TECHNICAL BASIS DOCUMENT NO. 1 [electronic resource] : CLIMATE AND INFILTRATION
- Washington, D.C. : United States. Dept. of Energy, 2004.
Oak Ridge, Tenn. : Distributed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Dept. of Energy.
- Additional Creators:
- United States. Department of Energy. Yucca Mountain Project Office
United States. Department of Energy
United States. Department of Energy. Office of Scientific and Technical Information
- For the past 20 years, extensive field, laboratory, and modeling investigations have been performed at Yucca Mountain, which have led to the development of a number of conceptual models of infiltration and climate for the Yucca Mountain region around the repository site (Flint, A.L. et al. 2001; Wang and Bodvarsson 2003). Evaluating the amount of infiltrating water entering the subsurface is important, because this water may affect the percolation flux, which, in turn, controls seepage into the waste emplacement drifts and radionuclide transport from the repository to the water table. Forecasting of climatic data indicates that during the next 10,000 years at Yucca Mountain, the present-day climate should persist for 400 to 600 years, followed by a warmer and much wetter monsoon climate for 900 to 1,400 years, and by a cooler and wetter glacial-transition climate for the remaining 8,000 to 8,700 years. The analysis of climatic forecasting indicates that long-term climate conditions are generally predictable from a past climate sequence, while short-term climate conditions and weather predictions may be more variable and uncertain. The use of past climate sequences to bound future climate sequences involves several types of uncertainties, such as (1) uncertainty in the timing of future climate, (2) uncertainty in the methodology of climatic forecasting, and (3) uncertainty in the earth's future physical processes. Some of the uncertainties of the climatic forecasting are epistemic (reducible) and aleatoric (irreducible). Because of the size of the model domain, INFIL treats many flow processes in a simplified manner. For example, uptake of water by roots occurs according to the ''distributed model'', in which available water in each soil layer is withdrawn in proportion to the root density in that layer, multiplied by the total evapotranspirative demand. Runoff is calculated simply as the excess of precipitation over a sum of infiltration and water storage in the root zone. More significantly, water movement throughout the soil profile is treated according to the bucket model, in which the amount of water that moves down from one layer to the next is equal to the mass of water in excess of field capacity in the upper layer. The development of a numerical model of infiltration involves a number of abstractions and simplifications to represent the complexity of environmental conditions at Yucca Mountain, such as the arid climate, mountain-type topography, heterogeneous soils and fractured rock, and irregular soil-rock interface.
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