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Ground-water flow in Melton Valley, Oak Ridge reservation, Roane County, Tennessee; preliminary model analysis

January 1, 1994

Shallow land burial of low-level radioactive waste has been practiced since 1951 in Melton Valley. Groundwater flow modeling was used to better understand the geohydrology of the valley, and to provide a foundation for future contaminant transport modeling. The three-dimensional, finite difference model simulates the aquifer as a two layer system that represents the regolith and bedrock. Transmissivities, which were adjusted during model calibration, range from 8 to 16 sq ft/day for the regolith, and from 0.2 to 1.5 sq ft/day for bedrock. An anisotropy ratio of 1:3 for strike-normal to strike-parallel transmissivity values, in conjunction with recharge rate = 6% of precipitation that is uniformly distributed over the model area, produces the best match between simulated and observed water levels. Simulated water levels generally compare well to observed or estimated 1978 groundwater conditions. Simulated water levels for the regolith for 39 of 69 comparison points are within +/- 10 ft of average 1978 levels. Simulated vertical flow components are in the observed direction for 9 of 11 comparison points. Preliminary simulations indicate that nearly all groundwater flow is within the regolith and discharges to either the Clinch River or the White Oak Creek-Melton Branch drainage systems. Less than 3% of the flow is between the regolith and bedrock, and < 1% of total groundwater flow discharges to the Clinch River through bedrock. Additional data needed to refine and further calibrate the model, include: (1) quantity and areal distribution of recharge; (2) water levels in the regolith near the model boundaries and beyond the Clinch River; (3) water levels and aquifer characteristics for bedrock; and (4) additional surface water data. (Author 's abstract)

Citation Information

Publication Year 1986
Title Ground-water flow in Melton Valley, Oak Ridge reservation, Roane County, Tennessee; preliminary model analysis
DOI 10.3133/wri854221
Authors Patrick Tucci
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series Number 85-4221
Index ID wri854221
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization