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

Abstract

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

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, Washington, DC (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
674681
Report Number(s):
CONF-980516-
ON: DE99000848; TRN: 99:001164
DOE Contract Number:  
AI08-92NV10874
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 1998 international high-level radioactive waste management conference, Las Vegas, NV (United States), 11-14 May 1998; Other Information: PBD: [1998]
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
05 NUCLEAR FUELS; YUCCA MOUNTAIN; PALEOCLIMATOLOGY; MINERALOGY; SITE CHARACTERIZATION; HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL; CALCITE; OPALS; ISOTOPE RATIO

Citation Formats

Whelan, J F, and Moscati, R J. 9 M.y. record of southern Nevada climate from Yucca Mountain secondary minerals. United States: N. p., 1998. Web.
Whelan, J F, & Moscati, R J. 9 M.y. record of southern Nevada climate from Yucca Mountain secondary minerals. United States.
Whelan, J F, and Moscati, R J. Tue . "9 M.y. record of southern Nevada climate from Yucca Mountain secondary minerals". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/674681.
@article{osti_674681,
title = {9 M.y. record of southern Nevada climate from Yucca Mountain secondary minerals},
author = {Whelan, J F and Moscati, R J},
abstractNote = {Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is presently the object of intense study as a potential permanent repository for the Nation`s high-level radioactive wastes. The mountain consists of a thick sequence of volcanic tuffs within which the depth to water table ranges from 500 to 700 meters below the land surface. This thick unsaturated zone (UZ), which would host the projected repository, coupled with the present day arid to semi-arid climate, is considered a favorable attribute of the site. Evaluation of the site includes defining the relation between climate variability, as the input function or driver of site- and regional-scale ground-water flow, and the possible future transport and release of radionuclides to the accessible environment. Secondary calcite and opal have been deposited in the UZ by meteoric waters that infiltrated through overlying soils and percolated through the tuffs. The oxygen isotopic composition ({delta}{sup 18}O values) of these minerals reflect contemporaneous meteoric waters and the {delta}{sup 13}C values reflect soil organic matter, and hence the resident plant community, at the time of infiltration. Recent U/Pb age determinations of opal in these occurrences, coupled with the {delta}{sup 13}C values of associated calcite, allow broadbrush reconstructions of climate patterns during the past 9 M.y.},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/674681}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1998},
month = {12}
}

Conference:
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