Geology Report: Area 3 Radioactive Waste Management Site DOE/Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada [report]

2006 unpublished
Surficial geologic studies near the Area 3 Radioactive Waste Management Site (RWMS) were conducted as part of a site characterization program. Studies included evaluation of the potential for future volcanism and Area 3 fault activity that could impact waste disposal operations at the Area 3 RWMS. Future volcanic activity could lead to disruption of the Area 3 RWMS. Local and regional studies of volcanic risk indicate that major changes in regional volcanic activity within the next 1,000 years
more » ... re not likely. Mapped basalts of Paiute Ridge, Nye Canyon, and nearby Scarp Canyon are Miocene in age. There is a lack of evidence for post-Miocene volcanism in the subsurface of Yucca Flat, and the hazard of basaltic volcanism at the Area 3 RWMS, within the 1,000-year regulatory period, is very low and not a forseeable future event. Studies included a literature review and data analysis to evaluate unclassified published and unpublished information regarding the Area 3 and East Branch Area 3 faults mapped in Area 3 and southern Area 7. Two trenches were excavated along the Area 3 fault to search for evidence of near-surface movement prior to nuclear testing. Allostratigraphic units and fractures were mapped in Trenches ST02 and ST03. The Area 3 fault is a plane of weakness that has undergone strain resulting from stress imposed by natural events and underground nuclear testing. No major vertical displacement on the Area 3 fault since the Early Holocene, and probably since the Middle Pleistocene, can be demonstrated. The lack of major displacement within this time frame and minimal vertical extent of minor fractures suggest that waste disposal operations at the Area 3 RWMS will not be impacted substantially by the Area 3 fault, within the regulatory compliance period.
doi:10.2172/901937 fatcat:zy5dd2xaubfhrc2y35l5cqjoh4