2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


GUTIÉRREZ-JURADO, Hugo A., Earth and Environmental Science, New Mexico Tech, 801 Leroy Place, Socorro, NM 87801, GOODELL, Philip C., Geological Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, 500 W University Ave, El Paso, TX 79968, GUAN, Huade, Earth and Environmental Science, New Mexico Tech, Socorro, NM 87801 and VIVONI, Enrique R., Department of Earth and Environmental Science, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, 801 Leroy Place, MSEC 244, Socorro, NM 87801, hugo@nmt.edu

A number of studies are being conducted at the Nopal 1 deposit in the Peña Blanca Uranium District, near Chihuahua City, Mexico. This site is being studied as a natural analogue for a nuclear waste repository site in Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA. Current efforts are focused on understanding the nature and extent of radionuclide dispersion on the area and the processes driving the mechanisms of dispersion. Rainfall has been recognized among the main processes affecting the dispersal of radioactive materials in the area. Consequently, a thorough analysis of the temporal and spatial variability of rainfall in the area is extremely important. This work is intended to provide a comprehensive insight into the behavior of precipitation in the area by analyzing its temporal and spatial variability as it is affected by local topography and climate. An algorithm that generates spatially explicit rainfall products for mountainous terrain, incorporating orographic and climatic effects is used, along with other rainfall mapping approaches. The results from this work will provide necessary knowledge of precipitation and its variability within the Pena Blanca area to be used in further studies of radioactive material mobility.