Flexible and Modular Simultaneous Modeling of Flow and Reactive Transport in Rivers and Hyporheic Zones

Bing Li, Xiaofeng Liu, Matthew H. Kaufman, Anna Turetcaia, Xingyuan Chen, M. Bayani Cardenas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Investigations of coupled multiphysics processes in rivers and hyporheic zones have extensively used numerical models. Most existing models use a sequential, one-way coupling between the surface and subsurface domains. Such one-way coupling potentially introduces error. To overcome this, a fully coupled model, hyporheicFoam, was developed using the open-source computational platform OpenFOAM. It captures the coupled flow and multicomponent reactive transport processes within both surface and subsurface domains and across their interface. The coupling between two domains is implemented by mapping conservative flux boundary conditions at the interface through an iterative algorithm. Reactive transport is enabled by specifying a reaction network. To start, we have implemented reaction kinetics following the double Monod-type model with inhibition. The model capability is illustrated through modeling of both conservative and reactive hyporheic flow and transport through dune bedforms. With the novel coupled model, it is now possible to quantify reactions wherein the reactants and products are constantly exchanging between domains and have feedbacks. hyporheicFoam can simulate large, three-dimensional cases owing to the computational flexibility and power offered by the code structure and parallel design of OpenFOAM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2019WR026528
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology


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