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Review and analysis of hydrogeologic conditions near the site of a potential nuclear-waste repository, Eddy and Lea counties, New Mexico

Open-File Report 77-123

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Abstract

This interim report reviews and summarizes the hydrogeology of rocks associated with the Permian salt beds (Castile and Salado Formations) of Los Medanos area in southeastern New Mexico. The information will be considered, together with other factors, in the preparation of an analysis of the impact of a potential nuclear-waste repository on the environment. Most of the geologic units in and adjacent to the Permian salt deposits are characterized by low permeabilities and highly mineralized water. Sandstone of the Delaware Mountain Group, which underlies the salt, has an average hydraulic conductivity of 0.16 ft/d and an average porosity of 15.65 percent. Flow is north-northeastward toward the margin of the Capitan Limestone, at velocities ranging from 0.0005 to 0.0008 ft/d. The Capitan Limestone, a relatively high yielding limestone-reef aquifer adjacent to the study area, has transmissivity values ranging from 500 sq ft/d to 10,000 sq ft/d and an average hydraulic conductivity of about 5 ft/d. Water movement west of the Pecos River is northeastward in the reef, with discharge at Carlsbad Springs. East of the Pecos River, water moves at very low rates and the direction of movement is uncertain. The Castile and Salado Formations, which might be used to contain the nuclear waste, have a few isolated pockets of brine and gas, but generally transmit little or no ground water. (Woodard-USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Review and analysis of hydrogeologic conditions near the site of a potential nuclear-waste repository, Eddy and Lea counties, New Mexico
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
77-123
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1977
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
35 p. :ill., maps ;27 cm.; (59 p. - PGS)