Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Subsurface Flow and Transport

We develop and apply a range of high-performance computational methods and software tools to Earth science projects in support of environmental health, cleaner energy, and national security.

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The Subsurface Flow and Transport (SFT) team develops and applies subsurface flow and transport modeling in porous and fractured media, from pore-scale lattice Boltzmann to regional watershed scales with applications to programs involving subsurface water, subsurface contamination of aquifers, CO2 capture storage and utilization, energy development in both hydrothermal and fossil energy, environmental cleanup and waste-storage.


Selected major projects include:

  • Characterization and remediation of the Nevada Underground Test Area, UGTA
  • Characterization and remediation of the LANL specific issues for Environmental Programs, EP
  • Increasing the efficiency of hydraulic fracturing and reducing the environmental impacts
  • Carbon sequestration risk analysis
  • Underground repository science for nuclear waste disposal for the Spent Fuel Waste Storage Campaign, SFWST
  • Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment Tropics and Arctic
  • Advancing Brittle Failure with Dynamic Graphs and Machine Learning (LDRD DR)
Software and Simulation Tools

Team Members

Hari Viswanathan Thumbnail
Hari Viswanathan

(Team Leader)
  • HPC Simulation of flow and reactive transport in porous and fractured media
    • Hydraulic fracturing (DOE FE Oil and Gas, LDRD, DOE BES, Chevron)
    • Carbon sequestration (Southwest Regional Partnership for Carbon Sequestration)
    • Nuclear waste disposal (Spent Fuel Waste Disposition)
    • Nuclear nonproliferation (PADGS)
  • Integrating simulation and experiment from the pore to reservoir scale
    • Lattice Boltzmann simulation and microfluidics experiments
    • Fracture propagation simulation and triaxial coreflood experiments
    • Discrete fracture network simulation of flow through reservoir scale fracture networks
  • Uncertainty quantification
    • Development of reduced order models of HPC simulation for use in uncertainty quantification studies
    • Utilizing machine learning and graph theory to develop reduced order models of computational physics simulations
  • LANL Profile
  • Google Scholar
Yu Chen
Yu Chen
  • Direct pore-scale numerical simulation of multiphase flow in porous media
    • Lattice Boltzmann multiphase model and high-performance computing
    • Simulations of fluid displacement on micro-CT scanned rock images and heterogeneous micromodels
    • Applications on carbon sequestration and hydrocarbon recovery
  • Lattice Boltzmann method on particle suspensions
    • Development of improved force evaluation scheme on moving solid surfaces
    • Simulations of particle suspensions in single phase or multiphase flow
    • Applications on inertial focusing microfluidic device for flow cytometry
  • High-performance computing on many core processors
    • Development of portable high performance lattice Boltzmann code that runs on MIC, GPU and CPU.
    • Utilizing the MPI-OpenMP or MPI-OpenACC hybrid programming approach and asynchronous communication to run programs on modern supercomputers with thousands of processors.
Shaoping Chu Thumbnail
Shaoping Chu
  • Subsurface flow and transport model development and simulation
  • System level model development, application and uncertainty analysis
  • CO2 sequestration and risk analysis
  • Performance assessment modeling and analysis
  • Marine biogeochemistry, climate relevant trace gases, interactions between atmosphere-ocean-land, and their role in global climate change
  • LANL Profile
  • Google Scholar
Jeffrey Hyman Thumbnail
Jeffrey Hyman
  • Subsurface Flow and Transport Modeling
  • Discrete Fracture Network (DFN) Generation and Analysis (dfnWorks)
  • Stochastic Pore-Scale Generation
  • Graph Theoretical Approaches for System Reduction and Reduced Order Models
  • Particle Based Transport Analysis
  • Stochastic Hydrology
  • Computational Mesh Generation
  • Numerical Analysis
  • LANL Profile
  • Google Scholar
Qinjun Kang Thumbnail
Qinjun Kang
  • Pore-scale HPC simulation of transport and interfacial phenomena in energy and environment
    • Conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon exploration and production
    • Geologic storage of carbon dioxide and nuclear waste
    • Fate and transport of underground contaminant
    • Coupled mass transport and electrochemical processes in fuel cells and batteries
  • Multiscale/Hybrid modeling and simulation
    • Coupling lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) with CFD
    • Coupling LBM with Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations
    • Coupling LBM with reservoir simulators
  • LANL Profile
  • Google Scholar
Satish Karra Thumbnail
Satish Karra
  • Physics-based modeling of porous and fractured media
  • High-performance computing
  • Reduced-order modeling and machine learning
  • LANL Profile
  • Google Scholar
Zhiming Lu Thumbnail
Zhiming Lu
  • Sensitive analysis of flow to model shape parameters
    • Sensitivity to material interfaces
    • Sensitivity to model domain or boundary locations
  • Methodology development for quantifying flow/transport in randomly heterogeneous porous media
    • Analytical solutions for various saturated and unsaturated flow problems
    • Stochastic numerical simulations
    • Quantifying moments of permeability with uncertain material interfaces
    • Uncertainty due to uncertain boundary locations and material interfaces
  • Inverse modeling with various techniques
    • Field-scale inverse modeling with Amanzi simulator on HPC platform
    • Model calibration for RDX modeling at Los Alamos cite
    • Identifying subsurface zonation structure and permeability using the level set method
  • Upscaling of heterogeneous porous media
    • Quantifying uncertainty of effective parameters
    • upscaling fracture networks and saturated/unsaturated heterogeneous porous media
  • Simulations of rare events using importance sampling methods
    • Estimating the probability of contaminant reaching an area of interest (i.e, city limit).
  • LANL Profile
  • Google Scholar
Nataliia Makedonska Thumbnail
Nataliia Makedonska
  • Subsurface flow and transport simulation in fractured media
    • Modeling & analysis of contaminant transport
    • Reservoir-scale DFN modeling & prediction of natural gas production
    • CO 2 sequestration
  • Software development (dfnWorks)
    • Particle tracking capability
    • Development and implementation of fracture aperture variability
    • Meshing algorithms for discrete fracture network mesh production
  • LANL Profile
  • Google Scholar
Terry Miller Thumbnail
Terry Miller
  • Mesh Generation and Model Setup
    • Regional flow and transport
    • Nuclear waste disposal
    • CO2 sequestration
    • Watershed management
    • Arctic permafrost
  • Advancing next generation meshing, model integration, geologic data and software practices
  • Software development, maintenance, and QA including LaGriT and FEHM
  • LANL Profile
  • Google Scholar
Daniel O'Malley Thumbnail
Daniel O'Malley
  • Subsurface flow and transport
  • Inverse analysis, data assimilation, and uncertainty quantification
  • Quantum computing
  • Machine learning
  • LANL Profile
  • Google Scholar
Maruti Mudunuru Thumbnail
Maruti Kumar Mudunuru

  • Applied Machine Learning
    • Development of reduced-order models and scaling laws for reactive-transport and material damage applications
    • Structure-preserving feature extraction to understand underlying physical processes for reactive-transport applications
    • Precursor extraction from seismic, infrasound, temperature, and pressure signals under noisy environments
    • Development of hierarchical scalable feature extraction and feature filtering methods for time-series data
  • Internet of Things for Geophysical and Environmental Sensing
    • Automated data processing at sensors/edge
    • Event forecasting under noisy environments
    • Comprehensive feature extraction and feature filtering at sensors/edge
  • Reduced-Order Models for various Quantities of Interest arising in
    • Geothermal, flow and reactive-transport, material damage, and structural health monitoring applications
  • Sequential and Joint Inversion
    • Development of numerical techniques to fuse geophysical and flow data to constrain fracture networks
  • Finite Element and Finite Volume Methods
    • Development of structure-preserving computational frameworks to simulate coupled flow, reactive-transport, and damage.
  • Google Scholar

Rajesh Pawar Thumbnail Rajesh Pawar

  • Numerical simulation of coupled thermal, hydrologic, mechanical and chemical processes in complex porous media with applications to:
    • Carbon dioxide sequestration
    • Conventional oil & gas production
    • Unconventional oil & gas production (oil sands, oil shale, shale gas, shale oil, methane hydrates)
    • Enhanced oil recovery (residual oil zones)
    • Nuclear waste disposal
    • Groundwater contamination
    • Fractured media (dual porosity-dual permeability, discrete fracture networks)
  • Numerical reservoir simulation capabilities development
    • High performance computing
    • Field tests and field/laboratory experiments
    • Design and execution of field tests
    • Integrated numerical simulation/laboratory experiments for conceptual model development
  • Risk Assessment and System Modeling
    • Machine Learning & Reduced Order Model development
    • GoldSim
    • Uncertainty quantification
  • LANL Profile
  • Google Scholar

Shriram Srinivasan Shriram Srinivasan

  • Continuum Mechanics of fluids and solids
  • Flow through Porous Media
  • Multi-scale Computational Methods
  • Graphs and Machine Learning for Discrete Fracture Networks
  • Google Scholar


Monty Vesselinov
Monty Vesselinov

  • Machine Learning, Blind Source Separation, Feature Extraction, Data Compression
  • Model Inversion, Parameter Estimation, Uncertainty, Sensitivity and Risk Analysis, Performance Assessment  and Decision Support ( MADS)
  • Experimental and Remediation Design
  • Simulation of multiphase flow, transport and biogeochemical reactions in porous/fractured media ( CHROTRAN)
  • Hydrogeology and Biogeochemistry, Reservoir Modeling, Well Hydraulics
    Characterization of heterogeneity of subsurface flow and transport medium, High-resolution stochastic imaging (tomography), Stochastic Inversion
  • High-Performance and Quantum Computing
  • LANL Profile
  • Google Scholar