SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1996

Automated Calibration of a Three-Dimensional Ground Water Flow Model


A three-dimensional ground water flow model was developed and calibrated for use as a quantitative tool for the evaluation of several potential ground water remedial alternatives during the On-Post Feasibility Study for the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. The USGS MODFLOW code was implemented and calibrated for steady-state conditions over the entire model area and for transient conditions where local pumping test data were available. Strict modeling goals and calibration criteria were established before modeling was initiated and formed a basis to guide the modeling process as it proceeded. The modeling effort utilized a non-traditional optimization technique to assist in model calibration. During calibration, this practical and systematic parameter adjustment procedure was used where parameter change was tightly constrained by preset geologic and hydrogeologic conditions. Hydraulic conductivity was the driving parameter in the steady-state calibration. The parameter was adjusted based on frequent comparison of calculated head to observed head conditions. The driving parameter was adjusted within limits until the calibration criteria achieved predetermined calibration targets. The paper presents the calibration approach and discusses the model application for evaluation of alternatives.

Author Information

Baker, FG
Baker Consultants, Inc., Golden, CO
Guo, X
Foster Wheeler Environmental Corp., Lakewood, CO
Zigich, D
Foster Wheeler Environmental Corp., Lakewood, CO
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Developed by Committee: D18
Pages: 301–315
DOI: 10.1520/STP38393S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5563-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2021-1