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Title: Impact of Quaternary Climate on Seepage at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

Abstract

Uranium-series ages, oxygen-isotopic compositions, and uranium contents were determined in outer growth layers of opal and calcite from 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 values of the growth layers were conducted by electron microprobe analysis and secondary ion mass spectrometry techniques at spatial resolutions of 1 to about 20 micrometers ({micro}m) and 25 to 40 micrometers, 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 {micro}m/k.y. for 1- to 3-centimeter-thick coatings, whereas coatings less than about I-centimeter-thick have growth rates less than 0.5 {micro}m/k.y. At the depth of the proposed repository, correlations of uranium concentration and delta oxygen-18 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.

Authors:
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Yucca Mountain Project, Las Vegas, Nevada
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
893805
Report Number(s):
NA
MOL.20060420.0044, DC# 47438; TRN: US0606127
DOE Contract Number:
NA
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; CALCITE; CATHODOLUMINESCENCE; CAVITIES; CHEMISTRY; CLIMATES; COATINGS; ELECTRON MICROPROBE ANALYSIS; ELECTRON MICROSCOPES; HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; MASS SPECTROSCOPY; OPALS; OXYGEN 18; SPATIAL RESOLUTION; URANIUM; WATER; YUCCA MOUNTAIN

Citation Formats

J.F. Whelan, J.B. Paces, L.A. Neymark, A.K. Schmitt, and M. Grove. Impact of Quaternary Climate on Seepage at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.2172/893805.
J.F. Whelan, J.B. Paces, L.A. Neymark, A.K. Schmitt, & M. Grove. Impact of Quaternary Climate on Seepage at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. United States. doi:10.2172/893805.
J.F. Whelan, J.B. Paces, L.A. Neymark, A.K. Schmitt, and M. Grove. Fri . "Impact of Quaternary Climate on Seepage at Yucca Mountain, Nevada". United States. doi:10.2172/893805. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/893805.
@article{osti_893805,
title = {Impact of Quaternary Climate on Seepage at Yucca Mountain, Nevada},
author = {J.F. Whelan and J.B. Paces and L.A. Neymark and A.K. Schmitt and M. Grove},
abstractNote = {Uranium-series ages, oxygen-isotopic compositions, and uranium contents were determined in outer growth layers of opal and calcite from 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 values of the growth layers were conducted by electron microprobe analysis and secondary ion mass spectrometry techniques at spatial resolutions of 1 to about 20 micrometers ({micro}m) and 25 to 40 micrometers, 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 {micro}m/k.y. for 1- to 3-centimeter-thick coatings, whereas coatings less than about I-centimeter-thick have growth rates less than 0.5 {micro}m/k.y. At the depth of the proposed repository, correlations of uranium concentration and delta oxygen-18 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.},
doi = {10.2172/893805},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Mar 17 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Fri Mar 17 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}

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