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Assessing conceptual models for subsurface reactive transport of inorganic contaminants

November 2, 2004

In many subsurface situations where human health and environmental quality are at risk (e.g., contaminant hydrogeology petroleum extraction, carbon sequestration, etc.),scientists and engineers are being asked by federal agency decision-makers to predict the fate of chemical species under conditions where both reactions and transport are processes of first-order importance.

In 2002, a working group (WG) was formed by representatives of the U.S. Geological Survey, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Department of Agriculture, and Army Engineer Research and Development Center to assess the role of reactive transport modeling (RTM) in addressing these situations. Specifically the goals of the WG are to (1) evaluate the state of the art in conceptual model development and parameterization for RTM, as applied to soil,vadose zone, and groundwater systems, and (2) prioritize research directions that would enhance the practical utility of RTM.

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