Stable and radioactive carbon isotope partitioning in soils and saturated systems: a reactive transport modeling benchmark study

Jennifer L. Druhan, Sophie Guillon, Manon Lincker, Bhavna Arora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This benchmark provides the first rigorous test of a three-isotope system [12C, 13C, and 14C] subject to the combined effects of radioactive decay and both stable equilibrium and kinetic fractionation. We present a series of problems building in complexity based on the cycling of carbon in both organic and inorganic forms. The key components implement (1) equilibrium fractionation between multiple coexisting carbon species as a function of pH, (2) radioactive decay of radiocarbon with associated mass-dependent speciation demonstrating appropriate correction of the Δ14C value in agreement with reporting convention, and (3) kinetic stable isotope fractionation due to the oxidation of organic carbon to inorganic forms as a function of time and space in an open, through-flowing system. Participating RTM codes are CrunchTope, ToughReact, Hytec, and The Geochemist’s Workbench. Across all problem levels, simulation results from all RTMs demonstrate good agreement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1393-1403
Number of pages11
JournalComputational Geosciences
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Carbon isotopes
  • Equilibrium fractionation
  • Kinetic fractionation
  • Radioactive decay
  • Reactive transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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