GMS:Building an MT3DMS Simulation

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MT3DMS Commands
Building an MT3DMS Simulation
MT3DMS Packages
Saving an MT3DMS Simulation
MT3DMS Display Options
Importing an MT3DMS Simulation
Calculate Mass
MT3DMS Tutorials
Basic Transport Package Dialog
MT3DMS Source/Sink Mixing Package
Chemical Reaction Package
Transport Observation Package

Setting up an MT3DMS simulation involves taking a pre-defined MODFLOW simulation and defining some additional properties such as porosity, assigning concentrations to sources and sinks, and choosing some general simulation options. MODFLOW automatically generates a head and flow file (*.hff) containing information on computed heads and fluxes. This file is used as part of the input to the transport model when MT3DMS is launched. MT3DMS uses the top and bottom grid elevation specified in the Global Options/Basic Package dialog. A MODFLOW model must exist in the GMS project prior to creating an MT3DMS simulation.

Two basic approaches are provided in GMS for defining these data: using the 3D Grid module or using the Map module.

Using the 3D Grid Module

Although it is not always the most efficient approach, an MT3DMS simulation can be completely defined using only the tools in the 3D Grid module. With this approach, the material properties and concentrations at sources/sinks are assigned directly to the cells.

Using the Map Module (MT3DMS Conceptual Model)

For sites with complicated boundary conditions and sources/sinks, the preferred method for setting up an MT3DMS simulation is to use the feature object tools in the Map module to define an MT3DMS conceptual model of a site being studied.

In order to use the conceptual model approach to build a MT3DMS model, the same conceptual model must be used for both the MODFLOW flow model and the MT3DMS transport model. This ensures that there is a proper linkage between the sources/sinks in the conceptual model and the sources/sinks in the grid model.

The conceptual model is a high-level description of the site describing sources/sinks, the boundary of the domain to be modeled, recharge and evapotranspiration zones, and material zones within each of the layers. In addition to the parameters required by MODFLOW, many of the parameters required by MT3DMS such as concentrations at sources/sinks and layer data, including porosity and dispersion coefficients, can be assigned directly to the feature objects.

The following steps are used in setting up a conceptual model and converting the conceptual model to a numerical model:

  1. Construct a MODFLOW conceptual model, create a grid, and convert the conceptual model data to the MODFLOW data defined at the grid cells.
  2. Run the MODFLOW simulation to save the MT3DMS head and flow file.
  3. Return to the Map module. Edit the properties of the conceptual model to include transport. Assign concentrations to the sources/sinks in the conceptual model where necessary. Also define polygonal zones describing layer data including porosity, longitudinal dispersivity, sorption constants, rate constants, and bulk density.
  4. Select the Feature Objects | Map → MT3DMS command to automatically assign the MT3DMS data to the appropriate cells in the grid.