Steefel: If you've got contamination in the ground, you often want to know two things; you want to know how fast is that contaminant going to move and is that going to be a threat to drinking water supplies? So you need these models to describe that accurately.
Narrator: Steefel adds that another important use is in remediation.
Steefel: If you want to clean up the contamination, you may come up with various schemes to try to flush the system – but it turns out that the computer models are a much more efficient way to do the preliminary design of these kind of field tests then simply going out into the field and start pumping fluids into the subsurface.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin .