Modeling Science in Texas

Science Center Objects

Models provide the capability to simulate scenarios of possible future conditions and management options to help water-resource professionals with planning decisions. Groundwater models are commonly used to evaluate changes to the water budget of an aquifer resulting from land-use changes, water withdrawals, and climate, and how these changes affect streamflow, lake levels, water quality, and other important variables.

Watershed models are useful for addressing a wide range of water-resource challenges, such as quantifying changes in water availability over time, understanding the effects of development and land-use changes on water resources, quantifying changes in constituent loads and yields over time, and quantifying aquifer recharge temporally and spatially throughout a watershed.

The USGS Texas Water Science Center (TXWSC) uses a variety of modeling techniques to simulate and describe water conditions in Texas. Visit the links below for more information on our data and science.


TXWSC has expertise in a wide variety of modeling science applications, including, but not limited to: 

  • Hydraulic Analysis
  • Flood Inundation
  • Continuous Regression
  • Numerical 
    • Groundwater Flow
    • Saline and Brackish Water
    • Flow and Transport
    • Integrated Surface-water/Groundwater
    • Land Subsidence
    • Parameter Estimation/Uncertainty Quantification
  • Web-based model viewer


Find out more about TXWSC geophysics science expertise in this printable information sheet.


Groundwater Models

Computer models of groundwater systems simulate the flow of groundwater, including water levels, and the transport of chemical constituents and thermal energy. Groundwater models provide hydrologists with a framework on which to organize their knowledge and understanding of groundwater systems, and they provide insights that water-resources managers need to plan effectively for future water demands. 

MODFLOW is the USGS's modular hydrologic model. MODFLOW is considered an international standard for simulating and predicting groundwater conditions and groundwater/surface-water interactions.



Coastal Lowlands Regional Groundwater Availability Study

Coastal Inflow Sediment and Nutrient Monitoring

Edwards Aquifer Groundwater Model Uncertainty Analysis

Estimating Potential Effects on Streamflow from Nearby Wells in the Lower San Antonio River Basin

Hydrogeologic Framework of Gaines, Terry, and Yoakum Counties

National Water-Quality Assessment Project in Texas - Surface Water Activities

National Water-Quality Assessment Project in Texas - Groundwater Activities

Red River Focus Area Study

Upper Rio Grande Basin Focus Area Study


Hydraulic Models

Hydrologic Engineering Center River Analysis System (HEC–RAS) is a step-backwater model for simulation of water-surface profiles with steady state (gradually varied) or unsteady-state flow computation options. Hydrologic, hydraulic, and other data (such as high resolution Digital Elevation Models and Land Use/Land Cover) can be incorporated into the HEC-RAS model in order to better represent field conditions in the study area. Once calibrated, HEC-RAS models can be used to simulate potential floods of varying flow magnitudes.



Bandera Flood Early Warning Tool

InFRM Flood Inundation Mapping

Hydrologic Trends Analysis for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers