Mathematical Geosciences

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 209–226 | Cite as

Modelling Microbial Degradation Coupled to Reactive Transport in Groundwater: A Benchmark Analysis

  • Clara Sena
  • Jorge Molinero
  • Shuji Ajima
  • Norifumi Todaka
Special Issue


Microbes are ubiquitous in groundwater systems, and they play an important role in the redox state of groundwater and especially on the fate of organic contaminants. In this context, numerical simulations that couple microbial processes to reactive transport models are becoming more popular. In the present work, we revisit the mathematical ground of microbial redox reactions and perform a benchmark analysis of the simulation of aerobic benzene degradation in a shallow and oxidizing aquifer. Numerical results indicate that the two codes tested (one using the finite elements approach and the other using the finite differences approach) lead to very similar results. In addition, the coupling of heterogeneous geochemical reactions to the benchmarked example problem provides a solid basis for the understanding of the redox reactions and the changes on the carbon system triggered by the aerobic degradation of benzene.


Microbial activity Reactive transport Geochemical processes BIOCORE Geochemist’s workbench 


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Copyright information

© International Association for Mathematical Geosciences 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clara Sena
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jorge Molinero
    • 2
  • Shuji Ajima
    • 3
  • Norifumi Todaka
    • 3
  1. 1.CVRM/Geo-Systems Centre – Instituto Superior TécnicoLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Amphos 21 Consulting S.L.BarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Electric Power Development Co., Ltd.TokyoJapan

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