July 2, 2020

GoldSim Contaminant Transport Module Online Course, Excerpt #1: Course Outline

Posted by Rick Kossik
As many of you may know, several years ago, we posted our free online GoldSim Course.  This Course has been tremendously popular, with almost 900 registered users (and an uncounted number of users who took the Course without registering - registration is optional). The Course, however, only covers the basic GoldSim framework, and does not discuss any of the specialized modules.  Many people have expressed interest in a Course on the Contaminant Transport (CT) Module, but we have never had the time to put one together.  Creating effective online Courses is tremendously time-consuming: the basic Course took at almost a man-year to complete.

However, one advantage of the pandemic we are living through is that it actually provides an opportunity to work on some of the things we have not had time for.  In my case, it has provided an opportunity for me to spend some time on the CT Course. This will be a long-term project (I'm hoping to finish by the end of the year).  But in order to provide some useful material for users in the meantime, I plan to post excerpts from time to time as I slowly progress through the development of the Course.  A blog is not the best venue for presenting the entire Course (even in parts), but I think it will be possible to provide a number of short excerpts that could be of value.

So far, I have developed a very detailed outline and have completed the first 3 Units (out of 15). In the first excerpt, I simply provide the outline describing how the Course will be organized.  Note, of course, that things may change slightly as the Course continues to unfold!  Hopefully, this will get you excited about what is to come.

Course Outline

Unit 1: Introduction

Unit 2: Using Arrays in GoldSim

This Unit is actually not specific to the Contaminant Transport Module. It is a feature of the basic GoldSim framework. However, even if you are familiar with the basic GoldSim framework, it is possible that you are not familiar with this feature (e.g., the feature is not discussed in any detail in the Basic Course). However, the Contaminant Transport Module utilizes this feature extensively, and therefore it is discussed here as a good understanding of the feature is required in order to use the Contaminant Transport Module.

Unit 3: Introduction to the Contaminant Transport Module

Unit 3 provides an overview of the overall philosophy and approach to environmental modeling embodied in the software. This Unit provides the fundamental underpinnings for the remaining Units.

The next seven Units then describe the basic components of the Contaminant Transport Module in detail using a series of simple Examples and Exercises:

Unit 4: Exploring and Running a Simple Contaminant Transport Model
Unit 5: Building a Simple Model of a Well-Mixed Environmental Compartment
Unit 6- Modeling Advective Transport Between Environmental Compartments
Unit 7: Modeling Complex Transport Processes in Environmental Compartments
Unit 8: Modeling Spatially Continuous Processes: Diffusive Transport
Unit 9: Modeling Spatially Continuous Processes: Advective/Dispersive Transport
Unit 10: Quantifying Impacts on the Environment and Human Receptors

Two Units then build on the previous Units by showing how the simple components described previously can be combined and linked together to represent complex systems:

Unit 11: Pulling it All Together - Building Complex Contaminant Transport Models (Part I)
Unit 12: Pulling it All Together - Building Complex Contaminant Transport Models (Part II)

The next two Units discuss the features specific to the RT Module (e.g., chain decay and the Source element), and provide some guidance on how to deal with the large degree uncertainty inherent in all contaminant transport models.

Unit 13: Using Features of the Radionuclide Contaminant Transport Module
Unit 14: Dealing with Uncertainty in Contaminant Transport Models

The final Unit discusses a number of advanced features and provides some suggestions for becoming more proficient with the Contaminant Transport Module.

Unit 15: Advanced Contaminant Transport Features

A typical Unit will typically take from 1 hour to as long as 2 hours or more to complete, depending on your experience, how methodical and carefully you tend to work, and the material being covered (some of the Units are much more complex than others).

Each Unit is divided into a number of “Lessons”. Within the Lessons, we will sometimes refer to an “Example” model that you will be instructed to open and look at. In other Lessons, you will be assigned an “Exercise” – a simple model that you will build in order to learn a particular concept. The completed Exercises are available to you to download, but of course you will learn much more by first attempting each Exercise yourself.

Each Unit concludes with a summary of the key concepts and features that were covered.

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