Aquaveo & Water Resources Engineering News

April 2011 Sprint Highlights

Some of the more interesting accomplishments from the April 2011 sprint:
  • Fixed 22 bugs.
  • Created 64 bit versions of MODFLOW.
  • Taught the GMS training course in Dresden, Germany.
  • Updated the tutorial docs and files on the wiki for GMS 8.0.
  • Fixed some issues with the IUZBND array in the UZF package.
  • Documented MODFLOW world files on the wiki.
  • Simplified code behind Contour Options and Raster Options dialogs.
  • Added tests for the Set Arc Directions From Stream Data feature.
  • Researched converting the wiki to a pdf or chm file.
  • Fixed some coding problems that were resulting in compiler warning.
  • Changed the Visual Studio project for 64 bit GMS to follow pattern of 32 bit property sheet.
  • Added to the suite of 64 bit test.

GMS Learning Center and YouTube channel

In order to help make it easier to learn how to use GMS, or to just see what GMS can do, we recently launched the GMS Learning Center at  All the GMS videos we've created so far are available there. These are YouTube videos so you can also find them all on our Aquaveo channel on YouTube. Look for the GMS playlist. These videos are all recorded in high-def so they're best watched full screen at 720p. We add a few new videos each month. Various folks around the office have been recruited for the voice recordings and none of them are professional voice actors but we think they've done a pretty good job.

Also at the GMS Learning Center are all the standard tutorials which ship with GMS. The tutorials can be freely downloaded and completed offline. Finally there are links to the wiki, the user forums, the training courses, and a new Resources for Educators page that will probably warrant it's own blog post in the near future.

Better MODFLOW observation plots

GMS has included observation tools for a long time. These work with any numerical model and let you compare field observed data with model computed output. With transient data, the time of the observations doesn't necessarily match the model output times. In this case GMS would do a temporal interpolation to come up with a model calculated value.

When MODFLOW 2000 came out it included built in observations calculated when you ran MODFLOW. Now if the observation time didn't match the output time it didn't matter because MODFLOW would be sure to calculate an additional output at the observation time.

The residual errors calculated by MODFLOW have been available in GMS since shortly after MODFLOW started computing them but the GMS observation plots still behaved the old way, by doing a temporal interpolation. Until now. We just replaced the old way with the new and revamped several observation plots. The following images illustrate the difference.

Old and busted. Notice the interpolation times of the upper and lower range don't always match the observation times.
New hotness. Upper and lower bands replaced with fixed point-in-time box symbols. The color makes it easier to interpret.


GMS 8 has an interface to the USGS SEAWAT model. SEAWAT is a combination of MODFLOW and MT3D that allows for the simulation of density dependent flow and transport. I have included an animation of one of the sample problems from the SEAWAT documentation. We also have created a tutorial that shows how to use the SEAWAT interface within GMS.

GMS Community Edition

Starting at GMS 8.0 there is a free version of GMS called "GMS Community Edition". This version includes the MODFLOW and 3D Grid components and thus allows grid-based creation and editing of MODFLOW simulations. Existing simulations can be imported and edited as normal. There are size limits in this free version: grids can be no bigger than 5,000 cells and MODFLOW is limited to 3 stress periods. You can still import models bigger than this but then printing and saving are disabled. Otherwise, printing and saving work as normal. Also, once a model exceeds the limits a watermark will appear in the graphics window.

We hope this free version will allow more users to easily begin discovering GMS.

March 2011 Sprint Highlights

Some of the more interesting accomplishments from the March 2011 sprint:
  • Released GMS 8.0 with lots of new features including a free Community Edition, support for MODFLOW 2005 and SEAWAT, faster and better looking graphics, improved contouring, ArcGIS map server layers, and much more.
  • Updated the GMS web pages at The graphics are better, the content and layout is much easier on the eyes, there's a new learning center with videos and tutorials, and a new editions and pricing page, and a new "Why MODFLOW with GMS?" page.
  • Posted a new video on our YouTube channel showing the MODFLOW stream package and streams in a conceptual model.
  • Fixed 33 bugs
  • Found and fixed some memory leaks
  • Finished the new lighting options that will be included in version 8.1
  • Made good progress on implementing the new Rasters that will be available in 8.2 and will handle DEM data much better.
  • Added a bunch of pages to the wiki about the SEAWAT interface.
  • Made good progress on improving the annotations that are new in 8.0 and will work much better in 8.1
  • Added more automated testing of the 64 bit version of GMS that will be available with 8.1

February 2011 sprint highlights

Below are some of the more interesting accomplishments from the February 2011 sprint.
  • Fixed 30 bugs
  • Sped up reading of a large MODFLOW model from 15 minutes to 15 seconds
  • Removed the broken 3D mesh particle sets interface
  • Created a 64 bit version of the T-PROGS mcmod.dll
  • Got all unit and intermediate tests running on the 64 bit build
  • Planned work on enhancements to the ADH interface
  • Added a preferences page for MODFLOW
  • Fixed several issues with the GMS 8.0 installer
  • Added two more videos to the YouTube channel
  • Planned for quarterly webinars
  • Solved some problems with the .hed.h5 file created when reading a MODFLOW solution
  • Fixed MODFLOW 2005 to not say "Didn't converge" when it really did
  • Created samples of the horizons and MODPATH tutorials
  • Updated all the tutorial pdf documents and zip files on the wiki
  • Documented some horizons applications on the wiki
  • Overhauled and added multiple tests for the image import code

January 2011 sprint highlights

Below are some of the more interesting accomplishments from the January 2011 sprint.
  • Posted an update to GMS 7.1 with several bug fixes
  • Fixed several bugs in the development branch
  • Ran cppcheck to find and fix various bugs
  • Created three more videos for marketing
  • Added some new images to the image gallery
  • Wiki: Added MT3D Calculate Mass dialog help, Arc Hydro Groundwater, block fill in contour options
  • Changed iso-surfaces to use OpenGL vertex arrays
  • Cleaned up some things in all the tutorials
  • Disabled the contour options while in the Map module if there is no MODAEM model
  • Changed model checker to default to stop reporting after N errors
  • Added a Run SEAWAT macro button to the toolbar
  • Updated the advanced training course materials
  • Created the GMS 8.0 branch
  • Posted the first GMS 8.0 beta (woo hoo!)
  • Updated and added lots of tests

December sprint highlights

Below are some of the more interesting accomplishments from the December sprint.
  1. Fixed 28 bugs in 7.1 and development
  2. Copy protection: Changed the welcome dialog to go straight to the registration dialog if no license found
  3. Copy protection: Hid the maintenance string if Community Edition (CE)
  4. Removed beta stuff from copy protection and updated the beta dialog
  5. Added CE limits to Help|About and when leaving MODFLOW Stress Periods dialog
  6. Fixed removing of some menu items based on program mode
  7. Added ArcGIS web layer files to installer
  8. Created some more video scripts
  9. Added new front page to all tutorials
  10. Wiki: Added MT3DMS run options page
  11. Wiki: Contour Options page updated
  12. Created some more images for image gallery
  13. Updated the GMS Advanced Course training materials
  14. Updated automated tests on lots of tutorials