User’s Guide to Model Viewer, A Program for Three-Dimensional Visualization of Ground-water Model Results

U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 02-106

By Paul A. Hsieh and Richard B. Winston


The full report is available in pdf.  Links to the pdf.


Model Viewer is a computer program that displays the results of three-dimensional groundwater models. Scalar data (such as hydraulic head or solute concentration) may be displayed as a solid or a set of isosurfaces, using a red-to-blue color spectrum to represent a range of scalar values. Vector data (such as velocity or specific discharge) are represented by lines oriented to the vector direction and scaled to the vector magnitude. Model Viewer can also display pathlines, cells or nodes that represent model features such as streams and wells, and auxiliary graphic objects such as grid lines and coordinate axes. Users may crop the model grid in different orientations to examine the interior structure of the data. For transient simulations, Model Viewer can animate the time evolution of the simulated quantities. The current version (1.0) of Model Viewer runs on Microsoft Windows 95, 98, NT and 2000 operating systems, and supports the following models: MODFLOW-2000, MODFLOW-2000 with the Ground-Water Transport Process, MODFLOW-96, MOC3D (Version 3.5), MODPATH, MT3DMS, and SUTRA (Version 2D3D.1). Model Viewer is designed to directly read input and output files from these models, thus minimizing the need for additional postprocessing. This report provides an overview of Model Viewer. Complete instructions on how to use the software are provided in the on-line help pages.





Purpose and Scope

Computer Requirements

Model Data Requirements


General Strategy for Three-dimensional Visualization

Scalar Data

Color Bar

Solid Representation

Isosurface Representation



Vector Data


Model Features and Auxiliary Graphic Object

Zooming, Rotation, and Panning

User Interface

“File” Menu

“Show” Menu

“Action” Menu

“Toolbox” Menu

“Help” Menu



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The full report is 396 KB


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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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Last modified: Wednesday, December 07 2016, 07:03:29 PM
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