An AGU Chapman Conference, “Hydrogeological Processes: Building and Testing Atomistic-to-Basin-Scale Models,” brought together over 70 Earth scientists from diverse fields to assess the state-of-the-art and to discuss the means and mechanisms to build and test process models that produce probabilities rather than just possibilities. It became clear that this cross-disciplinary group of hydrologists, petrologists, metamorphic petrologists, quantum mechanical chemists, fluid geochemists, acoustic and electrical geophysicists, and rock mechanics researchers shared a large overlap in their intellectual pursuits with a complementary overlap in their approaches and conceptualizations. Given the need to construct integrated and parametrically realistic coupled models of non-steady state fluid flow, the meeting addressed the critical question of how to integrate the capabilities of individual disciplines.
The conference was convened at the Loon Mountain Resort in Lincoln, N.H., from June 6 to 9, 1994, amid a minimum of black flies and a maximum of ambiance. The meeting initially organized itself into two philosophically contrasting styles of investigation: some wanted to extract and explore the broad generalities of hydrogeological processes (possible scenarios), while others preferred to examine the specifics of hydrogeologic processes with both theoretical studies and observations.