A Site-Scale Model For Fluid And Heat Flow In The Unsaturated Zone Of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

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Journal Article: A Site-Scale Model For Fluid And Heat Flow In The Unsaturated Zone Of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

Abstract
A three-dimensional unsaturated-zone numerical model has been developed to simulate flow and distribution of moisture, gas and heat at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, a potential repository site for high-level radioactive waste. The model takes into account the simultaneous flow dynamics of liquid water, vapor, air and heat in the highly heterogeneous, fractured porous rock in the unsaturated zone (UZ). This model is intended for use in the prediction of the current and future conditions in the UZ so as to aid in the assessment of the system performance of the proposed repository. The modeling approach is based on a mathematical formulation of coupled multiphase, multicomponent fluid and heat flow through porous and fractured rock. Fracture and matrix flow is treated using both dual-permeability and effective-continuum modeling approaches. The model domain covers a total area of approximately 43 km2, and uses the land surface and the water table as its top and bottom boundaries. In addition, site-specific data, representative surface infiltration, and geothermal conditions are incorporated into the model. The reliability and accuracy of the model have been the subject of a comprehensive model calibration study, in which the model was calibrated against measured data, including liquid saturation, water potential and temperature. It has been found that the model is generally able to reproduce the overall system behavior at Yucca Mountain with respect to moisture profiles, pneumatic pressure variations in different geological units, and ambient geothermal conditions.

Authors 
Yu-Shu Wu, Charles Haukwa and G. S. Bodvarsson








Published Journal 
Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 1999





DOI 
10.1016/S0169-7722(99)00014-5


 

Citation

Yu-Shu Wu,Charles Haukwa,G. S. Bodvarsson. 1999. A Site-Scale Model For Fluid And Heat Flow In The Unsaturated Zone Of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology. (!) .