Ground-water flow systems in the Basin and Range Province, United States of America

Saved in:
Authors:Bedinger, M. S.
Author Affiliations:Primary:
U. S. Geol. Surv., Denver, CO, United States
Volume Title:Papers of the International conference on groundwater and man; Volume 3, Groundwater and development
Source:Australian Water Resources Council Conference Series, Vol.8, p.1-9; International conference on groundwater and man, Sydney, Australia, Dec. 5-9, 1983. Publisher: Australian Water Resources Council, Canberra, A.C.T., Australia. ISSN: 0725-4695. ISBN: 0-644-02921-8
Publication Date:1983
Note:In English. 12 refs.; sects., sketch maps
Summary:Ground-water flow is thought to be the most likely process by which radionuclides will move from a high-level radioactive waste repository to the biosphere, during the extremely long time when the waste is toxic. This paper describes the general hydrology of the Basin and Range Province and the ground-water flow systems in the Province with reference to long-term isolation of high-level radioactive waste in deep mined repositories. The Basin and Range Province, a 780,000-square-kilometer area in the southwestern conterminous United States is complex hydrologically and geologically, characterized by block-faulted mountains, intervening bolson deposits, and arid to semiarid climate. Surface-drainage basins in the Province include closed basins with interior surface drainage, and basins with surface-drainage outlets to the sea. Perennial streams in the Province originate either in mountainous areas within the Province, or in mountainous areas adjoining the Basin and Range Province, where precipitation is much greater than in lowlands. Many topographically closed basins are coincident with closed ground-water systems that receive recharge in upland areas and discharge to the basin playa. However, many flow systems are not coincident with topographic basins, because ground-water flow patterns are affected significantly by distribution of recharge and discharge, and by permeability of rock. Ground-water flow between structural basins, both topographically closed and open, occurs through permeable zones in rock, and through basin-fill deposits that are continuous between some structural basins. Bedrock, generally having much less permeability than basin fill, commonly retards flow between basins. Where bedrock permeability has been increased because of joints, fractures, or solution channels, ground-water flow between basins may be very large. Large regional flow systems, interconnected by permeable bedrock beneath basins, extend under many topographically closed basins that have no other ground-water discharge.—Modified journal abstract.
Subjects:Arid environment; Engineering geology; Ground water; Hydrology; Isolation; Movement; Radioactive waste; Saturated zone; Semi-arid environment; Surveys; Terrestrial environment; Unsaturated zone; Waste disposal; Basin and Range Province; North America; United States
Record ID:1984038686
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2018 American Geosciences Institute.
Tags: Add Tag
No Tags, Be the first to tag this record!
Be the first to leave a comment!
You must be logged in first