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The Strongly Implicit Procedure, also known as SIP, is a method for solving a large system of simultaneous linear equations by iterations. The advantage of the SIP solver is that it is very stable and generally converges to a solution, but often very slowly. It is not as fast as the PCG method, but it requires less memory to compute the final solution. Because each equation involves up to seven unknown values of head, and because the set of unknown values changes from one equation to the next throughout the grid, the equations for the entire grid must be solved simultaneously at each time step. This package is described in Chapter 12 of the MODFLOW manual included with your Visual MODFLOW Flex media, in the Manual folder.


The solver parameters for the SIP method are described below:


Maximum Number of Iterations: [Default = 200] This is the upper limit on the number of iterations to be performed. The maximum number of iterations will only be considered if a convergent solution is not reached beforehand. Two hundred iterations should be adequate for most problems. However, if the maximum number of iterations is reached and an appropriate mass balance error is not achieved, this value should be increased.

Number of Iteration Parameters: [Default = 5] The finite difference equations describing the groundwater flow system can be put into matrix form as [A] {h}={q}. Where [A] is the coefficient matrix, {h} is the heads array and {q} is the flux array. The number of iteration parameters indicates the number of parameters that will be used to transform the initial coefficient matrix [A] to a similar matrix that can be decomposed into two lower and upper triangular matrices [L] and [U], respectively. The default value of 5 is generally sufficient.

Acceleration Factor: [Default = 1] The acceleration factor controls the magnitude of head change between iterations. The acceleration factor must be positive. Values larger than one will result in larger head changes between iterations; the solution may be approached faster but it may also overshoot the solution more easily. Values less than one will result in smaller head changes, requiring more iterations to reach a solution.

Head Change Criterion for Convergence: [Default = 0.01] After each iteration is completed, the solver checks for the maximum change in the solution at every cell. If the maximum change in the solution is below a set convergence tolerance (set here in the working units of feet or metres) then the solution has converged and the solver stops, otherwise a new iteration is started. A solution accurate to 0.01 [ft. or m] will normally be sufficient for most problems unless the maximum head change throughout the modeled domain is smaller than one foot or metre. If an appropriate mass balance is not achieved and the maximum number of iterations is not reached, this value can be decreased by an order of magnitude.

Printout Interval: [Default =10] The printout interval is the number of iterations after which the maximum head change (and residual) of the solution is written to the listing (.LST) file.

User Seed Value: [Default = 0.01] There are two options: either the user can enter the seed, or the seed will be calculated at the start of the simulation from problem parameters. The iteration parameter ‘seed’ is used as a basis for determining the sequence of w values. The w multiplies each term on the right side of the equation; and must be cycled through a series of values in successive iterations to achieve satisfactory rates of convergence. The more strongly diagonal the coefficient matrix, the less important the choice of seed will be.


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