The Influence of Seasonal Climatic Variability on Shallow Infiltration at Yucca Mountain

by Joseph A. Hevesi, U. S. Geological Survey, Mercury, United States,
Alan L. Flint, U. S. Geological Survey, Mercury, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1993


To analyze infiltration and the redistribution of moisture in alluvial deposits at Yucca Mountain, water content profiles at a 13.5 m deep borehole were measured at monthly intervals using a neutron moisture probe. Increases in water content to a maximum depth of 1.8 m in response to winter season precipitation were noted. Below a depth of 1.8 m, a gradual drying trend was indicated. A simulation study showed that, although small amounts of water may be percolating through the deep nonwetted ones of the profile, the influence of climatic variability on infiltration through thick alluvial deposits at Yucca Mountain is greatly mitigated by evapotranspiration.

Subject Headings: Infiltration | Radioactive wastes | Climate change | Seasonal variations | Water content | Underground storage | Moisture

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