Fragilities for Precarious Rocks at Yucca Mountain, PEER Report 2012-06


Geomorphic features easily damaged by ground shaking can be used to constrain unexceeded ground motions during the feature residence times. Such features, in the form of precariously balanced rocks and fragile rock stacks, exist on the western flanks of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the proposed site of the nation's first high-level radioactive nuclear waste repository. A set of the most fragile geological features found to date are detailed and digital representations are developed in this report. Their fragilities when shaken by representative ground motions are determined via three-dimensional rigid-block simulations using the custom built code Rigid. This code is described and some results are compared and validated with previous work. The fragilities are presented for use, in conjunction with feature residence estimates, to test and constrain ground motion estimates over long time periods.

Full List of PEER Reports: click here.

Matthew D. Purvance
Rasool Anooshehpoor
James N. Brune
Publication date: 
December 3, 2012
Publication type: 
Technical Report
Purvance, M. D., Anooshehpoor, R., & Brune, J. N. (2012). Fragilities for Precarious Rocks at Yucca Mountain, PEER Report 2012-06. Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, University of California, Berkeley, CA.