A compilation of useful groundwater fate and transport models

Groundwater Flow and Fate and Transport (Free)

BioScreen – A one dimensional excel-based screening model that simulates remediation through natural attenuation of dissolved hydrocarbons. The model is designed to simulate biodegradation by both aerobic and anaerobic reactions.

BioChlor – A one dimensional excel-based screening model that simulates remediation through natural attenuation of chlorinated contaminants. The model is designed to simulate biodegradation by anaerobic reactions and can simulate sequential first order decay via reductive dechlorination.

BioPlume III – A two-dimensional contaminant transport model that solves the solute transport equation six times to determine the fate and transport of hydrocarbons, possible electron acceptors (O2, NO3-, Fe3+, SO42-, and CO2) and the reaction by-products (Fe2+). Three different kinetic expressions can be used to simulate aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation reactions. These include first-order decay, instantaneous reaction, and Monod kinetics.

MODFLOW – MODFLOW is the United States Geologic Survey’s three-dimensional  finite-difference groundwater model. MODFLOW is considered the gold standard for simulating and predicting groundwater conditions.  Originally developed and released solely as a groundwater-flow simulation code when first published in 1984, MODFLOW’s modular structure has provided a robust framework for integration of additional simulation capabilities that build on and enhance its original scope. The family of MODFLOW-related programs now includes capabilities to simulate coupled groundwater/surface-water systems, solute transport, variable-density flow (including saltwater), aquifer-system compaction and land subsidence, parameter estimation, and groundwater management.  Often sold in a graphics user interface that include data visualization features.

MODPATH – A three dimensional particle simulation package that is used in conjunction with MODFLOW.  Particle tracking simulations can include start/termination at sources and sinks along with zone specific rules.

MT3D – A three dimensional simulation package that is used in conjunction with MODFLOW.  MT3D simulates advection, dispersion, and chemical reactions of dissolved constituents in groundwater systems.

RT3D – Adds additional functionality to MT3D via the Chemical Raction package.  Pre-defined chemical reactions can simulate sequential reductive dechlorination or custom degradation sequences.  Generally used to simulate the natural attenuation or enhanced bioremediation of groundwater contaminants.

Groundwater Flow and Fate and Transport (Commercial)

Generally these software packages take many of the freely available modeling packages identified above and overlay several important features:

  • A graphical user interface
  • Geostatistical methods (interpolation)
  • Visualization capabilities (cross sections, material identification, and image overlays)
  • GIS and CAD export
  • Support

Two popular software packages are Groundwater Modeling System and Visual MODFLOW.

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