Origin of Carbonate Deposits in the Vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada: Preliminary Results of Strontium-Isotope Analyses

by B. D. Marshall, U.S. Geological Survey, United States,
K. Futa, U.S. Geological Survey, United States,
S. A. Mahan, U.S. Geological Survey, United States,
Z. E. Peterman, U.S. Geological Survey, United States,
J. S. Stuckless, U.S. Geological Survey, United States,
J. S. Downey, U.S. Geological Survey, United States,
E. D. Gutentag, U.S. Geological Survey, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1990

Abstract: As part of the paleohydrology study of the Yucca Mountain Project, strontium-isotope analyses of carbonate deposits, ground water, and major rock reservoirs of strontium are in progress. This paper presents a summary of the strontium-isotope data obtained through 1989. Calcium carbonate is ubiquitous in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, where it occurs as pedogenic horizons and rhizoliths, small veins and fracture fillings in Tertiary volcanic rocks, large veins and masses along faults, and freshwater and marine limestones. With the exception of marine limestones, which are Paleozoic, the calcium carbonate has been precipitated directly from water during the past 107 years. This paper reports strontium-isotope compositions of the following carbonate groups: 1) limestones of the Paleozoic basement, 2) calcite-silica veins, 3) small calcite veins, 4) pedogenic carbonate deposits, and 5) spring deposits (i.e., tufa). The authors have also analyzed the strontium from samples of Tertiary volcanic rocks and from ground water.

Subject Headings: Radioactive wastes | Carbonation | Calcium carbonate | Groundwater | Limestone | Water resources | Volcanic deposits | Nevada | North America | United States

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