A Finite-Volume ELLAM for Three-Dimensional Solute-Transport Modeling



A three-dimensional finite-volume ELLAM method has been developed, tested, and successfully implemented as part of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) MODFLOW-2000 ground water modeling package. It is included as a solver option for the Ground Water Transport process. The FVELLAM uses space-time finite volumes oriented along the streamlines of the flow field to solve an integral form of the solute-transport equation, thus combining local and global mass conservation with the advantages of Eulerian-Lagrangian characteristic methods. The USGS FVELLAM code simulates solute transport in flowing ground water for a single dissolved solute constituent and represents the processes of advective transport, hydrodynamic dispersion, mixing from fluid sources, retardation, and decay. Implicit time discretization of the dispersive and source/sink terms is combined with a Lagrangian treatment of advection, in which forward tracking moves mass to the new time level, distributing mass among destination cells using approximate indicator functions. This allows the use of large transport time increments (large Courant numbers) with accurate results, even for advection-dominated systems (large Peclet numbers). Four test cases, including comparisons with analytical solutions and benchmarking against other numerical codes, are presented that indicate that the FVELLAM can usually yield excellent results, even if relatively few transport time steps are used, although the quality of the results is problem-dependent.