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

Charles R. Carrigan, G. C. P. King, G. E. Barr and Nathan E. Bixler
Potential for water-table excursions induced by seismic events at Yucca Mountain, Nevada
Geology (Boulder) (December 1991) 19 (12): 1157-1160

Abstract

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.


ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Coden: GLGYBA
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 19
Serial Issue: 12
Title: Potential for water-table excursions induced by seismic events at Yucca Mountain, Nevada
Affiliation: Lawrence Livermore Natl. Lab., Earth Sci. Dep., Livermore, CA, United States
Pages: 1157-1160
Published: 199112
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 21
Accession Number: 1991-047141
Categories: Engineering geologyHydrogeology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables
N36°00'00" - N39°07'60", W118°15'00" - W115°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Inst. Phys. Globe, FRA, FranceSandia Natl. Lab., USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 1991
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