The Application of Vertical Seismic Profiling and Cross-Hole Tomographic Imaging for Fracture Characterization at Yucca Mountain

by E. L. Majer, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, United States,
J. E. Peterson, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, United States,
T. V. McEvilly, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, United States,
M. A. Tura, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, United States,

Abstract: In order to obtain the necessary characterization for the storage of nuclear waste, much higher resolution of the features likely to affect the transport of radionuclides will be required than is normally achieved in conventional surface seismic reflection used in the exploration and characterization of petroleum and geothermal resources. At the Department of Energy's (DOE) Yucca Mountain site in Nevada fractures will play an important role in the transport of water. Because fractures represent a significant mechanical anomaly seismic methods using are being investigated as a means to image and characterize the subsurface. Presented here will be the methods being developed, the strategy being pursued, and the rational for using VSP and crosshole methods at Yucca Mountain. The approach is intended to be an integrated method involving improvements in data acquisition, processing, and interpretation as well as improvements in the fundamental understanding of seismic wave propagation in fractured rock. The scales of application range from a few meters to over a kilometer.

Subject Headings: Radioactive wastes | Seismic tests | Seismic effects | Cracking | Imaging techniques | Radiography | Waste storage | Subsurface investigation

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