Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



Nevada System of Higher Education


This report covers the following projects: Shake table tests of precarious rock methodology, field tests of precarious rocks at Yucca Mountain and comparison of the results with PSHA predictions, study of the coherence of the wave field in the ESF, and a limited survey of precarious rocks south of the proposed repository footprint. A series of shake table experiments have been carried out at the University of Nevada, Reno Large Scale Structures Laboratory. The bulk of the experiments involved scaling acceleration time histories (uniaxial forcing) from 0.1g to the point where the objects on the shake table overturned a specified number of times. The results of these experiments have been compared with numerical overturning predictions. Numerical predictions for toppling of large objects with simple contact conditions (e.g., I-beams with sharp basal edges) agree well with shake-table results. The numerical model slightly underpredicts the overturning of small rectangular blocks. It overpredicts the overturning PGA for asymmetric granite boulders with complex basal contact conditions. In general the results confirm the approximate predictions of previous studies. Field testing of several rocks at Yucca Mountain has approximately confirmed the preliminary results from previous studies, suggesting that the PSHA predictions are too high, possibly because the uncertainty in the mean of the attenuation relations. Study of the coherence of wavefields in the ESF has provided results which will be very important in design of the canisters distribution, in particular a preliminary estimate of the wavelengths at which the wavefields become incoherent. No evidence was found for extreme focusing by lens-like inhomogeneities. A limited survey for precarious rocks confirmed that they extend south of the repository, and one of these has been field tested.


Earthquake hazard analysis; Nevada – Yucca Mountain; Paleoseismology; Rockslides


Earth Sciences | Geophysics and Seismology




Signatures have been redacted for privacy and security measures.
Report Document Identifier: TR-06-003
Task ORD-FY04-020