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Title: FINAL REPORT: Mechanistically-Base Field Scale Models of Uranium Biogeochemistry from Upscaling Pore-Scale Experiments and Models

Biogeochemical reactive transport processes in the subsurface environment are important to many contemporary environmental issues of significance to DOE. Quantification of risks and impacts associated with environmental management options, and design of remediation systems where needed, require that we have at our disposal reliable predictive tools (usually in the form of numerical simulation models). However, it is well known that even the most sophisticated reactive transport models available today have poor predictive power, particularly when applied at the field scale. Although the lack of predictive ability is associated in part with our inability to characterize the subsurface and limitations in computational power, significant advances have been made in both of these areas in recent decades and can be expected to continue. In this research, we examined the upscaling (pore to Darcy and Darcy to field) the problem of bioremediation via biofilms in porous media. The principle idea was to start with a conceptual description of the bioremediation process at the pore scale, and apply upscaling methods to formally develop the appropriate upscaled model at the so-called Darcy scale. The purpose was to determine (1) what forms the upscaled models would take, and (2) how one might parameterize such upscaled modelsmore » for applications to bioremediation in the field. We were able to effectively upscale the bioremediation process to explain how the pore-scale phenomena were linked to the field scale. The end product of this research was to produce a set of upscaled models that could be used to help predict field-scale bioremediation. These models were mechanistic, in the sense that they directly incorporated pore-scale information, but upscaled so that only the essential features of the process were needed to predict the effective parameters that appear in the model. In this way, a direct link between the microscale and the field scale was made, but the upscaling process helped inform potential users of the model what kinds of information would be needed to accurately characterize the system.« less
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Oregon State University
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Contributing Orgs:
Oregon State University
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 42 ENGINEERING; 58 GEOSCIENCES Upscaling; volume averaging; bioremediation; biofilms