This document provides my recommendations for ways to achieve long-term storage of radioactive waste in the United States. There is nearly universal agreement among experts that high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel should be stored geologic (subterranean) repositories, but progress toward this goal has been stymied for decades in the United States and shows no signs of being achieved soon. My report was written as part of the Managing Nuclear Waste seminar at Stanford University, taught by Professor Rodney C. Ewing. The image shows radioactive waste in interim storage (via the BBC).

As part of a course in earthquake seismology, I discussed applications of the virtual seismometer method (VSM), also called inter-source seismic interferometry. This promising technique, introduced by Curtis et al. (2009), allows geoscientists to find the Green function between nearby earthquakes by estimating the response that would be detected at one earthquake location if it were a seismometer observing the others. I wrote this term paper to report the theory, historical development, and range of possible applications for this new technique, which I hope will gain broader use in the near future.

Accurate predictions of porosity and pore pressure in buried sedimentary formations are of great importance for oil and gas exploration and production, and for drilling safety. However, these values are notoriously difficult to estimate before drilling a well, especially if the rocks have experienced a complex geologic history. As part of a project for Professor Mark D. Zoback's Reservoir Geomechanics course, I used existing basin and petroleum system modeling (BPSM) software to model these properties in a hypothetical reservoir. This term paper reports the results of my analysis and may be of interest to anyone interested in predicting pore pressure and porosity in the subsurface.

Updated quality criteria for stress measurements

This table, from Lund Snee and Zoback (2018), provides updated quality criteria for stress measurements (the same criteria are available on the Stress and Geomechanics Research page, via this link). Quality criteria are given for maximum horizontal principal stress (SHmax) orientations obtained from drilling-induced tensile fractures (DITF), borehole breakouts (BO), aligned microseismic events defining hydraulic fractures (HF), shear-wave velocity anisotropy (SWA), and formal stress inversions of groups of focal mechanisms (FMF). We also include quality criteria for relative principal stress magnitudes (Aφ) obtained from focal mechanism inversions.

As part of my ongoing research with Professor Mark D. Zoback to map the state of stress in Texas and New Mexico, I have written an abridged geologic history of Texas. This document includes figures showing the original (published) version of the Stress Map of Texas overlain on various maps showing the regional basement structure.

The figure shows the crustal structure of the region. Background is the U.S. Geological Survey Basement Domain Map by Lund et al. (2015). Llano Province outline after Whitmeyer & Karlstrom (2007). Limits of the Gulf of Mexico basin from Salvador (1987). Proterozoic and Paleozoic rift and transform structures compiled from Poole et al. (2005) and Thomas (2006). Approximate Ancestral Rocky Mountains uplift locations after Marshak et al. (2000) and sources therein. Jemez lineament location after Magnani et al. (2004), and Rio Grande rift location compiled from Seager and Morgan (1979) and Perry et al. (1987).

2018 Permian Basin Stress Map data tables

Data tables for maximum horizontal principal stress (SHmax) orientations and Aφ (relative principal stress magnitudes) values from the newer Permian Basin Stress Map (Lund Snee and Zoback, 2018). This dataset includes some 100 robust, new SHmax orientations and a better map of relative principal stress magnitudes. More recently added data are not included. These tables also include updated quality criteria for SHmax orientations, including those obtained from microseismic focal mechanisms or from aligned microseismic events defining hydraulic fractures. Basin boundaries are from the U.S. Energy Information Administration and sub-basin boundaries are from the Texas Bureau of Geology.

For my M.S. research with Professor Elizabeth L. Miller at Stanford University, I produced a thesis titled Geology and geochronology of Cenozoic units in the Piñon Range and Huntington Valley, Nevada. This document contains data and descriptions that weren't published by Lund Snee and Miller (2015) and Lund Snee et al. (2016), so I include it here.

The figure shows four views of the tuff of Dixie Creek, a succession of Eocene ignimbrites deposited rapidly and thickly in the eastern Piñon Range. These rocks provide an important, precisely dated constraint on the timing of local, faulting-related tilting and regional, southward-sweeping volcanism. Pumice lumps of different compositions are shown in C and D.

2016 Stress Map of Texas data tables

Data tables for maximum horizontal principal stress (SHmax) orientations and Aφ (relative principal stress magnitudes) values from the original Stress Map of Texas (Lund Snee and Zoback, 2016). More recently added data are not included. The figure, by Jens-Erik Lund Snee and Mark D. Zoback, shows the SHmax orientations included in this dataset. Background hillshade is the NASA ASTER 30 m resolution elevation map.