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Techniques and Methods 6-A28

Prepared in Cooperation with the Colorado Water Conservation Board and the Colorado Division of Water Resources

User Guide and Documentation for Five MODFLOW Ground-Water Modeling Utility Programs

By Edward R. Banta, Suzanne S. Paschke, and David W. Litke


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This report documents five utility programs designed for use in conjunction with ground-water flow models developed with the U.S. Geological Survey’s MODFLOW ground-water modeling program. One program extracts calculated flow values from one model for use as input to another model. The other four programs extract model input or output arrays from one model and make them available in a form that can be used to generate an ArcGIS raster data set. The resulting raster data sets may be useful for visual display of the data or for further geographic data processing.

The utility program GRID2GRIDFLOW reads a MODFLOW binary output file of cell-by-cell flow terms for one (source) model grid and converts the flow values to input flow values for a different (target) model grid. The spatial and temporal discretization of the two models may differ.

The four other utilities extract selected 2-dimensional data arrays in MODFLOW input and output files and write them to text files that can be imported into an ArcGIS geographic information system raster format. These four utilities require that the model cells be square and aligned with the projected coordinate system in which the model grid is defined. The four raster-conversion utilities are

• CBC2RASTER, which extracts selected stress-package flow data from a MODFLOW binary output file of cell-by-cell flows;

• DIS2RASTER, which extracts cell-elevation data from a MODFLOW Discretization file;

• MFBIN2RASTER, which extracts array data from a MODFLOW binary output file of head or drawdown; and

• MULT2RASTER, which extracts array data from a MODFLOW Multiplier file.

Version 1.0

First posted January 7, 2009

For additional information contact:

USGS Colorado Water Science Center
Box 25046, Mail Stop 415
Denver, CO 80225

Or visit the Colorado Water Science Center Web site at:

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Banta, E.R., Paschke, S.S., and Litke, D.W., 2008, User guide and documentation for five MODFLOW ground-water modeling utility programs: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 6–A28, 24 p.





Program GRID2GRIDFLOW for Transferring Flow Values Between Models

Program CBC2RASTER for Converting Boundary Flow Values to Rasters

Program DIS2RASTER for Converting Layer Top and Bottom Elevation Arrays to Rasters

Program MFBIN2RASTER for Converting Head or Drawdown Arrays to Rasters

Program MULT2RASTER for Converting Multiplier Arrays to Rasters

References Cited

Appendix 1: GRID2GRIDFLOW Example

Appendix 2: Conversion from MODFLOW Array to Raster

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