A model to simulate transport of materials in surface water and ground water has been developed to numerically approximate solutions to the advection-dispersion equation. This model, known as the Transport and Reaction Simulation Engine (TaRSE), uses an algorithm that incorporates a time-splitting technique where the advective part of the equation is solved separately from the dispersive part. An explicit finite-volume Godunov method is used to approximate the advective part, while a mixed-finite element technique is used to approximate the dispersive part. The dispersive part uses an implicit discretization, which allows it to run stably with a larger time step than the explicit advective step. The potential exists to develop algorithms that run several advective steps, and then one dispersive step that encompasses the time interval of the advective steps. Because the dispersive step is computationally most expensive, schemes can be implemented that are more computationally efficient than non-time-split algorithms. This technique enables scientists to solve problems with high grid Peclet numbers, such as transport problems with sharp solute fronts, without spurious oscillations in the numerical approximation to the solution and with virtually no artificial diffusion.
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Development and Implementation of a Transport Method for the Transport and Reaction Simulation Engine (TaRSE) based on the Godunov-Mixed Finite Element Method