Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Yucca Mountain Is High And Dry, Say USGS Scientists

Date:
June 2, 1999
Source:
United States Geological Survey
Summary:
The slow growth rates of calcite and opal minerals that coat fractures and cavities in Yucca Mountain attest to the hydrological stability of that Nevada mountain for the past several million years, according to three U.S. Geological Survey scientists.

The slow growth rates of calcite and opal minerals that coat fractures and cavities in Yucca Mountain attest to the hydrological stability of that Nevada mountain for the past several million years, according to three U.S. Geological Survey scientists. They presented their views today (June 2) at the spring meeting of American Geophysical Union in Boston.

"There is no evidence at Yucca Mountain, based on the distribution of calcite and opal, that water has ever flooded the potential repository area," said James Paces, a USGS scientist from Denver, Colo. Paces described cavities in the volcanic mountain's interior as being relatively free of deposits of calcite and opal, and where they are found these deposits are restricted mostly to the lower surfaces. "If water had filled the cavities, minerals would have been deposited on the walls and ceilings as well," Paces said. "Instead, our data indicate that the minerals formed from thin films of water flowing downward into open spaces."

The long-term hydrologic stability of Yucca Mountain, 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas, Nev., is an important factor in evaluating it as a potential site for storing nuclear waste. The mountain is comprised of a thick accumulation of 11-to 13-million-year-old volcanic rocks, 1600 to 2300 feet of which are above the present-day water table.

Because the USGS scientists know how much water is necessary for calcite and opal deposits to form over a given period of time, they were able to determine how much or how little water had seeped through the mountain by measuring the deposits of these two minerals. "In an exploratory tunnel 650 to 950 feet below the land surface and 950 feet above the water table, calcite and opal were found in less than 10 percent of the fractures and cavities," Paces said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by United States Geological Survey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

United States Geological Survey. "Yucca Mountain Is High And Dry, Say USGS Scientists." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 June 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990602071448.htm>.
United States Geological Survey. (1999, June 2). Yucca Mountain Is High And Dry, Say USGS Scientists. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990602071448.htm
United States Geological Survey. "Yucca Mountain Is High And Dry, Say USGS Scientists." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990602071448.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Balloon Descends to Bottom of Croatian Cave

Raw: Balloon Descends to Bottom of Croatian Cave

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — An Austrian balloon pilot has succeeded in taking a balloon deep underground, a feat which he believes is a world first. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bodies Recovered from Japan Volcano Eruption

Bodies Recovered from Japan Volcano Eruption

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — Rescue crews finished recovering the remaining 27 bodies from atop Japan's Mount Ontake Monday. At least 31 people were killed Saturday in the mountain's first fatal volcanic event in modern history. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Japan's Mount Ontake Erupts

Raw: Japan's Mount Ontake Erupts

AP (Sep. 27, 2014) — A volcano erupted in central Japan on Saturday, sending a large plume of ash high into the sky and prompting a warning to climbers and others to avoid the area. (Sept. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) — Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins