DPS 34th Meeting, October 2002
Session 15. Mars
Poster, Chair(s): , Tuesday, October 8, 2002, 3:30-6:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[15.27] Computational Tools for Simulating Thermal-hydrological-chemical Conditions in the Martian Subsurface

S. Painter, D. Boice, L. Browning, C. Dinwiddie, D. Pickett (Southwest Research Institute)

Methods for simulating non-isothermal, multiphase flow and geochemical transport in unsaturated porous media have matured in recent years, and are now used in a range of advanced terrestrial applications. Similar computational tools have a range of potential applications in Mars research. They may be used, for example, to support data analysis, to test hypotheses regarding the evolution and current state of subsurface hydrological systems, and to understand the potential for undesirable perturbations during future drilling or sample collection activities. We describe ongoing efforts to adapt computational hydrology tools to the conditions of the Martian subsurface in a new simulation code MARSFLO. Initial versions of MARSFLO will simulate heat transport, the dynamics of multiple fluid phases (ice, water, water vapor, and CO2), and the evolution of solute concentration in the absence of geochemical reactions. The general modeling strategy is to use equilibrium constraints to reduce the system to four highly non-linear coupled conservation equations, which are then solved using an integral-finite-difference method and fully implicit time stepping. The required constitutive relationships are developed from the theory of freezing terrestrial soils and modified for Martian conditions. Data needs, potential applications, and plans to include multi-component reactive transport are also discussed. This work was funded by the Southwest Research Initiative on Mars (SwIM).

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #3< br> © 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.