A compartmentalized solute transport model for redox zones in contaminated aquifers: 2. Field-scale simulations


  • Robert H. Abrams,

  • Keith Loague


This paper, the second of two parts [see Abrams and Loague, this issue], reports the field-scale application of COMPTRAN (compartmentalized solute transport model) for simulating the development of redox zones. COMPTRAN is fully developed and described in the companion paper. Redox zones, which are often delineated by the relative concentrations of dissolved oxygen, have been observed around the globe. The distribution of other redox-sensitive species is affected by redox zonation. At the U.S. Geological Survey's Cape Cod research site, an anoxic zone containing high concentrations of dissolved iron has been observed. Field data were abstracted from the Cape Cod site for the one-dimensional and two-dimensional COMPTRAN simulations reported in this paper. The purpose of the concept-development simulations was to demonstrate that the compartmentalized approach reported by Abrams et al. [1998] can be linked with a solute transport model to simulate field-scale phenomena. The results presented in this paper show that COMPTRAN successfully simulated the development of redox zones at the field scale, including trends in pH and alkalinity. Thermodynamic constraints were used to prevent lower-energy redox reactions from occurring under infeasible geochemical conditions without imposing equilibrium among all redox species. Empirical methods of reaction inhibition were not needed for the simulations conducted for this study. COMPTRAN can be extended easily to include additional compartments and reactions and is capable of handling complex velocity fields in more than one dimension.