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Define Modeling Objectives

 

The first step in the workflow for developing and running numerical models in Visual MODFLOW Flex is to define the modeling objectives. This entails selecting the desired flow and transport simulation options.  The selected combination of flow options (e.g. saturated groundwater flow) and transport options (e.g. reaction and sorption models) will narrow the list of available flow and transport engines and generate associated input variables (including units and default values).  The purpose of this step is to develop the necessary inputs required to build the model based on your understanding of the relevant physical processes present within the study area.

The numerical workflow supports the following engines:

 

Engines supported in Visual MODFLOW Flex

Flow

Transport

Utilities

 

MODFLOW-2000

MODFLOW-2005

MODFLOW-NWT

 

MT3DMS

RT3D

ZONEBUDGET

MODPATH

MOD-PATH3DU3

PEST

 

MODFLOW-LGR

 

none

none

 

MODFLOW-6

 

MODFLOW-6

ZONEBUDGET-6

PEST4

 

MODFLOW-SURFACT1

 

MODFLOW-SURFACT1

MODPATH

SEAWAT2

SEAWAT2

 

ZONEBUDGET

MODPATH

 

Notes:

1 - MODFLOW-SURFACT is a commercial groundwater modeling engine that supports coupled groundwater flow and transport simulations.

2 - SEAWAT is a coupled variable density groundwater flow and transport model

3 - MOD-PATH3DU is a particle-tracking algorithm developed by a collaboration between S.S. Papadopulos & Associates (SSPA) and the University of Waterloo. It is not installed directly with Visual MODFLOW Flex and must be downloaded and installed separately from the mod-PATH3DU website.

4 - The PEST workflow currently only supports parameters/observations in groundwater flow (GWF) models under MODFLOW-6 simulations

 

 

 

Understanding Default Values at the Modeling Objectives Step

Values set at the Define Modeling Objectives workflow step are used by Visual MODFLOW Flex to populate the applicable arrays for the flow and transport model consistent with the modeling objectives upon reaching the Define Properties Step for the first time. Constant values (discussed below) are the exception to this and are discussed below.

 

Once the applicable arrays have been created in the Model Explorer, changes to the default values at the Define Modeling Objectives will not be reflected in the Flow and Transport Models.  To reset values for a group of properties (e.g. Flow/Conductivity or Transport/Initial Concentrations) delete the relevant node from the Model Explorer Tree, update the default value at the Modeling Objectives step and proceed to the Define Property Zones step to regenerate the deleted arrays with the updated defaults.

 

 

Constant values that are not saved to distributed grid arrays can be changed at any time at the Modeling Objectives Step and subsequent changes will be reflected in the applicable translated flow/transport models.  Examples include:

 

Species Parameters:

Initial Concentrations, decay rates, sorption coefficients, reference concentrations, and the density and viscosity slopes for SEAWAT models

 

Model Parameters:

Bulk density, dispersion terms, and stoichiometric yield coefficients for RT3D reactions

 

 

Flow Objectives

Under the left panel of Define Modeling Objectives, you can specify a Start Date for the project. Pumping well data and calibration data (head and concentration observation wells) are entered and save as absolute (calendar) dates.  Therefore, it is important to choose a relevant start date at this step that coincides with the start time of your simulation.

Flow and Simulation Type

There are several flow condition options available for flow modeling in the numerical workflow:

 

Flow Engines and Modeling Objectives Supported in Visual MODFLOW Flex

Flow Type

Saturated Flow

Variably Saturated Flow1

 

Zone Budget

 

MODPATH

 

MOD-PATH3DU

 

Transport

 

PEST

Simulation
 Type

Constant Density

Variable Density

Groundwater

Vapor Flow

UZF

V

BC

V

BC

Engines

 

 

 

 

 

MF-2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

MF-2005

 

 

 

 

 

MF-NWT

 

 

 

 

 

MF-LGR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEAWAT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEAWAT

 

MF-SURFACT

 

 

 

 

MF-SURFACT

 

MF-6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MF-6

 

Notes:

1 - Abbreviations for variably saturated flow processes in the Vadose Zone:

     UZF = unsaturated zone flow package is based on 1-D unsaturated flow of a diffusion wave pseudo soil

     V = Van Genuchten relative permeability and saturation relationship

     BC = Brooks-Corey relative permeability and saturation relationship

 

 

Under Property Settings, you can modify the default flow parameters.

 

Start Date

The start date will be used to retrieve pumping well and head/concentration observation data for the model run.  When you define well data with absolute (calendar) dates, it is important that your start date reflects the actual start time for the model run. The well data must fall on  or after that start date. Otherwise, these data will not be included in the simulation.

 

Also the start date cannot be changed once it has been set. If you inadvertently set the wrong start date, you can import your pumping well data and observation data in relative times (eg. starting at 0), and you will see no difference in the numerical model inputs/outputs.

 

Start Date

The model start date for this exercise should be set to 1/1/2000. Visual MODFLOW Flex uses a standard Windows date picker; a few tips are shown below on how to use this.  Click on the button shown below, to load the Windows date picker.

 

The standard Windows calendar will appear.  Click on the month in the header (as shown below):

 

All months for the current year will appear as shown below. Click on the year in the header:

 

A range of years will then appear as shown below. Click on the range of years in the header:

 

A list of years for the previous decade will appear. You can then use the  <  or > buttons to change the year. Once you have reached the desired year (2000 for this example), select this on the calendar as shown below:

 

A list of months will then appear for that year. Select January for this example, as shown below.

 

Finally, select "1" from the calendar as shown below:

 

The selected date will then appear for the Start Date.

 

Transport Objectives

The transport objectives are defined on the right panel of the Define Modeling Objectives window.  When you select the "Transport Active" check box at the top of the screen, then the options can be defined as explained and shown below.

 

Retardation Model

Transport engine retardation model options are currently supported in Visual MODFLOW Flex as follows:

Description

MT3DMS

RT3D

SEAWAT

MF-6

SURFACT

No Sorption

Linear sorption (equilibrium controlled)

Freundlich (equilibrium-controlled)

Langmuir (equilibrium-controlled)

 

First order kinetic sorption (non-equilibrium)

 

 

 

 

Dual-domain mass-transfer without sorption

 

 

Dual-domain mass-transfer with linear sorption in mobile domain

 

 

Dual-Domain with Complex Sorption Options

 

 

 

 

Triple-Domain with Complex Sorption Options

 

 

 

 

Quadruple-Domain with Complex Sorption Options

 

 

 

 

Dual-domain mass-transfer
(with the same linear sorption in mobile and immobile domains)

 

 

 

Dual-domain mass-transfer
(with different linear sorption in mobile and immobile domains)

 

 

 

Dual-domain mass-transfer with nonlinear sorption in mobile domain

 

 

 

 

Dual-domain mass-transfer
(with the same nonlinear sorption in mobile and immobile domains)

 

 

 

 

Dual-domain mass-transfer
(with different nonlinear sorption in mobile and immobile domains)

 

 

 

 

 

Reaction

Transport engine reaction model options are currently supported in Visual MODFLOW Flex as follows:

Description

MT3DMS

RT3D

SEAWAT

MF-6

SURFACT1

No kinetic reactions

First-order irreversible decay

Zeroth-order irreversible decay

 

Complex Model Reactions2

 

 

 

 

Instantaneous aerobic degradation of of BTEX

 

 

 

 

Six-Species, First-Order, Rate-Limited, BTEX Degradation using Sequential Electron Acceptors

 

 

 

 

Rate-Limited Sorption

 

 

 

 

Double-Monod Model

 

 

 

 

Sequential First-Order Decay

 

 

 

 

Aerobic/Anaerobic PCE/TCE Dechlorination

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

1 - MODFLOW-SURFACT supports additional reactions listed in the table above; however, these are not fully supported in the current version of Visual MODFLOW Flex.

2 - Complex Reactions available for MODFLOW-6 allow for different reaction models (no kinetic reactions, first-order, and zero order decay) to be independently specified for each species and for each (mobile/immobile domain) in the aqueous and sorbed phases. Complex model reactions are only compatible with the three available complex sorption options (i.e. dual-domain, triple-domain, and quadruple-domain).

 

 

Warning!

RT3D assumes specific default species for each associated reaction modules.  Selecting a reaction module specific to RT3D will reset the species list and all associated species and model parameters

 

The selections you make for Sorption and Reaction options will determine what parameters you need to define for your model. Default values can be defined in the "Species Parameters" and "Model Parameter" tabs.  After the model is created, you can define additional zonation for Transport Properties at the "Define Properties" step. Detailed information regarding these parameters can be found in the MT3DMS, RT3D, SEAWAT, SURFACT, and MODFLOW-6 User Manuals (please see the references section).

The New Species and Delete Species buttons allow you to add and remove species to your Transport simulation. This option is available only for certain transport engines.

When you Species Parameter tab is selected, use the add button () to add a new species, or use the remove button () to remove the selected species.

Please Note: the remove button will remove the last species in the list.

 

The reaction model parameters window is shown below. For more information, see the individual sections describing Species Parameters and Model Parameters.

 

When you are finished, click (Next Step) to proceed.

 

 


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