From 1980 to 1982, the U.S. Geological Survey conducted seismic refraction studies at the Nevada Test Site to aid in an investigation of the regional crustal structure at a possible nuclear waste repository site near Yucca Mountain. Two regionally distributed deployments and one north-south deployment recorded nuclear events. First arrival times from these deployments were plotted on a location map and contoured to determine traveltime delays. The results indicate delays as large as 0.5 s in the Yucca Mountain and Crater Flat areas relative to the Jackass Flats area. A fourth east-west deployment recorded a chemical explosion and was interpreted using a two-dimensional computer raytracing technique. Delays as high as 0.7 s were observed over Crater Flat and Yucca Mountain. The crustal model derived from this profile indicates that Paleozoic rocks, which outcrop to the east at Skull Mountain and the Calico Hills, and to the west at Bare Mountain, lie at a minimum depth of 3 km beneath part of Yucca Mountain. These results confirm earlier estimates based on the modeling of detailed gravity data. A mid-crustal boundary at 15 ? 2 km beneath Yucca Mountain is evidenced by a prominent reflection recorded beyond 43 km range at 1.5 s reduced time. Other mid-crustal boundaries have been identified at 24 and 30 km and the total crustal thickness is 35 km.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
A seismic study of Yucca Mountain and vicinity, southern Nevada; data report and preliminary results