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The present paper presents hydraulic evidence for the interbasin circulation of ground water through carbonate rocks of Paleozoic age at the Nevada Test Site. An integral part of this evidence is the discovery that aquifers in alluvium and tuff, formerly thought to be the principal aquifers at the Test Site, are semiperched above a thick tuffaceous aquiclude that separates them from the carbonate rocks.

This paper is based on one of the studies being made by the Geological
Survey for the Atomic Energy Commission. These studies seek to evaluate
the risk that may arise if ground water should be contaminated as a result
of underground nuclear detonations at the Test Site.

In summary, the movement of ground water in the valley fill and the tuffs beneath the bolsons of the Nevada Test Site is vertically downward into the Paleozoic carbonate rocks. The ground water moves laterally in the carbonate rocks beneath all three basins toward discharge areas, presumably to the southwest. Ground-water flow beneath some intermontane basins differs significantly from the usual picture of flow down the axis of an intermontane valley to a spill point at one end or flow to discharge areas within the basin, such as playas or springs.


Groundwater; Groundwater flow; Hazardous wastes; Nevada--Nevada Test Site; Rocks; Carbonate


Environmental Health | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Monitoring | Fresh Water Studies | Geology | Hydrology | Natural Resource Economics | Stratigraphy | Toxicology