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Title: Completion Report for Well ER-20-12: Corrective Action Units 101 and 102: Central and Western Pahute Mesa

Well ER-20-12 was drilled for the U.S. Department of Energy, Nevada National Security Administration Nevada Field Office in support of the Underground Test Area Activity. The well was drilled from October 2015 to January 2016 as an addition to the Central and Western Pahute Mesa corrective action units 101 and 102 the Phase II drilling program. Well ER-20-12 was identified based on recommendations of the Pahute Mesa Guidance Team as a result of anomalous tritium detections in groundwater samples collected from Well PM-3 in 2011 and 2013. The primary purpose of the well was to provide information on the hydrogeology in the area downgradient of select underground tests on Western Pahute Mesa and define hydraulic properties in the saturated Tertiary volcanic rocks. The main 46.99-centimeter (cm) (18.5-inch [in.]) borehole was drilled to a depth of 765.14 meters (m) (2,510.3 ft) and the hole opened to 66.04 cm (26 in.); followed by the 50.80-cm (20-in.) surface casing, which was installed and sealed with cement; and a piezometer (p4) was set in the Timber Mountain welded-tuff aquifer (TMWTA) between the casing and the open borehole. The borehole was continued with a 46.99-cm (18.5-in.) drill bit to a depth of 1,326.53 m (4,352.16more » ft), and an intermediate 24.44-cm (9.625-in.) casing was installed and sealed to 1,188.72 m (3,900.00 ft) A piezometer (p3) was installed across the Calico Hills zeolitic composite unit (CHZCM) (lava-flow aquifer [LFA]) in the annulus of the open borehole. Two additional piezometers were installed and completed between the intermediate casing and the borehole wall, one (p2) in the CHZCM and one (p1) in the Belted Range aquifer (BRA). The piezometers are set to monitor groundwater properties in the completed intervals. The borehole was continued with a 21.59-cm (8.5-in.) drill bit to a total depth of 1,384.80 m (4,543.33 ft), and the main completion 13.97-cm (5.5-in.) casing was installed in the open borehole across the Pre-Belted Range composite unit (PBRCM). Data collected during hole construction include composite drill cutting samples collected every 3.0 m (10 ft), geophysical logs, hydrophysical logs, percussion core samples, water-quality measurements (including tritium), and water-level measurements. The well penetrated 1,384.4 m (4,543.33 ft) of Tertiary volcanic rocks. The stratigraphy and lithology were generally as expected with one noted exception. A thick lava-flow and related ash-flow tuffs were identified as Calico Hills Formation (Th), and no Crater Flat units were noted. Additionally, many of the Thirsty Canyon and Timber Mountain units were thicker than expected. Fluid levels measured in the borehole during drilling are the following: (1) on November 2, 2015, Navarro measured the fluid level in the borehole at a depth of 492.33 m (1,615.25 ft) below ground surface (bgs); (2) Schlumberger and COLOG recorded fluid levels during geophysical logging on November 4 and 5, 2015, at a depth of 492.86 m (1,617 ft) and 492.25 m (1,615 ft) bgs, respectively; and (3) on December 4, 2015, COLOG and Navarro measured fluid level in the 20-in. casing with an open borehole to 1,326.54 m (4,352.16 ft) bgs at 575.77 m (1,889.00 ft) and 574.03 m (1,883.3 ft) bgs, respectively. These and subsequent water-level measurements indicate a potential head difference of greater than 76.2 m (250 ft) for groundwater in aquifers above and below the Upper Paintbrush confining unit (UPCU). As expected, tritium was occasionally measured above the Safe Drinking Water Act limit (20,000 picocuries per liter [pCi/L]). Lab analysis on four bailed samples and taken from the undeveloped well indicate that the tritium activities average approximately 36,545 pCi/L. All Fluid Management Plan (FMP) requirements for Well ER-20-12 were met. Analysis of monitoring samples and FMP confirmatory samples indicate that fluids generated during drilling at ER-20-12 met the FMP criteria for discharge to the lined sump and designated infiltration area. All sanitary and hydrocarbon waste generated was properly handled and disposed of.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Navarro-Intera, LLC (N-I), Las Vegas, NV (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1295560
Report Number(s):
DOE/NV--1549
TRN: US1601762
DOE Contract Number:
NA0002653
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Navarro-Intera, LLC (N-I), Las Vegas, NV (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Environmental Management (EM); USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; GROUND WATER; TUFF; TRITIUM; DEPTH 1-3 KM; LAVA; NEVADA TEST SITE; AQUIFERS; ZEOLITES; UNDERGROUND; WELL LOGGING; HYDROLOGY; LITHOLOGY; WATER QUALITY; STRATIGRAPHY; WASTES; WELLS; BOREHOLES Well ER-20-12; Completion Report; CAUs 101 and 102; Central and Western Pahute Mesa; UGTA