Preliminary Investigation of the Geology and Hydrology of the Laska Siding Area, Hudspeth County, Texas

Abstract

The Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, at the request of the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Authority, conducted a preliminary investigation of the geology and hydrology of the Laska Siding area in Hudspeth County, Texas. This area is being evaluated as a potential site for a low-level radioactive waste repository to be built on State-owned lands in Trans-Pecos Texas.

The Laska Siding site lies about 9 miles (14.5 km) west of the town of Sierra Blanca. The site was selected for this study because of the presence of previously mapped low-permeability sediments of the Hueco Formation, its relatively low-relief topography, and the probable great thickness of the unsaturated zone in the vicinity. The site is also attractive for a repository because of its proximity and access to a major highway and a railroad.

This investigation consisted of a brief study of the geology and hydrology of the site and surrounding area. The study included a reconnaissance field evaluation of the Balson sediments, mapped faults, and geomorphology, a review of water-level and chemistry data from Texas Water Commission (TWC) Central Records for local water wells, static water level measurements of water wells in the immediate vicinity of the site, and drilling of one test hole on the proposed site.

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