Evaluating Probability Measures Related to Subsurface Flow and Transport. Overview of Technical Considerations and Modeling Philosophy


Probabilistic modeling approaches are being used increasingly in order to carry out quantified risk analysis and to evaluate the uncertainty existing in subsurface flow and transport analyses. The work presented here addresses three issues: comparison of common probabilistic modeling techniques, recent results regarding the sensitivity of probability measures to likely changes in the uncertain variables for transport in porous media, and a discussion of some questions regarding fundamental modeling philosophy within a probabilistic framework. Recent results indicate that uncertainty regarding average flow velocity controls the probabilistic outcome, while uncertainty in the dispersivity and diffusion coefficient does not seem very important. Uncertainty of reaction terms is important only at early times in the transport process. Questions are posed regarding (1) the inclusion of macrodispersion in a probabilistic analysis, (2) statistics of flow velocity and (3) the notion of an ultimate probability measure for subsurface flow analyses.

Meeting Name

International Symposium on Ground Water in Practice (1991: Jul. 29-Aug. 2, Nashville, TN)


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Mass Transfer--Mathematical Models; Probability--Random Processes; Water; Underground--Contamination; Groundwater Contaminant Transport Modeling; Probabilistic Modeling; Reliability Index; Subsurface Water Flow Modeling; Flow of Water

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 1991 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Aug 1991