Fluctuation Test

Summarized by Plex Health
Last Updated: 09 May 2022

Understanding of the magnitude of water-table surge throughout Pleistocene pluvial environments, and of the resultant reducing of groundwater flow path and reduction in unsaturated area thickness, is required for a technical assessment of the Nevada Test Site or other arid zone sites as repositories for transuranic or top-level contaminated wastes. The distribution of calcitic blood vessels filling up cracks in alluvium, and of tufa deposits between the Ash Meadows spring discharge area and the Nevada Test Site indicates that discharge from the regional Paleozoic carbonate aquifer during the Late Pleistocene pluvial periods might have taken place at an altitude about 50 meters more than currently and 14 kilometers northeast of Ash Meadows. Use the underflow equation, and numerous assumptions concerning pluvial recharge, transmissivity, and altitude of groundwater base level, recommend possible rises in potentiometric level in the carbonate aquifer of about -90 meters below central Frenchman Flat. Water-level rises beneath Frenchman Flat throughout future pluvials are not likely to surpass 30 meters and might even be 10 meters lower than modern levels.

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