Eruptive probability calculation for the Yucca Mountain site, USA: statistical estimation of recurrence rates
Investigations are currently underway to evaluate the impact of potentially adverse conditions (e.g. volcanism, faulting, seismicity) on the waste-isolation capability of the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA. This paper is the first in a series that will examine the probability of disruption of the Yucca Mountain site by volcanic eruption. In it, we discuss three estimating techniques for determining the recurrence rate of volcanic eruption (λ), an important parameter in the Poisson probability model. The first method is based on the number of events occurring over a certain observation period, the second is based on repose times, and the final is based on magma volume. All three require knowledge of the total number of eruptions in the Yucca Mountain area during the observation period ( E). Following this discussion we then propose an estimate of E which takes into account the possibility of polygenetic and polycyclic volcanism at all the volcanic centers near the Yucca Mountain site.