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EES 16 Teams


Computational Earth Science (EES-16)

Image Computational Earth Science (EES-16) capabilities integrate expert knowledge, laboratory data and observational data to explain complex processes using physics-based models and make predictions of future conditions that include quantitative uncertainty analysis to inform decisions and policy.

Research directions

  • Clean energy (fossil energy and wind energy)
  • Climate-impact realization
  • Environmental management
  • Microscale, mesoscale, and global-scale atmospheric phenomenology
  • Nuclear explosion-induced atmospheric physics
  • Repository science for nuclear-waste disposal
  • Subsurface flow and transport in porous and fractured media
  • Wildfire and urban firestorm modeling and predictions

We focus on

Atmospheric modeling

  • Microscale, mesoscale, and global-scale atmospheric phenomena
  • Applying our award-winning HIGRAD/FIRETEC hydrodynamic software to diverse phenomena of wildland and urban fire propagation; and to aid development of better energy materials, such as stronger and more efficient wind turbines   
  • Modeling to simulate Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) signatures to characterize lightning and security threats (such as nuclear explosions)

Subsurface flow and transport processes

This work helps reveal how chemicals (such as nuclear waste) interact with the environment, age, and move throughout soil, rock, water.

  • Developing and applying models to predict flow and transport of multi-phase fluids in subsurface porous and fractured media
  • Improving geothermal and oil/gas extraction

Primary Expertise

Fossil Energy

  • We have R&D roles studying chemical and physical interactions to improve extraction efficiency, reduce water usage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We also develop process models, infrastructure optimization models, and risk/performance assessment tools to support critical national decisions.

High Performance Computing: Subsurface Flow and Transport

  • We develop advanced computational methods to model flow and transport in porous and fractured geologic media and coupled thermal-hydrologic-chemical-mechanical processes. In addition to numerical codes, Uncertainty Quantification (UQ) and Parameter Estimation (PE) are key EES-16 capabilities.

Wildfire, Regional Climate, and Wind Energy

  • Utilizing leadership-class parallel computers and advanced numerical methods, the HIGRAD/FIRETEC suite of codes enable detailed simulation of atmospheric dynamics and coupled atmospheric-wildfire interactions.

Other Critical Capabilities

  • Geologic characterization and numerical mesh generation support subsurface flow projects.
  • Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) simulation supports critical weapons phenomenology programs

Recent Major Projects

  • Arctic hydrology and permafrost modeling, LDRD
  • Characterization and remediation of the Nevada National Security Site Underground Test Area (UGTA)
  • Characterization and remediation of the LANL-specific issues for Environmental Programs (EP)
  • Fossil energy, CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage), geothermal energy
  • Modeling wildfire behavior in collaboration with national and international partners
  • Underground repository science for nuclear waste disposal for the Used Fuel Disposition (UFD) Campaign


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