A combined PHREEQC-2/parallel fracture model for the simulation of laminar/non-laminar flow and contaminant transport with reactions

J Contam Hydrol. 2010 Sep 20;117(1-4):94-108. doi: 10.1016/j.jconhyd.2010.07.003. Epub 2010 Jul 24.


A combination of a parallel fracture model with the PHREEQC-2 geochemical model was developed to simulate sequential flow and chemical transport with reactions in fractured media where both laminar and turbulent flows occur. The integration of non-laminar flow resistances in one model produced relevant effects on water flow velocities, thus improving model prediction capabilities on contaminant transport. The proposed conceptual model consists of 3D rock-blocks, separated by horizontal bedding plane fractures with variable apertures. Particle tracking solved the transport equations for conservative compounds and provided input for PHREEQC-2. For each cluster of contaminant pathways, PHREEQC-2 determined the concentration for mass-transfer, sorption/desorption, ion exchange, mineral dissolution/precipitation and biodegradation, under kinetically controlled reactive processes of equilibrated chemical species. Field tests have been performed for the code verification. As an example, the combined model has been applied to a contaminated fractured aquifer of southern Italy in order to simulate the phenol transport. The code correctly fitted the field available data and also predicted a possible rapid depletion of phenols as a result of an increased biodegradation rate induced by a simulated artificial injection of nitrates, upgradient to the sources.

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Chemical Precipitation
  • Ion Exchange
  • Kinetics
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Phenols / chemistry
  • Phenols / metabolism
  • Water / chemistry*
  • Water Movements
  • Water Pollutants / chemistry*
  • Water Supply


  • Phenols
  • Water Pollutants
  • Water