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Title: Mineralogy and petrology of tuff units from a UE25a-1 drill site, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

Mineralogy and petrology of tuff units from a UE25a-1 drill site, Yucca Mountain, Nevada Drill hole UE25a-1 has penetrated tuffs of Tertiary age which contain two major zeolitized horizons at depths below 380 m. These horizons are restricted to low-density, high-porosity nonwelded tuffs below the basal vitrophyre of the Topopah Springs Member of the Paintbrush Tuff (approximately 70 m above the current water table), and interfinger with more-densely-welded devitrified tuffs of granophyric mineralogy. Zeolites occur as glass pyroclast replacement, vug linings, and fracture fillings. Nonwelded units above the welded portion of the Topopah Springs Member are essentially unaltered, indicating that they have never been ground water-saturated for any significant length of time. Zeolite mineral assemblages appear to be characteristic of low temperature (<100{sup 0}C) ground water alteration of glass in an open hydrologic system. The principal zeolite phase is high-Si clinoptilolite with Si/Al ratios of 4.7 to 6.0. Ca tends to be the dominant large-radius cation, but grains with dominant K or Na are not uncommon, particularly with increasing depth. Compositional variations in clinoptilolite may be due to ground water composition or original pyroclast composition. Minor amounts of mordenite, characterized by lower silica content (<55 wt %) and high alkali content (>10 wt % Na{sub 2}O + K{sub 2}O), occur as vug fillings at more » depths below 500 m. Presence of mordenite may indicate slightly elevated alteration temperatures, but more likely reflects enrichment of ground water in alkalis with depth. Mineralogical, compositional, and textural similarities of the zeolitized tuffs from UE25a-1 and J-13 are compatible with a single episode of crystallization. 16 figures. « less
Authors: ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:59108
Report Number(s):LA--8139-MS
DOE Contract Number:W-7405-ENG-36
Resource Type:Technical Report
Data Type:
Resource Relation:Other Information: PBD: Nov 1979
Research Org:Los Alamos Scientific Lab., NM (United States)
Country of Publication:United States
Language:English
Subject: 58 GEOSCIENCES; 05 NUCLEAR FUELS; TUFF; MINERALOGY; NEVADA TEST SITE; ZEOLITES; PETROLOGY; BOREHOLES; CLINOPTILOLITE; GROUND WATER; Yucca Mountain Project