Gwadapt: An adaptive finite element algorithm for groundwater contaminant transport problems

Bryan Edwin Dunlap, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


An h-adaptive two-dimensional finite element algorithm is used to model groundwater flow and contaminant transport in variably saturated porous media. This numerical method is applied to models of two nuclear waste repository sites; The computer program used in this study was modified for execution on the Cray Y-MP supercomputer. Optimization of the code was undertaken for maximum efficiency and economy on the Cray Y-MP processor, and to reduce run times for several of the simulations in this study; The computer code was used to simulate the first fifteen years of contaminant release from the Savannah River Site in an effort to examine the code's ability to mimic the type of contaminant plume documented at the site today. A simulation of the proposed Yucca Mountain Repository site is also examined to assess the suitability of the site for storing high level radioactive waste.