Reply to "Commentary: Assessment of past infiltration fluxes through Yucca Mountain on the basis of the secondary mineral record-is it a viable methodology?", by Y.V. Dublyansky and S.Z. Smirnov
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Reply to "Commentary: Assessment of past infiltration fluxes through Yucca Mountain on the basis of the secondary mineral record-is it a viable methodology?", by Y.V. Dublyansky and S.Z. Smirnov

  • Author(s): Sonnenthal, Eric
  • Xu, Tianfu
  • Bodvarrson, Gudmundur
  • et al.
Abstract

Xu et al. (2003) presented results of a reaction-transport model for calcite deposition in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, and compared the model results to measured abundances in core from a surface-based borehole. Marshall et al. (2003) used the calcite distribution in the Topopah Spring Tuff to estimate past seepage into lithophysal cavities as an analog for seepage into the potential repository waste emplacement drifts at Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada (USA). Dublyansky and Smirnov (2005) wrote a commentary paper to Marshall et al. (2003) and Xu et al. (2003), containing two points: (1) questionable phenomenological model for the secondary mineral deposits and (2) inappropriate thermal boundary conditions. In this reply we address primarily the modeling approach by showing results of a sensitivity simulation regarding the effect of an elevated temperature history that approximates the temperature history inferred from fluid inclusions by Wilson et al. (2003). Modeled calcite abundances using the time-varying temperature history are similar to the results for the steady-state ambient temperature profile (Xu et al., 2003), and are still consistent with the measured abundances at the proposed repository horizon.

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