Geochemical Modeling - Idaho National Laboratory

Science Center Objects

Geochemical models for the eastern Snake River Plain aquifer system are being used to better understand the flow of groundwater beneath the INL and, ultimately, to better understand the fate and transport of radiochemical and chemical constituents. As water moves through the ground, it picks up chemicals from the gases and rocks it comes in contact with.

Gas samples and rock and sediment material are collected to better understand these types of chemical reactions. Water samples are collected to determine the quantity of chemicals that have already been dissolved in the water—this information can be used to identify the types of chemical reactions that are occurring in the aquifer.

Previously, geochemical models were prepared for the Big Lost RiverLittle Lost RiverBirch CreekMedicine Lodge (Ginsbach, 2013)Camas Creek, and Mud Lake drainage basins. More recently, our project office has been evaluating data from INL to better understand the chemistry of the water in the eastern Snake River Plain aquifer. In May 2018, we published the first of three chapters of a USGS Professional Paper that will provide comprehensive analysis and modeling of groundwater geochemistry at the INL.

In the future, we will use the data collected from the drainage basins along with rock, gas, and water data collected from the aquifer beneath the INL to model the movement of radiochemical and chemical constituents.