Document Type




First Advisor's Name

Michael C Sukop

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Dean Whitman

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Rene M Price

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Yong X Tao

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


lattice Boltzmann, karst, modeling, solute transport, hydraulics

Date of Defense



A novel modeling approach is applied to karst hydrology. Long-standing problems in karst hydrology and solute transport are addressed using Lattice Boltzmann methods (LBMs). These methods contrast with other modeling approaches that have been applied to karst hydrology. The motivation of this dissertation is to develop new computational models for solving ground water hydraulics and transport problems in karst aquifers, which are widespread around the globe. This research tests the viability of the LBM as a robust alternative numerical technique for solving large-scale hydrological problems. The LB models applied in this research are briefly reviewed and there is a discussion of implementation issues. The dissertation focuses on testing the LB models. The LBM is tested for two different types of inlet boundary conditions for solute transport in finite and effectively semi-infinite domains. The LBM solutions are verified against analytical solutions. Zero-diffusion transport and Taylor dispersion in slits are also simulated and compared against analytical solutions. These results demonstrate the LBM’s flexibility as a solute transport solver. The LBM is applied to simulate solute transport and fluid flow in porous media traversed by larger conduits. A LBM-based macroscopic flow solver (Darcy’s law-based) is linked with an anisotropic dispersion solver. Spatial breakthrough curves in one and two dimensions are fitted against the available analytical solutions. This provides a steady flow model with capabilities routinely found in ground water flow and transport models (e.g., the combination of MODFLOW and MT3D). However the new LBM-based model retains the ability to solve inertial flows that are characteristic of karst aquifer conduits. Transient flows in a confined aquifer are solved using two different LBM approaches. The analogy between Fick’s second law (diffusion equation) and the transient ground water flow equation is used to solve the transient head distribution. An altered-velocity flow solver with source/sink term is applied to simulate a drawdown curve. Hydraulic parameters like transmissivity and storage coefficient are linked with LB parameters. These capabilities complete the LBM’s effective treatment of the types of processes that are simulated by standard ground water models. The LB model is verified against field data for drawdown in a confined aquifer.





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