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Preliminary hydrogeologic investigation of the Maxey Flats radioactive waste burial site, Fleming County, Kentucky

Open-File Report 79-1329

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Abstract

Burial trenches at the Maxey Flats radioactive waste burial site , Fleming County, Ky., cover an area of about 0.03 square mile, and are located on a plateau, about 300 to 400 feet above surrounding valleys. Although surface-water characteristics are known, little information is available regarding the ground-water hydrology of the Maxey Flats area. If transport of radionuclides from the burial site were to occur, water would probably be the principal mechanism of transport by natural means. Most base flow in streams around the burial site is from valley alluvium, and from the mantle of regolith, colluvium, and soil partially covering adjacent hills. Very little base flow is due to ground-water flow from bedrock. Most water in springs is from the mantle, rather than from bedrock. Rock units underlying the Maxey Flats area are, in descending order, the Nancy and Farmers Members of the Borden Formation, Sunbury, Bedford, and Ohio Shales, and upper part of the Crab Orchard Formation. These units are mostly shales, except for the Farmers Member, which is mostly sandstone. Total thickness of the rocks is about 320 feet. All radioactive wastes are buried in the Nancy Member. Most ground-water movement in bedrock probably occurs in fractures. The ground-water system at Maxey Flats is probably unconfined, and recharge occurs by (a) infiltration of rainfall into the mantle, and (b) vertical, unsaturated flow from the saturated regolith on hilltops to saturated zones in the Farmers Member and Ohio Shale. Data are insufficient to determine if saturated zones exist in other rock units. The upper part of the Crab Orchard Formation is probably a hydrologic boundary, with little ground-water flow through the formation. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Preliminary hydrogeologic investigation of the Maxey Flats radioactive waste burial site, Fleming County, Kentucky
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
79-1329
Edition:
WRI/OFR
Year Published:
1979
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
The Survey,
Description:
viii, 120 p. :ill., maps ;27 cm.