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A study on an advection-diffusion-reaction system is presented. Variability of the reaction process in such a system triggered by a highly localized source is quantified. It is found, for geophysically motivated parameter regimes, that the difference in bulk concentration subject to realizations of different source locations is highly correlated with the local flow topology of the source. Such flow topologies can be highlighted by Lagrangian coherent structures. Reaction is relatively enhanced in regions of strong stretching, and relatively suppressed in regions where vortices are present. In any case, the presence of a divergence-free background flow helps speed up the reaction process, especially when the flow is time-dependent. Probability density of various quantities characterizing the reaction processes is also obtained. This reveals the inherent complexity of the reaction-diffusion process subject to nonlinear background stirring.


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