Groundwater Modeling at the Oklahoma Water Science Center

Science Center Objects

The Oklahoma Water Science Center performs computer simulations using MODFLOW to simulate groundwater/surface-water interaction, quantify groundwater resources, and evaluate the effects of withdrawals on future groundwater supplies for various aquifers in Oklahoma.

OK WSC Modeling Approach

OK WSC Modeling Approach(Public domain.)

OBJECTIVES

Groundwater models have become increasingly important in solving scientific problems related to groundwater flow and availability in aquifers around the United States. To this end, the Oklahoma Water Science Center performs computer simulations using MODFLOW (Harbaugh, 2005), USGS’s three-dimensional finite-difference numerical groundwater-modeling code. This code is used to simulate groundwater/surface-water interaction, quantify groundwater resources, and evaluate the effects of withdrawals on future groundwater supplies for various aquifers in Oklahoma.

To improve the fit between model-simulated data and observed or estimated data, automated model calibration is performed using the object-oriented parameter estimation code PEST (Doherty, 2010), BeoPEST (Schreüder, 2009), a parallelized verison of PEST, and PEST++ (Welter and others, 2015). The BeoPEST and PEST++ codes are implemented on an in-house high performance computing array providing access to concentrated parallel computing resources to solve complex or computation-heavy problems. This parallel approach enables groundwater modeling and data analysis on a scale that is not otherwise possible using a single-PC arrangement.  

CAPABILITIES

  • Simulation of coupled groundwater/surface-water interaction using MODFLOW and a variety of MODFLOW-related packages.
  • Estimation of spatially-distributed recharge using the soil-water-balance code (Westenbroek and others, 2010) based on daily climatological data from 121 Mesonet stations located around Oklahoma.
  • Application of optimization techniques to find the best allocation of surface-water and groundwater resources.
  • Dedicated high performance computing array capable of running over 150 simultaneous processes, such as numerical and climatological models, statistical methods, or uncertainty analysis.

CURRENT PROJECTS

Upper Washita River Alluvial Aquifer Study

Rush Springs Aquifer Study

Salt Fork Red River Alluvial Aquifer Study

Red River Water Availability and Use and Ecological Characteristics Focus Area Study

Investigation of Hydrogeology and Water Availability in the Osage Nation of Oklahoma

Washita River Reach 3 and 4 Alluvial Aquifer Study

Boone and Roubidoux Aquifers Study

COMPLETED PROJECTS

North Fork Red River Aquifer Study

Ellis, J.H., Mashburn, S.L., Graves, G.M., Peterson, S.M., Smith, S.J., Fuhrig, L.T., Wagner, D.L., and Sanford, J.E., 2017, Hydrogeology and simulation of groundwater flow and analysis of projected water use for the Canadian River alluvial aquifer, western and central Oklahoma (ver. 1.1, March 2017): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5180, 64 p., 7 pls., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20165180.

Ryter, D.W., and Correll, J.S., 2016, Hydrogeological framework, numerical simulation of groundwater flow, and effects of projected water use and drought for the Beaver-North Canadian River alluvial aquifer, northwestern Oklahoma (ver.1.1, February 2016): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5183, 63 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20155183.

Ryter, D.R., Kunkel, C.D., Peterson, S.M., and Traylor, J.P., 2015, Numerical simulation of groundwater flow, resource optimization, and potential effects of prolonged drought for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Tribal Jurisdictional Area, central Oklahoma (ver. 1.1, February 2016): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2014–5167, 27 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20145167.

Mashburn, S.L.; Ryter, D.; Neel, C.R.; Smith, S.J.; Magers, J.S., 2014, Hydrogeology and simulation of groundwater flow in the Central Oklahoma (Garber-Wellington) Aquifer, Oklahoma, 1987 to 2009, and simulation of available water in storage, 2010-2059: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2013-5219, 108 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20135219.

Christenson, S.; Osborn, N.I.; Neel, C.R.; Faith, J.R.; Blome, C.D.; Puckette, J.; Pantea, M.P., 2011, Hydrogeology and simulation of groundwater flow in the Arbuckle-Simpson aquifer, south-central Oklahoma: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2011-5029, 121 p., https://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2011/5029/

Model Archives

Model archives for projects published prior to October 1, 2017 are available upon request.  Model archives published after October 1, 2017 are available via the USGS Water Resources NSDI Node.