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Title: Geologic Characterization of Young Alluvial Basin-Fill Deposits from Drill Hole Data in Yucca Flat, Nye County, Nevada.

Abstract

Yucca Flat is a topographic and structural basin in the northeastern part of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) in Nye County, Nevada, that has been the site of numerous underground nuclear tests; many of these tests occurred within the young alluvial basin-fill deposits. The migration of radionuclides to the Paleozoic carbonate aquifer involves passage through this thick, heterogeneous section of Tertiary and Quaternary rock. An understanding of the lateral and vertical changes in the material properties of young alluvial basin-fill deposits will aid in the further development of the hydrogeologic framework and the delineation of hydrostratigraphic units and hydraulic properties required for simulating ground-water flow in the Yucca Flat area. This report by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, presents data and interpretation regarding the three-dimensional variability of the shallow alluvial aquifers in areas of testing at Yucca Flat, data that are potentially useful in the understanding of the subsurface flow system. This report includes a summary and interpretation of alluvial basin-fill stratigraphy in the Yucca Flat area based on drill hole data from 285 selected drill holes. Spatial variations in lithology and grain size of the Neogene basin-fill sediments can be established whenmore » data from numerous drill holes are considered together. Lithologic variations are related to different depositional environments within the basin including alluvial fan, channel, basin axis, and playa deposits.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
United States Geological Survey - Nevada, Henderson, Nevada
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE - National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
898289
Report Number(s):
USGS 2006-1390
TRN: US200709%%484
DOE Contract Number:
AI52-01NV13944
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 58 GEOSCIENCES; AQUIFERS; BOREHOLES; CARBONATES; GEOLOGIC SURVEYS; GRAIN SIZE; GROUND WATER; HYDRAULICS; LITHOLOGY; NEVADA TEST SITE; RADIOISOTOPES; SEDIMENTS; STRATIGRAPHY; TESTING; Geologic Characterization; Young Alluvial Basin-Fill Deposits; Drill Hole Data; Yucca Flat; Nye County; Nevada

Citation Formats

Donald S. Sweetkind, and Ronald M. Drake II. Geologic Characterization of Young Alluvial Basin-Fill Deposits from Drill Hole Data in Yucca Flat, Nye County, Nevada.. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/898289.
Donald S. Sweetkind, & Ronald M. Drake II. Geologic Characterization of Young Alluvial Basin-Fill Deposits from Drill Hole Data in Yucca Flat, Nye County, Nevada.. United States. doi:10.2172/898289.
Donald S. Sweetkind, and Ronald M. Drake II. Mon . "Geologic Characterization of Young Alluvial Basin-Fill Deposits from Drill Hole Data in Yucca Flat, Nye County, Nevada.". United States. doi:10.2172/898289. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/898289.
@article{osti_898289,
title = {Geologic Characterization of Young Alluvial Basin-Fill Deposits from Drill Hole Data in Yucca Flat, Nye County, Nevada.},
author = {Donald S. Sweetkind and Ronald M. Drake II},
abstractNote = {Yucca Flat is a topographic and structural basin in the northeastern part of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) in Nye County, Nevada, that has been the site of numerous underground nuclear tests; many of these tests occurred within the young alluvial basin-fill deposits. The migration of radionuclides to the Paleozoic carbonate aquifer involves passage through this thick, heterogeneous section of Tertiary and Quaternary rock. An understanding of the lateral and vertical changes in the material properties of young alluvial basin-fill deposits will aid in the further development of the hydrogeologic framework and the delineation of hydrostratigraphic units and hydraulic properties required for simulating ground-water flow in the Yucca Flat area. This report by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, presents data and interpretation regarding the three-dimensional variability of the shallow alluvial aquifers in areas of testing at Yucca Flat, data that are potentially useful in the understanding of the subsurface flow system. This report includes a summary and interpretation of alluvial basin-fill stratigraphy in the Yucca Flat area based on drill hole data from 285 selected drill holes. Spatial variations in lithology and grain size of the Neogene basin-fill sediments can be established when data from numerous drill holes are considered together. Lithologic variations are related to different depositional environments within the basin including alluvial fan, channel, basin axis, and playa deposits.},
doi = {10.2172/898289},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 22 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Mon Jan 22 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Technical Report:

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  • Test hole USW UZ-13 is the fourth of a series of shallow unsaturated-zone test holes drilled in and near the southwestern part of the Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada, in cooperation with the US Department of Energy. All of these test holes are a part of the Yucca Mountain Project to identify the suitability of the site for the underground storage of high-level radioactive wastes. This report contains a description of the methods used in drilling and coring of test hole USW UZ-13; a description of the methods used in the collecting, handling, and testing of test-hole samples; lithologicmore » information from the test hole; and water-content, water-potential, bulk-density and grain-density data for the test hole. 14 refs., 5 figs., 10 tabs.« less
  • Short communication. 17 refs.
  • This report presents data collected to determine the hydraulic characteristics of rocks penetrated in test well USW H-3. The well is one of a series of test wells drilled in and near the southwestern part of the Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada, in a program conducted in cooperation with the US Department of Energy. These investigations are part of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations to identify suitable sites for storage of high-level radioactive wastes. Data on drilling operations, lithology, borehole geophysics, hydrologic monitoring, pumping, swabbing, and injection tests for the well are contained in this report.
  • This report presents data on drilling operations, lithology, geophysical well logs, sidewall-core samples, water-level monitoring, pumping tests, injection tests, radioactive-tracer borehole flow survey, and water chemistry for test well USW H-4. The well is one of a series of test wells drilled in the southwestern part of the Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada, in cooperation with the US Department of Energy. These test wells are part of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations to identify sites for storage of high-level radioactive wastes. Test well USW H-4 was drilled in ash-flow tuff to a total depth of 1219 meters. Depthmore » to water below land surface was 519 meters, or at an altitude of 730 meters above sea level. After test pumping at a rate of 17.4 liters per second for approximately 9 days, the drawdown was 4.85 meters. A radioactive borehole-flow survey indicated that the Bullfrog Member of the Crater Flat Tuff (Tertiary age) was the most productive geologic unit, producing 36.5 percent of the water in the well. The second most productive geologic unit was the Tram Member of the Crater Flat Tuff, which produced 32 percent of the water. The water in test well USW H-4 is predominantly a soft, sodium bicarbonate type of water typical of water produced in tuffaceous rocks in southern Nevada. 7 references, 26 figures, 9 tables.« less
  • Geophysical logs from drill hole UE-25p No. 1 correlate well with logs through the same geologic units from other drill holes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The in-situ physical properties of the rocks as determined from well logs are consistent with laboratory-measured physical properties of core from other drill holes. The density, neutron and caliper logs are very spiky through most of the Topopah Spring Member. This spikiness occurs on the same logs in cored holes where the Topopah Spring Member is highly fractured and lithophysal. The uranium channel of the spectral gamma-ray log through the Topopah Spring Member correlates withmore » uranium logs from cored holes where most of the fractures have not been healed or filled with materials that concentrate uranium. Therefore, fracture porosity and permeability of the Topopah Spring Member are expected to be high and consistent with fracture analysis from other drill holes on Yucca Mountain, and hydrologic tests from well J-13. The Paleozoic dolomites which underlie the Tertiary tuffs are intensely brecciated, and the uranium count rate is much higher than normal for dolomites because uranium has been concentrated in the recementing material. 19 references, 1 figure, 2 tables.« less