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Modifications of the U.S. Geological Survey modular, finite-difference, ground-water flow model to read and write geographic information system files

January 1, 1994

This report documents modifications to the U.S. Geological Survey modular, three-dimensional, finite-difference, ground-water flow model, commonly called MODFLOW, so that it can read and write files used by a geographic information system (GIS). The modified model program is called MODFLOWARC.
Simulation programs such as MODFLOW generally require large amounts of input data and produce large amounts of output data. Viewing data graphically, generating head contours, and creating or editing model data arrays such as hydraulic conductivity are examples of tasks that currently are performed either by the use of independent software packages or by tedious manual editing, manipulating, and transferring data. Programs such as GIS programs are commonly used to facilitate preparation of the model input data and analyze model output data; however, auxiliary programs are frequently required to translate data between programs. Data translations are required when different programs use different data formats. Thus, the user might use GIS techniques to create model input data, run a translation program to convert input data into a format compatible with the ground-water flow model, run the model, run a translation program to convert the model output into the correct format for GIS, and use GIS to display and analyze this output. MODFLOWARC, avoids the two translation steps and transfers data directly to and from the ground-water-flow model.

This report documents the design and use of MODFLOWARC and includes instructions for data input/output of the Basic, Block-centered flow, River, Recharge, Well, Drain, Evapotranspiration, General-head boundary, and Streamflow-routing packages. The modification to MODFLOW and the Streamflow-Routing package was minimized. Flow charts and computer-program code describe the modifications to the original computer codes for each of these packages. Appendix A contains a discussion on the operation of MODFLOWARC using a sample problem.