Tracer Tests Performed in the Field for WIPP in Southeastern New Mexico

  • Don Diego Gonzalez
  • Leslie R. Hill
Part of the Advances in Nuclear Science & Technology book series (ANST)


A two-well recirculating tracer test began in October 1979 to define as accurately as possible the hydraulic character of a fractured carbonate aquifer, the Culebra dolomite member of the Rustler Formation at the WIPP site in Eddy and Lee Counties, New Mexico. The Culebra dolomite overlies a zone planned for isolation of transuranic contaminated waste generated by the United States defense programs. The storage zone of the proposed facility is in nearly pure halite and about 1400 feet (427 meters) below the Culebra dolomite, the most likely pathway for the migration of radionuclides to the biosphere in the event the repository is breached by groundwater.


Hydraulic Conductivity Injection Well Tracer Test Sodium Benzoate Storage Zone 
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  1. 1.
    S. J. Lambert and J. W. Mercer, Hydrologic Investigation of the Los Medanos Area, Southeastern New Mexico, 1977, SAND77–1401, Sandia Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, Jan. (1978).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    J. W. Mercer and B. R. Orr, “Geohydrology of the Proposed Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, Southeast New Mexico,” U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Investigations in Review.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    J. W. Mercer, U. S. Geological Survey, written communication.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    D. B. Grove and W. A. Beetem, “Porosity and Dispersion Constant Calculations for a Fractured Carbonate Aquifer Using the Two-Well Tracer Method,” Water Resources Research 7 (1), 128–134 (1971).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Don Diego Gonzalez
    • 1
  • Leslie R. Hill
    • 1
  1. 1.Sandia LaboratoriesAlbuquerqueUSA

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