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Vadose Zone Journal
Vol. 4, No: xx, 2005; Pages: 718–728


Surface Water–Groundwater Connection at the Los Alamos Canyon Weir Site: Part 2. Modeling of Tracer Test Results

Philip H. Stauffer* and William J. Stone

National Laboratory Earth and Environmental Science Division Hydrology, Geochemistry, andGeology EES-6, Los Alamos, NM 87545.

Abstract

Field observations of bromide transport in the unsaturated zoneare used to constrain simulations that provide estimates of bulk porosity and permeability for the Cerros del Rio. The Cerros del Rio basaltris of particular interest because it underlies many of the potentialwaste sites at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.Ahighly simplifiedmodel is able to capture the general behavior of the breakthroughdata. The simplifying assumption is that the basalt can be modeledas a homogeneous continuum with high permeability and low porosity.We estimate that the permeability of the bulk rock is 1011 to 1012 m2,whereas the porosity is estimated to lie between 0.001 and 0.01. Theporosity estimates from this study are particularly useful for kilometerscale simulations that include flow and transport through the Cerrosdel Rio basalt because estimates based on other methods, such as coretesting, are highly scale dependent and should not be extrapolatedto larger scales. Although this model does not include the complexphysics of flow in the fractured basalt, it is useful for simulations onthe kilometer scale that require averaging of rock properties and opitimization of computational speed. The porosity and permeability valuesobtained from this analysis will help to weight probability distributionsused in the kilometer-scale simulations of contaminant transport.

Keywords:homogeneous continuum;monitoring boreholes;contaminant transport;bromide transport;radionuclide.


Corresponding author:

E-mail: stauffer@lanl.gov

 

 
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