Mineralogic Alteration History and Paleohydrology at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

by Schon S. Levy, Los Alamos Natl Lab, Los Alamos, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1991


The importance of paleohydrology to the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project derives from the role water will play in radioactive-waste repository performance. Changes in hydrologic conditions during the lifetime of the repository may be estimated by investigating past hydrologic variations, including changes in the static water-level position. Based on the distribution of vitric and zeolitized tuffs and the structural history of the site, the highest water levels were reached and receded downward 11.6 to 12.8 myr ago. Since that time, the water level at central Yucca Mountain has probably not risen more than about 60 m above its present position. The history of the high potentiometric gradient running through northern Yucca Mountain may be partly elucidated by the study of tridymite distribution in rocks that have experienced saturated conditions for varying periods of time.

Subject Headings: Radioactive wastes | Water level | Waste sites | Hydrology | History | Geology | Underground storage | Nevada | United States

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