Particle-Based Workflow for Modeling Uncertainty of Reactive Transport in 3D Discrete Fracture Networks

Phuong Thanh Vu, Chuen Fa Ni, Wei Ci Li, I. Hsien Lee, Chi Ping Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Fractures are major flow paths for solute transport in fractured rocks. Conducting numerical simulations of reactive transport in fractured rocks is a challenging task because of complex fracture connections and the associated nonuniform flows and chemical reactions. The study presents a computational workflow that can approximately simulate flow and reactive transport in complex fractured media. The workflow involves a series of computational processes. Specifically, the workflow employs a simple particle tracking (PT) algorithm to track flow paths in complex 3D discrete fracture networks (DFNs). The PHREEQC chemical reaction model is then used to simulate the reactive transport along particle traces. The study illustrates the developed workflow with three numerical examples, including a case with a simple fracture connection and two cases with a complex fracture network system. Results show that the integration processes in the workflow successfully model the tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE) degradation and transport along particle traces in complex DFNs. The statistics of concentration along particle traces enables the estimations of uncertainty induced by the fracture structures in DFNs. The types of source contaminants can lead to slight variations of particle traces and influence the long term reactive transport. The concentration uncertainty can propagate from parent to daughter compounds and accumulate along with the transport processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2502
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • Computational workflow
  • Discrete fracture network
  • Particle tracking
  • Reactive transport


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