Integration of geologic framework in meshing and setup of computational hydrogeologic models, Pajarito Plateau, New Mexico
Terry A. Miller, Velimir V. Vesselinov, Phillip H. Stuaffer, Kay H. Birdsell, and Carl W. Gable


Los Alamos National Laboratory has an extensive program devoted to understanding groundwater flow and transport of chemicals beneath the Pajarito Plateau. One goal of this program is to develop an integrated and comprehensive modeling approach that allows rapid creation of computational hydrogeologic models that represent sections of the Pajarito Plateau. These models are used to simulate complex physical processes involving subsurface movement of water, air, and chemicals over a wide range of spatial scales. Model integration requires converting geologic frameworks, based on geologic data, into computational meshes that accurately reflect the subsurface geology and hydrostratigraphy. The computational hydrogeologic models that represent a given volume of the Plateau are then built onto the computational meshes. In this paper we describe how our modeling approach converts information from large geologic databases into computational meshes and finally into computational hydrogeologic models. Our approach maintains the geometry and topology of the geologic frameworks while optimizing the computational mesh to ensure accurate and efficient simulations. Our methodology for computational mesh development allows rapid updates as new site characterization data become available. Additionally, we discuss methods used to quickly modify the region of interest and mesh resolution in response to program requirements and the evolving needs of simulation scientists. Finally, we present two studies that demonstrate the integrated meshing and modeling set-up process: chromium transport in the Mortandad Canyon area and high explosives transport in the vicinity of Technical Area 16 (TA-16), at LANL.


  1. Miller, Terry A.; Vesselinov, Velimir V.; Stuaffer, Phillip H.; Birdsell, Kay H.; Gable, Carl W., 2007, Integration of geologic framework in meshing and setup of computational hydrogeologic models, Pajarito Plateau, New Mexico, in: Geology of the Jemez Region II, Kues, Barry S.; Kelley, Shari A.; Lueth, Virgil W., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 58th Field Conference, pp. 492-500.

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