By Grant Heiken
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Extra info for Tuffs - Their Properties, Uses, Hydrology, and Resources (GSA Special Paper 408)
The formations within the Paintbrush Group, as shown in Table 3-1 include, in ascending order, the Topopah Spring Tuff, the Pah Canyon Tuff, the Yucca Mountain Tuff, and the Tiva Canyon Tuff. Bedded tuffs are found separating all of the ignimbrite units of the Paintbrush Group. These tuffs are typically nonwelded and are nonlithiﬁed to moderately lithiﬁed. They range from 0 to 10 m in thickness and contain a variety of ignimbrite and ash-fall Editor’s Note: Yucca Mountain, Nevada has been the object of intense geologic study for the past 20 years because it was chosen as a candidate site for longterm storage of high-level nuclear waste in the United States.
The top subunit, TSw1, is lithophysae-rich and includes 35 the top vitrophyre (crystal-rich member, vitric zone, densely welded subzone), the nonlithophysal zone, and the upper lithophysal zone. This upper subunit ranges from ~49 m to 113 m thick. The middle subunit, TSw2, is lithophysae-poor and consists of the middle nonlithophysal, lower lithophysal, and lower nonlithophysal zones. The TSw2 subunit ranges in thickness from 175 m to 229 m. The vitrophyre subunit (TSw3) at the base of TSw is ~7 m to 25 m thick.
The greatest variability is shown in the abundances of albite and sanidine. Clinoptilolite is present in small amounts in three of the samples. Because the method used to estimate mineral abundances is not normalized to 100%, the total mineral abundances average of the total is 96 ± 4%. This low value suggests that an unidentiﬁed phase may be present. The observed mineralogy is consistent with previous measurements of mineral abundances in core samples of Topopah Spring devitriﬁed tuff (Bish and Chipera, 1986).
Tuffs - Their Properties, Uses, Hydrology, and Resources (GSA Special Paper 408) by Grant Heiken