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Detecting Strain in the Yucca Mountain Area, Nevada

Savage, J. C. and Connor, C. B. and Stamatakos, J. A. and Ferrill, D. A. and Hill, B. E. and Davis, James L. and Wernicke, Brian P. and Bennett, Richard A. (1998) Detecting Strain in the Yucca Mountain Area, Nevada. Science, 282 (5391). p. 1007. ISSN 0036-8075. doi:10.1126/science.282.5391.1007b.

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From repeated surveys of the relative motions between geodetic stations Claim, Black, Mile, 67TJS, and Wahomie (Fig. 1) from 1991 through 1997, Wernicke et al. (1) deduce a N65°W strain accumulation rate of 50 ± 9 nanostrains per year (2) across the proposed high-level radioactive waste disposal repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. That strain rate is sufficient to indicate a higher-than-expected earthquake hazard at the repository. An earlier (1983–1993) U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) measurement (Table 1) of the strain accumulation in the network (black triangles) in Fig. 1 found a N65°W strain rate of 8 ± 20 nanostrains per year, a rate not significantly different from zero (3). Although the two measurements are marginally consistent at the 95% confidence level [that is, the difference 42 ± 22 nanostrains per year is less than 2 standard deviations, (SD)], the earthquake hazard implications are somewhat different. The USGS strain determination is the better of the two measurements. Wernicke et al. did not include the effects of monument instability in their error budget and, as a consequence, have significantly underestimated the uncertainties in their measurements. Moreover, in their interpretation of the data, they did not give proper weight to the coseismic and postseismic effects of the Little Skull Mountain earthquake (June 29, 1992, M = 5.4).

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Wernicke, Brian P.0000-0002-7659-8358
Additional Information:© 1998 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 9 June 1998; accepted 20 July 1998.
Issue or Number:5391
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141125-093015001
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Official Citation:Detecting Strain in the Yucca Mountain Area, Nevada J. C. Savage Response from C. B. Connor, J. A. Stamatakos, D. A. Ferrill, and B. E. Hill Response from James L. Davis, Brian P. Wernicke, and Richard A. Bennett Science 6 November 1998: 282 (5391), 1007. [DOI:10.1126/science.282.5391.1007b]
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:52130
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:25 Nov 2014 20:30
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 19:21

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