July 22, 2021 /

Pretty Porous Science Lecture #8 "Predicting Transport at Heterogeneous Sites: Does THE model exist?" with Alraune Zech

The SFB 1313 "Pretty Porous Science Lectures" #8 will be given by Alraune Zech from the Utrecht University (The Netherlands) | 22 July 2021 | 4:00 pm CET
[Picture: Alraune Zech]

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Alraune Zech, assistant professor at the Department of Earth Science at the Utrecht University (The Netherlands), will give the SFB 1313 "Pretty Porous Science Lecture" #8. Her talk will be on "Predicting Transport at Heterogeneous Sites: Does THE model exist?".

Date: Thursday, 22 July 2021
Time: 4:00 pm CET
Speaker: Ass. Prof. Dr. Alraune Zech, Utrecht University (The Netherlands)
Lecture title: "Predicting Transport at Heterogeneous Sites: Does THE model exist?"
Place: If you are interested in participating in the lecture, please contact katharina.heck@iws.uni-stuttgart.de


Subsurface heterogeneity in combination with data scarcity is a major challenge for reliable solute transport prediction in porous media. Velocity fluctuations cause non-regular plume shapes with potentially long-tailing and/or fast-traveling mass fractions. Multiple (scientific) modeling approaches have been developed in the past to account for the impact of heterogeneity on transport. However, high monitoring cost and the complexity of the concepts have limited their application in practice up to now.

I will present the results of a model comparison study at the highly heterogeneous MADE site, showing that 6 multiple transport models are able to predict complex transport pattern. Models differ in their conceptualization of the heterogeneous aquifer structure, computational complexity, and use of field observation data. But they all predict transport without calibration of parameters, solely making use of structural and flow data.

Comparison of models reveals that the key to reliable prediction is the combination of appropriate upscaling strategies and a proper integration of mean velocity, log-conductivity variability and spatial correlation. In conclusion, there does not exist the best model, but conceptualization and model complexity need to be adapted to the study target and available field data.

About Alraune Zech

Alraune Zech did her PhD in the field of stochastic subsurface hydrology at the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Leipzig, with a degree from Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena in 2013. After some years of postdoctoral experience at Tel Aviv University, Israel and UFZ she became assistant professor at the Department of Earth Science at Utrecht University, The Netherlands in 2019. Her research interests span from statistical interpretation and upscaling of subsurface flow and transport in heterogeneous geological settings towards the development of data interpretation strategies for subsurface observation methods such as pumping or tracer tests.

Logo of the SFB 1313 "Pretty Porous Science Lecture" series
Flyer of the "Pretty Porous Science Lecture" #8 with Ass. Prof. Dr. Alraune Zech of the Utrecht University (The Netherlands)
To the top of the page