In the absence of specific criteria, the topography, geomorphology, and geology of Jackass Flats and vicinity in the southwestern part of the Nevada Test Site are evaluated by arbitrary guidelines for a Spent Unreprocessed Fuel Facility. The guidelines include requirements for surface slopes of less than 5 percent, 61 m of alluvium beneath the site, an area free of active erosion or deposition, lack of faults, a minimum area of 5 km2, no potential for flooding, and as many logistical support facilities as possible.
The geology of the Jackass Flats area is similar to the rest of the Nevada Test Site in topographic relief (305-1,200 m), stratigraphy (complexly folded and faulted Paleozoic sediments overlain by Tertiary ash-flow tuffs and lavas overlain in turn by younger alluvium), and structure (Paleozoic thrust faults and folds, strike-slip faults, proximity to volcanic centers, and Basin and Range normal faults). Of the stratigraphic units at the potential Spent Unreprocessed Fuel Facility site in Jackass Flats, only the thickness and stability of the alluvium are of immediate importance. Basin and Range faults and a possible extension of the Mine Mountain fault need further investigation.
The combination of a slope map and a simplified geologic and physiographic map into one map shows several potential sites for a Spent Unreprocessed Fuel Facility in Jackass Flats. The potential areas have slopes of less than 5 percent and contain only desert pavement or segmented desert pavement--the two physiographic categories having the greatest geomorphic and hydraulic stability.
Before further work can be done, specific criteria for a Spent Unreprocessed Fuel Facility site must be defined. Following criteria definition, potential sites will require detailed topographic and geologic studies, subsurface investigations (including geophysical methods, trenching, and perhaps shallow drilling for faults in alluvium), detailed surface hydrologic studies, and possibly subsurface hydrologic studies.
|Title||Potential sites for a spent unreprocessed fuel facility (SURFF), southwestern part of the Nevada Test Site|
|Authors||D. L. Hoover, Edwin Butt Eckel, Jane P. Ohl|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Open-File Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|