Yucca Mountain

Overview of Inyo County’s
Oversight and DOE
Grant Program

Oversight Consultants to Inyo County
John D. Bredehoeft
Michael J. King

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Statement of the Problem

The relationship between carbonate spring waters in Death Valley and the groundwater flowing under Yucca Mountain has yet to be determined.

Evidence for Groundwater Flow between YM and Death Valley

  • Geochemistry of spring and ground water is similar
  • Structural geology suggests a continuous Lower Carbonate Aquifer (LCA)
  • Numerical groundwater modeling tends to collaborate that flow is through the LCA

Inyo County’s 1996 Oversight Program

For a copy of this report contact:
Inyo County, Yucca Mountain Assessment Office
  • HYMET Hydraulic Model of Death Valley Region
  • Subsurface map of LCA
  • Geothermal gradient modeling at UE-25pl

Inyo County’s 1998 Oversight Program

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  • Conduct a geochemical study of Death Valley (DV) springs to:
    • Further characterize ground water in DV mountain blocks
    • Determine the source of these spring waters

Pipe Diagram

Inyo and Nye County’s DOE Grant Program

  • Geophysical studies of Furnace Creek Fault springs
  • Exploratory drilling at Furnace Creek springs
  • Evapotranspiration studies in DV
  • Amargosa River stream discharge studies
  • Infiltration studies in Gold Valley in DV
  • Spring water geochemical studies in DV

Rainfall & Spring Flows

Inyo County’s 2001 Oversight Proposal

  • Drilling data in the LCA
  • Groundwater discharge measurements in DV
  • Surface & groundwater inflow data into DV from the Amargosa River
  • Infiltration measurements in adjoining mountains
  • Direct data on the source of springs in DV
  • Water level monitoring data
  • Hydraulic parameters of the associated aquifers
  • Information on hydraulic conditions in DV

Inyo County’s 2001 Work Plan

  • Geologic mapping and geophysical survey of the southern Funeral Mountain range area
  • Drilling, completion, & testing of five deep monitoring wells
  • Development of a comprehensive hydrogeological database for DV

Rationale for new monitoring wells

  • Evaluate regional groundwater flow through the southern Funeral Mountains
  • Establish structural controls on flow-paths and discharge areas
  • Evaluate potential zones of mixing between deep, regional LCA
  • groundwater and local, shallow groundwater systems to the northeast

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