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Hydrogeologic studies at the USGS Amargosa Desert Research Site

January 1, 1998

In 1976, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began studies of unsaturated-zone hydrology in the Amargosa Desert in support of the USGS Low-Level Radioactive Waste Program. In 1983, agreements with the Bureau of Land Management and the State of Nevada established two field study areas: a 16-ha area adjacent to a waste-burial facility 17 km south of Beatty and a 0.1-ha area about 3 km farther south (fig. 1A). The study areas are collectively known as the Amargosa Desert Research Site (ADRS). Investigations at the ADRS have provided long-term benchmark information about hydraulic characteristics and soil-water movement for undisturbed conditions and for simulated waste-site conditions in arid environments. In 1995, as a result of unexpectedly finding high concentrations of tritium and carbon-14 in the unsaturated zone beneath the ADRS, the scope of research was broadened to include the study of processes affecting radionuclide transport. The ADRS was incorporated into the USGS Toxic Substances Hydrology Program in 1997. Research at the site is a multidisciplinary, collaborative effort that involves scientists from the USGS, universities, research institutes, and national laboratories. The overall objective for research at the site is to improve understanding of and methods for characterizing mechanisms that control subsurface migration and fate of contaminants in arid environments.

Publication Year 1998
Title Hydrogeologic studies at the USGS Amargosa Desert Research Site
Authors Brian J. Andraski, David A. Stonestrom
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Series Title Friends of the Pleistocene Field Trip Guide
Index ID 70194884
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Nevada Water Science Center; Toxic Substances Hydrology Program