Hydrologic Modeling Software

Science Center Objects

The USGS has been a leader in the development of hydrologic and geochemical simulation models since the 1960's. USGS models are widely used to predict responses of hydrologic systems to changing stresses, such as increases in precipitation or ground-water pumping rates, as well as to predict the fate and movement of solutes and contaminants in water.

Basin Characterization Model (BCM)

The Basin Characterization Model (BCM) models the interactions of climate (rainfall and temperature) with empirically measured landscape attributes including topography, soils, and underlying geology. It is a grid-based model that calculates the water balance (the amount of water in each of the fractions of the total water budget, including runoff, recharge, and evapo-transpiration) for each 18-acre cell (270m resolution) in a given watershed in set time steps for the entire area. The California BCM uses a minimum time step of monthly results at the scale of a 270m grid, allowing the generation of scenarios at annual, seasonal, or monthly time steps.

Basin Characterization (BCM) >>


Central Valley Hydrologic Model (CVHM)

In an effort to aid water managers in understanding how water moves through the aquifer system, predicting water-supply scenarios, and addressing issues related to water competition, the USGS developed a new hydrologic modeling tool, the Central Valley Hydrologic Model (CVHM). The CVHM is an extensive, detailed three-dimensional (3D) computer model of the hydrologic system of the Central Valley (Faunt, 2009). The Central Valley Hydrologic Model (CVHM) simultaneously accounts for changing water supply and demand across the landscape, and simulates surface water and groundwater flow across the entire Central Valley.

Central Valley Hydrologic Model (CVHM) >>


MODFLOW-OWHM: One Water Hydrologic Flow Model

The One-Water Hydrologic Flow Model (MF-OWHM) is a MODFLOW-based integrated hydrologic flow model (IHM). MF-OWHM is designed for the analysis of a broad range of conjunctive-use issues. MF-OWHM allows the simulation, analysis, and management of human and natural water movement within a physically-based supply-and-demand framework.

One-Water (OWHM) >>


MODPATH Observation Process

MODPATH Observation Process (MODPATH-OBS) is a program developed to calculate simulated equivalents to transport observations derived from simulated particle tracking with or without field measurements for a variety of common field situations or hydrologic settings. The method can be used for transient and steady-state flow simulations.



Cascade Routing Tool

The U.S. Geological Survey Cascade Routing Tool (CRT) is a computer application for watershed models that include the coupled Groundwater and Surface-water FLOW model GSFLOW and the Precipitation-Runoff Modeling System (PRMS). CRT generates output to define cascading surface and shallow subsurface flow paths for grid-based model domains.

Cascade Routing (CRT) >>



INFIL3.0 is a grid-based, distributed-parameter, deterministic water-balance model that calculates the temporal and spatial distribution of daily net infiltration of water across the lower boundary of the root zone. The bottom of the root zone is the estimated maximum depth below ground surface affected by evapo-transpiration. In many field applications, net infiltration below the bottom of the root zone can be assumed to equal net recharge to an underlying water-table aquifer. The daily water balance simulated by INFIL3.0 includes precipitation as either rain or snow; snowfall accumulation, sublimation, and snowmelt; infiltration into the root zone; evapotranspiration from the root zone; drainage and water-content redistribution within the root-zone profile; surface-water runoff from, and run-on to, adjacent grid cells; and net infiltration across the bottom of the root zone.

INFIL3.0 >>