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.

Related Articles


"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 December 22, 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 December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lava Inches Closer to Highway

Raw: Lava Inches Closer to Highway

AP (Dec. 21, 2014) — Officials have opened a new road on Hawaii's Big Island for drivers to take care of their daily needs if encroaching lava from Kilauea Volcano crosses a highway and cuts them off from the rest of the island. (Dec. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scuba Diving Santa Off Florida Keys

Raw: Scuba Diving Santa Off Florida Keys

AP (Dec. 20, 2014) — A scuba diving Santa Claus explored the waters of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Dive shop owner Spencer Slate makes the dive each year to help raise money for charity. (Dec. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — US President Barack Obama says that construction of the Keystone pipeline would have 'very little impact' on US gas prices and believes there are 'more direct ways' to create construction jobs. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) — Lava from an active volcano on Hawaii's Big Island slowed slightly but stayed on track to hit a shopping center in the small town of Pahoa. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
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