Evaluation of seepage into an underground opening using small-scale field experiments, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

Trautz, R. C. ; Wang, J. S. Y.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2002
To evaluate the potential for water seeping into an underground opening, a 9-m- (30-ft-) long drift was constructed in the unsaturated fractured tuff at Yucca Mountain. Forty seepage tests were performed by releasing finite volumes of water at a constant rate into short test intervals located in boreholes positioned above the drift. The seepage threshold flux, defined as the liquid-release flux at and below which water will not drip into the opening, was determined for 10 test intervals. The seepage data, observations and model results indicate that a seepage threshold exists because a capillary barrier diverts water around the opening.
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