The dynamic behavior of magmatic hydrothermal systems entails coupled and nonlinear multiphase flow, heat and solute transport, and deformation in highly heterogeneous media. Thus, quantitative analysis of these systems depends mainly on numerical solution of coupled partial differential equations and complementary equations of state (EOS). The past 2 decades have seen steady growth of computational power and the development of numerical models that have eliminated or minimized the need for various simplifying assumptions. Considerable heuristic insight has been gained from process-oriented numerical modeling. Recent modeling efforts employing relatively complete EOS and accurate transport calculations have revealed dynamic behavior that was damped by linearized, less accurate models, including fluid property control of hydrothermal plume temperatures and three-dimensional geometries. Other recent modeling results have further elucidated the controlling role of permeability structure and revealed the potential for significant hydrothermally driven deformation. Key areas for future reSearch include incorporation of accurate EOS for the complete H2O-NaCl-CO2 system, more realistic treatment of material heterogeneity in space and time, realistic description of large-scale relative permeability behavior, and intercode benchmarking comparisons. Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.
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Numerical simulation of magmatic hydrothermal systems