Visual MODFLOW Flex

Visual MODFLOW Flex

Groundwater Flow, Heat and Contaminant Transport Modeling

  • Integrated conceptual and numerical modeling
  • Powerful 2D and 3D visualization
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use



A Complete Groundwater Modeling System

With Visual MODFLOW Flex you have a complete set of tools necessary for addressing water quality, groundwater supply, and source water protection initiatives, including:

  • MODFLOW-2000, 2005, NWT - The world standard for groundwater flow modeling
  • MODFLOW-USG - Finite volume version of MODFLOW that uses unstructured grids. Details...
  • MODFLOW-LGR - Shared-node local grid refinement (LGR) for regional-local scale simulations
  • SEAWAT v.4 - 3D variable density groundwater flow coupled with multi-species solute and heat transport
  • MT3DMS - The standard package for multi-species contaminant transport simulations
  • MODPATH - The standard package for forward and reverse particle tracking
  • Zone Budget - A package for sub-regional water budget calculations
  • PHT3D - A multi-component transport model for three-dimensional reactive transport in saturated porous media. It couples the two existing and widely used computer programs, the solute transport model MT3DMS and the USGS geochemical code PHREEQC-2
  • PEST v.12.3 - Automated calibration and sensitivity analysis. Details...

Flexible Modeling Approaches

Visual MODFLOW Flex allows you to choose which modeling approach to use for building your groundwater models. Choose the flexible and efficient conceptual modeling approach or the classical modeling approach.

Conceptual Modeling Approach

  • Build your 3D conceptual model using existing GIS data and wells/boreholes. The grid-independent conceptual model gives you the flexibility to experiment with different grid types and simulators. Cell locations and parameters are automatically calculated for you, reducing the need to define these manually on a cell-based level. From one conceptual model you can easily generate multiple numerical models of different grid types and modeling scenarios, and easily update or modify the model as needed.

Classical Modeling Approach

  • Ideal for models with simple geology, basic properties and boundary conditions, the classical approach allows you to start by defining the numerical grid. The grid can then be manually populated with properties and boundary conditions using traditional techniques.

Integrated 3D Conceptual and Numerical Groundwater Modeling

Visual MODFLOW Flex provides a seamless transition from raw data through conceptualization to the numerical model all within a single intuitive modeling environment.

  • Define complex geology and model layers using borehole log data and cross-sections
  • Interpret GIS data to define hydrogeologic properties and boundaries independent of the grid
  • Run, analyze, and validate model results with raw data in 2D, 3D, and cross-section views
  • Easily create multiple conceptualizations; generate numerous grids and model scenarios in parallel all in a single project
  • Assess uncertainty though comparing heads from multiple model runs in 2D, 3D or chart views

Efficiently Manage Multiple Models

Most modeling projects involve several scenarios/versions, e.g., steady-state vs transient, different properties, inputs, grid types, etc. Visual MODFLOW Flex allows you to assess uncertainty and improve model credibility through comparisons and analysis of multiple modeling scenarios - all within a single project.

  • Manage multiple model scenarios in a single project
  • Easily generate multiple models in parallel for evaluating alternative hydrogeologic interpretations and hypotheses
  • Make direct visual and numerical comparisons between different modeling scenarios
  • Calculate head differences between multiple model runs, with the same or different grid size
  • Compare and analyze multiple modeling scenarios for selecting the best, most realistic model

Powerful Data Visualization

Built and designed on the latest in 3D visualization technology, Visual MODFLOW Flex allows you to effectively present and communicate your data to colleagues and stakeholders with impressive visual renderings of your hydrogeologic model.

  • Visualize all data, including conceptual objects, numerical grids, input data (property zones, boundary condition cells, etc) and output data (calculated heads, pathlines) in state-of-the-art 2D, 3D and multi-view (FlexViewer) displays
  • Create cut-away and cross-sectional views that allow you to see inside your model
  • Generate 3D animations and movies for reports or the web
  • Add isolines, contours, pathlines and color shading to viewers
  • Drape raster images (site maps, satellite imagery) over 3D surfaces to show relief
  • Optimized OpenGL graphics for enhanced hardware rendering

Full GIS Integration

Easily construct your grid-independent hydrogeologic conceptual model in minutes using your existing GIS data sets.

  • Quick and easy data importing of all common file types and formats
  • Automatic coordinate system and units conversion on import
  • Automatic data validation and intelligent error checking on import
  • Define model boundaries, property zones, boundary conditions and attributes from imported GIS data

Supported Data Types

    • Point, polygon and polyline data (.SHP, .XLS,.DXF, .TXT)
    • 3D Surfaces (.DEM, .ASC, .GRD)
    • Site maps, aerial and satellite imagery (.JPG, . BMP, .TIF, .GIF)
    • Borehole data, time schedules and cross-sections from Hydro GeoAnalyst
    • MODFLOW files from Groundwater Vistas, GMS, ModelMuse and PMWIN.
    • Native MODFLOW files
    • Existing Visual MODFLOW Projects (.VMF)
    • 3D Gridded Data

Flexible Grid Options

Visual MODFLOW Flex provides various grid types from which you can generate your numerical model. Easily experiment with different grid types and choose the one that gives you the best, most stable model

  • Choose from various finite difference grid/mesh types to accommodate a wide range of applications and geologic conditions (e.g., pinch outs, discontinuities)
  • Easily generate multiple grids within the same project and compare side-by-side in 2D or 3D
  • Perform grid refinement around areas of interest
  • Create faster more stable models with nested child grids that contain local horizontal and vertical refinement (MODFLOW-LGR)

Supported Grid Types

    • Uniform Grid
    • Non-uniform Grid
    • Finite Element Mesh
    • Localized Child Grids - MODFLOW-LGR
    • Unstructured Grids: Voronoi Cells - MODFLOW-USG

Unparalleled Power and Performance

Take full advantage of 64-bit architecture and multiple core processors, and build bigger models and run simulations significantly faster

  • Available in 64-bit with support for 64-bit engines
  • Multi-core parallel processing for flow engines
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Build Models Faster and More Efficiently

  • Never rebuild a model again. Model inputs and grid design can be easily modified and updated at any point in the modeling process as modeling objectives change, more data are collected and a better understanding of the sub-surface is achieved. Read more about how the conceptual modeling approach can save you significant time and effort.
  • Since 1995, Visual MODFLOW have been recognized for its intuitive, easy-to-use interface. This has been carried forward in Visual MODFLOW Flex. Groundwater modeling steps are conveniently presented in an intuitive, workflow-driven graphical user interface, allowing you to see what steps you've completed, your current step and what steps you need to finish to reach your modeling objectives.

Build Larger, More Complex Models

  • Visual MODFLOW Flex is equipped to handle vast quantities of detailed, high resolution data. With full 64-bit application and engine support, you can now leverage the extra memory available on 64-bit computers and build larger, more complex models.

Improve the Credibility of Your Groundwater Models

  • With integrated modeling, model inputs and outputs can be easily visualized with raw GIS field data in 3D. This allows you to establish model credibility by demonstrating how numerical model data (model layers, flow parameters, recharge data) were generated from conceptual data (borehole logs, GIS data). Calculated heads and pathlines can also be displayed alongside conceptual model data to validate assumptions and further demonstrate model credibility.
  • Within a single project, you can easily generate and manage multiple models in parallel for comparing alternative scenarios, grid discretizations or hydrogeologic interpretations. The best model can be selected, thus improving model credibility.

Eliminate 3rd Party Software Costs With Integrated Modeling

  • Visual MODFLOW Flex provides both GIS-based 3D conceptual modeling and numerical modeling all in a single integrated software package. This reduces the need to maintain costly 3rd party pre-processing tools and eliminates the error-prone process of transferring data back-and-forth between different software packages and data formats.

Model with Confidence

  • The 3D conceptual modeling capabilities allow you to easily interpret and analyze raw GIS data in 2D, 3D and cross-sectional views. This provides a visual quality assurance of the data, and allows you to gain a solid understanding of the subsurface before designing the numerical model

Supported Packages


  • MODFLOW-2000, 2005, NWT - World standardfor groundwater flow simulation
  • MODFLOW - USG - Finite volume version of MODFLOW that uses unstructured grids. MODFLOW-USG Resources
  • MODFLOW-LGR - Shared-node local grid refinement (LGR) for regional-local scale simulations
  • MODPATH - Standard package for forward and reverse particle tracking
  • MGO - For determining the optimal well pumping and/or injection rates at one or more wells, in order to achieve a specific objective while maintaining reasonable system responses
  • ZoneBudget - Standard package for sub-regional water budget calculations

MODFLOW Optional Packages

  • RIV - River package
  • CHD - Constant-Head boundary package
  • DRN - Drain package
  • WEL - Well package
  • LAK - Lake Package
  • EVT - Evapotranspiration package
  • STR - Streamflow-Routing package
  • RCH - Recharge package
  • FHB - Flow and Head boudnary package
  • ETS1- Evapotranspiration Segments package
  • MNW - Multinode Well Package

Transport Packages

  • MT3DMS - Three-dimensional transport model for simulating advection, dispersion, and chemical reactions of dissolved constituents.
  • MT3D99 - an enhanced version of MT3DMS, that includes support for implicit solver, TVD Solution scheme, dual-porosity advection-diffusion, Non-equilibrium Sorption and Monod Kinetics, and Multispecies Reactions, including First-Order Parent-Daughter chain reactions, and Instantaneous Reactions among species
  • SEAWAT - Three-dimensional variable-density groundwater flow coupled with multi-species solute and heat transport
  • RT3D - Reactive trasnport simulations
  • PHT3D - A multi-component transport model for three-dimensional reactive transport in saturated porous media.

Parameter Estimation and Sensitivity Analysis

  • PEST v.12.3 - Automated parameter estimation, calibration and sensitivity analysis. With Visual MODFLOW Flex, defining PEST inputs and interpreting results are made easy with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface that guides you through the PEST process from start to finish. Includes support for pilot points, various regularization options and advanced kriging.


MODFLOW-2000, 2005, NWT* check check check
MODFLOW-USG (UnStructured Grids) check check
ZoneBudget check check check
MODPATH (Particle Tracking) check check check
Enhanced 3D Visualization check check check
MT3DMS, RT3D* check check check
Local Grid Refinement (MODFLOW-LGR) check check
Conceptional Modeling check check
Multiple Grid Types check check
Compare results from multiple model runs check check
Modeling Scenarios in a project Just one Unlimited Unlimited
Build and run bigger models (Native 64-bit Support) check check
3D Animation and Movie Generation check check
PEST check check
PHT3D* check check
SEAWAT* check check
MGO* check check
MT3D99* check
SAMG check
FEFLOW Mesh Generation and Translation check
MODFLOW-SURFACT* Add-on Add-on Add-on

 * Features only available from within the accompanying VMOD Classic Interface.
 ** Basic edition only available with a 32-bit installer.


Visual MODFLOW Flex Interface Comparison

When you purchase Visual MODFLOW Flex you will recieve two seperate standalone interfaces: VMOD Classic Interface and VMOD Flex Interface. The combination of both interfaces offer a complimentary set of tools that you can use to build and run your models. The following table outlines the features that are available in each interface.

 VMOD ClassicVMOD Flex
MODFLOW-2000, 2005 check check
MODFLOW-SURFACT (Add-on) check
Local Grid Refinement (MODFLOW-LGR) check
MODFLOW-USG (UnStructured Grids) check
ZoneBudget check check
MODPATH (Particle Tracking) check check
PEST check check
MT3DMS check check
SEAWAT check
RT3D check
MNW, ETS1 Packages check
MGO, MIKE 11 check
Traditional Single Cell Editing check check
Enhanced 3D Visualization check check
Conceptional Modeling check
Multiple Grid Types check
Compare results from multiple model runs check
FEFLOW Mesh Generation and Translation check
Full 64-bit support check

What interface should I use for my project?

You can start every project by designing the geology and numerical grid using the conceptual modeling tools in the VMOD Flex Interface. After the conceptual model design phase, you can easily switch over to the VMOD Classic Interface if your model requires any of the features not available in the VMOD Flex Interface (e.g., MODFLOW-SURFACT, MODFLOW-96, MODFLOW-NWT). If you do not require any of the features in the VMOD Classic Interface, you can do all of your modeling in the new VMOD Flex Interface.

System Requirements

Hardware Requirements

Visual MODFLOW Flex requires the following minium hardware configuration

  • Supported Operating Systems:
    • Windows 8
    • Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate
    • Windows Vista Business, Ultimate or Enterprise (SP2)
  • Processor: 32-bit or 64-bit
  • Hard Disk: 500MB
  • RAM: 2GB (4GB or more recommended)
  • Networking Hardware: Network Card (required for licensing)

If you intend to work with large models (est. > 500,000 nodes), it is recommended that you use 64-bit version of VMOD Flex, and increase your RAM (recommended 10 GB or more).

Software Requirements

The Visual MODFLOW Flex installation package requires the following software configuration:

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0
  • Microsoft Office (2000 or later). If you do not have Office, you must install the Microsoft Access Database Engine.