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MT3DMS: Model Use, Calibration, and Validation

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Transactions of the ASABE. 55(4): 1549-1559. (doi: 10.13031/2013.42263) @2012
Authors:   C. Zheng, M. C. Hill, G. Cao, R. Ma
Keywords:   Contaminant transport modeling, Groundwater age simulation, Groundwater contamination, Groundwater modeling, Groundwater remediation, MODFLOW, MT3DMS

MT3DMS is a three-dimensional multi-species solute transport model for solving advection, dispersion, and chemical reactions of contaminants in saturated groundwater flow systems. MT3DMS interfaces directly with the U.S. Geological Survey finite-difference groundwater flow model MODFLOW for the flow solution and supports the hydrologic and discretization features of MODFLOW. MT3DMS contains multiple transport solution techniques in one code, which can often be important, including in model calibration. Since its first release in 1990 as MT3D for single-species mass transport modeling, MT3DMS has been widely used in research projects and practical field applications. This article provides a brief introduction to MT3DMS and presents recommendations about calibration and validation procedures for field applications of MT3DMS. The examples presented suggest the need to consider alternative processes as models are calibrated and suggest opportunities and difficulties associated with using groundwater age in transport model calibration.

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