AnAqSim Instructional Series

The AnAqSim Instructional Series offers self-paced exercise sets designed to provide both novice and advanced groundwater flow modelers easy to follow instruction on the development of groundwater models using the Analytic Element Method (AEM) and AnAqSim modeling software. Our training packages follow a logical progression from basic groundwater modeling concepts and simple AnAqSim tools and features to progressively more advanced groundwater modeling techniques using the AnAqSim software.

The series covers topics ranging from an introduction to simple groundwater flow modeling concepts, to constructing and calibrating complex multi-layer models – all while helping to develop and foster sound modeling practices.

Exercise packages can be purchased individually, or as part of our special bundled packages. Also, contact us directly for special academic pricing.

View our AnAqSim Instructional Series brochure for more information.

The series currently contains the following Exercise Packages, and additional packages are continually being developed.

AnAqSim Instructional Series: Set 1 - Introductory Concepts for Modeling with AnAqSim

This starting series introduces concepts of aquifer hydraulics that form the basis for groundwater modeling. It then moves on to describe common types of model applications with typical environmental and engineering project examples. The final two lectures present an introduction to the Analytic Element Method of groundwater modeling; the sub-domain method on which AnAqSim is based; and the features of AnAqSim modeling software that make it such a robust, flexible, and efficient tool for groundwater modeling.

AnAqSim Instructional Series: Set 2 - Simple Model Building

Exercises in this introductory set of hands-on examples explain and demonstrate the basics of AnAqSim model building and use. Model boundary conditions and internal sources and sinks are described, and simple examples of methods for depicting model results are presented, including contours for defining the regional gradient as well as effects of drawdown and mounding, and pathline tracing to delineate ground water flow patterns and capture zones.

AnAqSim Instructional Series: Set 3 - Pathline Tracing

Pathline tracing is explored in more depth to examine vertical flow between aquifer layers in the presence of a partially penetrating pumping well. Methods are also demonstrated to delineate the location and areal extent of the area contributing recharge to the well. Pathline tracing techniques build from simple point and line methods, to methods involving areally distributed starting locations; and demonstrate the application of three-dimensional tracing in a complex aquifer setting involving multiple aquifer layers, a mid-depth extraction well, and a shallow river.

AnAqSim Instructional Series: Set 4 - Aquifer Boundaries and Geometry

Exercises in this set describe the application of various types of aquifer boundary conditions that control horizontal flow into and out of the regional aquifer domain including specified head, specified flux, and third-type head dependent flux boundaries. Examples are also provided for building an AnAqSim model with a lower boundary that represents a sloping aquifer base or a structurally-controlled aquifer base.

AnAqSim Instructional Series: Set 5 - Heterogeneities

One of the strengths of AnAqSim is the ability to easily include heterogeneities (sub-domains) within the overall regional aquifer domain. These zones can be set with different aquifer properties, different recharge rates, etc. Higher hydraulic conductivity zones cause a convergence of regional flow, while lower permeability heterogeneities cause divergence of regional flow as it moves through and around the zone. Rules for digitizing and specifying the order of vertices along boundaries of various types are presented.

AnAqSim Instructional Series: Set 6 - Hydraulic Features - Linear

Exercises in this set build upon the concepts covered in previous exercises by showing how certain line element types, and carefully constructed domains, can be used to represent linear (long and narrow) features in a groundwater model. These types of features include engineered features such as slurry or sheetpile walls (both no-flow and leaky) or excavated trenches. They also include natural geologic features such as long transmissive faults or interconnected fractures.

AnAqSim Instructional Series: Set 7 - Hydraulic Features - Areal

AnAqSim allows for the use of areal domain and element features to represent areal hydrologic features at the site scale and regional scale. Set 7 Exercises demonstrate the creation of bounded model areas to represent wetlands; recharge / evapotranspiration areas; ponds and lagoons; and similar features. The process of defining, applying, and properly spacing SVAS radial basis point functions to represent water inflow or removal over the area is described.

AnAqSim Instructional Series: Set 8 - Streams and Rivers

Line elements representing streams and rivers must be created and joined to form networks in certain prescribed ways. Also, line elements representing domain boundaries and other features (e.g. aquifer heterogeneity, pond, lake, etc.) must join and cross in certain ways. This set of exercises shows how to create the locations of, and proper joins for, stream and river elements. They also explore how to set the vertical elevation stream profile to properly match the natural stream gradient; how to set the river element stage and bed hydraulic conductance; and how to specify whether a river reach dries up if aquifer water levels fall.

AnAqSim Instructional Series: Set 9 - Multiple Layers

The ability to create multiple stacked aquifer and aquitard layers is one of the key features that makes AnAqSim so powerful. Exercises in this set describe how to build and order model layers; how to set their vertical hydraulic properties; and how to place and analyze partially penetrating features. Partially penetrating features can include pumping wells that are screened in only one or two layers, and shallow river features that are hydraulically connected only to the uppermost aquifer layer.

AnAqSim Instructional Series: Set 10 - Transient Modeling

The ability to simulate transient conditions is another of the features that places AnAqSim in the top tier of AEM models. These exercises describe the step-by-step process of creating a steady-state model to calculate initial conditions by placing the SVAS basis points necessary to represent flow out of or into storage, placing any desired transient hydrograph points, and the conversion of that model to a corresponding transient model. They also demonstrate how to specify the number, and gradation in time, of transient time steps. Use of AnAqsim’s powerful transient pathline tracing capabilities is also presented.

AnAqSim Instructional Series: Set 11 - Model Calibration

AnAqSim facilitates flow model calibration by a set of built-in tools. Exercises in this set demonstrate how to establish calibration targets at desired locations within the model domain, and how to print and plot calibration results as an aid to adjusting model parameters to improve performance. This capability of AnAqSim is essential to being able to couple AnAqSim with PEST for automated model calibration and parameter uncertainty analysis as described in a separate exercise set.

AnAqSim Instructional Series: Set 12 - Saltwater Interface Modeling

In coastal aquifer settings the outer (seaward) boundary of the model may be formed by the interface between fresh water in the aquifer and denser seawater over which the freshwater is discharging to the ocean. These exercises demonstrate the manner in which AnAqSim makes it easy to set up a freshwater-saltwater interface boundary, and to calculate and plot the movement of that interface as conditions change with the aquifer domain (e.g. saltwater intrusion or upconing in response to pumping).

AnAqSim Instructional Series: Set 13 - AnAqSim Tools, Tips, and Techniques

This set of lectures and hands-on exercises describes many of the tools that are built into AnAqSim for model building and evaluation of model results. Model building tools include use of basemaps; digitizing tools; importing river data to build river elements; and selecting solver settings. Analysis tools include real-time cursor tool inspection of model solution results; analyzing, plotting, and printing model results; and saving and exporting model results. The ability to analyze model calculated data at the conclusion of a simulation is one of the most powerful aspects of AnAqSim for interpreting and presenting model results.

AnAqSim Instructional Series: Set 14 - Using QGIS to Build AnAqSim Models

AnAqSim allows for the basic use of basemaps and digitizing tools as a method for creating scaled, georeferenced model elements. This set of exercises describes a more powerful method (and set of tools) for digitizing hydrologic features within a GIS software system that are properly scaled and georeferenced when created and which can then be automatically converted to AnAqSim elements in a standard AnAqSim input data file. Model results can then be exported to, and displayed over, the site GIS map for preparation of report figures and/or further analysis.

AnAqSim Instructional Series: Set 15 - AnAqSim and PEST

PEST has been described as the most widely used software for automated calibration of groundwater flow models. As described in this exercise series, PEST can be linked with AnAqSim to provide a robust, spatially accurate, and computationally efficient means of estimating aquifer parameters and evaluating parameter uncertainty for both steady state and transient flow models. Examples are also provided that demonstrate the use of PEST / AnAqSim analyses to guide a site characterization program to efficiently collect the right types of data in the right locations.

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