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Peter C. Lichtner

SciDAC Subsurface Groundwater Project, Principal Investigator

Research Interests

Dr. Lichtner is experienced in numerical modeling reactive flows in porous media. His primary interest is in modeling fluid transport in the subsurface combined with chemical reactions involving minerals including solid solutions, aqueous species and gases that has led to fundamental research in this field. He has an international reputation in this field with over 50 publications including both theory and application to hydro-geochemical problems. He has co-edited a book on reactive transport entitled Reactive Transport in Porous Media, published by the Mineralogical Society of America. Most recently he has been involved in the development of the massively parallel computer code PFLOTRAN through a SciDAC-2 project of which he is the PI.


The computer code PFLOTRAN solves a coupled system of mass and energy conservation equations for a number of phases including H2O, supercritical CO2, and black oil, and a gaseous phase. PFLOTRAN describes coupled thermal-hydrologic-chemical (THC) processes in variably saturated, nonisothermal, porous media in one (1D), two (2D), or three (3D) spatial dimensions. PFLOTRAN is written from the ground up to run on massively parallel computer architectures with parallelization implemented through the PETSc parallel library developed at Argonne National Laboratory. PETSc provides a user friendly and efficient set of routines for solving systems of nonlinear equations in parallel using domain decomposition including parallel solvers and preconditioners, parallel construction of the Jacobian matrix and residual function, and seamless message passing, which together provide high parallel efficiency.


  • lichtner@lanl.gov
  • Phone - 1 505 667 3420 - Phone
  • FAX - +1 505 665 3285 - FAX


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