GMS:Active/Inactive Cells

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Each of the cells in a cell-centered grid can be active or inactive. An inactive cell is a cell that is not part of the computational domain. An inactive cell is ignored when contours or vectors are displayed on the grid. Several methods are available for changing the active/inactive status of cells.

The active/inactive status of cells can also be controlled with model parameters. For example, MODFLOW uses an array of values known as the IBOUND array, to indicate what is active and what is inactive. If dataset flags are not currently present in the active dataset, and a MODFLOW simulation is currently in memory, the active/inactive status of cells will be determined by the IBOUND array. The ICBUND array in MT3DMS also has an effect on the active/inactive flags.
Activate Polygon Region 
Active/inactive status of cells can be set using the Activate Cells in Coverage command in the Map module. This command checks each cell in the grid to see if it is within the polygons defined in the MODFLOW/MT3DMS local Source/sink type coverage. All cells within the coverage are made active and all cells outside the coverage are made inactive. This command just modifies the IBOUND array in MODFLOW. If there is no MODFLOW model in memory, the command can hide the grid cells instead of making them inactive.
Dataset Flags 
Often, the status of the cells of a finite difference grid will be determined from the solution to a numerical analysis. For example, a cell may go dry during a MODFLOW simulation, making the cell inactive. Two types of solution files supported by GMS may include active/inactive flags: GMS dataset files and MODFLOW solution files. After importing such a dataset, the active/inactive flags are stored with the datasets (or with the time steps of a transient dataset). When a dataset is selected as the active dataset, the flags (if they exist) are checked and any cell which is inactive is ignored when contouring and fringing. Active/inactive flags associated with datasets take precedence over any other method of specifying active/inactive status. When the dataset is switched or deleted, the active/inactive flags for the grid revert to their previous values.
Active/Inactive Flags Dialog 
In some cases, a dataset may not explicitly contain active/inactive flags, but the flags can be inferred from one or more key values. For example, a value of -999 in a dataset may mean that the cell is dry or inactive. A set of key values can be defined to set up the active/inactive flags for a dataset using the Active/Inactive Flags dialog. The Active/Inactive Flags dialog is accessed in the Dataset Info dialog. The active/inactive status of the cells is determined from the specified key values in the list. Any number of key values may be specified.

See also