Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Darrell Pepper

Number of Pages



The simulation of contaminant transport through the subsurface is a very useful way to effectively design mitigation methods for cleanup and prevention of the deterioration of groundwater; The GWADAPT3 code is developed using the finite-element method and mesh adaptation to simulate groundwater flow and contaminant transport. The formulation is based on the equations for conservation of mass, Darcy's law for an anisotropic medium, and the time-dependent species transport equations. Petrov-Galerkin weighting of the advection terms provides numerical stability. An explicit time marching scheme is used to solve the transient equations. By utilizing unstructured adaptive meshing, concentration is accurately resolved; Benchmark cases were used to check the feasibility of GWADAPT3. The results of the test cases from GWADAPT3 were also compared with results from FEFLOW and FEHM; A simulation of the Yucca Mountain Repository site was made using GWADAPT3. The simulation was run on the SGI-02 and the SGI-Cray origin 2000 located at UNLV.


Adaptive; Algorithm; Contaminant; Dimensional; Flow; Groundwater Transport

Controlled Subject

Mechanical engineering; Environmental engineering; Hydrology

File Format


File Size

3041.28 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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