Free Course on Reactive Transport Modeling Provided By Subsurface Insights

Modeling in earth science

In earth science there typically two meanings associated with the word model. These are:

  1. a simplified physical representation of a system – often referred to as a conceptual model;
  2. computer software and associated files which can calculate the behavior of different key processes in time and space- typically referred to as a numerical model.

Developing and refining conceptual models is a core geoscientist skill. While such conceptual models can suffice for data  interpretation, in many cases a numerical model is needed in conjunction with conceptual models. 

One large family of numerical models consists of models which describe the behavior of ground water (hydrological models) and associated models which in addition describe geochemical reactions in the subsurface. The latter are known as reactive transport models. These models are based  on mathematical equations which describe the physics, chemistry and increasingly microbiology associated with flow (of water and other fluids) and reactions.

Reactive Transport Models can be used to simulate  numerous processes. These include (but are not limited to):

  • the movement of water in soils and the chemical interactions (e.g. dissolution and precipitation) between solid and liquid phases;
  • the behavior of contaminants such as TCE and PFAS;
  • acid mine drainage;
  • how nutrients are taken up by plants; and
  • how precipitation percolates into the ground and is taken up and transpired by plants.

Free interactive course on reactive transport modeling

While becoming an expert in reactive transport modeling typically will require formal classroom training  it may be helpful for many earth scientists to have a basic understanding of reactive transport modeling. To support earth scientists in obtaining this understanding Subsurface Insights provides a free interactive course on reactive transport modeling. Accessing this course requires credentials which can be obtained by setting up a free account with Subsurface Insights.