Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss., 5, 3853-3905, 2012
www.geosci-model-dev-discuss.net/5/3853/2012/
doi:10.5194/gmdd-5-3853-2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
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This discussion paper is under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).
Evaluation of the US DOE's conceptual model of hydrothermal activity at Yucca Mountain, Nevada
Y. V. Dublyansky
Innsbruck University, Institute of Geology, Innrain 52, 6020, Innsbruck, Austria

Abstract. A unique conceptual model envisaging conductive heating of rocks in the thick unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain, Nevada by a silicic pluton emplaced several kilometers away is accepted by the US Department of Energy (DOE) as an explanation of the elevated depositional temperatures measured in fluid inclusions in secondary fluorite and calcite. Acceptance of this model allowed the DOE not to consider hydrothermal activity in the performance assessment of the proposed high-level nuclear waste disposal facility. Evaluation shows that validation of the model by computational modeling and by observations at a natural analog site was unsuccessful. Due to the lack of validation, the reliance on this model must be discontinued and the scientific defensibility of decisions which rely on this model must be re-evaluated.

Citation: Dublyansky, Y. V.: Evaluation of the US DOE's conceptual model of hydrothermal activity at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss., 5, 3853-3905, doi:10.5194/gmdd-5-3853-2012, 2012.
 
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