Special Session on:
Subsurface Biogeochemistry and Reactive Transport Modeling


Brent Sleep, University of Toronto
Peter Knabner, University of Erlangen


The fate and transport of contaminants in subsurface systems may be controlled by a variety of reactive processes. These range from abiotic chemical processes (dissolution, precipitation, complexation, redox, acid-base, hydrolysis) to microbially mediated biogeochemical processes. These processes may be naturally occurring, or be associated with engineered remediation systems such as in situ chemical oxidation or reduction. Recent remediation approaches have included the use of nanoscale materials such as nanoscale zerovalent iron. Modeling reactive transport poses significant challenges, including large numbers of primary variables, a high degree of nonlinearity, sharp fronts, and widely varying timescales, all of which lead to computational complexity and cost.

This special session will focus on innovative approaches to modeling reactive transport, including development of novel numerical approaches and development and application of new conceptual models for reactive transport processes. Concerning numerical methods, in particular accurate and efficient methods going beyond operator splitting approaches and locally mass conservative discretizations will be discussed. Novel model formulations, also based on rigorous upscaling will be included. Subjects of interest include geochemical reactions, microbial processes, and nanoscale reactants.