Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (New Mexico) Candidate Site

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Transcript Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (New Mexico) Candidate Site

Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
(New Mexico)
Candidate Site Geology
Dennis W. Powers
Consulting Geologist
Location
• Access
• Stable
• Delaware
Basin
• Thick
sedimentary
sequence
Stratigraphy
• ~1000 m halite and
some anhydrite
• Thick beds in
Castile
• Thinner beds in
Salado
• Low natural gamma
in Castile
Castile
Halite
• Low natural
gamma
• Large density
contrast
• Thick units
• Varying depth
Salado
Halite
• Variable bed
thickness
• Variable density
• Clay, K-minerals
provide gamma
• Variable depth
General Geohydrology
• Oil, gas, and water (brine) below
evaporites
• Local pressurized brine in Castile
• Small brine/gas pockets in Salado
• Limited permeability in saturated zones
above Salado
Ultra-Low Permeability
• Salado halite has been tested
• Location provides test bed for techniques
• Integrate geological, geochemical, and
geophysics data for assessing long-term
properties
• Modeling to examine applicability of
Darcy’s law
Salado Hydraulic Tests
QPP12
899 Days
QPP12 Hydraulic Test
Room
Q
Viable Ancient Bacteria
• Viable Permian-age bacteria reported from
Salado halite
• Conditions for preservation and isolation
are excellent
• Possibility of other halotolerant species
• Possible test bed for off-Earth techniques
Ancient(?)
Bacteria in
Dissolution Pipes
• Synsedimentary
• Depth controlled by
water (brine) table
of the day
• Coarse halite, large
fluid inclusions
• Different species?
• Evolving upward?
Spatial Relationships of
Dissolution Pipes
Properties of Viscoelastic Materials
• History of experimental techniques to
develop models
• Develop general principles and
fundamental properties
• Useful in variety of applications
– Mining
– storage
Room G Geometry
Evaporite Characteristics
• Ultra-low permeability is a useful property
– WIPP rocks have some testing and can serve
as general development/testing medium
• Ancient(?) bacteria are preserved
– Methodology for testing can be developed
– Spatial and temporal sampling
• Visco-elastic materials at varying depths
– Test bed for methodologies
– Coupled processes with hydrology,
geochemistry