The percolation flux for borehole USW UZ-14 was calculated from 14C residence times of pore water and water content of cores measured in the laboratory. Transport velocity is calculated from the depth interval between two points divided by the difference in 14C residence times. Two methods were used to calculate the flux and velocity. The first method uses the 14C data and cumulative water content data directly in the incremental intervals in the Paintbrush nonwelded unit and the Topopah Spring welded unit. The second method uses the regression relation for 14C data and cumulative water content data for the entire Paintbrush nonwelded unit and the Topopah Spring Tuff/Topopah Spring welded unit. Using the first method, for the Paintbrush nonwelded unit in boreholeUSW UZ-14 percolation flux ranges from 2.3 to 41.0 mm/a. Transport velocity ranges from 1.2 to 40.6 cm/a. For the Topopah Spring welded unit percolation flux ranges from 0.9 to 5.8 mm/a in the 8 incremental intervals calculated. Transport velocity ranges from 1.4 to 7.3 cm/a in the 8 incremental intervals. Using the second method, average percolation flux in the Paintbrush nonwelded unit for 6 boreholes ranges from 0.9 to 4.0 mm/a at the 95% confidence level. Average transport velocity ranges from 0.6 to 2.6 cm/a. For the Topopah Spring welded unit and Topopah Spring Tuff, average percolation flux in 5 boreholes ranges from 1.3 to 3.2 mm/a. Average transport velocity ranges from 1.6 to 4.0 cm/a. Both the average percolation flux and average transport velocity in the PTn are smaller than in the TS/TSw. However, the average minimum and average maximum values for the percolation flux in the TS/TSw are within the PTn average range. Therefore, differences in the percolation flux in the two units are not significant. On the other hand, average, average minimum, and average maximum transport velocities in the TS/TSw unit are all larger than the PTn values, implying a larger transport velocity for the TS/TSw although there is a small overlap.
Additional publication details
Percolation flux and Transport velocity in the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada