Potential for water-table excursions induced by seismic events at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

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doi: 10.1130/0091-7613(1991)019<1157:PFWTEI>2.3.CO;2
Authors:Carrigan, Charles R.; King, G. C. P.; Barr, G. E.; Bixler, Nathan E.
Author Affiliations:Primary:
Lawrence Livermore Natl. Lab., Earth Sci. Dep., Livermore, CA, United States
Inst. Phys. Globe, France
Sandia Natl. Lab., United States
Volume Title:Geology (Boulder)
Source:Geology (Boulder), 19(12), p.1157-1160. Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States. ISSN: 0091-7613
Publication Date:1991
Note:In English. 21 refs.; illus. incl. 2 tables
Summary:The possibility that 100-200 m changes in water-table elevation can be mechanically induced by earthquakes is a consideration in site studies of a potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. However, numerical simulations of tectonohydrologic coupling involving earthquakes typical of the Basin and Range province produce 2-3 m excursions of a water table that is 500 m below the land surface. Even displacements corresponding to extraordinary seismic events drive water-table excursions of less than 20 m. Flow resulting from earthquake-induced pore-pressure fields below the water table tends to be mainly horizontal; vertical flows that cause changes of the level of the water table are secondary. Strongly anisotropic permeability, intended to enhance vertical flow within fault zones, only doubles water-table rise in the models considered. These simulations of water-table rise compare well with observations following large earthquakes in the Basin and Range. Our models suggest that exceptional hydrologic and/or tectonic conditions would be required to produce substantially larger water-table rises.
Subjects:Causes; Earthquakes; Effects; Engineering geology; Faults; Geologic hazards; Ground water; High-level waste; Levels; Numerical models; Pore pressure; Pressure; Radioactive waste; Strain; Waste disposal; Water table; Basin and Range Province; Nevada; Nevada Test Site; North America; Nye County Nevada; United States; Yucca Mountain; Changes; Southern Nevada
Coordinates:N360000 N390800 W1150000 W1181500
Record ID:1991047141
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2018 American Geosciences Institute.
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