Estimation of Groundwater Flow Through Yucca Flat Based on a Multiple-Well Aquifer Test at Well ER-6-1-2 Main, Nevada National Security Site, Southern Nevada

Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5038
Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management, National Nuclear Security Administration, Nevada Site Office, under Interagency Agreement DE-EM0004969
By:  and 

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Abstract

The rate of groundwater flow past underground nuclear testing areas in Yucca Flat at the Nevada National Security Site, southern Nevada, was estimated using results from the ER-6-1-2 main multiple-well aquifer test (MWAT), done during February 5–July 23, 2004. Drawdowns in 13 observation wells were evaluated from pumping in well ER-6-1-2 main and used as observations in a regional groundwater-flow model to estimate the groundwater-flow rate. Flow from southern Yucca Flat regionally was constrained by detecting drawdown in Tracer Well 3, which is 33 miles south-southwest of pumping well ER-6-1-2 main. Predevelopment flow, the ER-6-1-2 main MWAT, and regional groundwater pumping were simulated in separate models that jointly informed estimates of transmissivity and specific-yield distributions. Predevelopment flow constrained groundwater-flow estimates from southern Yucca Flat because the steady-state model correctly simulated regional groundwater discharges in the Ash Meadows groundwater basin and the surrounding basins. Less than 600 acre-feet per year of groundwater moves from underground nuclear testing areas and flows south of well ER-6-1-2 main in southern Yucca Flat.

Suggested Citation

Jackson, T.R., and Halford, K.J., 2019, Estimation of groundwater flow through Yucca Flat based on a multiple-well aquifer test at well ER-6–1–2 main, Nevada National Security Site, southern Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5038, 27 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20195038.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Hydraulic Responses from ER-6-1-2 Main Multiple-Well Aquifer Test
  • Yucca Flat Boundary Flow
  • Summary and Conclusions
  • Acknowledgments
  • References Cited

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Estimation of groundwater flow through Yucca Flat based on a multiple-well aquifer test at well ER-6–1–2 main, Nevada National Security Site, southern Nevada
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2019-5038
DOI 10.3133/sir20195038
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Nevada Water Science Center
Description Report: vi, 27 p.; Data Release
Country United States
State Nevada
Other Geospatial Nevada National Security Site
Online Only (Y/N) Y
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