Benchmarking the simulation of Cr isotope fractionation

Christoph Wanner, Jennifer L. Druhan, Richard T. Amos, Peter Alt-Epping, Carl I. Steefel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A benchmark problem set consisting of four problem levels was developed for the simulation of Cr isotope fractionation in 1D and 2D domains. The benchmark is based on a recent field study where Cr(VI) reduction and accompanying Cr isotope fractionation occurs abiotically by an aqueous reaction with dissolved Fe 2+ (Wanner et al., 2012., Appl. Geochem., 27, 644–662). The problem set includes simulation of the major processes affecting the Cr isotopic composition such as the dissolution of various Cr(VI) bearing minerals, fractionation during abiotic aqueous Cr(VI) reduction, and non-fractionating precipitation of Cr(III) as sparingly soluble Cr-hydroxide. Accuracy of the presented solutions was ensured by running the problems with four well-established reactive transport modeling codes: TOUGHREACT, MIN3P, CRUNCHFLOW, and FLOTRAN. Results were also compared with an analytical Rayleigh-type fractionation model. An additional constraint on the correctness of the results was obtained by comparing output from the problem levels simulating Cr isotope fractionation with the corresponding ones only simulating bulk concentrations. For all problem levels, model to model comparisons showed excellent agreement, suggesting that for the tested geochemical processes any code is capable of accurately simulating the fate of individual Cr isotopes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-521
Number of pages25
JournalComputational Geosciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 27 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Benchmark
  • Cr isotopes
  • Cr reduction
  • Reactive transport modeling
  • Remediation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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