Model Viewer: A Program For Three-Dimensional Visualization of Ground-water Model Results

Release Date:

Overview of ModelViewer

Example output grid from ModelViewer

Example grid visualization output from ModelViewer.

Model Viewer is a computer program that displays the results of three-dimensional ground-water models. Scalar data (such as hydraulic head or solute concentration) may be displayed as a solid or a set of isosurfaces, using a red-to-blue color spectrum or a custom color scale to represent a range of scalar values. Vector data (such as velocity or specific discharge) are represented by lines oriented to the vector direction and scaled to the vector magnitude. Model Viewer can also display pathlines, cells or nodes that represent model features such as streams and wells, and auxiliary graphical objects such as grid lines and coordinate axes. Users may crop the model grid in different orientations to examine the interior structure of the data. For transient simulations, Model Viewer can animate the time evolution of the simulated quantities. The current version (1.1) of Model Viewer runs on Microsoft Windows 7, Vistas, XP, 2000, NT 4.0, 98, and 95 operating systems, and supports the following models: MODFLOW-2005, MODFLOW-2000, MODFLOW-2000 with the Ground-Water Transport Process, MODFLOW-96, MOC3D (Version 3.5), MODPATH, MT3DMS, SUTRA (Version 2.1), PHAST, and UCODE-2005. Model Viewer is designed to directly read input and output files from these models, thus minimizing the need for additional postprocessing.


Download Current Version of ModelViewer

The current release is ModelViewer v.1.7.

Example Data Sets


Documentation for ModelViewer

Hsieh, P.A., and Winston, R.B., 2002, User’s Guide To Model Viewer, A Program For Three-Dimensional Visualization of Ground-water Model Results: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 02-106, 18 p.,

Please note that this report was release with Model Viewer version 1.0. Users should refer to the help pages included with version 1.1 for instructions on how to use the software.


Find MODFLOW-Related Software

Visit the MODFLOW and Related Programs page for a list of MODFLOW-related software.


Software License and Purchase Information

This software is a product of the U.S. Geological Survey, which is part of the U.S. Government.


This software is freely distributed. There is no fee to download and (or) use this software.


Users do not need a license or permission from the USGS to use this software. Users can download and install as many copies of the software as they need.

Public Domain

As a work of the United States Government, this USGS product is in the public domain within the United States. You can copy, modify, distribute, and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. Additionally, USGS waives copyright and related rights in the work worldwide through CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication (