RETRASO, a code for modeling reactive transport in saturated and unsaturated porous media


  • Maarten W. Saaltink
  • Francisco Batlle Pifarré
  • C. Ayora
  • J. Carrera
  • Sebastià Olivella Pastallé



Reactive transport, Porous media, Unsaturated flow modeling, Numerical methods


The code RETRASO (REactive TRAnsport of SOlutes) simulates reactive transport of dissolved and gaseous species in non-isothermal saturated or unsaturated problems. Possible chemical reactions include aqueous complexation (including redox reactions), sorption, precipitation-dissolution of minerals and gas dissolution. Various models for sorption of solutes on solids are available, from experimental relationships (linear KD, Freundlich and Langmuir isotherms) to cation exchange and surface complexation models (constant capacitance, diffuse layer and triple layer models). Precipitation-dissolution and aqueous complexation can be modelled in equilibrium or according to kinetic laws. For the numerical solution of the reactive transport equations it uses the Direct Substitution Approach. The use of the code is demonstrated by three examples. The first example models various sorption processes in a smectite barrier. The second example models a complex chemical system in a two dimensional cross-section. The last example models pyrite weathering in an unsaturated medium.


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