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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

December 19, 2019

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.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2019
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
DOI 10.3133/sir20195038
Authors Tracie R. Jackson, Keith J. Halford
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2019-5038
Index ID sir20195038
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Nevada Water Science Center

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