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[en] This Special Issue, edited by Ilya Nemenman, celebrates the Eighth q-bio Conference, which took place in Santa Fe, New Mexico from August 13 to 16, 2014. Here, it consists of a commentary, two reviews, and five primary reports, which represent ideas and work discussed at the meeting.
[en] The Aquifer Pumping Test Report for the Burn Site Groundwater (BSG) Area of Concern is being submitted by National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)/National Nuclear Security Administration to describe the results of the aquifer pumping test program and related field activities that were completed at the BSG Area of Concern. This report summarizes the results of the field work and data analyses, and is being submitted to the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) Hazardous Waste Bureau, as required by the April 14, 2016 letter, Summary of Agreements and Proposed Milestones Pursuant to the Meeting of July 20, 2015, (NMED April 2016).
[en] Hydrologic and geochemical characterization of the WIPP site has progressed significantly since the 1980 WIPP Final Environmental Impact Statement. In 1980, the entire Rustler Formation was modeled as a single hydrologic unit, assumed to be isotropic, single-porosity, and completely confined. Variability within the Rustler was evaluated only on the basis of testing at individual wells. In the 1983 WIPP Site and Preliminary Design Validation effort, the Salado Formation, in which the WIPP facility is being constructed, was assumed to be anhydrous, except for fluid inclusions and mineralogically bound water. Recent hydrologic and tracer testing at the WIPP indicates: (1) the local importance of dual-porosity behavior in hydraulic response and transport in parts of the Culebra Dolomite Member of the Rustler Formation; (2) the presence of distinct high- and low-transmissivity regions within the Culebra; and (3) the possible importance of vertical fluid flow within the Rustler. Recent analyses indicate that fluids encountered in the WIPP facility and in experimental brine-migration studies are grain-boundary fluids, chemically distinct from fluid inclusions. Fluid-inclusion compositions appear to have been determined shortly after halite deposition. Because of the times required for diagenetic reactions controlling their compositions, the grain-boundary fluids within the Salado probably have a residence time of several million years. 12 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab
[en] Groundwater samples were collected from monitoring wells at the Bluewater, New Mexico, Disposal Site to monitor groundwater contaminants as specified in the 1997 Long-Term Surveillance Plan for the DOE Bluewater (UMTRCA Title II) Disposal Site Near Grants, New Mexico (LTSP). Sampling and analyses were conducted as specified in the Sampling and Analysis Plan for U.S. Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management Sites (LMS/PRO/S04351, continually updated). Duplicate samples were collected from locations 14(SG) and 21(M). Sampling originally scheduled for the week of May 11, 2015 was interrupted by heavy rainfall and later completed in June.
[en] The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), US Department of the Interior has asked Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) to perform scientific studies relevant to technical issues that arise in the development of co-located resources of potash and petroleum in southeastern New Mexico in the Secretary’s Potash Area. The BLM manages resource development, issues permits and interacts with the State of New Mexico in the process of developing regulations, in an environment where many issues are disputed by industry stakeholders. The present report is a deliverable of the study of the potential for gas migration from a wellbore to a mine opening in the event of wellbore leakage, a risk scenario about which there is disagreement among stakeholders and little previous site specific analysis. One goal of this study was to develop a framework that required collaboratively developed inputs and analytical approaches in order to encourage stakeholder participation and to employ ranges of data values and scenarios. SNL presents here a description of a basic risk assessment (RA) framework that will fulfill the initial steps of meeting that goal. SNL used the gas migration problem to set up example conceptual models, parameter sets and computer models and as a foundation for future development of RA to support BLM resource development.
[en] The WIPP water-balance study area defined here comprises approx.2000 mi2 in Eddy and Lea Counties, southeastern New Mexico. Inflows to the study area are precipitation (roughly 1.47 x 106 ac-ft/y), surface water (roughly 1.1 x 105 ac-ft/y), water imported by municipalities and industries (roughly 3 x 104 ac-ft/y), and ground water (volume not estimated). Outflows from the area are evapotranspiration (roughly 1.5 x 106 ac-ft/y), surface water (roughly 1.2 x 105 ac-ft/y), and possibly some ground water. The volume of surface and ground water in storage in Nash Draw has increased since the beginning of potash refining. Regional ground-water flow in aquifers above the Salado Formation is from the northeast to the southwest, although this pattern is interrupted by Clayton Basin, Nash Draw, and San Simon Swale. The Pecos River is the only important perennial stream. Most of the area has no integrated surface-water drainage. The available data suggest that approx.1600 mi2 of the study area are hydrologically separate from Nash Draw and the WIPP site. Ground water north of Highway 180 apparently discharges into Clayton Basin and evaporates. Water in San Simon Swale apparently percolates downward and flows to the southeast. Data are inadequate to create a water budget for the Nash Draw-WIPP site hydrologic system alone, although an attempt to do so can provide guidance for further study