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Title: Evidence for an unsaturated-zone origin of secondary minerals in Yucca Mountain, Nevada

Abstract

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

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
US Department of Energy (US)
OSTI Identifier:
794106
DOE Contract Number:  
AI08-97NV12033
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 2001 International High-Level Radioactive Waste Management Conference, Las Vegas, NV (US), 04/29/2001--05/03/2001; Other Information: PBD: 29 Apr 2001
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; CALCITE; DEPOSITION; GEOLOGIC FRACTURES; GROUND WATER; HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; ORIGIN; SILICA; YUCCA MOUNTAIN; MINERALOGY; SITE CHARACTERIZATION; RADIOACTIVE WASTE FACILITIES; UNSATURATED ZONE; SECONDARY; MINERALS

Citation Formats

Whelan, Joseph F, Roedder, Edwin, and Paces, James B. Evidence for an unsaturated-zone origin of secondary minerals in Yucca Mountain, Nevada. United States: N. p., 2001. Web.
Whelan, Joseph F, Roedder, Edwin, & Paces, James B. Evidence for an unsaturated-zone origin of secondary minerals in Yucca Mountain, Nevada. United States.
Whelan, Joseph F, Roedder, Edwin, and Paces, James B. Sun . "Evidence for an unsaturated-zone origin of secondary minerals in Yucca Mountain, Nevada". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/794106.
@article{osti_794106,
title = {Evidence for an unsaturated-zone origin of secondary minerals in Yucca Mountain, Nevada},
author = {Whelan, Joseph F and Roedder, Edwin and Paces, James B},
abstractNote = {The unsaturated zone (UZ) in Miocene-age welded tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is under consideration as a potential site for the construction of a high-level radioactive waste repository. Secondary calcite and silica minerals deposited on fractures and in cavities in the UZ tuffs are texturally, isotopically, and geochemically consistent with UZ deposition from meteoric water infiltrating at the surface and percolating through the UZ along fractures. Nonetheless, two-phase fluid inclusions with small and consistent vapor to liquid (V:L) ratios that yield consistent temperatures within samples and which range from about 35 to about 80 C between samples have led some to attribute these deposits to formation from upwelling hydrothermal waters. Geochronologic studies have shown that calcite and silica minerals began forming at least 10 Ma and continued to form into the Holocene. If their deposition were really from upwelling water flooding the UZ, it would draw into question the suitability of the site as a waste repository.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2001},
month = {4}
}

Conference:
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