reworking of the Tuff. By lowermost Bed II times the eastern margin was fully vegetated again. Climate and tectonic activity probably controlled the fluctuating lake levels but locally the paleorelief and drainage were probably the controlling factors for the vegetation changes. These data support a scenario of small groups of hominins making brief visits to the paleolake during uppermost Bed I times, followed by a more desirable vegetative environment during lowermost Bed II times. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Root Apex Transition Zone As Oscillatory Zone

    PubMed Central

    Baluška, František; Mancuso, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    Root apex of higher plants shows very high sensitivity to environmental stimuli. The root cap acts as the most prominent plant sensory organ; sensing diverse physical parameters such as gravity, light, humidity, oxygen, and critical inorganic nutrients. However, the motoric responses to these stimuli are accomplished in the elongation region. This spatial discrepancy was solved when we have discovered and characterized the transition zone which is interpolated between the apical meristem and the subapical elongation zone. Cells of this zone are very active in the cytoskeletal rearrangements, endocytosis and endocytic vesicle recycling, as well as in electric activities. Here we discuss the oscillatory nature of the transition zone which, together with several other features of this zone, suggest that it acts as some kind of command center. In accordance with the early proposal of Charles and Francis Darwin, cells of this root zone receive sensory information from the root cap and instruct the motoric responses of cells in the elongation zone. PMID:24106493

  20. The Honey Lake fault zone, northeastern California: Its nature, age, and displacement

    SciT

    Wagner, D.L.; Saucedo, G.J.; Grose, T.L.T.

    The Honey Lake fault zone of northeastern California is composed of en echelon, northwest trending faults that form the boundary between the Sierra Nevada and the Basin Ranges provinces. As such the Honey Lake fault zone can be considered part of the Sierra Nevada frontal fault system. It is also part of the Walker Lane of Nevada. Faults of the Honey Lake zone are vertical with right-lateral oblique displacements. The cumulative vertical component of displacement along the fault zone is on the order of 800 m and right-lateral displacement is at least 10 km (6 miles) but could be considerablymore » more. Oligocene to Miocene (30 to 22 Ma) age rhyolite tuffs can be correlated across the zone, but mid-Miocene andesites do not appear to be correlative indicating the faulting began in early to mid-Miocene time. Volcanic rocks intruded along faults of the zone, dated at 16 to 8 Ma, further suggest that faulting in the Honey Lake zone was initiated during mid-Miocene time. Late Quaternary to Holocene activity is indicated by offset of the 12,000 year old Lake Lahontan high stand shoreline and the surface rupture associated with the 1950 Fort Sage earthquake.« less

  1. Report of the Peer Review Panel on the early site suitability evaluation of the Potential Repository Site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    SciT

    NONE

    1992-01-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) Yucca mountain Site Characterization Project Office (YMPO) assigned Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), the Technical and Management Support Services (T&MSS) contractor to the YmPo, the task of conducting an Early Site Suitability Evaluation (ESSE) of the Yucca mountain site as a potential site for a high-level radioactive waste repository. First, the assignment called for the development of a method to evaluate a single site against the DOE General Guidelines for Recommendation of Sites for Nuclear Waste Repositories, 10 CFR Part 960. Then, using this method, an evaluation team, the ESSE Core Team, of seniormore » YMP scientists, engineers, and technical experts, evaluated new information obtained about the site since publication of the final Environmental Assessment (DOE, 1986) to determine if new suitability/unsuitability findings could be recommended. Finally, the Core Team identified further information and analyses needed to make final determinations for each of the guidelines. As part of the task, an independent peer review of the ESSE report has been conducted. Expertise was solicited that covered the entire spectrum of siting guidelines in 10 CFR Part 960 in order to provide a complete, in-depth critical review of the data evaluated and cited in the ESSE report, the methods used to evaluate the data, and the conclusions and recommendations offered by the report. Fourteen nationally recognized technical experts (Table 2) served on the Peer Review Panel. The comments from the Panel and the responses prepared by the ESSE Core Team, documented on formal Comment Response Forms, constitute the body of this document.« less

  2. Completion Report for Well ER-3-3 Corrective Action Unit 97: Yucca Flat/Climax Mine, Revision 0

    SciT

    Wurtz, Jeffrey; Rehfeldt, Ken

    Well ER-3-3 was drilled for the U.S. Department of Energy, Nevada National Security Administration Nevada Field Office in support of the Underground Test Area (UGTA) Activity. The well was drilled and completed from February 21 to March 15, 2016, as part of the Corrective Action Investigation Plan (CAIP) for Yucca Flat/Climax Mine Corrective Action Unit (CAU) 97. The primary purpose of the well was to collect hydrogeologic data to assist in validating concepts of the flow system within the Yucca Flat/Climax Mine CAU, and to test for potential radionuclides in groundwater from the WAGTAIL (U3an) underground test.

  3. A Summary interpretation of geologic, hydrologic, and geophysical data for Yucca Valley, Nevada test site, Nye County, Nevada

    Wilmarth, Verl Richard; Healey, D.L.; Clebsch, Alfred; Winograd, I.J.; Zietz, Isadore; Oliver, H.W.

    1959-01-01

    This report summarizes an interpretation of the geology of Yucca Valley to depths of about 2,300 feet below the surface, the characteristics features of ground water in Yucca and Frenchman Valleys, and the seismic, gravity, and magnetic data for these valleys. Compilation of data, preparation of illustrations, and writing of the report were completed during the period December 26, 1958 to January 10, 1959. Some of the general conclusions must be considered as tentative until more data are available. This work was done by the U.S. Geological Survey on behalf of Albuquerque Operations Office, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

  4. Status of volcanism studies for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    SciT

    Crowe, B.; Perry, F.; Murrell, M.

    1995-02-01

    Chapter 1 introduces the volcanism issue for the Yucca Mountain site and provides the reader with an overview of the organization, content, and significant conclusions of this report. The risk of future basaltic volcanism is the primary topic of concern including both events that intersect a potential repository and events that occur near or within the waste isolation system of a repository. Chapter 2 describes the volcanic history of the Yucca Mountain region (YMR) and emphasizes the Pliocene and Quaternary volcanic record, the interval of primary concern for volcanic risk assessment. The Lathrop Wells volcanic center is described in detailmore » because it is the youngest basalt center in the YMR. Chapter 3 describes the tectonic setting of the YMR and presents and assesses the significance of multiple alternative tectonic models. Geophysical data are described for the YMR and are used as an aid to understand the distribution of basaltic volcanic centers. Chapter 4 discusses the petrologic and geochemical features of basaltic volcanism in the YMR, the southern Great Basin and the Basin and Range province. The long time of activity and characteristic small volume of the Postcaldera basalt of the YMR result in one of the lowest eruptive rates in a volcanic field in the southwest United States. Chapter 5 summarizes current concepts of the segregation, ascent, and eruption of basalt magma. Chapter 6 summarizes the history of volcanism studies (1979 through early 1994), including work for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project and overview studies by the state of Nevada and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Chapter 7 summarizes probabilistic volcanic hazard assessment using a three-part conditional probability model. Chapter 8 describes remaining volcanism work judged to be needed to complete characterization studies for the YMR. Chapter 9 summarizes the conclusions of this volcanism status report.« less

  5. Comparative phylogeography of a coevolved community: concerted population expansions in Joshua trees and four yucca moths

    Smith, Christopher Irwin; Tank, Shantel; Godsoe, William; Levenick, Jim; Strand, Eva; Esque, Todd C.; Pellmyr, Olle

    2011-01-01

    Comparative phylogeographic studies have had mixed success in identifying common phylogeographic patterns among co-distributed organisms. Whereas some have found broadly similar patterns across a diverse array of taxa, others have found that the histories of different species are more idiosyncratic than congruent. The variation in the results of comparative phylogeographic studies could indicate that the extent to which sympatrically-distributed organisms share common biogeographic histories varies depending on the strength and specificity of ecological interactions between them. To test this hypothesis, we examined demographic and phylogeographic patterns in a highly specialized, coevolved community – Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia) and their associated yucca moths. This tightly-integrated, mutually interdependent community is known to have experienced significant range changes at the end of the last glacial period, so there is a strong a priori expectation that these organisms will show common signatures of demographic and distributional changes over time. Using a database of >5000 GPS records for Joshua trees, and multi-locus DNA sequence data from the Joshua tree and four species of yucca moth, we combined paleaodistribution modeling with coalescent-based analyses of demographic and phylgeographic history. We extensively evaluated the power of our methods to infer past population size and distributional changes by evaluating the effect of different inference procedures on our results, comparing our palaeodistribution models to Pleistocene-aged packrat midden records, and simulating DNA sequence data under a variety of alternative demographic histories. Together the results indicate that these organisms have shared a common history of population expansion, and that these expansions were broadly coincident in time. However, contrary to our expectations, none of our analyses indicated significant range or population size reductions at the end of the last glacial

  6. Comparative phylogeography of a coevolved community: Concerted population expansions in Joshua trees and four Yucca moths

    Smith, C.I.; Tank, S.; Godsoe, W.; Levenick, J.; Strand, Espen; Esque, T.; Pellmyr, O.

    2011-01-01

    Comparative phylogeographic studies have had mixed success in identifying common phylogeographic patterns among co-distributed organisms. Whereas some have found broadly similar patterns across a diverse array of taxa, others have found that the histories of different species are more idiosyncratic than congruent. The variation in the results of comparative phylogeographic studies could indicate that the extent to which sympatrically-distributed organisms share common biogeographic histories varies depending on the strength and specificity of ecological interactions between them. To test this hypothesis, we examined demographic and phylogeographic patterns in a highly specialized, coevolved community - Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia) and their associated yucca moths. This tightly-integrated, mutually interdependent community is known to have experienced significant range changes at the end of the last glacial period, so there is a strong a priori expectation that these organisms will show common signatures of demographic and distributional changes over time. Using a database of >5000 GPS records for Joshua trees, and multi-locus DNA sequence data from the Joshua tree and four species of yucca moth, we combined paleaodistribution modeling with coalescent-based analyses of demographic and phylgeographic history. We extensively evaluated the power of our methods to infer past population size and distributional changes by evaluating the effect of different inference procedures on our results, comparing our palaeodistribution models to Pleistocene-aged packrat midden records, and simulating DNA sequence data under a variety of alternative demographic histories. Together the results indicate that these organisms have shared a common history of population expansion, and that these expansions were broadly coincident in time. However, contrary to our expectations, none of our analyses indicated significant range or population size reductions at the end of the last glacial

  7. Comparative Phylogeography of a Coevolved Community: Concerted Population Expansions in Joshua Trees and Four Yucca Moths

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Christopher Irwin; Tank, Shantel; Godsoe, William; Levenick, Jim; Strand, Eva; Esque, Todd; Pellmyr, Olle

    2011-01-01

    Comparative phylogeographic studies have had mixed success in identifying common phylogeographic patterns among co-distributed organisms. Whereas some have found broadly similar patterns across a diverse array of taxa, others have found that the histories of different species are more idiosyncratic than congruent. The variation in the results of comparative phylogeographic studies could indicate that the extent to which sympatrically-distributed organisms share common biogeographic histories varies depending on the strength and specificity of ecological interactions between them. To test this hypothesis, we examined demographic and phylogeographic patterns in a highly specialized, coevolved community – Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia) and their associated yucca moths. This tightly-integrated, mutually interdependent community is known to have experienced significant range changes at the end of the last glacial period, so there is a strong a priori expectation that these organisms will show common signatures of demographic and distributional changes over time. Using a database of >5000 GPS records for Joshua trees, and multi-locus DNA sequence data from the Joshua tree and four species of yucca moth, we combined paleaodistribution modeling with coalescent-based analyses of demographic and phylgeographic history. We extensively evaluated the power of our methods to infer past population size and distributional changes by evaluating the effect of different inference procedures on our results, comparing our palaeodistribution models to Pleistocene-aged packrat midden records, and simulating DNA sequence data under a variety of alternative demographic histories. Together the results indicate that these organisms have shared a common history of population expansion, and that these expansions were broadly coincident in time. However, contrary to our expectations, none of our analyses indicated significant range or population size reductions at the end of the last glacial

  8. Age and character of basaltic rocks of the Yucca Mountain region, southern Nevada

    Fleck, R.J.; Turrin, B.D.; Sawyer, D.A.; Warren, R.G.; Champion, D.E.; Hudson, M.R.; Minor, S.A.

    1996-01-01

    Volcanism in the Yucca Mountain region of southern Nevada in the last 5 m.y. is restricted to moderate-to-small volumes of subalkaline basaltic magmas, produced during at least 6 intervals, and spanning an age range from 4.6 Ma to about 125 ka. Where paleomagnetic evidence is available, the period of volcanism at individual eruptive centers apparently was geologically short-lived, even where multiple eruptions involved different magma types. K-Ar studies are consistent with most other geochronologic information, such as the minimum ages of exposure-dating techniques, and show no evidence of renewed volcanism after a significant quiescence at any of the centers in the Yucca Mountain region. A volcanic recurrence interval of 860 ?? 350 kyr is computed from a large K-Ar data set and an evaluation of their uncertainties. Monte Carlo error propagations demonstrate the validity of uncertainties obtained for weighted-mean ages when modified using the goodness of fit parameter, MSWD. Elevated 87Sr/86Sr initial ratios (Sri) in the basalts, nearly constant at 0.707, combined with low SiO2 and Rb/Sr ratios indicate a subcontinental, lithospheric mantle source, previously enriched in radiogenic Sr and depleted in Rb. Beginning with eruptions of the most voluminous eruptive center, the newly dated Pliocene Thirsty Mountain volcano, basaltic magmas have decreased in eruptive volume, plagioclase-phenocryst content, various trace element ratios, and TiO2, while increasing in light rare earth elements, U, Th, P2O5, and light REE/heavy REE ratios. These time-correlated changes are consistent with either increasing depths of melting or a decreasing thermal gradient in the Yucca Mountain region during the last 5 m.y.

  9. Multiphysics processes in partially saturated fractured rock: Experiments and models from Yucca Mountain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rutqvist, Jonny; Tsang, Chin-Fu

    2012-09-01

    The site investigations at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, have provided us with an outstanding data set, one that has significantly advanced our knowledge of multiphysics processes in partially saturated fractured geological media. Such advancement was made possible, foremost, by substantial investments in multiyear field experiments that enabled the study of thermally driven multiphysics and testing of numerical models at a large spatial scale. The development of coupled-process models within the project have resulted in a number of new, advanced multiphysics numerical models that are today applied over a wide range of geoscientific research and geoengineering applications. Using such models, the potential impact of thermal-hydrological-mechanical (THM) multiphysics processes over the long-term (e.g., 10,000 years) could be predicted and bounded with some degree of confidence. The fact that the rock mass at Yucca Mountain is intensively fractured enabled continuum models to be used, although discontinuum models were also applied and are better suited for analyzing some issues, especially those related to predictions of rockfall within open excavations. The work showed that in situ tests (rather than small-scale laboratory experiments alone) are essential for determining appropriate input parameters for multiphysics models of fractured rocks, especially related to parameters defining how permeability might evolve under changing stress and temperature. A significant laboratory test program at Yucca Mountain also made important contributions to the field of rock mechanics, showing a unique relation between porosity and mechanical properties, a time dependency of strength that is significant for long-term excavation stability, a decreasing rock strength with sample size using very large core experiments, and a strong temperature dependency of the thermal expansion coefficient for temperatures up to 200°C. The analysis of in situ heater experiments showed that fracture

  10. Completion Report for Well ER-4-1 Corrective Action Unit 97: Yucca Flat/Climax Mine, Revision 0

    SciT

    Wurtz, Jeffrey; Rehfeldt, Ken

    Well ER-4-1 was drilled for the U.S. Department of Energy, Nevada National Security Administration Nevada Field Office in support of the Underground Test Area (UGTA) Activity. The well was drilled and completed from March 23 to April 13, 2016, as part of the Corrective Action Investigation Plan (CAIP) for Yucca Flat/Climax Mine Corrective Action Unit (CAU) 97. The primary purpose of the well was to collect hydrogeologic data to assist in validating concepts of the groundwater flow system within the Yucca Flat/Climax Mine CAU, and to test for potential radionuclides in groundwater from the STRAIT (U4a) underground test. The completedmore » well includes one piezometer (p1), to a depth of 663.16 meters (m) (2,175.71 feet [ft]) below ground surface (bgs) and open from the Alluvial aquifer (AA3) to the Oak Spring Butte confining unit (OSBCU) hydrostratigraphic units; and a main completion (m1), which includes 6.625-inch (in.) casing with slotted interval (m1) installed to 906.80 m (2,975.05 ft) bgs in the Lower carbonate aquifer (LCA). A 13.375-in. diameter surface casing was installed from the surface to a depth of 809.00 m (2,654.21 ft) bgs. Well ER-4-1 experienced a number of technical issues during drilling, including borehole instability and sloughing conditions. An intermediate, 10.75-in./9.625-in. casing string was installed to 856.94 m (2,811.48 ft) bgs to control these issues. Borehole stability and erosion problems appear to be associated with the Tunnel Formation (Tn) and the Older tunnel beds (Ton). Overall efforts to stabilize the borehole were successful. Data collected during borehole construction include composite drill cutting samples collected every 3.0 m (10 ft), a partial suite of geophysical logs to a maximum depth of 766.57 m (2,515 ft) bgs, water-quality measurements (including tritium), water-level measurements, and two depth-discrete bailer samples collected at 538.89 m and 646.18 m (1,768 ft and 2,120 ft) bgs respectively. The well

  11. Evolution Of An Upper Crustal Plutonic-Volcanic Plumbing System:Insights From High Precision U-Pb Zircon Geochronology Of Intracaldera Tuff And Intrusions In Silver Creek Caldera, Arizona, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, T.; Mundil, R.; Miller, C. F.; Miller, J. S.; Paterson, S. R.

    2010-12-01

    Study of both plutonic and volcanic regimes in one single magmatic system is a powerful approach towards obtaining a more complete view of the long-term evolution of magma systems. The recently discovered Silver Creek caldera is the source of the voluminous Peach Spring Tuff (PST) (Ferguson, 2008) and presents a unique opportunity to study a field laboratory of a linked plutonic-volcanic system. This relict west-facing half caldera is predominantly filled with trachytic intracaldera tuff with the caldera margin intruded by several petrologically distinct hypabyssal intrusions. These include porphyritic granite with granophyric texture, felsic leucogranite, porphyritic monzonite exposed on NE side of the caldera that is zoned from more felsic to more mafic, and quartz-phyric dikes that intrude the caldera fill. We present preliminary single zircon ages from 4 samples that have been analyzed using the CA-TIMS method after thermal annealing and chemical leaching (Mattinson 2005), including 1 sample from intracaldera tuff and 3 samples from caldera-related intrusions. 3-D total U/Pb isochron ages from all four samples fall within a range of 18.32-18.90 Ma with uncertainties between 0.09 and 0.39 Ma, although some of them lack precision and are compromised by elevated common Pb. For example, zircon from the dated porphyritic monzonite yields an age of 18.32±0.42 Ma (MSWD=2.7) where the excess scatter may result from real age dispersion and/or different compositions of the common Pb contribution. The PST had been dated to ~18.5 Ma by 40Ar/39Ar techniques (Nielson et al., 1990). In order to be compared to U/Pb ages the 40Ar/39Ar age must be adjusted for a revised age for the then used flux monitor (MMbh-1) and corrected for the now quantified systematic bias between 40Ar/39Ar and U/Pb ages (Renne et al., 2010), which results in a corrected age of 18.8 Ma. Thus, the ages for our samples match that of the PST within error. Based on current results, the age difference

  12. Providing plastic zone extrusion

    SciT

    Manchiraju, Venkata Kiran; Feng, Zhili; David, Stan A.

    Plastic zone extrusion may be provided. First, a compressor may generate frictional heat in stock to place the stock in a plastic zone of the stock. Then, a conveyer may receive the stock in its plastic zone from the compressor and transport the stock in its plastic zone from the compressor. Next, a die may receive the stock in its plastic zone from the conveyer and extrude the stock to form a wire.

  13. Vadose zone microbiology

    SciT

    Kieft, Thomas L.; Brockman, Fred J.

    2001-01-17

    The vadose zone is defined as the portion of the terrestrial subsurface that extends from the land surface downward to the water table. As such, it comprises the surface soil (the rooting zone), the underlying subsoil, and the capillary fringe that directly overlies the water table. The unsaturated zone between the rooting zone and the capillary fringe is termed the "intermediate zone" (Chapelle, 1993). The vadose zone has also been defined as the unsaturated zone, since the sediment pores and/or rock fractures are generally not completely water filled, but instead contain both water and air. The latter characteristic results inmore » the term "zone of aeration" to describe the vadose zone. The terms "vadose zone," "unsaturated zone", and "zone of aeration" are nearly synonymous, except that the vadose zone may contain regions of perched water that are actually saturated. The term "subsoil" has also been used for studies of shallow areas of the subsurface immediately below the rooting zone. This review focuses almost exclusively on the unsaturated region beneath the soil layer since there is already an extensive body of literature on surface soil microbial communities and process, e.g., Paul and Clark (1989), Metting (1993), Richter and Markowitz, (1995), and Sylvia et al. (1998); whereas the deeper strata of the unsaturated zone have only recently come under scrutiny for their microbiological properties.« less

  14. Comparing pre- and post-chemical abrasion ages for Miocene Peach Springs Tuff zircon from ID-TIMS and SIMS analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lidzbarski, M. I.; Mundil, R.; Miller, J. S.; Vazquez, J. A.

    2012-12-01

    The Miocene Peach Spring Tuff (PST) is a voluminous (>600 km3), zoned ignimbrite (trachyte to high-SiO2 rhyolite) that is exposed widely in eastern California, western Arizona, and southernmost Nevada, which was erupted from the Silver Creek caldera in the southwestern Black Mountains, AZ. PST serves as a regionally widespread marker unit and its eruption age has been determined to 18.8 to 18.9 Ma by 40Ar/39Ar methods, when corrected for systematic bias and normalized to the U-Pb system (Renne et al., 2010,). We performed ion-microprobe (SIMS) U-Pb dating of zircon from individual pumice clasts from PST to evaluate the growth history of zircon in the PST magma system. Sectioned, polished zircon from conventional epoxy mounts allows dating of internal growth domains (e.g. cores, interiors, and near-rim), whereas mounting unpolished zircon in indium and analyzing unpolished crystal faces provides a means to selectively sample the final increments of crystal growth (Reid and Coath, 2000). Combining U-Pb ages of unpolished zircon rims with near-rim interior analyses on sectioned grains yields a mean age of ca. 18.3 Ma, whereas ages of cores of sectioned crystals yield a mean of ca. 18.9 Ma. Several zircons have rim and/or core ages that are several hundred thousand years older or younger than these means (up to 1 m.y. total spread), although the uncertainties for individual SIMS ages are 2 to 5% (2 sigma uncertainty). Therefore, the distribution of ages is challenging to resolve. A modest number of the older grains are plausibly recycled antecrysts, but we suspect that the youngest zircons may have experienced Pb-loss. Failure to account for the possibility of inheritance and Pb-loss may lead to erroneous interpretations about crystallization in the PST system. In order to evaluate and mitigate the effects of Pb-loss, we employed the chemical abrasion (CA) technique of Mattinson (2005), which effectively eliminates domains in zircon that have suffered Pb-loss, and

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

    SciT

    G. Keating; W.Statham

    2004-02-12

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

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

    SciT

    NONE

    1997-04-01

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

  17. Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) seeds are dispersed by seed-caching rodents

    Vander Wall, S.B.; Esque, T.; Haines, D.; Garnett, M.; Waitman, B.A.

    2006-01-01

    Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) is a distinctive and charismatic plant of the Mojave Desert. Although floral biology and seed production of Joshua tree and other yuccas are well understood, the fate of Joshua tree seeds has never been studied. We tested the hypothesis that Joshua tree seeds are dispersed by seed-caching rodents. We radioactively labelled Joshua tree seeds and followed their fates at five source plants in Potosi Wash, Clark County, Nevada, USA. Rodents made a mean of 30.6 caches, usually within 30 m of the base of source plants. Caches contained a mean of 5.2 seeds buried 3-30 nun deep. A variety of rodent species appears to have prepared the caches. Three of the 836 Joshua tree seeds (0.4%) cached germinated the following spring. Seed germination using rodent exclosures was nearly 15%. More than 82% of seeds in open plots were removed by granivores, and neither microsite nor supplemental water significantly affected germination. Joshua tree produces seeds in indehiscent pods or capsules, which rodents dismantle to harvest seeds. Because there is no other known means of seed dispersal, it is possible that the Joshua tree-rodent seed dispersal interaction is an obligate mutualism for the plant.

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

    SciT

    Tsang, Y.W.; Pruess, K.

    1991-06-01

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

  19. Marked antigiardial activity of Yucca baccata extracts: a potential natural alternative for treating protozoan infections.

    PubMed

    Quihui-Cota, Luis; León-Trujillo, Rocio; Astiazarán-García, Humberto; Esparza-Romero, Julián; del Refugio Robles, María; Robles-Zepeda, Ramón E; Canett, Rafael; Sánchez-Escalante, Jesús

    2014-01-01

    Human giardiosis is a public health problem in Mexico, where the national prevalence was estimated to be up to 68%. Misuse of antiprotozoal drugs may result in low effectiveness and undesirable side effects. Research on natural products is a good strategy for discovering more effective antiparasitic compounds. This study evaluated the antigiardial activity of extracts of Yucca baccata, which is native to northwestern Mexico. Forty-two gerbils (females) were weighed and orally inoculated with 5 × 10(6) Giardia trophozoites. Two gerbils were selected at random to confirm infection. Forty living gerbils were randomly allocated into 5 treatment groups (8 per group). Gerbils were randomly assigned to be treated with 24.4 mg/mL, 12.2 mg/mL, and 6.1 mg/mL of extracts, metronidazole (2 mg/mL) or PBS, which were intragastrically administered once per day for 3 days. Nine gerbils died during the study course. On day 10 postinfection, gerbils were euthanized and trophozoites were quantified. Yucca extracts reduced, albeit not significantly, the trophozoite counts in the duodenum segment. Only the high-extract concentration significantly reduced the trophozoite counts in the proximal segment and it was similar to that of metronidazole. Extracts of Y. baccata may represent an effective and natural therapeutic alternative for human giardiosis.

  20. Marked Antigiardial Activity of Yucca baccata Extracts: A Potential Natural Alternative for Treating Protozoan Infections

    PubMed Central

    Quihui-Cota, Luis; León-Trujillo, Rocio; Astiazarán-García, Humberto; Esparza-Romero, Julián; Robles, María del Refugio; Robles-Zepeda, Ramón E.; Canett, Rafael; Sánchez-Escalante, Jesús

    2014-01-01

    Human Giardiosis is a public health problem in Mexico, where the national prevalence was estimated to be up to 68%. Misuse of antiprotozoal drugs may result in low effectiveness and undesirable side effects. Research on natural products is a good strategy for discovering more effective antiparasitic compounds. This study evaluated the antigiardial activity of extracts of Yucca baccata, which is native to northwestern Mexico. Forty-two gerbils (females) were weighed and orally inoculated with 5 × 106 Giardia trophozoites. Two gerbils were selected at random to confirm infection. Forty living gerbils were randomly allocated into 5 treatment groups (8 per group). Gerbils were randomly assigned to be treated with 24.4 mg/mL, 12.2 mg/mL, and 6.1 mg/mL of extracts, metronidazole (2 mg/mL) or PBS, which were intragastrically administered once per day for 3 days. Nine gerbils died during the study course. On day 10 postinfection, gerbils were euthanized and trophozoites were quantified. Yucca extracts reduced, albeit not significantly, the trophozoite counts in the duodenum segment. Only the high-extract concentration significantly reduced the trophozoite counts in the proximal segment and it was similar to that of metronidazole. Extracts of Y. baccata may represent an effective and natural therapeutic alternative for human giardiosis. PMID:25250335

  1. YUCCA MOUNTAIN: Earth-Science Issues at a Geologic Repository for High-Level Nuclear Waste

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, Jane C. S.

    2004-05-01

    The nation has over 40,000 metric tonnes (MT) of nuclear waste destined for disposal in a geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. In this review, we highlight some of the important geoscience issues associated with the project and place them in the context of the process by which a final decision on Yucca Mountain will be made. The issues include understanding how water could infiltrate the repository, corrode the canisters, dissolve the waste, and transport it to the biosphere during a 10,000-year compliance period in a region, the Basin and Range province, that is known for seismic and volcanic activity. Although the site is considered to be "dry," a considerable amount of water is present as pore waters and as structural water in zeolites. The geochemical environment is oxidizing, and the present repository design will maintain temperatures at greater than 100°C for thousands of years. Geoscientists in this project are challenged to make unprecedented predictions about coupled thermal, hydrologic, mechanical, and geochemical processes governing the future behavior of the repository and to conduct research in a regulatory and legal environment that requires a quantitative analysis of repository performance.

  2. A Fruit of Yucca Mountain: The Remote Waste Package Closure System

    SciT

    Kevin Skinner; Greg Housley; Colleen Shelton-Davis

    2011-11-01

    Was the death of the Yucca Mountain repository the fate of a technical lemon or a political lemon? Without caution, this debate could lure us away from capitalizing on the fruits of the project. In March 2009, Idaho National Laboratory (INL) successfully demonstrated the Waste Package Closure System, a full-scale prototype system for closing waste packages that were to be entombed in the now abandoned Yucca Mountain repository. This article describes the system, which INL designed and built, to weld the closure lids on the waste packages, nondestructively examine the welds using four different techniques, repair the welds if necessary,more » mitigate crack initiating stresses in the surfaces of the welds, evacuate and backfill the packages with an inert gas, and perform all of these tasks remotely. As a nation, we now have a proven method for securely sealing nuclear waste packages for long term storage—regardless of whether or not the future destination for these packages will be an underground repository. Additionally, many of the system’s features and concepts may benefit other remote nuclear applications.« less

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  4. YUCCA9-Mediated Auxin Biosynthesis and Polar Auxin Transport Synergistically Regulate Regeneration of Root Systems Following Root Cutting

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Dongyang; Miao, Jiahang; Yumoto, Emi; Yokota, Takao; Asahina, Masashi; Watahiki, Masaaki

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Recovery of the root system following physical damage is an essential issue for plant survival. An injured root system is able to regenerate by increases in lateral root (LR) number and acceleration of root growth. The horticultural technique of root pruning (root cutting) is an application of this response and is a common garden technique for controlling plant growth. Although root pruning is widely used, the molecular mechanisms underlying the subsequent changes in the root system are poorly understood. In this study, root pruning was employed as a model system to study the molecular mechanisms of root system regeneration. Notably, LR defects in wild-type plants treated with inhibitors of polar auxin transport (PAT) or in the auxin signaling mutant auxin/indole-3-acetic acid19/massugu2 were recovered by root pruning. Induction of IAA19 following root pruning indicates an enhancement of auxin signaling by root pruning. Endogenous levels of IAA increased after root pruning, and YUCCA9 was identified as the primary gene responsible. PAT-related genes were induced after root pruning, and the YUCCA inhibitor yucasin suppressed root regeneration in PAT-related mutants. Therefore, we demonstrate the crucial role of YUCCA9, along with other redundant YUCCA family genes, in the enhancement of auxin biosynthesis following root pruning. This further enhances auxin transport and activates downstream auxin signaling genes, and thus increases LR number. PMID:29016906

  5. Geologic Characterization of Young Alluvial Basin-Fill Deposits from Drill-Hole Data in Yucca Flat, Nye County, Nevada

    Sweetkind, Donald S.; Drake II, Ronald M.

    2007-01-01

    Yucca Flat is a topographic and structural basin in the northeastern part of the Nevada Test Site in Nye County, Nevada, that has been the site of numerous underground nuclear tests; many of these tests occurred within the young alluvial basin-fill deposits. The migration of radionuclides to the Paleozoic carbonate aquifer involves passage through this thick, heterogeneous section of Tertiary and Quaternary rock. An understanding of the lateral and vertical changes in the material properties of young alluvial basin-fill deposits will aid in the further development of the hydrogeologic framework and the delineation of hydrostratigraphic units and hydraulic properties required for simulating ground-water flow in the Yucca Flat area. This report by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, presents data and interpretation regarding the three-dimensional variability of the shallow alluvial aquifers in areas of testing at Yucca Flat, data that are potentially useful in the understanding of the subsurface flow system. This report includes a summary and interpretation of alluvial basin-fill stratigraphy in the Yucca Flat area based on drill-hole data from 285 selected drill holes. Spatial variations in lithology and grain size of the Neogene basin-fill sediments can be established when data from numerous drill holes are considered together. Lithologic variations are related to different depositional environments within the basin such as alluvial fan, channel, basin axis, and playa deposits.

  6. Geologic Characterization of Young Alluvial Basin-Fill Deposits from Drill Hole Data in Yucca Flat, Nye County, Nevada

    Sweetkind, Donald S.; Drake II, Ronald M.

    2007-01-01

    Yucca Flat is a topographic and structural basin in the northeastern part of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) in Nye County, Nevada, that has been the site of numerous underground nuclear tests; many of these tests occurred within the young alluvial basin-fill deposits. The migration of radionuclides to the Paleozoic carbonate aquifer involves passage through this thick, heterogeneous section of Tertiary and Quaternary rock. An understanding of the lateral and vertical changes in the material properties of young alluvial basin-fill deposits will aid in the further development of the hydrogeologic framework and the delineation of hydrostratigraphic units and hydraulic properties required for simulating ground-water flow in the Yucca Flat area. This report by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, presents data and interpretation regarding the three-dimensional variability of the shallow alluvial aquifers in areas of testing at Yucca Flat, data that are potentially useful in the understanding of the subsurface flow system. This report includes a summary and interpretation of alluvial basin-fill stratigraphy in the Yucca Flat area based on drill hole data from 285 selected drill holes. Spatial variations in lithology and grain size of the Neogene basin-fill sediments can be established when data from numerous drill holes are considered together. Lithologic variations are related to different depositional environments within the basin including alluvial fan, channel, basin axis, and playa deposits.

  7. Geochemistry and Temperatures Recorded by Zircon During the Final Stages of the Youngest Toba Tuff Magma Chamber, Sumatra, Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaither, T.; Reid, M. R.; Vazquez, J. A.

    2009-12-01

    The ~74 ka eruption of the Youngest Toba Tuff (YTT) in Sumatra, Indonesia, was one of the largest single volcanic eruptions in geologic history, on par with other voluminous silicic eruptions such as the Huckleberry Ridge Tuff of Yellowstone and the Bishop Tuff of Long Valley, California. We are exploring how zircon and other accessory mineral phases record compositional and thermal changes that occurred in the YTT magma, and the important clues these crystal scale records hold for magma chamber dynamics and processes that lead up to supervolcano eruptions. In this study, we report trace element (REE, U, Th, Ti, and Hf) characteristics, Ti-in-zircon crystallization temperatures, and apparent REE partition coefficients obtained for YTT zircon rims. Twenty-nine zircons from pumices with a compositional range of 70-76 wt% SiO2 were analyzed on the UCLA Cameca ims 1270 ion microprobe. The grains were mounted so that only the outermost ~1.5 microns of the crystals were analyzed. Median Zr/Hf ratios of 34 to 38 characterize zircons from the pumices; the high silica rhyolite grains have lower Zr/Hf. Chondrite-normalized REE patterns are strongly LREE-depleted. Positive Ce anomalies are large (Ce/Ce* ranges up to 88) and Eu/Eu* varies by a factor of four (0.05 to 0.21). Eu/Eu*, Nd/Yb, and Th/U decrease with decreasing Zr/Hf, showing that the variation in zircon rim compositions may be related by co-precipitation of feldspar and allanite along with zircon. Titanium contents also decrease with decreasing Zr/Hf, suggesting that the chemical differences could be related to temperature changes. REE partition coefficients calculated from zircon rim compositions and pumice glass compositions give a good fit to a lattice strain model. They are also quite similar to the partition coefficients of Sano et al. (2002) which have been shown to be successful at reproducing melt compositions in other settings. Temperatures of crystallization calculated using the Ti

  8. Nonmarine facies in the Late Triassic(?) to Early Jurassic Horn Mountain Tuff member of the Talkeetna Formation, Horn Mountain, lower Cook Inlet basin, Alaska

    LePain, D.L.; Stanley, Richard G.; Helmold, K.P.

    2016-01-01

    The Talkeetna Formation is a prominent lithostratigraphic unit in south-central Alaska. In the Iniskin–Tuxedni area, Detterman and Hartsock (1966) divided the formation into three mappable units including, from oldest to youngest, the Marsh Creek Breccia, the Portage Creek Agglomerate, and the Horn Mountain Tuff Members. The Horn Mountain Tuff Member was thought to include rocks deposited in a nonmarine setting based on the presence of “tree stumps in an upright position” (Detterman and Hartsock, 1966, p. 19) near the top of the type section at Horn Mountain. Bull (2015) recognized possible nonmarine volcaniclastic rocks in the member during the 2014 field season in a saddle on the north side of Horn Mountain (figs. 2-1 and 2-2). The authors visited this location in 2015 and measured a short stratigraphic section to document facies, interpret depositional setting, and constrain age. This report summarizes our field observations and presents preliminary interpretations.

  9. Salt efflorescence due to water-rock interaction on the surface of tuff cave in the Yoshimi-Hyakuana Historic Site, central Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oguchi, Chiaki T.; Kodama, Shogo; Mohammad, Rajib; Tharanga Udagedara, Dashan

    2016-04-01

    Artificial cave walls in Yoshimi Hyakuana Historic Site have been suffering from salt weathering since 1945 when the caves were made. To consider the processes of weathering and subsequent crystallization of secondary minerals, water-rock experiment using tuff from this area was performed. Rocks, surface altered materials, groundwater and rainwater were collected, and chemical and mineralogical characteristics of those samples were investigated. The XRD and SEM-EDS analyses were carried out for the solid samples and ICP-OES analysis was performed for the solution generated from the experiment, groundwater and rainwater. Gypsum is detected in original tuff, and on grey and whiter coloured altered materials. General chemical changes were observed on this rock. However, it is found that purple and black altered materials were mainly made due to microbiological processes.

  10. The Widespread Distribution of Komatiitic Tuffs in the 3.3 Ga Weltevreden Formation, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, M. E.; Lowe, D. R.; Byerly, G. R.

    2007-12-01

    The 3.5-3.2 Ga Barberton greenstone belt is a heavily deformed, 10-15 km thick succession of volcanic and sedimentary rocks representing one of the best preserved Paleoarchean supracrustal sequences known. It consists of the basal volcanic-dominated Onverwacht Group and the overlying sedimentary-dominated Fig Tree and Moodies Groups. Major volcanic rocks in the BGB include komatiites, tholeiitic basalts, and dacites. Although flow rocks and fragmental deposits have been identified representing all extrusive magma types, the abundance of komatiitic volcaniclastic units is remarkable considering the mechanical difficulties in explosively erupting low viscosity ultramafic lava. In the Onverwacht Group, most komatiitic tuffs contain 85-95 wt% SiO2, due to early silicification, and very low concentrations of most other elements, making original compositions somewhat uncertain. However, in the northernmost part of the BGB, north of the Inyoka Fault, the ~ 3.3 Ga Weltevreden Formation is composed largely of komatiitic flow rocks, tuffs, layered ultramafic complexes, and subordinate black and banded cherts. Previous studies have established the extrusive nature of the komatiites, but there are also many thick interlayered slaty units, previously interpreted as sheared flow rocks, which show cross-bedding, soft-sediment deformation, and other features indicating an alternate derivation. These units range from 2 to 80 m thick and may represent 10% or more of the overall stratigraphy of the Weltevreden Formation. They are characterized by low-temperature serpentinization that has commonly preserved original elemental abundances, enabling a more precise determination of primary komatiitic liquid composition. These rocks are magnesium rich, with MgO ranging from 23 to 36 wt%, and high Ni (~1500 ppm) and Cr (~2600 ppm) contents typical of komatiites. Several possible mechanisms could have produced these rocks, including (1) erosion and transport of pre-existing komatiitic flow

  11. A tuff cone erupted under frozen-bed ice (northern Victoria Land, Antarctica): linking glaciovolcanic and cosmogenic nuclide data for ice sheet reconstructions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smellie, J. L.; Rocchi, S.; Johnson, J. S.; Di Vincenzo, G.; Schaefer, J. M.

    2018-01-01

    The remains of a small volcanic centre are preserved on a thin bedrock ridge at Harrow Peaks, northern Victoria Land, Antarctica. The outcrop is interpreted as a monogenetic tuff cone relict formed by a hydrovolcanic (phreatomagmatic) eruption of mafic magma at 642 ± 20 ka (by 40Ar-39Ar), corresponding to the peak of the Marine Isotope Stage 16 (MIS16) glacial. Although extensively dissected and strewn with glacial erratics, the outcrop shows no evidence for erosion by ice. From interpretation of the lithofacies and eruptive mechanisms, the weight of the evidence suggests that eruptions took place under a cold-based (frozen-bed) ice sheet. This is the first time that a tuff cone erupted under cold ice has been described. The most distinctive feature of the lithofacies is the dominance of massive lapilli tuff rich in fine ash matrix and abraded lapilli. The lack of stratification is probably due to repeated eruption through a conduit blasted through the ice covering the vent. The ice thickness is uncertain but it might have been as little as 100 m and the preserved tephra accumulated mainly as a crater (or ice conduit) infill. The remainder of the tuff cone edifice was probably deposited supraglacially and underwent destruction by ice advection and, particularly, collapse during a younger interglacial. Dating using 10Be cosmogenic exposure of granitoid basement erratics indicates that the erratics are unrelated to the eruptive period. The 10Be ages suggest that the volcanic outcrop was most recently exposed by ice decay at c. 20.8 ± 0.8 ka (MIS2) and the associated ice was thicker than at 642 ka and probably polythermal rather than cold-based, which is normally assumed for the period.

  12. Subsolidus migmatization in high-grade meta-tuffs (Kurkijärvi, southwest Finland)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blom, K. A.

    1988-07-01

    second factor is held responsible for the onset of migmatization in the buried and sheared rock: deficient water balance. Migmatization, initiated at {P}/{T} conditions fit for feldspar recrystallization and almandine formation, was induced during prograde metamorphism to cancel an established zonation in water pressure or water content parallel to compositional banding. Zones of low PH 2O or wt.% H 2O thereby were converted into leucosomes, while zones of higher PH 2O or wt.% H 2O remained unaffected (and became mesosome). That XH 2O did not vary at the onset of migmatization is recorded in the isolated pure H 2O fluid inclusions contained in the quartz blebs enclosed in the studied leucosome- and melanosome-poikiloblasts. Restore of water balance (either by internally controlled factors or externally introduced ones) halted migmatization and its obliteration of compositional banding.

  13. Moderate-temperature zeolitic alteration in a cooling pyroclastic deposit

    Levy, S.S.; O'Neil, J.R.

    1989-01-01

    The locally zeolitized Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff (13 Myr.), Yucca Mountain, Nevada, U.S.A., is part of a thick sequence of zeolitized pyroclastic units. Most of the zeolitized units are nonwelded tuffs that were altered during low-temperature diagenesis, but the distribution and textural setting of zeolite (heulandite-clinoptilolite) and smectite in the densely welded Topopah Spring tuff suggest that these hydrous minerals formed while the tuff was still cooling after pyroclastic emplacement and welding. The hydrous minerals are concentrated within a transition zone between devitrified tuff in the central part of the unit and underlying vitrophyre. Movement of liquid and convected heat along fractures from the devitrified tuff to the ritrophyre caused local devitrification and hydrous mineral crystallization. Oxygen isotope geothermometry of cogenetic quartz confirms the nondiagenetic moderate temperature origin of the hydrous minerals at temperatures of ??? 40-100??C, assuming a meteoric water source. The Topopah Spring tuff is under consideration for emplacement of a high-level nuclear waste repository. The natural rock alteration of the cooling pyroclastic deposit may be a good natural analog for repository-induced hydrothermal alteration. As a result of repository thermal loading, temperatures in the Topopah Spring vitrophyre may rise sufficiently to duplicate the inferred temperatures of natural zeolitic alteration. Heated water moving downward from the repository into the vitrophyre may contribute to new zeolitic alteration. ?? 1989.

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

    SciT

    C. Harrington

    2004-10-25

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

  15. Estimating the eruptive volume of a large pyroclastic body: the Otowi Member of the Bandelier Tuff, Valles caldera, New Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, Geoffrey W.; Wolff, John A.; Self, Stephen

    2016-02-01

    The 1.60 Ma caldera-forming eruption of the Otowi Member of the Bandelier Tuff produced Plinian and coignimbrite fall deposits, outflow and intracaldera ignimbrite, all of it deposited on land. We present a detailed approach to estimating and reconstructing the original volume of the eroded, partly buried large ignimbrite and distal ash-fall deposits. Dense rock equivalent (DRE) volume estimates for the eruption are 89 + 33/-10 km3 of outflow ignimbrite and 144 ± 72 km3 of intracaldera ignimbrite. Also, there was at least 65 km3 (DRE) of Plinian fall when extrapolated distally, and 107 + 40/-12 km3 of coignimbrite ash was "lost" from the outflow sheet to form an unknown proportion of the distal ash fall. The minimum total volume is 216 km3 and the maximum is 550 km3; hence, the eruption overlaps the low end of the super-eruption spectrum (VEI ˜8.0). Despite an abundance of geological data for the Otowi Member, the errors attached to these estimates do not allow us to constrain the proportions of intracaldera (IC), outflow (O), and distal ash (A) to better than a factor of three. We advocate caution in applying the IC/O/A = 1:1:1 relation of Mason et al. (2004) to scaling up mapped volumes of imperfectly preserved caldera-forming ignimbrites.

  16. Paleomagnetism in the Determination of the Emplacement Temperature of Cerro Colorado Tuff Cone, El Pinacate Volcanic Field, Sonora, Mexico.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez Trejo, A.; Alva-Valdivia, L. M.; Vidal Solano, J. R.; Garcia Amador, B.; Gonzalez-Rangel, J. A.

    2014-12-01

    Cerro Colorado Maar is located at the World Heritage Site, biosphere reserve El Pinacate and Gran Desierto del Altar, at the NNW region of Sonora, Mexico (in El Pinacate Volcanic Field). It is a tuff cone, about 1 km diameter, result of several phreatomagmatic episodes during the late Quaternary. We report paleomagnetic and rock magnetic properties from fusiform volcanic bombs obtained from the borders of Cerro Colorado. This study is based in the thermoremanent magnetization TRM normally acquired by volcanic rocks, which can be used to estimate the emplacement temperature range. We performed the experiments on 20 lithic fragments (10 cm to 20 cm approximately), taking 6-8 paleomagnetic cores from each. Rock magnetic experiments (magnetic susceptibility vs. temperature (k-T), hysteresis curves and FORC analysis, shows that the main magnetic mineral carriers of magnetization are titanomagnetite and titanohematite in different levels of intergrowth. The k-T curves suggest in many cases, only one magnetic phase, but also in other cases a second magnetic phase. Thermal demagnetization was used to demagnetize the specimens in detailed short steps and make a well-defined emplacement temperature determination ranges. We found that temperature emplacement determination range for these two magnetic phases is between 350-450 °C, and 550-580 °C, respectively. These results are consistent with those expected in an eruption of Surtsey type, showing a distinct volcanic activity compared to the other craters from El Pinacate volcanic field.

  17. A cross correlation method for chemical profiles in minerals, with an application to zircons of the Kilgore Tuff (USA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Probst, L. C.; Sheldrake, T. E.; Gander, M. J.; Wallace, G.; Simpson, G.; Caricchi, L.

    2018-03-01

    Magmatic crystals are characterised by chemical zonation patterns that reflect the thermal and chemical conditions within magma reservoirs in which they grew. Crystals that exhibit similar patterns of zonation are often interpreted to have experienced similar conditions of growth. These patterns of zonation may represent continuous processes such as cooling, or more instantaneous events such as magma injection, and provide an insight into the structure and evolution of a magmatic system, both temporally and spatially. We have developed an algorithm that is objectively able to quantify the similarity within and between suites of magmatic crystals from different samples. Significantly, the algorithm is able to identify correlation that occurs between the interiors of two crystals, but does not extend to the rim, which provides an opportunity to understand the long-term evolution of magmatic systems. We develop and explain the mathematical basis for our algorithm and introduce its application using cathodoluminescence images of zircons from the Kilgore Tuff (USA). The results allow us to correlate samples from two different outcrops that are found over 80 km apart.

  18. Employing volcanic tuff minerals in interior architecture design to reduce microbial contaminants and airborne fungal carcinogens of indoor environments.

    PubMed

    Gedikoglu, Yaman; Gedikoglu, Gunduz; Berkin, Genco; Ceyhan, Taskin; Altinoz, Meric A

    2012-09-01

    Indoor volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have posed significant risks to human health since people have both shifted to a life spent, for the most part, indoors. Further, changes in materials used in the construction of buildings, furnishings, and tools either leak or encourage the production of VOCs. Whether these enclosed areas are residences, hospitals or workplaces (specifically composting facilities or closed farm buildings for raising livestock), VOCs can rise to levels that threaten people's health. VOCs can either originate from phenolic and benzene-like compounds in building materials and office furniture or from molds (fungi) growing inside improperly ventilated or sealed buildings. Regardless of the source, exposure to VOCs could lead to significant health concerns from sick-building syndrome, 'leukemia houses,' in-hospital fungemia cases or occupation-associated cancer epidemics due to aflatoxicosis. Innovative 21st-century building materials could offer solutions to these challenges. We propose that volcanic materials, clays and minerals (volcanic tuff, modified clay montmorillonite and mineral clinoptilolite), in their original or chemically modified form, could act like synthetic lungs in building walls, breathing and filtering VOCs, and thus limiting human exposure to disease.

  19. Zircon crytallization and recycling in the magma chamber of the rhyolitic Kos Plateau Tuff (Aegean arc)

    Bachman, O.; Charlier, B.L.A.; Lowenstern, J. B.

    2007-01-01

    In contrast to most large-volume silicic magmas in continental arcs, which are thought to evolve as open systems with significant assimilation of preexisting crust, the Kos Plateau Miff magma formed dominantly by crystal fractionation of mafic parents. Deposits from this ??? 60 km3 pyroclastic eruption (the largest known in the Aegean arc) lack xenocrystic zircons [secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) U-Pb ages on zircon cores never older than 500 ka] and display Sr-Nd whole-rock isotopic ratios within the range of European mantle in an area with exposed Paleozoic and Tertiary continental crust; this evidence implies a nearly closed-system chemical differentiation. Consequently, the age range provided by zircon SIMS U-Th-Pb dating is a reliable indicator of the duration of assembly and longevity of the silicic magma body above its solidus. The age distribution from 160 ka (age of eruption by sanidine 40Ar/39Ar dating; Smith et al., 1996) to ca. 500 ka combined with textural characteristics (high crystal content, corrosion of most anhydrous phenocrysts, but stability of hydrous phases) suggest (1) a protracted residence in the crust as a crystal mush and (2) rejuvenation (reduced crystallization and even partial resorption of minerals) prior to eruption probably induced by new influx of heat (and volatiles). This extended evolution chemically isolated from the surrounding crust is a likely consequence of the regional geodynamics because the thinned Aegean microplate acts as a refractory container for magmas in the dying Aegean subduction zone (continent-continent subduction). ?? 2007 Geological Society of America.

  20. Paleomagnetic and Anisotropy of Magnetic Susceptibility (AMS) Documentation of the Formation of Large-Scale Rheomorphic Structures in the 2.06 Ma Huckleberry Ridge Tuff, Eastern Idaho

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geissman, J. W.; Holm, D.; Harlan, S. S.

    2006-12-01

    In the Teton River Valley, east of Rexburg, Idaho, the ca. 2.06 Ma Huckleberry Ridge Tuff is about 130 m thick, exceedingly well-exposed, and displays large-scale (100-150 m+ amplitude) rheomorphic folds, with eutaxitic fabrics that are parallel to inferred primary internal zonation (e.g. boundary between basal vitrophyre and overlying devitrified part of the pyroclastic deposit) as well as the basal contact with older deposits defining the fold geometries. One 150 m amplitude fold , is well-exposed on the north side of the valley about 2.5 km east of Teton Dam, has a NW trending fold axis and has a southwest limb that is overturned by about 45o. Samples were collected from 16 sites in this fold, on both limbs and the hinge area, to test the hypothesis that folding took place above maximum TRM blocking temperatures (about 580C). Progressive AF and thermal demagnetization both yield characteristic magnetizations of southwest to south-southwest declination and shallow inclination removed over a range of peak fields (typically between 20 and 80 mT) and laboratory unblocking temperatures (typically between 350 and 580C). The preliminary determination of an in situ mean based on the 16 sites is about D = 215°, I = -5°, a95= 5°, N = 16 site means). The direction of this ChRM is statistically indistinguishable from that reported by previous studies of the tuff (e.g. Reynolds, 1977, JGR; Byrd et al., 1994, JGR). The trend of the fold axis is orthogonal to this declination; the paleomagnetic fold test applied to these data is negative, with k values continuously decreasing upon unfolding, thus indicating that the entire structure in the tuff formed after the well-developed compaction fabric was acquired, at a temperature above maximum blocking temperatures of the ChRM. Post-compaction, high temperature deformation is consistent with field evidence indicating plastic secondary deformation of much of the tuff prior to devitrification. Rapid strain rates probably