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Title: Discriminating Underground Nuclear Explosions Leading To Late-Time Radionuclide Gas Seeps

Abstract

Utilizing historical data from the U.S. nuclear test program and freely available barometric pressure data, we performed an analytical barometric-pumping efficiency analysis to determine factors resulting in late-time radionuclide gas seeps from underground nuclear explosions. In this work, we considered 16 underground nuclear explosions with similar geology and test setup, of which five resulted in the measurement of late-time radionuclide gas concentrations at the ground surface. Additionally, the factors we considered include barometric frequency and amplitude, depth of burial, air-filled porosity, intact-rock permeability, fracture aperture, and fracture spacing. The analysis indicates that the best discriminators of late-time radionuclide gas seeps for these explosions are barometric frequency and amplitude and air-filled porosity. While geologic information on fracture aperture and spacing is not available for these explosions, the sensitivity of barometric-pumping efficiency to fracture aperture indicates that it would likely also be a good discriminator.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation
OSTI Identifier:
1650627
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1635293
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-19-31271
Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Grant/Contract Number:  
89233218CNA000001; AC52-06NA24596
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 47; Journal Issue: 13; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; analytical; barometric pumping; gas transport; inverse

Citation Formats

Harp, Dylan R., Bourret, S. Michelle, Stauffer, Philip H., and Kwicklis, Edward M.. Discriminating Underground Nuclear Explosions Leading To Late-Time Radionuclide Gas Seeps. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019gl086654.
Harp, Dylan R., Bourret, S. Michelle, Stauffer, Philip H., & Kwicklis, Edward M.. Discriminating Underground Nuclear Explosions Leading To Late-Time Radionuclide Gas Seeps. United States. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019gl086654
Harp, Dylan R., Bourret, S. Michelle, Stauffer, Philip H., and Kwicklis, Edward M.. Tue . "Discriminating Underground Nuclear Explosions Leading To Late-Time Radionuclide Gas Seeps". United States. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019gl086654. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1650627.
@article{osti_1650627,
title = {Discriminating Underground Nuclear Explosions Leading To Late-Time Radionuclide Gas Seeps},
author = {Harp, Dylan R. and Bourret, S. Michelle and Stauffer, Philip H. and Kwicklis, Edward M.},
abstractNote = {Utilizing historical data from the U.S. nuclear test program and freely available barometric pressure data, we performed an analytical barometric-pumping efficiency analysis to determine factors resulting in late-time radionuclide gas seeps from underground nuclear explosions. In this work, we considered 16 underground nuclear explosions with similar geology and test setup, of which five resulted in the measurement of late-time radionuclide gas concentrations at the ground surface. Additionally, the factors we considered include barometric frequency and amplitude, depth of burial, air-filled porosity, intact-rock permeability, fracture aperture, and fracture spacing. The analysis indicates that the best discriminators of late-time radionuclide gas seeps for these explosions are barometric frequency and amplitude and air-filled porosity. While geologic information on fracture aperture and spacing is not available for these explosions, the sensitivity of barometric-pumping efficiency to fracture aperture indicates that it would likely also be a good discriminator.},
doi = {10.1029/2019gl086654},
journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
number = 13,
volume = 47,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {2}
}

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