Two-dimensional, steady-state model of ground-water flow, Nevada Test Site and vicinity, Nevada-California

Water-Resources Investigations Report 82-4085




A two-dimensional, steady-state model of ground-water flow beneath the Nevada Test Site and vicinity has been developed using inverse techniques. The area is underlain by clastic and carbonate rocks of Precambrian and Paleozoic age and by volcanic rocks and alluvium of Tertiary and Quaternary age that have been juxtaposed by normal and strike-slip faulting. Aquifers are composed of carbonate and volcanic rocks and alluvium. Characteristics of the flow system are determined by distribution of low-conductivity rocks (barriers); by recharge originating in the Spring Mountains, Pahranagat, Timpahute, and Sheep Ranges, and in Pahute Mesa; and by underflow beneath Pahute Mesa from Gold Flat and Kawich Valley. Discharge areas (Ash Meadows, Oasis Valley, Alkali Flat, and Furnace Creek Ranch) are upgradient from barriers. Sensitivities of simulated hydraulic heads and fluxes to variations in model parameters were calculated to guide field studies and to help estimate errors in predictions from transport modeling. Hydraulic heads and fluxes are very sensitive to variations in the greater magnitude recharge/discharge terms. Transmissivity at a location may not be the most important transmissivity for determining flux there. Transmissivities and geometries of large barriers that impede flow from Pahute Mesa have major effects on fluxes elsewhere; as their transmissivities are decreased, flux beneath western Jackass Flats and Yucca Mountains is increased as water is diverted around the barriers. Fortymile Canyon is underlain by highly transmissive rocks that cause potentiometric contours to vee upgradient; increasing their transmissivity increases flow through them, and decreases it beneath Yucca Mountain. (USGS)

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USGS Numbered Series
Two-dimensional, steady-state model of ground-water flow, Nevada Test Site and vicinity, Nevada-California
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
v, 77 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.