Scripting MODFLOW model development using Python and FloPy

By: , and 



Graphical user interfaces (GUIs) are commonly used to construct and postprocess numerical groundwater flow and transport models. Scripting model development with the programming language Python is presented here as an alternative approach. One advantage of Python is that there are many packages available to facilitate the model development process, including packages for plotting, array manipulation, optimization, and data analysis. For MODFLOW-based models, the FloPy package was developed by the authors to construct model input files, run the model, and read and plot simulation results. Use of Python with the available scientific packages and FloPy facilitates data exploration, alternative model evaluations, and model analyses that can be difficult to perform with GUIs. Furthermore, Python scripts are a complete, transparent, and repeatable record of the modeling process. The approach is introduced with a simple FloPy example to create and postprocess a MODFLOW model. A more complicated capture-fraction analysis with a real-world model is presented to demonstrate the types of analyses that can be performed using Python and FloPy.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Scripting MODFLOW model development using Python and FloPy
Series title Groundwater
DOI 10.1111/gwat.12413
Volume 54
Issue 5
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Office of Ground Water
Description 7 p.
First page 733
Last page 739
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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