Three chemical types of ground water are distinguished at the Nevada Test Site and vicinity. A sodium-potassium water is related to tuff (in part zeolitized) and to alluvium containing detrital tuff. A calcium-magnesium water is related to limestone and dolomite, or to alluvium containing detritus of these rock types. A mixed chemical type, containing about as much sodium and potassium as calcium and magnesium, may result from the addition of one of the first two types of water to the other; to passage of water first through tuff and then through carbonate rock, or vice versa; and to ion-exchange during water travel. Consideration of the distribution of these water types, together with the distribution of sodium in the water and progressive changes in the dissolved solids, suggests that the ground water in the Nevada Test Site probably moves toward the Amargosa Desert, not into Indian Spring Valley and thence southeastward toward Las Vegas. The low dissolved solids content of ground-water reservoirs in alluvium and tuff of the enclosed basins indicates that recharge is local in origin.
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USGS Numbered Series
Chemistry and movement of ground water, Nevada Test Site