A New High-Resolution Method for the Characterization of Heterogeneous Subsurface Environments: Providing Flow and Transport Parameters via the Integration of MultiScale HydroGeophysical Data
The Department of EnergyÂ¿s (DOE) remediation efforts have relied on numerical models to integrate laboratory and field characterization data, predict the fate and transport behavior of contaminant plumes, design remediation protocols to mitigate contaminant migration, and analyze data from field remediation results. High performance computations using Â¿leadership class computersÂ¿ are now making it technically feasible to model the complex flow and transport processes occurring over a wider range of scales. However, these models are limited by the lack of fine-scale site characterization data. This project will generate critical hydro-geophysical parameters to develop physical models that enable DOE scientists to produce high-performance site-scale computations of subsurface contaminant transport, and reduce prediction uncertainties. The Phase I project resulted in new model parameters and results including: (1) new up scaled flow parameters that incorporate fine-scale anisotropic heterogeneity, result in anisotropic properties not previously predicted by standard models, and (2) Preliminary predictions using these parameters consistent with field measurements of contaminant migration in the contaminated subsurface at LANL. The Phase II project will involve the development of a fully integrated Environmental Shared Earth Model (ESEM) for chromium-and uranium-contaminated Â¿legacy wasteÂ¿ sites at LANL and the Hanford 300 Area (PNNL). Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: This project will result in a new, improved, and marketable site characterization method and new technology applications for subsurface characterization. Phase II will directly benefit DOEÂ¿s investment in massively parallel flow and transport model development. Benefits to DOE and the public include cost savings on remediation and verification activities, and should result in large cost savings over the life of the remediation programs.
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