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Application of a Geographic Information System for regridding a ground-water flow model of the Columbia Plateau Regional Aquifer System, Walla Walla River basin, Oregon-Washington

April 1, 1995

Computerized Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have become viable and valuable tools for managing,analyzing, creating, and displaying data for three-dimensional finite-difference ground-water flow models. Three GIS applications demonstrated in this study are: (1) regridding of data arrays from an existing large-area, low resolution ground-water model to a smaller, high resolution grid; (2) use of GIS techniques for assembly of data-input arrays for a ground-water model; and (3) use of GIS for rapid display of data for verification, for checking of ground-water model output, and for the cre.ation of customized maps for use in reports. The Walla Walla River Basin was selected as the location for the demonstration because (1) data from a low resolution ground-water model (Columbia Plateau Regional Aquifer System Analysis [RASA]) were available and (2) concern for long-term use of water resources for irrigation in the basin. The principal advantage of regridding is that it may provide the ability to more precisely calibrate a model, assuming chat a more detailed coverage of data is available, and to evaluate the numerical errors associated with a particular grid design.Regridding gave about an 8-fold increase in grid-node density.Several FORTRAN programs were developed to load the regridded ground-water data into a finite-difference modular model as model-compatible input files for use in a steady-state model run.To facilitate the checking and validating of the GIS regridding process, maps and tabular reports were produced for each of eight ground-water parameters by model layer. Also, an automated subroutine that was developed to view the model-calculated water levels in cross-section will aid in the synthesis and interpretation of model results.