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Determination of diffusivities in the Rustler Formation from exploratory-shaft construction at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico

Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4020

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Abstract

The construction of an exploratory shaft 12 feet in diameter into the Salado Formation (repository horizon for transuranic waste material) at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant site in southeastern New Mexico affected water-levels in water-bearing zones above the repository horizon. By reading the construction history of the exploratory shaft, an approximation of construction-generated hydraulic stresses at the shaft was made. The magnitude of the construction-generated stresses was calibrated using the hydrographs from one hydrologic test pad. Whereas flow rates from the Magenta Dolomite and Culebra Dolomite Members in the Rustler Formation into the exploratory shaft were unknown, the ratio of transmissivity to storage (diffusivity) was determined by mathematically simulating the aquifers and the hydrologic stresses with flood-wave-response digital model. These results indicate that the Magenta Dolomite and Culebra Dolomite Members of the Rustler Formation can be modeled as homogeneous, isotropic, and confined water-bearing zones. One simple and consistent explanation, but by no means the only explanation, of the lack of a single diffusivity value in the Culebra aquifer is that the open-hole observation wells at the hydrologic test pads dampen the amplitude of water-level changes. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Determination of diffusivities in the Rustler Formation from exploratory-shaft construction at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
85-4020
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1985
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
v, 32 p. :ill., map ;28 cm.