Preliminary geologic and geophysical data of the UE25a-3 exploratory drill hole, Nevada Test Site, Nevada

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The UE25a-3 drill hole, located in the Calico Hills area, southwestern part of the Nevada Test Site, was drilled as part of an effort to evaluate the Calico Hills area as a possible nuclear waste repository site. The purpose of the drill hole was to verify the existence of an intrusive crystalline body in the subsurface and to determine the stratigraphy, structure, and nature of fractures of the cored rocks. Cored samples were obtained for mineral, chemical, and material property analyses.

Continuous cores were taken from 30.5 m (100ft) to total depth of 771.2 m (2,530.1 ft) of units J and I{?) (Late Mississippian age) of the Eleana Formation. The drill hole penetrated 416.1 m (1 ,365ft) of argillite, and 304.5 m (999ft) of thermally altered argillite of unit J, and 50.6 m (166ft) of marble of unit I(?). No crystalline rocks were intersected by the drill hole.

Numerous high-angle faults and brecciated zones were intersected by the drill hole. The units cored were intensely fractured with fracture analysis of the core consisting of frequency of fractures, dips of fractures, open and closed (sealed) fractures and types of fracture sealing or coating material. Twenty-four hundred and thirty fractures, representing approximately 30 percent of the fractures present, indicate an average fracture frequency of 13.2 fractures per meter, predominantly high-angle dips with 66 percent of the fractures closed. Fractures in the argillite interval are sealed or coated predominantly with kaolinite, nacrite, and dickite. Calcite, chlorite, and magnetite are present in fractures in the altered argillite interval. Fractures in the marble interval are sealed or coated with calcite, dolomite, and ferruginous clay. The core index indicates that the lower half of the drilled interval is more competent than the upper half.

Borehole geophysical logs were run by the Birdwell Division of Seismograph Service Corporation for geologic correlations and lithologic characterizations. The logs include: caliper, density, resistivity, spontaneous potential, Vibroseis, 3-D velocity, neutron, and gamma-ray logs. Lithologic boundaries and structures correlate to responses in the logs.

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Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Unnumbered Series
Title Preliminary geologic and geophysical data of the UE25a-3 exploratory drill hole, Nevada Test Site, Nevada
DOI 10.3133/70159096
Year Published 1979
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Description Report: iii, 43 p.; 1 Plate: 18.94 x 34.10 inches
Country United States
State Nevada
Other Geospatial Calico Hills
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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