Aquaveo & Water Resources Engineering News

GMS Training, Nancy, France - Recap

From June 12-15, 2012, members of the GMS development team and Dr. Norman Jones taught a GMS training course in Nancy, France at the Institut National Polytechique de Lorraine.

Many thanks to Dr. Fabrice Golfier for helping to organize the class. Individuals from Europe and the Middle East were able to come together and learn about the most advanced groundwater modeling software available, GMS. Once again the course attendees commented on the many powerful features available in GMS and how they could use the software in their work. Thanks to all those who attended.

Dr. Norm Jones teaching a lecture during the course

Velocity vectors

Beginning with version 8.2, GMS can now generate velocity vectors using information from the MODFLOW cell-to-cell flow (ccf) file. Several pieces of information are required to compute groundwater flow velocity from a MODFLOW model. First, the amount of flow in the I, J, and K directions for a given cell is read from the CCF file. If a particular cell contains a boundary condition that is withdrawing water (such as a well) then the flow in the I, J, and K directions is decreased based on the amount of flow leaving the cell through the boundary condition. Next, the saturated area is calculated in the I, J, and K directions. For the I and J directions it is necessary to use the top and bottom elevations that are specified in MODFLOW's discretization package. If the particular cell is part of an unconfined aquifer then it is also necessary to get the computed head for the cell as the computed head is most likely below the top elevation of the cell. The final piece of information necessary for the calculation is porosity. Although porosity is not part of the MODFLOW inputs, using GMS you can specify porosity on a per cell basis. Once the flows, areas, and porosity are assembled the groundwater flow velocity is computed using the following equations:

Velocity.I = Flow.I / (SaturatedArea.I * porosity)
Velocity.J = Flow.J / (SaturatedArea.J * porosity)
Veloctiy.K = Flow.K / (Area.K * porosity)

To create a velocity vector data set from a MODFLOW CCF file in GMS you simply right click on the CCF data in the GMS Project Explorer and select the CCF -> Velocity Vectors command.
Conversion from CCF to Velocity Vectors

Once you have a vector data set you can adjust the display of the vectors by going to the Display Options dialog for the 3D grid and turning on the Vectors check box. If you select the Options button next to the Vectors check box you have further control over the display of the vectors.
Velocity Vector Plot in GMS

April 2012 Sprint Highlights

Some of the more interesting accomplishments from the April 2012 sprint:
  • Fixed over 21 bugs
  • Held a training course in Orem, Utah
  • Completed MODFLOW SUB package to about 40%
  • Added support for all file formats supported by Global Mapper
  • Added dynamic online imagery via Global Mapper
  • Identified the changes needed to support the SFR2 inputs used with UZF
  • Switched next version number form 8.4 to 9.0
  • Completed most of the work needed for PEST null space Monte Carlo support with RANDPAR
  • Added the ISTCB2 option in the STR package
  • Added a model checker for the SFR package
  • Added an option to only save the groundwater data in the UZF package
  • Added wells in the MT3D TOB package so it tracks (and we can plot) mass vs. time
  • Added all array-based parameter types to the set of those that can use pilot points with PEST
  • Made the gage folder in the MODFLOW solution start out collapsed by default
  • Added the GMS version number to the main window title
  • Renamed "Convergence Options" to "PEST ASP Package" to help identify what it is
  • Switched to new round logos
  • Made improvements to the pilot points, transient, and gage tutorials
  • Continued improvements to the wiki

March 2012 Sprint Highlights

Some of the more interesting accomplishments from the March 2012 sprint:
  • Posted GMS 8.3 beta
  • Added two new videos to our YouTube channel on regional to local model conversion and contour options
  • Fixed over 10 bugs
  • Added a machine to help with nightly testing
  • Added a few new testimonials
  • Started on the PHT3D interface design
  • Moved SFR outputs related to ISTCB2 to a separate CCF file so they don't get included in the flow budget.
  • Fixed the Check For Updates command to warn if the maintenance has expired to avoid downloading an update that can't be used.
  • PEST Null space Monte Carlo progress
  • Came up with a fix for broken images when converting the wiki to OpenOffice
  • Designed Global Mapper dynamic images
  • Finished adding support for the MODFLOW Gage package
  • Added a new Measure tool
  • Added new Locate Selections and Zoom To Selections commands
  • Simplified the MT3D Sink & Source Mixing Package dialog
  • Enhanced the model checker and added tests for MT3D SSM, RCT and ADV packages.
  • Held a training course in Mexico City
  • Made several improvements to the Model Calibration tutorial
  • Started splitting the Conceptual Model Approach tutorial into two
  • Made exported shapefiles include a projection (.prj) file whenever the projection is not local

Training Mexico City, Mexico

A GMS training course was held from March 5-8 in Mexico City, Mexico. Alan Lemon of the GMS development team and Dr. Willis Weight of Carroll College, Montana taught the course.

The course was well attended. More than 20 people attended the course. There was a wide variety in the amount of experience with groundwater modeling. Some attendees had been building models for years, while others were relatively new to groundwater modeling. Also, the attendees came from many different backgrounds including: professors at universities, consultants, and students. Based on the comments submitted after the course, the attendees felt like they all learned something valuable that they could use in their work. Many attendees commented on how much easier it was to build models using GMS than other MODFLOW preprocessors. They appreciated using the conceptual model approach and having their data independent of a MODFLOW grid.

Thanks to Jorge Chipres and Catalina Morato for their efforts in organizing the course.

Exporting 3D Grids to Shapefiles

In GMS 8.2 we added the ability to export a 3D grid to a shapefile. All layers of the grid are exported, along with the active data set and the grid cell activity (IBOUND) and data set activity (dry cells) if they exist. Here is the list of the attributes that get exported:
  • cell ID
  • cell I
  • cell J
  • cell K
  • grid cell activity
  • active scalar data set values
  • active data set activity (if it exists)
A simple definition query using the grid cell activity and K fields can be created in ArcMap to see one layer of the grid at a time. For example, the following figure shows the head solution on the third layer of the grid from the lake package tutorial as a shapefile in ArcMap.


With the release this week of GMS 8.2, GMS includes support for MODFLOW-NWT including the UPW package and NWT solver. Compiled versions of the MODFLOW-NWT executable are included with the GMS installer, including versions for 64 bit and double precision. A new tutorial covering the NWT interface has been added and is included in the tutorial installer and is also available via the learning center.

February 2012 Sprint Highlights

Some of the more interesting accomplishments from the February 2012 sprint:
  • Released GMS 8.2
  • Finished GMS 8.3 beta
  • Flow vector calculations are now velocity vectors
  • Design for MODFLOW-CDSS
  • Gage package progress
  • PEST Null space Monte Carlo progress
  • Fixed over 36 bugs
  • Created GUI tests for the MNW2 package, FEMWATER transport tutorial, Map -> 3D scatter, 2D Scatter -> 3D Scatter and other features
  • Progress on MODFLOW-LGR design
  • MT3D heat transport tutorial
  • Documented versions of third party software on the wiki

January 2012 Sprint Highlights

Some of the more interesting accomplishments from the January 2012 sprint: 
  • Fixed over 18 bugs
  • Finished 8.3 installer and separated tutorials from main program
  • Created two new videos on our YouTube channel
  • Finished about 99% of our continuous integration system
  • Finished MODFLOW MNW2 package interface
  • Updated MODFLOW NWT to the latest version
  • Implemented tech support notifications for the new "Report A Bug" feature
  • Added support for MT3D steady state stress periods
  • Overhauled the CCF -> Vectors feature to actually give velocity vectors (long overdue). Pushed it to GMS 8.2.
  • Created some more SEAWAT tutorials
  • Started on creating more MNW2 tutorials
  • Hooked up the dialog help buttons to the CHM file.
  • Found and fixed some memory looks.
  • Designed the interface for the MODFLOW SUB Package
  • Added MODPATH starting locations -> 3D scatter and vice versa
  • Added Shapefile -> 3D Scatter and vice versa
  • Added some SEEP2D images to the Image Gallery
  • Got the intermediate tests passing for Visual Studio 2010
  • Made the Community Edition work without a license


GMS has an extensive tool set for working with flow budget information from MODFLOW. GMS is the only package that reports flow budget information on GIS features. For example, if polylines or polygons were used to create drain boundary conditions in MODFLOW then GMS will report the flow into or out of the model from the polyline/polygon. For some time now, GMS has allowed users to view flow budgets for selected sub-areas of their models as well as the ability to assign zone budget ids to cells and extract flow budget information.

Beginning with GMS 8.2, we will now include an interface to USGS ZONEBUDGET. This tool is accessed by selecting the Flow Budget menu command in the MODFLOW menu. There is a USGS ZONEBUDGET tab available in the dialog. The user can set up their input options and then there is a button to launch ZONEBUDGET. The input and output files for ZONEBUDGET are written to the same directory where the MODFLOW Cell-to-cell flow file is located.

There is also a new tutorial available that shows the various ZONEBUDGET options. Go to the GMS Learning Center on to download the tutorial.

A video that demos the ZONEBUDGET feature is available on the Aquaveo youtube channel.