Strontium isotopes (expressed as per mill deviation from mean sea water, ??87Sr) reflect interaction between ground water and the aquifer through which it is flowing. In the Cenozoic aquifer of the Yucca Mountain region, ??87Sr values increase from north to south downgradient in the flow system. The largest ??87Sr values occur in the Amargosa Desert where ground water probably encounters alluvial basin fill derived from Precambrian rocks in the Funeral Range. Similarly, large ??87Sr values for ground water in the Paleozoic aquifer at the western end of the Spring Mountains also probably reflect an encounter with Precambrian rocks. In several wells into the volcanic rocks, apparent isotopic disequilibrium between ground water and the producing units suggests that the ground water probably integrates over a substantial part of the saturated section in attaining its strontium isotope signature.
Additional publication details
Isotopic evidence of complex ground-water flow at Yucca mountain, Nevada, USA
Publ by ASCE
New York, NY, United States
Larger Work Title:
High Level Radioactive Waste Management
Proceedings of the 4th Annual International Conference on High Level Radioactive Waste Management