Seismic Reflection, Refraction, and Surface Wave Studies at the Proposed Low-Level Radioactive Waste Repository, Hudspeth County, Texas

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Seismic reflection, refraction, and surface wave methods were employed to characterize the shallow subsurface at the proposed low-level radioactive waste repository site located on Faskin Ranch about 5 miles (8 km) southeast of Sierra Blanca, Texas. Reversed seismic refraction data were used to (1) determine near-surface compressional velocities for elevation datum corrections, (2) obtain preliminary velocity profiles for processing seismic reflection data, and (3) obtain depth-to-bedrock estimates. Seismic reflection data were used to determine basin geometry beneath the site, depth to bedrock, and internal basin-fill stratigraphy. Surface waves were analyzed to generate shear-wave-velocity models of the shallow subsurface. Seismic reflection, refraction, and surface wave data were acquired in May and June of 1992 using a 500-lb (230-kg) accelerated weight drop seismic source, a 48-channel seismograph, and an acquisition crew supplied by the Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG) and The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Refraction data were collected at six sites on Faskin Ranch and were processed and analyzed at BEG. Nearly 3.9 miles (6.2 km) of seismic reflection data were collected along one line oriented northwest-southeast across the site and three crossing lines oriented northeast-southwest. These data were processed and analyzed at both BEG and UTEP. Surface wave data were collected near the center of the proposed repository and were processed and analyzed at UTEP.


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